Friday, August 31, 2012

August 31, 2012: Blog Hopping Friday

1. What do you enjoy doing the most with your spouse?  I'm not going for the obvious here. ;) What I like best is when we have quiet time to talk. I love our conversations.

2. How do you eat your taco? From the top or from the side?  A little of both. I start off from the side and then when it gets too tall for my mouth, I whittle away at it from the top.

3. Have you ever shut off the basement light and ran like a fool because you knew someone was down there and would get you?  Not the basement light, but other stairway lights. We had the creepiest stairs in the house that we lived in while I was in high school. I hated those stairs.

4. If you could change one thing about you what would it be and why?  If I could turn it off like a switch, I'd get rid of my anxiety. I think the why of it is obvious.

5. What age do you think is appropriate to have the "bird and the bees" talk with your children?  I don't think there's an exact appropriate age for that talk. I had that talk when I could tell that it was time and it was different for each kid.

1. I love to travel but I hate to drive.
2. Naps make a day better.
3. They didn't think I could stay married and raise great kids but I did and I'm doing it better than most of the people that were vocal about telling me what a huge mistake they thought I was making. Take that and shove it where the sun don't shine.
4. Warning: I'm not shy about speaking my mind. 

1. Over this Labor Day weekend I will be enjoying that last few days of summer vacation. So not looking forward to my kids starting back to school on Tuesday. Ugh! We're also going to try and make it to the U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge in downtown San Diego.
2. With the political debates going on right now, my thoughts are I just wish it would be over and people would shut up. I think it's clear that nobody in this country is willing to make smart decisions and I'm tired of all the hot air.
3. Today I have to clean house. After a rather challenging run/walk this morning, I'm not looking forward to it. My left shin is throbbing.
4.  The best thing I've cooked recently is a kickass lasagna. I made that on Thursday. It was gooood.
5. The last thing I bought was hmmm. I can't say. It's supposed to be a surprise.
6. The best movie I saw this summer was nothing that I can think of off the top of my head. I didn't see any new movies. I watched a few DVDs and some old movies on TV but that's it.
7.  The best book I read this summer was A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. It was a fun read.

That's it for this week. If you want to participate, click on any of the accompanying images to go to the hosting blog. I hope everyone has a fun and safe Labor Day weekend. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Couch to 5k

 First off, I am not a runner. Even in my teenage years, I couldn't run. I have the lung capacity of an infant. After a few seconds, I'm wheezing and gasping and hoping that I'm not going to pass out on the spot. It's frustrating. A couple years ago, we got an elliptical machine. I can go to town on that thing. We hadn't had it for very long before I was running five miles on it at about a 9-10 minute pace. I figured if I could go that far on the elliptical, surely I could manage a mile or two on the road. Not even. The Mister, who has two marathons, several half marathons, and a few 3 and 5ks under his belt, took me out to give it a go. I barely made it a mile, had shin splints, and couldn't walk without pain for two weeks. So it was back to the elliptical machine.

I don't mind the elliptical machine. We have it in our garage with a portable heating/cooling machine (I can't think of the name of it off the top of my head) so we can use it year around regardless of the weather. It tracks speed, calories burned, heart rate, and has lots of different program simulations for different challenge levels. It also has a tray for my iPod and a drink holder. It's really rather nifty. Still, it gets old staring at the wall and being in the dirty, cluttered garage.

About three weeks ago, I saw a pin on Pinterest for the Couch to 5k program. It starts off really slow and easy and after looking it over, I thought it would be a good way to ease into road running. Not wanting to look like an idiot all by myself, I convinced the Oldest Child to train with me. We're almost done with week three. There are some days when I have to modify the jogging part (which is just sad), but I always jog for the full amount of time each day. I downloaded the Nike+ app for my iPhone and we use it to track our progress. We break records almost every day. For instance, today we had our fastest mile, fastest 1k, farthest run (2.52 miles) and longest run (46:23). I'm still dealing with shin splints and this strange muscle tightness and pain in the sides of my calves. I need new running shoes but was hesitant to pay for them just in case I crapped out in this attempt too, lol. For now, I do my best to push through the pain and hope that I don't do myself an injury. I spend quite a bit of time with ice on my shins, lol.

