FANGFACEKITTY's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=FANGFACEKITTY FANGFACEKITTY's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ Bliss http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5756770 Bliss...giving in and scratching the mosquito bites <BR> <BR> Now I'm off to buy some citronella candles for the bedroom at night to prevent more of the same! <BR> <BR> Eta: cute internet random kitty scratching its chin picture removed b/c it was getting more sympathy than me, the actual victim of the unprovoked mosquito blitzkrieg <em>334</em> Sun, 10 Aug 2014 09:00:47 EST Perils http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5749179 I have a renter in my US house while I am in France. One of the dangers of renting one's house out is that you just don't know who you'll end up with and what they will do to your home. <BR> <BR> I've been lucky. My first renter took care of the house and everything looked good from the road driving by. Flowers planted along the front porch, the lawn was mown, garage looked tidy. She has now moved out and has to do the walk-through this week. <BR> <BR> I stopped by the house Monday to pick... Tue, 29 Jul 2014 20:01:31 EST Here comes the rain again http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5748702 And just call me "The Rainmaker" <em>30</em> <BR> <BR> We didn't actually "go to court" yesterday morning, it was more negotiation between our lawyers. Somehow the PEH found a decent one this time, instead of the incompetent he had for the divorce. I "won" 2 of the 3 main points, which is really just a reinforcement of the original custody order. I went for full legal custody as well but we will have to have an actual hearing for that in a few months. In any case, no more Ms. Nice Lady..... Tue, 29 Jul 2014 06:35:45 EST Where's my umbrella? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5746057 As in the literal it has rained more days than not for the last month, including a cold and gloomy 10 day straight stretch. <BR> <BR> As in the idiomatic "when it rains, it pours"...when everything seems to go wrong all at once. <BR> <BR> As in the "WTF?" category..."I got the cash, I'm bringing the rain" which was the actual text message I received from the PEH back in March when I refused to cancel DDs cell phone. I live in France, she is in the US...it is how I stay in touch with her, es... Fri, 25 Jul 2014 00:19:39 EST Dinner http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5733210 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l1980592775.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I actually had a nice dinner of sushi so this guy was safe...this time <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> I have been seeing these huge snails all over the place lately, including one who thought my cilantro plant was his dinner. Sun, 6 Jul 2014 16:14:54 EST Conspiracy http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5732309 Today I had planned to go for a bike ride after breakfast, mow the lawn (and after 3 weeks it is sorely needed!), finish weeding the "garden", maybe trim some more hedges and go for a walk in the evening. <BR> <BR> Mother Nature decided otherwise...today is nice and rainy. Although I did get the walk done, to the post office & back, in the misty drizzle between showers. <BR> <BR> Time for plan B...napping <em>102</em> Sat, 5 Jul 2014 06:00:12 EST "One Eyed Purple People Eater" http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5732021 DD's new ride : <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/7/l179892956.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Since she had to wait all year for Phase 1 Driver's Training to be held at her high school, because she had no one to take her to the other locations, and since she has no other transportation to get to/from work (assuming she can now find a job), last week before I left MI I got her a moped & she passed her test to get a moped license. <BR> <BR> Now she can cruise (30 mph only but it beats wa... Fri, 4 Jul 2014 15:43:57 EST Milestone http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5731676 Not mine, although in a sense I guess it is for me too. <BR> <BR> My firstborn is DS, 18 years old. He moved into his first place last night, to live on his own. <BR> <em>104</em> <em>283</em> <em>436</em> <BR> <BR> I always enjoyed my children's milestones as a celebration of their independence. To me these are not times to be sad (but I have never really been a traditional or conventional parent either). <BR> <BR> Although this particular milestone is not as happy as it should ... Fri, 4 Jul 2014 02:04:00 EST Still alive http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5731011 Since it has been (too) many months since my last blog this is just a quick note to say I am still alive and here. Been spending too much time working, not working out, and dealing with the crazy from the psycho-ex. Which, unfortunately, isn't