good-bye civilization!!! 

Careers Day

The primary school held a 'Careers Day' where the students dressed up according to which profession they would like to pursue when they are adults. (I thought it was interesting that my younger children seem so much more certain of their future job than my teenagers, who actually need to have some idea in order to make their high school subject selections!) Mousie decided she wanted to be a model and wore the pretty dress Nanna have given her a year or so earlier.
Teddy is very sure that she wants to be a vet, so she wore the doctor's coat from our dress-up box, and she took along her toy doctor kit and a rather sad-looking, heavily bandaged Shep (her toy border collie) as props.
Ducky and Kitcat were very excited that the Athletics season was starting that evening, so they decided they both wanted to be professional athletes when they grow up. They wore their athletics uniforms.

I think there is a good chance Possum may decided to be a photographer when she leaves school, judging by the huge number of photos she takes - especially of this dog!
And it looks like Dragon is going to be an inventor - he devised this fluffy insulation to keep him warm in the slight chill of the Brisbane winter evenings ..... it needed a little tweaking in order to make it keep still.
Kitcat and Teddy thought Tiffany should also participate in Career's Day, and they decided she wants to be a fairy when she grows up.
They even suggested I could use a change of career after I spent a couple hours giving Tiffany a summer haircut with our brand new dog clippers!  Doesn't she look cute with her new cropped 'do'.

“Walking on Sunshine,” recorded in 1983 by Katrina and the Waves lives on thanks to advertisers who typically pay $150,000 to $200,000 per year to use the catchy, upbeat song. It only hit e on the charts, but royalties from commercials have earned $1 million per year since the '80s, according to a former employee at EMI music, who called it the company’s “crown jewel.” It has been featured in multiple films, including “The Secret of My Success” (1987), “Daddy Day Care” (2003), “Bean” (1997), “Look Who's Talking” (1989), “American Psycho” (2000) and “High Fidelity” (2000) and on TV’s “Gilmore Girls,” “Prison Break,” “Sports Night” and “Glee.” 


"Oooh baby, you really are driving me crazy now…" ("ah, the lies people tell.")

"For all my fellow Californians who are preparing to vote on June 5th, I want to express the importance of being informed on all the candidates and state and county measures that will appear on the ballot. As Christians, we have a duty to vote and it’s a shame that so few of us actually do.
When Christians don’t vote, we leave the decision in choosing our future leaders in the hands of non-believers who will continue to elect individuals who will keep this nation on the disastrous road the current administration has us on.
The following post is going to share how I will be voting in the upcoming election. Consider the choices, but still do your own research and make your final decisions based on that.
Mitt Romney: I’ve read on several Christian websites and blogs how no Christian should even consider voting for Romney based on the fact that he is Mormon. And while Romney wasn’t my first choice, or even my second choice, I am backing him 110 percent.
Another four years of Obama, and the America we have come to know will be unidentifiable. Our debt will continue to grow, job rates would continue to flounder, our economic situation would likely
It seems the expression is used every four years, but this is truly “The most important election of our lifetime.” I will admit that Romney being Mormon does bother me, but four more years under Obama will destroy this nation. From the stimulus, to TARP, to Obamacare, to his takeover of General Motors, to the ending of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, to his appointment of Elena Kagan, who had not sat on any bench in any court anywhere, to the Supreme Court, to his horrible foreign policy in the middle east (Israel/Iran conflict), and his most recent supporting of gay marriage, Obama is by far the most radical president this country has ever seen.
America as we know it will be unidentifiable with four more years of Obama. Romney may not be the ideal choice, but he’s the only choice America has to save itself.
US Senate
Elizabeth Emken: The new rules in primary elections in California when voting for Senate is really unfair. Every candidate from each party appears on the ballot and the top two will advance to the Nov. 6 election. This is in contrast to the closed party system where each party elected its representative for the election. In other words, there could be no Republican to choose from come Nov. 6. This is the first time in California that these rules will be implemented.
Nevertheless, Elisabeth Emken is sitting in second place behind the long time Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein, who will be 79-years-old on election day.
Emken is a conservative Christian who is for small government, is pro life and pro traditional marriage."


                                         "I celebrate myself, and sing myself, 
And what I assume you shall assume, 
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you. 

I loafe and invite my soul, 
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

 Have you reckon'd a thousand acres much? have you reckon'd the earth much? 
Have you practis'd so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?

Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of
all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are millions
of suns left,)
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through
the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self. 

I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the
beginning and the end,
But I do not talk of the beginning or the end.

There was never any more inception than there is now,
Nor any more youth or age than there is now,
And will never be any more perfection than there is now,
Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.

Urge and urge and urge,
Always the procreant urge of the world"


past, present and future...

i saw this with my very own eyes. magical, indeed.

october means... BEERFEST!!!

open arms. always. 

balloon or nose? 


Comfort Me With Apples

Autumns of my childhood are inextricably linked to apples.

Every year, my father would run an apple picking trip for the kids in his urban high school; they'd drive their tricked-out cars to the northernmost points in New Jersey, where they parked them under the trees among the apples that had already fallen, now fermenting on the ground.  And they'd do what most people do in an apple orchard: climb trees.  It was the one time every year when I was given permission to climb trees, too, and I remember grabbing hold of the branches, finding a sturdy limb high in a tree heavy with fruit, and resting against the trunk, sinking my teeth into one I'd just picked.  I learned early about varieties of apples: that they didn't just come in two colors, but in all shades of red and pink and yellow and green, some wish a base color and a blush, some with shiny skin.  Some were round, and some were shaped like hearts, with bumps and ridges at the bottom.  And the variety of tastes!  To my undeveloped palate, the sweet crisp McIntosh were the perfect apples, but I learned to love Jonagold and Honeycrisp and Gala and Pink Lady, and as I got older, I discovered the Winesap.

We would pick bushels of apples--more fruit than I thought we could use--but my parents would store them int the stall shower of our basement, where it was dark and cool like a root cellar, and somehow they disappeared into my father's apple spiced apple compote, or into our lunchboxes, or--though more rarely--into a pie.

When I worked in the university, I took my students apple picking a few times, loading them onto a bus, and giving them photocopied sheets about apple varieties, encouraging them to taste them, to notice how amazing an apple could be.  Now that I look back at it, those early days in the orchard were my first exposure to eating locally, knowing where your food comes from, and to the incredible range of varietals--and those bus trips were my attempt to pass on my love for fresh food.

On Wednesday the kids had off from school, and I suggested meeting some of I'.s friends at a local orchard.  We went on a hayride, picked more apples than any of us think we could possibly use, and tasted the difference between Macoun and Cortland and Winesap.  Because the signs are clearly posted telling us not to, we didn't exactly climb trees.  But the kids climbed all over the playground afterwards, looking out across the valley onto the beautiful expanse of autumn in our county.  And then we came home, and S. made pie for breakfast.

Grammy L's Apple Pie
S. loves this pie; it's his grandmother's recipe.  I am a stubborn pie snob, and I prefer my pie, but this one is a lot faster, involves no rolling of crust, and I'm not going to turn down homemade pie, especially if I don't have to make it.

1 stick margarine
2 c. flour
6 T. sugar
7 medium apples, grated
1 T. sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400F.

Crumble margarine, flour, and sugar together.  Press 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of a pie pan.  Set aside the other 1/3.

Combine the apples with sugar and cinnamon.  Top with the remaining crumb crust and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Bake about 40 minutes, or until the filling bubbles.




زبانوں، لسانی، اور ایک مخصوص نام ئدنسافرڈ کے ساتھ مکمل طور پر محبت میں ہوں.یہ حیرت انگیز ہے کہ کس طرح آپ کو صرف اسے دیکھ کر اس کی جذبہ محسوس کرتا ہوں.میں مکمل طور پر ڈوبی اس کے سامنےمیں کھڑا کر لیا ہے اور اس کے جذبے اور الفاظ سے چھو.میں یقینی طور پر ایک بڑا آدمی سے محبت کرتے ہیں.

of 21
Words left unsaid can haunt a person after a loved one has died. Those words were powerfully put together in a vulnerable ballad by U2 called “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own”. It earned the band Song of the Year at the 2006 Grammy awards for its intimate portrayal of the strained relationship between a father and son. It’s a real life story of Bono and his late father, and Bono sang the song at his father’s funeral in 2001. In the song, he yearns to break down walls for a closer relationship. He sings, “You don’t have to put up a fight / You don’t have to always be right / Let me take some of the punches / For you tonight.” So many people found the song to be everything they couldn’t say to someone who passed away. 

Airline Adds 'No Kids' Section

Full disclosure: I have an 11-month-old. But, in all the flights I've taken in my life, I can count on one hand the number of times a child has been disruptive on a flight.
Now, another Asian carrier has decided to add a no-kids section to its flights. Low-cost airline AirAsiawill ban children under 12 in rows 7-14, the rows directly behind the airline's premium flat bed seats, "because we know that sometimes all you need is some peace and quiet for a more pleasant journey with us. "
According to the carrier's web site, no travelers with a person under 12 in their group will be able to book those seats. Travelers without kids who wish to reserve the kid-free seats can do so at no extra cost on the carrier's web site.
The new section is called Quiet Zone. According to AirAsia, it offers:
- minimal noise with less disturbance
- seats near the front of the aircraft
- ambiance with soft lighting
Quiet Zone is bookable for travel Feb. 2013 and on. Passengers holding tickets for travel in February and beyond can reserve their seats now.
The airline's seat map shows three spots on the aircraft reserved for baby bassinets. One of those is immediately in front of the premium flat bed seats.
Malaysia airlines has reportedly banned kids in first class for years, thought there's never been official word from the airline on the matter. The airline did, however, recently create an adults-only seating section on the upper deck of aircraft on its London - Kuala Lumpur route.
One-third of respondents to an online, unscientific poll conducted on said they would be willing to pay more for a kid-free flight.

Miroslav Klose scores with his hand, admits it to ref so the goal is disallowed

Very early in Napoli's match against Lazio at the San Paolo, Miroslav Klose scored off a corner kick to put Lazio up 1-0. While the Lazio players began to celebrate, Napoli protested the goal, saying that Klose scored with his hand, which he did. Klose then admitted his offense to the referee, who disallowed the goal, and the Napoli players showed their appreciation for Klose honesty by patting him on the back.
Napoli went on the beat Lazio 3-0, but it was the 34-year-old German legend who earned the lion's share of respect on the day. And making the incident even more enjoyable is the fact that he admitted to his handball goal in the stadium that used to be the home of Maradona, the unrepentant perpetrator of the Hand of God goal.


"For me sexy goes in the long run. I usually don’t find a stranger sexy right away. To be honest with you, I rarely find myself horny enough to want a stranger in my bed… so in my case, I would be attracted to someone on totally different aspects than sexiness… You are right, there were almost never one night stands... I seriously hope you are not comparing yourself to any other girl I could have met in the past years!!! You have been there for me, always and forever. You have been my friend more than anything. You have been my strength when I needed someone to talk to. I developed those feelings over years with you. I never thought you would be my gf 5 years ago, just  like I don’t think a stranger  I meet will be my wife. Eventually, back in March, I knew I was in love with you when I couldn't stand not hearing from you when you were in Maine... I usually don't care about it, unless I have deeper feelings. And our last meeting before Maine confirmed all that... I really was falling in love for you."


Run All the Races - VIRTUAL RUN!

About a year ago, I posted that I hoped to do a big giveaway when I completed my 50 half marathons in 50 states goal. It is hard to believe that day is almost here. In just a few weeks, on October 14, L and I will complete our goal - in VERMONT. We will have completed a half marathon in all 50 states + DC, and we will have done it together.

I have really enjoyed my journey and have met TONS of great people along the way, both runners, and those that go the extra mile to provide awesome products to runners (and other athletes).

I didn't want to do *just* a giveaway. I have blogged about it a few times already, but I have joined Team AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) to run the Tinker Bell half marathon in January. I am running in memory of my friend Bob, who was lost to suicide two months ago.

