Nature finds a way: Runfessions January 2020


I’m runfessing and sipping tea all in one post. There wasn’t a whole lot of running in January, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have things to get off my chest. There always seems to be a steady stream of things to tell you and odd things going on in my life. I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours!

The Vitamix has been christened. It will be used a lot in the coming years!

I would tell you . . .
I’d been eyeing a new Vitamix for a few years. Mine is at least 12 years old, maybe older. It sees a lot of use. Mr. Judy found me a good deal, and it sat on the the counter. And it sat . . . and sat . . .

I had soups I wanted to make (I don’t use it as much for smoothies in Winter) but I just never could seem to find the time. I finally made a Potato Leek Soup and the new Vitamix is christened. Now to figure out what to do with the old one  . . . which still runs, by the way.

I runfess . . .
#thestruggleisreal when it comes to getting out the door in Winter. January was actually on the mild side, despite some snow, some freezing rain, and some bitter cold. But mostly it was unseasonably warm, including running in that skirt for one long run!

Finding the skirt? It was not something I expected to need in Winter, so it was packed away. But in which cube? Getting out the door is hard enough without having to go through the Summer running clothes!

I runfess . . .
Running on the treadmill usually means I do a more thorough warm up, because I’m not out there freezing my butt off waiting to get started. Things got intense mid-month, I was stressed, I was busy, I was tired. I realized as I was running on the mill one day that foam rolling never even entered my mind — I runfess that I didn’t do it afterwards, either (because it was already lunchtime and I was hungry!).

I runfess . . .
I did pretty good with food through most of the holidays. Until I spent much of the week between Christmas and New Years at my moms. Of course spending another week with her after my Dad passed was also a struggle, with more eating out and not many healthy choices available some days.

Who knew eating at a senior living community could be such a food struggle?

I shake my head every time I see this. It’s not the only one, either!

I would tell you . . .
We had a planter outside on the deck, and we brought it in knowing it would probably fall apart out there during Winter. It has pots with dead herb plants on it. In those pots, which have not seen a drop of water in months, these seedlings are growing — that’s what the subject of this post refers to. Seriously, how?

Have you ever seen plants growing without any water (other than cacti)? 

Have you had to haul out Summer running clothes this Winter?

Open stuff immediately, whether or not you’re ready to use it?

What do you have to runfess from January? Come join us


I am also linking up with:


Coco and Deborah for the ultimate coffee tea date.

As well as Fairytales and Fitness

It’s a party this weekend!

So ready for sunshine: Spilling over high tea

It’s been a busy week of appointments and getting ready for a race and trying to still rest up so that I get to said race healthy. The weather has been so consistently raw, though, that it’s a pleasure to warm my hands with a mug of tea and spill what I’m thinking about lately.

I am joining up with CocoDeborah, and Lynda for their ultimate coffee date (while sipping my tea).

The Ultimate Coffee Date

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you compression socks really work!

I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ve had more than one time when my ankle was achy after a long run. I wore my compression socks and voila! Back to normal.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you that in addition to being a bad daughter like I talked about in my runfessons this month, I’m a bad daughter on my father’s side, too. Or maybe a bad sister?

Besides showing up and helping to pay, I did nothing for my Dad’s 90th luncheon. Zip. Zero. Nada. Not even a card. I stopped doing cards a long time ago; I hated the waste of paper. Cards are cute, of course, and there’s nothing like a hand written note, but most of the time they just get trashed.

It just never even occurred to me to get a card! Really, I am a bad daughter.

But I do give up an entire weekend almost once a month to go see them. Maybe I’m not that bad.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you that we asked our dog sitter about fostering a dog.

I know that she works with rescues. It wasn’t actually my idea, although I probably “fostered” the idea in Mr. Judy, saying some years ago that I’d like to try fostering.

