Thursday, December 29, 2011

In Which I Embrace Pinterest

So I have dabbled Pinterest but never could never understand the fascination it held for many people.

Until a week ago.

When Baby Susan showed me the ins and outs of Pinterest.

Oh my, oh my oh my!  The glories of Pinterest.  I can find crafts I will never do, places I will never go, and products I will never own.  It's sort of the crack cocaine of the internet.  I always want more.

But some good did come out of my new found addiction.  These little pecan chocolate pretzel thingys.  Not that is not the official name of the thingys but the real name escapes me at the moment.

But essentially you take Rollo candies, miniature pretzels, and pecan halves and combine them to make a little bit heaven. First line up your pretzels on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Place a Rollo candy on each on and put them in a 250 degree oven for three minutes.

After the three minutes (and only three.  Set your timer.) take them out of the oven and push a pecan half on the top.

Let them cool completely.

Get ready for a heavenly choir to start singing in your mouth when you pop one of these in your mouth.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Feet Have a Vote

Many people have treasured Christmas traditions.  Making cookies, singing carols, eating the traditional Christmas meal are al a part of many Christmas's around the world. But in my family, that is not how we roll.

We take the grandbabies for a pre-Christmas shopping expedition.

Oh, yeah.  When the stores are the most crowded, Memaw and her credit card ventures out.  And this year there were two teenager girls since Baby Susan and Joshua have an exchange student.

The horror.

But I (notice that Danny Dearest did not accompany us on this trip.  Wimp.) and Susan took two teenage girls to the mall.  Now that is stress enough but, would you believe it, they don't like the same stores!  So, we spent over an hour in Rue 21 (my eyes may never be the same.)  and then  over another hour in a establishment called Papaya.  We have debated the comparable "cuteness" of one t-shirt to another.  Which jeans looked best.  And earbuds.

And when I had finally made it the check-out at the second store, the cashier said those dreaded words,"You need to pick out another top.  They are two for one."

Then the selection process began anew.

All total, we spent between 2 to 3 hours selecting "cute" clothes.

The next day, the process of taking Mr. Jacob shopping began.  He would rather take a beating then look at clothes.  He had all the video games he wanted.  What to do?

But a beam of hope shone in.  The day before, Danny Dearest and Joshua had been to REI (a store with everything for the outdoorsy type). Danny Dearest was on the lookout for a windbreaker type jacket to wear on those cold bike rides.  You will be glad to know that he found a florescent green one that will make him highly visible to all drivers of automobiles.

(I know, I know, I am beginning to ramble.  But that's how my mind works.)

While they were at REI, Mr. Jacob expressed a interest in the camping equipment.  It seems that he is moving from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts and is looking to beef up his camping supplies.  So we took him to Academy Sports and told him we would get him something there.  He walked straight to the backpacks and picked one out.  Not your namby-pamby school backpack.  But a real deal, hike in the woods, camp by the fire backpack.
He's ready to take on a mountain.
Mr. Jacob took 5 minutes to make his selection.  My old feet prefer shopping with Mr. Jacob.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

She Is Her Mother's Daughter

We are back after spending a week with Baby Susan, Josh, and the grandbabies. We sang Christmas songs, made cookies, and played the traditional Laser Tag game. I plan to regale you with tales of our adventures and misadventures.

But for now.
Like mother, like daughter.  She likes to kiss her husband.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy Birthday, Danny Dearest

During my teen years, I had a long and varied career in various fast food establishments.  At one point. I quit my job at KFC anfd walked down the street and applied for a position at Burger Chef.  You remember Burger Chef.  Home of Burger Chef and Jeff, the Big Chef, and greasy french fries.  I only lasted a few months at Burger Chef before I moved on to another job but I did take one thing away from Burger Chef.

Danny Dearest.

We met while working at Burger Chef.  They made him manager and I decided I couldn't work for him.  Sort of set the tone for our entire relationship.
But we worked out our differences and eventually got married.

It has been wild ride but I wouldn't change it for anything!

