Share No More + Adopt-a-Highway

I shared my body, my peace of mind, my time, my humor, my breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks, and my personal space with her. I’m not sharing my cookie! P.S. I sat in my car alone and ate the ENTIRE cookie.

Crumbl box sans cookie

Then I did something nice (read: made plans, changed other’s plans, rescheduled the changed plans, updated the newest plans) for a group of people and they thanked me with Girl Scout cookies.

The following emoji indicates the remainder of May’s weather: 🥵 I can’t run outside in this. I can’t even walk! All. Month. Long. My fear is if it’s this hot in May, what will July look like? Please send us rain.

wind = blow dryer

And, like any half-brained person in the midst of triple digit temperatures, I scheduled a Day of Service volunteer opportunity for 2 squadrons and 1 group. AF lingo. I’m supremely pleased with the turnout – 18 people – and the nearly 10 full bags of trash we removed from the sides of a 2-mile stretch of highway. I can’t speak for other states, but Texas has the Adopt-a-Highway program where organizations can “adopt” a stretch of public highway. The intent is for each organization to host quarterly cleanup days to maintain Texas roadways. Admittedly, I had no idea my squadron owned a piece of land until a few weeks ago so my tentative plan is to offer a volunteer opportunity twice a year. Read: when it’s cold outside and the threat of snakes is virtually nonexistent.

…but why…

Oh hell no! If you need me, I’ll be anxiously scanning every piece of dry land for slithering inhabitants. Texas, please stop being so difficult.

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I ask you –

Do you hide from your children when eating snacks? You can lie to me but not to yourself!

Does your state have something similar to the Adopt-a-Highway program?

Snakes: “look, friends” or “run for your life”! Obviously – run for the hills screaming like a banshee.

Facing Giants

I’m 5 weeks into a long 10k training plan and it still blows my mind how I ran a sub 10 min/mile avg for over 13 miles just 5 months ago. And it was awesome! Now? I’m barely sustaining a 11:30 min/mile for a 5k.

Whoever talked so highly about a comeback was a liar. What’s this comeback you speak of? Because I sure haven’t seen it yet. The only thing coming back is my level of discipline. Although work is really trying hard to throw me off. Anyway – 10k. It doesn’t feel possible I’ll ever get there. On the bright side, most knee pain has all but disappeared. Sometimes there’s a twinge, occasionally it’s a little more than a twinge, but I’m reminded this is normal and may just be a lifelong effect of a torn anything. A run last week reminded me I’ve come a long way and not to be too hard on myself. Still weird though.

In April, I also faced a different kind of giant…the celebration of my great Aunt Mary Catherine’s 95th birthday! She’s no giant. But the revere and awe I am of her is bigger than life. You’d think she’d stop falling for these surprise birthday parties, but it worked again. Her big smile, bigger heart, and sweet words make my soul sing. She is a giant in my eyes – of the most tender loving kind I’ve ever known. Many relatives, family friends, and neighbors were there to share in her day. I even convinced her to eat two pieces of cake. It wasn’t difficult.

Mini finagled her way into Rubik’s cube lessons with my uber-smart cousin.

fast learner

We also had time to take Bluebonnet photos on the side of the highway. This was near where I had the car accident 2 yrs ago so it felt good to find something beautiful near a place I’m not fond of.

Giants aren’t always scary, looming creatures; sometimes they’re just small stepping stones. Other times, they’re the people you love the most whom are giant in your eyes.

______________________________

I ask you –

Are you currently training for anything? Survival counts!

Who is the oldest living person in your family?

Tell me what a “giant” looks like to you!

Gym Faux Pas

As I’ve made going to the gym a regular occurrence, it’s time to report on what I’ve witnessed thus far.

  1. Stretchy Lady – the one who chooses to stretch in the locker room, centered in the walkway, the only entrance/exit to said locker room which forces the remainder of us to navigate around her with our gym bags. She’s going to get whacked. Sorry, not sorry.
  2. Treadmill Guy – who leaves his gym bag and various other paraphernalia behind the treadmill which impedes patron’s ability to reach other treadmills and equipment. Then, he laughs obnoxiously loud whilst watching Fox News. What could possibly be funny is beyond me.
  3. Weight Whiners – these pieces of work take one of every single weight of dumbbell back to their bench lair and hide them under it like little trolls. I’m thankful we have a gym with multiples of the same weight, but it’s annoying to go search for another dumbbell. My obvious glare should be enough to reason with them.

Sort of gym-related, I need a shirt that says DO NOT FEED DONUTS! This is not a weight issue. It’s a serious problem for me! I see donut. I eat donut. What’s self control anyway?

