Dreamer + Sickness

In a sickness-induced haze, I dreamt the following post:

1. I’d love to create a bookstore/winery. Imagine this – floor to ceiling dark, wooden bookshelves with a vast winery stretching into the distance. Each room surrounded with oversized comfy chairs and a fireplace in each corner. You heard it here first.

2. I also want to own a bakery. Sugar is my first love. From the very first time I realized the magic that happens when you cream butter and sugar together, I knew I was destined to be a baker. I say again – who eats cookies and cries? There was that one time, but it was due to extenuating circumstances. I’ll name each sugar-laden delectable a long, gloriously ridiculous name like “marshmallow magic butterflies covered in unicorn glitter”. P.S. I hate glitter and marshmallows.

3. Combine the two previous ideas with a running store and coffee shop. Of course the name of my blog could serve this idea well. Because after imbibing in wine, coffee, cookies, and remaining sedentary for hours, you’re going to need a new pair of shoes!

Currently I’m accepting cash and PayPal payments to go towards the necessary functions of becoming a business owner of which I have little experience in doing, but I can learn!

my co-owner and I

Also, in case you were concerned, my husband may or may not have tried to get rid of me by killing me with his cooking. Jokes on him. We both ended up with what I presume to be food poisoning so either he really didn’t intend to also hurt himself or he screwed up the plates. haHA I live to make his life hard another day!

But seriously. Food poisoning sucks. And it wasn’t his cooking. I’d almost take gastro onboard a floating chunk of steel than ever do this again. Almost.

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I ask you –

Which of the 3 options above is most likely to succeed?

Have you ever had food poisoning? Or gastro?

Just let me know if you’re willing to donate!

And the Numbers are In!

2020 total miles: 318.25. 2019 was about 140 miles higher, but since I only ran one half marathon the entire year I’d say it was a success. Granted that one half marathon was 14 miles long – must have been the wet and wild adventure we took off course.

Nothing like a new pair of running shoes to put you in a good mood! I recommend it for everyone. My toes are splayed out like they should be, ankles are inline, and quad load is below normal. Sounds super sexy, right? My little lady calls new shoes ‘go fasters’; I couldn’t agree more. They make you want to sprint!

Run the Rail, New Boston, Texas, Oct 9, 2021. Race numero dos on my list of three. This one is near my parentals so maybe they can support my need for homemade cooking. I should ensure they read this. One more race added to the list then I’ll have a full plate. Of course nothing is official until I all-caps-it and post it here. Sometimes it still doesn’t happen even then. Whoopsies!

Relatedly unrelated, I have a confession. A short time ago, I was feeling dissatisfied in my work life. A position in a prior career field was open and I was seriously considering making a big move. After crunching some numbers, praying, asking for advice from others, etc. it became apparent this wasn’t the best option for me. Hello, Kel, you only spent 4 years trying to get to where you’re at now. The silence of what I had asked for was more telling than any answer I could have received.

Suddenly a different opportunity appeared. To be the storyteller I am at heart. Even before I could complete that mission, more people reached out for help with their own personal goals. It took a minute, but I soon realized I wasn’t feeling dissatisfaction with my job. I was feeling as if something was missing from my purpose in life. I asked, He obliged.

Funny how purpose shows up in the most unexpected ways.

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I ask you –

Do you get excited about new shoes? What’s your favorite pair?

Do you go through periods of feeling unsatisfied with your work?

Tell me your advice when going through a low period in life.

Welcome Back!

we have arrived

If you’re reading this, then it’s the very first post of 2021! What a lucky bunch of readers I have. Sound the alarm, wake your neighbors, go to work, do whatever you do best.

Let’s chat about the New Year. Most likely we’ll all be writing the wrong year for awhile, maybe even the wrong month, and still wondering why there’s so many sweets around the house. Oh, just me? Liars. I’m that girl who gets excited about a new year; a new page in our lives and, honestly, if you made it out of 2020 alive you’re doing better than a lot of other folks. Bring out the champagne!

