Friday, July 30, 2010

Running to a Massage!

Ahhh! There's nothing better than a relaxing massage.  I guess I'm a "toucher".  When I talk to people I like to touch them at some point in the conversation.  When I get a pedicure, I really like it when they massage my feet and legs.  And, I really enjoy that calming, healing touch of a really great massage!

Hubby has been getting me gift certificates from my favorite local spa for the last couple of Mother's Days.  I just love that Hubby!  So, I decided it was time to use my latest certificate and I called to make my appointment.

When I found a good date and time, the gal making my appointment ended my phone call with, "We have you scheduled with Christopher."

Here's what went through my mind with her parting words...

1.  Wow, Christopher's parents must have wanted a boy.

2.   Wait...Christopher's not a girl.

3.   I've only had female masseuses.

4.  A man...hmmm.

5.  He must look exactly like Antonio Banderas - tight white shirt, white pants...hmm...

6.  I am going to enjoy this!!

So, I go to my appointment with (I'm sure) a visible bubble over my head with Antonio's picture in it.  I walk into my favorite spa, and the receptionist greets me and I tell her, "I'm here for Christopher..."   What I didn't notice was the very young, "gangly" boy standing next to her, because I suddenly hear a voice that says, "Hi, I'm Christopher."

I swear...when the bubble popped - it was audible to anyone within 10 feet of me!  

Now, here's what went through my head...

1.  I could be his mother!

2.  He looks familiar...was he one of my former 1st graders?

Once I got over my shock, dissapointment, self, Christopher led me back to the gorgeous, candle lit, aroma therapized (like that word? I just made it up!) massage room, I settled in for a very relaxing, very wonderful 60 minute massage.  He wasn't Antonio, but he was good!  I swear, I was close to drooling - it felt that good!  

Massages...they really do feel like a perfect healing touch - and I love the touch...although I'd prefer that my "toucher" look like Antonio!  Oh well, I'll be seeing Christopher again next month...but I'll be dreaming of Antonio!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Running with Girl Scouts!

I'm celebrating Vintage Thingie Thursday with the Colorado Lady this week - and I'm asking for a favor (more on that later...).  I'm sharing some Vintage Girl Scout pins that belonged to my mother when she was a Girl Scout over 60 years ago.  I think they are great looking.  There's just something about the classic designs...who says everything must be updated - not me!!  The one in the middle has some paint missing, (so it's hard to see) but it's a hand making the Girl Scout promise sign.

I was a Girl Scout 35 years ago, and now my daughter is in Girl Scouts - she just completed her 5th year!  It's really a great way for girls to get to know other girls, learn about themselves and their abilities, and gain self-confidence!  I've been involved with my daughter's troop for 5 years, the last 2 as troop leader.  It's really been a privilege to see my "girls" grow from little Kindergarteners to upcoming 5th graders - they are growing up with such confidence and high self-esteem - I know it's in part to belonging to Girl Scouts.

So, here's the favor part...back when I was in 5th and 6th grade I spent a week of my summers at Girl Scout Camp.  Our local camp is called Camp El-o-Win.  
 The Entrance to Camp

It was my first time away from my family for such a long time, but I went with some friends from my troop.  We went horse back riding, hiking, swimming in a little creek with its own rock slide, and lots of singing and campfires.  It is a memory that I'll always treasure.
 This is a photo of a horse that was at camp when I was in 5th grade!
 This is the "swimming hole" called Strawberry where we slid down a rock slide to the water.
But through the years Camp El-o-Win had fallen into disrepair, and the wonderful bridge that connected both sides of the camp over Dinkey Creek was damaged.  The problem is that the only way the camp can be reopened for true residential one-week camps is to repair the bridge and reconnect it to the camp sites on the other side.

We have a wonderful Service Unit manager who with a group of concerned citizens called Friends of Camp El-O-Win fundraised/bought/maintained the camp property from the local Girl Scout Council and are trying to raise money to install a new bridge to connect both parts of the camp separated by Dinkey Creek. The bridge was damaged one winter and had to go.  The Friends Group has managed to raise enough money to purchase the camp, but not enough to repair the bridge.  Our wonderful manager has connected with Pepsi with the possibility of winning a $250,000 grant for Camp El-o-Win.  BUT, we need people to vote.

Here's how you can help.  Go to
and go to the the bottom lower left and sign in.  I did this just recently with my e-mail address and I haven't received any e-mail/spam from Pepsi, so as far as I know you just use your e-mail address to vote.  Do a search for Camp El-o-Win and click to vote.  In the last 2 weeks we have gone from #105 to #95.  You can vote for Camp El-o-Win once a day until July 31.  

