Randomly Random

So very random.

Very thankful to a nice man named Alex who left the lovely confines of his home to help me remove lug nuts that might’ve been tightened by the Hulk himself. Seriously, I’m a self-sufficient young woman who can do all kinds of things herself, but when I’m literally standing on top of the bar trying to remove the stupid, non-cooperative lug nuts…well, all kinds of words were coming out of my mouth. This wasn’t my idea of the donuts I tend to enjoy! $500 later – Betty has a brand new pair of shoes!

Slipper socks? Slipper shoes?

Not sure who invented these toasty foot warmers, but thank you times a million! I’ve owned these for several years. I don’t know why I hadn’t tried to use them properly until Thanksgiving! Feets and legs! Anyway, they’re awesome. Get yourself a pair. Or ten!

My friend recently posted a photo of her dogs with the caption “tfw (insert caption here)”. Normally I try to figure out things on my own before referring to Dr. Google. So as I wracked my brain to decipher what TFW meant, which bordered on the inappropriate – to f*** with – to the insane – tiny fried woman, I realized I was completely clueless. I don’t mind being politically incorrect, Correction: my anxiety says we do mind, but I do try to stay updated on the slang our society is currently using. I’m not old nor young. Not naive yet sometimes a little clueless. But as much as I tried, I came up with no words which would make sense in what she posted.

Totally didn’t see that coming. Thanks, Webster. You rescued me from a life of ignorance. Now I must come up with ways to use my new knowledge!

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I ask you –

When was the last time you had a flat? Did you need help?

What brand/style are your favorite socks?

Tell me an acronym you didn’t know the meaning of!

Running on Fumes – Musings from the Mess Decks, pt 2

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From Dan –  

Yes, I was aware that children, for a short time, were considered mail-able. It seems weird, but doctors used to prescribe cigarettes for pregnant women, so maybe it’s not too weird. 

We recently celebrated my elder child’s 30th birthday, and of course I was reminded of the circumstances of how I was alerted to her arrival. For you see, I was cruising around South America at the time and communications between me and the States were irregular and crude.

I knew she would be along pretty soon, and it was after a very long midnight watch up in the gun director that I settled into my rack for a precious 3-hour nap before the endless cycle of events of a warship underway, the next go round of eat, work, and watch.  With great surprise my then-Senior Chief (RIP) thrust his hand past the blue-curtain barrier that defined my sacrosanct rack with a just barely not growled “Here! Read this!”

I had been handed, of course, the long awaited for birth announcement. And now, here it was, a telegram for the love of God, sent to me by the Red Cross. Sleep was out of the question, and I walked fore and aft, bilge to bridge making the announcement to anyone who would listen. I finally ran out of people to tell, and I ended up on the port side main deck, smoking a celebratory cigar while watching the wilderness of the Andes Mountains slide aft. I’m sure there are things about that day that I have long since forgotten, but I still have that telegram up in my study where I keep a number of priceless mementos of my life to remind me of that amazing morning.

There’s a wide variety of trinkets and tchotchkes in that cache of memories, an unsurprisingly number amongst them are letters: Honest-to-God, sat-down-with-pen-and-paper letters written at various times and delivered to me (via paths that can only be guessed at) to whatever ship I was on and wherever I was. Those letters are occasionally pulled from storage, their decades-old creases unfolded so that I may again experience an echo of the thrill I enjoyed when I first received them so long ago. A few of them still are redolent of the fuel-oil, paint, and steel smell of a warship underway and it’s that odor that instantly transports me back to a very different time and place.

Today’s Sailors feel they are lucky. E-mails back and forth to the home-front are everyday events, phone calls common, and video chats with loved ones unremarkable. Keeping up with the day-to-day activities of the household and families has never been easier or more immediately possible for the Sailor.

