Saturday, April 27, 2013

Check out my rack!

After getting my first medal from my 10k in St Augustine, I began thinking about how I wanted to display them. I googled around, looking at medal racks, but none of them really spoke to me, They were either too extravagant or too boring! The crafty part of me began wondering if I could make one myself – it would probably be cheaper, and more personal.

I let that simmer over the holidays and after the Princess, I began to think about it again. I went to Home Depot (to get a broiler unit for my oven), and looked at hooks and stuff like that. I began to formulate a plan!

I returned to HD a few weeks later (when I was ready to buy everything I needed) and got a piece of MDF (HD cut it for free, so I got a piece for my medal shelf, and two pieces I can turn into shelving somewhere later), some purple spray paint and 2 three-hook racks. AtWalmart, I got some Command wire hooks. On Amazon, I got a great vinyl decal. I already owned the hardware to mount it and some glue.

First, I painted the piece of wood with a few coats of purple spray paint. Once it was completely dry, I applied the vinyl decal. (You know how you usually use something like a credit card to apply decals like these? I used an old Key to the World card!)

The hardest part of all this was trying to decide on the layout for the hooks. I ended up doing a few different layouts and taking photos of each one, then deciding that way.

Once I decided on a layout, I used some LocTite Power Grab to glue the robe hooks to the piece of wood. Then let it dry.

Now the fun part – getting it up on the wall! I made sure it was level and screwed in the first screw to the robe hook, going through the robe hooks, through the MDF and into the wall stud. I repeated with the other 3 screws that came with the robe hooks and tapped in the little screw cover knobs.

Next, I screwed the top of the MDF into the wall. In hindsight, I should have drilled first so that I wouldn’t have any ‘blowback’ from the MDF, but it doesn’t look too horrible. I taped off the entire area and gave the two screws a hit of spray paint so that they would fit in and not stick out (the screw caps I bought sucked, so I didn’t use them).

Once it was up on the wall, I adhered two Command wire hooks (already painted purple) to the MDF. These were for my bibs.

I laminated my bibs, and used a hole punch to punch holes so that they could be hung. On the back of each bib, I put on a label that had the name of the race, the date of the race and my official time.

Just basic file folder labels
I hung them chronologically, with the oldest one in the back, and the newest one on top.

All in all, I am very happy with the way it turned out.  I wish I’d had room to center the bibs above the two robe hooks, but this way is good too.
I only have 2 medals – SO FAR – that I can hang on there, but I plan on filling it up!  For now, though, it can double as a Bondi Band holder!

I have 3 more Bondis not shown here....

And now, some glamor shots of my awesome Medal Rack!

Before I put the bibs on
Close-up of Bib Hanger
Close up of completed project
The Finished Medal Rack

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Down to a dull throb....

I think I must have clenched my jaw while sleeping, I woke up this morning with a lot of jaw pain.  

Other than that though – my pain is down to a dull throb; Advil is really all I need. Also, the swelling is mostly gone, but the two extraction sites are very tender to the touch.

For breakfast, I had another bagel. Lunch was mashed potatoes with gravy and some sliced steak. I don’t recall what we had for dinner.

I happened to have my pain meds bottle on the desk at work today and I realized that the label said Hydrocodone & Acetaminophen.  Now I know why I was feeling dizzy and nauseated – the codone! I’ve put the pills away  in a safe place for if I have “OMG pain” but I can’t take these any more.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Raindrops keep fallin' on my head

So, it’s raining, again. In Florida. What a surprise, right?

Well, when you have a leaky roof, you dread the rain.

Yes, my roof leaks. It’s my dirty little secret I've tried to hide from everyone for years. Yes, years.

It started leaking a long time ago, and we tried to deal with it as long as possible, but (duh-doi), it’s getting worse and worse.

Last week, we discovered a new leak, in the kitchen (above Clover’s cat food bowl, too). 

Okay, enough is enough.  I don’t know HOW we are going to pay for it, but we need to figure something out.  I’m embarrassed to say that we have no money in savings for this.

I emailed four different local companies via their website to come give me an estimate on both repairing the damaged areas (until we can pay for the whole thing) and also the whole thing.  Three companies responded to my query and came out to inspect the house.

Of those three, only two gave me an estimate.  The first company gave me a verbal estimate of $7,500 plus wood (no price on the wood); he wouldn't even give me a price on repairs.  The second company (and a company I am very familiar with, after working at a construction company for 5+ years) provided a very professional written estimate of $5,500 plus wood (at $40 per man hour). 

Obviously, we want to go with the second company!  Now, how to we pay for this?

I contacted my Credit Union to inquire about a personal loan or line of credit. No go.

I contacted my mortgage holder about a personal loan. No go.

I contacted my mortgage holder about a home equity loan or line of credit. I was waiting to hear back from them when I realized that I had a horde of money that, while I didn't WANT to touch it, would give us what we needed – my 401k that had been languishing around from (ironically) my old job at the construction company!

I requested a distribution, and waited for the check to come (which it did, in only a day or so!)

Okay, so I have an estimate and I have money, so new I get a new roof!

I signed and returned their proposal and we were put on the work calendar for our new roof. We have a flat roof, so we would be getting something called a roll-on cap sheet roof.

Once I sent the proposal back to the roofer, they sent me a Notice of Commencement to sign as well, and then we waited….

The office assistant told us that we were about 10 weeks out on the schedule, so that would put us at about July 2nd.

So, here’s the next question on my mind – remember how Hubby said “No PHM until the roof is fixed”?  - Roof is fixed! PHM here I come? Or Space Coast. Or Key West. Or all three?!?

And as usual, getting the new roof is making me think of other projects that we need to tackle. Depending on what is left over from my 401k after the roof, we should have some money left over to fix other stuff – like my closet, which is where most of the leaking is (I need to re-plaster the ceiling); I want to put in a good closet organizer.

Outside, we REALLY need to tackle the Bamboo Jungle that is the backyard. It’s been bad for years (as bad as the roof), but because we are not really outdoorsy people, or people who grill and chill on the patio, we've never really seen it as a priority. Well, I want to make it a priority.  Florida, when not summertime, does have nice weather. I want to be able to enjoy it more, maybe curl up on the patio and read a book in the sunshine. I also want to fix up the front porch, with new chairs too.

Finally, this is probably a must, I want to repaint the entire house. Ever since we moved in, our house has been a drab grey with peach (seriously, peach) trim. The woman who owned the house before us was old and blind, so maybe they bought the paint at the Recycling Center because it was cheap and she couldn't see it anyway (ooh, too mean?)  I want something warm, like a toasty brown, to match the white roof.  I don’t want the house color to be too dark, because that will absorb the FL sun and heat, but a caramel or toffee color, with creamy trim would be great.

Sadly, I don’t think that we’ll have enough left over for ALL of this, but we can do it in stages. We just have to buckle down and save for it. 

Feeling better... Still feel like a donkey kicked me in the face

I was feeling better this morning. I’m still very swollen, especially on the lower part of my face. But the draining had finally stopped, which was good. I was beginning to worry that it wasn’t clotting correctly.

For breakfast, I had a cinnamon bagel with butter at work. I kept to myself a lot because it hurt to talk. 

I ended up having Stouffer’s mac n cheese for lunch – it’s soft and gooshy, and not hard to chew.

Dinner brought spaghetti with garlic bread. I knew that I was pushing it with the garlic bread, but I was starving!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Who Remembers that little dentist from Alias?

My second dentist appointment was today. After such an easy procedure last time, I stupidly made this appointment for the morning – I mean, if I am going to be recovering from getting teeth pulled, I might as well get paid for it while I’m at work!  This plan backfired drastically…
One of my FAVORITE Steve Martin roles of all time!
I took J to work at 7, then came home to get ready. I didn’t know how long the appointment would take, but I remembered that I wouldn’t be able to eat much afterward, so I made a protein shake with protein powder, milk and Ovaltine.  I figured that it would keep me full for a while.

I got to my appointment and got numbed up.  We were taking out the two on the left today, and very early on, we all realized that these two would be a hell of a lot harder than the right two!   The top left wasn’t TOO horrible, but for the bottom one, I had to get more Novocain, and I had to put in my ears and put on my shades because he was pulling out something called a burr.  Basically, he couldn’t get a grip on my teeth, so he had to grind a hole in them or something so that he could pull them out.  I could not shut off my imagination, and came up with some gruesome visuals for what was going on in my mouth.

