Sunday, October 31, 2010

Running to Halloween!

I do enjoy Halloween!  But, it's not the candy, or the's the costumes!  I'm a little competitive, just a little.  A few years ago I worked at a school that actually had a Halloween Parade for students and teachers.  ( I say this with sarcasm, because my current school doesn't allow this time-honored tradition - too many tests, not enough time for fun!)  I worked with a "gentleman" who always came up with great, original Halloween costumes.  I got it in my mind that I could beat him in the Costume Contest.  (Silly me!) 

So one year, I bought vampire teeth, (and the denture adhesive it takes to keep them in) and fake hair and skin glue so I could have a realistic moustache and beard.  Listen to that again - I actually glued hair to my skin!  Did I win...NO!  He showed up with actual computer chips hot-glued to his face and he was some kind of Techno-Devil!  He won!  

The next year, I got all Martha Stewart and dressed up as a mummy!  Now, I didn't just tear some bedsheets.  I took Martha's ideas and tea-dyed cheesecloth, made a brown gooey paste for my face to keep the cloths adhered.  I looked fantastic!  And guess what?  I won!  He was absent that day.  It was a bittersweet victory - but a victory all the same!

So, now I have to live through my kids.  Baby Boy always comes up with interesting ideas for costumes.  This Boy is not a "store-bought" costume kind of kid.  In fact, we've never bought a costume for him.  Here's a list of costumes we've created:
1.  Rainbow Ghost
4.  Dirt Devil Vacuum
5.  Road Construction Sign
6.  "Male" Box
7.  Magical Mystery Box

Baby Boy won the school costume contest for 6 out of those 7 costumes.  I was thrilled!  (It's so sad-that feeling of validation a parent feels when they their child wins something!)

My motto is:  Give me a cardboard box and a glue gun and I can create anything!  Actually I have a secret weapon.  My Dad!  My dad is the handiest man I know.  He can build anything as long as he has a plan.  So, every year around Halloween I tell him our weird ideas and he cuts, saws, and assembles whatever we need.  He doesn't ask any questions either, which came in very handy one year.  That particular year, I worked for a boss who I truly believed had a "stick up his butt".  So, for my costume I asked my dad to make me a stick that I could attach with a belt.  He did.  I never showed him the photos from that costume...

Sadly (or luckily for me) Baby Boy is in 7th grade this year and they don't dress up at school.  I've got to be honest - after 6 straight years of winning - I'm tired of creating these costumes and living up to my high expectations!  I know it's wrong, but I love it that the the parents at school talk for years about my kid's costumes!

So, my only Halloween costume this year is for Baby Girl.  This Girl is a store-bought costume kind of girl, but when she saw her brother winning every year she wondered why her costumes weren't winning.  I gave it to her honestly - "It's because you won't let me make your costume!"  She heard me, and wanted to win much more than she wanted her independence (what kind of girl have I raised?) so when I started making her costumes, she started winning! 

Here's what she has been lately:
1.  a Motorcycle Rider
2.  Fisherman in a Boat
3.  Roller Coaster Rider

This year we worked on a Snake Charmer on a Flying Carpet costume.  We were lucky again this year and she was a Costume Contest winner at school!  

So, what are you over-achieving, time-stretched moms (just like me) making this year?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Running in San Francisco!

13.1 miles - all uphill!  No, not really, although it felt like it most of the time!  The Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco was just a fantastic experience!  So, to recap, here are 13 fabulous things about this memorable run!

1.  23,000 people - mostly women, and with one goal in mind - make it to the finish line!  We all gathered at the starting line around Union Square at 6:00 in the morning - it looked like that scene from Polar Express when all the elves are gathered waiting for Santa!  It was a "Sea of Runners!"  The energy was absolutely explosive!

 2.  People came from everywhere!  We met groups from Canada, Japan, and Alaska!  We were invited to join the Fairbanks 1/2 Marathon next year - it just seems a tad bit cool for me!

3.  Organized - like a well oiled machine!  Great Big KUDOS to the people that make this event happen.  It is just mind-boggling how smoothly everything ran especially with 23,000 people participating!

4.  The hills!  The first hill came at mile 6 - a 300 foot gradual climb!  I was so proud of myself for not walking up this hill.  And, I would have run faster if there hadn't been so many people in my way - really, I would have...

5.  The scenery!  Wow!  I could begin seeing the Golden Gate Bridge in the background around mile 4, and it kept getting closer! 