I will admit that I am actually enjoying having one dog. In many ways, it’s a lot easier. One less dog to take to the vet, one less dog to groom, less food to buy, less kongs to make. Not to mention walks don’t take so long. It’s been 15 years since we had just two furkids. 10 years since we had puppies (and 15 since we had kittens).

But it’s fostering, it’s not a forever commitment. And I think Lola would benefit from having a doggie companion again, if we could find the right one. She loves to play, but she didn’t play with the dog sitter’s dog, who is a really good match for her in size and age. She was forever trying to get Chester to play.

Maybe that’s a sign she does miss him?

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would you that I my knee was tight after my first easy run after being sick last week. It seemed to loosen up the next day, but there was still some tightness on the next scheduled run, so I taped it, as I also mentioned in my runfessions.

I also taped it for my long run that weekend, but I always tape it for a double digit run.

It felt fine the next day.

Just angry because I wasn’t doing anything (and I do mean anything, activity wise, anyway) except running and walking Lola?

Or those crazy taper phantom pains (despite the fact that I wasn’t quite yet in my taper).

Thankfully now it feels just fine.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you that I really enjoyed having a couple of raised beds last year. And I really want to enjoy it this year, too.

I just haven’t had the energy to get out to the nursery and buy some plants yet.

I’ll have some cilantro, anyway; that reseeded itself. Hopefully a few blueberries; we planted a couple of blueberry bushes last year.

Hmm, maybe we could buy something on our way home from my half?

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you that it’s May and I am more than ready for the weather to turn spring-like. Only it’s not cooperating. This past week in particular was really depressing weather-wise: cloudy, raw, rainy, below seasonal temperatures.

Are we paying for a mild winter?

I just want to walk Lola without a jacket (or gloves!), wear shoes without socks, wear one of my dresses without freezing to death, ditch the sweaters already! I’m not talking anything crazy like wearing tanks and shorts and sandals.

Tea? Iced Tea? Coffee? Decaf? Or something else?

Are you tired of what Mother Nature’s been dishing out lately?

Meet Dr. Jekyll: Spilling over high tea

Sometimes I get angry about the silliest things. I know it doesn’t help anyone, and yet when I’m in the throes, I can’t seem to help it. Thankfully it doesn’t happen too often. Find out what silly thing caused my inner Dr. Jekyll to come out this week.

I am joining up with CocoDeborah, and Lynda for their ultimate coffee date (while sipping my tea).

The Ultimate Coffee Date

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you how springter is here. Yes, I learned a new word!

The weather in upstate NY is such a tease in spring. Every once in a while we get a glorious spring day, and then it’s back to winter temps  — in April! And a snow forecast for my run tomorrow.

No April’s fool on that one!

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you that despite the relatively mild winter, I still struggled with the winter weight gain.

You have to wonder what causes it! It’s one thing if I attended a lot of holiday parties, or really indulged in treats but no — I know I always gain in the winter, so I’m careful. Because it never comes off as easily as it goes on.

The good news is that it also seemed to come off easier this year, too. So there’s that.

Guardian Angel

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you that I have felt Chester’s presence strongly three times since he passed; I wrote about the first time here.

The next time was actually the night before the Celebrate Life Half Relay. I was laying on the couch, with Gizmo curled up on my left shoulder. And I just felt Chester on my right side — sometimes when I was laying on the couch he’d come up and lay between my body and my right arm and put his head on my arm. I don’t know why, but I felt him doing it that night. I’ve probably laid like that since his passing already at least a 100 times, but that was the only time I felt him.

I suppose the last time wasn’t exactly feeling him, but feeling Lola do something he did.

I was having a sleepless night, tossing and turning, and I found myself thinking about how Chester was always pressed up against me at night. Lola curls up between our pillows, and while she occasionally presses against me or my husband, most of the time she’s Switzerland (neutral).

But the minute I thought that, darned if she didn’t suddenly change her position so that she was curled up against me!

