Writers and their Ramblings

100%: the possibility of every gym, bar, church, and eating establishment with a line out the door once restrictions are lifted.

50%: the possibility I’ll be one of those in the line.

A dizzying site

Truthfully, I didn’t really “go” a lot of places before this time. But, I was able to and that seems to be the difference. Funny how when we’re told we can’t do something how much more we long to do it. Much like being a child. If something seems off limits or your parental figure says you can’t, the enticement eats away at our minds. Oh the possibilities.

However, many good things have come of this. 1) I spend a whole lot less money eating out and buying needless things. 2) Family time is most important. I didn’t realize how many things we could do together with a bucket of slime (yuck) and some kinetic sand (yay). 3) Time. Again. Working on my “projects”, reading, and gardening is valuable to an extroverted introvert. I don’t know if this is what I am, but most people probably ring true somewhere in the middle. But I digress.

Measurably immeasurable

Besides, what else are we doing with our lives that is so important? Be honest. As each decade passes, we get so caught up in going, doing, being, creating that we don’t even know what our values are. Who are we as people? I’m reminded of millions of tiny ants rushing around; ants that live to seek out a piece of food and return it to their nest. Is that what we do? Rush to work to make money to seek out food – and that’s all? I want to work to live, not live to work. Is there something better out there?

Waxing philosophical makes the mind wander even farther. Mine anyway. It’s normal to get caught in a rut – writer’s block, living day to day, etc. – so how do we overcome this? Be the change. A mindset can be changed by no one other than yourself. Find a place, a person, an idea, then run with it. Change is constant. I, for one, believe it can be a good thing.

Find passion in the written word

I had no clue where this post would go when I began writing. Life is like that, too. If you are to reflect back 1 year ago, 5 years ago, even 10 years ago: where were you then? Just the other day I located a journal from 2010. Holy wow. Reading my own words was surreal and I gently followed the path that young woman was on, where her head was, what place she was in at the time. It must be gentle because although she and I are the same we are world’s apart. And she deserves understanding.

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I ask you –

Will you be first, middle, or last in the hypothetical line on the return to “normalcy”?

Uncovered any old musings? Tell me about them!

How gentle are you with yourself when looking back on days go by?

Running Update

We’ve barely touched May and the mercury is already nosing 100°. Ugh. FML. The show must go on.

Occasionally I can get in an early run outdoors, but usually I’m relegated to the treadmill. Honestly it isn’t so bad because at least there I have about an hour to devote to mindless television. Foreword: apologies to all my friends who recommended shows for me to watch. I continue to watch the same I have been watching for years. First, I finished Brothers & Sisters. Then, I watched Younger (currently awaiting the next season). Now I’m on Revenge.

I’m more of a Hulu fan

The truth is this: besides Younger, I’ve seen the other series at least once before. Creature of habit much? I just have a problem committing to a new show with several episodes I have to figure out. I’m sure that’s the whole point, but when I’m running, I want to sink into the show with little extra effort.

Seems staying at home does have its perks. Like running for alone time.

But also seeing this amazing sight! I really really really don’t like geese, but seeing the cute little babies before they become angry, drab creatures is exciting. I’ve heard geese babies typically stay where they’re born. Dammit. They just poop on everything and drives me insane. Yuck.

Why did the goose cross the road?

The most important reason to run is so I can continue imbibing in the bakery madness my home has become. Comfort foods extend to bread, old-fashioned favorites, and the like; mine is cookies. Guess it could be worse, right? And when mini-cookie maker gets started, we just can’t stop. Needless to say, I’m enjoying it immensely! My heart and blood sugar are overcome with happiness. Remember this for when I need an intervention.

Unicorn cookies

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I ask you –

Shows you’re watching now?

Recommendations? I probably won’t watch them, but I enjoy you trying.

What’s the summer average temperatures where you live?

Are Trees a Requirement?

Well, yes, because they make fabulous reading material!

As we continue to navigate these times together (yet apart), it can be difficult to find meaningful topics to share with you all. Why should today be any different? In honor of much silliness, welcome to today’s edition of a game I like to call What’s on your nightstand?!

First, some ground rules. 1) Family friendly. 2) If it’s not, the funnier you can make it, the more points received. 3) I made all these rules up because I suck at games. Except Super Mario. I will crush you.

This post alludes to my intellectual side. Start laughing now; you won’t stop. I enjoy long walks on the beach, snuggling up beside a toasty fire place, and hot coffee. What do all these have in common besides warmth? My sidekick: a cover-bound destination to anywhere. Clearly I’m missing the bookstores most.

All the books! What have you been reading? After several comments regarding my book shelf photo several posts back, it occured to me I can hold a type of virtual book club! I seriously need friends.