 

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And, I think it safe to say, that very, very few of the Active Duty folks would willingly return to my Morse code and semaphore way of doing things. Hard to blame them, really. If I could have been part of a video call back in 1985, well, let’s just say I might be missing parts of my anatomy. Running your life/marriage via mail that makes it way home via a wandering and unpredictable path (Say, over to an oiler, then to an amphib, and finally over to a series of Air Force Base storage areas[1]) sometimes takes longer than the deployment. Indeed. Stories of mail arriving home after the Sailor used to be very common.

And it is also true that we could on occasion call home by radio, thanks to ham radio operators and long distance phone calls. It was called the MARS system, although it was probably easier to call the planet than it was to call home. MARS was wonderful to have, but weird. We had to use Navy radio techniques (“Over”) which were hard to teach to small children, and there was a very long list of things that were taboo to talk about on the radio. Imagine phoning home and then being prosecuted. Ah, the perils of military life.

But emails and phone calls can’t be kept, cherished, and handed down like the letters and other messages I have from those long-ago days. It might be fun to see a new e-mail in the inbox in the morning, but every morning? I wonder. And, I wonder if that experience can match the intense feelings of anticipation and joy (and sometimes desolation) when the Boatswain’s Mate of the Watch passed “Mail Call!” Remember, that would sometimes happen only twice a month.

It was possible to tell by holding that the letter had power. You were holding something she had held just a while ago. That letter had been in your house! Your daughter can write! All of those things so very far away. A talisman of home, a status hard to convey onto an e-mail.

Mail and its service seems to be failing, albeit slowly, and the whole process is probably doomed. Sad I suppose, but such is the inexorable march of time. I try to remember that everything in the world today will someday be gone and considered either quaint or no longer understood, enigmas from the past like Stonehenge or the Antikythera Mechanism. One of my more ridiculous thoughts is of my great, great grandchildren attempting to decipher those letters found one day moldering away in dusty old box. “Jeez,” I can hear them say, “Who was this guy? Why didn’t he just flash over and see Grammy Lynn instead of doin’ this? And what’s a ‘ship’?” Sic transit Gloria mundi.


[1] My days in the Navy started before Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Mail services had been archaic/slow for years, but improved drastically after American service members started going to the Middle East in serious numbers. I’m not complaining, it’s just the way it was. And, we could always tell when Oprah or Sally Jesse Raphael had a story about the folks in the Persian Gulf as after those shows, we would receive a mountain of mail on the fantail addressed to Any Sailor/Soldier.

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As always, a huge thank you to my friend, Dan, for his sole contribution to this RoF special piece. I know I have many other friends/family with stories for days of their time and I’d love to post them, too. Please contact me if you have a contribution or if you have a story but are unable to put it into words that make sense – I’m hear to listen and write on your behalf. Always! -Kel

Rants & Raves, RoF Edition

There’s a time to rant and there’s a time to praise. Unfortunately, now is not the latter. It could be, but it’s not.

Credit: momsbehavingbadly via Instagram

Group text from school system with individual phone numbers listed: blah blah blah, your child’s order is in; report to this place between these hours

Random number: What do we do if we didn’t receive our entire order?

Me: I’ll tell you what you don’t do! Don’t reply all to this message because it’s probably a) unattended and b) unlikely to help your situation. But it will make the remainder of us who didn’t ask to be a part of this group text really angry.

If you intend to homeschool your children, then please do so. Emphasis on the school part. When your teenager can’t tie their shoes, your schooling ideas are failing. Choosing to homeschool your children makes you directly responsible for their education. You have forgone the right to blame public education for your mistakes. Shoes and all. Home schooling is not an excuse to not send your children to school.  It’s a conscious choice to take sole responsibility in creating valued members of society. Not for the faint of heart, I’m sure. I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. Note: wanted…past tense.

And if this isn’t enough to make you laugh, then you’re beyond help. Mini, along with her classmates, was instructed to bring bite-sized pieces of things to the class’s Thanksgiving feast. Parents were told to choose 3-4 items, then you would be told which of your choices to bring to school. Some followed the instructions, others not so much. When I positively told mini what she (I) had been assigned, her disdain and palpable disbelief was comical only to me. Days later, she still sounds upset whilst I giggle.

Celery. Mini had to bring celery. Apparently it’s the most hated food ever. My thought was some child will be overjoyed to see celery because it’s their favorite food! Alas, nothing could be worse than being the child chosen to bring… celery.

Final update: as I suspected, there was ONE child who proclaimed their love of celery.

Mommy: 1. Life: 8,374,150.

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I ask you –

How much do you ensure not to reply all when it’s not warranted?

Were you homeschooled? How did it work out for you?

Name your most despised food! Sauerkraut, for one.

What Matters Most / Prioritizing

Making Priorities

Faith/Family

Forgiveness. Redemption. Grace. Kindness. Among many others, these are words that mean much to me. Being responsible for a family unit is quite a burden to bear which is why I believe the next few points are incredibly important. Responsibility weighs heavily on the shoulders of those who choose to accept the load. (and sometimes there’s no choice)

It has been said that ‘the two greatest days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why’. God created you with a purpose in mind (2 Corinthians 5:5). Indeed there are big plans for me.

Sleep

My body has an internal alarm clock prompting me to go to bed at 8:30pm. Every. Single. Night. Like my dad, I’ve always been a morning person. It has served me well! 9 hours is my optimal, pre-programmed amount of sleep necessary for a fully functioning day. I’m a light sleeper and have little trouble falling asleep, but find difficulty in staying asleep.

This may sound like I put way too much priority on knowing about my own sleep patterns. However, recognizing the importance of sleep and how it affects your body is something I think many take for granted. Sleep – or lack thereof – is attributed to weight, outlook on life, stress, and disease. When we sleep, our bodies recuperate from innumerable daily encounters with germs, people, and events, as well as prepare us for days ahead. Personally I think consistent sleep schedules are one of the most important ways to set up children for success.

Running

As I’ve probably mentioned before, streaking is such a confidence booster. Even when it’s only 1 mile a day, the proof is tangible. Typically I notice a difference 2 weeks into it – I’m lighter on my feet, stamina is high, and the urge to keep running is overwhelming. Although I despise treadmill running, the routine (aka priority) of running at lunch (aka runch) is much needed. My lunch hour at work is nearly sacred. Soon enough, you can find me back on the roads near the office happily making the rounds.

Badminton!

It’s important mini sees me doing what I love. Running helps in many ways: decreases anxiety, increases the feel-good hormones, and recharges my people’ing batteries. We all need an outlet, if you will. Mine is found inside a pair of running shoes.

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I ask you –

How many hours of sleep do you average nightly?

What is your outlet?

Share a priority I may have missed here!

I Wasn’t Ready!

Well, it happened. I don’t know yet how I feel about it, but it didn’t wait on me to decide. Kindergarten just sprang up, like a sudden slap in the face. You’re overly dramatic, Kel. Yesterday she was a baby, today is Day 3 of the beginning of her not needing me anymore. Sigh. If she’d just sleep in her own bed, I might not complain so much. Fat chance.

“Remember when you won Bluejacket of the Quarter?” No, actually, I didn’t remember that until you mentioned it. Reminiscing on my time in the Navy can be something else. The Air Force does an event called a Release Party when Airmen promote. I find this interesting because the Navy celebrates everything with cake. I don’t know about you, but I prefer cake to a party any day. I love cake!

So I’ve been sick for weeks now it seems. And as soon as I get well, then someone else in our house gets sick. If we could all just be well at the same time I’d really appreciate it.

My run streak is broken. A tragedy. See above sickness. I could have ran, I know I could have. But I didn’t. I just wanted to get well! In other related news, my running friend, Morgan from Oregon, has an interest in running Run the Rail. In the late 1990’s, two railroads, the Union Pacific and the Chaparral, decided to cease active service and “railbanked” this stretch of rail bed making it available for non-motorized activities, hence the 6th annual Run the Rail Half Marathon. This year will be the first time a marathon distance is offered. I’m considering running with Morgan, but the decision needs to be made like…NOW…because there’s only 6 weeks until this race and I’m currently training at a max 5k distance.

