I’m very sad to report it’s been months since I’ve been to the library. So when I realized I had a few extra minutes – aka town with trains – I detoured and made my way to the book haven. This time I was able to find a new book I’ve been eyeballing (no pun intended) for some time. What’s with these authors who only publish one book a year? Don’t they have jobs? Geez!
With the opening of our newest base coffee shop, Common Grounds, I find myself visiting about once a week. Sometimes it’s for solace, sometimes for coffee, sometimes just to sit amongst the books. As there’s a large, indoor playground, it has just the right amount of background noise and joy for me to write, read, or ponder life goals. But mostly for coffee drinking. Though lately my drink of choice is hot tea. Anyway.
My goal to read at least one book per month sort of floated away. Hello, distraction. I better get busy reading for pleasure because soon the only thing I’ll be reading is journals on research. And some topics are so flat out boring it can be hard to keep your eyes open. Remind me not to be a dull doctor. In the meantime, I’m going to spend my time reading Michael Connelly and books about overcoming anxiety.
This is fun, right?
I ask you –
What are you reading lately?
Do you frequent public libraries or prefer to obtain your reading online?
Pick one: coffee or tea! Predominantly coffee, of course.
With an impending TN summer on the horizon for mini, I need to find things to do with my time. Things that don’t include cleaning or working.
Read all the books
Create a photo album of mini’s 2021 summer vacation photos + kindergarten photos
Organize mini’s massive amount of outgrown clothing
Write copious amounts of blog posts to make up for all the times I’m scrambling on Sundays.
Do nothing until approximately 24 hrs before mini returns, then frantically attempt to complete the above list.
All jokes aside. I sort of got a headstart on #1. Morgan from Oregon (soon to be known as just Morgan) gifted me this fantastic set of books by author Sarah Centrella. Her writing style is fun yet also very real. No spoilers from me. I love workbook-style books, too, so these are perfect for me. As I received my performance appraisal a short time ago, the final question was “What does Kelly see in her 10 year plan?” Can we just make it through today?! Luckily, I had already begun working through the guide for th we books so I was able to answer in the best way possible. “Let me get back to you!” No, I didn’t say that. For the most part.
Broken record alert! Considering another run streak. Just to have a summer goal. Maybe June-July? One easy mile/day. More if I feel up to it. Obviously it would mostly all be treadmill miles because Texas summer is similar to the pits of hell. Pretty sure I’m right. The 5 day break we got from the heat was most appreciated, but don’t anticipate it happening again until…oh… probably November. Just something to consider. …the running. Not the heat. It stays. Moving on!
Short of registering for another degree and finishing up a book, I don’t know exactly what I want to accomplish this summer. Since those are revolving projects, best I stay the course. Hello, library!
I ask you –
What are your summer plans?
Do you like self-help type books? If not, what is your favorite genre?
Vote yes or absolutely not: 60 day running streak!
I shared my body, my peace of mind, my time, my humor, my breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks, and my personal space with her. I’m not sharing my cookie! P.S. I sat in my car alone and ate the ENTIRE cookie.
Then I did something nice (read: made plans, changed other’s plans, rescheduled the changed plans, updated the newest plans) for a group of people and they thanked me with Girl Scout cookies.
The following emoji indicates the remainder of May’s weather: 🥵 I can’t run outside in this. I can’t even walk! All. Month. Long. My fear is if it’s this hot in May, what will July look like? Please send us rain.
And, like any half-brained person in the midst of triple digit temperatures, I scheduled a Day of Service volunteer opportunity for 2 squadrons and 1 group. AF lingo. I’m supremely pleased with the turnout – 18 people – and the nearly 10 full bags of trash we removed from the sides of a 2-mile stretch of highway. I can’t speak for other states, but Texas has the Adopt-a-Highway program where organizations can “adopt” a stretch of public highway. The intent is for each organization to host quarterly cleanup days to maintain Texas roadways. Admittedly, I had no idea my squadron owned a piece of land until a few weeks ago so my tentative plan is to offer a volunteer opportunity twice a year. Read: when it’s cold outside and the threat of snakes is virtually nonexistent.
Oh hell no! If you need me, I’ll be anxiously scanning every piece of dry land for slithering inhabitants. Texas, please stop being so difficult.
