Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

Feels like I’ve abandoned this blog, however I think simply not having time for it is more accurate.  Life is busy.  Life is good. 

This blog was started from sadness.  I thought the love of my life had just dumped me and I wasn’t sure I was going to survive it.  This blog gave me an outlet and anonymity.  Fabulous strangers told me they understood and sympathized with me. 

Somehow I moved beyond the sadness and spent a lot of time dating a lot of people.  Sometimes there was no date.  Only sex.  It was an interesting period and I cringe at some of my memories, laugh at others and am grateful for most.

I joined Match.com at the very end of July 2011.  It was such a yucky experience that my profile only stayed visible for 11 days.  I met a lot of jerks in 11 days.  Blue Eyes and I exchanged phone numbers during those 11 days but he didn’t actually contact me until after I’d shut my profile down.  I was so jaded and skeptical and sick of wasting my time when he asked to get together I said no.  He asked again and to get him to leave me alone I made our first meeting very difficult on him, with ridiculous location and time specifics.  I told him I only had 27 minutes to spare and if he was late it was his problem, not mine.  None of this phased him.

After that first meeting we dated for awhile and I decided he was too nice.  Too nice.  I broke up with him three months after we started dating because he was too nice. 

Six weeks later he called me out of the blue and asked me out.  Life has been pretty spectacular since that moment.  Ups, downs, twists and turns but spectacular nonetheless.

He has been my husband for a little over a year, yet our wedding is 27 months away.  We do not live under one roof, yet we spend every possible moment together.  I wouldn’t suggest this course of action to anyone, but it works for us right now.

My very best girlfriend took some photographs of us recently.  As I scrolled through them I saw how this lovely man looks at me, how I look at him and what love and happiness looks like, despite the day to day trials of life.





I love this man and all of his niceness.  Despite my personal feelings about Match.com I will forever be grateful that they made “us” possible.

Be well people!



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Happy New Year!!

Since it’s been exactly five months since my last post I just want you all to know I have not abandoned this blog. I’ve just been a little busy.

Since today is the last day of the year I thought I’d make the effort to actually write and reflect on 2014. It was a life changing year for me in a variety of ways.

At the beginning of the year I had the brilliant idea to go back to college and get my BS in nutrition. Yes, I’m 48 years old and have an amazing job working as a corporate paralegal. As a matter of fact I’ve been a paralegal for over 20 years, however it’s not my passion and you only live once so I considered my options and made the decision. I can retire from the company I work for now in 9 short years. That is to say I can retire with full benefits at 57, even though I won’t be able to draw on them until I turn 62. Nonetheless, I thought that would be a perfect moment in my life to stop doing what I have to do to make as much money as I can, and start doing what I want to do regardless of the financial gain. Hence my degree-seeking behavior.

It’s going well, which is surprising. School and I did not get along many years ago and it’s amazing I finished high school, let alone paralegal school. But apparently things have changed, I’m a little more focused and a tad bit more dedicated to the cause. I’m officially a sophomore (based on my credits) and have maintained a 4.0 since the beginning. Please don’t confuse my 4.0 GPA with the assumption that it’s “easy” for me – it’s not; I’ve cried a lot, stayed up all night a lot, and melted down before finals a lot. Yet I’ve managed to do it, while working my full time, no-walk-in-the-park job, and being present for my kids and Blue Eyes. Of course my kids are 21 and 15½ so being present for them is very different from when they were younger. And Blue Eyes? Well, he lives 46 miles away from me and while we see each other often, being present for him is very different than if we lived together 24/7.

I was pretty focused on paying off debt this year and I’m happy to find here, on the last day of the year, that while it didn’t go as I had imagined (because somehow I thought I could pay off all my debt in a year and still manage to live and not create more debt — ) it did go well. I’m starting 2015 with roughly the same amount of debt, but since my debt load increased during the year due to my oldest son having surgery, I did pretty good. I went on vacation three times, got through all four children’s birthdays, AND got through Christmas without the use of credit. In addition, I paid off the IRS, two credit cards in full and all the medical expenses associated with said child’s surgery (except for the last $40 payment I have to make to the surgeon next week). I’m very pleased. In 2015 I expect to make more of a dent.

It’s a fact that I work to vacation. Seriously.  That’s the reason I go to work every single day. So I can go on vacation. This year I went on three wonderful vacations. Blue Eyes and I hiked 12 miles into the Grand Canyon in March and then 12 miles out a few days later and couched that beautiful trip with some well-deserved recovery (and a little ceremony) in Vegas. It was a spectacular trip.


In July I went to central Oregon with two of my most favorite girlfriends and learned to fly fish (okay, that’s not true. I learned how to stand in the middle of the river and look like I knew how to fly fish.) That was a fun, fun, fun time.


And then in October I met my two brothers and sister in Vegas for a weekend of sibling togetherness which was amazing and wonderful in ways none of us expected. We had not all been together in over two years so it was a banner moment in time.  I love my siblings. ❤ ❤


In addition, Blue Eyes and I went to the Oregon coast and found some new favorite spots we will definitely revisit. All in all my vacation needs were met.


