I Love The Crazy 80s! (Octogenarian 80s)

A weekend ago, we celebrated my Great Uncle John, Zio Giovanni’s, 81st birthday.  Can you believe it? 81!  And this past Saturday, we had the pleasure of celebrating Nick’s Grandma, EZ Lyman’s, 85th Birthday!

Both are incredibly talented, wonderful, kind people – who’ve both been these crazy family legends that I’ve heard tales of my entire life.  These octogenarians know how to get down, that’s for sure.

So yes… around recently, we’ve been kickin’ it crazy 80s style.  Let me re-cap the two most recent birthday parties I’ve attended:

EZ Lyman, Happy 85th Birthday!

EZ has always been a tomboy-with-class idol of mine.

happy birthday to ethelyn

She’s Uncle Bobby’s Mom and you can so tell: Ethelyn is long-known for going hunting and fishing with the boys, keeping up with their outdoor antics and being able to hold her own.  The flip side is that she’s a wonderfully warm and sweet woman, known all over the region (and probably farther than that) for her incredible landscape and nature paintings.  She’s won awards and prizes for her ability to capture the charm of Western New York scenery – whitetail deer, sugar houses, snow covered trees, glens and dales and that sort of thing.  Everyone I know in my family (except for myself *pouts*) has some of EZ’s paintings displayed in their homes.

I’ll have to do a whole post about EZ’s artwork, it’s just wonderful.  Even as I was Google-ing her the other day, I found some awesome old newspapers with photos of her artwork, or articles listing the prizes she’s won.  Maybe I can even sneak over to her “studio” and get some action shots of her painting.

So Happy 85th Birthday, EZ!  It’s so nice to be up here and able to get to know you better.

EZ’s spice cake with fishy candles

fish candles

spice cake with birthday cake ice cream, delicious

I was a derelict on Saturday, and spent far more time eating pasta (along with Uncle Bobby’s incredible venison meatballs- perfectly seasoned, they tasted just like Italian sausage, and not gamey at all), and laughing as we were shooting the breeze and telling crazy stories, than taking photos.  So I don’t have too many from this past Saturday’s birthday afternoon.

yeah, we were hittin’ the hard stuff

duggs, all full after a big ole pasta dinner

some old photos were busted out, including this gem: uncle bobby, holding chad and nick, his sons and my cousins – and then me, in the pink. oh precious!

Uncle John, Happy 81st Birthday!!

My Great Uncle John celebrated his 81st Birthday at his home, a rustic log cabin (his dream cabin) out in the country… kinda near Cherry Creek, but mostly near some dairy farms and Amish folk.  He requested a birthday bonfire, so that is exactly how we celebrated. (Hence why I’ve been eating microwave s’mores lately, we brought home the leftovers).

you gotta love this man, jean overalls and everything!

happy eighty-one to you

Now, my Uncle John is a very special man.  He’s our family patriarch, and really has been my entire life.  Dynamic, witty, sassy, outstanding and incredible – there is no one on this earth like my Uncle John.  A former Marine who fought in Korea, the first ever Brut model, a Broadway star, a television actor, world-traveler, biker leather daddy, Italian-speaking, chef extraordinaire – he’s amazing.

Really amazing – and just always himself, be that cheesy, or silly, or a little bit country.

my great uncle john, blowing out his 81st birthday cake

He used to teach drama for years and years, and although recently retired from that – he’s still acting.  In fact, he has a play coming up this fall that we’re excited to see.  He’s brilliant on stage, always stealing the show.

Ahh my Uncle John.  I just smile when I type his name.  I’ve always held such a special place in my heart for him.  He’s the brother of my late Grandma Rose, whom I was named for – and who I’ve never actually met (she passed away before I was born).  I’d have to dedicate an entire blog (not just a post, an entire blog itself) into chronically properly the life and times of the one and only UJ.

