Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Brief Summary: A Reluctant Queen: The Love Story of Esther by Joan Wolf is a fictional love story based on the biblical story of Esther. The story is riveting and presents the plight of women and Jews in the Persian empire. 

Long Review: The story takes place in Susa among the Jew Mordecai and his niece Esther. Mordecai receives a dream he believes is from God and fearing what may happen to the Jews decides to take action. The only action that can be taken is for Esther to apply to become the Queen to the Persian king Ahasuerus as she is half-Persian by birth. Esther does not believe she will be chosen so goes along with the plan and join the herem. Esther does indeed get chosen by Ahasuerus to be her Queen much to her dismay. Esther must then navigate her new life as the Queen while hiding her true identity from her new husband the king. Over the course of the book Ahasuerus comes to trust Esther and begins to insight the jealousy of the King's best friend Hammond. The book concludes with the Jews indeed being threatened and Esther must reveal her true identity to save her people.

I am reading this book on the recommendation of a nursing technician and am glad I looked the book up. I listened to the audio book and the narrator's voice used was adequate. The woman didn't have much range and I thought the men's parts could have been a bit more gruff/low. The fact this story was based on a biblical story has made me look into a new genre of book for my reading pleasure. I will be looking more at historical fiction in the future and reading more from Joan Wolf.

Rating: 4/5

Other works by the author: Someday Soon, Someone named Eva

Monday, June 27, 2016

Fermenting veggies

Last weekend was great. A quick update on running. I have skipped my long run again last week. We were out of town and running around like chickens. I did run tonight for 3 miles.

After getting done with dinner I decided to ferment the leftover veggies from this last weekend. We had some probiotic bacteria in the fridge and used that for fermentation. The spices I used are garlic, peppercorn, ginger, and curry for fermentation. I have added plenty of salt. For a few of the jars I used celery to fill the jars. The rest of the jars I just used water. The jars are as full as possible and I am hoping to avoid any bad bacteria or mold. The veggies were broccoli and sweet peppers. I am hoping that nothing goes too terribly wrong.
I will take pictures when it is finished.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Slacking on long runs

Well ladies and gentleman I am going to call it!  I am a slacker. Sunday for the second weekend in a row I failed to run my long run. I just can not seem to find the strength or motivation to get up at an ungodly early hour to run when it is cool out. And I know my body better than to try and run in the heat. I am afraid I will end up passing out if I venture out for 9+ miles in upper 90 degree weather.

On Sunday instead of running I went for a 20 mile bike ride across town to run an errand for a friend. Luckily there are bike trails on the way there and back so I was safer than riding on the road for the entire trip.

Tonight I ended up lifting and riding the exercise bike while finishing up Criminal Minds. I have started watching while washing the dishes and find it makes the chore seem less like a chore and more like my time to watch the show.

Tom. I really need to run and so will do that after work. I am going to try and get 4 miles in so I will have to be prompt about getting my work done. First thing in the morning I will be making two new to do list. One list will be none pressing work and the second list will be pressing work. I also need to take notes on what I was doing today so I don't forget.

Anyways back to running. My training plan for the fall marathon starts the first week of Aug. I plan on ramping my training up from 5 miles the first weekend of July. I am confident  I will get out and do it as there really is no other choice. I have committed to this marathon and I will finish it.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Hot 5K

Well Friday night was a scorcher. My DH and I signed up to run the summer sizzlin' series and the first run was Friday night. I had run outside on Wednesday for about 3/4 of a mile around 6 pm so I had a taste of the heat. I was still not prepared for the heat on Friday night. The weather was hot and muggy. I had forgotten my watch and I realize now that I rely on it to tell me how much further I have to go. Anyways, I ended up running the first 2k before I stopped. I can't tell you if I was running to fast or slow but it felt fast. I was running for the turn around and it seemed so far away. I am coming to find I do better when running solo as I can stay in my head and focus on my goal. When I run with others I have to be present outside of myself so I can keep them and me safe, since I am a tripping/falling hazard.
My swag
Anyways, I finished the race around the 34 min mark, which is my standard race run time. I was hoping for a PR since I am getting faster but no luck. After the race we grabbed a beer, sno-cone and a hot dog and headed home. I really enjoyed the cold shower. I am not very hopeful that the next run will be any better but hope I can acclimate more to this hot weather.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Hot, Hot, Hot

