Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's been too long!`

Oh, gosh! Where does the time go? I had a bit of a cold last week and I was concerned about that turning into a lingering cough the way it did earlier this summer. But it all passed very quickly. I was pretty tired and took a breather from working out. The marathon is only three weeks away and I am getting really excited about it! I am no longer doing long endurance walks. I just keep trying to work out by swimming, riding my bike and going for reasonable walks. For me, reasonable means between 4-6 miles.

I am babysitting Aubree tonight, so I'm sure I should have something to post tomorrow that isn't all about me!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

So much to do!

I got the first junior high school Sunday school class under my belt this morning and I had fun. It's only the first class, but I did enjoy it.

Today I have a very long list of things I want to get done today and I'm sailing through it. But I still have 13 things to do. It includes a bike ride or walk, so since it is 4:00 p.m., I think I better get back into gear and get off the computer, huh?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Another day of working out

I am oddly excited by my effort to do something active every single day until the week prior to the marathon. Last night I swam for 55 minutes. Tonight I am going for a walk, not a power walk, just a walk with a girlfriend and then on Friday I will take a brief bike ride before spending some time with Natasha - long overdue time, I should add. My bad.

The weather this week has been fantastic. Last week we had very cool weather and it brought down everyone's moods. Last night Bryan babysat Oren and Kena, the grandkids. They're pretty cute kids. Oren brought his trucks and spent the entire evening under the deck doing "construction work" so Bryan brought out his really old (they're metal, not plastic) Tonka trucks and a JD tractor. That was a big hit.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I watched Aubree last night. She came over and we baked a strawberry cake and went for a short walk (it was almost dark). Then she got into the bathtub and I sat on the floor to supervise/help out. It was while she was in the bathtub that she informed me that when she was four years old she wasn't sure she liked me. I expressed interest and she went on to say that she didn't like to come to my house...when she was four. I asked if that had changed now that she is five and she said yes, she likes being with me and at my house now that she is older. I asked if I had made her angry; she said no. I asked if she thought she wouldn't have fun at my house; she said no. She said she didn't really like to leave home back when she was four. I asked her if she thought something bad might happen if she left home; she said yes.

There's a lot going on in that head.

On another matter, she got two more discipline slips from her teacher at school. Apparently the teacher sends these out for all infractions, not just for getting into real trouble. Well, Aubree has learned to tie her shoes! That's the good news. The bad news is that she wouldn't go down for a nap because she was tying her shoelaces. Her grandma told me that. Aubree declined to tell me and I asked her if it was because she was embarrassed about whatever had happened. She said yes, she was embarrassed about it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Harry Potter trivia

I put together a Harry Potter trivia contest yesterday and asked a really bad question. The question was: Who was in King's Cross Station with Harry? I was thinking of Dumbledore and the icky little thing that was part of Voldemort. But KCS is the place where the kids caught the Hogwarts Express at Platform 9-3/4, so the entire Weasley family was there with him, Hermione was there, Sirius Black was there...the list of people is pretty long throughout the entire series. Book 7 ends with another group of people there with him. So it was perhaps the worst trivia question in the history of trivia questions. I like the feeling of accomplishment! LOL

From Wikipedia:
King's Cross is featured in the Harry Potter books, by J. K. Rowling, as the starting point of the Hogwarts Express. The train uses a secret platform 9¾ located by passing through the brick wall barrier between platforms 9 and 10.

Unfortunately, platforms 9 and 10 are in a separate building from the main station; also, rather than being adjacent so that a barrier could be between them, they are separated by two intervening tracks. Rowling intended the location to be in the main part of the station, but misremembered the platform numbering. During an interview in 2001, she indicated that she had confused King's Cross with Euston. In fact, platforms 9 and 10 at Euston are also separated by two intervening tracks, so either she had yet another station in mind or else she simply did not consider or did not remember the physical arrangement of consecutively numbered platforms.

When the movies were filmed, the station scenes took place within the main station, with platforms 4 and 5 renumbered 9 and 10. In the film of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the exterior of the adjacent St. Pancras station was used, as its Gothic fa├žade was considered more impressive than the real King's Cross station.

When the first film was released, a large floor panel was placed on the ground outside platforms 9 and 10 indicating the Hogwarts Express. It was later removed. Within King's Cross, a cast-iron "Platform 9¾" sign has been erected on a wall of the station's suburban building containing the real platforms 9 and 10. Part of a luggage trolley has also been installed below the sign; whilst the near end is visible, the rest of the trolley seems to have disappeared into the wall.

"Kings Cross" is the title of the 35th chapter of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, where a location resembling the station plays a significant role. The station is also featured in the epilogue of the same book, making it the final setting of the Harry Potter series.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Something for Renee

Bev and Michelle stopped by this evening with Aubree. They are going to do a little something around the house in memory of Renee. It seems Renee was going to paint the mailbox and they are going to move ahead with that project including some trim around the bottom of the mailbox that you could plant inside. I don't know if that is what they will do, but that's the way I would describe what they described. Aubree was pretty tired, but not too tired to want me to go upstairs with her three times to get potato chips and a glass of water! Aubree came to church this morning for Sunday School, too. So I got to see her three times today. The other time was on my walk. I saw them driving down the road and so we all stopped so I could say hello. It was about 56 degrees and raining. I could figure out how many miles I walked, but I'm feeling pretty lazy right now. I walked 75 minutes, that's all I know.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Here I am to blog

Here I am to blog with nothing to say or add to the general noise of the universe that we all get to listen to. It's nice to be still every now and then. That's what I get when I go swimming: nothing. I never expected to enjoy swimming as much as I have recently experienced and the only thing I truly love about it is that I am attached to nothing, listening to nothing, no one can reach me, I can't do anything about anything, I can't change anything, I can't make anything happen or expect to be or say or do and no one else's expectations amount to much since I am in a swimming pool.

No life business gets conducted in the pool. I like that and I suspect most women I know do, since I've heard that same thing from women who go to tanning salons, for instance. It's just for a short break, though. I sort of enjoy the constant hum in my head. I don't seem to have a "nothing" box that I can crawl into. My brain's chatter box got switched on at birth and I've been talking to myself ever since.

Friday, September 12, 2008

It's raining

It's Friday night, it's raining and I'm watching the movie Major Payne. Funny. Go K-State!

Cy-Hawk, right conference, wrong school

Today is the day all over Iowa when most workplaces have casual day and people are wearing either red for Iowa State or black/gold for Iowa. I normally wear purple today since non-Iowa folk don't get to strut their school stuff at work. Last year, Julie and I went to The Library down by Drake University and she wore her red Iowa State jacket and I wore my K-State jacket and everybody looked at me funny. I thought, "Hey, you're the one going to Drake."

Anyway, I wore a red t-shirt with my jeans today. Among my co-workers this is the equivalent of my standing in the middle of the office screaming, "LOOK AT ME!" since of course everyone knows I went to K-State. But yesterday someone asked me if I was for Iowa and I almost choked on it. Seriously? Cross conference? How could I not cheer on a Big 12 school, first question. Second question, why would I cheer on a Big 10 school that is a clone (no pun intended) of the University of Kansas, the demon rival of my own Alma Mater? Puh-leeze!

We'll see what my friend Pippa has to say since red is also the color of her Georgia (Packers) Bulldogs. Go Cyclones! It's all fun today!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lois Jones

For a one-page description of Lois' work in Antarctica, visit this page: http://www.southpolestation.com/trivia/igy2/welch/jones.html

Wednesday nights at church

I had volunteered to be in the boys class, but I was seriously considering asking for a 6-7 week pass on it so I could have one less thing to do prior to the marathon. And if the way I feel now is any indication, the week after the marathon I will feel tired, too. So lo and behold last night someone comes along and wants to help out and has no role assigned to her. I pounced on that! So now I will have Wednesday nights free and thank goodness for that. I can either walk, swim or rest depending on the week goes. Aubree came to church last night and so many people commented to me on how much she has changed since they last saw her. Also, for years she would get shy and need time to blend in. That even happened this summer at VBS, but it didn't happen last night. I hope that's a good sign, but maybe it was simply because she was sitting between me and her grandmother during dinner. :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pacing myself

Math was my weakest subject.