January used to be the busiest month of the year for me. Working in a gym is fraught with resolutionists (definitely made that one up) and many eager to buy their health no matter the cost. Quite sad really. What about the other months, you ask? As expected, I say. Not to be outdone, I’m starting off my year with extra coffee and a 5am wakeup for 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer. Disclaimer: I’m not fasting; I’m de-sugaring. Again. Without my lady love home for the month, I’ll surely succeed at entertaining myself.

a girl and her shadow

Oh! And I’m run streaking! Pay attention to my words. I’m doing a run streak, as in running every day for a whole month. With clothes. It’s January! Then we’ll see where it takes us. Figured since my mini me is gone for another Tennessean adventure I should pack my calendar so full she’ll be home before I know it. Looks like I have the right idea.

Stay tuned for more from 2021!

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I ask you –

Resolutions? Please share!

On average, how long does it take you to write the correct year? At least until March.

Have you participated in a run streak?

Mistake? I hope not. + Find Me!

It’s scary putting yourself out there for others to really see.

About a month ago, I removed the privacy settings, applied to be a Brooks Running ambassador, and let the chips fall where they may. Fast forward some. I didn’t get the part. At first, I was really bummed and a tiny bit hurt. What did I do wrong? Answer: nothing. I just wasn’t the right fit at this time.

too much

But it’s got me thinking nearly constantly about other ways to be in the limelight. I don’t want to nor am I driven to be an “influencer”; however, I do strive to grow my blog audience. If I can do fun things along the way, like represent my favorite shoe company, then even better! So, in sharing all this, I decided it was time to – drumroll, please – return to the dark web. Facebook, that is.

My reasons for previous deletion still stand, although it was 99% fault of my own for the life implosion. Let’s not, shall we? This time I’m abandoning the secrecy, the constant contact, the drama that tends to enfold everyone in its path. My blog will grow, dammit! And I will continue being my typical hilarious self right here, same as always.

But, if you feel so inclined, you can find me there, too. You know the way by now.

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I ask you –

Am I rushing things? Are my expectations too high?

Any pointers? Please help!

I still remember when Facebook was only for college students. Those were the days.

Day in Photos, pt 61

I’m in the business of being busy. So when the show must go on, I break out all the art supplies we own and attempt to form a lesson. Those degrees might help.

Working from home creates lots of opportunities while also creating lots of frustrations. Most days I wake up amazed I get to be her mom. Me!!! As something I thought I’d never experience, being a mother is fulfilling and challenging and exciting and tiring. My body is no longer my own.

Made my own Christmas centerpieces. Not one creative bone in my body, but I can copy someone else’s cute idea. At least I follow directions. Mini proudly proclaimed her approval.

Just in case you were wondering – Gummy Drop is still going well.

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I ask you –

How much hot cocoa will we drink this month?

Have you ever made your own decorations?

Tell me your record for daily game check-ins!

Never Too Old to Learn

Around mid-February, I became involved in a “group project”, if you will. Typically held 2x/month, we would meet and discuss very important subjects related to life, military, and anything else that came up. Our host served as a mediator of sorts, but there was no syllabus nor direction to our meetings. Throughout the past 6 months, give or take, we battled our group being involuntarily disbanded, technology issues once reunited, and an assortment of other small decisions impacting our ability to meet in person vs remotely. Shaky at best.

Looks different under bright lights

Now we’ve come to the end of our project. We tacked on a few extra months because the world went crazy. The question was posed what will we each do with the time we’ve spent devoted to attending? Suddenly we all have 90 mins back in our life – decisions, decisions. Perhaps I’ll write more or include an extra workout per week or solve world peace. The options are unlimited! Each of us has our own answer, but I think I might continue to make this date with myself. It’s already on my calendar. I could work; who does that? This time has already been carved out and I’m my best project anyway.

Now the sappy stuff. Without this project, I feel confident I would have eventually gotten to where I needed to be, but it wouldn’t have happened as efficiently. I certainly wouldn’t have made new friends. Although they may balk at my use of the word “friend”, I consider them such. Believe me, it’s almost impossible to share very intimate and uncomfortable details of my life with strangers and not consider them friends at the end.

K, a seat just for you

Dear K – Thank you for being raw and unapologetic. From day 1, your candor was refreshing. I will never know what it’s like to walk in your shoes, but you wear them so well. The work you’ve done in your life, the self reflection you employ, and the take-no-shit attitude you developed drove our group forward. The path your life has taken put you in this moment, I believe, for many reasons. Your heart is so big. The rescuer in me wants to take away the pain you experienced, the unfairness of giving many years to the military that eventually took so much, but you are strong and brave and I am honored to have met you.

