Happy 2010!

I just looked at my blog and saw that my last posting was November 20, 2 months ago. Did you think that I had “dropped” off the face of the earth? I think I will blame not writing on the marathon training and the challenges that David was dealing with at work. Towards the end of my training, it became all consuming…..at least for me it did. I “shuffle” so slowly and the mileage was quite intense. I didn’t even write my Christmas letter or send out Christmas cards this year. That is a first in over 20years.

David and I went home for the holidays. We were in Maine around December 18. It was David’s first time home in a year. His Christmas present was waiting for him when he arrived. Thanks to Jason’s (David’s cousin and our house-sitter) hard work, David had a “man cave” all for himself. Jason painted a room in the basement. It is decked out with a flat-screen TV, DVD player, small refrigerator stocked with diet Mt Dew and red hot dogs, a hot dog grilling machine and two lazy boy recliners. I didn’t see David his whole vacation! He said it was the best Christmas present he has gotten since he got his Tonka Truck!

The Christmas Eve traditions of attending Christmas Eve service at my hometown church, Old South Congregational and then attending the Dawson’s family Christmas party continued. Whenever I am in Maine for Christmas, I try to attend both functions. It is always so nice to kind of step back into time and see people that I don’t get to see often enough. Thank you, Peter and Judy, for opening your home and hearts to us. It is always so wonderful to see the house full of family and friends.

Christmas day was spent with my dad, stepmother, brother, Mike, and his family in Augusta. Growing up, I always would spend Christmas eve with my dad and his family. Then, Christmas day, I would go with my mom and her family. So, this was the first actual Christmas I can ever remember spending it with dad and his family. It was a fun day. There were nine of us at my brother’s home. We had a tree and after, a lovely meal. Kelsie, Mike’s significant other, is such an amazing cook. Thanks for the wonderful memories…Mike, Kelsie and family.

We made a trip to our camp in Waterboro to see the final improvements that the carpenter had finished. It has been a two year project, but it is done. We have totally gone through and redone the whole place. Our amazing contractor, Shawn K., did it all and what he couldn’t do, he sub-contracted out. So here are a couple of before and after pictures of the front. We put on a metal roof, new siding, garage door, basement door, shutters. The front porch had extra support put under it and we faced the outside chimney with stone. Inside, new carpeting was installed in the living room, bedrooms and in the kitchen and bathrooms, new vinyl floors. The living room walls were paneled in knotty pine, the exposed beams in the ceiling were reinforced and the fireplace hearth is new. The kitchen and bathroom are all new….the kitchen in our camp is nicer than the one I have at the house! All the rooms are freshly painted. For more “before and after” pictures visit my webshot site at: http://community.webshots.com/user/forshara
Right now, we have the camp closed up for the winter. Come spring, we hope to rent it out long-term. It is in Waterboro on Middle Branch Pond if you know of anyone who would be interested….let us know!

New Year’s Eve was an early night as David had to be at the airport New Year’s Day at 4:00AM for his 6:00AM flight. January 7th, David and I met in Orlando, FL for the Disney Marathon weekend. To run the Disney marathon and get the Mickey Mouse medal was a 10 year dream that finally came true on January 10, 2010! I ran the marathon with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Team in Training group and I am proud to say that I raised $4,125 for research and patient support…thanks to the amazingly generous donations from my family and friends. The weather was miserable the whole weekend….it was a damp, rainy type of cold that chilled us to the bone! I have decided that I would rather be in -40 cold of Saskatoon than in 20 degree cold of Florida. The dry cold just isn’t as bad as a damp cold!

There were 24,000 runners…not all were with Team in Training. In major running events like these, the runners are assigned an area according to their time. Obviously, I was in the back of the pack! The elite runners are the first to start. By the time I made it to the starting line, they were already at mile 4! We ran through the 4 different theme parks of Disney. My favorite was going through Magic Kingdom. We ran right down Main Street and through Cinderella’s castle….so cool. All along the way, were the characters and we could stop and have our picture taken. I was so excited to have my picture taken with Mickey!!! It was a wonderful, fun experience.

After the run, we had to check in with the Team in Training staff to let them know we had finished. Upon checking in, they gave us a pin that says 26.2 “Team in Training”. Honestly, I don’t know which I am more proud of…the Mickey Mouse medal or that pin. So, I have two marathons under my belt…the London Marathon that I ran for Team Diabetes and raised $4,000 for in 1999 and the Disney Marathon. I can truly say my marathon days are over. However, I am hoping to maintain the mileage for half-marathons. There is a Princess Half-marathon at Disney in March that looks like it would be fun…not this year, but some year!

I have decided that my new challenges are going to be weight training and tap dancing. So, stay tuned for a “youtube” video of me as a buffed tap dancer!!!

After the marathon, David returned to work in Canada. I spent a week in Florida visiting with my parents. The weather was sunny but cold! I am not a true fan of Florida but I did enjoy spending quality time with my mom and stepfather. Plus, I got to visit with a high school friend, Peter Stiles, who I hadn’t seen for over 30 years. How wonderful it was to spend an afternoon visiting and getting caught up on each other lives. More friends that I visited with were the Willey’s who used to live in Farmingdale. It has been ages since I saw them. Thanks to my dear Cape Elizabeth friends, Laura and Jim Tyrrell, I saw the beautiful Oscar Scherer State Park. Jim and Laura drive their motorhome to Florida each winter and stay in the state parks. I think my attitude towards Florida would change if it was more like that area…such beauty!

Remember I mentioned that the kitchen in the camp was nicer than my home kitchen? Well, before I left for Florida, I met with a contractor to get some ideas for a new kitchen. Unfortunately, the day that we were going to meet, we had a snowstorm and he was unable to make our appointment. We have gone through the house and made major improvements…added a two car garage, a mud room, had bead board installed in the dining room, built-in shelving done in the dining room and living room, the hardwood floors sanded and polished, fresh paint throughout. Now, it is time for the kitchen to be updated. I am excited about starting this project….whenever that may happen is anyone’s guess, but the first steps have been taken.

Thanks to another snow storm that we had one weekend while I was home, I finally got my frosted glass collection unpacked and displayed on the dining room built-ins. I had this collection for over 15 years, had never displayed it and it was the reason for the dining room built-ins. Plus, in the living room built-ins, I organized books and various travel mementos. The house is slowly coming together and feeling a little more settled. Again, I have posted pictures on my webshot page for you to take a look.

Well, that is about all the news for now. We are back in Saskatoon. Fortunately, the weather is no where near as cold as last winter. We are having 25 degree weather…very overcast since I have been back. I am beginning to get a complex…it seems that bad weather follows me. David said before I returned here, the days were sunny and in the mid-30s! Oh well, I will take overcast and mid-20s any day over the six weeks of below zero weather we had last year!

Until the next posting….stay warm, happy and healthy!!!

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