Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Thanksgiving fireworks in the backyard are normal, right?

ok, so my dad's a little bit of a pyro...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Butternut Squash with Spinach!

This sounds a little weird (to us non-vegetable eaters), but it is actually quite good.  We got this at Wegmans one day, and it was awesome, so we decided to make it at home (Wegmans posts recipes online!)

I modified the original (linked above) a little since we had whole squash from our pumpkin picking and only have olive & vegetable oil in the house, but it worked out OK.

I will warn you this made a lot....we only ate half at thanksgiving, so I think for a normal meal + leftovers half of this would be PLENTY.

2 butternut squash, peeled and diced
2 large red unions, peeled and diced
Olive oil to drizzle
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 bag baby spinach
1/2 lb dried cranberries (we got it from the bulk bin. I'm honestly not sure how much it was exactly, but it was $4.44 worth!  I probably used more than needed, but its the holidays...might as well be sweet and colorful!)

Toss squash and onions with olive oil. Roast squash and onions in baking dish for 55 minutes at 350 degrees.  Remove from oven, stir, and add baby spinach. (I was really apprehensive about this, but the spinach really does cook down from the heat of the squash! No sauté needed!) Add salt, pepper and cranberries to taste.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


my mom wants them...

She has recently come clean about wanting grandkids, and I've told her (with limited details) we're working on it.
Yesterday morning, in an email about other things, so asked if we've thought about names and said she started looking at baby stuff.
We have ZERO intention of telling anyone the names (well, at least our parents), since I don't want criticism and such.

So I told her "We're pretty set on Gertrude (Gerti) and Alfred (Freddy)."

And I mean no offense to anyone who likes these names, but they are total fakes Big Smile

So she replies...

Old fashioned names…I like old fashion…Dad thinks you’re joking…he’s not crazy about either….I’d rethink Gertrude..too “old lady”……Trudie or Gerti are both cute…why even use Gertrude?  Alfred ..not bad…..my grandfather on my father’s side was Alfred (no nick name)…Freddy will remind people of Freddie Kruger…keep that in mind…Al, as  a nick name, might be better…

Sunday, November 21, 2010

season over

So I only ran 10 miles this week. Nothing else. Oh well.

and rugby is over now. My team ended a long time ago, with the (sort of surprise, its a long story) trip to Nationals that could have/should have been (we were supposed to see bats & win, among other things).

and three weeks later, the collegiate D3 season ended. My kids finished second in the nation (of 47 teams, which is something really...there's only 25ish in the D1 senior league I play in), by a score of 0-3. To lose on a penalty kick hurts, especially when they had several opportunities at the end to make one themselves.  That said, I would have gone for the try and the win too. I'm proud of them (for 99% of their game choices!).

Its hard to have the season end. It takes up so much time and emotional energy.

I guess I could work on my dissertation now. Or, you know, work out?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

nighttime run

So I had tonight free, and the weather is nice (50s, clear), so I figured it was time to suck it up and run in the dark (and the dog needed a run. He must have slept alllll day.)  So we go, planning 2 miles with the dog and 2 on my own.

I broke out the headlamp I got at the end of last winter too; figured I should get used to it again. It was ok. Honestly, I probably looked a little silly. It was under $15, and isn't super bright (but is bright enough...I mean I'm not running in rural Idaho here), and since it was so clear tonight AND the moon is out and it was 7 pm, not 6 am, there were quite a few cars on the road (so, all said, it wasn't super dark save for about 3 separate blocks).
Super Dork.
So around mile 1, Bailey pooped. This is normal, and I think a result of our almost-always-10-minutes morning walks. He almost always poops at mile 1 when we run (This is actually a recent development though, since until 6 months ago he would only poop in our yard, not out walking. Weird dog.).  So I pick it up in the grocery bag I have tied to the leash, and we go on our merry way. This is probably our fourth or fifth run since March or April. I got pretty spoiled with rugby & the dog park in those warm months (and he's a crummy running partner when its warm and there BIRDSSQUIRRELSRABBITSohisthatakidonabike??). At this point, I'm pretty darn pleased how well its going, as we're still working our way back to the 3 miles we were doing together at the end of last winter (I am 100% sure he is 100% fit enough for this. I think he just gets bored. And then he sits. Then I get annoyed. For now, low expectations.)  I was considering trying for 3 with him tonight since he seemed so happy and undistracted.

So around mile 1.5 I check my watch.
Except I can't see a damn thing on my Garmin.
Because it is covered in spattered poop (I didn't take a photo, you're welcome).

I was carrying the poop bag in my right hand, not knowing there was a tiny hole. Apparently the bouncing as we ran propelled just a tiny drip up and over my wrist with each step to land smack on the face - the large face - of my Garmin.  Not a speck to be found on my jacket. The wonders of (gross) physics.

It cleaned right off with a little water and a paper towel when I got home....but I nixed those other couple of miles tonight for emotional trauma ;) (any excuse, right?)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

happy (belated) howl-o-ween

milkbones & candycorn, Bailey's favorites (really, he likes candy corn) in one concise skeleton costume!

so about that Thanksgiving 5k...

