I barely do either!
In the months since I last posted (July... embarrassing), we've done some traveling to the UK, dealt with a home robbery, and celebrated our 5-year anniversary! I want to say it's been super busy around here but that hasn't really been the case. I think I like to say I'm busy (sometimes I think I really AM busy) when really all I'm doing is making turkey stock (watching a pot boil) and gasping aloud on the couch whilst reading about some other character's death in the "Game of Thrones" series. I know. My life is really exciting!
In other news, I've been able to knock out some items on my 100 List - see, I accomplish things. So I'll be back, and hopefully not six months from now!
I kept telling him, Mark, it’s SO NICE in the summer! Like SO NICE. Now he can finally believe me. I wanted to go to the mountains at least once but the weekend proved a little too busy, plus the weather didn’t look that great up there anyway. On Friday I got to have breakfast with a friend of mine and visit her house in Denver. One part of growing up that I’ve really enjoyed is seeing childhood friends create lives and families of their own. I don’t know why I find it so interesting; I guess I just think back to third grade and even though my friends are 28, I can still see the 8-year-olds in them! Friday night we went out with Richard to a couple of bars in downtown Denver, one of which had live music. And there was a thunderstorm! We don’t get those very often in the northwest.
The next day we headed to Greeley for the reunion. It was a small turnout – eight people (out of a class of 26) plus spouses and kids. There were more kids than there were graduates! Even though it was small, I really enjoyed getting to visit with the friends who came. A couple I hadn’t seen in at least eight years. We held the event at a park so people could come and go and bring their families if they wanted. It worked perfectly – kids had room to run around while their parents chatted and caught up.
After the reunion was over, we headed back to my mom’s place to have dinner with her and my uncle. The original plan was to stay the night in Greeley and go back to Denver on Sunday but it ended up being easier to just go back to Denver with Richard on Saturday night.
On Sunday Richard took us to the most delicious Creole café for brunch! It seemed very popular (tons of people outside waiting) but it didn’t take long to get a seat. I had the Cajun breakfast, comprising poached eggs (I GOTTA start poaching me some eggs), red beans with meat, potatoes, and the most amazing biscuit you’ve ever tasted. If you’re in Denver (they also apparently have locations in Fort Collins and Boulder), you have to go! Reasonably priced, too.
I had a great time in my homeland! My friend is going back to Denver for her high school reunion next weekend and I want to stow away… maybe I will.
When we visited Florence last year we had the unique opportunity to attend a soccer match of Italy’s top division, Serie A. We arrived in Florence around 11 a.m. on a Sunday morning, plenty of time to arrange transportation to the afternoon match. We stayed in the apartment of a local girl, who we found on Airbnb (I should write a post on our experiences using this website). She was a great host, especially when it came to helping us find the ticket office by bus. Nothing Google can’t solve but it’s nice to have a local on your side! Transportation was so easy – hop on a local bus and end up at the ticket office. The line for tickets to the match was already out the door. We waited in the group outside for a while before finally being let inside the office – where we saw a sign that said that passports were required to buy tickets and ours were back at the apartment. Luckily we had just enough time to run out of the office and catch the bus back to the apartment, grab the passports, get back to the ticket office, wait in an even LONGER line and get our tickets all before the game started.
Waiting in line was… interesting. A guy cut in line near us and someone noticed and got angry. I have no idea what was being said but I have to tell you it was quite the experience being the only tourists in a group of locals! Very entertaining.
Fiorentina is the local team of Florence but I don’t remember who they played. It was a beautiful day for a match! I loved being able to see the rolling hills outside the stadium. I highly recommend going to a local event like this as a tourist. It’s a good opportunity to get away from the typical touristy haunts and rub shoulders with the locals. It was easily one of my favorite experiences of our whole trip.
Some differences between an Italian stadium and an American stadium:
- The visitors’ section was literally fenced in by sturdy plastic, presumably so the home fans can’t throw objects at the visitors? Or maybe it’s the other way around?
- No alcohol in sight – it’s prohibited within the stadium.
- As I mentioned earlier, you need a passport to buy a ticket. I think Mark said this makes it easier to keep the rabble-rousers out if they’ve caused trouble before. Your identity can be tracked.
