Come Sit By Me

As things were pretty non-existent for a while around these parts, I figured it would be a good time to catch up on life.  So pull up a pool chair, order a margarita, and let’s chat a bit.

Salut!

I WANNA DO-OVER

Let’s just say 2018 has been a total poop show.  It’s always tricky deciding how much we want to reveal of our personal details in the blogosphere, and it’s no exception here.  Let’s just say, the Black Dog staff had some MAJOR medical issues come up, but thankfully, all pulled through and the recovery process is moving along nicely.  Word to the wise: when you have a bellyache for a week, don’t give your significant other grief when the doc says to get your dupa to the hospital.  And once you’re there, thank your lucky stars said significant other is too stubborn to let you leave.  2018 could have ended a whole lot worse than it started, so we are happy to leave it in the dust.

THE WONDER MUTT STILL REIGNS SUPREME

This girl.

Beware the snoot……

Still just as silly, still a splash queen, still the BESTEST WONDER MUTT EVER, even if she has gotten a little more “sun exposure”.  She is the love of my life, my confidant, my fashion consultant, my workout buddy, bestie and running partner.  And yes, her Daddy gets it and makes sure to occasionally give me grief about it.  Maybe if he met me at the door at night wiggling his butt with a hedgehog in his muzzle, he’d rate right up there beside her too. 🙂

Do you like my hedgehog?

AGING SHOULD ONLY APPLY TO FINE WINE 

Have I ever told you I’m the youngest of five kids?  Yup, FIVE.  How the heck my parents did it is completely beyond my comprehension, especially since I have enough trouble with a husband a dog.  I hit another decade last year and fighting Mother Nature with everything I’ve got.  As much as I despise admitting it, all those articles about your metabolism slowing down each decade are absolutely true.  Mine however, has decided to just plain check out.  I swear I just LOOK at a mini peanut butter cup – LOOK – and POOF!  That’ll cost you another five pounds lady.  I know I did not do well when I was recovering from my two knee surgeries, but dammit Mother Nature, can you cut me a bit of a break here??  I turned half my garage into a gym, tuned up the bike, and kick my own dupa six days a week.  And still.

Nothing.

Nada.

I’m coming for your hips lady….

Hello Jabba the Black Dog.

There is nothing more frustrating than forcing your muscles to lift more, run faster (well try to anyway), pedal away the miles, eat enough veggies that you swear you’re turning green, and still nothing.  The hubs tells me I look great and there’s only so much I can do.  But this is ME.  Stubborn, concrete-headed, determined, refusing to give up, and just plain pissed off.

Ladies?  Ya see what I’m sayin’??

I understand everything is a balancing act.  I cannot obsess about calories in/out, but I do pay some attention to what I shove in my yap.  If only there weren’t so many amazing tastes out there!  Drink half my weight in water most days, but then…..WINE.  Sweat my dupa off in the Island Time Sweat Box then find that creating cocktails is kind of fun.  What’s a girl to do?  If any ladies out there suffering from a slowing metabolism and uncooperative genetics have any ideas, by all means – feel free to share.

Then we can down those margaritas. 😉

PRIORITIES MOVE LIKE THE TIDES

There’s nothing like a good old life scare to make you step back and re-evaluate what’s important.  For all my metabolism bitching, in the big picture it means nothing.  The love and health of family and friends, the health and happiness of your critters, slowing down life for a minute and enjoying a sunset with a special someone and a good glass of cabernet, traveling outside your comfort zone and embracing adventure, that’s what life should be all about.  Not making enough money?  Live within your means and be happy you have a job when so many others don’t.  Angry the man of the house keeps forgetting to put the toilet seat down?  At least he’s there to forget to do it.  Living with what seems to be a case of a permanent bad attitude?  Make the effort to do something nice for someone else and then try to fight that smile that’s tugging at the corners of your mouth.  Without question what was important to me 20 years ago is nowhere near what it is now.  We all have personal trials we go through and times in our lives when it seems like everything is a big pile of dog poop.  Then something happens to make you realize your poop amounts to nothing.  NOTHING.

LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT

Races. Travel. Laughter.  Great friends and great times.  Funny how the simplest things have the biggest impact on your life.  Some of the best times I’ve ever had included a glass of wine, music, friends, dogs, and a simple backyard fire at this great little tiki bar I know.  It’s easy to find things to be grateful for each and every day, if you just take the time to stop and notice.  A helpful coworker, a smile from a stranger, a funny joke made by a passing runner at a race – all good things.  So my advice to you as I bring this recap of sorts to a close, is to appreciate the life you’ve been given and everything that makes it awesome.  You only get out of life what you put into it, so make that little extra effort, especially this time of year, when so many feel so lonely.  It costs nothing to thank a veteran or first responder for their service (dispatchers too!), or to help a senior citizen load groceries in their car.  Little things go a long way and people always remember the little things.

My challenge to you this day is to do some little thing for someone else.  Pay for their coffee, hold a door open, give their dog a biscuit (after making sure it’s ok of course!), then come back here and share what you did.  I guarantee you will feel a bit better about yourself and life in general.  Perhaps if we all do a little something for someone else, this tide of animosity that seems to be overtaking our lives will turn back just a little bit.

And little bits can change the world.

 

Enjoy the ride.

What little thing makes you smile?

Come Cop A Squat

Totally ripping off the whole “If We Were Having Coffee/Wine/Maragaritas” thing, come along with me, and let’s go cop a squat under a tree.  HA!

Oh Black Dog, you kill me!

Oh Black Dog, your rhyming skills kill me!

Since I hate coffee, but have recently discovered a new-found love for Dunkin’ Donuts Dunkaccinos, let’s go grab a non-earth friendly styro cup, our dogs, a couple dozen tennis balls, and venture over to the nearest dog park.  You never know what you may find out.

hmmm

If we were to cop a squat – you would discover that I have absolutely no people skills whatsoever.  Unless we’re talking about Disney, running, dogs, or wine, I’m a total shallow pool of nothing much interesting to say.

If we were to cop a squat – you would find that I have turned into a total wine glass snob.  Yes, wine glass.  And I can totally pan this weirdness off my hubby and besties.  The same ones who used to pick on me for drinking sweet white wines and continue to make the face when I put ice in my wine.  BECAUSE THAT IS HOW I ROLL.

You put what in your where?!?

You put what in your where?!?

If we were to cop a squat – you would find out that I can listen to just about any music out there.  Just about.  Classical, metal, reggae, pop, rap, compas, movie soundtracks…..you name it, I can handle it.  I can even take country but only in small doses.  But when something hits my eardrums like nails on a chalkboard, I react almost violently.  Deservedly so in this case…

swift sucks

If we were to cop a squat – you would find that up until nine years ago, I felt as though my life was flying by me like an Amtrak train and I wasn’t on it.  What happened nine years ago?  I met this UH-MAZE-ING dude, who showed me that life is a whole lot more than someone’s career, and that pushing your comfort zone isn’t as scary as it sounds.  And for that, I am as grateful as Wonder Mutt is for jumping in a lake.

whooooo  hooooooo!!!!!!!

whooooo hooooooo!!!!!!!

If we were to cop a squat – you would discover that I have crazy body image hangups, (who doesn’t?), as much as I try not to be I’m miserable if I can’t run, and if everything goes as planned with KneeGate2015 Part II, then the item on my bucket list that reads “complete a full marathon”, may just get checked off. {gulps}

If we were to cop a squat – you would find that I’m at my most content crashed on the couch at this little tiki bar I know, hubs on one side, Wonder Mutt on the other with her chin resting on my lap, binge-watching Game of Thrones, World Cup Soccer, or the Olympics.  Even the funny pants wearing events.

Best. Pants. Ever.

Best. Pants. Ever.

So if I haven’t bored you to tears by this point, and our mutts have sufficiently destroyed every tennis ball within a 15 mile radius, I think you’d find I’m pretty much your average, street-level introvert, who can be pretty damn quirky.  I love my Springsteen and Bon Jovi, my Moose Tracks and my margaritas, my running and my dog.  I have incredible friends both domestic and abroad, and have come to appreciate that it’s better to have a few great friends, than numerous casual buddies.  I have the world’s most amazing husband who puts up with my psycho-ness and buys me fuzzy animal slippers any time I want.  I’ve learned that animals live too short, fat cells hang around too long, and it’s better to live life balls-to-the-wall instead of watching it pass you by.

And that my dear readers, is why we should gulp down the Dunkaccinos, and go jump in the water.

WITH the dogs.

splash dog

No. Explanation. Needed.

Enjoy the ride.

Does any of this surprise you?  What would I learn about you over cappuccino and soggy tennis balls?

Friday Funny

ff-wine-christmas-tree

 

Enjoy the ride.

You know how much we love the grapes here at Black Dog Productions, but did you know it includes ALL the members of the family?  What’s your mutt’s favorite decadent delight?  Are they are they type to stare and sigh heavily until you give up the goods, or are they the more paws on type?  What’s her favorite treat?

Friday Funny

We’re officially in final countdown mode for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon, so what better way to honor this longstanding tradition than by paying homage to that wonderful little creation…..the grape.

ff-wine

Enjoy the ride.

Show of paws – who’s going to be part of the upcoming madness in November?  How many of you have your last long run/taper run this weekend?  Who’s completely befuddled about what time to actually get up that morning with the time change taking place the same day?

Friday Funny

In honor of my friends who have brought to my attention that I am an absolute wine snob – to which I wholeheartedly agree – I present you with your very own Friday dose of humor.

FF Box wine

God help me.

 

Enjoy the ride.

May your weekend be full of grapes, crazy straws, and limited cardboard containers.  Happy Friday dear friends!

And We’re Off! Part 1

When we last parted ways I believe I was undergoing the fully expected pre-surgery freak out.

scary cat

All that kept spinning through my head was that stupid documentary I had watched umpteen years ago about people who had undergone anesthesia, but it didn’t work and they felt every.single.thing.  With my luck, I was going to be one of those freaky few whose anesthesia didn’t take and I was going to be seeing, hearing, and feeling EVERYTHING.  AAAAAAAGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!

freaky sponge

(SPOILER ALERT: Out like a light.  Took all of about a nanosecond.  Didn’t feel doodlysquat.)

Back to our regularly scheduled program…

Knowing that I wouldn’t be able to eat anything after midnight the night before, the hubs filled me up on cheese, tortellini, and of course, a nice bottle of Cabernet.  Because he’s awesome like that.

Oso1

After finishing up the evening’s gut-busting with a bowl of vanilla ice cream mixed with dark chocolate pieces – go ahead, it’s okay to drool, I won’t tell anyone – it was time to face the inevitable…..girlfriend had less than 18 hours to go before the surgical shenanigans were to begin.  Yeah.  YOU try sleeping with THAT hanging out there.

can't sleep

Oh Homer, you are right on buddy.

When we return, I’ll take you on the laughable journey I like to call, “Black Dog’s Adventures of Arriving at the Hospital Early For Absolutely No Friggin’ Reason Whatsoever”.  On the next installment of “And We’re Off!. Part 2.”

Can’t hardly contain your self, can ya?

be-excited

 

Enjoy the ride.

How were you able to sleep the night before your surgery?  Did you sleep better with some Cabernet, Merlot, or a Sauvignon Blanc?  Mint chip or Rocky Road?  Did it work, or was it an exercise in futility?  If you had to have surgery, how do you think you would be the night before?

This Could Get Ugly

*It’s that time again…time for the cool kids to run over and check out the weekly Monday morning Magical Mickey Linkup at run.geek.run(disney).  Are you cool enough to go??

This just may start a Disney war, but here goes…..what is your favorite Disney resort?

AAAAAGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!

AAAAAGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!

Have you ever seen Disney Dorks get into heated conversations about the best whatever about Disney World?  It’s pretty amusing actually.  And I can fully poke fun because I am definitely one of those Dorks.  Especially when it comes to the best “getting into trouble” spots.  Anyone over the age of 21 should know what those are :).

There are a thousand categories we could argue about here, but I’m only going to hit up my top four:  resort, restaurant, bar, and race.  Feel free to weigh in.  Except on the race.  I win, hands down.  You lose.  Go away.

FAVE DISNEY RESORT:

This is kind of a toughie for me as there are still so many I haven’t stayed at yet – basically because I have yet to hit Powerball or have had a long-lost rich relative knock off.  Should you have done either, feel free to share in your bountiful Disney harvest.  That being said, I’d have to say my favorite Disney resort hotel thus far is…..da da da da daaaaaaaa!!!!!  Coronado Springs.

Ooooooohhhhh, aaaaaaahhhhhhh....

Ooooooohhhhh, aaaaaaahhhhhhh….

The running path is a little short, but the landscaping is beautiful, the rooms are great, (especially the king rooms), and the gym is awesome.  I love the spots you can hang out on the sand and watch the world go by, including the local, furry, residents.

Not really.  Just checking to see if you were paying attention.

Not really. Just checking to see if you were paying attention.

You may not see any elk, but there are squirrels, rabbits, fish, and birds galore.  Trust me on the birds. They’re everywhere.  Including RIGHT OUTSIDE your window when you’re trying to sleep in.

Mock you I shall.

Mock you I shall.

FAVE DISNEY RESTAURANT:

This was also a difficult call, but we here at Black Dog Productions (sounds impressive, doesn’t it?), decided to go with Tutto Italia in Epcot.  If you can, sit outside in the glassed in room.  It’s quieter, and a much more intimate setting.  The food is phenomenal, and the wine list is expectedly awesome.  My suggestion: have your server or the sommelier make a recommendation.  We went with a bottle of Castiglion Del Bosco at our server’s recommendation.  A little pricey, but well worth it.

Hello beautiful.

Hello beautiful.

FAVORITE WATERING HOLE:

Another tough call, and if it wasn’t for one memorable moment, I would have gone with either La Cava del Tequila or the Rose and Crown.

Ahhhhh, we return to the scene of the crime....

Ahhhhh, we return to the scene of the crime..

Let me just put it out there – I HATE 50’s Prime Time Cafe.  I went there once, could not STAND the corniness of the place, and never went back.  I know many of you think the place is a total hoot.  I, on the other hand, would rather have my fingernails yanked out with a pair of pliers.  Yes, it was THAT bad.  Go ahead, revoke my Dork Card.  I’ll earn it back.  Because I AM that big of a Dork. 🙂

So back to the one moment in time that sold us on the Tune In Lounge as the best bar in Disney.  Stick with me here:

top shelf margarita – $20

Nursing your kid while drinking the top shelf margarita – PRICELESS

If I’m lying I’m dying.

Yeah mama!

Yeah mama!

FAVORITE DISNEY RACE:

No argument.

Really. No argument.  Don't even bother.

Really. No argument. Don’t even bother.

No middle of the night wake up call, Food and Wine Festival nibbles and libations, and Epcot ALL TO YOURSELF.  How can one possibly argue with THAT???  Not to mention, HUGE potential for post race #shenanigans…

Yes, yes I do.

Yes, yes I do.

So there you have it – Black Dog’s Disney World Favorites.  Agree or disagree?  Let’s hear it.  Whoever loses the argument has to eat at Prime Time.  Tied to a chair.  Unsedated.

oh no kittens

 

Enjoy the ride.

Let’s hear it!  What are your Disney faves?  Do any of them include the probability of shenanigans?  Have you ever wanted to start a food fight in the Prime Time Cafe?  WAS IT FUN???

And Just Like That…

Hard to believe it’s already been almost a year since this disaster…

20140111_091931

I can barely walk but I’ll give you a cheesy smile anyway!

Let me start off by saying I had no intention whatsoever of running the Donald Half during Marathon Weekend.  None. Nuttin’. Nada.  But when a running buddy – who I think has never had a bad run in her life – says “hey, there’s a bunch of us running over marathon weekend, come join us”, who am I to say no?  An idiot, that’s who.  Still on a high from a great-for-me Wine and Dine Half, the thought of doing a second runDisney event looked oh-so-appealing.  Um, yeah.  Not so much.  6 miles in, IT bands on the fritz, and an emotional breakdown along whatever freakin’ road I was on, and I was done.