6.  The entertainment!  We were inspired by the sounds of a Gospel Choir once we made it to the Piers!
7.  The spectators!  Really - how can you not be inspired by men dressed in pink spandex?  They cheered us on and made this mile so much cheerier!

8.  Inspiring Runners!  Many of the runners were running for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Team in Training.  Many of them were cancer survivors.  One gal had the words "I kicked Cancer's ass!"  Running Buddy yelled, "Congratulations!" to her - Running Buddy is such a motivator!

9.  The weather!  Mother Nature was looking down on us as it only started raining as we finished the race!

10.  The goodies!  After we made it through the finish line we were given a bag and they filled it with oranges, bananas, power bars, bagels, raisins, chocolate milk, water, and Gatorade!  What a haul!

11.  Niketown!  It's not just a store - it's a town!  And on the outside wall, all the participants names were written on a huge poster!  Really cool!

12.  Mile 12!  The chocolate mile!  As we entered this last mile of the race, they were giving out Ghirardelli chocolate squares.  Delicious!

13.  The downhill!  What a reward for going uphill!  I swear I ran for 6 straight minutes downhill - I was running so fast - it was exhilarating! Thank God I didn't trip and find myself face down on the Great Highway!

If you have any way to make it to San Francisco next October, you have to sign up for this race!  The lottery begins in March!  You will love it!

Oh, by the time was 2:20.  I'm extremely proud of that time since it was 2 minutes faster than my last half marathon.  Plus that time was with San Francisco hills, and stops for pictures! 

Thanks for stopping by today!  Keep Running!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Running with the Colonel!

I'm not a quitter.  You have to know that about me.  And that's sometimes good, and sometimes bad.  But in this case, it's delicious! 

You may recall my secret recipe for "Coal Black Chicken".  Not too many people have requested it, but I understand.  But, I don't give up.  So, I kept forging ahead in my quest for perfect edible decent basic fried chicken.  I found a secret source, right next door! 

My neighbor is around 85 and from the midwest.  I started thinking, "Is there an 85 year old woman, from a farming state, who doesn't know how to make fried chicken?"  So one night I dropped by Floy's house (you knew her name wouldn't be Karen or Carly) and told her my dilemma with fried chicken.  She looked at me and said, "Well, honey, I think your oil is too hot!"  I explained to her that I was using a recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine, and that I had bought a cast iron skillet and a fancy deep fry thermometer from Sur La Table.  And asked her how hot she thought my oil should be, since the recipe stated 350 degrees.  She looked at me like I had just come down from the planet Mars, and said, "Well, I don't know how hot it's supposed to be, but if your oil is smoking, it's too hot."

So, against my better judgement, I put away my Fine Cooking magazine, and my fancy thermometer and went "old-school" and just eyeballed my oil on my next foray into Fried Chicken.  And, to my amazement, it turned out fantastically!  I think KFC may be calling me soon for samples!

Golden Brown Chicken!

Delicious enough to send next door!
Well, there is something to say about "eyeballing" your cooking.  I have to remember that people have been cooking for 1,000s of years without fancy cooking tools and accessories from "hoity-toity" stores.  I may just throw away all my fancy cooking magazines and my kitchen full of uni-tasker tools.  Let me check at Sur La Table and see if they have a book that tells me how to do all that!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Running to Tiffany's!

So, let's start with the important stuff...
Running Buddy and I ran the Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco on Sunday.  Challenging course (more on that later), gorgeous views, (more on that later too), great spectators (yeah, more later), but why did we run it?
For the BLING of course!  In case you aren't familiar...the Nike Half Marathon gives away Tiffany necklaces to all finishers!  This race is so popular that you must put your name in a lottery to be choosen.  Lucky us, we were choosen this year!
So, at the finish, when you look just fabulous after running 13.1 miles, there is a group of firefighters, dressed in tuxedos, holding silver trays with lovely Tiffany boxes on them.
This Mini Cooper was filled with Tiffany boxes!

Here's the "hunky" fireman who gave me my box!  (If you're not very cute, are you unable to get a job as a firefighter?  I've never seen an unattractive fireman!)

So, what's inside?

Wait for it...
Beautiful and totally worth running 13.1 miles for!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Running 69!

