For She’s in Her Room a Taking Rest

July 20, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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The last week, I was basically without internet.

How scary is that?!?! Most people today…would be terrified of such things…but I’m about to do it again so I thought I should post now, while I’m still connected!

The last week or so I was house sitting at one of my favorite places in the world. I spent some time relaxing, reading and doing a little hiking and running.

I’m back home now, in my own bed, which I have missed OH so much. Let me tell you, I love that bed so much. I’m already excited to go to bed tonight!!!

Today I did a mini-tri! Haha. I did 2/3 of a sprint tri at the gym. I did 3 miles on the treadmill with the last mile at a 9:16 pace which is AWESOME for me. Then I swam a 400 in the pool. It was a pretty solid workout. Maybe once I’m done with my traveling and such I can do my own little sprint tri at the gym. Haha.

So this weekend I will be volunteering at Floydfest!!!! I am SO excited. Floydfest is a music/art/food festival in Floyd, VA. My FAVORITE band of all-time, Old Crow Medicine Show, is playing Saturday night and I cannot WAIT!!!!

Since I’m volunteering I get to go to the campsite early, get a good location, and unpack all my gear before the masses arrive. I need to be packing my gear up right now but I think it’ll have to wait until tomorrow. Today I’ve been hard at work on another project…of which I am OH so pleased to present to you………

MY NEW ETSY STORE!!!!!!!

For those of you not familiar with Etsy, it’s an online selling site for independent artists, crafters, knitters, spinners, antique junkies, etc!

I launched my Etsy store today at http://www.etsy.com/shop/PinkCowgirl so please come visit my lovely, lovely store!! It’s just jewelry right now, but eventually there will be some fibery goodness.

***Sidebar***

Speaking of fibery goodness, I got to spin on a wheel yesterday for the first time!!!!! Let me tell you, spinning wheels are a LOT harder than they look to operate. You aren’t just sitting there passively….you’re doing WORK. You have to pay attention. SO fun.

****Back on track****

So. Etsy. I’m so excited about my store. I’m not trying to make it in to a full time business, but just a hobby. Just to amuse myself. If you do click over, please let me know what you think! Any and all suggestions are welcome, either about the shop logo, or my jewelry in general!

Here are some pictures of the pieces in the store, including my absolute favorite piece!

A simple beaded bracelet.

A simple beaded bracelet.

Pearl and stone earrings

Pearl and stone earrings

And the piece de resistance!

My "Knit One, Pearl Two" necklace!!! I constructed the "ball of yarn and needles" myself. I'm super proud.

My "Knit One, Pearl Two" necklace!!! I constructed the "ball of yarn and needles" myself. I'm super proud.

Well, that’s my Etsy! Hope you enjoyed! I’ll be back after Floydfest with plenty of pictures for your viewing enjoyment!!!

Country Roads

June 15, 2010 at 7:33 am | Posted in Blogroll, Cross Training, Half-Marathon, People I Meet, Training | 4 Comments
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Yeah, I know. I wandered again.

But seriously? If you’ve ever been in your first year of teaching…you’ll know exactly what I was going through, and exactly how little free time I had.

School ended one week ago tomorrow. How awesome is that?

Wednesday…I got new tires, always exciting, shopped WAY too much, but mostly bought things on sale, and then Thursday I got this……..

Yes, he looks weird. Therefore I love him. And he's not angry, he has an underbite.

Yes, he looks weird. Therefore I love him. And he's not angry, he has an under bite.

Meet Tully! He came from Ringdog Rescue in Richmond. His name there was Spanky…but I have this thing about naming all of my pets after Jimmy Buffett music/books/etc…so Tully it is. (From Mr. Buffett’s book, Salty Piece of Land)

All he wants is love! And cookies...

All he wants is love! And cookies...

He has been doing pretty good so far. He doesn’t like being alone too much, but he’s improving every day! The first time I tried to leave the house…he barked and whined the entire time. We’ve practiced and he’s getting more used to the idea.

However he is still pretty darn sure that the ice maker in the freezer is his sworn enemy. Either that, or he thinks that I REALLY want him to let me know every time fresh ice drops in to the bin. Maybe he’s just trying to be helpful! That’s probably it. I mean it makes perfect sense for him to wake me up at 1am barking his ears off so I would know that hey…if I’m feeling a bit parched, I can now get a nice beverage with the freshest ice possible. Yeah…we’ll call it helpful. For now…

He likes my cat, Paco (Apacolypso…after the JB song) and doesn’t  mind the neighbor’s dog too much…even when she attempts to jump through my open window. He’s cool with that.

But let’s back up a bit to Friday. Also known as the Friday of Lostness, and Awesomeness.

I set out to meet Miss Ashlei for an awesome hike! We picked our spot, planned it out, and I even downloaded a few geocaches for the day! I had a lovely drive along the back roads of Southwest VA, mostly staying right along The Crooked Road. It was a glorious day.

Ashlei and I were to meet at the trailhead for Whitetop Mountain just past the town of Damascus at 9am. I got to the town, found the appropriate road…and began to get a bit concerned.

I grew more and more concerned as I kept driving…and looking for the trail signs. According to my directions there would be a sign marking the Appalachian Trail…however let me tell you buster, if there is a sign for it on Beech Mountain Road in Damascus, I drove up and down that tiny little gravel mountain road about 50 times, seeing no such sign!

I decided to try other options and followed some helpful green state signage for Whitetop Mountain. (You would think this would have worked out for me…but you would be wrong) I turned down the designated road…and drove along…being mildly concerned about my inability to find Ashlei, and also my inability to achieve cell phone signal and notify her of my predicament. As luck would have it, I came to a large sign and parking area for the Appalachian Trail! However…this was for Mt. Rogers. Not Whitetop…and because I had actually referenced a map at some point, I knew this wasn’t the parking area I wanted. So I pressed onward.

