Marvelous in My Monday: Que Será, Será

I am having an unabashedly awesome week.  (I’m sort of lumping in the past few days, as well as anticipation for the weekend, into it as well; not just saying that because Monday’s barely begun.) 😉  And this has been something of a rarity lately, so I really think we should commemorate it.

*cue streamers and confetti and strobe lights and music–anyone wanna make me a cake?*

I’m also not thinking in a very coherent-post-conducive manner right now (because I’ve been working a heckuva lot on Thaw as of late!  this is very good but it also means my writing brain is pretty fried!), so I think I’m going to break out the LISTS in order to detail why I’m having such an unabashedly awesome week.  (Is this bragging?  Is this shoving my happiness in your face when probably a lot of you are suffering the usual case of the Mondays and I’m sorry?  I hope not…this is just…chronicling.  A celebration.  It’s MARVELOUS.)

#1.  I have really awesome friends.

yayI’m not sure exactly why I’m just realizing this…I’ve known it for a while, certainly, but I guess I’ve never really fully internalized it.  Being around other girls my age, though, and hearing about spats and drama and huge fallings-out with their “friends” is definitely making me more appreciative.  I don’t know that I’ve ever been in a fight with a friend.  They’re all just too awesome.  And we all respect and love each other and are all really smart and have the same weird sense of humor and it’s just amazing.  I wasn’t aware of how rare this was until lately, and I am SO THANKFUL.  I LOVE YOU ALL, GUISE.

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One of my friends and I have recently started a weekly running thing (well–I say weekly–meaning it’s happened once and there are plans to do it again the following week) where we talk and we sort of run but there’s no pressure to really be speedy but we cover a lot of distance and last week we did 6 miles, which I think was actually the longest run of my life.  Granted, we definitely didn’t run for the entirety of it, but it was still very impressive to my mind.  And the talking and the repetitive exercise has been really therapeutic and happy-inducing and gah I love her.

#2.  Lately I have been conversing with an extremely smart dude with an overall pleasing aesthetic.  *giggles shyly and brings shirt collar up to hide face*

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#3.  I AM GOING TO SEE SARAH KAY PERFORM IN SEATTLE ON MARCH 1ST. (!!!)  If you don’t know–I’ll skip the shaming that you really deserve–Sarah Kay, as mentioned in this post, is my favorite spoken word poet ever and she’s pretty young and infinitely inspiring and her poem B was really one of the things that helped pull me out of my 7th-grade depression and disordered eating.  It is so beautiful and she is so beautiful and everything is sugar and rainbows and happiness because SHE’S PERFORMING IN SEATTLE AND I’LL ACTUALLY BE ABLE TO SEE HER IN REAL LIFE AND GET AN ADVANCED COPY OF HER BOOK AND THE ANGELS WILL DESCEND FROM THE HEAVENS AND CROON SWEETLY WHILE STRUMMING HARPS OF COTTON CANDY.

Her website is called Que Será, Será, which is both a pun on her name (Kay, Sarah, sera) and is a saying that, translated, roughly means “what will be, will be”.  (If you were alive in the 60s you probably know this, because Wikipedia informs me that it was also a pretty popular song back then, and one I think I’ve heard at least once on some Netflix show or other.)  I can’t express how much I love this.

(I knew there was a very good reason for not asking anyone to the Sadie Hawkin’s dance that night!  Good job, TGITO.  Such a prescient decision on your part.)

What’s your MARVELOUS today?

Run Like a Dog 2013

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stitch before

stitch afterYay for picture-heavy posts!  (Though I imagine that this, too, is okay with you, because my posts are usually novels I write in attempts to procrastinate working on my actual novels.)  I don’t have much to say on the subject of this run, except that it wasn’t nearly as tiring as I thought it was going to be, except for a brief but overwhelming wave of nausea after it was over, most likely because I sprinted too hard to the finish line–but endurance is building up! 😀  We did end up taking two dogs–Daddio ran with Peeve and I, Stitch.  He was a good, faithful running partner, only stopping to pee on three garbage bins and attempting to yank my arm out of its socket only twice while stopping to greet a dog behind him.  I actually think having Stitch with me made me faster, because I had something to think about/fuss over/be concerned about other than the fact that I was running a 5k.  And while I didn’t try for time, I actually managed a perfect 10-minute mile–on the dot, 31:00!–and that’s pretty okay for me! 🙂  I’m not sore at all today, one day later, and I feel accomplished and awesome and like I want to go for another run.  Tomorrow.

It was also my first time running with Bic Bands!

DSCN4159(Tip:  when taking an awkward but necessary-for-your-blog selfie, be sure to include emphatic jazz hands.  It makes things easier on everyone.)

