Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Frank vs. The Foam Roller

One thing that Frank does not let me do, is floor exercises. 

Case in point, I wanted to use my foam roller, and this is what happened:

He started sniffin' around:

Then, he wanted to play:

Then, he really wanted to play:

Then, he wanted my earrings.

Then, I gave up. 

He's a good puppy.

And Yes, my flannel pajama bottoms printed with cookies are my favorites.

Amazing Grass Winners.....

Thanks to everyone who entered the Amazing Grass Giveaway...I used random.org to choose the five winners.......but I won't bore you with five print screens. 

They are:

#50 Jesse from Run To The Border

#44 Elizabeth from Highway to Health

#35 Caratunk Girl

#24 A Runners Fuel

#12 Allison from Just Tri and Finish

Shoot me an email with your mailing info, along with flavor choice (original, chocolate, vanilla chai, or pomegranate mango) and I'll get you set up!

Friday, November 26, 2010

After the Feast 5 for Friday

1. I hosted Thanksgiving this year, my second time tackling the feast.  My family invaded Wednesday night, my Dad brought Chesapeake Oysters straight from Maryland, that were such a treat.  I had my cooking schedule all planned out, our oven is the size of a shoe box (makes me think of the Brady Bunch kitchen), so we cooked the 28 pound turkey in a roasting pan on the grill.  It came out a bit dry, but no one came down with Sally the Menella, so it was all good.

2. I ran three days in a row this week, I had to miss the Turkey Trot 10k yesterday due to our food prep, but that's okay.  I revised my miles goal for the year, it was originally 1,000 miles, but now I'm shooting for 900.  I missed a total of 5 weeks this fall because of my hamstring, so I feel okay revising it.

3. The other day while walking Frank, Eliza looked at me and asked me if she could run a marathon with me some day.  On another walk, Luke said, "sure is good weather for a run, huh Mom?"   Love it.

4. Frank has come out of his shell and is settling in with us, treating the kids' baskets of toys as a sort of chewing buffet. He's a good dog, but has been a bit wimpy about the cold, which makes sense, since he came from Georgia!

5. still a few days left to enter my Amazing Grass Giveaway.......here!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Amazing Grass Challenge Complete....for this giveaway, 5 winners!

I officially completed the Amazing Grass The Two Week Challenge to "redefine my health"!

If you aren't familiar, this is the lowdown on Amazing Meal: it's an organic, raw, vegan, soy/gluten/dairy free powder, made from greens like wheat grass, fruits like acai, with 10 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber.  Use it to feel good, and reach your daily quota of fruits and veggies.

So how did I do staying away from caffeine, sugar (including chocolate), wine, eating right and having an Amazing Meal Smoothie once each day?

1. I did not have any sugar. Zero. That must be a record for me, so now I'm going to see how long I can keep it up, which may prove difficult when I start baking Christmas Cookies.

2. I did have wine. I had it on the weekends, and the night we got Frank.  I also had beer after getting my tattoo, but I think that was kind of required.

3. I had two cups of coffee, one cup on a Saturday morning when I was up with the birds and had a crappy night's sleep.  One other morning during the week, for pretty much the same reason.  The first two days of no caffeine, I had a slight headache, but nothing terrible. 

4. I loved my morning smoothie.  I used the Chocolate Amazing Meal, blended it with almond milk, and handful of frozen blueberries, and a frozen banana.  My trick with the banana is to peel them, break them into segments, and freeze them. I take some pieces out and let them sit for a couple of minutes, then chop them a bit, then throw them in the blender.  It makes the smoothie super thick, and I eat it with a spoon. That might be why I was able to stay away from chocolate, I was kind of getting my fix that way.

5. The daily emails from Amazing Grass were interesting, they covered topics like acidity in foods, and how they affect your diet, and how we need good, raw fats (pass me an avocado would ya?)

6. I didn't follow the menu suggestions to a T, but I got some ideas from it. They suggested 6 meals a day, so I certainly didn't starve!  One night I made shrimp stir fry with brown rice, another night it was baked chicken and sweet potatoes.  I ate my normal lunches, like black bean burgers with salsa on a roll, or a turkey or tuna sandwich on Ezekiel bread.  I made scrambled egg whites with sauteed spinach, mushrooms, onion and goat cheese, that was really tasty.