Currently there are 3 books I’m enjoying. Although I have strict opposition against reading multiple books at once, sometimes it happens. Are you telling me you never get bored? Personally I prefer series books, but I’ve read countless stand alone titles and have been thoroughly entertained.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some reading to do.

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I ask you –

What are you currently reading?

Preferences?

Tell the truth: do you judge a book by its cover? Yes. I’m known to read a book solely on the basis I was drawn to the cover art.

Day in Photos, part 615

Thankful to the nice woman who thought it was ingenious to create a kids yoga program based on popular movies. Check her out at Cosmic Kids, available on YouTube.

Downward Cat, if you will

State flower of Texas. In every home there exists a family photo, no doubt of children crying as their parents tell them they can’t pick the Bluebonnets. I know this to be factual, firsthand experience.

Examine them for bugs first

Speaking of flowers, check out the beautifulness happening in my backyard.

All the decorations!
Late bloomers

Anyone else have a deep love for their bookshelves? Just me? You’re missing out on something good!

Send books!

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I ask you –

How are things with you?

Own any bookshelves? If so, how many?

What’s one photo that accurately depicts your life right now?

Doesn’t Look the Way I Remembered It

Working out at home just isn’t the same. Can I get an amen? You would think since it’s only a room away, I’d be more inclined to get it done. No driving, no getting dressed (if I’m being honest), no major changes to schedule. Somehow it just doesn’t work that way.

Finally found the twin to my dumbbell collection

As ridiculous as this sounds – par for the course – when I purchased the above dumbbells, there was only one. Who only buys one?! But instead of giving up on the fact I was probably going to be working out at home for quite awhile, I went ahead and bought the single dumbbell. Better than nothing. It’s been difficult; I continued to tell myself I was training uni-laterally and it would all work out. Puns again. So when I finally had an opportunity to check back, there it was. Two matching pairs of the proper size I needed. What did I do? I purchased one of them. Not the whole pair, because why would I need 3 dumbbells? When in Rhome… I took one dumbbell and left behind a pair and a single. Do I feel bad? Yes. Am I happy to complete my collection? Also yes.

Excuse the darkness, that’s the whole point

I haven’t been taking advantage of being 80% home bound the past 6 weeks. All these opportunities to work out unlimitedly, but noooooooo. Here I am at square uno. It became very apparent the progress I had was quickly becoming undone when I did the same workout I normally would and the next day I could hardly lift my arms. Ridiculous. Of course I know there’s a million factors. Allow me to sulk, please.

Introducing the pajama workout! Once I found the matching dumbbell, my excuses sounded even worse than before. And they were dismal before! Without cause to get out of it, I found myself literally falling out of bed, sipping on a super hot cup of coffee, and lifting my precious dumbbells overhead…you guessed it…in my PJ’s.

At least I got it done.

——————–

I ask you –

What’s your workout routine look like now? Do you have home exercise equipment?

Is your job considered physical or sedentary?

On a scale of 1 – 10, how frowned upon would it be to eventually return to my local gym wearing my pajamas?

Little Things – They Make the Days Go By

Broken record alert. I’m over this. They days all run together and most of the time I don’t know what part of the year we’re in. Oh, look. It’s still March. Wait. April? Great.

Within the past year, I switched from half-caff coffee to a full blend. Turns out I really love Starbucks Blonde Roast. Incredible smooth with this great, deep taste. Mmmmm, so good. However, spending more time at home lends to multiple cups of coffee each day. By accident, one night I realized I was having a tough time falling asleep. This is pretty unusual for me because I’ve had an 8:30pm bedtime since I was a child and my body naturally finds this rhythm no matter how old I am. I’m serious. 8:30. I’ve always been an early riser; my quiet time in the mornings is precious and not to be disturbed. So I was somewhat put off by my inability to fall asleep. Until I realized the culprit: the 3 cups of coffee I’d had that day.

The more I pondered, the more I recognized each day was starting to become the norm for several cups of coffee. Interestingly, the reason I was drinking half-caff was because I had an issue with too much caffeine. Caffeine sensitivity, if you will. Too much caffeine makes me shaky, my heart starts racing, and I’ve passed out on occasion. Not a pretty sight. I don’t drink sodas or energy drinks; I love hot tea but limit consumption to 2 cups/day max. Imagine my surprise and suspicion when it turned out I was ingesting a lot of caffeine via coffee. But instead of downsizing or decreasing the amount of coffee I drink daily, I’m experimenting with making sure I drink said coffee earlier in the day and not within a few hours of bedtime. I’ll keep you updated!

Dalgona Coffee, all the craze

Disclaimer: I don’t drink black coffee. Oh no. I enjoy a hybrid of classy, expensive drinks and keto-accepted beverages. My coffee includes 3 ingredients: coffee (you don’t say!), heavy cream, and sugar-free syrup. It’s keto-approved and tastes incredible! There’s a certain brand I’m partial to; others just taste like sweet nothing.

I’ve been spending a lot of time in my happy place. The kitchen! Trying out new recipes is both rewarding and disappointing. Sometimes they work; other times they don’t. Much like relationships. I think what is most difficult is accepting that no matter how much you want it to be all the hype it doesn’t. For example, the next photo.

AKA yucky cake

Truthfully, it wasn’t yucky. But it won’t be winning any Best in Show awards. The recipe had major flaws to start with and I probably shouldn’t have trekked on when I noticed them. Ever the optimist. “I can make this work!” Even coming from a reputable cookbook, perhaps the writer was having a rough day. Some ingredients were left out of the instructions leaving me to guess where they should be placed. I do have a great background in recipes, but this one was something else. Maybe next time this Butter Pecan Sheet Cake will turn out as intended. Or I’ll just stick with what I know and love.

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I ask you –

Any new trends you’ve been indulging in?

What’s your favorite cake or sweet-something recipe? Want to share the recipe with me?!

How often do you try out a new idea or do something you’re not accustomed to?

Short and Sweet

Collect them all

I know we’ve discussed this before, but it seems to have even more priority and relevance now – – –

Perusing the digital selection of board games searching for something new and interesting for a tiny tot, it seems they just don’t make ’em like they used to do. What’s with all this silliness?

Oh I know. It’s what sells. To each his own. Again. We’re slowly acquiring a fun selection of my childhood favorites, like Candy Land and Cooties, along with some new editions, like Hoot Hoot. Making every attempt to engage her mind, turn-taking, and energy is quite the feat. I’m still learning.

Monopoly is definitely on my mini’s want to play list; no matter how many times I remind her she hasn’t mastered counting past 18, much less up to 100, the yearning is strong. I see many family spats in my future. A summer-long game will happen. Just not this summer.

As we’ve instituted a weekly game night, I’m reminded of a few childhood friends who had families do the same. Mine wasn’t one. We played games, but mostly it was between my sister, brother, and I. The tradition of Friday night pizza and board games is something I hope mini’s friends will also see the value in as they grow. If all else fails, I’ll bribe with cookies.

_____________________

I ask you –

Favorite game(s)?

Thoughts on digital games, i.e. electronic games or gaming apps?

Name a fun tradition in your household!

Story Telling

Have I mentioned I saw my neighbor naked? Unfortunately, this is not a joke. Have I told you I considered registering for the upcoming, maybe, 45th MCM? Have I shared how much I hate teleworking? I need people!

6 feet, I’m sure

If the above answers are all no, then today you’re in luck! And if they’re yes, then sit down and shut up because you’re going to listen regardless of your wishes. Thank you for your attention to this very important matter.

Where should I start? Definitely with the nude neighbor. The funniest part is I don’t recognize him if he’s dressed. Circa this past summer, I was tasked with wandering around the neighborhood holding a lost, lonely dog looking for its owners. Most houses I visited either stated it wasn’t their dog or no one was home. The final house I came to a nice woman answered the door and invited me in. How kind. As I entered, I noticed they had been having a party because their outdoor pool was full of floaties and food plates littered the counter. Unless it always looks this way? The woman called to a man deeper into the house to check out the dog I was holding. From a back room, I could hear a blow-dryer turn off, then an older gentleman walked down the hallway. He forgot he was naked I suppose. As he told me who the dog belonged to, I did my best to keep my eyes averted. Then he turned away and walked back down the hallway. Lovely. Just wonderful. I quickly exited the front door, dog in tow. My final thought was this: that man had no hair. Why was he using a blow dryer?

I haven’t been motivated to run much. Read: not at all. With every race being cancelled, it’s felt pointless. Though I know running helps me immensely in uncountable ways, I’ve just felt blah. Then I remembered my marathon goal! And if I’m going to bake cookies every weekend, I best figure out how to burn them off pronto. Doing some research, I stumbled across dates for the Marine Corp Marathon. Fall. Right up my alley! The only way I can enter is by playing the lottery. The marathon lottery. However, the lotto rules were a no-go for me. If chosen, there is no refund of the near $200 price tag if, for whatever reason, you can’t make it to the event. There are deferment options, but that seems silly to waste someone else’s time who could have gone.

