It’s flour.

Tasted the cookies again today.  The weird taste of something that didn’t get mixed in all the way is flour.  I just have no idea how that happened.

The office holiday party was today.  I wore my new black boots.  That’s really the only noteworthy thing about it.  And of course, that’s only noteworthy to me.

I wrote most of my holiday cards tonight, so they can go in the mail tomorrow.  John wrote a few, too, and he wants to take responsibility for two of the ones on my list.

We have to be at work early tomorrow (and then I’ll have to stay a little late since we have a submission deadline), so I’m heading for bed.

This post does not flow at ALL.  Kinda sucks, actually.  Sorry about that.  🙂  If I have time at work tomorrow, I’ll do better.  Well, I won’t fix this post.  I’ll just aim higher for the next one.

Good night.

Last dentist appointment of the year

[Around noon.]

I feel like I got punched in the mouth.  Right side only.  The numbness has worn off and the ibuprofen has not yet kicked in.  Aside from that, it was another very pleasant trip to the dentist.  (Oxymoron, right?)  I think I will bake them cookies.  When I got there this morning, the front desk staff told me I was the Patient of the Month and gave me a bag full of goodies.  They gave me a travel mug, some Ghirardelli hot chocolate, some other chocolates, and some toothpaste.  🙂  If they hadn’t included the toothpaste, I would have thought they were just trying to give me cavities and make me come back.

I learned something today (while at the dentist).  They put adrenaline in the novocaine (or whatever they use now as the anesthetic).  Apparently, the numbing slows down your heartbeat, so they put a little adrenaline in there to keep that from happening.  Instead, your heart starts to race a little.  So I kept thinking I was reacting (belatedly) to my nervousness about getting that shot, but really it was just the adrenaline THEY added.  Totally weird.  Today I was so jittery I could feel my hands and arms shaking.  But only for a minute or two after the shot.  I do still dread the shot, but I don’t worry about the actual procedures anymore.  They’ve convinced me they’re not going to hurt me.

[At home this evening.]

My cookies failed.  I make darn good cookies, but something went awry tonight.  And I didn’t realize it until John came home and tried one.  I actually stayed out of the batter and away from the cooling cookies.  They’re not bad, but I can’t give them to people.  I have a cookie reputation to uphold.  They taste like something didn’t mix in very well.  Possibly the baking soda.  John says he’ll eat them.  🙂  So I’ll just have to try again sometime.  But this means I can’t bring cookies to the dentist office.  Is it bad form to bring them peppermint bark?  Hard, crunchy candy is supposed to be the worst thing for teeth, right?  I might do that anyway.  Because white chocolate and peppermint is hard to resist, even for dental hygienists.  🙂

Mom is on her way to Louisville to help Mark take care of Mindy.  Actually, she may have landed by now.  Mindy is still in the hospital, but hopefully not for too much longer.  Dad said he talked to her this afternoon and she sounded much better.

Still waiting, but NOT worrying

I have resolved to do no more worrying.  (About Mindy in the hospital, anyway.  I make no such promises about anything else.)  She’s in good hands, she has pain medication, Mark is with her, she’ll be okay.  She’s staying there tonight and at least until she sees the doctor tomorrow.  Then they’ll decide when she can go home.  I hope she’s feeling better, I hope she’s not worried anymore.  I don’t want her to be scared.  The hard part is over.  Easy for me to say, I know.

Details are very important.

Mindy’s surgery went fine.  She’s recovering.  But at third hand (Mark told Mom, Mom told me), she had a rough night.  What does that mean?  Probably pain.  I would expect some pain after surgery, but was this unexpected?  More pain than usual?  Different pain?  Is it related to the infection?  Mark hadn’t seen the doctor yet when Mom talked to him, so hopefully more information will be filtered down to me once that happens.  She’s still in the hospital, so whatever it is, she’s in the right place.  I just want to know if this is normal or not.  I want to know that the doctors know what it is and are working on it.

I don’t want her to be in pain, and I don’t want her to be scared.

Worrying won’t do me any good.

Nothing happened today.  I have to post something without the crutch of actually having an event to write about.

