I dream of becoming a better gardener. I am not sure why I've never really followed through. This year I decided to start small and am trying to care for one small dahlia and my jade plant. Hopefully by this fall I'll be ready to plant some bulbs for next spring. In the meantime, I will keep on dreaming of growing wonderful and unusual daisies, like these that I saw at a botanical garden a few weeks ago. Come to think of it, many of my neighbors have been successful with daisies. I think I could be too.
A few weeks ago I went to visit my mom and stepdad in Arizona. While summer is a particularly hot time of year to visit, we found ways to escape the heat. My stepdad suggested we eat lunch at Pita Jungle on Saturday, which was delicious (love me some falafel!) and also had an amazing atmosphere (please come decorate my house, Pita Jungle!). Saturday night I requested mexican food and beer, and we did very well at a place with outdoor seating and mist-ers to keep us cool. And a trip to Mom's just wouldn't be complete without getting froyo, and Zoyo Frozen Yogurt has moved up in my book by offering these genius little dividers, so you can get two flavor profiles in one cup. I did fruity on one side and caramel-cookie dough on the other. Yum.
But I promise, my weekend in AZ was about way more than eating. We practiced for our future career as a family band (joke. kind of.) and talked and walked and napped and shed a few tears together and video-chatted with my nephew (who demonstrated animal noises for us) and mom cooked eggs to order and we all talked some more.
The weekend was over way too soon and I returned to my normal life. But I'm so glad I went to visit.
1. I've switched to tea instead of coffee, at least temporarily. Apparently I was really addicted to coffee because I can't stop talking about it. 2. Loved these quilts at the NW Folklife Festival. 3. I'm spending my weekend dogsitting (among other things) my dear dog-friend Truman. Walks with Peet and Truman are surprisingly pleasant.
I scrambled out of bed at 5:30am and then checked the weather. It was colder than I anticipated, so I had serious questions about which pants to wear. Once I resolved the pants issue (the longer ones, with pinned-up hems so they didn't drag on the wet ground) it was on to the breakfast issue, and we determined the best available option was leftover chicken pot pie. Eating slightly weird breakfasts with my sister is somehow pretty normal. All of a sudden she pointed out that our ride would be picking us up in 6 minutes and I realized I'd better make sure I was ready to go! I was.
Our lovely chauffeurs (chauffeses?) dropped us off and it took us a few minutes to figure out where to go, but when we did, we started to grasp just how many people 10,000 people really are. Answer: a really, really long line. We waited about 45 minutes to get to the starting line. We determined that the largest group of racers were in the 10-minute mile category. I challenged myself to spot other runners whose race bibs showed the same first names as ours, and I did it. Also, we spotted some truly amusing wonder woman socks (with capes!).
We jogged for a few blocks and then set in on our walking pace. I felt a bit like I was working to keep up with her for most of the 13 miles, but it was a good motivation to just keep going.
Awesome things about the Lincoln Marathon: the impromptu aid stations (cookies, oranges, lemonade, mountain dew); the "real" aid stations with straws in the gatorade cups; yellow gatorade; seeing our very own cheerleaders on the route multiple times; the bands on the route, including one singing "foxy runner"; ending in the stadium; hearing people that I didn't know cheer us on by name; finding the motivation to keep going and keep going FAST because at some point even though you can't feel your legs you can feel the desire to just keep going and do yourself proud. There's also not much I'd rather do on a chilly weekend morning than spend it entirely in quality sister time.
Oh, and eating Amigos soft tacos and crisp meat burritos as a Sunday family dinner afterward was pretty swell, too.
I spent a recent Monday in Lawrence, Kansas. I'm not sure if it's that I miss the city or miss being a college student there or miss being 20 years old or just miss that amazing time in life where I lived with my best friends, and the ones I didn't live with were only a few blocks away. How did I decide to move so far away from my friends and from this little city?
I'm taking some vacation time to travel this week and it's been really nice. I flew in to Lincoln, but then rented a car and drove down to Kansas to visit friends in Kansas City and Lawrence. On my way back up to Nebraska I ran into road construction on Highway 75, which is a two lane road. That led to stopping on the road and turning off the car for about 10 minutes while waiting for the go-ahead to go through.
That's right, I found myself a little traffic jam, right smack in the middle of nowhere.
delicious things I've eaten this week in celebration of my birthday
On a long walk a few weekends ago, I found this public staircase between some houses, going up a very steep hill. I climbed it, mostly out of curiosity as to where it led, and learned that it is a staircase with many, many steps. I quickly gathered that some people go seek out those steps and go up and down a few (several?) times for a workout. Whew. Yep. That would be an effective workout.
A few years ago, my sister mentioned that she thought it would be fun to walk a half-marathon together sometime. I agreed. This winter we decided "sometime" was May 2013. The only downside to this plan is that we do not live close enough to each other to train together, so I've been training on my own. I've tried to build up my mileage over time and I've taken some really long walks the past few weekends. Yesterday I walked 10 miles and felt pretty strong and capable. Thirteen miles is a long way, but I am so looking forward to the race and having a couple of walking buddies to share it with. Thirteen in 2013!