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!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Today's run

We got up early and decided to go for a run after walking the beasts. James rode his mountain bike and made all the decisions on which directions to go. For the first hour he took me through a bunch of back-road rocky, steep hills. For an hour I went up and down those hills. I was pretty proud of myself because I kept a pretty steady pace and didn't get tired. Then we wound our way around some more backroads and trails that were a little flatter. I ended up running for a total of 1 hour and 45 minutes. I was shooting for two hours, but we needed to get ready for church. I kept walking for about 15 minutes after the run so I was active for 2 hours. Hoping to go for 2 hours next weekend. During the week I have a couple pilates classes, a few bike rides, and a couple more runs planned, plus I have to lift weights.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Change of plans

Instead of going for a long run today we decided to take Mary and Fancy (2 of our greyhounds) to the greyhound planet day. Mary and Fancy both ran speed alley and wowed everyone. Mary had the fastest time of the day, at that time, with 38 mph. Fancy had a respectable 33 mph. It was funny to listen to other people talk about how fast my dogs ran. James tried to take pictures, but Mary was too fast and Fancy's is a little blurry. We had a lot of fun and so did the girls.

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