Thursday, July 19, 2018

Monthly Running Recap - June

Last month, I began to really think about the aging process and wonder if this is as good as I'm ever going to be when it comes to running.  When I hit what could officially be called my mid-forties a few years ago, I felt a shift in my body.  "Getting back into shape" is no longer what it used to be.  I can't take a week off from running and bounce back like I could many years ago.

I've never been a talented runner.  Rich uses that word - talent - when we talk about those who can run incredibly fast.  Faster than we'll ever run.  If I think back to the time before social media, before blogs and blog snark forums, before half the adult population became runners and/or experts on running, I never, ever felt bad about my running ability.  I ran because I enjoyed it, it's an incredible stress-reducer and a great way to stay in shape.

The attitude now is if you can't run a 7 something minute mile or faster, than what's the point.  You're too slow.  And 90% of this is coming from the internet.  

It's so easy to feel bad about yourself.

I've been hyper-focused on my running times this year and I've gotten away from what I enjoy about running.  Mid-forties is not the time to try to become a faster runner.  Maybe if you have that talent I referred to above, but I do not.  I feel like I haven't been running as many miles because I've been focused on time and improving that time.

So I'm stepping back, as I feel I have to do every once in a while, and doing what works best for me.
June, again, was not a good month for mileage.  I had that cold/cough thing for a week or so and lost many days of running.  What's not noted below are all the miles that I walked.  I love the warm summer months and on the days I don't run, I sometimes go out for a walk.  Or I'll add a walk onto the end of my run.  There was one day I ran 3 miles, walked 3 miles and then had tap class.

Total mileage for the month - 37 miles
Subtotal for 2018 - 245 miles

6/01 - 3 miles (time 32:16) + tap class
6/03 - 5 miles
6/08 - Tap class
6/09 - 2 miles (time 20:50)
6/11 - 3 miles
6/13 - 3 miles
6/17 - 3 miles
6/19 - 4 miles
6/21 - 2 miles (time 18:22)
6/24 - 5 miles
6/26 - 3 miles
6/29 - 4 miles

To see my recap from May, click here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Another summer weekend. #saltlife

As to be expected, we spent the weekend down at the cottage.  My brother and his three kids came to visit on Saturday.  He has two girls very close in age to my girls and they all get along quite well.

But first, a beach hair photo.


Even though I feel like I've perfected the portrait, it's one of my favorites to shoot so I practice when the opportunity presents itself.


The weather was nice, not too humid and actually a tiny bit cool for me at the beach.  The water's warm so the kids will swim regardless.  After a cookout at the cottage, we headed for the water.  I was curious to see if the currents would be affected by Chris, the storm way out to sea near us.  (I think it was named Chris.) I had seen reports that certain beaches were considering closures because of the impact, but we didn't see much, if any, of a difference.

Where the river and ocean combine.






Our beach roses this week.  Such a nice pop of color.


So we ended up eating dinner at Baxter's.  Again.  Rich is Baxter's-out for the season.  Ha ha.  I had suggested it for a few different reasons.  We used to go there growing up and my brother hadn't been there in forever.  Also, the seafood is fresh.  There's another counter service seafood joint closer to us, and while decent, they don't have kid's meals.

I sometimes also order a kid's meal.

Plus, you can't beat the views from the dining area.



I love those two cottages.

We wrapped up the night with a round of mini golf.

Sunday, we putzed around the cottage in the morning and then headed to the beach that afternoon.


Yes, my hands are full.


Until next weekend . . .


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Cottage Projects - Update

We have a huge running (unwritten) list of projects we'd like to complete at the cottage. Realistically, it's going to take time.  We could spend our entire summer "working" but I don't think anyone, especially the children, would be happy with that.  Honestly too, it's a cottage.  It's a space we use so we'd like it to fit our needs.  We don't have plans to rent it, so it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.

Because it would be too long to list out what we need/like to do, I've decided to highlight some of what we have done and what remains to be done in those spaces.  And I realize now as I'm writing this that I should have taken progress photos from the same view as the photos from when we first purchased the cottage for comparison.  (I'll do that at some point.)

Living Room


What we did in this space:
  1. Caulked and painted the trim.
  2. Painted the walls.
  3. Started to paint the fireplace.
  4. Purchased new couch and love seat.
  5. Purchased new rug.

This room is in good shape with only a few remaining items left to be completed.
  1. Finish painting the fireplace.  The bricks only have one coat of primer on them right now.
  2. Hang the new curtain rod.  (Completed this morning.)
  3. Paint the front door.  (Oh, how I wish the old wooden door hadn't been replaced.  Impractical, I know, but old wooden door!)
  4. Figure out the light/side table situation.  We'll probably move one of the table lamps to one of the bedrooms to replace an antique lamp that doesn't give off much light.  One of the side tables doesn't really work with the love seat so we need to remove it and purchase a floor lamp, unless we have an electrician install a light in the ceiling.
  5. We have a couple of the dining room chairs in the living room for extra seating.  Those need to be painted and (maybe three years from now) I'd like to sew up some cute seat cushions.
  6. Purchase baskets to hold shoes by the door.  We don't wear shoes in our house or the cottage.  I actually just keep a pair of house slippers down there to wear.  It's a habit we started when the girls were babies.  Right now, shoes are all over the place by the front door.  Whenever I mention buying baskets, Rich tells me to look in the basement, that surely, there's a supply of empty, suitable baskets in the basement.  (There isn't.) 
  7. I'd like to print out some of my beach photos on canvas for the walls.
  8. Replace light switch covers (this applies to the entire cottage.)


