REPOST!! I’m a Pioneer!

The post below was originally published June 7, 2021. At this moment, I’m probably basking unashamedly on the beach with a cup of coffee. Hope you’re having a wonderful day, as well!

I need friends. Running friends. Running friends who only run when it’s incredibly hot outside and I can’t go out there to run. Too much? So I joined Strava.

Find me on Strava!

Then I decided to channel my inner woman of the wild and become a canning master! Next up: living in a hut and churning my own butter. Right. I know.

As a writer, grammar and spelling are important to me, as well as consistent fonts across a document. It’s my job. I appreciate when someone’s email signature line is short, concise, and, most importantly, legible! You may be asking how an email could possibly be anything other than legible; rest assured, I’ve seen it all. It’s not pretty.

Full disclosure: I don’t believe everything I read on the internet. Tell me you don’t either. So I did my own research. Turns out it is true!

My dreamer mindset got a little excited, to tell the truth. But as for adding it to the bucket list? No thanks. The part that negated all my dreams was “The real-life walk would be grueling, filled with scary animals and diversely bad weather.” Nope, nope, and nope. Next, please.

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I ask you –

What’s your Strava information? Please comment below. I need friends!

Have you ever canned anything? What should I can next?

Tell me something on your bucket list!

Box o’Books

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?

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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.

It Might Be That Time

Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. A few weeks ago, I began the arduous task of searching online for colleges to make my doctorate degree dream a reality. Perhaps it was just an off day because the only thing it did was leave me frustrated and resigned to not fulfilling that dream. I kept finding programs with projected completion dates near the 8 year mark. And the cost? Guess again. Even with tuition assistance, etc., it was beyond me.

Chalkboard = Dinosaur

Fast forward to end of last week when I attended a brief on how to make civilian programs work for you. You, the commoner. 90 mins later, I returned to my office with motivation, a renewed purpose, and some homework. Operation phD! Using TA in conjunction with the GI Bill should result in a reasonably affordable degree in T-minus 3 years. Doable. I might even be able to maintain my sanity and a slight social life. As long as I can write papers while we talk. That’s normal, right?

I’ve chosen a school, a program, and am in the process of finagling funding. Making military service work for me. Honestly, when I joined the Navy, I didn’t think it would be useful for obtaining another degree. For some reason I was under the impression it wouldn’t pay for anything beyond a master’s and since I already had one it wouldn’t pay for a second either. During eval season it was difficult for me to show I was progressing professionally outside of the Navy because my points were already full. So I said I wanted to learn how to whistle. And it did not go over well. My goal is to finish in 3 years or less…I even timed it not to interfere with anyone else who may be graduating. No show-stealing. Even though I didn’t quite get going when I said I would (by the time mini is 5 – she’s now 6), this is a valid goal no matter her age. Or mine. She will still get to experience mommy’s rapidly increasing number of gray hairs. And long nights of writing. Welcome to adulthood, girlie!

school supplies

The last time I went to school was over 11 years ago. I’m one of those complete whackadoo’s who really miss school. I love it! My master’s program was fantastic. All we did was write so of course. The feeling of accomplishing a lengthy paper or assignment is like an adrenaline rush all over my body. It’s figuratively my drug of choice. Drugs are very expensive. So I’ve heard. Anyway. I remember switching careers a year into the master’s degree wondering why I thought that was a good idea. Not only did I have to learn a new job but I also had to find time to write double digit papers on a new schedule. No big moves on the horizon this time – in fact I’m hoping this is the final straw I need to progress in other places.

Alas, I still can’t whistle. But I’ll have “Dr.” before my name so who cares.

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I ask you –

Who wants on my commencement guest list? Location: TBD.

Anyone interested in volunteering to teach me how to whistle?

Tell me your highest level of education! I want to share in your accomplishments.

RoF – Caffeine Injected

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

small but mighty

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.

such a beautiful sight

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!

Cheers to the Caffeine Injected series!

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I ask you –

How much is too much to pay for coffee?

Where is your go-to coffee spot?

Rate my naming skills! Evelyn: A+

Following Along

Allison of The Broad Running Broad published a great article in early April on the popular InsideTracker. You can check it out here.

