Friday, February 29, 2008

Taking A Moment

It seems to have been a busy week. I haven't had many moments to sit and unwind or run and unwind for that matter. I've made this week a "no run" week. I've succeeded in not breaking my promise to myself yet. The thing is, with my schedule it may end being a 1.5 week break...I hope not, we'll have to see. Looks like the weather is looking warmer in the next few days andI hope to take advantage of it. I'm taking a break to give my knee/leg a break. I know I want and need to keep going, but if I don't listen to my body now, then my body will just keep fighting and instead of taking 1-2 steps back I'll be taking 20 steps back....not cool. In addition to no running I've also ceased any excess strain on my pilates, chair sit or stair exercises, leg lifts, etc. Rest, rest, rest. I haven't given up on my crunches though. At least I feel like I've done something....even if it's only 300 crunches at a time. I'll keep you posted on my status.

Although I haven't run my time has been filled with a ton o' other stuff. This included having our taxes prepared. I dread tax preparation. In a nutshell, we've never had the best of luck with it. They were done wrong, had to have them amended, the girl really didn't fix them and just pocketed our cash, we never get money back and always have to pay....the list goes on and on. With the exception of our first year being married we've always ended up paying the IRS. It sucks. My hope is just to break even. Last year we "made" money but ended up paying it right back after having the previous year's taxes rechecked and amended. We're now set up with a good person at H and R Block so we should be on the right path. I wasn't looking forward to my appointment yesterday. After everything I was totally surprised that not only do we not owe this year but we're actually getting money back. Say what? Yep, and a decent amount at that. For obvious reasons we never look to get money back, however I do hope to break even with tax preparation and refunds. But to actually get money?? Yes! The time and effort spent with my office manager (who worked part-time at Block last year and knows all about taxes) last year trying to work numbers to see what I should withold was worth it. Of course my school bills helped a ton and we can't depend on them to help us each year, but I'll take it this year. Thank you, thank you. Then I also was told how much we'll be getting for the whole "get the country out of debt" rebate. And that's a good chunk. I'm not saying I agree with what the government's doing...actually I totally disagree but at the same time they're offering me money. Who wouldn't take it? Once again, something that we won't depend on, but trust us, it will be put to use in more ways than one.

I also set up my 401K today. Gosh, it's got me feeling old. It's something I've been putting off for a couple months. I submitted my information about a month ago and never heard back. Come to find out my fax never went through. Hmmm...anyway, it's set up and we're good to go.

School work has been moving along as usual. This was a big week for exams. I had 3 of them along with my usual weekly quizzes. Last week I slacked a bit...a bit too much. Thinking I was far enough ahead I didn't look at my stuff over the weekend and this Wednesday I found a checklist that I was to have sent in on Monday. Whoops! Either the professor didn't notice or he didn't care because he still gave me all of the points eventhough I sent it on Wednesday. I'm not complaining. I just checked my grades for the class with the video I sent in a week or so ago. It looks like a grade has been posted and it says "0". You bet I've already shot an email to my professor to check on that. I'm hoping it's a typo. If not someone's got some explaining to do.....

I got an email the other day. It looks like one of my pictures from my Chicago trip last year is going to be used on the Chicago Schmap site. It even says "Heidi" under the picture. Ha! Too funny. My opinion is that it's not that great of a picture but it's still cool to have my picture on someone else's site.

I'm unsure what our plans are for the weekend. I have to work tomorrow, David's on call, and it looks like it's going to be raining. I'm sure we'll think of something. David's got something going on tonight so I think I may just snuggle up on the couch with the kids and start into my new book. It's called "Remember Me" by Sophie Kinsella. We shall see how it is.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Come Sail Away

Yesterday our next vacation was booked. As stated in a previous post, we'll be going with the 'rents, Uncle Jerry and Aunt Diana, and it looks like J and Cass will be coming too. We're going at the end of September to the Eastern Caribbean on a 7 day cruise. Oh, I so want it to be here now. We were originally looking at cruises in February of next year but mom presented us with this one. In all honesty we've been hesitant to go on a cruise with family just for the simple fact that we like to do things on our own. You know, get lost, have adventures, etc. But I think this should be awesome. Something to keep in mind is that most often you aren't with everyone at all times like on a normal vacation. We'll see them here and there and then at dinner, but not 24/7. In addition, Uncle Jerry and Aunt Diana know what they're doing when it comes to shore excursions. However, instead of paying for the cruise's excursions they venture out on their own since they're comfortable with the areas. Thankfully we'll just purchase our own snorkel gear for the trip, tag along with them, and have our own personal excursions minus having to pay the big bucks. I'm just hoping and praying that our bad luck from Hawaii doesn't continue on to this vacation. I'm sure all of our co-travelers are thinking the same thing. If not, we can just make a sequel to our first movie. Just kidding! We're going to have a blast. Next up....Got to get passports.