Day 2

First day of school takeaway: lunch is the best part of the day. Can’t argue. I guess it was so great she left her thermos in the cafeteria and decided to eat school-offered lunch vice taking her own on the second day. In her defense, Friday was pizza day.

Anybody else remember school pizza? It was amazing!

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I ask you –

What year did you graduate high school?

Do you have little people in school? What grades?

Tell me your favorite school meal!

Is this the…Tipping Point?

Podcast debut! The Modern Idiot (affectionately acronym’ed TMI) graciously invited me as a guest onto their pod. What a fun night! Spoiler alert: one half of the dynamic duo who hosts this podcast was a US Navy classmate. We have history, you could say.

In the same weekend, an old article I wrote for a different blog, Pregnant and Perfect, was reposted by a surgeon in Beverly Hills, California. This may not sound like a celebratory moment for anyone else, but the fact it’s still relevant information is astounding. When I mentioned this article to my sister, even she said she didn’t remember anyone using or sharing info on maternity belts when she was pregnant with her children, 16 and 14 years ago, respectively. Don’t ask me how I they’re so old. I don’t know. Granted it may not help with all pregnancy-related issues, but my personal belief is using a maternity belt regularly during the workday and when I expected to be on my feet for prolonged periods of time was key to a lack of stretch marks and ligament pain during my own pregnancy because it lifted my belly up and back which helps with posture and pain. Much like a girdle, it’s not sexy by any means but it gets the job done!

“It was not the perspective of the painting that had been wrong all these years, it was the perspective of the people looking at it.” I fully realize this post is behind in the publishing process because the above events happened nearly a month ago. For those that don’t know, I make it a practice to wait a few weeks to post, if possible, to protect mine and my family’s privacy. And it helps me to disconnect.  So I waited on this post for one reason: I needed to step back in order to not get consumed with doing too much at once. Granted, it took me how many weeks to get a merchandise page going (nearly 2 years of weeks). But anyway…

About the painting? I don’t know. I don’t paint. I can barely walk and chew gum. You get the idea.

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I ask you –

Have you listened to my podcast episode yet? Your thoughts?

Do you paint? Draw? Chew gum?

Other bloggers: tell me how much time typically passes between writing and publishing your posts.

It’s My Anniversaries!

Credit: Patrick Tomasso via unsplash

Part 1 – Blog

Bloggiversary! 2 whole years of twice weekly, often times random, definitely funny blog posts. I’d like to thank you all. Seriously. Thank you for following, commenting, liking, sharing, and encouraging me.

And, on that note, with everyone’s advice considered, I will soon be moving past the IG handle “mindbodyshameless”. If I had to guess, she’s who I am when I write in italics. She’s the fun one! But this small change is necessary to keep growing and I’m looking forward to the next 2, 5, 10 years of sharing everything with you all here.

Credit: Finn via unsplash

Part 2 – Therapy

I’ve been in a happy relationship with my therapist/counselor/muse/life coach for 2 wild years! It took a very long time, but I’m no longer afraid to disclose I work with an amazing person who has opened my eyes and mind to the poor state of my mental health. Thank you!

What a world we live in when we can’t (or don’t) feel comfortable enough to share something is wrong. I don’t have it together; I doubt I ever will. But I’m the strongest, most capable me I’ve ever been. She’s amazing, if I do say so myself.

Keeping it short and sweet this week due to vacationing! Hopefully – surely? – I can come back with more interesting topics to discuss, as well as a renewed mind. Hope you all are having a great day!

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I ask you –

For other bloggers, how long have you been doing this?

Do you think society is embracing counselor culture more so now than before?

Tell me about a previous or upcoming vacation!

Key Toe Lyfe Stile

Beyond every ad, article, self-promoting good doer, and television commercial is a person who wants to have the type of lifestyle that just “works” for them. Mine is keto. Before you go off on a tangent about high cholesterol and/or fat, bad genetics, or some version of the previous, I will disclaim I know only what works for me. Me. Ok? Yes, I cheat sometimes. Yes, I’ve fallen off the wagon and bounced awhile. But I keep coming back to it because it makes me feel my best.