Happy Birthday Danny Dearest.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Please Don't Yawn

This may be the most boring blog post EVER.  But to make it flow a little bit better, I have resorted to a list.  You have been warned.

1. I've started my daily runs again and began them in my neighborhood.  This is fine except half of the run is uphill.  I have, apparently, lost the training necessary for hill running.  Let's just say my thighs and calves are not happy.

2. I am thoroughly enjoying teaching at our church preschool.  The kids give me new stories to tell everyday and fulfill that part of me that still wants to work with kids even though I am retired from the public school system.

3. Danny Dearest and I are gearing up for our trip over hill, over dale to see the grandbabies.  This involves packing the back of the family truckster with jigsaw puzzle precision.  This will be Danny Dearest area of expertise. He can make everything I want to take fit in the car.  He is a hero among husbands.
This is not our actual vehicle so all you would-be car breaker-iners just relax.  Not this many goodies in our actual SUV.

There, I am finished.  Are you still awake?

Monday, December 12, 2011


So Saturday I went out to the multi-use Triviz path to do my daily four mile run.  I enjoy running on the Triviz path because it runs parallel  to a busy road and I always feel that if I go into a hypoglycemic coma and fall to the ground, someone might take pity on me and call 911.  You see, I believe in the basic goodness of people.  A belief that got tested last Saturday.

I purposely run without any earphones just so that I can be aware of my surroundings at all times.So you can imagine my surprise when I was jogging along and was at about the mile and half mark when something went "Bam!" and hit my left cheek.  At first, I thought someone had run up behind me and had cold-cocked me. I looked around and saw the remnants of a snow/ice ball on the ground.  I had been hit by a snow/ice ball!

I quickly looked around and saw two "gentlemen" scampering off a roof of a duplex across the street.  They had taken a pot shot at me.

At first I contemplated calling the police but I couldn't see myself telling them that I had been hit by a snowball.  Doesn't quite measure up next to the burglary, abuse, and shooting calls they would be getting on Saturday so I passed on that idea.  And just keep running.

But Sunday morning I sort of wished I had reported it to the authorities.  I had a two inch red mark on my left cheek from the ice that was packed in the snowball. I couldn't help but think of the 70 year old man that rides his bike everyday on that path.  Or the special needs guy that also pedals a bike along that path.  Or the elderly couple that I see walking there several times a week.  What if they had decided to use one of them for target practice?  But it is too late and I will probably regret that I didn't report, no matter how silly I would have seemed.

So my belief in the goodness of people was tested, but not completely destroyed. I still know that most people are inherently good.  

But those "gentlemen" on Triviz...


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Snow Today, Gone Tomorrow

Yesterday afternoon the first delicate snowflakes began to fall on my New Mexico home.  They were beautiful.

And then the snow began to fall a little heavier and heavier.  Then we had a full on desert snowstorm. Roads and schools began to shut down.  Danny Dearest was sent home early because the workers at his base have to pass through a mountain  pass at 5300 feet elevation to get home.  And that pass was rapidly becoming impassible.

Now desert snowstorms are almost mystic events and I love experiencing them,  This one was beginning just like every snowstorm we have had since we moved here until...

This morning.

When I awoke to temperatures of 7 degrees and no heater.  You read that right, NO HEATER.  Now I am not one of those tough girls (my running fall experience notwithstanding) and so I promptly got up and called the 24/7 service number that comes with the heater.
This isn't me...

I got the technician and he told me that he would notify the office at 8:00 but that he couldn't come right then because the road were closed. Now do you have a grasp on the entire scenario, no heat, arctic temperatures, and one not so tough woman.

I bundled up with an electric blanket and stocking hat and made camp on the couch.  My outlook was dark to say the best.

Long story short, Mr. Technician finally made it out to our house over the icy roads. The heater is now working hard to make up for lost ground so the house is beginning to warm up.  I have my fireplace roaring and my attitude is improving.

And the most beautiful part of a desert snowstorm?  Two inches of snow and icy roads today while the predicted high for Sunday is 51 degrees.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Legends of the Fall

So as most of the free world knows, I ran in the Las Cruces Half Marathon. Yes, siree I did.

I had two goals for this run. The first was to not be last.  The second would be to run all of the race, no walking.

My plan was to sleep until 6:00 am. get up, clean up. eat my oatmeal, and leave the house by 7:00.  Well, race day jitters got the best of me and I woke up about 5:30 and started the getting ready process.  We left a little before 7:00 am because Danny Dearest needed a stop at Starbucks. 

On the way to the start point I ate my slow release bar to help combat any hypoglycemic episodes that might occur during the run.  And then we pulled up at the Field of Dreams (for those living outside the Las Cruces area, that is the name of the football stadium for our local high schools).  We went inside to wait for the start.

I really need to talk just a bit about the weather.  The normal weather for our area this time of year is for the highs to be in the 50"s.  The forecast for race day was cold, high about 40 degrees and some showers.  

Inside there were hundreds of runners of various levels milling around.  I felt a little out of place with what were obviously higher level runners.  But I just stood there, trying to calm down.

So the call came for the half-marathoners to line up for the start.
And we were off!

Of course, the "real" runners took off and left me way behind. But I had decided before the race that I would just run my race and not worry about the others so I just chugged along.  Eventually I started passing some of the people who had took off to fast and now had to walk.  I stuck to my plan to take a glucose tablet every two miles to maintain my blood sugar levels.  And I was just cruising along.  It was a little chilly but I was dressed appropriately and really wasn't feeling the coild.

Then I hit the 10 mile water stop.

I got my cup of water, and in attempting to throw my cup away, I stepped off the pavement and...
This is not me.  But it shows what happened to me.
But I got up, brushed off my knees (and face and elbows) and continued running.  I took about 5 steps and realized I had developed a nose bleed.  Now when you are running your blood is pumping a little faster and so the nose bleed a little faster.  I tried running while pinching my nose but that does make breathing a little difficult and breathing is sort of important when you are running.  So I just let it bleed and wiped it when necessary.  Made for a rather bloody shirt and pair of gloves.

But with three miles to go, I wasn't go to let a silly bloody nose stop me.

Eventually, I made it to the finish line in 2:40.
I know that it looks like I am walking in this picture but I really was running.
If you look carefully at this picture, you can see my nose is bleeding.  But I had other war wounds after my up close encounter with the road.
Yep, I gave my all for this run.

As for my two goals for this race, I was far from the last one over the finish line and I did run every step of the race.  Except, that is, when I was laying flat on my face.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Snow? Did They Say Snow?

So if you know me at all, you know that I am running in my first half marathon on Sunday.  And guess what?  The forecast for the normal balmy and sunny New Mexico desert is for cold temperatures, rain, and possibly SNOW! 

Let's all bow our heads for a moment and pray that the local weather authorities are incorrect. 

Bur now I am busily carbo loading and trying not to get nervous.  I am having GREAT success with the carbo loading,  The getting nervous, not so much.

So come Sunday morning we'll see what we see.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's An Adventure

 Long distance running while dealing with Type 2 Diabetes is an adventure.

All long distance runners face some similar training issues.  We all have injuries.  We all deal with the weather.  But diabetic runners have special problems.

When I started to up my mileage in preparation for the Las Cruces Half Marathon, I immediately started have hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) episodes.  So I had to stop every mile that I ran and check my blood sugar on the side of the road until I got a handle on the problem.  I now know that I can go two miles before my blood sugar drops.  Good news and bad news.  That means that I no longer have to check my blood sugar every mile.  But it also means that I have to pop a glucose tablet every two miles. Which means I have to carry glucose tablets with me when I run.

Also, since I do have to eat a glucose tablet every two miles, I spent yesterday  driving The Las Cruces Half Marathon course to memorize the two mile spots on the 13.1 course.  I have to know when to pump up my blood sugar to avoid a hypoglycemic episode on the side of the road.  My goal is to finish the race on my feet, not in the back of an ambulance.