Seems all the running influencers are somehow a part of the biomarker and nutrition tracking app, Inside Tracker. The premise is you submit your labwork to them, it’s analyzed for nutritional, hormonal, etc deficiencies and then a customized plan is sent to you detailing how to improve your health. The fine print though. Turns out you can pay upwards of several thousands of dollars per year for their customized plans and labwork costs. Until now I hadn’t heard anyone share the deep, dark details.

Using a clothespin as a hairclip = distortion

And, on that note, the Navy really distorts what health and fitness looks like. Probably all branches but I’m only speaking to my own. Maybe distort isn’t the correct word, but it certainly played into my distorted views. I haven’t looked lately – there’s no reason to – but the height/weight requirements are completely impractical. Truth time. I currently weigh 150 lbs. That’s a lot in my little, distorted, unhealthy mind. I don’t like that number. I don’t like it at all. However, I’m liking how my clothes (still) fit, I can run, I can keep up with mini, I can do my job without restriction, I can LIVE. So what’s the problem? Well, nothing, I guess. Again, it’s just a number! Kel! It’s just a number! Ugh. I hate how society places value on the number on the scale. How many times have I said it doesn’t matter – but that stupid voice inside my head says something is wrong.

Deep breath. I’m trying. There’s a fitness friend I follow along with in social media who also weighs the same. It was a bit of a news flash when she casually stated her weight. It clearly doesn’t define her. But going back over her story, she seemed to have struggled many years ago, too. Hmmm. I’m sensing a pattern here.

Nonetheless, I’m sticking with my plan of “training” for a 10k and strength training 3-4x a week. Last week was the highest mileage week since December…a whopping 8 miles! Tell the press! Or is it hold the presses? Meh. I sincerely feel strong this time around. It’s incredible how much we rely on our back end to propel us forward when running. Of course I knew all this. I just had to break something before being reminded.

Isn’t that always how it goes? The little things creep up on us and, then, BAM. We’re in over our heads with lab work plans and physical therapy and who knows what else. Meh.

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I ask you –

Have you heard of InsideTracker? Have you tried it?

What things in your life do you believe you may have a distorted view of?

Tell me your word du-jour! Lately mine is “meh”, but I use “whackadoo” daily.

One Day, but not Today!

More funny radio show things to share: forgive me, this isn’t really funny, like hahaha, but more like haHA! A man in Brazil was being chased by bees. He ran towards the nearest body of water and jumped in. Wouldn’t you know said body of water was inhabited by piranhas. And the rest is history. First, let me say I laughed entirely too loud within the confines of my solely occupied car at 7am. By this point, if you don’t know my death-is-funny past, then allow me to reference many previous blog posts with prime examples. Then, I cringed because the radio hosts went on to say…”did you know piranhas are very small, about the size of your palm?” Alas, I did not know this pertinent piece of information and I wonder what this man’s final thoughts were on escaping bees only to be eaten alive by palm-sized fish. FFS. Cue my future fear of bees and water. Wonderful.

I had a song stuck in my head so, like any good employee, I located the song and began to blare it through my desk speakers. Mostly kidding. Whilst searching for this song, I found a playlist of it on repeat for ONE HOUR! I don’t know who thought it was a good idea to repeat a song for one hour, but you’re my hero! It’s been said repetition is the pathway to higher learning – ok, no one said this, I totally made it up, but it’s true – therefore, listening to the song over and over again will most likely remove it from my brain. I hope. But, if not, that’s ok, too, because I rather like the song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPanjfwJvlE

Forgot to Mention –

In my next to last physical therapy session, the amazing people at Reneau brought out the big guns…ehh, needles.

The following day after dry needling, mini said to me “Mom, I just have to ask you one question. What does your leg look like after all the needles? Is there holes in it?” Truth be told, she was extremely disappointed there were no visible holes. If you missed the PT graduation post, it’s here: (link)

We had a joint birthday celebration in the office with some of my favorite birthday buddies. And any reason to eat too much cake is always welcomed. In fact, I’m still eating the cake. Sidenote: frozen cake is delicious! I’ve shared before how the military celebrates everything with cake, even the things that make no sense to celebrate, like sexual assault prevention and response (SAPR). Cake? What?

One day, I won’t be so random. Not today! Maybe tomorrow. Probably not.

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I ask you –

Do you think you’re an annoying co-worker?

Do you always celebrate with cake or something else? I love ice cream.

Tell me if you’ve had any experiences with dry needling!

In All My Years, a memoir

Things it took 35+ years to learn

  • Eat before taking medication, unless otherwise stated
  • Your phone camera is a lifesaver when it comes time to remember stuff
  • No one gets extra points for not asking for help
  • I enjoy watching grown men get beat up, sacked, and tackled. Football. I love it.
  • Move the tampon string out of the way before you pee.
  • We are the common denominator in all of our relationships.

Other Stuff

This was such a great article about why we are the way we are. Even if you hail from a completely normal, functioning family, surely not everyone you encounter or have a relationship with is the same. It may have resonated with me more than even I’m capable of understanding. More to come.

More Fascinating Things

I must confess. When others told me they were practicing “mindful eating”, I thought it was just another buzzword, a clique-ish term, a passing fad. Big eye roll. Same goes for “intuitive eating”. Of course I’m intuitive! I know if I don’t eat soon, I’m going to get angry! How’s that for intuition. But, lately, I haven’t been restricting my carbs or cutting out fruit or doing any of the other things I believed worked for me previously. Just a few weeks ago, I mentioned using the MyFitnessPal app and I’m happy to report it’s (still) really useful.

mini decorated my workout area – bands shown here

There’s even been a few instances of completing my PT routine at home. Necessity only. The booty bands in the photo above are worth every penny of the $10 I spent. I’m using them for squats, deadlifts, and knee rotational exercises, but the options are limitless.

In light of my upcoming birthday, the learning curve will – hopefully – never cease. But, if/when it does, my final piece of advice is this…Unbuckle the seatbelt before attempting to exit your car. I’ll be here all day.

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I ask you –

What is your best piece of advice?

Have you heard the term “intuitive eating”?

Tell me the buzzword you currently hear most!

Drinking from a Broken Cup

I got this idea from Bossy Babe in her post The Lonely Block to check out the following website: London Writer’s Salon. I love following other bloggers who come across other avenues or groups to write in besides the standard local library group (not that there’s anything wrong with those).

Essentially, there’s a writer’s group via London Writer’s Salon that meets virtually throughout the week. It would be so nice to connect with other writers and just be. Wholeheartedly, I want to complete my book this year. And I know an amazing woman who is publishing her first book soon so she’s been a valuable source of information on what to do/not do. I shall pick her brain like any good friend would do.

mood improvement techniques

Since I’m not running, I guess now is the best time to get started on cover art, contents, and publication challenges. Really, though, this walking thing is garbage. My mood sucks, my digestive health is blah, and I’m still fighting to get into PT sooner than March. I’m going nowhere at the speed of my government-approved desktop computer. Good thing my building has no windows. I need to run!! My first question will be this: can I at least cycle? Give me anything more than walking! In related news, the constant pain is mostly gone. There’s only twinges and an occasional achiness now. Yay progress!

available at Amazon

Somehow I’m still maintaining a book a month. Don’t get excited, Kel. It’s just February. Recently I finished Matthew Mcconaughey’s book, which I originally purchased for my dad but he loved it so much he gave it back to me to read. The writing style was unexpected; however, it was a great book and I could hear his voice with every line. I remembered a time when I had “the drive” each day…I would listen to books on Audible. My favorite was listening to Anna Kendrick narrate her own story. Some say we bear a resemblance. Her sense of humor has me snorting laughing. Perhaps that’s our only resemblance.

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I ask you –

Have you ever published a book or some other publication?

What’s the last book you read (or listened to)?

Share some reading suggestions!

Gas Station Guilty Pleasures

Have I ever mentioned my fear of convenience stores? Dumpsters, yes; convenience stores, maybe not. Perhaps I watched too many nightly news broadcasts as a child where so-and-so was killed during an armed robbery at a corner convenience store, blah blah blah. My overworked imagination is a bit much at times. Even for me. Maybe it’s the fact there’s typically so many posters, flyers, window paraphanelia covering every square inch of glass where one would/could see out. Or maybe it’s the one way in, one way out design. It may even be the fact many people pay cash instead of using their debit cards. That makes no sense, Kel. Which is exactly my point. My fear makes zero sense. Nothing bad has ever happened to me inside a convenience store. And I won’t be patronizing any to test my luck.

