Oh the Shame!

Well, I’m mortified but let me start at the beginning.

I live on a private road and waste management refuses to drive off the county road so we have to take our garbage down to the end of the road. Out of laziness we just leave the can they assigned to us at the corner. All of our neighbors quickly followed. We’re trend setters that way.

Anyway, lugging stuff down there is definitely a pain. When my husband, The Tizz, is out-of-town I rarely take the garbage down to the can. It’s kind of his thing. You know, so he feels all needed and warm inside. Plus he has a truck so he can throw it in the bed and I don’t have to put it in my car to leak and stink the place up. He’s good to me like that.

I’ve accumulated 3 full garbage bags and figured it was about time I took everything to the end of the road since they weren’t looking too good next to my fence. With four dogs and two goats I’m already riding a thin line of being “that house” on the block. (I’m sorry but if your dogs are bred to bark and chase and you take them out and reward them when they bark and chase things then there is nothing to break them of that habit at home. It far too confusing for them.)

You know, the house with no shame and broken down cars in the yard and random appliances on the front porch. Yeah, "that house".

I’ve always used the garbage can with the giant 85 on the side (or what I think looks like an 85) because that’s the last two digits of our address. When I got down there it was full to the brim with stuff…on a Monday! Garbage doesn’t even get picked up until Friday. Needless to say, I was none too pleased.

I thought about it and stewed for a while and went back to my house and thought about it some more and stewed some more. I considered writing an angry letter and taping it to my garbage can. That would really show them. I finally decided I had just been walked all over too much lately and I wasn’t going to take it anymore. Nope, not this girl. This girl was standing up for herself finally.

This may have been a poor time to do so.

I took all of the garbage out and threw it next to another garbage can that had also been stuffed full (I assumed they were the culprits). I called my mom so she could be proud that I was finally sticking up for myself and griped about “the nerve of some people”. I hate to admit it but out of boredom last night I even pulled out my binoculars to see if the garbage was still sitting where I threw it and maniacally laughed about it.

Yes, this was the cat version of me staring out my back window, binos in hand. http://www.icanhasceezburger.com.

Cut to this evening. I was driving home and saw one of the garbage cans had been turned so the street numbers were facing the road. Hmm.. that’s interesting, that address looks suspiciously like mine, I thought. The first three numbers and the fifth were correct but the fourth which should have been the 8 was all smudged out.

Oh sweet Jesus.

I drove creepily slow up my road to check out other address (all of two houses before mine) and prayed that there was someone else with a similar address. Unfortunately my suspicions were confirmed. I am the only house on the road with that combination of numbers. I even googled my road to see if it would show everyones addresses since there are about five more past me and three that I don’t know the numbers of. Google failed me.

I was in disbelief. I called the Tizz to figure all this madness out.

“So where was our garbage can when you left?”

“Um…it was the one of the end.”

I’ve been using one in the middle.

“Ohhhh, hmmm. So how was it labelled?”

“With our address on the corner but the 8 was smudged out.”


I have been using the wrong garbage can for TWO YEARS! Yes TWO YEARS. Granted I rarely take it out. I usually just pile stuff in the garbage can by the house until the Tizz returns but it was full this time and he’s gone for a few more weeks. I was trying to class the joint up without all the garbage bags strewn about. Still I take it out some times and I have been wrong EVERY time.

These people must hate me. I pray they have no idea who the garbage can thief has been.

I’ve devised a game plan in these moments of panic and shame. Here it is: I leave for work by 4:30 in the AM. Yuck. I’m just going to use the cover of darkness to right this wrong. It’s surefire. It has to be. It’s a simple fix but the shame will live on for much longer.

One things for sure. I will not be showing my face in this hood anytime soon!

I’d love to hear about something someone else had done to make them want to bury their head in the sand.

P.S. I would like to clarify that I try to take care of my house and do not actually have any appliances on the front porch or a broken down cars in the yard but this is often a joke between the Tizz and I and a real fear I have.

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The Greatest Running Accessory EVER

The greatest running accessory ever is quiet a statement. I’m sure your eager to see what can be so great that I would place it above all else. Well, here it is….

This is his puppy picture but I love it. You can see what a goofball he is.

