Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Yesterday, I went running. I LOVE running. I could do it everyday. But, alas, I don't often have time to be able to go running. Also, when I am able to do so, it's not the ideal time because most of the time it's the middle of the day and the bright, hot sun is beating down on the barren landscape of our town - which is 6062 feet above sea level, almost 1000 feet higher than Denver. There's not much shade to speak of. I'm usually out of breath. I'm really sweaty. My eyes sting from the sweat mixed with sunscreen running down my forehead. Despite these discomforts, at the end of my runs I'm always glad I did it.

Luckily, my run yesterday evening was very pleasant. It was after 5 PM and the sky was overcast. In fact I had felt a few raindrops but I wasn't going to let that keep me from enjoying a little me time. Usually, when I go for my runs I have a goal to run at a certain speed so I could get back home as quickly as possible to tend to my family. While that was in my mind, this time I chose to consciously enjoy myself and to not push too hard. The words "just do it for fun" kept running through my mind. I seemed to notice that my gait was smoother, that even though I was running hard I didn't feel like I was too out of breath. Near the end, I was going up a steep hill, at which point I normally would've felt like walking but instead I kept going and felt like I could've gone on running forever.

That feeling is why I run.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I Won!!

Okay, most people will probably not consider this very exciting but I've recently discovered a new investment product - bonds. We have some savings with Zions Bank and they have a website called Zions Direct where they sell fixed asset securities like bonds and cd's. I've never considered investing in bonds before but I got an email about a 1-year corporate bond with a yield of 5.35% which in today's market is phenomenal. Also, I learned that 5.35% is the yield if you choose to pay at par but if you decide to do some bidding, the potential yield is about 2% higher because you could end up paying a lower price. Of course, depending on the rating of the company buying a corporate bond is not without risk. Because the bond I'm buying is being offered by Zions Bank and I've always had a good experience with them, I feel relatively comfortable taking the risk.

So, today I got a message that my bid for the number of shares I wanted was accepted! And my rate is 7.1%!! We'll see how it plays out but I'm pretty excited to have learned something new and to try this out.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Too Bad...

This year I planted a small (tiny) garden. We have a small yard so I wasn't very ambitious. In a corner of our flower garden, I planted some snow peas and a few bean plants. We have two rectangular wooden planters on the patio in which I had planted green beans, broccoli, and spinach. Then, I've also planted two tomato plants in pots. I wasn't expecting too much since our backyard is shady and those areas where I've planted are the main spots that get sun throughout the day.

Just when the spinach was ready to be eaten, I discovered something unfortunate. One day, Ellie was playing with a small label she'd peeled off one of the planters. It turns out, the planters were built using treated wood - as in treated with chromated copper arsenate, which was used to prevent rotting. So, this means my spinach, broccoli, and green beans are not safe to eat. Oh, well! At least I found out before we started harvesting the green beans. Darn, I'd been looking forward to fresh homegrown green beans!

So, the moral of the story is, if you have anything in your backyard that's made of pressure treated wood, find out what it's been treated with so you can take proper precautions. Most pressure treated wood for residential use is now safe but it's best to be sure. We will be dismantling our planters soon and we have our kids wash their hands after playing outside.