Monthly Archives: October 2011

Who’s A Stylish Blogger

Stylish is not one of the worlds that people associate with me. However, Liene** erroneously attached that word to my name or more precisely, my blog. Liene is the girl who’s going with this kid who knows this guy that told the girlfriend of a brother of the boyfriend of the sister of my best friend (it’s a backwards quote) and has a blog over at Femme au foyer.

This is what she had to say:

I would like to pass the stylish blogger award on to these lovely ladies:
….
Barefoot Roses at A Barefoot Rose By Any Other Name for her unique barefoot style
….

I think someone should examine Liene’s head. And, they might as well do mine while they are at it. I’m not much of a girly-girl but I guess that I do some stylish things. Such as:

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1. Painted Toes – I don’t wear nail polish on my fingers but I won’t go in public without my toes polished. Going barefoot gives me the excuse I need to keep my toes up to date and show off that bright color. My current favorite is #381 Russet Flame. Yoowza!

2. Jewelry – this past summer I reacquainted myself with toe rings. I wore a toe ring for most of my younger adult life until I lost it or had kids or ate a monster or something like that. Now, that I am back to being barefoot all the time, I felt a replacement toe ring was required. It’s shiny and silver. I never know it’s there except when it reflects the light and catches my eye.

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3. Mud masks – one can pay a couple hundreds of dollars for a day at the spa to have a mask applied to remove toxins and minimize pores. Or, one can head to their local creek side trail shortly after the waters recede from the lowlands. The mud on that trail is cool, comfortable and helps remove toxins like fat. I’m a fan of both kinds of mud masks.

 

Santa Socks!

4. Winter socks – With the onset of cooler temperatures, I sadly have to put on protective wear. Fortunately, there is this little thing every girl can get excited about. SOCKS! I’ve always had a soft spot for crazy holiday socks but last year I got hooked on wild everyday socks too. Turns out, I’m just one in a million with a sock fetish. Not that I mind, it just means the sock manufacturers will continue to feed my need.

So, my final stylish thing is to buck the tradition of the stylish bloggy award. I’m supposed to list seven stylish things I do. I only have four. Since I doubt you care, I quit.

I am giving my sister the next Stylish Blog award because her reviews are straight to the point. How she has time to watch movies AND review them, I’ll never know. So check Penny Rose out at Two Thumbs Up. (if only I could go on about those two thumbs up! Let’s just say, sisters stick together).

**Visit Liene, a pregnant Latvian descendant, American Expat, living in France with two cats, Roberts, and Lauris. Seriously, she makes fountains very interesting. But don’t miss out on the hunt for white eggs at Easter.

It has taken me so long to write this blog post that I don’t even care if it has good writing style or not. It’s posted!!

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Wild Goose to Silly Goose

I pulled my car into the same hotel parking spot I’d vacated thirty minutes prior. I’d been on a wild goose chase for a trail head to the “greenways” in Wisconsin. I wished I had applied those thirty minutes to running on the sidewalk outside the hotel instead. The sun’s initial descent was punctuated by the dimmed daylight. Those thirty minutes lost in a wild goose chase would have been treasured running minutes under full daylight.

Regardless of greenway or greyway, I was going to run before dusk expired too. For a sidewalk, the environment wasn’t too awful, although, the grey concrete hadn’t absorbed enough sunlight bringing a halt to running bare. Shoes on, I then found myself impeded by a busy intersection. Being impatient with precious dusklight minutes passing by, I turned right to enter the rear drive of a shopping mall. There was no busy traffic but, the sidewalk also dematerialized.

Leery of cars that might turn right at the intersection behind me and might also not take note of a person running on the edge, I sprung up on the curb for a spell. It triggered an Anne Shirley memory.

“I knew a girl in Marysville who could walk the ridge-pole of a roof.” “I don’t believe it,” said Josie flatly. “I don’t believe anyone could walk a ridge-pole. You couldn’t anyhow.” “Couldn’t I?” cried Annie rashly. “Then I dare you to do it,” said Josie defiantly.

