new clothes

here’s my new clothes i bought over the past week. most are from penny’s. i bought a pair of pants and couple shirts from maurices, and a pair of pants and a couple shirts from goodwill (a couple shirts i forgot to post – oh well).

observation 1 – the mirror bends outward, so i look a little bigger in the pics than i actually am. stupid mirror.

observation 2 –  yes, some clothes are a little tight. why? because otherwise they’d be baggy. and i’m going with the reasonable theory that i will be moving downward in weight other than upward, so i’d rather make these last a little longer than they would if they were a bit baggy. poo.

observation 3 – best, and most expensive items i purchased? underwear. 🙁 i spent more on underwear than i did on everything else.

not pictured: shoes. i have my black interview shoes, a pair of mary jane ballet flats i bought at xmas, and another pair of black mary-jane-esque shoes that are a little dressier and heelier than the ballet flats. oh and my skechers. haha.

it's hard, jane

dear jane, who is contemplating doing couch to 5k,

i hate running. i really do.

when i started c25k, i thought, hey, it’ll be easy. they’ve set up the program to make it easy, so it will be easy. what on earth could possibly go wrong, right?


when i started, it wasn’t that bad. i think i started at the third week because i knew i could do the first two easily. so off i went in my old new balance sneakers, trotting away for an eighth mile walk, run, walk, run, walk. not too bad.

oh, but it got worse. my knees started wigging out on me. my left thigh muscles spasmed occasionally. my hip muscle was pulled at one point. i wrapped my knees, bought better shoes, and kept plugging away. thankfully, shin splints never set in and my ankles were fine (i sprained one in high school).

at about week 5, I was gasping for breath after my run/walks and ready to pass out on the cool-down mat. i redid weeks 5 and 6. i ended up doing week 6.1 and 6.2 because i couldn’t quite do week 7 (2.5 miles nonstop). i was doing a mile, walk 1/8, a mile, walk 1/8, a mile for a couple weeks. i thought i would be doing that forever.

how i felt at week 5

then one day, i just did it. ran the whole shebang and didn’t even think about it beforehand. and it wasn’t bad. but i didn’t enjoy it. i was still gasping and wheezing for breath at the end, but i had done it, and that was my goal.

but i kept doing it. about a month ago, i started running outside all the time, and maybe 2 weeks ago, i enjoyed a run for the very first time. 3.5 miles, very little wind, maybe 68 degrees outside, 8 p.m. perfect. but the perfect run isn’t what really kept me going. it was the new calf muscles that popped when i flexed. the trim(mer) ankles. my thinner, toned thighs, not to mention some overall weight loss, that was really what motivated me to keep running. walking would not do this for me.

so i guess i’ll keep going. when it’s gross out, i don’t really enjoy running. when it’s nice out, it’s tolerable to enjoyable. but it took a while to get here.

and that, jane, is how you do c25k. it’s hard, but you just power through and do it because, well, you can.

A Bathroom Review: or why I don't mind a porta-potty

I originally published this in 2007

Some people are very particular about where they do their business. I know people who wouldn’t do doodoo in a portapotty to save their life. But when it comes down to it, poo is poo, and the end result is always the same: a pile of crap you’ve gotta put somewhere.

For summer 2003, my dad planned a canoe trip to commemorate the bicentennial of Lewis and Clark floating up the Missouri river and back down the Missouri river. He commissioned my uncles Jon and Greg, cousin Karl, and my brother, Charlie, to go with him. After much advice from me about packing (I had, at the point, been on one canoe trip in my life, which was one more than he) and cajoling from my mom, he gave in and let me come too.

Looking back, it wasn’t a bad trip, but it wasn’t the greatest. There was a profound lack of estrogen in the company, my bro was a whiny little bugger, and the whole thing kind of seemed haphazardly thrown together (my dad didn’t pack any bowls…. or spoons…and the menu for night two was stew). What was most inconvenient for me, however, was the lack of bathroom facilities. Guys have it easy most of the time. Girls do not.

Now, I’d been on trips where the plumbing hasn’t been the greatest. Numerous times I’ve been in campgrounds where there is a portapotty type wooden building with a deep hole and a place to plant your butt to do your business. I’ve been out in the Boundary Waters where the facilities are much more open – no building whatsoever around the deep hole in the ground, but there was a place to sit. At the times of these trips, they didn’t seem like the best facilities in which to do a necessary deed.

But this canoe trip was entirely different. For starters, we didn’t stop at pre-assigned stops where there might be a building with a hole and a place to sit and all that jazz. We decided to stop at random spots. For the most part, I held it as best I could. But inevitably, ya gotta pee.

First, let me tell you about a latrine. It is literally a hole in the ground that you dig with your collapsible shovel. You choose a spot that is far enough away and shielded so that people don’t have to listen to you or watch you, but close enough so that it is easy to get to. You dig maybe a foot and a half down, and a foot diameter hole. The ousted dirt goes right next to the hole and the shovel stuck in the pile of dirt so that once you’re finished doing your thing you can cover it up with dirt so the next person doesn’t have to look at it or smell it. Of course, this isn’t the easiest thing to do because you’d have to dump a lot of dirt in to cover it up, so it’s not to uncommon to smell or see past duties/doodies when your turn finally comes around. Also at the latrine site is a roll of TP and very large bottle of Purell. Once you’re done with your camping site, you shovel the rest of the dirt in the hole and pack it all down.

The first night we stopped on an island with waist-high yellow mustard weeds all over that we had to stomp down to set up camp. Thankfully, it wasn’t raining, so this was easily done. That night, my cousin Karl was in charge of latrine duty.

It was a good latrine for the first night. Karl found a low-lying branch that was perfect for sitting on during your time in the latrine, and there was even a handy little jutted out branch that the TP roll fit perfectly. That night was a learning experience as I sat on a bumply branchy woody piece of log to do my business. Not the most pleasant experience, but the better of the two nights we camped on the river.

The next night was also an island night. After a windy day of canoeing into the wind, a sudden storm popped up and we had to find a place to camp – fast. A little island with no trees was the choice. We camped on the lower part of the island, and the latrine for that night was on the upper part of the island, behind the biggest bush (well, the only bush). Charlie was on duty that night, and he was very proud of the fact that he found the bush.

Except…. this was literally only a hole in the ground with no convenience of braches. You had to remember the TP and Purell when it was time to go. Everyone peed before the rain hit that late afternoon, but the next morning the latrine was a soggy, muddy mess. And I almost fell in.

There I was, in the best position I found for latrine business: one leg out of shorts, squatting as best as possible, legs as far from the edges of the latrine as possible. In the mud, it was even worse. I had to keep my pants out of the mud and keep me out of the mud. As I finished my business, I suddenly lost balance and started slipping on the mud toward the latrine. I could see my possibilities flash before my eyes. On the one hand, I could fall into muddy, poopy, icky latrine, or throw myself the opposite way onto my pants and into the large prickly bush covering me from peering eyes. So little time, such a harrowing decision. I chose the bush. My pants were all wet, and I lost my shoe for a moment, but I was unpoop-scathed.

That day as we floated down the final leg of our journey, we stopped for lunch at a designated rest stop on the river. And I have NEVER EVER been so thrilled to see a hole in the ground poop-station. There were walls. There was a door. There was…. an elevated place to sit. There was even a roll of toilet paper on a holder. For that moment in time, I think I reached nirvana. Sure, it was stinky. Sure, it was probably dirty as all get out. But it was bliss.

That night we reached the end of our river journey with flush toilets and a comfortable place to sleep, not to mention other people and a place of commerce to buy junk food. The next night I spend a half hour in the shower at my aunt and uncle’s house washing away the five days of grime that had built up on my skin. Besides a horrendous sunburn on my chin and thighs, I came away relatively happy that I went on the trip and with a greater understanding of the uses of sunblock.

Despite the scenes I witnessed, despite the ongoing bets of when my brother would give up and start crying and throw himself into the river, and despite my awesome blistering chin, when people asked me about the trip, the one story I inevitably told was how I averted the disaster of falling in the latrine. Then I explained that I will never, ever fear a portapotty.


here’s the cake i made that was beyond awesome.

i made a 9×13 then cut it in half. the frosting was outrageous – there was so much of it. i think i might make this again for MY bday! except i might actually buy a second round or square cake pan to match one of my other ones.

this blows

OMG it is so windy!!! i wish it would stop so i can run once in a while. when i start running in the evenings again (woohoo!) it should be less windy then. until then, running in the wind is it. boo.


i made this cake:

i don’t have my own pics up yet, but here’s a pic from her site:

omg it is glorious – a million times better than my grandma whoever’s buttermilk chocolate cake. this is now my go-to cake recipe. it calls for coffee, but you can use boiling water. i used amaretto flavored coffee, and i think if you substituted some almond extract for some of the vanilla (it calls for a TABLESPOON of vanilla!!), that would bring out more of the almond flavor. i also put some coffee in the frosting, as well as some cream cheese, and not a ton of cocoa – so it looked a lot lighter than the pic.


check and check

well, my flowerbed is cleared out, tulips are pretty much done for the season, fuchsias purchased and hung, geraniums in a pot, tomatoes purchased and waiting, and vegetable beds cleared and fertilized.

now we wait to see if i plant.

but i don’t want to dwell on my anxiety levels. instead, i would like to point out that the weather is awesome! but it’s sooo windy, which blows (haha, pun intended) when i am trying to run.

i’ve settled on running a mile during the week mornings and focusing on increasing my speed and breathing levels, then on sunday evenings, i will run 3 miles at a leisurely pace. i think that’s not a bad plan.

tonight i’m attempting to make hotwings. i’ve never made them, and it should be relatively easy. i’ve already prepped with wings, and they were pretty easy to clip and cut apart. then i fry them, toss them with the sauce (i have a hot wing sauce from the store and a doctored up sauce that has more barbecue-y stuff in it), then bake them. blue cheese dressing is ready to go! i’ll take pics.


i’m doing some research on the next big thing, a la facebook. of course no one knows, but i can only imagine that it’s something that connects us even more than we’re connected – making communication more instant than it already is. it actually made me think of “minority report” where ads are individually crafted, and now i want to see that movie again.

that aside, sometimes i just want to regress and see what happens. i know one of my new year’s “resolutions” was to use my phone less. i’ve been trying to keep it upstairs when i watch a movie, or i stick it on the table while i sit in my chair and read. and you’d think the constant visual and/or mental stimulation would be enough to keep my brain from sending little tendrils of thought to my phone, and should i check fb, or twitter, or pinterest, or maybe someone’s updated her drawsomething game. ugh. it makes my pro-luddite brain shake its head.

i want a movie to be enough. i want a book to completely envelope me. i want to make it through an entire night out with nate without either of us looking at our phones. it’s the way things are going, and i’m in a cusp of a generation that is being swept along with it, but i don’t necessarily like it. but i do at the same time.

where’s the internet of 1998? chatrooms, emails, mp3s taking 20 minutes to download? the internet gave us the time to be with ourselves. now it’s a constant barrage. but sometimes i like it. and sometimes i don’t.



i was taking pics of stuff for etsy today and i realized i don’t have many pics of ralph. so i took some. he looks the same, all that time.

he’s a big doof. falls down, jumps up to get to something, misses, then falls over on his side. he jumped out of the laundry basket as i was going downstairs (sophie hitches a ride all the time) and he misstepped and landed on his back on the stairs and did a somersault. nate figures he’s more like a dog than a cat.

then sophie just looked so darn cute, so i had to get a pic of her.

she’s the only real cat in the house. eats meat, nudges her way into my glass of milk, jumps after bugs, actually lands on her feet.

and chasey’s just angry all the time. 🙁