So, if you were a Girl Scout, knew someone that was a Girl Scout, or just simply enjoy Girl Scout Cookies every year - we sure could use your help to keep the Girl Scout camping tradition alive for our girls! Thank you all you fabulous Bloggers out there!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010 pain

This is my knee. (ok, not really my knee)
 This is my knee in pain.  (still not my knee...)

This is my face, worried about my knee, which is in pain.  (Not my face either)
My knee started hurting about 2 weeks ago when I went on my long run.  You may recall that I was supposed to go on my long run 2 weeks and 1 day ago, but I decided to stay home, sleep in,  and eat pancakes.  My knee pain must be coming from the "pancake gods".  Curse you pancakes!!

So, I've been trying to "rehab" my knee with exercises that my physical therapist gave me 8 months ago when my other knee hurt.  I've been downing Advil and using up most of the ice in the ice maker...hmm...should I leave any ice for the family to enjoy cold drinks - or - ice my knee?  Tough choice!

What's even worse is that I have my 6 mile Wharf to Wharf race on Sunday.  So my dilemma here I try to do some short runs to prepare for Wharf to Wharf - or stay off my knee and just run 6 miles cold.  I tried a 2 mile test run yesterday and my knee felt good after the run, but started hurting during the day.  Hit golf balls with my kids today and the knee still felt ok.  (However, we were almost asked to leave as Baby Boy was hitting more grass than balls, and had actually begun to dig out a trench that other golfers were falling into on the driving range.)

My other dilemma is that I have 2 half marathons scheduled in October and November.  My "hard-core" training is supposed to start in August.!!!

"Just skip the race," says Hubby.  Yeah, right.  The truth of the matter is that I'd rather be carried away from the race when my knee buckles, than not be in the race at all.  I guess I'm truly a runner!  (That and I'd do just about anything for a "hunky firefighter/medic" to carry me away in his arms.)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Running with the Blues!

We spent a recent weekend with some friends at the Monterey Bay Blues Festival! Yes, it was the Wine Gurus, and yes, we do actually go some places without them!

We heard some really great music - my favorite was a gal named Ruthie Foster - what a voice! 

But truthfully, the Blues Festival is not about listening to the blues, it's about what you wear when you listen to the blues!  And, what people wear are hats - lots of fabulous hats!

Here's a sampling...

Here's my confession...we drove into Monterey on Friday night without any hats in our Sunday afternoon when we left, the 6 of us had 12 hats between us!  Yikes!!

My goal is to wear my fabulous hats whenever I have a chance!  They bring me joy!  We found these wonderful hats at The Carmel Hat Company.  They have a plethora of hats tucked into their little shop in Carmel, CA.  Check out their website and their store if you're ever nearby.  They have a great philosophy and a friendly way - and many of the hats are handmade by the wife of the couple that own the store.

Oh, by the way, besides the great music and fantastic hats, the Blues Festival has food - fried food - lots of fried food!  Hubby's dream came true when he got to eat a giant turkey leg!  

Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Running on Shoesday!

It's Tuesday Shoesday!  

Shoes bring me joy - I have to admit it!  I love walking around shoe stores - especially at Nordstrom's S.F. Shopping Center.  That's where I found these little beauties a couple years ago.  They are fun and the best part...they have red hearts!

Once again, I'm linking up with The Shoe Obsessed One over at A Mile in Mom's Manolos to celebrate! Thanks for stopping by and checking out Shoesday Tuesday! 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Running with Books!

What are you reading this summer?  There's nothing better in the summer than curling up in a comfy chair with a glass of cold passion tea and a good book!  So, here's some great reads that I've found lately!

I fell in love with the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich a couple of years ago.  We were in Oregon on vacation and I ran into a used book store that had just about every book that she had published.  (Now, here's what I came to notice in Oregon.  You can't travel more than 1/2 a mile without passing 1) a used book store, and 2) a coffee house!  Considering books and coffee are two of my greatest loves, it was hard to not sell the house and move directly to Oregon!)  I spent most of that summer catching up with the first 14 Stephanie Plum bounty hunter books.  Now that I've caught up, I have to wait a whole year for the newest novel to be released.  In June Evanovich published number 16!  Her books are fun, easy reads.  Stephanie Plum is a (not very good) bounty hunter who ends up with the wildest jobs and acquaintances.  She usually gets help and is rescued by a mysterious security man named Ranger.  Stephanie and Ranger lust after each other - and the truth of the matter is that I mostly read the books just waiting for a wild sex scene between Stephanie and Ranger.  It's only happened once - but hey, I'm an optimist!

I've told you about my antagonistic relationship that I have with my Kindle...this is the perfect book to download for me.  I usually finish Evanovich's novels in about 2 days, so reading it on my Kindle for $10 is a good buy!  I've decided that if a book is a quick read, I'll put it on my Kindle - if I want to savor a book, you know the kind of book that you turn back and reread pages and passages, I will buy the book.  There are some books that I tab and highlight - kind of hard to do on a Kindle.

My kids are 9 and 12 and we've been faithfully heading to the library for some good summer reading.  I love perusing the latest books for young readers.  Here are a couple that I found to be great summer reads for kids their age.

 The Year the Swallows Came Early is a book about two friends who have to learn lessons about their parents.  The girl in the story has a father who ends up in jail, and her friend has a mother who left him for a year.  The kids struggle with the love that they have for their parents and having to learn that you have to accept people for who they are.  It's a really good read for kids 10 and over.

 The Artemis Fowl series has been around for a few years, but this is the first time I've read one of the books.  The main character, Artemis, is a young boy genius who is trying to hang on to the riches that his father lost through thievery and a reluctant relationship with fantastical creatures.  It's an interesting series - kind of "Harry Potter" lite!
 This last book is one of my favorite for young kids.  Trixie has her favorite friend - Knuffle Bunny, but one day she loses him at the laundromat.  Her parents can't understand Trixie's dilemma since she hasn't said her first words yet.  But of course, her first words are uttered when she finds her friend - "Knuffle Bunny!"  The illustrations are wonderful in this story.  Mo Willems puts black and white scenes of New York on all the pages and has his "cartoon" drawings walking through the neighborhoods and parks.  One of my all time favorites!

I'd love to hear what you're reading lately!  Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Running with a Guest!

Today to celebrate Vintage Thingy Thursday with the Colorado Lady, I have a guest blogger who will share a vintage piece from his garbage truck collection - here he is...Baby Boy!

I bought this truck in Oregon at an antique shop in Coos Bay. It is made by Tonka and I believe it is from the 1960s.

This is the oldest truck I have in my collection.  I have about 30 different garbage trucks that I have collected since I was 3 years old.

Thanks for stopping by today!  Be sure to check out Vintage Thingy Thursday to see what other wonderful vintage items are being shared today!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Running...from Winery to Winery

While in Napa, I ran across a book that featured pictures of winery doors.  After I saw the book I really started noticing the beautiful doors of some of the wineries we visited.  They really are lovely and each unique in its own way. 

This one is from Peju Vineyards.  I love the stone work around the door. 

Notice the carving - it's of a young girl pouring a pitcher into a large vase that has grapes carved into it. (Sorry, it's a little hard to see - just use your imagination!)

This door is also from Peju.  I love the color and the handle!

These doors are both from the Castle.  I love the old world style of the dark wood and the hardware.

Ok, this is not a door, but I thought this bench looked so peaceful under the arbor at Sterling Vineyards!
Thanks for stopping by today!  Be sure to check out Outdoor Wednesday over at A Southern Daydreamer and see what else is going on outdoors!

Running in the kitchen!

I love summer because it means that I can go through all the recipes that I have saved since Spring vacation and tackle them during summer!

This week I made Grilled Naan filled with Herbs and Cheese.  I found this recipe in one of my favorite magazines - Fine Cooking.

One of my favorite Indian dishes is Butter Chicken.  But the reason I love it so much is that I usually use Naan bread to soak up all the glorious sauce that the chicken is resting in.  So, when I saw this recipe I thought I would give it a try.

First, I made a very simple dough using the dough hook on my mixer.  I rolled out the dough and filled it with a mix of cilantro, garlic, cashews, and mint that had been put in a food processor.
Next,  I pinched the sides of the bread together and turned it over gently roll it flat again.
After grilling for about 4-5 minutes on each side, this was the delicious result!  I think the grill marks make it look even better!  Oh, and the green stuff, that's just the herb stuffing - I had to mention that as my son said it looked like mold!  (Aren't kids great?!?)
Well, I'm trying a new recipe today for marinated flank steak - I'm excited to let you know how that turns out...but in the meantime, check out Bo's Bowl because he is having a fantastic giveaway!  A $40 gift certificate to CSN stores.  This is an online retailer that has many wonderful items for the kitchen and home!   Here's a huge shout out to Bo - I have tried several of his delicious recipes, Sausage and Angel Hair pasta, Blondie Brownies, and last night I tried his recipe for Sweet Grilled Balsamic Chicken - all very tasty!

So, what's cooking at your house this summer?

Running and Wishing!

This week to celebrate Shoesday Tuesday, I'm displaying a fabulous shoe that I'm dreaming about right now.  I love hearts and red, and this shoe has plenty of them!  Aren't they divine?  I think my delicate foot would look amazing in this shoe!

They are Burberry - remember Burberry?  The brown, black, and red plaid scarves and overcoats?  They sure have come a long way!  Maybe, just maybe, if they see this blog they'll send me a free pair of these shoes?  I just love Burberry!!  Anyone listening...anyone?

Don't forget to head over to The Shoe Obsessed One to check out her fabulous shoes this week!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Running in Napa...part 2

Our trip to Napa with the Wine Gurus consisted of eating, drinking, eating, and drinking some more!  Mr. Wine Guru was a World Class tour guide.  He had each day's tours planned with a corresponding time frame and map location.  We couldn't have paid for a more informed guide!!  So, here some highlights from a fantastic trip!

Day 1 - Our first stop was at Sterling Vineyards.  The winery is located on top of a mountain, so a tram ride is the way you get to the top!

The view from the tram!

Looking out from the terrace at Sterling!  See the castle in the background?
This was our favorite wine from Sterling - a Bordeaux blend. Yum!

Dinner was at Greystone - The Culinary Institute of Arts - CIA - the tasty one, not the dangerous one!  The CIA offers cooking classes - by the week or by the day.  Sadly, they didn't offer any during the time we were there.


The food was almost too beautiful to eat - almost!
I was feeling adventurous so I ate foie gras (sorry, still gross even when served in a 4 star restaurant) and beef carpacio.  The carpacio (thinly shaved pieces of beef served raw with olive oil) was surprisingly good - I just had to block the "raw" part from my mind!

 Day 2 - Our first stop on this day was the castle that we saw from Sterling's terrace.  The castle is called Castello di Amorosa.  

  The castle is really spectacular - but a little odd.  The owner wanted to make it just like an Italian castle - even down to the dungeon and torture room.  (Sorry, here comes my petty side - but, aren't there better ways to spend your money than to purchase an authentic Iron Maiden and stretching device?)  The tour was interesting and the castle was awe-inspiring, but after a while I was left thinking - what a waste of money.  Come on now, I'll spend good money for a nice pair of shoes, but really, do we need to spend money to have 10 million Italian bricks shipped over to California?  The cost was a little disgusting after a while.  Anyway...

Every castle needs a guard cat and chickens...don't you think!

Our next stop was at Grgich Hills Estate.  Mike Grgich was the winemaker of the famed Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that took first place in the Paris Tasting in 1976 - the movie Bottle Shock was based on this story.

Our favorite wine from Grgich was a red - we're not so much into whites - even 1st place winners!
We've mostly been Pinot Noir drinkers, but those damn those great Wine Gurus have us into Cabs now!

Next stop - Provenance Vineyards.  We found some great Cabernet Sauvignons.

Peju Winery was our next stop.  I hate that "drinking too much wine" feeling, so at this point in the day I took a break from tasting and wandered the property. 

Can you just imagine working around this wonderful scenery?  This man is cleaning out the barrels using the "bungholes" in the wine barrels!  When I hear that term I revert back to being 13 and giggling - sorry!
I found this at Peju - it's made out of wire & metal and holds corks!  
Who doesn't need something like this?

Dinner this night was at Bouchon in Yountville.  Mrs. Wine Guru proclaimed it the finest dinner she ever had!  It was divine!  The service was great and the atmosphere was very casual - not stuffy at all.

During our time in Napa, we met a winemaker who was just starting out.  He had access to a relative's vineyards and decided to try his hand at making a Cabernet Sauvignon.  We decided to try a bottle and we took it with us to Bouchon.  Wow - it was really impressive and we loved the idea of supporting someone who was just starting out.  It was the kind of wine that tastes really good now, and you just know that in a year or so it will be fantastic!  If you're feeling like giving something new a try, consider this Cab - you won't be disappointed.  It's got great flavors and its very smooth on the palate.  Joe Filippini named his winery Filippini Road - the label has a little Swiss flag on it - a tribute to his ancestry.

And dinner would not be complete without a decadent desert at Bouchon.  Look at makes my mouth water just to think about it!  So simple, yet so delicious!

Thanks for joining me on my Napa Valley Wine Tour!  Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!  I'd love to hear if anyone's been to the wineries or restaurants we visited or if you have any suggestions for our next trip! 

I'm glad you stopped by!

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