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.

___________________________

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.

_________________________________

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.

___________________________

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

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

Affiliate Link – Mantra Band

I’ve been wearing my Just Run bracelet since Nov 26, 2018. Nearly 4 years! I never take it off and I think it’s just as incredible today as it was the day I purchased it. Many compliments have come from wearing this – I truly love this simple reminder about how much running means to me and what a run can do for my day. The several months I was injured and subsequent PT had me concerned I may never run again. My Mantra Band was a battle cry to continue working towards running. Now look at me!

Super excited to partner with Mantra Band! The order page is: www.mantraband.com/mindbodyshameless. Use my code MINDBODYSHAMELESS for 15% off your entire order. Not only do the creators at Mantra Band design stunning bracelets but they also have necklaces, rings, and tons of other options, including Mantra Books! Their mission prioritizes optimism and mindfulness which we could all use more of, right?!

As part of their collection titled “Charity Bands”, they offer bracelets with unique mantras benefitting the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society and Alex’s Lemonade Stand, among others. What a great way to literally wear your support and passion on your sleeve. I also love the Bar collection and the Mandala Affirmation Collection. Let’s be real, I love it all. Shortly after I bought my own bracelet, I also sent one to my sister and one to my best friend with a different saying than my own. Mantra Band’s craftsmanship stands the test of time. Everything made by Mantra Band make excellent gifts – for yourself or others!

Full disclaimer: Yes, I have my merchandise links which of course I make money from. And, now, these are affiliate links which, again, means I do make money if/when my readers purchase their own Mantra Band.

_____________________

I ask you –

Do you have any affiliate links you’d like to share?

What’s the longest you’ve worn a piece of jewelry?

Again, you can order from this link: www.mantraband.com/mindbodyshameless. Remember to use my code MINDBODYSHAMELESS for 15% off.

(The post Affiliate Link – Mantra Band first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© Running on Fumes 2022

Double Trouble

For being a smart person, I really am quite dumb sometimes. Well, not like a dumdum. It just takes me longer than the average smart person to really come to grips with things. For example…

stock photo via photo library

An email arrived with the sentence “Thank you for your persistence.” which probably meant please stop bothering me. A co-worker told someone else in front of me: (paraphrased only mildly) “We love Kelly. She has a way of being mean but she does it with a smile and it makes it ok.” I’m not sure it was a compliment but it is true.

M’s – money, marriages, and messes. The radio show advised these are three things we should stay out of, as in other people’s. This radio show predominantly deals with other people’s messes so pot…kettle.

Not every email requires a reply. As I’m almost constantly (now) dealing with people from all walks of life, there are many different approaches: kind, understanding, firm, rude, hateful, dismissive, etc. You get the idea. This week I’m neck deep in an inspection that hasn’t happened since 2019. Read: before me. Somehow I tend to find myself in positions where once I’ve got my bearings, there’s a huge inspection or program audit and here I am with my hands in the air and a huge shrug. I shall prevail! Occasionally I have too much to do to reply. Other times it is best I don’t because angry Kel can only be quiet for so long. And I’m being pushed to the brink.

My sister accepted a job on the same installation where I’m employed. In fact, we’re in the same squadron. I should feel bad the base is now saturated with two people like us, but this could be fun. Someone asked if she is as wonderful as I am; her reply was “I’m better!” She’s got jokes.

Now we’re off to find the boss and explain in no uncertain terms why the grass is brown. Hello. Drought. Texas. Seriously?

______________________________

I ask you –

Thoughts on the three M’s? Do you agree?

Have you been inspected or audited at work lately?

On a scale of 1 to You’re Fired, how much trouble will my twin and I get into? 5. We have humor going for us.

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.