Come race day, I will have to time the ingestion of a slow release glucose bar to be exactly one hour before the start of the race.  That will give the carbs in the bar time to hit my blood stream.  Also, on race day I will carry glucose tablets, glucose monitor, testing strips, and lancet along with me on my run.  But I have a fantastic husband, Danny Dearest, who purchased these shorts for me for my birthday.
See all those pockets on the rear end of the shorts?  Those will carry all my supplies.  I'll look a little like a pack horse running down the road.

Sometimes when I think of other runners who just lace up their shoes and go running, I get a little jealous.  Their running is effortless.  Mine takes planning and effort. But there are a couple of  benefits that make it all worthwhile. One is that  running keeps my blood glucose levels low.  Which is important for all kinds of reasons.  It helps avoid all those nasty complications from diabetes that we all know about.  And it helps extend my life expectancy.

Which leads to the most benefit of running.  These two.

I have every intention of cradling their babies (my great-grandbabies) in my arms.  And if it means I have to run in rain, snow, or through hell itself, I will.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Now, people serve their Lord in many different and various ways.  Some help the poor.  Some travel to foreign countries as missionaries.  Some visit the sick.

Me?  I watch TV for Jesus.

That's right.  I watch TV for Jesus.  What? you don't understand how sitting in front of the tube can be done for service?  Just let me explain.

As some of you know, I crochet blankets for Project Linus.  Project Linus provides handmade blankets and quilts for babies and children in the local hospitals. This is a service project for the little ones. I crochet when I watch TV.  Therefore...

I must be watching TV for Jesus.

Do you see a flaw in my logic?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Angels Everywhere

So starting about Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving, I noticed a trend on Facebook.  Christmas decorations were featured in many status updates.  In particular, I noticed Christmas trees sparkling from many posted photos.

Now, I love Christmas decorations.  I have boxes and boxes and boxes of Christmas decor in the storage building.  But after Baby Susan and Josh moved to (shudder) Texas Danny Dearest and I have made the trek to their home to spend the holiday season.  (What grandbabies will make you do.)  But, as a result, we don't do much decorating around the old Champion homestead.

Except this year...

When  Danny Dearest and I were pulling in the garage after our traditional eating out of the Thanksgiving meal and viewing of The Muppets, I spied up on a shelf my grandmother's Christmas tree.  Now, some explanation is required about this tree.

Seventeen Christmases ago, my grandfather was in the hospital and not doing well.  Danny Dearesr, Baby Susan, and I went home to Kentucky to spend Christmas and to see him.  It bothered me to no end that he was going to spend Christmas in the hospital, so one day as we were driving to visit him I coerced Danny Dearest into stopping at the local Kmart to buy something that would brighten up his hospital room.

And I found it.  It was a Christmas tree that measured 27 inches from top to bottom.  It had lights and candles that flickered like real ones.  Little pine cones and apples were nestled in the branches.  It was perfect.

I took it to granddaddy's room and it stayed there until we left.

A couple of days after we returned to New Mexico we got the call that granddaddy had died.

But the Christmas tree lived on.  Grandma took it home and used it for her Christmas tree for several years and then the inevitable happened.

Grandma died also.

In the cleaning out of her household goods, I came across the Christmas tree.  I took it back to New Mexico with me and for years used it as my Christmas tree in my elementary classroom.  Last year, when I retired form teaching, it came home with me and was put on the shelf in the garage.

Where I saw it last Thursday.

And now it is the Christmas tree for Danny Dearest and me.

Can you see two angels near the tree?  I do every time I look at it.
I love you Grandma and Granddaddy. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Oh, the Things You Will See

On Monday I posted about how Danny Dearest pedaled into bicycle history at the El Tour de Tucson.  Now at a bicycle race of the epic proportions of the El Tour, there will be characters of all kinds.

In addition to the tandem bikes, recumbent bikes, and such there are other riders that stand out.  There are the unicyclists.
Can you imagine riding that one wheeled wonder for 111 miles?
There are the elliptical bikes.
This makes my thighs hurt to look at it.
 But when Danny Dearest and I were discussing the events of the day, he told me of something he had seen while on the course. He said  that he had seen a rider with a dog on his back.  And that wasn't the odd part.  Danny Dearest said that the dog was wearing a helmet and googles.

