October 2009 Archives


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There was a very large amount of ducks hanging out when my boyfriend and I went for a walk down by the canal this past Sunday. 

I want to make this post into a little bit of a contest.  All you have to do to enter is to come up with a creative comment for a caption for the first picture below.  I'll pick my favorite and the winner will be my "Blog of the Month" (down on the sidebar if you haven't seen it already) for either November or December.  If you could provide a 125x125 graphic that I can use to link that would be awesome.

So enjoy the photos and leave your creative captions in the comments!

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Fall Foliage Photos

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Last week I decided that this weekend would be a great weekend to go to a spot not too far from my house along the Erie Canal and take some pictures of fall foliage.  I wanted to go yesterday but the weather wasn't so great.  I thought it would be nice to go for a long walk with my boyfriend along this picturesque path so I wanted him to come with me, too.  On Sundays he goes out to watch football so I was afraid he wouldn't be able to come home in time.  Turns out he did  :)  Here are a few of my favorites (the first one is not from the canal but I liked it so much I had to share):

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Runner's High

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I started "running" back on August 23rd.  It wasn't so much a run as it was a very slow jog, some walking, lots of gasping for air, and jello-like legs.  But since then I have started experiencing a sort of high from it, I've noticed some changes, and I have learned a lot.

The High

There isn't much that gets me as excited and pumped up and.... high these days, as going for a run.  In fact, instead of waiting and taking a day off from running there have been a few times where I have gone two days in a row.  I can't wait to run and try and beat my previous time, which I am still doing almost every single run.  (On Sunday I even beat my time after being stopped by a neighbor and having a short conversation!) And I am just as happy and excited each and every time.  I know that won't last forever and I will peak at some point, probably soon, and then not see such steady progress.  But for now, I'll take it.

Each time I get back from a run I exclaim, usually to the boyfriend who is the only one around, "I did it!"  What I mean when I say this is I beat my previous time.  And then I jump around a bit, and request multiple high-fives.  Probably mention a few hundred times how amazing I feel.  Then I stretch and ice my knees.  And while I am icing I open up the (new!) laptop and start entering my data into a spreadsheet.  (Yes, I really do this.  Yes, I know I am a total geek.  I may not understand electrical fuses but I can easily navigate my way around an excel spreadsheet.)  I enter the data for each of the 3 laps I do along with the total time.  I report to my boyfriend preceisely how much time I took on each lap and the total time I improved by.  My boyfriend is so encouraging and patient that he listens, gives me all the requested high-fives, and tells me how great I am doing... each and every damn time.


The Changes

I have definitely noticed a change lately, after the first 6-8 weeks or so of running.  I am much more motivated to go running despite the very frigid temperatures we've been having (such as 36 or 38 degrees).  First, I suppose I am just getting used to it, and it is part of my routine.  Second, it is so much better now that I can actually run the entire route at a somewhat reasonable pace and not feel like death.  I am no longer gasping for air or barely able to move my legs after I am done.  It was much more difficult than it was fun.  And now that has shifted.  I have a steady rhythm of movement and breathing the entire time.  I recover my breath much more quickly now.


The Things I've Learned

I love using a watch when I run.  It makes it a little more fun and interesting.  And it allows me to track my progress (again, dork with spreadsheet who loves numbers).  My older sister runs and a while ago she recommended I buy a Timex Ironman watch. It has all sorts of nifty features including a stopwatch, the ability to split laps, and store up to 50 pieces of data in memory. 

There is a great website where you can purchase some really nice (somewhat expensive, but very high quality) running attire.  My sister was also the one that introduced me to the site: http://www.runningwarehouse.com/.  Items ordered from there arrive 2 days after ordering, shipping is free, and so is the return shipping.  So far the only item I have purchased from there myself is the Brooks Womens Nightlife Podium Zip.  I run after work and now it is getting to the point where I can't come home from work and finish my run before it gets really dark out so I thought the Nightlife collection with the reflective zipper and logos would be ideal.  I wore it tonight and I love it.

Apparently I am not too embarrassed to wear running tights in front of all my neighbors.  A little embarrassed, yes, but not embarrassed enough to keep me from wearing them.  They are actually really comfortable, easy to run in, and keep you warm when the temps are in the 30's.

In terms of running in the cold/rain/snow I have learned quite a bit from a few other runners, including my friend Christina: wear something close to the ankle so snow and rain don't get on your legs; wear a baseball cap in the rain to keep it from getting in your face/eyes; don't wear anything cotton because it will hold all the moisture and you will get very, very wet.


Related Posts:

Running Milestone - reaching my first milestone related to running
Jogging - my thoughts on running/jogging after about 4 weeks


Not My Finest Moment

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I am feeling incredibly dumb.  And incredibly taken advantage of.  Not a good combo!

It's all related to that dryer issue I posted about on Thursday.  The repair guy came Friday afternoon around 2:00pm (he was supposed to be here between 8 and 12), stayed 5 minutes, did next to nothing, and charged me $140 for his "services".

First of all, shouldn't you get a discount if they can't even make the convenient 4 HOUR WINDOW they provide?  And shouldn't they have some sort of discounted rate if they, you know, don't actually do anything?  I understand their time is valuable, and should charge for the time it takes for them to come out to my house.  But seriously, I don't see how the guy or his company can feel good about what they did to me today, even if there was a lot of stupidity/ignorance on my part.

To cut to the chase, a fuse had blown and that's what caused the dryer to stop working.  The dryer itself was fine.  My boyfriend and I were at least smart enough to think of this previously and did check the fuses before having someone come.  We just didn't know the right place to look, apparently.

Here is my electrical panel:

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And here is where the fuses are, the ones we looked at and tried replacing:


But wait... what's this?  An extra little "hidden" panel thingy?  Apparently THIS is where the fuses to the dryer are:

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The guy took a really quick look, said it looked ok to him, I had some sort of electrical problem, needed an electrician, and that I better start saving my money.  So after he left I looked at the two fuses again, and noticed one definitely looked blown.  I switched it out and lo and behold, the dryer started making the lovely humming noise again!


Do you have a not so finest moment to share?  It might make me feel a little bit better to know I'm not alone.  :)

The House (a.k.a. The Money Pit)

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Two house-related things popped up over the last week...

Thing #1

The night before we were set to go to Boston this past week I threw in a load of laundry.  About 30 minutes after putting in the wash, I headed down and put everything in the dryer.  Maybe an hour and a half later I went down to check on things. I had sort of forgotten about it and never heard the buzzer go off signaling it was done.  I went down, pulled open the door, and discovered damp clothing.  I figured there were some heavier towels and things in there and maybe I didn't put in on for long enough so I went to add more time and run it again.  That's when I noticed there were still 20 minutes left on the buzzer.  The stupid thing had stopped in the middle of a load.  I ended up hanging everything up and would worry about it when we got back.  So Tuesday I called to have someone come.  After a phone call that took way too long, I got an appointment for Friday.  Sometime between 8a and 12p.  So I have to work from home in teh morning.  I am hoping they'll be able to fix it quickly and it won't be too expensive.  The stupid thing isn't even two years old yet.  And of course there was only a 1 yr warranty. 

Thing # 2

A while back I got a flyer in the mail for various outdoor housing jobs -- things like power washing, gutters, and various roof repairs.  I wanted to have my gutters done so I held on to the flyer.  I moved into my house nearly 2 years ago and I have not had the house power washed or the gutters cleaned out once.  I have a lot of trees (a LOT of trees) in my yard which means there are a lot of leaves and other crap that get in the gutters and make the siding on the house dirty.  The gutters really needed to be done so I finally called yesterday to get a quote.  The guy headed over to my house shortly after I called and called me back at work and gave me a price.   $65.  Nice, that's a little less than I was expecting.  And then he started the up-sell.  "The house could use a good power washing," he said.  "I'll through in the gutters for free!"  Now I figured the house was somewhat dirty, but really the though of paying to have it washed hadn't crossed my mind.  He said $225 for the power wash and the gutters.  Hmmm.  $225 is an awful lot more than $65.  I talked it over with my boyfriend, another friend, and my mom to see what they thought.  I decided to just bite the bullet and have him do it.  From what I could tell, $225 was a decent deal.  And company is coming this weekend so what the hell, right?  He said he could come the next day.  Awesome.  So he called me early this afternoon saying the job was done.  And by the way, did I want him to install gutter guards too?  You know, because of all the trees.  Only $600!  Yeah.  I passed.  I was expecting to just get my gutters cleaned for like $75, not spend $825 to have a bunch of extra things done.  He said fine and he'd stop over at 6:00 after I was home from work for payment.  He came on time which was great and then had yet another off for me.  He offered to take $85 off the $600 for the guards if I changed my mind.  Geez!  No thank you, but gotta give him credit for perisitence.

If you want to get an idea what the tree/leaf situation is in my yard you can click on the following previous entries from early spring and last fall with pics:




 I don't want to jinx myself, but I'm kind of waiting for what Thing # 3 is going to be.


5 Day Weekend

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My place of employment does not consider Columbus Day a holiday and therefore we did not get today off of work.  However, I took a vacation day because my boyfriend's sister was married in Boston this past weekend.  I also took off Thursday and Friday of last week for traveling and rehearsal dinner.  So I had a very extended and very busy Columbus Day Weekend.

Over the last 5 days I:

  • spent 15 hours in a car
  • ordered a sirloin steak at a Mexican restaurant.  also tried the salmon.  odd options at a Mexican place, right?
  • ate fried plantains for the first time (and liked them)
  • stayed in 3 different hotels over 4 nights
  • had a slice of the best chocolate cake I have ever had (called 'death by chocolate' at a place called Gregg's in Rhode Island)
  • met my boyfriend's entire extended family with the exception of one uncle and one cousin.  his family isn't huge, but it is much bigger than mine which consists of one uncle, no aunts, and no first cousins. 
  • 'showed off' my non-existent dancing skills to said entire extended family
  • the photographer at the wedding seemed to enjoy capturing me 'dancing' and took far too many photos of it
  • bought myself my first pair of running tights for the cold/snow
  • brought a pair of khaki pants with me on the trip without trying them on first.  i bought them in May and wore them not too long ago so i assumed they would be fine.  bad assumption.  i could remove them without needing to unbutton them first.  yikes.
  • managed to have a photo taken of me which I do not hate (actually kind of like)



Shopping For Engagement Rings


With all the recent weddings and engagements going on with various friends, weddings and engagement rings have been a hot topic in ErinLand.  I am really just now starting to think about my own engagement ring.  Not that I necessarily expect to be proposed to any time soon, or know if I will even have any sort of say in the matter, but in my current situation it is not unreasonable to think it could come up soon (exhibit A).  And I want to be prepared, at least a little bit more than I am now.  And hey, looking at pretty diamonds is kinda fun.

There's so much to think about.  Gold?  White Gold?  Platinum?  What shape diamond?  One stone or multiple stones?  Traditional diamond stone or something us such as Sapphire (my birthstone).  Solitaire setting or added filigree?  What's a reasonable price to spend on a ring (I think I heard something like 2 months salary)? 

One friend of mine who is to be married in May has a beautiful Sapphire stone in the middle with a diamond on each side.  Another has a more art deco style ring which is also absolutely stunning.

I think that I have a basic idea of what I like: round, white gold or platinum, diamond, multiple stones...


Ultimately, I am not that picky.  And I think I would absolutely love whatever my boyfriend picked out for me (if I am so lucky to have him want to buy me a ring).

I am hoping for some reader participation on this one.  First, I'd love for people to leave their engagement and ring shopping stories in the comments.  Second, I would really like female input on the following:  would you like to be totally surprised by what your significant other picks out or would you want to be involved in the shopping?  Perhaps go along on a shopping trip or two just to get an idea and leave hints as to what you'd like and leave the rest up to him?

Thank you in advance for your input  :)

Also, for anyone who may be looking, I found a nice list of Top 10 Rules on Shopping for an Engagement Ring.

A Text Message That Made Me Cry

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When I am feeling down in the dumps my boyfriend knows just what to say:


And I want you to realize that you are still the most beautiful thing in the world to me.  A couple pounds cannot change that.  It will never effect how I feel.


And then I melted into a big pile of mush.

He used "effect" instead of "affect", but I think I can forgive him.


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I have been on a diet since Monday.  And already I am rethinking the idea.  I have been exercising regularly for about 6 weeks now.  I've been eating what I feel is very reasonably (with the exception of the birthday celebrations) and I am continuing to gain weight.  Since Monday I have been eating around 1200-1300 calories a day.  I've been neurotic about what I've been putting in my mouth.  I gave up on being "reasonable".  Now I am sitting home alone on a Friday night instead of enjoying myself out to dinner with my boyfriend and another friend.  I opted to stay at work and eat lunch as my desk as I was listening to my friends talking about going out for Chinese food.

I was struggling.  I emailed back and forth with my sister about it and then no longer desired to go out.  I happily ate the healthy lunch I brought with me.  One small battle won.   

I can't keep this up forever.  I am going to try to limit my going out to eat to one time a week.  I'm going to make a bunch of changes recommended by the Eat This, Not That book.  I am going to do my best to keep that up for eat least the next couple of weeks.  I am pretty stubborn and strong-willed so I'm hoping I'll succeed.  I need to stick with it long enough to see results.

I've only got about 15 pounds to lose, but if this keeps up it will be 20 and then 25 and then 30 and then 40.  And I will not let that happen.

Dieting sucks.  Please wish me a lot of luck.  I think I'm gonna need it.

About This Blog

Stories, advice, and random thoughts from a thirty-something female.

Many people in their thirties are dealing with common issues and concerns. Some of these include buying a home, establishing a career, starting a family, and dealing with aging parents. I will blog about all these things as well as other every day stuff as I make my way through this third decade of life.

You can read more about the author behind thirty-something blog on the About Me page.





About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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November 2009 is the next archive.

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