This is him this week. It's hard to get him to stay still, even lying down.

Yep, that’s a member of my wolf pack. His names Oliver but we call him Olie (actually pronounced Oly like after Olympia beer…yes, my husband started that trend). I could go on and on about how I think he’s the biggest, sweetest, goofiest dog ever but I’ll try to keep this about running.

Olie is my running partner of choice. Unlike a human partner, he has no qualms matching my tempo as oppose to setting his own. He never complains and he never stops smiling on runs. Plus there’s never a day when he just doesn’t feel like joining me. His constant giddiness about running only fuels me even more.

I even took him on this run with me. It was a very pretty 14 mile run on dirt roads and the aid stations even had bowls for him to drink out of. I actually found a picture of me and Olie when googling images of the race but since it’s copyrighted and I don’t want to email the person I’m just providing this link.  Pretty right?! We had a blast together and he was passed out and snoring in the back seat 10 minutes later.

Here’s a picture I found online that someone took with their iPhone. Even with a camera phone you imagine how pretty the run was.

To make running with him more convenient I hunted down this leash after seeing several other runners with them. It was on clearance at a local dog supply store for about $15. It clips around my waist and when he decides to switch from side to side it just rotates around me instead of wrapping me up like his hand-held leash use to.

The Buddy System. This isn't exact one I have (it looks a little nicer) but it's pretty similar. My leash attachment is elastic like a giant scrunchy.

Dont’ have the money for random items like this? No problem, you could easily loop your regular leash around your waist and through the handle instead. Some people even prefer just holding on to the leash. The only potential downsides I see to that are the length and, if your dog doesn’t stay on one side very consistently, it seems like it could tighten and not rotate as well around your body. I thought that this would be very distracting so I got this one.

Don’t have a dog? Borrow one! If you’re going out for a walk or run anyway it really doesn’t hurt to pick up a friend for the journey. I know our local Animal Control will let you borrow a dog to take for a run or walk so check out the policy at yours. Those poor little guys are cooped up indoors and in tiny kennels all day and could really use the exercise. Plus, their enthusiasm is infectious. They say pets and exercise reduce stress so imagine how relaxed you be after performing such a good deed!

This public service announce brought to you by me:)

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Look Ma, No Hands!

I mentioned the first time I ran with water and my Nathan Handheld Water Bottle. Well, what I didn’t mention was that at the same time I purchased that water bottle I also read several reviews on this Nathan waist pack and ordered it off of Amazon (click here to read reviews)…

I got the pink one:)

I was too self concious to try this out because I didn’t feel I was up to the caliber of runner that uses them. I had also read several times that you should never try anything new on race day so I didn’t bust it out for that either.
I just used this for the first time the other day on an 18 mile run with my running club. It was awesome! At first I had screwed the lids on and somehow missed a thread so it splashed all over my back but that was just a quick fix.
It was easy to reach and put the bottles back in place while running. It didn’t bounce around or distract me. I really didn’t even notice it was there. The pouch has a ton of room and could hold several gels, a cell phone, an ipod and lots of other things. 
It has a velcro closure and comes in three sizes (small, medium and large). You’d have to look at the sizing chart to see the ranges those fit because I can’t recall. The velcro was secure and felt strong. I’m not going to go into all of the specifications because you can go read those for yourself at the Nathan website or at the Amazon link I provided above.
I short version of this story is that I highly recommend this to anyone wanting to run with water. I loved having the water accessible and was able to skip to water stations. Remember to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
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Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!

One of the many things I love about running is its simplicity. You can run in anything and anywhere.  It’s something you can take up that can cost virtually nothing. Since I took to running more seriously I even cancelled my gym membership and haven’t missed it at all. However, I’ve gotten several new gadgets, clothing and accessories. Another thing I love about running…all the cool stuff you can buy if you feel like it.

Remember how I mentioned in a previous post that I had only gone for one run in the month and half before my first marathon? If not you can read about it here (haha, this is only my second running post so I linked the the post directly before this one. Gotcha!).

Well that ambitious outing was a whole 18 miles and the very first time I ever ran with a water bottle. I had stopped at the gas station by the running trail to put tights on under my shorts since it was a little colder than it looked. I can’t explain why but I feel guilty going into somewhere and not buying something so I got a sports style (squirty nozzle) water bottle. Then, because I live my life on the wild side, I got the crazy idea to… wait for it… carry it with me on my run! Brilliant!

