Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Hi, friend. It's me, Maple.

First of all, I was wondering if you wanted to give me a treat? Bacon, lettuce, watermelon...anything really. I'm not picky.

I was supposed to tell you something...can't remember what exactly...

Right, my favorite lady in the whole world wanted me to tell you that she's busy and will be MIA all week.

Actually, my favorite guy said tonight that the last cupcake is MIA. I don't really know what the two have in common, but if you see the missing cupcake let me know. I tried the frosting, a la floor, the other day and it was really delicious...

Anyway, where was I?

My favorite lady. Right. She's been sitting at her desk for the past several days and refuses to get up. She won't even take me for a walk. She's barely rubbed my ears. I even tried laying on her clean clothes to get her attention, but then I saw her nostrils flare and I ran and hid behind the door. Not really. I'm not that big of a weenie.

She was about to say hi to me this afternoon but then she noticed the trash I spent the morning ripping up. She got so busy cleaning it up that she must have forgotten to give me a pat and tell me that I'm the best black dog ever.

So I don't get in any more trouble, and before I forget again, I'm supposed to tell you that your regular scheduled blogging will be on hold for the next few days. She says that she is realllly busy with a school project. She said to tell you she'll miss you and you'll hear from her soon. 

Oh, and if anyone asks, I didn't eat the missing cupcake. I swear.

UPDATE: My sister's dog, Penny's, response.

Hi Maple,

It's me, Penny Lane Treasure! My favorite lady feels bad you are being neglected and to make sure I didn't feel neglected, she gave me a whole sausage, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich today! So thanks for that! However, she is really sad that your lady is taking a hiatus and thinks she should quit her job and schooling so that she can go back to blogging all of the time. She also thinks you ate the cupcake! Well, I am due for a good ear rub and maybe some playtime so I gotta run. Oh and stay out of the trash guuurl, we are better than that, raise your standards! I would NEVER be caught dead eating trash. Tell the Hobes I say hi!

Paws and Kisses,

Cousin Penny

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Seriously, It's Snowing.

It's snowing again. Big white fluffy flurries fell from the sky all afternoon. This evening it stopped and the sun came out. Though tonight, it started again.

It's funny how my mood changes with the weather. Last week was glorious with temperatures in the 80's. I felt like I was on top of the world. The warm sun rays made everything that was already good, that much better. Even looking down the barrel of this week, which promises to be the busiest week of the semester, seemed perfectly manageable. More than manageable really, this week felt like a challenge that needed to conquered. I was feeling mentally tough, in control and ready to take on the world.

It's like the clouds that bring the snow hide not only the sun, but also my motivation. Not my happiness, mind you, just my gusto. The snow makes me want to take a nap, curled up under a soft blanket. But once I find that nice comfy spot on the couch, I get bored. Inevitably, I get up and go back to doing what I should be doing - homework, editing photos, working out, avoiding my laundry and not making dinner.

It all gets done on an overcast snowy afternoon, it just takes a bit more effort. I have to remind myself an extra time or two that venturing outside will not, in fact, kill me.

Believe it or not, I will not melt from the touch of a few snow flakes. Shocking, I know. But it never ceases to amaze me.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Skateboarding Season.

I love it that I have a skateboarding husband. Even better to have a skateboarding dog. 

Life is like my own personal X-games. 

Many years ago I never would have envisioned myself married to a 30-something year old man that went mountain biking, skateboarding, sailing and skiing at every opportunity that he got.

But you know what? I love it.

Remember when you were a young buck and thought that people in their 30's were old and boring? You swore you would never become that person? 

Yeah, well TC is sticking to that plan. The man doesn't have a boring bone in his body.

He's completely fearless as he and Maple cruise the streets of our down town neighborhood. He's been waiting for skateboard season all winter and now that the snow has finally melted, and hopefully won't be returning, he and Maple are free as a bird.

