Hard Conversations

As many of my most loyal readers know, I have this bizarre reaction to death which makes me funnier than usual. However, this time around, I couldn’t find much to laugh about.

My sweet mini’s grandmother passed, then 3 days later her great-grandfather passed away, too. Both had been struggling for some time, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Holding your child while they cry knowing there’s nothing you can do to mend a broken heart is awful. Though it sounds odd to put it this way, I’m thankful I have experienced the loss of a parent because there’s a piece of numbness I’ve developed. Sounds bad, right? It’s taken more than 25 years to really delve into all the emotions but it’s been useful. I am incredibly thankful for friends and family who walked me through the what to say’s of this experience – people who know so much more than I do about life.

As I held my little mini, I watched her go through the textbook feelings and reactions of anyone who experiences grief. Anger, bargaining, acceptance, etc. That psychology background came in handy. And I’m proud of myself for being there for her in all the ways I believe my siblings and I didn’t receive. No offense intended.

In other news, my sister is feeling the gravity of working with me.

Me: Hey, how many treadmills do you have over there?

Me: Is the A/C working today? Do you have a fan facing the treadmills?

Her: I have this super important training to go to today – where is it?

Me: *responds with a recipe* What? Sorry. Can we make these for dessert this weekend? What were you saying? Oh, training, right?

This is so much fun. For me!

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I ask you –

Do you shy away from tough conversations or tackle them head on?

Have you ever worked with a family member?

Tell me how annoyed you think my sister is with me! Probably a 4. She’s used to it by now.

(The post Hard Conversations first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Weekend Recap

This past weekend brought about low overnight temperatures (upper 40’s and low 50’s). Best running weather ever! Unfortunately my body couldn’t seem to get it together. Old age sucks. My back began hurting midweek so by Friday night it was unbearable. The suspected culprit: my home desk chair. You know, where I spend several hours a day diligently writing and researching. Still don’t have week one grades. Hmmpphh. I’ve made the switch to a proper ergonomic, blah blah blah chair. Hopefully that fixes it.

Dr. Google informed me walking (and running, actually) can be beneficial for those who suffer from back spasms. As I essentially have the same degree as Dr. Google, I took the advice with a grain of salt (otherwise known in pill form as ibuprofen) and went for a walk. It didn’t kill me and I only had to stop twice when the spasms nearly knocked me off my feet. Successful walk.

September concluded with nearly 33 total miles for the month! Overall that sounds paltry to what fall training began with last year. But it also wasn’t 95+ degrees then so I’m ok with it.

But I did have a solid reason to lay around all weekend and shirk my running duties. Finally! The long awaited premier of Hocus Pocus 2! Not as good as the original but not bad either. We made Hocus Pocus buns – basically disappearing marshmallow buns. Very tasty!

Update: late Saturday I received grades for my first assignment. 75 out of 75 points and a “well done”. *bowing graciously*

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I ask you –

How much faith do you have in Google?

Have you watched Hocus Pocus 2 yet? No spoilers, please!

Tell me about your weekend!

(The post Weekend Recap first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Excuse Me, Have You Heard of Grammerly?

There’s a pattern to the amount of commercial vehicles attempting to gain access to a military base using the main gate. It’s written very plainly miles before and upon entrance to this gate “No commercial vehicles authorized. Please use xxxx gate.” As I eventually drove up to have my ID checked after once again waiting in line behind a semi-truck at the main gate, I made a joke about the sign. These are the responses I received –

1. English is a hard language. – no doubt

2. Readin’ is cheatin’ – please see #1

3. Reading is for the rich. I have no words.

In other news, at the time of this post, I’ll be in week two of my doctorate program. Week one was interesting.

original setup

I’m seriously amazed at the writing skills, ahem lack thereof, of my post-graduate classmates. Appalled would be a better description. Perhaps I should fear one of them reading this and being offended, but I’m not. As I’ve been out of school for 10 years there was concern I wouldn’t be able to do it. All the what ifs. What if I was so out of touch with technology I couldn’t navigate the sites? What if ideas don’t flow and I can’t write? Geez, if this class is the bar then I’m in space.

