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Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

My husband can be taken by the occasional internet fear-mongering.  It makes me crazy.

Last night he had an appointment and was going to take our daughter, so I made dinner early to ensure she ate.  His appointment was delayed, so he stayed to eat some dinner.  I had made ham steak with garlic green beans and brussels sprouts.  The sprouts are for me, I have low expectations of vegetable variety with the rest of my family.

Instead of taking some of the remaining ham, my husband started to reheat leftovers.

“I haven’t put away food from dinner tonight, you could have some ham”  I offered.

“Nope.  Brainworm.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I read it online, they have been finding brainworm in uncooked pork.”

“I cooked it.”

“There are 2,000 people with brainworm in the US right now.”

“2,000?  There are 3 million other people just in this state and I cooked the ham.  Eat it.”

“Just a little bit” as he grabs the smallest piece in the dish.

Really?  And people wonder why my kids are picky.  They take their lead from the big one.

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I recently figured out how this blogging thing fits into my life.  I never did it before, I didn’t even have a Facebook page until last November.  And, honored to have 5 followers I do not know, I thought I would issue a Thank You!

Prior to last July, I was the assistant store manager for a retail outlet in New Hampshire.  Basically I ran the joint while the manager was searching YouTube on her phone or on medical leave.  I had 25 employees who clambered for my attention, chatting with me about anything in their life or mine at every opportunity.  I sound full of myself, but really, I am a good person and there were lots of tears when I left.

I have been in a void ever since, not knowing anyone in southern Massachusetts and maintaining my dislike of phone conversation.  As much as I love my dear husband and 2 children, they don’t really make for good casual conversation.  That is where you come in.  It occurred to me that blogging is my new conversation outlet.  An alternative could have been sneaking into the cafeteria of a local company and pretending I work there for the sake of maintaining conversation with other adults.

Much like my former workplace, this is also a personal spot for me to share without involving family.  While the good intentions are all there, my sister-in-law “likes” every new thing I post on my store’s Facebook page.  Sometimes my husband and mom jump in there too.  On WordPress, there is no artificial “like” or “follow” because I haven’t told a soul I actually know that I am doing this.  Except for my parrot.  She comes to work with me every day and is not a speaking variety, so my secret is safe.

So. thank you again, for reading.  I appreciate that complete strangers can find my thoughts interesting, without reducing myself to stalking cafeterias.

Me & Mango

Me & Mango, a yellow-sided green-cheek conure, at work.

Also, I am in a good mood today because my six miles this morning went fantastic!

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I had a great long run on Sunday.  I even had to wake up early to get in the 6 miles so I could get back to hear that I was late.  We made plans to travel back to NH for the day, so we always start out early for the 2 hour drive.  I felt good on the run.  It was 50* and partly sunny, I made the distance in decent time without incident.  I was running a bit sleepy because my husband had a rough night with his allergies.

Ready to Go

The kids are ready to go in the car. They are expert packers for these daytrips by now.

Once in the state I miss, we did 2 hours of yard work on our old house that we have not yet sold.  We had to move for my husband’s job, otherwise I never would have left NH.  I was more fatigued and now shaky from hunger when we left. 

Next stop was the family farm owned by my husband’s great-uncle.  We chatted with Grandma and Uncle, ran through a meadow (I trotted when I wasn’t walking) and ate our lunch.

Even more fun was spending the next 2 hours at an outlet shopping center so my husband could find new oxfords and pants for work.  I walked the center a few times with the kids, creating a present for my nephew’s birthday we are missing next weekend.  We found clothing and a Celtics puzzle, I am not an exciting gift-giver by normal child standards.

Wild Ride

The wind made for a good action shot. I never actually put money in these, but my kids always have to try them out.

Then we stopped at my Dad’s house to meet his new dog, Ripley.  A basset hound/german shepard mix is a silly looking dog, but he was nice.  We learned that he has trouble with northern accents, as he came from a Louisiana kill shelter.  We left them with the present and finally started the trek home.

I got to bed by 10, but it felt like 12.  This morning’s run at 6:30 came too soon.  I debated skipping, but only briefly.  I made a promise to myself to run as often as I can to rebuild strength (without hurting myself) and I knew there were about 25,000 people planning to run a marathon today.  A bonus for me was the time I got to run.  It was only 60* at 6:30.  If that many people can get it together to run that far in the heat, I can certainly do what I have to do to train to maybe one day be like them.

