Thursday, December 28, 2006


Since the local news was able to "call" the last election results with a smaller percentage of the votes in, what say we call this a done deal? When in Philly, and all that. Plus, Lenka did send out an email way back when:
From: Lenka
Sent: Friday, December 15, 2006 2:24 PM
To: Sis
Subject: RE: [Proxsemadeni] Er, um, yeah. Best laid plans and all that...

WOW, ME likey Oakland Cottage!!

Shall we just consider that her vote?

I'll give Oakland Cottage a call first thing Tuesday morning and start making the arrangements for our stay in July.

~'rah, I'll let you know about the deposit. I think we should be fine with your suggestion of taking care of it for now and figuring out reimbursement later. I'll double check with J and the budget and let everyone know asap!

A big "Thanks" and a bunch of hugs and kisses to all of you for playing along with me and responding with your opinions, concerns, suggestions, and input!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Not Quite Begging...


If you haven't already, please post a comment to let us all know if you prefer one or the other properties for our stay in Weaverville. I'm not comfortable with making reservations for the whole group until everyone has had their say in writing. Voting ends tomorrow night (12/28/06) at 10 pm EST as I want to call for reservations as soon as possible after the beginning of the New Year.


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Weeks 22 & 23 (Dec 17 - 30)

At least 3 days this week:
Week 22
Warm-up walk: 5 minutes
Run: 11 minutes
Walk: 5 minutes
Run: 11 minutes
Walk: 4 minutes
Cool down walk: 5 minutes
*Total time = 41 minutes

Week 23
Warm-up walk: 5 minutes
Run: 12 minutes
Walk: 5 minutes
Run: 11 minutes
Walk: 4 minutes
Cool down walk: 5 minutes
*Total time = 42 minutes

We're almost to the halfway point in our 49 week training schedule. Way to go!!!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Er, um, yeah. Best laid plans and all that...

Well, the good folks at Asheville Cabins worked really hard to make my *fabulous* plan work, but apparently no amount of wanting, looking, hoping, and looking some more will make a property materialize within their jurisdiction to meet our rather specific needs! A HUGE thanks to Rachel and her boss and the owner of the company for all the work they did yesterday trying to work this out. EVERYONE needing a vacation rental property in the Asheville, NC area should check with them first! The properties that they have are beautiful and their customer service rocks. We will definitely be renting from them in the future.

That being said, there isn't a single property that will fit all 20 of us and allow us to bring along the pooches. There are several beautiful, pet friendly properties and several "large group" properties. Unfortunately, the large group properties aren't quite large enough and understandably, the property owners don't want more than the maximum occupancy hanging out. The one property (go look at Mountain Sky! It's GORGEOUS!!!) that was graciously "opened up" for us all to meet at to hang out and eat meals together isn't equipped for pets. So we continued to work and I continued to look.

I've come up with two potential solutions.
Option 1:
The folks at Mountain Breeze Resort (located about 10 miles northeast of Weaverville) have three adjoining properties, all pet friendly. We can, as a group, rent all three properties or one/some of us can rent one of the properties. They are fine with all of us congregating on the property, regardless of how many of us are actually staying there.

Option 2:
We could rent Oakland Cottage, a bed and breakfast in Asheville. The are also pet friendly and (obviously) if we rent the entire property as a group, we could all congregate there.

Please take some time to check out these two properties and give me some feedback. The property owners/managers both said that while we have a little time to make our reservations (and both are totally open for the time that we're planning to be there), they expect to book quickly as soon as the holidays are over. So we need to get on it. I would like to make reservations by the end of the month. If I haven't heard from anyone by the 28th, I will go ahead and reserve one of the Mountain Breeze Resort properties. That way we will be sure to have a common property on which we can all meet, eat, and hang out.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

[Where] Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping?

Brother Joe?
Sisters 'rah, Jacq, Lenka, Ma & Pa?
Er, okay, so it doesn't work. Anyhoo....