I wish this didn’t sound so selfish and self-absorbed. Probably should be ashamed now. But there are posts with bad grammar, misspellings, and an obvious lack of citations. Ramen Catholic Church anyone? Proofreading goes a long way in writing. Maybe they expected their word document to autocorrect like text. If I was the professor I’d cry.

You’re welcome, friends. These are the people who might, one day, spell checker-willing, be called doctor. Ugh. Help me.

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I ask you –

Have you heard any of the phrases mentioned at the beginning of my post?

Did I go too far in pointing out my classmate’s misgivings? If so, I am sorry.

Ramen Catholic Church – I bet they have an abundance of seasoning packets.

(The post Excuse Me, Have You Heard of Grammerly? first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Still Writing and Reading

I totally thought by spending so much time writing case studies and research papers I would not have it in me to write blog posts. Wrong! Herein lies the random things my brain circles around –

I wonder who watched an egg fall out of a chicken’s behind and thought we should try to cook it?! By the way, if you haven’t read the book Gladys The Magic Chicken then you are missing out! Fairly certain no one thought it was nearly as funny as I did. Even mini wasn’t laughing like me. Sometimes people miss the mark on humor. But not me!

I wonder how many people picked berries and fruits in long forgotten lands, then ate them and died? Oh dang it, John; guess we can’t use that one.

My very own claim to fame: that one time I helped a virtual stranger get accepted into his master’s program. To this day, I am still soooo proud of this!

The first time I ate Five Guys. As my very best friend, Sam, is also in the throes of her own doctoral program, she’s been in my mind lately. Also because when I need help she’s my first call. If you recall, Sam and I met in boot camp, then went to training school together, then went to Norfolk together, as well. We basically lived together for almost 3 years. Anyway, now we’re commiserating papers together. Huge digression here. Five guys. Our classmates in Pensacola kept talking about this hamburger place. Eventually one night we succumbed to pressure to try it. Spoiler: I’m not a hamburger fan, neither is Sam so we enjoyed the fries most of all. And then we never returned. Anticlimactic.

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I ask you –

What random things do you think about?

Have you ever eaten at Five Guys?

Name your favorite place to eat! Home!

(The post Still Writing and Reading first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Slow Down, Butterfly

Photo by Mathias Reding on Pexels.com

Within the past few weeks, there has been a ton of movement in my area of the governmental workplace. Not only have many chosen to retire, but there is now an ability to ramp up hiring. Truly I’m thankful my leadership understands my desire to lead and further my career goals. But I remember a time where I was hesitant to share what my actual goals were lest I seem unappreciative of the opportunity I had initially been given or it taken as a slight against their leadership. Crazy, right? Yet how often do we as employees think that way? Too many I suspect.

Sometimes I think the glass ceiling is real; other time it feels like a construct, an excuse why we don’t make changes. Hey, that’s the world we live in: every new phenomenon has a catchy name created by some whackadoo computer warrior wearing socks and sandals. No offense. As I’m always on the lookout for originality, I feel frustrated. What’s more frustrating is I totally forgot where I was going with this thought. Glass ceiling. Right. Poof. The moment has passed.

Anyway…as there’s never a right time to change jobs I hope the next few months prove fruitful for me. More responsibility, more opportunity, more people! For someone as introverted as myself, I sure do gravitate towards positions where the masses congregate. Back to my boss – he keeps me grounded (as best he can). Surely I am not the only social butterfly he’s ever lead; often he restrains me from becoming completely burnt out on how many activities I take on. It’s a full time job just dealing with me. Bless his heart.

I’ve realized there’s no true theme to this post. Typically I’m able to tie all my thoughts together at the end. Not this time. So I’ll close it with this truth – you never what someone else is going through. Be kind yet bold; be firm yet flexible; be what you are called to be. And we are all called to make a difference.

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I ask you –

What are your thoughts on the glass ceiling?

Do you usually have a post theme?

Share your favorite saying!

(The post Slow Down, Butterfly first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Playing Catch Up

It’s currently Friday night, I’ve been suffering all week with ridiculous allergies, and I realized I haven’t written one word for a post. 23 words now. I’m on a roll! Let me catch you up on my week.

