Tuesday, December 27, 2011

An almost year end wrap up

I can't say that I'm sad to see 2011 come to an end but I am happy to report that the year has come to a very promising end. If you would have told me this time last year that I would be divorced, in a brand new relationship, and falling in love with a wonderful man, I would have told you that you were crazy! But I am so thankful for the events of the past year and how they have changed my life in such a positive way. I finally feel like I'm allowed to be happy for the first time in a long, long time. I also feel like I am finally living my life instead of just being a passenger and allowing time to pass me by.

I suppose this reflection has come about because of another upcoming milestone: my 30th birthday which is a mere two days away. I am fortunate in that I have accomplished quite a bit in my short time on this earth. Although I won't admit it outside of this blog, I am actually excited to turn 30. It's almost a fitting end to a major chapter of my life and I'm secretly viewing it as the celebration of a new me!

My holidays were absolutely wonderful and I simply cannot wait to see what 2012 has to offer :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas List....

I've been told that I must make a Christmas list... So here it be.

Jersey (the retro or third jersey, not the new yellow ones, no name / number, mens M or L)

Tickets ('nuff said)

Vera... <3 Vera... (Mandy / Snappy in Floral Nightingale = <3)

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11 (size 9.5 - womens)

That's all I can think of... and it was like pulling teeth to think of the short list... So it better be acceptable!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Winter Sanity Swap Package - 2011 :)

A HUGE thank you to Ivie (Uridace) for my awesome Winter Sanity Swap package :)

Here are the awesome goodies:

Full package:
Little Red Book of Running (which is incredibly awesome!)
A little snowman SNOWGLOBE!
Noro <3
Cascade SILK! :)
Peppermint Hot Chocolate!
Traveling Woman Scarf (which looks BEAUTIFUL!)
Stitch Markers
A note pad
THREE Craft Bags! :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Winter Sanity Swap

Favorite Color(s):
Pink and green… although purple has been my thing lately. I also like navy and yellow (for my hockey team, Go Preds!)

Favourite Colour Combination(s):
Pink and green! or Purple and Green :) Navy and yellow (GO NASHVILLE PREDATORS!)

Favorite Snack(s):
Oatmeal cream pies, milky way midnight bars, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate…

Favorite Beverage(s):
hot cocoa mostly. And diet sodas.

Favorite Fiber(s):
Soft natural fibers. I use a lot of cotton, but soft natural fiber/blends are yummy!

Do you knit, crochet, spin, etc?
Knit, crochet and spin!

Favorite type of project?
Bags are my ultimate favorite but I’m really trying to get into bigger projects like sweaters…

Do you have any allergies?

Do you have any pets?
Cats and a dog

Do you have a post in the “wish list” thread?
Its in the old thread so I’ll update it in the new one and edit with my new number.

What holiday do you celebrate?
Christmas! :)

Do you collect any holiday motif (i.e., snowflakes, candy canes, Santas, etc)?
I collect snowglobes. My tree is in shades of blue and I love snowflakes, but don’t really have many collections per se.

How do we feel about paper vs. PDF patterns?
I usually print my patterns out and put them with my project. I like PDFs because I can print multiple pages on a sheet and have a smaller version of the pattern in my bag!

What type of project bag do you like the best? (Zippered, drawstring, box bag, etc.)
Drawstring is what I use most often. My current favorite is one I sewed for myself for my recent vacation. It has Vegas material on the inside and is reversible so there's San Francisco material on the inside. I'm a terrible seamstress but I love it anyway :)

Square, Circle, Triangle, Octagon, or Rectangle?
For shawls, triangle or half circle.

Straights, DPNs, or Circulars?

Magic Loop, DPN, or Two circs?
I usually use two circs.

What material do you like for your needles/hooks?
My favorite would be wood (i.e. bamboo). But my favorite needles at the moment are my Denise's interchangeables.

What style of stitch markers do you prefer? Flexible wire, hard metal ring, rubber ring, etc? Earring hook, lobster clasp, etc?
Flexibile wire or metal ring are good.

What knit/crochet/spinning notions have you been secretly lusting after but probably wouldn’t buy yourself?
I just saw a yarn caddy that I like from Purdy Thangz. It wasn't super expensive but there were so many other things at the show that I just couldn't justify it!

Stollen? Do you know what it is? Do you love it, hate it, want to try it?
I looked it up but had not heard of it previously. I'm not very into cakes, so I'm not sure that I would like it.

Do you have a yarn winder already?
I do not have a yarn winder.

Do you want your project yarn wound, or would you prefer it left in a hank if it comes that way?
I prefer wound, but I'm fine with whatever.

Mulled Wine or Egg Nog?
Neither :(

What level of knitter/crocheter are you?
I'm starting on some of the advanced techniques in both. I'd like to work on garments or color work in the near future.

Nostepinne? Niddy Noddy? Yarn gauge (wpi)? Needle gauge?
I have a niddy noddy but not a nostepinne.

Do you have any unique holiday traditions?
We go for hot wings on Christmas Eve. I know its not really holiday related, but my family has done it since I was little.

When do you (if you do) start decorating for the holidays? What kinds of things are a must as far as decorations go?
This year, I'm starting this weekend. I usually wait until the last minute though! I always do a tree (silver and blue decorations) and snowglobes. This year, I'm adding some outdoor lights as well.

Would you like to receive recipes for Christmas cookies or traditional holiday food from your spoiler?
Recipes are always welcome!

What’s the best holiday present you got as a kid?
I got a real metal / wood sled one year. It was awesome until it didn't snow that year.... First year with no measurable snow in Maryland! Grrrr!!!

For recipes - can you handle weight measurements? Metric? Cups?
I don't have a scale but have other measuring devices for liquids / powder.

Aside from the winter holidays, what do you love about winter?
SNOW! Hot chocolate and bundling up to go places.

Are you a coffee drinker or a tea drinker? Or do you swing both ways? What kind(s) do you prefer?
Flavored coffees (like mocha caramel lattes!) or hot cocoa.

What is one seasonal treat that you rarely if ever allow yourself (foodstuff/dessert/beverage)?
Copious amounts of chocolate chip cookies.

How do you feel about mohair? See post #1537 for more details.
Mohair is okay, but I don't like novelty yarns.

I’ve been making a lot of jams. Do you like jam and jelly? (I’m making more so this list could change). Which do you prefer: apple butter, plum jam, fruit-hot pepper jelly or watermelon rind preserves? (or a surprise!)
Apple butter is the bomb diggity!

When knitting accessories for yourself, what kind of style fits you best - are you a girly, girl? classic styles? Tom boy? Other ideas?
Although I don't consider myself one, I'm drawn to girly, girl styles.

Is there anyone/something else living with you, the we need to take into consideration when sending your package? For example - please entertain, choose one/all - the kids, dog, cat, pet, husband/wife, significant other while I am opening my package with catnip toy, doggy treats, husband/wife/kids - suggest something?
I live with my sister and I have two cats and a dog.

Have you any interest in/ use for those super short circs, you know, those 9” ones?
Not really. They look complicated!

Hand Lotions: good, bad, indifferent? scented or not scented? If scented, what scents do you prefer? Floral, Foodie (ie. vanilla, peppermint), musky (sandalwood, etc)?
Hand lotions are good. I prefer foodie scents.

Candles: yes, no? Same scent question as above.
Yes, foodie scents!

What top 3 patterns would you like to receive?
I can't think of anything specific. I've always wanted to knit Central Park Hoodie (or something similar). I like shawls and bags too...

Are you in with the craze that is the bee keepers quilt or hexi puffing or any other remnant project? If yes would you like mini skeins of items?
Not really :(

If you had to choose one store in which to do all your holiday decoration shopping, where would it be?
Hobby Lobby! :)

Do you like ginger bread? Or is there some other cookie/sweet/salt you prefer?
Ginger bread cookies are yummy! I also love chocolate chip cookies at the holidays. It reminds me of home.

Do you like eggnog? Do you need a nog-mug? Or are you more of a tea/chocolate/coffee person?
I've honestly never had eggnog, but I don't think I'd like it. I'm a hot cocoa or coffee mixed with copious amounts of chocolate person. I just got a super awesome mug from the gnome swap so I'm good on mugs at the moment :)

What are your feelings about Taffy?
Taffy is okay, I just have to be in the mood for it.

Do you like peppermint?
Yes! Yummy!

What other hobbies do you have?
Running, reading, watching movies, HOCKEY!

Bubbles or Laser pointers?
Both :)

Who/what is your favorite holiday special character?
I love Will Farrell's Elf. That movie makes me laugh so hard :)

Dear spoilee, so I know how much yarn to get you, what size are you? I promise I won’t tell.
I wear a ladies large most of the time.

Needles--Do you need them, or are you stocked up?
I'm fairly stocked up with my Denise's interchangables but if you do decide to get needles, something out of the ordinary would be cool. I prefer circs.

I know that you have indicated anything you tagged for this swap would be good, but I was wondering - of your tagged items, which do you need/want to work on the most - a hat, some mittens, or a scarf/shawl?
I'm going to be going through my faves and updating today. I'm not picky though!

Do you wear earrings? Is dangly ok? Do you have a preference for lever back, french hooks or another type of earwire? can you wear nickel/plated? or do you need the good stuff hitting your ears?
All earrings are fine. I prefer dangly. Plated can be a problem sometimes but the "sensitive ears" metals seem to be okay.

Do you have a needle gauge? If no, would you use one?
I have one.

What are some of your favorite (brand names) yarns?
Cascade, noro, I love this yarn (from hobby lobby). The last yarn I bought was not brand (from a fiber fair, handspun).

Do you have a favorite winter motif (snowflakes, elves/fairies, peace doves, stars, Santas, etc)?
I don't have a favorite per se. All of the mentioned motifs sound lovely.

Dear Spoilee, I’m going to the Ontario science centre tomorrow with the family, would you like a little something from the gift shop in your package? Or would you prefer something from the gift shop at our local Stones ‘n’ Bones museum?
Local gifts are always interesting and appreciated :)

Stuffed animals?

Can you read knitting charts? Or do you prefer written out patterns? Or is either fine?
Either is fine.

Is there anything you can’t obtain in your country that an international spoiler might be able to get?
This isn't applicable, since I'm not swapping internationally.

If I included some smoked salmon in your box, would that be a good thing? And if you HATE-ABHOR-RESENT the mere existence of Smoked Salmon, speak up now. In general, is there any consumable that I should not include in your box unless my goal is to destroy your holiday?
I've never had smoked salmon.

I was wondering seeing your wish lists of patterns, I realized I likely have many patterns that you would like. Are you ok with some bonus patterns sans the materials?

A holiday tradition at our house is for me and my sister who love board/card games to bully our game-averse parents into playing. Would you like a board or card game included as part of your package and if so please list what you’ve already got and what you might like to receive.
Sure! I have scrabble, a few of the Scene It games (harry potter, twilight and Friends, I believe), and Mad Gab.

Do your color preferences apply to outerwear as well as accessories/etc? For example, if you have hats and mittens in your fave patterns, will having them in your fave colors match or clash with your coat?
My coat is black so anything matches.

If you have reading as a hobby… do you only read on an electronic reader? or do you do the old fashioned thing with a real book that could use a bookmarker?
I don't have an e-reader so I only use the real thing.

Would you like to receive a Christmas ornament in your package? (Classic or otherwise. Aka zombie gingy bread man, rubber duck or knit related)

Will it be okay if I get you some yarn for your pattern that I think will be lovely even if its not listed as your favorite yarn?

What do you think of polymer clay, for stitch markers and that type of stuff?
Polymer clay markers would be good for larger projects!

Hand made gift tags (sorta like this) yea or nay? Or even better, the stuff to make them with?
I don't have many gift tags, so sure!

Would you like to try fair isle? I saw this great pattern for a ________ and was wondering if you’d like it even if it’s not in your queue.
Fair isle is on my knitting technique wish list. I just have to find the time to learn it!

If you are one of the many ducks who said that you enjoy tea/coffee/cocoa/cider, how do you like it? Tea in bags or loose, coffee ground or not? Also, would you like a nice new mug or do you have enough?
Tea in bags and cocoa as powder. I just received an awesome mug in the gnome swap so I'm good for now.

Dear spoilee, do you expect that I put scissors in your project bag?
You don't have to!

What metal tones do you like?
Silver / platinum. Not a huge fan of gold.

Do you want your project bag to be holiday themed?
It doesn't have to be but feel free to be creative :)

Spoilee, there are many color themes for Christmas--the burgundy/hunter green/gold or cream, Silver and Blue, etc. Do you like the more “Modern” Grinch-y colors: red, pink, lime and kelly? Or do you have another color scheme?
Most of my decorations are silver and blue but I am partial to the burgandy/hunter green. Although now that you mention the modern colors, that sounds more my style!

Dear Spoilee, do you take good care of your handknits? For instance, is 100% wool okay for a scarf, hat or mitts for you, or will you wind up felting it? Would you rather not have to handwash stuff like that? Should I buy you only superwash or blends?
I do handwash when needed but most of the stuff I knit with is superwash (just in case I accidentally drop it in the regular laundry).

What holiday character are you?
Susan Walker :)

Dear Spoilee, is there any other themes you might be interested in getting in your box other than holiday specific? Or do you prefer something holiday oriented?
I would prefer holiday oriented.

Dear spoilee from the house of Tannenbaum: I work for a handbag company that makes woven bali bags and was thinking about sending you one with your package (more info here). Does this excite you? If this does not excite you perhaps some homespun yarn will? Thoughts?
I'm always up for new bags (and I have never met a bag I didn't like). I also always welcome homespun yarn.

What’s your foot size?
I wear women's size 9 shoes.

Would you enjoy “lost treasures” from antique-y stores? (or Thrift stores, assuming the items are in good condition)

How would people feel about making winter madness CDs. Songs that remind you of winter or with some christmas carols?
I always love new Christmas CDs.

Spoilee, what’s your favourite holiday movie?
Elf and/or Christmas Vacation.

Would you like your favorite Christmas movie on DVD/Blu-Ray?
I already have both on DVD.

How do you feel about receiving a pair of fingerless gloves? Yarn weight or material preferences?
Fingerless gloves are cool. No preference on yarn weight but no fibers that are too itchy.

Would you like to receive a dish cloth in your swap package? If so, do you prefer it in favorite colors, your kitchen colors, or holiday colors? If kitchen colors, what are those?
I probably wouldn't use a dish cloth :(

Marzipan yes or no?
Never had it!

Dear Spoilee, please pick one.
Top right corner!

So, dear spoilee, if I get time to knit anything else, what would you want me to knit for you?
Surprise me! :)

Do you like the smell of Gingerbread?

Dearest spoilee, do you have any dietary restrictions? e.g. allergies, kosher, halal?
No allergies or dietary restrictions.

Dearest spoilee, I noticed that you have some sweater/top/cardigan on your wish list, what size would you make for yourself?
Women's Large

Do you have a bath tub? If yes, would you like some bath products?
I do! Bath products would be awesome :)

Hey spoilee, In mittens, do you consider your hands to be small medium or large?

Would you like me to share some of my amazing stationery with you?

Would like your items (in your box) wrapped advent style?
It doesn't matter to me!

Are you you left- or right-handed?

Would you rather get a pattern from your queue or your favorites?
Favorites. The things in my queue are things I've worked on before.

Messenter bag…does it work for you?

Would you mind a bag crocheted by me?
I love crocheted bags!

Do you like reading? What kind of genre? Who is your favourite author?
I love reading! I mostly read crime novels / mysteries but also like some of the more modern romance novels. Right now I'm reading Steven King's new book, but the last book I read was Something Blue.

Do you like to wear hats? What sort of hat do you prefer?
I do wear hats in the winter. I like the earflap hats, although I only have one. Beanies are good too! For running, I like hats that have ponytail or pigtail holes :)

Would you mind terribly if your items weren’t wrapped?
Thats fine!

Do you spin or are you at all interested in spinning?
I do spin! Both on a wheel and on a drop spindle.

Would you maybe like your own little Bumble, Rudolph, or Santa? See this post.
Sure! Very cute!

Would you be interested in handmade needles or hooks?

