Squash varieties & praise to God

I was looking for a squash soup recipe, and came across this epicurious.com visual guide to squash. Included in the article is this very clear map of the different types of squash.

squash

As I was thinking through what ingredients I have in the house (I happen to have #2 squash above), I was unexpectedly filled with a heart of praise: What kind of Creator do we have that provides this level of variety just in one type of vegetable? Each with different qualities to be used in different dishes. And all designed to fuel our bodies, but not only that, a way to give glory to God for His creation.

He could have left us with manna (as perfect as it was) but He didn’t. He gave us this amazing variety of fruit, grain and vegetables (and yes, even meat).  And, strange to think about, but ALL of God’s creation praises Him, including the vegetation: “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” (Isaiah 55:12)

Even the SQUASH declares His glory…

 

 

To God be the glory

Rick and I have been saying for several months now that we should start keeping a prayer journal. I am pretty good about writing things down, but for some reason, prayer requests and answered prayer have not been one of those things. Since we’ve been seeing so much answer to prayer in the past several weeks, I figured now would be a good time to start writing these things down, and what better place than a blog?

Here’s what God has done in the past week:

  • Rescued Peter’s grades from the pit. He was not doing so great back in February, and we had a nice (ugh) meeting with the guidance counselor, who read him the riot act. And as of this afternoon, I was certain he was going to fail at least one class for the quarter. But, praise Him, the grades kept coming in with improvements. I know guys at church have been praying for Peter. I have been praying as well. There is still room to improve, but I thank God for bringing Peter out of the funk he was in and set him on the path to self discipline in his school work and in shop.
  • Worked in co-worker’s life in a way that she can’t deny. My work friend was distraught about a legal situation that suddenly revisited her after lying dormant for 3 years. This situation caused her to lose sleep. She couldn’t get in contact with her lawyer, and the person who was going to help her didn’t show up on her court date. I told her I would pray for her. Praise God again: The judge let her go with a nominal fee, and the case is now closed. She recognized God’s hand in this, and I am very grateful He answered to her benefit. I am now looking forward to God opening up more doors, and it might be going all the way to India to share the gospel. We’ll see what He has in the coming months.

As for running, well, we are glad we can run at all. We’ve been doing a little here and there, and we are looking forward to a trip to Gettysburg in a couple weeks to run a 10 miler there. The trip is sort of a tour of history (thanks to Grampy) + a road race. I will report back, with pictures and stories of good times, Lord willing!

Rick 100% recovered!

Haven’t written in a while but this is worth writing about. First, let me quote John 9:1-3:

As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, ” It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

Today, Rick had his follow up after the blood work and echo cardiogram he had a couple of weeks ago. The nurse also did an EKG a few minutes before the doctor entered the room. The doctor walked in, looked at the picture and the report from  the echo and said (paraphrasing) “If I looked at this without knowing your history, I would say this is a completely healthy heart.  You have 100% of your heart function back.”

I cried. I was overwhelmed at the goodness of God. I had prayed for this outcome, knowing that it was very possible he would have permanent damage. Instead, the way Dr. Kriegel explained it, Rick’s heart had essentially gone into “hibernation” after the event and had come out of dormancy to full functionality. And all of the down arrows in the EKG indicating damage had become up arrows. (I wish I took a picture of the chart.) I used the word “miraculous” and I got a nod of agreement from the Dr.

Dr. Kreigel said he was going to ask his colleagues about the possibility of returning to marathoning. Mind you, I don’t think Rick has any interest in marathoning any time soon but good to know the doctor thinks that is even on the table. But he does have to stay active as we head into the winter months. Back to the Y.

Because of the stent, he will be on medication for the rest of his life, but small price to pay for life restored. His blood pressure is 118/72 and LDL is 42. He has never seen those numbers.

I don’t want to presume upon God and think I know the reasons for anything He does or allows. This was pretty amazing though. All glory to him.

Psalm 27:13 says “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD
            In the land of the living”

We have seen His goodness today.  What can we possibly expect when we see Him face to face?

It has been a while…

So the best laid plans.

No racing for the past several weeks. The chassis was not ready for the engine as it turns out.  I blew out my hip on Memorial Day doing a hard track workout with Rick while training for the NH mile race. Bummed, but so it goes…

We are training again, this time for the Baystate Half Marathon in October.  We were going to do the full but listening to the body and looking at the calendar, getting in a quality training cycle  aint gonna happen. So, we will shoot for a 13.1 PR instead.

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We just came back from vacation. Very relaxing time in Vermont at a lovely B&B. 

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Rick chillin'

We spent a large chunk of that time listening to the unabridged version of “Unbroken”,  the story of Louis Zamperini, written by Laura Hillenbrand. What a masterpiece. After all he endured, the account of his surrender to Christ at a Billy Graham meeting in LA brought both me and Rick to tears. Our God, in His sovereignty and mercy, is awesome.  Highly recommend this book if you haven’t read (or listened to) it. Just an incredible story.

