How Does Our Garden Grow?

As a child we ALWAYS had a vegetable garden, a rather large one in my opinion. My parents would plant tomatoes,

On planting day!

On planting day!

cucumbers, peppers (bell and jalapeno), green beans, strawberries (that never really did well), pumpkins, squash and I am sure there were some experimental items throughout the years that I am forgetting. My sister and I loved it, picking tomatoes from the garden while we played, selling the abundance of cucumbers to the parents at band camp next to our home, the dinners of just corn on the cob, tomatoes and cucumbers.  I have many fond memories that center around that spring ritual, my parents still at the least get tomatoes in the ground.

Eleven years ago I purchased my home, and promised myself I would have a garden. The benefits are numerous, the plants aren’t expensive, seeds even less, the return financially has to be 1000% (math is not my strength but you get the idea). In that eleven years I have had exactly 2 tomato plants and both died on me before they produced anything. Somehow the spring turns into summer so quickly and I realize that I have once again missed the planting window. This year however I decided it didn’t matter, summer seems to be lasting a little longer now. Two weekends ago when I was buying mulch I could smell the tomato plants at Home Depot, and just my luck they were on sale! I quickly snatched up tomatoes (big boys and cherry),  cucumbers (burpless, who knew?), zucchini and yellow squash. I had at home already pumpkin seeds from last Halloween, provided by mom.

My girls were so excited to learn that we would have a garden this summer ~ I think mostly their excitement was the watering can, but that’s part of the responsibility of a garden. I selected this back corner of the yard hoping that the dog wouldn’t trample it.  Our soil is less than desirable, it’s mostly clay and full of rocks, I have lost over the years countless annuals to the point that I no longer waste money on them; however for this I dug as deep as I could and mixed in some top soil, placing each plant in scooping the rich dirt around and though  my dad always used cut grass, I mulched it; fingers crossed this helps keep the moisture in between waterings.

As of yesterday, the plants that my dog haven’t trampled are doing well! The squash is hanging on by a thread, I hope my neighbors like that new dog they decided to get without asking me (they stand in that corner and bark at each other all day).  Last night I decided to put our old table as protection over it until this weekend when I can come up with a better solution. The pumpkins are about 2″-3″ tall already and I am certain should they produce I will be able to outfit most of my neighbors with them for fall. The marigolds are beginning to sprout (rabbit deterrent).

Every morning before work I walk out there and give them a good drink, and again in the evening when I get home. I love the aroma of tomato foliage, I lean in to smell it every time I water. The girls are enjoying seeing the seeds sprout and ask where are the vegetables? Patience my little’s patience.



One Year of Timed Events

Happy Fourth of July…a few days late.

This past Friday I celebrated one year of timed events.  My mother asked me if I had a goal, of cours20140705-075059-28259492.jpge I did to improve over my time from last year.

I know I went out too fast, my perfectly arranged playlist was all ready to keep me . My mother showed up, that was a surprise as she is recovering from a rather intense shoulder surgery,  she gave me a hug and wished me luck.

First song: Lose Yourself, a mile in I knew I had gone out too fast, 10:10.  The  first place finisher passed me at 15 minutes; at the three mile mark I saw my sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew – it was just .14 to the finish, last song Titanium.  When I stopped my watch I was very pleased to see that I had improved over my last years time:

2013: 786/875     (414/489 women)                                     39:08

2014: 578/780    (275/419 women) (9/27 Athena)       33:46

My improvement: 5:22 faster



My Family: Myself, Scott, Piper and Ailey


When the adult run was finished they had a kids fun run and my nephew has shown interest in running,  my sister is doing a C25K with him, he made a good showing and I love that he is wanting to try this. They are planning to do the Color Run in Cincinnati in August, I can’t wait to see how they enjoy it!

As he and I walked hand and hand back to where we all parked he asked if I had won. I had to think for a minute and then I explained to him that I will more than likely never win an event, and I don’t run to win, I do it for my health, to build stronger muscles, to help with my weight, to give me more energy and to challenge myself.

In hindsight I did win.  In the last year I have lost 30#, I have lost inches off my body, my legs aren’t much smaller but they are leaner, I worked through an injury that made me push back a goal, I’ve learned to listen to my body, and to look up instead of down, to lead with my heart, to drink while running (that’s a challenge all in itself), I’ve made the conscious choice to make running part of me, I own every mile I log; and while I will never be first, I know what it feels like to be last, I know what it feels like to cry with pride and frustration, I know what it feels like to cross the finish line knowing I put all of me out there and get every bit back.


