RoF – Caffeine Injected

Welcome to Maxwell AFB outside Montgomery, Alabama, home of the Wandering Rose Coffee Co.! Open Tue-Fri, this small mobile coffee shop serves coffee and other drinks, as well as beautiful muffins and some delicious chocolate-covered espresso beans.

The Wanderer

Wandering Rose Coffee Co.

Each month, Wandering Rose showcases different seasonal drinks. For November, the traditional cranberry and apple cider flavors are featured. However, I can’t speak to any other drink than the Wanderer because it was simply amazing and the only drink I ever ordered! Other people I spoke to stated every drink is delicious.

L to R: Kitty and Stephanie (owner)

As I’m a merchandise supporter, it was only natural I needed a shirt and sticker!

As the Wandering Rose is owned and operated by a military spouse, their next stop is central Texas. Stephanie mentioned the need for additional employees due to the size of their next location so I’m excited to see how it impacts her growth! Truly her coffee kept myself and my classmates alive during the training we attended.

Stephanie intends to begin online ordering after the Thanksgiving holiday so I know this will only broaden her reach.

You can find out more about the Wandering Rose by visiting them on Facebook. Stop by, grab a drink, and tell them Running on Fumes sent you!

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!

Cheers to the Caffeine Injected series!

Southern History

When in Rome – or Montgomery, Alabama. Not even close, I know. I’m not a history buff but can appreciate scenery and experiences when visiting a new place. I wish I’d had more time to explore, but between group projects, 2 days of teachbacks, and my own school work, I just didn’t make enough time.

I also visited the Legacy Museum, an incredibly emotional tribute dedicated to remembering and honoring those that contributed to the Civil Rights movement. This museum is a must see when in Montgomery. As no photos or video is allowed, I’m unable to share the experience but can honestly say if you want a different perspective of the African American and black community’s role in history, then this museum is where you’ll find it.

Training Recap: there’s nowhere else more appropriate to attend Resiliency training than the Montgomery area. After all, resilient is a trait history and science has shown can be fine tuned. One of my classmates stated “Fix the roof while the sun is out”. Along with many other nuggets of goodness shared throughout the week, the 24 people I met reminded me why I do what I do. Sharing the skills I’ve learned and somewhat perfected is valuable to my new position and the people I encounter.

You just never know how large your sphere of influence truly is. Be the change others want to see. Be the change we all deserve.

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I ask you –

Are you familiar with the Legacy Museum or Hank Williams memorial?

What does resiliency mean to you?

Tell me about your sphere of influence!

(The post Southern History first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Food Freedom

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve traveled alone. Well, allow a correction – I travel alone frequently but am not usually reliant on myself for food choices. So sans a small child asking me to cut her pancakes or refill her drinks, I wasn’t sure what to do with myself. Eat alone? Dine in extravagance? Eat in bed?!? Because that’s definitely not allowed.

Spoiler: I did it all!

Exhibit A: plane fare. Why have I never eaten Biscoff cookies?! They’re incredible!! Also, you can purchase them in the grocery store. Bet you already knew this.

Exhibit B: unfortunately for those around me, I didn’t really want southern food. I wanted Mexican food!! Not Tex-Mex per se but it was delicious nonetheless. The BBQ was awesome, as well. Not pictured in the first photo: these rolls of heavenly deliciousness. I can’t even describe them – they were incredible.

Exhibit C: desserts! Tiramisu (right) from Publix (because I love these grocery stores and there’s not any nearby in Texas)…and banana pudding (left) from a place called Jim ‘N Nicks. So good!

By the end of the trip, I was incredibly over eating out. I don’t know how people do this constantly. Even eating a salad for lunch nearly daily during the trip, I got home and craved salad. And a cup of my own coffee.

Traveling helps remind you there’s no place like home.

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I ask you –

How often do you travel?

Do your preferences change when you’re away from home?

Happy Thanksgiving week. For some, it’s a time of gratefulness but for others it can be difficult. I hope it’s a great week for each of you.

(The post Food Freedom first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

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.

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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.

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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.

Someone Else’s Lens

(The photos below were taken by my friend, Dan, on his recent visit to New York. Photo credit is all his.)

There’s something about traveling that makes my soul happy. New places we visit are seen from a different perspective than those who call it home. When was the last time you walked around your city and saw it with unfamiliar eyes? Try it. I’ve only seen NYC on a large scale via my window when I drove past. The sheer amount of people doesn’t interest me, but maybe to see it at 3am when fewer people are out and the buildings are lit up – that sounds nice.

The view south down 7th Ave from 51st Street.

Considered a total loss after a fire in June, the Spirit of Norfolk was a Norfolk attraction. I kept up with the story of its demise because a) I remembered seeing it when I lived in that area and b) I thought for sure they would extinguish the fire much sooner. Certainly there are some very worried people now because the ship was used for weddings and other large events. Bet they’re not pleased.

Spirit of Norfolk

Lately the only traveling I’m embarking on is from the car to whatever air-conditioned location I must be at. The average daily temperature is 108° with a heat index of 112°. I fully expect roads to start behaving like mini volcanoes. It’s a thing.

Fall can’t come soon enough. Farewell mosquitoes! Time to find some antihistamine.

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I ask you –

Do you love traveling?

Weather check in – what is yours?

Name your favorite place to visit.

Leavin’ on a Jet Plane!

Some know my love for flying. Even as a child, I wanted to fly. Off the staircase. Even now, as a mostly functioning adult, the airport is a happy place. People trying to get somewhere fast, the focus of being on time – it just amazes me. Some are fearful of flying and I respect that, but it isn’t me! Fly me to the moon!

Mini recently had her first opportunity to fly. I’m slightly disappointed her first flight wasn’t with me, but it is what it is. Fun fact: I’ve only ever flown alone. She did pepper me with questions until the day; I think I did a great job alleviating any fears because she seemed to enjoy it! The ‘to’ trip was a success in her book and she was able to complete post-flight checks with the Captain. I hope she asked all the hard questions.

Credit: Southwest Airlines

Her Tennessean spring break was eventful, to hear her tell it. She enjoyed an outdoor dance platform, visited a space museum in her loathed state of Amabama (story for another day), and most likely ate all the Panda Express (Panda Bear, in her terms) she could hold. Alas, she did have to return to school at some point. It felt like both the shortest and longest week for me.

In true Mini fashion, she made a friend on the return flight home. A young girl – same age as mini – was experiencing her very first flight and on her own. Of course there was a whole story to go with this situation, but it’s not my story to tell. However, mini (now an expert flyer) was the girl’s seatmate and happily showed her the ropes…ehh, wings. Her brave, new friend made it back to Love Field and now each has a story! (Note: I did meet the young friend’s family. I’m amazed at the teamwork that came together to get this little lady home and the support system they have. It was not by accident my mini and her friend were able to sit together. Praise God!)

And then she arrived!

Needless to say, the reunion filled my soul. I love how mini has had so many opportunities to do things some people never experience. She takes it all in stride. As a mom, it’s tough to watch your children get older and more independent; however, mini’s independence is much a part of her as it is a part of me. She is a very blessed girl who has never met a stranger and happily befriends those she meets, young and old alike.

Yes, spring break has come to an end but mini’s adventures are lifelong. She is already looking forward to flying again. And now we have new friends in the DFW area. This child is forcing me to be overly social. Bring on the coffee!

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I ask you –

At what age did you first fly?

Have you never flown and wish to? Or are you intentionally never flying?

Tell me your thoughts on flying alone vs with others! I’m not opposed; the opportunity has never presented itself.

Do You…?

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.

Gwen Stefani

Part One

Even before mini started school, I had wondered what parts of it would mimic my own school experience. Because things can change in —- 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.

Part Two

Dan (the one and only) sent me this article: How to Use the Two-Week Rule to Become Remarkably Successful (and Optimize Your Bucket List)

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.

Now What?

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.

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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.

 

A Day in History

During our recent trip to OKC, on the itinerary was a trip to the Oklahoma City Memorial. If you’ll recall, I once wrote an extensive graduate paper on terrorism. My field of study. The paper was submitted electronically and earned me a lot of attention. By attention I mean it was embargoed by the federal government and multiple three-letter agencies, never returned to either my professor or self, and I was investigated. On the bright side, I got an A before my professor ever received it and the joke is it ended up on (then) President Obama’s desk. Anyway… I’ve always wanted to visit.