David was to start his boilers class tonight but with the snow it looks like it will be cancelled. The snow has started falling and poor David has been our shoveling for 40-45 minutes. Yikes! And there's already a dusting where he's already shoveled. All the local schools are closed for the day. As of this moment I don't think the roads are all that bad (haven't been on them yet) but it's supposed to continue snowing throughout the day. Depending on what you read they're saying anywhere from 8-12 inches of snow. Of course we're not directly in the Cleveland area so this may be a higher estimation than what we will really get, but you never know. We'll both head into work and see what happens.

In catching up on entertainment news I saw that Dog The Bounty Hunter's show will be coming back on air. That's no big surprise. We knew it was going to be one of those things where they let things calm down and then start taping again. I'm still a fan despite what happened and hope to catch some of the new episodes.

Hope everyone stays safe with the snow. For those of you in non-snow zones, hope you're enjoying the sunshine =)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Yee Haw!

Come Friday night David and I realized we were having cabin fever. Since I worked Saturday morning we couldn't do anything big but I sure tried to think of something creative to do. We pushed around the idea of heading to Pittsburgh, but given we've never been there we didn't think that it'd be very smart and would require some sort of planning. Amish Country? A sporting event? You name it, we looked into it. Along with the limited amount of planning time we're also dealing with a limited amount of money too. Needless to say we came up empty handed on Friday night. Come Saturday morning we still didn't have plans but then we found that the World's Toughest Rodeo was going to be in Cleveland. That was the only "sporting" event within 100 miles. Everything else was, basketball, etc. Hmmmm....I had attended the rodeo back in the day when we were into the whole horse thing. It was always entertaining. Then we found buy one get one free coupons. Heck, this is what we're looking for....something to do and something cheap. It's no Pittsburgh, but give us a break. We got mom and dad on the phone to see if they were interested and they jumped on for a night full o' bulls and broncs. After a quick dinner at Quaker Steak (Yum as usual!) we headed to the Q with all of the cowgirls and cowboys. Surprisingly we didn't stick out all that much. The whole country "fashion" has definitely come into the mainstream. You still have the ones where you can absolutely tell they are the real deal, but no longer do you really have the country folk. Most everyone (whether they are real or not) could be plucked out of a fashion magazine or catalog since they've meshed fashion and country together so much. You also no longer have the constant country music at this type of function. Of course you have some, which doesn't bother me one bit, but 10 years ago you wouldn't have had a cowboy riding a bull with Flo Rida (rap singer) bumping as the soundtrack. Needless to say we had a great time....and that goes for David too. (It was his first ever rodeo experience).

This morning I got up early to head out for my weekly long run, however, I ran into a roadblock. Due to being sick and the weather I hadn't run all week. I thought that'd be a good thing for my knee. Well, yesterday I went out for a quick and easy 3.5 mile run. I didn't have much of a problem with the occasional nagging knee pain. But while at the Q last night I went to get up and found my legs to be tighter than a rubber band along with my knee not being right. It took me about 2 minutes to move in a normal way without gimping. The knee issue was the most uncomfortable that it's ever been. I can't really call it pain. It's definitely uncomfortable and I want the feeling to go away. It's a very weird sensation. Having already had the problem previously, running Saturday, then hopping in the car for over an hour probably triggered this episode. I was fine for the rest of the night but was worried about today. I woke up this morning with some knee pain but decided to do my usual oatmeal, wait an hour, then head out. But my knee pain wouldn't cease. I was at a crossroad....Should I just go out and get 'er done? Should I go out for a short run? Should I not go at all? I was at a loss. I know I need to keep moving toward my goal but don't want to permanently injure myself. At the same time obviously rest didn't help seemed as though my problem not only came back but with a vengeance. I bundled up, headed out, and at 1/2 mile found my knee to be so uncomfortable that I had to stop running and start walking. It was a fast walk and found my knee to be much better at that pace and impact. I walked the next 1/2 mile then tried to run again with no luck. Same problem. I ended up walking the last 1/4 and finished with only 1.5 miles. I was bummed. I feel disheartened in so many ways. I definitely want to reach my goal, that's a no brainer, but I also need my running....for my sanity, for my health, for me to keep my sanity about my health/nutrition/eating (I like being able to eat and not feel too guilty about it....when I don't run and eat as though I have, that puts a damper on your day). Thankfully my hip pain has gone away (knock on wood!) I wonder if this is related to the hip pain though. For instance, have I realigned myself to "fix" the hip problem, which in turn messed with my knee? Ah dunno. I'm sure most people would say that I need to go to the doctor....Don't I wish. Needless to say we don't have a doctor (you can start yelling at me now) and I have a feeling they'd recommend an MRI or something crazy. Having an HSA account (no copays) makes it near impossible for us to afford something as such. It would be worse case scenario for me to turn to something like that. As always I'm not sure where this road will lead or what direction to go. I'm going to be as patient as I can be and hope this issue works itself out.

