Monday, March 24, 2014

March Madness

"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plants." ~ John Lennon

My husband, my mother-in-law, my daughter and myself just returned from the most delightful family vacation.  We have been pinching pennies this year and so were only planning on one family vacation this year.  My niece gave me the Christmas gift of a ticket to the St. Patrick's Day 15K in Portland.  My husband, my sister-in-law and myself planned a trip for my mother-in-law to Portland to stay with my sister-in-law the week before and I would pick her up and take her back home with me after the race.  Well last minute I was talking with my husband about how much my daughter wanted to come down to Portland with me, and how much she would enjoy the trip even though he hates the thought of big cities with LOTS of traffic and people.  Enter the pity pleas, and one last minute guilt trip about how "unsafe" it would be for me to drive all the way to Portland alone.  I'm not sure if it was my persistence or his exhaustion, but he finally caved and agreed to come down as a family to Portland.  Saturday my husband, my daughter and myself ventured forth to Portland.  We had a family dinner that night with my sister-in-law and her husband, and my niece, and her family.  The race was set to start @ 0745 in the morning, yes whoever set that time for a 15K has a sick, sadistic streak so I stayed the night with my niece and her family, allowing my husband and daughter to rest up while my niece and I were loosed upon Portland.  The Shamrock Run is a race that is held in honor of St. Patrick's Day and given that it IS Portland there is a lot of festivity present and people dressed up in everything green and Irish.  Between the green Tutu's that people and dog alike were wearing to Leprechauns and pots of gold it was a sea of color.
    My niece and I had a VERY hard time finding a parking place at the race, as the Shamrock Run in Portland had approximately 35,000 people between the 5K, 8K, and 15K races so we were 20 minutes late to the start of the race.  We made it at last call, vaulting over the fence and began our journey from Portland's waterfront up to the VA Hospital on the Hills surrounding Portland and back down to the Portland waterfront.  With our late start and me desperately out of shape we were among approximately the last 10 people of the 15K.  As we continued in our run we were followed by two police cars who were reopening the city of Portland as we passed by.  As one police officer joked they were kind enough to close the city down for us.  I walked half of the race and ran half of the race.  The balloon was given to me around the second Kilometer from a lady handing out free balloons advertising H & R Block; I was feeling festivious so I thought, why not?  I was going to give the balloon to my daughter so I tied it around my wrist and it completed the last thirteen kilometers of the race with me.  After the race it was family time the rest of the afternoon and nap time for my niece and I, followed by dinner out with my husband.  My husband and I were celebrating 12 years of marriage.  Ibuprofen was and still is my friend as I learn how to move after the race.  The day after the Shamrock Run I was astonished to see a picture of me on the Oregonian website, and the day after that I made the photo of the day.  All I can say is that it must have been a slow news day, lol.  :) 
    Monday the girls and I invaded a local mall for some shopping, frozen yogurt and aerial trampoline, with a trip to Good Will and finishing the day with a family dinner.  A delightful time was had by all.  My daughter scored a new to us puzzle book, some pants and a pair of shoes, and I scored Leopard print rain boots (which I had been eyeing for quite some times at Wal-Mart, but couldn't succumb to their listed price) and a book on gardening. 
    Tuesday morning our family had brunch and then began our six hour drive home.  By the time we got home we were all exhausted and stumbled wearily into beds for rest.
    One delightful thing came out of this trip, a new family tradition as my husband states that next year he'll join us in the Shamrock Run.  It should prove to be an entertaining trip since it involves our family if nothing else.  The picture below is one of me on the Aerial Trampaline that my daughter and I tested out a local mall.  It was a hoot, and even though I am not fond of heights I managed to pull off 3 back flips.  I can now scratch this one off my bucket list, lol.  Until next time, take care.  Yoko

Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Daily Glimpse

"If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it.  This is the most basic kind of peace work," ~ Nhat Hanh
    I've seen several bloggers do this and I thought it would be kind of neat to show people a glimpse of one of my days off.  My husband got my daughter off to the bus stop for school at 0800.  I woke up at 0800 and spent the next half hour making some phone calls.  After that I attempted to get some more desperately needed sleep until at 0900.  I simply gave up and staggered myself over to the coffee pot.  I drank my coffee and made breakfast for my husband and my mother-in-law, my daughter was at Head Start.  While they were eating breakfast; I ate a spoonful of peanut butter to hold me over until breakfast and then I exercised on my treadmill for thirty minutes.  While I was cooling down after my 30 minute workout I made myself breakfast; two pieces of bacon, one egg, a whole apple and two glasses of water. My husband and I then drew up a budget to see where we could cut more financial corners to pay off some of the debt acrrued this year.  My husband finished my mother-in-law's daily routine by running her bath water and cuing her to bathe.  I started laundry while my husband got ready to leave and help my step-daughter and her family move.  After he showered he picked up my daughter from the bus stop while I showered.
    Since it was an outdoor work day, my boots, a long sleeve warm top and jeans went on.  After my husband left to help his daughter, it was the girls, myself and the critters.  My husband is sweet enough that he feeds and waters them every morning and then the girls and I work with them.  So I cued my girls to change in to boots (all the snow was gone and it was 50 degree weather with sunshine and mud).  We took a very stubborn Lady Houdini out of her pen and tied her lead rope to the front porch railing while the girls and I helped brush her down.  Lady's goals are to bask in the sunshine and eat the sweet fresh Spring grass and not to move; ours are to keep her on her diet to take off some of the weight she put on while out to pasture for several years by making her move.  Outside I cleaned Cadbury's cage and we held him for a while.  I also finished the first border of the second raised bed with strong heavy fence posts to be able to withstand a second lighter layer when needed.  All the while my daughter was riding her bike outside, my mother-in-law walking between the animals and my daughter and two bratty little dogs running amuck among the mud creating mass havoc wherever they went.  When I finished with my outdoor projects the girls, the dogs and myself walked a very stubborn Lady Houdini down the driveway to the end.  I'm sure we were quite the sight especially when I had to bellow at the dogs, because they spotted the neighbors dog across the street and were attempting to pay a neighborly visit.  After we returned to the house and all animals were clean, accounted for and in their pens it was time for the girls naps. My daughter had a snack and a story and my mother-in-law had her lunch and then we rested.  While they napped a very worn out Mom napped as well.
    After nap time it was getting close to supper and the girls and I drove over to a friends house to visit and then swung by the store to buy refried beans and kleenex to make it through until payday and big shopping day.  I fixed the girls and myself Taco Salad.  I helped my daughter get ready for bed as she had school the next day which involved bath time, teeth brushing, and story time.  Then after getting my daughter ready for bed it was my mother-in-law's turn.  Her bedtime snack, pills, and breathing treatment  (it's what 60 years of smoking will earn you, several periods of time were a pack a day).  After both girls were in bed I sat down to enjoy some much needed rest and watched a TV series called The Blacklist (I LOVE me some good spy shows).  My husband came home and we finished our taxes online, readied ourselves for bed and then made it to bed by 1235 which is almost typical for us.
    In other equally exciting news I unearthed my collection of seeds from over the years and my daughter and I started some herbs inside.  We started True Lavender, German Chamomile, Echinacea and Mint.  Hopefully they'll all come up; I'll keep you updated on their progress or lack there of.  I also discovered the optimum planting mixture for miniature roses.  I took straw with manure from the Chicken Coop and filled 3/4 of the container with that and the plant itself with some soil around the roots and enough soil to cover the container.  The plant is doing marvelously as evidenced by the new growth.  As always until next time take care one and all.