Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics and the great pumpkin.

This is halloween! This is halloween!

If you've ever met me, you know I love the holidays. I never matured past the age of seven when it comes to celebrating them (except when I was 13 and "too cool" to take a Santa picture for my mom). But as a 20-something working girl, this time of year makes me giddy and takes me back to the good ole' days. Halloween has a ba-jillion memories for me, from watching Its the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, to decorating with "Oscar" the giant spider, to dressing up, to carving pumpkins.... I love it all.

As a kid, my costumes often had a Disney theme to them... Tinkerbelle, Nala from The Lion King, Esmerelda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Cruella de Ville from 101 Dalmations... I rocked them all. I was also a princess (several times), a genie, a pirate, and yes, an orange crayon. You know what they say about 20-something girl costumes though, often the same things you were as a kid but the slutty version. I guess I fit that criteria. I was a genie again, but this year it was I Dream of Jeannie style. Nothing will ever, and I mean EVER, beat last year's Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader costume, but it was worth a shot. However, I didn't get a single good picture because SOMEONE who shall remain nameless wouldn't cooperate.




As they say in Mean Girls, "In girl world, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girl can say anything." True that.

Carving pumpkins had the same outcome picture-wise (see below) but luckily I ended up with one good one. I am very pleased with my Pistol Pete 'stache pumpkin. And Cole's creativity just blew my mind! We even roasted the pumpkin seeds after we were done carving (first time for everything!) and they were quite tasty.

One of my favorite Halloween traditions is the annual reciting of a poem with my mom and my aunt, Karen, Look out for Spooks!
"When hallereen time comes around 
And frost is pokin' from the ground
Them ghosts 'n witches like to roam
So you just better stay at home! 
Cause if you don't they'll getcha sure 
And eatcha up and yell for more..... 
Look out for spooks!

A little boy named Jack
Was comin' home when he looked back
And underneath an old oak tree 
He saw a pumpkin head 
He said "I ain't scared!"
But after 'while 
That pumpkin chased him 40 mile.
Look out for spooks!

A naughty little girl named Nan
She said, "Ghosts can't hurt you, nothin' can!"
That same day she sassed her Pa
And acted scandalous to her Ma.
That same night the witches came
Since then she ain't never been the same
Look out for spooks!

When hallereen time comes around
And frost is pokin' from the ground
Them ghosts and witches like to roam
If you've been bad jee-roo-sa-lome!
They'll grab you just as quick as scat
And turn you to a dog or cat
Or maybe turn you to a bear
Folks can't find you anywhere.


But if you're good and don't play jokes
And study hard and mind your folks
Them ghosts can't hurt you none and all
But if you don't you'll hear 'em squall!
Maybe catch ya by the hear
Maybe kill ya till you're dead.
Look out for spooks!



Now I'm off to Tulsa for to work the 2012 Color Breed Congress for the next two weeks.... Wish me luck! Until next time..... Look out for spooks! :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

the dog days are over

I like to pretend I'm a "runner." Technically, I guess I am. I run several times a week, but I hate it. I don't think I will ever enjoy it....but I still make myself do it. Somehow I got the bright idea to sign Chloe and myself up for a dog 5k..... The Ghost Runner's 5k Dog Run sounded fun, plus it benefited a dog rescue, couldn't go wrong with that! It also killed two birds with one stone: keeping myself in shape AND giving a 70-pound city dog the exercise she needs. The latter has been a large part of my motivation.

Chloe and I definitely had our struggles during "training." Turns out getting a dog ready for a 5k is a lot more challenging than just getting yourself ready. However, I am very very proud of her - she kicked butt, finished the race, and didn't even dislocate my arm OR stop dead in her tracks (at least not until after the race when we tried to walk through a gate....). There were a lot of dogs that  had to be carried, had to stop in the shade because they were over heated, or couldn't finish at all. Not Chloe, she was a trooper. She got rewarded with a new toy afterwards and is currently shredding it to pieces.

