Best of… Things Lately

Best book I’ve read: Fig by Sarah Elizabeth Schantz. We went to Denver’s Lit Crawl a few weeks ago — a bunch of bars and bookstores on the same street held book and poetry readings and it was amazing — and Schantz was one of the authors we heard. I bought the book after the reading, and it’s fantastic. It won the Colorado Book Award in Young Adult books this year, and I can see why. It’s sad, but so good. Probably not a good choice when you have to be alert and teaching teenagers at 7:15 a.m., because it’s hard to put away, but well worth the read.

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Best cookbook I’ve read: Paleo Takes 5 or Fewer by Cindy Sexton. I don’t really eat Paleo, but I like to use Paleo recipes because they’re so healthy, and this book has been my go-to for weeknight meals since I bought it about a month ago. It also has some not-for-weeknights (at least not for me) meals, but what I’ve made has been delicious and easy.

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Best (or at least most useful) way I’ve spent a Saturday: Refreshing my first aid and CPR skills. That’s how I spent yesterday, and although it made the weekend seem nonexistent, reading articles like this one remind me that it’s super important. I hadn’t gotten re-certified since high school, so it was definitely time.

Best husband: Pardon me if this one’s too sappy,  but my husband is the best. He cleaned the whole house while I was gone yesterday (including scrubbing under the stove. This new house is gross) AND painted more samples (we have a winner!), and today he finished controlling the jungle that was our yard. We now look like civilized people, from the outside at least. He’s the bomb.

Best vacation idea: Did you see that the Backtreet Boys are doing a residency in Vegas? I’ve never cared about Vegas before, but now I’m pretty sure I have to go and realize the biggest dream of 12-year-old Cassie’s life.

Best student quote: I’m teaching The Great Gatsby, and we’re watching the Leonardo DiCaprio movie as we read. During the scene when Gatsby comes in, dripping wet, from the rainstorm, one of my students blurted out, “Whoa! He’s moister than an oyster!” I feel like that might be some dirty thing kids say now, but I’m going to believe it’s innocent and hilarious.

Best season: It’s fall. I’m happy. Bring on the pumpkin, pretty leaves, and perfect running weather!

What’s your recent “best of”?

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Long Overdue Coffee Talk

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? The last time I blogged was almost two months ago. Moving and starting a new job have meant that every recent spare moment was… well, nonexistent. This is a perfect chance for a “coffee talk” kind of post. When my real-life friends and I get together, we can pick right back up where we left off, even if it’s been weeks or months since we last talked. I’m hoping that my re-entry into the online world will work the same way. So, if we were having coffee…

I’d tell you that although our schedules have been packed, I haven’t regretted making this move for one minute. Being able to see the mountains on every run, every drive to work (or anywhere), and out the window of one of my classrooms makes me insanely happy. And the amenities and things to do here are fantastic. We’ve been going to a farmer’s market every week (ironic that there wasn’t one out in farm country where we used to live), we just signed up for delivery from a local dairy, we’ve been out to dinner a few times at decent restaurants, and once I’m 100%  over that injury I blogged about last time, we’ll be able to explore some of the much-closer-now trails.

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Exploring Milliken

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that speaking of that injury, what an adventure that’s been. When we last talked, I told you I thought it was my piriformis, but a little more research made me suspect it was actually a hamstring strain. When I finally went to the doctor (for something else, but I figured I’d ask, as long as I was there), he confirmed my suspicions. And he told me no running for three weeks. THREE WEEKS.  I thought I’d go crazy, but it was right when we were moving, and my new job was starting, so I was busy enough that I didn’t feel TOO stabby.

Now, I’ve been slowwwly easing back into it. I can still feel little twinges if I run too fast, especially uphill, and certain strength exercises really bug it, so I’m just being very careful, running slowly and keeping up my stretching/foam-rolling routine. I’m loving running and exploring my new town. I’ve found a couple of “lakes” (more like ponds) and several parks, including a kick-butt fitness park that’s just 0.6 miles from my house. Bodyweight strength work in the great outdoors? I’ll take it.
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I still love Skirt Sports, if you couldn’t tell 

I’m really hoping that my hammy gets back to 100% soon so that I can get on the trails. I also learned, right after we moved, that a trailhead for the Poudre River Trail (a popular multi-use trail here in NoCo) is a mere 10-minute drive from our new house, so once I build my mileage back up, I’ll have easy access to it for long runs.

If we were having coffee, you’d probably ask if you could come see my new house soon, and I’d tell you sure…  but don’t judge. We like the house a lot, but it needs some love. It was built in ’03, so it’s not old, but the previous owners neglected some maintenance, and we’re playing catch-up. Plus, we’d like to paint and get new carpets. “One thing at at time” has been our motto. If it wasn’t for this whole job-having thing, we’d get a lot more done.

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All our walls look like this right now —  playing the “what color should we paint?” game. 

If we were having coffee, I’d also want to tell you all about my new job… but imaginary Internet coffee is not as detail-friendly as real-life coffee, so you’ll have to be content with vague answers. Suffice it to say that I really like it, but I feel like a first-year teacher again: always busy and more than a little confused. Part of the newness is that I’m travelling: the school has outgrown its building, so I get a cart, not a classroom. That’s been an adjustment, but I’m starting to get my feet under me again, so hopefully those feelings will dissipate soon and I’ll feel more like the 10th-year (!) teacher that I really am.

If we were having coffee, we’d probably try to set up a time to see each other again. I’m going to put in a real effort to blog at least once a week again now that we’re a little more settled, and if you want to see me in real life, here are some events that I’m going to try really hard to make it to (weeknights are hard):

  • Skirt Sports’ Women Run the World (second Tuesdays, next one October 11): Skirt Sports just started doing these this summer, and I haven’t made it to one yet, but I’m going to try. The Facebook page describes them as “fun, inspirational nights of fitness & networking with other cool chicks in the community, while listening to three powerful people give 10 minute TESS talks on a message they want to share with the world.” If you’re local (especially if you’re more local than I am), you should go!
  • Boulder Running Company and Skirt Sports Ladies’ Night (October 20): My goal is to make it to either this one or the WRTW event, and maybe, maaaaayybe both.
  • Sole Mates 5k and Brewfest (November 5). I can’t believe I’ve lived here a month and a half and haven’t yet made it to Shoes and Brews, the running store/brewery combo in Longmont. Although I won’t be in fast shape (no speedwork until the hamstring is at 100%), this would be a fun way to get to Shoes and Brews, meet some local runners (I live in Milliken but teach in Longmont), and support a good cause (Habitat for Humanity).
  • And, in the farther-out future, I’m thinking about running the Colfax Marathon again. Maybe.

If we were having real-life coffee, I’d apologize profusely for going on and on about my life and not hearing anything about yours, and I’d have to confess that I haven’t read a single blog since we moved the first of August. So please, tell me what you’ve been up to!

Anybody going to one of those events? And/or are you a member of a running club in Longmont, Loveland, or Greeley? I’d kinda like to join one, but going in without knowing anyone is intimidating.