Five Things Friday

1.   Back during the summer, I bought a few winter things on clearance from Road Runner Sports.  One of them was this shirt.  Of course it didn’t get cold enough to wear it until November, and then it sat in a heap on the laundry room floor with all my other running gear waiting to be washed until sometime in December.  And it came out of the wash like this!  It disintegrated!  I know it was just a fluke as I’ve ordered tons of stuff from RRS, but WOW.

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Back
2014-12-21 08.45.33
Front

2.   On a similar note, I ordered some really cool bookends from Amazon to use in my kitchen with all my cookbooks.  They arrived broken.  Heavy-ass wrought iron and UPS broke it.

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3.   I’ve had a nasty head cold this week.  I had fever with it the first couple of days, so that kind of cut into my running a bit.  I’m all for running through anything above the neck but not when fever is involved.  Thankfully it seems to be subsiding pretty quickly.  Usually when I get a winter cold it hangs around for freaking ever.  I attribute its early exit to my recent discovery and use of essential oils.

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4.   Work is reallllllllly looking up right now.  I’m finally getting a replacement for the employee that was reassigned back in November, so my life is about to get a LOT simpler.  You know.  Once I get her trained the way I want her.

5.   On the running front, I’m on par for 100 miles this month for the first time since December 2012!  I was on the road to it in November and then work happened and derailed me a bit.  Starting The Goofy Runner has given me the motivation I need to keep moving!!!

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Tuesday Tidbits

There’s been some pretty fun things going on here lately that I just haven’t taken the time to share.  In no particular order…

  • I had the opportunity for another blogger meet-up Friday night!  Kim from (Just) Trying is for Little Girls (who I’ve been following I think ever since I joined this community) and Erika from MCM Mama Runs (whose blog I really wasn’t that familiar with, but I’m still stoked to have met her and made a new connection!) were staying in a town about an hour from me while they were in the area knocking a few more states off of their lists.  I drove up to meet them for dinner, and I’m just sorry that we all had to get up early the next morning and didn’t have a chance to hang out longer.

Kim’s friends Trish and Sonya, Kim, Erika, and Moi
  • My niece turned 21 a couple of weeks ago, so we had a big cookout at my in-laws’ in celebration.  There was family, booze, food, and cornhole–some of my most favorite things in the whole wide world!  I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed family time, but I think my mother-in-law’s ongoing battle with cancer has made me appreciate every minute even more.
Mariah and Dar (not pictured) totally cornholing me and D)
  •  I qualified for my permit to carry concealed.  I bought my first handgun about a year ago and have been shooting it fairly regularly but I just took the class last weekend.  I filed my application with the state and had my background check and fingerprinting done this week, so now I’m just waiting on the permit to come in the mail.  I’m excited to continue taking more advanced classes!  This was just the first of many to come.
  • One of my favorite employees at work retired at the end of March.  I miss him so much already.  He shared my inappropriate sense of humor and was always good for a laugh, and it’s just not the same without him.  I’m so happy for him and his wife though.  They’re enjoying themselves immensely.  We threw him a little surprise retirement party last week.
The Springville Crew–love them all to pieces!

  • And not that this was like a majorly exciting life event or anything, but we watched The Wolf of Wall Street Saturday night, and it was SO GOOD!  Best movie I’ve seen in a while.  Super long but damn good.
What’s the last really good movie you’ve seen?  I’ve also recently watched Dallas Buyer’s Club and loved it.  And Prisoners!  I had never even heard of that one till someone suggested it.  Excellent movie!

The Long Road Home

The drive home after the Little Rock Half proved to be more exhausting than the race itself.  As I mentioned, by the time we left it was pouring, the temperature was plummeting, and we were under an ice storm warning.  The original plan was that we would leave ahead of the storm and stay in front of it on the eastward drive home.  It did NOT pan out that way.  After we’d been on the road for maybe an hour, ice was already accumulating on my truck.  I snapped these at a gas station when I stopped to pee (one of the MANY times… if nothing else, I was well hydrated for the race).

Antennacicle

And then things just kept getting worse…

…and worse…

…and worse.

And THEN my windshield wipers froze up and things got epically bad.