After about another 30 minutes of driving around confused, and glaring at my GPS which is normally so helpful, unless you yourself don’t know where it is that you want to go…I achieved cell phone signal by pulling off the side of the road, in to a gravel area that clearly other people had used for just this purpose seeing as it was the ONLY place in 10 square miles with an ounce of signal. My phone then told me I had a voicemail from Ashlei. This…was not helpful because the voicemail said she had NO signal and was calling from a payphone.

She said she would try and get ahold of her boyfriend, Matt, who I know from the blog-o-sphere as well. Luckily I had him on my chat contacts and managed to get ahold of him and he called to say he got a similar voicemail. We tried to work out a plan…but…were really both at a loss.

Finally, after a bit more driving around (by this time it was around 11:30, 2 and a half hours after we were to meet) and going back to the cell phone magic spot…Ashlei CALLED!!! She had driven back to cell phone signal!!! We agreed to meet at a predetermined location of which we both knew of…and 30 minutes later we were FINALLY able to find each other!

So. After that, you’d want to hang up your hat, right? It’s now 12:15 or so…3 hours after we intended to set out to hike 6 miles. And we STILL don’t know where this elusive trailhead is. But no. Since I’ve found the Mt. Rogers area…we decide to just go wander up there!

So we did. We managed to wander to Buzzard’s Rock. We had some great chats, saw some AMAZING scenery, and met some cool thru-hikers and shared a bit of trail magic with them. 🙂 Good fortune for them good karma for us!

We got more pictures than I can even begin to share. If you want to see them all, please visit my photobucket album here: http://s539.photobucket.com/albums/ff354/PinkDsnyPrncess/Hiking%20with%20Ashlei/

But here are some of the highlights, INCLUDING a picture of Whitetop Mountain which we DID manage to find! Sneaky bugger. Now if only we could figure out how to get to the parking area…that we did actually hike past. Haha.

AT <3

AT ❤

Spoon and the other two thru-hikers we met. Yes, his name was Spoon.

Spoon and the other two thru-hikers we met. Yes, his name was Spoon.

This? Is why hiking rocks. Pictures are nice, but it's not the same.

This? Is why hiking rocks. Pictures are nice, but it's not the same.

Ashlei! She comes from the rocks!!!

Ashlei! She comes from the rocks!!!

Whitetop! Of which we did not hiketh.

Whitetop! Of which we did not hiketh.

Ahhh the trail.

Ahhh the trail.

So. Then because that 6.5 mile hike just wasn’t enough, I set out on Saturday with my parents, my new dog, and a fellow Star City Strider.

We hiked Stiles Falls, which was a really nice, short 3 mile hike. The waterfall is amazing and ends in a shallow pool at the bottom where we could actually get in, and walk right up to the falls! It was really awesome!

The climb up the rocks to the pool was a little much for our four legged companion, so my dad found a lovely shaded stump to sit on and held on to Tully for me.

It's a happy hiking dog!

It's a happy hiking dog!

Apparently, Tully had already made up his mind who his mom was…and he had NO interest in watching her climb up and over rocks, and out of sight near roaring water. Dad said that he whined and pulled on the leash almost constantly and REALLY got upset when I was out of eyesight. He seems to like me, so yay for that!

It felt SO good!!!

It felt SO good!!!

Then I climbed back down and took Tully from dad so that he could go up to the falls with mom. Aaaand that’s when mom dropped her camera.

But she didn’t JUST drop it in the water, no, that would be too easy. She dropped it BETWEEN two of the boulders that we’d climbed to get to the pool below the falls. And I do mean boluders.

So after dad, mom, and the other member of our party all tried but failed to reach the camera from the rocks, I had dad come back down, hold Tully and I climbed up in the cave-like opening that the boulders made.

Who got the camera out?

Nuff said.

Nuff said.

This girl. 🙂

Then…camera in hand, we headed down. (I’m not sure what the damage was…it was still on when I got it…but we took out the batteries, opened all the flaps/bits and let it air out, we also put it in a bowl of dry rice in hopes of pulling out the moisture. I have the SD card…but nothing to plug it in to to check it’s functionality…haven’t talked to mom to see if the camera works)

And then…because apparently I have developed a fascination with climbing up anything I possibly can…I decided to climb this tree.

And if I do something…mom of course want’s to go too. 🙂

It made for a lovely family portriat!

The Fam!

The Fam!

So, those are my adventures so far in the land of summer! This is my first summer not working/going to school in 10 years. You have NO idea how excited I am.

I think I’m hiking with some people from the Outdoor Club on Wednesday…and maybe again with Ashlei at the end of the month!!!!!!

Running-wise…I didn’t make it through the half that I had planned. It was pushing 75 degrees and humid at the 9am race start…I made it through the 10K portion and KNEW I was done. I was dehydrated all ready and I knew another 7 miles would have been a bad idea. I dropped out. My first DNF.

But I’m glad I did. I had a MASSIVE headache from then until Sunday morning from the dehydration. Going on would have probably been dangerous for me! No regrets at all! It was a beautiful course…but I just don’t do well in heat. Next year, I’ll just sign up for the 10K, unless the start-time moves back!

Since I have the summer off…my goals are to be outside as much as possible, do as much fiber-related art as possible, and really improve my running. I’m going to make working out my “job” for the summer. 🙂

But in fiber-related news, I have done a lot! I’ll explain in picture form…because I fully realize knitting, dyeing, and spinning aren’t exactly exciting topics of conversation for most people.

It's a sheep! Her name is Amidala *like from Star Wars* and I have her fleece to make in to yarn! YAY!

It's a sheep! Her name is Amidala *like from Star Wars* and I have her fleece to make in to yarn! YAY!

I finished my Aunt's socks...only 6 months late!

I finished my Aunt's socks...only 6 months late!

I spun up some fine fiber!

I spun up some fine fiber!

I recycled yarn from a goodwill sweater and dyed it!

I recycled yarn from a goodwill sweater and dyed it!

I dyed some more yarn...

I dyed some more yarn...

And then I dyed a little bit more.

And then I dyed a little bit more.

