Monday, January 21, 2019

Riding it Out

Last night, I was awakened by hot flashes on three separate occasions. They came like clockwork, every two and a half hours, like contractions, only slightly less uncomfortable.

After experiencing hot flashes last March, you would think that I would know what to expect, but, this time around, the flashes build more slowly and arrive with less of the anxiety-producing "buzz" that I experienced the last go-around.

Buzz? What the hell do I even mean? Well, last year, prior to my body suddenly feeling like it was on fire, I would get a tingly-buzzing-nerve-like feeling that built up to a point that verged on panic-attack territory. The anxiety around that initial symptom far outweighed the discomfort of the actual hot flash, and, I came to dread the first tiny vibration that signaled an attack.

Thankfully, this go-round, I appear to be skipping the buzz and going straight to "holy Hannah, it's hot in here". This, I can deal with. Oh, I don't love it, but, if nature has to take its' course (and, it does); I can roll with it.

Besides, when else will it be appropriate to exclaim, "Damn, I'm hot!", fifty times a day, without sounding like I'm bragging?


Friday, January 18, 2019

Well, THAT Could Have Ended Badly

I just attended a meeting of Hooterville's local Think Tank (community partners who collaborate on a number of efforts).

The meeting was held at the admin office of the school district, and, I when I arrived, I was pleased to snag a front-row parking place, right next to the door to the Board room in which the meeting was being held.

The meeting itself went off without a hitch; loosely following the usual two-hour agenda, with lunch provided and emphasis placed on the same banal conversation that always takes place. It wasn't until after the meeting when things got exciting.

Or, embarrassing, depending on how you look at it; for the record, I go with embarrassing.

After the meeting, I gathered up my belongings and was headed for the door when I was stopped by a colleague who wanted to compliment me on my facilitation of a rather sensitive meeting earlier in the week. I chatted with the colleague for several minutes before finally heading to my car. On the way out the door, my cellphone rang with a call from Oscar, who needed me to run an errand for the hardware store on my way home.

While I was chatting with him, I approached my car, noticing that the door was unlocked, and, mentally kicking myself for being so careless.

When I opened the door, I was distressed to see that my bag, which I had thrown into the passenger seat when I left the office to head to the meeting, was missing. In the split-second that I noticed the missing bag, I also noticed that the car smelled strongly of cigarette smoke and that the leather on the driver's seat was cracked and well-worn.

Three thoughts simultaneously flew through my brain:

One: Fuck! Someone stole my bag!

Two: Huh. I don't smoke.

Three: How can a brand new car have such a jacked up seat...

...and, then, the fourth thought smacked me right upside the head, sending the previous three thoughts scattering to the wind...

This. Is. NOT. My Car.

Fuckity, fuck, fuck, fuck!

My car, I quickly noted, was parked directly to the right of the strange, stale-smelling car that I was attempting to enter.

My fifth thought involved the image of some poor, panicked car owner calling the police to report that a deranged lunatic of a woman, holding a cellphone to her ear and muttering obscenities to herself, was attempting to steal his/her car.

I quickly closed the door and scurried over to my car. This all happened while I carried on a perfectly normal-sounding conversation with my father-in-law, I might add. Which, either means that I am a master multi-tasker, or, that I am completely beyond help.

The jury is out.

Also, if you happened to be at the Hooterville School District admin building this afternoon at approximately 1:05 and saw a woman attempting to enter your car...I disavow any knowledge , whatsoever.

But, in the future, you might want to think about locking your doors.


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Breaking Out of My Comfort Zone

Last night, Co-Worker Erin and I attended a candlelight yoga class at a fairly new studio in Hooterville. A what, you say? Candlelight? Yoga? How do those things even relate?

I know; I had the same questions when Erin approached me about joining her.

As it turns out, doing yoga in the dark is pretty enlightening.

See what I did there?

Ha!

Anyhoodle, the class was, indeed, conducted in a darkened room, with only the glow of electric candles to light our way. And, while we were initially pretty nervous-neither of us being yoga experts by any stretch of the imagination-the instructor made us feel right at home, and, dare I say it: graceful.

My biggest concern, going into it, was that I would have some involuntary and embarrassing bodily function (lots of fruits and veggies in the diet equals increased carbon dioxide emissions, if you get my drift), while Erin's primary concern was that her left boob would go rogue, jumping out of her old, stretched-out sports bra.

Happily, neither of those scenarios occurred, although, come to think of it, in a darkened studio, who would have seen an errant boob? And, if I had ripped a loud one, it could have easily been blamed on my neighbor and no one would be the wiser.

So, my take-aways from the class:

 One: Apparently our emotions are stored in our hips (who knew?).

 Two: I am a lot bendier than I thought I was.

Three: Erin needs a new sports bra.

Four: I am definitely going back next week.


Monday, January 14, 2019

Weekend Rewind

When I wrote last, I was about to embark on a weekend quest for relaxation, and, I am happy to report that the quest went well. So well, in fact, that I am considering a similar quest this coming weekend. Only five days to go!

Friday afternoon, immediately after hitting publish on that day's post, I jumped into my experiment with enthusiasm; I slipped into my most comfortable pajamas, fired up the Netflix, and started working on the creation of a Chelle-shaped divot on my couch; an indentation that I would revisit throughout the weekend.

Saturday morning, I managed to sleep in until 7:00. When I awoke, it was to three inches or so of new-fallen snow, which, required a shoveling, and, since Hugh was out of town until later that evening, it was up to me to handle (PS: Fuck you, Mother Nature). So, energized with coffee, armed with a shovel, and accompanied by my trusty canine sidekick, I hit the pavement; managing to shovel the entire driveway, sidewalk, back porch, and concrete pad around the dog kennel in just over an hour. So far, the "relaxation" portion of the weekend was a bust, but, I had worked up a sweat and was motivated to keep moving, which, inspired me to hit the gym for a date with my favorite treadmill.

Clearly, the weather was keeping the New Years Resolutionists at bay, because I once again had the gym all to myself. No complaints, here.


When I got back to the house, I started the process of making homemade chicken noodle soup, but, was felled by the early stages of a migraine before I got halfway through slicing the chicken breast for the pot. So, I quickly huffed my trusty Imitrex nasal spray and took a brief nap on the couch while it kicked in. As a side note, this is the third or fourth month that I have had a mid-cycle migraine, so, it's evident that my headaches are the result of Hormones Gone Wild (PS: Again, fuck you Mother Nature).

Anyhoodle, once I had a handle on the headache (800 mg of ibuprofen and a cup of iced coffee, as a chaser to the Imitrex, work wonders for me; I can actually function without wanting to die. True story), I returned to my soup preparations.


I also changed the essential oil in my new diffuser from lemongrass to peppermint, which is supposed to be good for headaches. I guess it worked, but, even if it hadn't, my house smelled like a candy cane, which is not at all unpleasant.


While all this was going on, I was also binge-watching The Sinner on Netflix. Highly, highly recommended, by the way.

I finished the day with a glass of wine and a home facial, including a clay mask that apparently scared the beejeezus out of my dog. I'll spare you a picture, lest it scare the beejeezus out of you as well.

Sunday morning, I hit the gym and the hardware store, getting those chores out of the way so that I could return to my couch indentation. I also did some bird watching from the breakfast nook window, where I saw this guy...


...the photo is from last year, when he first made an appearance in my yard. I still have no idea what kind of hawk he is, but, I have a sneaking suspicion that he is preying on the smaller birds that come to my feeder.

It would appear, however, that neither the cat, nor the dog, were impressed that he was lurking in the yard, so, maybe it isn't all that interesting.


Later in the evening, Hugh and I finally pulled the trigger on our reservations for our trip to Maui in March. We now have flights booked as well as a condo on the beach booked and paid for. I'm equal parts giddy and nervous since this is our first experience with VRBO. Fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly.

And, that was about it for my relaxing weekend of semi-hibernation. It really was a lot more pleasant than this post might make it appear, and, as I said, it is an experiment that I am looking to repeat.

Again, only five days to go...


Friday, January 11, 2019

Birds Do It, Pregnant Women Do It, and, Now, I'm Gonna Do It

I just survived my first full work week since 2018! This shouldn't feel like huge accomplishment, but, there it is; over-achiever, I am not.

But, enough about work; we now stand at the thresh hold to the weekend! I don't have major plans for the next two days, but, instead, plan to practice some grade-A nesting. To that end, I have purchased a new duvet for my bed, an oil diffuser and some relaxing essential oils, plus the ingredients for homemade chicken noodle soup and a bottle of good wine. I've got Shameless and The Ranch queued up on Netflix, a couple of new books downloaded to my Kindle, and some muscle-relaxing Epsom salts ready to sprinkle in the bathtub.

I may never leave the house.

Except to hit the gym (the Countdown to Hawaii stands at 51 days).

Oh, and to do some bookkeeping at the hardware store, lest I forget that I have a weekend job on top of Day Job.

Not thinking about that right now...

...cozy nesting, here I come.


Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Oh, Look! Another Day in the Life

I have done a few of these “Day in the Life” posts over the years, and, ironically, they appear to all have been done at roughly the same time of year. I am really going to have to make an effort to do it again this summer, when there is (theoretically) more going on in my life. Until then, here is a rather dull documentation of a typical day in my life.

Monday: 5:09 a.m.

