Thursday, July 29, 2010

It's been awhile

Fifteen months, just about. I'm looking forward to writing again, if even no one reads what I have to say. Writing is good. Good for the mind, good for the soul.

And then there are the pictures! I got a camera (one of those fancy-schmancy ones) about a year ago and have so many photos to share!

See ya real soon!

Friday, May 1, 2009


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

The bolded part of this poem is on a sign the I hung on the soffit in the basement right above the elliptical.

I have looked at it and pondered the truth of it many times during the last 4-6 months. I decided to see where the quote came from and discovered that the rest of the poem speaks of most things I desire.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

My current arch-nemisis

They look all sweet and sunny here but really they're more like this:

And THIS nasty little thing....

They follow close behind.

The price one pays for organic lawn care?


Not adding to the 6-legged frog population:


Thursday, April 16, 2009

All good things come to an end

Yesterday I had one of those RARE moments in parenting where everything went right. It was a nasty April day -- gloomy and spitting cold mist -- so what better way to spend the afternoon than bake cookies!

The mini-muffins were ALL about that (who wouldn't be??) so they helped me mix the batter cooperatively and nary an egg shell ended up in the bowl! They cheerfully licked whatever spoon or beater I gave them and then miraculously sat on the couch looking at an anatomy book I had recently bought for them.

Brennan was "explaining" the inner workings of the human body to Logan and Logan was in turn asking more questions. It was really quite cute and it took only a few minutes before I settled into a blissful state of semi-awareness. Humming to myself, I started the frosting, imagining the cutest spring-themed sugar cookies ever.

Moments later I heard

"I'm turning the page."

"No! I'M turning the page!"


"I'M turning the page!!"

louder whhhhiiiiine


Thank goodness for the soothing properties of sugar cookies.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

1st Annual Running

It's fitting that I give a long overdue running update on the day of the first running of the Illinois Marathon. VERY exciting stuff! I would have LOVED to participate but there was no way that was going to happen this year....maybe never....I'm not sure. As ONO aptly said to a neighbor who asked if I ran the marathon, "She has the aerobic capacity, but her body probably couldn't take the physical wear and tear." Part of what comes with being 45. Although, I read recently that frequent sex helps maintain healthy joints. Hmmm.....

Although not a marathon, I did run today, and it was FABULOUS! I ran roughly 5.5 miles in the rural parts of town, just east of our house, to a nursery that I have become quite loyal to. It was a cool, breezy, SUNNY day and there were lots of interesting things to look at along the road. But more than that, it felt like I had small springs in my legs. It felt GOOD to run a little harder and faster! I thought about going farther but listened to my Super Ego for once and stopped. ONO and the boys met me there after I had plenty of time to cool down and choose stones to make a walkway from the front of our house to the back yard. Also came home with a nice variety of shrubbery. Yes, gardening is in full swing at the Haake house! But more on that later.

I have been running about once or twice a week, schedule permitting. Of the injuries that plagued me the end of last fall and through the winter, the shin splints have disappeared. YAY! The plantar fasciitis rears it's ugly head now and then -- more after I use the elliptical than after I run (weird, huh?) so I stretch and rub and if it's a little too noisy, I just dope up and go anyway.

My goal this year is to complete a 1/2 marathon. I can see myself doing that. College Muffin asked if I would do one with her and I got really excited. How fab to train with your daughter and run a race together! I totally enjoyed doing that with Stud-ly Muffin. However, Bethany has had some significant health concerns this year so we're not too sure if the 1/2 will be a joint venture or not.

Along with the 1/2, I plan to run a 10K and then some other races of shorter distances but with interesting venues. First one coming up is the Lake Bloomington run which takes you 4 and some change miles around -- you got it -- Lake Bloomington and then after wards there is a big party! My friend/neighbor/running pal Tara suggested it.

So, in the last 6 months, I've decided to change some things up. This winter I added weight training to my routine and liked it, especially when ONO and I did that together, so will continue. (That would be a big, fat, DUH! huh?) And, I'm definitely NOT doing the trail run this year because it's put me out of the game two years in a row now. I really want to focus on increasing my distances to see if my 45 year old joints really can't take it. Buy stock in Advil now, people!!

Oh, and, I've decided to never skimp on shoes! I love, LOVE, LOVE my new Asics Kayano 15s with the asymmetrical lacing. Best shoes I have EVER worn!

I'm going to get another pair and this time special order them in pink. Yes, PINK!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009

C'mon, get happy

No, this isn't a tribute to the Partridge Family -- sorry to disappoint.

This is a tribute to my current MUST READ: "eat, pray, love."

If you haven't read this book, I HIGHLY recommend it. If you have, then you already know what I'm talkin' about! Here's a very brief plot synopsis to set the stage for the following excerpt:

A 30-something year old woman, Liz Gilbert, finds herself in a pool of tears and snot on her bathroom floor after a difficult break-up and a deep sense of hopelessness and lack of direction. In the midst of her pain she reaches out to the Universal Divine and believes she is directed to take a year off and search for meaning and happiness. She goes to Italy, India and Indonesia. The rest of the memoir is definitely a page-turner.

Teachings about happiness that Liz got from her guru while in India:

"People universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you're fortunate enough. But that's now how happiness works.

Happiness is the consequence of personal effort.
You fight for it,
strive for it,
insist upon it, and
sometimes even travel around the world looking for it.

You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings.

And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don't, you will leak away your innate contentment.

It's easy enough to pray when you're in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments."