Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Polka-Dot Greyhound and a Bean

This is my sister's rescued Greyhound, Roxie. She lives about 10 miles away from the headquarters of Apple Inc., so maybe it's appropriate that Roxie has a big, brindled patch on her left side reminiscent of Apple's logo:

All Roxie photos courtesy of C.B. Rex

It's cute, but I like Roxie's polkadot belly even more. Recently my sister pointed out that Roxie has a polkadot on her tummy shaped like a butterfly. Can you see it, below? It's a little left of Roxie's midline, just before her chest gives way to the steep, concave belly that is typical of Greyhounds:

And if that's not enough, Roxie also has a great heart-shaped polkadot. It's at about the 11:00 position from the butterfly spot:

My sister says the heart polkadot is one of two Roxie owns. Sis tried to capture a good shot of the second one, but Roxie was getting tired of all this posing:

Okay, girl. Go take a nap with your leopard blankie:

We all love a good leopard pattern:

As a little extra, I found this extraordinary, black-and-white polkadot bean on the FaceBook page for Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company:

Photo: Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.

Wow! How cute is that?

But Roxie is a little bit cuter, because she wags her butt when she wags her tail.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

L.A. Marathon

The Hubby and I attended the Los Angeles Marathon for the first time on Sunday, March 15. (Lovely Daughter #1 did, too, but she was providing medical attention in a restricted area at the finish line, so we couldn't see her.)

We stationed ourselves at a major intersection in Westwood, just around the 19.5-mile mark. We could see the racers for a long, straight stretch, coming up a slight incline:

The elite runners were already past this point when we arrived. But we weren't there to see them. We went to cheer on our daughter's Med School Bestie, who was running his very first marathon. We got to our designated spot in time to do some people- and dog-watching before he appeared:

Of course, I found a pug. This is "Bhudda":

At first, the runners were stretched out, with plenty of space between them to capture some action shots and admire their muscles and sheer grit:

I loved the crazy outfits some people ran in:

 Imagine running a marathon in long pants while holding a heavy flag!:

The marathoners on wheels also fascinated me. Such variety in their different contraptions!:

There was even a mama pushing her baby in a stroller:

After a while, the crowd of racers thickened:

Some athletes were showing the effects of the distance, heat, and effort. Some people walked a bit, then broke into a run again. A few bent over or even pulled off to the side for help:

But the majority soldiered on. It was so impressive:

Throughout the race, there were "pacers" carrying red and white balloons and a numbered placard. The numbers announced the pace they were running the race, so others could keep track of their progress. If, for instance, you wanted to run the race in 3 hours, 45 minutes, you kept your eye on this guy:

The racers also could wear a wrist band provided by the marathon organizers. You pick the pace you want to run (this one is for a 9-minute, 10 second mile), and they supply you with a handy way of keeping track of the pace you need to maintain: 

At the end of the race, there were "hot walkers" helping people cool down and keep moving so they didn't cramp up or keel over in a faint. Volunteers handed out water, energy-rich food, and free massages for the athletes:

And ice. Lots of bags of ice:

As the racers recovered and left the restricted area, friends and family greeted them with flowers and home-made signs and hugs:

This baby wore her congratulations on her dress:

 At last we met up with Med School Bestie. He did so well! Here he is, with his dad, a former marathoner:

His tee shirt is very special. It has a photo of his dad's dad, who was also a marathoner:

What a wonderful tribute, what a wonderful young man, and what a wonderful race!

Friday, March 13, 2015

"You're Gonna Need a Bigger...Bench"

When I bought our big, zinc-topped kitchen table at Big Daddy's Antiques in Los Angeles, my friend and decorator suggested putting bench-style seating on one side.

"Naah," I thought to myself. "Why would I want to do that?"

Oh. Now I know why.

This is how the pugs insist on sitting every morning when I read the paper. I occupy the middle seat with Won Ton (the boss) on my lap. Then the other two clamor and whine until I basically build them...

a bench.


Live and learn. And then, get a bench.

Monday, March 9, 2015

A Quick Basket Fix

The renovation of half our house is long over, but a few lingering "to-do"s remain. For instance, we lost some storage when we replaced the ugly, cabinet-style guest-bathroom sink with a handsome pedestal sink. I needed something to hold extra rolls of toilet paper, but with style:

I found this cute basket at Pier One. I loved the chicken-wire texture, the wooden handles, and the little label on the side just asking for a chalked-in word. It fit well in the space under the sink, too:

But the price--yowch! Surely I can do better than that?

I can. I found this beauty at Marshall's, for under $5:

It has an attractive wire pattern and the same style of cute label on the side:

For a fraction of the price. So, I invited it home.

It is very happy, doing its job and trading jokes with the tin-pail trashcan I found for less than $5 at Cost Plus World Market:

We're all feeling very smug.


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