bits and pieces

19 Nov c5nmgw9rwc-2

This is one of my new favorite commercials:

Why?  Because as I shared many, many posts ago, my dad convinced a dear family friend, who was a ‘tween at the time, to cut the head off of the party pinata and put it in my bed.  Brilliant.

pinata head


I bought a bag of the mini Reeses trees as I like the ratio of chocolate to peanut butter.  Some of the other versions of Reeses either have too much peanut butter or not enough.  I take these things very seriously.  I opened one up the other night and found the tree shape to be quite lacking.  I seem to remember them putting more effort into the shape once upon a time.

Are you familiar with the blog Hyperbole and a Half?  If not, please stop reading mine and go to hers.  Well, in the name of blog self-preservation, you can wait until you’ve finished this post.  Where was I?  Yes, yes… I STRONGLY suggest reading the Kenny Loggins story.  My sister loves it too!  I suggested this to another person and their response was, “do I need to have an extensive knowledge of Kenny Loggins?”.  No.  You don’t.  I’m pretty sure there was some kind of age reference/joke in there since I don’t even know if this 20 yr old knew who Kenny Loggins was/is.

I also love her (the author’s name is Allie) drawings and much like Natalie Dee, I’m sure you’ve seen many of hers and not known who they belong to.  This one?


Yep, Hyperbole.  One of my current favorite drawings from this post, is below


this is my screen saver on my phone and computer

Given my obsession with the t-rex and our similarities, I adore this.  I also think there are an array of emotions that can be inferred from this lil’ gal’s face depending on my mood (or yours), so it works for me.

Oh and read the party post, too – again, I laughed and laughed.  In addition to laughing so hard I was crying, I’ve been moved and identified with Allie’s serious posts.  I recommend reading those, too.

Yesterday was a bad ulcer day.  So bad in fact, I was clutching my stomach in pain.  And audibly groaning.  I ended up having to go home for the day.  My favorite “joke” is, Pepto Bismol chewables are the after dinner mint for those of us with ulcers.

this is a decent depiction of how I felt yesterday

Finally, I have this carpet in my living room that NEVER.LAYS.FLAT.  It always ends up scootching its way under my couch since my living room carpet is very thin and there isn’t anything for the area rug to hold onto.  I’ve tried everything to keep it in place.  I’ve tripped a number of times but yesterday morning I hit the ground.  Hard.  Thankfully, I’m short so I didn’t smack my head into the concrete wall!  Nothing really damaged, a few aches and pains but seem to be okay.  My brother, being the supportive type, posted a few of these on my fb page when I shared:

if she was flipped, this is what I looked like

My family loves me!

Edited to add today’s events:

This morning, I was putting my shoes on when I felt something scratching the back of my thigh.  I scratched it through my pants but it didn’t help.  I thought it might be a tag or something, so I pulled my pants down (sorry for the tmi) and reached back to grab the offending itchy object.  It was not an object, it was this:

so much hate

so much hate

No, No, NO!!  I legit YELLED/SCREAMED and flung it.  I hate these stink bugs, so not only did I touch it but it was hanging out in my pants for an undetermined amount of time.  The horror.  I still get the shivers thinking about it.  And I think it might have bit me.

It’s the (un)luck of the Irish, I tell ya…

deep breath

16 Nov view from Sacre-Coeur in Paris

Like most people, I was/am saddened by the terrorist attacks – all of them. I feel sorrow and true disgust at the horrific events that don’t seem to end.  The attacks on Paris sent my heart racing.

My brother and sister-in-law live there.  Many of my new friends and my new family live there.  I felt like I got punched in the stomach.  Thankfully, my brother is currently in New York but I panicked thinking of my sister-in-law and the others.  Given my propensity to think the worst (which has increased since my mom passed suddenly in 2011), I was so scared.  I’m beyond grateful my sister-in-law, family and friends overseas, are safe.

this is my SIL, Sabrina in NY with us in 2012

this is my SIL, Sabrina in NY with us in 2012

The anxiety hasn’t completely left me – I know, surprise, surprise.  I woke up today all kinds of out of sorts.  It was going to be a very packed day and it felt daunting.  I was supposed to do a PT session on my own today and this was somehow going to fit into my lunch break, in-between back to back to back meetings.  All of the stomach acid.