Roll out of bed, following one hit of the old snooze button. Shower, shave, blah, blah, blah. Throw on some make-up.


6:00 a.m.

Head downstairs, make coffee, feed the natives…


…gently encourage the dog to go outside for his morning constitutional…finally give up on the “gentle” portion of the program and order him to suck it up and brave the sub-zero temperatures; a little ice in the pee-stream never hurt anyone.


Fire up the gas fireplace, drink coffee, check email, do online banking for the store, and watch the news; generally enjoy the relaxed pace of Monday morning (the only day of the workweek that I don’t have to go into the hardware store before hitting Day Job).

7:45 a.m.

Head to Hooterville for work. Mentally remind myself that I have decided to practice less road rage aimed at the assholes who abuse the passing lane (It’s meant for PASSING, you IDIOTS!).

7:46

Fail at practicing less road rage aimed at assholes abusing the passing lane.

8:05 a.m.

Arrive at Day Job. Start working on latest quarterly report, check email, update co-workers on case loads and client intel, track accomplishments on this quarter’s Wellness Program project, which, is a thirty-day self care challenge; marvel at how freakishly difficult it is to actually practice consistent self care. No wonder my back and shoulders are a mess, my sleep patterns are jacked, and, I often find that I have to remind myself to breathe.


10:25 a.m.

Remind myself to get up and walk; ten laps around the building equals 1000 steps, and, I try to do it once every hour.


11:00 a.m.

Pop out for a quick run to the bank to make a deposit and to Target, for CO2 replacement canisters for my Soda Stream. Fall down the Target Rabbit Hole and spend entirely too much time perusing the Dollar Spot and entirely too much money in the clothing section, where swimwear lines the racks in a brightly colored, and hypnotic, display. Remind myself that Maui is only 54 days away (as reported to me by Queen B, who actually has an app on her phone solely for that purpose).


12:00 p.m.

Head back to the office, grab a quick frozen diet entrĂ©e for lunch (that new bikini isn’t going to wear itself!). Pretend to be remotely satisfied.


1:00 p.m.

Take a break from working on the job analysis questionnaire that will ultimately change my job description for the fourth time in six years (but, who’s counting?) to drink some bubbly water and sniff a container of Vicks (still fighting the same head cold that has been trying to gain a foothold in my sinuses since before Christmas).


1:10-4:45 p.m.

Walk around the building several more times, finally achieving my 10,000 step goal for the day (that’s 10,000 steps minimum; I actually usually fall into the 12,000-15,000 step range).


4:45 p.m.

Leave work and head back home, where I meet Hugh and the kids.

6:15-8:30 p.m.

Head back into Hooterville for dinner at the Man-Cub’s favorite place-a brewpub that serves the best hamburgers, wings, and craft beers. Force my offspring to pose for pictures on the novelty barstools, because nothing says fun like a giant ass or two…




…after dinner, pose for one last family selfie before heading home (the Cub left for school this morning, so it was our final meal together as a family; at least until we are reunited in Maui in March).


10:00 p.m.

Hit the hay, hoping for a good night’s sleep.

And, that’s it, Scintillating, I know. As I said at the beginning of this post, I really do need to attempt one of these things on a day that there is actually something of interest on which to report.

I wouldn’t hold my breath, if I were you.



Monday, January 07, 2019

The Winter Blues

I don't remember getting a single snowfall last year (it probably happened, but, was minimal enough not to register in my memory banks), which is one of the reasons that Colorado experienced drought conditions this past summer.

Happily (for the farmers, ranchers, boaters, etc.), we have already entertained two large snowstorms so far this year. And, happily (for me), Hugh has been home to shovel for each of them.

And, by shovel, I obviously mean use the snowblower. And, guess who loves the heck out of a good snow blowing? If your answer was Boomer, then you would be correct.





 






With the end of the holidays, Hugh will return to his officiating gig, which means he will be out of town a lot again. So, there is a very real possibility that I will be shoveling again at some point. Or, I could learn how to use the damn snowblower, which would probably be a dream come true for the dog.

Easier on me, too, truth be told.

Winter. Bleh.

Only three more months, only three more months, only three more months...



Friday, January 04, 2019

Friday Favorites: First Edition of the Year

TGIF!

It's the end of a very long shortened workweek; for whatever reason, three days felt like six this week. I am also genuinely concerned about next week-when I am expected to be at work for the entire five days for the first time since last year.

Annnnd, first world problems. Moving on!

There are a lot of things that I am enjoying, currently. One of my favorites is the jar of honey that Jana gave me on New Year's Eve; it's made by bees that live in Jana's very own hive! She's only been beekeeping for one summer and, already, she has honey! Isn't that amazing? Busy bees, indeed. Also, stevia and honey are the only sweeteners that I allow myself to use since I gave up refined sugar and artificial sweeteners, so, the gift was especially appreciated.