I love doing challenges like this, to get back on track diet wise, especially going into the holiday season. I'm going to continue to use the Amazing Grass (been using it for over a year), I do think it gives my immune system a boost.  I did get a flu shot, but with Luke and Eliza coming home from school covered in germs, I need all the help I can get!

Sooooooo, do you want to give The Two Week Challenge a whirl?  Thanks to the lovely folks at Amazing Grass, there will be FIVE winners for this giveaway, which is a bottle of Amazing Meal (a $48 value) in your choice of flavor, (Original, Chocolate, Pomegranate Mango or Vanilla Chai) to use while doing the challenge.  Then when it's complete, if you want to, share your thoughts on your blog. If you are interested, you can check it out here.

To enter, you do need to be a Friend of my blog, just leave a comment letting me know you are, and you're entered!

For additional entries (please leave a comment for each) you may:

1. Follow Amazing Grass on twitter here.
2. Be a fan of Amazing Grass on facebook here.
3. Share the giveaway info in the usual ways.

Giveaway ends at Midnight EST on Monday, November 29. 

Note: I was provided with a bottle of Amazing Meal for the purpose of this review, the opinions are my own.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Meet Frank

He's sitting in my lap as I type this.  He's 11 weeks old, a terrier mixed with who the heck knows, and we brought him home this week.  All four of us have been wanting a dog for a while, preferably from a shelter, and every week I've looked at various websites, trying to find him. 

It was a fluke that we had the news on one night, and caught the end of a segment about a local charity that works with various animal organizations.  I went online and found it, clicked through a few websites, and all of a sudden, there he was.

We were able to name him Frank, he came from a shelter down south, where puppies only get about five days to be adopted, otherwise they are put down.  The organization we worked with rescues dogs from all over the country, even Mexico.  Once I put in the application, then met him, things moved quickly.  I was racing around PetSmart on Tuesday, buying everything Frank would need.  I kind of had an idea of how parents who are adopting a child feel, all of a sudden you get a phone call, and you're off!

We're really lucky to have Frank, and I hope he loves us as much as we're going to love him.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Food. And other random stuff.

I was tagged by ajh at Age Groups Rock, to do this fun post, which is right up my alley. Since it's a food post, I thought I'd include a photo of last night's dinner.....broccoli, spinach, onion and cheddar quiche, with a side salad with a bit of bleu cheese.  Yum. 

Now onto the questions:

1.If you could eat anything without any health repercussions or guilt, what would your meal be?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Pizza. Pizza. Pizza. NY Style, thin crust, plain cheese, and I'm a happy girl.

2. If you could meet anyone living or dead who would it be and why?

Well, this is a tough one, but I know who it would be.  Before I was born, my parent's first child was born prematurely, and she passed away when she was only a few days old.  This was in 1970, and if they had the technology then, that we have now, she would have been okay. 

3. Why did you start blogging and what did you expect when you started?

I had no expectations at all. I started my blog as a place to dump out all that was floating around in my head. I ended up writing mostly about what I love, my family, running, and food.  As a bonus I now have blog friends who I "talk to" on a daily basis.  Which is pretty cool.

4. What is the one book you could read over and over again?

There are so many. I mentioned recently how much I love Catcher in the Rye.  But I could re-read Bridget Jones's Diary any day.

5. If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?

It would be Japan.  I've been to Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, and would love to go to the Far East.  My Great Aunt Betti traveled to Japan when she was in her seventies, so I know I'll get there someday.

6. If you could have a TV show on the Food Network, what would it be?

It would be me and my husband.  It would be called Mike and Molly (I can't tell you how many of our friends emailed/facebooked us this fall saying, "Did you know there is a show on CBS called Mike and Molly?????")We love food, we love to cook, we love to eat.  He's more of a grill man with his bottle of Labatt's, I'm more of the home cooking gal with a glass of vino.  That would be a fun balance of both.

7. What was the best meal you ever had?

The best meal I've had was the simplest.  We were in a restaurant in Utrech, outside of Amsterdam. The meal was a wonderful combination of being on vacation in a place full of in history, with great company, great wine.  I chose a pasta tossed with salmon, with a very light cream sauce.  It was a new take on salmon for me, was cooked perfectly, and of course, delicious.