DSCN4160I ran in the above band, the thick Orange Crush (have not tried the bottom one yet, thin Hip to Be Square).  And all I can say is…wow.  Just like every other fitness blogger on the internet, I’m going to virtually yak your ear off about these, so be prepared.  I didn’t have to reach up and adjust, check that it was still there, remove, or otherwise fiddle ONCE–and I may or may not be a pathological fiddler.  And–andandandandandandand!–it was in THE SAME PLACE when I finished the run as when I started.  Being someone with an abnormally large cranium and uncontrollable hair (MIGHT I REMIND YOU OF THE OLD HERMIONE-INSPIRED LOOK:

HAIR! 004), these were a godsend.  And Bic Bands donates profits to charity!  HOW COOLIO.  They’re pricey, yeah, but I have a feeling these are the only workout headbands I’ll need for a few years now, and the company is totally SPUNKALICIOUS.  (Read my last post if you’re lost here.) 😉  So…yeah.  Consider Bic-Bands heartily TGITO-endorsed.  I bought them myself, wasn’t provided with review products or anything, so all opinions are 100% my own!

Ten-minute mile.  Fun dog socializing.  Free clementines and granola bars afterward, and a good time was had by all.

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Friday Faves #2

Featuring 5k fears and finds, beautiful blog buttons, bolstered body image, link love, and writing-related reads.  Not in this order.

Greetings my dear friends.  I would like to apologize for not posting since last Sunday, but I know you’re cool with it ‘cuz you’re cool like that.  It wasn’t that I had writer’s block, really–it was more that I did have a lot of ideas but, incidentally, there was a lot of stuff I wanted to do a heck of a lot more than sit down to pound out a blog post.  Projects, people…mysterious projects. 😉  Ah, well, you’ll find out about them soon enough.  They’re good ones. 🙂

Anyway, this, at least, means that come September 4th when I forgo my internet-inhabiting ways for the academic lifestyle once again, I will not completely abandon you for a week!  I now have many “backup” post topics saved up to prevent total radio silence here.  So, everyone has won here.  Let us move on.

1.  Beautiful Blog Buttons.  Have y’all noticed my new lovely ORANGE social media buttons in my sidebar?  They were only 99 cents 5 dollars in the Etsy store, made by IGottaCreate, who also offers FREE buttons, though not all in orange. 🙂  Cheap Etsy downloads are quickly becoming a kind of vortex for me…  At any rate, I’ve finally found out how to make social media icon bars, as per my question in my Blogoversary post!  I used this tutorial, designed for WordPress.COM blogs, to integrate the buttons into a widget.  It’s way easier than I was mentally building it up to be.

2.  Bolstered Body Image.  Maybe it’s come across around these parts (because I’ve written about it at length) that, lately, I haven’t been exactly happy with my appearance.  I’ll skip the melodrama.  Then I found some clothes that actually fit me nicely, wrote a post in an attempt to shape myself up, read some even more awesome posts, stripped down to my skivvies in front of a mirror and recited some self-esteem mantras (a la Kiss My Broccoli), started running longer and harder (why is running like the magic self-esteem-boosting drug?  though I’m not complaining), and bought some pretty eyeshadow and liner for my peepers.  I’ve always really loved my eyes–probably my favorite superficial feature, and I’m glad I’ve figured out how to play them up a little bit more now.  No shame in flaunting what ya got! 😉

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I also got a haircut.  Not that this picture makes it very easy to tell.  Also, I’ve coined a term–that above hairstyle?  That’s not “unruly” or “out-of-control”, folks, that’s SPUNKALICIOUS, you hear me?  SPUNKALICIOUS.  Please let’s integrate this into our daily conversations.  As in, “My bangs are being especially SPUNKALICIOUS today”, or “My day was sure hard; I guess life’s just testing me to see how SPUNKALICIOUS I can be about it!”  Yes, SPUNKALICIOUS must ALWAYS be ALL CAPITALS.  Preferably accompanied by a Z-formation fingersnap, if you can manage it.

3.  5k fears and finds.  My second 5k ever is tomorrow!  AHHH/yay!/I’m going to be so dead by the end of this!  Funny thing: since I’ve done this before (once), my brain has seemingly gone into “pro mode” about the whole thing.  As in, why should I worry about preparations?  Stretching beforehand, hydrating sufficiently?  Why even bother, especially when you’re not shooting for a PR?

I really hope I can snap out of this before tomorrow morning; at the very least, I have no doubt it will dissolve into a cloud of fear and crippling self-doubt at the starting line.  But this too must be worked through!

