Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween fun

Happy Halloween!

I took it upon myself to "dress up" this year. With very little effort, I donned my Charlie Brown sweater from high school and went as CB himself! I finished as the "runner up" in the "funniest costume" category of the office Halloween costume contest…which meant that I didn't win anything! Kind of appropriate for Charlie Brown, don't you think? :) But it was a great day at the office. A lot of people dressed up. Good times!

Yours truly as Charlie Brown



What was also fun was the fact that I actually got to see "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!" on TV last night. Longtime readers might remember me blowing a gasket last year when the local ABC affiliate preempted the show to run a political debate between some politicians contending for a House of Representatives seat. (You can read my e-mail to the TV station here) As this is not an election year, the "Great Pumpkin" went uninterrupted. I love these old cartoons. They don't make 'em like that anymore!

Until next time,

Jean

Monday, October 29, 2007

1170 and beyond

So in 2006, I ran a total of 1170 miles for the year. On Saturday's run, I have already passed that mark for 2007! Training for a marathon over the summer really ramps up the mileage in a hurry!

I just got in from my morning run. It was very mild out there with temps in the mid 40's. I think we are supposed to see highs in the 60's over the next couple of days. Excellent running weather right now.

I had a fun weekend. Saturday night, I went to a surprise birthday party for my buddy Brett who turned 40 (happy birthday, Brett!). It was a nice time with some great wine and assorted finger foods. A great night with friends.

Yesterday was pretty much spent watching the Vikings lose, watching my fantasy football team get crushed, and watching another predictable ending to a NASCAR race (getting a little tired of seeing the #48 car in victory lane!). But I did cook up a really tasty Thai chicken stir-fry with rice stick noodles.

Thai ginger chicken with rice stick noodles...yummy!



Until next time,

Jean

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A lovely fall day, and a shout out to "Fred"

This is a fantastic time of year in Minnesota. I love the cooler temperatures and the change of seasons.

I went for a 6 1/2 mile run this morning around the lake. Very nice! It was about 37 degrees and quite crisp, making it pleasant for running. There were a number of ducks out on the lake. Most were mallards, but there were three hooded mergansers mixed in with them.

Following the run, it was time to do the grocery shopping and run some errands. That also meant I could go out for some lunch! Today I stopped in at Joe Senser's in Plymouth. For those who are unfamiliar with Minnesota Vikings history, Joe was one of the great Viking players from back in the late 70's and early 80's, and he has a small chain of impressive sports bars around the metro. Anyhow, I had a "Cajun Burger" which was roughly the size of my head! It was excellent, but really, that is an awful lot of food for one person. I will be eating light this evening! :)

The enormous "Cajun Burger" at Joe Senser's



And in local news, I am not sure how long this story will remain posted (since the Star-Tribune loves to remove stories after awhile), but I am a little upset about this. There was a wild turkey roaming around up in Maple Grove that was reportedly "causing problems." (And let us make it clear what exactly these so-called "problems" were..occasionally slowing down traffic, and chasing the geese, mail carriers, and UPS trucks!)

Obviously, he (the bird, named "Fred") was smarter that most of his pursuers, because Maple Grove's Finest were unable to catch, trap, or snare him. So what did they do? They called in the Minnesota DNR to shoot him!

Now, here is why I'm pissed; people are paving over the whole metro area, and these birds and animals have nowhere to go. Then, when someone has to stop because there is a turkey in the road, they call the police. What?!?

Really, what problems is a wild turkey going to cause? You know, I will bet he was going to break into the local businesses to steal their copper wiring. On second thought, I'll bet he was selling crack to school children! Good grief, don't we have bigger problems than wild turkeys? Can't we enjoy having these unique birds in our backyards, and maybe try to make room for them, too?

Apparently not, because Buffy and her minivan full of snot-nosed kids are on their way to day care. She is late for work and STILL still had to make her stop at Starbucks for her $4 latte, but she's being slowed down because this damn turkey is in the road!

Sorry, Fred.

Until next time,

Jean

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

JeanTV

Following a couple of days off, I went running this morning. There had been some stiffness in my left knee after the half marathon (which I am attributing to the fact that I ran harder than originally expected!), but that has subsided with rest and I am feeling really good.

It was an easy 4 1/2 miles today, and a cool one at that. A brisk 38 degrees! I went with the full ensemble; running tights, long sleeved shirt, stocking cap, and gloves. What a nice run. I even saw a few snow flurries! I love running in weather like this.

And apparently, so do others. I met at least five other runners this morning. It would seem there are more runners in this neighborhood than my last. I even met another runner wearing a headlamp similar to mine! (Which begs the question, would something like this considered a running fashion "faux pas?" You know, kind of like when people show up to a party in the same outfit?)

On a completely unrelated note, I had been enjoying a new comedy about some socially retarded geniuses called "The Big Bang Theory" on CBS, and I was told it had already been canceled! Not fair! This always happens. The fun and quirky shows never seem to last. I suppose this would only clear the way for some moronic reality spin-off like "Dancing with the Bachelor" or "Sing Along with the Biggest Loser" or some dumb talent show with three former celebrity judges (one of whom is an arrogant ass). Ugh!

But alas, the news was wildly incorrect. "The Big Bang Theory" had actually been extended to a full 22 episodes this season. (Yay!)

But that got me thinking. Too many good shows and movies never get a chance. I want my own TV network where I can run all the shows I want, all the time. We could call it JeanTV.

I would broadcast the relatively recent shows that were good, but got the axe way too soon; programs like "Greg The Bunny," and "Vanished."

There would also be room for the old TV classics that disappeared way before their time, such as "Sledge Hammer!", "When Things Were Rotten," and "Police Squad!"

How about forgotten shows, like the "Alice" spin-off called ""Flo?" Remember "The Equalizer?" I'll put them on the air!

On weekends, there would be a laundry list of movies that I liked, even if the box office did not. Stuff that cracks me up like "Men At Work" with Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez, "Murder By Death" with Peter Sellers and Peter Falk, "Top Secret" with Val Kilmer, and "Hot Shots!" (also with Charlie Sheen).

And, of course, there would be "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" marathons over the week of Halloween.

Really, is it too much to ask? I'll have my people contact your people, and we'll make this happen... ;-)

Until next time,

Jean

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Why you should bring road shoes to a trail race

"But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun."
-Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”

I know, I can hardly believe it, either. But the sun came out on Saturday! Honestly, we have not seen the sun in a week. The weather has absolutely sucked since last Sunday. But today, we got our well-deserved break.

And what a perfect day to run in the Big Woods Run half marathon!

I hopped in The Silver Hornet and headed south to the town of Nerstrand, MN, home to the Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park. The Big Woods is a majestic, mature forest that is really out of place on the prairie, kind of like an oasis in the desert. It is a gorgeous stand of trees, and may God bless whoever had the foresight to preserve this land. I was looking forward to running the trails.

Nerstrand, MN



However...

Remember how I said the weather was so atrocious this week? Well, they got so much rain down here that some of the park trails were under water! Out of concern for the trails, they rerouted the course to run on country roads in the area. We would get to run past the park, but not in it. Oh well! I was still excited to go running today. How could you not be on a day like this?

Despite some grumbling I heard from a few people regarding the reroute (such as “I drove all the way down here to run on trails!” and “Instead of running on trails, we get to run a flat, lame 13 miler?”...come on, suck it up, runners! Would you rather be sitting inside somewhere doing nothing on a beautiful fall day?!?), the race director and volunteers were AWESOME! There were all kind of issues with parking due to the wet church grounds, they had to lay out a new course with different aid stations, and they did so with grace and a boundless enthusiasm. Three cheers for all of you! You were great all day!

Now, given that this was supposed to be a trail race, I brought my Vasque running shoes with me. However, purely by accident, I WORE my regular road racing shoe. I am not sure why I slipped them on this morning. Normally I wear a pair of Keen hiking shoes pretty much everywhere I go. But today was different. And I was glad! Since we were going to be running on a mix of pavement, I would be glad to have my lighter road shoes. (Note to self; always bring a couple pairs of shoes! I am slowly learning my lesson about preparing for anything at races. Having options is a good thing!)

St. John’s Church, the race headquarters



The race started at St. John’s Church in rural Nerstrand. We would take country roads (mostly dirt, but some paved) and make a big, counterclockwise rectangular loop, running by the Big Woods State Park, head south, and make our way back to the church for the finish. I originally had no goals, but given the change of course, I changed my strategy and decided to try and push myself harder today and try match the pace I ran at Fargo last spring. The temperature at the start was in the upper 40’s, but would be warming up throughout the morning. But still, a comfortable temperature for running.

The horn sounds, and we are off like a herd of turtles! The county road by the churchwas narrow, so it took some time for the congestion to dissipate. But I settled in at a mid 8 mile per minute pace and just tried to keep it there.

The road to the Big Woods



The prettiest part of the course came between miles 4 and 7. This is the stretch where we ran past the state park. I guess we missed the peak of the fall colors by a week, and the rains this week did not help, but the trees were still gorgeous. All of the oaks were turning, with their muted burnt orange, yellow, and olive green colors. Spectacular! It was fun to run the rolling hills on this stretch of road, and I felt like I was running well. This was a most enjoyable section of the course. We even passed a farm where a bunch of cows were mooing at us!

Miles 7 through 10 were the most challenging. Here, we turned south, and most of the road seemed to be an oh-so gradual uphill. And, we were fighting a stiff SW wind! I think this was the part of the course that slowed me down the most. But not by much. I managed to pass a number of folks on this part of the course.

Around mile 10, we finally turned east to head back to the church and the finish. You could actually see the steeple of the church from nearly 3 miles away, so that was a bit of a tease! :) But at least the wind was helping us here. I tried my best to keep up my pace and chugged along, finishing in 1 hour, 50 minutes, and 37 seconds. That is nearly 4 minutes slower than my PR, but it is certainly nothing for me to complain about, especially on a day like this. I had a very good time running, even if we didn't get to use the trails!

When all was said and done, they were serving homemade soup and homemade cookies in the church. I was pretty warm after the race (and, it was close to 70 degrees, so the day warmed up, too!), so soup didn’t sound good to my stomach (although it smelled great!). I downed an apple and an excellent M&M cookie. Yum!

Believe it or not, I actually won a door prize, too. And it is one of the coolest door prizes ever! I got to choose either a T-shirt, or a jar of homemade jelly. Naturally, I wasn’t about to turn down homemade food, and one of the ladies recommended I grab a jar of the apple jelly, which was made with apples from a tree on the St. John’s Church property! Someone spent hours making this and put a lot of love into these prizes, and that is really neat. I will truly enjoy having this jelly on my morning toast!

Yours truly, with my edible prize



All in all, this was really a nice way to cap the 2007 race season. Sure, there will be a couple of 5k fun runs before the year is out, but this was the last of the heavy duty races until next spring. And what a year it has been! I am looking forward to dialing the training back in the off season, and will look to set some new goals for 2008!

Oh, and completely unrelated to anything, here is tonight's beef and mushroom lasagna I made for dinner. Mmmmmmmm.... :)

I swear I must be part Italian



Until next time,

Jean

Saturday, October 20, 2007

TAG: I am a runner because...

All right, Rick at 365me tagged me, so I need to respond to the following:

I am a runner because...

-(If I may shamelessly steal a line from Sir Roger Bannister) it is fun, and I cannot help myself
-I love to pass guys much younger than me during races
-it give me a good excuse to explore new cities and places
-running has made me realize the importance of setting goals
-I like all of the geeky technical clothing they make for runners!
-runners are sexy (I'm talking about the women here, and not myself!)
-it give me a feeling that I have accomplished something on my own
-runners need fuel, and it gives me an excuse eat good food! :)
-I love race T-shirts!
-running has made me a better person

That was fun! I will now tag off to Jean at See Jean Run. Feel free to play along if you wish! :)

On another note, I have returned from the Big Woods Half Marathon! It was an absolutely gorgeous day after a murky and wet week (foreshadowing alert), so the race was not exactly as expected. But it turned out fantastic nonetheless. Full report coming soon!

Until next time,

Jean

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Return to normalcy

It has been an uneventful few days. Not a lot of new stuff to report. But that is good! The last month has been all about new stuff, so a lull in the action is a welcome thing! :)

I have been running the last couple of days, once in the morning, and once in the evening. Nothing crazy, just my usual route. Both runs were quite pleasant, and yesterday evening I even ran in the drizzle! Temperatures are remaining cool, but comfortable. We are definitely starting to settle into fall here.

My new team took me out to lunch today to welcome me into the fold! We went to a place called Axel's Bonfire, which I thought was excellent. They do all kinds of wood-fired dishes here, and everything on their rather large and varied menu looked great. I settled on the Cuban sandwich (I'm kind of a sucker for these…you don't see them on too many menus, so I like to order these when I have a chance!), which was quite tasty and very filling. I would come back to this restaurant in a heartbeat.

The new apartment continues to treat me well. People I pass in the hallways have all been friendly and polite. They will actually say hello to you, even the kids. And to my surprise, there seems to be a large number of retired folks living here. Why, there was even a bingo game going on in the party room last night! This is a completely different world from my old place. So far, I really like it here. Although, I am disappointed it has not been cold enough to run the fireplace, but I am sure that will change soon enough! :) This is Minnesota, after all.

This weekend brings the last "big" race of the year, the Big Woods Run half marathon down in Nerstrand. I have no goals for this race at all. This is being done purely for fun, and to get out and run some trails in the woods with other runners! I am hoping some of the fall colors are still showing themselves down there. I guess they said last weekend was the "peak" in that region of the state, and this week we have had a lot of rain, which I am sure has taken down a lot of the leaves. But it will still be pretty, and the weather forecast actually looks good! Hopefully that holds true. It would be a nice way to cap off a fun race season!

Until next time,

Jean

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Weekend recap

For a weekend where I had nothing planned, it sure seemed busy.

Saturday started off with an 11 1/2 mile run. It was blissfully cool, even slightly chilly, at 42 degrees. But the skies were clear, and the breeze was light. Ideal for running!

I hit the bike trails and did a couple of laps around a nearby lake and through a park. Lots of wildlife, including the cormorants I had seen earlier, a bald eagle, numerous chickadees, song sparrows, blue jays, red-winged blackbirds, and even five deer. One of the deer was a young buck, a forkhorn 4-pointer, who was standing right along the trails edge. He actually startled me because he stood so still. I stopped to chat with the deer and was not more than 10 feet from him. He just stood there and munched his grass! I suppose he is so used to seeing people in the park. That was fun!

Yesterday I also officially turned in the keys at my old apartment! I am done with that place forever, and the drunk, loud Anoka County hayseeds that lived on my floor can bother someone else! :)

When I pulled into the parking lot, the song "Movin' On" by Bad Company was playing on KQRS. And after I did the walk-through with the manager and hopped in the car to go home, the song "Wind of Change" by The Scorpions came on the radio. Rather timely!

I stopped for breakfast at the Ole Piper Inn in Blaine. They had a corned beef hash, eggs, and hash browns special that morning. I am a sucker for corned beef hash, and if it is on a breakfast menu, 9 times out of 10, I am ordering it! Good stuff.

Astute readers of my blog might remember me mentioning this place. A couple of months ago while having lunch at the Ole Piper Inn, I observed a rather rotund gentleman wearing a T-shirt that said "I’m out of bed and dressed - what else do you want?" Guess what? He was there again! (Although with a different shirt!) I gather he must be a regular! :)

Following breakfast, it was time to shop! I am still sort of stocking up after the move, reloading the pantry, and picking up new supplies. A word of warning to my Minnesota friends; the local Trader Joe's stores are NOT the places to be at noon on a Saturday! Good golly, the place was packed! I bought a few things for the freezer and the pantry, and also some of their kielbasa sausage for dinner that evening (which was quite tasty and garlicky).

But perhaps the best part of yesterday would be my new slippers! I saw these bad boys for $9 at a local retail store, and I could not pass them up.

Tell me you aren't jealous? :)



Today was much more laid back by comparison. It was fairly overcast with some drizzle, so it was a fantastic excuse to stay inside and finally be able to do some real home cooking again! Nothing like a little venison stew for dinner, and on a day when the Vikings actually won a road game. :)

The first real meal in the new apartment!



Not a bad weekend,

Jean

Friday, October 12, 2007

Winds of change

Our weather has definitely taken a turn towards to colder end of the spectrum. Remember last Sunday when I was complaining about the heat and humidity? Well, those days are over! This week has been blustery (VERY blustry!), and chilly, with highs not making it out of the 50's.

In fact, on one of my morning runs this week, I had to break out the tights, hat, and gloves because the temperature was below 40! And I even saw a few snow flurries. Yikes!

But the running has been good. I have the cooler weather to thank for that, I think. I am enjoying my neighborhood, and my routes. Deer and/or bunnies have consistently come out to greet me, too.

The new job continues to go well. This was my first full week, and while there has been a lot to learn and absorb, I think I am picking things up fairly quickly.

What is on my agenda this weekend? I am happy to say, since the move is complete, virtually nothing! On Saturday, I am going back to my old apartment complex to turn in my keys and sign whatever forms need to be signed, and I will be done with that dump for good. Otherwise, the weekend will consist of three things; 1., a long-ish run on Saturday morning, 2., lots of football, and 3., lots of NASCAR! As I am finished with the "new" stuff in my life for the time being, I am looking forward to a quiet weekend of goofing off and not doing much productive! J

Until next time,

Jean

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Spotlight

It is starting to feel a little bit like a home around here. I got a few things put away, and the living room is actually starting to look somewhat livable! See?



I just got done running what I think will become my usual route. It was a comfortable 52 degrees, although fairly windy. The route is kind of hilly, and it takes me through a residential area before turning onto the trails where it goes past a pretty lake. Very nice.

I wore the headlamp today, as it was dark when I started. What is kind of cool about the headlamp is that it serves as sort of a small spotlight. So when you encounter a deer, you can see their glowing eyes when they look at you! So yes, I saw a little deer this morning. And a bunny. And only two other people in the entire 5 miles. Awesome!

Hats off to anybody who finished the Twin Cities Marathon this past weekend. By all accounts, it was brutal, and once news station reported that they were only a degree or two from shutting it down like they did in Chicago. Wow! I could barely handle my 8 mile run that morning. Can’t imagine trying to tack on another 18.2 in that heat and humidity!

Until next time

Jean

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Moved!

Awesome!

I am officially in my new apartment. There is nothing left at the old place, and I have already cleaned, so the only thing left is to turn in the keys. Aside from the unpacking (which I can do at my leisure), everything is all set. I am home. And I like it here.

My buddies helped me move yesterday, and we got all my big stuff over here in one piece. Even in spite of some rain in the morning (which was not predicted, by the way), the tarp over my bed saved the day.

(As a side note, on Friday night the weather forecasters called for 84 degrees and sunny on Saturday with no rain during the day. I woke up Saturday morning to the sound of rain pelting my window. Suddenly, it was a 60% chance of rain on Saturday. Now, think about your job. What if you were consistently 60% off on your numbers? Your boss would submit you for drug testing! Anyhow, I digress...)

When we were loading up at the old place, a smoking hot blonde girl was exiting the building (I had never seen her before today). All the boys were wondering why in the heck I was moving! Of course, then they questioned my manhood because my KitchenAid stand mixer is a wasabi green color, and I had lavender-chamomile soap in my bathroom (hey, it was on sale!). Needless to say, we made the task of moving a fun one, and there were lots of laughs.

For their efforts, I treated them to lunch at The Lookout Bar & Grill, a true classic, old school bar and restaurant here in the northwest metro. Great burgers and Broasted chicken...and ice cold beer, too!

This morning I went for an 8 mile run, and that was about all I could stand. Hot, humid, and disgusting. Plus, I was on tired legs from all of the activities this week. Yuck! I did see a whole flock of double-crested cormorants out on the lake, though, so that was cool. But to those running the Twin Cities Marathon today, all the best. It is going to be a tough one, and a finish today is something to brag about.

Nothing on the agenda today except for football, NASCAR, and making a pot of split pea soup. I am done carrying boxes for awhile! :)

Until next time,

Jean

Friday, October 5, 2007

Getting settled

This is awesome...

Following my posting of the picture of “Bun” below, my Dad found some much older pictures of of me and my stuffed friend. Here is a shot of me, my brother Brett, and the infamous Bun from perhaps 1973!

Wasn’t I a cute kid? What happened? :)



It has been quite a week. Monday through Wednesday involved nothing but moving. Thursday and Friday I started my new job. Thus far, I am deliriously excited. The people I have met have been incredibly welcoming, helpful, and kind, and I think I will greatly enjoy working with them. The work itself will be dynamic, changing, and challenging, which I think will be quite rewarding. My drive to work is even pretty good. This could be an excellent change for me.

Tomorrow my buddies are helping me with my furniture, and after a quick sweep of the place, I should be completely done with the old joint. So far I am loving my new place, and my new neighborhood. (And I have already been to Trader Joe’s twice!) And I am greatly looking forward to getting the rest of my junk here so I can have a table, a real bed, the rest of my cookware, and last but not least, a TV! :) I can’t wait to watch football this weekend.