A huge shout out to the husband (see him up there) he has lost 60# this year!


New Dresses

This past weekend I went to Kohl’s, it’s the only store close by to shop at that isn’t the Wal *Mart, sometimes I just go to look around and have a little space from the kids. This particular trip I was actually going to the bank, my employer does not believe in Direct Deposit (what year is it???) Anyhow since I was so close, and I was kiddo free I figured it was worth a little lookie see.

I love dresses, almost as much as I love jeans. I pawed through every rack, strapless, sleeveless, short and long, tube top, racer back, fancy and casual; a plethora of colors and sizes and oh my patterns, somethings I will never be trendy enough for. I had my mind made up there wasn’t anything right for me today and that’s OK, while in loss mode I rarely buy something until it’s absolutely necessary, but then it caught my eye. Mint green and navy blue stripes! Contrary to popular belief stripes do not make me look wider; I frowned there was only
1 and it was a medium. Medium is the size I order at Dairy Queen, I’d really like a large and should order a mini…oh right the dress. There was a blue and black in large so I figured try that on and if I like it I can order it online. Much to my surprise it was too big! A large was too big!!! I slipped the medium on and it hugged me perfectly. My hips are wide, before kids and after, my shoulders broad, and I have a nice tan from my morning runs…I can’t remember the last time I smiled in a fitting room.

I wore it to work Monday and received many compliments, in fact I went back and got the blue and black also.

As a notorious “fatkid” I often forget that the right fit even on an imperfect body makes a HUGE impact.

A selfie of me in the blue and black and the ad for the other one…I’d wear them every day!


It’s Official – Half Marathon Training Has Begun

Saturday I officially added a half marathon training program to my Run Keeper. When I signed up for the Queen Bee I counted the weeks I had until then and knew that the weekend of the 15th was the time to begin. It’s 16 weeks with 4 runs a week, I will probably still do my 5-6, I need that for my sanity.  The program has a lofty goal of completing this 13.1 mile journey in 2 hours and 15 minutes, I will be very happy with anything under 2-1/2 hours.

Sunday was designated as the first day, and a rest day at that, but I went out both Saturday and Sunday logging 10 miles, 7 of the 10 were under 12 minutes! I felt really good about that, it took me most of last year to get to 11:22 as my average pace, experience and passion has helped me get there a little quicker this year.

My feet feel good, my legs felt strong, I am not in love with my new shoes so there is research and fitting to be done on that front.

Yesterday was a rest day, I could feel that I needed it. I was in the Dollar Store getting ice, I had on this new dress I gifted myself (I will admit it looks dam good on me), she said:

Lady: “You must have been at the pool today!’

Me: “Um nope”

Laday: “Oh, tanning bed!”

Me: “Nope.”

Lady: “Well you are very tan.”

Me: ” Yes ma’am, I am a runner, I run a lot.”

Lady: “Oh that’s nice, I walk five miles a week! That’s a lot!”

Me: “That is and it’s so good for you! Congratulations. I run 20-25 miles a week.”

Lady: <silence>

I just smiled and she paid and left. I know by many runners what I log a week isn’t that much, for me it’s an accomplishment every day.



Mental Health – It’s a trap!

I was given some homework – to review a series of Mind Traps …”Many feelings such as sadness, anxiety and anger are caused and kept alive by the conclusion that we make. Sometimes we make wrong conclusions over and over because we are stuck in mind traps that rob us of our ability to be logical.”

All-or-Nothing Thinking, filtering and Selective Abstraction, Catastrophizing, Self-References, Arbitrary Inference & Temporal Causality, Emotional Reasoning, Overgeneralization, Mind Reading, Excessive Responsibility, Labeling, I Should, Poisoning the Positive, They Should, Magnification or Minimization, Unfair Comparisons, Fortune Telling, and Thought as Things.

Over the next two weeks I have to think about the documentation for each and choose the ones I am most guilty of.

We discussed my opinion of myself the last session and he asked what I liked about myself, who ever thinks about that? I came up with my tattoos and my interaction with my children. This time we talked more about my sabotaging my own happiness, and why I do it, my struggle with failure and acceptance. Somewhere along the line I have taught myself to worry so much that it has become counter productive and not the normal worry, not the worry most people have.

I talked myself out of worrying this past weekend, I kept the promises I made myself, I didn’t cry and I didn’t worry. My patience is still incredibly thin, I get frustrated and can’t think straight, but I am controlling my anger, I am keeping quiet until it subsides and then calmly react to the situation.

I am gonna call this mild progress.






500th mile

Yesterday was the Redlegs 10K, they also offered and elite 5k, 5k run/walk, a family fun run/walk and a kids on field run, all of these events raised over $200K for the Reds Community fund that supports youth baseball in the Cincinnati area. No way would I pass up a chance to get the view Chapman does as he runs in, as my cross over the finish line.

It was not a record breaking run, I didn’t PR , but it was another 6 miles in my bank and I didn’t realize until I finished that half way through as I crossed over the bridge into Newport I ran my 500th mile, (Insert a little pride and a big smile).


Next event is the Fourth of July 5K in the town where I grew up, also this event was my first race ever. I completed it in 36:14, my goal is to finish this year in under 33 minutes.

I raged, I cried, I ate…

When I started this blog I promised myself it would be an honest account of my battle with food,  so here is my latest trial.

The last two weeks have been emotionally hard.

My husband and I have had a “stressor” introduced into our lives, something from the past that he had gotten advice on and are now realizing that it was bad advice. The day I learned about this I was really having a great day I had been up early to run, I had gotten a review unexpectedly and a small raise, I was so excited to tell the hubs all about it and then he hit me with the news…our whole world went upside down.

I raged, I cried, I ate….

That has pretty much been the cycle for the better part of two weeks; I have been so up and down over this that I actually became sick and have not been able to eat for the last two days, everything makes me feel ill. That being said, I stand in the kitchen and look at food, I think about how delicious some chocolate covered almonds would be, how a burrito bowl from Chipolte would be amazing,  and then I feel guilty, without having eaten any of it! I lay there in bed sick to my stomach and lusted after food, I was seeking comfort. I gave in last night and had a bowl of soup. The first bite my stomach soured at the contents I introduced to it, the second bite wasn’t much better, I finished the whole bowl – my body was telling me “no” my head told me “go ahead”.


I felt just like this!


I can’t eliminate stress from my life, it’s just not possible, but I believe that I can teach myself to manage it appropriately.  Over the next few weeks I am going to keep in mind that when a moment arises and I am tempted how my stomach felt when I ate that soup.

On the running front I have a week until my first 10K of the season, I have been out a few days each week, slowly getting back up to a more regular schedule as to not push my foot too hard. I had one run this week un-taped and I am eagerly awaiting a new pair of shoes, mine have well exceeded their 300 mile limit.

Weight progress…I am sitting right at 210. I suppose that’s not terrible all things considered. I haven’t gained anything this last two weeks, haven’t lost either.







Kettle Danish and 10%

No Carb Update Week One: Considering that we had new flooring installed in our kitchen, my bathroom and our little entry way, my house being a total mess (clean up still in process) and the stress of being all over the place to eat and prep meals because I insisted on pre-packing things we don’t use often to put into storage to make our “HOUSE FOR SALE” project go smoother…I did really well until Friday.

Friday is donut day at work. The management says it’s “quality control” since we manufacture the boxes for the bigger local bakeries. Every Friday in through the door around 9:30 are two 16x11x3 donut boxes from Busken Bakery, Graeter’s (they have better baked goods than ice cream in my opinion) and Servatii. I have discovered since working here that I love a Kettle Danish. I have made a deal with myself that’s the only item I am allowed to take from the box, if there isn’t one, I pass. But on no carb week, there is no exception??? I decided against it, I was hungry, and it was from my all time favorite Graeter’s. I thought about it for a good 20 minutes before I even took it from the box. Then I let it sit on a paper plate for another 15-20 minutes, drinking a bottle of water before I took a single bite. Then I just tore off the corner, and another bit, and another, until I was left with thisImage

My stomach was killing me, I didn’t really think that 4 days of changed eating would make me feel this ill from something I really enjoy. I let that sit in front of me for another hour, and then sadly I put it into the trash can. I couldn’t eat my lunch, my stomach was that upset. I am sure it will be quite some time before I take more than a sniff of one of these treats again.


On the exercise front  I have finally reached my 10% running goal for this year. I have to admit it’s been a tough road, and that 700 miles for the year goal I set for myself I foolishly thought would be an underestimation of what I would actually accomplish this year. With approximately 6 months give or take of running weather remaining I will have to log over 100 miles a month.

Last week I had my first five miler, I just wanted to be back within an hour. It was the first really humid night we have had, and I felt it, I was exhausted and emotional when I walked back through my front door. Then the anxiety set in regarding how my foot would feel in the morning, I stretched and massaged the muscle after a hot bath…next morning, very little discomfort. I have since logged another five miler and a 2.25 back to back and feel pretty confident that the 20 miles I want for this week is doable.

First event is 18 days away, my goal is  1:04 or less for a 10K, which for me is fast – my PR is 1:05, that was last Sept on an injured foot so I have high hopes of meeting this time.

My second hope for this first event (Cincinnati Reds Redlegs run) is to have my husband at the finish line, he’s never been with me to a race, and though I am never going to be the winner, the fastest it would mean the world to me for him to be there when I am done. He makes it possible for me to log longer runs, I have to do them in the evenings and weekends, he hangs with the kids often making dinner and giving baths; for him to see what he enables me to do…well I think it would be kinda special.


No Carb! #oscarthegrouch

All my life I’ve battled the bulge, being fluffy, curvy, thick, and oh let’s not forget my favorites of big boned and athletic. The past 15 months is the longest that I have had a decent loss and not regained it all, I must have finally made it to a stage in my life where I can control it somehow, I also realized that sometimes the addition of something new provides a kick start to wave of progress. Last year it was running, which I depend on for my exercise. I’ve looked into several new things, this time it had to be a new food adventure. I decided this weekend to try an Adkins-ish type of induction. The next two weeks I have planned out a virtually no carb menu.

Tonight I made several dozen of these amazing mini egg muffins. Inside these are a smorgasbord of veggies: peppers, squash, spinach, chives, mushrooms, asparagus, cheese and bacon. My oldest and husband taste tested and I got two thumbs up! As I venture ahead into this new world of no carbs, once again allowed a little mayo, more than a tablespoon of cheese, proteins, and veggies I am excited to cook new dinners and hopefully boost myself closer to my goal!!

There is A Pond, In the middle of the forest…

Monday afternoon came along and I was here reading some of the blogs I love and came across a post from stuffmybrainthinks she posted a link to Oprah and Deepak’s Meditation Experience.

I have done meditation in the past, when I was in martial arts our Sensei at the end of the evening would have us sit Seiza, a calm would come over the room. His voice powerful, not loud, just strong….”There is a pond in the middle of the forest it is cool, calm, it has no ripples…” we would sit and over the minutes, some nights just a few some more than we knew our knees could handle; almost instantly I could feel my heart rate slow, my breathing light, the sweat dripping down the crease in my back, my knees soften, palms up, I could feel the heat radiating away from my body….”There is a pond in the middle of the forest it is cool, calm, it has no ripples…”

I decided to check it out, it’s free why not?? My mind could definitely use some structured relaxation, what an oxymoron that statement is.

Tuesday night, after a rather long day at work, I decided that  I was going to give this a try. I took a warm bath after getting everything ready for the next morning trying to let my mind be free of the things that were ahead of me, wanting this 20 minutes just for me.


  Oprah gave a very short introduction, Deepak provided the mantra for the session LAM  ( am security the centering though: My security and peace are within. The light piano music allowed me to only focus on the mantra, LAM…LAM…LAM. Laying in my bed in Savasana, the kids breathing heavily in their beds, Scott not home from class just yet, the dog had taken up residence in the recliner.Before I knew it the bell went off and the time had passed. I was so very calm, I crawled under the covers and had the best night sleep I have had in a very long time. I repeated this process on Wednesday night and then Thursday as the email for the next day comes in at 3am; I realize now that I can’t do meditation in the morning, I just fall back to sleep, thankfully traffic was light and I wasn’t late.

This journey to a healthier me I sometimes forget isn’t just a physical and mental adventure, it’s spiritual and emotional. I have to reshape and exercise all aspects of “self”. I am eager to see how this 21 day plan for meditation impacts me as a whole.


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