I'm still doing it, but my training has been naught.
I did 13.9 miles this week...most I've done in a week since September. I never broke 10 miles in October, and had two weeks at 0. Whoops. In my (sort of) defense, October is the peak of rugby season, and I had a really good season (my team had an...interesting one, where we made the national playoffs with a good seed despite our 2-4 league record...long story). Seriously, in ten years and 19 15s seasons, this is the first time I've felt, well, useful. Not an asset exactly, but a contributing player. I even made a tackle on a wing once...not in a wing-got-ball-by-accident-near-a-sideline-ruck tackle either. Open field, past the centers. I honestly cannot recall why I was out there to begin with, but she squeeked when I hit her. It was awesome.

I digress, but my party line in why training is screwed up THIS time (lets forget previous, shall we?) is rugby. Distance running IS bad for rugby, and I DID so (some) specific training this fall. We'll call it a wash at any rate, since I wouldn't trade this past season for a silly old 5K PR at all. (Seriously, I really enjoyed our bizarre season.)

So today I did 3.2 miles at a 9 min pace (averaged), my best in a while...except I stopped a number of times. Post office, three intersections, the top of 3 hills (and you can bet I stopped my watch). I'm running NYC (marathon) in the fall (more on that another day), and am planning on a spring half, so I have time to improve and get to where I once was at least (at Thanksgiving 2007, just after I ran NY in '07, I ran a 5 mile race at an 8:06 pace. Stellar and amazing for me!).  So for now, my Thanksgiving goal is 27 minutes. I've only ever run one 5k under that anyway, and it was 26 and change in 2008. I have about 10 days left to train, so I'm just going to focus at running 3 miles at a pop at an 8:40 pace, even if I have to stop. Surely I can push that out on race day.

That's a lot of chatter about a little 5k.

I think I can, I think I can...

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I have an issue with down escalators.  I typically need to hold both railings to get on. Sometime I can suck it up and just GO, like if I have a rolling bag in one hand and a stream of teammates following me in an airport. I do better when I don't have time to think about it. Sometimes, particularly in the mall, I freeze. Two bags. No truly free hands. I don't like when my bag brushes the side...feels like it limits my grip on the railing. I've been known (usually when alone) to abandon the escalator all together and find the elevator or stairs. The days when it is bad, I start sweating a little, and I half step on and off the damn thing over and over (this is not an issue at all on up escalators).

Its embarrassing though. Once in an airport there were no stairs to be seen and a huge line for the elevator. A 12 yr old took my bag down for me. Mortifying.

Earlier this week I had an interview in NYC. I took the train from my parents' house, which requires a transfer.  I don't know this station terribly well, and there's only 1 set of stairs for every 3 or 4 escalators (I determined this on my way home when I had 30 minutes to kill during my ill-timed connection), and they're not generally in the game spot. So here I am, on the edge of NJ heading into Manhattan at the end of morning rush hour (it was about 9 am). NYers, and NY-workers, are not known for their patience. I am one of these people, the type who gets mad when tourists don't cross the street on the No Walk sign even though there's no cars coming. But there I was, standing at the top of the stupid 1.5 person wide escalator (ok, maybe 2 wide, but only if you're the Olsen twins), in 3 inch heels (wide base, they weren't crazy to walk in!) carrying a bag. Shit.

One lady pushed by me. Another grunted something. I just closed my eyes and hoped not to die as I stepped onto NJTransit's escalator without having any idea if my entire foot was on a single stair. I made it, clearly.

But on the way home, I sure did find the stairs. On the outside change I get this job (I think I'm underqualified), I will either need to get over this, asap, or find every set of stairs in Secaucus and Penn Station...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

sorta progress

So 10 months, a lot of monitoring, oodles of weird drugs for Chris, tens of thousands of dollars billed to my insurance (and just a bit paid out of pocket by us, thanks awesome insurance sorta making up for my sorry salary), 4 total inseminations, 2 "normal" failures (one for me) and 2 bigger failures (which our doc calls "duds")...no kid on the way yet. So much for Christmas gift announcements...oh well. Maybe Easter.  I have this weird obsession with telling our parents they will be grandparents via card. And we don't really do cards, so I need an excuse...

But...my mom asked about babies yesterday. So I told her some of what's been going on (well, in general, I left out - entirely - the actually trying & failing parts). She ate just about a whole basket of chips (we were having Mexican for lunch) during this. I think talking about sperm donors stressed her out. She disagreed with me about a known donor having a super-creepy (for us) factor. And is really concerned we might not get what we pay for and could end up with a baby who's ancestors are clearly not from western Europe. The conversation went surprisingly well though, and I think she's hoping we have a kid soon so she can babysit instead of getting a new job (since she's recently quit & is unemployed).

And...today I get a random phone call from her. I kind of think she was sitting up all night mulling over the possibility of grandbabies with two mommies.  Our conversation today, pretty much verbatim:

Me: Hello
Mom: Hi
Me: Oh, hey, I was just going to call you [about something totally unrelated]
Mom: Yes, I know [taking care of it blah blah]
Me: OK, good.
Mom: So I just called to tell you I want to be Grandma Lizzy
Me: um?
Mom: Well, I don't know what Chris's mom wants to be called, but I want to be Grandma. So I can be Grandma Lizzy so the kids aren't confused.
Me: Well, um, OK, sounds good. So what does Dad want to be called?
Mom: (talking to him in car) Hey, what do you want to be called?
Dad: (sort of can hear this through phone; I think he was driving since I wasn't on speaker. Slightly less verbatim) Um, I have no idea. They're not actually pregnant, are they?
Mom: OK, call him Grandpa.