Well, we couldn’t let Josie Pye get the best of us. I accepted the dare minus the height of the house and Anne’s boots plus I would run across the curbs. Diana, Anne’s bosom friend, might have called me a silly goose.

Auspiciously, I didn’t crash through a tangle of Virginia creeper like Anne did. Positive circumstances such as wearing my Merrell minimalist shoes, being only 6 inches off the ground, and having grass on the left side kept me upright. No doubt, I had a lot more fun on the curb than Anne had on the ridge-pole.

While I may have regularly employed the ground to correct my balance, I found stabilizing my body as I ran over the curbs rewarding and smiley ;). It was invigorating to engage muscles all over my body. I concentrated without really thinking. When the curbs curved, I followed them in pointless pursuit. The more the run seemed directionless the more meaningful it became because it was fun.

I confess that I only ran on the curbs for 90% of the run. I also took advantage of my urban surroundings. I serpentined through a series of stately bushes and trees marshaling a parking lot. I leaped across a set of stone seats encircling a wobbly concrete table that shuddered gravely when I hopped away. I sprung off small boulders enriching a university parking lot. I imagined I was skate boarding down a ramp. Then rebelliously chuckled when I glimpsed a “No Skate Boarding Trespass” sign. Would anyone dare fine a runner? Dare to even scold one?

I passed people walking out to their cars at the end of a day’s work. They stared at me as they unlocked their cars or as they drove away. Despite the witnesses and the “Do Not” signs, I continued to run, bounce, jump, and balance. I have no doubt the beholders observing my antics concluded that I was a Silly Goose.

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I Spy With My Little Eye

In the kitchen- I spy with my little eye… a miniature Reese’s peanut butter cup at the very bottom of the candy jar that is filled with a ton of crappy candy the boys got for Easter. I slam the lazy susan shut and run for the living room.

In the Family room – I spy with my little eye… a red Skittle that my son is holding in his hand while watching Disney’s Robin Hood. I quickly shift my eyes to the TV and start singing along with the movie, “he won’t be known as John the first but he’s sure to be known as John the worse…”

At work – I spy with my little eye… a box of donuts made by the local Italian bakery that was brought in by a sales person and set in the lunch room. I deliberately keep walking past the lunch room even though the water cooler is in there.

At the restaurant – I spy with my little eye… a hot molten chocolate lava cake with ice cream ala mode. I shove the dessert menu back behind the condiment rack and napkin holder then concentrate on my very satisfying glass of water.

On the side of the road – I spy with my little eye… an empty Dairy Queen container…OOHH, LET’S GO TO DAIRY QUEEN… Thank goodness the car is a mile away and the idea seems silly when I get there.

At the Baby shower – I spy with my little eye…cookies…candy…cake…Oh, MY!

It seems that every since I started NO sugar streaks that every where I turn these items are there, jumping out at me, torturing me, ANTAGONIZING me. They burn my retina like a laser beam. It’s as though I’ve developed X-Ray vision and can see right through any material that might try to conceal a sugar treat. I turned into a bloodhound that can sniff out sugar from 500 yards away.

The truth is that these items where always there. It’s just that I’ve become conscience of them. Even though I wanted to lose weight in the past, if I saw the Reese’s pb cup, I’d just eat it. Half of the things in the house that I’m not allowed to eat were items that I bought. Case in point, I’m the only one in the family who knows Girl Scouts.

The NO sugar streaks are hard but they make me mindful of what I am supposed to eat and what I am not supposed to eat. It’s not like banning cookies is a new concept for me. I’ve been on and off diets since I was 18. But for some reason, the streaks work.  Starting today, I am on a NO sugar streak.  I am at 18 hours and counting….

Wish me luck that I’ll be able to turn a blind eye.

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The Hamster vs. Bizzaro Lady

I lucked out when the treadmill at the hotel broke. The front desk clerk offered me a one day pass to a local health club. I needed to burn some calories so I was willing to go the extra mile.

Goodness gracious, this health club was a beauty. It had a row of treadmills for as far as the eye could see. There was not one but three different weights areas, and more, but I didn’t have time to find out exactly what, I just knew. This was the kind of health club I dream of being a member of but have never had access to and wouldn’t be able to afford it anyway. I had a one day pass to gym paradise.

I made use of the indoor track that circled above the basketball court and passed in front of the treadmills and weights. Although I was in paradise, I didn’t know how the management would feel about visitors running in the bare, so I kept my Merrells on. This decision was reaffirmed when I noticed the Crossfit chick in the VFFs. Is it me, or do all Crossfit chicks dress exactly the same?

It took me a few laps around the track to feel comfortable and find my form. Initially, I was counting laps but when I started doing math in my head I figured I’d enjoy myself more if I just lost myself in the music. Before long, I felt like I was a NASCAR driver speeding through the long stretches and pressing the forces of physics through the corners.

I noted that one of the guys running on the treadmill watched me run past on every lap. He had a strange sort of look on his face as though he wondered what bizzaro runs like crazy around a small track with a near hysterical grin on her face. I’m sure he was waiting for me to crack at any minute.

I noted he was watching the bizzaro lady because I, in turn, was watching the hamsters. I didn’t care what they thought of me because all I could wonder is how they could stare into space, running in the same place, at the same speed when I was just one foot away having a blast. Those hamster could have used a dose of Run Smiley.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll soon assume the form of a hamster myself. Its just that, I mean, it’s not like it was a contest, but I’m pretty sure I won.

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Don’t Do The Crime

Warning! This post contains a picture that may not be appropriate for all audiences.

The Backstory
They had a catered lunch at work. It was simply make your own sandwhich with salad and fruit salad, 1000 pickles (don’t ask me), and a massive plate of brownies and blondies.

I made it around the sandwich making station without a brownie the first time. I told myself that if there were brownies left after I ate, it was fate telling me I could have one. (C’mon Stephanie, that’s not fate, that’s j-u-s-t-i-f-i-c-a-t-i-o-n)

When I returned to the sandwich making station, more than half the brownies had stayed behind to serenade, “Stephanie! You Whoo! Steffffannnnnieeee!”

Fate was in my favor! Hippoty hoppity, I ate myself two chocolate chip infused brownies, one right after the other with nary a breath in between. Although, the second brownie tipped the sweetness tolerance so I high tailed it out of the conference room to gather my computer and literature for a training session I was about to lead. (Might I digress to point out that no one attended my training session. Apparently, Agriculture isn’t as sexy as Drilling. Ba da domp.)

One slight problem, I was nervous, I need a distraction. With my laptop tucked under my arm, I detoured through the food conference room for a little something else. Not a brownie, mind you, because I still had that too-sweet after taste in my mouth. Anyone can tell you that what I needed was something salty to cut the sweet. A full bowl of potato chips answered my prayers. Interestingly enough, I only required five chips. Then I decided I was good to have one more brownie. (Seriously, I’m impressed that I didn’t eat an entire family size bag of chips first!)

The Calorie Count
The only fortunate thing was that these brownies were small. I’d say that each brownie was about 100 calories using the 100 calories snack pack comparison. As in, stack all the cookies from a 100 calories Oreo snack pack until they form the height, width, and length of the brownie. (Oreo is the only 100 calories snack pack I’ve ever been tempted to eat thus my only frame of reference). However, come to think of it, those 100 calories Oreos could never equate the delightful density of a brownie. So we’ll have to bump up those brownies to 150 calories. Each.

F in A. That’s 450 calories, in the brownies alone! S-C-R-E-W-E-D.

The mission
If you are going to eat the crime you have to do the exercise time. My objective for the remainder of the day was to find a way to burn 450 calories to undo three brownies because the 40 minutes I spent running/walking at the gym that morning went toward paying off the calorie accumulation from the previous night’s dinner. I needed MORE exercise. My rule of thumb would be 50 calories per 10 minutes of exercise/walking.

Meetings – I spent the rest of the afternoon either sitting at a meeting table or sitting in the car. Calorie burn -0. Ak vai.

Car Rental- while standing at the car rental place I noted that arrivals gates at PHL are right on the other side of the road. I could practically spit on it. The rental place was across from terminal C giving me about a 10 minute walk to terminal A. 50 calories down 400 to go and wasn’t looking promising.

Dinner- I thought Terminal A at PHL lacked sufficient dinner options so I took advantage of the connecting hallways to walk over to terminal B for dinner and sufficiently restrained myself from Wendy’s to eat only a turkey salad. 5 minute of walking = 25 calories and who cares about the turkey salad because it had vitamins, I think. 75 down with 375 to go.

Waiting to board my plane- when I had a half an hour left before it was time to board my plane I started “mall walking” the terminals. 30 minutes of walking = 150 calories – the time I went to look at the books for sale – the time I went to look at the t-shirts for sale- the time I went to look to see if any other shirts were for sale – the time I took to pee – the time I got trapped by the American Express sales guy = 75 calories, 150 with 300 left to go.

Delayed boarding- I paced between gate A1 and A7 for twenty minutes waiting to be sardined in a CRJ airplane while carrying a bag with a laptop and a backpack filled with three days worth of clothing and a pair of shoes. 100 calories + 50 calories bonus. 300 calories with 150 calories to go. (if only I had stuck with two brownies!)

Walking through ORD to my car in economy parking (disclosure- I took the tram) – 7 minutes of walking = 37 calories for a total of 337 calories.

I was short 113 calories. Next time, I’d better not do the crime if I can’t do the time.

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Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Way number #33 on how to make your runs more enjoyable:  The Cheers Method

I’ve mentioned before that I have a friend who owns a local (better than $tarbuck$ or McD$) coffee shop. Jaszy’s Java is located one block off Old Route 66 in Wilmington. It’s a cheerful little shop with an owner who cares about what her customers want to drink, especially, if it’s coffee or a smoothy. I recommend the not-so-berry berry smoothies. It’s a Barefoot Roses custom smoothie.

Several of my recent runs went right past Jaszy’s by design to either take a picture or just waved a hello.

You know that scene from Cheers when Norm walks into the bar, says hello and everyone yells back “Norm” in greeting?

OK, maybe Darla is the only one waving and saying Hello to me but still it perks up the run a bit.

So if you can find a running route with a place where everybody knows your name, I recommend it.

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Leave The Leaves

Fall is one of the best times of the year to run. Besides Fall providing a new pallet of colors to view, the late morning temperatures are more than bearable, they are pleasurable. The sun shines as often as in the summer but isn’t as intense. The wardrobe options are plentiful because the weather only requires a t-shirt and shorts. Yes, fall allows you to sleep in on a Saturday morning without worrying about having a heat stroke.

So, that’s what I did. I slept in on Saturday, started cooking a bushel of apples on the stovetop for applesauce and headed out for a barefooted run. It was the perfect setting for a run..

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…except one little, er, maybe two little things.

One, since the apples were cooking on the stove I handed responsibility of occasionally stirring the applesauce over to my husband during my run. It’s a 20 quart stock pot full of steaming hot apples. It smells fantastic but it’s not so easy to stir. Thus, there were scorched apples stuck to the bottom of the pan. I supposed I have nothing to complain about since he was the one stuck cleaning the stock pot afterward. Woe is me, my poor apples. Hee hee hee.

The other thing that wasn’t so great about Saturday’s run was a section of sidewalk covered by leaves from a tree that has some type of fungus or disease. The leaves are covered by very hard growths. It was like running through your living room after your kids have forgotten to pick up all their Legos. It was a long section of sidewalk with no way out but to hop through it.

I learned my lesson. It was better to leave the leaves alone and veer into the road (after checking for traffic) than to run over fungus covered leaves. All in all, this run still earned two big toes up and a bowl of applesauce. Yum!

 

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