If your arrogant brain hasn’t gone into everything-under-control mode about your next 5k, here are some great reads from around the internet to help you prepare yourself for the race:

4.  Writing-related reads.

  • 10 Things Teens Should Know About Writing.  He comes right out and says teen writing sucks.  I can’t figure out whether I’m awestruck and thankful that someone prevented me from getting my hopes up too high, or feeling crushed…
  • Maureen Johnson’s Brain Monkeys.  Her answer to that eternally-posed question, “Where do you get your ideas?”  And it’s Maureen Johnson.  You’re guaranteed an out-loud laugh.

Also, this and this.

DSCN4119The former, I was lucky enough to snag for free at the magical old library, and the latter I pre-ordered.  (It’s been out for about a month now.)  The former…well, it’s Stephen King!  So witty, hilarious, and wonderfully profane; and since it was an older copy, I didn’t feel guilty about underlining quotes and dogearing pages.  For reference, you know.  😉  It’s just general, down-to-earth writing advice that doesn’t even bother to be tailored to specific ages.  And the latter, obviously, is geared more toward young writers, and it remains optimistic about a writer’s chances while still cautioning you to get a “real job”.  😀

The parents are also very supportive of all my writerly endeavors, but then again, they are parents.  That is Job of Parent.  So…does my writing suck?  Do I have no chance of success?  Or am I an amazing undiscovered gem (Mother Dearest’s viewpoint on the matter)? 😉  I’m getting whiplash darting back and forth…I guess the only thing I can do, in either case, is to keep pounding on.  Work hard, put in effort, always be striving to improve.  Maybe even query anyway, despite my age deficiency.  The worst that can happen is “No”.

No further alliteration for today…Happy Friday! 🙂

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What’s your favorite thing about your body?  Please divulge all in the comments!  Today, take a moment to appreciate at least one thing that is beautiful about yourself.  Don’t fall prey to the “but that’s so vain” thing.  Strut yo stuff, gurl.  And tell me what it is that makes you beautiful!  (Well, one item from the list, anyway.)

Further Fur

I all but promised you 2 days ago that the alliteration was going to die with that last post.  Maybe that might have been a mite misleading.  I’m on a roll, or rather, a reckless rampage.

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This post isn’t really an update or record or news flash or anything, but it does introduce a furry member of my family and it does include a lot of cute goggie pictures and hopefully it will make you smile, because Peeve is really good at that, and you never know when someone’s in need of a laugh.  So, read on, my good peruser-of-le-blog.  Read and be entertained.

Peeve made her Instagram debut last week, and she quickly became quite popular.  I’m not sure why I’ve never shared pictures of her before, because she’s comedic gold!  If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen her….special face, but now for the cordial introductions:

DSCN3953Her name is Peeve, because she’s our “pet” and our family is one that gets a roaring laugh out of puns.  We always joke that she’s our “biggest pet peeve”, and she certainly seems to think so, though she’s pint-sized.

20130814_180713 e cropped outShe’s a docile creature, not overly concerned with the fast pace of society and its regulations.  She likes to take it easy.  Naptime occurs at least six times a day, more if someone else is willing to engage in the pastime with her.

IMG_20130812_120237 IMG_20130812_202804 - CopyThese are STUNNING shots of her, all gussied up in her best.  On a normal day, expect to find Peeve like this:

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Yes, Peeve is rather special-looking.  She also possesses startling chameleon talents, managing to resemble Yoda, an Ewok, and a monk seal all in one fell swoop.  Judge her by her size, do you?

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Striking, the resemblance is.  Mmmm.

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I…I can’t even…ms collage 2 ms collage 1There…there are just no words.

Fun Fact:  Boston Terriers were originally bred as “war dogs”!

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Since I know you’re all quaking in your boots with trepidation right now, I’ll stop with the Peeve pictures.  I’m glad I finally got around to introducing you to her though! 🙂  Now for a quick poll:  Which dog (if any) should accompany me to the Run Like a Dog 5k?  I initially thought I was going dogless, definitely (drat, here comes the alliteration again), but now I’m decidedly less decisive…

The contenders are: Stitch…(he might be more fun to document; he’s a bit of a camera ham, really)

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and Fraggle.  Yes, like the Rock.

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(Heckyes we have a buttload of dogs.)  Both medium/large breed, both in good shape and quite amiable, both would probably find the run fun.  Thoughts?  Have you ever run with a canine companion before?  I haven’t, so it’s probably not the best idea to break into it at a race, but…dogs…  I might simply pawn one off on Daddio.  That way they would get to enjoy the race without baffling me and what little consistency there is with my running style.

(In case you were wondering, Zixie gets an honorable mention.  Her hips are too bad to run that far, though.  Alas.  Otherwise she’d be my go-to girl.)

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Should I go for it?  The dark side clouds everything.  Impossible to see, the future is.