The weather is completely uncooperative. 98° in April? Someone told me we beat a previously held record in the 1920’s because this particular day it hit 103°. I’m not ready! For those of you who faithfully read my blog and mention snow or rain, I’m jealous. Texas is in a pattern of tornado-wind-drought-hell. Send rain!

photography skills are exceptional

As time goes on, I feel even more strongly I must have some Italian heritage because I can’t talk without my hands. The injury above proves it. How does one scratch the skin off of the area above their eye whilst telling a story? Oh so gracefully! I’m sure it won’t be the last time.

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I ask you

Do you relate to any of the 3 aforementioned gym fanatics?

Are you a hand talker, too?!

Go ahead. Tell me what weather you’re experiencing this week. Hot, hot, hot.

Outdoor Collections

When Spring comes alive:

Doo-dads!

Aptly named “Doo-dads” because a) my dad created them and b) because it’s fun to say and I have no other terminology. In essence, they are suncatchers. The backyard gets the sunset so it also gets the suncatchers! Unfortunately, I’m either busy or not home when the weather is decent enough to sit outside to watch. To do list item.

Female Ducky

Each year a pair of ducks comes to our neighborhood and hangs out for awhile. With the addition of some new families, I enlisted the help of a few girls to watch over the ducks and make sure their rambunctious brothers and cousins didn’t run the ducks off. Maybe we’ll see some ducklings!

I don’t care what anyone says – daffodils do not exist in my world. There are only jonquils! They may look like daffodils, they may be exactly the same for all I know; however, I will forever call them jonquils. The end. I’m incredibly pleased these bloomed this year and will make a return each year.

Lastly, only in Texas: Blue Bell Creamery in Brenham, TX is experimenting with drone delivery. Full details here. Interestingly, they’re not delivering near Brenham; instead the plan is to deliver in two small towns near DFW. Let’s explore this. I don’t know the cost, but it would be a huge problem in my neighborhood. I would be getting daily deliveries! If you’ve never had an opportunity to try Blue Bell ice cream, you’re missing out!

Now I shall go take my daily dose of Zyrtec in order to prevent a horrible case of sneezing, itchy, runny, red eyes and nose. Because Texas spring is in bloom.

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I ask you –

Do you have any yearly animal visitors?

What are your favorite flowers?

Spring: yay or oh-please-not-again. Definitely yay!

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.

 

On the life scale … + PT Update

Just when I get accustomed to a routine at physical therapy – a collection of 8 or so exercises targeting core, hamstrings, knee, and glutes – I’m treated to a wonderful surprise. A new routine! It’s really not wonderful. But of course they didn’t remove the exercises that are the hardest for me. Oh no. Why would they do that? Ugh. Instead, they leave the super difficult ones and add some others in place of the ones I was starting to master. Sure. Why not.

I like to call these “truly awful”

In related news, I can tell my lower body strength is increasing. Because Texas graciously awarded us a week of beautiful Spring-like weather a week after the second ice storm, I was able to run outside. Not one to waste an opportunity, the run was my first since beginning PT and I could tell a difference in the way my hamstrings didn’t feel “wobbly”. There was a slight knee twinge around mile 1.5 so I walked some, then when I restarted, everything felt fine. It’s working!! I’m extremely thankful to Renau Rehab for guiding me; working with Max and PJ has been incredible. Beyond being very knowledgeable, they’re also kind, funny, and invested in my return to running.

these are called “one-legged wonders”

Also, have you ordered your Running on Fumes merchandise yet? There’s still time and many options available, from tanks to hoodies to coffee mugs to tote bags! You can find your next RoF item here!

the beloved Ms. Dory! (hoodie)

Last week was one of those weeks where if it isn’t one thing, it’s a billion others. From craving ice cream – all I could find were popsicles – to multiple days of gorgeous sunshine, besides the craziness, it was one for the books. Personally, I’m just glad we’re moving forward.

This is officially the week before my birthday week (it’s a Sunday this year) and I have big plans. Stay tuned!

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I ask you –

What part of exercising is your favorite? When it’s over!

How often do you do any task that requires standing on one foot?

Tell me your favorite cold, sweet treat!

Day in Photos, pt 4 + Snow Notes

First snowstorm of 2022 was a rousing success, in my humble, North Texas, don’t drive on wet pavement opinion.

Also, I had just recovered from a stomach bug my generous mini brought home from school. Bless her heart. Every single year during Jan/Feb time frame, I inevitably contract some sort of digestive issue resulting in at least 24 hours of disgusting unmentionable symptoms. Truly an exciting time to look forward to. You may think I’m being dramatic, but I’m not. Every year for the past 10+ years. Like clockwork. It’s a running joke now. If you’ll recall, I was almost finished with a 31 day run streak in Jan 2021 when I got suspected food poisoning on the 27th. Run streak: busted. I could barely walk to the bathroom much less run.

Anyway, the photos. Who needs proper snow weather clothing when Crocs and a thin nightgown will do just fine.

Anyone else addicted to the popular game Wordle? Jason, I know you are! I’ve got two degrees and this is what I use them for.

Doing well!

As the day progressed, it got colder and snow-ier. We also found appropriate clothing, less pants that fit. Stop growing! If anyone is looking for me, I’ll be scouring all 3 local stores in search of ski or snow pants for an almost six year old.

Sledding for days

As my office and I were discussing the possibility of snow days, of course talk turned to driving on ice. I stayed quiet. Upon my coworker’s remembrance of the reason I don’t drive in this weather anymore, the next sentence ensued “…what kind of employer would make their employee drive to work in that?” Let me clear it up. No one except my own insane need to do what I felt was right made me drive that day. I felt a loyalty to people I worked with and for. Repeatedly they instructed me to stay home. Repeatedly I replied I got this. And we know how it ended. Now, I am thankful each day I believe in my heart there is nowhere I am more needed than to stay home when the weather turns bad. My family is here and I have nowhere to be.

Now excuse me while I patiently await the next round of snow days. After a weekend of 70 degree weather to make it really complicated.

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I ask you –

Do you play outside in the snow? I’d rather watch.

Wordle! Who else plays?

Give me your best snowman-building tricks!

Final Christmas Thoughts

We finally (like it’s not only January) got snow, then the following day I had to take down Christmas decorations. But I was rewarded with nature at its finest – tiny ladybugs everywhere! It certainly wasn’t enough snow to play in; I still have plenty of hope we’ll have another February blizzard like last year.

bare feet

Belated Christmas with mini was a rousing success. We had her requested snack supper and she opened gifts until I couldn’t see the floor for all the wrapping paper, boxes, and tissue. How does one small child have all this stuff? Maybe next year we can do a one gift limit. Somebody tell Santa. I’m still sorting the gigantic plastic tub of gifts she returned with from Tennessee and her dad’s family. It never ends.

Now that I’m thinking about it…the title of this post seems a little dark. I didn’t mean it’s the final Christmas. I meant it’s my final thoughts on Christmas. Since Christmas was held at my house in January. Whatever. You’ll figure it out.

As school has gone back into session, the familiar feeling of gotta-do-it-all’s returned. From homework to reading folders to checking out her first library book, the sleepiness of holidays faded into the background. Just where I like it. Even after all these years, I still struggle getting into the holiday spirit and end up sounding like a Scrooge with my final comments…

school routine

I’m really glad it’s over. Now, where’s the spring flowers that bring May showers? Or whatever they say.

_______________________

I ask you –

Any final Christmas thoughts?

Did you get snow on Christmas Day?

A report I read stated thousands of people or more will go into debt during the holidays. I just don’t get it.

RoF – Caffeine Injected

After we’d spent 2 1/2 hrs driving through rain on the way back from taking mini to the meet-up point in Arkansas for her Tennessean Christmas, I was in dire need of coffee. A random road sign caught my attention in a town not 15 mins from the small town I haunted (I mean, went to school in) while growing up.

Dekalb Grinder

Apparently this adorable coffee shop has been open for 4 years, but it was brand new to me! Introducing De Kalb Grinder! Greeted by two lovely young women, Whitney and Kourtney, I was instantly in love with their sweet smiles and joyful attitude!

(L to R) Kourtney and Whitney

Introducing De Kalb Grinders, located at 136 N Runnels St, De Kalb, TX 75559, right next to Jody’s Flowers, in downtown De Kalb!

My usual drink – hot latte with heavy cream and sugar free vanilla – was extra delicious with the addition of sugar free peppermint mocha. So delicious! De Kalb Grinders’ price point is also below what I’m accustomed to paying for a cup of coffee. For those who want more than coffee, this shop has numerous tables to share with your friends and family while eating something from the extensive breakfast and lunch menu. Note: Whitney said the pancakes are made from scratch!

there’s another page on the back!

The coffee cups made me genuinely laugh! There was also a photo op area; as I was leaving, I saw two young kids getting their photos taken. What a great idea!

catchy!

Needless to say, next time I’m headed toward anywhere east of Texas, I’ll be stopping by! You can find out more about De Kalb Grinders 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!