To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Running, Disney, Wine &, Uh, Disney?

I'm actually writing a blog from something other than my phone! Goodness gracious, it's been a while! Apparently R0nda gets married and then gets busy. As posted before, we put in a pool, complete with a deck to surround it. Now we have a fire pit by the deck as well. My formerly cluttered storage shed is now tidy ... and no longer mine. Man Friend has claimed it as his, cleaned it up and turned it into his shop. He's even put carpet in it, music and wall art. It's his new little play place where he can organize tools and do whatever it is that handy guys like to do for fun!

I've started packing for the Dumbo Double Dare. I just need one blue ribbon and then my costumes are complete. MF's outfits are nearly done - but he does have some sewing to do for his, thank goodness HE is the one that can sew!

Since we do have to run a 10K followed immediately by a half marathon in less than 2 weeks, we decided to maybe, oh, I don't know ... run? We did back to back days this weekend to get ready (maybe more mentally than physically) for Dumbo. But frankly, I have done enough runDisney races that I know how this will go ... get up, put on costumes, be fueled with adrenaline, find friends, take photos, do the Cupid Shuffle with Abby, start the race, run, hit every single character stop, and goof off in the in between times. I have absolutely no worries on this race weekend. It's like the one time I can go to a race completely untrained and not even care or have a worry. It's going to be HUGE amounts of fun and I cannot wait for everything about it!!! I've started packing already, and I'm constantly watching different Disney things -- Stacey (from the hotel rooms in WDW), travel planning DVDs, Travel Channel shows on iTunes - anything I can get my hands on. I'M TOO EXCITED!!!!!

To help prepare for Disney we are watching movies that will inspire us and excite us. But we aren't just watching them in the house. Psh, why do that? Everybody can do that! Nope -- we have debuted a new "thing" for our cottage ... backyard movies!  For our first installment we chose Cars to get us ready to see the new Cars land in California Adventure. Popcorn, a clear, starry night, a fire, my favorite person,  my dog and a movie on the big screen? It was awesome! We are doing it again tonight, the movie is yet to be determined, but I'm kind of thinking maybe Lion King.

*I live next to a store, so I have a big wall next to my backyard. We removed a dying bush, so now we have this big, blank canvas just waiting for an array of movies to be projected onto!

Also this weekend we inadvertently crashed the 1988 high school reunion while mocking the girls at the 2003 class reunion happening in the same location. We were at a local winery for an annual event they hold - and lucky for me one of my favorite friends was there reuniting. I had no idea I knew so many people from the class of 1988! While there I also got to get up close with a cheetah and some birds of prey, listen to music, do TONS of people watching, and meet another local running couple. We have seen them around town multiple times, and even at Portland RnR, and finally I had a chance to meet them in person ... and she knows the blog! Hi Elizabeth!!

Here are some photos from last night's crashing escapades!
Glasses we got with our admission - later used for holding Man Friend's kettle corn (seeing as we don't drink wine)
A Rae sandwich -- my mom, my 1988 graduate friend, and yours truly. We all matched that day!
And the happy couple...... good grief!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Smells Like Scandinavia

Every year in Junction City, Oregon the Scandinavian Festival is held. My mom tells me I went before, but if I'm two I don't think that counts. Since I had no desire to go to our really sad county fair I opted to drag Man Friend up north with me to visit this festival!

I now share our day with you, via iPhone photos!

The festival is free and seemed to be 80% food, 10% performances and 10% crafty things for sale made by old ladies. Everyone working at the festival was in Scandinavian garb so I felt out of place in my running skirt. I've decided to do braided buns with my hair next year and perhaps don an apron!

The first thing we saw was a band and two dressed up girls dancing and having fun with the polka!

We did some browsing and people watching next. Flags were everywhere. There could be no confusion about what street fair type event we were at!

Then some younger, bored looking dancers took to the stage. I wanted more than just the two younger girls to smile!

With all of the delicious food smells filling the air, it was time to go check out what they had to offer. The aebelskiver line was insane so I had to pass. I love me some aebelskivers, so I was a tad disappointed. But disappointment left when I got to the Swedish pastry booth. Delicious!!

In the center of the festival was a windmill surrounded by Vikings!