I have seriously digressed. IF I was to frequent convenience store establishments, my guilty pleasure would be peach rings. Affectionately called “peachies”, I would most likely purchase them each time. Soft yet chewy and reminiscent of a sweet, summery peach, these sugar-laden treats beg me to sample twenty. On a related note, a whole group of kids played a game at Halloween which consisted of inserting a large popsicle stick (or tongue depressor, if you want to be specific) inside their mouth and seeing how many gummy orange slices each could stack on their stick. Since I did not play, but am a huge kid at heart, I sneakily ate 4 gummy orange slices when the game had commenced. I had forgotten how much I love those things!! Pretty sure my blood sugar went into outer space. But what a way to go!!

Yummy!

You know what else they sell at convenience stores? Lottery tickets. Or as mini calls them – scratcher offers. My parents love receiving lotto tickets. To my knowledge, they’ve never won anything big (unless they kept it to themselves which is exactly what I would do haha) so I guess it’s the possibility of winning a huge payout that keeps people addicted. On the radio show I most often listen to, one of the co-hosts spends upwards of $200 each paycheck buying lottery tickets. I don’t recall if he said he buys the scratch-off kind or plays the actual lottery, but $400/month is still $400/month on gambling. Perhaps since I’ve never been a gambler do I not understand this fascination. To each his own.

this is the only lotto I’m winning

And, on that note, my mother’s birthday is coming soon. Let me find someone to stop at that store on the corner to get her lottery tickets. Because it’s not gonna be me!

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I ask you –

What is your gas station guilty pleasure?

What do you call lottery tickets? I’ve heard the term “scratchers” before.

Name something you are unjustly terrified of.

Year in Review

So as 2021 will be closing out in just a few days and I will be on my way to retrieve mini from her holiday, today is my – surely anticipated – year in review!

In actively trying to remember how many races I’ve run, I returned to admiring my medal and race bib holder. There’s a lot of jingle on that wall! Pre-pandemic, I was accustomed to training for and scheduling at least 2-3 half marathons per year. Since then, I’ve been extremely lucky to complete one per year. 2021 was a wash/rinse/repeat of 2020, but I don’t let it get to me. Sure, I could blame the lack of events for my injury (which makes no sense and still doesn’t make me feel better); however, one is more than none! Knowing I run much better in the cold, a December race just works for me. I tried to establish a base through the summer, but between the heat and the dreadmill, it sucked. Not only did my base not get built, in retrospect, perhaps I should have used that time to ensure I wasn’t dealing with an injury before I started fall training. One day I’ll learn the lesson the first time!

10 – is how many half marathons I’ve run. Technically, I only completed 9. But I’m still proudly saying 10! Never did get around to counting the assorted 5k and 10k medals. Instead, I took a trip down memory lane. It was fabulous! I have made some amazing friends who also run. I’ve talked to people from different areas and connected with them solely online. I even get super excited when they complete a race because sharing in another’s accomplishment is such a rush of emotion! There are people whom I still refer to as my running buddy, my coach, my mentor – life brings with it different seasons but those people stay in my heart. I imagine for forever. Running just does something wonderful for me.

Ok, moving on…

I love when an app puts numbers together for me! Sometimes I don’t number well on my own. What can I say? – I’m a writer, I like words! Since I won’t be running much (any) anytime soon, I shall live vicariously through my previous endeavors and your stories! Give me all the stories! Disclaimer: for 2021, I only started using Strava in April so this doesn’t include any miles I ran January – March.

thank you, Strava

Being uncertain of which of the past years have been my favorite, I am extremely grateful I chose running! Or maybe it chose me. There’s joy in the adventure running brings to me. It is a huge sense of accomplishment when you complete a run, no matter how fast or slow it was. Running gives back tenfold what you put into it. I want other sports to BE that for me; alas, I don’t know if it’s in the cards for the dream to ever be a reality. Time will tell. Some days I’m rushing to know; others are a slow crawl. Guess it just depends on the mood of the day. I’m anxious to ditch the brace and lace up my trusty running shoes, but I know it can’t happen. Yet.

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I ask you –

Anybody else love looking at their year’s stats?

Are you following me on Strava? Share your ID so I can follow you!

Goal time! Tell me what you have planned for 2022!