Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Break Time

Be back to blogging soon (maybe?)

Monday, March 3, 2014


The weather people are naming snowstorms now, this one is called Titan. Snow is falling hard and should continue until this evening.  Every blogger has to include a deck photo of the snow accumulation (or if you are a fitness blogger, you need to include a picture of your Garmin or your feet while wearing your Brooks Pure Flows or some other fabulous shoe that Linda can't afford since she buys her sneakers at Marshal's on clearance.  (No digs or sarcasm intended, just the truth.) Since it will be a day where absolutely nothing blog worthy will happen, you get to see both pictures of Linda's favorite running shoe and snow on our deck.  Hold on, it's going to be exciting.
In all seriousness, these running sneakers from Target are really comfortable and at less than $25, a good buy.  Once she got a free pair of $150 sneakers from a company to test and review.  They killed her feet the first 3 weeks and she had all sorts of ankle and foot issues. 
This is the first few inches of the 12" that are predicted for today.  Linda was already out early shoveling the deck, steps and a patch of the backyard for us to pee.  When she had Sheba (the Siberian Husky) and Snickers (Doberman/German Shepard) she never once had to shovel the steps or deck.  They would go barreling down the steps and make their own paths.  Linda would have to drag them both back inside on snowy days.  They loved to romp and run through the drifts!
She called her the Demon Dog.  Her eyes were so blue they always photographed red.
Since my belly is only 4" off the ground, I can't physically get down the stairs when there is snow, so it's not like I'm being a pampered princess.  Chimi is bigger than me, he is just to afraid to go down the steps if he can't see each and every one.

There was a day when Chimi and I were the same size.  That lasted about one week before he started his growth spurt.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Surprise shower & more snow

Last night the family gave Sarah a surprise shower for the baby who will be here soon.  She really was surprised!  She almost looked shocked when she walked in and saw everyone.  Linda was totally lame and didn't take one picture, but she'll see if she can get a few from her brother or sister (who took a ton!)  Everyone chipped in and bought all of Sarah's favorite foods. Beef on Weck, shrimp, potato salad, mac-n-cheese and Nutella desserts (from recipes that she had pinned on her Pintrest board.)  She got a lot of cute baby outfits, a mini motorcycle made out of diapers and an amazing double stroller!

 Too bad Sarah didn't get this Crib Dribbler.  Could come in handy for those middle of the night thirsty cries. If it only had an exercise hamster type wheel, it would be perfect!

This is the first day in as long as Linda can remember that she hasn't worked out.  Not even a walk.  This morning after only 5 hours of sleep, she turned off the 5:30 a.m. alarm and blew off the gym before church.  Instead, she planned on running outside after church.  Due to extreme laziness, that didn't happen.  The temperature outside was fine, she wasn't overly tired or sore but she just never got around to actually going.  I doubt she'll be doing much tomorrow (besides shoveling!)  The predictions are 8-12 inches of snow right through Monday evening.  Linda has plenty to keep her busy at home... Like dressing Chimi up as a bride.

Chimi Bridezilla

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Cookie Success!

Finally!  The latest batch of chocolate chip cookies didn't come out flat.  She used two new recipes and made a few changes. This time she didn't over-mix the dry ingredients into the creamed butter/sugar/egg mixture.  The Oatmeal-Banana-Chocolate Chip are her favorite.
Anyone who knows Linda knows that she loves to Swiffer our hardwood floors.  With two dogs in the house, Swiffing once a day sometimes isn't enough for her liking.  This morning she read that the wet Swiffer pads are dangerous to animals.  The pets could lick their paws and get sick from the cleaner on the pads.  This was not good news since she uses the wet pad every other cleaning. She decided to do some  more research and found out on Snopes that the sick pet stories are just rumors. The wet pads and Jet mop are fine and pose no danger to dogs or babies.  Whew... Linda would not be happy if she had to find an alternate method of daily cleaning.  Once a week she has been doing a deeper cleaning with the washcloth method (tucking the corners in the grippers) and a little hardwood cleaner.
Cleaning the hardwood is her favorite chore.  It's so relaxing.
Chimi is being strange and is afraid of his food bowl again.  He went through this particular drama sometime last month, but be seemed to get over it and was fine.  Today he refused to go near the bowl; shying away and acting scared out of his wits. Linda changed the food into another bowl and tried again.  He finally ate some, but he took the bites out of the bowl and ran to hide while he ate it.  Such a strange dog.
"So what?  Things scare me. At least I don't have cleaning OCD."

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Just Add Water

Today Linda took Penelope to the library for their Thursday playtime. When they pulled into the parking lot, she yelled "Look, Kevin and Ryan's car!" They didn't see Kevin and Ryan (her friends), but they did see another friend from church.  She recognized the car, just got confused who it belonged to. They just missed Toddler Story time, so instead they tried preschool story time. She actually would have done OK, but decided in the first 5 minutes that she NEEDED an APPLE RIGHT NOW for she would faint from hunger.  It didn't seem like a good idea to bring the snack bag out in the library story room, so they left and found a comfy place to read some books while she snacked.  Penny's new favorite books are actually the same ones that her Daddy and Aunt Tierney used to love; Richard Scarry word books.
Penny was fascinated with this page in particular.  She loved the rolling pin, sink and best of all, the pan with the eggs and bacon in it.  They had to keep turning back to the page because she asked "Nana, where did the eggs go?"

Linda stopped at the local pet store to get a bigger bag of the food we love so much.  This small bag makes 66 pounds of dog food!  How crazy is that?  When you mix the dehydrated food with water, it grows like those magic pills that turn into spongy animals.  Instead of animals, you get full size peas, carrots, veggies and oats. 
Linda used to love these when she was little! I wonder if she ever swallowed one.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sun Snow

I wish this picture was better.  It was snowing really hard yesterday but the sun was shining bright and warm.  This morning, schools weren't canceled or delayed (great for Linda being able to teach her morning classes!) but it was snowing really hard when she had to leave for the gym.  Our road is a good size hill and it hadn't been treated or plowed.  The little Kia made it up the  hill, but the rear of the car was a little sideways.  Once Linda got to the main road, it wasn't too slippery. She usually has about 25-35 people in each class but today only 1/2 that showed up.  The snow is gone from the roads and sidewalks now, so the afternoon classes should be back to normal.

We are trying out this new dog food that Linda found on sale.  She was skeptical since I hate anything different in my bowl.  Surprise!  I love it and lick my bowl clean.  Chimi took a couple of feedings to get used to it but now he is fine.  Linda mixes in a little chicken (or you can use any protein) and a dab of olive oil. 
Good for you food
This little bag of dehydrated flakes makes over 8 pounds of dog food.  There are peas, sweet potatoes, oats, zucchini, carrots and other healthy things that grow 10x the size when mixed with hot water.  She only bought a small bag just in case we hated it.  Today before church she'll stop at the pet store and buy the larger bag.   By the way, Chimi doesn't love his fire hose toy.  He'll only play with it if Linda tosses it around or plays tug of war with him.  Lately, he wants to just snuggle under the blankets and nap.
90% of his day is spent just like this
There hasn't been any new food recipes or baking in a few days.  The giant container of salad greens Linda bought on Sunday has an expiration date of March 1st, so lunch and dinner have to be a salad until its gone.  (Oh, and the reheated pizza wasn't any better the second time.  There is still another meal left of it and she is not wasting food.  It looks like soggy, bland pizza with her salad for dinner again tonight.)

Monday, February 24, 2014

3 Fails

Linda is in a huge cookie slump.  For some reason, every time she tries to make chocolate chip cookies, they come out flat.  Every time.  She has tried 3 different recipes and each time, totally flat as a pancake cookies.  The one she made today had specific instructions: Cream butter, sugars with paddle of stand mixer for 3 minutes... add egg one at a time, mixing 1 minute between eggs..etc, etc, etc.  She was super careful to measure properly and get the eggs and butter to room temp first.  She chilled the dough.  Used cool cookie sheets.  Preheated oven. Parchment paper instead of spray Pam.   All the right steps didn't help.  She even googled "why are my cookies flat" to find some answers. So frustrating.
She is also failed at pizza for dinner.  Tonight she cheated and used a crust that comes in a tube.  Actually, that was the only tasty part of the pizza.  The toppings were blah and the diced tomatoes made it too wet and soggy, even though she didn't put too many on  It wasn't totally gross tasting and she is definitely going to eat it the rest of the week.  Maybe it can be salvaged when she reheats it.
2 out of 5 stars
Sarah sent Linda the most adorable video of Penny tap dancing in the bathtub but she can't figure out how to post it.  The video won't process properly so all you get is the thumbnail.  Third fail of the day. 

Sunday Funday

It's a good thing Linda got out on Sunday to run, because the Polar Vortex cold is supposed to be coming back this week.  Yep, light snow predicted for Wednesday.  Sadness. 

Sunday used to be her push-as-hard-as-you-can running day, but not anymore.  It was just too stressful and there is absolutely no reason why Linda should even do that.  There is nothing but pride on the line to beat her last time (and we know how that goes!)  Running fast makes it hard for her to teach her 3-4 classes each day without getting injured.  For awhile, she is just going to run for fun.  Sunday mornings run was just that, super fun!  She got up at 5:15 a.m., but since she was going to run in the woods on the trail, it was smarter to wait until it got light.  (You know...Lions and Tigers and Bears..OH MY!) 