P.S. – Being new to Massachusetts, did someone make up Patriot’s Day to give us the day off for the race?  Seems oddly coincidental.

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I think I might have my first mommy-friend.  It is early to tell for certain, but I think it might work out.

It is a little sad, as my kids are 4 and 6, but I have never had a mommy-friend.  I have always been a loner, preferring to spend my non-working time enjoying the kids or maintaining the household, instead of finding someone to hang out with.  Before we moved, I would take the kids to play with their cousins, but my sisters don’t really count for me.  I joined the PTA last year when my oldest started kindergarten in an attempt to meet other parents.  Let’s just stick with it didn’t go well and I’m glad we moved.

And I complicate things by being rather introverted.  After running into the same father picking up his first-grader from after-school care and then immediately again at preschool before we drove to houses within 1/4 mile of each other, I finally introduced myself to ease the awkwardness.  Our first-graders are in different classes, but they sit together on the bus, at lunch and during after-school care.  Our preschoolers are in the same class and sleep on cots next to each other.  They became hard to avoid.

So after months of further awkward “Hi” and “Have a nice day” and the kids begging me to go play with them on the weekend, I finally gave him my phone number to “pass along to the wife.”  Because randomly handing my number to another person, forget about a guy, was giving me enough anxiety without worrying about the other wife or my husband taking it the wrong way.  I had seen the wife a few times in passing at preschool but not introduced myself because she was always talking to someone else.

When she called, she was just as nervous as I was.  Good news for me, she also does not know a lot of people in town and had heard plenty about my kids from her own.  One of her concerns she expressed to her husband was if I was normal.  Was I trying to engage and involve her in something?  Did I expect that she would be my social chauffeur?  Happy to say, I came across as normal to her husband.  Also “tiny.”  I’m not sure how I feel about that one yet.  I debated it with my husband and he concurred with tiny.  Maybe I should start working on my upper body a bit more.

A pretty cool bonus is that she is also a budding runner.  I have never run with anyone before (save for races) and would happy to pick up a friend for a run or 2 during the week.

Prom 2011

The last close friends I had.  I am on the left in blue and about 15 lbs heavier than now.

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So I made it out this morning after over a week of not running.  I ran 3 miles in 30 minutes.  It got harder as I went on, but I needed to get it done.  I actually felt much more energized this morning following my run.  I got the kids up and made pancakes.  I felt good.  Still can’t hear on the left side, but my face doesn’t hurt anymore.  I will keep going to get back on track with training.

After I got the kids to school, one on the bus to first grade and the other at preschool, I sat down to eat my pancakes and read news on my ipod before getting ready for work.  I read a story on ABC about a labor organizer in Bangladesh who was found tortured and killed.  Sad in its own right and concerning to me as it mentioned he was working on conditions at Nike factories, among others, before he was killed.  I have been a big fan of Nike products since I was a kid because I just like how they fit.  My soon-to-be-replaced running shoes are Nike and they suddenly felt tainted with this man’s blood.

Do these shoes look bloody to you? Although “Made in China” all parts contribute to the whole and vice versa.

I was in grade school during the 90’s and so missed the labor scandal Nike survived at that point.  I have learned of it this morning as I researched further.  While this man’s death is big news in international and labor circles, it quickly fell off ABC and has not made it to other sites.  We all know about the poor overseas conditions many of our goods are made in, but for the most part we do not change our buying behavior.  Apple has had its own crisis lately and Tommy Hilfiger had a factory fire that killed 29 last year.

The makers of pink slime recently filed for bankruptcy because no one will buy their product anymore.  Consumers demanded better of the stores selling their meat, who in turn, stopped adding the filler.  I suppose the difference is that, as consumers, this creepy stuff directly affects us and our bodies.  Could you point out Bangladesh on a map?  Do you even know what language is spoken in that country?  Not me, wish I could say otherwise.  It would seem that for most of us, the harm is displaced far enough to be inconsequential.

So before I step back off my soap box, I will say that in researching my next pair of running shoes I will comparison shop the performance features and hidden human cost.  The only blood I want on my stuff is mine (preferably as little as possible).