How about this?  I am super excited about our day in Annapolis this weekend.  Hmm.  That doesn’t sound like me.  I mean, yes, I’m excited, but I don’t usually say I’m “super excited” about anything.  🙂  “I’m very much looking forward to it” sounds stilted.  But the sentiment is the same.  I get to hang out with Jess and Chuck for a few hours, go on a tour of the Naval Academy, see Annapolis all decked out for Christmas, and have yummy fish and chips.  Oh, and I get to see this mysterious bookstore with a dragon in it.  What could be better?

I’m hoping to have all holiday shopping (what little we’re doing) done by then.  John and I will probably try to go to the mall Thursday after work.  We only have a couple of things left to get.  I ordered as many things as possible online so I could avoid going to the mall.  I don’t mind the crowds, but parking is a pain.  And it drives John crazy.  🙂  He hates circling for a parking spot.

Well.  Mom just called.  Mindy is in the ER for an emergency appendectomy.  I started to get upset, but this is not a life-threatening surgical procedure.  She’s been there for a few hours already this evening (for tests), so at least she was in the right place when the doctors determined this was necessary.  Mom says the doctors promised Mark they’d be able to tell him something in less than an hour.  I’m not sure what that means, exactly.  Does it mean they’ll be done that quickly?  Or that they’ll know about how long it will take by then?  Or that they’ll know how long she’ll have to be in the hospital recovering?  I have no idea.  But when Mark calls Mom, Mom will call me.  So I will try not to worry.

In other news, if you haven’t seen Keeping the Faith (and you like romantic comedies), you should see it.  It’s actually funny, which is something you can’t say about many romantic comedies.  Ed Norton, Ben Stiller, Jenna Elfman.  Good movie.  That’s one I always watch if it’s on TV (I just caught the end), and I never feel sullied (to steal Chuck’s term) afterward.  It’s just a good movie.

Yeah, I can’t keep babbling about random things right now.  Mindy in the hospital, Mindy in surgery trumps everything else I can think of.  So I’m going to post this and fret offline.

[On a side note, the spell-checker suggest Elvina as a replacement for Elfman.  How is that more of a word than Elfman?]

Sunday

I’m not crazy about Sundays.  I spend too much time worrying about wasting the rest of my free time.  Take today, for instance.  We slept in, which was very nice, got up a little after 10 (I think), had breakfast around 11, watched some episodes of Mad About You, and went out around noon to get haircuts and buy holiday cards.  We’re back, it’s not yet 2 o’clock, and I feel like so much of the day is gone already.  It doesn’t help that the sun goes down before 5pm now.  I don’t really have anything else to do today, so I should just relax and enjoy it.  And I will.  Eventually.  I’m going to run (which should be interesting; it’s pretty windy today), and then shower, and then curl up on the couch and start on these holiday cards.  We got our first one yesterday.  I was going to check out the new Bloom’s that just opened in the neighborhood (I need contact solution) and maybe get something for dinner.  Maybe I should do that before I run so I don’t have to go out again.  Maybe I should run to the store.  🙂

(A couple of hours later…)

I did.  I ran to the store.  It’s not even a mile away (I think).  Getting there was easy.  And I wasn’t buying much.  So I just grabbed my wallet and put it in one of those cloth grocery bags, rolled it up, and carried it in one hand.  It was certainly chilly and windy, but I was warm enough while running.  And I was immediately overheated when I walked into the store.  I managed.  Anyway, I grabbed what I needed, checked out, and headed home.  It’s a LOT harder to run home with a bag full of stuff.  It wasn’t heavy (maybe 5 or 6 pounds), but hanging the bag from my shoulder meant it was bumping against my hip with every step.  I tried cradling it in my arms in front of me, but that was awkward, too.  So I ended up walking most of the way home.  I think next time I’ll try a backpack.

Now it’s about 5 o’clock.  We ensconced on the couch with our cheese and crackers.  John is trying to install a game on his laptop.  I will probably read.  Catch you later.

Neighbors

I finally saw the inside of our neighbor’s house.  Now that she’s moving, she’s suddenly friendly.  No, that’s not fair of me.  She was always friendly, but it was more of a talk-to-each-other-over-the-fence-in-the-backyard friendly, not so much invite-me-into-her-house-to-chat friendly.

