Saturday, July 31, 2010

Frabjous Day, Calloo Callay!

I've got this coin I carry around in my left pocket. Along with the key to my bedroom door (in case the door were to get locked with a very destructive two-year-old on the other side of it), it's the only thing I carry in my pocket. I'm not superstitious, so I don't really think of it as a "lucky" coin, but if I can't find it for a second or two, I get all anxious. I just like it to be in my pocket. Funny, huh?

Yesterday's ennui is dissipating, much to my relief. I've just been sitting around doing stuff I want to today. I was on my way out the door for my walk early this morning when Little Gary (the aforementioned destructive two-year-old) got up and informed me he had had "a good sleep" and needed food. Right. Now. So much for the walk, but after feeding the little monster, I did get to plug in my headphones to the piano and play a long time while everyone else was still asleep. (That's another advantage to a digital piano, of course: I could play at 3am and not disturb anyone. Haven't you ever just needed to play the piano at 3am?) I messed around with some choir music, Suzanne Ciani, and Jim Brickman (whose music is very, very slowly growing on me). It was a mellow piano day today.

I do love my little monster, just so you know. He might cause incredible destruction and create indescribable messes, but he's just so dang cute I know he's going to grow up insufferable and spoiled because his sisters and brother and dad dote on him as much as I do.

Sian and Gabrielle arrived home from their individual camps yesterday, and neither of them was in that great a mood. I had Sian scour her room because when the door got opened for the first time in a week, there were lots of flies inside. I told her to find if there was any food anywhere that was being used as a nest, but all she came up with was the cat dish from when Myles the Cat was sick and Gabrielle was having him convalesce under her bed. Gabrielle is not feeling well at all and has been lying around in her pajamas nursing a sore throat and feeling dizzy. They did, however, both have a good time at their camps, which is great. Now they're swatting flies. I hate flies. I hate spiders worse, but at least spiders eat flies. One thing I've learned since doing website text for a pest exterminator is that spiders go where the food supply is, so if you've got spiders, you've got other bugs in abundance.

I haven't been able to get that thought out of my head in weeks.

I'm off to the library. I could live in the library. I'm taking my one devoted bookworm of a daughter, Sian. We both might decide to live in the library, but we'll probably end up coming home when we get hungry enough. I'm cooking corkscrew pasta with my special, homemade Alfredo sauce (Gabrielle's request) tonight, and I've got half a loaf of very dry French bread that wants to be made into bread pudding for my Brit of a Husband.

Friday, July 30, 2010


I used up the leftover Korean marinated steak (bulgogi) I had made earlier in the week in a stir-fry for dinner tonight. The only reason I bring that up is because I actually cooked something that didn't involve frozen burritos. That's reason to celebrate, right? I am taking a two year sabbatical from cooking, I think -- or, at least I'm taking a sabbatical from caring about cooking. Normally, I love to cook. The last six months, not so much.

Today was a day that I have suffered from great ennui. I love the word "ennui," but I don't love feeling ennui. Still, if you can suffer from something that's French for "deep blue funk," at least you have some culture, which is what I tell myself while I sit around feeling ennui. I realized toward the end of the day that I had forgotten my Cardinal Rule of Life #1: Always have something to look forward to.

For me, it's about anticipation. I can get through pretty much anything if I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, whether that light shines in the form of an adventure somewhere, a great book I can't wait to pick up again, a family outing (NOT to the grocery store), cuddling with Husband on the couch while we watch a favorite show, or a conversation with a dear friend. It doesn't have to be a grand thing or an expensive thing, just something I look forward to.

I have forgotten for days to find something to look forward to. Thus, the ennui.

Yes, I also try to live in the present and not always have my eyes trained on the future. It's very important to be HERE and NOW, too, or life is gone and you're still waiting for it to happen. But having something to look forward to spices up the present, gets you excited and motivated, makes you notice things around you, helps you be glad and grateful.

A Couple Things I Have to Look Forward to: I just remembered my 16th wedding anniversary is coming up on August 6th. The fact that Husband still puts up with me and smiles while doing it makes me very grateful.

Choir rehearsals start again toward the end of August. I've been looking over the music that we will be singing for Christmas, and I am already in love with some of it. I love singing in this choir. I've missed it since we started a summer break.