So this giveaway is a bit different, and I hope to raise money for Team AFSP while celebrating the completion of my 50 state goal at the same time. So... keep reading:

When: Starts... NOW and runs through midnight MST October 14, 2012
Where: Wherever you feel like racing. #runalltheraces

Here's where the fundraising comes in. 

$5 donation = 5K = 1 entry
$10 donation = 10K = 2 entries
$25 donation = half marathon (13.1 miles) = 5 entries
$40 donation = FULL marathon (26.2) = 10 entries
$50 donation = ULTRA marathon (50K or longer) = 15 entries


1. Choose your distance - obviously you can donate the amount you are comfortable with, and extra donations are happily accepted. (Additional entries 1 = $5 donated beyond the amount noted above. Ex: Run a 5K and donate $15, receive 1 entry ($5 for the 5K) + 2 entries (for the additional $10) = 3 total)
2. Click here to donate to Team AFSP.
3. Leave a comment or email me ( with your race distance and donation amount (I will calculate your number of entries, but if you want to include that in the email, it might help me out).
4. Please, please, PLEASE tweet and/or Facebook and/or blog about this! These vendors have very generously donated products for this giveaway/cause and a few shout outs to them would really make me (and them) happy! (copy me on any tweets please!! @squirrelgirl44 )
5. Run your race (or bike, or swim or whatever) take some pictures, write a race report, and email it, send me the link, or comment.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE leave me a comment so that I can get everything logged ASAP.

I'll post a link to all of the race reports once compiled.

Now, the million dollar question....

WHAT do you get out of this?

First off, knowing what your tax deductible donation does:

For every $50 I raise, AFSP can provide educational materials to 25 people, emphasizing the importance of early identification and treatment for those suffering from depression and other disorders that put them at risk.

For every $100 I raise, AFSP can educate a mental health professional or primary care physician about the warning signs of suicide; they, in turn, will reach hundreds (maybe thousands)of people.

For every $500 I raise, AFSP can train a new Survivor of Suicide support group facilitator, and the members of the group will be given a chance to be with other survivors who understand, and will know that they are not alone.

ALSO!!! You will get entered to win some of these cool prizes...

From... TEAM SPARKLE! Your choice of one regular sparkle skirt AND a pair of race legs!! You can find them on twitter @runTeamSparkle


From... PRO COMPRESSION! TWO people can choose from ANY color of the awesome marathon sock. I have FIVE pairs of these. LOVE them. The neon yellow MIGHT be my favorite. You can find them on twitter @procompression

From... ASPAERIS! These truly are #magicpants. If you haven't tried them yet, now is your chance. I put these bad boys on after the Austin marathon and was not sore. Not one tiny bit. You can also wear them under things like... sparkle skirts! Winner may choose any color of pivot shorts. On twitter @AspaerisPivot

From... RAZZY ROO! My favorite headband lady! She is now even doing custom work. Made in the USA, inexpensive, and the best customer service you can ask for. Winner chooses any headband! On twitter @RazzyRooBands (also, she is running a sale right now. 20% of EVERYTHING, use the code FALLSALE at checkout). Look at the cool band she made for Rock 'n' Roll Denver!!

From... NUUN! I have been using Nuun for about 3 years. I use it just about every day. I have tried every flavor (except banana... I can never find it!). Nuun has been kind enough to donate for TWO winners. Each will get 1 4-pack of Nuun and a Nuun water bottle. Sweet!! On twitter @nuunhydration

From... ALLIED MEDAL! Any standard metal rack. What??? Yes!!! These are the best metal racks out there! Anything on their site that is NOT custom and it is yours!! So many things to choose from! I have this one (obviously):

From... RUN PRETTY FAR! I first heard about these AWESOME shirts when I ran Ragnar back in April. These are the most comfortable shirts you will ever wear, hands down. Jenn at Run Pretty Far will donate ONE tank or shirt of your choice! My personal favorite is the "cake" shirt. I'll be sporting a tank at the Palo Duro 50k next month! Find them on twitter @runprettyfar

