Monday, December 26, 2011

and the Pinterest addiction has begun

On day 9 of her 25 Days of Ornaments, I stumbled upon Belle on Heels' post for a fun ornament using curled lines from a wedding invitation to fill a clear ornament.  She found the idea on Pinterest.  Of course, I had to explore!  Here is the original:

Well, of course my little toe-dip into the world of Pinterest sparked a renewed addiction to things crafty, fashionable and innovative and gave me a great Christmas gift idea for the $5.00 and under gift exchange!!  Woohoo!!  Two birds, one stone. Need I say more?

Luckily, the AB lucky enough to have me as her Secret Santa shares a love for holidays and crafty-ness; unfortunately she isn't getting married again or having more babies anytime soon, so the whole invite or announcement idea wasn't going to work for her.  After a tremendous amount of thinking and back-and-forthing with the almost-semi-significant Anonymous Beloved, I decided to use Christmas songs printed on appropriately colored paper to fill the little gems.  I have to say, they turned out super cute and my AB LOVED them!  Even my a-s-s AB, who originally thought the idea would be lost with a less personal filling - the subject of all of the back-and-forthing - thought that they turned out well.  

"I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" in red, "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" in blue, and "O, Christmas Tree" in green
I'll call this a win!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

warmest wishes

Only one more sleep until it's Christmas morning and I've managed to get myself and the man-eaters safely to my home town in a land far, far away.

So far so good.  We're all settled in, gifts are wrapped and under the tree, and I've finally figured out how to use my mother's "new" coffee maker.  All is well and my short Christmas vacation has officially commenced.  

Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and general warm wishes to all of my beloveds out there! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

where have all the flowers gone?

The hardest part about being a 30-something single woman is that most pretty much all of my Anonymous Beloveds have significant others, signifiant children, significant obligations ... ugh, you get the point.  

Don't get me wrong, I'm kind of loving this part of my life where I get to explore the world without feeling awkward and insecure.  I can list so many things that are cool about where my life is at right now: 

I can try on different identities because most people think I'm crazy anyway;

I can pick up and move to another state, city, house without having to worry about uprooting anyone and ruining their lives;

despite my age, people still occasionally card me when I buy vodka at the grocery store;

I am not ashamed to say that vodka occasionally makes it on to my grocery list (or that I regularly make a grocery list with, gasp, coupons);

I can go to bed at 8:30 and no one calls me old, and if they do, I'm too old to care :)

But, not every road is paved with butterflies and roses ALL of the time.  Today I just seemed to have stubbed my big toe on a big fat tree stump in the middle of my rosy nature walk.  I hate that.  So, my stupid proverbial toe hurts, my ego is a little bruised, and I kind of want to cry -- all because I wanted a little piece of undivided attention.  I am not too old to stomp my feet and throw a little fit; but old enough to absolutely know how to do it right!  Ugh!  

Ok.  Well, now that I've gotten that out my system, its time to quit whining and pull up my big girl panties and keep moving until I find those butterflies and roses again.  

Happy moving forward, ya'll!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

life. in training.

When you train for a race, you do it for a lot of reasons: the crowds, the energy, the challenge, the finish line, the medal.  For every race that I have run, I have been lucky enough to have at least one member of my Anonymous Beloved Cheering Squad on the course to cheer me on and waiting at the finish line to share in my joy.  Race days are special, they are like my personal princess-for-a-day holidays; training days, however, are often times a different story.

We all have struggles, things in our lives - sometimes minor and sometimes earth shattering - that attempt to bulldoze us off of our path, knock us out of our comfortable chair, and turn our lives pear-shaped.  What jars some people doesn't even phase others and sometimes, what seems petty to us in other people's lives can leave us breathing in a paper bag when we are presented with it in our own.  Training days are the ones where struggles seem ginormous, where we doubt whether or not we have what it takes to keep going, where sometimes just putting one foot in front of the other is a success.  There are no finish lines on training days and many times the people who will ultimately be there to support us are the first ones to point out our short-comings.  Training days can be discouraging.

