Thursday, August 11, 2016

Catching Up: Running and Other Summer Stuff

I am a Netflix/Amazon Prime/On Demand queen in the summer.  I love finding new shows and being able to watch them whenever, especially since I might go 2-3 days without looking at anything other than the news before I go out to run.  Early summer, I watched both seasons of Grace and Frankie, which I loved.  It was just great to see mature women as the stars of the show.  Next I picked Nurse Jackie.  That had 7 seasons and I just finished it wishing it would go on.  It's a fascinating look at addiction and I highly recommend it.  Lately, I've been watching OJ: Made in America, which is a documentary.  It's cool but sobering to look back at something I lived through.  Next?  I'm not sure, though I have Friday Night Lights, in my queue Mr. Helen might want to watch that one with me.


It's not only dark when I go out to run now, often the streetlights are still on when I get home, depending on the length of my run.  This always makes me feel a little melancholy as it signals the beginning of the end of summer to me.

Leaving for my run this morning:

One block away from home, lights still on:

August 2nd, about 10 minutes into my run it looked like this.  Sigh.


Gracie came here for a week's camp and I picked her up for an overnight and some fun.  We went downtown and shopped a little, visited the Nathan Hale Schoolhouse and the Whale Tail, then went to a concert on the beach Friday night.  She also talked Mr. Helen into taking her to the cheesy arcade where she won 361 coupons and promptly redeemed them for crap.  A grand time was had by all and we can't wait for her to move back here!

Jammin' to the sounds of the Beach Boys cover band! She's the only person who could get him to put those pink sunglasses on top of his hat lol.


Last week my left knee starting having an ache after every run and no Motrin or ice would help it. Right then I knew it was time for new shoes, even without counting mileage.  Aches and pains in my legs/knees has always been a sign.  I know what type of shoe I need but after reading reviews, decided I'd best go to an actual store and try them on.  While Mr. Helen had Gracie at the arcade, I took off for for Dick's to try them on.  I figured I'd come home and online.  Then I remembered I had a scorecard bonus check from buying the new treadmill and I'd gotten a bunch of coupons in the mail. Off I went and I'm glad I did because I needed a half size larger than I've been wearing.  Honestly, with every new version of a shoe, it's probably best to try them on because the tweaks they make can change the shoe!  Here they are: Asics Cumulus 18.  I happen to love the color too and best of all, after using my coupons and discounts, my $120 shoes cost me $30 out of pocket.  I'll take it!


Every year I plant tomatoes, basil and one other thing in pots on my patio.  This year I chose something called a "Salsa Pepper" figuring the tomatoes and peppers would come in at the same time and I'd make fresh salsa.  Well, even though I've watered (we're in a moderate drought), the tomatoes have been slow going this year.  Usually I'm overrun, especially with the grape tomatoes but I've had to continue buying tomatoes for my lunch salads.  Basil has been good but the pepper wasn't doing any better than the tomatoes and I couldn't figure out why.  The other day, I walked over to it to turn it and when I did, I saw this:

Ha ha!  Totally camouflaged, not to mention I was looking for red peppers and I guess whatever kind this is can be either green or red.  Time to make salsa, even if I have to buy tomatoes.


Wednesday morning while out running I suddenly felt my Garmin just fall off my wrist.  So I picked it up to put it back on thinking how weird that was and huh, I couldn't refasten in.  It was still sort of dark (and I wasn't wearing glasses) so I walked over to a street lamp and discovered it had literally broken in two!

While I would love to get a brand new Garmin, this one works fine, and the replacement strap was only $15 compared to $300 for the new unit.  I had to use Runkeeper on my phone this morning and while it's fine in a pinch, I'll be glad to see the new strap come in today!


Shelley and her post about spiralizing vegetables made me realize I hadn't done that in a while and also reminded me of my favorite Sundried Tomato Pesto.  I bought fresh zucchini at the farmer's market and made a batch of pesto and I was in zoodle heaven for lunches last week.

If you're looking for something different, give this a try. Because of the heart-healthy oils and nuts in the recipe, it's quite filling and the calorie values are not that much different from eating a large salad with dressing. You could also add some chicken to this and it would be delicious!

Sundried Tomato Pesto
(based on one from paleOMG)

3 oz. sundried tomatoes, packed in oil
1 cup walnuts
½ cup basil leaves, packed
juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves

½ teaspoon salt
½ cup olive oil**

Using a strainer-style spoon, scoop sundried tomatoes out of oil and drain a bit.  Put into a food processor or blender with the walnuts, basil, lemon juice, garlic and salt.  Process on high then begin to drizzle olive oil in. **Watch the consistency of the pesto, you may not need the full half cup of olive oil.**

Put in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. 


  1. Yum! That pesto sounds amazing--you know I love my walnuts. Plus, I love the idea of using veggies instead of pasta so you can splurge on the sauce a little bit.

    I love your new shoes. My Asics Gel Nimbus are well worn. I agree about going to a store to try on shoes. I've bought several online that I had to return.

    1. I always use walnuts in my pesto, even basil pesto. I much prefer them to pinenuts!

  2. Mmmmm... I need to try that pesto! And the zoodles. I think I like yellow squash better than zukes in general.

    Score on the shoes! You know I love a good bargain and that is sweet!

    1. I forgot to mention - have you watched Man in the High Castle? It's quite good.

    2. I haven't seen that, I'll look it up. Thanks!

  3. I definitely need to try that pesto - yum! Yep, I had to chuckle over the 361 tickets to quickly redeem for crap. The only problem with Hannah was that she was so indecisive about what to get with her coupons, it could literally be a 1/2 hour process, and she'd contemplate if her "purchases" were correct all the way home.

    Way to score on the shoes! :D

  4. Super cute shoes and wow, way to make those coupons and discounts work! I agree, you still have to try on shoes with every model change because they do some tweaks that don't always work for my feet.

    My Garmin is $159 on Amazon...we could be Garmin twins again! Just saying, in case you need to treat yourself soon. ;)

    I loved Grace and Frankie, but Nurse Jackie just infuriated me. She was a terrible person to her family and I really hated that she never, NEVER, put them above her addiction. I'm watching Shameless now, which is another addiction story, but although I don't like one of the main characters, I like the other characters enough to keep watching.

    Are Gracie and her family moving back to your area?

    I am going to have to try that sundried tomato pesto soon, it looks so good!

    1. Yes, Gracie and family should be living back here by the end of October. We are happy, though also sad because now we won't have a "free" house in the Hamptons anymore.

  5. So much to comment on:

    Have you watched Suits yet? I really like that show. And I always like The Americans.
    I have Netflix for a year now but don’t watch it as much as I wished. I always alternate between 3 shows to watch.
    I read the OJ documentary is very good so it’s on my watch wishlist (same as Grace and Frankie).

    I have the same with morning runs and don’t like it at all. Mid July it was light when I got up at 5 am and after 2 weeks vacation, it was still dark. Sigh!

    Looks like Gracie and you and Mr. Helen had a great time together.

    Love the shoes! And great price too.
    I always buy mine online, Brooks Adrenaline and so far every new version fits perfect. At my first pair I went to a running store, bought the Brooks and since then buy them online.

    Glad that the new strap wasn’t too expensive. Running apps just aren’t as good as a Garmin is my experience.

    Yum great idea about the pesto with zucchini noodles. Going to remember that.

    Have a great week Helen.

    1. We like The Americans too! But we watch that when it's actually on. I haven't seen Suits though. You should watch both the OJ stories. There is the one I mentioned here and there is the one that was on TV reenacting the whole thing called The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story. Both very good!