Running fell by the way, way side. I did run a marathon, but only one. I ran the Vancouver USA marathon and felt like I did a good job. I PR’d by a minute or two in general and PR’d the course by 10 minutes so I was happy. Sadly, though I just didn’t make time for running both before and after that marathon. I miss it and have been getting back into it slowly. My Garmin broke and I’ve decided to go without one for a year and see if it changes my feeling about running. I’ve already fretted over the fact that I won’t know how far I’ve run when I have to run X amount of miles, but that’s silly. I’ve run every distance multiple times and I know which routes meet which demands. I think it will be refreshing to not have a Garmin. At least today I think that. I just want to run, and remember that I love it.

I did run a relay event with some girlfriends in November. That was brutal. Six legs covered by 3 women. Originally we had 6 women, but two of them were injured and one went out of town so it came down to three of us. Each one of us ran our legs back to back, which seemed like a good idea initially. But since I hadn’t run in quite some time (um, like the marathon in June) 11 miles kicked my ass good. Still we finished the relay and had a good time and I managed to smile through most of it.

relay run

Other news? Blue Eyes is great. I love him madly and can’t wait until our “wedding” which is officially set for August of 2017 – after my youngest graduates high school.  It’s a formality for our friends and family and while it won’t actually signify the day we got married, very few people will know that and for us it will signify the beginning of when we actually get to live under the same roof 24/7/365. I very much look forward to that. As he says, the light at the end of the tunnel gets brighter as each day passes and it will all be worth it in the end. Here, here. ❤ ❤


I expect 2015 to be wonderful – Blue Eyes and I will go to San Francisco for a few days in March to celebrate the anniversary – San Francisco being one of my favorite places, as well as a place he has not been to (he did drive through one weekend on the way to San Jose, MANY years ago, but that does not count) I am beyond excited to show him this city that I love. Outside of that, I hope to run a couple of marathons, pay off some more debt, create none, continue to do well in school, be happy, stay healthy and stay very grateful for my life.


I wish you all the best in 2015 !


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Last weekend I went camping with two of my dearest girlfriends. For approximately two weeks prior to the trip I had debated with myself about whether or not I would actually go. My debate most often centered on money and my desire to spend as little as possible due to a variety of unexpected expenses this summer. But as the date got closer, my need to get out of town, decompress and feed my soul was far greater than my penny-pinching-debt-pay-down ways.

Friday morning I had to drop my puppy off at the kennel. I always feel guilty about that, even if it’s only for a couple of nights. To ease my own guilt I took him for an early morning run. I reasoned he would be so exhausted from the run he wouldn’t have enough energy to give me his sad puppy eyes when I said good-bye at the kennel. For those of you not familiar with my puppy, here he is.


At a little over 200 pounds he is not a lover of the run, but he does love me and if I want to run with him he will run with me, for at least a little while. I’ve pushed him to run 4 miles before, but his limit is really 2. Friday we ran just under 2 and he was beat. After drinking a bucket of water, he sprawled out on my bedroom floor while I showered and got ready. We went to the kennel and said our good-byes with a minimum of sad looks.

Then I was off to drive 3 hours to my girlfriends home in Terrabonne, or as she calls it “TerraBama.” The day was sunny, the drive was lovely and Mt. Hood was a spectacular site.

mt. hood

I got to C’s house around 10:30 and while she and S finished getting ready I enjoyed a nice cup of hot tea while sitting by her koi pond.

koi pond

Later I sat in her backyard with Frank. C’s standard poodle. You would never know from this picture that just seconds before he was all in my face attacking me.


C had purchased a month’s worth of groceries and after her husband helped us get them all out to the cars we headed to our final destination. Camp Sherman. We arrived a little before 2 and were allowed to check into our cabin a little early. When we got into the cabin we all just kind of stood there looking around in amazement. It was pretty spectacular. The photos online were nice, but actually standing in the cabin looking around was far, far better.

After dropping our things in our bedrooms we opened the French doors and lounged in the Adirondack chairs a few feet from the Metolius River and let the vacation begin. C (who is a master chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris), made Margaritas, fresh salsa and chocolate chip cookies in a matter of minutes. Instantly everything was right in the world.



Later that evening we walked around Camp Sherman for a bit before we had dinner at the Kokanee Café.


Dinner was to celebrate C’s 60th birthday that happened a couple months ago. The Kokanee Café was charming and even though we were in the middle of Central Oregon and the menu was pretty meat heavy I was able to enjoy a wonderful and oh-so-pretty beet salad.


Then we went back to the cabin, sat on the deck and I drank my first glass of bourbon. “Drank” is probably not the right word, it was more like “sip, let it burn down my throat, and then sip again.” Needless to say I was ready for sleep after that.

Saturday morning I got up while the cabin was still quiet and put my running clothes on. It was a pretty, bright and sunny morning and I couldn’t wait to get out there and run. I ran away from the river first, along a bike trail. So, so pretty. Constant reminders of why I love Oregon so much.

Morning run

Morning run6

After that portion of my run I made my way to the bridge we had walked over the night before. I noticed there was a path that ran along both sides of the river so I followed the one on the right. It was amazing. I ran, walked, took pictures, ran some more and was happy to see other runners out.

Morning run4

morning run5

When I got back to the cabin the ladies were up and on the deck. C handed me a cup of tea and I sat for a while before I jumped in the shower. When I got dressed and came out into the living room I was taken by this view. I had to take a picture. So, so happy I decided to come and be a witness.


We drove into Sisters and did some shopping.


I bought some olives (LOVE) and some Strawberry infused balsamic vinegar and C & S bought some clothes. Headed back to Camp Sherman that afternoon C advised S and me that it was time to do some fishing. “If we must” was kind of the attitude S and I had, but since we were gathered to celebrate C, and she wanted to fish, we were fishing.

After we got to the location we had to put on waders and boots. It was painful. The boots were the right size but they seemed to squeeze my foot so painfully tight I could have cried. C swore it would be better as soon as I got in the water but I didn’t believe her. Still we joked and laughed and had the best time, all while preparing to do some fly fishing. It was so fun. Again, glad I had come.



Then I stepped into the water and made my way out to the center of the river. Wow. I am not a fisherman. In fact, I don’t “GET” fishermen. I don’t understand why people fish. It seems boring, time consuming and silly. Um, until I found myself standing in the middle of this rushing river and loved it. Didn’t catch anything, in fact, I wasn’t really trying. Standing in the middle of the river as the water rushed around me, on a beautiful, sunny day brought a peace on me I had not experienced in quite some time. I loved it and while I won’t say that I’ll ever fly fish again, I will most definitely stand in the middle of a river with waders and boots on and hold a fishing pole, just to get that sensation back. Peace. Pure and simple.



After that excursion we went back to the cabin to claim our spots on the back deck, eat munchies and I think I drank a beer as we watched the water. Later that evening C whipped up dinner and after it got dark we walked back to the Kokanee Café to sit in the bar and have a drink together. Wonderfulness.

While C & S were staying one more night, I was leaving on Sunday. I wanted to get back by 1 p.m. to pick up my puppy from the kennel so that required I leave shortly after 9. I got up early to run and say good-bye to Camp Sherman and the Metolius and again spend some time being grateful for my life.

When I got back to the cabin I enjoyed a cup of tea, jumped into the shower, passed out hugs and headed home. I made pretty good time considering I went home over the Santiam Pass, which is a two lane road with not enough passing lanes and way, way, way too many motorhomes traveling. Since I made good time I stopped in Salem to see my niece. Her and her fiancé have a dessert company and they were selling their products at the Salem Bite & Brew. She was surprised and happy to see me since it’s been awhile and she asked me to hang around for a bit because her mother would be arriving soon. It was worth the wait! I was thrilled to get to see and chat with my former sister-in-law. It had been about 6 years since I’d seen her last. After that reunion I got it in gear and went to pick up the puppy.

When I got home I put my stuff away and lounged in my quiet house reflecting on the weekend and the joy of friendship and family that will always be family regardless of circumstances. There is a lot going on in my life right now, but all things considered I have very little, if anything, to complain about. I’m happy, healthy and content with me. Can’t ask for much more.

C got us a gift to commemorate our trip at Camp Sherman. The bracelets have the longitude and latitude location of the cabin we stayed at. So unique and thoughtful.



Until next time people! Be well!

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Wow, so I ran a marathon on Sunday.  Yesterday.

It’s still a little surreal that I did it.  And that’s a little freaky since it wasn’t my first marathon, it was my fifth.  I knew what I was doing, it wasn’t new territory and on top of that it wasn’t even a new marathon.  It was one I had run before.  Albeit 3 years ago.  When I ran it in 2011 it was my first marathon.  It was kind of scary then, I didn’t have any idea what to expect.  This year not only did I know what to expect, I was more familiar with the area since Blue Eyes lives in a town a stone’s throw from Vancouver and I’ve become quite familiar with it.

Friday before the marathon Blue Eyes and I drove to Eugene and packed a Uhaul with the boy’s stuff to move him home.


I didn’t pack, lift or carry.  I supervised, but the drive down and the drive back was tiring to an extent.  Not to mention I had spent the first three hours of the day in a Committee meeting that was BORING and drained me of any energy I might have otherwise had.  And since the Uhaul only had two seats I sat on a makeshift seat made of plastic bags filled with clothes on the way home.  Ow.  My butt was numb twenty minutes into the drive.

Saturday was supposed to be for resting, and for the most part it was.  I watched a couple of episodes of Orange is the New Black (okay, yes.  I’m addicted.  Thank God there are only two seasons).  I washed my hair.  I puttered around my house until it was time for me to go up to Blue Eye’s house.  Once I got up there we went to dinner.  I wanted something Asian.  Good chow mien would have made me happy.  The place we intended to go to for that turned out to have moved somewhere not convenient so instead we went to B.J.’s.  I’m on the fence about B.J.’s.  They have a good selection of beer, but since it was the night before a marathon I wasn’t drinking beer.  They have a ridiculously large book like menu that I’m always annoyed with by the time I get through it and realize there isn’t much for me to choose from since I’m a vegetarian.  That’s what happened so I ended up ordering a pasta dish that turned out to be yucky.  I was so disappointed it put an obvious damper on my otherwise happy mood.  I ate about a quarter of it and then I waited for Blue Eyes to finish his meal so we could leave.  Thing is, even though I didn’t eat much I wasn’t hungry.  So I didn’t eat anything else.

Mistake #1 – For the entire day of Saturday I ate 1 protein type bar, a banana, a blueberry bagel with jam and a quarter of a plate of angel hair pasta with some gross butter sauce on it.  That’s it.

Mistake # 2- Water consumption was nil on Friday and Saturday.  Thursday I drank over a gallon of water.  That was Thursday.  Friday I maybe had 8 ounces of water because we were driving back and forth from Eugene and I didn’t want to have to pee all the time, and then after we turned the Uhaul in Blue Eyes and I went to a local tap room and I drank a pint of beer.  8 ounces of water and 16 ounces of beer and I peed all freaking night.  I think I got up 8 times to pee on Friday night.  Saturday I never thought about the water, I was puttering, watching my show, washing my hair.  Not drinking water.  I think I drank maybe another 8 ounces all day and then at dinner I drank about 8 ounces while I waited for Blue Eyes to finish his meal.  That’s it.

Soooo those mistakes under my belt I slept well Saturday night and got up bright and early on Sunday.  I ate a banana and Blue Eyes drove me to Vancouver, walked me over to the starting line, stood and waited while I went potty, chatted with some of my running chick friends and then took a selfie with me.


Then he left me and I got ready to run.  Still excited.

They had three waves.  The fast people, the slow people who weren’t walking and the walkers.  I was in the second wave and I got behind the 5 hour pace group.  I kept telling myself to remember to just run a nice steady pace.  I didn’t want to get caught up in that frenzy when a marathon starts and start running hard.  I had 26.2 miles to go and I didn’t want to use up what I had in the first 3 miles.  Even going slow and comfortable I passed the 5 hour pace group and ran on.  I never looked behind me because that tends to stress me out.  I don’t want to know how many people are behind me, or not behind me.  I was listening to music so I couldn’t even hear people come up on me, which was also nice.  The first 12 or 13 miles are an out and back situation through an industrial area.  It’s pretty boring, but you turn around at this park on the river which is nice.  I would guess all the way out to the turn around is about 6.5 or 7 miles.  I’m not sure.  What I am sure of is that the first elite runners passed me coming back before I reached 5 miles.  Elites amaze me.  I don’t want to be one, but I certainly find them fascinating.

I took my headphones out before we reached the turn around so I could take a break and listen to my breathing.  When I did that I was able to tell that the 5 hour pace group was right behind me.  Not close enough for me to make out their conversation, but close enough for me to know it was them because it was a big group of people running, talking and laughing together.  I prepared for them to pass me, and they did, right when we came into the park.  I ran with them and every time I slowed down a little bit and they inched away from me I would make myself run faster just so I could catch up.  I played that game with myself for probably 3 miles.  But then I decided I really didn’t care that much.  I just wanted to enjoy the run, so I let them go.

I kept an eye on them, as well as the other people I’d been leap frogging from the beginning.  There was a tall black man who ran at a really nice, easy pace that I followed for awhile early on.  I liked his pace and I figured I could keep up with him.  I named him “Lurch” because he was so freaking tall.  When he got way ahead of me I could still see him because of his height.  He got really, really far ahead of me.  There was a man I named “B.O. Santa” because he had long gray hair and a really shaggy, really long gray beard and he was running without a shirt on (it was not attractive) and the first time he passed me the B.O. almost wiped me out.  I’m not judging him.  We were all out there running hard and I’m sure none of us smelled pretty, but this man smelled so bad when he passed me the first time I had to slow to a shuffle so he could get far enough away from me so I couldn’t smell him.  And then I watched other people react to him when he passed them.  Which made me feel not so bad.  There was a rather large woman who I didn’t name but we leap frogged each other a lot.  At one point she got really far ahead of me and I was sure I’d never see her again.  In fact all three of these people I was sure I would never see again at one point.  They seemed to be THAT far ahead of me.

Around mile 14 I drank a 5 hour energy drink.  I am not one who can handle caffeine so I wasn’t sure I wanted to take the drink, but I figured I’d give it a try and see what happened.  Worst thing that could have happened was I’d get a terrible headache and feel like crap for the remainder of the race.  What actually happened though is I felt instantly better than I had, even though I didn’t realize I didn’t feel that hot.  As I told Blue Eyes later, though, I’m not sure whether it was the drink or the fact that we were finally back into “town” and away from the industrial area and there is something about running through neighborhoods that makes me feel good about running.  It might have just been that, or it might have been the drink.  I’ll have to give it a go at my next marathon and see what happens.  After mile 14 I came upon and passed the large woman.  In fact when I passed her I felt so confident in my running I was sure I would not see her anymore.  I was right.

I caught up with B.O. Santa too and then we leap frogged some more.  I actually think he crossed the finish line before me, but for the last 10 miles we were pretty close.  I’d just hold my breath every time I passed him.

Everything was dandy, (even though I didn’t come upon the 5 hour pace group again), until I passed mile 16 or 17.  My calves started cramping up on me.  Not just a little.  It was the most excruciating pain I’d ever experienced and I continued to run with it until I almost fell.  I stretched out my calves and walked a little, and then ran.  Until they cramped up again.  It was the cycle.  It sucked.  At mile 18 I saw Lurch, which surprised me.  I hadn’t seen him for quite some time and I’d imagined he was uncatchable.  I saw him, I hurt, but I passed him and didn’t look back.  Never saw him again after that.  I love when that happens.

Blue Eyes stepped out at Mile 20 and I was thrilled to see him.  I fell into his arms and told him I was hurting and that I wanted to stop.  He totally ignored me and told me the 5 hour pace group had just passed not to long ago.  So I ran on.  The people running the half marathon started a couple hours after the full.  Actually I think someone told me they started at 10 a.m., we started at 7, so it was 3 hours.  Anyway, by the time I got to mile 20 I was amidst half marathoners who were walking.  Even though I was hurting it was a boost to my ego to pass so many people, even if they hadn’t come as far as I had.

The run/cramp up/walk cycle got old quick and I was kinda irritated.  I calculated in my mind that I would likely not beat my best marathon time, but I would definitely beat my time from the first time I ran the same course.

When I was less than half a mile from mile marker 26 I met a hill.  It wasn’t the worst hill I’d ever seen, but it was a hill and I was hurting.  I ran up some of it and walked up some of it.  At the top of the hill was a volunteer with a really deep loud voice.  He was saying things like “Come on Young People get up this hill!”  “You’re less than half a mile from the finish!”  He said a lot of things that I can’t remember, but hearing him made me laugh and he instantly became my favorite volunteer.  His chatter never stopped, he just kept repeating his six or seven phrases and when you reached the top he high fived you, hugged you or gave you some other form of encouragement.  I told him he was awesome as he gave me a high five and he thanked me.  Blue Eyes was standing there with him too.

Blue Eyes walked with me a ways and then told me I was really close and he would meet me at the finish.  I ran down a little hill and turned to see the mile 26 marker and the final stretch.  Lots of people were hollering and I started running a little faster.  OH MY GOD my calves hurt and I wanted to walk, but you can’t walk in the chute!  I kept a silent prayer going asking God to please not let my legs seize up and have me fall flat on my face until I crossed the finish.  As is generally the case, he did me one better and I managed to cross the finish, walk over and get my big-ass medal, a banana and some Sun Chips before I thought I would fall over.  Blue Eyes was there then and he massaged my calves for me for a good 10 minutes.  I love him.

I was a little disappointed because while I was sure I had beat my course PR, I was also sure I’d not beat my overall marathon PR.  I even told RunnerGirl that on Facebook when she asked if I’d gotten a PR.

Today as I was putting the information into my spreadsheet, however, I realized I was wrong.

I finished the course 10 minutes quicker than I’d finished three years ago, so that was right.  But I also finished 2 minutes better than my best marathon so while it’s not a huge PR, it is a PR all the same AND I honestly believe that had my calves behaved (or maybe had I drank some water, taken a salt tab, and eaten properly the day before) the outcome would have been much better.  No way to know for sure.  Guess I’ll just have to wait to see what happens at Portland.

post race

I can’t wait to see the photos from the race.  There were a ton of photographers out there so my odds are good for a decent picture.  🙂  We’ll see.  Anyway, even though today was a little difficult in the walking department, I feel good and I look forward to training for the next one.  After I take a week off, that is.

Take care people!!


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Hello People!

I hope you’re well.  Today is the last day of my ten-day vacation.  Tomorrow it’s back to work and back to life as I knew it before vacation. . . sorta.  I’m here to blog about the trip, relive some of my favorite moments and mentally prepare for tomorrow.

Blue Eyes and I flew out to Vegas late Friday evening.  I had worked all day and was exhausted but I was running on excitement for the trip we planned more than nine months prior.  We got into Vegas extremely late, but since Sin City doesn’t sleep, that hardly mattered.  We picked up our rental car and made our way to the icky, gross motel that we were staying at for the night.  The place had a smell.  What’s worse is that by morning I couldn’t smell THE smell, but I knew it was there.  I chose the dive because we were literally there for all of eight hours and it was cheap.  We met a hooker who was just getting off work the next morning when we left.  She was nice and had great shoes, but I will not choose this motel ever again.

We had a couple of errands to run Saturday morning before an appointment at noon.  We got everything done and were ready to be picked up at the appointed time.  The appointment went smoothly, we left very happy and a little bit changed – it was pretty spectacular and a lot of fun.


We had a nice lunch after and then we got out-of-town.  We stopped at the Hoover Dam because I’d never seen it.

hoover dam

We drove into Kingman, Arizona and then on to Peach Springs.  We got to Peach Springs just before 8 p.m.  It was dark and the motel that we were staying at was closed and laid out kind of strangely so that it wasn’t obvious how we got a key to our room.  They had a little bar on the property that appeared to be open so we went in and asked for direction.  The bartender and his one patron, who also worked at the bar, told us how to ring the bell and get our key, and then invited us to sit for a beer.  We accepted the invite and enjoyed crazy conversation about jackalopes and turtle herding over a nice cold IPA.  Then we got our key and went to sleep since we were getting up at 4 a.m.

The next morning we drove 90 minutes to the trailhead at the end of Indian Road 18, arriving at 6:30 a.m.  It was breathtaking –


We started the hike down into the canyon just before 7.



After a mile and a half of switchbacks we made it to the canyon floor.


We hiked, and hiked, and hiked.  We got out-of-the-way of mule trains, passed people coming out, and had a few people pass us going in.  We stopped for snack breaks, water breaks, and breaks from the weight of our backpacks.  We stopped for pictures.  We felt completely alone and incredibly together.  It was amazing and everything wonderful.

if you look close you can see I'm standing by that giant slab of rock

if you look close you can see I’m standing by that giant slab of rock

After 7.5 miles (on my Garmin) of hiking we got to this sign


We were tired and ready to be there and even though we were close, the last 1.5 miles felt like 5, at least.  We made it to the lodge, unloaded our backpacks and walked around the village while we waited for the check in time.  It had taken us 5.5 hours to hike the 9 miles and we could feel every bit of those miles.


When we finally got into our room we were pleasantly surprised at how nice it was.  It was simple but comfortable and nicer than the dive we had stayed at in Vegas.  We rested for a couple of hours and then made the two-mile hike to Havasu Falls.  As if it hadn’t been worth it already (it had) the falls were what it was all about.  Stunning.  Seriously.






We hung out for a while and then went back to the lodge.  We made our way to the café in the village and ate some dinner.  Then we went back to our room and slept.  Long and hard.  We didn’t get up on Monday until almost 11.  It was the first morning we didn’t have to get up at an exact time and we took full advantage of it.

We spent the remainder of the day exploring the canyon.  Made our way back to the falls and into the water.  Talked to a lot of people, took lots of pictures, and enjoyed each other’s company.  It was perfection.


At the end of that day we reflected on the hike in.  We realized we had packed way too much shit – the huge hiking back pack that Blue Eyes carried was super full and extremely heavy.  The idea of hiking out of the canyon with it was painful – we joked about how important the stuff in it was, and maybe just leaving it – then we made arrangements for the mule train to carry it out.  We put even more stuff into the backpack than we packed in so that my backpack would only carry water and snacks, making it a little lighter.


We started out of the village at 6:30 the next morning.  Without the heavy back pack the hiking seemed much easier.  We were passed by the mule train carrying our bag two hours into the hike.  It was kind of funny to see it pass us by.  Everything was peachy until we got to the last 1.5 miles UP.  That was the hardest part of the hike without a doubt, but we did it and reached the top like champs before 11.  It took us a total of 4.5 hours to get back to our car.  Due in large part to the lack of heavy bags on our backs.

We headed back to Kingman where we had lunch, then on to Vegas where we stayed 3 nights at the Golden Nugget.  After 4 previous nights in different motels/lodges this was the cushiest accommodations yet and a really nice way to end the trip.

We enjoyed margaritas made with muddled fresh fruit at Nacho Daddys.  We danced (okay, I danced) along Fremont Street with the rest of the crazy drunk people – and people watched like you can only do in Vegas.

nacho daddy

Day 2 in Vegas we took advantage of having a rental car and went exploring.  Oh wait, first we went and had a massage.  I thought it would be wise to schedule massages after our hiking adventure.  I was discouraged, however, at the price of a massage at the hotel spa – so I checked out Groupon.  I found a great deal for a 90 minute massage and foot detox for $38 in Vegas.  It. Was. Awesome.  After the massages we found an awesome place to have breakfast/lunch and then went to the Count’s Bar which were both a great distance from the Strip and Fremont Street.  We then gambled and drank with the rest of them and managed not to lose any money.  In fact Blue Eyes won money at blackjack.  I only played some slot machines.  I put $20 in and won some so I kept playing.  When my money came back down to $20 I pushed the button and got my $20 back.  So I didn’t lose any money.  That’s a win in my book.

counts kustoms

Day 3 in Vegas we went to the Vegas Car Museum and checked out some exotics and then we found Lagasse’s Stadium.  Fabulous.  I love Emeril Lagasse and my favorite way to gamble is to bet on sports – not because I’m so sports savvy, but because it takes longer to lose money that way —  so I was thrilled to check out Lagasse’s Stadium.  We sat in the big cushy chair/couch things watching the big screen of sports.  We drank a beer, shared some amazing dessert and bet on basketball.   Well, I bet on basketball.  Blue Eyes bet on baseball.  His odds were better, and he still has a chance.  Sadly, I lost my $20 since Michigan got taken down by Kentucky (it was a good game though).

legasse 1

legasse 2

Thursday night I had to go back to our room to attend “class” online, and Blue Eyes played some more blackjack and won.  After class we made our way back to Nacho Daddys to drink more margaritas and eat nachos (my favorite food in the whole wide world) then we crashed for 4 hours because our flight left at 7 a.m., which meant we had to get up at 3.

We made it home safely, I picked up my car at his house, then picked up my dog at the kennel and went home to find my house was kind of still as clean as I left it.  The boys came home a few hours later and while the oldest tried to punish me for having the audacity to go on vacation without him, the youngest was his sweet self.  The oldest got over his bullshit in a matter of hours and then asked me if I’d cook some stuff for him and his roommates to take back to Eugene.  Wonderful mom that I strive to be I said okay and made a big pan of lasagna, a big pan of macaroni and cheese, a big pan of sheppards pie and some chicken burritos.  They left yesterday very grateful.

And here I am trying to get ready for tomorrow.  I’m ready to go back to work, but vacation sure was spectacular.  Truly, I work to vacation.  No doubt about it.

Until next time – be well!

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2014 Goals

Not really into resolutions, but I do always think about what I want in the new year.  This year its pretty simple.

1.  Pay off my credit card debt entirely.

This seems a little daunting, but its not unreasonable given my salary and the amount of debt I have.  I just have to remember my goal and not use my credit cards.  I’ve already taken them out of my wallet so that’s a first step.

2.  To run two marathons.


I’ve settled on Vancouver USA and Portland.  My first marathon in 2010 was Vancouver and my second, the same year was Portland.  It will be interesting to recreate that drama as the runner I am today, who is a lot more confident than the chick from 2010.  Add to that Running Girl is coming out to run Portland again and wants me to run despite the fact I could, single handedly bring the rain down on the event since every time I’ve run it the sky has opened and dumped torrential amounts of rain.  She HAS been warned though.

3.  To take three trips this year.

Two have already been planned.  In March Blue Eyes and I are hiking down into the Grand Canyon to Supai to see the falls.  We’ll be spending two nights at the Indian reservation before we hike out.

And then in October I will be meeting my three siblings in Vegas (without spouses/significant others/kids) for some bonding over booze.

As much as I’d love the third trip to be San Francisco or Hawaii, because of goal #1, it will likely be Cannon Beach.  Blue Eyes and I are planning a week long trip to Hawaii in 2015 (which has everything to do with goal #1) so you can’t leave before than Ms. Lynch… Not that I think you will, I’m just saying….

4.  To do good in school. 

Yeah.  School.  At 47 I’m going back to school.  Classes start tomorrow in fact.  Working towards my BS in Nutrition.

The end goal being my Masters.  Life changes are ahead but not for some time since I work full time and have a life.  I’m embracing this journey with everything I have.  While my end goal is my Masters I realize that the journey to that goal could lead in other directions I can’t even imagine right now.  I’m open to it all

5.  To choose happiness.

I spend way too much time fretting about things completely out of my control.  Its my goal to stay in the moment and just be grateful.

While there are other things to add, i.e., lose 8 pounds, get another tattoo and eat less cheese (after coming off 104 days 100% raw I can’t stop eating cheese…which explains the 8 pounds) those things are just fluff to an already sure-to-be spectacular year!

Happy 2014!

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Hello Peeps!  Miss me?  Yeah, I thought not.

Life is busy — it’s picking up a ridiculous momentum that I can’t quite figure out, but I’m happy, so really there’s nothing to worry about.

Hadn’t been running much.  Well, that’s not true.  I’d been running, but not very far.  I’d just run when I felt like it, for however far I felt like running.  I made the decision not to run any more races this year after that horrid Marathon in June.  I felt like I needed to take “training” pressure off of me because I half ass train as it is and the pressure just made me feel guilty and I just wanted to remember that I just love to run, because I love to run.  That’s all.

So that course of action was going along fine, keeping me busy, allowing me time to go to Bikram pretty regularly, lift weights three times a week, throw in a kick boxing workout here and there.  Shit, I even did  a step aerobics work out that I hadn’t done in YEARS.  Kicked my ass pretty good.  All this because I scaled back the running.

Then the Portland Marathon happened.  A fellow blogger, who I shall now refer to as my “friend” since we’ve met (:)), came from Texas to run it.  Blue Eyes and I went out to Mile 21 to cheer her on.  I hadn’t been to a marathon since that horrid previously mentioned one.  Watching the runners with less than 5 1/2 miles to go, run by with smiles on their faces affected me.  It made me want to run another marathon.