Cooked bird. Complete with timer. Yup, that's me.

Stick a fork in me, I’m done. Complete with timer. Yup, that’s me.

Pissed off, in pain, and ready to knock the teeth out of my knees, does not a good Black Dog combination make on race day.  So. Moving on, I took four months off, jumped out of my skin until this proud moment…

She's baaaaccccckkkkk!!!!

She’s baaaaccccckkkkk!!!!

…and had what I thought was, for the most part, a pretty darn good training cycle for the Wine and Dine Half.  And then…dunh dunh duuuunnnnnhhhhh, (insert dramatic music here)…..

Dammit!

Dammit! Not AGAIN!?!

And if wasn’t for these two nuts…

We roooccckkkk!!!

KELLIE AND NICOLE.  BEST. ROAD CREW. EVER.

…and this one big nut…

Nauseating, aren't we?

Nauseating, aren’t we?

I doubt very much I would have made it across the finish line.

Now here I am, this time on a doctor-imposed running hiatus, and ready to crawl out of my skin. AGAIN.  The question of the hour being where do I go from here?  Try not to think about what The Man might have to say in a couple of months?  Make myself all crazy every time I go to the gym and see everyone else doing everything I want to be doing but it’s against doc’s orders?  Bury my new-found misery in a giant bowl of Moose Tracks?

Yes, please, I'll have another.

Okay, maybe THAT wouldn’t be so bad.

And just like that, we’re at the end of another year.  One that seems to me – at least runningwise – to have had more downs than ups.  At least though, on the personal front, there were plenty more smiles and laughter than there were tears.  New race experiences, new partners in crime, new locations visited, a few new wines tasted – okay a LOT of new wines tasted – and new plans to look forward to in 2015.

2015

And just like that…..

happy-dog

Cheesy Grin. The Sequel.

 

 

Enjoy the ride.

How quickly did 2014 pass for you?  What were the highlights, or lowlights, of your year?

Love is in the Air???

It’s almost time for the one holiday when Hallmark and Whitman make a killing…

vday5

As we approach the one day a year when men hope that a box of chocolates, too many glasses of wine, or some slinky lingerie may lead to some unabashed shenanigans, may I offer one slightly cynical woman’s view on the subject.

vday1

DISCLAIMER: I absolutely ADORE my hubby.  He makes me laugh, cry, laugh some more, laugh so much I end up crying, and then laugh some more.  He puts up with my never-ending shenanigans, my morning grumpy-itis, my obsession with running, dogs, and ice cream, and the fact that I like to put ice in my wine (NO!  you say.)  He knows how much I look forward to date night every week, how I just can’t possibly sit on the couch without the Wonder Mutt on my lap, and how sometimes I just need some “Kymmie” time.  He puts up with “scary face” when I give myself a facial, has dinner ready for me when I get done working out at night, and knows that if I don’t get to Disney World at least twice a year, I will simply curl up in a ball, suck my thumb, and never speak a comprehensible word of English ever again.  All that being said…

vday6

Seriously.  Why do we need to have one day out of the year that people feel obligated to profess their love or end up in the doghouse?  Shouldn’t EVERY day be Valentine’s Day??

vday3

Getting flowers for no reason, surprises from my two favorite G’s (Godiva and Ghiradelli), or love notes stuck on my breakfast plate on Saturday mornings, means a million times more to me than red roses on February 14th ever will.  Pink maybe, but not red.

vday2

So for all you men out there who are currently experiencing stress-induced panic attacks and uncontrollable sweating, don’t worry.  Your woman (or man!) will love you no matter what you don’t do tomorrow.  You may still end up in the doghouse, but she’ll still love you.  Especially if you present her with something blingy on February 15th.

Ooooohhhh, aaaaahhhhh!!!!!

Ooooohhhh, aaaaahhhhh!!!!!

Happy Not Valentine’s Day Yet everybody!!

Nuzzlenuzzlenuzzle

Nuzzlenuzzlenuzzle

Enjoy the ride.

(All photos courtesy of Pinterest.)

What do you do to make your honey feel special all year long?