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So I am still sick.  My left ear has been filled with fluid for over a week at this point.  My facial sinuses are starting to feel some relief though.  Unfortunately, I did not make either of my anticipated runs this weekend. 

I woke up early as planned on Saturday to start the lentil soup for Easter.  I felt terrible after a rough night and grudgingly conceded that I would not be going out during the free window I had.  So I rested for a couple of hours until I got up to shower and continue cooking.  I did well cooking and handling (tolerating) all the family in my house for the day.  The meal was done perfectly at 1 PM and everyone was happy.  A bonus of the ear fluid was that I could make it clear I could not hear well.  My mother is a terrible gossip and gave up the one-sided conversation when I waasn’t answering her.  Of course, then she went and cornered my father and stepmother.  Their problem, not mine.

Saturday night, I went to bed with the good intentions of getting up to try the 3 miles on Sunday.  I again had a rough night and felt tired when I got up.  But I got ready for the day, ate breakfast, did some laundry and dishes, intending to get done what needed to get done.  Then I got real tired.  I layed down on the couch and it was over.  My husband took the kids to the store and out to lunch, I slept for 5 hours.  I took it easy getting going again after they came home.  I was pretty hungry by dinner time and felt better by reading time, 8 PM.  I really enjoy the time we spend reading together before the kids go to bed. 

I set 2 alarms last night.  One for running and one for not running.  I ended up not running.  I decided that maybe since I crashed Sunday and I actually to work Monday, I should not use up all my energy before I get there.  It just wouldn’t do to have my 4 year old and parrot run the shop if I pass out, exhausted.

Which brings me to my new concern.  I can feel that I am slowly getting better, emphasis on slowly, but when should I just do it?  Tomorrow?  I’d like to.  Again, I am going to try to get up.  I remember reading in Runner’s World that you can safely break for 5 days without detriment to your training.  I have been off and on for 3 weeks at this point, with nothing since last Sunday.  Also, we had to move furniture on Saturday to set up the tables and I was really struggling with the couch.  The overall weakness I feel is not encouraging.  What if I can’t make my goals for the race in June?  I need to reset my training again, but how far back should I go?  I can say to my mind that I have not had my mental running boost for some time and I am just being negative.

So, stay positive, you can get back up.  I think I have reached a commitment point where that first step out is the hard one.  My face doesn’t hurt today and I did not have as much crap in my lungs this morning.  I have been sounding really yummy in the morning lately.  Since I run against traffic, I don’t really need my left ear, not much comes from that direction.  And I haven’t passed out today, so I probably slept it off yesterday.  And my Facebook profile only shows 8 miles for April, I have to change that.

Some parting words of recently aquired wisdom, muffin tins are good for more than just muffins.  I froze the leftover lentil soup and then bagged up the disks this morning for pre-portioned ready-to-go soup!

Frozen Lentil Soup in muffin tins gets bagged up!

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I swear I wrote a very thorough and concise training plan for a half marathon in June.  I increased my weekly mileage slowly and planned speed workouts throughout the week.  I even left in extra time in the event that weather intervened. 

I have already had to push my plan back a week when I was sick a couple of weeks ago and unable to stand, forget running.  Whatever disease I had has created a sinus infection, or acute maxillary sinusitis per the doctor, that has really made life difficult this past week.  I have not run since Sunday and know I will not be up to increasing this Sunday.  Also, my family is coming down Saturday for Easter and I am really behind on the cleaning.

So I will have to set my training back another week, again.  At least I will have the time tomorrow in my meal plan to take a run and shower before anyone arrives.  I do make plans for everything.

Easter Plan

I do this every year and save them for future reference.  So I have time after starting the lentil soup and before putting in the ham.  I was going to premake the rolls today and refrigerate, but I decided I will have time to make them fresh Saturday.

So I am thinking I will start with a 3 mile run Saturday and maybe a 6 mile run on Sunday if Saturday goes well.  Today is the first day all week that my teeth aren’t throbbing from the pressure, so I take it as a sign that I am on the mend, even if I can’t hear anything on the left side.  Of course, I also wanted to be on plan so I could say I was up to 9 miles this week.  Since that won’t happen, I will have to rely on the pity attention from accomplishing a dinner for 18 people with some minor disability.  Just don’t look too hard at the floors, or glass, or anywhere really.

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