over yet. Gained some weight and have been about 10 pounds over maintenance range for the last (too many) months, but at least I know how and why and am taking steps to correct it again. Unfortunately I am a stress eater...but it is summer, we have beau... Thu, 3 Jul 2014 02:02:12 EST Hubris http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5630911 Pride goes before the fall. Fortunately the fall today was only metaphorical and not physical. I am somewhere in France for a training weekend for The Raid. I thought I was in OK shape. The reality is very different. <BR> <BR> I finally found something I loathe more than pushups. <BR> <BR> I despise mountains. They are evil and should all be razed to the ground. <BR> <BR> More info later when I am back home; it is too hard to blog on my phone. <BR> <BR> Of course, tomorrow we do ro... Sat, 22 Feb 2014 13:46:15 EST No progress yet http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5625619 Went for another trail ride on Saturday morning. If anything I am regressing. The hills were harder, ever though they were the same ones, and my asthma attacked. I haven't had a problem in years, but this hill nonsense is HARD. <BR> <BR> 9.41 miles in 108 minutes; last week I did the same distance / elevation in 84 minutes. <BR> <BR> I am not in shape to handle the hills, especially for a new sport. And I know a part of the problem is the bike. It is heavy compared to the others' mountain b... Sun, 16 Feb 2014 14:49:14 EST Pathetically Amazing http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5619293 Tuesday at lunch I went for a lunchtime run with others from work. The Activities Committee is trying to make this a regular event, a running club. We started off OK, but after 5 minutes or so I was lagging behind. By 10 minutes I was really behind. My relay partner from the race in October stayed back with me, the rest of the group disappeared from sight. I had to walk several times. All in all it took 68 minutes to go just over 5.5 miles. <BR> <BR> Pathetic, considering what I used to be a... Sun, 9 Feb 2014 09:55:43 EST Those who are about to die... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5597637 My daughter came for a visit right after Christmas, for 10 days. She is now speaking to me again, lol. There was a 6 week period where she wasn't because I was the cause of all the problems in her life...hard to make friends at the new school, problems with her dad, etc. She is 15 and therefore not amenable to reason. <BR> <BR> In any case I am mostly forgiven now. We spent a few days doing nothing a"home" here in France and on New Year's Eve flew to Rome to start our vacation. <BR> <BR> Ye... Sat, 18 Jan 2014 05:07:44 EST The Raid http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5571469 Over the last month or so several people at work have asked me if I was on the company team. <BR> <BR> Company team? What company team? <BR> <BR> "Didn't you get the e-mail"? they ask. <BR> <BR> Ummm...no. No e-mail. <BR> <BR> "Oh, well, I know you're a runner, you should really do it. They always need more women to participate. I'll send you the e-mail". <BR> <BR> OK...but nobody ever actually sent me the e-mail after these conversations. <BR> <BR> Until last week. Now I kind of wish... Wed, 25 Dec 2013 07:19:54 EST Soapbox Rant http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5560270 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l195619035.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Yesterday's discovery about the discontinuation of my Garmin watch and its replacement by ugly colors including the gag inducing hated pink was just the start. I was also looking at some running gear sites at medal holders and discovered a way to store/display racing bibs too. <BR> <BR> Except..."Run like a Girl" ? More pink ? Girls Run ? More pink and powder blue ? Don't even get me started on women's shoe sizes... Mon, 9 Dec 2013 07:28:05 EST Why, Garmin, why? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5559873 Went for my inaugural run in my new Asics this afternoon. I bought them back in June when I was in Michingan because running shoes are a lot cheaper in the US than in France. I normally wear a Brooks, or a Mizuno, stability shoe, extra wide in "men's"...really it is almost considered a boy's size but it works for me. <BR> <BR> But unfortunately none of the stores had either brand available in my size...so I agreed to hive the Asics a shot. It was only recently that I've put enough miles on ... Sun, 8 Dec 2013 16:13:00 EST Not answering my phone anymore http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5557611 At 9:30 my time this morning - so about 3:30 am in Michigan - I received a text from my son : "am going to hospital, think I have MRSA" <BR> <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> So I call him up immediately because MRSA is dangerous. <BR> <BR> He has a "pimple" like spot on his leg that has grown and is now quite painful and is obviously not a pimple. In his internet research for a diagnosis he came across MRSA, it seemed to fit and so he decided that is what it must be. <BR> <BR> <em>198</em... Thu, 5 Dec 2013 12:42:49 EST August & September Goal Results http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5514239 IN PROGRESS GOALS <BR> 1) Maintain my weight at +10 / -14 pounds <BR> <em>48</em> <BR> Met, although mostly by my diet and not through exercise <BR> <BR> 2) Maintain my budget and pay off 1 debts (revised) <BR> <em>48</em> <BR> On track <BR> <BR> 4) Resume saxophone playing and look for a band to join <BR> <em>48</em> <BR> Met <BR> <BR> 5) Travel <BR> <em>48</em> <BR> **5Q1 – Met - Normandy, Paris, Compiegne & Oise area in January with my son <BR> **5Q2 – Met – Amsterdam, N... Tue, 15 Oct 2013 12:19:04 EST Course des 2 Chateaux 17km race http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5499343 Wow, it's been almost 2 months since my last blog! I have a lot of catching up to do...later. <BR> <BR> A few months ago I signed up for this race through the activities committee at work. 17km is about 10.5 miles, at the time I expected it to be no big deal. After all, I've done 8 or so HMs and I was starting to train again. <BR> <BR> Then August happened...I just stopped running. No real physical reason, it just didn't appeal to me so I found excuses. Then came September and I knew I need... Sun, 29 Sep 2013 14:10:07 EST July Goal Results http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5442175 IN PROGRESS GOALS <BR> 1) Maintain my weight at +10 / -14 pounds <BR> <em>48</em> <BR> Met <BR> <BR> 2) Maintain my budget and pay off 1 debts (revised) <BR> <em>358</em> <BR> On track <BR> <BR> 3) Finish my 1st Marathon <BR> <em>38</em> <BR> After various knee injury recovery periods I was back to building a regular running schedule again…and then was sidetracked by travel and illness. So back to the beginning for August…thinking that a marathon is not going to happen this year... Fri, 2 Aug 2013 10:58:42 EST I am hot! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5426975 Literally. <BR> <BR> Fever of 104, killer headache. Just took my last aspirin so will have to force myself out to go to the pharmacy this morning, no excuses. Pharmacy will be closed tomorrow, along with the grocery store. And I need a fan since I can no longer keep my window open - Turtle my scaredy cat decided to be brave and go out on the steep pitched roof last night. <BR> <BR> Not how I planned to spend my weekend. <BR> <BR> Update : fever is now reduced thanks to the aspirin and some... Sat, 20 Jul 2013 01:03:13 EST June Goal Results http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5415243 June 2013 Goal Results: <BR> <BR> IN PROGRESS GOALS <BR> 1) Maintain my weight at +10 / -14 pounds <BR> <em>192</em> Met, back into the middle of my maintenance range <BR> <BR> 2) Maintain my budget and pay off 1 debts (revised) <BR> <em>48</em> On track <BR> <BR> 3) Finish my 1st Marathon <BR> Cautiously restarting my training again, will see how July goes before signing up for a race <BR> <BR> 4) Resume saxophone playing and look for a band to join <BR> <em>335</em> Met <... Tue, 9 Jul 2013 08:27:49 EST Ease on down the road http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5413177 Back in March I started having problems with my knees. I have "Jumper's Knee", or also known as "Runner's Knee", where the knee cap doesn't track quite right. Mine is probably from karate; it predates my running. I can go for long stretches of time without any issues at all and then something will set it off. <BR> <BR> In March I think it was because my shoes had reached the end of their running life before I was expecting it. I still finished 2 HMs in March but it was getting worse so I... Sun, 7 Jul 2013 11:17:27 EST Travel (Mis)Adventures http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5410748 This is going to be very long so if you want the Cliff Notes version : <BR> <BR> Spent 2 weeks in the US for vacation in June, was really busy, accomplished a lot, now am back to work in France and waiting for the Kittehs to exact revenge for being left alone in the basement. <BR> <BR> But then you will miss all of the vital life lessons & words of wisdom if you stop reading. <em>20</em> <BR> <BR> My (mis)adventures started the day after getting my daughter on the plane to move back t... Thu, 4 Jul 2013 15:07:37 EST Revenge of the Kittehs http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5402042 During my 2 week vacation I locked the Kittehs in the basement. I had bought toddler swimming pools and filled them with water and litter and 40 pounds of food – far more than they would need – and gave them blankies and pillows to sleep on…but somehow I knew they would not appreciate my efforts and would want revenge. I had been living in mortal fear since I returned on the 20th but then l I realized just how insidious their plan was. <BR> <BR> They