Who hires someone to scoop up their pet's poop? Who has that kind of money or enough dogs that that task would just be too much of an undertaking? All you need is 5 minutes and a Kroger bag....and that is only if you clean up once a week. If you do it daily the time diminishes to 1 minute and a Kroger bag.
I was so intrigued that I had to visit their website because of course, they have one. It is ridiculous. It is filled with "poop puns." They even have a section for testimonials. Here is what George R. from New Jersey had to say about their services: "You smell that? Me neither, thanks Pet Butler! :)" They even have a "Pet Butler Turdometer" that keeps a running count of the number of poops they have scooped. And if you are so inclined to join the movement there are franchise opportunities.
I just don't understand why some businesses exist. Call me old fashioned, but I will pick up my own dog's poop.
I did finish though and they named me an IronGirl as I passed over the finish line and adorned me with a bright pink medal. Overall, it was pretty fun. My roommate came and was an excellent supporter...cheering us on and taking pictures to update my facebook status, which makes it look like I carried my phone during the entire race to give my "followers" the play-by-play.
Here are some of the pictures. Pictures of my in the swim cap will not be appearing here or anywhere else in public space....they are pretty rough. Below is transition 1 between the swim and bike.
I think this picture is hilarious. Amy didn't mean to take it, but it is after the bike before I headed out on the run. I was eating a GU, which turned out to be nasty. It tasted like I was shoving melted tootsie rolls in my mouth and the last thing I wanted right then was melted tootsie rolls. The face is priceless.
Here is the all done photo. I was very glad to be finished. There are more pictures on facebook of the event.
I feel pretty accomplished this year. Since last May I have completed my first 10k, half marathon, full marathon and triathlon. I never planned it that way, but that is what happened. I've really enjoyed it.
Thank you Amsterdam airport....just another way you have raised the bar on customer service. Except, next time you might want to show the water not shooting away from the stick person.
You can find it by clicking here.
Homemade Strawberry Cake
Adapted from Paula Deen’s Hummingbird Cake
Nonstick vegetable spray
All-purpose flour, for pans
3 cups self-rising flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup pureed strawberries, strained*
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
4 large eggs, beaten
red food coloring**
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray and flour three 8-by-2-inch round cake pans, tapping out excess flour; set aside.
- Prepare the cake batter; in a large bowl, stir to combine self-rising flour, sugar, oil, pureed strawberries, vanilla, lemon zest, and eggs.
- Divide batter evenly between prepared pans, smoothing with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until the tops spring back when gently pressed with your fingertips, 26 to 28 minutes.
- Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto wire rack. Re-invert cakes and let them cool completely, top sides up.
- Prepare the cream cheese frosting (recipe below); frost as desired and refrigerate until ready to serve.
* You can use fresh or frozen strawberries. If you use frozen, let them defrost on a cookie sheet. Then place in a food processor and pulse until pureed. Run through a medium-sized strainer to remove the seeds. If you have some extra strawberries, try whipping up a quick batch of strawberry scones!
** While I did manage to avoid using red colored gelatin, I did add some food coloring to achieve that perfectly pink color. If you don’t care about getting the pink color, feel free to leave it out. I used about 5 drops, but you should add them one at a time until you achieve the color you are looking for.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
1 stick of butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
~ 3 cups (approx. 1 box) confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
1 TBL milk (if needed)
- Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth.
- Slowly add the sugar in 1 cup batches until desired sweetness is achieved. You may need less than 3 cups if you like your frosting less sweet.
- Stir in vanilla. Add milk slowly if you need a looser consistency.
In the days following the event I received lots of emails, texts and phone calls, which have been a great encouragement to me. I have been well supported by my family, friends and coworkers and have felt loved in a time of uncertainty and despair. In all of this the Lord has provided several conversations and people who have been able to lay a foundation of hope underneath the present feelings of sadness. This is a place where there is huge opportunity for lies to be spoken and to take root, which means it is also a place where truth can be spoken and I blessed to have some good people combating those lies with exhortation. I do believe that the Lord is leading me to something "better." Something that is a better fit for me....something that is more in line with my gifting....something that He has uniquely wired me to do. I think that in a few months or years I will look back and be amazed at how this "surprise ending" has led me into a greater story. Right now I am still grieving....moving forward, but still grieving. What is it that Matchbox Twenty says?....."Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." I suppose we will see.