Thursday, October 21, 2010

Road to Somewhere...

I love seeing roads like this...
It makes me think that you can start down that road
and anything is possible...
Love, Life and Endless Dreams

Someday I would love to load a backpack up, cash in pocket and head out into the unknown. Travel the country all on foot.
See sites most people could never even imagine.
Capture it all on film
Is it possible?
Maybe someday...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Between Here and There

I feel like I am caught in the middle of an endless cycle. I have no motivation for creating thus I have no artwork to speak of. My lack of sleep has gotten the best of me and although going to bed at either 9:30 or 12:30 at night my internal body clock wakes me after 2 hours of sleep and I am unable to try and coax myself back to sleep.
I'm not sure....
I know I should most likely get up and be creative but how creative can you possibly be at 3:00 in the morning, dark, cold and miserable.
So, the brighter side of things is my eye for beauty around me. I constantly take my camera with me wherever I go, so I am lucky to be able to capture these images.
If any of you have ideas to help this poor girl sleep...
please let me know. I am up for anything!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thursday Tattoo Day!

So I am getting a little ahead of my self with the first photo. But I will recap an awesome day I had with my gal-pal Nancy of The RoundRabbit on September 30th!

We had decided to head off to Ithaca for the day after much conversation regarding my interest in a large tattoo. Nancy has a friend that owns a tattoo shop and I was intrigued in having a consult with him for something I had been wanting for a very long time. We headed up during a horrible rain storm, the worst of the year. It wasn't too terribly bad on the way up but coming home was a whole other story.


Once we arrived into Ithaca we found a place to park on the street and headed to friend of hers antiques shop where we found many, many treasures. Nancy loaded up on vintage photos and buttons, while I scored an awesome sterling silver ring (which needs a little work) as well as an adorable photo of a little girl and some cute quirky stuff!!! We headed over to Moosewood (a vegetarian and vegan) Restaurant after for an incredible lunch which included Ithaca Pale Ale, Portabella Mushroom Burger with homemade chips. Holy smokes!!! Delicious!!! Nan and I were in 7th heaven with that meal. I think we could have stayed there all day and would have been content to do so.


After lunch we ventured over to see her friend James of Model Citizen. A cute little coffee shop out front with an awesome tattoo shop out back. He ended up having a large cancellation so Nancy was in luck. She had planned on having a memorial tattoo for her Grandmother who recently passed away...her Grandmother was a famous illustrator and Nancy picked the most incredible bird that her grandmother had drawn. James started in, music blasting and we all had good conversation, although they were picking on me about a few things! All in fun!
It was a great atmosphere and I am really, really looking forward to having James complete a masterpiece on me soon!

Nancy's incredible bird....
So while Nan was getting her tat, I had asked James if he had time to whip one up for me. After completing the marathon last year, I wanted to commemorate it by doing a tattoo on my arch of my left foot. He had talked me out of that because of the amount of running that I do, he said it would most likely rub right off. Sooo, I opted for a place where I could see it.

I already have one on my inside of my right wrist so James positioned it along side it running down my arm. I just love it...
And I got it three days before I completed my 2nd full marathon (more about that later).

So long story short...
Great day
with a
Great Friend
Great Tattoos!!
Thanks Nancy...can't wait for the next one!!
(p.s. hurry James!)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Corning Wineglass Marathon