Would you like to receive homemade peppermint bark and/or other goodies?
Love homemade peppermint bark!

Post a picture of a project bag you love!

How do you feel about Mr. Potato Head?
I had one when I was little.

I was wondering if my spoilee might like a Christmas chunk or two--Rebecca Danger’s monster chunks reinvented in Christmas colours and possibly wearing a elf cap or scarf.
Very Cute!

Is there a store that you don’t have in your area that you’ve heard about and would be interested in a little something unusual from?
I can't think of anything off the top of my head.

Do you need cable needles?

Tell me a little bit about your gauge…If your pattern calls for a size 5 needle, do you tend to buy size 4s because you know in your heart that that’s the correct size for you?
I'm usually pretty close to gauge.

Spoilee are you okay with your package not having a tape measure or do you really need one really badly?
That's fine, either way.

Would you rather have pre-used (by me) regular tips or brand-new lace tips?
Doesn't matter.

Ponytail holders: Yea or nay?

Spoilee, is your needle library up to date?
Most likely, no. I have Denise's interchangeables and a bunch of other random needles.

Do you like this bag?
Very cute!

Would you like me to include the needles that your pattern requests, even though you state you already have them, or would you prefer a set from your wishlist?
I could always use more needles, either that go with the pattern or not.

What kind of books do you like to read? Is there any you particularly want/can’t find?
Mysteries / crime / suspense.

Do you do anything naughty when following patterns, or are you 100% nice and follow instructions?
I 100% follow instructions! :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. This weekend is the Women's Half Marathon in Nashville! :) Here's a blast from the past... me and Colleen (my best friend and training buddy) before the women's half in 2010:

This will be my second time running this race! Last year, the women's half was my VERY FIRST half marathon! I'm hoping that, a year later, this will be (a) easier to run and (b) that I can beat my time from last year.

I can't believe I've been a half-marathoner for a year! I remember how terrified I was to run this race last year because I was convinced that I wouldn't be able to finish! I walked the last two miles in tears because it was so hard. Now I routinely run 13+ miles in training... Crazy how much a person changes in a year!

2. Paper writing is the root of all evil... but somewhere deep deep deep down inside, I really enjoy writing papers. I will NEVER admit that outside of this blog, but there's nothing better than completing a 30 page manuscript after months of hard work!

Here's a figure from the paper I'm working on now...

3. Have I ever mentioned how blessed I am to have such awesome friends? Coming up on the anniversary of my first half marathon has made me realize how much things really have changed over the past year. If you told me this time last year that I would be single and dating again, I would've laughed until I peed my pants! But the one thing the past year has taught me is that I'm stronger than I ever imagined and a lot of that has to do with having an amazing support system in my friends and family. My ex convinced me that I was going to be alone and that I was nothing without him. How TOTALLY UNTRUE that statement was! I have the world's most awesome friends! :) Here are some pics to show how truly awesome they all are (shown in order that I met them, lol):

My sister, Jamie:

Charlie and Elizabeth:

Micah and Eloise:

Beth (with baby Zander):

Misty, David and baby Charlotte:

Colleen and Kait:

Joel and Melissa:

Ashley and Nathan:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

Midday Monday Musings

Since I didn't get a chance to blog my Monday morning musings... I'm hitting them at midday.

My weekend runs went okay, but were definitely eventful.

I forgot to check the festival schedule for the "big" celebration going on in my town on Saturday, so I ran right smack into the middle of the parade. I feel like the term parade should be used loosely in this case, as the "parade" consisted of a bunch of pick up trucks filled with teenagers and old folks. Good for my town for having a festival to celebrate our town heritage but really? This made the parades from the podunk town I grew up in look like the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade. There was only ONE high school band. Really, people? You couldn't get more folks out to participate? That's really sad for our city! I'm sure someone has a nice car that you could ride through town in! Plus, there were kids EVERYWHERE all holding Kroger bags waiting for people to pitch candy at them... Maybe I'm bitter but it was like running through an obstacle course of tiny humans just to finish my seven mile run and get home!

Anyway, Sunday's long run went very well until mile 7 (of 14) when I hit the turnaround spot for my out-and-back run and started making my way back to where I started from. I was visiting a friend this weekend so I was running on rural roads (i.e. out in the middle of friggin' nowhere) not even close to the town that I live in. I was in my happy (on-my-way-home) place so I didn't even notice that there was a Comcast van pulling over in front of me until it was too late... Driving said comcast van was my EX HUSBAND!!! Seriously!?! What was he doing on the rural roads in a town not even on his route?!? Of course, I was too exhausted to think of something clever to say so when he asked where I was running from I mentioned my friend's name (I WISH I would have said from my new boyfriend's house... but alas, I can't think well on my feet while running). It was kind of amusing that he wanted to make small talk and give a crap about my hobbies considering he could've cared less while we were married. The whole incident pissed me off that I ended up running negative splits for the first time ever :) And it also made me realize how much I LOVE being single. Seriously, haven't missed him at all since the day I kicked his ass out!!

This week is going to be super fantastic because my boss is out of town (FREEDOM!) and I have a race on Saturday (CARB LOADING!).

Friday, September 16, 2011

Additional Swap Questions - Gnome Swap

What size head, hands and feet do you have?
Head =
Hands = Small / mediumish
Feet = US women's 9

Are there fibers/yarn you do not like?
Acrylic and Fun fur

Favorite types of yarns to receive - i.e., that you will knit with (base/weight/etc.)
I mostly work with worsted or fingering weight. I like soft yarns, like soft natural fibers or blends!