Although the race itself went great, it took a lot of work and frustration to get there. Chloe, bless her heart, is terrified of bridges, metal grates, lawn mowers, garages, doorways, wood floors, stairs, and doesn't seem to understand that not everyone at Lake Hefner wants to say hi to her. Can you believe those jerks?!


I wish I could say this only happened on one occasion as we prepared for race day.........


But it didn't.....

Something about bridges, man. Maybe she heard a story about trolls? Luckily there were no bridges or changes in the pavement on the course.

When Chloe and I first started running together, it was a disaster. She was slow, uninterested, and didn't understand what I wanted. I wanted to run fast but couldn't run at a consistent pace. It was a mess. She has come SO far (as have I!). Turns out having a running buddy, human or canine, really helps you keep a steady pace and have more motivation to hit the pavement. She slowed me down enough to find a workable pace and I figured out how to communicate to her what I wanted her to do. As she matured, she got faster, too. Although this is nothing special for a lot of you, we are currently running 10 minute miles without stopping. Thats a huge improvement for me and I have Chloe to thank. Although she seems to enjoy sprinting down the street with Cole more, she still makes my runs much more enjoyable.....even if its just with a funny story to tell later about another bridge catastrophe.

 

Even though the dog days of training are over for now, she will still be accompanying me as I get ready to run the Dallas Turkey Trot with my brother and cousins on Thanksgiving, as well as the Midwest City Holiday Lights Spectacular Night Run in December (I hope!). If you want to start running with your dog, I recommend checking out Runner's World, they have some great tips! But make sure your dog is up to the task and start slow....and watch out for bridges :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

never jump into a pile of leaves with a wet sucker

Hellooooooo fall!

Compared to the calendar, its been "autumn" for a while now, but today is the first really crisp fall day in good ole' Oklahoma. I'm wearing a sweater for the first time, had to turn on the heater in my car and could see my breath as I walked into the office (OK, that part is a lie). I'm in heaven! I've been drinking apple cider (sometimes spiked...), burning apple and cinnamon scented candles and pretending its cold enough to wear sweat pants for a while now.... But something about it being iced cider and paring sweat pants with a tank top and flip flops just didn't feel right.

Even though the leaves don't reeeeally change color here, they still fall from the trees and need to be raked. As happy as I am that I'm about to NOT have to mow any more, raking has never been my favorite thing (cue the blisters, folks!). Luckily, my little friend Linus has given me some good advice..... "Never jump into a pile of leaves with a wet sucker!" Hopefully Chloe will be as helpful as Snoopy.


Considering its fall, everyone is all about pumpkin this and pumpkin that. I really don't like pumpkin spice lattes (go ahead and call me crazy), but I'll go for some pumpkin bread or cookies any day. I found this nifty recipe on good ole' pinterest and just had to give it a try. I accidentally grabbed chocolate chips instead of white chocolate, but it was still pretty tasty. If you're in the pumpkin mood like all of America seems to be, give these suckers a try. They won't disappoint.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies



Ingredients
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried cherries
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy.
  3. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla; mix well. Add flour mixture; combine until all ingredients are incorporated. Fold in white chocolate chips and dried cherries.
  4. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.


For those of you following the mouse hunt, I finally discovered the source of the smell. Chloe used her K-9 sense of smell and kept sticking her head in a basket of blankets I had. I figured she just wanted to shred the stuffed bear that was in the basket, as she has been in the destructive mood lately. But, after a few days of going straight to the basket every time she came in the house (and the smell not getting any better), I figured I better check it out..... Or get Cole to do it. Good thing I did...... When he pulled the blankets out and shook them, a dead mouse fell on the floor. GAG. Luckily, after getting it out of the house and throwing the blankets away, the smell was gone in a matter of minutes. Thank you, Chloe! I guess she is earning her keep after all. 

Also, for anyone interested, my latest issue of Pinto Horse is now posted online! Check it out here: http://issuu.com/pintohorse/docs/fall2012

Later alligator.