Running recap coming up. I have been doing the normal mid-week runs on Tuesday and Thursday. I took this weekend off from a long run. Partially because I was tired and partially because I wanted to bike. I rode the Katy trail which was very scenic and pretty.
Train Museum
I got to enjoy a treat when I got home from my ride.
Homemade strawberry wine slushy

In other running news my DH and I signed up for the Sizzlin' Summer Series in OKC.  The series is three runs on Friday nights at 8pm at various parks in OKC. The signup includes a shirt & medal for each race. We get a visor for signing up for all 3 races before the deadline. I am also looking forward to the festivities after the race. I have switched my running up to accommodate running on Friday nights. I am now running on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights. I am running later after dinner to get used to the heat. Thus far it has been very tough. The weather has been particularly hot and humid here. I am not looking forward to tom. nights run. I am thinking of running for a longer distance tom. night, maybe 4 miles at race pace (around 10:30) with spurts faster.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Review of Retire Inspired

Brief Summary: "Retire Inspired"  by Chris Hogan is a quick read about planning for the retirement of your dreams. The principles follow Dave Ramsey's baby steps and outline everything from insurance to legacy planning.

Long Review: Are you behind on your retirement planning? Have you not even considered retiring? I would recommend this book to anyone from those starting to think about investing to those already doing the work. Chris outlines a plan to follow to retire inspired. Retirement is not just an age but a number. I hope using these principles to be able to build wealth and give back to the community while having a decent retirement nest egg. The book covers everything one should need to be fully prepared for all of life's challenges. I hope to one day retire inspired with the help of this book.

Rating: 4/5

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Early summer run

I decided to get up to run my 7 mile long run today early. I went to bed at a decent time with this in mind.
At 5 am I woke up as I normally do but went back to sleep for about an hour. Then I got up and was out the door by 6:15. I felt like crap though. I was slightly dehydrated and hungry. I didn't have any bars for breakfast and wasn't interested in making anything. I just wanted to get done.
Well I paid for it. The first mile went well as it usually does, I ran too fast. Mile 2 was just terrible. The course around my neighborhood is slightly hilly. After lifting yesterday my legs were not very happy with me. I pushed through and turned around at 1.25 intending to take a break at 1/4 through my run. Well turns out I can't do math right when waking up and running. I should have taken my break at 1.75. I walked/ran the rest of the way to my halfway point at 3.5. I actually ended up at 3.75 by the time I got to the house. I sat down to rest a bit and relax. I then headed back out for the last 3.25 miles. These went better than expected but I still ended up taking walk breaks. Ah well, I at least had decent music to listen to. I almost got hit by a slowly moving truck as the guy was distracted with his door and didn't see me. I yelled and he stopped but I had already started dodging him/the truck. In the end no one got hurt. I ended back at home around 7:40 completing another 3.83 miles for a total of about 7.58 miles. I hope this makes next weekend seem like a breeze. I need to work on keeping my long run pace around 11:30. Some miles this morning were near 12 min/mile. I am glad it has been on the cooler side here today. I had a enjoyable run and a really productive day.
7.5 miles done before 8 am, now time for coffee and breakfast

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Bike to the Lake gone wrong

I am what you would call an early rise on Sat. mornings. I decided since I am up I might as well use the time to exercise. I decided to ride to the lake this morning on the road, gasp. Now don't fret, I was really on a busy road for 0.5 mile maybe with 3 cars in what I would call my space. Anyways, I was almost to the lake and was heading up a hill. I decided to downshift and chain fell right off and got wedged in.
Chain gone wrong
Now I have had this happen before. Put the chain back on and good to go. No, not this time. The chain was wedged in really good. I had to call husband for a pick up.