Instead, she had some great quite time and devotions, did laundry and read until it was light enough.  The weather was still chilly starting out, but she was soaked through when she got back. She still had time after the run to shower, change into nice clothes, meet Tierney for breakfast and be at church by 9:30 a.m.
A few of the stream crossings were tricky since the water was flowing over the top of some of the stepping stones.  She has slipped off more than once, and even landed on her butt! Chimi has fallen in a bunch of times because not all of the stones are equally spread.  He gets going and sometimes misses a step.  You would think that would scare him, but he doesn't seem to mind getting wet.  So far today, he has displayed just about every one of these scared signs while Linda cleaned the house.  He hates the vacuum, mop and when she empties all the smaller trash cans into a large garbage bag. (The plastic bag monster is one of his worse fears.) 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Spring Teaser

It has been so long since Linda has done her daily 3 miles outside that she forgot how to work her Garmin watch.  After pressing all the buttons multiple times, she figured it out.  Instead of dragging Chimi along and getting frustrated she just did half with him at his pace, then dropped him off at home to finish alone.  Here is the funny thing.  It took 38:30 minutes total and that's with the first 1.5 miles walking fast with Chim (and even stops for him to sniff around.)  He was so happy he didn't have to run.  Linda was able to wear short sleeves and shorts (64 degrees!) but she still had to jump over snow piles and take some detours.  Unfortunately, it's supposed to get really cold again this coming week.  Just.Done.With.Winter.
RIP Snowman
Our local roads are so full of potholes that Linda has to have some mad defensive driving skills so her front end alignment doesn't get all whack.  There are 3 bad potholes in a row on the way to the gym that she keeps forgetting about.  It was kind of nice to see that the trail maintenance people actually repaired the potholes so people don't break an ankle running.
Look how much weight Chimi has lost.  He's looking really skinny.
We'll see if this new non-destructible toy actually lasts.  It's made out of real fire hose material.  Chimi loves it, but there has never been a toy that he hasn't totally destroyed in less than one day. 

Flipping Eggs and The Amazing Musical

Linda is so glad she saved some of Tierney's toys.  Penny came over last night and had a blast playing with Littlest Pet Shop and all of the mini-groceries.  If Linda can find the old Polly Pocket toys, she'll be able to retire a rich woman.  One article said that collectors will pay up to $700 each.  Tier had about 20 of them!   

Her favorite activity of the night was making breakfast for the pets.  These are tiny, tiny replicas.  Penny was able to flip the eggs, put them on a plate and then use the even smaller knife and fork to pretend feed the animals.  Of course Linda might be biased, but she thinks that is amazing motor skills for a 22-month old toddler.
It was long overdue, but Linda gave me a conditioning bath and spent the last hour combing out my undercoat and brushing me until I was silky-soft. We are able to sit in the sun on the deck.  I almost feel asleep while she was doing it because it was so warm and relaxing.
Before... a hot mess

Drying.. looking pretty cute

After...rocking the Lion look

Tierney loves to walk around the house pretending her life is just one big musical stage production.  Even when she was a young girl, she would sing about losing her boots or eating her cereal.  We don't want to hurt her feelings, but it kind of scared both Chimi and I!  (I don't know why the second video says "chimi singing." It would have been pretty funny if he started howling along though.)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A day with the crocodiles

We've had two days of temperatures over 50 degrees and it has been wonderful!  There is still snow on our deck and in our yard, but at least its melted enough that we can walk and have more room to roam around the backyard. It was so nice out today that Linda was able to take Penny to a park next to the Mall.  They had so much fun! 
"Where's Capt. Hook Nana?"
Before they left for their outing, Linda was reading her a Peter Pan story book.  One of Penny's favorite pages is where the crocodiles are swimming after Capt. Hook.  When she saw the crocodile at the park, she was beyond excited. 
This time Linda didn't get motion sickness from the merry-go-round.  It's so weird because every time she has ever taken Penny on the ride, it made her sick for the rest of the day.  Today she got just a little queasy while it was moving, but no head spinning or vertigo when she got off.   Maybe it was because it was such a special ride.  They got to share the carousal with a group of Alzheimer's and dementia patients from a local nursing home.  It made Linda tear up a little bit watching their smiling faces and seeing how much they enjoyed themselves. The nurses that were with the group were so sweet and caring. 
Linda will have to take Penny to the National Zoo one Thursday.  The apparently have a crocodile on their carousal!  How cool would that be Penelope?  Aunt Tierney will have to come because she would love to ride the flamingo wearing one of her Lily dresses. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Pups in a blanket

Yay!  Chim didn't get sick at all today.  No expensive vet bills or giant messes to clean up.  He ate a few small meals today and seemed to be back to his normal neurotic antics.  The main thing Linda is working on with him is his digging.  Not digging in the dirt like a normal dog, but his digging on the couch, bed or blankets.  She has no idea what is going through his mind while he is digging.  Since he has been a newborn pup he has wanted to sleep under blankets.  
This is how Linda finds him every morning when she wakes him up to go outside.
To be fair, I sleep under blankets too!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sick Pup

There was less than 1/2" of snow last night, but schools were delayed this morning.  You know what that means... schools delayed=no classes at the gym.  Linda woke up at 5:00 a.m., looked outside and just had a sinking feeling she wouldn't be working again.  Yep, all  morning classes canceled.  At least she was super productive at home and got lots done. 

Chimi has been sick all day, but he is acting like he feels better tonight.  Linda cleaned up seven pukes (no photos this time, don't worry!) So far he has kept his dinner down.  He'll have to go to the vet tomorrow if he is sick again during the night.
"Sorry for making such a mess"
There was one more homemade pizza dough left, but instead of making a pizza, Linda made a calzone for lunch. She stuffed it with all sorts of yummy veggies and her favorite fresh mozzarella cheese.  It would have been even better with spinach.  Next time.
It was so filling she only ate one of the pieces and saved the rest for another meal. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Now this is a photo...

Almost every single one of the photos on this blog are taken with Linda's iPhone. There are no filters or edits.  Linda is a point, shoot and upload photographer.  (There is that one post where Tierney and Linda were models for a friend starting a photo business. I can't find the link to the site that they posed for, I'll edit this when I do find it.)  Sarah was asked by a different professional JamieRomaezi to model for some shots to include in her portfolio.  Linda only saw one of the photos so far, but it is just beautiful. 
She looks like an Ice Princess!
Sarah is the kind of girl who wouldn't whine at all about trudging through the snow wearing a one shouldered gown while she is 7 months pregnant.  (Linda can barely walk to the mailbox when its cold!)  Hopefully we'll get to see a few more photos from the session soon. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Just Chillin'

So Cozy and warm snuggling with Nana
Penelope came over today after church for lunch and some playtime while her parents enjoyed a special post-Valentine's Day brunch.  She loves riding in her Nana's red car and gets so excited as soon as she recognizes the neighborhood.  After lunch, they played with some of her toys and chased Chimi and I around the house until she was worn out.  They chilled on the couch watching Curious George and reading books waiting for Taylor and Sarah to pick her up.  She was so tired and would have fallen asleep if they had been 15 minutes later.

On Friday, Tierney and Linda went out for lunch to their favorite pizza joint.  There is a Starbucks across the street and since Linda still had a gift card from Christmas, they each got a salted caramel cakepop (ha! she typed camel but caught the typo in time.  A salted camel cakepop would be interesting.)   The first thing Linda said when she saw the picture was that her hands looked scary.  The arthritis in her knuckles has made them swollen and the joints are sore, but she never realized they looked funny.  Right after taking this selfie, Tierney got the cutest haircut ever.  She is making a funny face because she wasn't sure she likes it. You can't tell in this picture, but its also a pretty shade of red.   I LOVE IT! She looks so adorable.
Tierney has a gazillion followers on her blog and Instagram account.  More people read her blog in one day than read my blog in a month! Yay Tierney!!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Be Mine

Thanks for the Valentine's Day treat Tierney! 
Penny liked the little Valentine's Day prize bag that Linda put together for her.  There was a Thomas the Train water bottle, some Dora bath toys, Minnie Mouse big girl panties (she is going whole days and some naps with no accidents!) and a Little Mermaid coloring book with crayons. 
Oh Penny, you aren't supposed to color your face! Silly Girl.
Penny made a card for her Nana.  She loves to trace her hands with her crayons any chance she gets.  Sarah cut it out and they made a sweet card.  Penny is really good with her crayons.  Now she says things like "Nana, gonna color the shoes." She'll try her best to color inside the lines and stay totally focused until its all filled in. 

Hand Made by Penny!
It's been a long time since Linda has talked about her running program.  Running to Linda has always been for fun.  When she started really focusing on increasing her speed, it became stressful for her.  All of a sudden she was too intent on finishing faster than the last run and she stopped enjoying herself.  She is still teaching all her classes, but has decided to stop running for a few weeks.  For the last two weeks (except the 3 days she was sick) she has set the treadmill speed between 4.5-5.0 and increased the incline.  That is walking speed but at 5.0 she can also jog easily if she wants.  Instead of running for 30 minutes, she is walking/jogging between 45-60 minutes.  The temperatures are going up to the high 50's; so maybe being able to run outside will psych her up again.  Yay for warm weather...but too bad for Penny and Sarah's GIANT snowman!

Isn't this the biggest snowman ever?