I had little sips the entire way and felt amazing! My life of long runs was changing forever. I immediately went to my local running store to see what kind water carrying options were out there for me. I found out I wasn’t the only person that wanted to carry water with them on a long run. Go figure. There went that million dollar idea.

I purchased this Nathan bottle. You can get it for about $25 and read some reviews here.

Nathans Quickdraw Elite

I liked that it had an adjustable strap so I didn’t really have to grip it like my gas station bottle. Plus it had a lovely little pouch with a key clip and plenty of room for any random items I feel like having with me.

I ran the Tacoma City Marathon with it and was able to fit two Gu gels and some ibuprofen in the pouch with no problems. I love not having to stop and be dying of thirst at the aide stations. Then enivitably drinking too much. Plus it doesn’t slow me down. Stopping for me is one of the worst things since it’s so hard to get going again.  

One day I’ll have to put a post detailing my first marathon experience a little more extensively since it was actually pretty great. In relation to my water bottle though, at one point I saw a station coming up and started dumping the little remainder of my warm water to fill it up. One of the guys maning the station saw and ran out to get my water bottle. By the time I reached the station he had it all filled up with nice cold refreshing water and I never had to stop. Gentlemen still do exist.

Anyway, I can’t emphasize enough how much running with water and staying properly hydrated makes any run a million times better. I guess my high school basketball coach wasn’t just trying to be annoying when he said over, and over, and over, and OVER again “hydrate, hydrate, hydrate”. You were really on to something Marc so I apologize (many years later) for rolling my eyes at you.

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Spring is Here!

A year and a half ago we started working on the outside of our house. After getting these precious little guys (making our total dog count 4)…

I was in dire need of a fence. As cute as these angels appear to be they woke me up every night at about 2 am to go to the bathroom. I would set them down outside and like any good hound they took off following any scent they could find, IN OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS. Oh it was a nightmare. I’d chase them down through the waist high weeds and eventually crawl back into bed about thirty minutes later bleeding from those awful, thorny weeds.

My husband is gone most of the summer working so the pleasure of chasing puppies through the night was all mine. When he came home one week I threatened his life for a fence. Well not really but I demanded as opposed to suggesting or asking or anything nice. Luckily, he completely understood and took the week off of work to build me one. Yay!

We fenced in just a portion of our property for the dogs so we had maybe half an acre of fenced in weeds and dirt. Ah so pretty…

The whole family. The puppies got so big and are only 7 months here!


That spring, with the help of a few friends, my husband put in underground sprinklers and sod. I did the rock border and filled in the dog pen all by myself:) We also put up two maple trees (with mini fences after our dogs chewed the first three to nubs). I searched around my computer and can’t find a single picture of our yard now. It’s rainy and gross today but one day I’ll have to get some.

We’ve come a long way but I still have a laundry list of things I want to accomplish outside this spring.

1. Restain the house.

2. Fill in the checks and chink around windows, doors and exposed ends.

3. Restain the deck.

4. Paint the exterior of the french doors.

5. Add a window box to the kitchen window.

6. Pull out grass under the propane tank and put in rocks.

7. Refill, paint and create a cover for the horseshoe pits.

8. Clean up the dog pen and add more wood chips.

9. Pull weeds around the house.

10. Scrub front door and repaint.

Ten items doesn’t seem like a much but I think they’re really going to be time consuming. I’m sure more and more items will be added as the weather gets nicer as well.

What’s on your outdoor project list? How do you create curb appeal?

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If You Were Here

I just finished reading this book.

It’s the sixth book by Jen Lancaster but her first fiction. Up until now she has written hilarious books based on her life (all started from her very own blog, www.jennsylvania.com).

I’m that crazy person that has read all of her books and am fully convinced we’d be marvelous friends. You know, despite the fact that we’re completely different ages, we live in completely different areas, and have completely different lifestyles. We just get each other. 

“Oh hey my name’s Jen too. We’re so unique!”

“Oh Jen you love to read books marketed to junior high girls? Me too!”

