Matters of the Heart

Quite possibly there may be nothing more difficult than repairing a friendship. Even running very long distances doesn’t compare. Physical work can be trained for; emotional work requires time and patience. If it was so easy to chalk it up to a simple misunderstanding, perhaps we could do the I’m sorry routine, hug, and all would be right in the world again.

This is us

Adult human relationship just aren’t this easy. Or if they are, I have not located them. Believe it or not, I don’t share everything here. If you thought I did, so sorry. Long story short, my best friend of over 15 years and I disagreed on some fundamental beliefs. Now before you wonder how these belief systems could have never come up in all the years before, rest assured they did. She and I agreed to disagree; best friends are like that. As with any strong relationship, we vowed to support the other while remaining true to ourselves.

Upon moving back to Texas, I began to see things I wasn’t comfortable with and I felt impacted the small girl I am responsible for raising into a strong, capable, independent woman. I believed her fairy godmother was on a path impossible to continue overlooking. In all fairness, I have also been down some troubled paths and was never truly confronted about them. For this I’ve asked much forgiveness.

Maybe unforgivable though was my best friend was facing a complicated, unfair time in her own life. One I promised to be there for her through. Instead, I bowed out ungracefully. Be kind. I’m no saint. And so this brings you up to speed on the last 10 +/- months.

We may be clowns but guaranteed we have the most fun

The repair part of this discussion is slow going. We have short bursts of conversation and try to leave the past behind. Our tone is guarded. As to be expected. Will we ever find a new path, together? I honestly don’t know, but I have hope. One doesn’t quit a decade long relationship without giving everything they’ve got to make it successful.

Best night of our life

I realize this isn’t the post many of you are accustomed to; however, on the off chance my best friend finds it, maybe it will serve its purpose. Love finds a way.

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I ask you –

Words of advice?

How long have you and your best friend been a part of each other’s lives?

Tell me how you and your friend met. She and I worked together. I was responsible for training her (I think) and she got in my face to demand why I was “talking sh*t about my family”. I hadn’t said anything about her family, my ex-husband had but you know how small towns are. From then on, we were inseperable.

Training Update

There’s a tiny voice inside me still not believing my fall marathon will actually happen. Nearly every week, I see reports of more races being cancelled. However, instead of letting that voice take over, I continue to train and follow my plan. Except for that one time a few weeks ago. Struggle city.

Keep reminding myself

Currently, I weigh about 150 lbs. Never thought I’d disclose that outside of a doctor’s office. You see, I struggle with my weight; not on the heavy side but on the lower side. When I don’t like what the scale says, I just stop eating completely…so I’m having a tough time accepting this number because it’s only 10 lbs less than what I weighed when I gave birth. My mind tells me well if you’re not creating a human right now then why does the scale think you are?

The easy answer is I’m strength training consistently 5 days a week. Muscle weighs more than fat. Behind-the-scenes there’s a lot going on. Typically during a training cycle I quit lifting – usually because I don’t have a whole lot of time to devote to it, as well as my own personal belief that if you weigh less, it’s easier to run. I honestly don’t know the truth about it. Now I have time to do both. The only workouts I don’t do are lower body because I intend to keep my legs as fresh as possible. Soccer body.

I know as my runs get longer, faster, and harder my weight will find a new norm. And I will embrace it as best I can. Seeing as how I’ve never been able (or willing) to accommodate both types of training during a run cycle, there’s much to learn. Short of giving up on strength training to change a number on the scale, what could this really serve? Probably nothing.

all the Navy references

I certainly don’t look like I’m any amount of time from expelling a human from my body (unless I eat a whole cake) so I’m good there! I quite like the easy way those dumbbells move overhead. My run pace is still on par with last cycle’s paces. And there’s still room in my day for cookies. Let this be a lesson in “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

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I ask you –

50/50 on the fall marathon chances? Or less?

Where did the term “food baby” originate?

Personal motto: “If I can’t fix it, I’ll break it!”

Fickle Life

Literally nothing but net

I didn’t realize how short this post was until I got ready to publish. As much as I debated on editing this to make it longer, nothing came of it. Better luck next time.

Bad news. The mud volleyball tournament is cancelled. Well, rescheduled to Labor Day. Still gonna be hot so what’s the difference haha I was disappointed for a minute, then I remembered this past weekend’s long run went to hell within 2 miles so now I need to ensure the next long run doesn’t do the same. And if I was playing volleyball all day the chances of running anywhere except to get snow cones was nothing short of nada. It works out.

I’m just filling the time with activities until my mini comes back from her Tennessean summer with her dad. Typically we alternate months but after the stay at home order radically changed our plans we had to make up for it on the back end. Happy to report she’s healthy, happy, and spoiled. And she’ll be home in a few weeks, just in time for vacation!

Physiology, not pictured

PSA. Did you know the average person can’t answer 5 random questions on 5th grade anatomy? I made up the stat; thought I’d join the club. Seems par for the course lately. But this is clearly true because the amount of people who don’t know the nose and mouth are connected is staggering. Otherwise why would their mask be covering the latter and not the former?

Stay tuned for a post on things that annoy me, currently in development.

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I ask you –

Name your favorite flavor of snow cone! Dragon’s blood, I think.

Submit your thoughts on things that annoy you so I don’t sound like a complete ogre when I make my own list.

Should I go play volleyball by myself this weekend or run? Don’t answer that, I’m easily swayed.

Collections of Collectibles

So much more than displayed

I believe everyone, young and old alike, share an inherent need to collect things. No? Just me? It’s fascinating why we do this. There’s a premise called “concept of collecting” which allows us to relive our childhood, among other reasons. For me, this is very true. As a child, I regularly visited my paternal grandparents in the Dallas, TX area. Somewhere along the lines of age 7, my ‘Granddaddy’, as we called him, settled on I Love Lucy for me to watch. The very first episode I saw was “Lucy’s Italian Movie” (Season 5, Episode 150). I was hooked!

Black & White, just like I watched it

I can’t name my favorite episode because I truly love them all. May I mention I do a great impression of “Lucy Does a Commercial”, specifically Vitameatavegamin? I even crack myself up!

Thankfully, my family really encouraged my collecting habits of all things I Love Lucy. Presently I own posters, photos, glassware, trinkets, movies: both VHS and DVD, and any other memorabilia you can think of. I have it all. The few photos I have included here are but a minimal illustration of the huge totes and areas in my home showcasing how much I love Lucy.

Every episode

Even thought I named this post “collection…”, I really have only one other thing I collect. Clocks. Warning! Although it may not be funny to you, in writing this post I realized the importance of spell check because if you miss a particular letter in the word clock and then proceed with explaining how you collect them, perhaps this blog format is not doing you any favors. I don’t remember what prompted my love for clocks – spell check don’t fail me now – but I own more than is acceptable in most rooms. Who wants a clock in every room? Me! I do!

Truth be told, only a small percentage of my clocks are in working order. And even if they are I usually remove the batteries. The times are set to important dates in my life, i.e. birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Neurotic? Probably. Creative? I like to think so.

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I ask you –

Favorite childhood cartoon?

What do you collect?

Is my crude humor too much? Nevermind. This isn’t a real question. Rhetorical at best. Forget I asked.

All the Randomness

Anyone else have a deep love for burnt foods? I can already tell this is an unpopular opinion. Burnt tortillas, popcorn, bread. Maybe it’s just a carb preference? Burnt meat is no bueno though.

Cheese quesadilla

I like to play this little game where I stress out about future events. For example, I realized I will one day be responsible for teaching my child how to drive. I’m a great driver so that isn’t the problem. Don’t hold the totaled car against me; there were a lot of factors and not all of them were under my control. The concern is my need for perfectionism. And control. Let’s focus, shall we? To think I will have to calmly sit in the passenger seat while she drives is unnerving. Literally, I feel my heartbeat speeding up as I consider it. I’m sure it will be fine. Side note: Dear Mini’s Father, this is not an invitation for you to take the reigns. I’m perfectly capable to ensure my sweet love will be a conscientious, safe driver. Under no circumstances are you entitled to take this life lesson upon yourself. Don’t get it confused. I know where you live.

