Thursday, September 25, 2008

continuing chronicles of Kenai The Dog

Ahh. As I sit typing with my zucchini bread and morning coffee, I think back to last night and recently, and all the things this dog we own has done. Kenai wears a choker chain collar with a metal tag on it. Kenai only stops moving when he passes out from exhaustion. The jangling never stops. All day. You know when he's coming because of the noise.

1. Well, last week Kenai was jangling around the house at about 5:10 am and I was not ready to get up. So I did get up and put him outside. "Ha!" I thought. That will fix this. Blissful sleep until I was ready to get up:) I went to work. Andy texted me and said he's on his way down to the Great Wall Restaurant to pick up Kenai who had gone for a run this morning with the Army guys as they passed our house. Huh. Well, Kenai came back fine.

2. I think I already wrote about his eating the Nintendo DS Guitar Hero edition, the remotes, and aluminum foil. The puking has been often here at the Kratzer house.

3. Kenai has learned how to lift his leg! And he peed on the living room wall right in front of me.

4. Early this morning someone or something was passing by our house. Kenai leapt to the defense, barking and snarling, and hurled himself at our open window. Ripped the dang thingtop to bottom.

5. He hates the garbage truck. As I type this, He's growling and running his laps all ramped up around the house, the clang of candle holders or something in the window sill a sure sign that, yup, that is another place i can't put things after all...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Running in the dark.

Good morning! I think I have finally had enough sleep in one night--I keep on saying I'll go for a run in the morning and i NEVER do. I am just too exhausted. My eye lids won't even flip open most mornings for gosh sakes. Any way, I think I might be able to go after I type this. I have been running in the evenings with mixed results....

1. It's dark. There are hoodlums out there. They don't seem to come out in inclement weather, but on a decent night, they're there. I have this thing where I stare down people who stare at me because it irritates me. This is not the best quality to have if the stare-down-ees happen to be packin.

2. the singing man by the park. One rainy night I took Kenai for a run. As I was passing a nearby park, some young buck decided to scare the snot out of me by starting to belt out "I like to move it move it. I like to move it move it." Needless to say I kept looking over my shoulder and hype-ing up Kenai for an attack, should he be needed.

3. Sidewalk cracks. I've tripped. I've even fallen. It scares me. And I could get injured. Not good in the dark.

4. Hiding from traffic. This is a plus. I really like to hide and run at the same time. There aren't many adrenaline rushes like it. I feel like a spy. I feel all edgy. I feel cool. And it is surely the closest to special ops I'll ever get.

5. It is typically cooler at night. And refreshing. I remember running at Gustavus out in the country, totally alone, THOUSANDS of stars overhead. There is nothing like it. I try to reproduce that feeling in Elkhart. But it doesn't work quite as well.

6. I am getting training runs in regardless. And a run is better than not a run.

So that's it. I'm trying to get better at being consistent. But I don't run to be on a schedule. I run because I love the experience:)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


well all, it has been embarrassingly long since my last post. Life got a hold of me and wouldn't let go! I am home tonight and have a chance to write (only because I'm not doing things I am supposed to do right now...)
My engagement is going really really well. Andy and I are super--it's amazing, but I really have a change in my heart for him. Like, "okay. We are really seriously going to do this." And I love him even deeper. I can't really explain it, but that's the case.
Work is crazy. I want a new job. Some days I just feel DONE with kids. I would like to raise my own, thank you, and not other's. But isn't that a selfish thought? Yeah. I feel bad just thinking it. I'll suck it up and keep on living my "really difficult" life. 2 jobs is really busy though. hopefully this is just for a season.
The dogs are equally crazy. Kenai was found running down by the Great Wall Restaurant yesterday. He jumped the fence and ran with the National Guard fellas all the way down town. Little bugger. Andy got a phone call from the vet saying Kenai had been found. (Oh shoot. was he missing?) Sunday night, while Andy and I went grocery shopping, Kenai also decided to DESTROY Andy's new nintendo DS, my financial peace workbook, the remote, a mechanical pencil, papers, magazines, and a piece of aluminum foil. All this over the living room in small bite size pieces. HOLY MAN. I didn't even know how to respond. Luckily, Andy was blessed with perspective when I don't have it. He reminded me it is just stuff, only things and we can replace the things. Yes. But good grief what a mess!!!
So I have been trying to run Kenai when I go for runs. I am just too tired to go tonight. I came home, ate a bowl of cereal, and crashed. I'll try tomorrow morning........

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I was RUNNINGuh!