#9: Attend soccer matches in South America, Africa, and Europe
I suppose I shouldn’t close the door on Africa, but I was probably the most motivated to visit when my friend Nicole lived there for about two years. She’s now back in Seattle and since we didn’t take the opportunity to go when she was there, it’s not high on our priority list now. So I’m now only including South America and Europe. And actually, I’ve already fulfilled Europe. I can’t believe I forgot to post on it! That post is forthcoming.
#16: Own a cat
Cats are OK, I guess. But our neighbor has three of them and while I don’t hate them by any means, they track dirt all over the car, poop in our yard, and creep me out by peering into our basement windows when I least expect them. Friends may swear by how sweet their kitty is, but what’s to stop them from ripping up the leather couch or scratching my beautiful (yes, I love it more than I should) dining room table? It’s just too risky. I know I can train dogs but a cat is more of a loose cannon. I’m changing #16 to re-painting the kitchen.
#32: Own a Newfoundland, like in Peter Pan
Now that I’ve done research on the type of dog I want to own, I realize a Newfoundland wouldn’t be a good fit for me. They are too big and have way too much hair for me to handle. I want a dog who can run with me, and Newfoundlands would probably overheat. But I still think they’re cute! #32 is being simplified to owning a dog in general.
#62: Live in NYC at least once
Not saying this could never happen. But at this point it isn’t a realistic enough goal to focus on, so off it goes. #62 is now to create a gallery wall. But I’m kinda cheating because I already did this and just need to post about it… ha.
#93: Read through the list of Pulitzer-Prize winning nonfiction books
Well… I was going to change this to fiction instead of nonfiction but I think I’m just going to add the fiction winners also to #93. Because I like reading!
We actually went to a show with Mark’s sister and brother-in-law back in March! We went to see Adam Carolla at the Moore Theater in Seattle, which was a great venue for a comedy show. Adam was pretty entertaining and kept us laughing with his anecdotes and slideshows, like a rant on how every faucet knob in a hotel bathroom is different and why can’t they all be standardized (complete with pictures). I thought the end to his routine was very inspiring – he showed us his yearly income when he was starting out (lots of zeroes) and his income now (lots of zeroes but behind bigger numbers), proving that just because you come from very little doesn’t mean you can’t make something of yourself. He’s a prime example of someone who has worked very hard to be where he is and there’s nothing stopping you, either.
Undoubtedly, the biggest task for a homeowner is yard work. Maybe every house is like this but I swear we seemed to find the house with the biggest area to keep up versus the square footage. I am not fond of yard work. I know there are people out there who are but I'm just not one of them. All that aside, it's really not too bad when you have clear goals (we're going to weed to HERE and then eat dinner) and gloves.
The picture above shows a patch of land behind our house that no one ever sees. Does that mean it doesn't exist? Sadly not. Even though no one sees it, we still get to keep it weeded. I don't remember what it looked like when we moved in last April but by THIS April, it looked like a greenbelt. See that small patch of weeds toward the back (technically the front) fence? Imagine weeds like that all the way up to the nearest window well. It was BAD. But after two sessions of weeding, it now looks like the above. We found all kinds of creepy crawlies who have hopefully found new homes NOT on our property (I "relocated" the slugs to our neighbor's yard... they're renters, they won't know) and it's nice to look out the office window (the one nearest the chimney) and not see a forest. I really wish I had taken a before picture because it's such a dramatic change but you'll just have to use your imagination.
Ahh yard work. It's painful at the time but you sure can see the fruits of your labor!
|Kelly, Della and me -- the hardcore runners of the family!|
As for running four times a week? Well… I’ve been managing three. When we had our church small group on Mondays, I was able to easily run Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Now that we’ve been attending small group on Thursdays, I’ve had to switch my running schedule to Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. And let me tell you, it’s HARD to run on Fridays. We so often have plans that it’s pretty difficult to throw a run into the mix. But any other day would have me running three days in a row and I don’t think I’m strong enough for that. So right now I just have to be fine with not getting in that fourth run if that’s what happens. And that’s ok.
And the treadmill? Guys, I haven’t been to the gym in ages so I don’t think I’ve touched a treadmill since February. I got much better at braving the cold and rain and doing my winter runs at the local high school track, which meant I didn’t have to truck it to the gym to get in my running. So, that’s that. And that’s ok.
My new goal that I’ve been tracking is to run at least 50 miles each month. April saw 63 miles and May saw 52! May was the real shocker to me considering I took two weeks off running, one because I was in Colorado and another to “recover” from the half-marathon. I’m really getting my money’s worth out of these shoes of mine.