Friday, March 30, 2012

Once a runner, always a runner

(Me running today)

I started running in 2000 when I was in graduate school. I was literally trying to out run my stress. It felt good to punish my betraying brain with too much blood and not enough air.

I've been a runner ever since. Actually, I ran today for the first time since my back went out at the beginning of 2007. That seems like such a long time. In the meantime, I've spent a lot of time on the elliptical (so much easier on the back and knees) and doing low impact physical therapy, yoga, Nia and fast walking. No matter what I do, it doesn't rival that burn and full body cardio workout from running.

I've tried to run a few times since we lived in Oregon, but then I look out the window and decide the weather isn't cooperating. Well, the other day I was out double digging the garden bed in the back yard and it started raining. I wasn't done with my digging yet so I kept digging in the rain. I was listening to Talking Heads and digging a giant mud pit in my backyard. It was exhilarating. Before I knew it was done digging and just dancing in the backyard in the rain to my favorite songs. I know I looked like a maniac, but I don't care. How long has it been since you danced in the rain? It had been too long for me, I know that much.

That also got me to thinking about how great of an exercise running is. I mean once you have all the gear (footwear, socks, goofy running pants with reflectors, bright windbreaker jacket, sweatband for the head, etc) it's a pretty cheap and convenient way to work out. My favorite thing about running, and why I have done it in so many random places, is that you can just put on your trusty running shoes and take off. Run 15-20 minutes in any direction and then turn around and go back. That's probably 4-5 miles.

Also, Rolling Stones Forty Licks Album 1 is THE.BEST.RUNNING.MUSIC. Nothing like a little Jagger in your running swagger ;-)

As I was running today, I started thinking of all the places I've used running as a get away or a way to get around. Here are the most memorable ones (in chronological order):
  • Keisel Park - Auburn Alabama -- This is where it all began.
  • Humboldt County, CA -- My absolute favorite -- running up old logging roads through the magnificent redwoods and down in the fern valleys, at the beach, and in my neighborhood.
  • Sacramento, CA -- Living in the Vagabond Hotel, training to get my California Health and Welfare insurance license so I could sell supp insurance door to door. The best part was running up, down and across the Sacramento River.
  • Monterey, CA -- In dusty fruit and vegetable fields, selling insurance to people who didn't speak English. Had to run each night to try to figure out if what I was doing was right.
  • Durham, NC -- Ran around the Duke University south campus. Pretentious doesn't even begin to describe that crowd.
  • Texas -- Got lost running in a dizzying maze of suburban neighborhoods and almost dehydrated before finding help one time. Also spent lots of time running the Los Colinas canal area when I lived in Valley Ranch -- can't remember the name of that park except I was always afraid a water moccasin would come out of the canal, chase me down and eat my dog.
  • North Hollywood, CA -- One of my last runs before the mysterious back failure that would plague me for the next 5 years (and maybe the rest of my life).
  • Oregon -- First run in years. Ran 40 minutes without stopping. Muscle memory is pretty amazing, especially when it's doing things you want it to!

After my run today, I finished it off with a yoga meltdown. No, not a cool down, but a melt down. My muscles just gave way to the dynamic stretching of yoga. I love that my "old faithful" (running) and my "new love" (yoga) compliment each other so well.

I'm going to be running a lot more now that the temperature is starting to rise. It felt good.

Once a runner, always a runner.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sunriver Oregon

I was in Sunriver, Oregon for a few days last week for work. Our client was one of the resorts in the area, so we stayed at their lodge. It was gorgeous. I wish I would have been there for pleasure and not work. This is definitely a place that Jason and I will have to go back to in the summer. I'm picturing a trip to Crater Lake via Sunriver.

Here's a little photo journal of the trip (not included is our outing to the original Deschutes Brewery Bend Public House no time for pictures with all that good craft beer available):

This is the view out my window the first evening I was there. (Overlooking one of the golf courses)

This is what I woke up to the next day -- 8 inches of snow on the first day of Spring! Thank you global weirding.

This is later that evening...the snow melts really fast!

Proof I was really there.

This was the view on my last morning before we never even had snow!

Since we were there for work, I was pretty much confined to one area of the resort. But we did get a chance to visit the Great Hall. There is some sort of John Wayne legend attached to it. Also, the same guy that designed Timberline Lodge, designed this lodge too. (Fun fact for Mom!)

I flew to Redmond/Bend OR from Portland. It was only a 25 minute flight -- not even long enough to make me barf (yay!). However, that airport is TINY and in the middle of nowhere land. The Bend/Redmond/Sunriver area is on the east side of the Cascades so it's mostly high desert with patches of mountains and forest. Very unique terrain.

Here's the airport when I arrived (seriously, it's like one plane in and one plane out).

And here it is at 7:15 am the day I was leaving. (I got yelled at for stopping on the icy tarmac to take this picture, but it was totally worth it!)