I made the executive decision to skip the PT session – I can still fit it in before my actual session on Wednesday.  I was able to catch up on some administrative tasks, which had been sitting on my to do list, taunting me.  I also realized I wanted some comfort food.

and some comfort memories – my dad and I in Paris this summer

Well, I realized it yesterday but I had to work so I had popcorn for dinner instead.  But tonight – tonight I wanted to feed my feelings.  I’ve been craving meat (not chicken or turkey), probably related to my iron deficiency, and I found my way to a stroganoff recipe.  How could I forget about stroganoff?!  I’ve only made it one other time in the last 12 years – crazypants!

I searched pinterest and found a recipe that satisfied my gluten-free needs.  Did you know cream of mushroom soup has wheat in it?  I wasn’t sure it would taste as good without that ol’ standby but I should’ve trusted.  The recipe I used was from Simply Recipes.  This was all homemade and business!

No pictures of my creation because stroganoff doesn’t photograph well.

Also, I ignored the salt recommendations, because I thought I was smarter?  You probably still could if you wanted to but I found I needed to add salt afterward.  I also practically doubled (or maybe more) the paprika because paprika and I are tight.

view from Sacre-Coeur in Paris

The stroganoff hit the spot.  Not only did it satisfy my taste buds but it was nice to go through the routine of cooking.  I haven’t cooked in a long time and making this bad boy was calming.  P.S. Read all of the directions before you start!  I had to scramble a bit.

Tomorrow is another filled to gills work day.  But I will have stroganoff leftovers waiting for me at the end of the day.

My thoughts continue to be with the victims of all of the attacks of this last week and previous ones.  I have so many dear memories from the two weeks I spent in France this summer celebrating my brother’s wedding and it hurts my heart to think of all of this devastation.

ice, ice baby

13 Nov

C’mon, we all knew this title was coming considering I’m currently bewitched by ice.  Besides, if Vanilla Ice can rip off the tune-age, surely I can “borrow” his song title.

creepy and funny

The ice thing… it’s peculiar.  Let me first start with I’m so happy I’m obsessed with ice rather than pica cravings.  Dirt is one of them.  Although, if I was craving huge spoonfuls of dirt, I probably would’ve gone to see a doctor, which still might be advisable.

Brief (sort of connected) story:  when we were little, my brother and I encouraged this little girl who was always at our house to eat a GIANT spoonful of sand.  We didn’t shove it down her throat, it was more of a dare, so not completely our fault.  We also dared her to lick a slug once.  I know we sound like terrible tyrants but she was a mean little kid.  She dropped our puppy from the top of a slide and poor Muffy had a concussion.  The image of Muffy bleeding still pulls on my heartstrings so I give little mind to the dirt and slug business.

she shouldn’t have hurt Muffy

Okay, back to current day… the ice situation has intensified, even since I last mentioned it.  It’s been going on for a solid month and half now.  It started off as a cup with a lot of ice and about 1/2 full of Sierra Mist.  I don’t like drinking regular pop but the world is against diet sierra mist/diet 7 Up/diet gingerale – at least in pop machines.  I realized I rather enjoyed the ice after I drank the pop.  The next day, same scenario but less pop.  The day after, who needs pop?!  It was all ice from there.

I’m at the point now where I am planning my day around how, when, where I can get some ice.  We have a fridge ice machine in our main office but the ice tastes funky if not in a flavored beverage (i.e. in my other love, coffee).  So this is out.  I have a main place I get it and when I do, I get multiple cups filled to the brim so I can have it for later.  Of course now there is my personal ice machine.  I eat A LOT of ice in a day my friends.

this is what I would look like as a blob one-eyed person

I am almost a week into my new iron supplements.  I have a feeling, even if the crazy ice need subsides, some of it has/will become habitual.  When I dislocated my thumb 8 years ago, I was in a cast for 8 weeks.  I still do certain things the same way as when I had to modify actions to accommodate my beast of a cast.  But I’m hoping the whole planning my day around ice abates.  I am not a very patient person, so I want results now.  Last night I had another almost passing out moment so it seems the iron needs a bit of encouragement.  Go iron pills go!  And dad, you should probably start making some ice now for my impending holiday visit!

all the pretty races

10 Nov

For the last few years, I’ve packed my schedule with races.  Whether it was spring (one or two in the winter) or fall, I attempted to fill it with as many as I could afford.  All with the thought/plan to “REALLY train this time around” and make those PR’s happen.

this is how I feel about a PR…

This wasn’t the case.  And with each race there were a few more aches and pains because all too many times I didn’t quite prepare as much as I should have.