Haha, anyway–happy final fragments of Sunday.  On a semi-related note: how the heck are we over halfway through August already??!!  I literally thought it had to be the August 3rd yesterday… #timewarp

I hope you got a laugh out of our funny-faced furry friend.

Friday Faves

Featuring: food finds, fun, fur, accomplishments and attempted alliteration.

1.  Accomplishments: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, meet 3-dimensional puzzles.

DSCN3906 DSCN3911 DSCN3918 DSCN3920 DSCN3922 DSCN3924Up in our Wyoming cabin, the bro, the friend, and I happened across a vintage Peppercricket Farms 247-piece, 3D PUZZLE.  We slaved away hours over this thing (at least, I did–the bro and friend dropped out 70% of the way through [weaklings]) and I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve been kinda waiting for an excuse to show you my handiwork since then. 😀  Or that this puzzle was my sole driving force for the three-day span it occupied; I ate, breathed, and slept Peppercricket Farms.  I even missed dinner one night???!!  What could have possibly possessed my soul so fiercely as to cause such an unthinkable outcome??

Other news in the accomplishments department:  I’m running my second 5k evah next Saturday, the 25th!  (You can read the recap of my first 5k here.)  I’m simultaneously pumped and terrified–since the great fooeing of the knees, running has been rather hard and painful for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely grateful that I’m at least able to run with knee braces at this point, but I’m also out of shape and in pain and such and consequently I’m not nearly as speedy as I would like.  For this reason, I’m not hoping to PR on my 5k, but I am hoping to finish strong–that is, resist the urge to walk!  Running is an extreme mental hurdle for me, and I only hope I’ll have the strength to jump it.

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The race is South Bay Veterinary Hospital’s Run Like a Dog 5k–I’m stoked because of the proceeds going to the humane society. 🙂  Also, it’s pet-friendly, so hopefully I’ll get lots of chances to ogle and photograph all the cute widdle goggies! 😀  Daddio shall run too.  Fun!

2.  Fur: The many joys of peanut butter.  A few days ago, I introduced dog Zixie to the many joys of the spread and put the ends of a jar to good use.  We both had great fun.DSCN4029

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Yes, my dog looks like a fox.  And yes, after this session, the remaining peanut butter levels testified to exactly how far her tongue could get into that jar:

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🙂

3.  Fun: The world’s smallest potato.

DSCN4094I don’t know why, but I crack up every time I look at this guy.  Obviously, Mother Dearest and I are such talented gardeners!

Once upon a time I had a pretty orange manicure, but now I’ve traded it in in favor of a more natural earth-inspired nail look.

DSCN4083You know those lucky ducks whose jobs are to come up with witty nail polish colors for the bigshot companies?  Well, I call this look “Girl Who Had Way Too Much Fun Digging For Potatoes Gloveless”.  Catchy, right??  O-P-I hiring office, here I come.

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Fortunately, Mother Dearest and I have also harvested some (marginally) larger potatoes, and other glorious summer veggies (pole beans, snap peas, radishes, etc.)–I’ve got my eye on a satay from Vegetarian Times for these babies.

Fun, part B:  Scavenger Hunt w/ Little BroAlphabetical, photographic scavenger hunt, no less (“Take a picture of something starting with A, B, C, and so on, no skipping letters and no going inside.  First person to finish gets a 10-point bonus; duplicate picture points go in favor of the 2nd finisher.”).  Yeah, ‘at’s right, folks, we’re bringin’ sexy good, wholesome fun back!

DSCN4012Here’s my Wasp Nest for “W”.  Do those white caps mean there’s still eggs inside the nest??  Ook.

4.  Food Finds:  Ketchup Curry, and Rockin’ Rice.  A few weeks ago I made PBF’s Crock Pot Curried Lentils (minus chicken thighs), which in my opinion was amazing (or maybe I was just really hungry) the first day and then faded into meh for the remaining servings.  Not to fear!  This mehness resulted in the discovery that I l-o-o-o-v-e the rather offbeat combination of curry + ketchup.  Like, a lot.  Like, enough to maybe make my own recipe out of it.  Nummy stuff, you guys.

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(^^Such a beautiful photo.  Ain’tcha proud?)

Food Finds, part B:  PlanetRice Lightly Milled Sprouted Brown Rice.

