Sunday, October 27, 2013

October 27

Today's walk was a tad on the chilly side, which certainly kept me moving.  Even so the walk took about six minutes longer.  I did walk two more blocks (and ran for about 1 1/2 of the blocks).  The running part is so ungraceful feeling, but the walking is improving.  I am able to walk up inclines with my back more upright.  Thanks, yoga.

The rest of the week will be a challenge as most of it will be in Chicago and it is supposed to rain all the time we are there.  Will take the umbrella and a rain poncho and hope for the best.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Hi-jacking this blog for P.E.

I am going to use this blog to record my pitiful attempt to get ready to run in next year's Olathe marathon's 5K event.  Keep in mind, I haven't actually run anywhere since before long before I broke my ankle in 1996.  I think it coincided with the last time I played softball.

I've committed myself, in front of witnesses, and have signed up three Partners In (I was going to say Grime and Sweat but just realized the acronym for that spelled PIGS and that certainly won't do--I'll have to reconsider and find a better name for us.)  AHEM!  As I was saying  my daughter Carma was the original inspiration.  She's done three 5k this year and is thinking of trying a half marathon next year.  My sister Jan, who has done several 5K in the last couple years.  And her daughter Cybil, who has been doing a lot of exercizing.

The upshot has been the purchase of an official pair of shoes and several days of walks.  I know the race is six months from now, but I am seriously out of shape and need to convince my body to get over itself.  Right now I'm at the 2 mile/30 minute walk  (plotting the neighborhood on Google Maps to get distances--Note to Self: Buy a pedometer.)

Today I walked the two miles minus 1 block, which I tried jogging.  I probably would have been able to escape from Tim Conway doing his little old man shuffle.

Anyway, I'll keep you all posted.   If I survive.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I'm back, sort of

I haven't written in this blog for ages. I've been busy exploring the ins and outs of Facebook and Goodreads and just generally wasting time. I'm finding Facebook an interesting concept. It makes the Six Degrees of Separation thing look like it might step down to Five or even Four. I wonder about the etiquette of it. I wonder how you ever find people who don't put any identifying info up except their names and there are 2,437 other people named William Jones and I can't figure out if one of them might be a cousin I could connect with.
I am using Goodreads in conjuntion with LibraryThing. They both do somewhat the same thing from slightly different angles, so I am using LT to keep track of the books in my personal library (well, okay, keeping track may be a slight misnomer.) and GR as a tracking devise for what I am currently reading or have read, including library books, my sister's books, and any stray stuff that I don't actually own myself.
I finally, after being retired on September 1 last year, started receiving my Social Security payments. It has been a mess for me and I was about ready to say, oh forget it, I can starve to death without it, but finally, thanks to Hilda and Mary Ann who work for SocSec, I got it straightened out.
Now I'm on to the next step. The last week in December some of the shingles blew off the back of my house. I had a terrible time getting anyone to even come look at the roof to make an estimate on repairing and finally had to ask the guy who is remodeling the house next door for help. On Friday they came and made an estimate for replacing the whole back roof (apparently, when the front was done about 15 years ago the roofers didn't do the back and since you can't see the roof from the ground, it wasn't obvious.) The estimate seems in line with what friends have had done and so I didn't even try to get another two estimates--I know that's probably not wise, but I want a decent roof on sometime before we get hit with the Spring rains. Anyway, after two days of icky weather they showed up this morning and started tearing off the old shingles. It sounds like giant mice up there -- or the dentist drill in slow motion.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I baked bread yesterday. That sounds like a nice leisurely way to spend my time, but I baked three batches of oatmeal bread (8 large loaves, 3 small loaves), two batches of English muffin bread (was supposed to be 2 large loaves, 6 small loaves, but I managed to knock one of the large loaves off the top of my freezer where it was at the end of the rise and it turned upside down all over my kitchen floor), and maple pecan bread (9 mini loaves).
The maple pecan was a new recipe for me (hence the mini loaves). The recipe is a keeper. It is a subtle flavor combination of whole wheat, maple syrup, and toasted pecans in a yeast bread. I got the recipe from the book Bread from sourdough to rye by Linda Collister and I do thank her heartily for it. And she was right--in the serving suggestions she mentioned ham and cheese. Yes! Thinly sliced ham and provolone cheese was soooo good.
Part of the fun is juggling the schedule so that I can run my oven efficiently and get the difference rising times down and the baking pans washed and reused in the best way. And then there are the days when the dough is slower or faster to rise, throwing everything off. Since I'm doing this with only standard kitchen utensils, I haven't a hope of duplicating many bakery products, but each loaf is weighed so there is some standardization.
And why do I need all this bread you may ask. I take it to my former workplace and sell it to raise money for our Relay for Life team, which goes to the American Cancer Society. The oatmeal bread has been a consistent best seller for me, but I try to include a variety during the course of the month. I try to include a new recipe once or twice a month just to make things more interesting for me.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I just watched the Presidential Inauguration this morning (Live-streaming on the computer--who'd have thought!) and was so glad I wasn't there in person. I cannot believe that people were taking babies and small children--it's cold, it's crowded, restrooms are few and far between. Yes, it is an historic occasion, but your child's welfare should come first.
But let me step down from that soapbox to step onto another. I loved the relative simplicity of the ceremony. While there were thousands there, and a certain amount of protocol getting everyone up on the platform who needed to be there, the ceremony itself was brief and to the point.
Obama's speech was inspiring and filled with words of conciliation, both for those of us within the country and without. He acknowledged that all is not well with America, but stressed several times the personal responsibility we all share to get it back on track. There were other things, but I thought it was a most impressive speech.
I had some quibbles with 1) Aretha Franklin's version of the song, because if they hadn't told me what she was singing I wouldn't have recognized it from her words (unintelligible) or tune; and 2) the "poem". I know poetry doesn't have to rhyme, I know poetry doesn't have to make linear sense; I know even blank verse should have some kind of meter. The poem today was a garbled collection of words with no cohesion and all the meter of a two-legged horse with a wooden leg and a crutch.
But enough of nitpicking. Let us go on with our historic moment and make life better for everyone.
(Jumping down from all soapboxes now.)

