Merchandise Pages!! Live!!

Coffee Mugs – because YES!

Shirts – t-shirts and tanks

Good morning everyone! I finally have the merch campaign live. Obviously this is a special post for a variety of reasons. One being I pulled the trigger and set up a merchandise page, period. Truth be told, my sister was a huge (read: main) part in getting this done because I would’ve drug my feet even longer.

Click on the links above (Coffee Mugs or Shirts) to check out the pages. For now, I have limited options but eventually I will be adding stickers, bags, etc. Let me know if there’s something specific you’d like to see! I’m not trying to retire on merchandise sales (big laugh here)…just looking to spread the word about what I’m accomplishing and, one day, when I open my shoe store/coffee shop/wine bar/library I’ll be ahead of the game! And then I’ll retire.

Please note: I chose to use a third party for the time being so you don’t have to wait forever for me to ship things and so I don’t have access to your personal or financial information. I fully realize many of you don’t know me outside of posting here; trust me, that’s a win!

Thank you! -Running on Fumes

Office Life / Cold Front

My office has a serious Crumbl cookie addiction. As well as donut addiction. If you want to get something into the hands of leadership quickly, we can be bribed. Everyone has a price!

Speaking of office stuff, when the going gets tough, I remind myself of an instance where I helped a stranger get into their master’s program. Well, it was a miniscule part but I played it. Seeing as how it was several years ago, I imagine they have since graduated. Pretty proud!

Again, on the office theme, I have encountered some really beautiful sunrises lately. The only problem is I’m usually driving and too lazy to pull over. Being punctual is my thing. Although my phone doesn’t take the best sun photos, you get the idea. I adore the mornings. There’s just something about a new day, waking up before others, the quiet stillness of the world early in the day. Before life gets crazy. Before the sun starts boiling me alive. The days are getting shorter hence the darkness is lasting longer. Bring on Fall!

We’re getting closer to the closing of Hell’s Gate aka end of summer in Tejas. Not close enough. Sadly I missed the opportunity to run last week when it was a blizzard-like 59°. Break out the parkas, folks. I’ll get my cold weather running gear. It’s a party!

Alas, a day later, it was 99° outside and 78° in the office. Have I mentioned I miss teleworking?

________________________

I ask you –

Does your office have a particular addiction?

What are the average daily temperatures where you live?

Tell me an office skill you’re not proud to be good at! I’m getting good at work order requests.

Fall Training Schedule

Considering this upcoming race. Coincidentally – or is it? – a trip to TN would enable mini to see her dad and family during the Thanksgiving timeframe.

No word yet on Morgan from Oregon’s plans to attend Run the Rail mid-October. Since I got the plague from hell in August, discontinued my run streak, and had to remember how to breathe properly, anything long distance before November is probably a no go.

There’s also Rock ‘n Roll San Antonio. The Stars at Night Half isn’t a viable option this year because it will be the same weekend mini heads back to TN for Christmas break.

Speaking of, I was a few paragraphs back, there was a week in there where I went to the doctor or was on the phone with a doctor at least once a day. They are nice and all, but I try to avoid, know what I mean? Anyway, I began to notice a troubling pattern. They don’t measure how tall adults are anymore. Yes, they ask how tall you are, but they don’t physically verify. Two problems: 1) I could be lying when I say I’m 6 ft (yet she didn’t even blink an eye) and 2) hearing the words “You’ve grown” isn’t exactly a compliment as an adult. Bet she didn’t really write down 6ft on my chart. Hmmmppphhh.

Relatedly, sort of, in the Navy they called shoes “go fasters”. The more I think about it, I realize that was the ‘kind, new Navy’ saying something positive about passing a PRT, etc. because I have never called my new running shoes “go fasters”. Instead, I internally refer to them as the shoes that will kick someone’s a**. I will outrun a cheetah in my new shoes! I am faster than Olympians in my new shoes! There’s a meme circulating on social media that says something like…why doesn’t anyone ask me (as an adult) how fast I can run in my new shoes…and I totally agree. It’s BS. You better ask me!! And I’ll be happy to demonstrate. But sometimes I just ask my shoes to get me home. You know what? That’s ok, too!

Hotter’n Hell Hundred went off without a hitch, to my understanding. More like best guess, Kel. I went to my usual viewing spot and didn’t see a single thing. Not one kit-clad cyclist was located. For a minute, I thought I got the date wrong. Alas, my final thought was since the annual bicyclist event was not held last year, they had an extra year to work on speed and sped through the course in record time. It could also be because I slept in and was approximately 2 hours late to the location. Or I read the map wrong. Really, it’s anyone’s guess what happened. I’m going with extraordinarily fast cyclists though. Just pretend there’s a super awesome photo here of thousands of cyclists.

______________________

I ask you –

Any race suggestions? Or know of something I’m missing? Preferably early December.

Does your doctor ask how tall you are or take a measurement?