8. Who has been the greatest influence on your love for food and learning to cook?

My Grandma Sleeper.  We lived a plane ride away from her when  I was little. I can't even remember what she used to make, but I have memories of her always being in the kitchen, doing something.  One thing that sticks out is her cinnamon bread. I've tried to make it, but simply cannot replicate it.


Copy Chic at Triathlon Training for Book Smart Girls


consider yourselves tagged!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Black Knight Army Virtual Race

I made my To Do List the other day, and these next two weeks are going to be a wee bit busy.  So this morning I figured, why not get off to a good start with a Virtual 10k???

This is Stefano's race, from Run With The Black Knight, and wearing black was required.  So I donned my long sleeved black shirt for Battle. I don't know how some of you can take a full picture of yourself, after several tries, this was my best effort, and my face isn't even showing.

This is the farthest I've run since healing Hammy, it was going to be an Epic Battle between the two of us, to see if it would let me do the distance.  It was a cloudy morning, but as I set out, the sun broke through the clouds, the sky was blue, and the Game was on. 

I turned on my ipod, and listened to an odd mix of Erasure, Amy Winehouse, and the Dixie Chicks, as I navigated through the paved trails of my neighborhood.  Chaos almost erupted, when a large stretch of the path was torn up, and being repaved, but my quick thinking allowed me to just back up, and go in a different direction. 

I did have a moment of pain, when my foot brushed my newly inked ankle, but it was no match for my determination.

I was at mile 5.20, when Hammy asked me "What do you think you're doing?" I slowed a bit, then responded with a laugh, "Winning!"

Before I knew it, The Battle was complete, and I ran up my driveway, Victorious!!!!

The technical results of The Battle:

And since Stefano seems to receive wine at every race he participates in, I thought this made appropriate race swag:

The Battle was won.

Take that Hammy.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Who put that there?

Yup, I finally got my tattoo!

I've wanted one for ages now, and this summer my BFF Dawn and I were talking about how we should just suck it up and do it.  I decided to wait until after the marathon, as some kind of reward, so we went to LoveHate Tattoo Marathon weekend, and made our appointments.

I planned on a tattoo of a Celtic Cross, but they need to be really big for them to look right.  Since I planned on putting it near my ankle, it needed to be smaller.  I'm not artsy at all, but I doodled a little cross, and hoped they could work with it.

We went on Saturday, Dawn was really bugging out, I was nervous, but excited.  We met Newt our artist, and he was very mellow, with 15 years experience under his belt.  I wanted to go first, and it only took 20 minutes.  It was really painful at times, oddly it hurt more when it was on my muscle, but I was happy with the end result.

Dawn's tattoo took longer, it went almost all the way around her ankle.  I kept yapping away, trying to distract her, to help her out with the pain. 

When we were finished, we both felt hyped up, I've had runners high, but there must also be some kind of tattoo high.  Before we went back to the husbands and kids, we made a quick stop at our friend Brant's bar and pizza place, The Dragonfly, for a beer, and enjoyed our festive mood.

I've already been asked when I'm getting my next one, but I think this is it......

Friday, November 12, 2010

At least I've got the photo picked out in my mind

I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas Cards.  

My thing is, I want them to look festive, but not too Christmasey.  I know some of my relatives keep the photo from the card around well after the holiday's, so I tend to dress the kids in something simple, and put the emphasis on them, on their faces, so you can see how they've changed during the year.    

But that doesn't mean I don't want a cool looking card.  This is the one we used last year, from Shutterfly, which I chose after I spent I don't know how long looking at their cards.  I remember playing with the fonts, the spacing, the wording, the layout, matte or glossy, until I finally just hit "place order."  The arrived quicker than I thought they would, which was a nice surprise. 

This year, I'm thinking about making a wall calendar, but for my cards, I already have in mind who I'm going to have in the picture (more on that later).  Now it's just a matter of choosing which Christmas photo card.  I know I'll drive Mike nuts saying "this one? or this one?" but I love it, it's all part of the fun.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What else to call it but Three for Thursday

1. Day 4 of my challenge, so far the hardest part has been my morning coffee.  I come downstairs and gaze at the coffee maker.  I miss my hot, caffeine laden mug, especially since it's been so chilly in the morning, but I'm making due with decaf Earl Grey.

2. To have some kind of reference point for the challenge, I decided to weigh myself for the first time in months (honestly). I looked at the number and was surprised, it hasn't changed much. Even though my running has gone way down, my weight didn't go up. My clothes still fit fine, even the skinny jeans.  So I guess yoga, weights and Jackie Warner are onto something.

3. And.....I'm uh....getting a tattoo this weekend.  Can you guess what it is?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Febreze Winners

Thanks to everyone who entered the Febreze Laundry Odor Eliminator giveaway....I used random.org to pick the winners, and they are:

#10, Miss Zippy


#12, Julie The Hotlegs Runner

Yay! Now your workout clothes won't stink.  Send me an email and I'll get you set up!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Q&A...part 2

Here is are the rest of the Q&A from my 300th post......

Luke asked What did you do before being a stay at home mom?
I was in advertising sales for a newspaper in NYC, loved the job, loved the people.

Jennifer Leah asked As a SAHM too I would like to know 1-What do you find most rewarding about being home? 2-What do you find the most challenging??

1. What I find rewarding is that I can truly immerse myself in being a Mom. Especially because of how fast they grow, this photo was from 3 years ago, and to me, it could be last week.  I love that I'm there for every milestone and mishap, I'm the one who is nurturing these little people into who they are going to be. 

2. What I find challenging is the lack of certain stimulation, I interact with other parents or people at the grocery store, but sometimes I really miss looking at a spreadsheet.

Tracy asked what was the most unexpected thing/challenge/surprise when you moved from the big city to the 'wilds'?
The fact that I had to drive to get anywhere, or anything. I still miss the Bodega that was a few yards from my front door in Queens, where I could get my coffee and newspapers while still wearing my pj's.

Lisa asked If you could live any other place, where would it be?
I grew up near the ocean, so I wouldn't mind living near a large body of water again.

Dee asked what has your favorite post been?
My clumsiness post, which says a lot about me.

Cynthia asked Who do you idolize in the world of athletics? It doesn't have to be a runner
I'm a Met's fan, but I'd have to say Derek Jeter. Classic example of wanting something so badly, and making your dream come true. He's a great ballplayer, and for the most part, manages to stay under the radar gossip wise.

IronMike asked is Weezer's Troublemaker a worthy theme song for your blog?
YES! "....never been a faker....doing things my own way....never giving up...."

Heather asked: What is your favorite thing to do for fun or relaxation (not including running)?
I love to read, I always have a stack of books and magazines waiting for me to dive into.

Kelley asked I know you're a reader so what are your top 3 book suggestions?
Catchen in the Rye, I can read that one over and over. Favorite non-fiction is Personal History by Katharine Graham. And anything by Marian Keyes, I guess you could say she's chick lit, but I think her books always have a dark theme to them.

Canadian Runner asked: what is your favorite song to dance to??
That's a tough one, I love Dancing Queen by Abba, and at family weddings, it would be Build Me Up Buttercup!

Tracy asked So do you eat just one Baby Ruth once a year?
Yes, on Halloween! I enjoy my seasonal treats in moderation, I look forward to March because that's when I allow myself one Shamrock Shake. 

Lindsey asked I want to know what are your most favorite and least favorite holidays?
Fourth of July gets me nervous, I'm always afraid someone is going to blow off their arm while shooting off fireworks.  I love Christmas, but it's a very close tie with St. Patricks Day!

Erika asked: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be??
Pizza. Truly a perfect food, you've got grains in the crust, protein in the cheese, veggies in the sauce.  I favor thin crust, but put it in front of me and I'll eat it. Love it plain, or topped with onions and mushrooms.

Ashley asked What is your favorite type of coffee drink? and Dee asked what's your favorite drink at starbucks? :)
I drink most of my coffee at home, with some kind of nonfat creamer, but if I'm at Starbucks I love a nonfat vanilla latte.

Rae asked what is your favorite flavor of ice cream? :)
Hands down Mint Chocolate Chip. Mike and I have a running debate on whether it is called Chocolate Chip Mint, or Mint Chocolate Chip.