Lastly, unless allergic to the key ingredients, I can think of no reason why someone would not love banana pudding. It’s iconic! My Southern roots (Pause. Roots autocorrected to toots and if that doesn’t tell you who I spend most of my time thinking about, then I don’t know what will. Unpause.) demand I make this tasty dish at least twice a year. But why stop there?!

It’s work to make sure I keep the random posts to a minimum because I can’t count the number of times in a single day I consider sharing what pops up in my head. Trust me, I’m doing you a favor.

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I ask you –

What’s your take on burnt foods?

Bets on how many nights’ sleep I will lose and gray hairs I will earn when my mini is of age to start driving? The gray has already started and I don’t sleep the best anyway so please be lenient.

Name your favorite classic dessert! And share the recipe, too!

Hobbies and Hot Weather

Growing up surrounded by four walls and forestry, all the benefits of country-living have been experienced. Minus what is affectionately referred to as cow tipping. You people are insane. I’ve been involved in not only the stupidest activities but also many that have no statute of limitations so we won’t be speaking of such. One and the same. If you’re like me, you are no stranger to mud. You know, the yucky brown or red stuff that plagues your vehicle and clothing the minute it’s considered.

That being said mud can be a secondary word in some sentences. For example, mud running, mudding (you have to say this with a southern drawl and drop the ‘g’), and something I’m particularly interested in, mud volleyball!

Add a little water to the fields of happiness above and magic will happen! Basically what I’m saying is I joined a mud volleyball tournament for July 4th weekend. Aptly named Pig Pen Mud Volleyball, the entry fee is donated to charity – though I do think there is a monetary prize for the winner. My focus on winning could best be classified as zero. I’ve never played mud volleyball, but surely all my years on a junior and high school court will easily translate, right? I know for sure this same tournament happened last year – from what I hear this is year 5 – but I was working a million hours a week and driving about as much so there was no way I could participate.

Fast forward to 2020: things are starting to look up! I’m incredibly eager to play with my teammates whom I’ve yet to meet and most likely won’t until day of. Upon sign up I was informed there would be no practices, the only requirement is to have fun, and most, if not all, my team will consist of city employees, presumably with a median age of 50. I’m not judging. If I wanted to form a more similar to my age team, I would have recruited them. Who has time for that? Alas, beggars can’t be choosers and I’m content to meet new people and not break any bones.

Do love some sand volleyball

Will I be keeping you all abreast of the tournament, complete with mud-attired non-uniforms and lots of alcohol? So glad you asked! Indeed you can count on me to provide a figurative and literal play-by-play of the day’s highlights. If any of you have a desire to travel to this remote area of Texas to cheer me on, I will gladly welcome you with a cold bottle of water and muddy hand print on your rear end.

Good game, everyone!

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I ask you –

How many “muddy” activities have you ever participated in?

Does volleyball appeal to you? I adore playing volleyball.

Gordon Lake and Oscar Park Volleyball Courts, 10am, July 4th. In case you need something to do.

Well, this wasn’t included in the brochure

Until recently – shortly over a year ago – is that considered recent? I don’t know – home ownership was only a future possibility. Yes, it was always my dream and something I envisioned would happen eventually, but it was on the medium-to-long-term list. Semi-suddenly, the possibility of moving back to our home state was a very real decision and one we literally jumped at.

Texas, my Texas

Fast forward to today: home owners! But it’s been a rocky ride. For example, no one explained how much work goes into owning a home. It was easy to be complacent when we knew the landlord was only a phone call away and was legally required to fix whatever issue was in question. Now? If I was to pick up the phone and call myself, it makes sense why I refuse to answer!

No one explained to me potential issues. I mean, how could they?! No one shared the underlying expenses. Grass seed. No one gave me a list of all the things that could go wrong. Hello, $700 water bill. No one will be at your beck and call. See “calling myself’ above.