This neighbor (let’s call her Stella) was the seller’s real estate agent when we bought our house.  She adopted two kids from Russia (a boy and a girl) who came home for the first time just a few days after we moved in.  They were 5 and 9 years old.  She already had a son (also adopted, I found out today, but from Ukraine, not Russia, and as a baby, not a walking, talking child) who was about 6 when the other two came home.  And I think she has an adult son (stepson maybe?).  I’ve met him several times, he works with her as a real estate agent, shares her last name, and sometimes lives with her.  Maybe he’s her much younger brother.  I never asked.  Anyway.

Stella put a for-sale sign up in her front yard less than a week ago.  I’ve wanted to ask her about it, but, like I said earlier, we’re not exactly the kind of neighbors who just knock on each others’ doors to chat, so I was waiting until I caught her outside.  Tonight I took the dogs for a run, and on our way back, we met her two dogs.  No leashes, no kids, no Stella in sight.  (She is also the neighbor whose dogs routinely get out of her house and yard and wander the neighborhood.  She doesn’t always notice.  Oh, and these are the dogs (Ginger and Bear) who bark.  And bark.  And bark.  And bark.)  They’re nice dogs, and I was pretty sure they’d follow me home, since I had Roxy and Riley with me to hold their interest.  I got them into Stella’s backyard (the gate was open), threw my dogs in the house, and went over to her door to let her know her dogs were back (in case she was worried (assuming she knew they were gone, of course)).

Stella greeted me at the door with an immediate, “Come in, come in!” – something she’s never done before.  So I went in.  She showed me the house from top to bottom (and it looks great), and we sat in the kitchen and chatted.  She said she decided to sell her house now because if she waits any longer, the price will go down below what she paid for it.  So she’s basically breaking even by selling now.  Depressing.

I’m not sure what my point is here.  Oh!  Well, this may not have been my point, but the house sold on the second day.  I didn’t think anyone was able to sell that quickly right now.  And her price was not THAT low.  She’s closing at the end of January and moving by the end of March.  I should have asked her what the buyers are like.  Didn’t think of that until I got back home.

When I woke up this morning, you were on my mi-i-i-i-ind

I woke up today with a much sunnier outlook.  It’s Friday (woo!), the sun is trying to come out, I’ve been watching what I’ve been eating for the past two days and as a result, I have lost two of those pounds I gained back, Mom and Dad are on their way back to the States, and it’s the weekend!  It’s worth mentioning twice because I have a lot to do and will have time to do it this weekend.  I will finish shopping this weekend.  I will also get my earrings fixed.  John bought me these beautiful emerald and diamond earrings for my birthday this year, but the first time I tried to wear them, I found that one of the clasps won’t latch.  There’s nothing to keep that earring from falling out of my ear.  I want to wear them on Thursday (office holiday luncheon), so I need to get them fixed.

Hey, in case any of you were in doubt, Mom gives good advice.  Especially when one is overly emotional.  Mindy jumped right on the emotional crazy train with me and told me exactly what I wanted to hear (which is great for validation – thanks, Min!), but Mom told me what I should do.  And she was right.  So that’s what I did.  And now that the crazy train has pulled into the station (had enough of this metaphor?), I’m glad I listened to her.  Well, that was yesterday (and yesterday’s gone).  Today everything is sunshine and light.  🙂  That may be going a bit far.

John’s sleeping in this morning, so I need to take care of the dogs and get my butt to work.

Too much TV

I have completely forgotten what I was going to write about tonight.  Work was okay today.  It was nice having John there for the afternoon, even though he wasn’t very happy about it.  Yes, he’s still sick.  He seems to be doing slightly better (he’s not as dead on his feet), but he says he feels a little worse than yesterday.  His project is due tomorrow, so he and Greg are trying to put the final touches on it.  Then he can collapse.  He can sleep in tomorrow and then come to work in the afternoon again.  And then I will force him to rest all weekend.  Hopefully, he’ll be  better next week.

Ooh, the “Festivus” episode of Seinfeld is on.  I’ve been watching a lot of TV this week.  I only have a handful of shows that I DVR and watch regularly, but I really will watch almost anything that’s on.  A handful?  Let’s see.  In no particular order, I watch True Blood, Fringe, 30 Rock, My Name is Earl, Heroes, The Mentalist, and Lost.  I think that’s it.  And Eureka.  So it’s a handful and a half.  Seven hours of TV a week, except that their seasons don’t all run at the same time.  So it’s never more than six hours a week.  John watches all of those shows with me except Fringe.  And we tend to watch them on weekends, never live.  So why have I been watching random TV every night this week?  What’s wrong with my book?

