Employment Perks

It’s nearing the end of my third week at the new germ-sharing factory (kidding!) so I felt as if even if you didn’t ask, you really must want to know how it’s going. Right?

First, the wildlife are rampant! I haven’t whipped out my trusty camera to take photos because base, but daily I see a jackrabbit – could it be the same one? – and once I saw a huge bull frog. Obviously I know we have many varied species of creatures wandering the plains of Texas so I’m not too surprised to see things. I did stare in shock though.

When I laugh, this is how my coworkers look at me, too

With any new employment opportunity, there’s always going to be a rather slow start. However, in my experience, a slow starts equates to for-effing-ever with every known hiccup that could happen. Ridiculous! My paperwork wasn’t correct, my credentials were invisible, the website wouldn’t allow me to change my password, AND everyone who can help me has vacated the building in favor of teleworking. For the love…

So I did what I do best. I wait. Hahaha, jokes. I have zero patience. Correction: I did what I do best; I winged it! Here’s what happens when I inevitable wing anything: it works out. Which really isn’t good news because it encourages me to wing it again next time and it continues to work. I’m an expert winger. Since I work for the high flying Air Force, “winging it” seems appropriate, do you agree?

This sums it up

Truthfully, the atmosphere is relaxed and I can wear whatever I want. Those pesky limits do exist. Pretty sure cookies are on the agenda soon – can never start too early making friends before secret Santa season. Though nice, the other employees are a hardship to my return to Keto. I wasn’t there 6 hours before a cake appeared on my desk. Day 2 included donuts. I’m such a sucker. Now I’ve figured out not to open whatever box appears and wait for a higher ranking official with a self-described sweet tooth to whisk it away behind closed doors and then I’m safe.

Occasionally I succumb. Whenever the phone stops ringing.


I ask you –

Name your favorite employee perk!

Are you also the one who has all the problems when it comes to getting started?

Thoughts on ‘winging it’?


The shorter version of a post aptly titled “Nuggets of Hilariously Crazy Things That Only Happen to Me”. Examples to follow.

Who can’t look up?

Working with the US Air Force reminds me of an incident at a local Verizon store while stationed in Florida. A well meaning (I’m assuming) store employee told me I was too pretty to be in the Navy; he said I was more suited for the Air Force. Both flattered and offended, I opened my big Sailor mouth and kindly flung around like confetti a favorite f-word of mine until his smile mostly disappeared to an ‘ah-ha there it is’ grimace. A real shining star, I am.

Ready for the story about the time I was investigated by Homeland Security? Of course you are!

Approximate length, of course

While preparing a paper for a class during the quest for my Master’s degree, circa 2010, read post-9/11, the assignment covered theories, opinions, and the like of terrorism groups both past and present. I was very thorough and created a masterpiece of information. Prior to the due date, I electronically submitted the paper via my student email, per the usual instructions. Several days later, I received an email from my professor stating the paper had been “embargoed due to inflammatory response and dialogue”. And they said Big Brother wasn’t real. Yeah right. I was one of three students who had been flagged by DHS. In the ensuing days, our professor implored the release of the papers with an explanation of our course, topic, and materials. The other two student’s papers were released. Mine, not so much. DHS refused, even with a request for redaction. By this point, the semester was over and I needed a grade for this mysterious paper my professor had yet to read. Ultimately, I printed a copy of said paper and had the post office specially mark it to be delivered to my professor (to be clear, all my classes were online). He gave me an A on principle. Because, seriously, if the government wouldn’t return it, it must have been good! My workplace and boss were also contacted and questioned regarding my loyalty to the US. It was quite a nerve-wracking time! The joke now is my paper ended up on former President Obama’s desk. Maybe it did. Upon joining the Navy, I was personally, extensively questioned about the above incident. And here I am today!

