You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2007.

I leave tomorrow morning around 6:00am to drive to Greenville, South Carolina. This will be the single longest drive I’ve ever done on my own (around 550 miles or 9-10 hours); should be fun!!

I’ll likely be out of the blog scene for the next week or so, but will be back on track when I come home on October 28.

Have a super nine days!


David and I headed to New Paris, PA this weekend to Boyer Orchards 1 (I’ll explain the “1” later) in hopes of picking our own apples and thereby getting a ridiculously great deal on a ton of apples. We arrived to Boyer Orchards 1 and were informed that they no longer allow “pick your own” at their orchards because of the liabilities involved. My goodness. We were pretty disheartened at that, but bought a peck of apples (Cortlands and Jonagolds) and headed on our way to Fayetteville.

David’s grandparents live right outside of Chambersburg, PA in Fayetteville, and we were heading their way to spend the night, share our wedding album/video/other photos and have some quality family time. Once we arrived, we shared with them our apple-picking woes. They immediately ushered us into their van (along with David’s uncle who had stopped by to say “hello”), and off we went to Boyer Orchards 2. Both were Boyer Orchards, but they are completely unaffiliated with each other. Who knew?

We got to pick our own there and got a healthy amount of Fuji apples. Tomorrow night will be spent making apple pies, apple crisp, apple cobbler and anything else we can think of. Woo! Any leftover apples will be implemented into our lunches and possibly dinners too. Hooray!

It was definitely nice to get out of the city for a few days and drive through the country out to Fayetteville. The leaves were so vibrant along the majority of our route–just beautiful! It was hard to come back to the city, but now that I’m here, I’m glad to be here instead of there. Odd how that works.

I’ll have to update later to let you know how much we actually paid per apple vs. how much we would have paid for the same amount in the store. Can’t wait!

God works in some pretty cool ways–random at times, but certainly cool. Yesterday, for example, the Internet at the apartment quit on me early in the morning. I put up the good fight with it for about an hour or so, but ultimately (and begrudgingly), opted to pack up my laptop and head to Panera Bread. Free Wi-Fi is certainly a-okay by me, but I figured working from a busy Panera could never match up to my quiet workdays at the apartment.

Let’s just say that I was a tad mistaken. I got more accomplished in the five hours at Panera than I normally would have knocked out in a couple of full work days. It was so nice to have a constantly morphing group of people swirling around me–kind of reminded me of days spent in Cooper Library at Clemson. I had forgotten how much the occasional visual distraction can aid in productivity. Go figure.

So, God was probably smirking at me as I sulked at the apartment this morning because he knew full well that I’d have a fantastically productive day outside the confines of 819.

David and I were invited to another couple’s house for dinner last night, and we were to provide dessert. I had already decided to head to Giant Eagle and purchase some break and bake cookies after work. Well, at about 2:30, my Panera Internet died. I still don’t know why as there’s no max amount of time that any one person can be connected, but my computer was no longer able to even recognize the network. So, instead of staying at Panera until 3:30 as originally planned, I left to head to Giant Eagle.

Once at Giant Eagle, I was a little peeved since my Internet quit early on me, but that quickly dissipated when I headed toward the frozen foods section. God rocks, people. There was a scary looking man in front of the break and bake cookies, so while I waited for him to move, I looked at a separate dessert section. A “Pillsbury Bake” caught my eye. It was $3.19–nearly double the amount of the break and bakes, but it looked oh-so-good. I picked up the box since scary man hadn’t moved and noticed a hand-cut coupon stuck to the box. Not sure how it got there, but it certainly wasn’t one of the ones you pick up at the grocery store–it was cut crooked. It was for $0.75 off the Pillsbury Bake. Hooray!

I decided that $2.44 (after coupon) made the dessert much more reasonable, and I headed to the “8 items or less” lane. It was moving at a snail’s pace, so on to the self-check out I went. I scanned my dessert and the coupon–not realizing that Giant Eagle doubles coupons up to $0.99. That said, it was as though I had two $0.75-off coupons. I paid a grand total of $1.69 for that lovely dessert.