Today I folded all the laundry while watching Sneakers with Robert Redford. It had been a while, and yes, I am still ticked off at Robert Redford for getting me sick all those years ago and indirectly making my job a lot harder one summer. I am looking forward to forgiving him.

Robert Redford and Shigella: forever linked in my mind.

I found a pattern for a crocheted afghan that I am really excited about. Even if Husband questions the actual purpose of a crocheted afghan, the point is the creation of it is so satisfying.

The stir-fry was really good, I have to say. Maybe I should take up cooking again.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Anal Retentive Dentists: A Plus!

Today I visited the Office of Young and Beautiful Dental Professionals in the Big City. I was pretty excited to get a few hours and a long drive all to myself, despite the fact that my face got numbed up and I sounded drunk when I talked for a while because my tongue also got numb. Two weeks ago, my dentist cemented in my new crown, but ended up wanting to do it over because it wasn't absolutely 100% perfect.

Hey, if someone in your life is going to be anal retentive, you want it to be your dentist.

Or your plastic surgeon, I suppose.

I just think it's funny when the dentist and the assistant have this conversation about where steaks come from on a cow, and how eating a cow's butt is so tender and delicious, and I can't do anything other than make some sort of strangled "laughing" sound because my mouth is wide open with what seems like 17 hands poking around in there. I feel so dignified in that situation in front of the young and beautiful dental professionals. I think they all turn 22 or 23 next month, although my dentist is much older -- maybe 24 or 25.

On the way home, I stopped by my parents' house and picked up one of the bunk beds we haven't yet hauled out to our new house. I also spent a long time at the library and the book store. I even stopped by the music store and lingered over some organ and cello books. (Shhhh. I was really late getting home and I haven't admitted that little side trip yet.) I didn't buy any music, but I spent some time drooling -- although I think I can partially blame that on the numb face.

When I got home, all my dreams came true. I walked in and immediately noticed the floor had been well and thoroughly mopped by someone who cared, i.e. not one of the kids. The dishes were all cleaned, the counters and island and table were sparkling, and the piano had been polished. The children's rooms were cleaner than when I left, and everything that is carpeted had been vacuumed. I felt like a reverse Cinderella. Now, if I could get some hordes of talking, clothed mice to cook dinner, I think I wouldn't mind not going to the ball and just basking in the tidy house. Husband is exhausted, of course, as he also had to help the girls remove their single beds so he could put together the bunk bed. I guess the least I can do is cook some sort of dinner for the dear man. And the kids, too, of course. And I'll make brownies for dessert. No pie, though. I can resist brownies, but I can not resist pie. I love pie.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Just Don't Even Read This. You'll Thank Me Later.

I have a sudden desire to write poetry, but I'm resisting with all my might. I am not good at poetry. I know it takes practice and all, but I write it and then I laugh and I laugh and I laugh. The next day I go back and read it and laugh some more. I can't take my poetry seriously, even if it's meant to be serious.

What would I write poetry about? I don't know. Honestly. I don't know where the inspiration has come from. I suspect it's my brain once again trying to distract me from what I really need to do. "Don't write articles, write poetry!" it whispers. My brain just wants to see me humiliated, for some reason. Either that or it is hanging onto sanity with its fingernails (there's an interesting mental image for you) and needs poetry as an outlet away from other types of words written into articles of 400, 500, or 1000 word lengths, involving varied and sometimes odd subjects for which I have to research and then create original sentences and paragraphs in a coherent and concise fashion, and sometimes I just can't think of anything and I still have to crank them out so I can make some kind of money to pay for my hair trim and the kids' shoes cause they just don't stop growing and whatever else comes up that isn't budgeted for!

Hmmm. I think we've made a real breakthrough here. I'll be coming back next week at the same time.

Meanwhile, some poetry. I've lost the battle after all.

There was a young lady from Darby...

Oh, forget it.

Monday, July 26, 2010


1000 words on breast augmentation.
1000 words on podiatry.
1000 words on buying steaks online.


1000 words on Chicago escort services.

How in the world do I write about escort services when I have a moral opposition to them? I've already done 500 words for the same company a couple months ago, although there was no way I could write an article directly praising that kind of business. I had to go about getting the keyword in there in a roundabout way. I guess if I've sold my soul once, I've got no soul left to sell.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Love Ya! And That's No Mistake!

I was dropping off my friend, M, at her house today. She got out of the car, leaned in to tell me something through the open window, and then started to go into her house. "Love ya!" she called as she waved. And then we both burst out laughing. What was so funny was that we had recently been discussing how easy it is to unconsciously allow those habitual "I love you's" and "love ya's" that end our conversations with husbands, children, and other close friends and family members to creep into other conversations by accident. M's co-worker had recently made that slip on the phone, and here was M making that slip with me. I know she's fond of me and all, and it's not that unusual for friends to say things like that, but the "love ya" today, which was completely by accident, and especially after our conversation about that very subject, was hilarious.

These days, now that I've become more used to telling my parents and siblings I love them (we just weren't very mushy that way when I was growing up), along with the habit of telling Husband and the kids that I love them --the standard good-bye when speaking to them over the phone--I worry that I'm going to start telling the barest of acquaintances and even strange telemarketers that I love them.

"No, thanks. I'm not interested in purchasing comprehensive full-service magazine subscription insurance that will deter insects, alert me to intruders, and clean my carpets. Love ya!"

Or, even worse, slipping up when you are speaking to someone you know pretty well but who would be shocked if you suddenly and casually affirmed your love.

"Sure, Bishop! I'd be happy to prepare a 45 minute talk for church tomorrow because both the other speakers canceled. Love ya!"

On the other hand, maybe we should be a little more liberal with telling people we care. It isn't like feeling loved is a bad thing for most people. Maybe a sincere "love ya" to the postal delivery person or grocery store clerk would make the world spin just a little more easily. Either that or you'll get some sort of reputation.

In English, we only have the phrase "I love you." Other languages often have several different ways to verbally express love, and each phrase will have a different meaning for a different type of relationship, whether it's parent to child (or other familial relationships), friend to friend (non-romantic), and in the romantic sense. In English, we're reduced to using slang terms as the only way to lessen the degree of love we wish to convey when faced with the situation of wanting to declare affection but not wanting to propose. We have to rely on shortened terms such as "love ya," as well as context, tone of voice, and body language (although body language is not very reliable in phone conversations--unless you slam the phone down--"Love ya!" SLAM!).

(I don't have a solution for any of that. My job is merely to point out the problem.)

I did know a girl in college who indiscriminately flashed everyone she greeted with the sign language "I love you." I didn't even know her beyond her name. I found that a little weird. Maybe, in retrospect, she was only doing "hang ten." They're pretty close. Still...

In conclusion, I'm sure my tight and coherent treatise on whatever it is I was trying to say about love will cause you to think deeply and meditatively about to whom and how you want to verbally affirm love and affection. Telemarketers need love too, after all.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Of Pie

Have you ever wanted to do something very badly that was just a very bad idea? You know it wouldn't be good, you don't care most of the time, and only your quivering sense of right and wrong stops you at all.

I speak, of course, of things related to pie.

You thought I was talking about something much more sinister, weren't you? Well, I could be, but let's use pie as an example.

By now, most of my Facebook friends know I have this odd addiction to pie and have given me advice to feed that addiction and where to find the best pies. Mmmm. Very, very tempting. I do love pie. But consider if I took this well-meant advice. I don't think I could stop at one piece. I would just want more and more and more. So isn't it better to not indulge the addiction at all?

But, oh, how I miss it so. My heart aches for pie, but my brain knows that indulgence is fraught with danger. So far, I've been able to talk myself into staying away from it and NOT thinking about the crunch of sweet pecans nestled in a bed of gooey, sinfully rich custard, or the burst of juice from a mouthful of blueberries in a delightfully sweet sauce. Is it simply torture to look at pictures of pie? Probably.

Meanwhile, it's a good idea that I'm exercising like a crazy person.

Monday, July 19, 2010

"May you always have angels to watch over you..."

Today I've been contemplating the nature of love and friendship. I am so grateful for the people in my life who lift me up and make me feel loved. It's kind of hard for me to be really open with anyone (yes, even though I blog and you think I spill everything here!), but for those who have laughed with me, cried with me, and continued to see me as someone worthy of love despite all my foibles and faults, I thank God for you.

There. Enough mush. Gosh, you'd think I was going to have to wipe away a tear or something. Another tear, I mean. Sorry about that. It's been kind of an emotional day.

In my contemplative mood, I played some serious organ. One advantage of the digital piano is that you can change voices, which nearly makes up for the fact that the piano sound on our digital piano is only a recording of a Kawai piano, lovely as it is. Crank up the volume on the Church Organ setting, and you've got reason to party with a few Bach fugues. I had a grand time until Little Gary came over and said, "It's too loud! Turn it down!" and then turned the volume on the piano down to a level barely above audible. I guess this bodes well for when he's a teenager listening to some horrid recording of whatever passes for music in his generation. (Do you like how I already sound old and crotchety? Gotta get my practice in.)

I've been singing "Sleepsong" by Secret Garden, too, when I'm not pounding out Bach. It's a lovely Irish-type lullaby, and I'm trying to get all the little voice lilts just right. I can't remember the name for those at the moment. You know what I mean, though, right? Anyway, beautiful song with beautiful lyrics.

Other news and random thoughts: Husband has had a nibble from an agent, who has asked for more pages of his book. That's encouraging. Unfortunately, the email the agent sent was somewhat disjointed and hard to understand. Do agents have to know how to write? Good question. I'll ask that later when I find an agent who doesn't mind being grilled.

Sian has returned home to the family bosom. She spent a little over a month living with my parents in the Big City in order to attend Girls' Camp and Youth Conference with her old friends, but I think she might have missed us a teensy-weensy bit. If she did, I'm sure she's over it now. Coming back to a shared room and the noise of six kids and their friends is a big change from the quiet solitude of Grandma's and Grandpa's house. Linnea came by and managed to convince her to attend the Girls' Camp for this ward, too, so now we have some quick packing to do. Good job, Linnea! I didn't think it was possible.

I finally went swimming for the first time this summer. My only complaint is that the the current for the lazy river is so strong I kept getting sucked in, which made me very worried about my boys and kept me eagle-eyed.

Sometimes 1000 words can be such a long article to write. For the first time, I accidentally wrote 1000 words when all I needed was 500. What stinks is that it took me so long to research. I was writing for a podiatry company, so I wrote about barefoot running, which is something I've been contemplating doing since realizing that my back is not happy with any sort of long distance running I do. Fortunately, the research was a big help in understanding the reasons many are taking their shoes off. Shanna's husband runs barefoot, so I asked him about it. That got me interested enough to keep looking.

This is all a stall so I don't have to make dinner. My stall has stalled, and now I need to feed the masses.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

There Is No Time Like the Pleasant

I love Chinese fortune cookies. Each restaurant must order from a different fortune cookie company, because you can get fortunes that lie along an incredible range of truth. There are the fortunes that are so general that anyone would be an idiot to disagree, such as...

Love is very nice because love is the first emotion babies feel.

I just dare you to disagree with that one. Also included in the obvious category, but adding a note of real wisdom is...

Courage is not to be without fear but to accomplish in spite of fear.

Sure. Good stuff, and we all need a reminder of simple truths that never change.

There are the fortunes that promise big stuff but may or may not deliver, like...

You will soon receive good news.

I would hope that every person at some point in his or her life will receive good news about something, but it certainly depends on your perspective as to what is good news and what is not. Still, that's one to tape to your mirror as a morning affirmation.

And then there are the fortunes that simply confuse. What sent me into a perplexity was this one I got today:

A modest man never talks to himself.

What is it about modest men that creates a barrier to self-talk? Is it that a man's modesty restrains him from acknowledging himself as an individual worthy of being talked to? Is that, indeed, modesty? or is that sort of modesty something more like complete and utter self-loathing? Perhaps the word "modesty" was an ill-advised word substituted for a more appropriate adjective, but I can't think of a word with a similar meaning that would work here, either. Humble? Unassuming? Self-effacing?

Do modest men talk to others, if not to themselves? Clearly, they do. I think we've all met modest men who have no trouble speaking like normal human beings and engaging in a rational conversation.

Ah, well. Perhaps someone out there can enlighten me on the nature of modesty and whether or not it leads to insanity (or sanity, if you, like myself, believe that it is completely normal to talk to oneself all the live-long day).

Here's one to spark a dinner table conversation. True or false?

Sudden financial and romantic happenings surprise and delight.