Of course I had to get some aerial photos as well. This is the Three Sisters Mountain range as we take off. (Nice propeller!)

High desert from high in the sky!

Looks like some rough stuff!

Passing over mountains left and right!

Good old Mt.Hood off in the distance -- now that's a mountain I can pick out of a line-up! (love love love the sea of clouds surrounding the mountain)

Now I'm back at home and it feels like the tropics here compared to the mountains. I guess I'm starting to "warm up" to this weather.

The tulips and hyacinths sure do like it!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Signs of Life

Although it was snowing earlier this week, the local flora has decided it's time to make an appearance -- and it's about time!!

This is my favorite time of the year -- when everything changes from dark and withered to lush and alive.

Tulips and Hyacinths

Accidental onions

Rhubarb and strawberries!

Elephant garlic

Red blossoms

Here's a little preview of what we have in store for the garden this year.

See that block of dead grass? That's going to be our root vegetable garden. Instead of building another raised bed, this year we are going to double-dig a bed. It's going to be a heck of a task, but I know a lady who said double digging was the best decision she's ever made -- next to marrying her husband!

We'll see how it goes. It's not raining now so I'm going to put on boots and get to digging -- it's garden time!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Peggy Lee - Is That All There Is?

Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing
Let's break out the booze and have a ball
If that's all there is

Peggy Lee "Is That All There Is?

I remember when I was a very little girl, our house caught on fire.
I'll never forget the look on my father's face as he gathered me up
in his arms and raced through the burning building out to the pavement.
I stood there shivering in my pajamas and watched the whole world go up in flames.
And when it was all over I said to myself, "Is that all there is to a fire?"

Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing
Let's break out the booze and have a ball
If that's all there is

And when I was 12 years old, my father took me to the circus, the greatest show on earth.
There were clowns and elephants and dancing bears
And a beautiful lady in pink tights flew high above our heads.
And as I sat there watching the marvelous spectacle
I had the feeling that something was missing.
I don't know what, but when it was over,
I said to myself, "Is that all there is to a circus?"

Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing
Let's break out the booze and have a ball
If that's all there is

Then I fell in love, with the most wonderful boy in the world.
We would take long walks by the river or just sit for hours gazing into each other's eyes.
We were so very much in love.
Then one day, he went away. And I thought I'd die -- but I didn't.
And when I didn't I said to myself, "Is that all there is to love?"

Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing

I know what you must be saying to yourselves.
If that's the way she feels about it why doesn't she just end it all?
Oh, no. Not me. I'm in no hurry for that final disappointment.
For I know just as well as I'm standing here talking to you,
when that final moment comes and I'm breathing my last breath, I'll be saying to myself,

Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing
Let's break out the booze and have a ball
If that's all there is

Friday, March 09, 2012

The Tao of Willie

Before I started reading The Tao of Willie, I thought it was going to be silly or "clever" with a heavy editor's tone. But I was very wrong. This book is like Willy singing me a song about life, experience, and self-awareness.

It's making me look at my life differently. One theme he expresses throughout the book is that once you find yourself, it will all follow. I sure hope he's right.

This was on the first page I opened:

Just about every one of us develops a pretty good bullshit detector. If you haven't got a clue when you're being shucked or jived, chances are you don't have five dollars to show for the past year hard work you've put in.

But for some reason, that same skill for detecting other people's bullshit doesn't seem to detect our own. I mean, you're reading my advice--and you hope it's good advice--but let's be real, how can you know for certain? Maybe I'm just full of it.

At some level, I suspect we're all full of it. It's hard to go through life without a little gloss of bluster and bullshit to dazzle the lambs and keep the wolves at bay. That's proably not a bad idea, especially if you're fond of lamb and fear the wolf, but you also have to remember one of life's most important lessons...

Don't be dazzled by your own bullshit.

Monday, March 05, 2012

It looks so much simpler in a flow chart

Looks like all arrows point to "Then don't worry."

That is a lot easier said than done!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Our little guy is home

Great news! Derville came home yesterday and is doing really good. As soon as he got home, he drank water, ate some kibble, took a piss and did some grooming.

He's back to his silly, sweet self -- we are so relieved!

They had to shave off some of his fur on both front legs. He's a little self-conscious about it. It's like he's upset because someone ripped his white pants.

He did get quite the reputation at the vet's. The technician said "he definitely came with some 'tude!" And they told me stories about how he hated the recovery cone (I can't even imagine how he looked in one of those things. I always think of One Crazy Summer when I see one of those things. What a funny movie!)

When they were telling me all of these things, I couldn't help but think "this must be what Parent/Teacher conferences are like..." I just shrugged and told them he was born in the street and found on a truck tire in the cold November rain -- he's a fighter. Sorry.

Weather update:
And we got snow today! And yesterday. I think this will be the last cold bite of the year.

Here's to hoping!