Project Uno Completion

A story in photos. What began many months ago, I finally completed. Procrastinating much? In my defense, the weather has been less than cooperative. And what started out easy in theory was slightly more complicated in application. Stupid wallpaper.

Hairdryers have many uses
Then I needed real tools
Getting somewhere finally
Like my yard ornament stake? I’m a genius!
Finished product

I certainly realize my readers could be wondering what the big deal is? There’s no deal. It was just an idea to channel some creativity into a tangible result. There’s another project in progress, as well. Stay tuned!


I ask you –

Thoughts on wallpaper?

What was your last project?

I’m taking guesses for my next big reveal!

We Have a Winner!

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Typically I have several ongoing posts in varying stages of completion. It’s rare I feel compelled to hurriedly write a post for quick upload. And I like to protect mine and my family’s privacy so events and things reported here are most likely at least a week behind.

But today I have something important to share! On Monday, I received an email stating I was one of 30 first prize winners in a contest hosted by Brooks – a well-known running shoe and apparel company headquartered in Seatle, Washington. I love their brand and run in their shoes, specifically the Adrenaline GTS. Huge fan, if you can’t tell.

These are but a few

My first thought was I’ve been spammed because who actually ever wins these contests? No one I know. I verified the email came from the company Brooks was using to distribute prizes, completed the information, and refused to believe it could be true. Later, I browsed the Brooks website to see if anything substantial had been posted. Ask and ye shall receive.

I found my submission complete with photo I had uploaded for the 20 Year Drop contest. I may have screamed out loud, saved 40+ screenshots of the page, and called my parents. Does this mean I’m famous?!

Screenshot 1 of a lot

So what’s the prize, you ask? Only something incredible! I won a free pair of Adrenaline GTS shoes every year for the next 20 years. 20 years!!! I’ll be almost 54 years old then. I hope I’m still running at that age. Running my mouth, definitely. Running on fumes, absolutely!

A huge thank you to Brooks for creating a shoe literally designed for PR’s, as well as a contest with real people who can win. I never knew such a thing existed.

Unbelievable as this story is, because of course that’s how most of my life has been, credit be to the perfect one watching over me. Everything in my life has changed since I accepted that my spiritual health is even more important than I ever believed. Another bullet point in my testimony.


I ask you –

Have you ever won a contest? If not, know anyone who has?

Does this mean I need to play the lottery?

Share a story of spiritual life!

The Apples are Falling

Wall of wonder

In speaking to my mini human the other night, she was practicing unscrewing a bolt from a nut. Cue the lost your marbles jokes. She was asked how did she get to be so smart and she calmly answered something along the lines of “just like Mommy” or “Mommy taught me”. As flattering as this sounds, it really got me thinking.

I tend to shy away from labeling anyone ‘smart’; as a child, it wasn’t a compliment to be called smart. Probably because smart was a prefix to ‘alec’ or ‘ass’. Smart was often synonymous with being taken advantage of and having a group of friends that maybe not were real friends. I did well throughout school. Top 3 in both middle school and high school. My graduating class totaled less than 30 – don’t give me too much credit. Yes, I mean three-zero. “Smart” meant I received several scholarships which I am most grateful for. But there’s a dark side to being smart.

Picking flowers in East Texas

It did absolutely nothing for me when I went to college. I had no study habits because those smarts gave me this false belief college work would come as naturally as it had all the years prior. What a surprise. I didn’t know how to take notes. I didn’t know how to follow along to a lecture and extract the important pieces. I struggled. A lot. In my mind, being smart would carry me through 4 years and I’d emerge with this fabulous degree. You can laugh at any time. I am. Smart meant peanuts in college.

Resting on my laurels I did not

I had to learn how to study, how to succeed in a higher education setting, and how to do what worked best for me to get through. I made it. But, again, it was a struggle. So being smart? It’s just a word with a whole lot of promise and no deliverance. And I don’t like to call anyone such lest they learn the struggle like I did. I prefer words like strong, brave, and a good thinker. These words mean more to me than the book smarts that would have failed me had I not quickly realized the only way I was going to make it to a degree was by my own merit. So whenever my mini does something extraordinary or I see her little mind moving as fast as it can to figure out a puzzle, I compliment her on her perseverance and determination. Those are the skills I want her to notice about me and others. That’s what I want her to believe she has inherited from me. Because supermodel beauty and above average talent won’t pay my bills. Unless you count humor. I could pay about $2.93 of the water bill.

