Sunday, October 31, 2010

Frightful Run on this Bootiful Halloween

I am beyond exhausted so don't expect much out of this post.  I woke up this morning and I new that if I were doing my marathon training today would be a 7 mile run.  Everyone is talking me out of being able to train for my marathon.  My doctor told me it wouldn't hurt me long term but I would have to put up with pain.  So if I can tolerate the pain then I say why not do it.  I did rest my arm and not run for a week like he asked (actually 2 weeks with the whole kidney stone thing) so I AM following his orders.  Still when I woke up this morning I wasn't training (in my mind).  I have been told too many times I can't do it.  I have to admit having not run any significant distance and basically not working out for almost 2 weeks (due to the stone) I figured my hopes of doing the marathon were over.  But when I woke up this morning and my good friend Dedie's son Cooper was posting on Facebook about his dad's marathon I got inspired.  I started thinking about him suffering out there today running 26.2 miles and figured I could suffer through 7 miles.  I haven't run that distance in over 4 months and am in nowhere near the shape when I last tackled it.  What does not kill us will make us stronger.  So I went for it. 

I completed 7 really, really, hard and slow miles.  Sometimes I questioned if I was even moving but I did it.



I was going to beat myself up over what a horrible run that was.  But I had to ask myself, how many people can go out and just run 7 miles.  Or even walk 7 miles.  I hadn't completed the 7 miles at my normal pace but I know I will get back to being my old self again.  Anyone who knows anything about running and training knows, it's not about speed it's about time on your feet.  Well I spent 1 hour and 29 minutes on my feet today and I felt accomplished no matter what my pace. 

Frigthful Halloween Run
Mile 1:  11:14
Mile 2:  12:10
Mile 3:  12:16
Mile 4:  12:47  Ran out of water and had to climb this to get some more.  Life is cruel sometimes. 


Mile 5: 13:47
Mile 6: 13:55
Mile 7:  12:51
Total:  1:29:06
Average:  12:43

I really don't have anything else to say about the run other than I'm glad I did it and I'm going to continue to work toward my goal of the marathon even if I don't wind up being able to do it. 

On to Halloween.  We got invited to a Halloween party today and the hostess suggested I bring something the kids could grab and eat on the run.  I was clueless as to what I should bring and was expressing my concern to my cousin Maria when she suggested popcorn.  I instantly got the idea of caramel popcorn and this turned out FAB-U-LOUS.  I love when something turns out this great.  Yes I could have bought $2 worth of Crunch and Munch but this was so much more fun and soooooooooooooo much better.

CARAMEL POPCORN

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup butter

  • 2 cups brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup corn syrup

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 5 quarts popped popcorn  (I actually doubled this recipe so what you see is times two)


  • Directions:  
    • Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (95 degrees C). Place popcorn in a very large bowl. (I didn't wind up mixing in this bowl because it's plastic.  I'd suggest something that can sustain the heat.)


    • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.


    • Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.



    • Boil without stirring 4 minutes.


    • Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla.


    • Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.


    • Place in two large shallow baking dishes (I used a cookie sheet) and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour.



    • Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces.


    I have to tell you this caramel popcorn was a really big hit! 

    You know what else was a really big hit?  Trick or Treat Toy Story style.  The kids had a great time trick or treating and they have plenty of candy to show for it.  (I plan on stealing all the one Butterfinger.)  








    I did find out from Nicholas (finally today) that an "older" kid at school (that he didn't know) made fun of him for being Buzz Lightyear.  He told me it made him feel really sad because it hurt his feelings so badly.  My heart broke for him.  He was so nervous that his friend Owen's older brother (the same age as the older boy at school) was going to make fun of him he just sobbed.    When we walked out of the bathroom after changing Alec told Nicholas he thought his costume was really cool.  It was almost like a light switch.  All the nerves and anxiety Nicholas had been experiencing for over a month melted away.  He had a GREAT Halloween.  I'm glad I "made" him be Buzz and I hope he learned a valuable lesson.  He can be whatever HE wants to and and no matter what his Mama will always thinks he's pretty cool. 

    Saturday, October 30, 2010

    Spooktacular Halloween Carnival

    For $15 today we had so much fun.  Not $15 per kid, $15 total!  Our gym had a Halloween Spooktacular.  I didn't have high expectations considering the price but this was an awesome event.  We spent nearly 3 hours there doing EVERYTHING.

    We ate




    We played games





    We did crafts




    We got our faces painted




    We learned physical fitness





    We did the big bounce and slide





    We had a spooktacular time



    Why are you still here?  What are you waiting for?  Elvis has left the building. 

    Friday, October 29, 2010

    Happy Fall Y'all

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh  That is me breathing a sigh of relief because my stent was successfully removed today.  After over 5 weeks of being miserable I am finally back to "normal".  Oh don't you worry I'm not in the clear yet.  I have another stone in my left kidney.  It is larger than the one that didn't pass on its own.  Due to that and several other boring biological factors, it's not likely that this stone will leave on its own.  So what does that mean? ANOTHER surgery.  I could wait it out but that would probably mean on January 1st, with the start of my new deductible, it would start giving me trouble.  I've decided to have the stone blasted but I probably won't do it until December.  I get to do all kinds of stuff in the meantime like a 24 hour urine collection, blood work and a kidney ultrasound.  The good news is I've decided to have an elective procedure done at the same time as the "blast".  You'll all be glad to know I won't be peeing my pants anymore when I cough, sneeze, laugh or run.  (If you've had multiple kids you're laughing (and peeing) right now, if you haven't you're appalled and I'm sorry.) 

    On to better things.  Today was a real dose of fall in Texas.  The kind of fall that everyone loves.  The beautiful, clear, blue skies with highs in the low 70s.  I was actually chilly all day and I used my seat and steering wheel warmers this morning. 

    I decided today was a good day for soup.  George makes the best potato soup.  EVERYONE in my family loves it.  Today was the perfect day for warm, delicious, bacony, cheesey potato soup. 

    GEORGE'S POTATO SOUP

    Ingredients:
    1 lb thick sliced bacon, chopped
    1 large red onion diced
    5 c. potatoes, cubed
    2 family size cans cream of chicken soup
    16 oz sour cream
    4 c. milk
    Salt (to taste)
    Pepper (to taste)

    Directions:

    Chop bacon, add to pan and fry until crisp

    Add onion and saute 2 to 3 minutes. Drain.

    Cook potatoes in 2 cups water for 10 to 15 minutes.   It is important to use just 2 cups of water.  No more or no less.   This will help your soup be the right consistency. 

    Stir in soup, sour cream, bacon and onions.

    Add milk gradually, stirring constantly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat to serving temperature. DO NOT BOIL.

    Serve with a nice chewy piece of sourdough bread and grated cheddar cheese.  I assure you this soup does not disappoint.  It may, however, clog your arteries so prepare and eat at your own risk.  We usually make this soup for "special occasions".  Today's occasion?  Pumpkin Carving Day.

    Pumpkin carving isn't like it used to be.  I remember drawing a few triangles on a pumpkin and a smile with a jagged tooth and my mom would cut it out.  Now you can buy a kit for $4 and create yourself some pretty cool looking pumpkins. 

    First we cleaned:







    Then we George carved:




    Then I tortured the children by making them pose for pictures:












    Then we enjoyed the fruits of our George's labor:





    Fall has arrived just in time for Halloween and we are all jumping for joy!