It's been a great experience so far though. Not only is road running a nice change of scenery, it's been good one-on-one time with the Oldest Child. She's been fantastic at getting up between 7 and 7:30 am during her summer vacation. We plan on continuing through the program even after school starts on Tuesday. Getting up at 6 am to go running though...we'll see how long that lasts before we switch to evening runs, lol!!!

After doing some research on Couch to 5k, I discovered that there are quite a few variations to the program. If you're interested, Google it, peruse the results, and pick one that sounds good to you. This is the program that the Oldest and I are trying out though:  The Couch to 5k Training Program We've modified the program a bit to suit our purposes because the time given for each day just isn't enough to qualify as a workout. We do the minimum amount of jogging AT LEAST, but most days I put in another few minutes of jogging. We also do more walking. In total, we are on the road for 45 minutes, three days a week. I'm also going to start augmenting my workout by running on the elliptical machine two days a week for weight loss purposes.

It would be really great to have company, so if you decide to try it out or have already, I'd like to know.

Friday, August 24, 2012

August 24, 2012: Blog Hopping Friday

 1. If you could have been (could be) any profession you wanted (brains and $$$ no problem) what would it be? Geez. This has changed so many times for me over the years. I still would like to work in the book publishing business, but I don't like the swing from print to e-books so much. I guess I would say historian.

2. How often do you clean out your car?  Clean as in, wash, wax, and vacuum? Not that often. Just when it starts to look really grubby. Clean out the trash? My car never has trash in it.

3. Do you wish there was such a thing as fashion police or are you deeply relieved?  It would be nice. I get so sick to death of seeing teenage girls walking around looking like hookers. What's up with that?  I also think it's pretty scandalous to see grown women wearing the same getups as hookers. And when will the droopy pants fad for boys/men be OVER?? Still, my wardrobe is drab and boring so I'd probably get arrested for that so I suppose I should be relieved there is no such thing as fashion police.

4. What's your go to food/drink/activity when stressed? I'm a savory snacker so I like things like chips and crackers. Pair it up with a vanilla Coke and I'm feeling soothed.

5. If you had twins, what would you name them? My sister is a nurse. During her rotation through maternity during her training, she saw a mother give birth to a pair of twins and name then Cinderella and Prince Charming. No joke. If I had twins, I would name them names that I like and not worry about them rhyming or matching.

  1. My favorite thing to do on Friday is have a date night with the hubby. Barring that, a nice glass of wine and a book will suffice.
  2. This Friday I am cleaning house (I always clean on Fridays), taking the oldest to and from sophomore orientation, and completing day five of the Couch to 5k program.
  3. The best thing about a weekend is relaxing from the weekday stresses.
  4. Now that summer is almost over, I'm feeling bummed. I love summer. I enjoy not having to worry about the kids and school. I love the freedoms that summer brings.
  5. The best thing I did this summer was starting the Couch to 5k program. At least I did one thing that's sort of productive. Other than that, I didn't do a dang thing worth mentioning, lol.
  6. The thing I'm looking forward to about Fall is Thanksgiving.
  7. If I had to be stuck in one season for the rest of my life I would choose summer. I would like to say spring because of the blooming flowers & mild temperatures, but springs in California are dreary. We have May Gray, June Gloom, and July Whatever. But the clouds, rain, and morning drizzle don't clear out until mid-July.
  1. I hate so many things and people, where would I start? On my mind right now as I listen to them banging around sounding like a herd of 20 elephants...noisy neighbors.
  2. I have never been to any of the Six Flags theme parks. I fear that they won't measure up to Cedar Point.
  3. The hobby I love most is reading and one day I will own a house with a library in it for all my many books.
  4. My favorite store to shop at is Nordstrom Rack because of all the fabulous deals you can get on clothes, shoes, and accessories. Speaking of which, I could use a new pair of sunglasses. ;)
That's it for this week. If you want to play along, click on any of the accompanying pictures to go to the hosting blog. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

August 17, 2012: Blog Hopping Friday

1. What's the one thing you buy every time you walk into the store? As in the grocery store? I'd have to say milk. We've gone through almost four gallons of milk in the last two weeks. What's up with that?