As I diligently mounted the treadmill and trotted through my warm-up, I could not help but to let my mind settle on one of my Anonymous Beloveds and the rough string of training days she's been having recently.  Today, each interval seemed to be just a bit more difficult than the last and my AB's story hung just a little more heavily around my shoulders.  We have had our share of turmoil; done things, knowingly or not, that has left the other burned and broken; and we have supported each other at times when it seemed no one else could or would.  It was with each thought of her story, my story, and ours together that my resolve to see the weighty run through with strength, courage, and serenity so that I can help her do the same.

Today, as my mind carried her and my heart tried to comfort her, it occurred to me that maybe training runs aren't just necessary for race day, they are necessary in order to make it through the next training day or to help an AB through theirs.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Of course, they ain't Tiffany's...

...but then again, sometimes a good run can be even more adorning than diamonds.   My run on Monday left me and my shins feeling like someone's skin looks when they wear cheap silver on a hot day.  But these turquoise beauties seemed to do the trick!  

Getting back to running has been quite a little process!  I'm finally running more than I'm walking during a workout and feeling pretty good about the pace I'm able to sustain.  It looks like surgery and all those weeks of physical therapy are going to really help me meet my sub 2 hour half marathon goal!

Until next time, happy running :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

There'll be days like these

The thermometer in my car broke.
The device that allows the motor of my furnace to operate fell off.
My sidewalk-square-sized patio is flooded.
My weekend trip to Memphis has been canceled.
My pecan pralines turned to a strange powder.

Thank goodness...

My car is still under warranty.
Its warm enough out still that I can live without a furnace for a couple of days.
My dogs don't mind a brief swim before and after their trip to the potty.
I'm resourceful enough to still have a good weekend.
I thought to add water and it was sufficient.

This is a coping day; I'm sure I'll be back on track tomorrow.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Revamp and Reinvent

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People found its way back into my life recently.

I believe that God puts things in our paths when He wants us to learn something.  So, um, about a month ago, while I was cleaning out the trunk of my car, there it was.  Staring at me.  I thought I gave it to Goodwill, but apparently God felt I needed it more.  So I read it.  Slowly.  And lowandbehold, it made sense this time!

I started this blog to record my semi-successful OCD thwarting efforts, remember how much fun my life is, and track the progress of operation-find-a-husband.  Oh, and because I like to write.  Once upon a time, I was actually quite good at it.  Sadly, as soon as school started and physical therapy continued and the new seasons of Teen Mom and Jersey Shore came on and the budget got tighter and my best friend go married and...  you get the point, my beloved writing project became a side note.   I never dreamed that my new best friend Steve (when you've spent this much time with one author and his book, it is acceptable to be on a first name basis) would support my rambling efforts in the blogosphere; but apparently, I'm sharpening the saw!

There is so much about this little blog that makes me happy!  I love writing creatively.  There is amazing gratification for writing to an audience in whose real lives I don't exist.  I love reading other people's musing about lives that I otherwise know nothing about.  I love looking at the statistics and see that someone actually (well, maybe) read MY writing!  Despite the overwhelming positives, blogging and all of the joy it brings, it turns out, has the surprisingly easy ability to get swallowed by helter-skelter urgency of life, but I've been reminded that it doesn't have to be this way.

And so The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People have found a way back into my life.  I have spent some time learning.  I am committed.  Now, I must do.  I will start with the end in mind (habit 2) and work first to sharpen the saw (habit 7), because its become quite clear that when life is allowed to take over one's life, it is one's self that suffers most.

Thank you for reading, you make me smile!

So, now my question.  What do you do to recharge your batteries, and no, I don't really think that Jersey Shore counts for you either!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sticks and stones

I've been feeling very temperamental these last few days.  Maybe I'm torn in too many directions, burning the candle at both ends, getting too much sleep, not getting enough; really, the possible explanations are endless.  Tuesday morning, I couldn't wake up soon enough in anticipation of my first run since April and this morning I almost talked myself out of it.  The only things that seem to be concrete right now is how short my fuse is getting and how much I end up changing my mind in a short time.  I am, right now, in a word, crabby.

This morning, once I finally committed myself to the cause and pressed "start" on my Garmin, and started running I waited for the euphoric runner's high to wipe away my bad mood.  And then I waited some more.  My current regiment calls for three rounds of 2 running minutes and 8 walking minutes; after the initial 2 running minutes, I was certain that my morning jaunt was going to haunt me more than release me.  What felt freeing on Tuesday, felt cumbersome today; what motivated me then, had begun to daunt me; the disappointingly short 2.5 mile loop began to seem like 25.  But I trudged on, obediently switching gears according to the beeps and I finished in what seemed to be a shorter time than Tuesday.