So for now, I’ll just post a ton of photos I took at his 81st birthday bonfire:

gathering the fire wood

making the fire

UJ’s property, out in the quiet near cherry creek. Austin, Aunt Patty, Matthew (Duggs) + Nick

now that’s a fire

After building the fire, making s’mores, and hanging out in the cool air by the warm burning wood for hours… we decided to let it die down so we could head inside for cake and birthday gifts + cards.

side view of UJ’s cabin, his “hideaway”

uncle john’s sweet pooch

oh sweet girl – UJ was dog sitting this sweet one

oh jeez we’re silly

take two? austin, great uncle john, me and nicky

nice family pic (third time’s a charm)

austin, doing his best UJ impression

austin and UJ

playing with the doggies, go figure

It was getting late, and we were all getting loopy… so we decided to call it a night and let UJ enjoy some birthday peace.  All in all, it was a fun evening and I’m glad I could actually be up here to celebrate one of my Great Uncle’s birthdays with him (I don’t think I’ve celebrated an actual birthday with him since his 75th?).

Happy Birthday to both EZ and UJ, it’s been a blast celebrating with you Crazy 80s – but more so, it’s been a pleasure knowing you and spending time with you, always.

As always – thanks for reading! xoxo, hhr

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Fishing Fun on Lake Erie

Last weekend, for Memorial Day weekend, Duggs and I acclimated to our new surroundings here in Western New York in a wonderful way – we went fishing out on Lake Erie with Nicky (my cousin) and my Uncle Bobby (Nick’s Dad).   If you read the guest post from my hubs, Matthew, a Veteran himself, then you know we believe in having fun on Memorial Day.  So fun we did have!

Of course, it should go without saying, we thank and appreciate the sacrifice of troops past and present on Memorial Day and every day – so as well as having fun, we did take some time to pay our respects and offer up some humble prayer and thanks.

me smooching my duggs out on lake erie on memorial day

And if you read my Award Blog post the other day in which I promised to write and put up the “keep the tag moving” post – don’t hate me.  Work has been insane this week, and as I write for a living, it sometimes gets hard to also pleasure write the blog when I’m working a lot, it sucks out all my writer’s energy.  I do, however, have the draft almost completed and will publish it during the week.  Thanks for your patience!! 

Fishing on Lake Erie was beautiful and awesome, all I want to do now is go out and fish!! We also got some Chiavetta’s BBQ chicken from the local Fire Dept (when Chiavetta’s caters an event it’s so much better than when you buy the marinade and DIY at home – no idea why, it’s just how it is).

Finally, we made some BBQ Venison burgers in the crock pot for our special meal at home on Memorial Day.

All in all, it was an awesome weekend.  We went out on the Lake two different times – we got some sun, we caught some fish, we caught some junk too (haha, I’m the Goby Queen!)

Perch is the main edible fish that we caught, and we did well both days out.  I caught a lot more on Saturday than I did on Monday.  Walleye is another edible fish out in the Lake, but we sadly didn’t get any last weekend.  Goby are bad, too tiny to eat and bad for the lake (they’re invaders that are messing up the lake’s natural eco-system, ugh), I seemed to reel in plenty of them, I’m like a goby magnet.  I also was able to catch a cluster of zebra mussels, also no good to eat.  And finally, sheepshead – another crappy non-edible, throw back.

For all my vegan and vegetarian friends who know well my zeal for cruelty-free products and love of animals – I do believe in fishing and hunting as a humane way of eating animals.  I know that sounds kinda wacky, as real non-meat eaters think that all forms are cruel, but compared to factory farming and other terrible lifestyles that animals we eat endure – I think hunting and fishing fresh, wildlife is actually far preferred.  It feels more natural to me, I take comfort knowing the animal had a good life while it lasted and its death was quick and humane.

And now – the photos!!

As always, thanks for reading!! xoxo, hhr

How a CT Scan ‘Near ‘Bout Killed Me. Seriously!

After you have cancer-schmancer, they’re always going on about annual re-testing, right?  So every now and again I have to go get a CT scan.  Totally routine.  I can’t even tell you how many scans I’ve done in my lifetime, too many to count.  It’s no big deal.

pretty sweet ct scan stock photo

here's the actual machine I was in. crappy snapshot i took with my iphone on my way out the door!

Today was one such routine re-screening CT Scan.  It was up at my favorite pretty pink monolith, Tripler Army Medical Center.  And as you read on, honestly, don’t let this freak experience be a reflection of the good people of TAMC; it was a weird thing and had nothing to do with the medical staff – if anything, they handled it well to keep things from getting really out of hand, and their insanely badass high tech gear swooped in and saved the day.

a weird and terrible snapshot that I took from the car today, you can kinda see the hospital on the hill

First of all:

I should have known today was going to be awful when I met my fancy doppelgänger in the waiting room. 

