Happy Happy Happy

Just popping in to say hi!  I feel so great and so productive.

I took Kitty to get her rabies shot today at the shelter.  (They were having a free event.)

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Next, Ron, Lydia, and I went to Benson Park for a gorgeous 3 mile run.  (Lydia will not ever let me take pictures of us running.)

Then, we went to Remedy Diner for brunch.

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Ron had “No Huevos” Rancheros.

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And Lydia and I both had a Breakfast Burrito.

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(We each order out own but I only snapped one picture as they were identical.)

As usual, Ron enjoyed some local beers for his treat and Lydia and I hit the vegan dessert menu.

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So papilla Cheesecake for Lyds and Peanut Chocolate Pie for me.

If you’ve never been to Remedy, you have to try it!

Now we’re off to REI.  Ron has a $48 dividend check and a 20% off coupon that is burning a hole in his pocket.

Happy Happy Happy!

Whee!

It’s a little cold and gloomy today in my neck of the woods.  But yesterday, it was all sunshine and happiness.

Mason loves his slide his great Aunt Rosa gave him.

Up, up up!

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Get ready!

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Get set!

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Whee!

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I normally take Sunday off but I skipped a training day this week.  I’m heading out for a quick 5 miler and don’t tell anyone but I missed a cross training day also.  I’m going to do that workout as well.  Hopefully it won’t matter too much that I’m doing them on the same day.

Here’s wishing everyone a awesome slide into your week with much sunshine and happiness!

Roar!

Every now and then I get to work in Wilmington.

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And when I work in Wilmy, I get to see Andie and Mason.

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I took Mason to Toys-R-Us after dinner and we had a blast. Andie was in class so it was a Grandma / grandson outing only. He loved all the Power Wheels cars. Especially Lighting McQueen. I think he stayed in that car for 15 straight minutes.

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Then next thing he fell in love with was this Buzz Lightyear spaceship.

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Oh man! How I’d love to get him this but with Andie in an apartment, I knew he really wouldn’t have anywhere to ride it.

He sure did enjoy it though!

The last thing we found was this Animal Planet dinosaur.

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At first I thought he’d be a little afraid of it with the glowing red eyes and all but he wasn’t!

We left Toys-R-Us with his first dinosaur.

It is so cool! It walks and roars and has those eyes that flash. Mason is able to use the remote control just fine and he has been having so much fun with it.  Here he is drinking a smoothie and watching it walk.

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I got to give him his bath and then it was my treat to read to him in bed. These two books were once Andie’s and I could have read them with my eyes closed. I love them both so much!

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Time For Bed is one of the most beautifully illustrated children’s books ever.

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Do you think this child is a boy or girl.  In 20 years, I’ve never been able to decide.  Smile

Rock-a-bye Farm is just precious. Mason and I especially love it when after the farmer rocks the mouse and puts him to bed, on the next page, the mouse disappears. So sweet.

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These other two books are ones that Andie bought for Mason.

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This one is masterfully illustrated! Really, really, awesome illustrations.

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And here’s a Dr. Seuss one:

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I’m usually pretty good with Dr. Seuss rhymes but my tongue was getting very twisted last night. Good thing Mason’s eyes were closing not 5 pages into it.

After he was asleep, I visited with Andie a bit more but since she was still busy doing homework, I went over to her apartment’s gym and got my run in. It was late and I almost blew it off but somehow I mustered up the motivation. I think it is the looming Medoc Trail Marathon that really has me SCARED!  Gotta think positively though.

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Night all!

“Missy! What do you eat?”

I traveled to Wise, VA this past weekend to spend some time with my mother and step-father.

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On all my trips, I always call Mother when I get to Wytheville as that is about 2 hours away from Wise.  This gives her an idea of when to expect me.

When I called her on Saturday, the first words out of her mouth was, “Missy! What do you eat?”  She sounded so frustrated I simply answered that I mostly ate fruits and vegetables but that I would enjoy whatever she had in mind.

That made her happy and after we hung up, I realized just speaking those words made me happy too.

My friends, I have to report to you all that my veganism only lasted for 3 weeks.

Lydia does ok with my vegetarian meals most of the time but she was getting very frustrated too.  So, last week, I made her chicken spaghetti following The Pioneer Woman recipe.

She loved it.  And so did I.

