Monday, June 29, 2009

Excuses, Excuses

I've always been really good at coming up with plans and terrible on the follow through. I can come up with a million reasons why I am not doing something that I should be doing. I may eventually do it. Or I may not. It sort of depends on how important it is.

Well I had a training week like that last week. The week started off hotter than heck. I kept telling myself I didn't want to work out in this heat. Which is a valid excuse except that I work out at the gym and some of my work out involves swimming in a pool. But that excuse lasted three days.

Then I got a head cold, nothing terrible, just annoying. I could have used the sneezing, congestion and cough as a totally valid excuse not to work out. But I felt guilty from missing three days so I actually worked out through the cold.

I got all of my bike and run work outs in and felt pretty good about them. I still have to walk during my runs but the running parts are longer and the walking parts are fewer. If I keep this up, I should be able to run two miles without stopping very soon (I can almost make it a mile now).

But the swim did not go well. In fact I only made one of the three scheduled work outs. For some reason, I figured that getting in a pool with a cold probably wasn't the best idea. Maybe it was, mabye it wasn't. Maybe I'm just lazy, who knows.

So I really need to get my act togther this week and get back on track. I don't want next Monday's post to be filled with anymore excuses.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Because I Am A Total Dork

I am excited to announce that I will be attending Lobby Con at this year's BlogHer conference.

As you may well remember I forgot to register for the conference in Chicago. I decided to go anyway just to meet face to face all the cool people I've met on-line. I was still looking (praying) for tickets to fall into my lap but I was happy just to go.

And then the wonderful people at BlogHer found out about all the people like me who were planning on lurking in the hallways trying to get a taste of the conference. So they created Lobby Con. We get access to the expo floor (and swag, gotta love the swag), they will be streaming the main sessions for us in a bar (yummy) and we also get access to the parties (hooray for the parties!). Really its the next best thing to having a ticket.

I am so looking forward to meeting her, her, her, her and her. Aw heck, I'm looking forward to meeting everyone.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Everything I Touch

breaks down.

Longtime readers of this blog are familiar with my ongoing struggles with my house. Basement issues - check. Bathroom not working - check. Garage falling down - check. And just when we thought we were turning a corner and getting the basement finished. It all goes to crap.

Last Friday we had torrential, horrible, crazy, oh my goodness the world is ending, 100 year flood type rains. We got somewhere between 3 and 4 inches of rain in a 24 hour period. Not good. Ironically we had those same types of rains last year (so I guess its not 100 year, more like 1 year) when our basement leaked.

And what do you know? Our basement leaked again. Not on the fixed side that we were about to finish by laying the floor. No it leaked on the other side and then trickled over and pooled on the fixed side. So that's a big problem. Huge problem really, we need to do something about the leak before we can lay the floor. We'll try regrading first and then who knows. We were out of the basement for over a year and we were so close to going back there I could taste it. And now we'll be out for a while longer.

And after the Ark floating rains, we had a good old fashioned August style heat wave of 90+ temps. Of course the CrapShack does not have central air. Don't be silly, why would it have central air. So we lugged out all of the fans and tried in vain to cool it down. We also got out our window air conditioner and put it in our window. Or should I say tried to put it in our window.

You see as we were adjusting it, it fell out of the window. From the second story. Bubs and I just turned to eachother and started laughing. Of course, with our luck, the air conditioner would fall out the window. It was bound to happen.

We did, however, have a bit of luck. We have these big ugly evergreen bushes out in front of our house. I hate them and have wanted to get rid of them for years, but we haven't. Well those big, ugly bushes managed to serve as a cushion of sorts. The air conditioner hit the bushes and didn't make it to the ground and didn't break. Thank goodness for that. Bubs went downstairs, managed to remove the unit from the bushes and bring it (and a few branches) back up stairs. We finally got it in the window, plugged it in and held our breath. It worked! We would be cool(ish) after all.

So to make a long story short(ish), our house keeps falling down around us. We cannot finish our remodeling project at this time due to the leaks. We still only have one functioning bathroom. We are hoping the garage falls down due to some act of nature. Oh yeah, the lawn mower and the vacuum cleaner also decided to stop working. And I'm about one leaky faucet away from a breakdown. Fun times.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Housekeeping and Training Update

A few housekeeping things first:

1. How would you like to take a virtual vacation and visit some of your favorite bloggers? If this sounds like fun to you, leave a comment at the original post to join in.

2. There is still time to win the necklace shown in the sidebar over at Juniper and Coffee. In fact, I've extended the deadline for entries until June 30th at 11:59 p.m. CST. Winners will be announced sometime on July 1st.

Now on to the training update that you've all been anxiously waiting for:

I had a great week of training. I finally met with my swim trainer and he said I wasn't the worst he'd ever seen. I can't tell you how happy that made me, I'm better at swimming than some people. Huzzah! He gave me somethings to work on and I can already tell they've made a difference. My arms don't hurt so much after swimming, I actually feel good when I'm done. I still have a long way to go but now I feel like I can do it.