E...M... E...T...I...B...  - Now Reverse It
 Finally, after an hour, both teeth had been extracted. 
Yes, I hurt as bad as I look!
Again, he gave me a prescription for Lortab. I didn’t make another appointment to come back because I wasn’t sure when I would be able to. I have to pay off the extractions first before I come back.  I don’t have any extractions left, but now it’s time to do fillings and crowns – a.k.a. the expensive parts.

As I did last time, I took my prescription to Wal-Mart to get filled, but I left it there so that hubby could pick it up after work (I still had the first bottle from two weeks ago in my purse).

Once I was safely tucked in my office at work, I took a pain pill.  I figured that it would last most of the afternoon, and be pretty much worn off by the time I needed to drive home. I had chicken soup (broth only) for lunch, and some Belgian Chocolate Talenti Gelato. After all this running, I felt guilty eating half a pint of gelato, but I didn’t have much of an option!

Later in the day, I had a vanilla snack pack, but I began to feel dizzy, and vertigo was setting in. It was really weird!  I figured it was because I was hungry, but wondered if it was the meds.  I was still in a lot of pain, so I decided to take another pill at 2.

Once I was home, dinner was again “Own Thing”. I made a can of Clam Chowder (New England, of course), and, feeling nauseated and extremely sleepy, I headed to bed by 7pm.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

6th Annual Fallen Heroes 5k Race Report

When I found this race on Active, I didn’t immediately sign up for it. I wanted to see if A (a.k.a. The Kiddo) wanted to run it with me.  Over the course of a week, I asked her a few times and she was always positive that she wanted to run it with me, so I signed her up.

A week before the race, she finally got around to telling me that she no longer wanted to do it.  I was ticked off, but soon found out why – that weekend was her BFFs slumber party and she wanted to go do that instead.  I was still ticked off, and told her that she owed me $25 for the race, but gladly let her go off to the slumber party (you don’t turn down baby-free weekends! Even if said “baby” is old enough to be in high school).

I contacted Active to see if there was a way to defer until next year or to apply the race fee to another race, but they told me that I needed to contact the event director directly.  I contacted him, and after a few emails back and forth, he told me that I could have a free entry next year, so I get to run this race again next year, for ‘free’!  Pretty nice of him to work with me like that (though, if he would have balked at it, I would dropped it – it IS for the Fisher House, after all!)

When race day got here, it was cloudy, cold and looked like it was going to rain. I ended up in a black tee, Purple Haze over black tights (calf sleeves underneath), purple Bondi and cute braids.  Hindsight being what it is, I sure wish I had worn long sleeves! It was cold today.

I arrived at the starting line, early as usual, and began to unpack my race stuff. I’d already had some Protein Ovaltine at home, and ate a cheese stick on the way here, so all I needed to do was chug a PowerAde.

After that, I headed across the parking lot to pick up my packet. Holy moly, it was cold. AND it was starting to rain….. Oh, joy.

I hauled ass back to my car and hopped in, warming up with the heater.  

The first thing I did was take the cheap quarter-zip fleece (that I had the forethought to bring with me) and put it on. It wasn't much, and it certainly wasn't waterproof, but it was better than a thin tech tee.

I started pulling things out of my packet, and was glad that I also remembered to bring extra safety pins – there was a pile of them at the pick-up table, but I totally forgot to grab them, and I would rather use my extras than go back out in the cold before the race began!

I pulled out the tee-shirt to check it out, and I’m confused – what is up with the frog skeleton? Does this symbolize something? Is it a vet in-joke? I don’t know….

We also got a menu for Tijuana Flats, RoadID coupons and a free 7-day gym pass to Bailey’s Gym (never heard of it). 

I went ahead and pinned my bib to my skirt and stuck my Run for Boston bib to my back (on my Tech tee, not the fleece one), took two hits from the inhaler, steeled myself for the cold and got out of the car. There’s no going back now!

And of course – no sooner did I step out of the car, did the sky open up and begin to pour!  I headed over to the side of the parking lot where the potties were and stood in line for a few minutes before it was my turn.

Okay, so they were nice potties – they had hand sanitizer in them, but, well…. They also had these.

Who puts pictures of kittens in port-a-potties?

 I think the frog liked it, at least (it was probably warmer in here!)

As I exited the pottie, the Color Guard was presenting colors and it was time for the National Anthem. It can rain all it wants. I stopped in my tracks, put my hand over my heart and saluted my flag.

We all had about 5 minutes to stand around in the parking garage before it was time to line up at the starting line.

We all took off in the rain, and yay - I remembered to actually start my Garmin this time!  However, my iPod does not seem to be working….  I had it going with my Nike app and the Interval Timer, but I can’t hear either one of them, nor my music.  I fiddle around with the iPod, even turning it off and on again, until I finally realize what the problem is – the earbud that I’m using (I one-bud it) is dead! I switch to the other ear bud and all is well (although a little mono).  Of course, all the fiddling around screwed me up and I forgot to turn both the intervals and Nike back on! Grrrr… I will get the hang of this one day, I swear!

Ugh, it’s still raining, and still cold.  It’s not taking very long for my cheap fleece pullover to become soaked. This was a bad idea.

I was so happy to see Mile 1, and a water stop as well!  Not just water, but Gatorade, albeit the yucky yellow kind. I thanked my volunteers and kept on going. The rain was starting to let up, but it wasn’t getting much warmer out there.  I’ve gotten so wet at this point, the fleece is actually dripping! 

At the back of the pack, as usual, you start to see some of the same people over and over. This might happen at the front of the pack, too, but I’ve never been in that situation, so I can’t say for sure…. Anyway, I tried my best to do intervals, but every time I started walking, I would get passed by this tiny 6-year old who was skipping! SKIPPING! Like she was out for a day in the park. I don’t know why this bugged me so much, but it did and I was bound and determined to stay ahead of her at the finish line.

Mile 2 came quickly, with more Gatorade. And more rain. And more skipping…

I came around the last leg of the route and the turn to the finish line was in sight, and the Playlist Gods gave me “He’s a Pirate” from Pirates of the Caribbean. One of my favorite power songs, I pulled a run out of my ass and finished strong!  I quickly turned off the Garmin (before I forgot!) and checked my time – 47:11!!  

I think this is my fastest 5k to date, PR baby!! I’ll have to check the official results for my time, maybe I got lucky and scored a Sub-47 finish?? (As of 7/15/2013, I’ve not seen any official results posted anywhere…)

Afterwards, I got my obligatory finish line photo, as well as one that showed my Run for Boston bib.  It didn’t stay totally perfect, but it lasted the whole race, so I was happy for that.

I headed back to the car real quick, and took off the disgusting drippy fleece and switched out for my nice warm Columbia jacket, and grabbed my big golf umbrella too, since it was raining again.

The awards and raffle were both moved into the parking garage, so I ended up not needing the umbrella.  Before the awards, however, we all gathered under the huge flag for a group photo.  As we were doing that, one of the race guys said that they had 2 more runners coming in (by this time, is was more than an hour since the race began), so the entire group of us who had been taking the photo became the runners’ cheering section, and it was amazing to see them come in, so proud of themselves (one of them actually slipped on the pavement and rolled with it before crossing the finish line – she was fine, but probably embarrassed!)

Once the group photo was taken, the awards were given out and all the raffle prizes were collected, it was finally time to take off.  I had a massage scheduled after this (I’d originally thought that it would be an AWESOME idea to have a massage right after a race, but I hadn't counted on the rain and cold…)

In the car, I couldn't get warm, even with the heater going full blast. When I got to the corner of 6th and 16th, I caught a red light, so I whipped off my wet race top and put on the race tee-shirt that was warm and dry. I still had on wet bra, wet tights, wet sparkle, wet shoes and wet socks, but the shirt helped a bit.

Poor Amaree didn't know what to do with me! After our chat (we always chat about my weeks beforehand so she knows what part of me to work on), once I was on the table, she needed to turn on the heating pad AND layer me with about 5 blankets, and it still wasn't really the best session – she said that she was pretty much spending all of her time warming me up, rather than actually doing any massage. So, lesson learned – no massages after a race, just to be on the safe side.

I was smart enough to bring dry clothes with me so that I didn't have to put on my wet race clothes again, and headed home.  Once home, I put on fleece lounge pants and a fleece jammie top, turned on the little heater in my office and made myself a big cup of hot chocolate.  I think it took about 3 hours before I was finally able to say that I was WARM!

Note to self – buy a rain jacket!  This is now the second race I've run in the rain, and while running in the rain can be fun, it can also make you way too cold!