Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Memory: Logan the Dog

Our family used to have a small little fluffy dog named Logan. I can't remember where we got the dog, nor do I remember an extensive search for the perfect dog for our family. I just know that one day we didn't have him, and the next we did. I think at one time he was intended to be my brother's dog, but that idea didn't last long.

As a puppy I think his time was split indoor/outdoor, but when he got older he was exclusively an outside dog. Our yard was fenced and there was no worry about him getting on the road. At that time, he was actually pretty fun for us kids. My sister and I would push him around in our baby doll strollers and I think we put more than one dress on him. Apparently I thought I could teach him to be a draft dog and used him to pull me around the sidewalk on our little scooter.
Unfortunately, when we moved to our first house in Oregon, times weren't so good for Logan. We lived in a house that was right across the street from the school, so most kids in town walked right by Logan every morning and every afternoon. The yard wasn't fenced so he had to be chained up and kids often made a cruel game of using Logan for rock-throwing target practice. Our fun fluffball turned quite mean and whenever he wasn't chained in the yard, he had to be leashed by one of us. He would bark at anyone who walked by the house and went absolutely nuts when a baseball game or other activity was going on across the street. On one occasion Logan got loose and actually bit the UPS man as he made a delivery to our front porch. It was definitely not an ideal situation for our family or the dog.

One summer my brother and sister and I spent a couple of weeks at our grandparents' house. Upon our return, our parents sat us down and explained that while we were gone, Logan's problems got worse. Dad told us he knew a family with a large farm who were happy to take him and that he heard Logan was doing well with all that land to run around and no kids throwing rocks at him. My siblings and I were initially bummed, but quickly realized a farm with lots of land was a much better place for him and were happy Logan had this new, perfect home.

I wanted this fairy tale story to be true, but as the oldest child, I think I was the first to realize I had never before heard my dad talk about this particular farm family, and Logan would actually probably have been a horrible farm dog - completely unable to do any typical farm-dog tasks. I also thought it was just a little too convenient that this particular perfect option became available only when all the kids were gone for a few weeks. I didn't share this information with my brother and sister, figuring they'd put the pieces together themselves one day. Although, whenever we asked, my parents dutifully stood by the farm story. By the time I left for college years later, Logan and the Farm had become a bit of a family legend, but my parents still didn't budge when it came to divulging what really happened.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday Memory: My Blue Brother

The Christmas I was eight years old, I received an awesome gift - a small printing press set. I can't remember who gave it to me, but I do remember lining up the letters backward in the frame, adding the blue ink, and pressing my name (or others' names, or just random words, I wasn't picky) on sheets of newsprint-type paper.

One afternoon, I got out the set and stamped out words with my little brother, Kasey. He was only two-and-a-half, but I remember having fun with him as we printed out his name on the paper. After a while, my mom came into my room and told Kasey it was time for his nap. He didn't fuss, and instead asked if he could stay in my room. He curled up on my bed for a rest and I put my printing press set away and spent the next couple of hours away from my room.

Later, I was instructed to go down and wake my brother up from his nap. The sight that greeted me was an odd and confusing one. Kasey was still asleep on my bed, but his face and arms and the surrounding sheets were all blue. I didn't really immediately understand what I was seeing, and hollered up the stairs. "MOM! KASEY'S BLUE!" My mother sprinted to my room, afraid at what she might find. She breathed a huge sigh of relief when she saw he was still breathing and fine, and then started laughing at the reality of the situation.
My dear, adorable, sweet little brother had gotten into my printing press set and covered the letters, papers, himself, and my bedding in dark blue ink. He really was a ridiculous and hilarious sight to be seen. (Oh, and if you're wondering, my beloved printing press set was completely ruined.)

Mom marched him upstairs, snapped a few pictures, and scrubbed him down in the bath tub. We found it quite funny, but the more my mom and I laughed, the more Kasey cried. Apparently he failed to see the humor in the situation.

Well Kasey, I hope you can find it funny now. Oh, and I hope you know you still owe me a printing press set.
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Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday Memory: The Lid Drawer

When we were kids living in Utah, I would often hang out at my Grandma Carol's house with my younger sister, Jen, and our cousin, Cody. Grams would watch the three of us quite regularly and her house became our second home. We knew where the gourmet hot chocolate packets were kept and that there was always a tub of ice cream in the freezer. We also knew if we were ever bored or bothering Grandma while she was working in the kitchen, we'd be told to, "Go play in the lid drawer."
Yup, the lid drawer is quite literally a drawer full of lids.

The funny thing is, we would play in the lid drawer. We'd stack lid towers, or make tiny lid houses, or we'd toss them at each other.

I think the first time Grandma told us to play in the lid drawer she was probably losing patience with three whiny kids and actually wanted to tell us to go play in traffic, but "lid drawer" came out instead and now that low drawer filled with plastic lids is forever a funny childhood memory.

Cody, Jen, and I often still laugh about the lid drawer, but Jen finally snapped a picture when she was visiting Grandma's house last week. She was pleased to see it hadn't changed locations, and in fact, several of the lids looked like the ones we played with over 25 years ago. That knowledge made my heart smile. Some things, like the lid drawer, should never change.

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Howdy Mother Runners!

Thanks for visiting! And thank you Another Mother Runner for featuring me this week!

(Four-year old Lana is happy you're here too!)

My running tends to be shorter distances such as 5Ks, although I did enjoy the only 10K I've ever run. My absolute favorite race is the 2/10/2 Palouse River Duathlon. I mostly run for the quiet, reflective time I enjoy when I'm alone, or for the great conversations shared between friends when running with a buddy or while pushing my daughter in her stroller. I like to participate in races and feel a sense of accomplishment when I've met a goal, although I wouldn't ever call myself a competitive racer.

Now that I'm 15 weeks pregnant, I have noticed I've started to slow down a bit (not that I was ever all that speedy to begin with). But I still like to be out on the pavement, putting one foot in front of the other. This is a new experience for me, as I was not all that active during my first pregnancy. I've been in contact with my doctor about running and biking and very careful to follow her instructions. I've never noticed any pain or ever felt like I was harming my baby. (Well, I take that back. On last Friday morning's run, I tripped on a crack in the sidewalk and bloodied both knees, resulting in much immediate pain. It was totally not baby-related, and of course now I'm fine, but still, skinning up your knees HURTS!)

Let's change topics, shall we? How about a giveaway?
Several weeks ago there was a RLAM Facebook thread about race goodie bags and what were the best or worst things you've ever received. I've collected several running-related odds and ends from various prize bags and race swag bags and want to give them away - hopefully this goodie bag is more "best" and less "worst." Up for grabs:

Washington State University (GO COUGS!) tote bag, neat-o marathon lithograph, handy water bottle, a running book, pink wrist sweat-band, and a black knit cap (ya know, because it won't always be 90 degrees).

To enter:
Please share how you stayed fit during pregnancy, or how you got back in shape post-partum. And if none of those reflect where you are, then tell me your favorite kind of ice cream. Because it's hot, and I love ice cream. If I don't know you in real life, please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the big winner! The winner will be randomly chosen on July 18th.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Memory: Sparklers!

Growing up, my mom absolutely avoided fire. We weren't allowed scented candles in our rooms and had to stand a healthy distance away from the campfire when we'd make s'mores. Of course that meant on the Fourth of July our family didn't go for the crazy-awesome illegal fireworks our neighbors always fired off. Nope, for us, it was the safe and sane varieties such as fountains, tanks, and snakes.
Somehow though, Mom was okay with sparklers and usually got each kid their own box of wire fire sticks. And oh how we loved them! I remember finding the nearest adult with a lighter, watching the colored spark light up, and dancing and twirling on the lawn. We'd write our names, cast magic spells, and perform impromptu choreographed routines with each other. If there is anything in the world that better defines the word 'carefree' I've yet to see it.

Of course we introduced Lana to the magic of sparklers, and of course she thought they were awesome. Sparklers are one family tradition I'm happy to pass down.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Monday Memory: Happy 4th of July!

Plain City, Utah, had a tradition of holding a kids bike parade on the fourth of July. (Is this still going on? Anyone know?) Kids decorated their bikes in flags, wore patriotic colors, and in our case, bared their midriffs, sported horrible haircuts and scowled at the camera.
Happy Independence Day everyone. And remember, just because you have the freedom and right to some things (showing off your belly, having a mullet, etc....) doesn't mean you should. Too much has been sacrificed for us to waste our freedom making poor choices.
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