Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Excitement at Barnes & Noble

I stopped by Barnes and Noble at New Hope Commons tonight on my way home from dinner out, and escaped without buying a single book (but pretty notecards instead)! That's not the exciting thing, though! I learned at checkout that the Barnes & Noble sign was on fire! I thought they meant a stand-alone sign was flaming, but no! The store evacuated as I was getting into my car, and as I drove out, I saw that the "B" on the sign ON THE BUILDING was ablaze! Thank goodness the firetrucks were on their way as I drove down 15-501! Yikes!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Busy Sunday

I've had a really busy Sunday, but I'm so thankful for it! I'm feeling tired, but satisfied!

First of all, I was the Worship Associate today at ERUUF. This is my second year in the Worship Associate program, and I've really enjoyed it. The service was about secrets, inspired by Frank Warren's PostSecret art project and books. I met with the minister last weekend to start talking about today's service, and wrote a 2-page "reflection" about my personal observations about secrets, to present during both services 9:15 and 11:15). For the reading today, Rev. Southworth and I alternated reading several secrets from the PostSecret books (there are four out right now). It was a nice service, I thought, and I got some good feedback. (After the 11:15 service, I got to catch up with a friend I met while I was on the Rice Diet, which was a real treat!)

My sister, Lisa, and her family are in town, as daughter Emily is on Spring Break, and they're doing the college tour. (Emily has interviews at Duke tomorrow and Wednesday.) So Lisa, as well as Mom and Dad, came to the 11:15 service at ERUUF to hear me do my thing (though they stayed for the whole service!).

Afterward, we all (the churchgoers plus brother-in-law Craig, Emily, Laura (Emily's big sister and a Duke sophomore), and George, met at Watt's Grocery for brunch. I'd been there once before, lunch with a co-worker during the week, but never for a weekend brunch. I had an omelet with asparagus, caramelized onions, goat cheese, and spinach. This may well be the best omelet I've ever had! I kid you not! Awesome!

Once we'd finished eating, Dad and Craig headed out, but the rest of us stuck around to coach and encourage Emily on her upcoming interviews. Time just flew, as we had a lively conversation in the quiet of the restaurant, which had cleared out by the time we looked up! The staff was very patient and let us stay on, not even interrupting us with the offer of drink refills. We were too engrossed in the conversation to care or notice!

George and I got home around 5:00, give or take a little, and I'd been going since 6 AM, when I got up to get ready for a 30-minute workout (shorter than usual, but my leg is still healing, so that was fine), then get ready for two rounds of church services.

George needed to run some errands, so after we got home, he headed out again. I decided to stay home and soak in the solitude. Being an introvert by nature, today was a bit draining, to be honest. I loved doing the church services today, and lunch and the ensuing conversation were stimulating and fun, but I felt drained on the way home.

So, I read for a while, but got restless, so I got on the computer for a while, and was drawn to my genealogy research again. I get a lot of satisfaction out of working on my family tree, though it's a hobby that fades in and out, depending on other time commitments. That's one of the great things about genealogy, I can put it aside and pick it up again easily. I've been working a lot on my McLamb line of late, and the past few days, I've been putting a little more time on it. (Okay, "more" is relative here, since I've been busy getting ready for today's worship services as well.) A little while ago, I printed out a "book" of all my McLamb relatives. (I do this periodically to have all the information I have on a given line in RTF format, and to see what needs editing or correcting.) The information, with sources listed, for my McLamb line comes to over 1200 pages! And I'm not even done entering the information I have on the McLambs! This really excites me! (I'm grinning as I type!) I'm not the type of amateur genealogist who prefers quantity over quality, by any means. This is not a contest. It's just exciting to see the fruits of many years of research, and know that there's still work to be done! I love putting the pieces of the puzzle together, doing research and verifying information, meeting and communicating with relatives. Part of what inspires me is that I'd love to organize a family reunion for the McLamb line someday, and the more (and accurate) family tree information I have, the better.

George has come home since I've been typing, and I've just noticed it's heading toward 10:00! I'm still "hung over" from today's experiences, so I think it's time to turn off the computer and head for bed a little earlier than normal. (Maybe it's too late for that!)

I just love a day when I have quality time with people and quality time alone! Today was one of the best.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

March Madness

Well, I've injured myself again, for the second March in a row, and I'm not happy with myself! Why? Because I think I did it to myself with overtraining. Best I can tell from online research, I've done a number on my right hip flexor. *sigh* And I have a half marathon scheduled for Saturday. It looks like I'll be taking it easy. But, in the big scheme of things, I'd rather take it easy now than miss training for the Outer Banks Marathon, which is still 7+ months away.