Running and biking went well. One of my runs was actually with the jogging stroller and Bunny in tow. It felt pretty good. If I can run a mile with her, I am sure I can run one without her a bit faster.

I got my bike back from the shop but the front break wasn't working. I'm not sure how that constitues fixing my bike because I'm pretty sure breaks are important on a bike. You know in case you want to stop, or something. Maybe its just me. So I had to take the bike back in. Hopefully it will be done soon.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Virtual Vacations

I want to go on vacation this year. I could really use a relaxing week lounging by the beach just letting go. Or maybe I could take a trip to a city exploring all that city has to offer.

Or maybe I'll just go to the bookstore and flip through the pages of a travel magazine staring longingly at all the places I could go. If only the economy didn't suck and my cars didn't breakdown all at once. If only.

But then it hit me, I could take a virtual vacation. We all could go together. In fact we could visit eachother through our blogs.

The way it could work is each of us could post a travelogue of sorts about our town or our favorite vacation spot. We could share pictures of all the places we would go if we were there with you. And we would be there, virtually.

So what do you think? Does it sound like fun? Would you want to do it? Am I completely off my rocker? Wait, on second thought, don't answer that last one.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Do Over

In January, intoxicated with all the possibilities that a new year brings, I started another blog. I was ambitious. I thought the challenge of crafting every day for 365 days and then blogging about it was doable. I was naive.

There are some days when I can barely hold my head above water. I am running here and there. Pulled in a million different directions all at once, usually by the suprisingly strong hand of a willful three year old, I couldn't live up to the resolution. What was supposed to be a fun experiment, something just for me, became a chore. And frankly a bore. I dreaded doing something that I usually find so much joy in because I had to do it. So I didn't, I let it slide, I let it go.

But I loved the idea behind the blog, creating something every day. The further I got away from it the more I realized that what I really wanted to do was create beautiful things. By creating these beautiful things, I would be making my life more beautiful. That is really what I wanted to share in my blog, how I could create a more beautiful life for myself and my family by the simple act of making something.

So I've decided to re-launch Juniper and Coffee as a place to share how we make our lives just a little bit more beautiful. I'll also be re-launching my my jewelry business, trying new things, posting tutorials of the projects that work, showcasing Camp Crafty projects I've done with Bunny, and highlighting really cool crafty people along the way.

I'm really excited about this. And to help you get as excited as I am, I'm hosting a giveaway. I'll be giving away this beautiful necklace. So please check it out and support me in my new(ish) venture.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Week One - I Survived

Well I successfully survived my first week of training for my triathalon.

I swam for 48 minutes total. Swimming is my weakest event. I haven't really done any swimming since I was a kid so I am focusing here. I am swimming three times a week.

I biked for a total of 1 hour and 4 minutes, which covered a 24 minute short and a 40 minute long ride. During the long ride I managed to cover the actual distance of 13 miles so that is good. I need to get my bike tuned up (it currently has two flat tires and other undiscovered ailments) so I've been using the stationary bike at the club. I know biking on a stationary bike is different than on a real one so we will see how I feel when I get outside.

Finally I ran for 30 minutes. I actually messed up on my times and was short by 2 minutes. I'm going to let that slide this time.

All in all I feel great. I am planning on adding in strength training and yoga to compliment the training but I am not going to over do it. I feel good and I'd like to continue to feel good, I don't want to injure myself during this process.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Summer Camp, But Why Mommy Style

Who knew that going to the park could get boring? That playing on the playground could become a chore? Who knew that running and jumping could tire you out?

Its summer. (Well technically not summer and it sure doesn't feel like summer here) We are already on our summer schedule activities, gymnastics, play dates, park visits and trips to the zoo. I didn't schedule too much because she's only 3 1/2 and if I'm being honest, I kinda forgot to sign up for some things.

But we've been doing these for a while now and it seems kind of boring. So I'm looking for other activities to break up the routine. I thought even if she's not going to camp, we could have our own camp.

On the schedule are

Nature walks

Map reading

Arts and Crafts

Gardening and landscaping (plus less work for me)*

Trips to the beach*

And most importantly, swimming*

*Note these are pictures from last summer because we haven't actually done this stuff yet.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Kick Me, Please

This a post requesting that you all kick me in the ass when needed.

Why? Who asks people to kick them in the rear?

Well, inspired by Christy from A Lil' Welsh Rarebit I have decided to train for a triathalon (its a sprint not a full distance, I'm not that nuts, yet). Now I am sure that some of you who know me are thinking that I have completely lost it and maybe I have. I know I'm the world champion of coming up with ideas, I just suck at actually following through on them.

But I have actually thought about this. I've always wanted to do a triathalon. I want and need to get myself back into shape. And I'm going to be 40 this year. All of these things have conspired to make me actually train for this thing. I have a 16 week plan with swimming, biking and running all laid out for me. I'm meeting with a personal trainer to work on my swim stroke. I'm going to get my bike out of mothballs and actually ride it.