After that one meal of meat and cheese, I ended up going back to more or less a vegetarian diet.  The yogurt and cheese proved to me to be very difficult to get away from.

I still feel very strongly that you can be a successful vegan athlete but what I discovered is that to be successful, you must plan, plan, plan, and more plan.

If you don’t have your meal ready to rock-n-roll, it is very hard to get a balanced diet.  I wasn’t prepared some days and a peanut butter sandwich was about all I could come up with.

I have 2 nieces that are big Paleo fans.  When I told one of them that I would never be convinced that good wholesome grains were bad for you she gave me this example:

What does a rancher feed his cows and pigs when he wants to fatten them up?  Grains!

I will give her that but I don’t think it is healthy to eat a lot of meat.

Another thing that happened that made me get to thinking was 2 weekends ago when I was at my sister’s, she had a huge piece of wild salmon.  She was cutting and wrapping it in small single serving size pieces.  She said she and her husband loved having salmon once or twice a week.  Sometimes on salads and sometimes just by itself served alongside a favorite vegetable.  I wanted salmon again too!

So, what I have decided for now anyway, is to make my plate as colorful and healthy as possible and ease up some on any set rules.

Now back to more of my weekend at my mother’s.

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I went out for a run on both Saturday and Sunday while mother was taking a nap.  On my Sunday run, I picked her these flowers and as I ran I composed this little poem.

I picked some wildflowers for my mother,

who’s love for me is like no other.

I pray she doesn’t get a chigger,

for my love for her could be no bigger.

I know, I know.  Pretty bad.  But she liked it.  Smile

On my Saturday run I found these on the sidewalk in downtown Wise.

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First person to correctly identify them gets nature expert bragging rights.

Here are a few more of the sights that I encountered on my runs:

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We had an awesome weekend.  Dinner with family.  Going to church together.  Just sitting and talking.  Watching family videos on the computer.

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I love you Mother!  See you again soon.  Until then, keep singing this song.

“When He reaches out His Hand,
Billows cease at His command.
Winds and waves obey His will
When He says to them, “Be still!”
What man is this they all did say
Whom the wind and waves obey?
He’s the One who sails with me;
He’s the Master of the sea.”

Priorities

You all know that I set a goal to run one race a month for all of 2012. Well here is was the end of August and I hadn’t signed up for a race. My Galloway group was running 6-8 miles so looked for a 10k. I found a cute 10k in Sanford, NC.  Sanford is a little over an hour drive away for me but since it was for a cause that is near and dear to my heart, I was ready to run.

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Run for Their Lives was a race to benefit Carolina Animal Rescue and Adoption.

On my normal neighborhood run, I pass by a home that has a Rottweiler tied to a chain and imprisoned in a 4×4 fence.  He does have the shade of one tree and a dog house, but this breaks my heart every time I see him.  I pray for this dog every time I pass by and also pray for all other animals that are neglected or abused.

This race seemed to be the perfect place for me to spend my race money.  Such a good cause.

However, at the last minute, I switched gears and headed just 20 minutes down the road to Dunn, NC and signed up for the 9:00am ACCRF 5k. I wanted a few extra hours of sleep and I wanted to try and get a sub 30 minute 5k so I reasoned that this one was the race for me.  I made this switch for very selfish and lazy reasons that I am now ashamed to admit.

I arrived to Dunn and got registered in plenty of time and at around 8:30 they had the pre-race ceremonies. Not many 5ks do anything like this but I was quickly figuring out that this was no ordinary 5k.

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The race began at the General William C. Lee Airborne Museum.  It truly was a beautiful place and such a gorgeous day.  And such mild weather.  67 cool degrees.  Ahh…   Fall cannot get here fast enough.

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A lady named Kim organized the race for her sister Kellie. Kellie is a beautiful young woman with 2 young boys. She has been battling this rare form of cancer for quite some time now and I was so moved by the outpouring of support that her mother, husband, sister, family, and the entire Dunn community had showered upon her.

Here’s a picture where they called up all the survivors of ACCRF to be recognized.

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ACCRF is a cancer that attacks the adenoids and other areas in the face. There were many survivors of this type of cancer that had traveled from all across the county to be there for Kellie and others that are battling ACCRF. One man who had ACCRF and was currently in treatment still came out and ran.  Can you believe that?  He was in treatment and he still ran!

They mayor of Dunn ran. The Congress woman from our district, Rene Ellmers, ran. There must have been over 1000 people there of all ages. Maybe some others came for selfish reasons like mine but I highly doubt it. I think almost every single person there was there for Kellie and others battling ACCRF or other types of cancer.

During the pre-race ceremonies, they had two women sing very moving and inspirational songs.  These singers were friends of Kellie and they had the most amazing voices.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd.

I was crying like you wouldn’t believe.  You see, you all know that Ron just had surgery for skin cancer.  Well, the place they took out of his jaw area, was right near the main nerve that controls most of the muscles in your face.  They warned Ron that he might be disfigured for life but they had to get in there and make sure all the cancer was gone.

Praise be to God that the pathology report showed no signs of any remaining cancer.

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Not in his face.  Not in his arm.  Not in any of the five lymph nodes.  And, the surgeon skillfully maneuvered around that all important nerve.  No change in his face and the incision is healing beautifully.  I don’t think you’ll be able to notice the scar at all.  Now his arm is a different story.  You’ll see a huge scar there but no worries.  We are just grateful for Ron’s miraculous report.

We are lucky.  We are so very lucky.  I pray for all the families out there that are battling cancer of all kinds and for that matter all those that have health issues.

I am so ashamed that all I was thinking about was getting some more sleep on a Saturday morning.  I’m so embarrassed that all I was concerned about was getting a sub 30 minute 5k.

Every survivor there and their families would have given their right arm for my petty concerns.

I’ll still support animal rescue groups every chance I get.  But from now on, I’m going to be giving more of my race money to help find cures for diseases.

I did make my goal even though it seems so trivial now.

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Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.”  Psalm 30:2

May God keep you and yours in the palm of His powerful and healing hands.

XXOO,

Melissa

Wear your Sunscreen!

Early this morning, Ron and I left for UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill.  He was scheduled to have surgery on his face and arm for some squamous cell carcinoma.  What had happened was last year he had a place on his face removed.  Then a few weeks ago, he felt a lump under the skin right in the incision area of where they had removed the previous place.  His local dermatologist removed the lump but he was not able to get it all.

That’s where the specialists at UNC come in.

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Today they removed more on his face and also a place off his arm.  Originally that had said that he would have to stay in the hospital overnight but the surgery went so well, he got to come home today.

The place on his arm was right in the bending area.  For that reason, he has to keep his arm perfectly straight for one week.  (He has it all wrapped up and in a splint.)  We go back to get the pathology report next Thursday.

Please keep him in your prayers as he recovers this week and also that the report shows no remaining cancer cells.

Ron was doing so well today when we got home, I really got to go about my day as normal.  Actually, it has been hard trying to keep him still.  I can’t convince him that he had a major surgery today and that he needs to relax.  My sister said his is functioning on adrenaline right now.  She’s probably right.  That and the pain meds.  LOL

My first order of business was to make Ron a protein smoothie.  They wanted him to start off with light things at first to see if he got an upset stomach.

He drank every last drop of a huge smoothie and then a couple hours later his appetite was ravenous.

I served him the delicious, No-Egg Salad.  I found this recipe on Peas and Thank You, one of my favorite food blogs.

Here it is in the bowl.

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And now all dressed up on the scrumptious King’s Hawaiian Sandwich Roll.

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This might be my favorite recipe all week.  It was SO good!

All you do is cut up some tofu, red peppers, and celery and then mix them together with some Vegenaise, mustard, salt and pepper.  The recipe said to put in two pickles but I substituted sweet relish.  Also, I didn’t buy the special tofu that was mentioned in the directions.  I used regular extra firm tofu and then added in a little turmeric.

Ron loved it and had 2 sandwiches!  I had one and then as I was putting the leftovers up I ended up making myself another one too.  At first I was thinking that this was a fattening food and that I had to eat in moderation.  Then I remembered that all it was was tofu and vegetables and that I literally could eat the whole bowl if I wanted to.  The second roll was a bit much but I’m planning on running 16 miles in the morning.

I reasoned that I was carb loading.  Smile

I’m a little worried about leaving Ron for so long tomorrow morning but he keeps assuring me that he is fine.  I’ll monitor him some more tonight before bed and then make my decision.  Andie came home from Wilmington this weekend and she offered to keep an eye out for her dad until I got home from the run.