I did finish quicker than Tuesday, by almost 2 minutes; and that first cumbersome interval, turned out to be the fastest pace I've been able to sustain possibly ever.  All of a sudden what seemed at first to be a rough start to the day became a ray of hopeful light.  Isn't it funny how a simple definitive result can affect a whole experience!  This morning it was a good thing, but what about the times when the end result shadows the joy?  It has been said that true rewards are found in the journey, not the destination.  This morning, the reward was defined neither by the run nor the effort, but by the Garmin.  Even thought the feeling was brag-tastic it was external, none the less.

I always think that running is a metaphor for life; that whatever I experience in life can be explained and examined through a run and whatever lessons I learn from a run can be projected into life.  In a strange way, my handy dandy GPS watch has become an interloper; another metaphor perhaps.  Maybe electronic feedback can be just as disheartening as public opinion, that is, if I choose to allow it.  As Eleanor Roosevelt, so famously, said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." 

Ultimately, I want to feel good; we all do.  Maybe the lesson is that I've grown to depend too much on the data, the external sources, to define happiness.  Maybe the various directions that my life seems to be pulling me, the burning candles, and my sleeping habits aren't really the cause of my crabbiness; maybe its that I'm depending on the external feedback to define my journey after the fact instead of using my internal barometer to help navigate the course. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Today was a good day!

This evening, while I was putting freshly washed (and dried with lavender scented dryer sheets) linens on my bed, I happened to notice my spectacularly awesome self in the mirror.  I was once challenged by some author of some book that I happened across some time ago to fall in love with myself.  Really, truly, madly and shamelessly fall.  in.  LOVE.  It probably sounds corny and maybe conceited; but sometimes, after I've put on my deliciously colorful make-up (oooh, especially the eyes) or in the mirror over a good brush/floss/rinse session, I gaze into my eyes and remind myself how beautiful I am (right now, I'm all I've got; and for real, if I can't do it, how's Prince Charming going to?).   I'm pretty sure I'm in love and I love how much more lovely life is for me now!  Its been a long road, folks, to get to this point, here are the things that I'm loving today:
  • Mastered my interpretation of a description I found, I think, in this month's issue of Women'sHealth of a "west coast blow out".  Ok, I don't really know if its officially a blow out, but oooohhhhh, my hair just looked so effortless and shiny today that I altered my outfit so that I could bear wearing it down in all this heat and humidity!  And a side note: my love for driving with the windows down did not hinder my hair in the least, which totally makes me hotter (in my fantasy sequences, at least)!
  • I way over spent on groceries today, like budget for 3 weeks overspent, but I shopped the perimeter of the store, only bought what was on my list, and bought as much on sale as possible.  I'm pretty pumped because I probably would have spent it under the golden arches if I wouldn't have spent it on eggplant!  
  • I successfully made and enjoyed a fabulous meal of Eggplant Parmesean, a glass of Pino Grigio and peaches topped with home-made whipped cream and pecans.  Holy YUM!
  • The above meal, sans the wine, cost me (based on what I had on hand and what I just bought) around $1 per serving!  Whoo Hooo!  It's a good thing I'm rocking the whole cook-on-the-cheap schtick because I've got two whole weeks until payday!

  • Today was officially the last day of summer vacay for this chick and I've got my coffee pot set to brew at 5:15, my clothes all laid out, and my lunch (leftovers) neatly nestled into my elephant lunch box (really, we can't take ourselves too seriously now; its my conversation starter)!   
  • Mary Beth was finally sent home on Food Network Star.  Ha.  Sorry, it had to be said.
There's so much more, but one of my sleepy man-eaters seems to be irritated that I am still awake and I suppose, since I just glanced at the time and realized that I'm gonna have to be up in around 5 hours, I should go to bed ... 