The last two and a half hours of my drive home looked like that.  All I could do was keep the defroster on high to keep it from freezing to my windshield.  Oh well, it’s not like the wipers were doing me much good anyway.  I kept was having to stop every half an hour or so to knock the ice off of them.  The drive that should have taken me five hours to make ended up taking just a tad over eight.  I was so tired and a nervous wreck by the time I got home.  I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many wrecks and cars in ditches I saw on the way home.  I just put it in 4WD, said my prayers, and took it slow.  Mom wanted to stop and spend the night somewhere, but I knew if we did we would be there for a lot longer than we’d bargained for, so we just toughed it out and kept going.  I’ve never been so happy to see my house in all my life.

I’ve always loved my truck, but I have a whole new level of respect for her now.  She took good care of me last weekend.  She looked pretty rough after the trek.

I walked inside and directly to the wine.  Two glasses later I was out cold.  It stopped sometime through the night, and we woke up to 6-7 inches (depending on where you measured) of sleet on the ground with just a dusting of snow on top.  As much as it sucked to drive home in it, I’m super grateful the storm didn’t come through any earlier than it did.

I’ve been saying all winter long that I wanted snow… I guess I should have been more specific.  I would have preferred it to be more snow and without 6 inches of ice underneath!  It sure did look pretty the next morning though.  And the dogs LOVED it!

The view of the town I work in from my workplace front sidewalk.  We were the ONLY establishment open Monday morning.  Ah, the joys of working for the federal government…

Bank?  CLOSED.  Library?  CLOSED.  City Hall?  CLOSED.  Not us!

I Could Use More Fridays Like This

Every once in a while I have to travel locally for a training class for work, and I love it when it falls on Friday.  That’s as close to a three-day weekend as I can get without using a vacation day!  Two hour drive to Nashville, three hour class, two hour drive home = a full work day.  Yeah, it’s only 7 hours but the way I see it all my 10+ hour days make up for that hour.  😉  And I would have gone in if I’d had anything that needed to be done, but I checked in with my right-hand woman and she had things under control, so I called it a day!

These training days are the only times when I actually get to dress cute for work.  I always dress in uniform khakis and a company shirt when I’m working because I know I’ll get nasty and I’m not ruining my good clothes!

And since I was in Nashville, I couldn’t resist a quick trip to Trader Joe’s!

And Starbucks!  Yes, believe it or not, there are still people in this country for whom that is still a treat only available when we go into the city.  Ha!

Then when I got home I found the boot socks I’d ordered came in!

It had been almost a month since I ordered them (they came from China), so I’d almost forgotten about them.  I love fun surprises in my mailbox!

Now it’s time to get the real weekend started.  I think I’ll start with a nap!  Driving makes me sooooo sleepy!

How was your Friday?!  Any big plans this weekend?

For the first time in a while, we have ZERO plans!  This excites me!

Here, have some bullets!

Walmart may be selling out of ammo, but I’ve got plenty of bullets here!

  • I’m trying to enjoy this week while it lasts because as of this Saturday I will have no help at work.  My right-hand woman is transferring, so that means I’m looking at long days and six days a week for the foreseeable future.  (I know, I know.  First world problem.  “Woe is me, I have a job…”)  I’ve talked to someone that’s interested in transferring into my office, so I’m hoping that transfer goes thru quickly.  And I use the term “quickly” VERY loosely here.  This IS the government we’re talking about.  I’ll be thrilled if it happens before May.  If not, that’ll put me in a bit of a pickle because…
  • We have a vacation scheduled for the week of our anniversary in mid-May.  Not the big one to the Dominican that I’ve mentioned a couple of times.  We’ve still got that one on hold.  We know it won’t happen till at least August, so this one is to hold our sanity over until then.  We’re gonna go back to Destin again for a few days then drive over to New Orleans for a few days.  I’m kind of excited about that.  We’ve been to Destin several times.  It’s always been our go-to spot for a quick, cheap, relaxing beach vacation, but neither of us have been to New Orleans.  The thing I’m most excited about doing while we’re there is volunteering at Villalobos!
  • I got a new wedding band.  My job now is more manual than any job I’ve had since I’ve had my wedding set, and I’ve been scared to death that I would knock a diamond out of it.  Plus, since coming to this new office I’ve had a couple of customers make me feel uncomfortable with their “that sure is a pretty ring” comments.  I know what a compliment sounds like, and this was definitely more sinister.  So from now on, unless it’s occasion-appropriate, instead of wearing this
1.5ct diamond and white gold
I’ll be wearing this
$25 tungsten band from Amazon
  • We got new living room furniture!  I’ll post a before and after shot when we get the new rug and tables and paint the walls.
  • We sold our old living room suite, except for the love seat.  The dogs got to keep that.  Puppyhood rendered our love seat only fit for dogs.  Remember this?
  • I have a new favorite brownie recipe.  It’s by Chocolate Covered Katie.  My friend Shelly made them and raved about them, so, being the brownie whore that I am, I had to try them myself.  Dude.  They were insanely good.  I took them to a Superbowl party, and people ate the shit out of them.  I never told any of them (including and especially the hubs) that they were made from black beans.
I’m worse than a damn child when it comes to being patient enough for brownies to cool before I try to cut them.
  • I’m letting my hair grow out.  It feels crazy long to me!  This is the longest it’s been in years!


Who’s been to New Orleans?  Tell me some must-do things!

Is it Killing Me or Making Me Stronger? I’m Pretty Sure it’s the Former.

I’m trying so very, very hard to stay positive and not let the situation wear me down, but it’s getting harder and harder every day.

My job is gonna kill me, y’all.  We’ve already established that I’m very Type A, and everything is just so unstable and unpredictable right now.  That doesn’t bode well with an extreme Type A.  It would be easier to tell this story if I could give specifics, but my company forbids anyone post anything about it in any type of social media, so I have to speak very generally…

I’ve mentioned before that I’m in a different office on a detail assignment right now.  The position I’m filling in for is technically vacant, and it’s one that I want so bad that I can taste it.  Well, if I had it MY way, I’d stay in MY office, but that is no longer an option.  That full-time job is going away soon, so like it or not I have to go somewhere.  And since I have to go somewhere, I would LIKE for it to be this office.  I’ve been under the impression for a while that the vacancy was going to be posted this fall, and I assumed it would be at the same time as all the other vacant offices.  Well, the first round of postings  goes up on Tuesday, and this office is not scheduled to be on there.  It won’t be posted until later.  Possibly as late as 2014.  I’m so freaking scared.  I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO.  This office is my first choice, being as it’s close to home, but I can’t NOT put in for these other offices that are posted in the meantime.  If I don’t apply for them and then I DON’T get this office when it’s posted down the road, I’m pretty much just fucked.  But if I do put in for those offices and get one of them, they[ll probably consider me “placed” and not even consider me for another transfer when this office is posted.  At least not until the dust has settled after the looming September 2014 date when everyone has to be placed, cut back to part-time, or separated.

The absolute worst part is that all but one of these offices up for bid now are out of the daily driveable range.  Meaning I would have to move.  Get an apartment, go to work through the week, and come home on the weekends.  The thought of that is tearing me up inside.

And if all of that going on right now isn’t enough, throw a huge nationwide audit on top of it.  Yep.  Every year or two, a nationwide two- or four-week audit of the delivery routes goes down.  Those weeks are always super stressful even when nothing else is going on.  When you add that onto everything else that is going on, it’s a fucking miracle any of us have any sanity left.  So in the next few weeks I’ll be dealing with that audit, applying for jobs that I don’t want but have to have in order to stay employed full-time, potentially going asshole deep in debt because we are still in the process of trying to buy the body shop my husband manages, and depending on whether or not I am awarded one of those jobs, maybe moving away from my home and my little family.  Oh and then there’s this little marathon thing I’m training for…

So if you find me sitting in a corner, rocking back and forth and blowing spit bubbles, now you’ll know why.