We came upon another stage of dancers. This group appeared to be happier, more energetic....and hairier. 

And I leave you now with one example of the people watching we had before us!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Bursting With Childlike Excitement

Twenty days from now I will be flitting about in The Happiest Place on Earth with my favorite Man Friend. I am ridiculously excited!! My cottage is filled with packing lists, race waivers, costume pieces, Disney music and vacation planning DVDs. I cannot wait!!

To help tame the child beast exploding from inside of me, Man Friend offered to take me up to the Enchanted Forest for a little fun with my Maid of Honor and her new fiancĂ©! (Turns out catching the bouquet might be the ticket after all!)

For my fellow Disney friends and anyone else that's curious, here is a glimpse of our spontaneous day in Oregon's own "poor man's Disneyland"!

First you go through this magical entrance...
They seemed to have freshened it up a bit and made it so wheel chairs can go in (not that a wheelchair can experience much once inside). After paying a whole $10.50 to get in you can also buy tickets to go on the rides!

First up, and entrance through the castle!

Next you wander through Storybook Lane. I always get excited in here seeing a few things, like the candy house!
Watch out for the witch inside!

Then the excitement of the white rabbit's hole! Are you brave enough to crawl inside?

I just love her!!

What goes in the rabbit's hole must come out, right?

Also in Storybook Lane you'll find the seven dwarves, the evil witch, the 3 bears, Humpty Dumpty and more!

We chose the haunted house to be our first attraction. 
Some day I will have to share stories of a freshman girl in college being absolutely terrified in this house!

*Seeing as I wanted to go shopping later, we did NOT get ourselves soaked on the log flume ride. 

We played in the old western town, explored the Indian caves, and then found ourselves ready for the Ice Mountain Bobsleds! Look familiar?

We also took in the Fantasy Fountains show while dining on pizza. Yum! And if you go, don't forget to do the Challenge of Mondor. I'm not kidding when I say this one actually IS better than Buzz Lightyear. You have freely moving laser guns and the car turns to aim you so you don't have to use a joystick and miss any targets!

I'll leave you now with a peek at how cozy it is if you double up in a bobsled!

I Have A Tool Belt Now!

It's been hot. The kind of hot where it looks nice outside for running, then you step out and realize there no effing way you are going to even try to run. So in the mean time Man Friend (ie new husband) and I have been very busy outside doing some long overdue home improvements. The biggest one that can be noticed, aside from the bushes I hacked into and had removed, is our new pool and deck!

I had a pool already, but it wasn't very deep and has one of those rings you inflate to keep it up. That ring had a leak that we couldn't track down, so the pool just always looked flaccid. A new pool had to be bought! HAD, I tell you! Sadly it seemed that there were no pools left in town thanks to our heat wage. But then after I begrudgingly went to KMart I was the new proud owner of a new, better and deeper pool!

Man Friend is freaking handy! And he doesn't just do things in slacker fashion. His vision: a sandy bottom for the pool to sit on. Sounds good to me! That then grew into our finished product of a deck, bistro dining set, flowers, solar lights...and future nighttime movies being broadcast from our deck. *I live behind a store which gives me a big blank screen just waiting for movie night! We may also add a fire pit!

Here's the beginning: 
A 16X16 frame filled with sand that MF meticulously leveled and smoothed out while I trimmed the plants. 

Man Friend was busy measuring and sawing the wood, while I screwed them into place. (That sentence felt dirty to type...all that wood and screwing.) I actually learned to use power tools (that's what she said?) and have my own pink tool belt now!

During this construction we learned that our neighbors (that I suspect are swingers) are growing pot with their medical marijuana card. This seems to cause them to act like we are besties. Ok I don't want to smoke your pot, I'm not running to the cops, and I do NOT want to engage in your hot tub orgies, so leave us alone!

We worked hard into the night and after that first round we had this:

I was pretty proud of myself and impressed with MF's skills that seemed very natural to him. Note, we didn't start this until AFTER a full work day. Go team!

We filled in the corners and other side, I was busy with applying stain, and soon we had ourselves a finished product!

I have since added more flowers and our next step in backyard beautification is to put bamboo/reed fencing over the chain link fence to hopefully ditch the swinger neighbors!

And that's what I've been doing!