Puzzles also do the trick

In case you were wondering, I do still play Gummies on a daily basis, but I’ve also added a game to my repertoire. Daily Crossword Puzzles. As it has become apparent to me, the struggle to remember other’s names and tidbits of random information – mostly useless – fostered my worries which began to grow. Early onset dementia? The beginning of my memory’s end? This is how it starts? Being proactive, and sometimes logical, I believe as we age, the small boxes inside our minds began to fill up. Some of these boxes contain useless information, like a random stranger’s name or occupation, while other boxes host entire stories and all their related details. More and more boxes are added to the shelves so it takes longer to find the box necessary upon search. I think it’s a fine theory. Nonetheless, the quest to keep my memory sharp has resulted in crossword puzzles. Ehh. Ask me again in 2 years.


I ask you –

Share your most unbelievable story!

Ever been investigated? Can you say?!

Brain activities: what are your favorites?

Birthdays and Adventures

I recently celebrated a momentous birthday occasion: 34! I’m sure I’ve mentioned before I have a twin, right? The game is always who can tell the other happy birthday first. She usually cheats and sends the text shortly after midnight. At least we’re in the same time zone now because it got tricky for awhile. The cake of my choosing is this luscious lemon, blueberry concoction of yumminess. There’s no other words.


And I went deep into Oklahoma to explore the Wichita Mountains, namely Mount Scott. Mostly I went with the promise of incredible post-hike Italian food. Which did not disappoint.

Then I chopped off my Fabio-like locks, as well as my mini’s. Ha. If they even remotely resembled Fabio’s, I wouldn’t be here. Hence the cut. And mini only got a trim. Calm down.

Baby muscles in progress

Then we went fishing! It’s a very long story why I don’t fish – for another day – but I caught one this time. And mini caught a catfish. Get it, get it!

A girl and her fish

I’m attempting to stay well, but my non-Coronavirus related sneezing is about to drive me nuts. Stupid allergies. If these trees could just skip blooming, I’d be happy. Who needs bees anyway? Oh, the flowers.


I ask you –

Care to state your age?

When I was a child, my family were beekeepers. Do you know anyone in this profession?

Tell me your last adventure!

Travel and Leisure

My first thought upon the titling was is this copyrighted? That’s how you know you’re a writer! When your original thinking pertains to the fact you don’t want to impose on anyone’s creative property. I don’t think it is. Let’s continue.

New York, New York

A wonderful friend of mine, Dan, whom I’ve mentioned before, sent me this caption-less photo some time ago (aka without going back searching for an exact date, I can’t exactly remember). New York is iconic. The rush and hustle of so many humans packed into one small city. An entertainment hub of importance. Not to mention a great sparkly ball falls from the sky every December 31st to commemorate a new year! And the way kindness, humility, and strength formed an impenetrable shield in the face of an event that forever changed not only the city but the world. Just… wow.

One voice

I’ve only driven past New York, briefly got lost in New Jersey, went ice skating in Connecticut, and spent a very short weekend in Baltimore. Washington DC was incredible and full of history. These are each world renowned places mentioned in textbooks and constantly crossing our media channels. But there’s also much beauty in the tucked away cities far from the Eastern seaboard.

And one of these I am excited to vacation at again! It would seem the sea has always called my name, beckoned me to dip my toes in its warm water, unfurled my hand while the sand pours through my fingers. A “vacation” is the sun, sea, and copious amounts of seafood. Indeed I am thankful to the Navy I was able to live where many people simply visit. Opportunity knocks on even the commoner’s door.

South Padre Island – I will see you soon. Too many years have passed. My tiny human has never experienced the wonders of the Gulf of Mexico – the blue and green foam riding atop the water, soft sand beneath your feet, and the incredible crabs traversing a starlit, nighttime beach. I haven’t even started on the food descriptors!

Isn’t this why we work? To play? To share our happiness and passion with those we love? Everyone needs a vacation. I realize our work culture overstates this “need” to do, go, produce. But the real need is to relax, recharge, and experience life.

And I intend to do just that!


I ask you –

When was your last vacation? Oh, about 9 years ago

What does an ideal vacation look like to you? Where? With whom?

Share your vacation photos with me, please!

Next Up!