Meanwhile, Duke is playing in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Basketball Tournament tonight. Tip-off is at 9:57 PM EDT, which is exactly my bedtime! ;-) Good luck, Blue Devils!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

2009 Reading Goals

Well, I hit my first reading goal of the year this past week, hitting the 52-book mark! I decided back in January that I wanted to read at least one book a week, but I finished my 53rd book today. What does that tell me?

First, I've read some short books! We're talking a little poetry, a handful of photography books, which I love! Another thing I've noticed is that I'm watching less television and reading more, which is a good change of habit. Yay!

Now, I'm wondering if I can hit my secondary goal of 100 books for the year. It's possible, but isn't a must-do. I hope to continue to read more poetry and explore art and photography books, but I'd also like to tackle some longer fiction and non-fiction books as well. I'm still enjoying the book tracking website Goodreads.com, and am getting some interesting book ideas there. Seeing others' reading lists (including some friends and co-workers) on Goodreads has reminded me how fascinating it is to broaden my horizons through the things I read.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I Did It!

Last night I woke up in the middle of the night, and couldn't go back to sleep. Part of what was on my mind, was trying to decide between running a half marathon and a full marathon, and using it as a fundraier for the Ronald McDonald House of Durham. The fundraiser thing I knew I wanted to do, despite the economic woes in our area and across the country and world. (Children still get sick enough to need hospital care, and their families still need a place to stay!)

I decided that since my church did a gutsy thing this past Sunday by giving out envelopes to everyone in the congregation with cash to return to the community, that I could do something gutsy with the money I received ($20). I'd definitely decided to put it toward my fundraising goal, but when I couldn't get back to sleep about 2:00 this morning, I decided that shooting for the marathon was what I need to do. I just need to do it. So, I got up, fired up the laptop, and registered for the Outer Banks Marathon on November 8! Half marathons are a fun--and still challenging distance for me, but I decided I needed to stretch myself and shoot for the marathon distance. At this point, my stomach has butterflies, but it's a goal I need to put into motion now.

I signed up for an account with FirstGiving.com, and it was really easy to set up a fundraising page for my marathon-running, Ronald McDonald House compaign. My goal is to raise $500! I hope I can do it in these tough economic times. Check the page out here to stay posted.

If any readers have run the OBX Marathon, or can recommend a hotel, I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Local Running Community

Yesterday, I ran the Run for the Oaks 5K (in downtown Raleigh) in the rain! (Check out the race report here, if interested.) My performance was a bit disappointing, but the thing I took away from the race was that the online running community is alive and well in the Triangle! No kidding, I met three different online friends yesterday who saw and recognized me first, then I recognized them too. All three are from a combination of Facebook, Twitter, and/or running bloggers I follow. What fun! I also had someone comment on my race report that he was the guy who finished just in front of me in the red jacket, and asked if I was the one in the Duke t-shirt. (Yep!) I tried catching the red jacket guy for the last chunk of the race, but couldn't pull it off!

While this could border on creepy stalking, so far the online community has been a great way to follow each other through training and races in the area, and getting to see pictures of each other helps a lot!

Wearing the Duke t-shirt garnered a couple of comments, but it helped that it was ACC Basketball Tournament weekend!

Meanwhile, the new Raleigh Galloway training season is starting in a couple of months, and I'm planning to sign up again. I've discovererd that I like running alone, but the Saturday group runs offer extra motivation, good running tips, and a sense of in-person community that I miss when I'm running alone. I've enjoyed following some of the Raleigh Gallowayers on Facebook in the off-season.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Work Meets Running

I'm running in the Run for the Oaks 5K tomorrow morning, and they have a corporate team competition. I stepped out on a limb and solicited other interested runners at the library. Now, three of us are going to brave the rain tomorrow morning in Raleigh! I'm excited! The rain will be a bit of an adventure, or at least a good story to tell later.

Last night I went to the Athlete's Foot at Cameron Village to pick up my race packet. The man behind the table made a comment that he recognized my name, that I must run a few races around here! :) I didn't mentioned that I'm a back-of-the-packer. TMI.

I picked up a new pair of running shoes while I was at the store, but I'll save them for after the rain.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Another Snow Day!

I've delighted in having a snow day today, one that was called by
work, so I've enjoyed puttering at home and going to the gym a little later. It's been a good "mental health" day for me, especially after battling the cold last week, and being concerned about some issues going on at church.

I'd been wanting to take pictures, but had a dead battery pack in my new (Christmas present) digital camera. I went online to check into buying a new battery pack, and something made me find the original box, which had a battery recharger--yay! So here are some pictures from behing our apartment this morning.