I never wear metal to CT scans (so I don’t have to change into a gown, or a blue sweatsuit like the gentleman in that stock photo I posted above).  Of course this means I was wearing seven layers of clashing, brightly colored cotton.  The main gist of my outfit being polka dot leggings with a striped baby doll top.  Nice!

In walks this girl, who had the exact same ‘do as me, in the exact same way (messy black crazy hair piled on top of her head).  Wearing capris and a tunic – our silhouttes were exactly the same, same pant length, same billowy top, flip flops.  We looked really similar, except everything of mine that was threadbare, her’s was embellished.  For every friendship bracelet I wore, she had on a Yurman.  I had my usual beatdown Rainbows, she these pretty beaded and metallic sandals.  Full face of make up, gigantor diamond bling ring and (I think) fake eye lashes.

It was so wack – we could have been sisters.  But she was so … fancy!  I wish I would have discretely snapped a pic, sigh!

As soon as Bizzaro-me walked in, I should have taken it as a sign.

I should have, but then a lady bug landed on me.  YES.  In the bowels of TAMC, way way back in radiology, without so much as a window in sight, a ladybug found me.  So I thought the universe was cool with me.   Lady bugs are good luck, duh!

The Part Where I Almost Die, A Couple Times:

To do the CT scan, they have to give you an IV.  They use it for contrast to help the scans show more detail.  I’ve always found this detail of the procedure very annoying.

You should know, I HAVE DREADFUL VEINS.

The average blood draw takes at least three attempts.  A recent visit took seven.  Starting an IV is even worse.  My veins are very very tiny, they roll and move; worst of all – they are scarred, badly.

IV Attempt #1

The kind gentleman puts on the tourniquet.  Ya know that icky-cut-off feeling your hand gets while the tourniquet is on?  I get that feeling.  He goes to stick the needle in, and that dead-hand feeling gets magnified.  He sees the flash (the spurt of blood indicating that he has in fact, struck a vessel), he pulls out the needle.

Mistake: he tries to “float” the cath in.  Bad move.  My veins move too much, floating always hurts and it’s never fruitful.

So anyways, that weird I-can’t-feel-my-hand-feeling magnifies.  He’s removed the tourniquet though, so I don’t understand why the blood flow isn’t returning.  I start to feel “weird.” He notices.

He asks if I’m okay.

I insist I am.

And then… WEIRD FUZZY TUNNEL VISION. FAINTING IS IMMINENT. 

I have had more IV sticks, blood draws, you name it, than one could count: hundreds, literally!  I’ve had hours and hours of tattoo work, surgeries, etc.  I have never ever passed out.  Never!  But today was my day… and I was going down fast.

He had to bust out the vapors. Smelling salts! Ammonia.

I felt like such a swooning damsel circa Scarlett; today Tripler was my Tara.

it probably looked JUST like this

He waved the ammonia under my nose, and things got better.  I honestly have no idea what happened.  It was just so weird.  And I kept repeating that over and over again, “this is so weird.”  I just felt all clammy, shaky, yucky.

He insists that for the second IV attempt, we’ll wait till I’m on the table – so that I’m lying down, so if I pass out again I don’t get hurt.  I was so embarrassed. But I mean, I didn’t want to pass out and fall down.

I’ll admit, during the whole thing – my hand was, well, it was dying.  It was purple and I couldn’t feel it.  It felt like every time your hand “falls asleep” times a million, and nothing I did would get that blood flow back.  I thought I was Captain Hook in the making, Johnny Tremaine (well, he’s just a welded hand… not total loss from elbow down).  I had this whole scenario flash before my eyes in which I was going to lose my hand.  And then the other part was being way too specific about it – wondering, how are they going to fix this? what do they do to get the blood to go back into my hand? how long will I be in the ER? who will take JJ outside? how can I text Duggs to tell him what’s happening if my hand is dying? and so on.

My mind was swimming in the minutia.  But it all happened in a minute or two.

On to attempt on my life #2:

hey where the party at

I move to the procedure room, with the CT machine.  I’m on the table and he goes for IV attempt number two.  Tourniquet.  Needle.  Flash.

Then the dreaded phrase… “Umm, (so-and-so), could you hand me ehhm, that towel? Yeah? Thanks…”

Why is the man starting my IV in need of a towel?

