Monday, December 31, 2007

On the mend

when deciding to write this final post for 2007 i knew i had my work cut out for me. i methodically went over all the crappy things that happened and really didn't see the point in this post at all. getting ripped off during what turned out to be a very stress filled vacation, aging family members and the onset of pre-teen angst. 2007 was literally a string of unfortunate and unruly events.

it was looking through my archives that things started to turn around.

Running Life

2007 was filled with lot's of firsts. my first 20k, my first half-marathon and my first full trail marathon.
when i decided to do a trail marathon, once i found the right one i was rewarded with some of the finest trail running terrain i'd ever encountered. discovering east bay regional trail system was by far a highlight in 2007 and while my actual race performance fell far from what i had hoped i had an amazing day.

Family Life

we lost our beloved matriarch, Grandma Tillie in March and then Papa Taylor 10 days before Christmas. My daughter M was closest to Papa and was quite literally a pillar of strength when it came to helping her younger cousins grieve. her capacity to comfort and nurture is amazing.

Personal Life

training for a marathon gave me lots of "me time" i feel truly grateful to my family for this.
i'd been thinking about returning to school for some time but it wasn't until after my marathon that i actually committed to it.
i registered for classes at berkeley community college. i start next month. i strongly suspect that there will be days when my brain will refuse to compute one more mathematical operation or i'll tremble at the prospect of yet another draft for some benign paper due, but knowing that i covered 26.2 miles of hilly ass terrain one Fall day not long ago will give me the steam i need to forge ahead.
my mantra will be: Relentless Forward Motion

i'm glad i took the time to reflect, looking back i have a less grim view of things. it seems i've been functioning in crisis mode for far too long. i have allot to be thankful for, possessions in the end are just things, Grandma Tillie and Papa left us the tools to build on a strong foundation. My daughter has her grandmas flair and her papas kindness.

so that's about it. we'll be ringing in the new year quietly on the mend at home, sipping ginger ale, hot tea and no doubt crashing long before midnight.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 28, 2007


i'm sooooooo sick right now. my head and chest feel like they're in a vice. a hot shower offered temporary relief but it's going to be a rough next few days. can i just tell you how old "rough days" are getting? M is a good nurturer, bringing me tea and water. i usually get a flu shot but this year i just never got around to it.

christmas eve was spent with T's family. we had a quiet meal with my mom here christmas day. M was happy and that made us happy.

2007 was a bumpy ride. I'll need to take a more thoughtful look back on things once my heads stops pounding. i just wanted to say Happy New Year to my blogger friends and wish you all the very best in 2008.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Funeral Food

i knew following up 2 glasses of wine with a beer was questionable at best. what i didn't take into consideration was the lack of food in my body. i'll spare you the details but i will say i started with the spins and ended in the bathroom.

getting drunk on a tuesday night isn't a common occurrence around here but with funeral planning in full swing (my father in-law passed last saturday) a few drinks have been in order.

i hadn't intended to get drunk, it was the mixed beveraging and no eating that got me in trouble. i blame my misfortune on funeral food.

My husbands parents are Catholic and when their youngest son (T's little brother) converted to Mormonism it about killed them. It was a festering sore spot for YEARS. As time went on and my brother in-law eventually married and raised Mormon babies of his own. his parents while they loved their grand kids have never fully accepted their son's decision to convert.

i met with my husbands sister and my mother in-law and discussed food for the reception. we don't have any idea on how many people to expect and my sister in-law said she'd rather have too much food than not enough. so, we settled on planning for 60 people. a few deli trays from costco, some sweets and drinks seemed easy enough.

later i called my mormon sister in-law and asked her if she could bring some kind of dessert. she mentioned that some friends were wanting to do something and i said that was nice and if she could farm out brownies or something that would be cool. A little later i get a call back from her and she says that their Relief Society President offered to organize and setup all the food, just needed to say when and where.

Needless to say despite the generosity being put forth I was hesitant to accept given the circumstances. I said that it was a very generous offer, and that i'd want to be sure everyone was ok with it, T walked in at that point and i put him on the phone with her.

the conversation turned abit heated with our sister in-law getting defensive and insulted. she proceeded to say that she didn't think that their should be any problem with her friends offering to help. we agreed it was a generous offer but were hesitant to turn the entire reception over to the Relief Society, given the circumstances.

By this time i had drained my second glass of Pinot Noir and foolishly decided to mix things up with a Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. obviously i don't drink well under pressure.

T suggested that they could prepare some of the food and we'd do the rest, but my sister in-law was insulted and said "just forget it" by then her husband (T's brother) got home and was on the phone with T and when T said he suggested splitting the food prep and that his wife was insulted, my brother in-law being the dutiful husband covered for her.

Now let me just add this, a few years ago my sister in-law had a bout of encephalitis. i'm pretty certain that the part of the brain that governs her inhibitions was affected. she's not all Tourett's but she has on occasion said some pretty off the wall shit. on more than one occasion she has said things that have made me want to punch her in the head.

in the end we agreed to let the relief Society sister's crank out the desserts, though i was kinda curious about the legendary mormon funeral potatoes.

still keeping up with my short runs. lately i've taken to running solo around town sans any electronics and then walking Brandy afterwards. since the oil spill in the bay, point isabel dog park has been off limits for us because unless i keep her on-leash she wants to go in the water, i always let her before and now it seems cruel not allowing her to be off leash in dog park....she's a selective listener. so i'm trying to take her on a trail at least once a week so she can roam freely.

things will probably be quiet around here for awhile. this was crazy ass year for our family. i don't know about the rest of you but i'll be glad to bid 2007 adieu.

Peace to you and yours.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Kids and Dogs

Progress is progress, incremental and or otherwise. as i spend more time with my kid and dog i've noticed that we're all getting along better. Brandy is better behaved on our runs and M is going with the flow more.

M and I spend allot of time together this time of year as this is T's busy season. we've been getting out together more and i've found that if a can just accept the requisite whining and general lack of enthusiasm that preceeds any destination other than the mall, if i can just get through the transition were good .

sadly, my kid does not share my love of the great outdoors. she'd rather have her teeth cleaned than go on a hike. good oral hygiene aside it's a little weird.

and it's all my fault.

getting her outdoors has alway's been a colossal hassle. she'd put up such a fuss when she was a baby, the Burly kiddie trailer on the bike was disaster. projectile vomitting and screaming all along the canal trail pretty much sealed the deal that we were not going to ever be that family you see on a leisurley sunday ride on their way to a picnic.

occasionally, i'd get a sitter and go out by myself for a ride or walk but for the most part, especially this time of year we'd stay home. with each passing year i'd gain a few more pounds and more embedded in that damn couch because i just couldn't deal with the hassle of getting her ready to go. i never accepted that she wasn't into going and i got stuck with the idea of how it should be rather than accepting things for how they are. this has blocked me from figuring out a way to make it work. for years!

the trick seems to be not taking things too seriously. as with my short runs with brandy the focus is purely recreational. when she needs to sniff or explore i'm more relaxed vs before when i was trying to workout. going solo is a must from time to time.

with M little things like parking really far from the mall and less discussion about plans seems to work best . when i try to get her on-board with an activity she's not into, like the body world expo or taking Brandy to the dog park, she'll resist and startup with excuses, now i just say "this is what we're doing" and afterwards we can do_________.

giving her too many choices hasn't always worked out so good. now i just sign us up for stuff, she doesn't alway's like it but now that i don't expect her to want to go and just accept her attitude she's starting to come around. go figure.

i've been feeling a little guilty over the lack of focused workouts but on the other hand things are allot more peaceful this time of the year for the taylor household and that's pretty amazing. we're cooking and crafting more. taking brandy for walks, the other night we even sang christmas carols...badly...but we're laughing and enjoying eachother's company more this year. we're both high strung and there's never going to be a lack of drama but things are getting better.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Quick Bread

Two trails runs in one weekend, Brandy is beside herself.

i wasn't so ambitous in the kitchen yesterday and the scratch cake was replaced by a box one. M was beside herself over that and went hogwild decorating it with every sprinkle she could get her hands on.

today however i redeemed myself and baked four loaves of banana bread. i've been experimenting with quick bread recipies all week and this one called for 1 cup vanilla pudding along with 2 mashed nanner's. i added chocolate chips and walnuts.

i also made an apple cranberry and walnut bread. the recipie called for 1 cup of fresh cranberries. the end result was a bit tart for my taste. i plan to try it again with cranberries in a sugar brine and those ocean spray sweetened ones.