Three things — 10/1/15

Three things I’m loving this week


  1. Blackish. One of the funniest sitcoms to come along since Modern Family, which I also love. I don’t watch much TV, but I when I do, I’m all about shows that make me LOL.


2. Mums as race awards. Ignore my post-race make-up free squint-y face, I was super happy that we both won mums for placing in our age group at the Allegheny Swim & Dive 5-Miler in Meadville last week. If all races gave me seasonal flowers/landscaping plants, I’d probably be a much faster runner.


3. Smoked anything. I used to think everything cooked in the smoker tasted like fire. Then, I got Dan a couple smoking cookbooks for Christmas (this is the best one), he stepped up his game, and now I love it when he fires up the smoker.

Things I’m not loving this week

1. Shorter days. I don’t mind winter, but I hate the shortage of daylight. I’ve fallen asleep on the couch at 8:15 p.m. TWICE this week. If it were dark by then, I’d have been outside still gardening, biking, walking the dog, etc.

2. Those stupid Save Around coupon books. They’re impossible to sell because every school and sport and club in town is selling them. Also, most of the coupons inside are severely restricted (like last year, the Tim Horton’s coupons were only good at a location in Girard or something). Also…I hate using coupons — it makes me feel like a miser. I’m happy to support the PTOs fundraisers, but I’m not selling stuff. I’d rather just stroke a couple checks.

3. Hurricane Joaquin. While we’re far removed from the coast and the path of the hurricane, stupid Joaquin is sure to send plenty of rain our way, probably on Saturday…which is, of course, my Her Times 5K race. Leave it to Joaquin to rain on the ladies’ parade.

Worth Reading — 9/30/15

A random collections of blog posts, articles and other things I think are worth sharing.

New York Times: The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, And Print is Far From Dead (I was just having a conversation with a friend about this recently. Publishers got greedy and are now charging so much for digital books, that you can buy paper books from small booksellers cheaper. I’ve bought several paper books lately…they’re less convenient, but if they cost 1/3 of the price, then paper it is.)

Spirituality & Health: What to Do When You’re the Emotionally Unavailable One

“Many of us share a background that has taught us to be strong independent empowered women—and though those are fabulous qualities to possess—the reality is that trying to project that persona often leaves us building tall walls so others can’t knock us down.”

Salon: Stop Asking Working Moms about “Having it All— And Women, Stop Answering. (Yes, let’s just let this phrase die, shall we?)

One Green Planet: 5 Ridiculous Myths About Cow’s Milk (This is a little hyperbolic, but…it’s a Vegan site, so you’ll have that. I quit drinking milk years ago. Kelly is really the only milk drinker in our house. When you think about makes no sense. We are the only mammals in the world who continue to drink milk after infancy…and it’s not even human milk…which is just weird, right?)

Just Write 127 ~ Puddles


I can hear the wind and rain as I lay in bed at 4 a.m. Going to be a wet one today. Won’t be the first time I’ve run in the rain. Won’t be the last.

The temperature is not bad – near 60 — but the wind will make it feel colder and The Beast on the Bay race, which is at — and in — Lake Erie for 10+ miles, is likely to be even colder. I debate my options and ultimately decide on a layer of Under Armour, which I wear below my blue Superfriends team shirt.

I’m not unhappy that I have to wear a base layer. I prefer cooler temps when running. And I like how U.A. makes me feel—firm and sleek—two things my 44-year-old body is not anymore without compression gear.

I put on one of my favorite black running hats to keep the rain out of my eyes and my hair contained. The hat stinks when it gets wet, the bacteria from tens of thousands of beads of sweat and miles upon miles of runs as woven into the fabric as the white swoosh on the front, but I put it on anyway because I like the way it fits.

I arrive at Waldameer with my Chevy Trailblazer’s radio blaring Beyonce’s Run the World, like a silly 17-year-old schoolgirl.  But, I don’t care because I’m happy and it’s fun and because girls do run the world.

My teammates are already gathering and passing around a giant bottle of Jack Daniels’ Tennessee Fire. Some are clutching umbrellas. Some are clustered under the open gate of a minivan. Some are wearing rain boots and coats in an effort to stay dry until race time.

DSCF0899 beast7

But, most have chosen to embrace the suck and just stand there in the rain. Wet is inevitable today.


We get on the shuttle bus. It takes an entire bus to deliver the Superfriends team to the race start even with many standing and/or sitting on friend’s laps.  The chatter is, as always, near deafening. The windows fog from our breath and the body heat radiating from our damp bodies. The average age of our Superfriends team is probably near 40, though our members range in age from 16 to 60.


When we arrive at the race start, we hit the restrooms. The Superfriends create a super long line that stretches out and around the bathhouse.

More Tennessee Fire. More photos. More rain.


The DJ is pumping up the crowd at the start line and the Superfriends buy in. Soon, we’ve got a dance party going on. We hop up and down (mostly to stay warm, but still…), we dance from foot to foot, we sing out loud and take turns in the center of the circle. It’s cold and windy and it’s still raining, but nobody seems to care.


When we start, we follow a sandy road to the beach that—thanks to hours of rainfall—is littered with mud puddles. At first, I avoid them, running around or jumping over them. But, soon the puddles are so deep and wide that they  stretch the length of the road, so I just start stomping right through them, deliberately splashing and kicking water at my teammates in front, beside and behind me.

They gleefully splash me back and we all scream and laugh. Mine is not a fake, courtesy laugh. Not an LOL. Not a grin. Not a self-conscious giggle. But, rather the unbridled joyful and genuine laughter of a middle-aged mom stomping through mud puddles with a whole bunch of Superfriends.


Video by my Super friend, Jon Wolff, here.

About Just Write: “What ends up revealing itself when free writing is that everything has meaning. That is a magnificent gift of writing. If we write from a free heart-gut place, our souls start speaking.”

Peer into Casa Cass


So…Kelly’s been playing with iMovie on her iPod touch and she came up with these very creative “trailers.”

I’m most impressed with her variety of angles and shots, which offered some really fun perspectives.

Also….I’m a little worried that I have a little filmmaker in my house…watching/recording my every move.

Three Things — 9/24/15

Things I’m loving this week


Cider Day. Every September (unless, like last year, there’s no apple crop), our friends John & Linda invite us and other friends over to make apple cider using John’s 1800s-era cider press. It’s one of my favorite days of the year….and it all ends with with real cider (not that pasteurized crap they sell you in stores) and Linda’s homemade chicken-and-biscuits dinner (the ultimate comfort food).


September clouds. Is there anything more beautiful than Erie’s skies in September? Puffy white clouds set in a bright blue sky make it look like something out of a story book. September skies are only outdone by October’s foliage. Coming soon to a forest near you.


New artwork in basement. Kelly got an urge to make art and decorated the basement rec room with her paintings. The basement was the first home improvement project we did at our house 15+ years ago and it’s time for a re-do so the kids have a place to hang with their friends.  It’s going to be my winter project this year.


Roasted asparagus. If I could only eat one vegetable for the rest of my life, it would be roasted asparagus. And even though I love veggies, it would be enough.

Things I’m not loving this week

Our living room furniture. We bought an inexpensive living room furniture set at one of those cheap places on Peach Street five or six years ago, knowing full well it wasn’t going to last. At this point, it’s not just ugly or worn out, it’s breaking down and embarrassing.

Race preparation. I’m the founder and race director for the Her Times women’s 5K (Oct. 3, this year), and I love the race and the girlfriend-ly vibe and sisterhood it promotes, but I hate event planning. The two weeks leading up to the race are always stressful and sleep interrupting.


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