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Awesome...

Race Report: 5th Annual Franklin SNETT Road Race

So this was a fun one, not so much for the race itself, although that went well, but for Rick’s last minute participation in it. God gave us a good day. Maybe today would be the under 35 day for 5 miles.

Rick had signed up for this race with me about a month ago, somehow expecting that he would have time to train. He didn’t. Work, Sunday School prep and general life things have taking precedence over running. With that, he was came to watch me run, and not run himself.

I go to pick up my number, and guess what? Rick has a last minute change of heart. He has shoes, but no shorts! What to do? Take your wife’s sweatpants and turn them into shorts of course! The race director just happened to have scissors. Here’s what we did to my favorite pants:

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Cutoff sweatpants – Rick’s new racing gear

Using the car as a changing room, Rick dons the new shorts.

Rick gets changed in the car
Rick gets changed in the car

And like Superman emerging from the phone booth, Rick is ready to race!

Rick ready to run
Rick ready to run!

It all went well. Rick was a good 30 seconds ahead of me, despite thinking he wasn’t going to be able to run. Came away winning his age group!

First Place Age Group

Overall, it was a pretty good run. Rick and I did NOT run the same time despite what the results say, though that would have been nice.  I really ran 35:04, a little shy of my goal of breaking 35 today. Did hold off the lady behind me though FTW!

5 mile results

Until next time…

PEA Scholarship Scuttle 5k:Race Report

A couple weeks ago, I saw a race advertised on our local cable station for a 5k at the Wood school in Plainville. Was very curious where this route could possibly go and would be good to get a good workout in so I signed up.

But, before I get into the race, check out the new racing shoes. Asics Hyperspeed. I like ’em!

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Asics Hyperspeed

This race was to benefit the Plainville Scholarship fund. Rick nicely came along with me for support. Was nice actually connecting with our neighbors. We don’t do nearly enough of that.

Here is the start. Lots of excited kids who also happen to be taller than me, even though they are only in 5th grade! That is me in the pink shirt. Note the very affectionate couple to the right. Very weird…

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Start of the Wood School Race

After last race and a workout on Monday, I was feeling a little concerned that I couldn’t pace faster than a 7:00 minute mile! After the first mile though, that thought went away with a 6:42 to start. Phew!

Ran through the neighborhood across from the school, then came back across 106 through another neighborhood. Went by quick as the 5k tends to do.  Came across in 20:52 for the lady’s win!

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Better than expected result!

All and all, a very blessed morning. Praise God for the day. He is far too good to me.

Next up: Franklin 5 mile on 5/2. Rick is signed up for that one!

Diane Runs

Old Irish Village 10K: Race Report

On what I hope is the final snowy weekend for 2015, I ran the Old Irish Village 10K in Wrentham, MA. This race is a fundraiser for the King Philip Track Team, which I heartily support. Sadly, no Rick with me this morning. He had to work. His fans were asking for him.

Waiting for the start, with wet shoes and wondering if I was overdressed. The answer was “No”.

Waiting at the headquarters for the 10K
Waiting at the headquarters for the 10K

Warmed up a bit, and off I went with about 60 other hearty runners in the 10K. I went out for the first mile at a comfortable, which turned to “challenging”, clip with the eventual ladies’ winner. She left me shortly after the mile mark. (Granted, she is 29 and I am not. Her husband was the overall winner. A younger version of me and Rick, hahaha!)   Anyway, I could see her the whole time, but my legs and breathing just weren’t there to stick with her. I tried to push on the back part of the course between mile 4 and 5 but too little, too late. I ran 43:50, which is about 1:30 off my time from last year.

It was nice to see Nina at the finish! 🙂 I wish I got a picture of her. I think she asked me “Was that hard?” To which I replied, “Yeah, kinda”. The headwind on Shears Street on the second lap was pretty tough.

Waiting for awards. The pub does a nice job hosting this event.

Inside the Pub waiting for results

In summary: A few potholes, snow and wind made it tricky, but can’t complain about #2F and 7 overall.  Praise God I was able to even be out there.

Back to the tough long interval work and hills ON THE ROAD to get that pace under 7:00/M.

Results from the  Pub 10K
Results from the Pub 10K

Now, onto search for that 5 Miler…

Treadmill Dependent

I really did want to run outside today. Really. I did. As a few of you noticed, I was a little surprised (and perhaps cranky) that the snow that was supposed to have turned to rain showers by the time the second cup of coffee hit my brain and nervous system did not happen as our forecasters had predicted.

Now, I could have “manned up”  and gone out anyway. And I probably should have, especially after feeling pretty beaten up from our last run. There is definitely a difference between the treadmill and the road! Let’s see if the prep is sufficient for next week’s race!