October 3, 2010
26.2 miles!!
So I have been completely out of the loop lately. No blogging, no creating, no nothing!
Except running.
I am addicted.
Yes I said it, I am.
I am addicted to the feeling of accomplishing a long run, of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, of completing a goal in my life. I am addicted!!
I trained hard and long for the Corning Wineglass Marathon which was held two weeks ago last Sunday. It was hard training and getting all the long runs in...but somehow, someway I did it.
The week before the marathon I was completely and utterly doubting myself if I could actually complete this race. Fear of not training enough set in and also fear of my injury flaring up. I have a problem with my arch in my left foot which refers pain to my knee. It tends to act up on long runs so I have been going to the physical therapist for it. They are complete miracle workers there!! I virtually ran the marathon without pain until mile 11.
Continue to read and I'll explain everything!!!
We arrived at the starting point well enough before the start. I picked my spot to warm up in and started my ritual of stretching so I can't stretch anymore. Usually during the time before the race, I am in and out of panic mode. This time was different. I was so calm driving the hour and a half to the race, listening to some great "country" music and just driving at 5:00 in the morning. I stretched my heart out that morning,
One: because I knew it was cold, 46 degrees cold to start.
Two: because of my foot and
Three: because I wanted to kick road!
As I was stretching, Graydon ran up to me and wrote on my arm the same thing as he wrote the last marathon that I ran.
Run Mama, Run!!
Total inspiration right there.
Todd and Graydon had to leave because once the gun went off, there was no way of them getting out of the town to be able to see me at different mile marks. We had made plans to meet up at certain points during the race and I was looking forward to seeing them.
So I continued to stretch until I heard the announcement that the race was starting in 10 minutes. I headed to the start to get my place in the pack. I tried at that point to pick the time that I really wanted to run it in. Something kept edging me towards a really fast time. Like completing the marathon in Boston qualifying time. I then walked out of the group so I could see if any of my friends were around. I did manage to see Stephen of NeverHomeMakers
but unfortunately did not see anyone else. I ran up to Stephen and wished him an awesome race....Mr. Fasty was right at the starting line.
I started off wearing shorts, gloves, tank and then a long sleeved shirt over it. I knew I was going to get warm but I also knew I would see Graydon and Todd so I could throw it to them.
The gun went off...
the watch set...
the i-pod on...
and I was on my way.
I felt incredible!!!!
Seriously, incredible...
The best feeling running I have ever felt in my life. No pain, legs smooth and steady, heart rate perfect. This continued until I saw Todd and Graydon at mile 9. Todd at that point informed me that I was on pace for qualifying for Boston. What???? Wow!
See Boston Marathon would be such an accomplishment to not only get in, to qualify! Not that lottery stuff that I tried before and didn't get in but to actually qualify!!! I would LOVE it if I got in....but as fate has it, the cards were not dealt in my favor that day!
At mile 11...oh mile 11. It all went to hell.
Water break...
people everywhere...
kids everywhere...
I had planned on running through the water station because I was feeling sooooo awesome. I was running on the left side of the road at that point and saw the people handing out water. I just kept on going until a little girl, with her hands full of paper cups, walked out in front of me. I side stepped to the left, she stopped and stepped back, I side stepped to my right and pulled my right hamstring.
I went down life a lump. Total drama I have to say!!! As I was down I immediately started stretching my leg. A woman came up to me to see if I was okay. I informed her politely but sternly that it was so unsafe to have children walking around. She apologized but the mom of the little girl looked at me and never said she was sorry. It wasn't the little girls fault but you know what, the mom should have owned saying she was sorry.
My Boston dream went to the trash that day...sure I could do a lottery, but to actually qualify would have made my day, week, year for that matter.
So I started back running determined to not let it bother did. Every 1/2 mile I stopped to stretch it. Every mile that went by took longer and longer to run..
By this point in the photo and race. I was miserable. Hating life and everything about it at THAT time! I pushed myself to the limit that day. Struggled with the demons that possess you while doing long runs. I talked to myself, a lot during those miles. Telling myself I could and would finish this race....
By mile 19-22 I was spent. My leg was killing me, but I continued to carry on. I kept playing the same song over and over again for helped immensely. It is a wonder how music really enters your head and changes your thought process and your mood. I was living off of that music that day! Thank you i-pod for carrying me through some really dark minutes and hours. Also a thank you goes out to my friend for giving me tons of suggestions on music!!! It helped soooo much and I greatly appreciate it! Love that you did it too!
So...periodically through the race I would run into Todd and Graydon and they would send out words of encouragement, hand me bottles of Gatorade and water and just to know that they were there in support of me made the world of difference. My kiddos smiling face gave me the motivation to continue through.
By mile 22 I tried hard to pick it up. I knew I wanted to make up some time. I was on track to finish at 4:30 and I was bound and determined to beat that time. Here it is, over 35 minutes from where I was originally going to finish. I was bummed seriously but I wanted that medal!!! I rounded the corner 1/2-3/4 mile away from the finish and my right leg just quit. I mean stop in my tracks dead quit!. It had folded under me and I grabbed a bench as I went down. A lady who was working the race came running over to me and gave me the best pep talk ever. She said
" Get up, you can do it...the race is almost over, right down the road people are cheering for you. Put a good powerful song in AND GO".
Well I did just dramatic as it sounds. I switched to "Machine Head" by Bush, kicked it in and off I went....

Dying is the only word that comes to mind here. I saw Todd and then I saw Graydon and that awesome kiddo of mine took all of these photos. He sprinted to the finish line to try and get me crossing the line.

So I crossed the finish line under 4:30, hurt hamstring and all. I was so happy I did not give up...misery and all. Was it smart to keep running with a pulled hammy...most likely not. But see, I am Italian and once something gets in out heads, forgetaboutit!

After crossing the finish, they wrap you in a plastic metal blanket because your body has just been through something so extreme that stopping abruptly causes a huge amount of heat to be lost. I received my handmade glass medal and I tried to smile. Really I tried and in the end I did. It was just so hard with the pain I was in plus losing the pace I was at.

I did brush it aside, you win some and you loose some. There can always be a next time.

But close.

I was able to eat a little after the race which is really hard to do for me. Soup is always a plus after a long race. It puts the salt and warmth back into your body. I inhaled 3 cups of the soup and had a bottle of water. The race coordinators were kind enough to have physical therapists there treating people. I got this awesome guy to dig into my sweaty hamstring and start the healing process. I swear...if I didn't do it, I wouldn't have healed as fast as I did. So a HUMONGOUS thank you to that therapist dude!!!

