Wednesday, December 31, 2008

All of my babies in a row!

All 6 of my babies in a row and still room for me. . .on the very end next to Mary!

New Cards

My wonderful in-laws bought a Cricut machine for me for Christmas. Yesterday I was finally able to experiment with it. I still need to do some more trial and error, but these three cards are what I came up with. I wasn't feeling very creative, more intrigued by the machine. I had a lot of fun, and I won't tell you how much time passed while making 3 cards. Thanks Mom2 and Dad2!

Monday, December 29, 2008

My find for the day!

I have been meaning to buy a white button-up shirt for work, but didn't want to spend big bucks on it. James and I went to Walmart (I do not enjoy that store) and didn't find anything that I wanted. So I decided to visit a local consignment store called Liza Jane. I have never bought anything in a consignment store and I am not even sure if I have ever been in one before today. Well I found the white shirt above. It is from Chicos. When I went to their website I could not find a button-up shirt for less than $50. The top button was broken in half, so I just switched it with one of the buttons on the cuff. There is a little pen mark on one of the arms, but it's for work and will get dirty anyway. Grand total: $7.56. (It looks huge in the picture, but it is not really that big.)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas at Huntsville State Park

This is the Nature Center at Hunstville State Park. Because it is Christmas, it wasn't open. It looked pretty cool on the inside, and I wish we could have gone in.

Here's James riding over alligator alley, even though we didn't see any alligators. Probably just as well since I had a dream the night before that I got attacked by an alligator.

Look at my professional mountain bike riding skills. What an amazing feat! Yeah right! I had a great time though. There are a lot of tree roots that we had to ride over. I decided that since I couldn't run (because of my bum ankle), that I was going to completely let loose mountain biking today. It paid off because I felt a lot more comfortable and had an awesome time.

Aren't we lovely? This is on one of the fishing docks at Huntsville State Park.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Reusable wrapping paper

I had been reading several blogs lately about "reusable" wrapping paper. I thought it sounded like a good idea so I made my own. I didn't use a pattern, just sewed a "bag" with ribbons on the edges. I made 5 of them and have wrapped J's presents in them. The blue one with the gold ribbon was my first one and I messed up and sewed the ribbons on the wrong side, thus the curling ribbon. Thankfully I didn't make that mistake again!

Fancy was determined!

Fancy was absolutely determined to get on the couch the other night. There was no room for her, or so James and I thought. She literally jumped up and squeezed into the tiniest of places. She ended up laying in this weird hunchback position and actually stayed there for over an hour until Kramer moved.

This is the view from a little further out. Determined little girl isn't she?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Finally went for a long run today.

Here we are at the start of the run. It was about 7:15 AM. Once again, I ran and James rode his bike. I ran for about an hour and a half which translates to between 9 and 10 miles of running today. My right ankle is killing me, especially since I went to work after the run and stood all day.

This is towards the middle of the run after I got off this dirt road the "nice" hills started coming along.

This is just a really pretty picture that James took!

Friday, December 19, 2008

I love my husband!

Today is our 10 year anniversary. James showed up at work today with sunflowers and a chocolate basket! He is so sweet! I bought him lunch for his troubles! :)

Just precious!

As usual James fell asleep on the couch last night. The beasts have really been cuddling with him lately and last night was no exception. Daisy loves to sleep at her Daddy's head so she can keep his neck warm.
Here's the wider shot. You can't see Mary but she's on the other side of Daisy. Darla is on the floor. I love my family!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My beautiful beasts!

Fancy decided she was going to get in the papasan chair no matter what! Mary got out of the chair within 2 minutes of Fancy sitting down on her!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cold run

I'm trying to maintain my training for the 25K trail run I have in January, but mornings like this make it really difficult. Even though it was 35 degrees and there were 15-20 mph gusts of wind, I convinced myself to go for a short run. Short because I am battling an ankle injury. I ended up running in the cold for about 40 minutes. I was pretty proud of myself for going even though I didn't want to. I had three layers of clothes on so that I wouldn't freeze.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Kramer's first meet and greet!

I took my foster dog Kramer to his first meet and greet today. He did really well and was very lovey with everyone. He wasn't bothered by the small dogs or pig that were walking all around. I was going to take a picture of him totally wiped out (I also took him for his first two mile run today), but I can't find my camera right now.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Although I wasn't feeling super creative, I made my holiday cards and a couple extra the other day. I like the "plain" stream-lined look of them. Nothing fancy, but they are original.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Fruit Cake

James really likes fruitcake. He really likes his Grandma's fruitcake. Unfortunately no one can seem to find a copy of her recipe. I found this recipe for a fruitcake loaf and thought I would give it a shot. James said it tastes good. When I make it next year for him I am going to add raisins to it and maybe soak it with a sugar syrup of some kind. I might also try rum extract instead of vanilla extract. As a warning, this recipe is expensive because of all the candied fruit.

Trail run pics. . .as promised

Here I am at the start of the run, freezing my rear off! Someone told me it was in the high 20s when we started out. Talk about cold.

I'm the third one from the end. This was the very start of the trail. We all kind of left at the same time and then I caught up to the people in front (you can't see them). You also get your only glimpse of James as his shadow is prominently displayed at the bottom. He's so wonderful!

I don't even know where this is, but since I'm still wearing the pants and the jacket I know it was on the first loop.

Trail run pictures. . .as promised

This picture was taken when we were coming down the last hill of the first loop. Even though I look really funny in the picture, at that point felt really awesome!

I think this is one of the hills that I had to run down once and up once. I am directionally challenged so it is difficult for me to know where I was at what point. James was a real trooper today. He was riding his mountain bike up and down a bunch of these hills trying to guess where I was going to be in order to get pictures. He is just as sore as I am today!
This is the view from one of the ridges of the hills I ran over.

Here I am after the run. I felt really good and was very proud of myself. I was actually in the front of the pack group, when I was sure I was going to be bringing up the rear. Granted a lot of people ran further than I did, but for never having run that distance, I think I did pretty good.

And finally my post run refueling meal. We went to a place called Bobby J's in Helotes and had burgers and fries. They tasted pretty good, but I think at that point almost anything would have tasted good!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Today's trail run

Well, I participated in a "disorganized" trail run today called Bunmart. My goal was to run 15 miles which is what I have to run in January at the same natural area. I actually ended up running closer to 20 miles. I met this awesome guy who helped pace me the whole way. The hills there are overwhelming-steep, long, and rocky. I just walked up the hills and kept running. I do need to get better about running down hill. I still value my life and can't seem to get rid of the self-preservation thing. I need to just loosen up and let my momentum carry me down. Something to work on. James took pictures and I will post them tomorrow.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Too busy

I've been working every day and just haven't had time to post anything. I'll post something this weekend.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Today's run

I'm tapering off for a big run coming up but needed to do some hills. I ran hills for an hour straight. This is on the last hill when I was thanking my lucky stars!
Don't I live in a beautiful place. This is that same last hill.

Here's another one of the hills. That little stick figure at the base of the HUGE hill is me. :)

James took this picture coming off the only off road hill I did today. I just thought he did an awesome job. I enjoyed the run and felt really good that I could complete it and still feel like I could have done the entire run again.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Reason for the Turkey Trot!

I baked a cake for our Turkey Day celebration. I really like the chocolate cake at a local restaurant and have decided that I am going to reproduce it. I am sure that the cake is a box mix so I tried that this time and I think I'm right. I made mine a little better by using weak coffee instead of water and adding yogurt for moisture. The cake came out really well. I am not sure about the frosting and will have to experiment. At first I thought it was just from a can which is what I tried here. It is not the same. I think I am going to have to make a ganache based frosting to get it closer. The results were good, but I think I'd prefer the homemade frosting.

James and I ran in the Turkey Trot today. I ran the 5 miles in a little over 41 minutes. Pretty good considering I had to weave in and out of the 12,000 people that were running/walking/crawling/barely moving over the course. James ran the same course in about 48 minutes which is awesome for him! I'm very proud of him because he didn't walk up any of the hills and some of those hills were large. Now I can eat two pieces of cake today!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Nursing Home Visit

Mary and Fancy did really well at the nursing home. Fancy is better at it just because she is more laid back, but everyone loved Mary's coloring. They want us to come back again in two weeks, but we'll see what happens.

On a side note, we had an awesome trail run yesterday! We ran the 7.7 mile loop at Buescher State Park. It is a pretty challenging run. I finished in 1 hr and 7 minutes and James finished in 1 hr and 18 minutes. I was really proud of him. He ran most of the loop. There was one booger of a hill along a ravine, but I made it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Treat holder

I'm taking Mary and Fancy to the nursing home tomorrow for pet visits and I wanted something to hold treats in. Specifically I did not want to hold the little bag of treats in my hand the whole time. So I made what is pictured above. My belt fits through the very top part. I put a piece of Velcro behind the white part so the pocket would stay closed. Most of it turned out pretty well, but I did mess up on the top part. I didn't hem the part my belt goes through before I sewed the line across so I had to manipulate the fabric in a tiny hole to sew it up. I guess I learned how to not do it. After a quick call to my mom, it was suggested that I should have hemmed up the top before doing everything else. Oh well, now I know. At least it is serviceable and better than what I was using.

Baking tests today

James was saying he liked pumpkin pies the other day so I thought I would make him one. I have never baked a pumpkin pie so we'll see how this works out. I used Tyler Florence's recipe from the newest issue of Food Network magazine. I cheated, for time reasons, and used a pre-made crust I found in the freezer.
The other thing I am experimenting with are cookies to send to service men/women overseas and for a volunteer project I am doing for the Friends of the Lost Pines group. The cookies are white chocolate macadamia nut cherry cookies. It is a Paula Deen recipe from the same magazine I found the pie recipe in. I would change several things about this cookie, even though James says they are delicious. First I would add more cherries. The recipe only calls for 1/2 a cup and I would double that. I would also decrease the flour from 3 cups to 2 1/2 cups. I felt like the last bit of the dough was a too crumbly and I ended up throwing it out.
** Quick update** James says the pumpkin pie is good.