And then I knit a felted adult beverage insulating holder type deal. *read as: Beer Huggie*

And then I knit a felted adult beverage insulating holder type deal. *read as: Beer Huggie*

I also knit a hat. (And started another pair of socks and another huggie)

I also knit a hat. (And started another pair of socks and another huggie)

Well, now that I can check “update your blog, you slacker” off my list…I’m going to go work on another one of the the MANY things that I neglected in the past few weeks!

So long for now! (But hopefully not too long this time!)

That’s What Living Is To Me

May 2, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Posted in 5k, Blogroll, Cross Training, Half-Marathon, Music | 4 Comments
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Be good and you will be lonesome
Be lonesome and you will be free
Live a lie and you will live to regret it
That’s what livin’ is to me
That’s what livin’ is to me
~Jimmy Buffett

So…I’m still missing my little tab from wordpress…but I’ve discovered a way to fix it on my own, so HA!

Moving right along.

Running Week:

Whew, boy did I run this week! I ran more this weekend than I did all of last week. Well maybe that’s because I needed a rest…but still.

I informed you about the 4.5 miles of awesome and the 3 miles of crap with pepper-spray lossage.

Did I mention they found it? Yeah. Got my pepper spray back so yay for that.

Thursday and Friday I rested again, partly do to weather, partly due to work beating the crap out of me. Blah.

Saturday was cross-training day and MAN did I have an awesome day. I hiked one of the toughest sections of the AT. See “Other Junk” for that report.

Today I did a rockin 7 miler. I knew it was going to be hot, so I got up around 7am. When I opened my front door…it was like stepping in to a sauna!

I had planned my route so that I did 4 miles, ending back at the house so I could grab a drink, then went out for another 3.

That was a good plan because the humidity darn near killed me! I am NOT a warm-weather runner. I do better in mild or cold weather. Cool or chilly works best for me. Hot weather or humid running…slows me down quite a bit.

What about you? I wanna hear your best/worst running conditions!!!

So I did my first 4, came back and gulped down some ice water. Then out I went for the last 3. It was an uneventful run overall, but I did pass a man working at one of the college’s facilities, he asked how far I was running and I told him 7.

He was quite impressed. Haha. It was just one of those moments that puts a smile on your face. When running away from him I kept thinking to myself “He asked how far I was RUNNING, not ‘jogging’, not ‘going’ even, he said ‘running'” Little things like that still make me smile…and still make me feel like yeah…I AM a runner.

What makes you guys feel like a real “RUNNER”. Do you remember the first time you felt like you could call yourself a runner? Does it matter? Is there a difference? I wanna hear what you think!

So with my little compliment in my head I finished my run…absolutely SOAKED with sweat thanks to the humidity…and came in to see just how bad it was out there.

Yeah, that says 75% humidity!!!

Yeah, that says 75% humidity!!!

 I nearly fell over when I read that. But hey, I did  7 miles in 75% humidity. I’m ready for whatever summer has in store!

I’m also going to find a pool…haha.

Knitting Week:

Not a lot of knitting again, but I did spin some! Also, my editor for the Striders Newsletter that I write for is a spinner as well…she is at the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival this weekend and I am BEYOND jealous.

However…she texted today to say that she was bringing one of her mother’s old spinning wheels home to LOAN ME SO I CAN LEARN TO SPIN ON IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, yes I did stand in the middle of my house and SQUEE very, very loudly.

Dream coming true. Check.

Editor of awesomeness. Check.

Favorite:

This week’s favorite HAS to be my new addiction. Steep and cheap. Thanks to Tri Girl.

I can’t remember if she mentioned it, but I’ve also found Gear Scan and can’t stop checking that either. It’s now part of my home page tabs.

These sites are all discount outdoor gear type sites. Gear Scan is awesome because it shows you 6 of these sites ALL at once. It shows you the price, the time left, and how many of that item they have left.

Steep and cheap is my favorite because it has the most stuff that I would buy. Just about everything that pops up on there, I want. From North Face Denali jackets, to sleeping bags to tents…I want it ALL.

The current deal is some trekking poles for 70 bucks. 50% off.

If you’ve never seen these one-deal-at-a-time sites…GO CLICK!!! They are legit and AWESOME.

I can speak for Steep and Cheap especially because last week I bought my new best friend from there!

Camelbak Fairfax Hydration Pack

Camelbak Fairfax Hydration Pack

Yeah. I got me a Camelbak! That way for the half in June…which IS a trail run…I’m prepared. I had a fuel belt…but it had the one BIG thing of water on the back…and it bugged me. This is much, much better.

Retails for around 45 bucks. I paid 20 on Steep and cheap. HA! Winner.

AND you can combinde shipping. I stopped myself there for now though.

My camelbak arrived Thursday…just in time for my hike this weekend…which we will now discuss!

Other Junk:

Well I had an awesome Sautrday. I got together with some of the Striders and we hit the trails. Myself and two other Striders met at 9:30 to hike up to Dragon’s Tooth. One of the hardest hikes on the Appalachain Trail. 🙂

It’s a really technical hike and in some places they have put in metal bars to help hikers get up the rocks.

La Bars

La Bars

 My main reason for wanting to do this hike…was I had tried TWICE before…with Tracy…and never made it to the top. The first time, we had to make it home to have dinner with mom and we were losing daylight.

The second time he got sick.

So this was my third attempt. Both times I’d made it to the same spot, the fire circle where the Dragon’s Tooth trail hits the AT.

There was NO way I wasn’t going to make it this time. I informed my hiking companions of such, announcing I would leave their butts if I had to!

I was mostly kidding. Mostly. 🙂

On the way up we saw some really pretty flowers, including a Ladyslipper! I was quite excited.

I’m going to put all the pictures at the end…and just talk about the hike for now.

So we reached the fire circle and I proclaimed that this was as far as I’d ever gotten. So on we forged…and the terrain changed QUICKLY.

It pretty much turns in to all rocks in some places.

I apparently…am part mountain goat. Every time the path forked, I took the higher, harder, rockier path. I had a distinct desire to go UP at all possible locations.

We had one moment where we weren’t really sure where the trail went…and I proceeded to climb up a rock wall. So I got some free climbing in as well. It was pretty fun!