Disruption

I’m a Type A capricorn.  100% through and through.  I need structure.  I need a schedule.  I need a routine.  And until a week ago, I had that.  My day was wake, work, home for lunch, back to work, home, run and/or walk dogs, shower, start dinner, eat, and chill.  Last Monday I started a new assignment at work.  I’m doing the same job, but in another office.  A larger office.  An office with different hours.  Slightly later hours.  I no longer have time to stick to my previously established after-work routine.  Two nights this week I worked until 6:00 (after having gone in at 6:30 a.m.).  A third night I had to drive to the CSA farm an hour away, so it was after 7:00 when I got home that night, too.  Two of those days I didn’t get to take a lunch hour either.  It’s not that my new office is that much more demanding.  The problem lies with the fact that the office transfer happened so fast that I wasn’t able to spend enough time with the girl taking over my old office.  She was basically thrown in there by District with no clue what she was doing.  So, because I may still have to go back to that office and don’t want to come back to a giant shit storm, I’ve been going to that office on my lunch and after I close my office to help her out.  Because of this disruption, everything has suffered this week.  I’ve run 3.5 miles, I’ve eaten like shit, my house is a disaster, and my poor doggies haven’t gotten walked once.  I had my alarm set for 5:30 Saturday morning for my long run.  I did get up when the alarm went off, but I could barely keep my eyes open as I stumbled down the hall to the bathroom.  The week of 4-5 hours of sleep per night had caught up with me.  At that point, I said “fuck it” and went back to bed with intentions of doing it today instead.  So I set my alarm for 5:30 again last night with similar results this morning.  Only this morning I had a headache on top of it.  (One word: wine.  Does it to me every time.)  So I won’t get in a long run, but all isn’t lost.  It’s too hot right now to start out, but I’ll still be able to get in some miles tonight before it gets dark.  And work this week has GOT to be less hectic.  I feel like the girl in my old office is getting more of a grip on things, so I shouldn’t have to spend as much time with her this week.  As long as I can get off at 4:30 when I’m SUPPOSED to get off, I should still be able to get home and get most of the things done that I need to.  It’s just going to require a little juggling and better meal planning on my part.  I’ve gotta figure something out and make it work.  This marathon ain’t gonna run itself.

*** Edited to add the fact that it clouded up and cooled down into the 80s about 1:00, so I set out to get in as many miles as I could.  I ended up getting my 8 in, so long run is DONE!

Tuesday Tidbits

  • April and May have been positively crazy!  I’ve had to prioritize where my time went, and blogging/reading blogs was the first thing to go.  I logged in yesterday and saw that I had 366 unread items, so I’ve obviously missed a lot in your worlds!  Obviously there’s no way I’m catching up on that, so what’s a girl to do?  “Mark All As Read.”  Sorry if I missed any earth-shattering announcements!
  • Yesterday was my 5-year wedding anniversary.
  • We celebrated said anniversary by taking a cruise week before last.  (Post and pictures to follow soon!)
  • Cruises are not my cup of tea.  However, I have never eaten more delicious food than I ate that week.
  • For the second year in a row, I came back from vacation to bad news at work.  And this time, D did too.  It’s been an emotional week around here.
  • I didn’t get to run either the half marathon or the 5K that I was trying to decide between on 4/21.  I had to work.  I can’t bring myself to complain about that though.  My fill-in had a family emergency.  I’m sure he would have much rather been at work than planning his mother’s funeral.
  • I didn’t get to run the 10K last weekend either.  I’ve had the flu or some other equally unfun ailment since last Tuesday.  So has D.  It’s been an emotional AND snotty week around here.
  • For the last couple of days, my cat has been licking her nipples incessantly.  Poor little things are red and raw!  I see a trip to the vet in our very near future if whatever it is doesn’t clear up STAT.  Anyone else ever had anything like that happen with their feline?
  • I picked up my first CSA haul last Thursday night.  I’ve never seen so many greens in my life!  Turnip greens, mustard greens, kale, swiss chard, bok choy, a couple of lettuces, napa cabbage… And there were a couple of other things I had never seen.  I was introduced for the first time to kohlrabi and garlic scapes.  This will be an interesting summer in my kitchen!

