Friday, December 11, 2009

Catching Up

I can't believe it's been over a week since I last posted. Where does the time go? I had such plans for posting all kinds of things this month for the holidays and it's so not happening. I know I still have time, but barely! This is such a busy month for me--for all of you as well, I'm sure. Christmas is a only two weeks away and I've barely done a thing to get ready. Put candles in the window, ordered some books and dvds from amazon, and made a few lists, but that's it! Which doesn't exactly support my excuse for being so busy this month, now does it?! Never mind, I'm just going to spill what's been on my blogging mind lately and we'll catch up from there.

I never got around to posting last Thursday's organic goodness, even though I did manage to snap a photo of it all spread out on my dining room table before putting it all away. Since the growing season here in my area has pretty much ground to a halt as winter approaches, the produce we're getting from local farmers is more the long term storage type produce like potatoes, squash, rutabagas, stuff like that. We got celeriac in the order last week, which would have been fun to blog about since it's not so well known, but we ate it already. Throughout the winter, we'll get more and more produce from Florida and California where the weather is warm and sunny and farmers can grow yummy fruits and vegetables all year long.

I've started cooking a lot of my family's favorite cold weather foods lately and have even even been photographing a lot of it, with the idea that I'd share my recipes here, but I haven't gotten around to posting them. By the time dinner is ready, we eat, clean up, help the girls with homework, get the tween to bed, help the teen more with homework (gotta love those Geometry proofs and 10+ page biology lab reports), poof! It's 10 o'clock at night! At that point, I'd rather spend an hour or so reading my latest book or some nights, weight training with my husband in the basement. I started lifting weights with him regularly in September as part of my new and improved workout regime. Plus it's something we're doing together, alone, so the benefits are doubled! Maybe I'll catch up on a few of those recipes over the weekend.

I know I've been mentioning the running thing a lot on my blog lately and you're probably tired of hearing about it. The thing is, it's still a novel, exciting thing for me, and I'm honestly still in awe that this new runner person is actually ME. It's been consuming a lot of my thoughts lately. A lot. :)

Last week my running class did something different and did some trail running in a nearby wildlife reservation (the same one that challenges me on the bike with the hills). Trail running was so much fun. It was a bit muddy and a bit cold, but the views were so pretty, and it felt exhilarating to be running in the woods over roots, over footbridges, and around the lake. There was no one else around; it was so peaceful. Just six women running wild in the woods. Or rather, six women running in the wild woods. We weren't really wild. Here's a photo I took on the run:

I've also started running with my running partner from class on the weekends. We ran together last Saturday and ran over 5 miles in the cold rain that turned to snow before we were even done! It was awesome! (<-- I can't believe this is me saying this)! I think our time was even better than the 5 Mile Run the previous weekend. How the heck we did better in the cold rain, I have no idea. I think something just clicked with me and the running thing. Now my heart rate is nice and steady during a run. It's like my heart, lungs, and legs finally found the runners groove! New York City Marathon 2010, here I come! Okay, not really. Maybe a 10K. :)

Library Loot
I didn't get any library loot this week. I'm trying to catch up with the loot that I already have before I forget all these due dates. It drives me nuts to accrue library fines. I've ben really happy with the books I've been reading lately and I recently realized how much I miss posting reviews. I think the last one I wrote was in early September!

In the meantime, I've been doing a lot of planning for next year by joining a bunch of different reading challenges. I know, I know. I joined four in 2009 yet you haven't really heard much about that all year, have you? I actually did okay with two of them, but kind of bombed the other two. But what good is a challenge if it doesn't challenge you, right? I plan on posting a year end reflection on each of my 2009 Reading Challenges and also on each 2010 Reading Challenge that I'm joining. Including the In Death Reading Challenge that I'm hosting!