The title of this post is a fortune I received when we took our oldest, Sian, out for her birthday dinner a couple months ago. It had been a jolly meal, punctuated by much laughter between Husband, Sian, and myself, so when I opened my fortune cookie and traded it with Husband (it's been a tradition for the 16 years of our marriage to crack open a fortune cookie and allow the other person to pull out the fortune), I burst into laughter so hard that I attracted the notice of the other patrons. Even the ever-present and helpful waiter (age 11) came by to see if I needed a refill on my drink -- which I did; but it had nothing to do with the fortune. I am completely for reals. That was what was written. Draw your own conclusions.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Dr. Aurora on Parenting

I've had a multitude of questions from my adoring fans out there. I try to take time out every now and then from my busy schedule of writing scintillating blog posts and answer a few of them so you can get an even better picture of the incredible vision that is moi. That's just how I roll.

Question #1: "Your kids are pretty nearly perfect, as far as I can tell. What is it like to be able to brag about your children and not only not make everyone start to hate your children vicariously, but to nod in serious agreement to everything you say?"
~hahanotreally, California

Answer: It's something I take great, but humble, pride in, thank you. Yesterday, Husband and I were able to get out and grab lunch and a movie and we only got two calls from home. The first was during lunch, and it was from Gabrielle about Elannah. Apparently, those darlings had had some sort of minor disagreement, and Elannah had dumped an entire container of hot chocolate powder on Gabrielle, after which Gabrielle chased Elannah out into the backyard and threatened her very life. Elannah grabbed the phone and said she was going to call the police, but Gabrielle brilliantly snatched it away. Elannah, quick as she is, ran back into the house and closed and locked the back door, causing Gabrielle, after a brief interlude of pounding on the glass, to attempt a trek around and through the side gate, which is hard to unlock unless you're eight feel tall, and to the front door, which Elannah had already had the foresight to lock. It was at this point that I got the phone call (which came two seconds after a phone call in which we learned that a dear friend of ours had just been diagnosed with acute hepatitis) from Gabrielle. I calmly instructed her to proceed to the front door and ring the bell over and over and over until someone answered it. The phone, which had not been recharged in a couple days (what is that maid thinking?? It's so hard to find good help anymore), started beeping that it was low on power. Fortunately, the doorbell ruse worked and Gabrielle was once again admitted into the family manor, whereupon I asked to speak to Elannah. After a quiet, logical discussion about the processes by which we go about settling our differences, and how Elannah would need to go to her room to reflect upon her actions(and Gabrielle would get the same treatment after Husband and I had arrived home and made sure that the boys were still alive and well), the phone must have suddenly shut off because there is no WAY Elannah would have hung up on her mother.

The second call came during the movie. Oops. It's not my fault if they don't show some sort of slide before the movie starts about turning off cell phones. This time it was Elannah phoning in an inquiry about what to do about Sophia's promise to beat her to death over something or other. Ha ha ha ha. Girls are just so carefree and light when it comes to using words as weapons. I reminded Elannah that I had had to run out during the movie (by this time she had digressed and was asking about some chocolate popsicles in the freezer and seemed ready to carry on a lengthy and detailed treatise about nothing in particular) and that if she could remain intact for the next 40 minutes, I would come home and take care of everything.

We fielded no more calls during the remainder of our date and arrived home to find not really that much blood spilled and Little Gary completely naked, as per his determination that small boys turning three should never, ever have any clothing on despite being dressed several times a day in order to horribly embarrass his sisters and their friends.

I really hate to brag, but you can obviously see that I should write a book about parenting techniques.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Great Writing Doesn't Start Here

Myles the Cat visited the vet yesterday and had himself an antibiotic shot to heal an infected abscess he must have acquired in that nasty cat fight we heard about a week ago but were too tired and in bed to go out and yell about. When I asked Gabrielle to find me some vets in our town, she came back with a search she had done on the internet. All the vets were in the Big City 40 miles away and had fought in wars. I had a little, quiet chuckle before doing my own search.

Remember Babe, our big, orange duplicate of Garfield in both looks and manner? He got hit by our neighbor's car a year ago and all we could find for about 40 minutes was a huge patch of fur in the middle of the street, which we realized later was from his tail. After much searching in the dark with flashlights, Husband found Babe cowering under another neighbor's bushes. Remember that? Well, the top half of his tail has fallen off now. It just died and dried out and fell off, like an umbilical cord on a newborn. I know! Who knew that would happen? He's fine and probably even fatter than before, with his half tail held proudly in the air. I mean, I've had a toenail fall off months after kicking the wall during a game of racquetball, and a couple more years later after playing hours of cricket in shoes that were too small (that's not really a long story, either. I grabbed the wrong shoes, I was in the mountains on some very scrubby and prickly ground, and couldn't really walk around barefoot), but now I wonder if I had a car run over a finger or something if it would just dry out, die, and fall off? Not that I'm willing to conduct that experiment or anything.

