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!

___________________________________

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*

_____________________

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

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.

___________________________

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!

___________________

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.

___________________________

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

Degree Prep

And it begins.

Dissertation ideas:

  1. Do mosquito bites correlate to high blood volume from intense exercise, like running? Or is it because I’m extra hydrated because I run?
  2. (Nothing else. Just #1)

210 emails awaited my one week hiatus. 210. I like to think I’m popular but really it’s most likely people are desperate. I know nothing! Ctrl + A, Delete. My job has certainly prepared me to tackle many moving parts at once.

Contrary to my common sense – which seems to be in short supply lately – I signed up for Civilian Mentoring Connection (CMC) 102. If you recall, I just completed CMC 101. We’ll be touring my building. Sounds like fun. I plan to ask obnoxious questions like I don’t work there. I also requested a mentor, but no word yet on if I get to keep my previous mentor or if I get a new one. (Update: I got a new one. She’s blunt. I like her.) After reading my blog posts, I bet it was a short end of the straw type of deal on who got me.

In all seriousness, I’m ready to get this doctorate party started. Books are ordered and delivery scheduled, fees paid, pens and highlighters at the ready; all I’m waiting on is the syllabus. Then I’ll panic.

So how’s the running going, Kel? Well, it’s going. I’m on a 5k training plan which culminates the weekend after I start school. Turns out I do much better when I have a plan, but indoor running is for the birds. I’m sick of it. Last week I did get an opportunity to run outside – it was glorious! At the time of this posting we “should” be done with triple digit temps. Just in time for Hotter’N Hell. Maybe I’ll join them again for a quick run while they peddle furiously towards the nearest rest stop. Always makes for a lively event when they comment how two wheels are better than whatever I’m doing. (Update: we received a few inches of rain and temps dropped to the high 60s. I ran outside in the rain!)

In this heat, the cyclists may be right. Two wheels are better.

_________________

I ask you –

Your thoughts on my dissertation topic?

What were my original chances of getting the same mentor?

Mini wanted to write the last word: catherine

How Friendships Flourish

There’s an element of sisterhood I find so very appealing presumably because I always had an instant friend in my own sister. Womb mates. Generational friendships are special and life giving when, like flowers, they are kept watered and tended.

Life change: my twin made a huge change and moved to N. TX. Specifically…moved in with me. We haven’t lived together since age 16. Did I ever mention how we would fight constantly? Probably for the best I don’t share those stories. As we are now much older and can communicate like adults, I don’t foresee fighting but the day is young. Jokes! Perhaps our opposite personalities do attract. Or else we just know we’re stuck with each other and that’s that. Nonetheless, she is here now and it’s been a welcomed change. I recall the first time I left my “hometown” – it was a little scary and unknown but one tends to get used to it. She most certainly will, as well.

Next up is a special visit from our neighbors when living in Norfolk, VA. It took some time but we developed a friendship with them mostly due to the fact we have a social butterfly mini and they had two beautiful, social dogs. The running joke was mini would refer to the dog’s owner as “Dog Dog”. She was not amused. It took awhile but mini eventually learned our neighbor’s names and referred to them by such. The real star of the show is our neighbor’s daughter, Jordan. Jordan and mini became fast friends; Jordan being an only child, as well, took to mini like the sister she never had. We’ve watched Jordan graduate from high school, then college, and now she’s on her way to PT school. Time flies. They braved the nearly 24 hour road trip to visit before Jordan returns to school. The highlight of the trip was our impromptu photo shoot at the Wichita Falls.

Lastly (not leastly), is a rekindling of the relationship between my best friend and I. We are a work in progress. I have prayed for her and us to find our way through this season in life – small steps. Granted I understand we will never be the same as we were but who says it is such a bad thing? We have reconnected over our love for similar television shows, notably the upcoming release of Hocus Pocus 2. Because YES! We take us day by day. It’s the only way we can.

________________________________

I ask you –

What is your city’s “notable” icon? I’ve only seen in photos, but I hear from a reputable source the Superman statue in Metropolis, IL is quite a sight to see.

Are there any relationships you’d like to rekindle?

Hocus Pocus 2: yay or nay?

Day in Photos, island edition

Let’s talk about my two favorite things: coffee and running.

Cafe Padre at Yummies Bistro

Perfectly cinnamony, any artisan-level coffee is just right for me. Yummies makes fantasticly fancy coffees for every taste. I’ve never ordered anything bad from there. They also have food, but who cares. More coffee, please!

Too bad I’ll be writing papers during this event because it sounds like everything I love in one weekend. Post-doctorate plans are already being made. Note to self: research how many times you’ll have to run the island because it’s not 13 miles long.

(not pictured) broken Keurig. Apparently it is an issue the company is well aware of because I have called in twice just on my own machines. There’s a particular model with a faulty mechanism which pops the heat sensor rendering the machine kaput. Or something like that. I bring my own Keurig on vacation and didn’t even get one cup of coffee before it broke. Hmmpphh.

Hoka running shoes seem to be the shoe du jour on the island. I never saw one runner in Brooks the entire week. Maybe they just don’t know what great shoes feel like. Or else they prefer their sandy toes in a different brand. Whatever works. I did see one sponsored cyclist mid-week. He had a fancy kit. Perhaps I should have asked if he would be participating in the HHH at the end of the month. But since I was dying from the humidity there was no way I was chasing him down.

Overall, I ran three times that week and walked dozens of miles…beach to condo, shop to shop, vehicle to restaurant. You know the drill. I won’t miss the humidity, but I do envy 80° days and nights. And fried fish. I adore fried fish. It’s practically healthy! For those of you sick of my island recaps, I’ll be back to regularly scheduled silliness soon. Right now, I’m still basking in my tan lines. Mini goes back to school this week. Standby.

____________________________

I ask you –

On a scale of 1 to I-would-literally-die-without-it, how much do you love coffee?

Do you find yourself walking more while away from home?

Please comment your bets on how tired mini will be after the first 3 days of school! Mine: she asks to go to bed after dinner.

Island Life in Photos

Back to South Padre Island we went! It’s sad I had to go to the beach to see any measurable rain. Speaking of rain, all of Texas is so dry. We encountered no less than a dozen burnt patches of land between N. TX and the island. Also a full-blown fire in progress. Send rain.

We spent a lot of time at the pool and a similar amount of time in the ocean. 7 bottles of sunscreen later…

Landshark is my go-to. No idea why I like it but I only drink it at the beach. South Padre’s proximity to Mexico is an invitation for the spiciest, most authentic tacos in the world. And since I can’t resist cilantro, I purchased some Cilantro Sauce at the local Farmer’s Market then proceeded to eat it at every meal. I’m on vacation.

Speaking of food, I also ate my weight in fish and limes. Oh, and gelato. I ate a lot of that, too. Really I only ate a lot of gelato because I was the designated driver on vacation and responsible for picking up our meals. So when asked to deliver gelato, I charged adequate tax on my Uber eats-esque services. One bite for me, one bite for you. Fair is fair. It was 90°, as well, so there’s that.

When in Rome… seeing as how it was quite cooler than North Texas, I took everyone’s advice and brought my running shoes! Somehow I only had to look at the sand and suddenly it was inside my socks. Magic. Between early morning runs and coffee 2-3x a day, I’m the most relaxed I’ve been all year.

I would share more, but there’s a stack of laundry to be done and I still have to de-sand our beach accessories. I feel a procrastinap coming on.

_____________________________________

I ask you –

Did you vacation this year? Where?

Have you encountered an extra dry season?

Tell me how much laundry you do when you return from a trip. Avg 3 loads.

REPOST!! I’m a Pioneer!

The post below was originally published June 7, 2021. At this moment, I’m probably basking unashamedly on the beach with a cup of coffee. Hope you’re having a wonderful day, as well!

I need friends. Running friends. Running friends who only run when it’s incredibly hot outside and I can’t go out there to run. Too much? So I joined Strava.

Find me on Strava!

Then I decided to channel my inner woman of the wild and become a canning master! Next up: living in a hut and churning my own butter. Right. I know.

As a writer, grammar and spelling are important to me, as well as consistent fonts across a document. It’s my job. I appreciate when someone’s email signature line is short, concise, and, most importantly, legible! You may be asking how an email could possibly be anything other than legible; rest assured, I’ve seen it all. It’s not pretty.

Full disclosure: I don’t believe everything I read on the internet. Tell me you don’t either. So I did my own research. Turns out it is true!

My dreamer mindset got a little excited, to tell the truth. But as for adding it to the bucket list? No thanks. The part that negated all my dreams was “The real-life walk would be grueling, filled with scary animals and diversely bad weather.” Nope, nope, and nope. Next, please.

_____________________________________

I ask you –

What’s your Strava information? Please comment below. I need friends!

Have you ever canned anything? What should I can next?

Tell me something on your bucket list!