I was looking at the properties that Rachel's company has available in Weaverville and it looks like they're already getting booked up. Sooooo, we need to make some decisions about lodgings. There isn't a single cabin that will fit all of us and all of our needs (and unfortunately the Biltmore isn't in our price range. Unless someone just won the lottery and has been holding out on the rest of us. In which case, "Hey! I'm telling!"). The best scenario that I can work out is the following:

I will rent one of the properties that Asheville Cabins has to offer (my favorite is Hidden Pond) so that no matter what else we do, we will all have access to a kitchen, a living room, and washer & dryer. As you can see below, space in some of the properties is limited, so if you want to try to bunk together, we need to get busy planning that out. And soon! But I can't figure out a good way to arrange for accommodations for everyone, so to save my sanity, I'm relinquishing that responsibility. Where you stay is up to you! The properties that Rachel indicated were in/close to Weaverville are

Claxton Farmhouse
ammenities include: Sleeps 10; 4 bedrooms (3 queens, one room with 2 full beds), 2 baths; satellite TV; washer & dryer; porch; charcoal grill; dishwasher; gas fireplace; microwave; air conditioning; NO pets
rates: $225 per night / 1350 per week for 4 persons. $250 per night / $1500 per week for 5 or more persons. Three night minimum at all times (when higher nightly minimum does not apply).

Rabbit Hollow
amenities include: Sleeps 6; 3 bedrooms (1 queen, 1 full, and one room with 2 twin beds); 1 bath; satellite TV; VCR; washer & dryer; porch; charcoal grill; gas fireplace; microwave; air conditioning; pet friendly
Rates: $110 per night / $550 per week

Ox Creek
amenities include: Sleeps 6; 2 bedrooms (1 queen, 2 twin trundles, full sleeper sofa); 1 bath; satellite TV; VCR; washer & dryer; hot tub; deck; gas grill; dishwasher; gas fireplace; microwave;air conditioning; NO pets
Rates: $125 per night / $625 per week

Cozy Creek
amenities include: Sleeps 2; 1 bedroom (1 queen); 1 bath (bathroom is only partitioned off by a small wrap around wooden screen); no cable or satellite TV; VCR; hot tub; deck; charcoal grill; microwave; air conditioning; stereo/CD player; pet friendly
Rates: $99 per night / $595 per week

South Fork Academy
amenities include: Sleeps 4; 2 bedrooms (2 queens); 2 bathrooms; satellite TV; VCR; washer & dryer; porch; gas grill; dishwasher; microwave; gas fireplace; air conditioning; stereo/CD player; NO pets
Rates: $135 per night / $850 per week

River Time
amenities include: Sleeps 4; 1 bedroom (1 queen, full sofa sleeper); 1 bath; wireless DSL internet; DVD; no cable or satellite TV; hot tub; deck; porch; gas grill Deck/porch: wood burning stove; microwave; stereo / CD; NO air conditioning; Pet friendly
Rates: $145 per night / $870 per week (Rates above are based on 2 persons. Rates increase to $165/night and $990/week for 3-4 persons. Children under 10 years of age are free!)

Rocky River
amenities include: Sleeps 4; 1 bedroom (1 queen, two twins in loft); 1 bath; DVD; no cable or satellite TV; deck; porch; charcoal grill; wood burning stove; microwave; NO air conditioning; stereo / CD; Pet friendly
Rates: $100 per night / $600 per week

Hidden Pond (7 miles w of Weaverville)
amenities include: Sleeps 8; 2 bedrooms (1 king, 2 queens (one in loft), queen sofa sleeper); 2 baths; VCR; cable; DSL internet; washer & dryer; hot tub; covered porch; charcoal grill; dishwasher; gas fireplace; microwave; air conditioning; stereo / CD; Pet friendly
Rates: $180 per night / $1100 per week (Rates above are based on 1-2 persons. For 3-8 persons, rates are $225/night and $1400/week.)

Other options? Well, there’s not much to choose from in the way of hotels in Weaverville. Links to the accommodations that I found in Weaverville are:
The Dry Ridge Inn

Secret Garden

Inn on Main Street

There are all the standard accommodations in Asheville (about 10 miles away from Weaverville and from the Hidden Pond Cabin), ranging from $77 per night to as-much-as-you-want-to-spend at the Biltmore (I did a quick search using and yahoo travel).

I will be calling Asheville Cabins this afternoon to get a little more information, and if all goes well, will put the deposit down on a cabin by the end of next week (like I said, they're filling up!). If you think you want to stay with us, I'll need to know asap since the rate changes in some cases based on occupancy and the number of occupants will help me choose the property.

If you're still having trouble posting/commenting here, feel free to email / call me!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Just checkin'

Just wanted to see if this thing works now that I've got the Beta account. And now that I know it does.....

I GRADUATE IN 4 (count 'em) FOUR DAYS!!!!

yay me.

Mine! Mine! All mine!

