Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Little Free Library

As most of you may know, I am a big reader. I have always liked to read. My library card gets a workout. Now I find myself with more books to read than I have time. As a result, I pay lots of overdue book fines. I was so jealous of my friend, Renee, who was on vacation for three weeks and was able to read over a dozen books. I long for that kind of free time.

Lately, I've noticed that there have been lots of Little Free Libraries popping up around my neighborhood.

What is a Little Free Library? They are little structures that are placed in public places that house books. Their mission is to build more than 2510 libraries around the world and to promote literacy and the love off reading. They are operated on the "leave a book, take a book" principle. I love the concept that books are available for anyone to read and is never closed.

The libraries often are decorated in various themes or styles. Some look like the home where the library resides, some look like schools or churches. You can go to the website and see some them. If you go to the map page, most of the spots on the map have a picture of the library there.

Here is the library on the northwest corner of Oklahoma Ave and Lake Drive in Bay View

Lots of different books in this one

How much is that doggie in the window?
The kitten wants to keep an eye on things as well.

This one is on the southwest corner of Howard Ave and Lipton Ave in St. Francis.

Fairy tale themed

The castle and mermaid


Unicorns too!
I encourage you to find or even build a Little Free Library in your neighborhood. You never know what or who you may find there.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Bock This

This post is a little, ok, very late in coming. Almost two weeks ago, Laura and I went up to Stevens Point for the weekend. Why Stevens Point you ask? Well, beer, duh! And a race, of course. You know I like to take run-cations.

Back last fall, I won a package from the Stevens Point Visitors center. It included a free hotel night at the Country Inn. When I seen that registration was opening up for the Point Brewery's annual Bock Run, I asked Laura to run with me. She agreed and we both signed up for the race when it went on sale at noon on New Year's Day. As always the race sold out in like 18 hours.

We decided to make it a beer weekend since the run was sponsored by a brewery and Laura is my assistant at Fartlek Brewing.

We left bright and early Saturday morning. The race wasn't until noon but we wanted to make sure we a) got a good parking spot and b) had plenty of time to get there and not be rushed. We made it up there by a little after 10. We hit up the gift shop at the brewery and bought a few things. I had only worn some yoga pants because my tights are way to warm to spend 3 hours in so I had to change. There were no real bathrooms nearby so I changed in the car. Which was now beginning to resemble a Ragnar van, minus the stink.

After we pick up our packets we go back to the car. As we are sitting in the car keeping warm, a woman decide to park in front of us in her Prius. In front of us was a home with a wheelchair ramp and the front was all a huge snowbank where they cleared off the sidewalk. After go back and forth several times, she now has her car on the snowbank at such an angle. the right side of her car is almost a good foot higher than the left. She gets out, looks at it, gets back in, goes back  forth a few more times. Not that it did any good. She gets out again and decides that it is good enough. Laura and I are cracking up at this. Laura decides that we are too close to the corner and pulls forward a foot or so. Cuz, you know?

Laura and I pre race.
It is almost race time so we head out to the party.

We line up and away we go. I had not run much since Disney 6 weeks before so my goal was to not die.

First mile 11:11, ran the whole time. Mile 2 12:10, still ran it all but a bit slower. The course is nice and flat. Mile 3 12:35. Took a short walk break, made the halfway turn at 29:50 walked thru the water stop. Mile 4 13:13 a few more walk breaks but it seems like it is going fast.. Mile 5: 13:12. I am almost done. I kept pace with another guy for the last mile and a half. We turn the corner and know it is only a block or so left. About 100 yards left the guy says "race ya to the finish" Game on. I ran my ass off the last few feet and clocked in a super speedy 9.1 mph. Total time 1:02:14. Laura was also super speedy and finished in a little over 53 minutes. She had a beer waiting for me at the finish.

Laura and I post race. Yes, we are smiling. We have beer!

My cousin and a couple of her friends had come down to hang out with us. She missed us crossing the finish line but had some great signs that we forgot to get pictures of. We forgot to tell her this was outside and muddy and it was decided that they would meet us back at the hotel later.Laura and I hung around for a few hours enjoying the party and several barley pops.

We weer hanging out at a table where a bunch of flyers were in boxes for other local races. We found it hilarious that there was one for breast feeding. Seriously?? Do they really need a fund raiser for that? I wanted to run it with two dolls attached to my boobs.

Breastfeeding 5k??

We are now out of beer tickets and decide to head back to the hotel and shower and warm up.

Coming soon: Beer tours