I decided at this point, that I would shun the metal bars. I didn’t need some man-made crap to make my way to the top of a mountain, no thank you! So when we ran in to the hand-holds…I found ways around every time. I shun the bars! HA!

We finally got to the top, and could see the actual rock formation that gives the hike it’s name.

Of course, I climbed that too. I made my hiking companions a bit nervous climbing almost all the way to the top. However while scrambling around on a bit of rock, I looked over the edge and I saw what I KNEW could only be one thing…a Geocache!

I instantly jumped over the ledge to grab the cache. And gave my friends a heart attack at the same time. Haha.

But I got the cache! I was pleased.

I also met a nice little salamander whom I named Fred.

After that, we headed back down. It was getting HOT out. We picked a great time of day to go. Not too many hikers at the top, and more people going up as we went down, and down as we went up! It was great.

So let’s get to the pictures!

Ladyslipper!

Ladyslipper!

Rocky much?

Rocky much?

Awesome view, and not even at the top yet!

Awesome view, and not even at the top yet!

I know where I'm going!

I know where I'm going!

Don't look down!

Don't look down!

I'm so proud!!!

I'm so proud!!!

The famous tooth!

The famous tooth!

Say hello to Fred! I met him on my scamble to the tooth!

Say hello to Fred! I met him on my scamble to the tooth!

Me, sitting on the tooth!

Me, sitting on the tooth!

This is where I found the geocache, and promptly jumped over a ledge.

This is where I found the geocache, and promptly jumped over a ledge.

LOOK WHAT I FOUND!!!

LOOK WHAT I FOUND!!!

Standing on the tooth. I win.

Standing on the tooth. I win.

You had to climb up and under this rock and pop out the top. I was highly amused by this.

You had to climb up and under this rock and pop out the top. I was highly amused by this.

I liked this massive rock ledge. :) Part mountain goat...

I liked this massive rock ledge. 🙂 Part mountain goat...

 

This is where I made my own trail, up a rock. You can't really tell, but it's all rock, nothing to really do but find a hand hold and scramble.

This is where I made my own trail, up a rock. You can't really tell, but it's all rock, nothing to really do but find a hand hold and scramble.

I win. Again.

I win. Again.

 Seriously…I realize more every day how much I love hiking. I love running…and just about anything that lets me be outside.

I’m also realizing that whoever I date…needs to enjoy at least ONE of those things. They don’t necessarily have to be a runner…but I think they have to like hiking. I enjoy running alone. Not so much hiking alone.

But I’m about to solve that issue…more on that next time. 🙂

Sorry I’ve Been a Stranger Shoutout:

This week’s shoutout goes to my awesome cousin Chrissy. First off you have NO IDEA how excited I was to get a comment from you on my blog this week!!! I squealed.

Yes, I need to come visit. I would like to publically announce that I have been a BAD, BAD cousin and I haven’t been down in forever AND I need to help with the wedding planning and….yeah. I’m a bad cousin.

But it’s ALMOST summer and so far I have NO summer job so….I’ll be down sometime after June 7th. You tell me when.

And we can go hiking!!!! Yes?!?!?! Haha.

And yes, I WILL bring you some granola. And give you the recipe. And come visit. And not be a stranger anymore.

Later guys!

That Good Old Mountain Dew

April 18, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Posted in Cross Training, People I Meet, running, Training | 5 Comments
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No Mountain Dew for me…but I did have some Mountain Mayhem. 🙂

Oh wow. SO much to talk about!!!!!

I can’t even remember what I did or didn’t talk about last time. Geez.

Running Week:

Well, as you know last weekend was a 5K that I turned in to a 10K. This weekend I had a REAL 10K. My first time ever racing that distance. Yeah, I’d ran it before, but never raced.

So of course, in my typical style, I don’t do an EASY 10K. No, nothing flat. Nothing simple. Nothing on pavement even! Of course I do a Mountain Junkies race. The Mill Mountain Mayhem. Aptly named.

The entire first mile is uphill. Entire.

And not a little hill either. A mondo-jumbo-evil hill. A mountain even.

Hence the name.

Thank GOD the finish was all downhill. However we did have to walk about a half mile UPHILL to get to the start. Which was also uphill.

Thank GOD the finish was all downhill. However we did have to walk about a half mile UPHILL to get to the start. Which was also uphill.

Actually it takes you through the Star City trails system, TO Mill Mountain, behind the zoo, around the Star **Roanoke is known as the Star City** and then back down the hill. Somehow…this amounts to 6.2ish miles. I still swear the first 4 miles were all uphill. Even after we reached the Star…and circled around to the back of it….the trail STILL had a slight incline.

I said quite a few choice phrases….and mom was behind me the whole way. Haha.

Mostly I was saying bad things about the race directior. I’ve been doing his races for years now…and at some point in every race, I question his sanity…or question his motives for the course. 🙂 He and his wife are both awesome. I’m a huge fan of their races, no matter how painful.

The best race crew EVER. These ARE the Mountain Junkies.

The best race crew EVER. These ARE the Mountain Junkies.

Also this week I found a new road near my house to run/bike. It’s VERY quiet. Secluded almost. I ran for about 20 minutes on it and was only passed by one car. That’s pretty great. It’s fairly flat, and doesn’t have any nasty curves so I feel safe on a bike without worrying that a driver will come up behind me on a turn and not see me. I haven’t biked it yet. I figured I’d run it first to get a better idea of the traffic on the road. It’s easier to jump out of the way on foot than on a bike!

Knitting Week:

Not a lot of knitting. Worked a little on my aunt’s socks. I’m having second-sock syndrome. I just don’t wanna knit them anymore.

I did spin some though! AND over the last week or two I learned how to set the twist in my yarn, so yay me!

Working with my roving from Gate City. Mmmm.

Working with my roving from Gate City. Mmmm.

Whoo, I has yarn!

Whoo, I has yarn!

Favorite:

This week’s favorite HAS to be netflix on the wii. OH MY GOSH. I can get a TON of movies and TV shows INSTANTLY to my TV. Considering the fact I don’t have real TV here…just broadcast…this is incredible. I went from having 4 channels, 5 on a sunny day, to just about ANY movie or TV show I want.

