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Boston

Wow. My brain has still not been able to comprehend what happened at the Boston Marathon, but as I sit here and watch the news, I find myself in mourning.

Boston, the city I love to hate. The city I spent four years living, the city I endure this love/hate relationship with since I’m a die hard Yankees fan – attacked on Patriot’s Day. On Marathon Monday. At the finish line.

Words cannot express the pain I feel for those affected.

My nephew texted to ask how I was doing. When I told him I was OK, he asked me if I am going to stop running races. Without skipping a beat, I said no.

Runners are strong, mentally and physically, and there is an unspoken bond between runners that I cannot explain to non-runners. I don’t need to know any of those people who were crossing the finish line – or any of their family and friends who were there cheering them on – to share a sense of pride and accomplishment that they are feeling.  I was watching the marathon live, as I do every year, inspired by the runners and wondering their stories.

If I had been running that day, I would have been maybe 2-3 miles from the finish line at the time of the bombing. It looked like they were crossing at around the 4:10 mark, and I’m assuming I’d be finishing up around 4:30ish. I wouldn’t have been allowed to finish my race, but that’s not what matters here, because this goes way beyond running.

This is personal.

I know what Patriot’s Day means to those in the Boston area. I know how much pride they hold for the marathon, their beloved Red Sox who play an early game that day, and just the history and meaning for which Patriot’s Day stands.

I worked on that street – Boylston St. – and I know how much comradery this race brings to that area.

I also know the hard work that goes into running a race such as this. I’ve never ran a full marathon – only half marathons – but the bond is still the same. The blood, sweat and tears that go into the training. The hours dedicated, time away from your family to get your miles in. My first half marathon was a Boston race. I broke out into tears when I crossed that finish line. I could only imagine the emotion that goes into crossing that marathon line – especially the Boston Marathon.

Boston half

The fact that there are people out there getting a kick out of seeing the chaos that the news is showing makes me sick, but that won’t stop us from moving forward.

My heart is in Boston this week. I never thought I’d feel so much pride for a city I – well, love to hate – but it’s there today, as well as the pride I feel to be a runner. Those of you who put it all on the line to run, volunteer and support this race – my heart is with you too.

Stay strong.

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Ok so the picture quality isn’t that great since I had to zoom in to my camera’s max, but I am so excited to share these with you.

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Last weekend, we noticed a pile of random broken branches laying on our back patio and I thought, “was there some kind of storm or something that we didn’t hear over night?” It seemed odd, but we just brushed it off and went about our day.

Later in the day, however,  we noticed a “big bird” in our neighbor’s yard trying to fly. We didn’t know if it was hurt or not so we both went out to investigate when we heard this other big bird calling from a high tree branch. The next thing we knew, the one trying to fly called back and flew up to the branch as well. This went on for a while…we’d see the one bird fly down, try to fly, flap around, disappear, answer calls back to whom we assume is the momma, and then fly back to the branch.

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We *think* it’s a baby falcon. It looks like it might have some baby feathers, and since we can’t get TOO close, we’ve had to use these pictures to attempt a description for our research. We ran up to our second level balcony and found that the source of the falling branches looks like it might be their nest! I couldn’t get a good picture of it because it’s high above us. We can’t tell if they’re nesting in there or not, but it sure as hell looks like it.

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And then there were three!

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Again we are no bird experts, so if someone out there can tell us what they are or if we’re wrong, that would be awesome.

The funny thing is we live in a pretty urban area, so the fact that we have these guys chillin’ in our yard (and neighbor’s yard) is pretty cool. Dennis’ mom is sending us binoculars so we can keep a better eye on them. Hopefully they’ll stick around for a while, but I’ll be very sad to see them go.

Do you have cool birds or animals that hang out in your yard?

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I know this is a Food Friday, but sometimes baseball takes a back seat to recipes. And sometimes, peanuts count as food.

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Yanks/Sox. A rivalry like no other. They play each other this weekend with the first game today at 3:05. Welcome to the first of many fights of the baseball season. This year also marks our 8th season of living with the enemy. <Sigh.>

Are you into sports? What is your team, rival team, and do you have a close relationship with someone who roots for your rival team?

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I work out

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Girl look at that body….

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Shop Small, Shop Local

I missed yesterday’s recipe of the week because we were out doing the DC touristy thing with Dennis’ family. I will admit, this was somewhat planned since I think today’s message is much more important. shopsmalllogo

I know yesterday was black Friday and many of you may have done a lot of holiday shopping at major malls and department stores, but I feel it is VERY IMPORTANT to shop small and local. Follow the link to Small Business Saturday to learn more.

Also, since I have friends who own small businesses outside of the area, it doesn’t hurt to buy online from them either. You may not be supporting your local economy but you’ll still be supporting the same cause.