Well, I seem to have created a bigger mess than I originally thought by "cwt" (clicking without thinking). I did manage (I think) to get everything back up on the sidebar. Of course I couldn't leave well enough alone, so there were a few tweeks here, a few new touches there. Which is all well and good, except NONE OF YOU CAN USE IT!!! Sure, you can look at it. Idn't it purty? But now, unless you switch your account over to the new beta version, you can't log on and post. Or comment, since we've restricted comments to members. Sigh. And worst of all? I can't undo it. Apparently, once you go beta you can never go back.

Here's what Blogger has to say about the situation:
What happens when team blogs switch to Blogger in beta?

A team blog will only switch to Blogger in beta when the original owner moves his or her account over.

Team members who have not yet switched to Blogger in beta will still see the blog on their dashboards, but it will be grayed out and inaccessible. Once those members move their own accounts to the beta, they will be able to access the blog as before. If they can't yet switch, or don't wish to, they can ask the owner of the blog for a new invitation to join the blog on the beta version. They can then accept that invitation by logging in to or creating a Google Account to post to that blog. (Later on, when they do switch their Blogger account to the new version, they'll have an option to merge it with this account.)

If a team member of a blog switches their account to beta before the blog owner does, then the team blog is not converted. It will appear on the team member's dashboard in beta, but clicking on it will lead back to the old version of Blogger. Thus, the blog will still be usable, but without the new features of Blogger in beta (e.g. Labels, Layouts, etc.).

Sooooo. The choice is yours. I can either send you all a new invite (so you can create a new beta account with which to access the family blog), or you can switch your account over per these instructions:
How do I switch to Blogger in beta?

Thanks for your interest in all the new features we've got coming up! The Blogger in beta program is going to start out small, so only a low percentage of people who log in to Blogger will see the option to switch over. If you're one of them, you'll see a blue box in the sidebar of your dashboard highlighting the new Blogger in beta. Click the "learn more" link there and we'll walk you through the process of switching your account.

Part of this change involves converting your Blogger account into a Google Account (learn more about Google Accounts). If you already have a Google Account, log in with your Google Account email address and password when prompted. A confirmation message will appear to indicate success.

If you do not have a Google Account, you will be given the option to create one. Your new Google Account will automatically be linked to your Blogger account.

Blogger has a new Terms of Service so be sure to read and accept it when it is presented.

That's all there is to it. From this point on, you'll log in to, instead of the usual, to access your account's new features. Remember also to use your new Google Account login information.

If you don't have the link on your dashboard, don't despair. We'll be adding more and more people as we go along, so eventually everyone will be able to switch.

Never mind. I'm just going to send you all new invitations so you don't have to wait.

Why the change? Well, besides the cool new features and the fact that IT'S! NEW! AND! SHINY!, Blogger explains that:
Google Accounts are better protected against fraud, impersonation, and abuse. In addition, by switching your Blogger account to a Google Account, it will be easier to use other Google services like AdWords, Google Groups, Google Alerts, Froogle Shopping List, Personalized Search, your Personalized Homepage, Google Answers, and many future Google services. You can find out more about Google Accounts at the Google Accounts FAQ.

I'm so sorry about all of this... I should have read the fine print before switching my personal site over. If you have any problems with the changes, please let Jacq know. Kidding. I'll do all I can to make this transition as smooth as possible for all of you. Call me or email me and we'll figure it out!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Week 21 (Dec 10-16)

At least 3 days this week:
Warm-up walk: 5 minutes
Run: 11 minutes
Walk: 5 minutes
Run: 10 minutes
Walk: 5 minutes
Cool down walk: 5 minutes

Tired of the same 'ole same 'ole? Change things up with a new trail. Be careful out there and have fun!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Technical Issues...

As you figured out when/if you tried to log in today, our site has been switched over the *NEW* format. Er, it didn't exactly just "get" switched... I did it. And I lost the linky links in the sidebar when I did so. And I'm still not sure what else I changed. So I'll be working on it until I get it back "right". Meanwhile, if you've got ideas/suggestions/comments for improving our experience, lemme know! I'll incorporate as much as I can without staying up all night to get it done. But lemme know quick -- I intend to have it "finished" by tomorrow, game time.

Let the lashing begin...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Week 20 (Dec 3 - Dec 9)

At least 3 days this week:
Warm-up walk: 5 minutes
Run: 10 minutes
Walk: 5 minutes
Run: 10 minutes
Walk: 5 minutes
Cool down walk: 5 minutes
(yes, it's a repeat of last week!)

Rumor has it that snow is on the way! Head on over to Fresh Air for some tips to keep your training program from freezing over.