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Showing posts from November, 2008

Fog, Family and Farmstands

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I took a break this past week – from work, from blogging and from San Diego. I basically took time off from everything except running, which I managed to do as scheduled on all but one day. Some mornings felt forced, and one run at 9 on a really hot Monday just felt plain wrong. I must be back, though, because this morning's 8-miler through Santaluz was sublime. Midweek we drove for hours (and hours and hours...) over a few rivers and through scorched woods to spend Thanksgiving at my grandmother’s house. She’s a longtime resident of a place called Paradise and, after taking the scenic route for a change, I had to admit the area might live up to its moniker. The vistas along the gorges on Neal Road were brilliant after driving all morning through fog, and the colorful foliage hugging the twisty two-lane roads once we hit town made me pine for New England again. This really felt like a classic Thanksgiving. My grandmother, 94, lives alone in a tidy three-room house that’s perfe

Pursuit of Some Happyness

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The other day (or, mercy me, week) I was tagged by Irene for the Kreativ Blogger Award. Let’s just say at the time I felt unworthy and unhappy. Now I’m officially on vacation and – Surprise! Surprise! – my creativity and mood have improved significantly. Here are 6 things that make me happy, followed by the 6 bloggers I am tagging to share their lists. 1) My husband and children. I was never one of those overly ambitious types and had but few big goals in life. The only consistent one: create the kind of family I always wished to be part of. It’s my crowning achievement, and always will be. 2) Sunrises, viewed from ground level. I don’t care how much I hurt or how tired I am, there hasn’t been a sunrise that doesn't momentarily lift my spirits. The more beautiful, the better. But even the ones whose brilliance is held back by heavy cloud cover fill me with hope. 3) Long, hot showers after a run in the rain. A rare treat here in San Diego, but each experience brings back

Wordless Wednesday

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Howlin' at the Moon

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This past week I got to witness some dear friends celebrate major accomplishments. Yesterday my husband and I drove up to the San Luis Rey Mission in Oceanside to watch Louise and Rolly walk across the stage with Faria, the Black Lab puppy they’ve raised the past 18 months for Canine Companions for Independence . Like any graduation ceremony, there was pomp and circumstance and impressive donations, including one from well-known suspense novelist Dean Koontz and his wife for $1 million. Even the dogs barked along with the applauding crowd to show their appreciation. It takes a great deal of time, money and stamina to raise a puppy specifically to someday be the eyes or ears or arms and legs for someone whose been shortchanged in life. There were sleepless nights as Faria adjusted to her new family, weekly lessons with homework, and, during puberty, there was “Camp Chastity.” Their teenaged son Fabrece sometimes was told to babysit while the couple went out for a few hours. Their oth

Another Nick at Nike

I'm a fan of the Cheapskate column that runs Thursdays in the Wall Street Journal. Yesterday's article featured the author's battle with Nike over an obviously flawed running shoe. Earlier Nike took one on the chin for a flawed race system that rewarded slower "elite" athletes over the fastest female in the Nike Marathon. Now, it appears, they have some serious customer service issues to resolve. Read the column: Kicked by a Running Shoe

Almost a Twit, But Not Quite

This week at work we all signed up for Twitter , the microblogging site that I'd resisted because of its high addiction rate. Truthfully, I didn't think I'd enjoy it but then I realized that great works -- and lives -- don't gloss over the details, they glom onto them. Of course, I immediately ransacked my personal e-mail account for connections. Yes, Mark, that's how I found my running "husband" in nanoseconds despite your low profile. It also made me realize that a lot happens here at Run DMZ between posts, and that some friends and family might want to know what I'm doing that's so important I can't return their calls and e-mails. So, I earlier I added a sidebar feature called "In Between Posts..." that is updated as needed. I thought of just importing my "tweets" but why desecrate this site with my tripe -- though I suppose it never stopped me before. Last night I helped stock Christmas stockings for young Marines fight

Wordless Wednesday

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Fall Mornings and Full Moons

Since recovering from a sick spell, my morning runs have been wonderful. The air's been crisp, with the thermostat hovering within the ideal 45- to 51-degree range. Some mornings are washed clean by a brief rain spell (our first since April); others start with the wind tossing me a few falling leaves. I head east as often as possible to witness heavenly sunrises with the moon at my back. I'm midway through an eight-week training schedule, about the point I should be tired of being told what to do. Instead I still rise before the alarm and hurry into my long sleeve shirt and shorts, sipping a strong cup of tea and mentally plotting out my course. I'm especially excited when it's a full moon because it adds an almost spiritual dimension to the moment. I had to come up with a substitute for track workouts and created the perfect circuit that has me running around a big block. I move toothpicks between my shorts pockets to help keep track of my 400 repeats. (Pennies would

What a Bright Idea

I don't do sick well (pun intended). I went home from work early Thursday and slept 12 hours. Yesterday I suffered through the work day, then slept 10 hours. Today, I'm better. I missed a blogger meetup, though, and I'm majorly bummed about it. I'll also miss tomorrow's 5k that ends with a big brunch. Right now that just doesn't sound appetizing. On to other matters... The other week at work we had a workshop on innovation. The presenter mentioned the importance of goals and how to achieve them. As we all reflect on our goals, running and otherwise, I wanted to share some advice from the workshop that might help you meet your mission. E motional : You can’t just analytically set goals; you must believe them in your gut. Without that gut-level connection to the goal, it is not locked into the brain as worth doing. You must feel it and want it passionately. D ecisive : You must commit the whole force of your being to your goal. This is the only way big goals c

No Wordlessness Today

Here's something you don't see every day here: A line -- a long line -- leading to the neighbor's garage, a.k.a. our "precinct," where we voted in the rain. And, for the first time in our 22-year marriage, my husband and I didn't cancel each other's votes . Seems like everyone at work had their "I Voted" stickers proudly displayed on their chest, not just the usual four or five regulars. Then a big group of us watched the East Coast results come in at a bar after work, all of us supporting the same presidential candidate and hoping for a defeat of Prop 8. We were black, white, Latino, Chinese, Jewish, Catholic, Protestant. One pair of gay brothers said their mother in Sacramento voted for the first time in her life, leaving the ballot blank except to pick Barack Obama and to vote No on 8. Obama won, as everyone now knows, but Prop 8 is currently winning by a thin margin. Whether your guy won or not, and whether a cause you believe in passio

6 Random Things

That Angie is so patient with me. She tagged me weeks ago to participate in this meme. I’ve done it a few times already, but it’s always fun to come up with more items. 1. I lost the office Halloween contest to a giant rat. 2. Nobody’s getting the homemade Christmas presents I planned in April with intentions of finishing by September, or October at the latest. Maybe if I start them next January they’ll be done on time for Christmas 2010. 3. I must be improving as a volunteer theater usher. The other week I got to do tickets for “The Women,” which was actually better than the movie version, in my opinion. My favorite this season has been a musical called “Memphis” that we all think has a chance at a Tony once it makes it to Broadway. 4. I’m planning three half marathons next year: one in April in a faraway place; one in August that sounds really cool; and one in November that I haven’t done in years. 5. We had a couple over for dinner and a movie thi