I did the math again on my 20-mile walk from the weekend and the results are really encouraging. I did a 15.71 minute mile for the first 14 miles. The last 6 miles averaged at 15.83 minute miles. That is a pace that will get me to the finish line in the 8 hours they allow walkers. I feel really good and the drugs the doctor put me on for my foot seem to be working nicely. It is Wednesday, though, and I am still tired.

Not much else seems to go on in my world except walking and swimming, I know. I hope to be a little more exciting as the year wears on. We'll see what sort of excitement kicks up!

Monday, September 8, 2008

20-mile day

I finally walked my 20-mile endurance walk prior to the marathon. I'm relieved that I did it and I am not suffering from it, either. I went to the doctor for a follow-up appointment this morning and he seemed really ok with the fact that I did it. He didn't lecture me (he has in the past). He gave me some tips and he answered my questions and he put me on prescription strengtht Naproxen until the marathon is over. The first 7 miles went extremely well. The next 7 went well, the next 2-3 were just ok. The final miles were painful. I tried to imagine myself walking about 6.2 miles. I couldn't imagine it.

The doctor did say it was ok with him if I wanted to try another 20-mile walk to see how things go. The issue as I see it is that my overall pace was 22 minutes/hour. That is awful and it will not get me through the marathon.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Visitors in Northwestern Iowa today

Two members of the family are on the move today as they head up toward Orange City to visit Jack, who is recovering from some ill health earlier this summer. Jack, I'm sorry I didn't go up with them, I will be walking as far as my foot will allow today and going swimming for some real athletic activity! The mileage could be anything from one mile to 20 miles, I suppose. A 20-mile walk would be fantastic. We shall see. I have my foot on ice right now in preparation.

Things are sort of cold in Iowa these days. Today the high will be 71 and wow, it's a heat wave. Today is the birthday of a woman I miss very much. Lois M. Jones died in 2000 a year after she took me to Antarctica. She was an amazing woman. I wish I could introduce each of you to her.

Tuesday would have been my oldest brother's birthday. John died of a brain tumor in 2001.

I went to gymnastics class with Aubree last night. She has a lot of confidence running and jumping and flipping. She has to get on the balance beam and the parallel bars and the uneven bars. Really they just have to get on these things and scoot or hang or take small steps while holding the teacher's hand. They aren't doing anything crazy of course. Aubree's hair is growing long for the first time and she has her first loose tooth.

Maybe it's just me, but when you hear someone say, "With all due respect" they're about to say something disrespectful.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Jack's back!

Jack read my last post and was encouraging! Thanks, Jack. Not only glad to know you're visiting when you can, but I appreciate all the encouragement I can get. I behaved myself this past weekend and only walked once, but it was 12 miles total in one day. Not all at once, but once in the morning and once in the afternoon. It was a fabulous day for a walk! As a matter of fact we had a great weekend here in Des Moines.

I swam every day and Aubree, Bev and Michelle went to the beach at the Raccoon River Park in West Des Moines. They let me tag along on Monday, but they also went on Sunday and enjoyed themselves. Aubree has changed a lot this last year. She's five and a half and has a loose tooth. She has gained weight and gotten taller. She has started gymnastics at Chow's, which is where Shawn Johnson trained. She is now in kindergarten and no longer allowed to take her "baby" to school. It is just a really thin diaper cloth, but she loves to have it with her. She told me yesterday on the way to the beach that she gets a headache at school because she doesn't have her baby with her. She can't nap during nap time and she gets into trouble and has discipline notes sent home. Apparently if that keeps up, she won't get to watch television for a week. Just between you and me, she seemed completely unfazed by this threat.

Wednesday nights at church start up again on September 10 and I have volunteered one more year to be in the 3rd-5th grade boy's class again. Heaven help us!