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Friday Five Favorites

Five Favs


1. Daffodils-my favorite flower. Harbingers of spring. The yellow has to cheer anyone up

Two daffodils


yellow daffodil

yellow daffodil

2. Dogs- I am such a dog person

Tino and Jules


3. Wine Room-I took this totally unused wasted space in our house and made a great storage room for our wine.

old coal room

old coal room

Finished Wine Room

Finished Wine Room

This then allowed me to turn my dark little downstairs room into MY workout area.

4. Trails-I am such a trail person.


I miss them. trails

All of them

trail by lake

5. Home made beef jerky-my husband makes me home made beef jerky. It’s pretty simple.  Alton Brown taught him how to do it.

What are your five favorites this Friday?

What Runners Can do for Earth Day

What Runners Can Do for Earth Day

Go cupless at a race. Even if the race provides cups, bring your own handheld. Cupless is becoming a popular trend in trail running.

Donate old shoes-look for donation boxes at local running stores or sporting goods stores.

Pick up trash– Most trail runners tend to pick up trash just when they see it. Make this a habit. Leave the trail less trashy than when you ran it.  Maybe on Earth Day, go for a Trash Run! Make it a group activity, take a garbage bag with you, see how much trash you can recover. I have friends who had a “Beer Run” where, (sadly) they could run a road and pick up enough beer cans to help pay for race fees.  They would run this road about once a week because there was that much beer cans tossed out on the ground.

Stay on the trails-run the path before you. Don’t go around the big mud puddle. You go around the muddy sections, you make the trail larger.

Practice Leave No trace Principles

Leave No Trace Principles

Food Recovery is the  EPA theme for Earth Day 2016.  This is something that aid station captains and race directors could try and implement.  For example: don’t open food packets until the food on the table is eaten up. That way the unused food can be donated or taken home by volunteers not merely dumped into the trash.
Do you have gels or food items that you hate? Bring them along and donate to another runner. I tried a food item a few years ago that I hated. I was happy to give the nutrition away to another runner who really liked the item! A win win!



Tip a glass of Beaujolais Noveau in solidarity for France

Viva la France! It’s Beaujolais Nouveau Day!

Beaujolais Nouveau

It’s the third Thursday of November. That means the Beaujolais Nouveau has been released, a vintage of grapes from this year. It is released for sale on the stroke of midnight, marked by parties, fireworks, and other festivities. It’s a good marketing campaign.


The wine is made from the Gamay grapes, from the Beaujolais region.  Most wines are not made to be drunk in the same year they are harvested.  Beaujolais Noveau belongs to a category of wines called vins primeurs, meaning any wine sold in the same year it is harvested, not long after completing fermentation.


This wine is about celebrating the harvest and the work that went into the harvest. It’s also a good excuse to crack open a bottle of wine on a Thursday.  The Beaujolais Nouveau is a good wine for an all-white wine drinker to try a red. It is a very young, fruity wine.


The Beaujolais Noveau is meant to be drunk-right away. This is not a wine to save. Buy and open that wine, and toast our allies, the  French. Viva la France!


10 Tips to Finish Christmas Shopping Early

10 Tips to Finish Christmas Shopping Early

10 Tips to Finish Christmas Shopping Early

Don’t hate me, but I am DONE with Christmas shopping. Okay, I need to confer with a SIL about a present for the young niece & nephew, but that is easy-peasy.

How did I successfully complete Christmas shopping EARLY this year? My tips and tools for a successful early shopping season:

  1. Facebook-if you are friends with your relatives/friends on FB, look to see what they “like” or post to their feed.  I got several good ideas for my nephew and his girlfriend just from what they showed or like on Facebook. I know I’ll be shopping for Hublot watches for sale for my best friend after looking through her feed.
  2. Pinterest-during the year, surf Pinterest. Use searches like “gifts for men” or interests that you know your MIL might enjoy “baking” “Dr Who”  you might find some inspired or different ideas.  Make a secret pinterest board for your items so you can pin anything.  This can give you a good ideas for shopping later.
  3. ASK ask your SIL what her kids would like for Christmas. ASK them early. When out shopping, ASK them what they think of that scarf or popcorn in a can.  Do they really like the smell of that one particular soap? Make a note of that to buy later.. but not too late!
  4. Etsy– is very cool to find homemade original items. Does your sister like sock monkeys? Would she love a Kindle cover with sock monkeys on it? I bet you can find that on Etsy!
  5. EARLY Buy early. This is obvious. If you come across a present idea in July, buy it. The key is to NOT forget about it
  6. LIST -keep your presents together and make a list of what you have bought. I use Evernote.  When you get brain fog later in the year, and panic because you think Dad didn’t get a present, consult your list-there it is, magazine subscription, boom, already done and paid for!
  7. LISTEN and pay attention-when you are having conversations with your loved ones, listen to them. My mom loves her Keurig. She likes hazelnut coffee flavor. One of her presents will be some hazelnut flavored coffee for her Keurig. My parents like to eat little snacks in the evening.  I have bought a healthy snack subscription for them for a few months.
  8. Experiences Make an experiential purchase    Purchases like trips, concerts, tend to trump material purchases because the person waiting for the experience elicits more happiness and excitement than a material good. What about an upcoming concert as a present? I bought my dad (and mom) for Father’s Day tickets for a bus safari at The Wilds. I didn’t think they would even use it, but they went the following weekend  and had a great time!  What about buying movie tickets? Zip lining? Water water rafting trip?  Tickets to a local museum? Tickets to make a teddy bear in the mall?
  9. Hobbies Think about hobbies. My mom went to Hawaii last year, a Christmas present for her. For Christmas, I bought her a scrapbook and tons of decals/stickers/doodads related to vacation and Hawaii, something for her to do in the post Christmas months. Does a loved one knit or crochet? Buy them some yarn supplies. Or scrapbook supplies. Do they run? Go to a running store and buy some gels, or a light for night time running.
  10. Home made-Do you have a hobby? Are you crafty?  You should be making your homemade wooden coasters in July to give away in December. You can work on hand crafted personal calendars any time during the year. Candles? Gifts in a jar? (gifts that are not  food, you shouldn’t make food items in August.)  Are you a gardener? You can work on fun topiary made from ivy all summer long.  What about fresh herbs in a pot? Start them in the summer, bring them inside in the fall and give a pot or two or fresh herbs for cooking. What about buying paperwhites or amaryllis bulbs now, get them started soon, to time them to bloom around Christmas time?

Do you have any early Christmas shopping tips?

March is DVT Awareness Month

DVT/Blood Clot Awareness Month


I  have blogged about  DVT Awareness since 2009, where two of my runner friends developed blood clots.

I’ve blogged on this topic before, due to several runner friends developing these.  Some of them went as far as pulmonary embolism.  All my friends were lucky, they have recovered and are back to running.

Excerpt from that blog post:

Yes, I want to scare you. A bit. OR actually, I just want you to be aware.

You think of blood clots in ..old people. You don’t think about ultra runners, or triathletes, being the ones who who develop these blood clots.

Yet we are prime candidates for these.


Okay, Athletes tend to have a lower resting heart rate. This results in blood flowing slower through the body.

Dehydration-this plays a factor in your blood viscosity. More dehydration leads to thicker blood.

Falls, bruises? Nah, this never happens in an ultra. (Non runners would call this “trauma”) Ultra runners? Well, we took a face plant eight hours ago. No big deal, right? I got a little banged up. Got some bruises on my quads, knee, arm. No big deal.  That huge bruise on my quad? That’s no thang.

Due to this trauma, there may be a clot forming at the spot in the cell wall. This is your body functioning normally.

After the race is over, we get into our car, or onto an airplane, and travel hours back to where we came from. We spend hours in a cramped position.
Meanwhile, the thickened blood is pooling.The body is still dehydrated. The body is forced into the worst position to get the blood pumping throughout the body again. This is where the start of a clot in the legs (in the deep veins) can begin.
Fast Forward from 2009, to 2015, where the internet social media and web speed has advanced. There are now many new resources.


