It’s time to sit down once again over a beverage of your choice and chat about things other than just running, riding, and training. Won’t you please join me? I’ll go first…


If we were having coffee…..
I’d tell you that while on a run in early November along the trail behind our house, I ran across this green fruit laying in the middle of the trail. It hadn’t been there ten minutes earlier as I ran by so I stopped to check it out. A lady nearby called out to me that it had just fallen and to watch out for any others hanging overhead. As we chatted, she asked if I knew what type of fruit they were so I sent a picture to Bill who knows trees much better than I – he took a dendrology class as a freshman in college. He replied that they are Osage oranges, better known as hedge apples. It’s closely related to the Mulbery tree, another tree that populates our trails, but in the case of the Osage orange, only the seeds are edible.


If we were having coffee…..
I’d tell you that the two pads on my sixteen-year-old workout bench were really starting to show some wear and tear. I contacted Hoist and with the serial number they were able to custom make new pads (their customer service representative was so easy to work with and extremely helpful). The cost was just over half of that of a brand new bench, but my bench is otherwise in excellent shape, so I didn’t see any need to replace it.


Each pad is held on with two large bolts which made it easy to remove and reattach by myself.


I chose to switch to black pads while I had the opportunity and the new pads remind me of beautiful black leather car seats. Trust me these aren’t leather. The vinyl on the old pads had only recently gotten hard and started cracking badly, and I hope these new ones last for just as many years.


If we were having coffee…..
I’d tell you that last year after Christmas I found these reusable shopping bags at Wegman’s on sale for $1 each. I scooped up five and labeled them: Bill, Joseph, Julie, Daniel, and Jess (I should have gotten a sixth one for Pablo). Over the course of the year when I found a perfect gift for one of these favorite people, I’d stick it in their bag on the top shelf of the guest bedroom closet. Now that it’s closer to the holidays and packages are starting to arrive, I moved the bags to the bed as an organized holding place until I start wrapping each of the gifts individually. Man, I love being organized!


If we were having coffee…..
I’d tell you that speaking of shopping, for years I refused to go anywhere on Black Friday for Christmas shopping – several years of working retail will do that to you. For the last few years, though, I’ve made an exception and gone to the ABC store to take advantage of their 20% off sale. I just saw this flyer in my local store so now I can wait until Cyber Monday to stock up. All you have to do is place your order, request which store you want to pick it up, and wait for your email to tell you your order is ready.


If we were having coffee…..
I’d tell you that as soon as I saw that Hallmark would be selling a special World Series Christmas ornament, I stopped by our local store and put my name on their waiting list. Last Friday, I picked up the ornament and after I put up our tree that night, I hung it front and center. Since we headed out of town last weekend shortly after I put up the tree, I haven’t added any other ornaments. I’ve never put up our tree prior to Thanksgiving, but since Thanksgiving is so late this year and we were traveling, I wanted to have the heavy lifting behind me so when we get home later today I can do the fun stuff, decorating the tree and the rest of the house.


If we were having coffee…..
I’d tell you that while I’m talking about the Nationals, I’d also tell you that it was a World Series kind of birthday!


If we were having coffee…..
I’d tell you about our drive to Charlotte, NC last week. Growing up in southwestern Virginia I’d regularly heard about horrific auto accidents and pileups on I-77 at Fancy Gap near the Virginia-North Carolina state line. Fancy Gap, at just over 2,800 elevation, is notorious for having dense fog, but I’d always assumed it was limited to rainy, cloudy days. With traffic traveling at high speeds on the interstate suddenly entering an area with extremely poor visibility, you have a recipe for disaster, especially when the weather is clear and you drive into fog unexpectedly.

The sun was shining brightly as we approached Fancy Gap, but at a distance we could see patches of fog on the mountain ahead. It was stunning how thickly the fog hugged the highway, just as I’d always heard. Signs warned traffic to slow from 70 to 30 MPH.


Traffic slowed to a near standstill as we navigated through the dense fog…


We made it through safely without any incidents and entered back into sunny weather on the other side of the mountain.


Edited to add: If we were having coffee…..
I’d also add that I totally screwed up the date and posted this last week, a week ahead of the linkup! Oh well, rather than being fashionably late to the party I was ridiculously early!


If we were having coffee…..
I’d ask if you have a race coming up, and if you do, I’d wish you good luck and remind you to have fun!




Today I’m joining Deborah at Confessions Of A Mother Runner and Coco at Running With Perseverance for their monthly Ultimate Coffee Date linkup which goes live the first Friday of every month.  Be sure to stop by their blogs for a cup of coffee and to say hello; and while you’re there, be sure to check out some of the other bloggers who are participating in the linkup.


  • Questions:
  • • If you put up a Christmas tree, when do you put it up? 
  • • Does your state have liquor stores or is alcohol controlled by your state?
  • • If we were having coffee, what would you tell me?


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