Sunday, June 24, 2012

Blueberry Wasted

Daryl, April, and I returned to Homestead Farm on Saturday to fulfill our dream of picking the biggest blackberries you've ever seen.

After a week of chowing down on 
the most amazing blueberries I've ever tasted...

I was blueberry wasted.

Picking blackberries is, in many ways, more fun and more efficient.  They're exponentially larger than blueberries, so my tupperware was full in a fraction of the time.  But this also means that they're much heavier and therefore some blackberry sticker-shock ensued at the register.

Something else happened at the register...  I was going to buy two pints of fresh blueberries to continue my blueberry bender - but in typical fashion, I spilled half of them before paying.  I'm not going into the details - but it had to do with physics and my usual lack of spacial awareness.  Let's just say, the minute I saw it happening, I knew why and I was mortified.  This led me to guiltily pay full price for the now half pints of berries, and of course buy a third pint.  It's a local business, people.  And I felt like I cut into their profits by carelessly spilling their product all over the floor.  Seriously, I can't take myself anywhere.

 I now have more blueberries than I know what to do with. 
Someone please check me into blueberry rehab.

You're looking very violet, Violet.

This post was really just an excuse for me to post these blue-people pictures.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Blueberries of Wrath

Last Sunday, Daryl, April and I went to Homestead Farm for berry picking!  I have never picked anything in my entire life - but I fancy myself a regular Katniss Everdeen.  Homestead Farm is full-service to say the least.  They grow everything you can imagine.  And you can come any day of the week and pick whatever has bloomed. They have everything from Christmas trees to apples, blueberries to cucumbers to sweet potatoes.

We embarked on our adventure with the intention of strawberry picking.  When we arrived, there were blueberries to be had.  It was so fun!  We passed some not-quite-ripe blackberries on the way back to the general store and decided we had to come back when they ripen!  Which - hopefully, will be Saturday, when we plan on returning.

The Farmer's Market

Blueberry Bushes

Berries, when you turn black, we'll be back.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Things My Optometrist Told Me

FYI:  I also contemplated naming this post "Bodily Function Friday" but I thought that would give people the wrong idea.

Anyway - on to things my optometrist told me yesterday:

"Your eyes are a toxic wasteland and you should put those contacts in a museum."

"I haven't seen protein build-up on lenses that bad since before disposable contacts were invented."

Sweet nothings whispered by a doctor I hate seeing more than ... Well, I will give you 3 guesses.

Even though I see Dr. Arnold Miller only about once a year, I like to think he remembers me fondly as the girl who refuses to take out her contacts.  It's true - and it's gross - but I can make 6 months worth of contact lenses work for 18, and not wear my glasses once in the medium.  Since I started seeing Dr. Miller 4 years ago I've actually asked him to custom design a regimen for me so that I never have to remove my contacts ever again.  He has begrudgingly compromised and obliged, prescribing lenses that allow more oxygen flow through my eyes and which require less maintenance.  Gross...but cool.  I in turn promised him I would take said lenses out once a week - which I obviously don't do.

Talk to me about my teeth and I'm a total basket case - I have a too-frequent-to-be-healthy dream of them falling out.  I brush, I floss, I rinse and my dentist is so impressed with these pearly gems that he only has me come to one appointment a year instead of two.

Apparently, as far as my vision is concerned, I lack the same conviction.  Which brings me to yesterday.  Dr. Miller prescribed new lenses for me in November which, for the first time in a decade corrected my slight astigmatism. It was life-changing - but that's another story for another time.  But in January, I started to notice that the lenses really bothered me - burning, cloudy vision, dryness, etc.  I attributed this to my poor habits and actually started removing my lenses like, once a week - sometimes going entire three day stretches removing them every night, and even changing my lenses every 4 to 6 weeks.  Crazy, I know.

When I told Dr. Miller this, he looked at me shocked and said, "You've been having this problem since January and you're just now coming here?"  Well Arnold, since you asked...I'm a girl on a budget, work doesn't provide optical insurance coverage, and i figured it was my own fault for sleeping in my contacts every day for the last 17 years.  You know, the usual.

Arnold then dropped some knowledge on me, which we can read into the deeper meanings of over a bottle or four of wine later if you so should desire, but he said: "Kathryn, your contacts haven't changed - you have."

Chew on that for a minute.  I did.

But but but, I attested, for the first time EVER I have a quasi-regimen for cleaning these bad boys, and providing oxygen to my eyeballs and all that STUFF like hygiene you've been guilting me about for the last 4 years!