From... INK N' BURN!! They are generously donating ONE pair of arm sleeves! I personally LOVE the new Halloween line they have out and have ordered the Zombie sleeves for myself. This one is a great one if I have any guys out there interested in participating. Find them on twitter @INKnBURN

From FLIP BELT!! They are going to donate one of their awesome flip belts... IN ANY COLOR to the winner. Their website states that it even works with the iPhone 5 (I have tested with iPhone 4, and it worked great). I wore my Flip Belt during the San Francisco marathon, and it held everything I needed for the race. LOVE THESE!! (PS - the nuclear yellow looks AMAZING). On twitter @FlipBelt

From... YMX BY YELLOWMAN!! YMX is generously donating to TWO winners. Each winner has their choice of any classic tank or run top!!! I was lucky enough to win a long sleeve tri jersey from them during a twitter contest last fall. I ADORE IT. They are my go-to brand for stylish tops to wear - especially in winter. The only time I've ever (intentionally) raced in long sleeves, I was wearing one of their shirts. I am PSYCHED to be able to offer this to you! Aren't these beautiful?? Find them on twitter @WearYMX

One winner a day will be selected via beginning OCTOBER 15. Winner will have 24 hours to get in touch with me to select their prize. After the prize has been chosen, this post will be updated to reflect that it is no longer available. (This MAY have to be adjusted... I have enough to give out that this could go on for weeks.) Thanks to overwhelming support from the above companies, I am going to do the giveaway prizes a bit different. I will select ALL the winners via on October 15. If you are selected as a winner, email me ASAP ( and rank the prizes in the order you would want to win them, with 1. being the items you would want the MOST. (On the day winners are announced, I will list the prizes so you can copy and paste - hopefully that will make things go a bit smoother).

Also... I might have a few other things to toss in there, and will add at my discretion. I wanted to get this up and running so that you would have THREE weekends to race!

****NOTE**** If you've already donated, THANK YOU, and there is NO NEED to donate again to join the race. To the two AWESOME ladies that have already donated, I have already set you up with entries.

Disclaimer: ALL of these items were donated to me by those fantastic companies. All of the opinions are my own. I only approached companies that I personally use and love. Let's show some love to these awesome AWESOME companies.


“I once read that the ancient Egyptians had fifty words for sand and the Eskimos had a hundred words for snow. I wish I had a thousand words for love, but all that comes to mind is the way you move against me while you sleep and there are no words for that.” 
Brian Andreas


“If the fool would persist in his folly, he would become wise.” 
William Blake

Where I've been

I had a really rough summer, and apparently for me stress and sadness and blogging don't go together. There was Wolfgang's death, which was terribly hard, and at the same time my year-long relationship with my boyfriend was spiraling into the toilet. Add to that things at the barn not going so well, and the whole summer was really just one big pile of poo.

I decided about a month ago to stop riding Huey. I miss the big guy! I'm keeping my eyes and ears open for a similar situation, but I'm not actively pursuing anything. I am taking a break. Although I did overhear a lady at the gym talking about her rescue horse, and I asked a couple questions, and one thing led to another, and last week she invited me out to hop on him and see if he actually had the rumored dressage background he was advertised with. And he did! Lovely walk, trot, canter with nice balance into the outside rein, plus a little leg yield, and even a walk-canter transition and some shoulder in. The lady who owns him has no dressage training but is interested, and I told her she's in a great situation to learn, since this gelding has a good foundation. She is excited to get started. So that was fun.

Lola the bassador spent much of the summer escaping from my yard and visiting the neighbors. Her favorites are the lady who gives her cheese, and the two ladies down the street with the chihuahuas. At both places, she simply plants herself on the front porch until the occupant(s) let her in. Both places are nice enough to just let her hang out until I get home from work. I am both thankful and hugely embarrassed. I finally bought a whole bunch of landscape timbers and lined all the fences in the backyard. That seems to have done the trick. Lola is quite a character.