In short I am going to do this. I really really am. The race is on September 27th, one day before my birthday on the 28th. I can't imagine a better way to enter my 40s.

So every Sunday night (or Monday morning) I'll let you know how I've done on the training for the previous week. And here is where the ass kicking comes in, if I start to slack off, you have my permission to virtually kick my butt to get me back in gear. Really, please feel free, I have a feeling that I may need it.


And speaking of the wonderful and fabulous Christy, she is having a giveaway on her site. She is giving away some fabulous things including a personalized monogramed necklace from Tags-n-Stones, a $25 gift certificate to Dali Decals for some really cool wall art, and finally a $25 gift certificate to Ecostore USA which has some great eco-friendly cleaning products.

So please visit Christy, check out the great giveaways and check out her wonderful blog. I am sure you will love her as much as I do.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Trip To The Dentist

The dentist, the most hated and feared of all healthcare professionals (although I would also nominate the mamogram tech for that award). If you have one bad experience, one cavity, you may never want to go again.

I really don't mind the dentist. In fact, I actually like my dentist, he is a really nice guy. You are probably thinking that I am one of the lucky ones with perfect teeth and that is why I don't mind the dentist. No, I'm not. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I have horrible teeth. I've had a bazillion cavities. I've had five root canals. Yes, you read that correctly FIVE ROOT CANALS. I've even had oral surgery to fix the root of a tooth that had become disloged from the jaw after I was hit with a softball in the face. I know, ouch. (Bubs, I did not drop my glove. And even if I did you shouldn't have thrown so hard at my face. Its not nice to throw things at people's faces. But I forgive you and will only occasionally bring it up to garner sympathy.) The surgery did suck but it fixed the pain and the problem so it was actually a good thing.

So despite all of the bad things that have happened to me at the denitist's office, I still go twice a year.

And now its Bunny's turn. She had her second appointment today and I could not have been prouder of her. She was so good. She did not cry or complain once. Of course it probably helped that the dentist's office has TVs in each exam room and ours was turned to Nickelodeon so she could watch the Wonder Pets and Ni Hao Kai-Lan. I'm pretty sure she would put up with anything if she could watch those shows (I know it would have made some of my experiences a lot easier if I could have watched TV).

She sat in my lap while I was having my cleaning done. She would occasionally turn from the TV and look at what was going on. They made a point of showing her the instruments and telling her what they were doing to me. Then she'd grow bored and return to her show.

When it was her turn, she didn't even flinch. She just opened her mouth wide and let them do their thing. No fuss, no muss. And as a reward for her good behavior she got a Cinderella toothbrush and a chocolate cookie. That's right the dentist gives out cookies after the exam, perhaps to insure some return business. (I got a plain yellow toothbrush and a bottle of water. Somehow I feel like I got shortchanged in the deal.)

When we got home, she asked if we could brush her teeth after lunch because it was fun. And then she asked if she could have some gummi worms so I know she's still normal.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


It appears that no one in this house is capable of making a decision, especially when it comes to food.

For years Bubs and I have have suffered through the inability to decide what we want for dinner or where we want to go eat it. If you peaked in on us on any given Saturday night throughout the history of our relationship you would have seen this:

"Where do you want to go for dinner?"
"I don't know. Where do you want to go?"
"I don't know. Are you in the mood for any particular kind of food?"
"No not really. I'm just hungry. Do you want anything in particular?"
"Let's go to La Fuente."
"Ok, that's where I really wanted to go anyway."
"I know Renee, you always want to go there."
"True, but if you wanted to go somewhere else I would have gone there."
"Yeah but I couldn't think of anything else."

It seems that the inability to make decisions when it comes to food is contagious. Bunny and I have the following conversation at least once a day:

"Momma, I'm hungry."
"What would you like sweetie?"
"I don't know, I'm hungry."
"I can't give you anything if you don't tell me what you want."
"I want something."
"Do you want a banana?"
"No! I want something."
"Do you want a granola bar?"
"NO! I'm hungry!" She is now growing more frustrated with my inability to read her mind and figure out just what it is she is hungry for.
"Do you want an apple?"
Now I am growing frustrated but I am beginning to figure out what she wants, "You can't have any gummi worms right now. Its only 10 am."
"Can I have a popsicle?"
"No sweetie, those are for after dinner."
At this point I go in the kitchen and get some grapes or whatever fruit I have on hand and give it to the Royal Princess I Can't Figure Out What I Want To Eat.
"Thanks, momma. That is just what I wanted."
"I know sweetie."

And don't even get me started on the what do you want to have for lunch conversation. That can last 15 minutes at least.

So the moral of this story is, if you ever invite the But Why Mommy family over for dinner, please, please don't ask us what we want to eat. Just pick something and I'm sure it will be just fine.