So what are you waiting for? Go shopping!

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Shit patrol

There are three things that make this story funny.

  1. My neighbor’s dog (Molly) crapped on our front lawn.
  2. I think there is something wrong with my neighbor’s son.
  3. In hindsight, if you were an outsider looking in, you might think there was something wrong with me as well.

I have the week off from work this week as a celebration of Thanksgiving. (Have I mentioned I’m thankful for my job yet? Well I am.) As I’m sitting at the kitchen table drinking my my coffee, I notice a dog sniffing around our front lawn. No big deal, until I notice her squatting.

What the….

So I walk over to the window, and I see it.

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This dog is taking a dump on my front lawn.

Where are her owners? She clearly has tags on.

I walk outside and stand on the porch, like I’m the friggin dog shitting police, and I stand there with my arms crossed like, “Hello? Are you really crapping on my front lawn in broad daylight for everyone to see? Where are your manners dog? Seriously?”

But this dog was so cute. She was a little beagle and she had this look like she knew she did something wrong. She started walked toward me, and on her way she stopped twice more…once to pee and once again to squat…and then she trotted over to me with her tail between her legs.

I can’t be mad, I thought. She’s scared I’m going to yell at her.

So she jumps up on my porch and lets me pet her. Upon checking her tags, I see her name is Molly and there are a few numbers to call to reach her owners. As I start dialing, I’m trying to calm the dog down since she’s shaking, but excited to see someone new at the same time.

I’m dialing. It’s ringing. And then I hear:
“Molly! MOLLLLLYYYYYYYY!! Aww MAN where did she GOOOO?”

Think of a whiney, stoned-sounding man’s voice. Like a combination of The Dude from The Big Lebowski and Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused.

I look over and see my neighbor’s son, whom I’ve never met, standing on their front porch in what look like Christmas flannel pants. He looked to me, (as I politely described him to my friends and family) like a white Bob Marley.

So I call out, “I have her!” and come around the corner to greet him. He looked at me and with that same whiney voice says, “Aww man…I think I know where she’s getting out. It has to be the hole by the fence down there.” So I proceed to let him know it’s OK (I should have told him to clean up her crap) and he takes the dog and walks inside.

My first thought was …wow, something’s wrong with that guy. Weird. He walked inside through a basement entrance. Wait…does…does he live in their basement? What time is it? Does he have a job?

And then I realized….not only am I home at 10 a.m. on a weekday, but I was also sporting my workday best:

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Yep. The baggiest sweats I own, along with a baggy race T-shirt from a Halloween 5K a few years back. (hence the strange skeleton) I hadn’t even showered yet.

So yeah. The moral of the story is, don’t judge a dog by it’s shit. I mean, a book by it’s cover. Or something like that…

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Sunday Football LIVE!

I am a sports nut. I waste spend my Sundays during football season in front of the TV watching NFL Redzone with my laptop open to my fantasy football league. Yeah, I’m a jock.

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So when Dennis’ childhood best friend wanted to come down to watch his San Francisco 49ers play the Washington Redskins, we were both on board.

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ammie and me at game sitting IMG_1833

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The weather was perfect and the game was fun. Next time, we will tailgate so we don’t have to spend $9 on beer and $$$ on food. Sigh.

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Happy Wednesday!

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Finally!

This has been a long time coming. It’s November and I’ve had this site in the works since June. A lot has happened since then, so let me introduce you to my lovely home.

First thing I’d like to share is that I am not a pro at maintaining a house. I have no idea what I’m doing (as my header says) but we’re learning as we go and any inspiration by you would be greatly appreciated.

I’m here for a few reasons. One being, I love to write. Two, for sanity purposes (feedback is important people!) And lastly, because I thought it would be nice to document things for family, friends, and our future. Corny, yes. Truthful? As well. Remember I came from Feeding My Competitive Soul, so I’m not exactly “new” to the blog world. I’m not fancy either, so love me as I am.

Second…did you have the pleasure of handing out Halloween candy? I’m thinking since we’re the newbies on the block that people weren’t exactly sure how to handle us. Letting your kids knock on the door of a house that used to belong to two elderly people (one of which may not have been very friendly) can be scary. Good thing we bought 10 bags of candy. We have 9 left.

Lastly, I’m glad to be back in the saddle. I missed being a part of the blog world but life can get in the way sometimes, so I had to take a break and refresh my brain a little bit. I don’t always want to have a recipe to talk about (although I have plenty to share) but I don’t exactly want to bore you either. Now that I have a little more focus, I’ll be sharing more.

Enjoy your day people. And welcome (back) to my world. It’s going to be a fun ride.

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