Saturday, February 28, 2009
Not so much. Little Green Eyes is now down for the count. Poor thing is miserable with a fever and he puked his guts out all over Nick tonight.
So, we need a new plan on the most crucial run of our entire training program. It's simply not going to happen this week. I don't want to run 13 miles in the country by myself and taking the kids isn't an option. Neither is a babysitter. Tomorrow, we'll get a workout on the elliptical for 1.5 to 2.0 hours. Then, next week, we'll do 12 or 13 (depending on how strong we feel). That will leave us with a one week taper. With just one week, we can't even call it a taper. Let's call it a recovery week.
John Boy had asked whether or not tapering has worked for us in the past. Yes, without a doubt, I think it totally helped us in our first marathon. The first 21 miles were much stronger after doing the taper. I'm a total believer in it. It's really nerve racking to do the taper because you have to trust that doing less will make you stronger. While skeptical, we followed the program, and were thankful for it in the end. So, I'm very disappointed that this time around we won't be able to afford ourselves that. But, this is just for fun, it's just a half, and as far as I'm concerned we've already met our goals. For me this was about getting out there and running during the winter and getting a good base down before the hot weather swooped in. Done.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Luckily, we have some vision. I figured that we could do some relatively simple things to resolve the awkward site arrangement. I think the first thing we need to do is close the unnecessarily large swath created by the home's construction. Clearly, little was done during construction to protect the trees. The result is an unnecessarily large swath of open lawn that is not in keeping with the character of the rest of lot. I'd like to see this area become forest again. Lawn is not very eco friendly in that it provides very little habitat for native species, little air filtering effects, etc. It is also a pain in the arse to keep mowed.
Nick has been taking a course at the cooperative extension office on how to make this happen. While I'm a landscape architect, that doesn't mean I can't take a point or two from area foresters. Our current plan is to annihilate the grass. Then, we will plant some modest evergreens for instant effect as well as hardwood seedlings. We will allow the area to fill in as natural meadow. Eventually, nature will take its course and it will become a transitional forest. For a time, it may look "un-kept", but the goal is worthwhile. By enclosing the open swath, it will give the house an enveloped feeling on all sides and buffer any undesirable views to the utilitarian side of the house. I think our neighbors will appreciate the long term effects.
For the short term, however, we will need to make the neighbors aware that there may be a number of years where the area is meadow until the canopy is able to fill in and get them on board. If you have read our previous post about our neighbors, we are well aware that they don't like the look of natural meadow. If this poses to be a huge problem, we may have to mow until the canopy fills in.
In the meantime, we will relocate the driveway so that it meanders through a forested area that was previously disturbed. We won't have to remove any trees and we will do only minimal regrading (i.e. to fill in small divots and place a culvert, etc.) This will allow the front of the house to be seen first resolving any confusion as to the entrance of the house.
Below is a sketch of the proposed changes. Please excuse the rough nature of the sketch. It was quick and dirty and my scanner isn't working right now so I had to take a photo of it. So, excuse me on that!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
When I got back, of course Green Eyes was already up from his very brief cat nap (he needs far less sleep than Ladybug to my chagrin.) Unfortunately, he inherited his father's sleeping habits. Even I need more sleep than the little guy does.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Anyway, this sale was soooo good that my heart was racing in the store. Here are SOME of the deals and the break down (BEFORE the 5 bucks off coupon!).
Vaseline Renewal Lotion $2.99 - 1.50x2 MFG = FREE
Revlon Tweezers $1.99 - 1.00x2 MFG=FREE
Vaseline 13 oz. lotion $3.29-1.25x2 MFG= $0.79
Xtreme Razors Schick $5.00-2.00x2MFG= $1.00
Bandaids $2.19-1.00x2 MFG= $0.19
Secret Deodorant $4.29 - 2.00x2 MFG= $0.29
Scott Tissues 24 rolls $5.50 - 1.00x2 MFG=$3.50
Soleil Razors $5.49- 2.00x2=$1.49
I got some other things for free as well, but I don't really feel like mentioning them.
Before the coupons, it came to over 50 bucks. Then you subtract the 5 bucks printable coupon from K-mart if you purchase 50 bucks or more (thank you again HCW!). Then, you hand over the rest of your coupons. Basically, I got 50 bucks worth of stuff for about 9 bucks (for 13 items!!!). Not bad at all. Of course some things were wiped clean before I got there. I would have loved some free Dawn, but alas, it was not my day on that one. I'll know better next time that during their super double coupon days I better get my butt there fast.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
So the other day, thanks to Hot Coupon World (HCW), I discovered this is a major faux pas and I'm just throwing money out the window letting these sorts of things slide. I spent roughly and hour writing companies either complaining (as in the Hot Pocket incident) or cheering (mostly cheering) about their products in the hopes of receiving coupons. I asked them to to be on their special promotions mailing list, etc. As a result, I received a gazillion coupons in the mail this week.
You can find a list of companies to write for coupons at HCW here. There are at least 100 on that list and I've only done the companies I buy from frequently. Some responses have been disappointing, but for the most part they have been great. For instance, I did complain about an issue I had with some Huggies Diapers (a simple sizing complaint). I now have a free Huggies coupon worth 10 bucks and several other regular coupons. What's even better? There are either no expirations on the coupons or if there are expirations, they don't expire for a year or two. I'm still waiting on a reply from HotPocket's but I have a feeling it's going to be positive one too.
For cheering, I have free Zatarains, turkey burger coupons, johnsonville brat coupons, free deli meat, and a whole bunch more. According to HCW, I'm supposed to write these companies every three months to keep on their lists. With these kind of results, you betcha!
Saturday, February 21, 2009
On the way today, Nick's toes began to bleed. Guess it isn't training until your toenails start to turn black and fall off. Nick lost two toenails last time, and I lost the same. No injuries so far for me this go round but I'm not doing as many mid-week runs either.
These days it takes us at least 30 minutes just to get ready. In addition to the shaffing stick preparation, we must get snack and meals for the kiddos (milk, bottle, crackers), make sure they are freshly diapered and appropriately layered (clothes in winter and suntan lotion in the summer), a snack for ourselves in the event one of us has a sugar crash, water, cellphones, and last but not least... pepper spray.
Right now we keep the kids wrapped in blankets. You'll notice that monkey blanket got ran over a few times in the jogger and has suffered some bruising.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I didn't go to my usual Kroger. The sales weren't that great this week. So, I went to Harris Teeter (HT) instead. I did all of my shopping and I got into the cashier line. The woman rings it up and what do you know, the cashier says she may not be able to take them as they are going to start limiting internet coupons. WTH? I mean, where are the coupons going to come from if not in the paper anymore? Duh, HT, they are going to come from the internet!! So now they are going to limit those too? The manager told her to go ahead and ring all of them up. Close call. They never did tell me the exact number limit but I guess my order didn't reach it. I had twelve.
I scored some really great buys at Harris Teeter. I kind of thought that place was unnecessarily expensive but clearly, I am wrong!! You just have to stick to the list and be REALLY strict about it.
Arm and Hammer Laundry Detergent for $2 ea.
Progresso Soup for just 40 cents ea.
Fiber One Cereal (this stuff is not cheap!) for just 50 cents ea.
Smart Balance Popcorn $1
Delmonte Low Sodium Vegetable, FREE
and of course
MORE FREE TOOTHPASTE. We are now good on toothpaste until 2011 (when they expire).
I hope y'all are having good days out there!
Monday, February 16, 2009
Whole Wheat Pancakes:
1 c. Whole Wheat Flour
2 c. Quick Oats
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c. skim milk
1 c. applesauce (optional)
3 tsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. flax seed meal (optional)
water as required to make the desired consistency
Sometimes I add a couple cups of water to thin them out a bit, especially if I make it the night before and all the oats to absorb the water. This will result in a different texture to your pancake but we like them both ways. You can also had a couple tablespoons to a quarter cup of flax seed meal to make them all the more heart healthy. You won't taste the difference, but your heart will love you for it.