From Stop the Clot:  Deep  Vein Thrombosis:

  • Swelling, usually in your leg (can also occur in your arm especially in weight-lifters, gymnasts, rowers, etc.)
  • Leg (or arm) pain or tenderness, usually described as a cramp or Charley horse
  • Reddish or bluish skin discoloration
  • Leg warm to touch

Pulmonary Embolism – PE

  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Chest pain-sharp, stabbing; may get worse with deep breath
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Fainting or passing out
  • Unexplained cough, sometimes with bloody mucus


There is also a private group on Facebook called Running After a Pulmonary Embolism: A group for runners who have been stricken by a pulmonary embolism, but have gotten back to running. (Maybe the group motto should be “Running: It’s In Our Blood!”)

Please be careful and be aware of these symptoms. Rehydrate after your run/race. Get up and move in the airplane or make more than one rest stop in the car after your ultra. DVT’s can happen to athletes!!

Capricorn Horoscope

It’s time to read the annual Capricorn Horoscope since today is my BIRTHDAY! Sadly, I am working my “long shift” at work today-11 hours, so there is not much celebrating to be had-that was done yesterday, on my work day off.



If You Were Born Today, January 6:

Exceptionally hard working, your work means the world to you, and if you don’t choose a career path that truly reflects your goals, you are unlikely to be very happy! You are a list maker, an organizer, and a person who loves order, even if you don’t always feel you are orderly enough. You are at your best when you have a goal in mind. You are loyal and somewhat of a perfectionist. As peace-loving and security-minded as you are, there is a decidedly stubborn and argumentative side to your personality.

The Capricorn horoscope 2015 predicts that this will be a year of change for people born under this sun sign. You’ve given up trying to change the world and instead are working on changing yourself.

Financial stability is finally within your grasp and you will be making big decisions regarding matter of the heart. You are working towards realizing your ideal goals and becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be.

Because of that you’ve decided to embrace 2015 as the time to make big changes in your life Capricorn. You’re looking towards the future and keeping an eye on the big goals and if you have to make changes in your life to achieve them, you’re OK with that.

January will be a month of personal challenges. You will be ambitious and selfish to achieve your goals.

You’ll want to be cautious at the beginning of the year, particularly in February. Ideas that seem great on paper may end up being a source of tension. This is the time to think carefully before you act.

In March, you may face some tensions at home and you will have to pick your words carefully as emotions will be at an all-time high.

In April, you’re feeling everything very deeply right now Capricorn and that can make even little issues feel like big ones.

By May this will have passed and it’s a good time for you and your partner to have a heart-to-heart on serious matters

By June, you’ll feel more committed to your relationship than ever before. This will be a socially active period for you. (25 Wedding anniversary trip!)

July is the right time to start concentrating on your career even though you have many parties to attend to.

Summer is a good time to get your financial house in order. August is a particularly time to consolidate your debts and settle existing financial commitments.

September will see changes in career. Family will be supportive.

October will bring progress in jobs and improvement in finances.

The fall will be fairly uneventful up until November, where you will be likely dealing with some issues on the career front regarding control and conflicting personalities.

December is one of those times when you have to accept that you can’t change the world around you, only yourself and your actions.


The way you look at the world is a bit too narrow and over the coming year you will be encouraged to expand your outlook on every level. Try not to look at people in terms of “good” and “bad” – they are all doing their best, just like you.

January 2 – 11

If you were born between 2 and 11th January you are sometimes inflexible and this can be particularly problematic for your relationships.  You are also somewhat possessive and jealous. You are extremely practical and your common sense will be one of your most invaluable assets.

Today’s Post is..

Today’s post is my edited race report from my first Mohican Race in 2006. It is here, which is in the Race Tab at the top of the page.  This was the “old” course at Mohican, which has drastically changed over the years. Other than the road sections, this ‘course’ has been my favorite. One day I am going to run a self-supported Mohican 100, and this will probably be the route I will follow.

I’m really enjoying editing my old race reports.  I’m happy I also have pictures to add to the reports.  So enjoy, an old blast from the past!