I don't have any photos and it's just a hallway but there was some work to be done.

What we did:
  1. Caulked and painted all the trim.
  2. Painted some of the wall space.
  3. Removed the old furnace vent from the floor.  (Oddly enough, when this cottage was built, it had a heating system with one vent in the floor in the middle of cottage, which also happened to be the hallway.  The heating system had been out of service for quite some time but the vent remained in the floor, covered by a heavy rug, typically seen at door entrances to combat moisture and muck.)
  4. Purchased a rug which matches the living room rug and is wide enough to cover the patched floor from the furnace vent.  (The cottage has beautiful hardwood floors (not oak) and at this point, matching them to cover that empty space would be time consuming.  Never mind the cost.  And it would be under a rug, so it doesn't really matter.)

What needs to be done:
  1. Finish painting the walls.
  2. Repaint the hatch to the attic. (This is a long term goal.)
Dining Area

This is the table Rich picked up off the side of the road.


While there wasn't anything necessarily "wrong" with the table the previous owners left at the cottage, it was a little on the small side, for us, even with the leaf and the top wasn't real wood and couldn't be painted.  This table is bigger and nice solid wood.  The wood had a dark staining on it but the top had visible water marks and scratches.  We originally thought to sand off the stain and refinish the top with another dark stain but Rich started sanding and it was going to take forever.  We went with Plan B, which was to paint the top a navy blue and the legs white.  We also bought a bench (still needs to be painted) for one side to reduce the bulk of the chairs.  


Bedroom #1

This is one of the girls' bedrooms.  It has knotty pine paneling on the bottom half of the walls.  The top half was covered in an antique wallpaper, which we decided to remove as it was in pretty bad shape.  We've (really, I've) gone back and forth on whether or not to paint the pine paneling.  While it would look better painted a nice, bright white, it would be so time consuming to complete.  From painting the top half of the walls, we've learned that it's difficult to paint a smaller room full of furniture.  I don't even know how would we get the beds out of the room without taking them apart and no one wants to deal with that right now.  Especially as we are actively using the cottage and need those beds.

I was all "we're going to paint the paneling!" until I painted the top half and then I changed that to "well, someday, I'll paint it."

So I picked out a pale blue paint for the walls and it ended up being a bit darker than I wanted it to be.  It's more like a light blue, as opposed to a pale, barely there blue.  I would be crazy to repaint it so it is what it is.  I don't have a photo to share but the bedding in that room is pink with purple undertones and the area rug has different shades of blue and aqua.  I found an aqua gingham fabric and I was thinking of using that for the curtains.  Although, the gingham is a bit smaller than I'd like for curtains.  Still undecided.

We also rearranged the two beds.  It makes the room less photogenic (I can't believe I wrote that but it seems like everything these days has to be curated) but gives more space.  The only negative is that one bed doesn't have access to a beside table, but that doesn't seem to be an issue.


I still need to sew up a curtain.  I have looked but have not found decent fabric and right now, Disney sewing has taken priority over any sewing.  That trip will be here before I know it.  I also need to print a canvas for the wall. Yes, I've been dragging my feet on that.

Beach Roses

So not really a project, but just some beauty.  Beach roses are wild, climbing bushes that grow like weeds all around the Cape.  At the end of last summer, I noticed something thorny growing right on the property line with our CT neighbor.  Well, it kept growing and now we have a beach rose bush.  It is crazy how quickly it grows.


It was full of blooms when we first arrived and by the end of the week, the bush had a ton of flowers.


Now, if only we had such good fortune with our hydrangeas.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Living the beach life

On our third morning, we woke to a foggy mist blowing around outside the cottage.  This is one of the reasons why I love being so close to the ocean.  When Rich returned from his run, I headed out for my run.  After I came back and showered, I jumped in the van and drove around taking photos.




I ran four times (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.)  I wouldn't necessarily say I'm in a slump but at home, I run the same routes over and over in order to avoid crossing busy streets or running on roads without sidewalks.  It was nice to run different routes for a change.  

This was another beach day with family for us.





After dinner beach stroll.

And then it was the 4th.


We spent the afternoon at the beach and then went over to Rich's uncle's place for a BBQ dinner.



Most people think of New England ocean water as freezing cold but many south-facing beaches enjoy the warm waters of Nantucket Sound.  It's all about the currents and flow of water.  This water was warm and comfortable.



Last year, on the 4th, we set up camp on the beach and watched fireworks down the shoreline.  You can't buy fireworks here and it's illegal to set them off.  But people do.  We could see organized displays put on by different towns (which are legal) and we could even see fireworks from Nantucket.  So this year, we did the same thing.


But first, sunset photos.








Technically, you need a tripod for fireworks photos but I didn't have my tripod with me nor would I want to further torture everyone in my party.  Handheld it was.




I didn't take many photos during our remaining vacation days.  There was ice cream, more mini golf and an evening beach walk at Nauset, where seals, but no sharks, were seen.  There was a rainy day at the end of the week and I took advantage of the weather and finished painting all the trim in the hallway.  I'll have a progress report on the work we've been doing soon.