- Servings Per Recipe: 17
- Amount Per Serving: 1 pancake
- Calories: 81.4
- Total Fat: 1.7 g
- Cholesterol: 25.4 mg
- Sodium: 215.5 mg
- Total Carbs: 13.9 g
- Dietary Fiber: 2.4 g
- Protein: 3.9
Sunday, February 15, 2009
More at: http://www.bringbackthecoupons.com/
Guess I'll be cancelling my subscriptions. I didn't get any this week. I guess this is why. Oh boy.
It's true that many people either gain a little weight or don't see any change on the scale for as long as 4-6 weeks after making a significant change in their level of exercise. This is often explained as "gaining muscle while losing fat" but that isn't quite accurate. This extra weight is usually water.
When you start doing more exercise, your body begins storing more fuel in your muscle cells, where it can be used easily and quickly to fuel your workouts. The process of converting glucose (carbohydrates) into fuel that your muscles actually store and use (glycogen) requires three molecules of water for every molecule of glucose. As your muscles are building up glycogen stores, your body has to retain extra water for this purpose. That's what causes most of the initial weight gain or lack of weight loss. This is a good thing—not something to worry about.
However, despite what the scale says, you are actually losing fat during this time. The extra water retention will stop once your body has adjusted to its new activity level. At that point, the scale should start moving down. You'll end up with less fat, and muscles that can handle a larger amount of work.
Written by Dean Anderson, Certified Personal Trainer
You learn something new everyday. I've noticed the same with this new workout schedule. I'm retaining a little extra water right now as my body adjusts to running for two plus hours again. It takes a lot of will power to get through it. It takes a toll on the body. It only makes sense that the body will keep water in reserves.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
It's Nanerpus! You can call me, nanerpus, nanerpus. And guess what? I love pancakes!!
we hit internet gold looking around for it... check out the remix...
But, I guess the holiday is what you make of it. Though every year I tell Nick that I refuse to celebrate, he always does and so do I, in some small way.
Below is a pic of the chocolate strawberries Nick greeted me with tonight. They were a complete surprise. Words can not describe how wonderful they are. If I had a last meal, these would be included.
I made Nick his favorite meal (flat-out pizzas) and broccoli and made a bunch of the rice krispie treats. He is easy to please. The heart bowl cost me 98 cents a few years ago and I keep using it. So that's how much I'm willing to invest in the holiday.
Today, Ladybug and I practiced writing x's and o's.
Here is a pic from last weekend of my nephew eating Sushi for the first time. I think it was tuna or salmon. We were out celebrating my sister's birthday.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
So this morning, Nick and I had a nice adventure. It was bound to happen eventually living in the sticks. I mean, it's happened to our dogs a number of times and it was bound to happen to one of us. It's been 8 months since we've been here. Admittedly, I thought it was a summer thing, not something that would happen in February. Then again, it's 70 degrees today. It was 68 yesterday and for that matter, the whole week has been rather mild.
When Nick hopped out of the shower, I noticed what I thought was some kind of boil on his side. Alas, we were not that lucky. Upon close inspection, it was a tick. I hate ticks. They are disgusting little critters. We used the old vaseline method. It worked wonders, I extracted it and let Nick burn it. I guess my training at grandma's house did some good. I used to spend a week or two every summer with her and my grandpa in Caroline County and every summer one of of us would get a tick on us during our stay there. It was my least favorite thing about the stay, but it was worth all the hours of cards we got to play together. We'd play poker sometimes until 1 or 2 in the morning. We played with pennies and nickels and got to keep the stash.
Luckily, according to the pediatrician, we don't have to worry about Lyme Disease here in Virginia. Apparently we have a lizard in our region of the country that possesses a natural anti-body to the disease causing bacteria in the tick population. Well, that is a relief.
I have been too busy to write lately. Mainly, I'm trying to squeeze in exercise and couponing and there isn't much left after that and taking care of the kids and chores. I did score more free TP. If that isn't reason enough to continue the couponing, I don't know what is!
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Funny thing in regards to Nick's post is that this was all Nick's idea. But this is what I call one of Nick's "Tomato Pie" ideas. These are ideas that are good, but not necessarily for him.
For those of you who have not heard this story, let me tell you what I mean by a Tomato Pie Idea.
When Nick and I were first dating, I told him I would make him dinner. "What do you want?," I asked. After no real response I told him I saw this cool recipe on Paula Deen for a tomato pie. He said, "That sounds good." Well, I go and make him dinner and what do you know, he hates tomatoes. You see, when he said that it sounded good, what he really meant was that it sounded good for people who like tomatoes. So, I guess the same goes here. At this point, I may consider dismantling.
Anyway, speaking of tomatoes and vegetables, we have selected the crops we are planting this year. Our goal is to plant stuff that is expensive for us to buy in the store but are absolutely delicious and goof for us.
We will be growing some lettuce, mainly mâche and roquette. Thanks to Marie France Roy, she sent us these seeds straight from France. Spring can not come soon enough! YUMM! They are very expensive seeds when bought here for some reason.
We are going to give it a go with berries. We bought one Blueberry plant and bareroot strawberry plants.
Winter Squash - Bush Delicata Butternut Squash and Mesa Queen Acorn Squash
Dill's Atlantic Giant Pumpkin (just a couple seeds because you only need so many giant pumpkins.)
Gold Rush Zucchini Summer Squash
Graffiti Cauliflower - We got the purple cauliflower variety to promote our "rainbow."
Hybrid Broccoli Blend -
Cabernet Tomato - I love Grape Tomatoes
Old German Tomato - A hearty Heirloom Tomato
Traditional Green Beans
French Green Beans
and finally Fingerling Potatoes.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Merritt always wants me to write on this thing. I tell her I write all day at work, so I don't really want to write when I get home, but I'll try to appease her here.
I went outside to for a vision quest. A lot of stuff was moving around in our forest. Probably turkeys, we have a lot of wild turkeys around here. The moon is bright enough out there that it seems to dim out lamba orionis, the head of Orion. Orion is the best constellation, the rest (save the big dipper) are all posers. I may lack vision. By the way, if you don't follow stellar astrophysics, Orion's right shoulder (on the left from our view) is Betelgeuse (Bettlejuice--at least that is how I pronouce it), a red supergiant with a diameter greater than the diameter of the orbit of Mars. If that is not cool enough the middle star of Orion's belt is M42, the Orion Nebula. Thanks Star Hustler (remember that guy on PBS at like 3:00 in the morning before the national anthem?)!
Speaking of posers, what's up with Bear Grylls? Why is he always climbing stuff? Does rock climbing seem like the best option in a survival situation? Then he taunts a giant centipede, if he had eaten it it would have been one thing, but he doesn't. And then he took water from a section of rapids to drink. Doesn't he know that is where all of the junk from the bottom is stirred up into the drinking water? Les Stroud kicks Bear's ass.
I highly recommend this movie, but just for the music:
I have a problem with the new Hallmark Valentine's Ad. Have you seen it? The ad consists of 3 little girls, age 9 or 10 or so. They open their lunch for the day, on Valentine's Day. One girl gets hearts on her apple from her mom. Another girl gets a sandwich cut in the shape of a heart from her mom. Then the third girl gets a Hannah Montana card with music in it. Oh, wow!!! Your mom really cares.
What message does this send? Like most commercials, it places an emphasis on money and material over true love and care. Personally, I find the time and care the other moms went to making those special sandwiches and snacks more touching, but I'm not an impressionable youngster who believes what he/she sees on TV. The card is meant to make parents like me want to go an purchase this card to show I care more then the other moms but it sends and equally upsetting message to youngsters.