Ta-Da!!!

Ta-Da!!!

Yeah, they are all old episodes, but I’ve been without real TV for almost a year now…so I finally get to catch up!

Plus, the movies! I don’t have to wait 3 days to change out movies. If I watch part and end up not liking it, it wasn’t a wasted 3 days!

Netflix, your instant movies rock my face. (Yes, I stole that. You know who you are and you know you love me.)

Other Junk:

Well because a 10K on some brutal trails yesterday wasn’t enough…the bff and I decided to go a-hiking.

We wandered down to Fairystone Park to explore the trails around there.

Oh how I love hiking season. Man it’s awesome out today. 65 degrees or so…sunny, but breezy…perfect.

We picked a trail at random…Stony Falls I think?

The first drop wasn't much taller than I am. You can walk in the stream right up to it.

The first drop wasn't much taller than I am. You can walk in the stream right up to it.

The falls were little, but being as we’re in a flatter part of the state, I didn’t expect much. The falls were small enough that if it was warmer…I really would have considered trying to climb them. Maybe another time. But after the falls, we kept going on the trail, and found an AWESOME view.

A seat with a view!

A seat with a view!

Then we continued on the trail…followed the signs for the trail head…which on the map there were only 2…but…let me just say one trail head is NOT the same as another.

We wound up near a camp ground, but NOT the one we parked near…so we found another trail…that pointed us closer to the right direction…and then thanks to some lucky guessing, we found our way back to the car.

The trails were all REALLY well marked…we always knew what trail we were on, what mile we were at, but the downside of the park/hike was that we couldn’t find a big trail system map ANYWHERE. It would have been nice to be able to see a “You are here” dot somewhere….especially in the parking lot or at the camp ground so we could better locate ourselves.

Overall, I liked the trail we went on, and I really want to go back again soon.

I need more hiking companions. Any takers?!?!? I pack a great picnic! 🙂

Also, being as it’s Earth Week, I did my fair share!

I planted stuff! Yesterday I planted 5 tomatoes and 2 basil plants.

I planted stuff! Yesterday I planted 5 tomatoes and 2 basil plants.

I got this off of The Vegster’s blog. I’m not actually participating in the challenge…but I just enjoy knowing that I’m helping our planet. I typically do these things anyway…so it works. Here’s the list. The ones in bold are the ones I did this week!

GREEN WEEK CHALLENGES:

  1. Wash clothes with cold water 1 pt **I do it every time!**
  2. Drink a green smoothie 1 pt
  3. Eat a vegetarian or vegan meal 1 pt
  4. Use cloth napkins 1 pt
  5. Make and use your own cleaning products (Recipes here!) 2 pts
  6. Use a canvas, or reusable, grocery bag 1 pt
  7. Plant a tree/herb/vegetable (indoors or out) 2 pts
  8. Shop at your local farmers market or buy only local produce for a day 1 pt ***I went to 3 local markets, does that count 3 times?***
  9. Shop at your local farmers market/buy local for the next week 2 pts
  10. Take all batteries, old computers, DVD players, or other electronics to an electronics recycling center (keep hazardous substances out of the landfill) 2 pts
  11. Start a compost 2 pts
  12. Clean out your pantry and donate unopened non-perishables to a food bank 2 pts
  13. Walk, bike or take public transportation to work for the ENTIRE week 2 pts
  14. Carpool to work/store/gym 1 pt
  15. Make an Earth inspired meal using only whole foods- whole grains, fresh veggies and/or fruits, nuts, seeds 1 pt
  16. Get in touch with the Earth- try a yoga class, go for a walk without distractions such as your Ipod, meditate 1 pt
  17. Donate your time to a soup kitchen (good karma!) 2 pts
  18. Bring a reusable coffee cup on your next cafe run 1 pt
  19. Hang laundry to dry 1 pt

Also this week…I watched Food Inc. We will have to have a WHOLE separate post about that sometime. Whew.

Sending Luck Shoutout:

This week’s shoutout is to everyone doing BOSTON tomorrow!!!!! Karyn is gearing up, and a lot of people from my local running group are going as well. GOOD LUCK to everyone that’s Boston Bound!!!!

I’m SOOOO streaming the race tomorrow during school. My kids can DEAL. 🙂

Gimmie Stitches

February 28, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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So…who missed me?!?!?

I’ve had an interesting two weeks. Last weekend I went home for the first time in about a month so I was semi-busy…and then this past week, well, you can guess what happened from the title.

Yep. I got stitches. But more on that later. Let’s get started.

Knitting Week:

********************** Edit *********************

I almost forgot!!! I taught 2 people to knit this week!!! 2!!!!!

One was the bestest, Carly. We went to my LYS, Crooked Stitch, and got her all squared away. She’s working on a lovely scarf out of aplaca. Since she’s the best friend, I couldn’t let her start on cheap yarn. I bought her some bamboo needles and we sat together and knit Thursday night.

Then one of the assistants for a teacher in my department wanted to learn, so I brought her some of my old metal needles and a skein of cheap caron yarn. She was thrilled and I got her on her way as well!

YAY!!!!

****************************End Edit******************************

Ohhh so much knitting!!!! So much “fibery goodness” as Meghan would say. Last weekend while I was at home, I visited my former LYS, Mosaic. I was absolutley fed UP with the scarf I had been trying to knit my aunt. It was her Christmas present…and if you will recall I only managed to finish 2 of the 4 projects for family presents. Her scarf darn near drove me insane. So I decided I needed new yarn.

I also wanted new circular needles for sock knitting. I was frustrated with the DPN’s, and really just wanted to get my OTHER aunt’s socks *also a Christmas present* FINISHED. And started, for that matter.

Well I’d started them 4 times but…yeah.

So, Mosaic, being the wonderful yarn shop that it is…had just what I needed. I bought some hand dyed yarn by Unplanned Peacock. The fiber artist actually lives near me and I’ve met her at a knitting circle so I was super excited to support her.