Lightly Milled Sprouted Brown Rice 6 x 20 oz. Stand Up Pouch

(Photo from PlanetRice’s Website, Link Above)

Are we thankful we discovered this!  We picked it up on a whim while at Albertson’s in Sheridan, Wyoming, and it turned out to be the best rice Mother Dearest or I have ever tasted!  Not to mention the fact that it’s like a healthy combination of white and brown rice–sprouted, too, so extra nutrient power–and pleases my entire Standard American Diet-eatin’ family!  Hooray!  You have no idea how hard it is to find something healthy that will do this!  Thank you, PlanetRice.  Highly recommended.  Now hopefully we’ll be able to track some down back home…

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Well, this was a fun post!  Mayhap they will start to become a regular feature–a Fantastically Fun Friday Faves Feature!  Or, in the interest of not being murdered in my bed by a band of bustling, boisterous, alliteration-averse apes, I should prune the practice of such postings and crack down on the current craziness to circumvent catastrophic consequences.  Happy Friday!

Running While High

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7,434 feet above sea level, to be exact. 😉

How can you not enjoy your evening run when you’re enjoying the above scenery^^^ while mowing through it??  I really wish I could just move this mountain back with me as my own personal running field.  Alas.  No matter what Dr. Seuss and any number of inspirational speakers may say, it’s severely hard to move mountains.  I couldn’t even figure out how to get the rope around it.

I was a bit worried about the oxygen-related complications this much of a jump (hardeehar) in elevation would cause while exercising, especially with intense cardio like the tempo work the friend and I were doing on our run–but it was actually kind of nice.  🙂  Too focused on the burning and hacking in my lungs, I didn’t notice my legs or core muscles fatiguing at all, even on the largest hills! 😀  It was a beautiful run (and I was proud of this post title) and I felt immensely accomplished after cooling down back in the cabin.  We only did two miles, at most, but there were quite a few hills, there was a thunderstorm chasing us (insta-motivation!), and we booked it.

Afterward we were quite tired.

DSCN3819And I need an excuse to show you this ice cream picture from the amazing KENDRICK PARK ICE CREAM STAND–seriously, this ice cream is one of my favorite things about the yearly trek back to Sheridan.  It embodies summer and childhood and post-swim-lesson starvation relieved by sweet, sugary, crunchy, creamy heaven.  You can just taste the nostalgia, like they churn it into the ice cream itself, and I could swear there was a hint of chlorine about it somehow, a happy tribute to memories of swallowing gallons of pool water before indulging.  The taste of simple childhood.

Except they removed my favorite flavor, Bear Claw.  Don’t ask me about how it tastes, because I will yadda on about Bear Claw until you have the urge to break out the claws yourself and maul my face.  Anyway, this time I got Espresso Almond Fudge in a Sugar Cone.

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DSCN3881Sweet silky heaven on a hot summer day.

This post has not been cohesive because my thoughts right now are for some reason not terribly cohesive, but we’re cool (haha, ice cream pun) with that, okay?  Okay.

 

MIMM: Hatchday, Pretty Light, Knees, and Insane Decisions

Hey everyone!  How’s your Monday going?

DSCN3124 DSCN3127 DSCN3137 DSCN3143 DSCN3160 DSCN3159Mine’s been pretty…pretty, to say the least.  As a Washingtonian, such flagrant displays of sunshine are something of a rarity, and you can bet your bottom dollar I’ve been taking full advantage of these picture-perfect summer days by frolicking about, soaking up the Vitamin D.

I’ve never really been one of those people who need an extra boost on Mondays to get through the week, even when school/activities are in session–I’ve just never hit the “Monday wall” that I guess so many people run into.  I’ve already confessed my nerdship to you guys–Monday is basically my favorite day of the week!  Not only is it usually pretty light on homework because teachers don’t like to take the time to concoct elaborate assignments over the weekends, school STARTS UP AGAIN and I know it’s going to be the beginning of a (potentially gruelingly) glorious week!

Still, it never hurts to get a little extra boost, even if your biggest worry right now is that the hammock that’s callin’ your name is gonna get lonely.

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The weekend was pretty enjoyable marvelous.  I hosted Citrus’ third hatchday party–I made sad-looking but still (IMO) cute cockatiel cookies and we bopped around outside.  There was a sleepover and we all got very slap-happy.  We were tired in the morning but there were muffins (with both lemon and seeds–perfect for a bird named Citrus!) made by me and a frittata made by Mother Dearest (with potatoes inside–tasted like hashbrowns!!).  I do so love hashbrowns.

Alas, we did not have a circular cookie cutter, so I had to shape the sugar cookie dough (nomnomnom) with a beer-can chicken prop-thing.  (My culinary vocabulary falters when it comes to meat…)

To make the cookies, I used the Savvy Vegetarian cookie dough recipe, this recipe for coconut whip as a frosting (tinted yellow with food coloring), Craisins for eyes, chopped up Watermelon Laffy Taffy for the beaks, and mangled “orange slices” candies for the orange cheek circles.DSCN3042 DSCN3052

This totally didn't happen what are you talking about.  Not straight from the beater, never.