If I paid myself!

_________________________

I ask you –

How do you compliment your child(ren) and self?

Were you truly prepared for any type of higher education?

Tell me you went to a huge school with hundreds of people! What’s that like?

“Fail Until You Don’t” – that’s what Bobby Bones says

Perhaps this would appropriately be titled “How things don’t work out”… but it would give you a sense of negativity and an unappreciative mood. Definitely not what I’m going for.

Working on a professional image – first, fingernails

Let’s just say: I didn’t see that coming! Funny how things work out in their own way, in their own time, with more than a little nudge from above.

The employment opportunity I firmly believed was for me was not to be. I don’t know why. I’m qualified, available, driven, funny!, and personable. So why not me? Again, I don’t know. It was rather disappointing at first. Then I was blindsided by a different opportunity – the interview was swift, they stayed in touch, and the offer was a no brainier. It’s almost surreal.

You see, unexpected doesn’t even come close to the magnitude I’m describing. Within the government and federal employment system, there is some sort of unknown, magical, subjective algorithm which decides what resumes to ‘hit’. Needless to say, I’ve submitted hundreds, read that again in numerical form, 100’s, of applications within the past 5+ years and never received a hit. Never. Then suddenly I landed on someone’s desk – this time not the President’s and not for “inflammatory” writings – I’ll post about this soon, you don’t want to miss it! – and they thought I was a perfect match. Ha!

Everyone starts somewhere. Barring the ability to retire in 16 years (hey, that military service came in handy!, the ability to continue to support my family and ensuing shoe/running habits, as well as be a part of a new-to-me organization, I best go brush up on my Air Force lingo. I have multiple programs to oversee. No one wants to look like an idiot on their first day. The third, maybe, but not the first.

Would they mind if I arrived with my trusty foam roller?

I’m sure there will be jokes: here comes the Navy girl on an Air Force base. But I have a way of chameleonizing (like that word? It’s my very own!) and I know this opportunity could be my best work to date. Wish me luck! Here I go!

_______________________________

I ask you –

Are some things just meant to be?

Thoughts on perseverance? Is it just a lesson in futility until one sticks?

Rhetorical question: will they think I’m funny? Of course they will, Kel!!

And we shall call her –

Betty. Betty White, of course. Why are you not laughing with me? I am a competent, mature woman in her early 30’s, a patient and loyal mother – what better time in my life to name an inanimate object?! Ok, so you could probably list a million other times, but why start all that?

New whip

She’s a beautiful hunk of steel! The only way she could be better is if she was actually made of steel. Of the tank persuasion preferably.

She drives smoothly and gets a whole 35.5 mpg. I’ll take it! In fact, I drove the 3 hours home with 1/4 tank of gas. Winning! I’m slowly becoming more comfortable driving again. It’s much worse in stop/go situations, like traffic, and in any weather conditions that aren’t full sun and dry roads. So basically a lot of the time. I’m testing some cognitive techniques – will update soon. Many people I’ve spoken to state the accident may have been taken so hard by me because I’ve never before been the driver in an accident and I was already dealing with the daily stress of driving long distances. Either way, it can be overcome.

Chauffeur, not pictured

So I will love her and clean her and call her Betty. And she will patiently chauffeur me and my mini human around until, one day in the far far far far (are you getting the point?) future, her wheels fall off. Then I will be sad.

_______________________________________

I ask you –

When was the last time you purchased a car/truck/van/tank?

Have you ever named your vehicle?

Do most people expect to keep a vehicle for the life of the vehicle? Unrealistic?

Random Day, part 36

In typical Running On Fumes fashion, here are several random thoughts to start your morning:

Many years ago, before I joined the Navy, my best friend and I stumbled – quite possibly literally – into a venue in Ft. Worth. As several mullet-bedazzled men in cutoff jean shorts and fanny packs took the stage, we were appalled. Our lives were forever changed. Introducing The Mullet Boyz! 3 intentional concerts later, any chance I have to see them I take. Like rock music and cowbell? I encourage you to visit us in Texas to see The Mullet Boyz! Sorry, they don’t play anywhere else. I tried to get them to come to Florida once. No dice.

A night of insanity – and so much fun!