I thought Danny Dearest had been on his bike in the sun too long and was seeing things.

But then I was looking at images from the race on-line and guess what I found?.
Safety first!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ride, Danny, Ride!

Well, I'm back after my little bloggy break.  I just seemed to run out of words but I think my words are back!  I'll start by recapping our weekend.

Danny Dearest and I went to Tucson so that Danny Dearest could ride in his third consecutive El Tour de Tucson, an 111 mile bicycle race.  We drove over there on Friday, picked up his race packet, and toured the exhibitors.  After that, we had an absolutely delightful Italian dinner and early to bed.

Up early the next morning for race day.  We got up and drove to the start line.  Danny Dearest was about midway back in the pack of 4,000 riders.
What? You can't find him?  I don't believe it!
 I wanted to see Danny Dearest cross the actual start line, so as it got close to start time I wandered up to the front of all those riders.

That's where the star power was located.  Bill Walton, former NBA player was riding that day also.
Can you tell by his height that he was a professional basketball player?

Another biker with star power was Barry Bonds.

When my amazing cell phone photographer skillz it is a little difficult to tell but he is the one in the middle with the black and white jersey. (Notice how I spelled skills with a "z"?  That means I have mad SKILLZ.)

But the sun did come up and they were off!

Now there are really four races in El Tour de Tucson.  The 111miles, the 80 miles, 65 miles, and the 35 miles.  In total, there were 6300 riders.  That's a lot of bicycles.

Now, what's a woman to do when her husband is off on a seven  to eight hour bike ride?  GO SHOPPING!!! So I purchased a too cute for words sweater runic at Macy's. I had told Danny Dearest that the longer he was out on his bike, the more that I would spend.  Maybe that is why he had one of his best times ever.  But I am getting ahead of the story.

Because it was time for Danny Dearest to cross the finish line.  And there he was!
My winner!

Friday, November 11, 2011

In Honor

In honor of all our veterans.

The Statue of Liberty made out of servicemen. And if that isn't cool enough for you...
Ten thousand service members made this flag.

To see more, here is the link.

Thanks to all our veterans.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I Just Don't Get It

About my second or third year of teaching, all the teachers were herded into the Gadsden High School gym.  District Attorney Susana Martinez, now Governor Martinez, informed us of the ramifications of the child abuse laws for educators.  She told us that, as educators, that if we even suspected child abuse among our students we were legally obligated to report.  Report directly to child services.  Not the counselor.  Not the nurse.  Not the principal.  Directly to child services. 

And if we didn't, we could be charged with child abuse.
So what does this all mean?  When I first heard about the child abuse scandal currently rocking Penn State the first question that came to my mind was...

why didn't Mike McQueary call the cops?

Just to make things clear, according to published reports McQueary walked into the showers and heard noises in the showers.  He looked around and saw Jerry Sandusky sodomizing a ten year boy. in the shower. 

And what did he do?

Did he call the police?  Did he call child services? 

No.  He called his father.  And then he told Coach Paterno. 

If one of the educators in the Gadsden Independent School District did something compatible concerning a child, that educator would be facing charges of  child abuse, just like the abuser. 

Why, in the fire-fest that is currently going on at Penn State right now, is this man being left out. Current reports state that he will be on the sidelines of this Saturday's game.

Just let me say, I have a ten year grandson and if ANYONE had ever touched him in that manner, the question as to whether or not he should be on the sidelines would be moot point.  He more than likely would not have been ABLE  to be on the sidelines.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I Still Bounce, Just Not in the Same Places

My stinky ankle has healed enough that I have started training for the Las Cruces Half Marathon again.  I am enjoying hitting the pavement again.  The place that I prefer to run is the Triviz Running Trail in Las Cruces, NM. 
This picture really isn't the best one of the trail.  It really is a nice trail that is used by joggers, walkers, and cyclists. It is busy most of time.

I like this trail because it is separate from Triviz Avenue but there are cars going by all the time.  This makes me feel a little more  secure when running because if I have a sugar crash and go done hopefully one of the good citizens driving down the road will call 911.