Rock 'n' Roll Denver Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Saturday, September 22
Denver, CO
Half Marathon #69
Colorado Half #14
Weather - Perfect

I ran the Rock 'n' Roll Denver full marathon in 2011. I fully intended to run it again this year, and that is what I was registered for. Thanks to the stupid knee injury, I simply was not trained to run a full marathon, nor was I sure that even if I *thought* I could run a full, that I could actually complete it. So, a few days prior to the race, my coach (and L) and I decided that I would just try to run a "strong" half.


Thankfully, I now work downtown, less than a half a mile from where packet pick up was. That meant that I did NOT have to battle the traffic or obscene parking fees to get my stuff. L came to visit me for lunch and we walked over. We say a quick hello to Lesley at the Sport Hooks booth and Cheryl at Razzy Roo. Without even realizing it, my whole hour lunch break was gone. I tell you, it is quite a different beast going to an expo in the middle of the day vs. last minute at night. It was not crowded at all.

Drama ensued later, when L forgot where she parked downtown and it took her over 4 hours to find her car. No kidding.

Race Day

We had the plan to be out the door by 5:30 in order to get parked and walk the one mile to the start line. We parked and got to the start with no problems. We had time to cycle through the bathroom lines twice. We had worn throwaway pants and tops, and we kept them until the last minute. The bike tour (yes, Denver had a bike tour that started 30 minutes prior to the running races) had started at 6:45, and it did not affect the run at all. The start was in Civic Center park:

We started in L's corral, which was 11. The goal was to just take it easy and see how things were going to go. I hadn't run further than 7 miles pain free in almost 2 months.

Mile one cruised by, and according to my mapmyrun app (I am so enraged with my Garmin that I haven't used it in ages), we were running about a 10:30 pace. Perfect. It was slightly chilly, but ideal running conditions. We saw Lesley in line at the bathrooms by the Pepsi Center, around mile 1.

Honestly, I was feeling really good for the first few miles, and I'll admit that I was still wondering... what if... what if I just ran the marathon anyway. The first 5 miles are running up and down the streets of downtown Denver. Then, around mile 5 we turn and enter City Center Park. I think I started to get tired and wasn't feeling that great by probably mile 7. My knee was starting to twinge a bit. Not HURTING, just a tad uncomfortable. We still took it easy, and as best I could tell, we were running a pretty consistent pace of 10:20-10:50 miles.

By mile 8 I knew that there was no way on earth I was going to be running the full marathon. I had still walked only the aid stations, and if I remained pain free, my main goal was to complete the half without walking anything but the aid stations. It was HARD, but I managed to do it.

Around mile 11, I heard my name, and turned just in time to see my friend Jennifer on the course:

The course split in Cheeseman Park just after mile 11. By then I felt perfectly ok with my decision to not run the full.

Around mile 13 just before the chute
Based on the splits I was hearing through my app, we had run all our splits under 11 minutes. Somewhere along the line though, our GPS must have gone all crazy because our official time was quite a bit slower than we expected. A teeny tiny bit disappointed, but I have to say, I am SO HAPPY I was able to run (very very slowly) without any pain.

Also, even though I absolutely loathe the Rock 'n' Roll series, I have done this event twice, and I will definitely be back next year. Both the full marathon and half marathon courses are fantastic. My only regret on not doing the full? No beer on the course :(

The splits did not register, and the course measured VERY long for me. For L, it measured a quarter of a mile longer than mine. Over 14 miles!

L and Me in front of the Civic Center

Post race, we got our free food and beverages. We were a few blocks away from the finish when I remembered that they were handing out the heavy metals AT the race. We had to wait a few minutes for them to be delivered, but it sure beats having to wait a few months for one to come in the mail. FYI, for 2012, I did 5 Rock 'n' Roll events (Arizona, New Orleans, Nashville, Seattle and Denver).

In other news:

  • Today would have been my friend Bob's 38th birthday. If you didn't already know, I am raising money for the AFSP to run the Tinker Bell half marathon. I am raising $500 and could use your help. You can donate here.
  • Razzy Roo (link at the top of my blog) - is having a sale. 20% off... EVERYTHING. Including clearance items! Use the code FALLSALE at checkout. Discount good through September 30.
  • Check back in the next day or so... big announcement coming! (Sorry, no spoilers).