If only I could find a track

I finally decided to run a local (semi-local) fall race using a quite lenient 6 month marathon training plan. It probably sounds excessive but I know how my body behaves in the summer, as well as the glaring fact I’ve never run a marathon. Sure, two half marathons in two days is an accomplishment but it’s still not the same. In the meantime, I’m building a pre-training base by working on a four-runs-a-week schedule. 2 weeks in. It’s going splendidly. Full disclosure: my weight is a little higher than normal (approx. 10 lbs) and the pace is less than optimal but starting off with some extra weight is good for me because it drops off fast when you (I) get into double digits and pace will improve as I continue training. That summer body is only a training plan away!

As for teleworking, no one cares. I could complain all day, but the overarching truth is I’m employed, out of harm’s way, and get to spend loads of time with my clingy family. I beg for quiet time and wonder why everyone has to sit so close to me on the couch. The expectations are high. In other news, teleworking sucks. But I’m alive and well.

_______________

I ask you –

Give me your biggest complaint! I can listen all day.

Have you ever encountered a naked neighbor? How did you handle it?

Got any marathon advice?

Where the Red Fern… can’t be found?

As the frustration sets in and I find myself pacing the halls somewhere between bedtime and when I actually fall asleep, it’s not so much not going anywhere, it’s the realization that I can’t. Perhaps this is what a caged tiger feels. Restless, getting angrier, trying hard to find peace and thankfulness yet locating none.

Photo Credits: @a.c.sparks and @jmstormquotes – photo link available at https://www.instagram.com/p/B-wiMynHNMY/?igshid=1c6p510nkjx82

After a lengthy email to my own city council, I was rewarded with a personal reply and an acknowledgement I had been heard. Disclaimer: personal opinion only. Under our county/city order, we have been prevented from purchasing flowers, both seeds and anything in the growing process. Allowed are seeds and plants that produce food sources, i.e. fruits and vegetables. My email clearly states I’m disappointed in this decision because if you expect me to stay home, then at least give me something to beautify my surroundings! How are liquor stores deemed essential but nurseries not? Very clearly I was not the only one with this complaint.

As I made my way within a local big box retailer with receipt of the newly established permission to purchase beautiful growing things, I encountered a very nice employee who stated only one customer at a time allowed on the patio. She also triumphantly shared with me this news: I was the very first person desiring to do so since the revised order. What?!? Did no one else want to plant flowers? Their loss. My shopping cart began to overflow with greenery – half price greenery, I may add – because some were looking sad and unkept with very dry soil and rapidly dying blooms. It needed me!

The moral of the story is this: as we take care of each other, let us not neglect ourselves. If you want flowers and are restricted, reach out. What’s the worst that could happen? No? Please note: I’m not saying purchase, beg for, and borrow every damn pot you can find, fill it with whatever strikes your fancy, and leave it lying around another’s yard until they began to feel like a de facto nursery themselves. I can name a few culprits. I’m also not saying it’s your job to rescue every budding plant like this is your ticket to the Pearly Gates. Perilously close to naming above mentioned culprit. My point is to advocate for what you want. This was truly a need, but I’m not arguing semantics.

What’s left to say here? Beats me. I just write a lot of nonsense. Oh yes. Go forth and plant flowers! But not too many. And only at your own home.

May you all find beauty in your surroundings.

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I ask you –

Am I the only one advocating for flower sales?

Are alcohol sales truly “essential”? I will concede this. For some, it might be yes.

Know any flower hoarders? Do tell!

The Show Must Go On!

With a string of birthday months piled together, my house has seen so much partying! And it probably wishes they would end promptly. Spring is a very busy time: thunderstorms, flowers, parties, and whatever else we can get into.

Decoration skills: sub-par

The real deal is in April though. That’s when my mini me celebrates her rapid inclusion into the aging community. We may only be in the single digits and we haven’t progressed from one hand yet, but her attitude and independence tell a different story. Nonetheless, the show must go on!

Contrary to our plans for a huge get together, a smaller gathering was agreed upon. And by small I mean very very small. Seems the world had other plans for us. Run with it. But with the addition of unicorns, cake, and a photo prop wall, I think we achieved success! Small people just love the surprise of it all anyway. It was a magical day!

Unicorn Princess

Since her birthday was a weekday, she was treated to multiple celebrations! The weekend included a party and the weekday involved making cupcakes and pink jello! Oh, to be young again. Not to mention gifts galore. I must say my birthday was incredible – surely hers could be considered over the top.

Unicorn Princess, take 2

Until next year. 5 is a milestone, right? She seems to think so already.

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I ask you –

How much fun are children’s parties?

Do you prefer homemade cake or store purchased?

We’re accepting virtual happy birthday accolades! Send them all!