Thursday, June 29, 2006

Running the Brown Trail

No, this is not a potty entry, if that's what you're thinking. Just get that out of your head.

This summer, while Skip is home (when he's not at camp, or on tour), he's "earning" his computer time. Time spent reading garners him computer minutes one-to-one. Time spent actually concentrating at piano practicing garners him computer minutes at 3-to-one.

And time running the brown trail (a path through the wild canyon space behind the house - aka Mountain Lion Territory) gets him two-to-one computer minutes.

Whether he wants to or not, I've been making him run the trail at least once a day. I think he's got great potential as a cross country runner, and why not get him in shape for the Middle School Cross Country tryouts in August?

And besides, it gets him out in the sun, it gets him active, and it puts him just one step ahead of the "I spent my ENTIRE summer sitting in front of a computer/video-game/tv" crowd, right?

I just realized the other day (Um, Saturday morning? Or maybe Sunday? The previous Sunday? Yeah... that's it. Golly, that time just flew past), that he can completely leave me in the dust. I was walking the Brown Trail with him, and he was all pouty that I was walking too fast, and the wind was blowing and making him cold, and this was no fun at all, and so borrrrrrrr-eeeeng, so I suggested that he run. "Look. You can run away from the wind, thus avoiding the chilling breeze, you'll be firing up your internal furnace to warm you, you'll get done in a fraction of the time it'll take to walk, so it'll go faster, and you'll be less bored, and you might even pass me, so you won't have to worry about me setting a pace that's too speedy."

Suddenly, he was off, and I was off chasing him. I kept him in my sights for about a quarter of the trail, and then I had to stop. Good grief, if I hadn't, they'd probably find my cold hard corpse lying prone in his dust. Yes, I am not in the same shape I was when I was a middle-distance runner in Junior High. *thinks back*... 29 years ago...

So I'm sending him out to run the trail by himself.

And then I'm having him 'babysit' Nate, while I run the trail by myself.

My goal is to be able to run the whole thing by the end of the summer. And if I lost a bit of weight? That'd just be icing on the cake... which will be made with applesauce instead of oil, and will have fat-free, sugar-free frosting.

Yesterday was my first "serious" attempt.

I ran a bit, walked a bit, jogged a bit, panted-like-a-winded-old-geezer a bit, and made it home in 12 minutes and 12 seconds.

Today, I took another stab at the trail. A bit more running. A bit more "ouch! What are these shooting pains in my shins?" thoughts. A bit less panting, and I hope a bit less wheezing.

I surprised 5 bunnies. Two adults, and three babies, at different points on the trail. What a hoot. Next time, I hope I stumble (well, not REALLY stumble) onto some quail.

And when I got home, and stopped the stopwatch, I'd shaved nearly a full minute off my time.


I know that Skip can do the thing in just under 10 minutes. Probably even LESS if he really put his mind to it.

I've got a ways to go, but I'm on the right track.

Once I get under 10 minutes, I'm gonna take a camera on the run, and take y'all along for the ride.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

26/52 ABC *I*

26/52 ABC *I* 5/2/2006
I was wracking my brain, until I realized that I'd blotted out a big giant part of my past.

What was I doing back in 1987?

Why, I was an entomologist. Sheesh. There should be INSECT photos galore... somewhere...

Until then, we will subsist on the more recent fare.


One of the zillion ladybug beetles that we came across in the mountains above Death Valley.

And YUM! Look at the size of that praying mantis that was waiting on the door of our cabin.

And yes, ants are INSECTS, too, but I think I've got MORE than enough photos of ants in my diary, don't you?

So instead, a little bit of the OTHER social INSECT scourge...


And a double bonus, because their order is ISOPTERA! Another I-word.

26/52 ABC *H*

26/52 ABC *H* 5/1/2006
I'm a little behind.

But here's what I came across in my last few weeks of photos.

H is for...

HAMSTER. (hmm. I hope I didn't use this shot for G is for Gentle)

H is for...

HARNESS. Yes, that's me (a bit blurry. Sorry.) in the HELMET, too. This was one of the activities that was available on the Women's Retreat that I went away on this last weekend. I am getting ready to go HIGH in the trees.



Oh right!

H is also for...

HIDING (because what better place to HIDE an orange Easter Egg than on the Resurrection Orb...aka leftover Halloween pumpkin)

And here are the mighty HUNTERS

OH, and because I seem to be in photo-overload mode, here's one last shot