Also, I have built up a sense of camaraderie with some of the other "regulars" on the trail.  I always get a thumbs up from the guy on the Hover Round.  The other long haired guy always speaks to me.  A young girl always gives me a friendly wave.  Sort of like an exercising family.

But there is one thing about the trail that bothers me.  The trail runs from the university about 5 miles across town.  It's that university part that gets to me.  Because along with the regulars and me on the trail there is one more constant...
This young lady is obviously not on the desert trail that is Triviz. 

perky young college girls running along in tight running pants with their ponytails bouncing in time.

It's enough to make an old memaw go home and lick her wounds.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Enough Already

I will admit to a sort of morbid fascination with the Duggar family. The simple logistics of feeding, cleaning, and moving from one place to another of that many people interests me. The idea of the amount of dirty laundry produced by this small army of a family is amazing to me.  I mean, I have a difficult time taking care of just Danny Dearest and me much less a family the size of this.
So imagine my surprise this morning when on the Today show the Duggars announced that they were expecting their 20th child!  Twentieth child!

Now, I am very much in favor of EVERY woman having control of their reproductive rights.  But 20 children?  I've had classes that had less than 20 children and I know how much one on one attention each child received from me.  I do realize that I only had those students for 8 hours of the day while Michelle  and Jim Bob have their children for 24 hours, but I also did not have the myriad of chores that go with having children.  Laundry, feeding, etc. did not take any time from the children.

So my concern is how much attention will each child receive from their parents?

But, at the end of the day, it is their choice.

And, apparently my fascination continues.

Monday, November 7, 2011

It Works For Me!

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook.  I stole decided to share this.
Yeah, it works for me, also.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday, Sunday

So, it is Sunday afternoon and I am sitting on the couch looking at the blinking cursor on my computer screen and I got nothing.  Nada. Zero.  Nothing to write about. I do have a few observations after a weekend of doing almost nothing.

1.  No matter how much football you graciously,  graciously I say, watch with your husband it does not get better.  College or NFL, it doesn't matter.  Now, I can marginally enjoy a local, live game if the snacks are first rate. You know popcorn, nachos, and hot dogs. But on the television, no thanks.

3. Fires made from wood scavenged from limb clippings in the yard will pop cinders to a greater degree that fires made from Duraflame logs. Also,  those scavenged fires will also pop those cinders on your new white rugs whenever possible totally avoiding the oh so cute area rug you carefully put down in front of the fireplace. Black cinders that will leave spots that no amount of scrubbing and Resolve can remove

3.  Running in a 25-30 mph wind is very, very difficult.

So now back to listening (not watching) to football this Sunday afternoon.

The reason I continue to stay in the same room with this accursed football sound?
I get to feast my eyes on this!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Basic Black...No Way!

So as any avid reader of my blog ( and I know there are one or two of you out there), I have taken up running and hope to run in the Las Cruces Half Marathon on December 4.  Hope being the operative word.

But one little problem had developed.

My shoes had started rubbing a spot on my heel.  As a diabetic, that could become problematic. Diabetics are always hyper-vigilant about there feet.  Anything could become a sore that will not heal so Danny Dearest and I made a trip to the local running store.  And I picked up...
these bad bots. 

Just as a sidenote, because I know that you are worrying about this, my right ankle is black in this photo because I am wearing a brace on my stinky ankle.  I really wanted one that was pink with sparkles but, alas, they apparently only come in basic black.  I think I can have a second career designing ankle braces for people with some sort of fashion sense.  It is a thought.

But, back to my story.  The wise man at the running store told me I "pronate" when I run and I am a "heel-striker".  The result is that other than looking like a duck when I run, my shoes were rubbing my heal.  These new shoes are scientifically designed to prevent this.
See those little waves on the inside sole of the shoe?  That's the scientific way these shoes will solve all my running problems.

So I took my new scientific designed shoes out for a 8 mile run this morning and I am happy to report that they run like a dream.  I felt like I was flying and could run forever. I don't think I pronated as much and if I did my heel didn't hurt.

But we still need to work on that basic black ankle brace.