This totally didn’t happen what are you talking about. Not straight from the beater, never.

I wouldn't recommend using A Taste of Thai coconut milk (pretty popular brand) for the whip--it has some sort of stabilizer added that prevents it from working too nicely.  I used...whatever this brand is.

I wouldn’t recommend using A Taste of Thai coconut milk (pretty popular brand) for the whip–it has some sort of stabilizer added that prevents it from working too nicely. I used…whatever this brand is.

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Beaks!  Haha

Beaks! Haha

Aaaaand the final result.  Bit homely, but that’s okay! 🙂

Citrus approves.

Citrus approves.

Other marvelous things today…

Can we talk patella bracing for a sec?  I’m in love.  I don’t think that’s hyperbole.  Anything that was enough to lift me out of the forced 8-month running break thanks to these dang knees is virtually a Messiah in my eyes.  (I think it was probably the braces in adjunct with my rest, stretching, physical therapy, orthotics, supportive shoes, and therapeutic ultrasounds, but hey, whatever works…)  To my surprise, I haven’t lost all of my (nonexistent to begin with) running prowess, and the braces allowed me to attend my first *OFFICIAL* XC practice last Friday!  I hope to attend two more this week!  We’ll see how that goes…alas, my mileage maximum right now is approximately 3.  (Maybe four on the hamster wheel?)  By the end of the summer we’re supposed to be easily running 8…

This brings me to my first INSANE DECISION OF THE DAY!  This one is way less insane than my other one, but it’s still a big thrill for me.  I signed up for another 5k!!  This one’s on August 24th, and, while running in the heat ain’t exactly my cup of tea, I’m beyond stoked!  If I can even get close to my time on my first-and-only 5k, then it will be a huge reassurance for me that, though my knees doth plague me, I can get my kickassery and (somewhat) speed back with enough motivation.  (To any “serious” runners out there reading this:  I know a 5k is not a huge distance.  It’s kind of a menial race.  But, alas, my body is NOT DESIGNED FOR RUNNING WHATSOEVER [sitting and blogging is more my speed, how ’bout you?] and a 5k is a big deal to me!)

Sweet Potato Chocolate Pancakes 009(Throwback to the morning of my first 5k, waiting in the starting line.  Pay no attention to the ominous disembodied hand on my shoulder; someone else is cropped out.  And notice the fear hiding behind the forced smile–the glazed eyes, the overall absent disposition.  I was convinced I was going to die that day.)

Incidentally, you know what’s harder than running a 5k?

………………………..Biking two hundred and two miles.

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Yeah, it’s insane.  We’ve covered this.  And it will require buying a new bike, and/or some road tires for my current trusty steed mountain bike.  But recently (yesterday-recently), la madre de una de mis amigas (I’m not sure why I phased into Spanish here, but I couldn’t think how to word it in English) participated in the Cascade Bicycle Club/Group Health Seattle-to-Portland bike ride, a one- or two-day event that spans a total of 202-point-something miles.  Which gave me a sudden and intense burst of inspiration.  It’s a recreational ride, not a race, but from my extensive Googling of the thing last night it looks. epic.  And everyone says you need to dream big and set high goals to keep your morale buoyed, right?  So.  I’ve got a year to train.  I post this to the internet so I can’t back down–next year, Daddio and I will be participating in the 2014 Seattle-to-Portland ride.  And we will rock that epic $#*@.

Much moreso than for running, my body (and quads) like biking.  While the farthest ride I’ve ever taken to date was just 40 miles with lots of hills, and I died afterwards–I’ve got a year.  Best get on this.

Ahh.  The inevitable foot selfie.  (For some reason I just tried to spell “foot” as “fut”…)  Daddio and I went on a short (10 mile?) ride today, and I plan to get some running on the hamster wheel done as well.  Fitness, here I come!

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And arrachgha, yes, I need to do a poemography post today, since I’ve skipped out on that for, what, three weeks?!  Problem is, I only have one line to work with… #poetictrialsandtribulations

“Rather than people who shine–

I like people who glow

is the line, but I’m not sure how to weave that into a poem.  Would it be all right if poemography was extended to flash fiction?  I know I made the rules, but you guys can change them.  I’ll luv ya forever 😉

Snapshots From a Week of Glorious Orange

Man, I feel good.

It’s quite a pleasant change from my usual angsty-teenager-why-do-I-have-so-much-homework-and-a-confusing-life half-existence…I’m trying to come up with the cause for this sudden bout of serotonin wave ridin’, but ultimately…I’m just happy right now. 🙂

Of course, there are things that are probably fostering this pleasant mood-swingy week…

Could it be the orangeness of my socks right now?

Cuz they most certainly are.  And don't start with the lamenting the utter childishness of my (fuzzy, polka-dotted) bedspread...I like it.  It suits me.

‘Cuz they most certainly are. And don’t start with the lamenting the utter childishness of my (fuzzy, polka-dotted) bedspread…I like it. It suits me.

 

Could it be the fullness of my suitcase for NY right now?

Ah it's such a loverly blend of fancy clothes and food. :)

Ah it’s such a loverly blend of fancy clothes and food. 🙂

The toilet paper roll is keeping my necklaces from getting tangled...don't worry, I'm not weird enough that I would just pack something like that... :)

The toilet paper roll is keeping my necklaces from getting tangled…don’t worry, I’m not weird enough that I would just pack something like that… 🙂

 

AND LOOK AT THE NECKLACE LOOKLOOKLOOK AT THE NECKLACE IT'S ORANGE AND IT MEANS "CREATE" AND IT BOLSTERS MY COURAGE!!  IT IS A PRESENT FROM MOTHER DEAREST I MUST THANK HER MOST HIGHLY!!

AND LOOK AT THE NECKLACE LOOKLOOKLOOK AT THE NECKLACE IT’S ORANGE AND IT MEANS “CREATE” AND IT BOLSTERS MY COURAGE!! IT IS A PRESENT FROM MOTHER DEAREST I MUST THANK HER MOST HIGHLY!!

Could it be the amazingness that is my fellow chocoholic friend?

 

Awwww yeah.  I’ve got some support in the friend department here.  This gal is my enabler.

Could it be last Friday of downtown-wandering, pizza-consuming, and social mingling?

No pictures were taken (both phone and camera were dead) but it was really refreshing and…emotional.  Since we are all dispersing  to our various schools next year, this time of year is just so bittersweet…I’m going to miss the lovely little private-school familial thing we’ve got going on, even though we have our spats.  Thank goodness most of my really good friends will be going to the same school as me…

OR COULD IT BE THE RUNNINGNESS THAT IS MY LEGS???!!

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Let’s hear it for sweaty awkward selfies!!

Yeah that’s right folks YOU HEARD ME correctly. (!)  A couple of weeks ago, my physical therapist gave me a tentative sort of go-ahead for running–

(Please ignore my random thumb)

–with some instructions pertaining to cadence, posture, form, etc.  (Apparently I am not a very intuitive runner–the form that I naturally use was uber-hard on my knees!)

So during this week I’ve been breaking in the electric melons, and doing some “microruns”–really, each under 1 mile.  I’m still experiencing some pain, and of course I’ve lost speed, but as per the wisdom of Kiss My Broccoli, I shall focus on the now of my running, not comparing myself to the past or the future.  Really, all things considered (things being the fact that I have not ran in–what, 6 months?), 3/4 mile in 7 minutes really isn’t…too awfully bad…

 

Whatever it was that made this week so awesome, I’m incredibly grateful.  I remain excited about the future of my runningness and my impending New York trip!!  (Vlogs to come…) 😉

–The Girl in the Orange

 

Pics from the Weekend of 5 AM Cake

Be forewarned:  What follows is a post with no particular theme except the dates of 4/13/2013 and 4/14/2013, so if you hate random, wandering posts, this isn’t for you.  Also, the sporadicness is accompanied by some, gaspphone pictures of cruddy quality…but how else is one to take a picture of their own camera?

……..

I figured, y’know, I’ve got a buttload of a to-do list waiting, what the heck, I’ll make myself pancakes.

It made more sense in my brain…

……

phone pics 1 151I was so grateful to Mother Dearest for providing me with a new mini tripod for my orange camera!  It certainly came in handy for video shooting this weekend…and it’s just awesome…because, you know, tripod.

……

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Ahaha the crux of the weekend!  Hit up a local running store and walked out with a new pair of Asics GT-2000‘s, plus a nice pair of cushy orthotics for knees/feet/leg/joint/arghhghdhgh issues!  So far the orthotics are MAGICFUL (I can stand like a normal person now–and they bump up my height by half a glorious inch! 😉 ) and the shoes fit like a dream…can’t wait till I can start actually running in them!  (Also, the color of the shoes is called “electric melon”! 😉 This just cracks me up…)

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Yeah-heah for new kickage!  Check it.

Okay, okay, no.  I should never try to talk like the teens of today.

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Some peanut butter protein bars (#loveofmylife) and edamame hummus happened.  I was obsessed with the edamame hummus when I first tasted it, but now the Costco tub is almost gone and I don’t really want to look at it any more.

……

Face:

I happened to stumble upon the BEST retro sunglasses in the attic…I bet you thought I was above cheesy selfies.

I bet you were wrong.

Dramatic enough for ya yet? 😉 #yesthosearerealglasses

Their rein continues…

retro shades 003

 

retro shades 004

 

……

I was outside, feeling philosophical, and asked Stitch how he was feeling.  He plopped down and did this

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so, although crap happens, I think we can be cautiously optimistic about our world situation here.

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Working Out As It Stands Now

The title of this post was a pun.  If you’re a regular here, you know all about my knees and their lack of function.  Ive honestly lamented them to heck and hope they stay there…there won’t be a lot of standing for me for a while.   😉

Since I’ve been living with these excruciating joint maladies for four months now, I’ve had to find some form of exercise to keep me sane.  While I’m still not at optimum activity level, and on a “bad knee week” I barely move, much less exercise, necessity has driven me toward some creative solutions for my daily endorphin fix.  I really, really wish I’d had someone to write this post for me when I was first injured, so I didn’t waste a few months of complete inactivity, thinking that I wouldn’t be able to exercise until the pain was completely gone!

*On that note, my little disclaimer here: I am not a certified or registered dietician, doctor, personal trainer, or anything.  All “advice” taken from me is meant to be taken with a grain of salt!  I could prove quite dangerous!  If you are experiencing severe abnormal joint pain PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE consult whoever your regular physician is–“working through pain” is never a good idea.  With my knees I try simply to work “around” already-diagnosed pain, because I have a doctor’s OK, and because I’ve found some exercises I can complete without aggravating it further.  Stay safe, kids.*

The Girl in the Orange’s Post-Injury Exercise Routine (Tips for Would-Be Runners!)

The biggest shift in my exercise routine, post-injury, has been the transition from mainly cardio (running) to mainly strength training.  I strength train almost every other day now, and while I don’t feel like it quite satisfies the runner’s need for cardio–the need to have your cheeks red and burning with your breath catching in your throat at the end of a workout, the need to push yourself faster and farther–it’s something.  Problem is, the majority of colloquial strength training exercises involve weighted bending of the knees (squats, anyone? lunges? dips?), which, to put it mildly, would feel like a dagger being driven under my kneecap and twisting to pry the kneecap from the bone…SO I obviously needed a workaround. 🙂  Many of the exercises in my Bum Knee Workout have found their way into my regular strength-training routine, even though I don’t really perform the workout verbatum (can you perform a workout verbatum?) often.  Bicep curls, for instance.  Lots of work with the resistance band.  My arms are getting a whole lot of focus in my training, but I’ve also shifted to include more ab work–planks, crunches, V-Ups, and the like.  Check out the Fitnessista Ab Burners for quickie ab workouts when you don’t have enough time for a full sweat session!

Physical Therapy has been working on my leg strength–I only wish I’d started doing the exercises WAAY earlier.  They’re simple–I’m doing leg raises, side leg raises, and bridges.  All things that involve little or no bending of the knee or stress placed on the joint, and yet when done daily they’ve proven to be really effective at increasing muscle mass and toning.  (Happy aside: during my session today I’ve been proclaimed as making mass improvements, and may be able to start up that introductory running routine as soon as two weeks after spring break!  Gaah!)  If you’re injured, building the strength in your quadriceps is really crucial in helping with alignment of the joints, and when you do get back to “regular” activity, a strong muscle will help you from placing so much stress on the joint.  Three cheers for leg raises!

If you get bored of simple calisthenics, there are SOME mild forms of cardio us cripples can partake in.  Hula hooping has proved pretty painless for me, plus it whittles your middle!–but I agree that you can only hoop for so long. 🙂  If you have access to some basic exercise tools, there’s always the WaveMaster (aka punching bag)

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ready for a good pummeling when you are.  Sure, you may not be able to kick, but you can probably get in some wicked uppercuts and practice your fighting stance.  As a bonus, you feel beastly afterward.

Other simple weight training tools include inflatable exercise ballsdumbells (duh), and a weight cage with pull-up bar…maybe refrain from hack squats with iffy knees though. 😉

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Oh, and don’t forget yoga!  While you want to be careful of poses that aggravate your condition, (Warriors, Crescents and Dancer–I’m lookin’ at you) most yoga poses will provide a gentle stretch that, for me at least, has proven to be very therapeutic to ailing joints.

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Any fellow cripples out there with advice to share with the group?  If you remember one thing going into a sports-injury recovery period, I would say keep focused on doing your best NOW–not aggravating your condition, listening to your physical therapist, etc., and being patient with yourself (honestly, you’re not going to keep your chiseled abs with so few exercises available to you, sorry).  But there’s certainly no harm in looking forward to the future when you’ll be back to full health! 🙂