Friday, April 16, 2010


Running Buddy is determined that we will improve our running times.  We started doing "Speed Sprints" (or as I call them "Run like a psycho is chasing you") to boost our endurance and strength.  As I  mentioned in previous posts, Running Buddy has run 2 marathons, and countless races, and I'm still fairly new at this, but I feel like I'm in grade school again and can't keep up with the "fast crowd"!

Our sprints consisted of running as fast as we could for 1 minute and resting for 3.  We did this 4 times.  Second, we sprinted for 30 seconds and jogged for 1 minute - 3 times.

The first time we did the Speed Sprints, I walked with pain for 2 days!  But, it was pain in muscles in my legs that I don't usually feel!  I like that - I feel like I'm building new muscles that will help me with my speed now!

I've got a 9 mile race in Big Sur at the end of April - we'll see if keeping up with my sprints will help improve my time!  Here's hoping!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Running on Rednesday!

I'm celebrating Rednesday today with Sue over at It's A Very Cherry World!  I love her celebrations because red is truly my favorite color!  I love red, but it has to be a pure, deep red - those "corally" reds just don't do it for me!
I have to also tell you that I love hearts and collecting art!  And, when I can find a piece of art that has hearts and red - it's a little personal celebration deep inside!!
So I want to share one of my favorite pieces.  This is a serigraph by an artist named Mackenzie Thorpe.  Thorpe is an artist from the UK and he has a fascinating background.  He grew up 1 of 7 children, suffering from dyslexia, and a narrow future of shipyard work, but he always had a great talent for art.  He made his way to art school and a very talented future.  His pieces range from sweet, beautiful images of happiness -  to images of loneliness and darkness.  He sculpts as well as paints.  
This piece that we have is called "All is Love".  I fell in love with this when we saw it in a gallery in Carmel, CA.  I think it is enchanting and full of love and happiness - and it has fabulous red hearts all over it!  

It hangs in our bedroom, which has deep red walls, and makes me smile every time I look at it!

And, in keeping with my red heart theme today, here are some lovely soapstone hearts that I found at a museum shop in San Francisco!  They're fun to have laying around on my nightstand!

Well, there's my red for this week!  Thanks for stopping by!  Be sure to visit Sue over at It's A Very Cherry World to see what else is happening on this Rednesday!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Running with Starbucks!

I've been trying to read more lately.  Hubby bought me a Kindle for Christmas, and how many books have I downloaded?  Uh, 2!  Yet, I have many books just laying around the house, waiting to be read.  But since I got my Kindle, I feel that I'm not "respecting" it if I pick up a real book!  Weird huh - I have to deal with my Kindle issues!!  My Kindle has so far been my New York Times reading machine - I love this newspaper, but do you know how long it takes to get through one edition?  Don't even get me started on the Sunday missive that challenges me each week!

So, during spring break I stopped accepting the dirty, possessive looks that my Kindle was giving me, and I boldly pickup up a book from my shelf!

How Starbucks Saved My Life is a story about a man who "had it all" - fancy, high paying job, big house, family money and connections...until he was laid off from his advertising agency in his 50s.  Too young to retire, yet too old to get "back in the game".  He finds himself in Starbucks, trying to hang on to his last few connections, when jokingly, the manager asks him if he wants a job.  He finds himself saying yes to a job that will change his life!

I loved how this book made me think about where I am in life, and made me question whether I'm too old to change!  (Wow, I'm 42 and I'm considering that I'm too old to change!! Scary!)

Michael finds that the life he knew wasn't as fulfilling as it could have been.  He also learns that we all need to take a leap and not be afraid of what's out there for us.

Three words of advice he offers up at the end:  1)  Leap with faith - don't huddle in fear;  2)  Look at people with respect - see each person you meet as an individual;  3)  Listen to your heart to find true happiness.  He ends his book with a wish for everyone to "create a life you love"!

And the best part?  Although Michael wrote a bestselling book - he still works at Starbucks!!

P.S.  As an added plus - this book gave a really interesting insider's view of the Starbucks Company!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Running...Not in Europe!

Can you believe it?  The Wine Gurus went to Europe and left us behind!!  (I've never really liked the Wine Gurus - I'm just humoring them...and their wine...)

Well of course, we had to have a send off for them!  This time was our turn for dinner and wine, and their turn for dessert.

We made a Beef Brisket in Red Wine that came out wonderfully tender again - what a great recipe!  We also made a dish with (my favorite) sunchokes - but we added in some artichoke hearts and mushrooms and sauteed with lemon-herb butter - delicious! (I have to give credit to the Feb. issue of Fine Cooking Magazine!)

Then we made a side dish - Quinoa with Garlic, Pine Nuts and Raisins.  Quinoa is something I have been reading about in my cooking magazines, and seeing more and more recipes using it.  Here's a little information...Quinoa is not a grain, but a seed!  It has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and turns a little nutty in flavor when cooked.  Quinoa is actually a relative of spinach and Swiss chard!  And as you cook the Quinoa, the seeds begin to expand and burst open!

This is my second try with Quinoa.  The first time I made it just like rice and served it plain with Citrus flavored Salmon.  Hubby swore he had a hallucinogenic experience after eating this combination, so he was reluctant to try it again.  But adding in the pine nuts and raisins made this try much better!  No talking pillows for Hubby this time!

So, our wine theme this evening was international Pinot Noirs.  We found a Cono Sur Pinot from Chili, and a Rex-Goliath from France.  The Cono Sur was "immature".  We could honestly taste that this wine had some more "sitting" to do.  The Rex-Goliath was very tasty and smooth.  The Wine Gurus brought a Zinfandel that they have taken a liking to - they found this one at Costco.  By the way, did you know that Costco is the largest wine distributor in the U.S.?

The Manzanita Creek Zinfandel was a nice finish to the meal.  It was slightly heavier than the Pinots, but very smooth.

Finally, we had a fantastic desert of Baklava (thanks to Mrs. Wine Guru)!  Very flaky and sweet!  I just loved the sweet contrast with the walnuts.  

So, thank you Wine Gurus for your wonderful dessert and (as always) your delightful company!  And, as you drink your way across Europe - raise a glass to us back here at home!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Running with Spring!

It's official...Spring has come to my neighborhood!  I really love Spring.  I love the longer days...I love the fresh spring colors that pop up everywhere...I love the feeling of "cleaning house" inside and outside and being able to start brand new!

So, here's the view of Spring around my house!

I call this a "Razzleberry Bush" - not sure of the correct name.

Gerbera Daisies - they just embody Spring!

My dad made this "condo" for the birds in my backyard!

A Camelia bud - not doing too well, too much shade!

A Weeping Cherry - gorgeous for about 10 days!

This snail's last days on earth!!

Baby Girl  getting ready for the season!

What does Spring look like in your neighborhood?

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