Sweet dreams, my lovelies :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

For lack of a cohesive whole

It's been exactly two weeks since my surgery, here are the things going on in my life and what I think about them, because, well, I just can't decide what to focus on for my fabulous come-back note:

  • My surgery went better than originally expected, no bone shaving here... which means... daaaa da daa.... minimal worries about my distance running career :)  Yay!  Only about 6 more weeks of PT until I can start back again!
  • I completely forgot about this first week in August and that means one full week of no obligations!
  • I've started puppy rehab for my two man-eaters.  I suppose recovery on the couch in front of the television (mostly reruns of Miami Ink  and Dog Whisperer) have rubbed off on me.  Mostly, my German Shepherd Miss Nika Boo is a wee bit pushy and maybe needs some etiquette training.  So far, so good ... happy, chill puppies and a mommy who hasn't gotten knocked down in three whole days!
  • The cutest man-eater faces, Miss Nika Boo and Miss Sadie Lou.
  • Now that I can stand and move freely about the kitchen, I made some killer pancakes with blueberry maple syrup for dinner!  Oh my!  Paired with a nice fruity glass of white wine and mwa ... breakfast dinner fit for a queen!

Ah!  I feel better now, back to my regular scheduled life :)  Have an amazing day, ya'll!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


So, the next book on my impromptu reading list is one about how to get married in a year.  The whole idea seems a little silly to me, but maybe if I'm really honest, I'll admit that there's a little hope that something along that fairy tale line might happen to me.  At any rate, I'm not gonna even mention the title of the book here, because I'm a little disgruntled by it.  Mostly, because I can't afford a personal shopper, don't really think that finding a good man requires Botox, and I ABSOLUTELY refuse to purchase a pair of black velvet pants.  Maybe I'm wrong.  I AM the single one here.  Ha!

I was about to put the book down in disgust last night, when I read the challenge.  Say "hi" to three people while you're out and about tomorrow.  That's it.  Just. Say. Hi.  

I went to bed PUMPED, I tell you!  My head was full of fantasy sequences that involved me saying hello, finding lovely people to chat with over coffee, and falling in love with some handsome stranger that I engaged with a simple hello.  There were roses and butterflies everywhere.  It was just beautiful.  Those rose colored glasses were just about surgically attached to my retinas! I got myself so worked up, it took me two whole hours to fall asleep!

Before I fell asleep, I made a list of the one and only rule:
  1. Store employees don't count for my 3 - they're always unappreciated and deserve, at the very least, to be acknowledged!
Flash forward to today.  The time is currently 4:09 p.m. and I am sad to report that I have failed.  I mean. Epic.  Failed.  How does the person who actively smiles at everyone she passes fail at saying hello to the same people she is smiling at???  Really.  

Maybe it was because I was crabby from not getting to bed at a reasonable time because of my stupid awake dreaming.  Or because I had to drive an hour and a half, round trip, to get to a meeting that lasted two hours.  Or because while I was at that meeting, I was asked if I was still training for "that" marathon in January and I had to say no.  OR because it was 96 degrees outside at 7:00 in the morning.  

Maybe its the fact that the only errand I had to run today was to the hardware store for a plunger.  By the way, I'd like to express to ya'll how much more embarrassing it was for me to buy a plunger than possibly any other single thing I've ever purchased before in my life!  

In hindsight...

Maybe I should have read Everyone Poops a couple of times before I went, or pretend that the clogged toilet was the product of some obnoxious boy (because everyone knows that girls don't poop), or simply used it as a walking stick to make light of the situation. I was about mortified as I watched the construction guy as he looked at me in the face, looked down at the plunger, and back up at my face again.  

Maybe I should have given myself a pep talk.  After all, being brave about two insignificant things is almost like hard labor.  I mean, its almost ridiculous to ask a person to say hello to passing human beings while purchasing a plunger.  

I blame the plunger!

So what about you?  Is it easy for you to talk to strangers?  What helps you?  Help me out ya'll, I'm trying to loosen up here :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Girl Power!

I just devoured an intriguing little book that seemed to unearth itself right before my pretty little eyes as I scoured the library for help on planning a work event (more about that later, I'm sure): Seducing the Boys Club by Nina DiSesa.  I really hoped it would help me learn to refine those flirting skills I've been working so hard on...  I'm not sure that I can say that it was a page turner or that it was all I had hoped it would be; but I can attest that it offered a bit of hope for those of us professional women who do not ever hope to become men nor want to be confused as one.  Not to say that I don't love men.  Oh, I do.  I just don't anyone to forget that I'm a woman.  Then, I want them to remember my name.  And finally, how well I put all of that together!

So at any rate, I got some reaffirmation that there is no reason to feel bad about embracing my female-ness (selling myself up, not out; really, I'm far too blunt to dumb myself down) to get what I want.  But I really want to know what to do about this woman who seems to have possibly forgotten that underneath her pants, we both have the same parts.

I'm still dealing with the woman I spoke about in my last entry and some things keep presenting themselves to me: the "charminacity" does seem to be working (as I have worked diligently to be charming towards EVERYONE I have dealt with in regards to the situation, in person and in print) and as I have climbed the bureaucratic ladder with my complaint, the higher the position of female I have encountered, the more coldly she has presented herself.  It makes me wonder, and I shudder to say this aloud, if ... this would have already been resolved ... if the person ... in ... charge ... wouldhavebeenaman.  ugh.

It seems to be a strange happenstance that I should have found this particular book at the crux of this particular battle between two powerful women: one who, as DiSesa puts it, may have gotten "drunk with power" and one who is willing to pour the wine.  I'll keep you posted on my progress :)


Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Spoonful of Sugar?

I first fell in love with Joyce Carol Oates, then Faulkner, then the Southern Gothic genre as a whole.  Then, after visiting my friend in South Carolina and vacationing in Georgia, I just simply fell in love with the South.  Currently I live vicariously as fantastically Southern as possible through books, blogs, and Paula Deen.  I suppose I'm practicing here in my Northern city until the day that I can finally afford to migrate.

At any rate, I've recently been practicing the art of flirting as Ronda Rich has so kindly outlined for my poor misguided Northern self.  I must say, I think I'm doing a pretty good job and I know I'm a happier person for it!  And its all fine and dandy to be flirty and fun when the world is offering scrumptious hor d'oeuvres off of a silver platter, but I'll tell you what, today has sure been a test!  I don't always think before I speak; but today, I thanked God about a hundred times that the oh-so frustrating conversation in question was via e-mail and therefore forced me to choose my words a bit more wisely.  Its so much harder to press send on the I-would-really-like-to-tell-you-about-yourself email now that I'm a big girl.  Ugh :/

Luckily, this little crisis occurred in the privacy of my own home. I keep reminding myself that Ms. Rich has promised me that the trait of "charminacity" is one to reckon with (and also that I am simply too cute to ruin it by feeling so ugly about the situation).  You will all be happy to know that I have devised a constructive plan of action complete with research, outlines, and most importantly, questions; I have scheduled a date with myself to perfect my manicure; and I have continuously visualized me in a meeting with this woman (or her boss, she can choose) being pleasant, respectful, and collected all the while calling her bluff :)

And so here I am...

There are several ways to build a character, it seems I am one best built in media res and so I will tell you that it is generally my constant effort to free myself from my calculating J. Alfred Prufrock mind and drink the "free spirit" that dances in my soul.  Ok, so I'm a bit over the top.  I guess that's a start.

At any rate.  I'm a runner.  Sort of.  I wasn't, then I learned.  I fell in love, then I got hurt.  Now, I'm waiting on surgery that will *hopefully* (those are my fingers crossing) allow me to run again.  I wish I could tell you that it was some fantastic accident that bore some type of unsung triumph.
Apparently, I was born with a deformed femoral head.  Yup, a square peg in a round socket that just finally took my hip cartilage past its breaking point.  That's all there is, folks.  And while I know hip joints are pretty necessary for running (and so I've learned, just about everything else as well) it seems like such a minor thing compared to what other human beings overcome.

So here I am.  It's 11:51 on a Wednesday night.  For the second night in a row, I'm having anxiety about having this surgery and what my life will look like if running is still not a viable option for me.  Maybe I would feel differently today if I had known on that April morning that it was going to be my last painless run (albeit, pumped full of ibuprofen) through my neighborhood.  Maybe if had been ready then, this wouldn't be so hard now.  But.  I wasn't.

And so this is my story, as it unfolds, of how I overcome my square peg and learn, despite the limitations and inconveniences along the way, to stop measuring my life in coffee spoons.