Tuesday Tidbits

I’m enjoying doing the Tuesday Tidbit series.  So many times things happen that I want to document but aren’t in and of themselves postworthy.  Such as…

  • We finally joined everyone else in 2011 and signed up for Netflix.  I am totally digging the instant streaming.
  • I’m doing Adam’s virtual Sweat Your Thorns Off 5K this Saturday.  It’s gonna suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.
  • I’m just getting started on the third book in the Harry Potter series.  I’m rather enjoying them.
  • Me, my sister, and two of her friends are having a girls’ night at a local winery Saturday night.  Every so often they have a “Concert in the Vineyards.”  It’s just an outdoor nighttime concert where everyone brings lawn chairs and picnic stuff.  They only ask that you don’t bring in other alcohol because they keep the store open until the concert ends.  The winery is 3.5 miles from my house, but I’ve never been to one of these events.  Should be fun!
  • I want a boat.
  • I don’t think I’ve ever been this un-tan in June.
  • Work still sucks.  In addition to everything else, I’ll find out this afternoon when one of my full-time carriers goes out for a worker’s compensation carpal tunnel surgery.  Since her sub will be tied down on her route the full 4-6 weeks that she’s out, that will essentially leave me with NO subs.  God forbid someone get sick or have car trouble.
  • We have ants.  Not inside the house, thank God, but they have taken over outside.  I was trying to pull some grass out of the landscaping a few days ago, and everywhere that you pulled and disturbed the mulch, they came crawling out by the hundreds.  Pest control came and sprayed yesterday.  She said we were one of the lucky ones if they weren’t inside because they have been HORRENDOUS this year.
  • Remember that used bicycle I bought a few months ago?  It’s still sitting in the exact same place in the garage in the exact same condition I bought it in.
  • I love this time of year (minus the heat, humidity, and bugs).  My belly is happy and full of fresh local veggies.  I’ve already eaten more squash and zucchini this year than I think I ever have in my life.
  • Hot or not, I have GOT to get my running base back up.  That 10K I ran back at the first of May is the longest I have run since my last half-marathon in April.  This three miles here and four miles there stuff isn’t gonna cut it anymore.  I’ll never acclimate to the heat if I don’t just get out there and do it.
  • I took the afternoon off work, but I don’t even get to enjoy it.  Eye appointment at 1:30 and chiropractor at 3:45.  I hope it doesn’t make me as sore as it did last week because it’s Tuesday.  That means 400s!  That has quickly become my favorite workout!

Tuesday Tidbits

  • I ran four miles last night.  Considering the slump I’ve been in, that’s a pretty major victory.  It wasn’t fast (10:24 pace), but the sign at the sporting goods store I ran past said 88 degrees and I was in full sun.  I’ll take it for now.
  • I’m seriously considering getting my dogs a salt lick so maybe they will quit mauling me when I come in after running
  • I’m making upper body strength training a priority.  When I was running in Gatlinburg, I caught my reflection in a storefront window and saw my arms jiggle.  We ain’t having that.
  • I bought the most pungent, strongest tasting onion in the history of the world this weekend.  Seriously, I wish they would invent scratch-and-sniff for blogger.  You wouldn’t believe it.
  • Google Chrome has been the solution to all my blogger/commenting woes.
  • I keep seeing the word “edamame” in recipes in blogs.  I finally googled it a few weeks ago to see WTF edamame is.  I’ve since been looking in my grocery store but can’t find it.
  • I got dealt a pretty big blow at work last Monday.  How can a company expect employee loyalty when that company shows the employee no appreciation whatsoever?  (I’m not even referring to myself this time, but it does directly affect me.)
  • I’m interviewing AGAIN for the vacant position in my office.  It’s been vacant since January and I haven’t been able to find any help yet.  And as a result of this big blow I was dealt last week, in August I will be short another person.  AND I just received two weeks’ notice from another substitute carrier this morning.  This is beginning to piss me off.
  • This is my 200th post.
  • I’m addicted to Cuties mandarins.
  • I am also addicted to caramel Hershey kisses.
  • I stayed awake for an ENTIRE movie Friday night!  “Just Go With It.”  It was pretty funny!
  • I haven’t bought the VFFs yet.  The photo from a couple of posts ago was from where I tried them on in a store.  I was planning to order them online.  Now I’m not so sure.  I read about Amanda’s top-of-foot pain and Jen’s continued injuries and it makes me really, really nervous about even trying minimalist running.  I’m not injured now, and I’m kind of looking at things from the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” perspective.
  • Intervals this afternoon!