Welcome to the Cauldron, @DeborahJHughes and @TopBrassVodka!

In My Head: Spring Break…. time to read ALL the books!

In My Cup: English Breakfast tea

Currently Playing: Valhalla playlist

Daily Run: 2 miles untimed recovery run (Yesterday was a race day)

On The Desk: Merrin Born rewrites

On the DVR: 3 weeks’ worth of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Glee”” as well as the rest of “Downton Abbey” season 3.

On the Nightstand: Bring Up The Bodies, by Hilary Mantel. What gorgeous prose.

Papers Graded: Psssshaw, yeah right...Dude, it’s Spring Break.

BPal of the Day: Spellbound

Hi, Gang! So many apologies for being so woefully derelict in my duties toward you. I’m not a bad blogger — just a ridiculously busy one. This weekend, for example — I had a lunch date Friday, then an oil change in the car, followed by dinner with the Pre-Modern group, before driving 4.5 hours to Williamsburg, Virginia, where I promptly turned around and ran the Jamestown Swamp Run 5K on Saturday in absolutely beautiful spring weather and with my fabulous sister — CONGRATULATE HER, everyone, this was her FIRST RACE EVER, and she ran the whole thing and did it in a very respectable 37 minutes! I finished in 26:13, and that was good enough to nab me a second place finish in my age group. You know, after the crappy training thanks to being sick, and it’s being so cold and windy, I’ll take that finish, even though it is quite a bit off my PR time. Maybe the next race will be my chance to PR.

I officially retired my old pair of shoes on this race, which marked their 900-913th miles (one mile warm up jogging plus the 5K itself.) That’s a long career for a pair of running shoes, so I took advantage of being in Williamsburg — AKA Outlet Mall Central — where they have a Nike outlet. My sister and daughters obligingly sat there for almost an hour while I tried on a large assortment of sales shoe styles. I finally narrowed it down to two: the Vomero, and the Lunar Forever. According the the Nike website, the Vomero specs are as follows:

Secure Fit

The TPU heel counter that wraps the heel is smaller than that of previous versions to provide a snug, secure fit without added bulk.

More Benefits

• Breathable sandwich-mesh panels on the upper for ventilation
• Reflectivity for enhanced visibility in low light
• Heel crash pad for impact protection

Product Details

• Nike+ ready
• Weight: 10.6 ounces (women’s size 8)

This was a very comfortable shoe, even trying it on after a race with my feet slightly swollen, there was plenty of room in the box and the heel felt well-positioned.It is a comparatively heavier shoe, and I do like substance in my running shoes; it gives me a false sense that they will last longer, haha.

I could not find the Lunar Forevers on the Nike site; I don’t know if that means they have been changed, altered, upgraded, renamed, or removed from the line. I’m setting here the specs for another Lunar shoe that seems comparable to those I tried on in the outlet:

The Nike LunarFly+ 4: Durability and ventilated support

The Nike LunarFly+ 4 Women’s Running Shoe combines a minimalistic look with excellent comfort and stability. Featuring a ripstop mesh upper and a dynamic midsole with Lunarlon cushioning, this shoe provides durability and breathability mile after mile.


  • Dual-layer ripstop mesh upper for breathability, durability and lightweight comfort
  • Strategically placed overlays keep the foot centered over the footbed for enhanced stability
  • Ultra-lightweight, springy Lunarlon cushioning for soft yet responsive shock absorption
  • Dynamic support for the stability you need in an ultra-smooth ride
  • Rubber outsole with flex grooves for traction and a natural range of motion

Additional Details

  • Fitsole sockliner for a secure fit and support
  • Carbon rubber in the heel for maximum abrasion resistance
  • Nike+ ready

In the end, this shoe was hands-down the most comfortable pair I tried on. It was also VERY reasonable priced at the outlet discount. So — even though these shoes are REALLY PINK, I bought them.

You guys, these shoes are REALLY PINK:


I have to keep reminding myself that they really are the most comfortable shoes I have ever put on my feet to run in, because… they’re REALLY PINK. I plan to introduce them to a mud puddle at my earliest convenience…!


Okay, okay, I know, I know, I’m stalling and you suffered through an entire week without a Merrin update and I promise, that was because I was actually working on Merrin rewrites and forgot to post your six sentences. So, without further ado, here’s Merrin, slightly earlier on in the narrative, contemplating her half-existence. Enjoy!

In the pre-dawn and twilight moments just before waking or falling asleep, I caught glimpses of myself and strove in vain to hang on to them long enough to actually see something, anything, that might help me solve the riddles. But maddeningly, I always slipped away from behind my eyes just as consciousness slipped in. Like the waves of the ocean, my memories came crashing to the shore, one after the other in quick succession, only to slide away even as I raked my hands through the sand to hold onto them just a moment longer, long enough to believe they were real, and not merely the phantoms of my  dreams. I could never quite tell for certain. My frustration at waking in such a state of near-remembering made me restless and sharp-tempered during the day; my frustration at falling asleep just before I caught one of those waves manifested in restless nightmares, and I lived in a constant state of frenzied desire. I just wanted to know — something, anything at all, about what I held so tightly shut within the corners of my mind.



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