are trying to kill me with guilt. They... Wed, 26 Jun 2013 05:35:32 EST Empty http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5377483 I am officially on vacation for 3 weeks. I went to bed after midnight...and was awake at 6 am. WTF?! I do not even get up that early on work days! Not a particularly auspicious start to my time off; I hope that this morning nonsense improves quickly. Vacations should be about sleeping in. <BR> <BR> Anyway, I was actually "up" at 4 am because Stupid Dog thinks if he goes outside that early I will be sleepwalking and give him breakfast without realizing it...and then a second breakfast onc... Tue, 4 Jun 2013 02:38:43 EST May Goal Results http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5375253 IN PROGRESS GOALS <BR> 1) Maintain my weight at +10 / -14 pounds <BR> <em>48</em> <BR> Met; back in the middle of the range <BR> <BR> 2) Maintain my budget and pay off 1 debts (revised) <BR> <em>48</em> <BR> On track <BR> <BR> 3) Finish my 1st Marathon <BR> <em>38</em> <BR> Squats hurt my knee again mid-month and I can still feel it when I go up/down stairs and when I run. I don’t know if a marathon is going to happen this year. <BR> <BR> 4) Resume saxophone playing and look f... Sun, 2 Jun 2013 03:58:29 EST Stupid Dog Gone Wild http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5369993 Sorry, no expose video of Stupid Dog's misdeeds while on Spring Break. Instead what you get today is a photo journey of one of our walks. Stupid Dog has put in an impressive 12.5 miles over the past 3 days...I think he is about ready to hide when he sees the harness now. Is it wrong to be smug that I can outlast my dog? <em>246</em> <BR> <BR> Stupid Dog in the forest <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/8/l286845143.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Path along the river, saw 2 duck familie... Tue, 28 May 2013 06:27:34 EST Always & Never http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5368913 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/2/l827664445.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/0/l702671043.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/0/l1002072245.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/7/l471705678.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Today is the day we remember our fallen, those who gave everything for our country, for our freedoms that we so often take for granted. Always remember their sacrifice, never forg... Mon, 27 May 2013 00:57:00 EST I am being mocked http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5368431 By an inanimate object no less. <BR> <BR> My bike. Or rather my daughter's bike. It laughs at me, it taunts me. <BR> <BR> Twice this week I have gone for a bike ride, approximately 3.5 miles each time. Both times my time was barely faster than my running speed. <BR> <BR> Now, in my defense, I have 2 major strikes against me before I even get on the bike. I live amongst hills. And did I mention the hills? <BR> <BR> The first time I took my daughter's "regular" bike, her 10 speed. Unfor... Sun, 26 May 2013 13:16:30 EST OMG! A Bug! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5363529 My cat Gandalf : <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/1/l1145760174.jpg"> Tue, 21 May 2013 13:39:21 EST The Ugly Truth about water http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5361846 Day 9 of my 8 glasses a day streak. Regardless of the consequences I have to get the news spread and maybe I can save someone from these horrible fate : <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/2/l728213570.jpg"> EQUALS <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/4/l346482900.jpg"> <BR> EVERY. FIVE. MINUTES! <BR> <BR> I can now understand the crazy astronaut lady who wore adult diapers to drive across the country. <BR> <BR> Don't let this h... Mon, 20 May 2013 06:24:40 EST Now What? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5360321 I went to the farmers' market again today and wandered around while my daughter went looking in the shops for sandals and accessories. <BR> <BR> I scored a nice fat eggplant, over 2 pounds of the fattest carrots I've ever seen, a carton of beautiful oyster mushrooms and some brown button 'shrooms to go with it, some sort of possibly Middle Eastern seafood mix (sold by the guy with the cart full of tzadiki and hummus and other awesome goodness)...and a large bunch of very pretty white asparag... Sat, 18 May 2013 15:04:06 EST Bionic Me http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5356958 I wish. <BR> <BR> When I was a kid, in grade school, we took a road trip out to SoCal. We actually criss-crossed the country and got to go to see Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills in the north down to the Painted Desert, Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest in the south. We drove through Las Vegas, up, down and around San Francisco, and even made it to Tijuana in Mexico. I still remember the paper roses we bought from a street vendor there, and my Dad bought this large carved wooden boat that... Wed, 15 May 2013 01:45:14 EST I Found My Thrill http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5350591 ...on blueberry hill... <BR> <BR> Actually my thrill was bingeing....on music. <BR> <BR> Thanks to a recent blog by BOILHAM I went on a music buying spree recently, starting with Fats Domino and Chuck Berry and branching off from there. <BR> <BR> New treasures for my iPod include: <BR> <BR> Blueberry Hill...Fats Domino <BR> Wooly Bully...Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs <BR> Da Doo Ron Ron...Sha Na Na <BR> Rama Lama Ding Dong...Sha Na Na <BR> Witch Doctor...Sha Na Na <BR> Walk Like an Egyptian... Thu, 9 May 2013 05:41:50 EST Busted http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5350009 Today & tomorrow are holidays in France, so no work. I had fully intended to start my speed training again since it is Wednesday and today is the first day of Track Time...a running coach offers training at a local track back home once per week. Coach Ken is the one who got me up to speed (pun intended) for my 2 mile run. Although I am here across the ocean I still get the e-mailed workout plans and was going to go to the local track this afternoon. <BR> <BR> The weather had other plans. ... Wed, 8 May 2013 15:25:33 EST Blue Salamanders, White Canvas http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5347620 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l1472751775.jpg"> <BR> Stupid Dog, aka Munchie Bear, after his walk today. <BR> <BR> Back in December I was taking Stupid Dog on daily 1 mile walks. He was constantly pulling and lunging and other dogs, trucks, etc. Once he somehow managed to slip the leash and actually jumped out into the road and missed being flattened by a cement truck by mere inches. And don't even ask about his reaction to motorcycles. <BR> <BR> In short he was not a ... Mon, 6 May 2013 16:14:12 EST Mexican Teddy Bear Chainsaw Massacre at Farmers' Market http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5346183 There was a bit of fuss in the SP community this week about an article someone published elsewhere on the web titled Women Should Not Run, are something to that effect. I have not read the article but from others' comments it sounds as if the message - only doing the same cardio exercise, i.e.. running, without cross-training and strength training, is not a good idea for anyone - got lost in the in-your-face title, author's presentation and the fact he may have been selling something. Prese... Sun, 5 May 2013 11:27:50 EST April Goal Results http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5342839 IN PROGRESS GOALS <BR> 1) Maintain my weight at +10 / -14 pounds <BR> <em>48</em> <BR> <BR> 2) Maintain my budget and pay off 1 debts (revised) <BR> <em>48</em> <BR> <BR> 3) Finish my 1st Marathon <BR> Originally registered for the Paris Marathon on April 7 but after experiencing knee issues in the 2-3 weeks prior I backed out rather than risk more severe injury. I’m keeping this on the goal list for now since I still have 8 months left in the year and a marathon is certainly still... Thu, 2 May 2013 06:48:32 EST May Day http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5341515 Aside from being the 1st of May it is a holiday in France (I don't remember which one). So I have the day off work. <BR> <BR> Today, in no particular order, I am going to trim the 6 foot or more hedges that line 3 sides of the yard with my new electric hedge trimmer; edge the sidewalks with my decidedly low tech edging tool (a curved blade on a stick); use the Claw to turn up the ground along the fence line and plant my tulips; practice my saxophone; cook something for dinner; clean the hous... Wed, 1 May 2013 04:55:13 EST Move yer bloomin' arse! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5338206 I love My Fair Lady; the blog title is a line from the movie. <BR> <BR> As part of the Spring into Summer 5% Challenge we were tasked to : <BR> “Prepare yourself for success by having the words that will move you to action and keep you on track for the 8 Weeks of the 5% Challenge. What can you tell yourself every morning that will give you a sense of purpose for your day? What can you tell yourself when you are thinking of skipping a walk or a workout? Is there something you can tell yourse... Sun, 28 Apr 2013 11:59:07 EST Spicing it up http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5335922 Variety is the spice of life, as they say, so that is what you're getting in this blog...a little bit of this & that. <BR> <BR> My spice grinder (aka repurposed coffee grinder) works here with the adapter/converter, which is a very good thing. I like to mix up my own spice blends and spent an afternoon recently grinding away. I needed to replenish my chili and Italian seasonings, mixed up some pumpkin pie spice (note to self, skip the all spice next time), created the ground versions of so... Fri, 26 Apr 2013 02:00:53 EST Marathon update http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5318174 The Paris Marathon was last Sunday, April 7. <BR> <BR> I did not run. <BR> <BR> The weekend before my knees still felt wonky so I made the decision to not run the marathon and avoid the possibility of doing real damage to my knees. <BR> <BR> I am resting them for another week or two and will then start training again. Depending on how the training goes I will pick a different marathon for later this summer or fall. <BR> <BR> It was the right decision but I'm not happy with it. Wed, 10 Apr 2013 09:53:27 EST March Goal Results http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5308954 IN PROGRESS GOALS <BR> <BR> 1) Maintain my weight at +10 / -14 pounds <BR> <em>48</em> <BR> Met although right at the upper limit allowed <BR> <BR> 2) Maintain my budget and pay off 1 debts (revised) <BR> <em>48</em> <BR> On track <BR> <BR> 4) Resume saxophone playing and look for a band to join <BR> <em>42</em> <BR> Missed – achieved 80% practice <BR> <BR> 5) Travel <BR> <em>48</em> <BR> **5Q1 – met; Normandy, Paris, Compiegne & Oise area in January with my son <BR> <BR>... Tue, 2 Apr 2013 13:44:54 EST Hard Decision http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5303258 The Paris HM was March 3. I had some sporadic knee pain in both knees the first 2 miles and then things stabilized and it was not an issue. A few days following at the end of my 2 miles run my right knee started to hurt quite a bit. When I entered my mileage that night I realized my shoes now had 250 miles on them and immediately replaced them. <BR> <BR> The first run in the new shoes went well until mile 10 when my left knee started to hurt quite a lot, to the extent that I could not run... Thu, 28 Mar 2013 13:15:47 EST Best & Brightest http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5295739 The US division of the company for which I work has been in the 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For awards in Michigan for the last I don't know how many years. At least for the 7 years I worked there. <BR> <BR> That's a pretty good feeling knowing you work for a company considered one of the best in the state. <BR> <BR> This year though (well, 2012) is different. <BR> <BR> This year we've made the NATIONAL awards! We are one of the best companies to work for across the entire c... Fri, 22 Mar 2013 02:40:47 EST St. Quentin Half Marathon http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5289959 Today was half marathon #8 for me, in St. Quentin, France. It is about an hour from where I live/work. I signed up about a month ago. It was not in my original plan to run another HM this close to the full but the employee committee was sponsoring runners and apparently there is a good sized group of people where I work that are runners. So in the interests of integrating into life here I signed up. There were 4 other people from work who ended up running today; we were supposed to be 7 ... Sun, 17 Mar 2013 14:53:34 EST Cats are Smart http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5283985 Today it is about 14 degrees F with the windchill. Over night we received about 6 or so inches of snow. It didn't look that bad from the back window, there wasn't a lot of accumulation on the deck. So I planned to go to work like normal, just taking longer to drive. <BR> <BR> Then the garage door wouldn't open so I had to go out the front door. <BR> <BR> Stupid lying groundhog. I want the spring I was promised! <BR> <BR> Went back in, sent a quick note that I wouldn't be in to work for... Tue, 12 Mar 2013 13:08:30 EST Morning person? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5282003 9 pm Sunday night : set alarm for 6 am and plan to go to bed at 10 pm, per goals. <BR> 9:59 pm - realize I forgot to call Mom who is having a knee replacement tomorrow, call <BR> 10:47 pm - end call & go to bed <BR> 6 am - alarm goes off, reset alarm to 6:45 <BR> 6:45 am - alarm goes off, hit snooze <BR> <BR> Note - the alarm resetting & snooze take actual intent because I have to unlock the iPad in order to do so, not just blindly press a button like on an alarm clock <BR> <BR> 6:55 am - a... Mon, 11 Mar 2013 02:40:59 EST More info about the Paris HM http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5280830 We started in front of the Chateau de Vincennes (note this is not my picture, it is from www.myparisnet.com) : <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1371859107.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I haven’t been to this part of Paris before and had no idea it existed. There is also a very large park across from it, the Parc Floral. I think I will go back some weekend to see the Chateau and the Parc. <BR> <BR> As I mentioned before the runners were separated into color-coded groups dep... Sun, 10 Mar 2013 06:45:51 EST