No run today, but I did run yesterday before work. The same route as Wednesday, but in reverse. I got to see the sun rise over the lake once again, and I rousted numerous bunnies and a couple of deer. I even met a few other runners, so I think there is a pretty good running scene up here.

While it has been a fairly exhausting week, it has been great. Lots of changes, but soon I will be settled in. It feels great to be back on the west side of the metro.

Until next time,

Jean

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Bun

Just had to share a really fun finding from today.

Meet “Bun.” (That is short for “Bunny”) He is my very first stuffed animal that I have had ever since I was a little kid. Bun went with me everywhere, traversed the country on various family vacations, and was my equivalent of Linus' blanket.

My buddy Bun



Imagine my surprise when I opened a box at my old apartment and there was Bun staring at me. My own little Velveteen Rabbit, he is still along for the ride! What a treat it was to find him today. I laughed out loud. Bun is now sitting on my mantle. A fantastic pick-me-up on a busy day.

This morning started off with a 5 mile run in the new neighborhood. I got to see the sun rise over a local lake as I ran along the bike trail. Spectacular! There are countless trails and parks to run on and through, so I will have fun exploring.

After that, it was back to the old place. I spent the better part of the day packing up some remaining items, and doing a LOT of cleaning. After having breathed in enough Windex, 409, and Kaboom tub and tile cleaner fumes to kill a small horse, the place is looking rather nice. Once I move the big items out this weekend, I will run the vacuum, sweep the floors, and I should be DONE!

Tonight I had dinner at a local Thai restaurant, Sawatdee. The ginger stir-fry with chicken was excellent. Following that, I made my first trip to Trader Joe's. I am going to like this place! I bought some lobster ravioli, pasta sauce, cashews, olive oil, a couple of cheeses, some salami made with Pinot Grigio, and bread. I had no list, I was just grabbing stuff that looked good. I can see myself becoming a regular here. And I didn't even get over to the wine section of the store! ;-)

Tomorrow I begin my new job, and I am pretty excited. The last few weeks have been completely nuts, and this is the last of the "new" things that will be happening for awhile. And that is fine. As fun as it has been, I look forward to settling down!

Until next time,

Jean

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Running Jeans

I need to mention a fun and rather serendipitous comment I received on my blog earlier in the week. This illustrates why the Internet is awesome.

I had a comment posted on one of my earlier entries from a girl named Jean. She is a runner and has a blog called See Jean Run. While doing a Google search for her own site, she stumbled upon mine. How cool! Similar names, similar themes...it appears the running/blogging community is a small world after all!

Anyhow, I added her site to my list of "Running Blogs I Read" in the right hand column, so check out her site because it is very cool. Jean even reviews products from Trader Joe's, a store that is mere minutes from me in my new neighborhood, and one that I greatly look forward to shopping at! :)

West sider

(Tap..tap..tap...) Is this thing on?!?

I am writing to you from my new place in the west metro. I have no furniture, no TV, nothing in the fridge except for Coke Zero, four cans of Guinness and six bottles of Bell’s Octoberfest (not that I am complaining), and my computer is set up on a bunch of boxes. I have an inflatable bed that I bought at Gander Mountain, so I am staying here tonight as well. No more living in the NE metro! I am a west-sider once again!

The last couple of days have been exhausting. The Silver Hornet has made several trips across the city to haul countless boxes to my new pad. I have made fantastic progress, and with the exception of a few smaller items, the only stuff that remains is the big stuff, which my friends are coming to help with on Saturday. The guy from Comcast was here today to get my cable and internet going (no small feat, since the girl who set up the service apparently screwed up the directions, so the tech had to start from scratch), but all seems to be well.

The new apartment is sweet. I think I am going to like it here. The people I have run into have been nice, the management has been fantastic, and the neighborhood is beautiful. It is pretty neat the the people who built this had the foresight to leave the forest in the courtyard, so it feels like you are living in the woods. Not bad! Below are some pictures to show you my new digs.

The living room



The view from my deck, with fall colors in full swing



My fireplace! I've never had one of these before! :)



This evening I did a little shopping to pick up a few essential items, and had dinner at Claddagh. The shepherd’s pie was mighty tasty, and it felt good just to sit down! Tomorrow morning I think I will check out some of the running trails before I head back over to the old place for some more packing and cleaning. And Thursday, I start my new job! Wow. All of this has been very exciting, but part of me is looking forward to some normalcy! :)

Until next time,

Jean

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