Where Have I Been?!

Last Friday, after my boss made me cry, I went on a trip. I was gone for 4 long days.

Unfortunately, the days were not nearly long enough.

My hiatus has been fun.

It began with this...


(p.s...please love me even though this post contains a mixture of poor quality iPhone pictures. Sometimes I can't carry my big girl camera).

At which time I learned that not only is my little brother a great guitar player, manipulator and con man, but he can also sing and play the bass. How is it possible for a boy to be so genius, yet so dumb? All at the same time.

ben singing

Shortly after this picture was taken, I met a man.

I decided to call him Norman No Neck. I don't know what his name was. Norman No Neck just seemed to suit him.

Norman periodically talked to My Sista and I throughout the night, filling our ears with anecdotes and one-liners. He really talked like he had no neck. Labored talking. Very labored. He was wearing a skin tight t-shirt with a scowling, drooling wolf on it. I decided that a combination of the tight t-shirt and the angry wolf were making it hard for him to talk.

I spent approximately 30 minutes of my evening laughing hysterically, while trying to figure out what the hell Norman No Neck had just said to me.

Something about Catsup. I think.

Saturday morning, bright and early (7:15), My Sista and I met my cousin, Cassie for a group run with this group and this group. Everyone was combined into a pack of approximately 75 runners for a development run. We covered the first 6 miles of The Boilermaker 15K course (my July race). I was simultaneously horrified and elated that Cassie (who is super, way, much faster than me) ran the last 3 miles with me, and My Sista ran about the last 2 with us. It felt like a family bonding session.

We come from a long line of smokers, drinkers, and cancer-sufferers (not cancer-survivors). Call me overly dramatic, but it felt like that run symbolized the fact that the three of us are breaking that horrific cycle.

With their support and help, I was able to run my fastest long run ever. I was so happy!!

So, maybe my fast is your slow...but, that's why I'm a Jogger.

Jogger for life baby.



That said, I can tell you that I love My Sista more now and feel closer to her than I ever have. Although we live so far apart, we are sharing these experiences and training together. She's helping me out immensely, and her experience is helping me to improve.

There was eating at Mom's.

cold pizza

Eating at Grandma's.


Much more eating at both of those locations than I care to really elaborate on. You can check out my food logs for more info on that escapade.

Sunday morning I had to leave.

But first, I needed to spend an hour taking pictures of my Mom's fish pond and the surrounding vegetation. What can I say, I'm a little obsessed. I have a spice garden. That's all. I'm feeling a little void of vegetation in my life.

It began with Maddie and I.


Then just Maddie.


"Maddie, look over HERE!"


My Mom, Dad and Sista were also hanging around at that time.

Slowly, I noticed that everyone took off. Apparently they got tired of watching me take pictures.  And then, it was just me and my camera.

And vegetation. Lots and lots of vegetation.


And fish.

I bought these fish for my Mother at Walmart 3 years ago on Mother's Day. I threw them in her baron pond, unbeknownst to her. Then I tried to pretend that the fish fairy just magically dropped them into her pond. I fully expected that all of the fish would die within 24 hours.

Miraculously, 3 of the the 5 fish have survived, and one even survived a near live-burial. He swims really funny though. I guess that's what happens when you fall 12 stories (in fish terms) to a concrete floor, then suffer without oxygen for an indeterminable amount of time.  I try to give little Nemo a break though--he's had a rough life to date

Nemo is the stubby little orange guy on the right.

He is also the fish that Maddie likes to catch with her fishing net.  He's the easiest target apparently.

Poor Nemo.


And flowers. Flowers for days. Oh, how I love my Mom's flowers!


Oh, flowers.


Flowers and fish. Even better.


This fish is like 13" long. It's amazing. If that's not an advertisement for Walmart Koi fish, I don't know what is.


When I showed Mom the next picture, she said "that flower is in MY garden?" See. She takes her flowers for granted. Ingrate.

I'll trade in her fish pond for a kitchen spice garden, and then see if she remembers the types of flowers in her garden!


I loved this flower, even though it was riddled with bugs. I don't like bugs, but they're ok as long as they stay on the flower.


And then there are these flowers.

These are the flowers that I picked for my mother as a child. This picture was taken in the apple orchard, next to my mom's garden. That's also the place where I stepped on a nail when I was 11 years old, and had to walk with Grandpa Tootsie Roll's cane for 3 weeks.

But, the flowers are still pretty. Tetanus shot or not.


Then, I got back on the road and drove another 4 hours west.


The entire drive, I marveled at how close the clouds were to the horizon. They don't look like that in Maryland.

Sunroofs come in handy sometimes. Especially when taking pictures of clouds.


I'm pretty sure I wasn't supposed to be doing this while I was operating a motor vehicle while doing 80 miles per hour. Don't tell anyone.

It's pretty boring when you're in a car by yourself for 4 hours.  What else was there to do besides eat Dunkin' Donuts and take pictures out the sunroof?


And then, I arrived.


I had a date.

I couldn't be late.

I've waited 15 years for this date.




There was much screaming, and smiling, and carrying on.

It was worth the wait, and the money I dropped on the tickets and the RV to spend the night in.

Yes, I said RV.

Although it's a little dark, this picture (taken from atop a ferris wheel), depicts my sleeping quarters most accurately.

The little tiny rectangles in the upper portion of the picture? Yep, we slept in one of those. It was very wiggly.


Sadly, this is one of the last pictures of the weekend.

It was so much fun, but I've missed you guys. Now it's back to blogging as usual.

This was my last weekend excursion until July, when I venture back to good old Central New York for Boilermaker weekend! I'm getting excited!

Who else is getting excited for an upcoming race?


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* Wonder what I’m eating?

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