James and I went to San Antonio yesterday to see my aunt and uncle who are visiting from Maryland. I haven't seen my aunt in close to 20 years. We really enjoyed talking with them. My Aunt is a quilting phenom and gave me a lot of pointers about quilting (which I've never done) and just sewing in general.

On our way we stopped at Government Canyon State Park and took Mary and Kramer (our foster dog) for a walk. They both seemed to have a great time and did really well on the trip.

James is working today so I've been keeping busy with baking and laundry. I hope to post some pictures of the goodies later. I also am looking forward to an hour long trail run. I was going to do two hours, but I'm going for a hill bike ride tomorrow and would like to be able to keep up with the other riders!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Like a dodo, I agreed to go mountain bike riding this morning at 7 AM. It was SO COLD!!! My feet were so cold they hurt. We ended up doing the full 15 miles (I think that is the distance.) but it was challenging. I will say this though, it was definitely a pretty ride. The fog was in all the valleys and it was just beautiful.

Now I am trying to warm up so I can go volunteer at the high school. Even though it is warmer outside, I'll have to find something warm to put on my feet since they haven't thawed out yet. :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I did it!

I wanted to run for about 2 hours today, but I actually ended up running for 2 hours and 37 minutes! I ran about 13 miles of trails, which is not a lot for that time. If I had been on the road for that amount of time I probably would have ran about 17 or 18 miles. Doesn't matter though!! Yeah for me. I must admit that my legs are pretty tight right now. All the uphill running made the front of my hips hurt.

I tried something some of the people from Hill Country Trail Runners have told me about. During the first part of the run I walked up the really steep hills. Apparently it conserves energy and it did work. I had a hard time getting myself to walk but it did work. I guess I've just been a road runner for so long that it is hard to get past the mentality that if I walk, I'm giving up. I think I'll reserve that trick only for the REALLY steep hills.

Friday, November 14, 2008

New foster dog

Over the weekend we picked up our newest foster dog. His name is Kramer and he is a total joy! He is just adorable! Please read his adoption description at: .
This weekend I am hopefully going to get in a two hour run. There is a cold front moving in today, so at least the temperature is going to be tolerable.
Today I need to make some banana bread for my darling husband and I'll also try to make some butterscotch oatmeal cookies. I do have to work, so we'll see how much baking I actually get done.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cool thing

This morning the weirdest/coolest thing happened to James and I. We had to stop in our driveway to wait for the school bus to pass. The bus driver was waving at us which is normal. The bus stopped right in front of our driveway and ALL of the kids in the bus ran to the side facing us. It was so comical! While the bus was loading up, we walked around the front. When we got to the other side the bus driver yelled, "Thank you for rescuing greyhounds!" Followed very shortly by every kid in the bus yelling "Thank you!". Some things in life happen that just make you feel really good.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Nursing home visit

Fancy did awesome at the nursing home today. I have to admit it was a little sad to see all those people in the conditions they were in. Having said that, it seemed like the people working there were all really nice and interested in the residents. Fancy was a hit. She was told she was beautiful countless times and fed a bunch of treats. It looks like we are going back in two weeks and taking Mary with us. That should be interesting.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I did a little crafting today after work. I'm taking Fancy to a nursing home tomorrow so I thought I'd make her a seasonal collar. I had some extra leaves from the project below so I made her a collar. Isn't she adorable? I think the people at the nursing home are really going to enjoy visiting with her.
Here's a garland of fake flowers that I made (with assistance from James) to hang on the mantel.

Here is one place setting for the table. I made the place mats and napkins and James and I each made one of the turkey napkin ring holders.

Here's the whole table. I need to find a better way to make the place mats and napkins, but haven't had the time to experiment yet.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

This was my scale back weekend so I only ran for about an hour and 15 minutes today. We went to McKinney Falls State Park and ran both loops of trails and some middle sections as well. First route was packed dirt, rocks, and uphill. Second loop was paved trails but still a lot of uphills. It was a beautiful day and a great run. James rode his bike for the second part of the run and was taking pictures.
Don't I look really focused? Just kidding, I was trying to not look at the camera!

James took this picture off the opposite bank. I think it is awesome how you can see the reflection of the trees in the water.

I didn't know he was taking this one. I was just hoping I wasn't going to fall in the water since there were a bunch of people around.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I kicked Pilates' rear today!

That's right! I kicked butt today in pilates. I felt really good and only had a little problem with balance (weak core strength). I'm getting better!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pilates kicked my rear!

I go to pilates class twice a week. Usually I just feel a really good stretch and my abs working. Today my rear was kicked in that class. My legs are still tired from Sunday's run and of course we did a lot of core and leg work in class. I didn't quit though so I guess that's good. After class I lifted weights for another half hour and got on my bike. I rode to the restaurant and learned how to make hummus! Yummy!

I stayed at the restaurant a little too long because I got stuck riding home in the ran. At least it was a cool bike ride!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Here's a picture of me at a rest-stop in Tennessee. We kept hoping to be able to take a picture of a tree with vivid red leaves, but there were never at any of our stops. This was as close to red as we got. It was so pretty in Tennesse and Kentucky!

2011 Challenge = Support Local Eateries

Read about our 2011 Challenge here.