The Friday Five - Indulgences

Five [Indulgent] Things I'm thinking about this Friday.

  • The weather - we can never stop talking about / thinking about the weather! A little over a week ago, the AC was running in the house. It's cooled off so much now, I wonder how long I can stave off flipping that switch to "Heat". But with the cooler weather, we've enjoyed our first Chili of the season. I also made Chicken Noodle Soup, baked a batch of spiced pumpkin scones and indulged in a Spiced Pumpkin Latte. [On the subject of Spiced Pumpkin Coffee - I'm now making my own, using real pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg]
Since it Feels Like Fall Today, Taco Soup for #dinner #foodie
Another Fall Favorite - Taco Soup
  • My guilty pleasure song download of the week (actually, of the month, since I hardly ever download music) - Taylor Swift's Shake It Off [Yes, I hear people wailing "noooooo..." right now]. Let me explain myself - the song is perfect to run with! With a snappy 160 beats per minute tempo, it's just a little slower than my running cadence. Plus, the chorus alliteration makes for easy "sing-it-in-your-head" playback as my feet hit the ground.
'Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
Heart-breakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
    I also purchased Clean Bandit's "Rather Be" and the "Bang Bang" collaboration by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj. It was quite the song purchase splurge for me. I added all the songs to my "Running" Playlist.
  • A Jimmy John's Sub Shop finally opened in the little town where I work. We've been anxiously awaiting this lunch alternative to the typical fast food that's available here. I enjoy their subs and crunchy kettle potato chips, but I didn't realize how yummy their cookies are! The triple chocolate cookie - the perfect buttery moistness, punctuated with white, dark and milk chocolate sweetness. They are big enough for sharing, too (but you might not want to!).
  • The iPhone 6 or 6Plus, that is the question. I am using a three year old iPhone 4s so I'm due for an upgrade. I'm going to wait until the local Verizon store has the physical devices so I can hold them, put them in my pocket and [most importantly] see what fits in my running shorts / skirt / tights. Yes, you can bet I'll bring my running gear to the store. The lens stabilization offered in the iPhone 6 Plus camera gives it an edge over the non-Plus version, but I wonder if the form factor might be too big. Regardless, I need to wait until mid October to make the switch.
  • With the cooler weather, I get to wear cozy leggings around the house, to the store and to yoga class. I bought a pair herringbone leggings, and while I initially vacillated back and forth on the purchase, I am so glad I have them - so soft and cozy and they look great with a skirt and boots.
There you have it - Five indulgences for this Friday. I hope your Friday is great and you can enjoy an indulgence or two this weekend!

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We're Marching On

A little bit of Black and White this Wednesday:

Passerby

My Memory Art

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Horse Jumps at High Speed

About 2 tenths of a second (estimated based on my camera specs of 5.5 frames / second):

Approach

Up

Over

Mid Air

Stick the Landing

Onward

I told my daughter I would buy a GoPro video camera if she would jump with it. I think it would cool to see it from her perspective. She hasn't warmed up to the idea yet....

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The Friday Five

Five things I'm thinking about this Friday

  • It's our 22nd wedding anniversary! Happy Anniversary, Scott!
Back in June
Not the best photo of the two of us, but the latest one I had on my phone - taken in June.