I just saw "Eclipse." I am not currently going to share any thoughts or feelings on that movie in order to allow everyone a chance to watch it without being in any way affected by my opinions. In fact, I will probably never get around to sharing my thoughts and feelings about that movie. Just so you know.

I don't seem to be improving my Scrabble game at all!

I've had a lot of Dr. Pepper in the past 48 hours, and I don't usually indulge that much in soda. Some of it was diet, but some of it wasn't.

Is it wrong to paint one wall orange? (rhetorical question. I'm doing it anyway) It's a grayed-down, non violent orange, so I could add some wall sconces and there would be this amazing, warm glow on the stair wall, especially if I added a copper wash over the top. The rest of the walls will be this neutral, gray-blue that changes color with the light during the day, so sometimes it looks bluer and sometimes it's grayer and sometimes it's almost light green. I only ask because I currently have black leather couches. I would hate to invoke Halloween all year round.


I've been writing these random thoughts in an effort to come up with something much, much more interesting to write about, after which I would then erase these random thoughts from existence and spare us all, but it just isn't happening. We're all stuck with these random thoughts today. Sorry.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I Ran a 5K! How Cute!

Hello, all. It's been a while. I took a couple months off in order to start my new job writing articles for search engine optimization (you know, that information that pops up when you do a Google search) and live some amazing life in between. I am assigned an article to write and given keywords that must be included in the body of the article. Right now, I'm bogged down on an article that must be 1000 words about some aspect of nuclear medicine. Everyone say it with me: noo-klee-ur. Thank you. We'll have no "nuculars" on this blog.

Okay. Quick news update about what's going on in the family: The kids are out of school and bouncing between extreme boredom and planning too many activities for me to keep up. Hubby also finished the school year and has 6 weeks off. He hasn't had much in the way of vacation time the last few years because he has been teaching multiple tracks in his year-round school. This next year he will only have one track, so he will go on and off track with his class. That's bad for the finances (he gets paid more for multiple tracks), but good for his writing career.

I ran in my first ever 5K on July 3rd. I've been walking and running 6 days a week for 2 1/2 months now, and a friend encouraged me to just make the leap and sign up for a 5K. It's only 3.1 miles, after all, right? Fortunately, it was mostly downhill, and since we ran on the parade route, people were all lined up cheering us on while waiting for the parade. There were little pockets of people I know, but they were mostly toward the end of the route, when I had to take a few 60-second breathers and just walk. They were good about motivating me to keep going. What that translates into is that they were good about heckling me about walking ("Hey, aren't you supposed to be running") and I was breathing too hard to shout back what I would like to have said, so I just smiled and waved. No, it was good to have cheering sections, actually, and I loved seeing my friends along the route. Linnea got me to sprint the last 50 yards by coming back for me and running with me. At least I finished running hard, even if I'm still paying for that last sprint.

Yes, I know 5K is nothing to all you folks out there who run, but I hate running. I HATE running. I run three times a week and walk the other three times, but I only love the exhilaration of moving my body through the cool morning air, meeting Mr. and Mrs. Goosey-Goosey Gander near the corn patch (they tell me off about it, too. Every. Single. Morning. Honk, honk, honk!), and hitting that part of the route where one of those flowering trees scents the air with such a delicious odor I start hyperventilating trying to get my fill. I relish those few minutes alone, too, and I have time to think a thought all the way from inception to completion. I've come up with a great short story idea.

I also love how I feel. While I've only really lost four pounds, I've dropped a lot of inches and I am fitting into clothes two sizes smaller. That's a good feeling. I did quickly notice the return of some of those pesky iron-deficiency feelings (glancing longingly at piles of dirt, having a crazy desire to put the piece of chalk in my mouth when I'm writing the music numbers on the chalkboard at church, thinking about how delicious the scent of water on cement is) and I'm taking my favorite iron supplement.

This post is a warm-up. Now that I'm back in the blogging game, I'm hoping to post much more often. I got distracted for a while there.

Before the race, outside my house. Yes, I'll get better sunglasses for running, but that's what I had.