Now that I’ve said all this – let me show you a little bit of what it looks like for me. There’s ice cream!

Because I promised ice cream –

one of my favorites
when ice cream for breakfast won’t do
Rebel brand – an expensive treat

I eat a lot of salad. Nearly every day actually. And eggs. Scrambled with as much butter as I desire. Never met a chicken I didn’t like either. Asparagus is always on the menu, along with deep fried Brussels or quick green beans. Truly, I don’t cut out any vegetables except potatoes and corn.

Yes, I eat bread. Yes, I know bread is mostly white flour. But there are several keto-friendly options and I’ve tried many until I found my favorite(s).

(L to R) Sola, Nature’s Own (sugar free), and Braum’s (carb watch)

Cost? I don’t think I spend any more money eating my way than I would if I ate out regularly. The real cost is time. Meal prep takes time. A lot of time. Purchase, thaw, prep vegetables, cook meats, assemble meals, etc etc etc. Eating out definitely has its merits. Steak and meat item prices have risen lately, but chicken is pretty stable for now. I can’t think of one thing that doesn’t have a suitable alternative for every price point. Frozen and canned vegetables are nearly as healthy as fresh ones. The above photo re: bread is comparable to other sliced bread – minus Sola; Sola is expensive for the very small loaf and small slices you get. The point is keto doesn’t have to be expensive.

I am not ever going to try to convince someone my way of life is for them. I know this. I’ve seen keto do amazing things for others (a friend of mine lost over 100 lbs), but please don’t be afraid to try something new if you’re looking for a change. All that’s required is for you to enjoy it, be able to live your life, and feel your best.

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I ask you –

Do you prefer Greek or other types of yogurt?

Have you ever tried a “lose weight quick” diet? How did it work out for you?

Tell me what foods you eat the most! (Yes, coffee does count!)

Outs / Abouts

Has anyone tried one of these? I NEED that pecan caramel cinnamon heavenly thing. Too bad for you other-than-Texas-and-Oklahoma people. Braum’s is ours!

I should just give in

Whilst on a leisurely downtown stroll, I came across this funniness. Red, preferably.

I do love me some wine

And, then, to complete the collection of owning nearly every type of Keurig created. Monopoly, much? I feel like once I’ve run out of these, I might be stuck. So far — Keurig: 3; Me: 1. Why don’t electronics love me like I love them?

Original to Supreme Plus to Elite

My colleagues know me well. I’ve been working very hard towards our new office mantra of “Be the best first impression!” Work early, stay late, big smile, lots of laughter. All the things! Granted, I think I’ve always had a great attitude and work ethic, but there were a few weeks where I was Negative Nancy, for sure. Have you met my friend, Crow? No amount of sugar can make crow taste good. So I got it together and got back to being cheerful.

coffee rewards

Sometimes it may take awhile, but remember there’s always someone else watching.

So laugh loudly and spell correctly!

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I ask you –

Have you been to a Braum’s? Tell me how much you love their ice cream!

What type of coffee maker do you use?

Name something you’re thankful for! Coffee, hugs, ice cream…shall I go on?

Garmin Forerunner 745 – Review

Being a (very long time) promoter of Fitbit, I recently turned the tables and went a different direction.

first run!

1. I love this thing! Technology is my friend, but I was super worried I may not “get it”. Transitioning from a touch screen to real buttons wasn’t as big of a challenge as I anticipated. There’s only 5.

2. Menstrual tracking is by no means considered glamorous. Not in the slightest. However, I had been frustrated with Fitbit because they had very few “symptoms” options when using this feature. Pardon me, but I experience more than just cramps and backache. Hello, estrogen-producing people, this is for you. With Garmin, there’s also a notes section so I can input anything they don’t cover. Fitbit originally had a notes feature, but upon some update many years ago, it disappeared.