Recently I discovered my blog audience includes one of my Anytime Fitness bosses. Guess I shouldn’t have made all those jokes. Though very taken aback, I am also secretly, not so secretly, proud and amazed. But I’m upset with myself because I’ve never given them the credit they are due. It was because of them I received the huge opportunity to write this blog. They hired me upon my return to Texas almost a year ago and have been nothing short of encouraging and accommodating. As a family running a family business with many other projects being run simultaneously, I can’t imagine how lively their holiday gatherings must get! And they’re originally from “up North” so the colorful language and accent are, by far, my favorite! We get along well. If you ever have a chance to do business or work for anyone in the Destefano family, please acknowledge you are a part of their family. And make sure you laugh at their jokes – up North and all.

Clean clothes, clean bear

Meet Mister Bear. Pronounced “Mist-uh Bay-yuh”. He’s been a staple of our household for approximately 4 years. Like a loyal teddy bear, he sleeps with us, occasionally eats dinner with us, and has his very own wardrobe which consists of “sleeping panties and a t-shirt”. Yes, I know he has a male prefix; I don’t make the rules around here. Clearly. You see, Mister Bear is my Munchkin’s lovey. In case you haven’t figured that out. And when she’s not home, it’s my job to wash his clothes and make sure he is happy. He’s an integral part of this family. …one time, I forgot to bring him on our road trip. Cue the mom tears. I felt so bad. My mini was devastated and the look of ‘HOW COULD YOU?!’ still haunt me. Not even joking right now. We’ve all only barely recovered from such a traumatic experience.

Training. I think I was supposed to start last week. Ooops. What with the snow and some other things to deal with, my plan is still in progress. Technically, I’m not late. Yet. I’m hashing out a few more small details then I’ll get started. If you negate the 4 hours I was driving each day, theoretically I should have all this extra time to run, right? But much like not paying for a coffee each day and putting that money into savings, something always comes up to spend it on instead. Time is the exact same way. I tell myself I’ll get up early and do something smart, but what really happens is I play gummies for another hour and get nothing done. Time management trickery.

I’ll keep you posted on the continuation of my sh*t show!

______________

I ask you –

Favorite obscure artists/band?

Have you ever worked in a family business? Perhaps you run your own business?

Tell me you also had a lovey. Bonus points if you still have him/her/it!

Season of Sickness

Seems I had it coming. It was bound to happen. Your body can only stand being coughed on so many times before it becomes overwhelmed and can’t fight all the germs it comes into contact with. Everyone in our family has had whatever this is on an alternating basis for weeks. From yucky, runny noses to the open-mouthed, deep in the chest cough my mini human shares so willingly with me. Ewwww. It’s just no wonder!

Needy child, not pictured

But being the stubborn woman I am, I fought it tooth and nail. And with a minuscule amount of DayQuil because I fall asleep after taking anything. There was a full 24 hours where my voice toggled between a pubescent boy and a frog’s croak. I think everyone around me enjoyed this immensely. Blessed silence! And I had the most insane dreams – that’s for another day.

It seems we’ve all survived. The parents are cured, the husband isn’t milking it for all it’s worth anymore, and the munchkin only wants medicine if it includes honey. Me? Oh, I’m fine. A mother’s work is never done. All I got was a poor pitiful look and the request for more snacks. I swear I could be on my death bed and someone would still find me to ask for a da*n snack! I continued to tip-toe around the house careful not to disturb anyone’s slumber (because…sick), go to work, and field a litany of phone calls (sans voice). Where’s my celebratory snack?!?!

For the love of all that’s holy, please just wash your hands

With this world succumbing to the flu, coronavirus, and everything else, the simplest task does the most to prevent illness. Wanna guess what it is? Wash your hands. That’s all there is to it. Wash your hands. Every time I shake someone’s hand or touch a piece of equipment, the amount of grossness I encounter disgusts me. Surprisingly your skin doesn’t wash off. So if that’s your excuse not to wash your hands, consider this myth debunked. Wash your hands, please! Use soap and scrub under your fingernails and between your fingers. Sing happy birthday to yourself. Just do it!

End of this PSA. Lastly, don’t drink bleach, you idiots. Why are we still having to tell people not to do this? Morons.

______________________

I ask you –

Do you skip washing your hands? – please don’t tell me if you do; I’m already appalled

Did you know hand sanitizer does not double as hand washing? – wash your da*n hands!

Tell me the other stupid things you’ve seen/heard suggested to prevent illness.