2. If you had a day all to yourself how would you spend it? If I stayed home, I would just enjoy the peace and quiet with my book or catching up with the DVR. Otherwise, I'd like to spend some time at the mall without people rushing me or making me go into stores full of clothes for today's goth/rebellious/slutty teenager.

3. Are you a speed limit driver? If not, over or under? No. Over. Almost all the time. Usually about ten over unless I'm on the freeway then it's about 15 over. I know. That's bad but if you drive the speed limit here, people run you off the road.

4. What's your favorite dessert to make, homemade or from a mix? I love to make tiramisu at home from scratch.

5. Would you rather have a spider or a mouse scurry across your face (no copping out and saying "neither!!")? I would definitely pick a mouse if I had to choose. I had a spider crawl across my legs the other day and I screamed like a little girl and dumped my laptop on the floor trying to get away from it.

1. The best thing to do on a hot day is either go to the beach or stay inside with the AC and a book.
2. The best place to be on a hot day is at the coast. In San Diego, it's almost always mild at the coast even if it's 90 inland.
3. The best thing to eat on a hot day is fresh fruits and veggies. Or a cold pasta salad. I really like watermelon in the summer.
4. Hot days are great. I love summer. In SoCal, I love when it's so hot outside that when you go out, your skin prickles with the heat. Back east, I love it when it's so humid that when you open the door it hits you in the face. I'm a summer person.
5. My go to uniform on a hot day is shorts and a tank top or t-shirt and flip flops. I don't care what care what Clinton Kelly says about flip flops. I love them.
6. The scent that reminds me of summer is fresh cut grass, sunblock, and the ocean.
7. My favorite thing about summer is the laziness of it. I don't feel pressure to have dinner done at a certain time. I just generally like not being on a schedule of any kind.

1. I read so many pages of my book in a day.
2. I don't like birds as pets but I love dogs, cats, rats, and rabbits.
3. When I watch Weeds, Dexter, or any of my other shows on Showtime and HBO, I like to have a glass of wine.
4. I have 2 IDs, some credit cards, a few pictures, membership cards, and stamps in my wallet.

That's it for this week. If you want to participate, click on any or all of the pictures to go to the hosting blog.

Friday, August 10, 2012

August 10, 2012: Blog Hopping Friday

1. Thunder storms- love them or hate them?
Love them. Storms are something that I truly miss when living in California. We hardly ever get a thunderstorm and when we do, they don't measure up to east coast storms at all. They're pitiful. And they usually also start brush fires so even if we get some lightning and thunder, it's just not worth the fire and smoke afterwards.

2. Do your kids get back to school clothes?
Definitely. It's the time of year when we stock up on new socks and underwear.

3. Do you golf? Do you watch it?
I don't golf. I've tried and I'm terrible but it was for gym class so I don't think that really counts. I bet I could golf if I really wanted to give it a go. I like to have golf on the TV but I don't really watch it. Hearing it reminds me of lazy days spent at my grandparents' house when I was a kid. The Mister golfs but he won't take me with him since his sister and I almost drove a golf cart into a tree SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO! And he says that I hold a grudge. 

4. Showers or baths? 
Showers. I've never been one to relax in a bath. I've tried and all I do is stare around the bathroom waiting until I can get out. 

