in my head

Friday, January 30, 2009

I am home from my fabulous trip to Miami...but more on that later. I woke up yesterday with a bunch of snot in my head and I had started losing my voice. This morning I woke up with no snot and no voice. As my boss said "it's a little like an extended vacation...for us!"

I have always had a "unique" voice. Some say it is Demi Moore-like. Others think it's cute, others have said it's sexy. I lose my voice quite often. In my younger days, when I went out to the bars and drank beer and talked over music, I would wake up with a really raspy/hoarse voice. On my wedding weekend, I had to be careful to not drink much beer as I was afraid I would have no voice with which to say I Do.

As I have gotten older, I don't go out to loud smoky bars and drink beer much anymore. However, when I get a cold or get sick, I almost always lose my voice. Sometimes, like today, I just wake up with no voice for no reason. Actually, I think there is a reason. I think my body is telling me to enjoy the silence. It is my way of just being in my brain without always having to be out loud.

So...for today, enjoy the silence!

Image from here.

What the Fuck Wednesday

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Since our dear friend Sarah Palin has been in the news's a recent family reunion photo of hers!

From Here.

I'm Off!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Here's a cheesy greeting-card type photo for you to say that I am off to Miami for the week. I am going with my friend Cara who said a few weeks ago "I wish someone wanted to go to Miami with me, I am staying in this really cool hotel." Of course, I invited myself straight away! I had miles to use up on Delta, so my flight was gratis too.

We're staying at the newly renovated Eden Roc hotel. I am planning on spending a lot of time doing nothing while Cara is working. I have my kindle all loaded up, the tunes on my ipod, and my running shoes packed. 3.5 miles on the beach can't be THAT bad, can it? I think I will have a massage, and maybe a facial. The temp is supposed to be in the 70s all week (compared to the 15 degrees it feels like here today!) and the sun will be shining.

I'll take my camera and try to remember to take a few photos. As long as it doesn't get in the way of my doing nothing!

Finally! The last question!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

5. do you think your half marathon will lead to a whole one and then on to triathlons and iron(wo)men races? are you on the slippery slope of super athlete-dom here? or did you suffer a blow to the head over the holiday that you're not telling me about. ;-) (ok that wasn't a very serious question, but i am interested in knowing what makes someone want to run when they're not being chased.)

I hope the half-marathon will lead to a whole one, but I kind of doubt it...but maybe someday. Honestly, I run for the challenge. I am truly a wimp and this is a way I can challenge myself and see if I am up to it.

Several years ago when I was in Hawaii I went to a seminar about Chi Running. I had read and studied about it, and I was lucky enough to be able to attend a seminar. The basic theory is that the principles of Tai Chi are applied to running. Thus, you concentrate on balance, centering, core and your chi. I was recovering from plantar fascitis, and had gotten to the point that the doctor ha said no more steroid shots into my foot any more. I figured I would have to quit running. But after I started applying the practice of Chi Running, my injury went away. That was about 3 years ago and I have been injury free ever since. If you want to know more about Chi Running, go here. Don't forget. I am a fairly new runner, so it was not hard to "change" old habits.

My friend Cara and I have talked many times about doing a triathlon, specifically the one in Chicago. Perhaps after i get OKC under my belt I will be willing to try something else. I was a swimmer in high school, and still do a little swimming, so I think I could manage a mini-triathlon for sure (1/10/3 I think).

Do, for a short answer, I run for the challenge. I am a recreational runner who needs an event to train for in order to keep me honest and get me out there regularly.

Now, off to write those interview questions for those who asked for them. I'll let you know when their answers are up!

What the Fuck Wednesday (on Thursday)

For those of you in to decor and stuff...may I recommend this for your next client?


Question #4:

4. tell me about your book club...who picks the books, how often do you meet, how does it work, who is involved and how did they come to be involved?

Ahh, the book club. I have such fond memories of the book club. You see, it was started several years ago by a friend and me who wanted to get an interesting group of women together to talk about books. We intentionally asked women that we didn't know terribly well. We purposely picked people who didn't necessarily run the the same circles. We chose people who were honest but not necessarily people we knew were big readers. It was the perfect group! There were 7 of us. We got along famously.

We have always gone from one to the next person in the group for the book choice. If I pick the book this time, Cara would pick it next time, and so on until we got back around to me 7 months later. This has allowed for all of us to have the chance to read books we might not have chosen ourselves. We have read everything from The Great Gatsby to No Country for Old Men to Valley of the Dolls. Every book we have read has provided great discussion.

But the book group has evolved (as most things do, I guess). We started out meeting monthly on a weekend night (we have been called wine group by our husbands) and now rarely meet any more. There have been some issues with scheduling. There have been other issues with personalities. Others of us have just needed a break. Our group started out so strong, and bonds and friendships grew and we got to know each other so well through our monthly meetings.

However, this group of women has a total of 11 children still living in our homes, and one grand child. 3 of us work full time outside the home and 4 work full time inside the home. Several of us travel regularly. Our kids ages range from first grade to 22 years. Admittedly schedules are hectic. Some of us are nostalgic for the old days of wine and discussion. Others of us just want someone to talk about a book we are reading. So we are currently at a little bit of a hiatus with our book group.

I think this is natural and needed. I am sad it has happened, but I have developed some beautiful friendships from this group of women, and have made it my mission to continue to get together with these women on a regular basis. I frequently see one on the weekend with our families. Another I have lunch with weekly. Another's kids babysit my kids so we chat often. I love all of these women and am thankful for the time we have spent together. Groups develop, grow and change. Ours has and will continue to. I look forward to the next incarnation of our group!

The Big five-oh

Monday, January 19, 2009

Image from here.
According to my spreadsheet, I have officially logged 50 miles in my training for the OKC half-marathon.
Sheesh, that's a lot of miles on these feet!

the third

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The third interview question:

3. you recently threw a party for charity, which i think is just about the most awesome idea i've come across in a long time, and i'd like to know a little bit more about the actual nitty gritty of organizing it...sort of a how-to for others who might want to do something similar. (plus, i'm not sure you got enough publicity/credit for this, you see.)

My friend Cara and I talked about having a cocktail party over the holidays. I had seen a few ideas in Real Simple magazine for fun parties like a gift wrapping party, and other things, but Cara had in the past had a party to benefit DVACK (domestic violence association of central kansas) in our town. I loved that idea, but was unable to attend that party. Cara said that while it was fun, not as many people showed up as she would have liked.

We decided to have our party but this time benefit the Emergency Aid Food Bank here in our town. I wanted to be sure we were very specific with folks about that they should bring for a donation. I have learned over time that the more specific you are about what you need, the more likely you are to get it! I called the EAFB before we did our invitations and learned that they were in need of flour, rice and noodles, as well as any kind of canned vegetables except for corn and green beans. I decided that it was simpler to just ask for the flour, rice and noodles.

I had read in Real Simple about the site called evite. It is a really easy way to send invitations thru the email. As Cara and I started going through our address books and sending invitations, it became obvious pretty quickly that we had invited A LOT of people. Like over 120 people. Crap! But almost as soon as we sent the invites we got responses. We got many, many compliments on the idea, many RSVPs and just a few regrets. Most of the folks who regretted brought donations by even though they couldn't be there. The only hitch in the invite process was that some people assumed it was a couples thing (which it wasn't intended to be, but we would have been fine with men coming.) Suddenly our 120 people could have been 240! My recommendation is to be certain your invite is clear if you intend to only invite women.

The party was a great success. It was from 6-8pm on Monday, Dec. 22nd. I think the closeness to Christmas was good for us. Those who were still in town came, and it was easy because only one person of a couple need attend. No babysitters required! We served only finger food like walnut-bacon-blue cheese tartlets, spicy mixed nuts, a great different take on chex-mix. We had chardonnay, savingon blanc, and shiraz wine. We bought a little beer, but one of our friends donated a whole bunch of different flavored beers for us too. We also had a "signature" drink: lemon juice, cranberry juice, gran mariner, and champagne. It was a hit!

We were unable to count how many actually attended, but I think it was between 70 and 80 in those 2 hours...even with sub-zero temperatures, and the remains of an ice storm a few days before. Some folks stayed the whole time, others just dropped by on their way to other events. We parked a van in the driveway so folks could just drop their donations off on their way into the party (and so we didn't have to schlep everything back out to the car).

With that many invitees, you are bound to have a great mix of people, and that we did! We had way too much wine and beer and food, but we were really pleased with the outcome, and more pleased with the kind donations. I would definitely recommend that each of you try something similar. The impact we made was tremendous, and it was relatively easy to pull off!

three rolls

Saturday, January 17, 2009

We have 3 bathrooms in this house. Yesterday I changed the toilet paper in each of them. It was just that kind of day.

ode to the treadmill

Friday, January 16, 2009

oh how I hate the treadmill, oh I do
with all of the bells and whistles and lights glowing blue

there are only three things you are good for:
holding my sweat towel and my water are the first two
and third is the softness of the tread on my shoe

I only step on you when the temperature is 10 degrees or below
or of course, if the wind is starting to blow

the heartbeat monitor is never right
as soon as I step on it says I am about to take flight

Some say you are great because you keep my pace
others love you because you allow for a tv in my face
the rest step on you to talk with their friends while they race

all I have to say to you dear treadmill
is that you have a lot of work to do
to convince me I need to spend more time on you!

image and treadmill workouts here.

question #2

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

On to question #2. Sorry I missed was my first day back in the office for a few days, and with payroll and all...

2. how is it to live in the town you grew up in? (i'm asking this because i occasionally try to picture myself in my hometown and envision what my life would be like.) what are the pros and cons?

Todd and I moved back to the town we both grew up in after Carson was born in 2000. It was like as soon as he came out of the womb kicking and screaming we both knew we wanted to move back. Both sets of parents still live here, and we knew that we wanted out kids to grow up near their grandparents.Both Todd and I knew our grandparents well (although grandparents today just aren't the same as they were then...) and loved that relationship and wanted it for our kids.

After we moved back I had an incident in the post office where a gal who CLEARLY knew who I was said hello (even addressed me by name), and I had no idea who she was. To this day, I still can't find her in my yearbook. I think I went to high school with her, but who knows. That kind of freaked me out. Then, not long after, while shopping for bras in Target, I run into a guy who I went to HS with. I know what I was doing there, but don't ask me why he was with his mother and grandmother in the bra section. Anyhoo...he had just gotten out of jail and was "back at home." WTF? What had I done returning to my hometown?

Initially I had this strict dichotomy in my head of those who grew up here and those who had moved here since I left. I kept all of these people straight in my head and classified everyone I made contact with accordingly. Then one day I realized that this was a lot of work for nothing, so I quit. Now (after we have lived here for almost 9 years)I have to stop to think "are they from here, or are they transplants?" We had always talked about having a big party after we moved back and inviting all of us who had moved back with their spouses so everyone could meet everyone else. When the list got to 90 of us who had returned (not including their spouses!) we decided it was too big of a task. There were too many people who moved back here for the same reasons as we did.

I love living where I grew up. Seeing this community thru adult eyes is a whole different thing. I am on committees with my high school friend's parents. I am seen as an adult. I am seen as myself, and not so-and-so's daughter. My kids go to the same elementary school as I did. They will go to the same high school. Some things have changed: we now have a middle school that I didn't exist when I was here the first time; we have a bus route now; we have an Old Navy now; most everything is on the "south" end of town. Lots of things have stayed the same: the east part of town is still called "the hill"; there are still stores worth going to downtown; that's my Dillons is still here (although I don't like the remodel); scary Dillons still exists; Todd's folks still live in the same house he grew up in.

So, for what it is worth, I love living in this community. It feels comfortable and right. There are good days and bad days. Sometimes I feel like I am "keeping up with the Jonses", but if I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't change a thing!


Monday, January 12, 2009

I am participating in a 5-question interview that I read about over at Moments of Perfect Clarity . The questions Julie asked me are all so thoughtful and insightful that I decided to do a series of posts with my answers. Plus also, I always hated those really long papers I had to write in school. I was always better at biting off little chunks at a time.

First, the rules:

1. If you too would like to participate, leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

It is kind of a fun thing and I would love to ask any of you interview comment away!

Julie's first question is:

1. if you could have any job, without worries about the logistics of family/pets/expectations of others, what (and where) would it be?

I love this question as it is something I really do think about quite often. First, I have to say that I have the best job in the whole entire world. I have worked for Propane Central for the past 8 years (longer than I have done just about anything in my whole life, by the way). I work for a family who have become MY family. They successfully raised 3 boys while running their business, all the while encouraging, developing, and being family to all of their employees. The business has grown tremendously over the years, all due to the way they treat both their customers and their employees (plus also buying out some other companies along the way!) We now have about 70 employees.

I have the freedom to come and go as needed. I am encouraged to attend my kids' activities. I am asked to participate in community events and organizations, and I get to do a little bit of travel. I am challenged at my job daily. Sometimes I don't love the challenges, but they are there. If I get overwhelmed, I can say so. If I am bored, I let them know. In short, I love my job and the people I work for and with.

That said, it is a little hard to think about what job I would have if I could have any job. After thinking on it for a few days (while running of course) I know that I would have a job which would involve the following: travel (both in the US and overseas), mission work, my family, outdoors, conservation/sustainability, and education. I have always wished that I worked in the mission field(s) after college (and before "real life" began). I see myself working with families and children, perhaps teaching about farming and agriculture. Maybe I would work to establish family gardens for malnourished families. Maybe I would help to start "school gardens" at elementary schools around the country. Maybe I would help families learn about crops in their area to raise and sell for hope for their future.

I love thinking about this stuff and one day will do something like I described above. Maybe it won't be my "job" per se, but it will be my activity for a period of time. I would love to block out a whole summer in which my kids and I could be gone from home and doing these kinds of things. You see, I feel so fortunate to be able to have the life I do. I only want for others to be able to have that feeling too.

Next post:
2. how is it to live in the town you grew up in? (i'm asking this because i occasionally try to picture myself in my hometown and envision what my life would be like.) what are the pros and cons?

Pushing Yourself

Thursday, January 8, 2009

marathon runner from here

So if you are getting tired of hearing me talk about my current running regime, you might want to stop reading her, but maybe not. You never know where I might wander...

Last night was the "short run" of the week. It was a measly 2 miles. I look forward to these because I usually pepper the short run with a few hills just to keep me honest. I realized last night as I was running (in a perfect 43 degrees) that most of the time when I run I put just enough effort into it to finish, to get it done. Don't get me wrong, I really do love to run, but I sort of set my body on auto pilot and let it do it's thing. This way, I can disengage from the physical part.

You see, I didn't start running until I was in my 30s. I could never really do it (or so I thought). I always had my asthma excuse. Then I had the "walking is so much better for you excuse." Then I had the "I'm in college and need to be doing aerobics with everyone else excuse." Then in my 30s, I didn't have enough money to join anywhere to do aerobics, and I thought that walking just wasn't doing it for me, so I tried running. I was in pretty good shape to start, so that was a great help.

As I began running more and more, I discovered that the thing I didn't like about running all those years was hearing myself breathe. Yes, you read right, breathe. Hearing myself breathe hard indicated that I was working really hard (too hard) and made me want to stop. As I think back, it was never about my legs hurting, or my back, it was always about breathing. So, to combat that, I started running with a Walkman (and now my ipod!). Voila! No more listening to my quick or laboring breath!