  • Since it's almost the middle of September, I really need to update my blog header! Maybe I'll work on that this weekend (instead of cleaning up the yard - wait, I really need to weed the garden, even though that 5 foot high thistle must really look impressive from the street).
  • It feels like Fall outside and I am not complaining - I'm breaking out some cozy leggings and boots for the football game tonight.
  • It's exactly one month until the Chicago Marathon. Those little aches and pains in my knee and ankles are calling out to me a little more. I've been mitigating / managing with increased stretching, foam rolling, strength exercises and acupuncture. Yes, I started acupuncture sessions in late July as a part of my "three pronged attack" on my ankle injury [The other two prongs - seeing a foot doctor who prescribed deep tissue massage and a physical therapy assessment]. A running friend recommended a local, very affordable acupuncturist and after the results I've seen, I am sold on the treatment. Here is some background on the practice of acupuncture:
The technique of acupuncture involves placing hair-thin needles in various pressure points (called acupoints) throughout the body. Stimulating these points is believed to promote the body's natural healing capabilities and enhance its function.
  • This week's excitement - yesterday, I took my son to the Doctor's office / clinic to have blood drawn to check for Varicella (Chicken Pox) immunity. The state of Illinois requires all incoming high school freshmen to have their Varicella vaccine / booster. My son was exposed to the chickenpox when he was 18 months old at daycare. We opted to give him the Varicella vaccine when we learned he had been exposed in an attempt to lessen / prevent the illness. He did break out into a half dozen small blisters, a very mild case. Because of this, a booster shot is not needed.
    I don't, however, have documentation of the confirmed case of the chickenpox, so a blood test is needed to satisfy the State requirement.
  • This was my son's first time having his blood drawn, and during the process, he passed out! The "Nurse Alert" was sounded in the clinic, and I watched as three nurses, one EMT and an administrator descended upon my son. I wasn't too freaked out as I have personally passed out at least three times (once after a weight lifting session in High school, once in a store and the third time during immunizations I had before traveling to China - I blogged about it here. Scott passed out after having blood drawn at work and in the same clinic as today's episode. I guess it runs in the family. I am thankful for the nurses' quick and thorough response. He won't be too keen to donate to the blood drive, though.

What's happening on your Friday?


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Chicago in 2003 - Throwback Thursday | 3

Our first day trip to Chicago, to celebrate the end of Summer.
We departed early on the Amtrak train. Riding the train was a treat - we ate breakfast in the Dining car and spent most of the trip in the observation train, where the windows curved along the sides and roof of the car, giving the occupants a lovely, unobstructed view of the landscape.

Day Trip to Chicago - 2003

Day Trip to Chicago - 2003
You Can Barely Tell, but my Little Boy is Wearing a Fish Tale Shirt - Perfect for Today's Visit

We visited the Shedd Aquarium that day.
Day Trip to Chicago - 2003

Day Trip to Chicago - 2003

Day Trip to Chicago - 2003

Day Trip to Chicago - 2003
Yes, We Broke Down and Bought Her a White Seal Stuffed Animal - She Loves Animals

It was a fun day trip, but our experience with Amtrak was a little frustrating due to numerous delays (the track is shared with freight trains, and they get preference). In subsequent years, we opted to drive to the Chicago suburbs and take the commuter train into the city instead. Still, I'm glad we took one trip on Amtrak - there is something nostalgic and romantic about a true rail experience.

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The Sunset and Moonrise

What I saw while out walking this evening - the end of a perfect September day.

The sunset
Tequilla Sunset
I don't think I'll ever tire of sunsets (or sunrises) around here.

A Surprise
Intertwine
This is what my camera decided to Autofocus on while I was trying to shoot the sunset. Maybe my camera is smarter than me.

Another Surprise - the Moonrise
I See the Full Moon Arising
I wasn't even searching it out - and boom - there it was, this huge ball rising above the houses in the neighborhood. If I had been smarter, I would have been out along the prairie, watching for it. This is the lazy photographer's moonrise - and I'll take it - this time.

Did you see the Super Moon Rise last night?

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September 2014 Desktop Calendar - Free Download - Cape Cod

September's Desktop Calendar displays the beauty of Cape Cod's sand dunes - filled with wild sea roses.



I shot this image in 2011 while visiting my parents who spend their summers in Plymouth, MA, a town considered to be the gateway to Cape Cod. When I pulled up this month's calendar image, I was surprised (I curate my calendar images in December - I never remember what's coming next) and felt a bit nostalgic. Nostalgic because my parents recently decided to sell their Plymouth home, a beautiful, light filled place that sits high upon the hills, overlooking the pines. Whenever I visit, I'm filled with calm and serenity. I'll definitely miss the place.

To download September's Free Calendar, click on this link from Box.com:
September 2014 Calendar - Cape Cod

If you care to view some of the photos I've taken over the years while visiting my parent's place, I've compiled some of the photos into an album on my flickr stream.

Scenes from Plymouth

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