” Oh Jen you sleep with a knife next to your bed while your husbands gone? Me too!”

Yeah, so we really don’t have that much in common. Still there’s something about the way she writes that I completely relate to and makes her feel like she’s a friend. I think a lot of people despite their age, location or lifestyle would feel the same way.

After finding one of her books for cheap at a second hand book store I hunted down the rest and poured through them immediately. I even pre-ordered this current one on my fancy pants Kindle.

I was giddy when I saw it arrive and stopped the book I was reading to read this one immediately. Not only was it written by someone I think is hilarious but it was about a couple rehabing a hot mess of a mansion. Comedy and home decorating? Sign me up! Right? Um… not really.

I love everything else she’s done and just feel plain guilty saying that this one just wasn’t up to par. I feel like I’m tell my friend, “why yes, you do look fat in those pants”. Nothing good will come of it and we’ll both feel terrible afterwards.

While it was definitely funny at times I didn’t feel any short of build up in the tension she was trying to create and it was just a tad on the…the… the boring side. There I said it!

Would I recommend it? Um, probably, but only because I like her and I don’t want to hurt her feelings. I would definitely recommend reading all her other books though. Here are those titles…

Pretty in PlaidBright Light Big AssBitter is the New BlackSuch a Pretty Fat


Bitter is the New


Bright Light Big Ass

Such a Pretty Fat

My Fair Lazy

I hope that she’s writing another book about her actual home renovation struggles that are going on right now. (Seriously, check out her website www.jennsylvania.com ugliest wall paper I have ever seen.) The reality of her life is much funnier than fiction.

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I’m a Lazy Liar

I ran my first marathon in May of 2010. It hurt.

Yep, this one! (except in 2010, not in the future)

Everyone thinks that if you ran a marathon you must have run everyday for a year leading up to it. You must eat nothing but health food to fuel those grueling work outs. Athlete’s treat their bodies like temples after all. You must be long and lean. While I try not to dispel these rumors, because they make me look good, the fact is that none of those were true for me. Although, the fact that I am neither long nor lean could not be hidden. 

Did I want to be that person that people thought I was? Heck yeah I did. So I never told people I only ran once every few weeks, and actually only once in the month and half before the marathon. I eat whatever I want because I’m “marathon training”, and my muscles were so sore after the race that I hobbled around my house like an elderly with a hip fracture. I continued to be sore for weeks afterwards. Yes, in public I walked proud like my body wasn’t screaming in agony on the inside. A girl has to uphold her reputation. Oh, and I got a nice little stress fracture in my shin since my bones had not been conditioned for that constant rhythmic impact. I was the epitome of perfect health. A well-oiled machine. A fake.

This is clearly Kara Goucher and not me but this is what I’d like to imagine people saw when they looked at me.ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images

Numerous times I heard “I would love to do something like that but where do you find the time?”. In those situations I’d  always reply something along the lines of “you just have to make the time”, “it’s a real commitment”,  “it’s easy to do when it’s something you want to do”. Pretty sure I had read those words of real runners in a magazine somewhere.  My uber-athletic, unearthly, sainthood continued. Oh and the lies, yeah those didn’t stop either.

Although, despite the exaggeration of my abilities the one truth I always told was “I run because I like it”. Sometimes it was hard to find the motivation and most days I never found it but when I did I never regretted it.

As I laid on my couch the day after the race, unable to lift my legs without using my hands and eating ibuprofen like Tic-Tacs, I looked outside longingly and wanted nothing more than to go for a run. That’s when I knew I was hooked and I knew I wanted to do this whole “training” thing the right way.

I’m in training (look, no air quotes! this is the real deal) for my second marathon. This one’s July 10, 2011. 

Yep, this one this time! Rated #1 by Runners World readers in 2010.

I’m not going to lie this time, after the first few weeks I lost motivation and went back to running just once or twice every couple of weeks. Somehow I’ve recently pulled myself out of that slump.

Along the way I’ve learned a lot about running (and running injuries). I’m by no means a seasoned pro  or an expert in anything but, since we’re all being honest now, odds are that you probably aren’t either. Whatever your experience level, we all have knowledge and stories to share.

What motivates you to run? What are you goals? And, am I the only person that has lied like this?(hint: the correct answer is no)

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