When I reached up for my receipt, I saw a stack of coupons beside the coupon dispenser in plain view. There were a couple of “$1.00 off your next shopping trip” coupons and one for a free yogurt (the brand that we buy!). I was so shocked that no one else had grabbed these valuable slips of paper, but after only pondering that for a moment, I pocketed the loot. Yes!

So, if I had stayed at Panera longer, I likely wouldn’t have run into any of the coupons that I did. Why? Because the scary looking guy wouldn’t have been standing where he was to cause me to look in a different section of desserts…and likely some other coupon monger would have picked up the ones by the receipt box. Thanks for the boost, God!

Yesterday was a great day. So great, in fact, that I’m back at Panera this morning, blogging away and knocking off items from my work list. David even took the day off to come with me. Loving this!

I love you all. So, to satiate your need for numbers, David and I finished the half marathon in two hours and 11 minutes. There were 40+ people who finished after us and 115 who finished before. Woo hoo!

The half marathon I ran in February was almost completely flat, and I ran it in two hours (and seven seconds).

That said, we’re looking for another half marathon that isn’t wholly flat, but at the same time, isn’t ridiculously hilly like the one we just ran. Whew!

Well, ladies and gents, David and I ran in the Chamber Classic Half Marathon yesterday and finished. Just being able to type that makes me happy–especially the and finished part. As most of you know, me knee has given me quite a bit of grief since my NCAA women’s rowing days at Clemson, and training for this half marathon ultimately sent me to a sports medicine doctor less than two weeks before the race. Not enough time to heal, for sure.

Anyhow, for over the first half of the race, we maintained a nine-minute-mile pace or faster, but at about mile eight, something happened. Perhaps I took a poor step or lost focus on my stride or something. My knee began to hurt, thus affecting my form and ultimately causing a severe side stitch, etc etc.

With David encouraging me the whole way, I pushed through the last five miles with him and finished in once piece. Praise God!

Despite the pain, I still want to run another half marathon soon and a full marathon in 2008. So, one post-wedding-day half marathon down and searching for our second.

David’s parents and brother were there the whole way to cheer us on. It was so nice to see familiar faces along the race route, but especially at the end. David’s mom even ran beside us for the last quarter mile pushing us to the finish. Thanks Karon!

We had a terrific time with Karon, Leo and Kevin showing them around downtown Pittsburgh, showing off our wedding album and flaunting our budding culinary skills. How fun!

At the end of our time with the Mertens last night, we ate birthday cake (for Leo) and watched the first part of the Clemson game. Depressing. If you didn’t watch, here’s all you need to know: Virginia Tech had a 100-yard kickoff return touchdown after an 82-yard punt-return touchdown after they intercepted a pass and ran it in for a touchdown. All in the first quarter. Add in a couple of field goals and a lot of poor throws by poor Cullen Harper, and you get another sad, sad loss for Clemson.

I refuse to be a fair-weather fan, though, so I continue to have faith that Clemson will pick itself up and rock it out in the next game. Go tigers!

For today, lots of stretching, relaxing and decorating the apartment for fall…even though it’s nearly 90F outside. Go figure.

So, how did you spend your weekend?

Once upon a time, I thought that any state north of the Mason Dixon line had cool temperatures year-round. Now that I live in a state quite north of that line, I know my childhood thoughts were but myth. With a high of 80F today, it hardly feels like fall–despite the leaves changing.

That said, I’m thrilled that for our half marathon race this Saturday, it’ll be in the 60s! Wish us luck as we aim to finish in under two hours. David’s parents and brother are coming over for all the festivities, so it should prove to be an awesome weekend!

Seems like last weekend was a bad few days for sports. The Pirates lost, but we had a fantastic time at the game. Clemson lost, and I have nothing more to say about that dreadful attempt of a “game.” The Steelers lost, but we didn’t watch; we’re still nothing more than “we live in the area” fans. Several other top-15 NCAA football teams lost to unranked teams. What’s in the water, boys?

Even more depressing? South Carolina is now #11. It will be short-lived, I’m sure.