Thursday, September 29, 2011


Workout:  Ran 6.2 miles

We've had the longest stretch of cloudy, rainy weather here in West Michigan.
The forecast for today: Rain with SW wind at 20-30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph.
Definitely an indoor workout day.
I was all set to do strength training and workout on the elliptical when the sun came out.  I checked the Weather Channel and the temperature was 64 degrees with winds at only 6 mph.  I decided to run.

There are days that I like to push myself and days that I don't.  Today was the latter so I didn't wear a watch. I wanted a more relaxing workout.  So, off I went.  I enjoyed about 15 minutes of sunshine and then the clouds moved in.  About one mile from home, it started to sprinkle.  Drats!  So much for a relaxing run.  Rain is definitely a motivator to pick up the pace.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Healthy Fall Treat

Pumpkin + Yogurt = Fun Healthy Treat

Mix one cup of plain or vanilla yogurt with 2 tablespoons of pumpkin.  Add sweetener or honey to taste.  Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice and enjoy!

Spoon leftover pumpkin into ice cube trays and freeze.  Once frozen, store in ziplock bag.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy 25th, Katie!

Today is my baby's 25th birthday.  For those of you wondering, I was 10 years old when I had her.  Well, that obviously isn't true or this blog would be called, "Feeling Fab After Thirty."  It was a Saturday and all throughout my labor, the Michigan football game was on.  (Maybe this was a foreshadowing of her college choice.)  I was competing with that for my husband's attention.  For the most part, the Wolverines won out.  She was born at 4:25 p.m.  What a great addition to our family!  Here are a few pictures chronicling her life.
September 27, 1986
Annie was so excited to have a little sister.

7 Months Old 
 I had a perpetual burp cloth on my shoulder 
for the first year of her life.

 Two Years Old
Gotta love that smile!

Christmas Morning

Three Years Old

Hmm.  I wonder why they never dress alike anymore.

Great America, 1990

Katie's dress-up phase - pretending to be
a cheerleading Laura Ingalls Wilder 

 Katie and Best Friend, Molly
First Day of Preschool

Katie's YFCA I.D.
She looks like the poster child for abused children.
She had the remnants of a black eye
from standing too close to her brother while he was swinging a bat.

 Disney World with Grandpa and Grandma
Katie coerced Grandpa into carrying her most of that trip.

Colonial Williamsburg (she loved that hat).
After seeing Disney's version of Pocahontas, 
they were quite disappointed with the real deal.

Skiing in Vail

Katie and Sarah at a gymnastics meet.
She never complained about the "rips" she would get
on her palms from the uneven bars.

 Rock climbing at Smith Rock in Oregon

Sailing/Snorkeling trip off the coast of Maui.
Katie was the only brave one to swim in the 
Seven Sacred Pools near Hana. 

Katie and Regis

Katie (next to the guitar player) got to sing at the White House.

 Moving into the dorms at U of M

 Who knew that it was Katie and her brother, Dave,
in Star Wars, not Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford?

 Graduation from U of M
It was the only year they didn't have the ceremony
in the Big House (due to construction).

 Katie and Dad in the Boston Commons

I wish Boston was a little closer to home.  We don't see Katie as much as we would like (everyday would be my preference).  Knowing she's happy makes it a little easier.  I love you Scoots.  Have a wonderful day.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Fall 2010 at the Michigan Game with Dave and Karen

I haven't felt much like blogging this week.  Our dear friend, Dave, was diagnosed with a glioblastoma (cancerous brain tumor) this past week.  We've been helping out him and his wife by bringing meals, sitting with him in the hospital, and just trying to be supportive.  He came home from the hospital yesterday and is waiting to find out the course of treatment.  We're a bit shellshocked right now.

Any suggestions on how we can be most helpful to them?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011



Moose is a chocolate labrador retriever from Germany that was adopted by my husband's brother and sister-in-law.  He is a handsome guy with the sweetest personality.  Supposedly Moose is a purebred, but I swear, there has to be a goat in there somewhere.

Moose has definite traits of a retriever.

He loves to swim.

The doggie paddle is his favorite stroke.

His nose can sniff out food a mile away, like the pizza leftover by construction workers that was not even close to the sidewalk we were on, or the pieces of hotdog in the little boys' pockets that they were using as fish bait.  The worst is the dead fish head he found in the grass (I still have nightmares of his crunch, crunch, crunching as he devoured it).

There's nothing like a good fish head.

There is no holding him back once he gets a whiff of something.

The first episode of abnormalness (I know it's not a word) was soon after they had gotten Moose.  My sister-in-law was walking him and noticed his feces that day were totally white.  Upon closer inspection, she found it was the insides of one of the kids stuffed animals.

Then, my nieces' panties started coming up missing.  Most of the time they made it all the way through his digestive tract.

His latest conquest was a 12-pack of Charmin (double roll, no less).  I'm amazed he hasn't gotten a bowel obstruction.  

 What delectable morsel is under those rocks?

What's next, Moose?  An electric blanket?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Dancing With a Star

When I think of autumn, I think of apples, especially living in West Michigan.  Over the years my favorite apple has gone from Granny Smith, to Mutsu, to Honey Crisp, to my new favorite---SweeTango.  One of my coworkers brought them in to work last week and I was immediately addicted.  (They must have something in them that is illegal.)

This past weekend, my daughter and I  drove about 40 miles north to an orchard that sells them.  At their market, they had samples for tasting.  So I did a taste test between a Honeycrisp, a Zestar, and a SweeTango.  There is no comparison.   The SweeTango is crisp, juicy, sweet, and tangy.  They make a Honeycrisp taste bland.

They were developed by the University of Minnesota and first came out 2 years ago.  They are a cross between a Honeycrisp and a Zestar.  The orchards that are allowed to grow it are tightly controlled and so they are not easy to come by.

I hope you can find them where you live.  The only caveat--once you have tasted this apple, you will never want another variety.  If only they could help me dance better.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Things They Don't Tell You In Nursing School

When a patient who drools gives you a hug, you're likely to get a wet spot on your shirt.
It's worth it.

Backpacking: Part 2

We awoke the next morning feeling somewhat refreshed.  I was ravenous and could hardly wait for the water to heat up for my instant oatmeal.  Jim and Jayne had this nifty devise called a Jet Boil.  It heats water in just a couple of minutes.

After our coffee, we were ready to get back at it.  It was then that I had a brilliant idea.  Let's leave the packs and tents at the campsite and pick them up with the car after we finish the hike.  Jim and Jayne didn't feel comfortable with that since some of their equipment was their son's.  The top of my pack detached into a fanny pack (I could kiss the person who came up with that idea), and I had my Camelback for water.  I was golden.  The pack was staying behind.  My husband didn't have the fanny pack option, so he still had to carry his big pack, but he only carried the essentials--food and water.  Life was good.

Maybe the sweaty clothes will dry by the end of the day.

Before we left the campsite, I noticed my other boot was looking a little suspicious.  We decided to do a little preventative reinforcement.  The duct tape was getting low, so I had to use a rope for the toe of my boot.  I was starting to feel like a hillbilly.

Thankfully, the Manistee River Trail was much prettier than the North Country Trail.  We had beautiful views of the river all along the way.

The Manistee River

 This would be my view for the next seven hours.

 Snack time

We stopped for lunch at a beautiful spot.  Unfortunately, Mike didn't bring the sterno or cookware along, so we had to eat our meal cold.  Our meals, by the way, were interesting.  I picked them up at work. (They are for the weight management program--code for diet food.)  They are similar to Lean Cuisine, except they don't have to be frozen.  They have a shelf life of three years, and all you do is microwave them for 60 seconds.  I thought we could heat them over the sterno and be fine.  They aren't bad warmed up, but eating them cold just doesn't do it.  

 One of the many kayakers we saw.

We knew we had to cross the river over a suspension bridge and then would reach the car about 1.5 miles after that.  I asked every person that we came upon how far we had to go to get to the bridge.  I got different answers from everyone.  I knew I could trust the guy who told us "39 minutes".  Sure enough, we caught sight of the bridge in 32 minutes and got there in 36.

 The suspension bridge comes into view.

 It was on the bridge that my boot finally bit the dust.  Pieces of rubber were starting to fall off.  Thankfully, I had a pair of mules that I had brought along to wear around camp in the evening.  They weren't made for hiking, but they worked.  And they looked quite chic with my white socks.  

 The boots had had enough.

By now, Mike was on a mission.  He was like an old horse heading back to the barn.  We couldn't keep up with him.  By the time we got to the car, he already had changed his shoes and had his pack in the car. The death march was finally over and we had survived.

 Gotta love the white socks and black mules.  
The look on Mike's face says it all, but he was a good sport.

These boots don't owe me anything.  They are at least 15 years old,
have been up Long's Peak (14,259 ft.) twice, 
plus countless other hikes.

Goodbye to my boots.  They served me well.

I can now cross backpacking off my bucket list.  If anyone is interested in gear, keep an eye out for ours on e-bay.  I tried it, and I don't like it, and I never have to do it again.   Praise God!!