Speaking of the In Death Reading Challenge, I'm really excited about hosting this in 2010. There are and some very enthusiastic readers are already out of the gate! Orannia is just about all caught up in the series already, but recently posted her review of Promises In Death on her blog. Then there's Lori who has gotten a jump start and has read and reviewed the first three In Death books; Naked In Death, and Glory In Death and Immortal In Death. Thank you both for your enthusiasm! I feel so honored really, that my Challenge may have been the final straw on the proverbial camel's back that got Lori to finally read this series. Go check out her reviews. She discusses some really great insights to the characters and the series as a whole. If you haven't read the 'In Death' series by J.D. Robb yet, or if you've got a handful of books to read before you're caught up, why not join my In Death Reading Challenge? It'll be fun to read and discuss these stories together throughout the next year or two. Or three. You can find details about the challenge by clicking the In Death Reading Challenge on my left sidebar.

Getting Ready for Christmas
I seriously need one of those time turner thingies that Hermoine Granger first used in The Prisoner of Azkaban to get me through the next two weeks until Christmas. You know it's time to panic when you've barely done anything to prepare and you've already started getting those emails from retailers with "Last Minute Gift Ideas" in the header. Say it isn't so! If I had a time turner, I would twist time over the next week at least so that I'd have two extra hours every day for holiday baking, two extra hours every day for crafting homemade gifts, one hour every day for for decorating, and three extra hours every day for shopping. Wouldn't that be awesome?

The Pioneer Woman is in New York City!!
Ree Drummond, otherwise famously known as the Pioneer Woman, is in NYC on her book tour tonight at Borders at Columbus Circle and then again on Saturday at Posmon Books at Chelsea Market. If you don't know who she is, you've got to visit her at, but be prepared to get lost there for hours. So much great stuff to check out. Anyway, I would love to go see her at one of these two signings, hear her speak, check out her boots, and of course, get a cookbook signed, but I hear she is drawing HUGE crowds to her signings. Hundreds--as in upwards of six, seven eight hundred fans. I'm not kidding! I just can't bring myself to stand in line for hours and hours and hours and hours and hours . . .

If only I had that time turner for real! ;)


  1. You've been busy! And you make me feel like a slug because I can't run well and my exercise has decreased these past two weeks thanks to Daughter's surgery. I hear you on wanting the time thingie. *G* There aren't enough hours in each day right now.
    WTG on adding weights to your workout! Best wishes for the Book Challenges.
    I hope you have a fabulous and festive weekend!

  2. Well, for how crazy busy you are, you sound like you got it all together. Isn't that the month of December though? so much to do, such little time!

    Did you see my review for the latest Spellman? I am passing it to my friend Cheryl first and if you want to read it before it comes out I will send it to you.

    You are going to LOVE it! The ending is bitterweet!

    Take care,

  3. I have hardly done a thing, either, and Hanukkah starts tonight! My house isn't even decorated yet. Ugh.

    And yes, your challenge was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. Next up is a review for Rapture in Death which I finished yesterday. The next 2 are waiting at the library for me... See? It really is all your fault:)

  4. Brandy, you will get back into the exercise routine again when your daughter is fully recovered. It's perfectly normal to have little setbacks now and then. I'm just trying to keep it going as much as possible when I can.

    Most of the classes I take at the gym have 10 minutes or so of strength training or ab workouts at the end of them, but dedicating a full workout to the weights 2-3 times a week is even better. I've noticed a difference since September already.

    Michelle, I don't have it all together, trust me. But in the end, all the little details don't matter so much to anyone but me, so I don't get stressed over it all. Well, I try not to, anyway.

    I have not yet seen your review for the last Spellman book! I'll head over to your blog in just a minute. I hope I love it... "bittersweet" has got me a bit nervous now. But don't tell me! I don't like spoilers! And I will definitely be contacting you about borrowing your copy! Thanks! I did see your recent email, by the way. Sorry I didn't respond sooner! Ack!

    Lori, Oh my goodness! Well, the important thing for tonight is the menorah and the readings. You can do more over the weekend to pull all the other details together, right? Happy Hanukkah! =)

    You are so good with these In Death books! At this rate, you'll finish all 35 books by July! LOL!

