While I was blogging....at great length...about our trip to SE Asia, time passed and other things have been happening with us, like, oh, my sister and her husband visited us from Idaho and spent Christmas, then there was New Years, I ran some races.... I feel the need to bring you up to speed.
Just to give you your daily "good gravy does that girl love those birds" moment, here are my sis Julia and her husband Jeff.
No, seriously, this is not me. This is Julia. And Spooky the owl.
and this is Jeff with a bird who needs no introduction:
Yes, I dragged them to the Birds of Prey Show. Yes, they seemed very willing to go. Yes, when Julia was holding another owl it spooked and clawed Jeff's arms and across his stomach...some excitement there,
and yes, I got a photo of that but you'll have to ask them to show it to you.
We spent an awesome, and too-short (isn't that always the case?) two weeks with them, visiting the souks and sights, they went out in the desert and rode camels and bashed the dunes, and Julia got to realise one of her life's dreams: to swim in an ocean without having to get out in 6 minutes or suffer acute hypothermia.
We went to the mosque, we went to bargain for Persian rugs up in the mountains, we laughed and drove around a lot, and took many photographs.
Basically, we did our darndest to show them a heck of a good time.
For Christmas, after presents, during which Thomas got his very first big-boy bike,
we did the Dubai thing and ate and drank ourselves close to oblivion
at a very nice hotel brunch that encompassed several restaurants. The kids got to visit Father Christmas and play to their heart's content; we'd brought a DVD player and there was a bouncy castle and the like.
Mike and I were particularly happy with this non-Halal menu option:
Pork, glorious pork. The ultimate in gluttony.
The next day, after we all slept in (except for the one person who was up sick all night and shall remain unnamed) I tried to take everyone out for an authentic fisherman's lunch. Strangely, Julia and I were the only ones who partook in the fish.
Sheesh, I thought eating spicy fish and rice with your fingers, fish heads and skins essentially intact, in a tiny 4 table place where there was little or not English spoken, would be the perfect hangover cure.
Julia conducted herself well at the Predictor Run, twice, forever solidifying my pride in my sis, not that that needed any nurturing. I particularly enjoyed when people mistook her for me out running and also asked if we are twins. She might not have been quite so happy with that question, as I'm older by 8 years.
Can you tell which sister is which?
Also over the holidays we dog-sat a beagle named Aggie. I've been having puppy longings and we are absolutely NOT getting a dog here. Aggie, while a good dog in many respects, gave me a complex by not listening to a single thing I said and did not endear us with her habit of forcing her way out the front door and taking off as fast as her short legs could go. Daily, at a minimum.
I did a lot of sprint runs during that time. Often in my bare feet. In front of the neighbors. Stupid dog. I was truly worried she'd get lost or hit by a car, as she had no road smarts either. Not something I wanted to happen to her, nor explain to her owners who'd entrusted her to us.
Thomas was deeply afraid of her the first few days, not being used to dogs, and a little wary the rest of the time. This did not deter her in the least from sleeping on his bed...after he fell asleep.
Mostly I was happy she cured me of dog-longings. And like I said, she wasn't a bad dog. Even though she did jump up on the table and kitchen counters.
Julia and Jeff went home just before New Years, sparing themselves the additional liver damage that may or may not have resulted from the evening's revelry.
In the morning we lit the candle my Grandma sent us for good luck. It was the first time I ever let Bethy light a candle and she felt darned special.
For races, I ran the Dubai Half Marathon, the Dubai Road Runners Pursuit Chase, the Dubai 10K (wimped out on the marathon and went 10K, still vaguely depressed over that one), and another 10K last Friday.
I think I raced more than I trained. Whoops.
I figure I get points for showing up. Mike and I have a saying: success through lowered expectations.
So, it may not be the best I could do with my running, but it is the best I can do, and when I am running, I give it my all.
After all, I was busy.
And that's a good thing.