I grabbed up a beautiful skein in her Flamingo colorway and got to knitting on Monday. Over the weekend I FINISHED the scarf (HAHA!) and it’s currently blocking in my bathroom. The yarn was REALLY springy…even though it was 200 yards…the scarf was only about 3.5ft before I blocked it. But now it’s around 6! And DONE! FINALLY!! It should be dry and ready to go in the mail to my aunt by tomorrow.

Scarf pre-blocking

Scarf pre-blocking

The socks…or sock, rather, is on the needles and progressing nicely. I’ve also decided to repurpose the yarn from the previous scarf attempt. I’m going to make Bella’s Mittens for my cousin who LOVES Twilight and knitting.

So far, so good on the socks!!

So far, so good on the socks!!

In other knitting news, I’m going to do a review of a yarn store I visited this weekend!!! I’m going to try and add more reviews in to the blog…so here’s this week’s!

Review:

This week’s review is of Gate City Yarns in Greensboro, NC. Gate City Yarns is located in a lovely section of Greensboro. I would say it’s downtown, but I’ve never been to Greensboro before so I’m not sure exactly what section of town one would consider it’s location to be.

The shop has a lovely window display of yarn, fiber, and some unique metal artwork. It’s a really beautiful storefront. I was immediately excited.

Hello Yarn Store!!

Hello Yarn Store!!

Upon entering, I nearly squealed because the first thing you see in the store, is shelves of FIBER and SPINNING WHEELS ON TOP!!! Oh I was thrilled. I nearly threw myself in to the bags of fibery goodness.

Anyone want to donate to the "Buy Courtney a Spinning Wheel fund? Anyone?"

Anyone want to donate to the "Buy Courtney a Spinning Wheel fund? Anyone?"

I learned that the fiber was from a local farm and I believe it was hand dyed.

Of course I had to buy some. I got a lovely blue green corriedale, about 7oz. The staff was wonderfully helpful and friendly. I would love for Gate City to be my LYS! They also had a “store mascot”, a very sweet dog named Reese. He greeted the customers in a very calm and polite manner. He wasn’t overly friendly, and didn’t come right up to sniff you. You more or less had to invite him over or come to him. Perfect manners for a yarn store dog!

Mmmm I can't wait to spin this!!!

Mmmm I can't wait to spin this!!!

Hello, sock yarn. How I love thee.

Hello, sock yarn. How I love thee.

I’m a firm beliver that yarn stores should have mascots or animals of some sort in them. 🙂

In addition to all the spinning goodies, Gate City had a lot of lovely yarns. I ended up buying some sock yarn from a company I hadn’t seen before. They really had a great selection and it was beautifully displayed and organized.

Gate City also had a very wide array of needles, hooks, drop spindles, hand cards, and other fiber work goodies. They really catered to every area of fiber work! It was wonderful!

I hope I get to go back to Gate City Yarns next time I’m in Greensboro. I really loved that store!

Running Week:

Well, there hasn’t really been any running to speak of since…last week sometime. I was doing push-ups and planks daily, up until Wednesday…and therefore we will skip the running, and visit our special section this week….the……..

Injury Report:

***squemish beware. Skip to “Favorite” if you have issues with blood***:

Well folks, I did a number on myself. Let me tell you, gravity has it IN for me!!!!

Wednesday morning I was preparing to go for work…and was running a tad late. I guess I was in a hurry and opened my car door with a little too much force, because as I bent down to get in my car, the door came back at me and caught me in the back of my head, slamming my forehead in to the frame of my car.

Yes, essentially I slammed my entire head in a car door.

The force was sufficent to knock me down, in to the car, half in and half out. I reeled for a minute and said to myself “WOW that hurt”. Then I touched my hand to my forehead…and it came back QUITE bloody. Then…the blood started to pour.

I decided the best plan was to get myself to the ER as quickly as possible. Since I live in the middle of nowhere, my best option was to get my neighbor to give me a ride because…the amount of blood seemed a bit much and I didn’t think I should drive. My neighbors were still sleeping as this was 6:45am. I pounded on their door until they woke up and came out.

When they opened the door I think they both almost screamed. They thought I had been shot because at this point, I was splattered with blood everywhere, and attempting to hold my head closed with my hand. I told them I’d hit my head on my car and could they please drive me to the ER and possibly give me a towel as well.

At this point, I decided sitting or laying down was best, so I laid down on the patio outside their house while they grabbed me a towel and got dressed. While laying on the patio, I called school and informed them that there was NO possible way I would be in that day. Given the fact I had left a trail of blood from my car to the neighbors door, and a substantial puddle in front of their house, I figured staying home would be a good plan.

So…my neighbor grabbed my purse from my car, and threw me in her truck and drove me the 20 minutes to the hospital. I laughed most of the way. I mean really, I FAILED at getting in a car. I hit my head not once, but TWICE.

By the time we got to the ER, I had bled through all layers of the bathroom towel…and the ER receptionist quickly got me a wheelchair and within 5 minutes of our arrival I was in a bed being cleaned up by a nurse.

This is the LEAST bloody picture of the towel. I soaked it...

This is the LEAST bloody picture of the towel. I soaked it...

Before Wednesday, I was unaware that head wounds bleed a lot. I am now very aware of that fact. I have never seen so much blood in my LIFE.

See why they thought I was shot? Blood EVERYWHERE!

See why they thought I was shot? Blood EVERYWHERE!

So I ended up with 6 stitches. My very FIRST stitches, and a tetanus shot. So I had a knot in the back of my head, and in the front, stitches, and a sore arm from the shot. Thankfully no concussion.

My poor head...

My poor head...

By the time I got to school Thursday, my kids had made up some WILD stories about what had happened to me, and I think they had had me die in about 4 of the stories. Good times.

But I’m healing…I guess…and enjoying sporting a wide variety of colorful bandaids in the meantime.

Moving on.

Favorite:

This week’s favorite is The Palm restaurant. Wow. Let me tell you…I could get accustomed to a lifestyle that includes occasional visits to that place.