One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.  And 69 long miles for Cathy!  Yep, I'm not talking about 1969 - when man landed on the moon, I'm talking about my miles for September!  69!  (Believe me, when I googled 69 to get an image, I wasn't sure what exactly would come up!)

Last month I ran 44 miles - I'm so thrilled (and tired) to increase it by 25 this month.  It's mostly due to the increased miles I've been logging in preparation for Nike Women's Half in San Francisco in just 2 weeks!  I'm so excited about it - especially the part where the Firefighter will be handing me, in all my sweaty glory, a specially designed, just for this race, Tiffany jewelry box with a lovely commemorative necklace inside it!  I'm not sure which one I'm more excited about - the fireman or the necklace!

My next race, the first since July, will be this Sunday.  A 10K Cross City race here at home.  I'm really excited about racing again - there's just something fantastic about standing with hundreds of other runners and waiting for the starting gun!  I really do like having a race as a goal with my running.  

So, good luck to all you running bloggers out there - I've been excited to read about your races - seems like the season for half and full marathons is upon us!  May we all stay injury-free and run with joy in our hearts and footsteps!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Running with Great Inventions!

3 things I love (that someone used their great brain to invent):

1.  That curved shower bar in hotel showers! It's like the hotel shower just got 5 times bigger than it used to be!  And, you don't have to worry now about keeping your entire body away from the shower curtain for fear that some hairy, germy guy was in the shower before you were!

2.  Priceline!  Man, do I love Priceline - only for big cities though.  I can't tell you how many times we have gotten a $50 hotel room at the Hyatt or Marriot in Anaheim, San Diego, and San Francisco!  I'm talking about a really nice room - $50 bucks!!  (On another note, if you're looking for a Priceline deal in a really quaint city, we're talking Carmel or Mendocino, uh, understand that you're not going to find it!  Suck it up and prepare to pay the big bucks!

3.    My Baby Girl!  (Please understand that I love my Baby Boy very much also, but sometimes, one of your children is much more enjoyable to be around than the other.)  When Baby Girl calls out for me, she never says, "Mommy, come here!"  She says, "Mommy, I need you!"  It just pulls at my heartstrings like I can't explain!

(Ok, I know that technically, number 3 is not an invention, but I just had to include her!)

Thanks for stopping by!

Running to the Road-e-o!

The family took a trip to the Road-e-o this past weekend.  Now, notice the spelling - this wasn't the "rodeo" you are so familiar with, this was a "Road-e-o"!  And yes, there was a round-up, but not cows and was a round-up of...wait for it...garbage trucks!  Or, as those in the biz say...refuse and recycling trucks!
Why, you ask yourself, would we go to such a gathering?  Well, it's all about Baby Boy.  Since the time Baby Boy was 2, he has been fascinated by garbage trucks.  He would wait with breathless anticipation for garbage day each week, and then position himself by the window and wave to the garbage men!  They would give him a "honk" each time they saw him.  Fast forward, 10 years later, and still at age 12, Baby Boy will get up at 5:00 a.m. on garbage day and wait by the window to see the garbage trucks.  He has even made up names for the 3 different drivers - there's Paul, Santiago, and Bill.  (Don't ask.)

We even created Halloween costumes to go with his love of all things garbage!

First Place winner - 1st grade!

First Place winner - 3rd grade!

Baby Boy has even turned this fascination into a money making operation.  Two of our neighbors pay him each month to bring in their garbage cans every week!

Everyone knows about Baby Boy and his interest in garbage cans and trucks.  Whenever Auntie goes out of town, she will bring back a picture of the local garbage trucks.  When the Wine Guru's went to Europe, they brought back pictures of European garbage cans and trucks.  When another good friend went to Russia, yep, she took pictures of Russian garbage cans for my son!  So, when one of Hubby's co-workers heard about this "Road-e-o" she immediately sent the info our way - and so, we were off to the Garbage Truck Round-up!

It was actually lots of fun to be there.  There are several companies who compete for first place in the truck obstacle course.  They have to back into very tight spaces, navigate through narrow "alleyways", and finally make a sharp turn and make it through the last narrow obstacle without hitting anything! 

The winning company gets the bragging rights for a whole championship year!  There's no money involved, but every participant wins some sort of specially made garbage can, dumpster, hat, or sweatshirt.  It was pretty fun watching all these garbage men - and women - driving around with their families and friends cheering them on.  And probably, just like Baby Boy, they've all loved garbage trucks since they were 2!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...