Running then became for me my way of being alone. My way of being away from the family for a little bit. My way of escaping. It is still that escape. I let my body go on auto pilot; disengage from the physical side and just let my mind roam. Sometimes I think about work, other times about the kids. Often times I think about all of you, and what you have said lately. I think of what I want to say to you. I think of funny stuff, I think of serious stuff, and I think of sad stuff.

Last night, however, my mind was just not having it. So, I decided to push myself. Imagine that, actually concentrate on the physical side. What a run it was. It was exhilarating. It was hard. It was helpful. It was awesome! For the last 3/4 mile, I just concentrated on my muscles, and pushed them. I ran hard. I ran fast. I had good form. I was breathing. It was great!

I vow to do that more often, to push myself. However, I also know that for me, first and foremost, running is my escape. I need that time to be alone with my thoughts. To be alone in the cool dark Kansas winter night. Things happen for me while I am running, and I am not willing to lose that alone time for a few stronger muscles!

What the Fuck Wednesday (on Thursday)

So, there is this site that has all kinds of tattoos on it. I found this one there:

I might be a little obsessed with what people do to their bodies with needles and ink. Maybe it is because I just don't get it. Whateves.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

So, what is today all about? I am in a sort of hazy, but not lazy mood. A little tired, but not sleepy. Not grumpy but not excited either. I feel like I want something meaningful to happen today, but I can't settle on just what that would or could be.

I am meeting of of my greatest friends for lunch today, so I am looking forward to that.

I think I will do what any well brought-up woman would do in this situation, I am going to get ice cream!

I love it when...

Monday, January 5, 2009

I get to go an a four-mile run on a Sunday. I love it when it is overcast and 27 degrees. I love it when my feet don't hurt and I don't feel like I have an iron lung. I love it when my dog, Emmy runs alongside me without pulling. I love it when I look pretty cute when I am running too.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

C - christ, why didn't I remember to use birth control?
H - hello, is there anyone else out there willing to help me raise these heathens?
I - I don't think there are any working parents on our school board
L - like for instance there were 17, yes 17, days off this holiday
D - darn, if I could only have like 20 minutes to myself in the bathtub
R - routine, what routine? Stay up late, sleep in and our lives are all topsy-turvy
E - errands have become inposible due to the "mom I want"s and "mom can I have"s
N - naw, I really do love them, but I am ready, oh so ready, for school to start tomorrow

**and gosh darn you blogger, I can't stand your spacing issues. I gotta figure that out.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

"How much more interesting life is when one has an occasion to write about it, or someone to describe it to."

From A Family Man written by Amanda Brookfield. That's how I feel about you, my friends. Thank You.

Fry Day

Friday, January 2, 2009

We went over to by bosses house yesterday for a little New Year's Day fun. I often call my boss and his wife my 3rd set of parents. I love them dearly and am so fortunate to work for them. We have become social friends outside of work as well (which I don't do very often...socialize with work friends), and they are marvelous cooks, so we always enjoy when we have been invited over to their house for some vittles!

Yesterday was deemed "Fry Day" due to the new fryer Dave got for Christmas (and due to the fact that he is starting on his new year's diet on Monday). Here is what was prepared:

  • home made potato chips

  • home made corn tortilla chips (seasoned with salt and cumin)

  • home made flour chip sopapillas (seasoned with sugar and cinnamon)

  • fried green olives stuffed with blue cheese

  • hand battered onion rings

  • baked then fried chicken wings with Frank's wing sauce

  • hand battered and fried shrimp

  • arincini (risotto balls stuffed with fresh mozzarella and sausage)

  • hand battered corn dogs

  • fried steak fingers

  • battered and fried Snickers

  • sweet potato fries

If that wasn't enough there was black eyed pea soup (for new year's good luck of course) and twice baked potatoes.

The grazing started at about 3pm and lasted well beyond 6pm. Needless to say, I went to run after and went to bed without dinner! Umph!