So thankful to God that everything went so well today.

Night all!

Deep in the Meadow

What a wonderful day.  I skipped my Galloway run so I could take care of Mason this morning.  He is so smart and such a blessing and joy to me.

Here he is with his mower at his 1st birthday party.

Mason with mower

Here’s another good one.

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Around lunchtime, Andie and Jonathan came and took him to the pool.  Love this shot of Jonathan and Mason from last week’s pool outing.

Mason at pool

After that, Lydia and I had a lunch date at New Japan Express.  We shared a Hibachi Vegetable and an order of King Crab Rangoons.   Delicious!  Lydia spent a little of her BoJangles earnings and got the cutest Vera Bradley wristlet.  I’m so excited that she is enjoying working and appreciating learning how far a dollar goes.

Next on the agenda was a slow and easy 5 mile run with my good friend and best running partner ever.  Didn’t get a shot of us today but here’s a good picture of us in April when we ran the First Flight 5k at the Wright Brothers’ Memorial.

Lisa and me

Today, Lisa agreed to brave the heat with me and we covered 5 miles in 53 minutes.  We did the run-walk-run method and we really must have been bookin’ it during the running parts.  The Neuse Riverwalk and Buffalo Creek Greenway is pretty nice.  The part near the water treatment plant had a slightly unpleasant odor for a bit but other than that, I liked it a lot.  It is really secluded so if you decide to go, take a buddy.  We even saw a snake.  Thanks Lisa for pointing it out to me.  I would have run right over it if you hadn’t.

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Lisa and I reminisced about our 2 marathons each and many other half marathons.  Lisa talked to me about an interesting thing that can happen to runners:  distance disorientation.  Made a lot of sense to me because sometimes when you’re out there on a long run, nothing plays with your head more than not knowing exactly where you are in your mileage.  Even your Garmin can play with your head sometimes.

When I got home from the run, I whirled up a delicious green monster.  Earlier in the week I had made one with spinach / arugula mix and it was disgusting.  The arugula is not meant to be blended up.  Today’s version was all spinach, one banana, 1/2 cup of milk, ice, and one scoop of vanilla protein powder.  Just what I always want after a run.

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The last thing I needed to do was to water my neighbor’s garden and flowers.  She goes to Florida one time every summer and she asks me to do this chore for her.  She makes a big deal about it and goes on and on about how much she is grateful to me for helping her out.  I try and try to tell her that it’s no bother at all.  I love it!

I turned on her sprinkler and sat on her awesome deck and read.  I’m re-reading Hunger Games and tonight I was on the part about Rue.  So sad.  Now that I am reading it again, I can just see the little actress that played her in the movie and I was crying big fat tears as I read.

Here’s Rue’s song performed by none other than one of my favorite singers in the whole world – Sting.

After a bit, I got up and took the watering cans to the rest of my neighbors flowers.  Aren’t they all just gorgeous!

I’ll sign off with this cheesy shot of a hopeless romantic and loony runner.

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Wanna Race?

The Lucky One

the lucky one

Today is Ron’s birthday.

I won’t mention the fact that this year he will be sporting double 5’s in his age.  5 is my lucky number and even though it is his birthday, I’m the lucky one.

Ron always is quick to help Andie with any computer or technical issue.  And, he spent hours putting together all her furniture when she and Mason moved to Wilmington last August.

He even changes Mason’s diapers and only gets them on backwards occasionally.

And as for Lydia, even when he is exhausted from working an overnight shift, he won’t close an eyelid on the weekend until she is safe at home.

Ron pooper scoops the backyard all the time for all 3 of our dogs and never once complains.

Kitty loves Ron best and loves to snuggle up beside him when he relaxes on the front porch.

Ron overlooks my many mistakes and never brings them back up to me in impatience.  Even with my recent $5,000 mistake concerning Lydia’s Honda.  Who knew you should buy an extended warranty with a used car when offered one?

So on this special day, I’m baking him a pineapple upside down cake and printing this post out for him.  Goodness knows he’d never read it otherwise.  He’s just not into Facebook and blogs.  Pawn Stars is more up his ally.

Anyway, I hope he knows how lucky I feel to be his wife of almost 24 years.  (only 2 weeks until our anniversary!)

Happy Birthday Honey!