Chester is the fourth furkid we’ve lost in our 30 years of marriage, but I must say while I love them all, we did have a very special connection — seriously, I do with them all. I feel that way with Giz and Lola. But now I truly feel like he’s up there, somewhere, still looking out for me. And that’s a first for me.

I’ll be good, mama!

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would you that I went into full Dr. Jekyll mode with poor Lola on Thursday.

She got her morning walk. I went to my WW meeting. I came home, she went out, but did nothing. No biggie, I think, she’ll do something before I have to go back out and run.

Only she didn’t.

And I had a meltdown just like a toddler. Screaming — quite literally — because I was so frustrated. I knew I had to be out for several hours, as I’d been putting off grocery shopping all week and we needed food. And I needed too much to make it a literal grocery store run.

Poor Lola was so scared, that by the time I came back, over 2 hours later, after going out (and actually doing something this time), she came back in and went into her crate in our bedroom. I had to coax her back out, but after playing with her for a bit, all was forgiven.

Now, believe me, as I type this, I know that it sounds absolutely absurd. Most of the time it doesn’t happen, I assure you. Lola is a little camel and even though she had a rocky start in house training, for a 10 lb chihuahua, she can go a long time. Except when she can’t.

Some days, though, my Dr. Jekyll side just comes out. I am not proud of it.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you that I am ridiculously excited for Karen @ Frenchinspiration to run her first marathon this Sunday! I have loved following her training, can’t wait to see how she does, and I will definitely be thinking of her as I run my own race the same day (but only 5 miles!).

Stop on by and leave her some words of wisdom or encouragement.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you that Karen also happened to mention how she was getting paranoid about getting sick a couple of weeks before her marathon.

Heck, that’s nothing! My half is 6 weeks away and I’m already paranoid about getting sick because it seems like everyone is sick and it’s been a long time since I’ve really been sick.

My sister, who had a very nasty virus going on a few weeks now, offered to come say hi when we were down there last weekend. I said no thank you very much!

You can’t be too careful.




Tea? Iced Tea? Coffee? Decaf? Or something else?

Do you ever go into Dr. Jekyll mode with your furkids?

Yes, even more serendipitous enconters: Spilling over high tea

Serendipity just seems to have taken over my life. First I couldn’t come up with something for a blog about serendipitous, then I couldn’t stop! You can read about it here and here.

I am joining up with CocoDeborah, and Lynda for their ultimate coffee date (while sipping my tea).

The Ultimate Coffee Date

My parents, 2011
My parents, 2011

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you how is it possible it’s March already?

This is the month my mother turns 88 and my father turns 90 (God willing). How is that possible?

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you that despite the weather whiplash our winter has been, I totally dug how it was mostly mild. Except why did it have to be so bitterly cold on my birthday last month? And 60F the next week?

Still, I was grateful we weren’t clobbered by a killer snowstorm like we usually are at that time of year.

In fact, at the end of February, we saw a weather report that said we’d had 10 inches of snow this year so far. That’s cray-cray — we usually get at least one storm that’s well over that ten inches all by itself. Usually more than one.

Not that I’m upset about it, mind you.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you that I do sort of regret my decision not to do VA Beach this month.

In my heart I know it was the right decision. I was worn down, exhausted, and totally stressed out by everything that went on the last few months of 2015. I didn’t need to be training for a half on top of that.

Except if ever there was a winter to train through, this was it!

I can just hear the running Gods laughing.


We’re here! Let’s whine

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you that I still miss Chester every day, but the memory of him is fading, and that makes me sad. My husband said he still hears barking when he comes home, even though there is no barking, but I don’t and I can’t quite remember what it sounded like, either.

As annoying as it usually was, I now wish we’d taken a video of him barking.

However, I do have a very strong memory of his whining. He never whined at home, or rarely, anyway (that’s Lola’s forte), but he would whine whenever we got to our destination in a car.

I tried to take video of it on more than one occasion, but he would always stop the minute I whipped out the ipod.


Gearing up for more of this this weekend

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would you that I went out for afternoon tea for a belated birthday lunch with a friend. When I brought up the idea of doing that with Darlene after one of our long runs, she was enthusiastic and ready to do it the very next week!

Thankfully then she remembered she had another event to go to. Because I’m not running as much as her and 2 afternoon teas in essentially 1 week would probably have been a bit much for me.

We do plan to do it this weekend, after our long run of course.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would you that I went back to Sephora to return my lip gloss (sadly they did not have the lip tint I wanted, no wonder I grabbed the wrong thing).

And I scored again: the Fresh mask and cleanser for my birthday gift, the travel sized Devacurl Conditioner (yes, I use that), and the blush was my own addition. I need to stay out of Sephora for quite a while now, although I still “need” that lip tint, but I can get it online (and, as I wrote about here, I did exactly that — and I shared the photo of what I got on TOLT).


A windy walk was serendipitous

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you about some even more serendipitous moments from my life, because suddenly they really are everywhere!

There was how I met Mr. Judy, and also how I started dating him.

I became fast friends with an upperclassmen when I was a freshman in college. She’d switched into my major. She lived off campus, and invited me to a party at her apartment, but I had no intention of going (not to mention I didn’t have a car).

Until I had a fight with a friend. I decided I was going to the party and I was going to have a good time. And that is where I met Mr. Judy.

Did we start dating? Nope. We’d run into each other now and again, although oddly not in the dorm we both lived in eventually (he was on a different floor). But we took classes in the same building, and occasionally we’d run into each other and say hi.

When I was a senior, I went to some movie (I don’t even remember which one now — “Fiddler on the Roof”, maybe?) by myself, and I ran into him. I sat with him and his roommate. As we were leaving, he said “see you around” and I said probably not, because the truth was we didn’t see each other more than once or twice a year.

Next thing I knew he called me up and asked me out. Yes, 3 years after we met!

Then there was the prerace pasta dinner we went to one time. My first 10k, as a matter of fact. Where we ran into my neighbors. I didn’t know she was a runner (sadly they have since moved away).

Or last year at the Firecracker 4, where I ran into another runner neighbor (and went with her to a different race later).

And heck, just Wednesday, I was walking Lola early because it was very windy and the temperatures were supposed to drop from the 40s into the 20s later in the day. And as we were walking, I saw the postman coming around. They rarely come around that early!

But it saved me from having to go out to get the mail with damp hair later in the day.


Meet Chester Jr.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would introduce you to Chester Jr. Our holistic vet send us this living oak acorn to plant. I was kind of like meh at the time, it was January, after all, but Mr. Judy seemed interested and helped some and even bought this grow light when Chester didn’t seem to be growing.

Then I pretty much took over the watering. I saw Chester was growing a few weeks ago, but I hadn’t been in the room in a few days and I walked in and just stopped dead in my tracks when I saw not only was Chester growing, he had leaves! We are still months away from actually planting Chester, as we can have hard freezes right up through May. So whether or not Chester flourishes is still up in the air.

It reminded me of Chester as a puppy, too (talk about synchronicity or serendipity — again!). He had that beautiful plumed tail, but not as a puppy. When they’re puppies, or at least when Chester was a puppy, the tail was all curled up, really reminding me of one of my nicknames for him: piglet.

But slowly, as he got older, his tail unfurled. It was the coolest thing to watch!

Even if Chester Jr. thrives, some day (hopefully), we will be leaving this house, as this is not where we plan to retire. Just as we had to leave the rosebush we planted in Austin, where our first two cats are buried.

And I was telling Mr. Judy just last night that I miss how Chester would lay pressed up against my stomach if I were laying on my side. He always had to be touching us. Lola is more likely to beg for belly rubs, and she just doesn’t lay like that and I really miss that.

I hope Chester Jr. takes strong roots and brings us some healing while we’re here, and someday shades new people.

Now all we have to do is agree on where to plant Chester.

Tea? Iced Tea? Coffee? Decaf? Or something else?

Do you have any bushes/trees/plants commemorating your angel furkids?

I love you, now go away: Spilling over high tea

Seriously, I do love my husband. I ought to; we’ve been married over 30 years now! We might have the strongest marriage of all our siblings (one is separated, one sort of hates each other’s guts but stay together, one seems pretty good but those children make it hard to work on the marriage).

High tea: any wonder I’m planning that for my birthday?

That doesn’t mean I don’t like a little alone time now and again. More time to enjoy my tea (hot beverage of choice; not a coffee drinker here).

I am joining up with CocoDeborah, and Lynda for their ultimate coffee date anyway.

The Ultimate Coffee Date

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you that my husband was out of town just overnight this week. It was a nice little break. For me, anyway.

I love my husband, and having lived apart due to his job in the past, I know that while I can live alone, I’d rather live with him.

That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a little break once in a while: more computer time to work on the blog, watching the movie I really want to, making the meals I really want to.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you that deviating from my training plan (which I just barely began) always makes me anxious.

And then I get sick, and all I want is to be able to move again!

I wasn’t really sick this week, but I was feeling a little off, with muscle aches and a slightly elevated temperature.

I took a few extra rest days, but seriously, with grocery shopping, laundry, cooking, dog walking, animal caretaking — it’s hard to rest!

So rest meant a couple of days with very little formal exercise (yet I still managed to almost get in close to 10,000 steps those days).

I like to plan . . .

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you that I have you, my fellow running bloggers, to thank for not sticking strictly to my training plan, which had barely even begun.

On my own I probably would have.

I channeled all my fellow bloggers who are so good at listening to their bodies to help me feel a little calmer about those extra rest days.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you that I think blogging is easier if you work outside the home.

Before you jump down my throat, let me explain. My guess is a lot of people are chained to a desk at work and they’re at least part of the time commenting and answering comments while multitasking at work.

I am not terribly attached to my phone, and so I will work on the blog for an hour or two in the morning and then I am on to other stuff or out running errands (and no, I rarely check my phone while I’m out — the cell phone is not the best way to get a hold of me!).

Granted, I don’t have all those pesky work tasks and meetings interfering in my blogging time.

I’m not a millenial, so I didn’t grow up with a cell phone attached to my hands.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would you that I just have real trouble documenting my life. I know that people are drawn into blogs with photos, but as I said, I don’t always have my phone around (or iPod, since that’s what I use to take photos with usually) and most of the time I just don’t think about taking photos.

It’s just not a way of life for me. But it makes for a kind of boring blog! I’m working on it. Any tips for me?

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would you that blogging is good for my shopping addiction. Oh sure, sometimes it’s bad for it too, but I find I often don’t have the time to shop online that I did before I devoted so much time to my blog!

This is not a bad thing.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you had an epiphany about Weight Watchers, or really just weight loss in general, while I was in the shower the other day. Doesn’t everyone have the best thoughts in the shower?

Anyway, I’ve had more than one Weight Watchers friend who has been hugely successful on the program. And then eventually they decide it’s no longer working for them and they quit Weight Watchers (insert your “diet” of choice there).

And they begin gaining back the weight they’ve lost.

And that’s just the problem: they’re viewing it as a diet and not a lifestyle — or, in other words, that it’s something you do temporarily and then you go back to your “real” life.

Except all those things you did to successfully lose the weight? You can’t stop doing them if you want to maintain your weight. Trust me on that — I have learned that in 25 years of weight loss/maintenance efforts.

Yeah, it really kind of sucks sometimes. Only it really doesn’t. If going to weekly meetings, planning what I eat, and tracking what I eat are the tools I need to maintain my weight, they’re a small price to pay.

Diets are temporary. Healthy habits are a way of life and will help you to maintain and not struggle so much.

Take it from someone who struggled for decades!

Tea? Iced Tea? Coffee? Decaf? Or something else?

Do you diet or do you make healthy lifestyle changes?