Maple runs along side of him - jumping, sprinting, biting at her leash. They're perfect for each other - both have way too much energy for their own good. 

Meanwhile, Hobie and I hang back and behave ourselves like the nice girls that we are. We calmly walk inside, put on a pot of coffee and get comfortable in front of the computer. We have a quick chat with the traffic gods and then get back to doing homework and napping. 

Eventually we turn on some music, but not too loud...

I should probably be able to hear the phone ring if the ER ever calls.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Attitude.

Warning: I've been meaning to tell y'all about our great little adventure last weekend, but I keep getting distracted by issues with positivity and perspective. I can't help it. It's like I'm some self-help guru or something.

Somewhere along the lines I've picked up the mantra Choose Your Attitude. Come to think of it, I'm sure the saying came from camp.

It's true too. You can choose your attitude. Every day. Every situation.

At camp we have another saying - and it's really cheesy. Get ready for it...Everyone's a winner!

Think about it. We don't have losers. You just didn't win.

My boss likes to say that while we haven't won every game, we have never lost a game.

After not winning a basketball game we might say something to this effect:

We went out played a great game today and put up our best effort. We didn't come out on top, but we had a great game! 

See what I'm saying? Definitely didn't win.

There is a big difference between not winning and losing.

Perfect example - An observation at work today didn't go as well as I hoped it would.

TC, being the wonderful husband that he is, came walking through the door this afternoon with a beautiful bouquet of daisies. The note read "I'm sorry your day wasn't stellar."

Like how he spun that? He could have easily written a card that said "Sorry you had a bad day!" or "Bummer that your day sucked."

Here's the thing - neither of those super negative lines would have been accurate. Remember, I choose my attitude and I chose to have a less than stellar day. Why would I choose to have a bad day when I could have a less than stellar day? Why would we incorporate the word bad in a card when we can incorporate the word stellar and still get our point across?

Actually, why would I choose to have either of those days at all? Instead, I had a good day with a minor glitch in the morning.

Another example - Before I run or workout I obsessively put Chapstick on first. Today, I forgot.

Two ways to think about this:

1. Crap. I forgot my Chapstick. This is gonna suck.

2. I forgot my Chapstick, I'll have to remember it tomorrow. 

Either way, you have no Chapstick. Either way, you're going to finish your run. Either way, you're going to remember Chapstick tomorrow. You might as well choose your attitude and choose the second option - it's much happier, right?

Anyway, this is what I thought about tonight as I ran around town with no Chapstick on, in case you were wondering. I told you, I'm like a self-help guru these days.

But seriously, try it out! Try replacing those ugly words with happy words.

10 points for using the word stellar today!

Oh, and if all else fails, buy yourself some daisies. They make even the best of days that much better.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Deep Thoughts By Kate.

Sometimes at the end of a long day, or the night before a big day, you just need some wine and cheese.

Sometimes you need to step away and take a deep breath.

Sometimes you need to step back and get some perspective.

Sometimes life isn't all about nailing an observation or interview.

Sometimes the little things, like walking the dog on a glorious day, are more important than emptying the dishwasher, folding the laundry or vacuuming.

Sometimes enjoying a glass of wine and a bowl of salty cheese with friends is more important than anything else.

Sometimes we get caught up in life and forget that life is meant to be enjoyed.

Just my two cents...


Fun Things of Spring.

Look closely. Do you see what I see? Not the tree. That's boring. See the droplets? They're coming from the icicle - the icicles on my roof melted! 

Praise God, spring is here! 

The temperatures soared today and I officially can no longer leave my groceries in the car while I go to the gym. The whole car = refrigerator thing is the best part of winter in my book. 

The colors in the photo have been changed to protect the innocent. Wouldn't want to go blinding you with my pasty white feet. And yes, I know I need a pedicure. The thing is pedicures around here cost right around the same price as a week's worth of groceries so I'm saving my beloved gift certificate for April. 