Still Friday. What a crazy day. From 5 miles to start the day to being able to log into my very first doctoral course – it’s been a rollercoaster of emotion. The twin and I were able to honor our grandfather during the POW/MIA run at oh-dark-thirty. Seriously the mosquitoes are brutal. Then we did another hour of walking as part of the Run to Remember for our fallen SAFB service members. Sister wanted to kick me. A bazillion steps later, I finally showed up to work.

I’ve been anxious about this “first look” for school. We can log in and look around, print some things etc, but can’t officially get started. There was a moment where I thought ‘is it too early to quit?’ Surely this will get better with time. Surely. By the time you’re reading this, class will have officially started. Here we go!

Mini has been sick, as well. Poor baby. I blame her. From the few days of rain we received some time back, the ragweed decided to make its grand appearance. Then the city decided to mow because why not. Hello, sneezes! Hello, Zyrtec! Anyway, this has been fun.

I also attended my first ever Air Force Ball. Despite the lack of, well, many things during the preparation phase, the night was a lot of fun. As expected…it literally took a village to put my outfit together. As it’s been an extremely long time since heels were required, I solicited amazing friends and family for a curling iron – because why would I need one of those – and a purse. Which I swear I have one, but couldn’t locate. The accessory du jour was a sparkly tiara because how often does one have an opportunity to wear that?!

Now I must return to my rather boring life punctuated with football, word counts, and a run or two.

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I ask you –

How was your weekend?

Have you ever worn a tiara?

Tell me how often you rely on others to make things happen? All the times!

(The post Playing Catch Up first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Day in Photos, pt 90

The week came and went and I didn’t realize I had written nothing. Here I rely on my ability to throw together a post created entirely of short sentences and photos.

Hocus Pocus season is upon us! Just a few more weeks until the long awaited sequel!

Mini and I when we realized we hadn’t really made any big plans yet for our Hocus Pocus Watch Party!

Throwback to my very first half marathon – Rock n Roll VA Beach. So glad it wasn’t my first and only!

Losing weight is hard. Making good food isn’t. My compromise is I will eat what I want – carbs, desserts, etc – in moderate amounts. I dusted off My Fitness Pal and have been religiously monitoring my plate. So far, things are going well. And I feel really good, too. Win!

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I ask you –

Have you seen any funny sun visors lately?

Do you have a throwback photo of your first sporting event?

Tell me your least favorite vegetable!

(The post Day in Photos, pt 90 first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

From Issues to Tissues

Anybody else having issues scheduling posts on Word Press? It’s not really the scheduling that has become an issue – it’s Word Press not posting them at the scheduled time, specifically when I schedule them using the app on my phone. When I use my laptop, no issues. Phone = issues. It forces me to stop my day, manually publish the post, then return to business. No time for that. I pay for this platform so I expect it to work properly. Christina, I know you know how to fix this. Help me!

Finally – football is back! Accidentally skipped over preseason. Peacock is my friend. That funny little bird streaming service has everything I need. Random note: mini calls it a pea-hock. No se. If you’re looking for me the reminder of the season, I’ll be keeping my couch company and demanding popcorn. Just kidding. That’s my mini. I’ll be demanding silence, hiding in the bedroom whilst working on bibliographies and papers. Send headphones. I have a grand total of 2 weekends to watch football. Silence!

It’s still hot outside, but I’ve been making it out there to run. The 7am-ish hour is simply the best. There is the slight undertone of fall peaking around the bend… patience is not my friend. If only we could get some rain. Sigh. Mini has been pestering me about riding her bike “a long way”. We did complete two long rides though!

Speaking of long rides, I was fortunate to witness a piece of the World Trade Center arrive on Shepard AFB to be displayed at a later date. Firefighters and other emergency personnel from NYFD transported it. I was in awe. It was strange to think how many of the Airmen dutifully saluting while the truck and its precious cargo passed by were not even born when 9/11 took place. Seems unreal it’s been 21 years. May we never forget.

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I ask you –

What is your favorite part of WordPress?

What NFL team are you cheering for?

Tell me a time you witnessed an event honoring something historical.

