Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Trip to the "Candy" Store

Let me take you on a little trip to the candy store...well, a trip to a gardener's "candy" store, that is!

I love flowers and veggies, but I'm a gardener only in the loosest terms.  Mr. Handsome-and-Handy has been bitten by the gardening bug lately, though, and he prepped some planters and wanted me to do a little shopping.

Hmm.  Flowers?  Shopping?  I'm so there.  And I knew just the place for it.  I think I'll just let the photos do the rest of the talking....

Here's the place!  It's like a botanical garden, but everything is for sale!

This is a small section out front - perennials and roses

I thought of Lori when I saw these!

I was really tempted to buy this peony, but I've never grown them, $32.50 is kind of an expensive experiment to try on the gopher-and-snail farm that is our garden.

Here's the inside!  I loved all the hanging baskets.

Did it take a lot of patience to set out all of these impatiens?

I loved this garden-in-a-pot! (Why do mine never look like that?!)

A whole section of just lavenders!

Big, fluffy hydrangeas

Mmmm, freesias!  So fragrant!  I almost bought that one in the foreground.

They fit all this in one container!  ($140?!?  I'll pass.)

A quiet corner of the nursery grounds.  At least the view is free!

This is what "restraint" looks like.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

An Anniversary, A Healthiversary, and a Race Report!

Hello, Blogosphere!

Well, here we are, nearly at the summer solstice!  I've sure missed posting and commenting in blogland, but I have been reading and silently cheering everyone on! 

Much fun and frolic and end-of-the-school-year craziness happened during the past month, but it's done and we're...well, if not fully chillaxin' here in the fog bank, it's a leetle less crazy.  A couple of photos of our goings-on:

Hangin' with my BFF in the PDX.  Some totally worthy chocolatey stuff at Alma!

Dance Recital time!  
We laughed, we cried, it was better than "Cats."
Oh wait.
It was  "Cats."
(Thing 2 was an elegant black kitty, and Thing 1 had a principle role of  "Bustopher Jones")
Now waiting for the Andrew Lloyd Weber ear worms show tunes to exit my brain...

An Anniversary
Today was Mr. Handsome & Handy's and my 14th wedding anniversary!  Don't worry, I'm not going to get all mushy-gushy and stuff.  He doesn't read my blog.  If he did, though, I'd tell him I love him and thank him for the best 17 years ever!  (We met 17 years ago yesterday! ;-)

A "Healthiversary"
Today is also my 3rd "healthiversary."  Or maybe I should say my "re-birthday."  Coincidentally, today's email from Prevention magazine had the subject line, "You've been diagnosed with diabetes.  Now what?"  3 years ago today, that's exactly what happened and what I was wondering.  (Type 2 + horrible cholesterol panel + borderline osteoporosis, oh my!) While at the time it felt horrible, in a way it was a gift.  Diagnosis helped me get the support I needed to regain my health and well-being.  Thanks to my family (especially Mr. Handsome & Handy), my health care team, and you--my wonderful friends in the blogosphere--I'm hanging in there (granted, by a thread or two at times) and keeping healthy.  And oh, I guess I had a little to do with it, too.  Thank you, me of 3 years ago, for digging in and doing the hard work, for working that "IFNO" mindset.  But and most importantly, for making the decision to live instead of merely exist. 

And a Race Report:  The Pillar Point Run 10K Encore!

Sunday was the 2011 Pillar Point Run!  My running has been sporadic lately, but I really wanted to do this in honor of the "healthiversary."

As I wrote in 2009, the Pillar Point Run was my first foray into 10K races. The event features a 10K, 1/2 marathon, and a family fun run to benefit the Coastside Infant Toddler Center. It's small and low-key, but well-organized, with many water stops along the route and friendly volunteers.  And it seems to get better every year!  I realized during the Rock & Roll Las Vegas 1/2 Marathon, I decided then that the 10K distance was just right, and this race confirmed it.  It felt long enough to be a substantial run, but not so long that I was totally incapacitated for the rest of the day.

So I got up bright and early on Sunday...well, early anyway.  It was too foggy for the "bright" part.  I fetched the family donuts, ate a couple of holes with some peanuts and coffee, and biked up to the harbor.  That was a nice warmup!

 My trusty bike at Pillar Point Harbor!  
(Where you wouldn't know it was late Spring....)

I registered for the race and milled around with the rest of the 10K crew, the 1/2 marathoners having left a half hour before us.  The starting point was a little different than the previous time I ran the course, but otherwise it was the same route on my home turf, the Coastside trail! 

At 8:30 we were off!  I felt a giddy little rush as our pack started off, but the gazelles quickly surged forward and the rest of us strung out a bit.  I tried keeping pace with a girl in a purple t-shirt, but she was a bit too quick, so I ended up falling in behind a couple of women, one of whom was running with a jogging stroller.  Their pace seemed a little slow at first, but it ended up being a good thing that I held to it, because it ensured that I had enough in me to run almost the entire way.

I usually don't run with music, but I decided to do so in this race.  I kept it low enough so that it didn't tune all the sounds around me out, like songbirds in the meadows and the ocean.  I don't know that I'll run every race that way, but it sure helps with the longer distances.  (They are not allowed in triathlon events...then again, I can't watch movies when I bike, either, and that doesn't stop me from using that to help me stationary bike more enjoyably.)

Before I knew it, we were at the turnaround point!  Which is right across the highway from my neighborhood.  But there was no heading home for another donut hole:  a big loop around the parking lot, and we were heading back to the harbor.  I walked a little while my "pace stroller" stopped briefly for a break at the water station, then fell in behind them again heading back.

Then the coffee caught up with me.  I held out until the Dunes Beach restrooms (flush toilets, as opposed to pit toilets - that's one of the great parts of the Coastside trail, all the state beaches mean plenty of facilities) and made my stop.  But oh no!  The pace stroller was way ahead!  I started running in earnest then.  It felt kind of good, there was one point where I felt almost giddy, probably the endorphins.  Those gals were rather hard to catch, but I got almost caught up at around mile 5.  Then the stroller's passenger - quite the little mobile cheering crew, cooing at all the runners coming the other direction - started melting down.  "Pace stroller" turned into Formula 1 vehicle, but my body was saying, "Run your own race, now, girlfriend!"  So I didn't try to keep up as they booked it for the finish line.  I finished with a respectable 1:15 and some change, and I was very pleased with that!  When I looked back, I saw that it was only 6 minutes more than my 2009 time, and I was running much more frequently that year (not to mention carrying about 10 pounds less, *cough*).

At the finish line!
(And why IS there never any rum?!?)

I felt like a little post-race fueling, since I also had to bike home, so I probably added about another 1/3 mile or so walking to & from the gelato place. (Lori, they had your macarons there, too!  Another time, though, the gelato was calling...)  The ride home was so pleasant!  I passed a few of the 1/2 marathoners, and enjoyed the sights and sounds of the trail.  All-in-all, it was a nice way to celebrate my "healthiversary."

But at least there was gelato!  Yummy-yum-yum!
(I was not the only racer who stopped at Mezza Luna Cafe for a little "schmackerel of something sweet," as Pooh-bear would say...)

So...anyone up for one of the running events at the inaugural Half Moon Bay International Marathon on September 25?  There's a free 5K, a 10K, a 1/2 marathon, and of course the full marathon.  I'm feeling kind of torn about which one to sign up for.  I know I can do the 10K and feel good, the 1/2 marathon would require more training and be a bit more painful...and then there's the full deal, a distance I have never done and never thought I wanted to do.  Not to mention, it's only a few months away.  But sheesh, there's just something about the idea of saying that I participated in the first one...  (Having chatted about it with my doctor yesterday, she said that if I trained for it and just aimed for completion, I could do it if I wanted to.) Something to think about, anyway.