Friday, January 9, 2009

I just read in today's paper that the Post Office will be revising routes, consolidating and tightening up things. Business and revenues are down and they are, of course, expected to show a profit. And to think I was only talking on my last post about the joys of catalogs. I don't know if my route will be affected--it sounds more like in some of the northern parts of Kansas City. I hope that I do keep my same mailman. He's been on the route for a long time and is usually very punctual.
I've been reading like crazy--way too many books checked out from the library. I got hold of two old Nero Wolfe mysteries that I missed in the days of my youth. Our local library must not have owned them, because I devoured all of those books with a passion. I was quite entranced with Archie Goodwin at the time, although I must admit my devotion faltered a little when I found out he didn't like women who didn't close their dresser drawers completely. Right now I have The Golden Spiders and Some Buried Caesar in hand, and I'm finding Archie not quite so entrancing. Sometimes it doesn't pay to grow up, I guess.
Anyway, I just finished reading The Wind in the Willows. I know it's a children's book, but I never read it as a child. I had been taken to see the Disney version when I was about 7 and it made absolutely no sense to me. The only other contact I had was at Disneyland when I did the Mr Toad's Ride. That also made no sense to me. I did find the book quite delightful. The four main characters were so well drawn and the relationships are so life-like. Anyway, I'm glad I got to the book. I'm now in the middle of Mark Twain's Life on the Mississippi for a book group.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Holidays are officially over

Christmas, the Twelve Days of and all, is officially over.
My sister would have it that you should be able to get all your Christmas stuff packed away in two hours or less. I would have it that it would be better just to have maid service, but that's a dream that I won't see any time soon.
I got the last of the decorations down to the basement and took the wreath off the door. I must admit the house looks a little bare now, but it will soon be February and time for Groundhog's Day and for the Valentine decorations.
Now I have time to file my catalogs and toss the old ones. I love looking through catalogs. It amazes me sometimes at the things people come up with for other people to buy. Of course, I only buy the necessary stuff--clothes, books, Christmas gifts, books, books, and books. So bring on the catalogs, I say. Where would the Post Office be without me!