I ask you –
Do you hide from your children when eating snacks? You can lie to me but not to yourself!
Does your state have something similar to the Adopt-a-Highway program?
Snakes: “look, friends” or “run for your life”! Obviously – run for the hills screaming like a banshee.
Haven’t done one of these in awhile. Probably because I’ve had other things to share. Important things, like…I don’t remember exactly what, but I’m positive they were more important!
Garmin Fitness adopted me. Bless their hearts. I saw where a running friend (who doesn’t really know me at all but alas we’re friends) was also “adopted” so I took a gamble and submitted my own info. Then, they said ok, we guess you can be a part of our club. And here we are!
We have some truly creative people in our squadron. A spouse made these for everyone for May 4th. Get it, get it. Since we’re the force support squadron – you get it, right?
I stayed up wayyyyyy too late one Saturday night to attend a dining in event with some truly amazing women! There was alcohol, food, shenanigans, and a skit. Video exists somewhere. Team JENGA ruled the night. Except for those 42 women with nerf guns; they had it out for everyone.
The next day – ahem, whole week – I was reminded why I don’t stay out late. Or take shots. Meh. But, the fun was priceless!
I ask you –
Cinco de Mayo – yay or nay? I adore chips and salsa.
When was the last time you stayed up late? And until what time was that?
It seems we’re a family of gadgets. I don’t know how we got to this point, but it’s here for the long haul. I realize it has been awhile since I’ve created a new post for this series; life got busy for a few minutes. This is why…I need coffee.
New Family Member
Introducing Evelyn, the espresso machine. Not to worry – the blog post heading was click bait only. As coffee is an essential part of my life, so shall an inanimate piece of machinery be aptly named. Like Betty. And Dot. Evelyn is a lovely new friend. She graces my life with dainty shots of life-giving liquid heaven and then she elegantly spins regular cold milk or cream into heated, frothy additions. It’s quite the sight.
I can’t wait to share my new coffee-making skills with others. Thus far, mini has had a portion of an espresso shot. Then, she didn’t stop talking for nearly 2 hrs. Whoops.
Seems my afternoon routine isn’t complete without a double shot. I’m not quite there with creating any fancy designs, but occasionally it looks like I poured a glob of foam at the top of the cup. I can only get better from here! Unpopular opinion: the more I research how mainstream coffee shops create their beverages, the more I dislike their practices. Did you know a (very) well-known coffee establishment’s drinks are either a) nearly 3/4 cup milk (as in very little actual coffee) or b) made entirely from a carton of pre-made tea or coffee? Yet we pay $6 or more for something touted to be “hand crafted”. Just wow. I understand we’re paying for convenience, but, honestly, the coffee – what little you actually get – isn’t even that good!
I did my research on what coffee to buy; I even asked my favorite coffee shop for their feedback. What with millions of options, the choice was difficult but I believe I made the perfect one. Lavazza Super Crema has a beautiful finish, it’s smooth and delicious, and it isn’t bitter in the slightest. Granted, Lavazza isn’t a “reserve”-type coffee, but for the price it was a great start on my coffee-creating journey.
Unbeknownst to me, there are many common terms in the coffee industry. Some are puck, brush, demitasse, and many others. I’m still learning designs and pretty things. All I know is I’ve sort of become a coffee snob. It’s hard to pay for coffee when I know I can make the same (better!) at home.
So this is where I typically give you the name and location of my Caffeine Injected series. Alas, there is none to give this time. But if you ever want to stop by for a fancy coffee and some random jokes, I’m always available. Except when I’m not. Which is most days, 5am-9pm.
Want to see more?
If you or someone you know owns or frequents a favorite coffee establishment and you’d like to be featured (or nominate them to be featured), please comment below!
Aptly named “Doo-dads” because a) my dad created them and b) because it’s fun to say and I have no other terminology. In essence, they are suncatchers. The backyard gets the sunset so it also gets the suncatchers! Unfortunately, I’m either busy or not home when the weather is decent enough to sit outside to watch. To do list item.
Each year a pair of ducks comes to our neighborhood and hangs out for awhile. With the addition of some new families, I enlisted the help of a few girls to watch over the ducks and make sure their rambunctious brothers and cousins didn’t run the ducks off. Maybe we’ll see some ducklings!
I don’t care what anyone says – daffodils do not exist in my world. There are only jonquils! They may look like daffodils, they may be exactly the same for all I know; however, I will forever call them jonquils. The end. I’m incredibly pleased these bloomed this year and will make a return each year.
Lastly, only in Texas: Blue Bell Creamery in Brenham, TX is experimenting with drone delivery. Full details here. Interestingly, they’re not delivering near Brenham; instead the plan is to deliver in two small towns near DFW. Let’s explore this. I don’t know the cost, but it would be a huge problem in my neighborhood. I would be getting daily deliveries! If you’ve never had an opportunity to try Blue Bell ice cream, you’re missing out!
Now I shall go take my daily dose of Zyrtec in order to prevent a horrible case of sneezing, itchy, runny, red eyes and nose. Because Texas spring is in bloom.
I ask you –
Do you have any yearly animal visitors?
What are your favorite flowers?
Spring: yay or oh-please-not-again. Definitely yay!
You can’t reason with someone who is having unreasonable feelings.
Presumably anyone with anxiety
Season 7 of Grace & Frankie streams at the end of April. Don’t come at me with your Vietnam War comments. I’m well aware of her previous publicity. Everyone makes mistakes. She’s an actress. A great one. Life goes on. In related news, I’m sad this will be the final season. I have laughed, cried, and lived with this show from the beginning. It’s a riot.
Image Credit: Netflix
On the subject of movies, have you ever heard of “Top Gun”? Rumor has it there will be another movie premiering end of May. It’s only been rescheduled two, three, five times. I’ll believe it when I see it – and I do plan to see it opening weekend. Iconic in its own right.
Last week, whilst changing phone service providers, I had an ‘I’m becoming my parents’ moment’. Turns out my phone was too old to transfer service properly so I needed a newer phone. The phone was only 5 yrs old! I probably frustrated the young assistant manager with my blank stares and horrific sticker shock. He handled it well. Then I spent the remainder of the evening and some of the next day trying to log in to all my regularly accessed apps. You know, like my blog. You’ll all be pleased to know I’m now the proud owner of some fancy contraption that can call Mars and will most likely spontaneously combust in my hands. Oh joy.
In an effort to tie this semi-random post together, I’m soliciting for a director to write and produce my life story. Must work for free. The content is self-explanatory and abundant. All you need to do is follow me around for a week before you realize this could be the easiest job ever or you run screaming for the hills.
The cost of phones these days is exorbitant. Did I mention pro bono?
I ask you –
Are there any upcoming movies or shows you’re looking forward to seeing?
When was the last time you bought a new phone? What did you pay??!
But seriously – I need a director. I’ll pay you in stressful moments and fancy coffee!
I’m not saying I know everything about a lot of things, but I do know something about a few things. Now, the hard part. It’s my belief people need people. Even the introverts, even the ones who dislike people on a general scale.
Where Did This Come From?
During one of my many moments of thoughtfulness, I found myself considering how my life has changed since I began volunteering with different organizations. Please don’t misunderstand – most of these opportunities presented themselves in such a way my thought was ‘I’ll just help this one time, get it going, then slowly drift away’. Worked great, as you can see. Now, most, if not all, of my spare time is spent shuffling from activity to activity and wondering how did I get here?
I love what I do. But sometimes it gets tiresome. From working with youth and children at church, to leading a Freedom course (for the 4th time), to holding the Key Spouse position at work…it’s a lot. Even when I’m grumbling about all the things I have to do, I mean it good naturedly.
Because it gives meaning. It gives value. It teaches others. It shows my daughter she can be a meaningful part of society just by giving her time. Our most valuable resource, in my opinion. To be something for someone who is struggling or needs a listening ear is immeasurable.
Volunteering isn’t about us. It’s about others. Tell the presses! It means giving back to your community, your neighbors, people you may never know. The opportunities are nearly everywhere – I guarantee if you can’t find somewhere to volunteer your time, then your eyes are closed and you live under a rock.
So why is this “the hard stuff”? Because people are either open to it or they’re not. I’ve heard it all.
I don’t have time for myself…I can’t volunteer to another.
Why is no one volunteering to help ME?
I already have plans to (fill in the blank).