I loved that line from Forest Gump. When he said everywhere he went he was running-guh. So I am registered for the Tecumseh Trail Marathon on December 6th. I am really excited. It will be my 4th marathon (26.2 miles), and my first trail marathon. A little nervous, yes, but pumped nonetheless. I am using a new training plan and want to break 4:30 so badly!! It also serves as motivation to keep my butt running and eating healthy. Not that I PREFER broccoli and whole grain rice to, say, chocolate ice cream, vanilla bean ice cream, or any number of desserts or sweets. But it becomes apparent very quickly to anyone who has tried to distance train that if you gorge yourself on sweets, you BONK far sooner during your runs the next day. I have to eat healthy in order to keep running during runs. Which would be the point... I am feeling reflective and relatively insightful now, but will need a little time before I can put my thoughts into words and write about running. Which I will. Because it is far more than a "healthy lifestyle" thing to me.

I am also back to West Goshen ELementary for Boys & Girls Club. It is nice to be back with my kiddos! They are so incredibly well behaved in comparison to the kids from Main club. I don't know why. I don't even know if its true! There are fewer and I know them better. I am still hiring for 2 positions (if anyone knows someone who would like a job send em my way).

It's my sister ALair's 3rd birthday this weekend. I would rather be there than here, but I have 2 weddings to go to in the near future. blech. Well, free food. (and cake:) )

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

what's up with me

no, i don't mean it as "what's up with you, man" as much as the update-y sort. I have taken a new additional job at the Aveda Salon here in Elkhart. It's part time and has varying hours. I am excited about it because as many of you know, i have an obsession with products and smells, both of which Aveda is known for:). I'll be the receptionist/front counter/scheduler. Sounds good:)
I am starting to move back to West Goshen Boys and Girls Club. Having a hard time hiring new staff though. I have applicants, and I interview them, but my supervisor isn't here this week and i don't know who to ask my questions! I just don't want to be trying to be 5 places at once come next wednesday! But I am so glad to be DONE DONE DONE being the gym director. ufda.
I am also starting Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey. Our church is offering it as a class. Get out of debt? Of Course I'll sign up! I am pretty pumped to get to the classes and learn and absorb as much as I can. I am NOT good with money. I am naive and uneducated in the area. I need help. I guess that is the first step, right? Admitting you have a problem?!
I went to Radiohead on Sunday night in Indianapolis. It was really awesome. I have never been to a concert like that before, and it was great. There were a fair amount of illegal drugs, but I guess it comes with the territory:) Whatever. Not nearly as shocking as the price of beer. $8.50! Holy Cow!!! Andy and I planned on spending money, so it was okay, but it just felt WRONG to spend $17 on 2 beers.
Here's a picture of the Concert from where we were. There were about 40,000 people at an outdoor arena.

And me enjoying the show:)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Vacation in Indiana

My parents and Alair came for the weekend:) Here are a couple of pictures from the visit.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


I was thinking about beauty on my run today. The flowers in my neighborhood are thriving in this hot and humid weather, and to me they are beautiful. Landscapes, sunsets, hands, my family, are all beautiful to me. I enjoy baking and i deem the outcome beautiful. I love to create things and, in a sense, make beauty. i even like putting makeup on my face and enhancing my own beauty. People spend small (and not so small) fortunes on their own beauty. But what happens in other cultures who don't have the same things I do? In Indiana there are a lot of Amish folks and plain is the name of the game. plain looking, plain clothes, plain homes, etc.It's interesting that they have found a way around this "plain" rule and put so much effort in making their gardens beautiful. And I mean BEAUTIFUL. They have some of the most lush (and weed free) gardens and lawns. They also put beauty into their handiwork. Great detail is put into furniture and quilts and anything else they create. They create beauty too...
Other cultures? Tribes in Africa put a reddish bark/root on their skin to make it more reddish. More beautiful. The list goes on. Isn't it interesting that humans love beauty? Love to create beauty? I think it is one more example of just how much we are made in the image of God. He loves beauty, so we love beauty. He has and does create beauty, so we do the same. I'm going to keep chewing on this one.....

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hot days, hot gyms

it is another hot day in Goshen, Indiana. i'm a gym director for the boys and girls club for the summer so i spend my day in a little office and in a big 'ol outside-air conditioned gym. if you know how i sweat, then i've gained your pity. it gets so hot. to the point that other staff come down and say, "Wow. it's really hot in here!" and then eventually leave me in the gym with 65 hot sweaty and stinky children of various sizes and maturity levels to sneak back upstairs to the air conditioned rest of the club where they adorn themselves in sweatshirts. i, on the other hand, have begun a petition for staff sleeveless shirts and athletic shorts. i've also seriously considered cutting the sleeves off of at least one of my staff shirts...
the rest of the week is supposed to remain in the 90's with "increasing dew points." Thanks Gordy Young. bring it on.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Circle of friends...