Trish asked: I'd love to know what one treat you can never say no to?
Chocolate chip cookies. I make my own that I can't get enough of, but Chips Ahoy dunked in milk are also way up there!

Monday, November 8, 2010

14 days

Okay, I feel like I'm back on track exercise wise, so why not keep it interesting and look at my diet to see if I can shake things up?  I think in general, we eat pretty healthy, but we have things in the house that aren't the greatest choices.  And it's only going to get worse, since I saw THREE commercials last night with a Christmas theme, along with the fact that I've been planning my Thanksgiving Dinner for two weeks now.

I've been using Amazing Grass Superfood for well over a year, it's powdered greens and antioxidants that help you to reach your 5 to 9 daily servings of fruits and veggies.  I add it to my smoothies, I'm more of a vegetable person, so if I have to eat fruit, that's how I do it, all blended up. 

Amazing Grass has a Two Week Challenge to up your energy, and "redefine your health", and I'm starting it today.  Instead of the Superfood, you use their Amazing Meal, which has everything the Superfood does, but with the addition of protein and fiber.  

You receive daily emails with lessons to keep you motivated.  There is also a menu that you can follow for the 14 days, with fruit and vegetables, grains, chicken, tuna etc.  Nothing out of control, I already eat Ezekiel bread, and veggie burgers.  The one thing that is missing, is......coffee!!!  That's going to be hard, but it will be good for me though, because I'm trying to wean myself off my non-fat non-dairy creamer, which Mike calls my bottle of chemicals.  This summer I switched from butter to Earth's Balance spread, and about a month ago I switched from milk to almond milk in my smoothies.  I haven't given up cheese, but I am prone to the sniffles, and I realized the other day that my nose isn't as bad as it usually is.  There might be something to this going dairy free thing.

I'm also going to be mindful of my chocolate intake, since we still have Halloween candy everywhere, and I'm going to abstain from my evening vino....GASP!
Well.....here goes nothing!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

26.2 on my mind


We're having a NYC Marathon/Football Sunday gathering this weekend, (football will be on Mike's new flat screen, his combo Birthday/Christmas/Anniversary/Valentines Day/New Job Present).  I remember watching the Marathon on television last year with Jeannine and thinking of how much I wanted to run one, and now, a year later we can both say that we have!  I used to love going to watch the Marathon in person, as a kid, as well as an adult.  We always stood at the 59th Street Bridge, to cheer on my friends who were running.

This is Luke and I on the way to his first NYC Marathon:

Now that I have a few good runs under my belt, I've been thinking of my next marathon. Once again I'll do the Lottery for NYC for 2011, but I need a back up.  This week it was announced that Syracuse will host the Empire State Marathon for the first time in October of next year.  I've looked at the course, and I've run parts of it before, but to do the full 26.2 you need to do two laps around the lake.  I don't know if I would be a fan of running something twice in one race, so I already think I'll just do the half.

A friend of mine is mulling over running the Buffalo Marathon in May, so there's another possibility.  But on the other hand, I think it would be fun to run a race somewhere other than NY State.

Hmmmmmmmm. Decisions, decisions.

If you didn't see my febreze Laundry Odor Eliminator giveaway, it's here.....two winners will have the chance to get the stank out of their workout wear!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

no stink.

I just looked at my mileage for October, because of my 3 weeks of running rest, it was a dismal 19.5.  Compare that to August which was 148. I have 246 miles to go before the year is out, at this point I don't know if it's going to happen, but we'll see.

I did get to run on the treadmill this morning, and ran three miles on Halloween, was hoping for four but then felt like I couldn't push it just yet.  It was a weird weather day, during the course of the run it was cloudy, it hailed, and then it got sunny. I didn't mind though, I was just happy to be outside and moving.

I had a chance to try febreeze Laundry Odor Eliminator, for laundry that gets especially stinky, like ahem, running clothes.  I saved up all my workout wear for the week, and washed them along with Mike's nasty weekend chore clothes, which he wore while clearing up the backyard with his chainsaw.  His jeans and shirts smelled like gas and sweat, nice combo. He had to drive to New Hampshire and back on Friday, and he brought back lobsters for a late dinner.  I had a lobster pot water soaked dishtowel that stunk, so I threw that in too. You add the Febreeze along with your detergent, in true me fashion I managed to spill it all over my hand when I was pouring it.  It smelled nice, a bit like shampoo.  And it worked!  When the clothes came out of the dryer, there wasn't any extra soapy odor, they just smelled....clean.