DW, this sign led you here

Dear DW – Thank you for having the courage to join us. I have met many strong individuals, but you represent this project for those who often don’t come forward. There’s a deep appreciation of your work in recovery and the lessons you’ve shared with us. I’ve heard your stories of overcoming loss and navigating anger. These experiences paved the way for my own self-understanding. When you speak, I know I’m not alone. I have appreciated from afar what you stand up for, the grace you give your children, and the listening ear you provide to us. We began as strangers; I will never forget you.

Because of the two of you, I owe you each so much of me. My heart will continue to heal, my soul can sleep in safety, and the uniforms we served in will stand up for what we, and others, deserve. We are not victims; we are survivors.

In a turn of events, there will be no asking of you, my dear readers, for feedback on this post. I welcome your comments, but I choose to honor some amazing individuals in this moment. There is no question I have met some of the bravest our country has ever seen. For this, I am truly thankful.

Solid Work Takes Time

I like to manage projects, but I don’t always complete them in a timely manner.

Background: I bought an old chest approximately 11 months ago. Completion time: 11 months. Difficulty level: 2. Same issue, different project. Background: My dad custom built a shadow box for my Navy memorabilia. Completion time: (him) 1 month, max. (me) 24 months. Difficulty level: (him) 4. (me) 1.

Moral of the story: if you expect me to get things done in a hurry, please lower your expectations. But, on the bright side, I completed 2 projects this summer! For past information on the chest renovations, you may visit this post: https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/running-on-fumes.blog/776.

Now I have the utmost pleasure to reveal…..Ta-Da!! He completed it and I (finally) filled it. Better late than never, right?

As for the chest, in my defense, I was solely responsible for the stripping, sanding, painting, re-assembling, and decorating, among other woodworking things. I didn’t want to rush it lest I mess something up. And when I started it, I was working a million hours a week so naturally the time I could devote was a small fraction of what is available to me now. I mean anything can be an excuse, right? Overall, I’m super impressed by my own work. The simple understatements of the chest serve my purpose. My mini aptly refers to it as a treasure chest and our next project is to find and paint a miniature version just for her.

Stand by to stand by.

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I ask you –

Who built it better: dad (shadow box) or me (chest)? My feelings won’t be hurt. I’m blessed to have a dad who is both handy and creative. He made my vision come alive.

On average, how long does it take you to complete a project?

Ideas for my next project(s)?

Collections of Collectibles

So much more than displayed

I believe everyone, young and old alike, share an inherent need to collect things. No? Just me? It’s fascinating why we do this. There’s a premise called “concept of collecting” which allows us to relive our childhood, among other reasons. For me, this is very true. As a child, I regularly visited my paternal grandparents in the Dallas, TX area. Somewhere along the lines of age 7, my ‘Granddaddy’, as we called him, settled on I Love Lucy for me to watch. The very first episode I saw was “Lucy’s Italian Movie” (Season 5, Episode 150). I was hooked!

Black & White, just like I watched it

I can’t name my favorite episode because I truly love them all. May I mention I do a great impression of “Lucy Does a Commercial”, specifically Vitameatavegamin? I even crack myself up!

Thankfully, my family really encouraged my collecting habits of all things I Love Lucy. Presently I own posters, photos, glassware, trinkets, movies: both VHS and DVD, and any other memorabilia you can think of. I have it all. The few photos I have included here are but a minimal illustration of the huge totes and areas in my home showcasing how much I love Lucy.

Every episode

Even thought I named this post “collection…”, I really have only one other thing I collect. Clocks. Warning! Although it may not be funny to you, in writing this post I realized the importance of spell check because if you miss a particular letter in the word clock and then proceed with explaining how you collect them, perhaps this blog format is not doing you any favors. I don’t remember what prompted my love for clocks – spell check don’t fail me now – but I own more than is acceptable in most rooms. Who wants a clock in every room? Me! I do!

Truth be told, only a small percentage of my clocks are in working order. And even if they are I usually remove the batteries. The times are set to important dates in my life, i.e. birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Neurotic? Probably. Creative? I like to think so.

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I ask you –

Favorite childhood cartoon?

What do you collect?

Is my crude humor too much? Nevermind. This isn’t a real question. Rhetorical at best. Forget I asked.

Well, this wasn’t included in the brochure

Until recently – shortly over a year ago – is that considered recent? I don’t know – home ownership was only a future possibility. Yes, it was always my dream and something I envisioned would happen eventually, but it was on the medium-to-long-term list. Semi-suddenly, the possibility of moving back to our home state was a very real decision and one we literally jumped at.

Texas, my Texas

Fast forward to today: home owners! But it’s been a rocky ride. For example, no one explained how much work goes into owning a home. It was easy to be complacent when we knew the landlord was only a phone call away and was legally required to fix whatever issue was in question. Now? If I was to pick up the phone and call myself, it makes sense why I refuse to answer!

No one explained to me potential issues. I mean, how could they?! No one shared the underlying expenses. Grass seed. No one gave me a list of all the things that could go wrong. Hello, $700 water bill. No one will be at your beck and call. See “calling myself’ above.

Am I complaining? Yes, but good naturedly, I promise! Investing in something to call my own, to watch my mini grow up in, to be a reflection of my personality and lack of decorating technique: priceless. Until I see the mortgage statement each month. Holy crap. But when I consider the amount of money paid in rent each month for the past, oh, 15+ years, I could have paid for a whole house. Well, back in those days when a house didn’t take 30 years to pay off. Again, I’m not complaining! Just a little.

The real story here is new appliances. Rightfully considered an investment, the available options are overwhelming. Colors, sizes, functions, and the list goes on. Thankfully we bought a home which included all appliances, minus a washer/dryer. Being the realist I am, I fully expected to purchase other appliances as the need arose. So within the first 3 months, we installed 2 new water heaters. I concurred the idea of waking up to a water-logged floor because the over 10 year old water heaters had leaked/exploded/whatever water heaters do when they die was not in my best interest. Price tag: $1200.

Then came the above mentioned water leak issue. I hope you’re seeing a pattern because I’m not done yet. After getting over the initial shock the bill wasn’t a cruel joke, we discovered the culprit. An underground water leak the previous owners probably knew nothing about because they had been paying the minimal water bill while the house was vacant for over a year. As angry as I was about the bill, I was more worried about my home sitting atop an underground swimming pool I didn’t have the luxury of splashing in. Excuse me, where’s the ladder to enter said pool? Price tag: $1800, not including water bill.

Enter my superstitious mind. The power of 3. Approximately 2 months ago, the refrigerator began spewing ice upon kindly asking it to please drop a select number of cubes into my glass. The spoiled nature of this story can not be overlooked. I guess it just had enough of being nice as ice cubes continued to flow from its confines, long after my glass was full. I must share my mini human has a fantastic sense of humor because watching me panic and yell and rush to find a large vessel to collect all the ice was quite comical to her. Even I laughed at what I thought was my own look of utter defeat. In an honest effort to remedy this error, I cleaned and consoled the refrigerator. Begged is more like it. For a time, we figured out how to get ice without the excessiveness. And I began shopping around because I know my luck.

6 weeks later, ta-da! Shipping delays, par for the course.

My first choice was the ocean

Did I mention I own lake-front property? I’ve already encountered my 3 water-related issues. So I should be good now, right? But, just in case, I have great flood insurance. Superstition only takes me so far.

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I ask you –

What was your biggest surprise upon owning a home?

Barring the differences, or because of them, do you have a preference: rent or own?

Share your favorite story of appliances gone wrong!

About Blogging

Fancy yet simple

Do you know the hardest part about blogging? The photos!

I can write all day long. In fact, I do. There’s no shortage of things for me to endlessly elaborate on. But pictures? Are they even required?

In short, yes? Some? Ugh. This is hard.

Occasionally I use stock photos. Now, I know no one wants to hear that, but it’s the truth. Sometimes I don’t have time to take the photos I want; other times I feel like I keep repeating what I’ve already done. There’s only so many flower photos, people. Barring using the crazy self photos I take at the gym or after I run, it requires a conscious effort to include well thought out photos in each post. Believe me, no one has ever accused me of being well thought out hahaha

Somewhat miss these days

In the meantime, I try to keep these posts relevant and fun. If you have ideas for a post or a subject you’d like my take on, let me know! I’d like to say my door is always open… but I’m scared of the dark – yes, seriously – and it keeps the bugs out.

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I ask you –

Fellow bloggers, what do you do for photographic content?

Any takers for the photography position I have available? Volunteer work only.

Enjoy the first week of June! Somehow we made it this far!