It’s only available on Saturdays at 8am.
(Check your heart and remember the last time you didn’t)
People need people. Have I said that already? We do. WE DO! Volunteering isn’t about you; it is about what you can give. Don’t tell me you have nothing to give. From organizations like the Boy Scouts to a local, work-related team, someone, somewhere, needs your help.
I challenge you to find just one group and get involved. And if you can’t find something, then create and lead one yourself.
Make a Difference Monday!
I ask you –
Do you currently volunteer?
How often do you find yourself with spare time on your hands?
My incredible co-worker, Ms. Pat, and I located some gloves and trash bags for “Spring Clean Up Day” at work. Photo op fail. We looked like a service crew who had lost their party…like a prison work group minus the orange jumpsuit. From our vantage point, we didn’t see but one other person outside participating in an event touted as “base wide”. Hmmmppphhh. 30 mins later, with 30 mph wind gusts, we tossed the bags in the dumpster and returned to our building. Spring cleaning: ✅.
One man’s trash, you know the rest. I decided weeks ago to participate in the “Citywide Yard Sale” something or other. Even my neighbors happily gave me their discards to haggle. Why not. As I reminded my MiL I was going to be camped out in her lawn from dawn to whenever, she had a fabulous idea: to ruin my party of 1 with a robe-wearing rendition of old lady humor complete with a solid dose of “GET OFF MY LAWN!” Maybe it was funnier pre-sale. Alas, I waited all day for the show, but none appeared. I sold each item for $1 while Mini bombarded them with items she thought they needed. Team work!
And, on a less funny but more in line with spring note, it was past time for a haircut.I needed something lighter for hot weather.
New do, who dis?
P.S. mini will be 6 years old tomorrow and I’m in shock of how this happened. I swear she was a newborn yesterday. If you leave her happy birthday wishes in the comments, I’ll read them to her tomorrow!
I ask you –
When was the last time you paraded down the street picking up trash?
Are you a garage saler? Negative. Haggling gives me anxiety.
Meditation is my thing. But I’m not going to lie: sometimes I go into my closet and lock the door so no one can find me.
Even before mini started school, I had wondered what parts of it would mimic my own school experience. Because things can changein —- ohhhhhhh —- nearly 20 years. I wondered about cafeteria food, her first book, and loads of other variables. Including the book fair! I’m pleased to report, indeed, there is still a yearly book fair, even for children as young as 5! However, it wasn’t the overflowing library of carts covered in books I remember from years gone by. Instead the book fair was only a small rendition; a miniscule scale of the elaborate week it once was. Mini enjoyed it though. She has no other comparison. Blessed be the innocent.
Quotes like “I can do hard things” by Des Linden are prime motivators for really anything you encounter in life. But what if someone told you that in two weeks you’d know exactly how reachable your goal is…would you believe it? Probably not. I met interesting people during the course of 15 physical therapy sessions. Some I’d like to have coffee with; others I could do without ever speaking to again. Get back to the point, Kel. In particular, I met a previous runner now cyclist who was dealing with some knee issues. She stated she kept their business in business. As we discussed various running distances and the local, famous cycling event, she said she had completed 2 marathons and encouraged me to at least once in my life complete one, as well. When I raised my eyebrows as if to say ‘look lady, I’m here because I can’t manage a long run much less 26.2 miles’, she reiterated the word run. Not race. Run. Her words were ‘walk if you have to, run when you can; your goal is to cross the finish line standing up’. And in that moment I saw it all. Start with two weeks, then think about the next two weeks, and so on.
On the topic of bucket lists (and knowing I’ve shared much of this before), a marathon is included. As is a trip to Mexico and/or Las Vegas. Mainly because many of my friends have taken a trip lately and I’m feeling left out. Other to-do’s are to restore an old truck, then outfit a van into a camper and travel from state to state. I also want to complete a Ragnar. I’d love to see the northern lights. For now, I think I’ve got a good start on a list.
I have no idea *massive shoulder shrug* When I wrote this post and decided to combine book fair with motivational statements, it didn’t work then either. I make the rules! You’re welcome.
I ask you –
Can you do anything for two weeks?
What’s on your bucket list?
Name something from your childhood you fear (or know for sure) has changed. Definitely school lunch.