3. Training Load. Although I’ve heard from many people who state this designation isn’t always accurate, for now I’m holding it in high regard. To explain training load, Garmin compiles your daily exercise, stress levels, sleep score, and many other data points to recommend whether or not you should be training that day or waiting a determined amount of time. I think the reason some may not agree is because there are more factors involved than just what your watch is tracking, like overall training history. Make sense? If I’m training for a double, then most weeks I will need to run back-to-back. Garmin never recommends this.

4. Size. My schmedium wrist is accommodated by most watch sizes, but it usually involves taking out the final pin. Apparently the Forerunner 945 – the one step up edition from mine – has the largest watch face. Aesthetically speaking…I didn’t want to wear everyday a HUGE watch. Turns out I made a good choice with the 745 because it fits me well.

5. Battery life. Is awesome! I was charging my Fitbit every 2-3 days. Garmin states this watch battery will last 5 days with regular GPS usage. They didn’t lie. Even with internal music controls (which I’ll get to in a moment) and GPS use during most runs, the battery is still going strong at day 5. Surely if I didn’t run or use the music function, it would most likely hold a single charge for 7-10 days.

quick peak into my daily life

6. Music! A new watch requirement was internal music storage and playback. #1 selling point. My Fitbit had the same feature but to add music to it was a work of frustration. It took hours. Not kidding. Garmin Connect (the desktop/user platform) has a great user interface and I added music seamlessly to the program. The volume, song shuffle, and repeat functions on my watch are easily navigated. Also – my biggest issue with Fitbit – is I can toggle between my workout and the music controls WHILE keeping the workout in progress! This is incredible to me because with Fitbit I had to start the music first then start a run. No other order of events would work. And if music suddenly stopped mid-run, the run would have to be completed or ended before I could resume listening. I ran a half marathon without music once and I was livid. Yes, I’m the weirdo who hates carrying their phone. Less is more in terms of phone use mid-run and length of shorts.

7. It coaches me. You’re not the boss of me! Well, apparently it is. It talks to me – guides me, if you will – through workouts. My least favorite thus far are the hill repeats and speed runs. And since these are the only 2 I’ve done, here we are. A very sweet sounding lady I affectionately call the ‘b’ word instructs me on each portion of the run. For example, ‘b’ will say “Run, 0.5 miles, pace 8:40 to 9 mins”. Told ya’. And then if I run too fast, an annoying beeping sound will be emitted into the vicinity of my eardrums. If I run too slow, a different but equally annoying sound will clue me in. Finally, if I’m hitting the pace, a soft, gentle, single tone will be barely heard and I’ll still wonder if I’m doing it right. But really. This is a perk because if I was running my own plan – I usually do – then I would shortchange myself.

8. Lastly (I had to end on an even number) there are sleep tracking, alarm clock, and notification settings I haven’t even begun to explore. Like I mentioned before, sleep data does play a role in training load (see #3) so it really requires no effort from me except to, well, sleep. I’ve heard several complaints about the Fitbit alarm being too soft or gentle to wake anyone. For me, it was fine but I’m a light sleeper and the understated wrist vibration was enough to wake me. Garmin has a tone and/or vibrate option. I’ve been using both for my wake-up time; so far, no complaints. Overall, I don’t enjoy receiving phone calls or text and email notifications on my watch so I always disable this feature. Don’t bother me when I’m running! Maybe eventually I’ll change my mind. For now, running or working out is my ‘me time’. There’s very few things so important to warrant the interruption.

In regards to #6 and the less is more concept, the ability to phone a friend if I’m hurt on the side of the road is also a watch asset. With one long press of a button, my emergency contacts are notified of my location. Though this wouldn’t have helped much on the VA Beach boardwalk.

first workout

But, just in case…

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I ask you –

What’s the most important watch feature for you? Tells time!

Daydream a minute – if you could only have 1 extra watch feature, what would it be? I want fireworks to randomly shoot from mine!

Tell me what you currently have on your wrist! Watch on one, Just Run mantra band on the other.