I decided to be slightly more realistic this year.  I did sign up for a mid-winter race and realized this was dumb and didn’t end up doing it.  Aside from that delusional moment, I did fairly well.  I signed up for the 5k/10k back to back in June with a 1/2 marathon the following weekend.

I trashed my knee (my poor patella) with some serious slanted sidewalk during that 5k/10k.  This race is HARD.  There is a reason the quote is “The Thrill, The Will, The Hill”.  The hill is a freakin’ beast.  I climbed it once during the 10k, a 2nd time to get to the 5k start and then a 3rd time because I decided parking near the start was a better idea than near the finish line.  Must learn for next time!

this race kicks my trash - every time.

this race kicks my trash – every time.

The 1/2 was a great time as I was able to escape “up North” –  Michandger speak anytime you head to the Northern part of Michigan.  It was in stunningly beautiful Charlevoix (go there – it’s listed as one of the most beautiful places to visit).  The race is really fun, has some sweet swag, an awesome medal and the course is nice.  I was worried about my knee but it wasn’t terribly bothersome.  Because of my lack of training, my goal was to hit under the 3 hr mark.  I did just this – yay!  Not to mention, I got to go with a great friend for a mini-break.

the front has the MI symbol on it and then on the back in the lower corner is Charlevoix piece. I did it.

the front has the MI symbol on it and then on the back in the lower corner is Charlevoix piece. I did it.

this medal is awesome! the bridge pieces go up and down!

this medal is awesome! the bridge pieces go up and down!

After this, it was onto France and then immediately back to work.  This is also when I dabbled/half decided to sign up for the marathon.  At this point, I had plans to sign up for two 1/2 marathons to help with marathon training along with my favorite 5k/10k Peacock Strut combo.

Despite signing up for the Peacock Strut and picking up my shirt, I woke up the next day with no desire to run.  I skipped it.  I still don’t regret it.  I also didn’t end up signing up for the 1/2 marathons and instead went to NY to visit my brother where I ran the Bronx 5k – a much better and more fun decision!

me and my little bro running the Bronx 5k!

me and my little bro running the Bronx 5k!

Suddenly October rolled around (I have no concept of time right now) and I ran three races – whoa!  The first was an impromptu 5 miler in Indiana with one of my great gal pals.  It was a very small, local race, which I always enjoy.  My knee was painful and stiff.  I couldn’t run the whole time (I added in some walk breaks).  It definitely made me nervous as the marathon was looming.  M and I stuck together and without her I would’ve walked a lot more.  Once again, I need to up my mental game.

Next up, the Detroit Marathon – have I mentioned this?!

Lastly, the weekend following the marathon was the Campus Classic here on campus.  I wasn’t sure I was going to do it, since you know, I could barely walk.  The Campus Classic is the first race I ever did.  I’ve told the story a couple of times here and I’ve never missed a race since.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to run it, which was a bummer but against my better judgement, I walked it.  The first mile was in the 17 min mile range.  I was being careful of my knee.  After I heard the time, I decided to screw my knee and the aftermath, I wanted to be done – faster.  I started focusing on catching people.  The second mile was in the 16 min pace and the last was a 15 min pace.  I was quite pleased with the negative splits, although the not so nice voice in my head provided some disparaging remarks regarding my overall time.  My friend used her real life voice to knock some sense into me.  Another race in the books!

probably my final campus classic -

probably my final campus classic

I don’t see the local Turkey Trot in my future.  I’m not sure if I’ve missed one since I started running though… if it does happen it will be another walking race.  I need to keep reminding myself that recovery is front and center.  Remind me of this if I start any crazy talk pretty please!

One last thing!  My medal for the 2,015 miles in 2015 came in the mail the other day – a lovely piece of hardware!

2,015 in 2015

the lighting sucks in my apt – there are some cute mountains in there, too!

my “moronic” muscle

8 Nov

Last Friday, I took some annual leave.  During a meeting with my boss the day before, I talked about my stress level.  I realize now I mentioned that “my health is not great” twice due to all of the stress as of late.  She kindly encouraged me to take the day.  I said I had a lot to do.  A couple of hours later, I recognized the gift and put in for the day.  It was a fabulous idea.

