Sunday, June 28, 2009

Woo Hoo!

I sure am happy about these results and had the race been NEXT weekend they would have looked even better because my upcoming birthday will put me in the next division.

Distance HALF MAR
Clock Time 2:06:22
Chip Time 1:54:20
Overall Place 2034 / 15541
Gender Place 882 / 11339
Division Place 30 / 794
Age Grade 70.6%
Pace 8:44
Ttlrace 15541
Ttldiv 794
Ttlsex 11339
5 Km 26:24
10 Km 53:50
9 Mile 1:18:25

The weather was flawless, nary a cloud in the sky and about 70 with a light breeze. The course was, as they described, fast; certainly easier for me than the hills I run going to and from Alki from my front porch. The stretch along Lake Washington was beautiful; made me want to visit Seward Park at a more leisurely pace. Hearing the band that played in the Mt. Baker tunnel made awesome echoes and was wonderfully energizing. Drawbacks were the masses of humanity that made long lines of traffic to get to the starting line and then the lines at the porta potties, getting out of downtown from the finish line was lengthy too. I had alot of anxiety about the run the night before and did not sleep well. People say marathons are a good way to see another part of the country but I am not so sure. I read where people get up at four in the morning to navigate their way to the starting line and I saw people walking a good two miles from hotels just to get to the start. Of course they were walking faster than the cars were driving. When I got home from the race all I wanted to do was take a warm shower, wear comfy clothes, lay around, read, and watch TV. Now if I were in another city I would feel like that was a waste of my time to explore but I wouldn't have the energy to do any sightseeing.

Today my quads ache a bit and I know I will have to do my yoga stretches for my hip flexors (sciatica is still bugging me) but I think I will be a little less sedentary, maybe getting into the flower beds to pull weeds.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Low Tide at Seahurst Beach

Click on this mosaic of pictures for a more interesting view:

Low Tide at Seahurst Beach
Originally uploaded by mtnester.

I worked for two last hours in my classroom early this morning, then we hit the beach. Today there was a minus 4 low tide which is to be the lowest tide of the summer. The Sun Ray sea star had 21 arms. The little white dot you see on the sea star pulls water into its many tube feet allowing it to move and grasp prey; just a tidbit we learned from a beach naturalist today. In the picture where I am pointing to the tube worm, if you look closely you can see eggs of some sort on the side of the tube. I had no idea the eggs were there until I uploaded the photos! I just had my finger in the photo to give it some perspective. See the big clam that Chris is holding? We retrieved it from where a seagull had dropped it on the beach. He was none too pleased that we had HIS clam. When we put it back down, the bird clumsily picked it up into his beak and flew about 20 feet, dropped the clam onto a rock and there was his lunch; fresh seafood! We picnicked on the beach too; sandwiches for us. What a wonderful way to spend the first hours of freedom from the classroom!

And the prize for the most amusing find at today's low tide goes to the 'Beach Ball'!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Dry for 24 Days

and no rain in the forecast! I emptied the top yard rain barrel a couple weeks back and have started using the second 55 gallon drum but it is in a mosquito ridden area so I am not as fond of filling my watering cans there. Having rain barrels does not mean you don't turn on the sprinklers; that is still a daily chore (actually more of a pleasure) in our yard. I do a different quadrant every day, or I wander about with the hose in one hand and a coffee cup in the other.

This morning I ran 14 miles along Alki (back and forth 1 1/2 times), bought an iced coffee, came home and after a nice cold shower I worked on report cards and now I have spent two hours reading blogs, newspapers, and in general, wasting time and sipping a couple beers. School ends for the kiddos next Friday and after that I have at least two days of clean up and organizing to do in the classroom. This has been a great year; I have a charming group of 5/6 year old students and a few of them are little geniuses I believe! Anyway... more to post once the chalkdust settles!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

For You...

a June bouquet of one rose the color of the moon, one peony in ravishing pink, Columbines nodding their crowns, Coral Bells, and sweet smelling dianthus.

Beauty in the Backyard

Did you ever try to photograph a bee? It is NOT easy. They don't sit still. Therefore, here you have the Bee's Behind.

The bees know the Goat's Beard is in bloom and are they ever busy! This actually would have been a good video as the bees were VERY audible as well as visible when I took these pictures.

Our Newest Garden

Here is our new vegetable bed with one of the rain barrels smack dab in the center, which makes watering very easy. The tomatoes seem to like it here. They have cleared the top of the cages in only three weeks; but then we did have all that hot weather last week.

Also in this bed are pole beans, one sugar pumpkin, lemon cucumbers, two sunflowers, radishes, and carrots. Yes, I may be over zealous in my planting!

A Changing Front Yard

In 2006 our front yard looked like this:

Now, after some expense, much toil, and time to grow, it looks like this:

It used to be that I hardly ever looked out my front window because I would only be looking at a parking pad or our truck. Now the Venus dogwood is in full bloom and I have all kinds of treasured plants tucked here and there and I spend lots of time gazing out the window, enjoying what I see and trying to decide what new plants to add. Also in front, although not as attractive, is my experiment at straw bale gardening (I explained it in a post last fall). It does take a lot of water as other people had warned. It was unusually hot here last week. It felt more like Hawaii than Seattle and I watered three times. The biggest surprise is the lettuce that is thriving in front of the bales. I planted it as an afterthought. We have had two or three salads off of it already! In the bales are two pepper plants, a tomato and a pumpkin plant, also a few bachelor buttons and some beets.