After further inspection and some rather hurtful comments about the poor condition of my lenses, which were, quite literally, choking the life from my eyes, Arnold also deduced that after almost 2 decades of refusing to take out, clean, and routinely dispose of my lenses, my eyes are rejecting contact solution. So by trying to take my lenses out, soak them and then stick them back in my eyes, I was further irritating the situation.  I believe the word "secretion" was thrown around but like, ew, gross.

Told you so, Arnold!  I'm a rogue lens-wearer and I'm blazing my own dirty trail, tossing aside modern-day conveniences like contact solution.  I'll just say it: Contact solution is for wimps!

Ultimately, Dr. M did what some optometrist should have done 10 years ago (and I'm not talking about giving me toric lenses - because that is a beef I have with any optometrist I've ever been to who claimed to correct my vision but was only giving the cheapest solution, I digress...) Ahem - Arnold did what an optometrist should have done 10 years ago, and that is give me daily disposable lenses.  Its the solution requiring no solution. Get it?

I'm going to have to adjust to the added time in the morning - I've always thought it daunting and time consuming to put in contacts every day - which is why I never did.  But you win, Arnold.  There's an Earth Day style effort to clean up the wasteland of my eyeballs and I'm bringing my reusable bag, or whatever.   

But seriously, if anyone knows of a contact museum - I have some lenses for sale.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Little Women That Could

Last Saturday, my Aunt Jeanne and I kicked arse in the Zooma Women's 10K!!  As you all know, my Aunt basically lapped me in the last race we did together and I was pretty disappointed in my performance overall.  But this time we were on my turf, sans New Orleans heat.  She was the perfect partner and pacer and we both performed exceptionally well.

But, ahem, I beat her.  Big smile. And a wink.

So it goes like this - Jeanne had on Tiffany blue running shorts, and every time she passed me on the course I tried to stay about ten feet behind her.  She finished the Classic doing a little over a ten-minute mile, so if I kept up with her, I figured I couldn't be doing half bad.  I knew better than to ostentatiously pass or say anything to her, lest I get a yank to the back of my shirt.  She can be a leetle competitive!

At some point, we'll say around mile 3, I pulled ahead, careful to keep my peripheries open for the sky blue shorts that were pacing me!  Um, but then, I had to go to the bathroom.  Womp Womp.  As the door to the port-o-pot slammed, I figured that Jeanne had pulled ahead.  I looked for the shorts everywhere - but couldn't find the right woman in blue.  After all, there were 3,200 women in this race. Pastels were abundant.

I started to lose hope.  As I passed the Mile 4 marker, I couldn't help but get discouraged.  I thought we were much farther into the course - like at LEAST the 4.5 mile point...  And we were approaching a bridge with a very steep incline.  I knew there was a turnaround at this bridge because there were people on the opposite lane, and I was praying all the way that the turnaround was at the center of the bridge, before the decline.  But no.  The turnaround was at the end of the bridge.  So we went uphill again.  Twice.  This had already been the hilliest route I have ever run.  But then I saw her!  On the other side of the first hill, heading back towards me was my Aunt Jeanne who waved towards me saying, 'Get up here!'  I still had a ways to go before the turnaround - but after that, she remained about 500 feet ahead.  I could see her and she was pacing me!  Not intentionally, but she was none-the-less.

At the end I closed in, blah blah, I don't need to explain how I may have the same competitive genes that my Aunt does.  But I will say that I may or may not have hidden behind a larger girl when I was passing for the final time, just so Jeanne wouldn't see me and try to race me to the finish!  I had very little energy left (or feeling in my feet) - and only enough to finish about 20 seconds ahead.  Which, hell, I consider finishing together!

Honestly, it was the best race I have ever run and it's the best I've ever felt running that distance.  The course was incredibly hilly, and being able to keep my Aunt in my sight made me like 'The Little Runner That Could." I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...  And I did!  I set a PR for myself at Zooma: 62:09; a 10:01/mile pace.

Unfortunately, that course turned me into "The Little Runner That Can't...Walk."  When I wake up in the morning, my muscles are so tight, I can't stand erect for the first few minutes.  And after sitting for a prolonged period at work, I limp to the water cooler.  But it was worth it!  A 10 minute mile is something I never thought I'd be able to accomplish and I only look forward to shaving seconds off of that time in the future.  Well, that... and racing my Aunt to the finish line every time!

The Start


Muscle Milk laid out these yoga mats for post-race stretching.