Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Running to and from

Over a month ago Monica asked if running was a long time thing for me or something new. The answer is both. I started running in junior high because my best friend was a runner. I hated it. The track coach relegated me to the mile along with others who had no speed and no desire to improve. For me track was a means to a social end and it didn't take me very long to develop the mantra, "I only run when chased."

A few years ago a friend of mine who has been an avid runner since age 12 encouraged me to run. She assured me I could do it. I think I had the desire to be a runner but really didn't know how to begin. So for a couple months I ran a little, walked a lot, ran a little more, and so on, until I hurt my knee. The podiatrist encouraged me to rest and let the knee heal and then buy a pair of real running shoes instead of trying to run in my three-year-old Meijer specials. I did so, but then we got a lot of snow and a foster child came to live with us and I lost interest in running.

Last year I decided I needed to drop a few pounds and get some exercise so I started walking inside with Leslie Sansone videos. I was quite happy with this until the dog chewed up the DVD! So faced with the necessity of another plan, this summer I started walking the track at the high school while my kids took tennis lessons. After a few weeks I started feeling the need for speed and figured I'd walk a lap and run a lap. This slowly turned into more walking than running and now I'm up to 2.5 miles on my short day and 4 miles on my long day.

I wouldn't say that running is a passion for me, nor do I have any goals to run races or lose weight, but I will agree with Beth that I have never regretted going for a run but have often regretted not doing so. It is a time that I can run from my obligations and the noise of my house and enjoy time alone listening to music and burning off some stress. I find that I handle the pressures of life more easily and sleep better at night when I'm getting plenty of exercise, all for the price of a pair of good running shoes and some workout clothes from Walmart.

Running is probably not for everyone, but take it from this short-legged middle-aged mom, it's never too late or too hard to start!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, JT

This is the boy who became the man that makes my life such a joy. Happy birthday, love!

What's that smell?

I love my dog.

But sometimes she stinks.

And sometimes bathing her just switches the stinks from smelly dog to perfumy dog. So after finishing the bottle of major-dog-product-brand lavender-smelling dog shampoo, I went on-line to find a homemade version. All of the ingredients were inexpensive and I happened to have them all on hand (we use glycerin to make bubbles in the summer). I just mixed them up and poured them into an empty ketchup bottle. Easy peasy.

And how does she smell?
Clean. Just clean.

Homemade Dog Shampoo
(recipe courtesy of Care2Com)

1 cup mild dish soap
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup glycerin
1 qt. water

Mix all ingredients together and pour into a large bottle. Shake before using.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sun and Earth

I like a clean house (although it seems a rare event that I have one) but I don't like a lot of the products on the market today that are full of harmful chemicals and unnecessary colors and fragrances, and ingredients that mess with our septic system. While I do make a lot of my own cleaners using vinegar, baking soda, peroxide, and other non-toxic ingredients, I haven't found a homemade dishwasher soap or laundry detergent that thrills me.

A few months ago Sun and Earth ran a "try us out" special that included a regular sized bottle of almost every item in their line for $25. I jumped at the offer and have been well pleased. Their liquid dish soap, laundry detergent, and dishwasher packets clean beautifully and have a pleasing light citrus fragrance. I especially like their bio-degradable dryer sheets that don't leave your clothes feeling chemically coated and perfumed. Almost everything is available in jumbo sizes, too, and I mean jumbo: you can order a 5 gallon bucket of laundry detergent!

This weekend only Sun and Earth is running a free shipping special on orders $25 or over. Just enter the coupon code freeshipweekend.