4/30/2010

Vitamin D is for dogs

I love the sun.

I think there is no better feeling than skin burning from the raidiant star high above.

I realize this is not smart--stupid in fact--and I know I've made some bad decisions when it comes to the sun. I never wore sun screen in high school. Once I actually got second degree sunburns over my entire body becuase I laid out for about 12 hours straight--on a lake--with zero SPF protection. But nowadays, as my skin is the moly grail of sun damage and I've had a suspicisous spot on my back removed (benign, luckily), I'm trying to be better about wearing SPF.

Anywho, you know how they say people and their pets resemble each other? Check this out. We have an entire home for Macy to chillax in, and she opts for the spot in the sun--betwen the bed and ironing board in our master bedroom.

Ah, my little sun-worshipping pooch, Macy.

Does Banana Boat come in canine?

4/28/2010

To renovate or not to renovate...that is the question.

We're staying in Omaha for a few more months--yay! More to come on that. But with this comes some questions about casa de Fitch. I'm getting the itch for a new house (two-story, privacy fence, three-car garage...ahhh!), but if we're only in Omaha for one more year, moving doesn't make sense and I know that. So, the question is...do we embark on some home projects to enjoy for our remaining time in this home or do we save the money and put it toward projects in a new residence? Specifically, I've been toying with the following (some for years):

Deck: We love having BBQs but we are outgrowing our deck space. The idea is to redo it and make it larger. This is; however, a pricey project and some revamped landscaping would have to happen around the new deck as well. To expand or not to expand...that is the question.

Flooring: We currently have laminate flooring in our kitchen, bathrooms and entry way. Blach. But it is definitely low maintenance, which I can't complain about. What I'd like to do is tile all of the current laminated flooring, rip out the carpet in the master bath and replace with tile and rip out the carpet under the kitchen table and tile that area too. I had this priced out once and it will cost about $4,000. To tile or not to tile...that is the question.

Countertops: New countertops would also be grand...but they'd also cost a few grand. Should I wait and let granite be a perk of a new house? To granite or not to granite...that is the question.

Landscaping: Some landscaping--around the power boxes in our backyard and on the side of our house where grass doesn't grow so well--would be nice. But again, we're looking at a chunk of change for this (and I do NOT landscape on my own anymore). To landscape or not to landscape...that is the question.

Driveway: With TFitch's work truck in the driveway now, I'd like to widen our driveway and make it a little easier to maneuver in and out of. I don't think it's that big of a project, but I do think there are sprinkler heads that need to be removed, etc. To concrete or not to concrete...that is the question.

I have a feeling we should sit tight and not invest in these projects. But at the same time, if we're living here for another year, we should love our house. Do any of these increase the value when we sell our house, or does it just make it sell faster--or do they do neither? I'm so torn as to what to do.

What would you do?

4/18/2010

Lettering in Life


During yesterday’s nine-miler, I got to thinking about how it’s almost funny I am running a half-marathon. I didn’t excel at sports as a child. I tried, but I was far from the star athlete.  I enjoyed softball, but my parents reminded me how much I (read: they) loved boating and how my weekend softball tourneys would interrupt that. I was on JV tennis in high school for three years. I’d call me “fine.” I cut out of tryouts senior year because of a heart murmur that showed up during my physical. And, as a senior you couldn’t be on JV—had to make varsity—and I knew that wasn’t happening. Thank goodness for the heart murmur, right?

Not being a great athlete at Millard North High School; however, was hard. Hard because letter jackets were super cool at our school. At any given party there would be an assortment of black Reebok high tops scattered in the entry way and a pile of blue-wool and grey-sleeved jackets on the couch.  And obviously, since I didn’t letter in a sport, I didn’t have a letter jacket. (I did letter in academics but that was not the cool letter—sorry Josh. Only kidding, buddy.) 

While thinking about the irony of me—the non-athlete—running 13.1 miles, I thought “so what?” Who cares if some 18-year-old could run the 40 in record time or can make three-pointers like it’s nobody’s business? Is that what matters in life? While in 1998 it might have seemed so, the answer is no.

And that got me thinking about a lot. My job I love. My home. T Fitch and his great job. Macy. My incredible friends. My family. The fact that I have raised $4,600+ for breast cancer research and walked 120 miles over six days to show my commitment to the cause. Kappa. A college degree.

The list goes on.

Whether I’m walking around in a North Face fleece or a Banana Republic trench, these are the accomplishments I am proud of.  I don’t need them written on my back to remind me.

Someone get Eric Crouch on the phone...how’s that letter jacket fitting nowadays? 