  5. Christine you're a busy woman with a wonderful schedule. I love that picture of the "wild women running in the woods" -- I love "walking" or hiking through the Jersey woods, they are beautiful --, no running for me, lol! You'll get it all done, you will! December is such a crazy month & it flies by.

    I'm really looking forward to the In-Death Challenge. I decided to start reading on the New Year. I just rec'd 5 of the books from my book swaping buddy, but still have to get Naked (I got books 2 through 5, plus Remember When). So, I'm sort of ready to begin. Looking forward to it. :)

  6. Firstly, I love the new background! And you sound so busy - isn't December such an insane month? I hope you get some downtime!

    And apologies - for some reason I thought the In Death Challenge started in November. DUH!

    And congrats on running the 5 miles in the rain! Very impressed!

  7. Christine- I like your idea of an In Death Reading Challenge. I'll be writing about it next week for my Nora Roberts Examiner column on May I have your permission to use the In Death Reading Challenge image you have designed to accompany my article?--
    Carol Thomas

  8. LOL, you do sound very busy :D anyway, don't worry too much. I think everyone's in the same situation as you. I bought Christmas cards this year, intending to send them... and yeah, I don't think it's going to happen ^_^; Ah well.

    I think the trail running is much more fun than regular running...

    and I can't wait for you to post some recipes :D The end products always sound so yummy :D

  9. Hilcia, I am very fortunate to have the busy wonderful schedule that I do. I've always loved walking or hiking the woods. It's kind of neat that in the last few months of added mountain biking and running to that list as well.

    Do you realize you said you still have to get Naked ?! LOL! I know you meant Naked In Death, but I found that very funny! I'm glad you're looking forward to the Challenge, too! :)

    orannia, Is this the first time you're seeing my background on your new, super-duper computer? You didn't see it before? I've had it up since at least August! Glad you like it.

    No worries about doing your Challenge book in November. I wasn't very clear about the start at first.

    cjt, thanks for checking out my In Death Reading Challenge and mentioning it in your upcoming column. You have my permission to use the challenge image for your article. Thanks!

    nath, Christmas Cards!!! Aaah! Thanks for reminding me! LOL

    The trail running is a lot more fun that pavement running, but it was harder to get to a higher intensity. I guess the occasional mud puddles, roots, and branches force you to slow down and use more caution now and then.

    Recipes to come! :)

  10. i just happened upon your blog and I, too, have started in a running group running on trails and it is so fun and i'm so surprised I am actually doing it! I completely understand your enthusiasm! Hope you keep it up!!!! I'm on week 4 and we're training for a half-marathon in February! Today we ran 8 miles! I'm still surprised I did it ... and in the rain! wheeeee!

  11. Hey, doodlegirl! How cool of you to stop by and share your newfound runner's excitement with me! Running on trails was a lot of fun, but I have a feeling it's a once in a while change of scenery and pace for my group. I wish we did it more, but heck. I can always go do it on my own for my in-between class runs.

    Good for you to be training for a half marathon in February! If you ran 8 miles today, 13 in February is totally feasible!

    One of the women in my group is training for a half marathon in April, and the instructor (who ran the NYC Marathon last month) actually suggested I do it, too. I couldn't believe she was serious! I told her I'd think about it... who knows what I'll be able to do in four months if run all through the winter.

    I don't know what the winter weather is like where you live, but it is getting quite cold here in NJ. I hope I can keep it up, but I'm not so sure about running in temps close to freezing. I ran yesterday and it was around 37 F, but no wind so it wasn't too bad. I think I need some cold weather running clothes. Maybe Santa will help me out there....

    Thanks again for visiting! I'd love for you to come back and let me know how your training is going. :)

  12. Trail running sounds like fun! We have about 6 inches of snow on the ground so no outside anything here.

    You're gonna remind us of the In Death Challenge again around the first, right?


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