Letting me down again
I decided to take the bike in to the shop and let them repair it so this hopefully doesn't happen again. Maybe I will have better luck next weekend.  I came home and lifted. Now we are off to the Made in Oklahoma Festival. I will let you know all about it next time.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Review of season one of Grace and Frankie

Grace and Frankie is a Netflix original series which I found by happenstance and love. The story is based around two couples and their respective families. This show reminds me of a 90s sitcom which is why I love it. The story is not a remake but fresh and pertinent to the times. All in all a great story and great chemistry makes this a very easy show to watch.


The story is based around a homosexual couple. No it is not Grace and Frankie. Alright back to the beginning. Sol and Robert are in a work partners at a law firm. Grace is married to Robert and Sol is married to Frankie. Grace is played by Jane Fonda and is in my opinion an alcoholic stuck up country club bitch who is hard to please and lacking in love. Frankie is played by Lily Tomlin (heart) and is a hippy, dippy, artist, with too much unconditional love. Grace and Frankie find out there husbands in addition to being work partners are lovers as well and have been hiding their love affair for 20+ years. The first season revolves around the fallout from this revelation and the ensuing madness and soul searching for Grace and Frankie.

The episodes are 30 min each, so easy to fit into any schedule and easy to binge. The theme song is pretty catchy as well. I appreciate the jokes and ability to cover touchy subjects. The show is great for my sanity some days. I also appreciate the story involves older actors and actresses. I would love to see more shows similar to this with older people. I have fallen for this show and hope you will give it a try.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Daisy State Park Camping & Crater of Diamonds

For Easter break this year DH and I decided to go camping. I chose the Daisy State Park and Crater of Diamonds Camping area. The Daisy State park was a great location. Next time we go I hope it is warmer and we can go out on the lake and explore. The weather was a little cold for my liking but the views and peacefulness was needed.
Camping site

view of the lake

small stove for heating water

cold morning

 We also went to Crater of Diamonds to search for treasure! We didn't end up finding anything but did have fun exploring and playing in the dirt.
Loving me some dirt

Field to search for Diamonds

Campground relaxing

ahhh wilderness

Ah warm fire

All in all a pretty good trip! I can't wait to go camping again!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


Confession time, my running has suffered a bit lately. In all honesty I am doing pretty well but I just don't feel it right now. I think this has more to do with other stresses in my life. My split runs are going pretty well and my pace is picking up. I am closer to 10.5 min/mile which is good. Over the long holiday weekend I couldn't seem to get out the door. I did attempt on Sunday but woke up too late to run. It was hot and muggy by 8:30 am when I got out for my run. I had a mile under my belt when I had to use the facilities and had a abdomen problem. I headed home. I intended to go back out but between my mood, the pain in my abdomen and my ankle I was done. I did take the dog for a walk later that day and ran around the block to drop off some mail to a neighbor.

I have also started back at lifting. I am up to around 20 lbs right now. I am doing the 5X5 program. I am interested to get up to higher weights. I am trying to get lean and mean to help with running. I have also started tracking food with myfitnesspal again. I have felt my pants being a little tighter and I am stress eating at work. I am looking to keep my fitness up and don't want to let this get out of control. I am taking the steps to help keep everything in check. My nerdy 30 is coming up and I am trying to decide what to do, if anything. Maybe a doctor who themed night?

Anyways, I did a slow run at 11.5 min per mile yesterday for 3.2ish miles. I intended to do 6 to make up for the run I missed on Sunday. I had stayed late at work and was hungry so I cut it short. I will have to run my intervals tom. and run 7 on Sunday in the early am.
Keep running out there!