In other news, I think we've figured out what our next vacation is going to be. A cruise to the eastern caribbean. We'll be tagging along with Mom, Dad, Uncle Jerry, and Aunt Diana. Sounds great to us. I'll fill you in on details later.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

New Task

Alright, I'm up, moving, back to work. I'm thankful I'm feeling better. Still not 100% but darn close. Unfortunately my running has suffered this week. No surprise, but as usual I'm feeling guilty as all get out. I had actually planned to come home tonight and do 3-4 miles. However, upon stepping outside at 7pm, in the dark, the wind and cold went right through my body and all of the sudden my body realized I'm still getting over my funk. I was still talking myself into running but when I got home David backed my reasons for not running tonight.....the wind is blowing and it's dropped about 10 degrees, plus I can run tomorrow morning when it's light out. Of course 10 minutes later, as I'm digging into my salad David asked, "Did you hear we're supposed to get 2 inches of snow tonight?" I said, "WHAT?! I'm supposed to be running tomorrow morning, remember?" All I got was an, "Ohhhh.........." Ugh. We shall see what tomorrow holds. Obviously I won't meet my weekly goal of 10 miles. I accept that considering the cold outside and my own cold, but I'd atleast like a few miles to add to the tally.

With getting ahead in my school work and being home sick I've been finding things for myself to do. The presidential primaries have kept me quite busy. Politics are one of those things that I love and hate at the same time. As noted in previous posts, it's a place where I must tread lightly. If not, then I get deep into it...heart and soul, full out. Well, I think I've treaded too deep. Maybe not so much too deep, but deep enough to get interested, wanting to know more. I won't say it's a bad thing, but I can only hope that unlike other campaigns I've rooted for, this one pans out. Wishful thinking maybe? Dunno. Anyway, I've been researching each candidate. In addition, I've been comparing and contrasting their issues side by side through their own personal websites. Mainly reading and educating myself in regards to the issues in general and what it all means....then where each of them stand with the issues. I definitely feel better informed. I'll be honest in saying that I still don't feel confident in conversation when asked pointed questions in regards to the candidates, like where they stand, what they're experience is, etc. All I can do is keep reading and digest the information. It will come. I definitely have a favorite at this moment. I will also be honest that although I do agree with most issues, if not all, with the candidate I'm currently backing, it's more of just a "peace" I feel about them. It's an aura that's emitted or something. And with my own personal life experience I feel that says a lot. And it's not something I can deny. This election will only get more interesting as time moves on. I guess it's something you can either dread watching/listening to or embrace it, take it for what it's worth, and learn something new from it.

With that being said, something else has come to light in recent days. I feel like such a horrible American and quite embarassed saying this, but I don't know the order of previous United States Presidents. This is another task I have assigned to myself. Not only do I want to learn the order but I also want to refresh my mind on what each one is known for, etc. This is all something that I have been taught/told long ago, but obviously it never remained in my brain. Being such a history lover I don't know why this information has left my mind. I do know this though, it's something I can and want to change.

Since we're on the subject of tasks, I don't know if I ever filled you in on a task I set out for myself. We now have a recycle center up and running in our house now. I know I brought it up that I was planning on doing it and I had a temporary set up, but we now have a "true" system. Plastic sorter bins with trash bags, and the most important thing....they're being used! And what's even better, we're reusing bins that we already had in our possession. They were gift wrapping bins that we bought to store dog/cat food. After a year of use we didn't think they were our best option to keep the kid's food in (not air tight enough) so they were put into storage. Well, after brainstorming about the recycling idea they ended up coming in handy. How ironic, we're using recycled objects so that we can recycle. Ha.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

You're Not Supposed To Swallow It?

Yeah. So I was sent home from work today. It's the first time I've ever been sent home from work. Any other place I've worked I'd force myself through the day or beg to be sent home. It's kind of weird. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind. I do feel like poo still. I'm still having the, "I feel fine," for a time, then the, "Whew. I feel sick," moments. Basically the office manager doesn't want me passing this crap back to anyone at work. Hopefully once I'm done we'll all be done with it. Of course there's still the new girl. It looks like she's coming down with something as we speak. I'm sure she'll be next. The question is, how severe? Thankfully I have a buttload of sick time. Like 40+ hours worth. We don't lose or cash out our time at the end of the year and since I've never needed a sick day they just pile up. I may have even maxed out on the time I can save up. I'll use a few hours every so often just for random things but have never used it for actual sick time, that I can remember. Of course I worry about unknown future events when I may need the time so I'm always scared to dip into my excess sick leave. My boss knows this so she let me know that if something were to happen and I didn't have enough sick leave she'd loan it to me....given that she knows I'd have no problem replenishing them. It's kind of like the toilet paper thing. I'd rather stock up and have an overabundance then run out. That leaves me feeling uneasy. I'll deal with it and just "enjoy" my moments of downtime even if I am sick. I'll also remember to be thankful that I have an employer that allows me to use my sick time and not feel bad about it.....heck, they were pushing me out the door.