I am so happy to have completed my second full marathon.
I got a tattoo before this particular race to commemorate both of the races...
I finished...I'm done until the next one...
which btw was last Sunday up in Fabius, New York. I ran a 1/2 marathon with my friend Ashley just 7 days after my full marathon.
Crazy...why yes, yes I am.

But I felt awesome and came in 3rd in my age category!!
Give a whoop for this chick!!!

where do I go from here?
Only more and more races!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Oh Yes!!!
Anyone who knows me, knows that I come across the strangest things. From a snapping turtle that layed eggs on the side of the road to a domestic ferret running down the middle of the busy road, amongst many other crazy things!! I proceeded to rescue the turtle eggs and bury them in the backyard. They eventually hatched out and I had over 25 baby turtles that I released back into the wild.
The ferret was another story that did not end well and the poor vet tech who I was hysterical balling to, threw me a kitten to hold and love as I handed over a dead ferret. He would have been fine if the stupid guy I was yelling too just stayed in a parked position. Needless to say, a few profanities later, I was rushing the ferret to the vet...
Anyhow, back to this story. I was heading to work this morning with Graydon in tow and we had just gotten off an exit and proceeded onto an on ramp. As I drove up the on ramp (its a bridge over a railroad track) I noticed something on top of the chain link fence. I drove past it and realized that it was a baby opossum. After realizing what I saw, and announcing it to Graydon who saw the same thing, we turned around to see it again. As we drove past it, it looked like he was repositioning himself to try and make a jump for it.
Needless to say he would not have survived because it was about a 100ft drop on the other side. I drove past him, pulled over, did an (illegal) u-turn and drove past the opossum to park. We jumped out of the car, and I was lucky enough to have a bucket because I did have a fleeting thought of cuddling the thing in my lap as I drove.
Ummm, yeah right...this baby had teeth!!
So we walked down to where the bridge and the chainlink fence started and out of safety I had Graydon stay on the side before the fence. I continued down the side of the bridge to the baby and the poor little thing was shaking like a leaf...
It was pretty far up there and I had to stand on my tippy toes on a curb to just be able to reach the end of his tail. Yes...I touched him...
Really not thinking it through, once I got his tail I realized that the front feet would not let go of the fence. These little guys have five fingers just like us and believe me he had a death grip on the fence. I grabbed a lace throw I had in the car from the pottery show I did over the weekend (stay tuned for pics of that) so I wrapped it around my arm and proceeded to try and pull him down. Afterwards Graydon said that the opossum looked like superman flying when I had a hold of his tail. So with the free hand and arm that was wrapped in the throw, I reached up and he crawled onto it and wrapped his little arms around me. Not letting go of his tail I put him in the bucket and put the throw on top of it.

Now what the heck was I going to do with him?
I stopped by a nearby vet who gave me two phone numbers for the State Police. They in turn gave me three numbers for the DEC, who in turn gave me one number for a wildlife rehabilitation specialist. She did not answer but the DEC guy told me it was ILLEGAL to transport wildlife in your vehicle. OMG, who knew. That goodness I didn't get pulled over...
So I ended up deciding to let him go in a field, woody area up the road. Hopefully this little guy makes it on his own. Like I said he did have teeth and I do hope nature kicks in and teaches him how to fend for himself.
Now, believe me when I say the weirdest things happen to me.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Birthday Recap

It was a crazy week of parties and thank goodness for the one on Saturday night. We attended a wedding reception for friends across the street and they had rented a 200 person tent. It was a beautiful reception and everyone looked like they had tons of fun.
This leads me to my next entry...
Saturday was BEAUTIFUL...
warm, sunny and a little breezy.
Sunday, not so much.
We woke to rain and it proceeded to rain ALL day long. I had mentioned to our friends the night before that if it rains on Sunday, could we borrow their tent. They responded with a "SURE, we have it until yourself". Thanks soooooo much Tom and Mary for your generosity!!!
We took them up on their offer and had Graydons 11th Birthday party under the big top!
Perfect for the whole carnival themed party we planned.
We had lots of games with prizes for the kids to play. One of our favorite TV shows is Minute to Win It and Todd had looked up online the different games...
Cookie on the face
water bottle/balloon
flip the water bottle
and more...
The kids and some adults :) had tons of fun playing them...

Nana enjoyed watching everyone with the games and of course she brought her famous baked beans which I lovingly had two helpings!! Thanks Nana!!

Graydons cake turned out cute...its a little wonky because the humidity was high but all in all it looked like how I envisioned it.

I also made root beer flavored cupcakes that looked like miniature tubs of popcorn. The kids had a cupcake eating contest and it was so much fun!
Overall, things were GREAT minus the downpour outside the tent.
But who actually paid attention to that when the festivities were awesome under the...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Happy 11th Birthday Kiddo!!!

My baby boy turns 11 today at 11:55PM.
I wish him a long lifetime of
Happiness and Love
Happy Birthday Graydon!!!
I love you more than life itself!