Saturday, April 28, 2012

Running Nazi Strikes Again

Well, once again I fell for one of the Running Nazi's little tricks.  This time I was rested and well hydrated so I didn't suffer as much as I have in the past.

And we didn't get lost this time.

It all started when I met her for lunch Friday and she said she was going to run 12 miles this morning so I said I would meet her and run with her since she was running under 13 miles.

This morning when I got to the run start,  she suggested we run a little different course than we usually run.

 I very naively said "Sure!"

Big mistake.

We took off running and about 7 miles into it she says she hopes she remembers the correct turns. (where have I heard that before!)   She kept calculating how much this loop was going to be and then add this street and that and we would be at 12 miles by the time we got back to our cars.

I wasn't paying much attention as we were running along and chatting until I started to get hungry so I looked at my watch and realized we had been running almost 3 hours!

Now we run kind of slow and we stop to drink a couple of times along the course, but it NEVER takes us 3 hours to run 12 miles.

I mentioned how long we had been running to the Running Nazi and she says "Oh, yeah, we did that loop and then we added this and.... but we stopped a lot too...."

Not over 45 minutes worth of stopping!

Finally she admitted that we would probably be at around 15 miles by the time we got back to the car.

I'm not sure, but I think she had planned this the entire time.   She knew if it was a course unfamiliar to me that I would have no idea what mile we were at in the run.  I never would figure it out if I didn't know how long we had run. I'm just not that smart.

She knows this.

I am still trying to calculate how many miles we really ran today.  Was it only 15??

 I've run long enough to know approximately how long it takes me to run 12 miles.  And it's not 3 hours.

So much for keeping my long runs at 13 miles and under when I'm not training for a marathon or Ironman.

Dammit, she's done it again!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Nice Tail - The Furry Kind

 Phantom's, what else did you think?

He refused to sit still and look cute for this photo shoot.  He had other ideas such as "Get me the heck out of here!"

Cute tail though.

He's counting the days until his boy comes home from college.  It's been awhile since he's been bear hugged and squeezed practically to death.

And he has had to sleep all alone in The Boy's bedroom.  Nobody to snuggle with and he's not allowed to freely roam the house because of his stalking tendency with the other cats.

Poor baby!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dive Into This Stuff

It's official - the pool's a mess.  There's been a mystery leak that started about 3 years ago and the Murph just ignored it and kept adding water to the pool.  The leak wasn't that bad, but any leak apparently needs repair immediately according to what we found out today.  It's not a good idea to let a pool leak go for three years.  Who knew?

At the end of last summer, the Murph had the pool guy cover the pool without cleaning it (against the pool guys advice) because we were moving to the coast for the fall and he had already decided to do a super clean/leak repair this spring when he opened the pool back up.  I can only imagine what the pool guy was thinking as he covered a filthy pool with yellowish black water last fall.

I'm surprised the pool guy even showed up today knowing what he was going to be dealing with.

I haven't been in the pool since summer before last except on a big float where the water wouldn't touch me.  This is because by mid-summer the water was a funny color, murky with yellow stuff floating around in it. I told the Murph he was going to get a fungus or something really gross if he got in the water.

He got in anyway.  He didn't get a fungus.

Yesterday he spent the afternoon scooping up dead leaves that had fallen on top of the pool cover.  Water had collected on top of the cover as well and now it's a mosquito breeding ground.

The pool guy came today and was mortified.  He and the Murph have a love/hate relationship.  The Murph loves it when he comes and gets the pool uncovered, but hates the prices he charges.  The pool guy loves the money he gets but not enough to deal with the pool's neglected condition.

Now The Murph is really going to "love" it when he gets the final pool bill.  I think the pool guy wanted The Murph to call somebody else to do the work, but he's been doing it for almost 20 years so he's stuck.  The Murph's not letting him get away that easily.  He's a loyal customer.

The pool guy couldn't do much today because he had to pump the water off the pool cover before he can get it off.  Then he discovered that the mystery leak has caused the pool liner to slip off and now he's going to have to empty the pool to stretch the liner back on or get a new liner.  Then he's going to have to dig around underground to see where the leak is coming from.

Yes, it's a MESS!

On a positive note  - once the leak is repaired, the liner is properly installed and the pool is filled with fresh water. maybe we will have a summer where the water is clear all summer long and we can actually swim in it without fear of fungus or other nasty infectious diseases.

Seriously, we had a party here last summer where more than one person commented on the "funky" color of the water and asked what The Murph was doing to it.  One person even offered to loan us some pool chemicals....

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Helicopter Parent

Yesterday someone I went to high school with who is now a college professor updated her status on facebook with -

"Dear helicopter parents of the 1990s: thanks so much for making college teaching harder. Explaining there are no trophies for showing up and that rules apply to everyone makes for a long, tedious day."

I was confused because I had no freaking clue what a helicopter parent was.  No clue.  So being the inquisitive, google savvy person that I am, I did a google search of the term and learned that a helicopter parent is one that is overly involved in their children's lives to the point that they smother the child by their "hovering" much like a helicopter hovers.

These parents are the ones that never let their children out of their sight to play outside because they might get hurt or abducted.  Jungle gyms and swing sets can be too dangerous and so they are banned from the playground.  If a teacher grades the child's work too harshly the parent is at the school to confront them.

 As the children get older these parents pick colleges, majors, fill out applications, etc for these children.  Parents have even been known to negotiate salaries for their adult children getting their first jobs.  

This kind of over involvement cripples the child making it almost impossible to make any decisions in their lives.  They have no respect for authority figures and they grow up feeling entitled.  Shouldn't they get extra credit just for showing up to class?  Those deadlines don't really apply to them,  do they?  

 I can understand why this would drive college professors and employers crazy.

My heart sank when I read all those things because I came to a very disturbing realization.  

 Oh no!  That's me!!  I'm a helicopter parent! 

Now I have the correct terminology for something I have been for years.  And college professors HATE me.  Now I understand why The Boy's college tried (notice I said "tried") to refuse to talk to me last summer when I was doing whatever I could to get him accepted last minute into the college he decided he wanted to go to. (I thought he wanted to go to a Junior college near home for a year or two).  He changed his mind. 

 Now I know why the college wouldn't let any parents within a 20 mile radius when it was time for the student's to register for fall classes at orientation. 

 Now I know why after a brief intro meeting the first morning of orientation, the took the students in one direction and put all the parents in a big bus and sent us on a "tour".

My one saving point is that I didn't become a helicopter parent willingly.  Really, I didn't.  It was a necessity brought on by the fact The Boy has Asperger's.  I did encourage The Boy to become independent and do things on his own.  I would push, but I would always be nearby.  In part because if I wasn't nearby The Boy would refuse to participate in birthday parties, sports, playing outside, swimming etc.  

Believe me, I would rather NOT know what the top of the tunnel in the germ filled playground at McDonald's or the inside of the ball pit at Chuck E Cheeses is like.  Fact is if I didn't agree to go up in them, The Boy never would have either.  And bribery doesn't work.  I tried.

It is a fine line for parents with children with special needs to walk.  On the one hand we want our children to become independent, but on the way they do need us more than other children.  Does that really make me fall into the helicopter parent definition?  I hope not.  I took this survey online to find out if I fit the definition of helicopter parent (yes, I'm that paranoid) and the results were that I have found a balance.  

Whew!  What a relief!  To think for a second I might be one of THOSE! 

This helicopter parent phenomena really explains a lot though.  Now I know why the outside park down the street doesn't have real grass.  It has this fake squishy stuff that looks like grass but has cushioning for falls so no little tyke gets bruised or scraped up.  What was our parents thinking when they made us climb on jungle gyms with packed dirt or gravel down below?  Or concrete!   

The Murph and I were in the park a while back and went over to the playground to check out all the fancy play stuff.  A kid's dream world.  And all we had was plain silver bars to climb on when we were kids.  If you fell off one you fell on dirt and broke your arm.  Did our parents just not love us enough?

Now I realize this is the perfect example of a playground designed by our generation, the helicopter parents to help preserve and protect and smother and cripple the next generation, our kids.

Don't get me wrong, the playground is AWESOME!  I wish I had that as a kid.  I feel deprived!  I can't say I turned out ok.  I guess I did though.  My mother never had to do any of my homework for me and she didn't negotiate my salary in my first job out of college (although I sure wish somebody would have) and I 'm certainly not negotiating The Boy's salary when he gets out of college.  

His dad will have to do that.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Baby Shower and Long Run With The Running Nazi

Saturday morning I got up extremely early to run 10 miles with the Running Nazi.  I haven't seen her in over two weeks, which means I haven't done a long run in over two weeks.  Easter weekend and the trip to the beach temporarily screwed up my running schedule.  I'm not even going to discuss my biking and swim training.  Right now it's more like "what swim training?"  I bike on the exercise bike at the gym about 4 times a week.  Does that count as bike training?  The Running Nazi even missed her long run on Easter which is very unusual for her.  I hope I'm not a bad influence for her.

The plan was to run 10 miles on Saturday and then 12 to 13 on Sunday.  In between, we went to a baby shower for M one of our fellow running friends.  Her son and daughter in law are expecting a baby boy.  It's M's first grandchild.  I loved the colors they are using, blue and brown.  It was a total coincidence that I got a gift bag in that color combination.  I am really in tuned to color combos these days with all the wedding planning I have been doing.

About to leave for the shower.  The Murph likes the angled shots.
See Cadence behind me - My furry four-legged shadow.
I made the 10 miler on Saturday, but my knee was hurting and felt bruised so I had to pass on the Sunday run.  I'm going to have to build back up slowly now.  I am so scared of getting injured and having to cut back or stop running.  I have never stopped running entirely so it takes a very long time for me to recover if I get injured.  I had achilles tendonitis on both feet for a year one time after I started training for my first marathon.  It was very painful, but I kept on running.  I never want to get that again.  I finally got slower, cut back on running mileage, started stretching more (downward dog yoga pose) and it eventually healed.

For the baby shower I bought a couple of baby board books, a stuffed animal and a swaddle blanket.  My favorite book to read to The Boy when he was little was "Goodnight Moon".  We read it every night.  He also liked "The Very Hungry Caterpillar".  I still have all his old books.

My favorite book to read to the Boy at night

The food was delicious at the shower.   My favorite was the chicken salad croissants, a really awesome assorted cheese tray with crackers and white chocolate covered strawberries.  I love really good cheeses and white chocolate not dark (dark chocolate is a migraine trigger for me).  I don't care how many calories cheese has it's a good source of calcium so I can eat it.  I just keep telling myself it's good for me.

I had my camera in my purse and would have taken pictures of food but I didn't know the hostesses of the party and I thought it might be a little rude if I whipped out the camera and started taking pictures. Besides they might not want to be blogged about.  The only people I knew at the shower was M and the Nazi and three other runners who are friends of M as well.  It's funny how the camera always comes with now just in case there's a good photo op.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Ed and Boo, brothers and two of the sweetest kitties ever, sharing the window.  I think Ed looks a lot like Maru, the famous youtube kitty.

Could Ed and Boo be part Scottish fold?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Wedding Invitations I Love

I spent several hours today surfing around online looking at wedding invitations.  There are just so many to choose from and I love so many of them even the ones that are a little too rustic or casual for what we have in mind.

Here are some of my favorites that I found.  Most I think can be customized to our colors (which aren't set in stone yet.)   I found a couple of color scheme ideas in the GO Wedding style magazine.  One is blush and black and the other is fuchsia and silver.  Both I love.
Luxury Wedding Invitations 
monaco detail
One of my favorites
monaco detail

bordeaux invitation detail
I like this one, but with fuchsia instead of blue

I found the above three wedding invitations here -

I love her designs and they have the Murph's approval too.  There were some others, but they either didn't fit the theme (whatever that is because I'm all over the place!) or I couldn't figure out how to copy and paste the picture on here.

There are several pocket type, letterpress invitations that we liked and can order through a local store here and choose any color, font type, etc that we want.   That is a less expensive, but more boring option.

I like a little more sparkle!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Diving Into Wedding Planning

I have been diving into wedding planning again since we got back from the beach.  We are looking at a late June or early July wedding, but no dates set yet.  I picked up the spring/summer Grace Ormonde wedding style magazine at the grocery store today.  I love this magazine.   It's one of my favorites.  I have a huge collection of bride magazines on hand that I have been collecting since the engagement a year ago.  I am still just as confused and undecided as ever on how to pull it all together though.

I've been looking for wedding invitation ideas.  I don't know why it's so hard to decide on one.  There are just too many options.  I like all the vintage wedding ideas that are on the Internet, but somehow I don't think that is me.  I am more traditional, but I don't want to be boring.  I need something that is a combination modern and glamorous with just a touch of vintage and traditional. I also like sparkly and pink.  Is that possible?  And if it is, what the heck would that look like??  The last time we looked at invitations I thought the shop owner was going to throw me out.  That was almost a year ago.  I've been afraid to go back until I get a more concrete idea of what I'm looking for in an invitation.

Not having a clue about what kind of wedding invitation to order is not a problem yet, since we haven't set a date.  Once the date is set, the invitations will have to be ordered immediately.  There will not be much time.  We haven't reserved the country club where we plan to have the wedding.   We do know we want an evening wedding with the ceremony held outside on the patio overlooking the golf course and have the reception inside.  Cocktails first, then dinner and dancing.

Since June and July are poplar wedding months, we realize we might have to have the wedding on a Friday or a Sunday evening instead of on Saturday and that's fine with us.  We still haven't looked at bands or photographers.  We met with one florist last year and really liked their work, but even that is not decided.  Everything will be last minute.  I hope we can pull it off!

I purchased my dresses last year when we were visiting my friend S in Charleston, SC.  I am really, really glad she was there to help me out.  I was totally clueless about what I wanted.  Well, ok that's not true.  I had an "idea" of what I wanted and that was the problem.   Sometimes when you have an "idea" and you can't find exactly what fits into that "idea", it can get extremely frustrating.  That's where Bridezilla starts to emerge.  That's what happened at the wedding invitation place and I didn't have S there to help me make a decision.

Back to the dresses, I decided on a  Reem Acra strapless silk gown with a tulle overlay for the ceremony and will change into a short Ann Bowen silk gown for the reception.  The Reem Acra dress was purchased at the Gown Boutique of Charleston and the Anne Bowen was purchased at Maddison Row in Charleston.  I got great deals at both places.  Maddison Row was having an Anne Bowen trunk show while I was there and the Gown Boutique was discontinuing Reem Acra designs.  I don't know why.  I love her designs!  I think it had something to do with Southern brides wanting something a little more conservative, less edgy.  I got the dress for 1/4 of what the original price was.  The dress isn't edgy.  It's a very traditional sort of wedding dress.

My shoes are strappy Jimmy Choo's in champagne which look more silver to me.  I might get a different more comfortable pair for dancing in later in the evening.  The dresses and the shoes have been sitting in the closet for almost a year.  I can't wait to get to wear them!

I still haven't picked out the bridesmaid dresses.  They will be either fuchsia or silver and short not long.   I have no idea what I will wear in my hair or what jewelry and accessories I will wear.  Too many options online.  It's hard to decide.  Once the date is set, it will get super hectic around here for awhile.  I can't wait!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Beach Photos

I love the beach and what a different kind of trip this has been.  What a roller coaster ride it's been with the Boy.   Right before I hit send on my blog post last night, he called again.  For the third time.  This time things went much better.  When the Boys world is better, my world is better.

Here's more beach photos.  Nice to look at when I'm not there.

It is red flag today, the water is very rough and closed to the public.  Rip tides.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Finishing What You Start

I came across this you tube video as I was surfing around the internet today.  Being an Ironman and experiencing the overwhelming emotion after crossing the finish line, I know what these women are going through.  It reminded me of why I do these races, both long and short, but especially the Ironman races.

Triathlons, biking and running have been my outlet for stress, depression, you name it, over the past 15 years.  The Boy once made the comment that whenever things went wrong his dad would yell and his mom would run.  I ran ALOT over the years.

Today was a very rough, emotional day for me after the weekend with The Boy.  Some of the things that he said to me really hurt.

 I've seen this famous finish line crawl between Sian Welch and Wendy Ingraham before, but today it touched me more than ever.  Not just because qualifying for the Ironman World Championship is always at the top of my mind, but because it made me once again realize that no matter how hard or tough it is, you have to keep going to the finish.  It's all about sticking with it and finishing.  Never quit.

I got The Boy through high school and now into college and I will be there for him to the end.  If he says he hates me.  Fine.  If he says I annoy him.  Fine.  If he says his life would be better off without me in it.  Fine.  He can say what he wants, I know he needs me.  He wouldn't have made it this far without the sacrifices I have made gladly through the years.  And I'm in it until he truly doesn't need me anymore and goes off to make his mark in the world.

The most rewarding thing in world to me is being a mom.  It is also the most painful.  But I'm no quitter.  He may be 20 years old next month, but he needs me now more than ever.  I might be limping, but I'm hanging in there.

And one day I will cross that finish line in Kona, Hawaii even if I have to crawl on my hands and knees.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

First Almost Futile Attempt At Ryan Gosling (the meme I mean....)

I'm not that creative so this is about as good as I can do.  I apologize in advance....

This is my first attempt at the Special needs Ryan Gosling meme that was started several weeks ago by Sunday Stillwell.  See more or these memes at her blog here -

I would never have been able to figure this out if The Boy wasn't here from college to help me.  He gets all the credit on helping me cut, paste, save, etc.  He didn't think my memes were that funny although he did remember the botanical drops for relieving stress that I bought for him from GNC the summer he worked for his dad.  He said the drops actually worked.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


oh the indignity!
This morning the landscaper guys came to clip all the bushes in the front of the house and put pine straw around the natural areas in the yard.  The car wash guy came at the same time and washed all the cars, except the Boys car (I washed it over the weekend) and the car that the Girl is using until her car gets out of the shop.  During all this, my brother pops in to say hello.  He was in the neighborhood.

I don't know why, but my brother is totally fascinated by our Phantom, psycho terrorist cat.  I think he comes over just to look at the cat.  Amazed.  How can a cat be that large?  During Christmas, he came over and said Phantom was "out of his frame".   Phantom is a big cat and he's also very fat, but he would be big even if you took the fatness away.  He's big boned.

My brother has a chihuahua that's about as big as one of Phantom's paws.  One smack of those deadly claws and that dog is history.  My brother is very protective of this little dog who he named Sassy, so I don't get to see her much.    She's not allowed around Phantom.  What's so funny is Phantom is terrified of Sassy.  Last time he brought her over (which was one of the ONLY times), she ran my cats under the bed and they didn't come back out until she left.  They don't like her at all.  She thinks she's much bigger than she really is.  When my brother first found her abandoned in the middle of the road several years ago, he wasn't even sure she was a dog.  She was so tiny it was hard to tell.  

Phantom follows me around everywhere now that the Boy is away at school.  I think the cat is lonely.  I've noticed he's put on even more weight.  My friend S ( )shared this video today on my Facebook wall.  It's a video about Henri, the Existential cat.  She said the look on this cat's face reminds her of Phantom in my pictures of him.  I agree!

video by Will Braden

Henri and Phantom would make great friends, sitting around and moping and complaining.  This could go on for days when inevitably one would get mad at the other and then somebody would get popped on the head with a paw or bitten on the butt.  That would be the end of that friendship.