I just got back from taking the dogs for a run. Well, I take Dakota and Kenai separately because they're typically on their own agenda and I never quite know how it will go. Anyway, I took Dakota first and by the end, I had the lead looped around my waist, dragging Dakota home. Out of pity, we ended up walking. Then I switched Kenai for Dakota. After the first mile, he settled into a lovely rhythm and we had a great run. It ended up being a beautiful night, cool breeze, sun setting dusk light. And now I'm home to finish laundry and get ready for the week:)

I spoke with 2 friends I haven't spoken to in quite some time here recently. Thursday I talked with Robin (Stennes) Bartel who was my college roomie sophomore and senior year. It was awesome to hear from her. And today I talked with Travis Urbatch, first serious boyfriend! We talked for a really long time and had a great conversation. On my run i was reflecting on it. It is so good to be grateful for a relationship and see it honestly as it was. Dating Travis had a part in bringing me to where and who I am now. Travis and I talked about how being together was fine for the time, but we were in different places emotionally and the relationship had to either take a step forward and more serious, or back and cool off. It felt really cool to be able to look back and see that we chose the right one:)

God brings people into our lives for seasons. It is just awesome when you've been around a little longer and those people cross your path again.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Underpants, underwear, panties, underbritches...

So have things ever gotten away from you? You know, like the weeds in the garden, the dishes in the sink, the clean dishes in the dishwasher...the dusting, the laundry, etc? I am going to go ahead and assume yes. Well, the other day I was trying to find a pair of underpants to wear under a pair of shorts that didn't have back pockets, hence, the underwear needed to have no VPL (visible panty lines for those who don't watch What Not To Wear). So I ran the gamut in style and material in my panty repretoire. And then it hit me like a load of bricks. In my efforts to become fiscally responsible (read: not buying clothes) I had worn the same pairs of underpants for going on 2 years. They had all become that same pinkish-greyish-bluish color. Microfiber was pilling. Cotton was now sheer. And seeing as I have an obsession with clean underpants, my entire collection was washed at LEAST once a week, which didn't help color retention. "WHAT IS THIS?! Have I turned into one of those women who just can't throw out underwear, no matter what they look like, because i can wear them...I don't even know....when I'm staining the house?! Oh no! This will NOT be me!" So I went to Kohl's. They had a sale on Discontinued underpant styles. (I find this completely ridiculous. That one would discontinue an underwear style.) Anyway, each pair was 2.99. They were nice. I feel pretty in them. I have regained some feminity. And a few more pairs of my '05-06 collection have been retired....

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Reading List

The Big Read is an NEA program designed to encourage community reading initiatives. They've come up with this list of the top 100 books, using criteria they don't explain, and they estimate that the average adult has only read 6 of these. So, we are encouraged to:

1) Look at the list and bold those we have read.
2) Italicize those we intend to read.
3) Underline the books we LOVE
4) Reprint this list in our own blogs

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath7
7 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery –
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

I bet my Aubrey will blow this list out of the water.....

these dreams of mine!

I have been dreaming a lot lately. i am trying to figure out if they actually mean anything--you know hidden desires or anguish, or if they are random ideas and thoughts generated by some place in my brain. Last night I dreamed that I stepped on the scale and it read over 200 pounds. I thought in my dream, "huh. well that is a surprise." I was also dreaming about a certain ex-boyfriend. He has been haunting many of my dreams lately; we are together again, and usually he ends up angry with me or cheating on me. Replaying the past? maybe. But I definitely don't want to keep reliving things I had hopefully moved on from! SO it makes me think. Did I actually receive healing? hmm.....

Meanwhile, yesterday I took both dogs for a run, separately. Dakota was lagging BIG time by the end, but Kenai was fresh as a daisy! And I have never taken him for a run! I am trying to keep my base endurance up for running, so mid-August I can start training for a trail marathon. The dogs run with me when it isn't a really long run, and when it isn't ungodly hot out.

Quote from 1 minute ago:
Vonda: yeah. he's allergic to chocolate.
me: oh really? Riley's allergic to Chocolate? That's too bad.
Riley: oh yeah. it gives me bad diarrhea. so i guess that means i'm 'lergic.