I went to NC for the weekend with a friend to visit their family and celebrate their mom’s birthday. Her birthday dinner was at The Palm. It was AMAZING. I had filet mingnon, and also tried my very first lobster!! It was wonderful. I am offically a fan of lobster.

There were also some amazing 3 cheese potatoes, fried asparagus, and creme brulee and tiramisu for dessert!

So, if you ever get the chance for a very special occasion, visit a Palm restaurant. You WON’T be dissappointed.

Other Junk:

As I mentioned, this weekend I went to NC. I hit some great geocaches on the way down. I would have done more, but the cold got to me and I gave up. But every cache I looked for, I found! That’s a first I think!!

Pretty cool building near a cache.

Pretty cool building near a cache.

Then in Greensboro I watched my friend’s brothers lacrosse game with the family. That was really fun. I’d never been to a lacrosse game before and I really enjoyed it. (Yes, I knit through the entire game) We’re going to go down again and watch another…hopefully in warmer weather!

I also got to go to Bass Pro while in NC so that was fabulous.

Other than that…not much to report given the head injury and all. Next weekend I do have a 5K so watch for that report!!!

So-Far-Away Shoutout:

This week’s shoutout is to Lesley. I miss you so very much!!!! Lesley and I went to grad school together and she’s…oh probably 14 hours north of me. We did a half marathon together around this time last year and I really miss running with her!

I actually got to talk to her today for the first time in probably 6 months. We have decided to make Sunday our weekly phone call day so we can keep in touch. I’m super excited for next Sunday already!

MISS YOU LESLEY!!!!

Next Go ‘Round

January 18, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments
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It’s been awhile guys!!!

I’ve been busy though, so that’s good, right?

So let’s get started.

The Work Week(s):

Well, I’m gonna be honest, the first week back was ROUGH. So tired. So very, very tired. Second week, not as bad, but I got sick a little bit. Blah.

Also, I tried bribing my kids to pass their benchmark test…it didn’t work. Ugh.

And that’s all I have to say about work. Might delete this section because…really…I don’t like to talk about it!!!!

The Workout Week:

Yeeeeeah!!!! I ran on the elliptical, I ran OUTSIDE because it was WARM for the first time in FOREVER….I also went for a little walk today.

Big news though….

*drumroll*

I have picked out my 2010 race schedule for the most part!!!

Here are the highlights. 5K’s excluded…those come and go as they please.

June 5, 2010 – Trail Nut Half Marathon brought to you by Mountain Junkies!!!! My favorite race series/director/whatever EVER!!!!! My first ever 5K was a Mountain Junkies race. I’m offically a Mountain Junkies junky. Hehe.

Oct 2010 – Gonna try for the MCM again. *nods* Yep. I should do that. Gonna try! 4 months is enough between a half and a full, right? That’s a good schedule, yes?

Now, the big question, I need YOUR help on this!!!!!

April 17 – Mill Mountain Mayhem 10K (Another Mountain Junkies)

OR

April 18 – Rumpass in Bumpass Sprint Triathlon.

What to do, guys? What to do?!?!?!

So…go vote!!!

******************************EDIT*********************************

So…the poll IS annonymous…didn’t mean for it to be…but I’d love to know what you voted for, so feel free to leave it as a comment as well!!! But as long as you vote in the poll, I’m a happy camper!!!

*******************************************************************

The Knitting Week:

Big news, guys!! Big news!!!!!!!!!!

Guess who has now entered in to the world of SPINNING!!!!!!!

*points at self*

Yeah, that’s right!!!!

I took this...

I took this...

...and made that!!!

...and made that!!!

Yeah, it’s not much…but I’m working on it. I’m not too good at getting an even weighted strand yet, but I’m trying!

I’m using some of Abby Franquemont’s video’s off of youtube. So far, I’m not actually dropping the drop spindle in order to spin…rather spinning it in my hand, and moving the twist down the yarn….if that makes any sense.

If anyone wants to pop in and offer advice, please, please, please appear and speak your mind!!!

Also, did my FIRST intarsia *color work* AND first knitting on DPN’s *double point needles* this week!!!

See Courtney Knit!

See Courtney Knit!

Knit, Courtney, knit!

Knit, Courtney, knit!

Congrats Kris and Lyla, who are the proud recipients of my masterpeice!!!

Ta-da!!!

Ta-da!!!

I actually did a second baby hat for another friend’s baby and just have to weave in the ends so that one will be done! Man, I need to throw these things up on Ravelry!!! I’ve been slacking at uploading projects on there!

Well, I guess that about wraps up the past few weeks of knitting!

Favorite:

Hmm….this week I think I’ll have to go with Coconut Macaroons dipped in Chocolate from Bea the Baker. Simply AMAZING.

Coconut and chocolate, what could be better??

Coconut and chocolate, what could be better??

Those aren’t hers, persay, but you can see what I’m talking about. Every single time I go in to town, I try and get one. So if you’re ever in, around, about, or through Floyd VA, then STOP and get one!!!!!! You can find them at various locations on either side of Floyd’s single stoplight.

If you can’t make it out to Floyd, then see what you can find around you!!! Let me tell you, Bea’s are the best though!!!!

Onward!!!

Other Junk:

Not a lot of other stuff to report. Well, my best friend/accountant/running buddy/partner in crime/fave person ever came down….and helped get my financial mess in order.

Yes, folks, this is one in debt blogger.

Student loans piled up…along with some ill-timed tickets from the fuzz….and other life-type nonsense…and I find myself in the throes of debt and collections calls.

The good news is it’s not as bad as I thought!!! Miss Carly has helped me out…and set me straight! Hopefully by April all will be right in my finaicial world and I can stop stressing so much!!! But until then….we are on a complete and total spending freeze.

Meaning mom will get hit up for race entry fees and such. 🙂

Anyway, that’s life. It could be a lot worse!!!

Other news…the fiddling….is coming along. Right now I’m learning Angeline The Baker. Not too bad. I totally LOVE my fiddle though. My instructor is Mike Mitchell of the Floyd Music School, and let me tell you he is STELLAR.

I just wrote 2 paragraphs on how much I liked the lesson…so that’ll be next week’s favorite or shoutout. Point is, fiddling is going good. I can do the first 2 lines without really screwing up too bad. YAY!!!!

So in closing, we shall proceede to our….

Sperlific Shoutout:

This is the part where I go “Oh crap, Sperly tagged me for something. I should go do that thing she tagged me for”

So, first off, if you don’t know her, please go check out Sperly, my blogging/running/triathalon idol. 🙂 She is one of the most AWESOME chicks out there!!!

Second, she has tagged me for the Pay It Forward 7 Fun Facts deal….

Since this post is OH so long….I’m gonna go write those as a separate post and throw it up Wednesday or Thursday!

Go do my poll!!! Watch for the 7 Fun Facts, you may get tagged!!!!!!

We Wish You A Merry Christmas

January 3, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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Belated Merry Christmas!!!!! And I guess belated happy New Years as well!

So…I’m gonna do things a bit different. A little summary, if you will.

Well since we had the absurd amounts of snow, I was delayed in leaving. But Paco was ready to go. Packing himself up all on his own!

Well since we had the absurd amounts of snow, I was delayed in leaving. But Paco was ready to go. Packing himself up all on his own!

The absurd amount of snow...and the burried and abandoned cars along the highway.

The absurd amount of snow...and the burried and abandoned cars along the highway.

The Work Week:

N/A! WHOOO!!!!!!! Although I did do a small amount of planning, grading, and copy-making. Ugh. Moving on.

The Workout Week:

I RAN!!!!!!!! 2.5 miles on the Monday and Wednesday before Christmas…then one mile on new years!!!! GO ME!!!!!

Then there are the workout-related gifts!!

My favorite!!! I get one every year!

My favorite!!! I get one every year!

Well...it wasn't really a gift. I got it used from a friend. But YAY!!! However the display does not function...oh well.

Well...it wasn't really a gift. I got it used from a friend. But YAY!!! However the display does not function...oh well.

 I also got some socks, and shirts from One More Mile! Super exciting stuff!!!

The Knitting Week:

MAN I’ve been busy. Not only did I get a ton of super-fun knitty gifties, but I also finished a project! Aunt Sarah’s hat.

La Beret!

La Beret!Aunt Connie modeling the beret too. She wants one.

I got a swift!!! And a ball winder!!!! Dad made the swift. :)

I got a swift!!! And a ball winder!!!! Dad made the swift. 🙂

WIND BALLS WIND!!!! WIND BALLS WIND!!!!

 

All wound up!!! Guess I'll have to knit it so I can buy more stuff to wind! All wound up!!! Guess I’ll have to knit it so I can buy more stuff to wind!

 

What's that??? Malibrigo??! Mmmm.... What’s that??? Malibrigo??! Mmmm….
I love my family. Every knitter will understand the importance of clear zipper bags. Awesomeness. I love my family. Every knitter will understand the importance of clear zipper bags. Awesomeness.
What's that?!?!? A SPINDLE?!?!?! WHOOOOO!!!!!!! What’s that?!?!? A SPINDLE?!?!?! WHOOOOO!!!!!!!
And if you have a spindle...you're gonna need...WOOL!!!!!!! And if you have a spindle…you’re gonna need…WOOL!!!!!!!
MORE WOOL!!!!! MORE WOOL!!!!!
My first spinning attempt. I shall deem this a FAIL. My first spinning attempt. I shall deem this a FAIL.

 My pictures got a little discombobulated there…eh. Moving on.

Favorite:

Well…I’ll go with Christmas presents. Here’s a quick summary!

A voice recorder?!?! SO I CAN PODCAST!!!!!!!! WHOOO!!!!

A voice recorder?!?! SO I CAN PODCAST!!!!!!!! WHOOO!!!!

A lot of awesome UT stuff...too bad my team couldn't deliver the present I really wanted...

A lot of awesome UT stuff...too bad my team couldn't deliver the present I really wanted...

Lots of yummy books!!!!

Lots of yummy books!!!!I also bought Yarn Harlot *Which is freaking hysterical* and Women's Running with an awesome gift card I got. Other Junk:Well...here's the other junk. :)I bought myself yaxtrax....mmm.

And smartwool socks. Heaven.

And smartwool socks. Heaven.

Dad had eye surgery...again. Here's his awesome medicine schedule...for one day.

Dad had eye surgery...again. Here's his awesome medicine schedule...for one day.

The kids mostly got along!!!

The kids mostly got along!!!

Puppy love!!!

Puppy love!!!

Hemi had a squeaky tennis ball…and he punctured it. And got stuck. 🙂 Poor guy.

The 2009 Uncle Jimmy Present!!!

The 2009 Uncle Jimmy Present!!!

The awesome, yet fake, Home Depot pass I concocted. Heh.

The awesome, yet fake, Home Depot pass I concocted. Heh.

Jimmy and the aftermath of the present opening.

Jimmy and the aftermath of the present opening.

The only thing more entertaining than watching Uncle Jimmy open presents, is listening to Uncle Jimmy stories. I think…this one is about using pant legs to hold funnels? You never know with him. And you can never quite follow it…

Uncle Jimmy super-glued my present shut. Every part. All 1039230 boxes....

Uncle Jimmy super-glued my present shut. Every part. All 1039230 boxes....

We had a new years/football party!!!

We had a new years/football party!!!

Me and Miss Carly!!!

Me and Miss Carly!!!

Carly and Adam.

Carly and Adam. Me and the honey.

Sweet Little Shoutout:

Here’s to Nemo!! You…probably will never, ever, ever see this blog. But I love you and I was very brave and held you for the first time this week!!! GO AUNTIE COURTNEY!!!!!!!!!!

I heart my Nemo!!!!

I heart my Nemo!!!!

And for those of you looking at me like I’m crazy, no the kid’s name isn’t Nemo…but that’s what I’ve decided to call him. He is my best friend’s firstborn…so…I have to learn to like babies now.

That just about does it! Hope you guys had good holidays!!!!!

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