Friday, July 30, 2010

Just a few donuts...

When Lori C of HCTC&F suggested holding a "treasure sale" as a fundraiser, I thought it was a great idea.  Unfortunately, though, I have already gotten rid of a lot of stuff from around the house, and we regularly donate to the Purple Heart, National Children's Center, and other charities that pick stuff up from our porch.  So I dind't have a whole lot to sell.  And also, digging through my closets, basement and garage is not on my list of favorite things to do.

So I decided that my contribution to the treasure sale would be to run the concession/snack stand.  I thought this will be the easiest way to make a little money.  I thought I'll just set up a table, put some water and soda on ice, and pick up some donuts to sell and away I go.  It wouldn't be big money, but would be something, and I'd be able to be part of the team event.

So I signed up.

Then I got to thinking - why couldn't I just throw together some cupcakes and sell those too?  While I'm at it, why don't I bake some easy muffins?  Those would sell.  What about some brownies? Surely those would sell too.   I know that I'd make more money if I got people to donate the baked goods, but I figured I could still make a profit even if I baked myself.  No problem.

Then I did a quick google search on "bake sale items" and found lots of great ideas for alternative things to sell.  With all these ideas running thorugh my mind, I visited a few stores and picked up as many pink and white baking supplies as I could find.  I tried to keep the costs down - the dollar store actually had a lot of great stuff!

And then I got home and realize that I have WAY too many ideas and only three evenings in which to pull this off!  So what started out as a quick and easy "pick up a few donuts and have fun" has turned into three stressed out evenings of treat making!  Why oh why do I do this to myself?

All told, here is the list of treats that I've made and will be for sale at the Treasure Sale on Saturday:

  • Chocolate drizzled Rice Krispie Treats with pink and white sprinkles on top
  • Milk Chocolate covered pretzel rods with rainbow sprinkles
  • Pink candy coated pretzel rods with white sprinkles
  • Cookie treat bags containing:  Pink wafer cookies, pink and white frosted animal crackers, and Nilla wafers
  • Candy treat mix bags containing:  Pink and white M&Ms, chocolate covered peanuts, strawberry malted milk balls, and red Twizzler nuggets
  • White cupcakes in pink cupcake liners, with white frosting and candy "pink ribbons"
  • Chocolate cupcakes in pink cupcake liners, with chocolate frosting and pink and white M&Ms
  • Brownies 
  • Banana bread mini-loaves
  • Pumpkin chocolate chip mini loaves
  • Cherry Chocolate Cake
Oh.  And donuts, soda and water.  ;-)

I guess we'll find out tomorrow whether this has been worth it.  It took a lot of work to put it together.  But it sure beat cleaning out the garage!

Hope to see you all tomorrow morning. :-)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Treasure Sale!

The Harbor City Titty Committee and Friends is holding a Treasure Sale this Saturday, 7am-12pm.  It's going to be a great community yard sale with lots of great stuff for sale.  We'd love to see you there!

- Furniture
- Home goods
- Clothing
- Books
- Snacks and Cold Drinks
- and more!

- Sales tables are available for rent - $35 per space, you keep your profits (or donate to the cause!)

- Gladly accepting donations for items to be sold for the cause

Contact me for more information!

Monday, July 26, 2010

I'm Walking For Donna A.

I'm lucky to have a friend, Jason, who has been a colleague at work and a good friend for four years now.  I've changed positions in my job a couple times since we worked in the same office, but we've kept in touch every now and then via email or a quick catch-up meeting.

Jason is married to a great woman, Donna. They are very much in love.  In fact, Jason and Donna are the longest married "newlyweds" I've ever met!  When I first met them both, I really thought they had just recently found each other and fallen in love -  they were giddy around each other, they called each other all the time just to check in, they had the sweetest aura around them, like a bubble that the outside world couldn't burst.   But then I learned that they'd been married for quite a few years.  They just treated each other with such love, all the time, every day.  It was amazing to me!

I asked Jason how they could keep up such a sweet "newness" to their romance.  He said that he took time every day to be thankful for Donna, for the love she brought him and the love they shared together.  He said that he'd waited a long time to get it "right", and so had she.  They both had some not-so-great relationships in their pasts. And so when they finally found each other, it was something neither of them wanted to take for granted.  I've always been so impressed by that, and I try to take a lesson from them in my own marriage to my great husband, Dave.

A couple days ago, I sent Jason an email to check in and see how his summer is going.  My note went something like:  "Hey Jason, how's it going?  Haven't seen you in a while, hope things are good at work and at home.  Give me a call, maybe we can get together to catch up."