Is there anything you won’t wear?
Not that I can think of...

What is your gnome name?

If someone has a Kindle/Nook would they prefer a digital book or paper book?
I don't have a kindle so paper for me!

If you have a Kindle/Nook would you like accessories for it?
No kindle/nook here :)

What size t-shirt do you wear?
Women's large or medium depending on style.

What would you think of an evil gnome?
I've had enough evil in my life this year, lol. So only happy gnomes for me :)

What gnome stuff do you already have in your collection?
Nothing :(

Weird things about me…
I'm a cancer researcher (i.e. big nerd!) and I run ... A LOT... like obsessively :) But the trade off is that I can also eat the good stuff... like cupcakes... A LOT :)

Do you have a garden/yard/tree some kind of outdoor space to display your gnome(s)? Or will your gnomes be safer inside?
I think inside would be best.

Would you wear a shawlette?
I like shawls but not necessarily shawlettes.

Do you like toadstools as well as gnomes (apparently not everyone shares my obsession with all things mushroomy and polka-dotted?)

Hemp yarn… do you like it? Have you used it? What do you usually knit/crochet with it?
I don't have it but I've used it before for the Everlasting Bagstopper.

Are there any particular holidays that you celebrate?
Many :) Christmas is probably my favorite with Halloween a close second.

Would you like or mind a hand painted or over dyed skein inspired by your favorite type(s) of gnome?

Would you like a helpful gnome? What would s/he/they be helping you with?
Hmmm, could I have one that will do my research for me so I can run more? :)

Do you like lollipops?
Yes! (Who doesn't?!?)

Would you like Gnome related knitting patterns?

Would you like something with gnomes on it knit for you? Like These mittens? or These socks?
I will leave that up to you :)

Do you like knitting project or notions bags?
I do! And I need a couple more actually.

What have you really really been wanting to knit/crochet? Cowls? Colorwork? Nothing but potholders?
A sweater... but I'm skeered. I also want to return into felted bag knitting. I need a good felted tote. And while colorwork also scares me, there are some really pretty fair isle felted bag patterns out there.

do you like buttons for decoration/jewelery?
Not usually. Just eyes on some projects.

Do you like vintage-style stuff?
Sometimes. Depends on what it is.

Dearest Spoilee, do you have pierced ears? Would you wear gnome earrings?
I do and I would :)

Coffee/tea/neither/both? Kinds?
I only drink coffee with copious amounts of chocolate in it... I do drink tea occasionally. My favorite winter beverage is hot cocoa.

Metal preferences? Goldtone? Silver? Copper? Allergic to anything but platinum?
Silver. I'm sensitive to some metals, but mostly earrings.

Books? Real or Virtual?

Wall art?


Any other hobbies for which supplies would be welcome?
I spin yarn, although not much recently.

Is there anyone else in your household that might like a surprise? What do their tastes run to? Colors?
As a recent divorcee, I'm all about me, lol :)

Anyone like to do beaded projects and need a teetiny crochet hook?
Not really.

Would you like to have some enchanted meadow style fun or would you prefer all the attention went to gnomes?
That would be okay with me :)

Would you like personalized needles/crochet hooks? and what are your most used sizes? (or what sizes would you want most?)
Sure! I use all sizes.

Do you or any of your constituents have dolls that you would like clothes for? If so, what size?

Do you needle felt? Would you like random needle felting supplies?
I've never tried it. Wouldn't mind trying it.

Do you have a green thumb?
I haven't really had time to do anything outside lately.

Would you mind receiving second hand books?
Not at all! I usually buy my books used.

Do you like plushies/softies at all? How about pillows?
Yest to both!

Do you have an Ipod that needs a gnomey cozy? Please LMK what size of Ipod you have!
I do have an iPod but it gets really sweaty when I carry it running so a cozy would probably be a bad idea.

Spoilee how would you feel about a travel coffee mug?
I have a few and rarely use them :(

do you like yarn with noro-type colour changes?

Do you like small house plants? A gnome needs a nice green lush home.
I used to have an aloe plant but it died in transit when I moved to my house. I do like plants and could put a small house plant in my office!

What are your favorite drinks? Do you drink alcoholic beverages?
I drink a lot of diet soda. I do like alcohol but not in excess. My favorites are woodchuck cider, blue moon beer and fruity wine coolers.

Are you a Dr. Who fan?

Do you need any kitchen things? Dishcloths? Fridge magnets? Do-dads or whats-its?
Not that I can think of off the top of my head. I do like magnets but have a bunch already.

are you working on a sock yarn blankie? i.e., would you be interested in receiving sock yarn minis?
No and no.

Which reminds me, if it turns out and doesn’t turn into an epic FAIL like it did last time (but oh-so-good on pancakes!), would you like a jar of either of those?
I love apple butter!

Do you like ladybirds, dragon flies, and butterflies?
Butterflies are awesome :)

If I were to include some fabric to you to craft with would you be able to use “fat quarter” pieces?
I'd love to get back into sewing :)

Also, would you like some random trimmings? (unusual buttons/lace/ribbon etc)
Probably not because I have a bunch of random craft supplies already.

Do you like birds?
Sure do!

Are you ok with leather/suede?

Would you like a scarf, a cowl or a shawl? Do you have a preference in coxy neckwear? Or do you hate having things around your neck?
All of the above are good with me. I love shawls but all are good.

Do you have DVD or Blu-ray? Would you like a copy of Gnomeo & Juliette?
I do have a DVD player. No blu-ray. Gnomeo & Juliette would be awesome :)

Do you like chapstick or handmade soaps, bath salts, soaks etc?
Sure do! I'm a chapstick fiend! My favorite is the peanut butter and jelly lipbalm that I bought from bath and body works. I like handmade soaps too!

Would you like handspun yarn from me?
Handspun rocks!

Do you like candles? Specifically Fall sents (i.e. Pumpkin, Apple, apple pie, cinnamon,etc)?
I do like candles. My favorite is the sun and sand candle. I don't like strong scents (i.e. no cinnamon or musky smells) but pumpkin, apple, and apple pie sound good!

If you are making the bee keepers quilt, would you like a few hexipuffs knit by me? If so what color scheme if any would you want?
Not I!

How would you feel about a Nostepine or one yard NiddyNoddy?
I have a NiddyNoddy but a Nostepine would be good! :)

How do you feel about “rude” gnomes? such as a gnome making an inappropriate gesture?

Autumn, Winter, Spring, or Summer?
Autumn > Spring > Winter > Summer (in that order)

Do you Sew? and Would you like Fat Quarters? Which colors do you prefer for sewing?
I do sew but not as often as I used to.

what is your favorite scent for bath items?
Right now I'm on an orange ginger kick. But fruity smells (or chocolate / vanilla) are my faves!

Do you make cookies or would you want to only eat cookies?
I love to bake!

Spoilee, how do you feel about long scarves?
Long scarves rock!

Would you like to learn to spin? How would you feel about a drop spindle?
I already spin and have a couple drop spindles :)

I just wanna run...

I've been really enjoying my runs lately. The weather is starting to turn more fall-ish or, as my dad would call it, football weather. I LOVE running in the fall and winter and I seem to do a lot better speed and recovery-wise in the cold. Yesterday, I did 7 miles after work. I ran at an 11 minute pace overall, which is good for me during training runs, but I decided to get in a little practice for the women's half that I'm doing next Saturday. I ran the last 2 mile portion of the course, which involves two fairly large hills; one steep climb and one more gradual climb that seems to go on forever. This was my nemesis during last race, so I wanted to see if I felt better nearly a year later. And I DID! :) I'm not sure how it'll feel running that section after 11 miles but I didn't have nearly as much trouble dragging my butt through that part of the course this time around.

This weekend I have a 7-miler and a 14-miler, so hopefully this nice weather will hold and I'll get to enjoy them both :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Remembering 9/11

I was away celebrating a friend's birthday this weekend so I didn't get to post my remembrance of 9/11. I guess it is better late than never...

On September 11. 2001, I had just started my junior year of college at Western Maryland College (it was still WMC at that point, anyway). I was living in McDaniel Hall with my best friend and roommate Jeanette. On Tuesdays and Thursdays we had very similar schedules, which included physics 101 with Dr. Jeff Marx. Since our class was not until 10:20 AM, we started our mornings with breakfast together in the college dining hall, affectionately referred to as GLAR. As we did most mornings, we rolled out of bed at 9 AM and stumbled across campus and through the student center to the dining hall. On 9/11, as we passed the reception desk, the TV was tuned to the morning news, as always. However, unlike most mornings, there was a crowd of students watching the news that day. There was such a crowd that we decided to stop and see what the fuss was all about. When we stopped, we heard the story of an accidental helicopter strike at the pentagon. The reporter claimed that the helicopter missed its approach to the landing pad at the pentagon and accidentally struck the building. We accepted this initial report and, even though it seemed to be a bad accident, we went on our way to breakfast. After all, how much damage could a helicopter do to a building?

At this point in the day, I don't think many people realized what was going on, so breakfast was fairly normal. It was only when we started walking back to our dorm room to get ready for class that we realized this was not an accident and nothing was okay. We saw the burning world trade center buildings on TV (at this point, both buildings had been struck) and quickly realized there was a huge problem facing our nation. We ran back to our dorm (literally, ran) and turned both of our TVs to different news reports, trying to get as much information as we could from as many different sources we could find. Since classes had not been canceled, we decided to continue our morning as normal. Right before we left for class, the first tower collapsed. We were stunned. It looked like we were watching a movie and not a real life report. It was so hard to believe that we didn't quite realize that there were people in those buildings...

While walking to class, we passed people who we knew but were in a state of shock and not quite sure what to say to each other. Class that morning is something that I will never forget. We took our normal seats in the second row, next to the window. I can still see the classroom, just as vividly as if it were yesterday. Our professor, Dr Marx, came in with red eyes and tears streaming down his face. It seemed like it took forever for him to gain his composure. When he did, the first words out of his mouth were "wars were started over far less than this"... He spoke about how our lives were about to change forever and how we would never be the same again. I think he went on to teach that day, although the lesson is far gone from memory. After class, we received notice that classes were canceled for the rest of the day and, as we would later find out, for the rest of the week.

We returned back to the dorm room to learn of the rest of the devastation. It was all too much. It was about this time that we realized that Jeanette's dad, who was a federal government employee based in Houston that traveled to DC for business, was actually in DC that day. She couldn't reach him via his cell phone. The next 15 minutes were probably the scariest for both of us that day. We both called, emailed and messaged, just about anyone we could think of to get in touch with her dad. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Jeanette reached her dad's secretary in Houston, who told her that her dad was not at the pentagon, nor on a plane that day. He was safe. We would later hear from him, and learn that while DC was in shock, her dad was alive and well and ready to return home to his family.

After those few hours, the rest of the week becomes a blur. I know I went to many memorial services. Several students lost family members in the towers, and it was horrible to think of what they are going through. We watched the towers fall over and over that week, as there was nothing else on TV but news reports trying to come to grips with the tragedy. I remember there were no late night TV shows. The first night David Letterman came back on air, we watched. And for once, the show had a serious tone. How do you come back on air and laugh when NY is still reeling? Eventually, lives returned to normal but, as Dr Marx pointed out, it would never be the same.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Race Reviews (yes TWO of them)

So not only am I back, I'm BACK with a vengeance! I decided that I'd start the fall season out with a 5K bang and run two consecutive 5Ks: The LaVergne Parks and Recreation Night Owl Howl (NOH) and the East Nashville Tomato 5K.

The NOH was my very first evening event, except for last year's Ragnar Relay which was a bit different. NOH is held less than a mile from my house and is a road race that runs along a major thoroughfare through my town. I hadn't planned on racing it because I was running the race on Saturday with a date (yes, folks, I'm DATING again!) and I didn't want to embarrass myself. However, when the gun went off, the adrenaline fired up and I bolted. Any chance of negative splits was crushed by my enthusiastic start! I finished the first mile in roughly 8 minutes, which is the fastest I've ran a mile since high school. My overall time was 29:44 which is a PR by ONE second from my old one! I will definitely do this race again! It was so neat running with local folks at night, complete with glow gear :) The finish line was awesome because I could see the glowing time lights for about the last half mile, which was enough encouragement to pick up the pace and get my sorry butt across the finish line.

The Tomato 5K on Saturday morning was kind of nerve wracking for several reasons. (1) I had just PRed the night before meaning my quads were crying! (2) This course was NOT flat and was quite hilly. AND (3) I was running the race with a date! My date and I have been seeing each other for a few weeks so it wasn't our first time out but it was our first time running together AND my first time running with a partner ever. It was a little intimidating but he assured me he wasn't a super fast runner and that we would finish it together. There were A LOT of people at this race (around 1200 altogether) and it wound through some pretty narrow streets but all-in-all, we rocked it. I thought I would have to walk the last mile because my quads were burning so badly from the previous run and all of the godforsaken hills but, alas, I put on my big girl panties and made it across the finish line with a NEW PR of 29:31!!! Woot! :)

The next race on my list is the Run Chickin' Run 10K at the beginning of September so I have plenty of time to relax my aching legs and prepare for what I hope will be a new 10K PR. Then is off to marathon training and a lot of miles.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Its Been Awhile...

I've been offline for months, and for very good reason. Earlier this spring, my husband of three years (but partner of nearly 14) asked for a divorce. Its a very long story but in sum, I am SO MUCH better off now. He was cheating (as it turns out, with a 19 year old for the entire duration of our marriage and probably then some) and I now see how much he was dragging me down.

Anyway, I'm back to running, just entered the dating pool for the first time since HIGH SCHOOL, and am having the time of my life :)

More blogs to come! :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Update Deficit

I am officially a blog stalker. I get online, read blogs, comment occasionally, but never update my own blog. This must change.

I am way behind on posting race updates and such, but maybe after this week's marathon, I can find the time to upload pics. In sum, this racing season, I've run three half marathons, one full (coming up this weekend) and have another half planned for mid-May (although I'll be walking that one with my mom). I'm trying to get 12 "big girl" races in before my "big 3-0" in December. So far, I'm right on track. Not bad for someone who couldn't run at all this time last year.

I'm considering a foray into triathlons this summer but that will depend on how well I can swim. I don't have regular access to a pool so I haven't tested it out yet. I definitely am weakest with upper body strength but I've been going to classes at my gym and getting my @$$ (or, rather, arms) kicked by many instructors. I plan on becoming a member of the YMCA next month so I can swim until my heart is content.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


A- Age: Twenty-nine

B- Bed Size: King (thank goodness! Two dogs + human = need for space!)

C- Chore you hate: Dishes...

D- Dogs: MY BABIES! (Two, Gigabyte - American Eskimo Mix - and Daisy - Pointer mix)

E- Essential Start Your Day Item: Granola

F- Favorite Color: Pink

G- Gold or Silver: Silver

H- Height: 5'8"

I- Instruments you play: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Baritone Horn (a LONG time ago) and some guitar

J- Job Title: Research Fellow... aka lab wench, lol

K- Kids: Just pets at the moment

L- Live: La Vergne, Tennessee (a suburb of Nashville)

M- Mom’s Name: Denise

N- Nicknames: I honestly don't have one.

O- Overnight Hospital Stays: None (thank goodness!)

P- Pet Peeve: People scuffing their feet when they walk. Pick them up people!

Q- Quote from a Movie: Harrison Ford as Dr Crowley in Extraordinary Measures:
"I don't care about money! I'm a scientist! I care about more important things than that!" ... My response: Speak for YOURSELF! lol

R- Right or Left Handed: Right

S- Siblings: Younger sister (Jamie)

T- Time you wake up: 6:15 AM

U- Underwear: Always!

V- Vegetable You Dislike: Does hominy count? I know its a corn product (which I like) but when its processed like hominy, gross!

W- What Makes You Late: Disorganization.

X- X-rays You’ve Had Done: Knees, chest and dental.

Y- Yummy Food You Make: Stuffed green peppers and mint chocolate bark!