4/15/2010

Lara Bar(f)s

I like food.
I'm really not afraid to try any food.
I get pissed when someone won't try just one bite of something. I promise it won't kill you. (Unless of course you have a severe food allergy, in which case, don't try just one bite. At least not on my watch.)
Sure there are foods I don't care for--red meat, sausage, that's all I can really think of--but I'll always try them and will even force 'em down. This stems from my younger years. One time on a Disney vacation--I was about 10--I ordered escargot and lemon meringue pie in the same meal. Besides the obvious question as to what 10-year-old can eat a three-course meal, those typically are not the fave foods of a one-decade old person. In fact, the waiter ended up telling my parents I had a "sophisticated palate." I love that.

So, when I just took a bite of the Cherry Pie Lara Bar and nearly lost my Firehouse Sub lunch, you know it's bad. Bad bad bad bad bad.

Bring me snails anyday but please keep me away from those taste bud atrocities.

4/13/2010

Dear half-marathon,

Sometimes I really hate you. Sometimes I hate that you make me run a long, long way on a Sunday. Sometimes I hate that you make my knee hurt and me worry that I won't be able to run 13.1 miles--and that I'll feel like a failure on the 50-yard line of Memorial Stadium in front of the other 7,999 runners and their onlookers. Sometimes I hate I paid $50 for two+ hours of RUNNING.

But sometimes I really love you. Sometimes I love that you make me run a long, long way on a Sunday--because I always feel better once I do. Sometimes I love that you make me feel strong, give me confidence and let me prove to myself I CAN DO THIS.

It's a love/hate relationship. But I think I'm ready for ya.

4/09/2010

4/08/2010

Macy vs. Riley

Riley the smiling dog was on the Today show this morning. Macy took one look at the TV and went ballistic. I only caught the tail end (pun intended) of Macy giving Riley a piece of her mind, but it was pretty funny--especially since she doesn't bark at other dogs on TV!

video

4/06/2010

Don't Wait.

The pastor referenced this story during our Easter service and I thought it was great. I am getting better about living in the moment but I think it's something everyone struggles with at some point. What are you putting off for another day?

My brother-in-law opened the bottom drawer of my sister's bureau and lifted out a tissue-wrapped package. "This", he said, "is not a slip. This is lingerie." He discarded the tissue and handed me the slip. It was exquisite; silk, handmade and trimmed with a cobweb of lace. The price tag with an astronomical figure on it was still attached. "Jan bought this the first time we went to New York, at least 8 or 9 years ago. She never wore it. She was saving it for a special occasion. Well, I guess this is the occasion." He took the slip from me and put it on the bed with the other clothes we were taking to the mortician. his hands lingered on the soft material for a moment, then he slammed the drawer shut and turned to me. "Don't ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you're alive is a special occasion."


I remembered those words through the funeral and the days that followed when I helped him and my niece attend to all the sad chores that follow an unexpected death. I thought about them on the plane returning to California from the Midwestern town where my sister's family lives. I thought about all the things that she hadn't seen or heard or done. I thought about the things that she had done without realizing that they were special.


I'm still thinking about his words, and they've changed my life. I'm reading more and dusting less. I'm sitting on the deck and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. I'm spending more time with my family and friends and less time in committee meetings. Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experience to savor, not endure. I'm trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.


I'm not 'saving' anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event-such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, the first camellia blossom.  I wear my good blazer to the market if I feel like it. My theory is, if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries without wincing. I'm not saving my good perfume for special parties; clerks in hardware stores and tellers in banks have noses that function as well as my party-going friends.


"Someday" and "one of these days" are losing their grip on my vocabulary. if it's worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now. I'm not sure what my sister would have done had she known that she wouldn't be here for the tomorrow we all take for granted. I think she would have called family members and a few close friends. She might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think she would have gone out for a Chinese dinner, her favorite food. I'm guessing-I'll never know.


It's those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew that my hours were limited. Angry because I put off seeing good friends whom I was going to get in touch with-someday. Angry because I hadn't written certain letters that I intended to write-one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn't tell my husband and daughter often enough how much I truly love them. I'm try very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives.


And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that it is special.


Every day, every minute, every breath truly is,....a gift from God.

Ann Wells, LA Times

4/02/2010

Macy is 3!

(aka 21 in people years.)

She got after it last night.

Happy birthday, widdle Mace!


Don't worry; I was her DD. Humans don't let canines drive drunk.

4/01/2010

The Original Smiling Dog

There's a lot of buzz over Riley the smiling dog.


Well, I'd like to introduce you to the original smiling dog: Macy Fitch.

Photo circa Halloween 2007.

So put that in your kong and smoke it.

Cakes

Lovely readers,

Do you know I make cakes and cupcakes on the side? I do. I haven't been very busy in the last year because I have a new rule that I regrefully have to decline an order if it's a weekend when TFitch is in town. They just take too much time. I really do love it, though, and wish I had more time to devote to getting better. Anyway, you can check out some of my creations on my Sweetie P's blog here.

If you do have an upcoming cake or cupcake need; however, please let me know. I'd love to make you something sweet if I am available!