I am also loving this small day planner and colored pens that I picked up at Office Depot. I'm using them to organize my thoughts around small daily goals, lists, and such.


One of the goals that I am tracking in the planner is my daily 10,000 steps of walking and/or running, so; the fact that it is already January 4th and my gym has not yet been overrun by the New Year Resolutionists is a favorite for sure.

In addition to returning to a more active lifestyle, I am back on the healthy eating wagon (farewell, Goldfish crackers; I will miss you most of all). This means that I am again partaking of a morning protein smoothie, complete with a scoop of collagen. I used to rely on a liquid collagen supplement, but, recently discovered this powdered type at the natural market; it's less expensive, has one additional type of collagen included in the formula, as well as more servings per container, and, it dissolves completely and is tasteless, odorless, and leaves absolutely no gritty residue. Basically, it's perfect.


This year, I'm also making a point of wearing more of my nice pieces of jewelry. I tend to rush in the mornings, and, accessorizing with jewelry falls to the bottom of the priority list on most days. I also have a lot of really special pieces and it's simply stupid not to wear them; life's too short, am I right? I'm right. I wore these Alex and Ani bracelets on New Year's Eve and again a couple of days later. I had forgotten how much I love them.


I'm going to use that little day planner mentioned above to pre-plan outfits a week in advance. I don't know how long I'll be able to keep that up, but, if it cuts down on the rushing about each morning, it may become a habit that sticks, and, I'll have no excuse not to accessorize. We'll see. I'm starting on Monday, and, maybe it will make that first full week back at work go more smoothly, too.

Oh, on the topic of work and favorite things (not two topics that usually go together), I made this sign for my office today...


...some of the more, um, delicate folks at work have recently declared their offices to be "safe zones" for a variety of social conditions that they feel strongly about, and, I felt it was important for me to do the same; now, everyone knows that my space is a safe place to drop an F-bomb, should they feel the need to do so.

It feels really good to do my part for society.


Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Resolutions vs. Goals vs. Just Simply Getting One's Poop in a Pile

Which is what my good friend, BCPE (Booster Club President Extraordinaire) calls it; I prefer, "getting one's shit together", but, that's why she's a better person than I am. Also, using less profanity will clearly never feature on one of my lists of resolutions/goals/poop gathering missions, etc.

So, what does feature on that list?

Honestly, I'm having a hard time verbalizing what I hope to accomplish/change/improve, etc., in this new year. I don't think "Be more happy" is a very realistic goal; I mean, what would that even look like? It's not like I can simply break that down into a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound, thankyouverymuch, Day Job).

Although, "be more happy" is certainly the direction I want to go in.

So, this is the best that I can do this year: I resolve to be the very best version of myself that I can be. I will practice kindness and compassion. I will do my best to take care of my body, my mind, and my soul. I will not let fear dictate my decisions. I will cherish my family and friends. I will be grateful for my blessings.

And, if I'm successful at all that; happiness will surely follow.

And, my poop will be in some sort of order, if not necessarily in a perfect little pile.


Tuesday, January 01, 2019

And So It Begins

Last night we welcomed 2019 in with a bang! Ok, not really; I'm getting too old to bang. But! I stayed up long enough to watch the ball drop, and, that's a feat of endurance that I haven't managed since 2016, so; I consider it my first major accomplishment of the new year.

How did I manage it, you ask? Well, Hugh, the Cub, and I joined Jana and Chris at Carmen's new house. We haven't seen Carmen and her family in ages, and, it was really nice to reconnect with them. In addition to toasting to their new house and the new year, we celebrated the recent engagement of their daughter, Johnna, to our Darren; he put a ring on it a couple of days before Christmas and they are now planning an August wedding, which they have asked me to photograph. We could not be more happy for them.


Although...when did this chick and I get old enough to have kids who are old enough to be getting hitched?


Mind boggling.

Anyhoodle, the evening was a loud, raucous affair, complete with card games, good food, laughter, and pomegranate bellinis (I am one or two bottles away from finishing off the case of champagne I bought for Queen B's graduation!). Hugh, Chris, and Carmen's husband, John lounged about in pajamas, which has become a tradition for us anytime we do actually manage to hang out; I'm not sure what that says about our level of class, but, at least the guys were comfy.

I didn't take a lot of pictures (I was doing good just to stay awake, remember?), but, I took enough to remember the evening by.






And, now it's time to put some thought into my goals for 2019. Whatever they end up being, I know I'll succeed; after all, I started the year off right:

Stay up past midnight on New Year's Eve....CHECK!

Happy 2019, folks! Let's have a fucking fantastic year!