My second PT appt was bright and early Friday morning and I considered canceling it since I didn’t have to get up early anymore.  Nevertheless, recovery, right?  I got out of bed and made the appt.  Daren – PT friend, asked me how the muscle memory exercises were going.  I told him, I couldn’t believe these simple movements made my muscles sore!  I also said I couldn’t figure out where my patella was.  He had a plastic model and I was confusing tendon with patella, it made much more sense.  I had no idea the patella was so small!

We went through some exercises – a mix of stability and active ones.  I rode the bike for 6 whole mins, but that was the only cardio.  Even though I could feel my knee, it didn’t really hurt per say.  More irritated, I think.  I was definitely surprised when going through these strength exercises I broke out in a sweat.  They were tough!  During one of the exercise, Daren asked if I was feeling any pain.  Nope.  He then provided music to my ears, “I really think you just abused it by doing too much when your knee/muscles weren’t ready”.  Good news indeed!

it’s probably too early to hug him, right?

I know I said I was happy to be a lazy bones and I really am. That said, I’ve worked hard to lose almost 20lbs in the last year and I don’t want that to by the wayside. Sure, feeling crummy stomach-wise is helping with the decrease in eating but somehow, this doesn’t seem very healthy. In fact, it sounds eating disorder-ish, which is definitely NOT what I am looking for.  I told this to PT friend.  He said he understood – both about getting back into the habit of lying around and wanting to be active.  Next week we are going to evaluate and try the elliptical, which is going to be a riot since I can’t catch the rhythm of said machine and foresee failure.  I asked about swimming and looks likely as an option for next week.

I did ask about one of those electrode machines that contract the muscles for you.  I don’t know why but I really want one.  He said I could buy one myself, to which I asked if I needed one for recovery.  He said I didn’t since those machines are used to contract muscles that can’t do it on their own.  He said my muscles can, “they are just moronic right now”.  HA!  This cracked me up, my thigh muscle is a moron.  It’s perfect.

Physical therapy

icing the poor moron

PT update – over and out!

bird legs and feet are the best

6 Nov

The other day I was walking across campus and I saw these adorable little bird footprints in the cement.  “Awww, so cute!”  I talk to myself out loud, regardless of my location.

I absolutely adore little bird feet and legs!

Suddenly the image popped in my head of a bird mafia.  What if this poor bird was forced to walk through the cement by the mafia bird thugs so then he/she would have some “cement shoes”?!  Poor little birdie.  Then I decided he/she is happily sporting some schmancy new kicks and all of the other birds are jealous.  A much happier and more likely scenario.

Tuesday morning, I started having a panic attack.  I haven’t had one in a couple of months and it took me by complete surprise.  I was in a meeting so I couldn’t excuse myself but I was able to use the tapping technique on the side of my palm to help manage it, without calling attention to my distress.  Below is a video of one of my favorite tutorials.  My hypnotherapist introduced it to me to the technique and I watched this when I was first learning.

With the tapping technique you are supposed to hit a couple of acupuncture points, however even simply tapping the side of my palm under the table help to ward off the worst of it.  I strongly recommend looking into it if you have moments of panic.  It isn’t just for people with anxiety either.

Long ago, I mentioned I was doing the Run the Edge 2,015 miles in 2015 challenge.

2,015 miles in 2015

a lofty goal for sure!

I didn’t decide to do it until mid January, so I stared out behind.  I should have calculated the miles per day much earlier so even when I was hitting decent mileage, I was still behind. I started getting irked with myself because I knew making the deadline was iffy but I already ordered the medal.  Cue GUILT.  Earlier this week the challenge organizers sent an email that medals were being mailed and mind is already on its way.  They talked about even if you haven’t met the goal and won’t, if the challenge made you even slightly more cognizant of your movement then it was a success.  It was such a refreshing message!  Since tracking my miles, I’ve walked a lot more and have hit goals I wouldn’t have.  Sometimes, I overstressed about it but in October, I let it be.  I won’t make it.  However, I am proud of the work I put into it.  Before, I considered myself mildly active.  Once I started tracking and using my Misfit Shine, I was plumb shocked at how little I would move around.  There were some days, weekends mostly, where I would barely reach .5 miles, FOR THE ENTIRE DAY!  EEK!  I don’t have kids or a significant other so I am free to do my own thing, which has good and bad results.  Not moving much is one of the negatives.  When I see this happening, it makes me get off of my tushy and do something about it.  The challenge is/was worth it.

2,016 in 2016

Yep, I signed up again for 2016 to see what I can make of it.  Figuring out the math ahead of time, it’s about 5.5 miles per day – much more manageable.  Join me!  Now, I am happy with what I can get done for this year and looking forward to seeing what I end up with.  I recommend the challenge – running/walking/elliptical count for the miles.  I included all of my intentional miles, which was up for quite the debate on the fb group.  Whatever, I didn’t listen to them since as previously mentioned, I can seriously sit around!  It’s my journey.


3 Nov

I always feel guilty after writing a post that doesn’t have some sort of happiness infused.  At least I’m sticking with my Catholic roots!

Here are a few updates:

1. I had my first PT appt yesterday for my knee.  Basically, I messed it up good and plenty!  He said some medical words to describe the problem and I swore I was going to remember them but I don’t.  I’m pretty sure it was part of my knee is rubbing on my tibia.  In my head this explanation feels off since it doesn’t seem possible although I never took an anatomy class.  I might be remembering incorrectly.  Whatever, it isn’t great.  Upside – actual orders to be a lazy bones!  I do have some exercises to do.  I asked him if these were strengthening exercises but apparently I’m not there yet and these are merely exercises to remind my muscles how to work.  Great scott – even my muscles can’t remember to remember.

I have another PT appt this week and then three next week.  I am very committed to recovery and it is quite clear that my big muscles (quads? the ones on the top of my thighs) are weak as hell.  When I mentioned this he readily agreed.  I need to put the brace back on, do the memorization exercises and no activity <– the lazy part.  I have a feeling the sit on your ass orders will go by the way side sooner rather than later so I’m going to give up feeling guilty about doing just that.

2. Sunday I moaned and groaned about my stomach.  I’m still at that stage.  I am also grateful I can afford to eat what my body can handle.  For instance, there aren’t a lot of fruits and veggies (or many other things) my stomach can tolerate.  Blueberries are a major winner.  They are currently $10 per 18oz at Costco – yowza!  I bought two.  Also, the gluten-free bread is $8.00 per loaf (Costco), the ham is $8.00 per pound and a half or so (Costco) and then the “granola” bars I can eat are $5.00 a box.  I am wildly lucky I can give my stomach the royal treatment, even if it is acting like an ungrateful punk.

I only almost vomited once yesterday! Improvement!

3. The weather is wacky.  Last week, one of my big programs consisted of cooking a variety of sausage (including my FAVORITE hot dogs ever!) on grills (outside) and serving them to students over 200 of them.  It was really cold, rainy and it snowed earlier in the day.  This week?  Close to 70* the entire week.  I want Nov. to feel like Nov.  Not to mention, this kind of weather freaks me out!  Oh and I strongly recommend getting hot dogs from a real life butcher shop.  It makes such a major difference in taste!

4. I went to do laundry on Sunday – I was fiercely determined and even walked down to the w/d room.  Alas, someone was already using both machines.  I set a timer to make myself get up an hour later to check said laundry machines to see if they were empty but by the time the alarm went off, my motivation was gone.  Tonight is the night friends – I can feel it.  Laundry will be accomplished.

5. I finally pulled my popcorn popper out from under the sink.  It’s one of those ‘stir crazy’ poppers and I remember having to have it.  Considering I’ve been downing Skinny Pop like mad, I figured I should save a few bucks and make it myself.  And put the popper to good use.  I bought some sunflower oil like Skinny Pop uses and hit it.  Yum!

ok, so I do miss the ease and taste of some skinny pop

6. Get this: I was RIGHT!  Word of advice, make friends with a doctor, a nurse or a pharmacist.  No, this isn’t license to stalk someone but I’m pretty darn lucky to know a couple of pharmacists.  How does this relate to my being right?  Because my pharmacist friend, we were fellow “Panty Raiders” on a Ragnar Relay and a blogger (I really dig her and her blog!), read my post the other day and my ice eating IS a sign of anemia!  Look at me all sleuthing and stuff!  She also made a recommendation of a brand of iron to get.  So today, I’ll be starting to combat this low iron business.

This is riveting stuff, isn’t it?  Happy Tuesday!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,341 other followers

%d bloggers like this: