Wednesday, August 18, 2010

signing off, for now...

In an ironic twist, I have decided that for number 29 on my 30 before 30 list, one activity I am going to give up is blogging. It has become one of those things that I feel I have to force, and feel guilty when I don't do it, even though I know that nobody else really even cares that much! Basically, it's causing me unnecessary stress and just another thing to think about when my mind is already pretty full. It was a great way to share renovations on the house but when it comes to the mundane details of my life, I am choosing to bore you with them via email, phone, or face to face communication instead.

A little unfinished business before the over and out -

I promise I'm really going to pay it forward! Tera received her little surprise this weekend, and C & G - yours will be on their way soon!

And in 30 by 30 news -
8. I have remembered lots of birthdays!
12. I weatherized the patio furniture!
14. I have definitely been more conservative in my sharing lately, especially at work. I am getting a promotion soon and adding a position to my office along with more services, and it has been difficult not to talk about it before I've been able to. But I've held back!
18. I have made progress on the window picture frame display...just need some more vertical photos of the fam to fill it up before it can be hung.
22. I'm going to the beach this weekend!

That's about it for now - thanks for checking in with me here and hopefully I'll talk to you all with real words soon!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

pay it forward

Update: I'll pull names on Monday. Happy 4th!

The lovely Ms. L featured a kind-hearted pay it forward post on her blog recently, and I was a winner! This is such a fun idea and a great way to keep in touch with friends, and it fits nicely with #23 of my 30 before 30 list. I gave a gift in May, and since June is quickly coming to a close I'm going to use this opportunity to sneak this month's gift in.

Here are the rules:
1. You must comment on this post. Tell me about the last thing that really lit up your face with a smile!
2. If you are a winner, I ask that you pay-it-forward however you'd like, in-person, online, in writing, whatever...just commit to doing something nice for three people in the spirit of paying-it-forward. No pay, no play!
3. If selected to pay-it-forward, you must either see me on a regular basis or trust me enough to send me your address (I'll ask for it later).

I will randomly select three recipients on Friday and surprise you with something fun chosen or made just for you. I'm looking forward to receiving your comments so I can see who's been sticking around here lately! Please don't be shy!

To tie things up, I did a google search of "pay it forward." Of course wikipedia showed up on the top of the list, and I was sort of saddened to find some of the things the wiki-masters actually think people need to be taught. Check it out:

Related wikiHows
How to Practice Random Acts of Kindness
How to Thank Someone
How to Be Nice to People
How to Be a Good Person

So, let's make an effort to use what we already (hopefully!) know and make someone's day a little brighter today!

Monday, June 28, 2010

it's about time

Mom and Dave gave us some dough for Christmas to use on something for the house. We had been looking for something to give the kitchen a little character since it is all brand new. We visited Housewerks, a unique sort of antique store in SW Baltimore that sells items and architectural elements salvaged from old buildings around the city. It was early January and I remember it was a freezing of those where I literally run from the warm car to the inside of wherever I'm going. There was a crackling fire inside Housewerks so we were glad to get in there!

We found a double-sided schoolhouse clock that had been taken out of a Catholic school in Baltimore that was being knocked down. The shop owner cleaned it up for us and assured us that it was in working condition so we decided to give it a try. As with many house projects, we learned once we got it home that it was going to be a little more complicated than we thought!

So, we decided to wait until we could get some expert help to install it. Six months later, Terry (electrician father-in-law extraordinaire) and Margie came for a quick visit and the men got to work while I napped (post-tri, gimme a break) and Margie did some high speed sudoku solving.

They did really well with a tough hard-wiring, stud-sitting hang job. Here they are admiring their handy work.
The only tiny glitch is that the motor of the clock is audible. It's not too loud, but you can definitely hear it if the house is quiet. Kyle reminded me that I did want nostalgia... I think I'll get used to it and hope that maybe one day my children or grandchildren (the clock will travel to future houses) will remember it like my sis remembered our grandparents' clock on her recent blog post.

For now, time's a-wastin'...gotta get to bed!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

wipe out

As part of my training to complete #7 on my 30 before 30 list (7. Complete a half ironman) and in training for my 2nd sprint tri coming up this weekend, I have been riding every Wednesday evening with a couple girlfriends. To take advantage of the longest Wednesday of the year yesterday, I proposed we take our longest ride yet together and tackle 30 miles after work. It turned out to be a momentous ride.

Grace and I set out around 5:30 in temperatures of about 90 degrees and full sun. The first road we take can be a little busy with traffic, and for some reason yesterday was a lot worse than usual. We had to wait in a long line of cars, none of whose drivers would make room for us to pass on the already slim shoulder, just to learn that the only hold up seemed to be the 4-way intersection.

We stopped at a tiny country gas station since I hadn't made time to stop for water on the way to our meet-up point. I had my debit card with me and brought my gatorade to the counter but learned they had a $5 minimum for cards. So I added some water and twizzlers (the closest thing I could find to energy food) and we went on our way again.

The next 15 miles or so were pretty uneventful and we covered some good, new to us roads with gorgeous rolling farmland views, little traffic, and beautiful early summer Crape Myrtles. Unfortunately, one of the new to us roads was a downhill, rocky dirt road, so we decided to get off and walk our bikes down it.
A few more good hills back on the smooth road, and we were back on track with our familiar nearing-the-end-of-the-ride landmarks in sight. With about two miles to go we were feeling good and speeding along and came upon the last 4-way stop intersection. I had stopped for cars and by the time Grace whizzed up it was clear so she went ahead and I lifted my right foot to clip in and get moving. I lost my balance though and just toppled right over to the left, with my left foot clipped in and unable to catch me.

It was more embarrassing than painful - one of those rookie mistakes that a seasoned road cyclist would laugh at. Fortunately the only witnesses were Grace, who is just as much a rookie as I am, and a fat dude on a motorcycle. I got up and tried to start going again, but quickly realized that the bike took more of a hit than I did. The left (front) brake got all out of line with the handlebar and even if it was functional, I couldn't reach it properly. Knowing there were a few downhills ahead I didn't feel comfortable proceeding with out it, plus I was starting to feel really lightheaded and nauseous and was having trouble breathing normally- probably a little panicky and a lot overheated.

This is a straight-on view - note the crooked brake on the right!

Thankfully we were only about two miles from the cars, so I took a seat and Grace went on to get the car and retrieve me. I started to feel better and then really perked up when I remembered what was in the pocket of my jersey...twizzlers! I chowed down on those babies and felt a lot better.

I've got a nice bruise on my thigh complete with a very clear ring-like imprint of the end of my handlebar which must have hit my leg head-on on its way to the ground. The bike will be heading to the shop tonight with high hopes that it will be fixed in time for Sunday's race. I'm glad I bought the extended warranty!

A blessing in disguise...this will probably help me get closer to acheiving #21 on the 30 before 30 list...21. Learn basic bike maintenance and take good care of my bike!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

suggestions, please!

T-Bag and CoCo - I'm mainly looking to you guys for help with this one...

I'm running either a full or half marathon this Sunday (I'll decide at mile 11 where the courses split if it's too hot!) and I know it's going to be tough either way. The forecast is calling for high 80s and humid. Fortunately it's on a rail trail so it will be flat and shady, but still, it's probably going to suck. It's also a tiny race so there will be few fans.
It's called the 1/2 sauer 1/2 kraut marathon...held by the husband of a german pastry chef! There will be runners in lederhosen and an accordion player.

So, I will need some good musical motivation. You guys know I'm a classical nerd, and while I love popular music too, my tastes usually run more on the alternative/indie/singer-songwriter side, which isn't the best running music. I need some songs to add to the ipod today that will really keep me going!
Thinking of eating this at the end won't exactly be the best motivation
Please comment with your hip-hop/rap/generally awesome suggestions. And any of you lurkers with Ke$ha/Usher/ (are they even cool? I have no idea, I just wanted to use a dollar sign in soemone's name) taste, please chime in too!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I have successfully learned to change a diaper. I don't think I can say yet that I've mastered it, but I've had recent practice on a 2-month old and a couple of 2-year olds.

We spent last weekend as stand-in parents for our three adorable nieces, pictured below with Uncle Kyle: Lauren, Kate and Jenna.

Kate is almost 5 so of course she is in full-on panty mode. Lauren is almost there, but Jenna's still rockin' the diapers. So between putting them to bed, frequent costume changes, swimmy diapers, and drinking lots of water to stay cool, there were also many diapers.
very pleased with themselves to be getting Uncle K wet

Jenna on the swing

Lauren, or "Oro" as her sister calls her

I've also been getting some practice on the homefront from our neighbors and friends across the street, who had the cutest baby born in 2010 just two months ago. Kim read my list and promptly offered up Bianca's dirty diapers for me to learn on - thanks, Kim! :-) Here we are together after a nice full one.
See - I told you she is cute!

Changing diapers wasn't as bad as I expected. I left the real challenge to Kyle...emptying the diaper genie! When it's finally our turn to have little ones, I think we will be putting gas masks on the registry to deal with that job!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


They say bad things come in threes, right?

1. Monday. 11 AM. Checked bank account online. Checking account includes:
5/24/2010 Austin Grill $27.10
5/24/2010 Weber's Cider Mill $31.03
5/24/2010 $500.00
5/24/2010 $500.00
5/24/2010 Parkville Library $12.00

Yes, I know that's a big overdue fine, but let's back up to What?!
Investigated charges. 800 number provided by classy-sounding website bad. Left work early to get to credit union before it closed at 4. Got new debit card, submitted fraud claim.
Bank refunded $1000 by 11 PM that night. refunded $1000 on Tuesday.
Hoping we get to keep both $1000s.

2. Wednesday. 7:45 AM. Driving to work through the ghett-o.

New person to add to hitlist: Mohammad R. (along with Eric R. and Christopher C., others with whom I've had accidents)
Mohammad tried to go straight in a right-turn only lane and hit my rear passenger side. Minimal damage, no injuries. Got to stand in the sun and hang out with the homies from the neighborhood.

Have to leave work early tomorrow to bring my car to the Progressive service center in Glen Burnie.
Hell yeah. Watch this It's awesome and worth your time.

3. ??? I'm following my Papa's advice and watching my back!