Not only is it a uniquely designed memorial, but also a touching testimony to survivors and the families of those lost. No matter what damage was done that day, people all over the world have an opportunity to pay their respects. Photos online do not begin to compare to the solemn reverence of this memorial. Mini was intrigued by the chairs – big for adults, small for children.

I wasn’t prepared for the emotions to overwhelm me. I really had no reason to not be able to speak around my tears – at the time, we lived hundreds of miles away. Yet watching it on television in 1995 (I was 9 yrs old) is an engraved photo in my mind, but it does nothing to prep your heart for the magnitude of 168 lives needlessly lost. 168. Many other tragedies since easily surpass that number. But it’s people. And no number of people killed due to acts of terrorism is acceptable.

unrelated: the bldg in the background is where I was sworn in to the US Navy

Again, the photos here do no justice to the emotional journey of looking at mementos left on the fence once used to guard the damaged building after it was bombed. Or how it feels to touch the granite wall of children’s hand prints created by children from multiple states in response to hearing of the children whom would never come home. My collegiate career focused on the acts themselves, the mindset of the guilty, the way it has played into future events; my publications didn’t address the emotions or the very real loss. Interestingly, this is common in people who study subjects considered unempathetic, like child abuse, law enforcement, or terrorism. There’s a switch that must be deactivated. I can’t imagine what it must be like to visit the 9/11 Memorial.

All this being said, hug your kids tighter, say a few extra I love you’s, and visit places you’ve always wanted to see. As I get older, I’m appreciating history more and more. Probably because I know one day we all will be history ourselves.

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I ask you –

Have you been to the OKC Memorial or 9/11 Memorial?

What’s the chance this very post will be flagged before publication? Listen, I don’t have time to plead my case.

Name a place you’d like to visit.

Reunion Tour!

It doesn’t happen as often as we’d like but occasionally I get to catch up with one of my very best friends, Sam. She and I were inseparable for several years, especially during the formidable early-Navy days. In fact, it was a running joke how if you saw one you would see the other; even around people we’d never met before, our easy banter and knowledge of the other’s life led them to believe we’d been friends since childhood. The military has a way of helping you get to know someone really quickly. Because if you’re going to trust your life with someone, you best know a few things first. Anyway, Sam and I were thick as thieves. No word yet on any actual thievery but admittedly we did a lot of shady stuff. Don’t ask about the 4am inspection. We learned together how to navigate some really tough situations and live to tell about it. Sam was always my go-to for great advice. Even now, our conversations pick back up right where we left them. Those are the friendships I value the most. Can’t forget the Joker. We have countless inside jokes, memories of late nights and even later coffee dates, too many tears, and laughter that can be heard miles away. No matter our distance, a best friend like her is hard to come by. She hails from the great state of Illinois now; however…

Further good news is Sam may be visiting Texas in the upcoming months for some military required training and you know what that means! Batman and Robin Reunited!

Reminiscing about the Navy is like taking a manic car ride down a crowded street in Mexico. Let me improve your image. A clown car overfilled with good idea fairies on a dirt road between overgrown buildings surrounded by pedal carts. A hell bus, if you will. Different story for a different day. Being in the military is like living another life, like having a separate personality, like being one person in a skewed reality. At times, it’s lonely while simultaneously so loud you can’t hear yourself think. There’s no outlet. A constant circus meets board room. So if debilitating anxiety is for you, I’ve found the place!

Unrelated but on an equally uplifting note – Jamaica has a bobsled team for the 1st time in over 20 years!! Check out the full story here.

Everyone knows one of my all-time favorite movies is “Cool Runnings”; which, by the way, is more than 30 years old. Geez, I’m old. You can guarantee I’ll be tuning in to watch Jamaica hurl themselves and their light-as-a-feather bobsled down a sharp concrete chute in February. “It’s bobsled time!!”

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I ask you –

What’s your oldest friendship?

Will you be watching the winter Olympics?

Tell me a nickname your friends called you! Clearly, I’m Batman.