Running Streak

Runner’s World magazine is promoting the ‘Running Streak’ again this year, so here I go again, trying to get out for a run every day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.  I got a quick mile in yesterday morning, thinking that was all the time I would have that day to run.  Turns out I would have had time for a longer run in the afternoon, and it was a lovely sunny day.  Sigh.  Today I waited until afternoon, and had a very nice, sunny mile.   No photos; just the start of another daily run series.

London and Being Thankful

Humbly giving thanks for an incredibly wonderful year with friends, experiences and good fortune.  I’m reflecting back on my June trip to the UK, where I met up with beloved friends from faraway places. 

Lovely to see you again, my friends.

London was my travel ‘hub’, meaning I passed through the city on my way to every other destination on my trip.  This is a London recap.

First destination was a lunch gathering at this restaurantI love how the menu resembles the album cover.  Here I ate delicious food and enjoyed catching up with old and new friends.  (This is where I learned that Apple Pie in the UK is not the same as in the US.  In the UK, the fruit filling has more of an applesauce consistency, whereas in the US it is sliced apples baked in the crust.  It is tasty both ways.)  Sticky Fingers menu-w

Then I rode the Thames Clipper to the O2 Arena, where I caught up with more friends I hadn’t seen in almost three years.Tower Bridge-w

Then there was the quick trip to Bristol, and then back to London, where I spent a few more hours visiting places on my ‘London bucket list.’

I can now say, “I went to the Chelsea Drug Store.” 

The drug store is a McDonald’s now, but they’ve adorned the downstairs dining area in a great retro style; I presume a nod to the building’s role in the Rolling Stones song.IMG_2999w


[Chelsea Drugstore reference at 3:05.]

I did a lot of walking; often past lovely rows of flats. IMG_2996w

Caught my first glimpse ever of the Battersea Power Station.IMG_2378w

But saw no flying pigs.

I bought a pair of earrings at the Buckingham Palace shop.  Earrings-w

Hung out at Bag O’Nails.

(This is not the same Bag O’Nails that was the famous Rock and Roll hangout in the 60s, but this one met my other needs, as it was on my way back from the palace store, it had wifi, coffee and food.  I had more UK apple pie ala mode. )IMG_2391w



Bag o Nails sign-w

On my return from the Glastonbury Festival, I visited Harrods.  But just hours after having camped three nights in a tent, the culture shock was immense.  So, I didn’t stay long in the store.  Even more surprising for me, I didn’t buy a thing.

I didn’t allow myself enough time at the Victoria and Albert museum.  The collection and displays were beautiful and overwhelming.  Victoria and Albert museum-w

I need to explore the Kensington Palace grounds next time, too.  This is as close as I got.  Kensington Palace Gate-w

Lovely sights were everywhere.  Window trellis-w

Does anyone besides me still miss the 2012 London Olympics?  It was the most enjoyable Games I’ve ever watched.   IMG_2988w

I took a stroll through Carnaby Street.  Carnaby banner-w

Then, I went to this other famous store, whose fabrics I adore.  I can’t believe I didn’t allow time to do some serious shopping here.  This is a definite do-over on my next trip to London.

Liberty of London-w

Enjoyed a soup dinner at the Neal’s Yard cafe.  Neal's Yard2-w

Neal's Yard3-w

Neal's Yard

The Tube is such a great way to get around.  This is a lovely skylight somewhere in the London Underground.    Underground window-w

A musical duo playing for donations in the Tube.  Tube musicians-w

Miscellaneous memories:

  • I discovered Argos.  It was a great way to pick up a few necessities for camping at the Glastonbury Festival.
  • I made numerous passes through Victoria Station.
  • Left Luggage got way too much of my money.

This song and video set in London is only two years old, but immediately became one of my all-time favorite holiday songs.  Until next time, my friends.


Yes it’s November.  But this was an “October project,” so I’ve kept the name.

This dress has always been a little too tight and a little too low cut for me to actually wear out of the house.IMG_4731w

Even in the month of Oktoberfest.

Oktoberfest blouse

But I love the style and lines of the dress.  So after letting it hang in my closet for the last two years, not getting worn, I decided the only solution is to get out the scissors and fabric and start experimenting.


I want to wear it with these boots.   Not so “Octoberfest,” but very “home.”  Boots

I had decided a calico with red and tan colors in it might be best.  I found this fabric in another fave fabric shop yesterday.  The fabric is from the “Kashmir” line by Sentimental Studios for Moda.


When I saw this Kashmir border print and color pallet, I thought it presented a seemingly endless number of possibilities.
And of course, it is the name of a great song.

I bought 2 yards of the Kashmir, to give myself plenty for experimenting and mistakes.  But still, I was nervous when I started cutting strips.


First, to add some fabric up top.   This piece is basted in place here, until I decide its final placement.IMG_4741w

Then I worked in a strip on each side, for a little more breathing room.


The strip ran the entire length of the side seam and sleeve.


I’ve always wondered how a side insert like this would work.  I was worried it would scream out, “She was too large for the dress,” which is true, of course; I am.  In this case, I think the strip concept worked out okay.


I don’t think I chose the right colors for the side strips.  I chose those colors because they went well with the boots, but I don’t think they tie in well enough with the rest of the dress.  I am considering replacing the strips with one that has the red and/or blue color in it.  But this version will do for a test wearing.

I love the bell sleeves, but they are not practical.  They are long and can drag through food and other stuff.

So, I added a border strip that can function as a sleeve cuff when needed.SAM_5798w

For now, instead of a buttoned cuff, I tried a piece of leather string tied around the wrist and knotted.

One last change was to use more of the leather string to lace up the bodice.  The blue velvet string looked limp and wrinkled.  The leather goes with the Kasmir print and the boots.

The final look.SAM_5801w

The test wearing was to a concert.  I received quite a few compliments on the dress and boots, so I’m pronouncing this project a success.  Should have done it two years ago.

The string tied around the sleeve cuff works, but needs more ‘give’ for when I stretch my arm out.  So back to the drawing board to tweak that design.

5k’s and Fall Colors

Gosh, that was a long time between posts.  I got busy with various bits of life, and collected plenty of R-S-R ‘material’ along the way, but couldn’t get anything packaged up for a complete post.  But hey, since my last post, I’ve tried out (and liked) blacklight Zumba, the Jayhawks have had a conference win, and the Wildcats are bowl-eligible.  Yay!

And, I’ve run in a couple of 5k’s, one of which was with Girls On The Run–a cool organization that indoctrinates young girls into the running culture, and gives them all sorts of other reasons to feel good about themselves.



We’ve also had an awesome colorful Fall, that has generally made it a joy to get out and run.Lake Autumn reflection--marked  Lake Autumn bench--marked

The sun starts to set so early now.  I’d change that if I could… Lake Autumn sunset--marked

And I’m thrilled to now say I’ve sung this song with the band, and an arena full of people also singing along; to every word and every note.