Am I complaining? Yes, but good naturedly, I promise! Investing in something to call my own, to watch my mini grow up in, to be a reflection of my personality and lack of decorating technique: priceless. Until I see the mortgage statement each month. Holy crap. But when I consider the amount of money paid in rent each month for the past, oh, 15+ years, I could have paid for a whole house. Well, back in those days when a house didn’t take 30 years to pay off. Again, I’m not complaining! Just a little.

The real story here is new appliances. Rightfully considered an investment, the available options are overwhelming. Colors, sizes, functions, and the list goes on. Thankfully we bought a home which included all appliances, minus a washer/dryer. Being the realist I am, I fully expected to purchase other appliances as the need arose. So within the first 3 months, we installed 2 new water heaters. I concurred the idea of waking up to a water-logged floor because the over 10 year old water heaters had leaked/exploded/whatever water heaters do when they die was not in my best interest. Price tag: $1200.

Then came the above mentioned water leak issue. I hope you’re seeing a pattern because I’m not done yet. After getting over the initial shock the bill wasn’t a cruel joke, we discovered the culprit. An underground water leak the previous owners probably knew nothing about because they had been paying the minimal water bill while the house was vacant for over a year. As angry as I was about the bill, I was more worried about my home sitting atop an underground swimming pool I didn’t have the luxury of splashing in. Excuse me, where’s the ladder to enter said pool? Price tag: $1800, not including water bill.

Enter my superstitious mind. The power of 3. Approximately 2 months ago, the refrigerator began spewing ice upon kindly asking it to please drop a select number of cubes into my glass. The spoiled nature of this story can not be overlooked. I guess it just had enough of being nice as ice cubes continued to flow from its confines, long after my glass was full. I must share my mini human has a fantastic sense of humor because watching me panic and yell and rush to find a large vessel to collect all the ice was quite comical to her. Even I laughed at what I thought was my own look of utter defeat. In an honest effort to remedy this error, I cleaned and consoled the refrigerator. Begged is more like it. For a time, we figured out how to get ice without the excessiveness. And I began shopping around because I know my luck.

6 weeks later, ta-da! Shipping delays, par for the course.

My first choice was the ocean

Did I mention I own lake-front property? I’ve already encountered my 3 water-related issues. So I should be good now, right? But, just in case, I have great flood insurance. Superstition only takes me so far.

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I ask you –

What was your biggest surprise upon owning a home?

Barring the differences, or because of them, do you have a preference: rent or own?

Share your favorite story of appliances gone wrong!

A Predicament of Utmost Importance

Heat training has cracked up to be exactly what I thought it would be: a major pain in the a**. Unintentional as it was, perhaps this is an opportunity in disguise. Or else an upcoming setback. Not one to dwell on the negatives, I am navigating this uncertain time. Obviously I’m being overly dramatic. “Heat training” has not been a part of my plan nor is it necessarily happening currently. Really I’m just trying to figure out how to complete this training cycle throughout the hottest months of the year. Now that my work schedule is getting back to semi-normal (read: full days on an alternating schedule vs previous half days on an alternating schedule) there are decisions to be made regarding when to run.

There are a few options. Do I run prior to sunrise, attempt to complete the miles via treadmill as soon as I return home from work, wait until much after sunset when it – maybe – cools off, or establish an alternating schedule of my own to closely align with my telework days so I can run outdoors mid-morning? Most likely it will be a seemingly weird combination of all these things.

Pay very close attention

It’s probably best this way. I couldn’t imagine Texas being anything other than the hot state it is. Let’s not get started on global warming and climate change. If things go as the all-knowing meteorologists predict, it will most likely hit 105 sweltering degrees some time this week and I’ll be forced to make a decision well out of my control so I best get started deciding now. I took a short break two weeks ago to mull over this issue. Well…actually…hormones and laziness got to me so I decided to skip runs 3 & 4 and focus on recharging my batteries. The body can only take so much GO, GO, GO before it warns you that you may be demanding too much. Besides, breaks are as important (perhaps more important) than the gas pedal. Knowing when to stop is complicated and requires heeding the warning signs. I’m slowly figuring this out.

