Candy, Candy, Candy!

There’s so much candy in our office right now. Typically I can resist (it’s the donuts that get me), but I’m here to tell you that you need those brown Lindor truffles in your life. Snickerdoodle Truffles. I ate so many. Now it’s a never-ending pattern of candy and sweet treats until at least July.

Notice there’s no Twix in this bowl. Because I ate them all. And then went to a different office seeking more.

My stress levels have been incredibly high this past week so I did what any self-respecting individual would do. I worked extra hard to complete all my schoolwork and ate chocolate. Tis working for me.

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I ask you –

Favorite type of candy?

Have you tried the Snickerdoodle Lindor truffles yet?

Happy Halloween, everyone!

(The post Candy, Candy, Candy! first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Halloween Spirit

What’s scarier than Advanced Public Finance and Budgeting? Except the fact I don’t recall taking basic finance and budgeting.

As I’m not really a spooky Halloween spirit type of gal, I could take it or leave it. But any chance of mini dressing up and she’s all for it. Somehow October kind of got away from me – now we’re less than a week away from Halloween. All I’ve done is purchase a costume and candy. But that’s pretty much the only requirement, right?

Apparently kids love these

If you ever see me in a haunted house, just know I’ve been kidnapped; please call the authorities to rescue me. Seriously.

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I ask you –

Do you enjoy Halloween?

Thoughts on haunted houses?

Porch light on or off?! Off. We go to a different neighborhood. No naked neighbors for me!

(The post Halloween Spirit first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

My Face When…

this is my face when…

When you’ve been writing for 4 hours and only have 2 pages. I need 6 pgs minimum.

When a doctoral candidate writes (paraphrased) “people who are emotionally weaker have a tendency to be depressed”. Wow. This statement is fantastically false and hurtful. Idiot.

When one of the assigned readings is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (not really, one of the authors is named Hyde so that’s what I call this book) and it mentions the U.S.S.R. – which I should be careful in even typing because we know how that turned out for me last time. It struck me as weird because it’s a very outdated title. Turns out it was written in 1959. Now it all makes sense.

When I drop off mini at school and can’t find my ID to access work. My sweet coworker (Ms. P, remember) happily informs me it’s at my computer. At work. Which I can’t get to without said ID. In nearly 10 years, I have never left my ID in any place other than intended. Thankfully I had other methods to get to work. But still. Now I have to start over on my record.

When mini wants to discuss the merits and nuances of “running sticks”. Tampons. That’s what we’re talking about here. She’s 6 so I give her an age appropriate explanation. Just as I thought we were done – aka I had sufficiently navigated these uncharted waters – she asks…so where do they go? My answer: inside your body. As a look of horror and disgust cross her little face, she loudly says “YOU EAT THEM?!” And this is where I said we’re going to be late for school, let’s go.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be over questioning every life choice ever made and frantically searching for that damn parenting manual. Again. As I always do.

___________________________

I ask you –

Do you have a winning streak on never forgetting your ID or some other form of work access card, etc?

What conversation was the hardest with your child(ren)?

Send help. I don’t know what I’m doing over here.

(The post My Face When… first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

What’s Another Word for Concepts?

My readers have probably discovered by now I get a lot of writing material from listening to the radio. Radio is for the morning; earbuds (just music) is for running. Bobby Bones and his crew were speaking to a guest about her psychic abilities and what that meant for Bobby. I don’t entirely know his buy-in, but it was fun to listen to. So this prompted my own questions:

Photo by Tara Winstead on Pexels.com

Psychic vs. Self Fulfilling Prophecy – As I’ve never been to a psychic or had any type of reading done, I don’t know the ins and outs of this process. However, suffice to say, a stranger with ability to see/hear/forecast your future tells you in the most generalized way possible what might happen. In my opinion, this is much like allowing a horoscope to dictate your entire day. Do you. My question is how many people create a self fulfilling prophecy by leaning on every word of a psychic? In case you’re unfamiliar, self fulfilling prophecy is when one expects something to happen and then inadvertently engineers it to happen (that’s the minimalist version, look it up yourself for the entirety). It’s actually really interesting to me because there is a psychological phenomenon property to it. Have you ever heard of women who “believe themselves pregnant”? It’s true. Our bodies and minds can do miraculous things. Anyway, I propose there must exist a connection between psychic conclusions and self fulfilling prophecy in the way we are told something could/should/might happen then it comes true because we made it come true. You can have your hypothesis and I’ll have mine.