Again, the colors have been removed to protect your delicate retinas. 

Let's have a quick discussion about why my shoulder is almost transparent. It hasn't seen the light of day since September. It's been covered in long sleeves, sweaters, parkas and scarves for months. Frankly, it is amazing that my poor shoulder hasn't suffocated or just peeled right off from oxygen deprivation.

But not today! Today, I put on a tank top after work. Let there be light! Let there be air!

Sometimes it's the little things in life...

Guess what other fun thing happened today? New purple running shoes. 

As it turns out, training for a half marathon in old, bald and poorly fit running shoes is not condusive to healthy shins and knees. Let's be honest, running is hard. Obviously it is physically challenging. Even more so, it is mentally challenging. You have to overcome your fear of failure, you have to overcome the boredom of a treadmill (when it is icy outside), you have to overcome your laziness. Physically, you have to eat right, stay hydrated, avoid injury and push your muscles past the comfort zone. I felt my first taste of shin splints last night and was sure that my leg was on fire. I wouldn't have been the least bit surprised to look down and see a bulging red blister boiling just below my knee. A quick text to my marathon-running dad and the shin splints diagnosis was confirmed. I needed new shoes.

In fancy running stores they look at your feet and watch you walk before they fit you for new shoes. The wonderful woman at the running store today cringed, literally, when she saw the arch of my foot. Then she had to turn her head away as she gagged from watching my leg contort and hearing the crunching noise when I showed her a bare-footed lunge. I believe her exact words were "crash and burn." Apparently your leg isn't supposed to bend inward the way mine does. Lucky for me, a sweet new pair of shoes with a nice high arch realigned my twisted legs and should solve my problems. The arch and twisted leg problems, I mean. There is no cure for insanity.

Or so I'm told.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Weekend In Calories.

By Friday night I am done. Toast. Pooped. I'm not complaining, don't get me wrong. I'm simply sayin' this girl is tired on Friday nights. So tired that cooking is far more than I can muster so instead I decided to throw my weekday healthy eating habits out the window and eat half a meat lovers pizza. Ignore those veggies, they belong to The Canadian. I would never poison my pizza with such nonsense.

You thought I relaxed and put my feet up on Friday night? Nope. I spent the evening finishing my homework for the 4 classes I'm taking. Nothing says 'I don't want to write this essay' like a lovely high calorie glass of raspberry wine.

Bright and early we headed to the Market on Saturday morning. I kid you not when I tell you that I go to bed on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights dreaming of this waffle. Homemade waffle sprinkled with a few chocolate chips, topped with an entire banana, graham cracker/brown sugar crumble and pure maple syrup - doesn't get any better.

Annnnd follow up by fasting the rest of the day and guessed it! More homework and staring out the window. 

The calorie binge came to halt when I managed to get my ass in gear for the long run of Half-Marathon Training: Week 1. I don't think the four miles I ran even put a dent in my breakfast calories. Seriously, what is wrong with my tongue?

By the time we made it out for the St. Patty's Day celebratory extravaganza I was re-hydrated and ready to finally kick back and relax for a bit. 

Gross! I don't drink Jameson. There is a cheap bottle of wine back there somewhere.

Think I had earned it? 

Toast and eggs for Sunday breakfast? Not bad.

And then this happened (we've already discussed, no need to relive).

And some wonderful man brought me a Blizzard to make me feel better. 

I thanked him, but my thighs cursed him. 

How was your weekend? As deliciously unhealthy as mine? If so...

Repeat after me.

Repeat after me.

I _so and so__, 

Hereby solemnly swear to not throw all my good habits out the window on the weekend...

I promise to show a glimmer of self control... 

Not stuff my face with pizza like an animal...

Not chug wine while writing an essay or doing other important tasks...

And recognize that Blizzards do not help the swelling of a busted nose.

I promise to eat fruit tomorrow.

A lot of it.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

My Busted Face.

I would love to regale y'all with tales of the weekend antics because it was a good time. Alas, it will have to wait until tomorrow.

After returning from an outdoor adventure this morning I was kneeling down and drying off a very muddy Hobie. For no reason and with no warning she suddenly jumped and slammed into my face, more specifically my nose. I cannot remember if it was her head or her hip, but whichever body part it was did damage. In the case of Hobie versus Kate's face, I lost. I heard a pop, saw a bright light and felt blinding pain. Tears immediately sprang from my eyes and I toppled over, right there on the deck.

It's been nine hours since the collision and my head is still furiously pounding and my nose is throbbing. On the up side, it is not numb, discolored or crooked. Oh, and I can breathe just splendidly. According to my ENT doctor friend, Katie (hi!), I will live to see another day. Apparently my nose will not be falling off anytime soon.

Anyway, it is a miracle that I have managed to keep my eyes open long enough to write this.

On that note, my bruised face and I are going to bed. Peace out, homies.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Text Conversation With My Mom and Sister. Lord Help Me.

This week started my half marathon training. After finishing my first run I texted my mom and sister to tell them that run #1 was in the books.

Now, you have to understand that my sister is outrageous, witty and has been known to be slightly inappropriate at times.

My mom is all around wonderful and does an excellent job of tolerating our antics.

Here's a little peak into my life. It's amazing I've survived this long.

The conversation went something like this:

Me: Day 1 of half marathon training - check!

Mom: Good for you, sweetie!

Marissa: Beast.

Me: My legs hurt now.

Marissa: Be honest. You are really training for The Hunger Games.

Me: I've got to be ready just in case.

Marissa: I'm working on my archery skills.

Me: I'm gonna work on that this summer at camp.

Mom: You two are scaring me!

Marissa: Don't worry mom, we would both be dead within minutes. We would be Hunger Games failures. Epic failures.

Me: Speak for yourself.

Mom: That is supposed to comfort me?!

Me: I have a shot at surviving. No promises though...I'm not very good at picking safe berries.

Marissa: Yeah, you'd be screwed. You'd get bitten by an ant (note: I'm allergic), go into anaphylactic shock and be done by dark. I'd be underestimated and use my brain and geniusness to outwit everyone. Plus, you are a weenie, you get that from mom, and could never hunt animals and people.

Mom: Hello! I'm still here.

Marissa: Oh sorry. You'd be screwed in The Hunger Games too mom.

Mom: I think I'll take that as a compliment.

Marissa: So would Dad. I saw how far he jumped when he saw that snake.

Me: Don't underestimate Dad! He's a smart cookie.

Marissa: Let's face it, he doesn't watch enough Bear Grylls, he'd be screwed too.

Me: He can totally outrun a fire or a tidal wave.

Marissa: Let's just all be happy that we don't live in District 12. Or post-apocalyptic USA.

My poor parents. I don't know how they've put up with the two of us for all these years. Although I'm sure the martinis have something to do with it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Bit of March Snow.

A few days ago it was in the 50's. Beautiful, no jackets, and the snow was melting. It was so nice that I considered going for an outdoor run with The Maple Bean Sprout (that's her full name, in case you were wondering) and forgoing the old treadmill.

 I really thought Spring was finally here. I really did.

And then this tonight. It's not much, but it's not nothin' either. Freezing rain is forecasted for the rest of the night so I would like to take this opportunity to ask you all to pray for a snow day tomorrow.

I know I just got back from vacation and everything, but I could sure use a day off tomorrow. Day light savings time and I are locked in a head to head battle...and I am currently losing. Losing bad.

Snow day! Snow day! Snow day!

If anyone knows a snow dance, please feel free to bust a move.

March Break: Montreal

Class, today we're going to begin with another lesson in pronunciation. Say the word Monday. Did you pronounce the o like a u - Munday? Yes, you did. Montreal is the same. Monday. Montreal. Get it? 

We arrived in Montreal last week after leaving Old Quebec in the morning. It was a quick three hour drive. We stayed at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, right down town. They were also kind enough to celebrate our month-early-anniversary with a lovely piece of chocolate-mousse-cake-slice-of-heaven. I love these people.

We hit the streets and headed down St. Catherine Street, which would be the equivalent of Michigan Avenue in Chicago - fabulous shopping of NORMAL stores. We even hit up Ogilvy's, which is like a Nordstrom or Saks. Hallelujiah! My faith is restored in Canadians. 

I'm not sure what I was expecting, but Montreal is bigger than I thought. Wikipedia kindly told me the city has about 4 million people and is the second largest city in Canada, right after Toronto. Clearly, not all of those 4 million peeps are law-abiding citizens. At least this homeless guy has no shame and isn't scared to admit his addictions. 

Hmmm, this is a family friendly blog so I probably shouldn't be showing pictures of what is apparently Canada's greatest strip club. I don't know why I took a photo or why I thought you would want to see it. Please understand, Montreal is a great city. It's clean and beautiful and the residents actually live in the city and it has a great night life. Don't let my photos of strip clubs and homeless pot smokers sway your opinion...

Moving on...

The next morning TC and I decided that it was imperative we go to the most renowned bagel place in Montreal. After all, Montreal is known for three foods: poutine, smoked meat and bagels.

We bought day passes for the Metro and hopped aboard to set out on what we thought would be an easy trip for breakfast.

We walked. 

And we walked.

We saw residential Montreal.

We saw bikes buried in snow.

And we walked some more.

No bagels. 

We were lost. Walking in the wrong direction.

An hour later, TC was none too impressed. He does deserve a pat on the back for having such a good attitude though. Even if it was hidden sometimes.

Out of desperation for coffee, we aborted our mission and headed back to the Metro in search of lunch.

 Then we got a little lost again. Luckily, we stumbled upon a cool little coffee shop that was covered in chalkboard paint. They didn't give me coffee in a bowl, but at that point I wasn't about to complain.

Eventually, we made our way to the most famous smoked meat restaurant in the world. Schwartz's.

Did you know smoked meat was famous? I didn't. I didn't even know what smoked meat was. Let alone that it was good enough to wait in line for 45 minutes to ensure the "Schwartz experience."

Let me tell you, it was worth the wait. It's diner style, but the manager stands at the door to manage the line. When seats open, he yells for the correct amount of people and squeezes you in. TC and I enjoyed our lunch while sharing a table with four complete strangers. 

I'm pretty sure there is only three things on the menu: fries (which they cut and cook themselves), pickles, and a smoked meat sandwich. Your sandwich can be large or small and you also have the choice or lean, medium or fatty. We went with small and medium, extra mustard. Definitely the perfect combination.

After we rolled ourselves out of Schwartz's we hopped back on the Metro and headed toward the Biodome at Olympic Park (1976 Summer Olympics).

The Biodome is indoor (dome? get it) and features four different ecosystems - tropical forest, arctic, North American forest and marine.

The animals in each ecosystem weren't caged and co-habitated as they naturally would. Except this guy.  

I liked the penguins so much I bought a Christmas ornament of one. I'm cool like that. Plus, my Christmas tree needs all the help it can get.

Next we took the Metro into Old Montreal. It was quiet and quaint with old buildings, cobblestone roads and carriage rides.

At that point our feet were aching and we needed a drink to calm down after the mob of elementary school children that was the Biodome.

Clearly TC was enjoying his beer and got a little cross eyed. 

Side note: Seriously, how does he do that? Why can't I cross my eyes? Genetic defect. Thanks, Mom.

Good times. If you have never been to Montreal and get the chance, definitely make the trip. It's just across the border from New York and Vermont. If it hadn't been such a beautiful day and if I had my passport, I just may have made a run for it.

Kidding! Seriously, I'm kidding.