This morning his response came in my inbox.  I expected to read something like "Hey Jenny, thanks for the note... yes, let's meet for lunch."  Instead, my eyes scanned the long-ish message and caught some words I did not expect or want to see.

Donna... doctor... lump... mammogram... surgery... biopsy... chemo... radiation.

I couldn't believe it!  As I tried to read the message, I had to go back and start over multiple times before I really understood.

I immediately picked up the phone and talked to Jason to find out more.  I learned that Donna found a lump during a self exam. Her mammogram earlier this year had not caught it.  She's had three lumpectomies, and they're currently awaiting results from the third one to see if she will need any further surgery or not.  As of now, they think she won't need chemo, but will need radiation and hormone therapy.  I didn't catch all of the information Jason gave me - there were lots of medical details that I don't really understand... I suppose these are things you learn in the crash course on oncology that you have to take when you are diagnosed.

As Jason was talking, I couldn't think of anything to say.  I couldn't think of anything to offer, anything to do.  I felt so useless.  What exactly are you supposed to say in a moment like this?  What are you supposed to do?  How do you help a friend face something so scary?

I'm really glad to hear that Donna's prognosis is good.  I don't really understand all of the details, but what I took away from the conversation is that while it's bad, it could have been much worse.

So now I will add Donna to my list of cancer patients that I'm walking for.  I want Donna to be completely cured.  I want Donna and Jason to enjoy a long, happy life of love together, to fulfill their dreams, and continue to show the world how marriage should be done.

Won't you please contribute to the cause?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Successful training day

Today's mission:  walk 12 miles before the 100+ degree weather sets in.  In order to achieve this goal, I woke up at 5:00am.

Yep.   5.  As in, "in the morning".   Those who know me are surprised and shocked, I know. ;-)

After a quick breakfast, my husband and I set out around 5:30.  The sun was not yet over the trees, and the skies were blue-gray with pink streaks in the few clouds that were on the horizon.  As we walked through the neighborhood, we saw some deer running into the woods, and heard some lawn sprinklers running, but otherwise all was still.   The morning was comfortably cool -- or rather, not hot.  We walked a little over an hour before heading home for a pit stop.  At 6:45am, we had already completed 4 miles.  Woohoo!

After a quick break, we headed back out, this time walking 2.5 miles to the local bagel shop.  By this time, the sun was up and so were the temperatures.  We got to the bagel shop, had a nice second breakfast, and stocked up on Gatorade for the walk home.  By the time we headed back the sun was just downright hot.  Whew!   That, combined with the hillier terrain on our route, made this morning's walk much more difficult than the walking we had done in Oklahoma or California on vacation.  We got home around 8:45am and were pretty well exhausted.

This was when I seriously considered stopping for the day.  After all, we had done 9 miles already.  I was developing blisters.  My legs were really sore.  I was very tired.  and hot.  and beginning to get whiny.

But I thought about it.  I thought that if I stopped, then I'd be disappointed in myself, and I'd regret it.

So we went back out for another 3 miles.  And man oh man.  It was hard!  I was totally wiped out.  We both were so tired and hot.  I told Dave that this is the first time in this training routine that I really felt like I was having to push myself beyond my limits.  I wanted to just stop - just sit right on the grass under a tree and be done.  Maybe sit in someone's sprinkler.  I got a little complainy for a minute.  But then, I figured, what's the point of that? No one is making me do this, I volunteered.  So buck up and walk!

So, we completed our final three miles.  When we got home, it was 91 degrees, with a heat index of 98 degrees. Oh.  My.  Gosh.

No wonder!

After a quick shower, I headed back to bed and slept for 2 1/2 hours.  The rest of the day I felt great.  And proud.    And thankful to Dave for walking with me.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Training on Vacation - Part 5 - Disneyland and California Adventure

Wow, can't believe I'm still on vacation!  Taking two weeks off at once is really a luxury! During this latest portion of our vacation, we visited Disneyland Resort and California Adventure in Anaheim, CA.  We are big Disney World fans in our house, so this was an exciting trip to see what the original Disney park is all about.

All in all, we took three days to do Disney "right" here in California.  Day 1 we drove up to Anaheim from San Diego, and spent the day in Disneyland park.  Day 2 was spent in California Adventure park, and Day 3 we went back to Disneyland for a short wrap-up, then drove back to San Diego.

Anyone who has been to a Disney theme park knows that you spend all day on your feet!  I couldn't decide if this would translate into great 3-day training days, or horrendous days.  On the one hand (foot), I would be standing and/or walking almost all day.  On the other, I wouldn't be covering much ground, and I expected a low total mileage due to the stopping and standing that I'd be doing all day.

Once I got back to the internet, I used to see how far I had walked.  I had done this with our day at the San Diego Wild Animal Park, and it worked pretty well to get a rough estimate for miles walked during the day.

According to my estimates, it looks to me like we got the following mileage at Disneyland:

Day 1:  Disneyland:  about 6 miles
Day 2:  California Adventure:  about 5.5 miles
Day 3:  Disneyland:  about 4 miles

Again, the first two of these days were spread out over the course of 12 hours or more, and the third day was about 4 hours.  So, this was not blazingly fast speed walking or anything, and certainly doesn't count as a long-mileage training day.

But overall, I am going to say that going on vacation to Disneyland is a good thing from the 3-day training perspective.  I think the miles and the hours spend standing up all count toward a useful training regime for the big 3-day event.

And it was tons of fun, too!  :-)

(hope to add photos later...)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Training on Vacation - Part 4 - San Diego Wild Animal Park

After a week in Oklahoma, our vacation now finds us in San Diego visiting my sister and her family.  Yesterday was a travel day, so today was our first full day here.  The fantastic thing about training for a walking event is that sightseeing fits right in to the training routine!

Today we went to the San Diego Wild Animal Park, which is a fantabulous park that showcases wild animals mainly from Africa, in a habitat that closely approximates their natural habitat.  The park is nestled in the hills of Escondido, CA, which is north and east of San Diego, about 25 miles from the ocean.  The park is built on hills, and includes beautiful landscapes and breathtaking vistas of the southern California terrain.

We spent the day in the park, and covered nearly every inch of the place over the course of 7 hours or so.  There were a few great things about the day:

1.  We got to spend some time with my sister and her two kids, which is a very rare event and was much appreciated
2.  The weather was gorgeous, with 80 degree temps and bright blue skies and cool breezes in the shade
3.  After walking all day long, I truly felt like I was IN SHAPE for once!  All my training walks leading up to today have left me feeling very able to handle a whole day on my feet!

Once we got back to the hotel, I used to approximate our walking route in the park today.  If my estimates are even close to correct, we walked roughly 4.5 miles throughout the day, of course with lots of stopping and starting, lots of standing still or slow walking, and some sitting through shows and meals.  There were quite a few hills which gave me ZERO trouble!  And at the end of the day, I was much less tired than I was after my last few training walks.  All in all, a great physical experience to match up with the family day.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Training on Vacation - Part 3 - Owasso, OK

More walking today.  I did 5 miles with David in the morning around the lake, once again being attacked by the geese there - they have a vendetta against us now, I'm positive of it.  The morning was heavy and humid with rain that had just stopped. It was not hot, per se, but very muggy and there was no breeze, meaning that it felt like we were walking in a steamy sauna.

We came home after 5 miles for a break.  David had errands to run, so I headed out again for another 5 miles on my own.  This time I was kind of bored with the lake loop, so I headed for a major road and walked two miles out and two miles back on the sidewalk.

It's amazing that I felt like a slacker on that part of the walk.  This is because I was passed on mile 1 by a jogger, and then after I'd gone out and turned around, I was passed again on mile 4 by the same jogger who was returning along the same path as me.  How much further had she gone, and had she jogged the whole way?  Wow!

After the 4th mile, I wanted to do another but was back at my starting point. So I headed over to the lake again and did two more laps around.  Finally, walking back to the house brought my second walk total to just over 5 miles, and my daily total to just over 10 miles.

This is the first day I've done that much - and it feels good.

Of course, it only feels good emotionally. Physically I'm totally wiped out!  I have been sleepy and hungry all day and am pretty much good for nothing!

Tomorrow we move on to the next phase of our vacation, flying out to San Diego to visit my sister and her family.  Not sure when the next official training walk will be, but I'm sure I'll be getting some serious walking in at least via sight seeing.  Can't wait!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Training on Vacation - Part 2 - Owasso, OK

Still on vacation here in Oklahoma, though now we've moved from my parents' home out in the country into a relative "big city" feel here in Owasso, a suburb of Tulsa, at my husband's parents' home. We woke up this morning bright and early again at 7:00am or so, and were out the door for a walk by 7:40am.

