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Thankful that I Ran

I cravenly did not run yesterday (did you read my blog post? I was tired! It was winter!), so I thought I might run this morning before beginning the Thanksgiving festivities. We were up early. I had coffee and a banana with peanut butter. I used to wait at least an hour after eating, you know, like they used to tell you to do when you went swimming, but I have since read conflicting advice. Anyways, I was hungry (stand by for some half-baked philosophy about advice on some future Lame Post Friday).

It was 30 degrees according to my thermostat, so I put on pants and a long-sleeved ARMY t-shirt. The t-shirt has a reflective decoration on the back. I was glad of this, because I intended to do at least part of my run in the road. As I wrote yesterday, winter is back. There was a lot of snow on the ground and I was betting there would not be a lot of bare or even semi-bare sidewalks.

I figured prior to 7 a.m. on a holiday there would not be too much traffic. Then again, some stores began their “Black Friday” sales too early to qualify for the name. As the great Fats Waller said, one never knows, do one? Never mind. The sun was up and so was I. I added toque and gloves to my ensemble and set out.

It was not too cold after all. I was glad of the gloves and kind of wished I had added a sweatshirt but I knew I could hang. I ran to the end of my street to find that there was in fact traffic on East German. I ran a little way (left side facing traffic OF COURSE) then crossed the street to where I saw a cleared sidewalk.

Of course it didn’t last. I was soon plowing through fluffy white stuff. It wasn’t too bad. I told myself it would burn more calories. This would be great. Surely a 20 minute run plowing through snow would burn as many calories as a 30 minute run on dry bare roads. I had no way of doing the math but could see no advantage in knowing exact numbers so did not repine.

I turned down Margaret Street where I felt I could safely run in the road. Perhaps not. Wasn’t this ice? It wasn’t glare ice in any case. It didn’t feel too slippery, but I continued with care. My middle-aged shuffle is ideally suited to these running conditions. I made a mental note to include that observation in my blog post (and you see that I did) (feeling pleased with myself). When I went back to the sidewalks and plowed through the unshoveled parts my shuffle was less delightful, but I persevered.

Back in the road I stepped in a puddle. Now my feet were wet! Don’t go back on the sidewalk, I told myself, or your feet will freeze in the snow. I pictured my feet encased in ice cubes with perfectly smooth sides and right-angle corners, like in the cartoons. That amused me. It didn’t happen when I eventually returned to the sidewalk.

I did not encounter much traffic but at one point a car came towards me while I was in the road and I was not near a place to get to the sidewalk easily. And there was a deep puddle to my left. Oh dear. I got over as far as I could. The car wasn’t going very fast. I thought maybe the driver had seen ARMY on my shirt and did not want to hit a veteran. Be nice to veterans. Um, not I think people ought to run over non-veterans. Does anybody really think I think that? If you do and you are offended, well, I am offended that you think I think that! So there!

Where was I? Oh yes, headed back home through the snow. I ran 22 minutes. Twenty-two is my favorite number. I really enjoyed my run. When I wasn’t looking at my feet and running with care, I was looking up at the trees, which were still covered with snow. I enjoyed the grey light of the just-risen sun.

After walking my cool-down with Tabby, I shoveled the end of the driveway and the sidewalk in front of our house. After a run where I thought, “Oh, these nice people shoveled! These rotten people didn’t!” I wanted to be one of the nice people.

I was delighted I had run. My body felt awesome. I really need to run or at least walk every day. When I get it out of the way so early I feel set up for the day. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Writing, Winter and Wuss-out Wednesday

Here’s a way to make yourself write: have something else you really, really ought to be doing instead. Don’t let yourself write while you do this other thing. Then put the other thing aside when you really ought to still be working on it, and write.

It’s fun.

OK, this is going to be a foolish blog post, but it is about writing, and some people like to read about writing. I know I do.

I mentioned yesterday that I had not written a blog post, because I was working on learning my lines for a play I am in. Of course I have not learned my lines yet (give me a break; it’s only been a couple of days). I brought my script with me to work, so I could work on them before shift and on breaks.

But I also wanted to write a blog post so as not to be composing at the keyboard after I got home from work (as, astute readers will have noticed, I am in fact doing). I had an idea to write about an old movie I watched over the weekend. I had composed a few sentences in my head while I worked (between dithering about other things, see yesterday’s post). I started to write.

I wrote two pages. My shift started. I thought of more things to write. During the first break I wrote them down. I finished a third page in triumph. I LOVE to write! Then I went back to work. I worked on my lines during lunch and the afternoon break. I still haven’t learned them all. These things take time, you know.

While I was working, writing and working, winter returned to the Mohawk Valley in the form of a LOT of snow. I had to brush off my SUV. Why oh why did I not buy a short, small car that is easier to brush off? I went to my husband’s place of employment, because I thought it would be a good idea if we switched cars so the SUV would be last in the driveway tomorrow.

Before going to his car and going home, I shopped. As usual this involved a lot of walking around and dithering (I don’t know why dithering doesn’t burn more calories; it certainly tires me out). I had to brush off Steven’s car, a little Dodge Stratus. I discovered that although it is easier to brush off a car that is not as tall as I am, it is still a pain in my butt.