(The post From Issues to Tissues first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Tis Adding Up

I should definitely consider managing my blogging expectations before this semester officially begins. By the time you’re reading this post, the semester will have started (at least with student access) and I will be exponentially grayer. Solid assumption. My plans are to continue blogging and posting twice a week, but the posts may not be my finest work. Short of a quick blip week recap and a hail Mary, I have no content plans.

Fall half marathon training has officially begun. Did I already talk about this? I’m not planning to find a race; rather I just want to have a run on the books so I have a valid excuse to escape my computer at times. Strangely enough, this particular Garmin-created training plan does not include a warm up or cool down as part of each workout. It is an intermediate level plan so maybe that’s why? They just “assume” you know you best be warming up and cooling down. Sure, I guess. The good news is I have a pretty solid base – finally – for once in all the years – and I didn’t balk at a 5k right out of the gate. There’s no time goal because…no race…

This has been fun and all, but I know you just came here for the laughs. I shall indulge you. As I’m eagerly attempting to get my gradually climbing weight into a range I’m comfortable with, there has been a conscious effort to eat less donuts and (honestly) total crap. With the addition of a handy dandy food tracker app…ok, I really can’t remember where I was going with this entire diatribe because I intended to make jokes about my caramel-making skills which really doesn’t sound as if I’m trying to lose any weight. No, that part isn’t the joke. The funniness is/was the caramel-making. Initially I made toffee, maybe? It was hard as a rock, caramel-colored, and tasted like a candy bar I’ve never had before but might otherwise be known as Heath. My trusty sidekick stepped in, turned the heat up to high, and I frantically stirred while the pot alternately boiled over and melted the caramel rock. Alas I was successful! A caramel-cooker I am.

P.S. the oatmeal caramelita bars were delicious. And I stayed within my daily goal.

_____________________

I ask you –

Have you ever taken an extended break from something?

Are you training for anything?

Tell me your favorite dessert! Cookies. Or ice cream. Preferably both!

(The post Tis Adding Up first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Tell Me How You Really Feel

I’m just so happy student loan forgiveness is well on its way to becoming a social program. I’m even happier I worked two jobs in order to pay off my student loan, a loan I willingly accepted with the complete understanding I was solely responsible for. Not the government. Not my parents. Me. Because I signed for it.

I don’t want to get into an argument with anyone because you may be someone who is the recipient of receiving 10k to pay some (or all) of your student loan. Perhaps I should stop saying I don’t want to discuss political issues – I seem to be doing exactly that right now. Good for you. I hope it genuinely makes a difference in your livelihood. I hope you realize and share how blessed and fortunate you are. Better yet, I hope you don’t say a word; just quietly accept it and move on. You and I can both read and learn about interest payments so I encourage you to do so before choosing to take on debt.

I overheard a person equating this to the multiple stimulus payments received during the height of the pandemic. In other words, we all received those so how we (I) dare begrudge another for their loan forgiveness. Let me explain. Nearly every American received a stimulus check, not a population of people who signed on the dotted line agreeing they would pay back a certain amount of money. And if you think we’re not paying for the “free money” received, you are very wrong. We’ll be paying for it for the rest of our lives, trust me. Nothing is free.

the weird divots are where I kept eating it

Moving on. I found an awesome cookie recipe! Melted butter makes it super easy to put together; with all the time I saved, I managed to refrigerate the dough for a few hours before baking them. Perfection! Mini sprinkled the tiniest bit of kosher salt on top pre-bake. I ate most of them. No shame.

Hatch chilies are my favorite! I might have a problem because they’re only available a limited time – usually late summer – so I buy all I can and freeze them. The photo below reflects the chilies roasted because the skin peels off easily and makes the most delicious dish covered in pepper jack cheese and baked. Clearly I love these. Fortunately, my local grocery store will roast them for you because, holy crap, the smell of cooking peppers can make your eyes and throat burn. But they taste sooooo good!

Now I’m off to highlight some more textbooks with my “free” education solely attributed to military service. Ta Ta!

_________________________

I ask you –

What is your favorite type of cookie?

Are you a Hatch chili fan?

Tell me how you really feel about an issue. No judgment, no condemnation. I may not agree, but I can be an adult about it. All hateful comments will be deleted.

(The post Tell Me How you Really Feel first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© Running on Fumes 2022