just an update

oh hi there! i’ve been busy making pickles and haven’t had a chance to blog. (that’s not true. i think i’m just lazy.)

  1. garden is almost at the ready. lots of tomatoes but only a few have turned red so far, but my cukes have come in. like i said, i’ve made a couple batches so far and one is coming tomorrow. i got a new bell sauce maker from the craigslist killer for 1/3 the price, so i’m pretty stoked about that. no more blanching tomatoes and peeling them! hallelujah! that was such a time suck. it’s also good for applesauce, so if i actually get any apples off my trees this year, that’ll be great for apple butter.
  2. ragnar is slowly approaching. i like trail running now that i have appropriate shoes! they make SUCH a huge difference. even the hills are a little ok when i’m out there and have the right shoes. tomorrow night i think i’m going to shoot for 5 miles on the trail and see what happens. 
  3. movements to buy a cabin are underway! my sisters and i have opened a savings account and are ready to start dumping some money in it. maybe in a couple years we’ll have a down payment!
  4. and ARIZONA tickets and reservations have been made!!!! #soexcited. we fly out on the 14th at night (it was cheaper to get that flight and hotel than to fly out the 15th) and get back on the 22nd. it should be fun!

well, i’m not going to promise to blog better, readers, but i promise that while i’m in AZ, i’ll be blogging every day. ok, i’m out! i’m tired of the political atmosphere, but it’s possible a politiblog may crop up soon. sigh.

this stinks

i’ve had a sniffing/clearing of the throat problem for many years, which i attributed to allergies (being slightly allergic to cats is my guess). and then this past april i had this nasty cold, during which i lost my sense of smell. i can only guess that the cold, along with seasonal allergy season kicking in, kind of did my sinuses in, because i never 100% got back my sniffer. lilac season? i had to stick my nose way in those blossoms to get a whiff. everything i ate tasted not quite as good because it just didn’t have the smell to go with it.

so i went to the doctor at the beginning of july to see what was going on. she looked in my face holes and said everything looked good except my nose looked a little “boggy”. she prescribed me flonase and sent me off. 

i think i was a little enthusiastic on the flonase. you’re not supposed to sniff it way up there, like a normal person does when she has a runny nose. nope nope nope. and one night, i involuntarily sniffed the heck out of the flonase because it was like having a running nose. ugh! well, right after that, i decided to put on this lotion that i loved the smell of, and it smelled AWFUL. like wash off my hands because i couldn’t stand it awful. then all night, all i did was smell this awful lotion smell because it was imprinted on my steroid-laden brain or something. that was about 2-3 weeks ago. i stopped using flonase.

slowly it sort of went away, but this past week it came back with a vengeance. everything i eat that has some semblance of sugar or carb smells like the awful burnt varation of grapefruit brulee lotion i used to love. now i’m wondering if there’s something else going on. i’m going to give it another couple weeks to see if it clears up. in the meantime, i’m using a netipot to hopefully clear out my sinuses and breathing through my mouth a lot more.

the internet tells me i have a brain tumor, of course. 

getting ready

i guess i’m doing RAGNAR! ok! and NOT the van version! we’re doing the northwoods trail ragnar race in wisconsin, so we’ll camp in one spot and then run three loops each, a 7, 4, and 3 mile loop. it’s actually 15.2 miles total.

i got my trail running shoes, and this weekend i’m going to start getting out to the st john’s trails (if my stomach cooperates). i’m not entirely sure i’ll be good at this. i wonder if i can bring some trail stick things? i need to buy some anyway for my lake superior trail hike eventually.

ugh! check out that elevation change on the red loop! ack! 

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take it back

have you heard about randy bryce? (aka @ironstache) he’s a wisconsin ironworker taking on paul ryan in the 2018 midterms, and i think he’s onto something. 

his background and platforms hearken back to old-school democrat – think actual democratic-farmer-labor party. he’s a veteran, iron worker, and a unionmember, not a millionaire or someone with grand business interests. his kid goes to public school. his brother is a police officer and his sister a teacher. if there were any way to unify the democratic party and get back to its roots and really capture the base they’ve lost – the salt of the earth – i feel this is the perfect opportunity. 

another thing i think the party could do to ruffle feathers: take back the flag. the US flag has been co-opted by the republican party. if you wear a flag, wave a flag in your yard, or have a flag sticker on your vehicle, i automatically think “republican.” now, i am the first person to say that a flag does not define a country. (it’s the people who define a country.) one of the more profound things i’ve read was on fark (remember fark?): “if america’s so great, we shouldn’t even need a flag.” but if the democratic party started waving the flag at all the protests and other events, in their yards, on their bumpers, maybe, just maybe, those wavering people on the fence might say, hm, i guess democrats are patriotic after all. 

so, there’s my plan for an america that doesn’t include a nuclear-weapons-wielding egomaniac at its helm: go back to our roots and take back the flag.

get your iron!

let me tell you about iron supplements. 

now, i don’t know if it’s the iron itself or a placebo effect, but i started taking iron pills a couple weeks ago and my running time has gotten better and the time running has gotten better, too. i have a lot less fatigue while running; for the past few months my muscles have just been blah while running. 

so i did some research on fatigue while running, and the first thing that came up was iron deficiency. women runners are susceptible for a variety of reasons, including heel strikes while running! who knew. i tried out the iron supplements, and off i went. 

anyway, that’s a running update for you!

dc – day 4 and 5

welp i’m back on my couch. it’s 65ΒΊ outside, breezy, the sun’s heading down the horizon. birds are chirping, wind in the leaves, and i just heard a couple loons overhead. 

i <3 traveling, but it’s really something to come home. 

day four of the work trip to dc was a half day of conference, and then we took in some sights before heading home. we went back to a small cafe for lunch where i almost had a bloody mary and am now regretting not getting it. then headed to the library of congress on the metro. the library closes at 4:30, so we went there first.

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the architecture was great, and i wanted to buy every book in the gift shop. but i resisted and instead bought myself a hermione granger shirt that i’ve been wanting for some time now. 

after that, we headed out into the sweltering heat (i would bet the heat index was 100+) and took the metro to the monuments instead of walking the mile.

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walked past the US forest service! so far they haven’t been completely defunded and decommissioned. 

headed to the washington monument first, which was actually taller than i thought it was going to be.

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we sat in the shade for a while so i could let the sweat evaporate. i was actually starting to get worried about heat exhaustion. 

the reflecting pool was drained due to some parasites that were killing the duckling, but we headed down past the WWI or WWII fountain memorial, then to the lincoln memorial. i didn’t think it would be so powerful, but it was. reading the gettysburg address kind of choked me up.

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after that, we luckily just hopped into a cab back to our hotel. half the crew had lousiana seafood again, and another and i went to a pizza place. familiarity was kind of nice. we headed back to our hotel rooms and packed/chilled. around 9 a.m. i went down to the outdoor pool and stuck my feet in the water. should’ve put on the suit and jumped in. 

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you can see how swanky our hotel was by this long corridor of chandeliers. 

this morning was early – our flight left at 8:50, so we were at the airport by 8, and i somehow got TSA pre-check, so i sailed through security. that was ok – i stood in line at starbucks for the entire time the others were in the TSA line. 

plane ride was uneventful and we got in a little before 11 a.m. i was home by 1:30!

then i took a 2-hour nap, and it was a HARD nap. like i didn’t want to get up. i forced myself to, and tonight i will sleep well. 

i’m glad to be home though πŸ™‚

dc day 3 – a day late

today was a full day of conference, with at least one helpful session (it’s so difficult choosing a session). i did take the afternoon off sessions so i could get a run in. the fitness center here is HOOOOT and there were NO FANS on the treadmills. i slogged through 4 miles and was soaked by the time i got through, but i did it!

after the sessions and my hot run, we headed to king street/old town for some sightseeing and thai food. we got off the metro and headed down toward the potomac. king street has a lot of little shops that vary all over the spectrum with goods. there were bookstores, paper stores, furniture stores, kitchen stores, adult stores, cigar stores, etc. etc., and it was cobblestone and very east coast feeling. we stopped at a bar for a pitcher of beer, then headed to the thai place. mmm the curry was good! i’ll have to see if i can find a place in st. cloud (or make my own i guess). 

one thing i don’t necessarily like about the east coast is the humidity. oy! i was sweating just standing around, and it was mid 80s. i choose the wrong clothes to bring – should’ve brought nothing but polyester. the thai place had no AC, but i did sit right in front of the fan. 

after thai, we headed back up king street and stopped at a cupcake store, where i got a red velvet and a chocolate chocolate. if they’d’ve had the pb chocolate, i would’ve gotten that one. 

headed back to our hotel by way of sherry’s liquor and stayed up for a bit. fun day!

dc day 2!

today was PRESENTATION DAY. the reason we are in DC. but you don’t want to hear too much about that. we presented on our eorientation and flipped advising we’re doing at the college, and my part was the creation of it – content and web dev side. i had to talk for a solid 10 minutes or so, which was ok. and i knew what i was talking about, so that was good. my first practice run-through was awful, but i practiced four times today and felt good about it.

here’s what i know about me and public speaking. it’s like math. i am good at it, but i don’t enjoy it and would rather not do it. but i always end up doing well. and based on the questions afterward, this was a pretty good session. there was some humor, it was interesting, and at one point i turned to the deal of lib. arts and said “WOW bob (our web dev) is a GENIUS”. i hadn’t really paid attention to the back end stuff he’d done for advising, and some of the stuff he did was just amazeballs to me. 

ANYWAY…here’s what you really want to know about: we went to a nearby diner for breakfast, where i had eggs, hashbrowns, and toast, as well as a giant latte. the hashbrowns were a square! just a friend square of hashbrowns. kind of like a mcdonald’s hashbrown, but bigger and beefier. (and better.) the jam was home made and delish. 

ended up not eating lunch, but we did have “light fare” at a conference reception, which was pretty decent for conference food. 

then we took the metro to an uzbek/russian restaurant for supper, and i think i ordered the wrong thing πŸ™ it was pretty much giant beef tortellinis in broth with some sour cream on top. other people’s food looked much more appetizing. oh well. i will not be going back. 

on the way back, i went up perhaps the most giant escalator i’ve been on, and the escalators at universal were pretty dang giant. 

now i’m on the way to sleepytime, which i need after today. i’m not sure what’s happening tomorrow after the conference, but i found out that the library of congress is 25 mins away via metro and foot, so i might zip over to check that out either on saturday. we’ll see how things pan out.

OH and i found out my room looks over the washington monument, and it lights up at night! (this is a horrible pic, but oh well.)

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dc day one

hello from washington dc! i’m here for a work conference, and we’re going to be sightseeing as well, because why not? we’re here! 

today was travel day, so my workmates and i left cloud town around 9 to catch our 1 p.m. flight. after 3 hours of boring flight, we got into dc and got a cab to our hotel. not as crazy as LA’s shuttle was, but still pretty crazy! the hotel is nice, and we spent the first few hours going over our presentation, which is tomorrow. i have to make this post short so i can practice here in my room not in front of people. or else i’ll just wing it…

after that, we headed out for supper to hot n juicy crawfish. i split a crawfish boil for two with another person, and we had fried brownies for dessert. oh, and two raspberry beers. supper was good! it was a little unnerving at first to be tearing the heads off these little crawfish, but it was pretty good so i got over it. 

after a quick stop at CVS, back to the hotel. i took a shower right away to get all the crawfish grease off me. anyway, time to do a quick practice, then time to sleep because i’m exhausted and people are raring to go early squirrelly. no sleeping in for me, i guess. 

what’s goin on!

thunderstorms woke me up this morning, so i was awake about an hour earlier than i wanted to be. so now i’m sitting on my couch in my log cabin living room watching a weather front come in and listening to the wind in the trees.

have i mentioned how much i like my new house?

anyway, some life updates for everyone.

running

i’ve been getting really fatigued lately while i’m running, and i’ve gone from “this is tolerable” to “this is miserable.” i did some research online, and it seems like i might have low iron, which apparently is a common thing for women who run. so i have started taking some iron supplements, and i actually might go in to the doctor to get my iron levels tested. in the meantime, we’ll see if the three days of supplements i’ve been taking affect my run tonight.

oh, and i guess i’m running a ragnar race. :/

work

summertime is always a little less hectic at work, which is nice. it’s a time when i can focus on things that’ve been sitting on my desk for months and work on bigger projects. i’m also working 4 10-hour days, so i’ve got a 3-day weekend every weekend. unfortunately, i always feel rushed in the evenings – i get home at 6:30, try to eat supper right aways so i have some time to digest before i go on a 45-min run and get in before sunset (i run on a 55-mph highway, so that’s almost imperative). i don’t want to eat supper late in the day, so that’s what hanging me up there. not sure what the answer is. 

one thing that’s happening that’s kind of cool is i’m helping present on an eorientation project we did at a national conference in washington dc. so this wednesday, i’m flying out to DC for four days. we’ll go to some of the conference, but we’ll also make sure we see some of the big stuff – monuments, smithsonian stuff, museums, etc. i’ve never been out there, so this will be exciting!

(actually, i’ve never been east of indiana [thanks liz], so this will be a real departure from my regular vacay destinations [westward ho!])

garden!

garden is blowing up! i love that it’s RIGHT THERE and it’s LARGE and i have tons of stuff in it. probably too much. we’ll see how the squash does. i planted four potato plants just because i like the occasional potato from the garden, but i don’t really keep them over winter. 

let’s see, what else: broccoli, kohlrabi, spinach, lettuce, carrots, radishes, tomatoes, cukes, peppers, onions. butternut squash and pie pumpkins. that’s a lot. oh! and green beans. we’ll see how it all does. i’ve already got to get in there with my tiller to get rid of weeds.

i also got rid of my two “cemetery” trees that were next to the house. last fall, an ice storm pretty much ripped them in half and they were dead. i was like “ugh, where am i gonna find a chainsaw,” when i was out for a run and heard/saw (haha) my neighbors two doors down chainsawing in their backyard. i came back and they had moved to the front. i introduced myself and asked about some chainsaw services. they happily agreed! he even pulled out the stumps with his truck, which helped a TON. 

took them to the city compost and now i’ve planted two lilacs in their places. MUCH better.

(i also got two raspberry bushes while i was at the nursery and planted those on the end of the garden. excited for that!)

that’s all i’ve got. i might try to blog about DC, but we’ll see how tired i am at the end of the days. the weather front is closer, but it’s still rumbling thunder, so i’m not sure how long this will take. we need the rain, though!