It was odd to be standing out there with a sign made especially for a friend I’d never met, waiting patiently (while loudly cheering for everyone who passed by) for her to run by.  I’d only seen her in pictures on her blog.  Wasn’t sure I’d recognize her.  Didn’t know which side of the street I should be standing on, which side she’d be running on.  Didn’t want to miss her, but wasn’t sure I’d know if I had!  How’s that for an interesting afternoon?

As it turned out we were on the right side of the street, and knowing her bib number and how fast she was planning to run helped us NOT miss her.  She zoomed by, saw her sign, smiled, and made some comment about dying, but DAMN was she fast.  She ran that fucker in 3:33 and qualified for Boston.  I was very happy to have been there to cheer her on.

After the marathon Blue Eyes and I met her and her husband at a bar for beer and food.  While she was walking a little slow she was in fine form after running a marathon and it was a pleasure to spend the time with them.  Here is a picture of us her husband took.  Doesn’t she look great?!


Anyway I started thinking about marathons and while I will not be running anything more this year, this year is almost over.  So I’m looking toward 2014.

I’m 98.9% positive I will run the Vancouver USA Marathon on June 15, 2014 — but I’ve been looking at a couple others.  I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but I think June is a good goal.  Vancouver was my first marathon and while I’m not one who likes to run the same thing twice, I think since it was my first I’d like to see how much better I can do.  We’ll see.

More recently, I injured myself and couldn’t run, do yoga or lift weights for 10 days.  It sucked ass, quite frankly, and to add insult to injury I had the entire week off from work!  On Wednesday (day 6 of NO exercise) I took my mother to Forest Park and we hiked about 5 miles up to Pittock Mansion and back.  It was not what I wanted to do, but it did make me feel like less of a lump.

Injury has healed, however, and I’m 100% and released to run, lift and do yoga.  Yay!  I ran three miles yesterday and four today and it was heavenly.  HEAVENLY!  I’ll be going to yoga on Wednesday night if I can swing it and then again on Sunday.  I’m volunteering at Autumn Leaves 50k/50m on Saturday morning.  It’s my third year in a row volunteering and I love it.  My volunteer position is at the front gate giving parking passes to the runners and volunteers.  While I have to be there at 4:45 a.m., my shift is over at 7 — and I get to say Hello to all the runners and wish them good luck – I know many of them so it makes it that much better.

Thought I’d be running the 50 miler this year, but I have to say I’m glad I removed that from my agenda.  I’d likely be a basket case right now.  Next year may just be my 50 mile year.  We’ll see.

In other news my youngest son is thriving as a freshman in high school and has a girlfriend.  While my oldest son had may friends who were girls, he made it completely through high school without a girlfriend so I have no experience with this.  The cute couple went to Homecoming together, and she comes to my house after school so they can “study” — (I find myself knocking and opening his bedroom door without waiting for a response just to see what they’re REALLY doing, but all I get is studying) — he’s gone to dinner with her and her parents (my picky child ate fondue!) and he took her to dinner at Red Robin for their “one month anniversary”  — I told him he needed to get a job.   Girlfriends are expensive!  Here are a couple pictures from Homecoming.




The oldest had his court hearing with respect to the St. Patrick’s Day party, finally.  He pleaded to noise disturbance and got a $250 fine, and he pleaded to not cooperating with a police officer and got divergence for that.  He has to walk a straight and narrow line for six months, pay a $250 fine, do 20 hours of community service and attend a sentencing hearing and all other charges will be dropped.  It was an expensive lesson and I hope he learned it.  Only time will tell, however.

Blue eyes and I are talking about marriage.  Yeah, really.  Not going to happen soon.  He knows my time frame for marriage falls after the kid graduates from high school.  44 months from now (yeah, I’m counting).  But the truth is I WANT to marry this man.

We looked at rings together.  That’s a big step, wouldn’t you think?  It’s even bigger than you think, since money, as in a deposit, was actually put down on a ring.

I reminded him that even though things aren’t happening conventionally, he still has to officially ASK me to marry him — he says he knows and he will, so now I’m trying not to wait and expect.  Ha ha ha.  Yeah, if you know me at all you know that’s a stretch.  But I’m coping.  I’m pretty sure he’s going to wait til he gets the ring in his hand.  I’ll keep you posted.

I think that’s it people.  I hope you’re all well.  I’ve been keeping up on the blogs as best I can.  Jon and Liana are getting ready for the NY Marathon in two weeks, exciting.  Becelisa is getting ready for Marine Corp Marathon THIS WEEKEND.  Rocks has been quiet (yes, I notice).  The Dancing Runner still has unimaginable energy every-single-day!  Wendy Spin has been writing some amazing blog posts about self image, reality and training.  I love this woman and wish I lived in Colorado so she could be my FRIEND.  Seriously.  She’s the real deal.  No bullshit.

All this to say I may not write often, or comment, or “like” a post, but I’m reading.

Take it easy, and be well!!

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