5. What's the strangest meal you ever ate?
Hmm. Drawing a blank here. I've had buffalo chili once. Does that count?

1. The age that I will be on my upcoming birthday is 36. Thanks so much for making me say it out loud.
2. The best birthday present ever would be a two week vacation. Right now, the destination doesn't matter. I just need two weeks of no kids, no dogs, no house, and no stress. Thanks very much.
3. My favorite birthday to date was nothing that comes to mind. I never had big birthday bashes as a kid and none of my adult birthdays stick out in my mind. 
4. Birthdays make me feel more or less ambivalent. I complain about getting older every year but truthfully, I don't feel much different from year to year. Well, except for the fact that my anxiety gets worse the older that I get. And it's harder to lose weight. Okay. Birthdays suck.
5. The worst birthday I ever had was my thirteenth birthday. My uncle got remarried on my 13th birthday so on what I thought should have been a very momentous day for me, I was pretty much forgotten. I also didn't enjoy my 25th when my husband was in Japan. Or my 27th, 28th, or 29th when we lived in Vermont. 
6. When I was born I was the first girl grandchild on both sides of my family. 
7. So far my favorite age was my mid twenties. I don't really have a specific age. I just liked those years because I didn't feel like a young, dumb kid anymore (even though I still didn't know anything about anything) and I wasn't 30 yet which is the death year of all things young.
1. When I was little my mom used to watch cartoons with me every morning before I had to leave for school.
2. Spicy mustard is my favorite condiment.
3. I don't like to celebrate Halloween because my kids usually figure out a way to ruin it every year. It's a pita from beginning to end.
4. My books take up more space on my shelves, in closets, and in my house in general and I can never seems to stop myself from buying more. Although, I buy trade paperback books as ebooks mostly nowadays which helps a lot.

If you'd like to participate, click on any of the pictures above to go to the hosting blog so you can share your link.

Thursday, August 09, 2012


Over the years and many moves, we've had the displeasure of having many different neighbors. We've run the gambit from having neighbors hauled off by the police for drugs to neighbors that I've called the police on for being buttholes. I've had screaming matches in the parking lot with neighbors. I've been woken up at two in the morning by neighbors fighting with each other. I've lived in a pet-free apartment building only to have fleas because our downstairs neighbors didn't think the rule applied to them. In Vermont, neighbors lived far enough away from us that they were never a problem. Well, except for the time that neighbors around the corner and about three or four houses down decided to have a live band in their backyard playing terrible music (I mean terrible in that the band had NO talent) hours past the time they said they'd quiet down and there wasn't a darn thing to be done about it because some of the police were guests.That's what happens when you live in BFE Vermont.

Now, I've had really good neighbors too. We were neighbors with a retired couple at our first house in North Carolina. They were lovely people and took to my girls like adoptive grandparents. They were great and made the fact that we lived catty corner from a house that was obviously full of drug dealers (a bad egg in an otherwise fantastic neighborhood) not so bad. We were sure that after living in actual houses for six years in a row that moving back into multi-family base housing was going to be a nightmare.

When we moved in, a family had already been living in the other side of our townhouse duplex for some time. They recently moved out and a new family moved in a couple weeks ago. In the 2+ years that we shared walls with the first family, we didn't have one single confrontation. We could occasionally hear them stomp up and down the stairs and occasionally hear them hang things on the wall (at least that's what it sounded like). They had two teenaged boys but never once did I hear loud music coming from their house. 2+ years and we didn't even know their names when they moved out and vice versa. They were like us in that we don't stand in our front yards gossiping with everyone that walks down the street. They were a dream come true as far as base housing neighbors go. ::sigh:: I was truly sad when they moved out and terrified to see who would be moving in.

Their house sat empty for quite some time. Not sure why. When the people moved out across the street, their house was empty for less than a week. This time of year is known as PCS Season because it is the peak time in which military families relocate. Housing is at a prime and waiting lists are long. We enjoyed being able to watch movies on our home theater system instead of through the TV speakers. Our bass literally vibrates the whole house which means it sits turned off all the time. When the new family moved in, I was bummed.

They seem okay for the most part. They're a Marine family which is nice. They have two daughters aged 8 and younger than 8. I'm thinking 5 or 6. We hear them thumping up and down the stairs several times a day. I'm sure once we get used to it, I will stop hearing them but it's a big difference from the other family that we heard maybe once or twice a week at the most. Littler kids are harder to herd so I understand them not being quiet on the stairs. So far, there hasn't been any loud music or parties. I haven't said more than good morning to them since they moved in. I'm not looking to make friends. Funnily enough, now that I think about it, I haven't seen the wife at all yet. Just the husband and two kids. Huh.

Anyway, our biggest complaint about them is that one or more of them smokes. It sucks because they smoke outside and I can't leave my doors and windows open to the fresh air because I can smell the smoke drifting into my house. I know this makes me incredibly uptight. It's their house. They pay rent. They can smoke in it. Still, I wish they didn't. ::sigh:: We're all human. Nobody's perfect. We're all boneheads in one way or another. I'm sure they have at least one complaint about us. I slammed a door really hard yesterday being irritated at the kids. I'm sure they heard it.

Thinking back over the years, if this is my only complaint, I should count myself pretty darn lucky. Any neighbor that doesn't have the police called to their house on a regular basis should be considered a good neighbor.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

First Impressions

So, I almost had my first public nervous breakdown. Let me tell you about it.

The Mister and I had plans to meet up with an old friend for lunch. He was bringing his girlfriend who we had never met. To begin with, planning this get together was...very mixed up. The days and times kept getting changed which set the foundation for me feeling anxious about it. Ingredient #1:  Lack of Control and Uncertainty. When the day finally came, we headed to La Jolla which was Ingredient #2 in my soup of crazy. Traffic was terrible. La Jolla is a huge touristy-type town here in San Diego. La Jolla + last weekend in July + Sunday = traffic backed up for forever an NO parking. By the time we parked and walked down to the beach, my anxiety level was already approaching an unhealthy level.

Then we meet up with them on the street and decide to get lunch. Ingredient #3:  Eating at a new place. The restaurant was fine. It wasn't super fancy or super crowded but it was enough that I had never been there before to make my anxiety start shooting out of me.

We sat down and I was so upset by this point that I was sweaty and shaky, my hands were swollen, and I had a headache. All I wanted to do was close my eyes and do some deep breathing but I was trying my best not to cause attention to myself which was Ingredient #4:  Trying to pretend everything was fine and hoping I wasn't making a complete fool of myself. The Mister knew what was going on and he kept asking me under his breath if I was okay and he kept stroking my arm or leg to try to reassure me which was only making it worse. He kept looking at me like he was afraid I was going to start foaming at the mouth at any second. I wanted nothing more than to excuse myself to the restroom to try and compose myself but I was stuck in the corner and the new girlfriend would have had to get up so that I could get out. So I sat there and did my best to talk myself off the mental ledge.

It's been a long time since I've lost my composure to that extreme. It wasn't fun and I'm pretty sure I made a really bad first impression. The Mister said later that I looked angry at lunch. I wasn't angry at all. I guess my "trying to be normal face" comes off as my angry face. I need to work on that, lol. The new girlfriend probably thinks that either I'm completely crazy or a total bitch. Or both.

I've been guilty of making snap judgements of people that I've just met. This experience has taught me a lesson about giving people more of a chance. Maybe if I don't like someone right off the bat, they're just socially anxious like I am. Crazy people are fun! Give us a chance.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Never Say Never

On Friday, I participated in Five Question Friday and posted my response. There is a "linky" module on the host's website for this, so I read through other people's responses on their blogs. I have to say, I was really surprised at the number of people who said that as a parent, they would never take their kids to McDonald's but didn't follow through. A few also said that they would never let their kids watch TV. I found both of these responses hilarious. All things in moderation people.

I never said either one of these things when I became a parent. In fact, I loved the shows that I used to watch with my kids as they were babies/toddlers. Franklin, Little Bear, Arthur, Teletubbies, umm, the one show with the yellow people that looked like they were made out of Tinker Toys. One channel we have (I can't think of which one) has some of these shows and sometimes I turn them on for background noise. I miss my kids being that age. Life was so much simpler.

As for McDonald's...You can't blame, and I firmly believe this, fast food on childhood obesity. It is in the parent's control to feed or not feed their kids these foods. Parents are to blame for childhood obesity, and maybe hormones or glands or whatever. McDonald's is a fun sometimes treat and I don't see the harm in it as long as it's not a weekly meal. I personally know some people who eat McDonald's on a weekly basis. And why is it that McDonald's is always singled out as being the "bad" fast food joint? Last time I checked, chili cheese fries were greasy, fried, fatty, and cholesterol-filled and I can name five different fast food places that have them and McDonald's isn't one of them. It's just an example. I'm only trying to say that french fries, greasy hamburgers, and giganto sodas aren't the sole property of McDonald's.

One last thing which has very little to do with this post but I've been dying to say it for MONTHS!!!

Substituting beer for soda and then being all superior because you no longer drink soda is ASININE, RETARDED, and JUST PLAIN STUPID. Gosh! I feel better finally having gotten that off my chest.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Spoiler Alert

I would just like to take this moment in my own little world to thank a few people for making the Olympics a little less enjoyable for me this year. With the plethora of media outlets, social media, and smart phone push alerts, watching my favorite events this year, I knew going into it who was going to win or lose what medal. Try as I might, it was impossible to avoid it. Added to the fact that I live in the Pacific time zone and the only time zone that actually exists is the Eastern time zone (superior, self-important assholes) avoiding Olympic news was an impossibility. It was disappointing.

So thanks for your inability to keep your collective mouths shut for just a few hours so that I might experience the joy of surprise along with my favorite Olympic athletes. Thank you.

Friday, August 03, 2012


I found these after I posted my 5QF and wanted to participate. Rather than edit that post and put it all in one, I decided to compose a whole new post. It's a treat! Two posts in one day. You're welcome.

I am proud of the young ladies that my girls are becoming. 
This weekend I will roast marshmallows and make s'mores in the backyard with my family. Maybe we'll make a quick run to Target. I think that's about it.
I can't handle social situations. The older I get, the worse my anxiety is getting. What's with that??
A secret dream I have is to publish a book and to move to Europe. Not so secret anymore, eh?
The most annoying thing in the entire world is people who can't use their turn signals and that don't drive the speed limit. Loud mouth people who claim equality for all but don't allow anyone else to have an opinion that differs from theirs.
The most relaxing thing in the entire world is lounging at the beach with a good book, a nice breeze, and not too many people around. Getting to the beach, on the other hand, is not a part of the "relaxing" which is why we haven't gone yet this year.
I think everyone should lighten up. It's summer. Instead of shooting off at the mouth, why don't you grab the sunblock, sunglasses, a book and relax in the sun somewhere.

  1. I have no desire to be productive today. I wish someone would come and wash my dirty dishes and cook dinner for me.
  2. I love the smell of the ocean because it reminds me of good times and it relaxes me.
  3. I wish that my maid would magically appear and make me a happy house frau.
  4. In one month I will be starting my next to last semester for my undergrad. FINALLY. And the kids will be going back to school.
Please click each respective picture to go to the hosting website if you'd like to play along. 

August 3, 2012: Five Question Friday

1What is a must in a hotel room?
Non-smoking is an absolute must. I can't really think of anything else that I look for in a hotel other than price and location. I used to say free WiFi but that's pretty much a give nowadays.

2. Which Olympic event would you be best at? 
Nothing. I'm not athletic and never have been. I've never fired a gun of shot a bow and arrow but maybe I'd be good at those events since they don't require endurance.

3. What's your stance on the Chick-fil-A subject?
I've been doing my best to not pay attention to this because I think it's ridiculous. Was everyone unaware of the fact that the Chick-fil-A guy is a traditional Christian? To the point where the stores are closed on Sundays? Was his stance on gay marriage that surprising? Seems to me that people are entitled to their freedom of speech as long as their opinions agree with the loudest group out there. Do I agree with the guy? No. But I'm not going to organize a lynch mob for him either. People seriously need to get some perspective and get a freaking grip. Seems to me that people with such progressive attitudes and opinions are stuck at a place that doesn't allow them to respect or allow for differing opinions. ::shrug::

4. One thing you said you'd never do as a parent, but totally have.
Pick my kids' friends. I always said I wouldn't do that but I have. A couple different times actually. I had high hopes that my kids would inherit my husband's ability to "read" people. In the 17 years that I've known him, his judgement of people has only been wrong one time. Of course, this is a subjective opinion of my own, but still. Neither one of my kids seems to have the ability to pick decent friends. They get lucky every once in a while but for the most part, GEEZ!! I usually do my best to just subtlety steer them in a different direction and towards other kids, but I've had to put my foot down twice about two different girls. I'm sorry. But if those girls make it to 18 without ending up pregnant, in rehab, or in jail, I'll be freaking amazed.

5. What's the weirdest thing you've ever found at a yard sale?
I don't do yard/garage sales. I hate them. Other people's junk is definitely other people's junk and they can keep it.