Today Dave and I walked through the neighborhood over to a local park. This park has a man-made pond/lake, lots of playgrounds, picnic tables, enough trees to feel like it's got good shade, and LOTS of geese and ducks! There is a gravel path around the lake that we originally estimated to be about a quarter mile long. We decided to break today's walk into a few sections, taking breaks at homefor restroom and water breaks. My goal was to get in 9 miles this morning.

We began our loops around the lake, stepping carefully to avoid the ever-present goose poop that was all over the path. There was a light breeze, and a few clouds here and there. This was good, because the temps were already high, as was the humidity, making the morning feel quite warm.

We saw a mama duck and her 6 babies, so small and fuzzy. The mama was carefully watching the babies, letting them explore the pond and its feeder stream, but not letting them get into trouble. We saw a large gaggle of geese eating in the grass and gathering on the path.

When we approached, one of the geese felt threatened and starting squawking and hissing, stretching out its wings and flapping them around to try to scare us. He even charged at us at one point. It was a (much less threatening) replay of what had happened with the dogs out in the country last Saturday. :-)

As we walked, we thought that the loop felt more like 1/3 mile rather than 1/4, and so after 9 laps and 1 hour 20 minutes, we called for a break and headed back home. Once at home, we looked on and discovered that our loop was actually about 1/2 mile! So with the walk over to the lake and back, we had already competed 5 miles!

After a quick break at home, we headed back out for four more miles. We passed by the animal control officer who was busy rescuing another set of baby ducks from the storm drain where they had fallen, with their mama duck standing by in distress. The animal control officer was successful, and the babies and their mother were taken back to the lake safely with the rest of the ducks and geese.

We walked another 7 laps - chugging water, listening to our iPods, stepping around goose droppings, and taking pictures on the last lap. We met other walkers, some runners, some moms with their babies and kids in strollers, and lots of geese. That one squawking goose continued to holler at us every time we passed him, and on the last time around, as I stopped to take his picture, he tried to eat my shoe laces. I guess we were on his territory and he had had enough!

All told, we walked 9 miles this morning. It was hot, but it felt good to get it done. This is the longest walk I've done so far in the training program, and I'm really proud of what I've been able to do!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Training on Vacation - Part 1 - Rose, OK

I'm on summer vacation with my husband and kids, taking 2 1/2 weeks away to visit family across the country. Will I still be training for the 3-day while on vacation? Heck yeah!

First stop on the trip is a few days at my parents house out in northeastern Oklahoma. Mom and Dad live off the beaten path - ok, they live off the paved road! It's 2 miles to the nearest black top, and between their house and the road is just Oklahoma red clay and gravel road.

I decided this morning to walk an "out and back". Dave and I got up fairly early (at least early for vacation) and left the house at 7:30am. We walked out to the gravel road and turned right to head west on the rural farm road. After about 10 minutes, the road turned left to head south. Right after we turned the corner, about 100 yards ahead of us, we saw four dogs in the road. They saw us too. Soon, they were running at full speed right toward us! So we turned on our heels and high-tailed it back toward mom and dad's driveway. Those dogs ran behind us until we had gone around the corner and out of sight from them, down and up two hills, until finally they decided we were really, truly leaving. That was more excitement that we counted on!

Not wanting to call it quits quite yet, we walked the opposite direction on the road for another 20 minutes, passing by a chicken farm and a cow farm, and going up and down some fairly impressive hills. I thought Oklahoma was flat?! After an hour (3 miles), we stopped at home for a break.

I wanted to do more but didn't want to be too far away from a bathroom. I also was not keen on encountering any other stray or loose dogs out here in farm country. So Dave and I thought we'd drive into town and use the high school track. We hopped in the car and drove the 13 mile drive to the nearby town.

We walked on the track for 2 miles, then stopped into a near by convenience store (the Git-'n'-Split. I'm not kidding.) to use the facilities and pick up some Gatorade. Then back to the track for more miles.

We were working on our 7th mile when it started to drizzle. Actually that was pretty nice, because it kept us cool as we walked. But at about mile 7.5, it started to just downright rain. I wanted my miles in, but not bad enough to walk in a downpour. So we stopped at the 8 mile mark and headed back to mom and dad's house.

All in all, we logged 8 miles this morning before lunch. Awesome! We did not get attacked by dogs. We didn't melt. And I felt great from the accomplishment.

I'm not quite sure when I'll do the next long distance walk on this vacation. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe Monday. I don't know. We'll have to play it by ear. It is, after all, a vacation!