The room I’m in is freezing.  So they’ve bundled me in these blankets.  I’m laying down on this narrow gurney, the one that will slide in and out of the CT machine.  So when he’s starting my IV, I can’t really see what’s going on.  I can feel, but it just feels normal.

So why the towel?

He accidentally punctured an artery. 

IVs = intra-VENOUS.  Vein, not artery.  He went in the wrong vessel, and according to him, “bright red blood was spurting out… spraying in rhythm with your pulse.”

So cool!

Except not when it’s happening to me.

He had to hold pressure for 25 minutes to get it to stop bleeding.  He was so embarrassed.  Poor guy, rough day on the job for him.

Don’t worry, those were the only attempts on my life.  But the fun didn’t stop.

They called in another guy to try and start an IV for the third time.  He missed, of course.  But not without taking his sweet time, flicking and smacking my arms, leaving the tourniquet on for unbearable amounts of time, and sassing me!

I TOLD him not to go where he went.  I KNOW which veins suck… tsk tsk.  Not my fault.

So yeah.  He tried in the exact same spot that attempt #1 happened.  Not only is that slightly uncomfortable (yeah, they literally ripped the bandage off and went rooting around in the same spot, again with the obscene “floating” technique)… but that weird dead hand happened again.

This time I didn’t pass out though.  Close.  I got fuzzy and tunnel vision, but no big dramatic moment.

I still can’t figure it out.  My dad says maybe it was arterial on that side too?  Maybe I had some weird reaction and my B/P just dropped?  I have VERY VERY low blood pressure anyways.  Not eating all day probably didn’t help.  So that makes sense.   And they did go in the same spot twice.

I’m just glad I didn’t pee my pants.

How they redeemed themselves?

A nice lady came in with a fancy portable ultrasound.  She was able to see where my veins were, and she got one started.  In my upper arm, 1.75 centimeters deep!

I know what you’re thinking: that sure sounds freakishly deep for an IV. 

Oh. It is.  She could only find the vein that deep with the special equipment, and she had to inject lidocaine into my arm to go in that deep.  It was absurd.  She was very nice, and honestly, I was just glad to be on with it.

there's the super long cath held up next to my hand afterward. the tech let me take a pic, and we used my hand to compare the size. that was in my arm, eww!

What a WEIRD day.

So finally, after an hour of trying to start an IV – the CT scan was on.

I couldn’t get out of there fast enough!

here i am leaving, getting out of there as fast as i can!

Ultimately, I escaped today’s routine procedure with life and limb.   I ran out of there and hurried home so I could eat.  That kind of fasting is just torture on me.

Figured I would share the ever dramatic and exciting events of my life.  I don’t have any results of the scan yet, but I’m assuming/predicting it will be just fine.  I have nothing to tip me off as to otherwise, and it was just routine.  (I try not to dwell on these kinds of things too much these days, because re-tests of any sort used to send me into a tizzy).

That’s all for today.  Enjoy your weekend everyone!

xoxo, hhr

calling all geeks and nerds. who can write. nerdy writers wanted! asap!

One of my co-workers passed around this meme from memebum.com that outlines the core differences between geeks and nerds.  The full thing is better, but just to get a taste, here’s a little screen shot for ya:

I tried to decipher the signs and symptoms, and I’m just so torn.  I’m both-ish. According to my husband I’m a gerd.  Which, figuring that GERD is a gastrointestinal disorder, it seems almost fitting for me.

Mostly though, I’m a dork.  I’m very very dorky.  Always have been.  I have my nuances of social awkwardness, the kinda thing where I played Barbies till I was like 17, that kind of stuff.  When you meet me in person or hang out with me, I usually tend to be pretty affable, actually.  I don’t come across as a rocket scientist or some weird niche snob (at least I wish I did, or I hope I don’t, respectively).

But, I like geekery.  I like nerdery.  I appreciate both.

So what about you? Are you a geek or a nerd or a Klingon?

I ask, because there’s a place that’s very special to me that is looking for new writers.  And if you’re both a geek and a writer, or just someone who likes shows and stuff… maybe this is a good fit for you?

There are a couple places on this big old Interwebs for which I write. One such place is here, happy hippie rose, obvs.  The other has been around a lot longer, is much bigger than me and this little blog, and it totally allows me to unleash my inner fanboy.

I’m a staff writer over at Fandomania.com

What is this Fandomania?  It’s sort of a haven for geek, freaks, nerds, dorks and everyone in between.  Gamer types, comic book types, hey-I-just-watch-Dexter-but-I’m-still-very-cool types. They cover a lot of range.