Stability Before Resiliency – during our recent CSAF visit, Gen Brown visited with the Chaplains. One mentioned something to the effect of “we must focus on stability before resiliency”. Granted, I realize resiliency has become another buzzword for the military and probably for the public sector, as well; however, it is something I’m passionate about. As a Resiliency Trainer – and this time next month I’ll be traveling to receive certification as a Master Resiliency Trainer (fancy, right?) – I believe in muscle memory, most notably within the confines of psychological behavior. Though I’m sure we each have ideas on how soft the military is or how it “wasn’t like this when we were in”…nonetheless, times have changed and we must change with them. Teaching resiliency or at least bringing it up serves a higher purpose than a check mark on a to-do list. Off my tangent now. My belief is the Chaplain was referring to ensuring stability within an Airman’s life before incorporating resiliency. I don’t think he meant catering to what one wants to hear but focusing on their mental and occupational stability prior to expecting them to understand how to self-regulate and prioritize resiliency. I intend to study and use this idea during next month’s training as the possibilities and outcomes of such is notable.

I also need to stop writing like I get a grade for how many big yet theoretical words I use. Tomorrow. I’ll start tomorrow.

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I ask you –

Have you ever been to a psychic? What was the outcome?

Do you agree with stability before resiliency?

Somehow October is flying by. Tell me something awesome you have going on!

(The post What’s Another Word for Concepts? first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Always with the Random Stuff

I was researching the hours away one morning when my mini decided to join me to “write her blog” as she put it. No idea where she got that.

As her little fingers diligently found home row keys with her warm skin pressed against mine, I marveled. She typed away while we talked about the things she’d been learning in computer class. At least they still learn proper typing techniques.

This same day my research consisted of a case study on Amelia Earhart. I brainstormed ways to bridge statesmanship with her love of flying. Really, I wanted to publish an author’s note about how I was going to tie these two seemingly wildly different concepts together but decided against it when I couldn’t come up with any phrase other than “let me land this plane”. My professor probably wouldn’t see the humor in such wording. Or maybe he would. Best err on the side of caution.

Squirrels: overgrown, bushy-tailed rodents. The one in this photo above buried his nuts in all the pots. You’re not a teenager, stop laughing. So he goes around uprooting everything searching for his lost nuts. Still laughing, aren’t you? If I owned a slingshot, he wouldn’t look there for his nuts. Cracked myself up. Get it, get it.

poor, dry fingernails

As most people do, I wear many hats in the office. Recently I was a baby lizard wrangler. My incredible co-worker, Ms. P., doesn’t like me to dispose of any living creature we find. Even the crickets but I do it anyway. However, I make exceptions for lizards. I relocated him outdoors. Funny how I got her a flyswatter and she’ll use that thing on anything. Hmmmmm.

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I ask you –

Do your children copy what you do?

Are you an animal saver?

From 1 to my-humor-is-wildy-inappropriate, where do you fit in?! I’m a 10!

(The post Always with the Random Stuff first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Call Sign STUMPER

Allow me to share a story – it’s a long one. Have a seat.

In my (military, civilian, non-profit, etc) career(s), I haven’t had an opportunity to speak with anyone at the federal, national, even state level, to my knowledge. So when presented with such opportunity, I nicely jumped all over it. Some parts of this event were volun-told, but others were sheer chance alone. During a recent visit from the United States Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen CQ Brown, Jr., as hundreds of people crowded into an auditorium, I took my place about 5 rows from the front. Again, when would a visit from this official ever happen again? We were presented typical pre-speech information: don’t take selfies, turn your phone off, and (my favorite) here’s how to ask a question at the end. My friends and I made small talk, ahem, jokes. I regaled them with the story about the time I sang in front of the installation commander. Them: You can sing?! Me: Hahahaha no. On time as always the General arrived. He is a wonderful speaker, a seemingly humble individual, and a strong leader. His slides were short and his humor spot on. In many ways, he reminded me of my current squadron commander. I truly hope one day he, too, will grace stages with an entourage of security detail and big picture awareness. Approximately 30 mins later, the big QA session began. My hand went up before the words were out of the moderator’s mouth. I stood, politely introduced myself, and asked the following question: “Sir, as you have a high impact, high visibility position, what perception do you think we, as civilians and Airmen, get wrong about what you do?” Silence. Deafening silence. Suddenly I became the recipient of wild looks and laughter. The General began to pace the stage in silence. Finally, he answered. His answer was a well-rounded approach to being a father, husband, and son. He struggles with the same things we do. He worries about his children, now adults themselves. He sits around at night and can’t believe he gets to do what he does. I thanked him for his time so others could ask their questions. Fast forward to my office later – a conversation ensued between the Senior Leader and my supervisor. Cue the laughing. Unbeknownst to me, jokes of stumping the General were made on the surrey as he departed. I can only imagine my commander’s face. Kel, you need to stop speaking.

And that’s how I became known as STUMPER.

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I ask you –

Thoughts on the call sign?

Have you ever been laughed at?

Share your wild stories!

(The post Call Sign STUMPER first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Stupidity Does Not Stereotype

Most of you won’t recognize the players or situation I’m referring to, but it may ring true in a different part of your life.

Recently an apology was published in a local newspaper for the incredibly ill-timed and insensitive (mostly because of timing) article written in the days after a tragic car crash killed two young men. To my understanding, alcohol was involved and both young men were underage. The article – again, to my understanding, was written by the paper’s either owner or editor – went on about how stupid people make stupid decisions.

Unpopular opinion: the writer isn’t wrong. Small caveat: even smart people make stupid decisions. Stupidity doesn’t stereotype. Now, before you shoot the messenger, let me explain I’m sharing my opinion out of love and understanding. And in those two words (love and understanding) the truth is a hard pill to swallow. No one wants to hear how a vehicle accident that killed two people was their fault. No one wants to acknowledge it could have been prevented. No one wants to experience a situation where their children die because of a choice they made.

Again, I’m not defending the writer of the article. I am saying I should not be here due to many of the choices I made as a young person. Let me check the statute of limitations. Ok – as a teenager I drove after having consumed alcohol. I rode in a vehicle with others whom I knew were too intoxicated to be driving. I was underage in every one of these examples. I know several young people who were killed in car accidents involving alcohol. I also know a person convicted of manslaughter after he killed someone while doing something stupid while driving while intoxicated. Please believe me when I say I have enough experience to say what the two young men killed recently were doing was incredibly stupid. The article writer was not wrong. Insensitive, yes, but not wrong.

Families and local citizens are up in arms about the article. Upon the writer’s written apology, it seems to have gotten worse. I have no doubt the writer is sorry for their words. However, most seem to be angry because the article reads like a copy/paste of an obituary. Once again, what other option did the writer have but to Google the information? I suspect the writer didn’t know the family(s) personally. The writer was doing what he/she does: writes. Of course it’s a public forum – a local newspaper – but (correct me if I’m wrong) many of the citizens all but banishing the writer from the community use their social media platforms as a bashing and rehashing tool themselves. Pot, kettle. It’s ok for us to endorse or completely tear apart others in our lives, but how dare someone else do so? Maybe these are even the people who have stood behind a wack job of a presidency (not necessarily current, but literally all of them). Seems it hits a little differently when it’s close to home, right?

If we want to be better, then we must do better. Forgive. Be the bigger person. Make a difference in your small town or big city. Vote. Better yet – if you don’t like what someone says or writes, then don’t follow them…unsubscribe from their publication…move… whatever it takes. But just because you can’t see their opinion does not make it wrong.

Lastly, talk with your children (or adult children) (or anyone) about the consequences of drinking and driving. What do you think the two young men who died would say about their actions – I doubt they’d say “oh it was worth it”.

Disclaimer: I probably won’t write an apology post so if this offends, angers, hurts, or causes someone to unfollow/unfriend/un-whatever me, we all have choices and I hope you make the best one for you.

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I don’t have any questions or photos for this post because it was tough enough to type as is. Feel free to comment, if you’d like.

(The post Stupidity Does Not Stereotype first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Hard Conversations

As many of my most loyal readers know, I have this bizarre reaction to death which makes me funnier than usual. However, this time around, I couldn’t find much to laugh about.

My sweet mini’s grandmother passed, then 3 days later her great-grandfather passed away, too. Both had been struggling for some time, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Holding your child while they cry knowing there’s nothing you can do to mend a broken heart is awful. Though it sounds odd to put it this way, I’m thankful I have experienced the loss of a parent because there’s a piece of numbness I’ve developed. Sounds bad, right? It’s taken more than 25 years to really delve into all the emotions but it’s been useful. I am incredibly thankful for friends and family who walked me through the what to say’s of this experience – people who know so much more than I do about life.

As I held my little mini, I watched her go through the textbook feelings and reactions of anyone who experiences grief. Anger, bargaining, acceptance, etc. That psychology background came in handy. And I’m proud of myself for being there for her in all the ways I believe my siblings and I didn’t receive. No offense intended.

In other news, my sister is feeling the gravity of working with me.

Me: Hey, how many treadmills do you have over there?

Me: Is the A/C working today? Do you have a fan facing the treadmills?

Her: I have this super important training to go to today – where is it?

Me: *responds with a recipe* What? Sorry. Can we make these for dessert this weekend? What were you saying? Oh, training, right?

This is so much fun. For me!

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I ask you –

Do you shy away from tough conversations or tackle them head on?

Have you ever worked with a family member?

Tell me how annoyed you think my sister is with me! Probably a 4. She’s used to it by now.

(The post Hard Conversations first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Weekend Recap

This past weekend brought about low overnight temperatures (upper 40’s and low 50’s). Best running weather ever! Unfortunately my body couldn’t seem to get it together. Old age sucks. My back began hurting midweek so by Friday night it was unbearable. The suspected culprit: my home desk chair. You know, where I spend several hours a day diligently writing and researching. Still don’t have week one grades. Hmmpphh. I’ve made the switch to a proper ergonomic, blah blah blah chair. Hopefully that fixes it.

Dr. Google informed me walking (and running, actually) can be beneficial for those who suffer from back spasms. As I essentially have the same degree as Dr. Google, I took the advice with a grain of salt (otherwise known in pill form as ibuprofen) and went for a walk. It didn’t kill me and I only had to stop twice when the spasms nearly knocked me off my feet. Successful walk.

September concluded with nearly 33 total miles for the month! Overall that sounds paltry to what fall training began with last year. But it also wasn’t 95+ degrees then so I’m ok with it.

But I did have a solid reason to lay around all weekend and shirk my running duties. Finally! The long awaited premier of Hocus Pocus 2! Not as good as the original but not bad either. We made Hocus Pocus buns – basically disappearing marshmallow buns. Very tasty!

Update: late Saturday I received grades for my first assignment. 75 out of 75 points and a “well done”. *bowing graciously*

_____________________

I ask you –

How much faith do you have in Google?

Have you watched Hocus Pocus 2 yet? No spoilers, please!

Tell me about your weekend!

(The post Weekend Recap first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Excuse Me, Have You Heard of Grammerly?

There’s a pattern to the amount of commercial vehicles attempting to gain access to a military base using the main gate. It’s written very plainly miles before and upon entrance to this gate “No commercial vehicles authorized. Please use xxxx gate.” As I eventually drove up to have my ID checked after once again waiting in line behind a semi-truck at the main gate, I made a joke about the sign. These are the responses I received –

1. English is a hard language. – no doubt

2. Readin’ is cheatin’ – please see #1

3. Reading is for the rich. I have no words.

In other news, at the time of this post, I’ll be in week two of my doctorate program. Week one was interesting.

original setup

I’m seriously amazed at the writing skills, ahem lack thereof, of my post-graduate classmates. Appalled would be a better description. Perhaps I should fear one of them reading this and being offended, but I’m not. As I’ve been out of school for 10 years there was concern I wouldn’t be able to do it. All the what ifs. What if I was so out of touch with technology I couldn’t navigate the sites? What if ideas don’t flow and I can’t write? Geez, if this class is the bar then I’m in space.

I wish this didn’t sound so selfish and self-absorbed. Probably should be ashamed now. But there are posts with bad grammar, misspellings, and an obvious lack of citations. Ramen Catholic Church anyone? Proofreading goes a long way in writing. Maybe they expected their word document to autocorrect like text. If I was the professor I’d cry.

You’re welcome, friends. These are the people who might, one day, spell checker-willing, be called doctor. Ugh. Help me.

______________________________________

I ask you –

Have you heard any of the phrases mentioned at the beginning of my post?

Did I go too far in pointing out my classmate’s misgivings? If so, I am sorry.

Ramen Catholic Church – I bet they have an abundance of seasoning packets.

(The post Excuse Me, Have You Heard of Grammerly? first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes