Thursday, January 28, 2016

Feet Don't Fail Me Now


Rehab has officially begun.  I visited a very nice local podiatrist this morning, who gave me an encouraging diagnosis, and hope that I will run again.  Stretching, ice, and a month of anti-inflammatory medication, and then we re-assess.  I am going to dutifully follow all of his instructions, and hope that I'll get the green light at the end of February to ease back in.  Fingers crossed.

Daphne wants to do this:


It's an obstacle 5K with an ice cream theme on June 25.  So, that's my goal.  Sounds messy, but you only live once I guess.  It gives me a goal and it gives Daphne a reason to be excited about running.  Not sure what Kev will think of this.  

But first, I have to fix my feet. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Snowtopia


We knew it was coming, so there was much preparation and some panic.  I managed to get all the groceries and essentials taken care of by Thursday, so on Friday morning, when most people were either hunkering down and doing their last Milk/Bread/TP/Marshmallow runs, we decided to go get snowshoes.  Slim pickins at Dick's Sporting Goods, but we managed to find three adequate pairs of snowshoes and we were ready for Winter Storm Jonas.


The snow started Friday afternoon, and Daphne was excited to make her first real snowball of the year.  
Over the next 36 hours, we went from this:


To this:


But 32+ inches of snow cannot stop Team Holt.




Fort!


Snowshoeing!


Sledding!  Um, well, ATTEMPTED sledding.

Most people are very complainy about all the snow, but I don't mind it, really.  The four hours of shoveling wasn't the most fun thing ever.




Bu we managed.  We got the driveway done on Monday, and so we had what Kev called the Driveway to Nowhere until the plow finally came yesterday.  I drove a car last night for the first time since last Friday.  Can't say I've missed driving a car all that much.  But I have to admit I didn't like the trapped feeling, and I was starting to worry about missing my podiatrist appointment, which is tomorrow.  



Daphne got to spend the last several days doing all the things kids dream of.  Missing school, hanging out with friends, making snow caves, snow balls, snow dragons, eating snow cones, and so forth.  And drinking enough hot chocolate for a lifetime.  School is cancelled for the rest of the week, so we have three more days to make the most of things, plus the weekend, which I hope involves more snowshoeing, and perhaps a Pictionary rematch (I was ROBBED!).

So, I'm not going to call it Snowpocolypse or Snowzilla or Snowmageddon or whatever they are calling it this year.  I'm just going to try to have as much fun as possible.  This doesn't happen every day.

But maybe a snowblower for Christmas next year?


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

NOOOOOOOOOO! And also, YES!


Last week, the lice letter came home from school.  So far, so good at our house, but precautions have been taken and Daphne has been reminded more than once about the evil that lice brought into our home last summer.  I can't go through that again.  Pony tails and rosemary shampoo until we're sure the classroom is clear.  Problem is, you can never REALLY be sure, because the parents don't always tell.  Parents. TELL. PLEASE. It is your civic duty.

On a happier note, we are supposed to get big big snow this weekend, so we will finally get to try out this:


YAY!  I have been waiting and waiting for big snow and finally it's coming.  I can't wait.  My favorite is when there is so much snow that cars can't go down our street and it's really really quiet.  It's almost never quiet. A rare treat.  

Here is a picture of a loon because all week I have been thinking about Maine.  


I can't wait to get back there.  The thing is, now I have this stupid plantar fasciitis and I have to take time off from running and I hate it. But the only way I'm going to make it to Maine is if I take care of this now, so I'm going to a podiatrist next week to see what's up.  In a million years, I never would have believed I'd be going to a podiatrist for a sports injury.  Me!  A SPORTS injury!  That's so weird.  You just never know where life will take you I guess.

Right now, life is going to take me into the kitchen for a snack.  And then, maybe to the couch for a nap.  It's that kind of afternoon.  Very nappy.  Pictures of snow dragons coming soon!


Monday, January 11, 2016

Magical Meatballs in the Mail and Maine Half Marathons


There was this one time, a few years ago, when I was procrastinating on the Internet at meatball-making time.  And, since it's important to let the Facebook know your every move, I posted this:  

Well, these meatballs aren't going to make themselves.

And then, I got off the internet and made the meatballs.  Only I found out later that what I actually posted was this:

Well, these meatballs are going to make themselves.

And thus began a long-running joke between me and my good Texas friends Anne and Jimmy about self-making meatballs.

And today, via the magic of the Touchnote app (you should check it out!), I received a postcard (pictured above) featuring a photo of my magical meatballs, which Anne snagged off Facebook when it turned up in her Facebook Memories.  Sometimes, Facebook is good.  I love getting real mail!


There is talk that my same friend Anne and our friend Emily are going to do the Maine Coast Half Marathon next year or the year after so I can do one before I turn 50.  This is a BIG goal, but one that I think is do-able, especially if I have the motivation of running with Anne and Emily in my favorite state in the US.  This race is really close to Kennebunkport, which is where I had the best lunch I have ever eaten, ever.  So I am totally in.  

(It was a lobster roll)

Meanwhile, at our house, the January purging of stuff has begun. Here is our donation pile so far:


The only think I am really sad about giving away is Daphne's little kid drum set, which was an awesome gift from Uncle Jeff.  The good news is that even though she has outgrown it, it paved the way to her playing the REAL drums, which is awesome.  Hoping it paves some other little kid's way, next.

Today, I went through shoes and t-shirts.  I didn't take "before" pics, but these are the "after"s, and you'll have to trust me that things are much improved:

 

I think the kitchen cabinets are next. 

Time to go start thinking about dinner.  I wish I had some meatballs that would make themselves.



Thursday, January 07, 2016

These are the Things I Could Do Without

In 2016, could we just please move on from:

1. Donald Trump
2. Man buns
3. Um...

That's pretty much it.  No more Donald Trump or man buns.  The world will be an infinitely better place.

On second thought:
3. Cilantro.


Sunday, January 03, 2016

I Ran



Sigh.

Hello, blog.  

So, it's 2016 now, and I haven't blogged since last summer.  I don't know why.  But here I go again, and I hope to stick to it this time.  I miss it.

So many things I've missed writing about, and it seems like an impossible task to catch up on it all. Maybe sometime, I'll try.  But for now, I want to write about how 2015 was the year that I ran.  

I was always one of those anti-running people.  Why would anyone want to run on purpose?  I didn't get it at all.  It's boring, it's painful, it's hard on the body.

But then, last Spring, Daphne and Kev challenged me to be Daph's Girls on the Run running buddy in the fall.  So, I put it on Facebook so I would be accountable, I got a Fitbit and some orange Nike running shoes, and off I went.  Very very slowly.  

I started on the treadmill at Ida Lee, doing 2 minute run/walk intervals at 2.5/3.5 mph.  That is REALLY lame, but you have to start somewhere, and that was about the best I could do at the time.  3.1 miles without stopping seemed pretty much impossible.

I remember the first time I finished a whole mile on the treadmill without walking, and by then I was up to about 4.5 mph.  This was HUGE.  A big day for me.

Sometimes, I'd go running on the trail with Daphne or Kev, or both.  We ran on vacation at the beach and the lake place.  But I struggled.  A mile was about all I could finish without stopping to walk.  Back at home, getting from my street to the bridge was my first Big Goal, and it took me forever to reach it.  It's a little over a mile, on a very slight but constant incline, but it might as well have been 10 miles straight up a mountain because that's what it felt like to me.  Hills became my nemesis.

Kev encouraged me the whole time, which is not easy when the person you are trying to encourage keeps saying "I can't."  But he stuck with me.  And Daphne did, too.  Seriously, that kid kept me going so many times when I just wanted to stop and fall into a heap right in the middle of the trail.  "I know you can do it, Mom."  So, I did it. 

I got a lot of encouragement from friends and family and other runners.  REAL runners. I got lots of advice, too. Words of wisdom.  Running is 90% mental.  The first mile is the hardest.  It will get easier.  And so on.  I didn't really believe any of it it, but tried to take it to heart.  Maybe they were right.  I hoped that they were right.

A few weeks before the 5K, I made it to the bridge AND BACK.  A little over 2 miles.  And a week before the run, Kev, Daphne, and I did 3.1 on the trail.  Our own Team Holt family practice 5K.  And then the actual big day came. And Daphne was sick.  She was miserable.  But she ran that whole thing with me and wouldn't let me quit or walk, even when I know SHE wanted to fall into a heap this time. We crossed the finish line together.

 

This was truly one of the best days of my life.  I never ever do hard things.  I HATE doing hard things.  Especially painful hard things.  I mostly don't like doing hard things because I am not good at them.  I only really like doing things that I'm good at.  But this time, I did an impossibly hard thing and I felt like a badass for the first time in a long time (if ever).  

And I discovered that I CAN do hard things.

And I discovered that running really IS is about 90% mental.  And that the first mile really IS the hardest.

And I discovered - and this is the really weird thing - that I love running.  Not the whole time it's happening.  I love it part of the time and hate it part of the time.  But when I'm done, I don't remember the part I was hating.  I just feel good.  And now, I have become one of those people I didn't understand before.  I am one of those people who HAS to run. I never ever would have believed any of this a year ago, but I think I might be a REAL runner.  Still slow.  But a runner nonetheless. Because I run. (And I run a little tiny tiny bit faster every day.) (Except on hills). (Ugh.)

I started 2016 by doing a New Year's Day 5K with Kev and Daphne.  It was hard.  It was really super hilly and I wanted to stop and walk about a thousand times, but my little team kept me going.  And all three of us crossed the finish line together. And it was awesome.  A perfect way to start a new year.

TEAM HOLT!!!!!!!!!


Maybe next year, we'll do the 10K.


More blogging in 2016?  I hope so!
Happy New Year, wherever you are.  Go forth and do hard things.  Be a badass.  If I can, ANYONE can.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Summer - The Good


So, in spite of the situation with the lice, summer hasn't been ALL bad.  We harvested Murphy the cabbage, and donated him to the local food pantry.


Sour cherries appeared at the farmers market, and so there was delicious sour cherry pie.


Daphne and I took a road trip to Indiana, which was lots of fun.


We had lots of good food, spent time with good people and dogs, explored a cave, and found an old skool merry-go-round on a playground.  Grandma came back with us and spent a couple of days.


We went blueberry picking at my favorite blueberry picking place.


Blueberries are the best thing about summer.


Daphne started drum lessons.  She's good!  Her teacher is awesome and jams with her to Led Zeppelin songs.  She loves it.


We went to HPNY for the 4th of July.  We got spend time with cousins, go on a big hike through the woods, and meet the newest puppy, Tootsie, who is awesome and calm and nice.


Plus we got to go kayaking around the lake, which was my favorite.


I have been back at work, teaching people to knit.


And Daphne is learning to make a quilt.


We all went to the movies on Sunday, and it felt almost like we were a normal lice-free family.  I think we actually ARE a normal lice-free family now.  But I don't want to jinx it.  

This weekend should be pretty low-key.  I am hoping to knit, and make something with all these blueberries and go somewhere for a belated Father's Day outing since gin on the head shot the wheels off the REAL Father's Day.  Poor Kev.

So, summer isn't all bad.  It's hot, but there are only 77 days until October!

Coming soon...the Facebook vacation.  Worth it?  Stay tuned...


Friday, July 10, 2015

Of Lice and Gin


Here are Daphne and Kev, celebrating Father's Day. You may be wondering why Daphne is wearing a Father's Day shower cap, and I'll get to that.  But first, let's back up a little.


Since I last blogged a blog, Daphne turned nine.  Her birthday was on Free Donut Day, which is awesome.


She spent the night with her girl scout troop in tents at the National Zoo.  Lions roared in the night.  Also awesome. Once in a lifetime.


She bridged from Brownies to Juniors.  Again, awesome.  (Look how pretty her hair is.  Sigh.)


She finished third grade.  Woohoo!

This is all great, right?  So, why the long face?  And the shower cap?


BECAUSE THIS HAS BEEN THE SUMMER OF LICE.
We are a family with more than our fair share of critter invasions.
First, there was the Thanksgiving Mouse.  Then, there were ants.  And fleas.  There was squirrell-in-the-wall day.  And then more mice. 
But THIS is the evil evil Summer of Lice.

Sometime between her birthday and the last day of school, Daphne put her head in the wrong place at the wrong time.  

Do not let anyone tell you lice is "no big deal."  It is a huge deal.  It is a NIGHTMARE.  There have been tears, arguements, battles, and moments of complete and total give-up.  There might have even been cuss words.  The stuff from Rite-Aid did not work.  Lice these days have become SUPER lice, and are no longer affected by OTC treatments.  Plus, it's toxic.  I don't know about you, bu I don't like pouring pesticides on my kid's head.

So, eventually, desperation set in. The interenet was consulted.  Various home remedies were suggested, including olive oil, tea tree oil, and MAYO.  No way was I going to cover Daphne's head in mayo.  So we went with the most experimental home remedy we could find.  It was only tried by one person that we could find on the internet, but it worked for him and his family.


Gin.

Yep.  Gin.

Not ketchup...the ketchup bottle was just the vehicle for completely saturating my child's head with distilled alcohol.


So, that is the reason Daphne was wearing a shower cap on Father's Day.  Because Father's Day turned into Gin-on-my-Head Day.  

Poor Daphne.  

Poor Kev!  It was not the greatest Father's Day.

Daphne spent four hours that day with a gin-soaked head.  She couldn't even help me cook Kev's Father's Day breakfast because I was afraid to let her near the open flames on the stove!  The last thing we needed was a kid with hair on fire, although I am positive the lice would not have survived it.

Anyway, several weeks later, after two more "just in case" gin-on-my-head treatments, countless hours of combing, and a very uneven (but cute!) haircut executed by yours truly, I THINK we are at the end of this terrible terrible experience.  The gin worked!!!!  DANG!!!!!!


There is always a chance we missed something and they could come back.  But I am feeling hopeful for the first time since summer started.  

In spite of the lice, there have been some happy fun times this summer, but I will save those for the next post.

I hope you are having a bug-free summer, wherever you are.