The site delves into fandoms, the phenomena of loving a series, a book, a TV show, a character, whatever it is that you could possibly be a fan of –  and everything that makes the heart of a fan tick.

So what do you think?

Check out their open call for writers HERE.

Fandomania is a multi-genre, multi-media website written and run by fans for fans. We’re into everything from sci-fi to fantasy to action, and we cover everything from movies and TV to comics and games. We post a lot of reviews, but what we’re looking for this time is a good group of folks who can write non-review articles to share with your fellow fans. Editorials, educational posts, lists, and general fandom related bloggery are the things we want. If you are opinionated, stay informed, have creative ideas about your geekiness, and are a great writer, we want to hear from you.

 

I’ve been with Fandomania for years now, and I just love it.  It’s a wonderful community of bright, fun, funny folks and it’s been a pleasure being a part of their inner circle.

I recently wrote this really personal Harry Potter essay. I’d love for you to check it out.  I’d love to have a conversation about it.  And there are other pieces, by other writers over there who’d love to chat too.

So, calling all geeks and nerds, go check out Fandomania!!

she’s going the distance…

She’s [not] going for speed.

Oh man, did I go running yesterday.  Yesterday evening, actually. I had an epic run! 

Did you read Friday’s blog, about how I was reading the awesome marathoner-in-training blog (SmilesAcrossTheFinish) and in doing so I got all pumped up to train harder?  (Woah, I just went all blog-within a blog-within a blog, there. Woah.)

we headed out right as the sun was setting, a perfect time to go

So yeah, for those who aren’t caught up on my crappy ramblings: I’m feeling all driven to try and run harder.

Before we go any further, YES, I love Cake.  And if you think I mean the baked batter with buttercream, while you are correct (I love that cake), I really meant Cake.  The title of this post is from a Cake song.  They’re totally in my list of top 25 all time bands.  I should totally make that list sometime.

Anyways, about running: given my current health dilemma and meds, I’m not sure how consistently dedicated I will end up being, but I’ll be damned if I’m not gonna give it the ole college try and then some.  I’m totally down to play through the pain.  And while I honestly do keep my health in consideration, I don’t want to use it as an excuse or to sell myself short.  It’s a rather delicate balance.

I have a goal for workouts per month, and I really want to push myself, even on those days I feel crappy or am having pain.  Sometimes, running or working out, even helps the pain.

I mean, if ever there was a girl rip roarin’ and ready to push the limits, ignore doctor’s orders and warning, disregard the notion of resting/taking it easy, and push through pain because she has the world’s highest pain tolerance – it’s ME!

I was honestly motivated and I had an AMAZING Friday-evening run.

me, making a REALLY weird face before i go running

weirdo

jj lookin' so so fresh

We ran for 63 minutes without stopping.  That may seem really small and insignificant to you, but for me – that was one whopper of a run!  I didn’t walk AT ALL.  And neither did lil’ pooch.

I won’t tell you how far I actually made it during that time.  That would be too embarassing. But, I did discover some nuances about my threshold and I feel like I have a baseline to start from.  I feel so pumped, that I actually want to go running now.

For everyone motivating me, THANK YOU!  I feel so good, and I hope the momentum keeps pushing me forward.

post-run stretch, feeling like a champ!

my sneaks eat miles

Is that hardcore or what?  My sneaks eat miles.  That sounds sew B.A.

from 2008: i was an animal then. still one now!

On Running.

I just read this amazing blog about the NY Marathon, about a father and his daughter, and more than three decades of marathons.   The mommy blogger writing the post has been accepted to run this years NYM, and amidst amazing vintage pics of her dad running in the 70’s and 80’s, she explains her drive to become a marathoner herself.

Did you click my link and read it?  Anyways… I wrote the following in her comments section:

I got misty-eyed reading this. What an awesome, lovely, heartfelt post. And those 70′s pics of your dad are SUCH a treasure.

I come from swimming stock. My dad swam, so I swam. And I’ve always been pretty okay at it. Good enough to get onto the teams I needed and place a little bit, but never awesome.

In my early 20′s I messed around with triathlons for a bit. I tried training for a marathon while I was in great shape, and I broke my leg – well, stress fracture, anyways.

Years later… lots of excuses, health issues, etc. I’ve found myself so gravitated to the simplicity of running. All I *need* is my sneaks, and I can go. No pool to drive to, no bike maintenance. Just feet on the pavement.

I live in Hawaii and it’s AMAZING to go outdoor running everyday. I live on a military base, and the commitment to healthy living is so cool. Everyone runs.

I take my dog, and we do 3-4 miles, on a variety of hills, mountains, beach paths, and roads. It’s enough to make me sweat, to clear my head, and to make my legs gets so swollen with quad muscles that my jeans are too tight.

This post is SO INSPIRING to take it up a notch. To really train.

So should I?  I mean, am I brave enough to really train?  I’m not sure.  I want to be.  I feel like I need to be… I’ve always been the kind of athlete that succeeds only via dedication; once my heart goes, my body will follow.

I’d love to step it up a notch, build my endurance, focus on getting faster.  I do a teensy bit of speed work and it always whoops me.  But maybe that’s good.  Oh honestly, I KNOW it’s good.

this is my view when i go joggin

Story Time! 

I mentioned that I messed around with tri’s for a bit.  Triathlons are fun, they’re hard, they can be super exciting… but mostly, there’s a lot of process there.  (Anyone who knows me, knows that I hate anything that’s a process).

To be real about tri’s you have to train in all three areas, and when it comes to the swimming you’d better train in a pool and in open water.  Luckily for me, I’ve always lived within quick access to open water.  You have to keep your bike in good shape, and you have to actually know crap about bikes.  You gotta practice transitions.  There’s just so much gear and stuff going on, it’s intense.

After I graduated from UNF, my first job was working in a call center for AOL.  I sat there with a headset on, getting yelled at from people who wanted to cancel their accounts, and my job – working in retention – was to convince them of why they needed their AOL accounts.  The HORROR.  No one needs an AOL account, and I damn well knew that, but it was awesome pay and it was easy (for me), and you could wear whatever you wanted, and they had an air hockey table.  (Seriously, AOL suck millions into figuring out what made employees like their workplace, and thus they had all of these amazing perks, like a free gym, and BBQ grills so that you could bring a raw steak with you and grill it up for lunch, arcade games that didn’t require coinage, a special room for BFing and pumping, it was honestly off the chain).

Eventually AOL closed up shop, relocated our jobs to India and we all got severance packages.  All those perks + the sweet pay was adding up to too much, of course.

We showed up for work one day and the building was all closed up, and there were a series of little stations we were instructed to go through.  One was a lecture about the severance packages, another about how to make or update a resume, and so on.

SEVERANCE PACKAGES CAN BE SO RAD.

They let us go in April (I think), and my package was for 3 months pay, and healthcare till July 31st.  Or Aug 31st.  Something like that.

For all of the real grownups who had kids and mortgagees, who had worked there for 16 years… the three months was crap.  Like, total crap.  So bad.

But for me, who was young and dumb and had only been there three months – it was crazy awesome.

So for three months, I made training my fulltime job.  I was making money, so why not.  I started with two-a-days and added in extra sessions of stretching or transition practice.  I already owned a roadbike (cycling was huge in college, thanks to Pi Kappa Phi)… I already knew how to swim, and even though I sucked at running, I knew how to do it.

So I trained.  I was at the beach swimming miles.  I was running and biking all over. And then when I raced in some local sprint tri’s, I really enjoyed myself.

In one race, I was the first female out of the water.

And then I came in near dead-last.  I was that BAD at running.

(Story time is winding up, I promise.)

I’ve always hated running, but I’ve just done it anyways.  Or forced myself to.  During every phase of my life, since middle school, I’ve run.  And I’ve always been super slow!  It was a weakness during lifeguarding, for sure.  But luckily for me, I am a sprinter, and in lifesaving situations, it’s a quick sprint that you need; I can manage a decent sprint.

I ran track in high school, and I was a sprinter for sure.  The only white girl on the team doing the teensy short races.  I did hurdles too.  Oh man, that was a mess.  It’s because I was tall and I have long stems.  But it’s not like I’ve EVER been coordinated.

But running was always a means to an end.  It was always secondary to swimming, something I did to cross-train.  It was a filler, to get some cardio in.  It became something I had to do, to get a job in ocean rescue.  (And because my swimming was so strong I could hit the water after a dead sprint and be good to go, I actually catch my breath by swimming).

i' m a mermaid, basically. a fish!

There have been two phases in my life that I actually focussed on running.

Once was with my roomie and collegiate pal, Megan Millar.  She and I were training to do a TNT Marathon.  A coupld things kept us from our goal, 1) the crazy high fundraising requirements, and 2) that’s when I got that stress fracture, I had been training on a broken leg for weeks, wondering why it hurt so much, but just icing it and then running again.  Megs and I had so much fun running.  We’d start in Neptune Beach and run all the way to Ponte Vedra, running along First Street, passing by all the people BBQing and hanging out.  It was always fun.  It the first time in my life that I embraced distance running, and I actually found that I love it.

here's a pic of megs and me, back when we were roomies and runners

The other time was when I was training to get in shape with my friend Stu.  Stu is a super awesome speedy cross-country runner, who won all kinds of races in college.  He’s so fast.  Stu and I became training partners, swimming and running together.  Me pushing him in the pool, him pushing me on the trails.  Stu taught me so much about running, and he really helped me to overcome my weaknesses of fearing distance and going way too slow.  Stu was an amazing trainer, and I’d give a lot to be able to run with him again, good times.

here's me and stu

So now what?  (Yeah, my vapid rambling is over).

I want to push myself.  I want to wake up early and train first thing.  I want to “train” instead of “jogging.”   I want to actually see what I have left in me and see what it can do.

I’m gonna marinate on this and come up with something.  I did resolve to make fitness important this year.  So perhaps this is how, I commit to running and getting into some distance stuff and racing.

I’ll update as I firgure it out.  But for now, consider me MOTIVATED!

as always, thanks for reading! xoxo, hhr

seek and ye shall find

Seriously, who are you?  Who are you people who keep typing in these random, intriguing, relevant, and sometimes wacky terms into Google and find me?

Warning: foul language ahead. ish. 

Seek and Ye Shall Find

Every time I check out my blog stats, a task made super easy-peasy via WordPress, I notice the list of search terms that have landed a reader or two or sixty my way.   And it more than piques my curiosity, I want to know who you are.  Really, I do!

When you type in porphyria, I want to know you! 

Do you have porphyria?  Are you searching on behalf of someone you know?  I hate seeing that you’ve found me via the very mechanism that creates my blood, differing me from so many and yet likening to so many (it’s a genetic blood disease, yo, get it?)… and you don’t SAY HI.

Who are you?  Whatcha doin here? Do you agree with what I’ve posted? Have I helped clarify something? Wanna be friends?

I like when people search for “vegan recipe crock pot banana” and find me. Yeah! One of my all time most popular posts is about my steel cut oats crock pot cookery.  Lots of people look for something to do with chicken, chile and lime in a crockpot too.  That’s so rad, I like sharing recipes.

Tons of readers come a-looking for tie dye, tie dye instructions, how to start a tie dye business, and with tie dye questions.  Seeing as I am a super rad tie dye expert, I’m totes cool with that.

There are tons of fun search terms. 

When you type in something fun, or cool, or a word that denotes we have something in common – I sure do wish you’d leave a comment.  That would be rad, and polite!

Lotsa crafters, OCM inquiries, hiking and Hawaii stuff – that’s all pretty much stuff I expect.

this is beyond defining

I like that my blog name is in two of top four All Time terms.  I think that’s good?  It means people are seeking me out purposefully.  I do like that.  But if you are one of those, who are you?  Are you my aunt or a friend from home? Maybe a work colleague who wanted to check out my ramblings?  Regardless, feel free to holler!

And then there’s the crazies.  Some screen shots from my “Search Engine Terms” section:

better than paying for it. i guess?

yikes. REALLY?

And let’s be clear… the seeker of scar-related porn has searched thrice in the last seven days.  Or worse, there’s three of y’all out there.  Woof.

And hippie porn?  Really?  I mean, I know that if you imagine it exists, it can and does.  But what are we talkin here?  People with dreads and beanies? Woodstock photos?  Haha… I don’t want to know, actually.

And now to lure some fun new readers, I will type a list of random words and phrases that may reel in some cool new people:

  • crock pot master chef
  • peace be with you
  • smokey eye addict
  • porphyria patient seeks pals
  • quack attack is back, jack
  • super trendy awesome writer
  • hawaiian sun tan
  • hot pink nail polish
  • free GOOD hippie porn
  • just kidding on that last one

So more than likely you found your way here from a link.  Or your purposefully went and mashed my url into your browser bar (yeah, maybe that’ll make me searchable for geek porn)?

Whatever you’ve done, I appreciate you reading.  You’ve totally given me a kick, and you keep me laughing.   No matter how you got here, well almost no matter how, I am ever grateful for your readership.  I mean that.

As always, thanks for reading. xoxo, hhr

A Year of Fashions, my 2011 wacky wardrobe review

Okay, okay… I’m still on the 2011 review stuff.  I’m behind, so shoot me!  This next one will be the last of the 2011 stuff, and then it’s totally onward to 2012, all my focus going into this awesome New Year we have.  (I am such a sucker for reminiscing, though).

This one is a bit of a joke, a suggestion from a good friend and blog reader, who has had to bear with my incredulous fashion choices in person.  If any of you who know me read this, I’m assuming you’ll just laugh.  When it comes to style, I certainly have one all my own!

yeah, i own overalls! and i love them. oh, i LOVE clothing with pockets, its a must-have.

Words aren’t really needed when the photos say it all.  2011 was an interesting, bright, and experimentally fashioned year for me.

The clothes!!!

A Year of Fashions: My 2011 Wacky Wardrobe

Where do I shop?

American Apparel, Free People, and J. Crew for a lot of my basics.  The J. Crew stuff I’ve had for YEARS, but simple layering solids like tanks and long sleeve tissue tees never go out of style.

The bandannas and knee socks have been in my wardrobe for a while, other than tie dye – they’re totes signatures of my casual attire.   I’ve always loved knee socks, since I was a kid.  I think it’s from liking anime when I was little, and Sailor Moon always wore tall socks, and I wanted to look exactly like her (and when I went to Asia in the 90’s, I was told that I DID look like her, which was the greatest confirmation evar!)

I thrift, a lot.  I believe in up-cycling, and finding new life for something instead of discarding it.  I haven’t purchased a pair of NEW jeans since 2007.  I haven’t purchased NEW leather since 2008, a commitment I made!  (Now, I did have a new leather purse gifted to me for Christmas, and I’m in dire need of good running shoes… so we’ll see what happens.)

I try to avoid made-in-china stuff, but that’s hard to do.

And finally, I tie dye my own stuff, but of course.

Thanks for looking and reading today.  Happy New Year everyone, may 2012 be a year of wonderful things, quirky fashion included!

xoxo, hhr

2011 in review, according to wordpress (stats on my blog!)

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 19,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

IVs and tie dye, never a dull moment for the happy hippie rose

Hi readers! I have so much to catch you up on.

It’s been a hectic weekend of house guests, handicrafts and health scares.  (I so love alliteration, literally love).

First of all, one of my darling friends is staying with us.  I love her, she makes me laugh and having her here has been so fun.  Now, I did do some tidying and cleaning to prep for her arrival, and I do always have this sorta of perfectionist drive to make sure anyone in my home – whether just stopping by or living with me – is comfortable, happy, and accommodated.  I truly believe in the art of hospitality.

So I was busy getting ready for the arrival of my friend…. when I got a phone call from the Women’s Pastor of our church.

Turns out: I’ve been invited to sell my tie dye at my Church’s Women’s Ministry event that’s happening this evening, Monday, December 5th.  I love my church’s women’s group so much.  And I’m super excited about this event.  And, the chance to sell tie dye to a group of people, in person is so wow for me.  So exciting!  I even wrote a silly, frantic blog about it all.

But, alas, this all isn’t exactly what life had in store for me.

I woke up Friday morning not feeling so well.  Not feeling well at all.  I decided to give it a couple hours and see how I did…

I ended up in the ER.  I got some sugar and some fluids, they did a ton of tests.  And they watched me for a little while.  It was pretty fun.  Not!

love in the ER

They eventually let me go.  But it was a crummy weekend as far as my health goes.  I wasn’t feeling so hot.  And yet I had so much tie dye to make!!!

But where there’s a will, there’s a way.  I made so many new pieces, experimented with a new-to-me technique, and I got a LOT done.

I have to run out the door, but I can’t wait to show off the new things we created.  And I’m proud of myself for hanging in until today.  If I have to go back to the hospital tomorrow, so be it – my goal was to stay out until after the women’s event!

As always, thanks for reading! xoxo, hhr