Oh, how I would have loved to have my lunch box packed when I was younger! My parents thought it was cheaper to have me on the school lunch system. As a result, I ate pizza just about every single day because it was the only thing I liked on the menu. I wasn't a picky eater, it was that most of the items on the line looked down right awful. I know the school lunch system was easier for my two working parents who really needed to cut corners wherever they could. I don't blame them but I do remember begging for a packed lunch. It may have done my obese figure some good. (I take full responsibility for pigging out after school when I was home alone drowning my sorrows from school in ice cream and corn dogs. Perhaps, I'll discuss that another day.)
Kids are so impressionable at that young age and I'm deeply disturbed by the commercial. This message is portrayed everywhere, but something about this one disturbed me more than usual. I'm going to definitely have to restrict my children to watching PBS. The ads out there are insane. The nerve. I don't think I'll be buying a Hallmark card anytime soon. I care enough NOT to send the very best.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
dang it... I did good!
Beechnut Arrowroot Cookies - two boxes for FREE
Smithfield Bacon - $.85
9 0z. Hilshire Farm Deli Meat -$1.85
Viva Paper Towels- $.30 ea.
8 oz. Kraft 2% cheese - $.25 each!!! (I thought 1.25 last week was good?!)
Skippy peanut butter- $1.09 ea.
Sweet Sue Chicken-$.74 ea.
Pepperidge Farm Garlic Bread - $.57ea.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
FREE TP, AGAIN!!!! I bought 3 things of it.
Yoplain yo plus - on sale for $2, minus $1.50 coupon and $-1.00 e-coupon = made .50 cents
I did that twice. Then I bought another one and just used a $1.00 internet coupon. Total 3 FREE packages of Yo plus yogurt.
Large package on sale for 2.50. -.75 e-coupon, plus -.75 MFG coupon-.33 grocery deal= $.67
Honey Nut Cheerios
1.67 on sale -.50 e-coupon, -50 mfg coupon = .67 cents each (i did that twice)
Regularly 1.88, On sale for $1.50, subtract .33 grocery deal = 1.17 ea
On sale for 1.25, - .50 e-coupon, -.35 MFG coupon (doubled) = .05, 5 cents!
Lean Hot Pockets
We get these at regular price sometimes cause Nick HAS to have these. You may remember the pizza addiction. This week they were on sale for $1.50 plus I had a coupon top of that for -1.25 off of six. Total was 1.30 each. I bought 12. Seriously, 12.
My total grocery bill this week was only 89 bucks. I got Pert Plus, diapers for cheap again, etc and still came in low. We are starting to reap the benefits of this couponing deal. I will be doing the triple coupon thing at Harris Teeter tomorrow and I will let you know how it goes.
Monday, February 2, 2009
The next day (clean up) was less fun. I will post a picture of the paint color in the bedroom later. We still have some things to hang and some furniture to move around.
I also completed a mini side project: a magnetic chalk board. Nick hates it when I add on to what seems to be an already impossible amount of work but I couldn't help myself. I mean, we were painting anyway right? One little 28"x52" area can't add that much work.
Five coats later, (3 coats of magnetic paint every 30 minutes followed by two layers of chalk board paint every 4-8 hours and another 24 hours to cure) I have to agree with Nick. OK, so it was a pain in the butt and maybe it should have been tackled at a later date, but it was worth it. After all the painting, we attached the frame. Nick and I finished it by caulking it tonight. Below is the finished project. It sits in our breakfast nook next to our kitchen.
For now, I'm using it to menu plan for the week. I put an Awesome Sedan Crater Magnet on the "board" to showcase its amazing Magnetic qualities. It's on the lower left corner if you look closely.
I'm sure the kids will have their own ideas as to what to fill the space with in the future. When you have stainless appliances you lose the whole refrigerator gallery deal so it will be good to have this space. All in all, I think it turned out fairly well.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
As mentioned prior, there is always a price to pay for knocking things off the to-do list. Tonight it will be lack of sleep. I will post pics tomorrow. Right now, it's 2 AM (for some reason my posts are showing up with the time wrong), and everything looks kind of trashy and I'm tired and I'm sure Nolan will be ready to be fed at 6 in the morning.