If you would like to try a 1.5 liter bottle of the Laundry Odor Eliminator courtesy of febreze, here is your chance....go to the febreze website here, then leave me a comment.  I'll pick two winners using random.org on November 10th.

*Note, I was provided with a bottle of febreze for the purpose of this review, the opinions on the product are my own.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Q&A #1.....Running

This is my first round of questions that were asked in my 300th post giveaway, these are all about running......

Miss Zippy asked: What is your dream race? then Stacie asked: What would your dream run/event/destination be?

For my dream race, the temperature would be in the low 60's, no humidity, with a mix of sun and shade, the route would cover both city and country.  The race would start at a later hour, so that I wouldn't have to wake up at 5:00 a.m. for it.  My dream destination/event would be a place I want to go back to, which means the Dublin Marathon.  The race would go exactly like my last long training run of 22 miles, where I got into my running zone, my feet were just moving on their own, and I didn't have any aches or pains or stomach issues.  Just a perfect run.

Angie asked: what are you doing over the winter. Any races? What do you do when its too cold and yucky to go outside to run?

I don't have any concrete race plans yet, but I'm working on it.  When it's too yucky outside, I hit the treadmill, or pick something to do on the exercise on demand channel.  I live within walking distance of a golf course, where I cross country ski, which is a nice change of pace, I get to be outside and I'm still moving.

Darlene asked: You've run a marathon. What's your next goal? 

I plan on running another marathon, my next goal is NYC, which I've wanted to do forever, I did the lottery last year, but didn't make it in.  I have a tiny "vision board" next to my laptop, it's the NYC Marathon logo.  Who knows how long it will take me to get in, but I'm going to run it.

Brittney asked: My question is how do you find time to run with kids?

I'm lucky that I own a treadmill, which I would use during naptime. Now that my kids are bigger, then can entertain themselves for 45 minutes while I run. Although there are times I have to hop on and off to deal with whatever comes up. My husband is very helpful on the weekends, and hangs out with them while I run. I think I'm setting a great example fitness wise, the other day my son said "run it like you mean it Mom!"

Rachel asked: What is your best tip for a person (me) training for their (my) first marathon?!

Have faith in yourself and your ability. You might have some rough moments, and that's when you have to dig deep down and believe in yourself. Be confident because you can do it.
Terri asked: How do you treat post-long-run soreness? Or do you even get that?

I would get sore after a long run, I was a fan of ice baths immediately after the run, and as the day and night wore on, I used ice packs to help with soreness. As my friend Kristin says, Enjoy your pain, you've earned it!

Andrew asked: what did you wear for that chilly february 5k?
I wore thick socks, an UnderArmour sweatshirt, with a NorthFace hoodie over it, along with Nike DryFit running pants.  Topped it off with a fleece headband around my ears, and gloves.
then One Crazy Penguin asked: What are your three must have winter running things?
1. my fleece headband.  Its made of acrylic, so you can toss it in the wash, it gets soaked with sweat.
2. knit gloves, which are thin enough that they fit in my pocket if my hands get too warm
3. a fitted, long sleeve shirt made for cold weather, which I wear under a Tech shirt.  I found mine at Target, from their C9 line, it's a great shirt, and it's reasonably priced.
Wells L asked: what have you learned about yourself through running?

I've learned that I'm not a wimp. Running is a release for me, and I'm constantly thinking of when I can fit it in.

Abbi asked: Since you say you have been running for years, how did you get started?

It started in an effort to lose weight. I gained weight in college, and my weight went up and down in the year after I graduated and was out in the real world.  I finally made a New Years Resolution to hit the gym every day, which I did, and started running on the treadmill.  I lost the weight, and at one point I was running six miles a day. I got the courage up to run my first race, and the rest is now history!  I was on RunnerDude's blog about how I started running, here is the link if you want to check it out.

Whew!  I'll answer the next round of questions in another post.....in the meantime, thanks to everyone who entered my 300th post giveaway......I used random.org, and the winner is Darlene! Congrats!!!