Oh dear, those last two paragraphs were not about writing, were they? Well, they are to indicate to you why I feel too tired to type in the lovely pages I wrote while at work today. For another reason, they need editing.

All this by way of telling you, I am taking a Wuss-out Wednesday right after yesterday’s Tired Tuesday. More cynical readers are not surprised. Optimistic readers are disappointed. Kind readers will hope I get a good night’s sleep. I hope everyone will tune in again tomorrow, when it will be Thanksgiving, and we will all give thanks if I can write a decent post. As always, thank you for playing.

In My Defense, I’m in a Play

Sorry, folks, it’s another Tired Tuesday. I spent my breaks at work studying my lines for a play I’m in with Ilion Little Theatre. It is a big part, so regular readers should stand by for All Busybody All The Time. Busybody is the name of the play.

I’m writing in haste, too, because I have a hair appointment in less than 45 minutes. I can’t think of anything alliterative for that. If it was in a few days, I could have Flustered Friday. That’s all I got right now, and I don’t know where my thesaurus is.

I don’t know where my brain is either. I spent all day at work fussing in my head over all the stuff I need to get done in the coming days. And dithering over whether or not to get my hair cut at all. And wondering if I could get in to my usual stylist at Hot Spot Salon and Spa in Herkimer. And lamenting that I cannot get a pedicure as well.

Finally I made myself a list of everything I need to work on. Making a list is a wonderful tool. Once you have that list, you feel you have accomplished something. You feel in control. You feel competent and organized. You try to ignore what messy handwriting you have and how long the list actually is.

Sometimes you actually start to do the the things on the list. What a concept! And, hey, I just realized that one of the items on my list is make blog post. I’m going to cross that one out and go get my hair cut. Then spend some more time studying my lines. I have a lot of them.

Fine Arts and Fun

Saturday my Mohawk Valley adventures took me a little further afield than my usual Herkimer-Ilion-Mohawk beat. I went to the Sauquoit Valley Fine Arts and Crafts Show in Sauquoit, NY with my Mom and sister Cheryl.

It was Cheryl’s idea. She drove us over scenic country roads into Sauquoit. It’s one of those areas where you can look out over farmland towards mountains. I love a long view. And what a lovely village Sauquoit is! We were all admiring the houses, many of which looked historic, or at least old in a good way.

It was pretty obvious where the craft fair was as we went by numerous cars parked along the roads. Luckily there were people directing traffic, so we didn’t drive into a parking lot only to find all the spaces taken. We got a space in the elementary school lot. If we had gone further and parked at the high school, we could have gotten a shuttle back to the middle school, where the event took place. As it was, we all agreed we could use the exercise. It wasn’t all that far of a walk anyways.

Cheryl paid our $3 admission fee (wasn’t that nice of her, after she drove and everything) and got a map. Mom and I checked our coats, which was free, although there was a tip jar. We did not use the map much but went from room to room, trying to catch everything. The show encompassed many rooms on two floors as well as the gymnasium.

All sorts of vendors were present: woodwork, knitting, quilting and more. Other booths offered dips, honey and even fruit salsa. I tried a few of the free samples. The booths offering soap or candles smelled the best. I took business cards from the vendors which particularly interested me. Cheryl and Mom purchased a few Christmas presents, but none for me. I was bad this year.

I confess I was as interested to see the bulletin boards in the classrooms and in the halls as much as the vendors. What are they teaching kids these days? I saw quite a number of anti-bullying messages as well as things about respect and making good decisions. Those sounded like pretty good lessons to learn, so I paid attention.

When we got hungry we made our way to the cafeteria for the Crystal Cafe. There was also a bake sale in progress. Cheryl and I had hot dogs with sour kraut while Mom enjoyed some chicken soup. I resisted the temptations of the bake sale, but Cheryl got a banana chocolate chip bread.

The fair ran for two days, Saturday and Sunday. It is an annual event, although this is the first time I’ve gone. I’ll have to watch for it again next year. It was a lot of fun.

Sunday Running Commentary

Instead of my usual Wrist to Forehead Sunday, I thought I’d try a Running Commentary. When I first got out of bed this morning I was completely disinclined to run. After some coffee and perusing the paper, I began to reconsider.

By this time I’d been up long enough to get hungry, so I thought I would eat a banana with peanut butter, wait for it to digest a little, then run. This also gave me time to watch one of our favorite shows, Mohawk Valley Living. It gave the temperature a chance to warm up a little too, although we didn’t start out as cold as we have been.

I normally run in shorts and t-shirt for anything over 45 degrees. My thermostat said 44, so I stretched a point. I had a bad moment when I put on my headband and found that my hair looked completely ridiculous. It is at that in-between stage: not long enough to do anything with, too long to do nothing about. Should I put on a hat, hiding the mop? Or just look ridiculous and say to hell with it? Then I asked myself, why was I even debating about it? Who cares what I look like when I run?

The morning was grey and gloomy, which suited me fine. Sidewalks were wet but not icy or snowy, and not too many puddles. It was after 8:30 when I set out, but traffic was OK. Early lasts later on Sunday than it does on Saturday, if you see what I mean.

I headed towards Valley Health, to run the hill by it. I must build back up to the hill to Herkimer County Community College, but these things don’t happen all in a day, or even in a week. I sternly told myself that they don’t happen at all if one continues to take four days off between runs. I had good reasons for not running those days, I argued, but I wasn’t buying it. If only guilt burned calories.

That hill was not fun. Yesterday when walking uphill I had observed that I like to walk uphill. Not too long a hill or too steep a hill, but a certain amount of hill is good when walking. I wished I was walking but continued to run. This would work. I could hang.

I felt better after the downhill and back on level ground. I realized my lungs were not happy, but my legs could totally rock this. One can’t have everything after all. I concentrated on feeling happy that at least part of me was rocking it.

I got tired earlier into the run than I expected to. It wasn’t any specific part of me that felt bad, just an overall tiredness. Yesterday when I was greatly enjoying my walk with Tabby, I had thought how blessed I was to love things. I love to walk, I love to write, I love to run, I said to myself. I asked myself this morning, was I loving this run? Um, no. But I wasn’t hating it, so that was something.

To further enjoy my run I made a conscious effort to look around at houses. One porch railing still sported black garland with skulls. Nice. One house looked abandoned. Not so good. That one had new-looking siding and porch. Nice again. That large house was crying out for a new paint job. Wait a minute, was it really crying? No, it stood there with dignity. “This is me. Take it or leave it.” Good house. I guess I get a little fanciful.

I ran for 26 minutes, which I consider respectable. There is no hurry to improve. Maintaining is good. After all, I’m not a world-class athlete training for a nationally televised event. I’m just a middle-aged lady exercising for my health, entertainment, and perhaps a blog post.

It’s My Birthday, Dammit!

My sister Diane told me I should use that as the title. I had really thought I would make a “real” post today, but I don’t know why I thought that. I’ve been running around doing things and now I’m sitting here composing at the keyboard and wanting nothing more than to get to the sweats on, bra off, sitting on my couch crocheting portion of the day.

One does the best one can, doesn’t one? I offer a Preview of Coming Attractions, which may sound remarkably like What I Did Instead of Writing a Blog Post for Today.

I started doing things yesterday with a wine tasting at Vintage Spirits, always a fun thing to write a post about. This morning I did not run, which would have led to a dandy running commentary. However, I may run tomorrow, so we have that to look forward to (me the run and writing the post, you reading the post) (if you like that sort of thing). I did, however, finish two letters and write three post cards which I then mailed, walking to the post office with my delightful schnoodle, Tabby. Walks with Tabby are often good for a post.

My day was just getting started. I went to a craft fair at the Saquoit Middle School with my sister Cheryl and my mother. What fun that was! And it involved an enjoyable drive over scenic country roads. The journey and the destination are worth writing about. My trip home, with almost freezing rain, was equally memorable.

Back in Herkimer, I stopped at Valley Wine and Liquors where another wine tasting was going on. Oh stop shaking your heads and calling me a lush (you know who you are), I only tasted a few wines. We didn’t even open the bottle we purchased last night and what I bought today I intend to save for Thanksgiving. There is every chance we will open last night’s bottle and have a glass or two tonight, but for heavens’ sake, did you not read the title of the piece? It’s my birthday, dammit! Sheesh!

Well, this is a respectable 300 words. At least, it’s 300 words. Describe them by the adjective of your choice. I’m going back to my birthday celebrations.

Perverse Vindication

And the lame posts just keep coming. At least, this is Lame Post Friday, so I suppose there is some excuse. I did not call any of the previous few posts lame in so many words, but I feel that they were. Do I feel bad about this? Marginally. After all, I think even lame, I am fairly amusing. Or do I flatter myself?

No matter, I am sitting here at my little acer, typing off the cuff. It is what I do many times in my blogging life. However, on Lame Post Friday, it is what I am SUPPOSED to be doing! Vindication is mine!

In fact, today is the day for random observations and half-baked philosophy. What can I come up with under those headings?

Here is an observation about myself: Bad weather makes me laugh. I had a slightly dicey drive into work this morning, due to snow. As I got out of my vehicle to walk into work, I was laughing. Not for any reason that I could name, except that I found it fun. Cold, wet, perhaps a little dangerous (I definitely felt some slipperiness under the snow), yet somehow also fun. Call it my perverse nature.

Ooh, that sounds like an opportunity for some half-baked philosophy: WHY do I find bad weather fun? Do I, in fact, have a perverse nature (no, NOT perverted! Shut up, you) (you know who you are). (There should be a question mark there, but then it seemed as if I was questioning if you know who you are and I know you do.)

Well, that fulfills both requirements. I’m thinking I have talked about this before, the bad weather and my reaction to it. Oh well, these things happen. I’ll try for something more original tomorrow. Happy Friday, everyone.

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