Z- Zoo Animal Favorite: Tigers (especially the white ones)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Frostbite Half Marathon Review

So the last few weeks have been quite eventful (more on that later), but I wanted to post my recap of last weekends half marathon before I forget to do so :)

Last Saturday (February 12th), I ran my first half marathon of the season: the Cedars of Lebanon Frostbite Half Marathon. I lucked out and got beautiful weather, which was in sharp contrast to the snow and ice from the week leading up to the race. At race time, the temperature was in the high 40's and in the 50's by the end of the race.

I decided to challenge myself with this race to see how far I could push my time this early in my marathon training plan. This was a small local race (about 750 people total), so it wasn't super organized yet everything was executed smoothly. I lined up with people anticipating their first mile to be around 10:00. To my great surprise, when my Garmin beeped at the end of mile 1, I had run a 9:20!!! Haven't done that in a long time! Even better, I maintained my 9:20 pace for the first 6.2 miles, setting a new 10k PR for myself :)

I almost wish the race had stopped at 10k, because shortly after the halfway point, the chest discomfort that has plagued my training for the past three weeks struck and forced me to slow to a walk for about a half mile. I continued the race as a walk/run, alternating between a 10:30 pace and a 16:30 pace for the entire second half. In spite of the epic health fail during the second half of the race, I finished in 2:26:04, which is nearly 10 minutes faster than my first half marathon time from last September.

Since this was a low-key local race, they didn't give out medals (so no bling for this one!) but my sister has promised me a kick-ass homemade medal to honor my first race of 2011! :) I'll update with pictures when I get them uploaded but all-in-all, I had a great day and a great run!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Is it normal to be THIS tired all the time?

I have been exhausted lately, and I haven't really even hit the upswing of this spring's training plan. My weekly schedule is as follows:

Monday - REST
Tuesday - 3 mile run, powerlift (mostly arms) 1 hour
Wednesday - 3 mile run, kickboxing (1 hr)
Thursday - 6 mile run
Friday - Zumba (I know, I could rest, but the class I'm taking is so laid back that it really just loosens up all the tight muscles before my weekend runs)
Saturday - Variable, but speed workout - last week was 6 miles
Sunday - Variable long run - last week was 11 miles

My weekly runs are at a comfortable pace (somewhere between 10 and 11 min/mile) and my long runs are at my marathon goal pace of 11 min/mile. I ONLY do speed runs on Saturday and they are usually around 9 min/mile.

I chose to do powerlift and kickboxing to strengthen my arms and core. I need to get ready for my fall triathlon and without access to a pool until summer, I'm trying to get a strength base so its easier when I hit the water.

I could literally put my head down on my desk right now and go to sleep... right here at work ... and that isn't good.

All signs point to nutrition but I'm netting 1600 calories a day (I used to net 1400). So on days where I have hard workouts, I'm taking in roughly 2600 calories and burning 1000. I'm trying to lose some weight, which is why I'm sticking to the lower intake. But I get most of my calories from protein and am making sure I'm eating a balanced diet.

Maybe I'm getting sick? Ugh, its always something :/

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Running or ice skating?

So my plan to post more often didn't quite work out as I planned :) I have been keeping up with mileage and writing in my super fancy running log (thanks Mom!) but rarely remember to post! I guess that's because marathon training is in full swing which means I'm either running, working, eating or sleeping... Ahhh, the joys of running.

Good news is, I've made my mileage ever since the epic fail of week 1. I've actually been running much faster than I anticipated (10 min/mile average of all workouts). If the weather would cooperate, running in the winter would be much more fun though. I don't mind running in blowing snow or even the cold but when it snows in Nashville, people don't know how to handle it. I don't think they know about the magical inventions of salt or snow shovels and, as a result, the sidewalks are so icy I end up sliding through the majority of my runs! Luckily, the sidewalks around my lab are clear so I can run the same (albeit boring) mile loop over and over again, but come out and play sun! Melt the snow so I don't have to slide through the majority of my runs.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

First Week of Marathon Training Had Its Up And Downs...

Last week was the first official week of training for this April's Country Music Marathon. It started out pretty good but ended in failure...

My family was in town for the holidays meaning my diet was horrible from eating out so much and finding time to run was difficult. My first run on Tuesday morning went fairly well. It was 4.0 miles (supposed to be 3, but I opted to get in miles when I could) at a 10:21 pace. This was great for me because I used to be doing speed work outs at 10:30. Wednesday was supposed to be a 5 mile fun run and ended up at 5.3 miles at a 10:30 pace. Thursday was another 3 mile run but I ran to meet my family at breakfast which was 4.0 miles away and I ran it at a (wait for it) 9:28 pace!!!

With my weekly runs going so well I was very excited for the weekend runs. However, too much to drink on New Years Eve combined with my constantly on the move family made me too exhausted for a 5 mile pace run on Saturday. Since I had already put in some extra mileage I decided to skip Saturday's run. Sunday was my very first long run, at 8 miles. I decided to run from my house to a restaurant to meet my husband for dinner. I hate hate hate out and back runs so this would give me more positive motivation to finish the 8 miles. I ran and a pretty good pace for the first mile and a half. It was at this point in the run that I noticed I had a friend... and this is where things got interesting.

I had picked up a stray coming out of my neighborhood and he was running right along side me keeping my pace. I wasn't afraid of him or anything, but I was more worried about him getting too far away from home or getting hit by a car. I decided to pull off onto a side road and try to get the little guy some help. After calling the local police department, here's how my long run ended (at 2.59 miles - 10:39 pace):

It took two hours to catch the little guy but he's such a good dog I'm sure someone will adopt him.

Week two starts today! Lets hope its more successful (and less eventful) than last week :)