My trusty trail

Nonetheless, the show must go on! On the bright side there’s only about 5 more months of hot weather which delivers me right to the doorstep of the marathon. How thoughtful. Though I’m hopefully kidding. It will surely become more manageable as time marches on. Not lost on me is the distrust I have in my body now. Performance is based on all cylinders correctly firing at the right time to produce optimal results. Without my temperature regulator, or with a confused regulator, I’m hesitant to push past the point of no return. I guess that’s why God made Fall.

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I ask you –

Training for anything? Do tell!

Is your workplace returning to “normal”? What does that look like for you?

What’s your favorite season and why?

Keys to Success – the Parent Edition

As luck would have it, I’m an early riser. Have been since I was a little girl. Despite the luckiness, some would say a curse, my body has a difficult time sleeping in, or whatever you mortals call it. So during times of inherent sleeping late events – say, Mother’s Day or after a very late night – I magically awake during the wee hours with no further recourse. A drag, I know.

The true magical fruit

Some might ask what exactly the problem is here? Answer: I have created a miniature version of myself who does not understand the respectfulness that is allowing her parent figure to have these early morning hours to herself.

I enjoy solitary time with my cup o’ caffeine and a rousing game of Gummies. Occasionally I check email but that tends to look like work and I will have none of it. But when the smaller person awakes it suddenly becomes a very tiring endeavor to do anything alone.

She hoards my coffee cup of magical beverage, she invades my personal space, and she politely demands to watch her favorite cartoons. There goes quiet time.

Our love of classic cartoons runs deep

But being the resourceful mother I am, I have devised a few ways to circumvent the invasion. 1) Hide. This rarely works because my child has some sort of built in mommy-locator radar. Reminder: look up patents. 2) Give in. You sit beside me, I’ll sit here, you do your thing and I’ll do mine. Ridiculous. This never works. 3) Compromise. Get back into bed, prop up with pillows, and ensure my body is sufficiently touching hers enough to give the illusion I am still sleeping beside her so she won’t wake up to search for me. Eureka! I’ve found the keys to the castle!

At the time of this writing, I have been laying here for approximately 1 hour, have just finished my coffee, AND have entertained myself. The day can now begin. I’m ready for anything.

Except mindless cartoons. I’ll never be ready. Snuggles, however, are much different.

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I ask you –

Wise parents, what have you done to balance your needs with your child’s?

Early riser or all nighter? What’s it like sleeping in? Tell me!

Are children naturally prone to get up early? Nature vs. nurture? I’m like my dad. My mother and sister could sleep all day if allowable.

Is there space for this?

Pick a type, any type

Sometimes I have an overwhelming need to be in charge of things. And then I remember the freedom that comes from not being a decision maker. Personality flaw. Freedom from deep responsibility vs the notion if you want something done right, do it yourself!

In this case, the natural tendency to bark orders comes honestly, as we’ve discussed at length before. It’s a trait of the Type A’s. I excel at this. But more important than giving orders is the requirement to sit my bossy self down when it’s not my turn. Therein lies the problem.

I just can’t do it! Pre-dating the popular phrase “see something, say something” this is still my motto. Thankfully I’m now in a workplace where I don’t feel relegated to a corner, instructed to keep my mouth shut. In all fairness, this was a military-related issue, not a civilian workforce issue. On the opposing team, there are those happy to be told the who/what/when/where of life. Envious at best. Why can’t I be one of them?

Well, in a way, I’m forced to be such. No longer a boss yet able to make standalone decisions that impact others is a happy medium. A compromise, if you will. Though never intended it does give the day a certain amount of balance. And you know how much I love that word. I can easily defer to the decision makers… or wing it. If you can imagine a wild, sneaky smile, then you are accurately envisioning my face. I wholeheartedly believe in my uncanny ability to successfully wing it!

Winging it all the way

So I guess I really don’t do well with bowing out of orders. Big surprise. Good thing I share these thoughts with you all. Maybe it will help one person. If not, you know where to go when it’s time to get s**t done!

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I ask you –

Is it possible to experience the best of both worlds?

Should I stop winging it? Surely not. It’s going so well!

It’s not lost on me the symbolism of my catch phrase and the entity I work for. Get it, get it!