Participants in Hotter’n Hell Hundred next year – leave your name below so I can get insider information. I need an accountability partner!

RoF – Caffeine Injected!

Sociologists tell us that even the most introverted individual will influence 10,000 other people during his or her lifetime. 

Smash House Coffee

Meet Marcy, a self-described quiet woman and owner of Smash House Coffee, located at 215 N Yosemite St, Iowa Park, TX. Personally, I like her drive and careful attention to detail. She declined to be photographed, but she’s beautiful – you can’t miss her!

Every name has a story…Smash House doesn’t disappoint!

The difference between Smash House Coffee and other coffee shops is the open band area. Marcy’s children and their friends play for Outcast Rising, formerly known as Revelation; this area showcases their talents and encourages patrons to visit for more than their coffee fix.

Originally just the bottom floor of her husband’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu business, the idea for a coffee shop may have come about some time before even Marcy was ready. You’ll have to ask her! Smash House Coffee is certainly a downtown novelty; several years ago there were rumors of a coffee shop being opened but it never materialized. So when it came time to get started, Marcy wasn’t even sure how to make many of the coffee drinks customers know and love; therefore, she had to learn quickly! She isn’t the chatty barista you might expect, but she encourages you to take a seat and stay awhile. Also, first weekend of each month, Smash House hosts Cars and Coffee, typically at 8am where local (and non-local) car enthusiasts can show off their hobbies!

From a dirty chai latte to CJ’s Caramel Macchiato to homemade smoothies and local baked goods, Smash House Coffee fills a void in Iowa Park. My usual order is iced coffee with heavy cream and sugar free vanilla. I’m boring. But it never disappoints. And at Marcy’s price point, I could drink one every day for a week and spend slightly more than $20.

You can find out more about Smash House by visiting them at Facebook. Stop by, grab a drink, and tell them Running on Fumes sent you!

Want to See More?

If you or someone you know owns or frequents a favorite coffee establishment and you’d like to be featured (or nominate them to be featured), please comment below!

Cheers to the Caffeine Injected series!

An Open Letter

…to the pretzel shop in our rather dismal, dying mall.

Dear Pretzel Peoples, I really needed you to come through for me. Let me explain: my kindergartner just finished her first full week of school. Earlier in the week, this child (my child) who rarely asks for anything, asked – politely – if we could go to the mall this weekend to get pretzel bites. As any proud mom would do, I smiled and replied affirmative. The weekend came. After many other unexplainable events of which were not her fault, we arrived at said mall to purchase said pretzel bites. “The ones that are all buttery and delicious”, she said. Unbeknownst to us, your pretzel bite location was closed. To my shock, I read the posted sign detailing your legal and financial woes. As my young child stared in horror at the darkened heat lamps and noticeable lack of “buttery pretzel bite” smell, the realization began to sink in. There would be no pretzel bites for her today. And, according to the date in March 2021, there had not been any pretzel bites in quite some time. I hope you understand this: I get it. Times are hard, the economy is a rollercoaster, the list goes on. But I made a promise to a young lady who had her heart set on pretzel bites. Yes, the buttery, delicious ones. Of which you let me down. You, pretzel people, did not hold up your end of the bargain. Therefore, I had a sad, disappointed, mildly angry child to explain to, in an age-appropriate way, why there would be no pretzel bites today. I SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN IN THIS SITUATION! You should be ashamed of the second-best option I presented to her. Sure, cookies and smoothies and coffee are some of her favorite things. To be honest, they are some of my favorite things, as well. However, they were not pretzel bites! They were not what I promised. You should make this right. Sincerely, the mother of a pretzel bite-loving girl.

__________________________

I ask you –

Have you ever made a promise you couldn’t fulfill but which was completely out of your control?

Do you enjoy pretzel bites?

Please pass this on to anyone you may know whom owns a pretzel bite business. They need to know how important this business is to at least one young girl.

I Wasn’t Ready!

Well, it happened. I don’t know yet how I feel about it, but it didn’t wait on me to decide. Kindergarten just sprang up, like a sudden slap in the face. You’re overly dramatic, Kel. Yesterday she was a baby, today is Day 3 of the beginning of her not needing me anymore. Sigh. If she’d just sleep in her own bed, I might not complain so much. Fat chance.

“Remember when you won Bluejacket of the Quarter?” No, actually, I didn’t remember that until you mentioned it. Reminiscing on my time in the Navy can be something else. The Air Force does an event called a Release Party when Airmen promote. I find this interesting because the Navy celebrates everything with cake. I don’t know about you, but I prefer cake to a party any day. I love cake!

So I’ve been sick for weeks now it seems. And as soon as I get well, then someone else in our house gets sick. If we could all just be well at the same time I’d really appreciate it.

My run streak is broken. A tragedy. See above sickness. I could have ran, I know I could have. But I didn’t. I just wanted to get well! In other related news, my running friend, Morgan from Oregon, has an interest in running Run the Rail. In the late 1990’s, two railroads, the Union Pacific and the Chaparral, decided to cease active service and “railbanked” this stretch of rail bed making it available for non-motorized activities, hence the 6th annual Run the Rail Half Marathon. This year will be the first time a marathon distance is offered. I’m considering running with Morgan, but the decision needs to be made like…NOW…because there’s only 6 weeks until this race and I’m currently training at a max 5k distance.

Day 2

First day of school takeaway: lunch is the best part of the day. Can’t argue. I guess it was so great she left her thermos in the cafeteria and decided to eat school-offered lunch vice taking her own on the second day. In her defense, Friday was pizza day.

Anybody else remember school pizza? It was amazing!

______________________

I ask you –

What year did you graduate high school?

Do you have little people in school? What grades?

Tell me your favorite school meal!

Reflections

Something about knowing my daughter is now – pretty much – solely in my care has flipped a switch inside my brain. I don’t get the usual anxiety-ridden moments of overwhelming sadness yet simultaneous lack of patience feeling lately. Knock on wood. Her whole life has been spent on a week on/week off, month on/month off schedule and although she may be accustomed to it as best she can be, it really wears on adults, too. The lack of fretting about jamming months’ worth of activities, snuggles, and meal plans into 30 days is a relief. I understand I can only speak to my side of this story. Mini’s dad is definitely dealing with some big emotions because she’s not with him regularly. Everyone does the best they can, but I can’t imagine how tough it is on the parent(s) who relinquish time with their children.

Characteristics of the wise: friendliness, listening, and justice. Power resides in the people who don’t let others control their emotions. This is huge! These days the divisiveness that exists is enough to make me scream. Rather than unity, our world is experiencing an upheaval most of us have never experienced. Sure, we’re but one generation of many; however, this world is our children’s future. It’s scary to consider. When I think about big events impacting my life until this point, it almost follows a predictable path. In my 20’s, I thought it was the best time in my life. I had independence, tangible goals, and I discovered myself. Age 25 was, by far, the wildest year ever – the stories that come from it are so uncharacteristic of me.

baking with Madam Butterfly

When mini was born, I was exactly 30 and it brought about a whole other era. Halfway through my 30’s now, I consider this the decade of finding the best everything. Solid career, raising a clone, doing the dance mom thing, but still searching for what will make my next chapter in life successful. Others say their 40’s is the prime of life. Still some say 50’s. Definitely subjective. Recently I had a conversation regarding how many people you knew from Kindergarten do you now consider successes? The definition of success ranged from seeing the world/leaving your home town to serving in the military to becoming a professional in a notable field, like medicine. Please note: obviously we all measure success differently and by no means must you do any of the above to feel successful. Just waking up each day is a success in my book!

Being an adult means there’s a level of respect I don’t think I deserve. Whenever I tell “kids” to do something, I fully expect them to say something along the lines of “Who put you in charge? Who do you think you are? You’re a kid, too!” I’m completely amazed – and silently pleased with myself – when people listen to me, as if I know anything! This is my success.

_______________________

I ask you –

Does reflecting feel like a walk down memory lane or a lesson in futility?

When was your “prime” and why do you feel that way?

Name one element of “success”! Learning to enjoy wine.

RoF – Caffeine Injected!

Lately, I’ve had the privilege of exploring new (to me) coffee shops in the surrounding area. From South Padre Island (Cafe Karma) to my favorite food truck (Chicka D’s) to our local coffee house (Smash House), the best coffee can be found in locally-owned businesses. My goal is to make this a Friday special feature; please give me your feedback as we get started!

As part of my new series, Caffeine Injected, I’m paying homage to and featuring small coffee shops with the best customer service and coffee, of course!

217 Coffee

Meet Addie and Cailyn, the sweetest young women I met while passing through Nocona, TX. Both ladies provided conversation, excellent customer service, and barista knowledge in helping us order exactly what we wanted. Located at 217 Clay St in downtown Nocona, 217 Coffee opened in summer 2020 and I can’t imagine it was quiet for long! They are conveniently located near the Classic Car Museum, too!

Tons of seating

I ordered an Iced Latte made with heavy cream and sugar free brown sugar cinnamon syrup. Mini had a Iced Chai Latte and my other half ordered 2 fancy pigs in a blanket, which 217 Coffee calls “Pig Oh’s”. Every item had rave reviews, including mini who said it was the best chai latte she’d ever had. I was given the option of my iced latte being made with either cold brew coffee or shots of espresso, but I vetoed the latter in anticipation of cake later in the day.

You can find our more about 217 Coffee on Facebook or Instagram. If you’re ever in the area, please stop by and tell them Running on Fumes sent you!

Want to See More?

If you or someone you know owns or frequents a favorite coffee establishment and you’d like to be featured (or nominate them to be featured), please comment below!

Cheers to the Caffeine Injected series!