Rock climbing

Sometimes I write entire posts in the blissful space between falling asleep and dreaming. Often there’s an internal struggle: should I get up to actually type these words or will I remember them the next day? The answer is always the same. I fall asleep, then spend the next morning attempting to re-create what my sleepy mind so eloquently said in monologue. Never fails.

In this short space of unemployment, rest and relaxation have helped with creativity. Or forced it. Whichever. I’ve tried some new recipes. Decorated and rearranged a whole bedroom. Cleaned a bunch of sh*t. And finished an art project. Not bad for a self-proclaimed non creative person. I’m doing pretty well!

Semi-return to Keto

I also worked out almost daily. Built some muscle. Gained a few necessary lbs. And took walks outdoors with the soothing sounds of nature and angry birds. I’ve made appointments, attended appointments, and considered joining a yoga studio. I’m zen in my short-lived creativeness! Minus those pissed off birds.

There’s something to be said for time on your hands. Nowhere to be; no time clock to punch. Waiting on others can be a lesson in futility. Or a blessing in disguise!

Now let me see what that weightless class is all about. Suspending myself from the ceiling via a sex swing-looking contraption sounds like so much fun. Gotta go!


I ask you –

How often do you find yourself with extra time on your hands?

Bet you also wish you remembered some of the greatest things thought of before falling asleep, right?

Cookies: favorite kind?

Looking Out From the Throne, I Now See…

It looks different for everyone

In response to a few questions and comments I received about a prior post when I referred to “mental, physical, and spiritual growth”, I’d like to provide some clarification.

There are two topics I have stayed away from on Running on Fumes: politics and religion. My goal is to never exclude someone based on any kind of discriminatory trait. Never. No way. No how. Not acceptable. Ever.

Now that I’ve said all these things, I want to reiterate to my readers my support of whatever you decide to live, be, and believe. Have at it. As long as it doesn’t hurt you or others, do your thing. And I’ll do mine.

In figuring out the track my life is on, I decided to consult with a really amazing group of people I spend time with approximately once a week. My church “friends”. Clearly we don’t know each other outside of that establishment, but they smile and laugh with me so I think we’re pretty steady now. Then they invited me to a small group titled “Freedom”. Freedom? From what? I am free. I fought for freedom. Why do I need to attend such a group?


Unbeknownst to me, it has become exactly what I need when I need it. I’m not only learning about myself but also my belief system. Double win. For more than a decade, the self-titled version of me would be agnostic. It’s not the same as atheism, look it up. I believed there was a God, or even multiple gods, but science prevailed and the ultimate decision making was up to us mortals. I didn’t need to believe in a higher power because I was the ruler and controller of my life, good or bad.

The Holy City, Wichita Mountains

Adult enough to admit it, I now understand I have major control issues, am a rule maker, and envisioned God as a throne-perched ruler who judges us above mentioned mortals with a condescending eye. How wrong I was. “We are blessed to bless others.” And to give of our time, money, and self is the ultimate worship.

The Holy City, Wichita Mountains


I ask you –

What is your belief system?

Have your spiritual views changed over time? Perhaps multiple times?

What mantra do you live by?

…of the spring persuasion

Is it possible I am the only one who believes as soon as dusk arrives Christmas Day we should be transported into Spring? I can always hear that extra hour of daylight calling my name.

Jonquils aka Daffodils

Stupid groundhog should retire, too. Oh, Phil, you know not. Fairly certain you’ve outlived your usefulness and are now a source of ridicule and bad vibes. Except when you tell me spring will come early. Then I believe in you. But if it’s the other fortune let’s move on.

East Texas treasures

I crave daylight, sunshine, and warmth. Even though there’s a lost hour of sleep, I’ll take it!

Let’s get real. Time change once had a noble purpose. Circa 1918, it was intended to save electricity due to the extra hour of sunlight. To date, many people have advocated for the abolishment – and a few states have succeeded. Arizona, here I come!


P.S. it’s my birthday this week!

I ask you –

Would you rather spring forward or fall back?

Did you know Spring Break in Texas traditionally falls the week of my birthday? Party bummer, for sure.

Favorite flower?