It’s been raining all day, and every time we let the dogs out, we have to convince Roxy to leave the deck.  She’ll stand in the middle of it, in the rain, but we can’t get her to go down the steps without going out there with her.  And this last time we let her out, we couldn’t get her to come back in.  When she finally decided she was ready, she was completely soaked.  I just don’t understand this dog.

Maybe something will happen tomorrow and I’ll have something to write about.  🙂  Or maybe I’ll just be more focused and able to write something that isn’t boring.  I’ll try harder.  Tomorrow.

Recognizing that I’ve fallen off the wagon

I feel somewhat down today.  I’ve been trying to figure out why.  I’m sure it’s partly because John has been sick.  It’s hard for me to feel upbeat when John is miserable.  And because he’s been sick, he hasn’t been at work, and the office atmosphere is different.  I haven’t been running.  I have all kinds of excuses (temps in the teens, sleepless nights ’cause John is sleepless, rain this morning), but it still boils down to not running.  I feel better when I run regularly, and I haven’t been doing that for a while.  I also haven’t been watching my eating as much.  I need to get back to my good habits from the summer.  That combination (no running, not being careful about eating) has one MAJOR consequence for me.  I have put somewhere between 5 and 7 pounds back on.  Yeah, I know that’s not really a lot, but it means the scale is going in the wrong direction!

I behaved myself at breakfast and lunch today, but those are usually not my problem meals.  It’s dinner.  It’s always dinner.  But I’m going to Subway tonight so I can be good.  6″ turkey on wheat with spicy mustard and green peppers.  It’s calling out my name.

I can do this.

I will watch just about anything on TV. Pathetic.

John is braving the great outdoors to go to class tonight.  He met Greg before class to work out some issues with their project, so hopefully he won’t have to stay late.  He was considering skipping class, but I know he feels like he needs the review. He told me this morning that he felt like he’d been beat up.  I don’t think he really improved much today.  So he’ll stay home again tomorrow.

This morning was kind of a disaster.  Last night, when John decided he was probably staying home today, he said he didn’t think he had a shift, but he wasn’t sure.  I told him that I had looked at the schedule (I did, I swear) and that he definitely didn’t have a shift, but I would doublecheck.  Then I forgot to doublecheck.  So naturally, shortly after I left the house this morning,  I got a phone call from Dan (coworker) wondering where John was.  Apparently, he had the morning email shift.  Oops.  It’s so unusual for him to have the morning shift!  I covered it for him, but he’s still kind of in the doghouse with the boss since it’s really bad form to skip out on a shift without arranging for someone to cover.  I tried to take full responsibility for it by explaining to our boss how I essentially (but unknowingly) lied to him last night.  It may have helped.  Not sure.

People in toothpaste and mouthwash commercials have the whitest teeth.  Totally unrealistic.  How many people do you know with really white teeth?

I’m watching a dumb movie.  Just because it’s on TV.  I just can’t help it.  I mean, if there was a show on that  I liked, I would watch that instead.  But even Law & Order has abandoned me.  And I think my Tuesday night shows are done until after the New Year.  What movie am I watching?  Ten Things I Hate About You. No, wait, I actually like that movie.  It’s that other movie with the number 10 in it.  How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days. Not a good movie.  But Kate Hudson is likable (in other movies), and Matthew McConaughey is nice to look at (in all movies).  The movie is near the end, and I’m supposed to feel sorry for her?  She did every annoying thing she could think of to make the guy dump her, and then her feelings are hurt when she finds out he didn’t really care about her?  Please.  Except, of course, they both fell in love while during the hellish week they spent together.  Whatever.  And yet, I’m watching it.

It’s over.  I feel dumber.

Today is dragging…

Seriously, today seems to be taking forever.  I have work to do, but I haven’t been able to do it because I got sidetracked by other work that I really don’t want to do.  But it has to come first.  So delaying the work I don’t want to do is delaying the work I really should be doing.  Notice I didn’t say that the work I don’t want to do is delaying the work I do want to do.  That just doesn’t exist.  🙂  Well, I’m sure it does, just not at this job.

Okay, the work I didn’t want to do is done.  Now I have to do the other stuff.

Poor John

Work today was kinda hard (one person missing) and kinda normal.  Which made it weird.  I spent the day getting up to speed on the project our missing person had been working on so I can take over as lead.  I was the lead on it last year, so it wasn’t that hard, but I’ve been completely unplugged from that whole project for more than two months, so it’s a bit of a shock to shift over to that way of thinking all of a sudden.  We start testing tomorrow.  It’s going to be busy, but in a tedious way, not a time-flies way.

John didn’t go to work today and probably won’t go tomorrow.  He has a sore throat.  Painful.  He couldn’t sleep much last night.  I got up to find the cough medicine and get him more water around 3:30.  And let the dogs out.  They go nuts if we come downstairs in the middle of the night.  He went to the doctor this morning.  He doesn’t have strep, but he does have a sinus infection, and they prescribed him cough medicine with codeine.  So he’ll sleep well tonight.  🙂  He was supposed to rest all day, but he didn’t really.  He was home and on the couch all day, but he was messing with his laptop (linux problems) most of the time.  Hopefully he’ll rest more tomorrow.

Shoe sales are TOTALLY AWESOME

How’s that for enthusiasm?  I went to the outlet mall today to finally shop for my boots.  I bought boots.  🙂  I went to Naturalizer first, and they were having INCREDIBLE sales.  Have you ever bought a pair of knee-high boots for $40?  I have.  🙂  But I didn’t buy them immediately.  I asked them to hold a pair of black boots for me.  I checked out Easy Spirit and Nine West (nothing I liked) and then went to Clarks-Bostonian.  I couldn’t decide if I wanted to buy black or brown boots (I have more stuff that goes with black boots, but that sweater dress I bought would look great with brown), so I was just checking everything out.  Clarks had the most perfect, most comfortable (of course) pair of black boots.  On sale naturally, because everything’s on sale right now.  So I bought them.  Then I went back to Naturalizer because I wanted those $40 boots in brown.  They didn’t have them in brown in my size!  Boo!  But the salespeople told me I could order them, same price, and have them delivered at home.  🙂  So I will get them in a week or so.  I’m so very happy.  🙂  Now I want more clothes to go with my awesome boots.

Electronic drumsets are SO cool!

We went to Melodee Music (in Sterling) and went directly to the drum section.  They had four electronic drumsets set up, but they were roped off with a sign saying to ask for help.  We didn’t have go very far, though, before a store employee showed up.  VERY helpful.  If he works on commission at all, I can see why.  The cheapest drumset (which is apparently for beginners or kids) is on sale for $800.  The two he demonstrated for us (and then let us play) were the upper two, on sale for $2000 and $3600.  That shouldn’t count as “on sale”.  But whatever – they were both REALLY cool and lots of fun to play.  We played Roland sets.  There are plenty of other companies making these, but I haven’t done any research to find out how much they go for and who makes the best ones.  I really haven’t done any research at all.  And because of the price for the upper level models (the ones with the most flexibility, the ones both John and I would prefer to have), this will be a future purchase.  But it’s so cool.  🙂  They have presets so you can change the sound of the entire set or of each pad individually.  The bigger ones have room to add on pieces, and because it’s electronic, you can plug the whole thing into a computer, so John could use it for his studio.

We finished playing around on the drums and John found a guitar to try out.  He wasn’t really crazy about it, but he says that may have been because of the amp he was playing through.  Also, the strings were too thin (lightweight, maybe?) or something.  I was sitting on a stool in the same room, half-listening, half-daydreaming.  I have no idea now what I was thinking about, but I was entertaining myself.  Apparently, I looked bored out of my mind, so John decided one guitar was enough to try today and said we could leave.  I didn’t realize he did that for me until we were most of the way home, though.  I just thought he was done.  I didn’t mean to look bored.  I was just deep in thought.  Honest.  🙂

We’re settling in for the night with a fire, a movie, and dinner.  And for the record, I did run today.

Almost talked ourselves into not leaving the house today.

John and I were just discussing where we might need to go to get some shopping today, when we realized (duh) that we really can do all of this online.  So then we decided not to go.  Until John realized that Melodee Music is open and they have this guitar he was thinking about and he wants to play it.  And I can mess around on an electronic drumset.  So we ARE going out.

35°  Look!  The degree symbol!  I had to paste it in from Word.  Jess – go to Insert, Symbol, and then at the bottom of the Symbol box, type 0176 in the Character Code field and choose ASCII (decimal) from the dropdown menu in the next field.  So you can insert it in to the Word doc and paste it into your blog post.  There’s supposed to be a keyboard shortcut (CTRL 0176), but it can only be used on the keypad, and I don’t have one on my laptop.  (At least, that’s why I think it’s not working for me.)

Fighting that lazy feeling

I ran this morning!  It feels like more of an accomplishment than it should.  I mean, I should be running almost every day, so the fact that I ran this morning shouldn’t feel so momentous.  I need to get back into the habit.  Whatever, I still did good.  I ran three miles today, no walking.  Usually, when I’ve taken this much time off, I have to add a couple of short stretches of walking.  Except for about a week’s worth of slow 2-mile jaunts with the dogs and two 3-mile workouts by myself (including today’s), the only running I’ve done in the last few weeks has been the races (three in November).  I’ve been lazy since the end of October.  I just reread that list of what I’ve done and it doesn’t come across as all that lazy, but to put it another way, I’ve gone running about 12 times in 6 weeks.  I should have gone running about 30 times (5 days a week, 6 weeks).

With colder weather coming, though, I’ll need to change my routine.  I should do that anyway.  Add strength training, something like that.

Well, I have to get ready to go.  Dentist appointment today (left side deep cleaning!  Woo!) and then work.  Exciting stuff.

Barely coherent nothings

I had the morning shift at work today (meaning I had to be there by 8am, instead of my normal 9:30 to 10).  I spent most of the day really annoyed.  It messed with my schedule (no snoozing, no running) and it was just TOO EARLY.  My perspective changed when 4 o’clock rolled around and I could go home.  🙂

I’m forcing myself to write something.  I said I would post every day.  (Yes, I know I’ve already broken that rule, but I didn’t do it on purpose.)  I guess I could post what I have, but that feels like not enough.  On the other hand, whatever crap I’m writing right now won’t be much fun for anyone to read.  Of course, I didn’t promise quality stuff when I started this blog.  So if I’m boring you, feel free to skip this post.

I think we need to replace our thermostat.  It says it’s 70 degrees in the house, but I’m shivering.

I’m watching Happy Feet and deciding that I’m not all that crazy about it.  I like the tapdancing and I like the singing (and I like the penguin sidekicks), but the plot starts out kinda stupid and then just gets weird.

Okay, I think I’m done babbling about nothing.  I can’t even call that babbling.  That’s just filling space.  Sorry, guys.  Nothing much happened today.  I’m going to have some hot chocolate and read my book for a while and go to bed early.  I HAVE to run tomorrow morning.  Have to, have to, have to.  And then go to the dentist.  Again.  I’m just really tired and that doesn’t lead to writing.  I’m sure I’ll feel better, more alert, once I start running regularly again.  I’ve been really bad about it lately, 5Ks aside.

Almost forgot about the Ashburn 5K results!

The results for the Thanksgiving Day Ashburn 5K were finally posted.  According to the official results (and considering the issues at the finish line, I have no idea how they measured this), I finished in 30:29.  Not terrible, but not below 30 minutes.  However.  These are results I don’t trust, don’t believe at all.  The problem is that I really have no way of estimating what my actual time was.  At the very least, I think I beat 30 minutes (in reality, in actual time) because it was about 20 seconds before I passed the start line and I was delayed for a while (definitely more than 10 seconds) at the finish line because of the line of runners backed up from the chute.  So I think I can comfortably tell myself I beat 30, without knowing my actual time.  I’m considering running with a watch in the future, and tracking my own time.  On the other hand, am I really that anal?  (Shut up, people.)  I’m not qualifying for anything, I’m not training for anything.  I’m running for weight loss and overall health.  I can be mildly competitive and not go overboard.  Right?  We’ll see.

It’s also possible that I didn’t beat 30 minutes.  I’ll never know.  So you know what?  No more obsessing.  About this race.  🙂