Something I forgot to blog about the other day....With everyone being sick I've had the unfortunate experience of dealing with OTC medications. Personally I haven't taken anything other than Chloraseptic spray during the current situation. But having not used it in awhile I read the directions. It says to spray and leave in place for 15 seconds then spit it out. Spit it out?! I thought you just swallowed the stuff. You mean to tell me I've been using this stuff wrong for almost 25 years? Ah well. You learn something new everyday.

Monday, February 18, 2008

My Turn

My turn has finally come. Yes, I have caught the bug....or should I say the bug has caught me? Starting Saturday after my run I was exhausted. I mean complete, flat out exhausted. I came home to find David still asleep. I took a shower, got dressed, and then sat in bed with him. We were talking but I felt so very tired. I didn't want to move. Within moments I was out. David let me sleep for about 10-15 minutes before asking me to move since my head was resting on him. I attributed it to the late night, early rise, and long run. I didn't think much of it. However, my exhaustion never left and throughout the day my throat started to feel weird and progressively got worse. By Saturday night I was feeling pretty poor. On Sunday morning I woke up with my throat being more sore, my nose stuffed, and the back of my head aching. We got our grocery shopping out of the way then went to the movies to see Juno. By the end of the movie I just wanted to come home and lay down. The ache had extended through my shoulders, my head was painful, and my eyes hurt when they moved. Then I started to feel nauseous by late night. What's the deal? I called my boss last night to give them the heads up that I may not be in today and she told me just to stay home. We've been battling this stuff for weeks now and she doesn't want us to keep passing it around. I slept on the couch last night because I knew I'd be tossing and turning. I was also up and down all night. The weirdest thing is that the symptoms came in waves. I'd feel fine, then in 15 minutes I felt like I wanted to vomit. I continued to nap throughout this morning and am finally up and about. I don't feel "right" yet but I feel better than yesterday. My symptoms aren't so strong as they were yesterday. I believe I should be fine come later this evening on into tomorrow.

Monday's Thought For The Day

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sobe Thrillicious

I'm sure that most of you have seen these commercial, as it was played during the Super Bowl and has since been on tv. But for those like me that missed it during the Super Bowl and finally saw it in passing the other day (can you tell I don't watch much tv?) or that have Tivo/DVR, check it out.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Still Alive At Nine Point Five

9.5! 9.5! Holy cow. Thanks to the help of Erika I not only met my goal today, but exceeded it. Once again a personal best in distance for me. I just keep telling myself, "1/2 more mile and I'm at 10 miles....then only 3.1 miles more and I'm at the half marathon!" I never dreamed I'd be running this far. It's just crazy. I'm not saying I'm fast, but shoot, I'm out there moving my buns in freezing weather. I was out for just under 2 hours...Erika continued on to meet her 12 miles for today. It wasn't all that bad out actually. No wind, the sun shining. Pretty beautiful. We even made it down to the lakefront which helped pass time even for the few short moments.

As always I'm so grateful for Erika. She helps tons. She sticks with me and my slow pace while giving me encouragement the entire time. Heck, she doesn't even have to say anything and I can feel her positive aura radiating to me. In addition, she listened to me as I was drudging through those last 2-3 miles. I try to stay as positive as I can but sometimes the thoughts can get the best of you. So she had to listen to me as I complained, then me catching myself for complaining, and me trying to flip around my thoughts through positive self-talk. Not only did she listen to my crazy talk but she joined in giving me goals to work towards, which helped pass the time.

Now, on to the rest of the weekend....what shall we do?

Fun Night

Boy, was that a fun night. Quite enjoyable if I do say so myself. Mollie, the consultant, was unexpectedly late due to her day going totally wrong. I guess that's Murphy's Law. Poor girl, but she made it, and thankfully all of the ladies stuck it out and were patient, which was greatly appreciated. As expected we have a ton of food left over. I shouldn't even say it's food. It's crap. We're talking cookie sandwiches with melted marshmallows between and a buttload of know that type of stuff. This sort of stuff should probably be sending me into a coma given that most of the time I try to get no sugar added or sugar free type of stuff (yes, I read about the recent study how sugar replacers will actually make you gain's not so much about the weight, I just try to limit my sugar intake and when it is sugar I try to make it fruit, etc....of course I have my own indulgences more often than I should.) Anyway, I don't even want to know how much I ate last night. Actually, I know how much I ate. I probably looked like a glutton to everyone, but that's what happens when it's been staring at you all day and you sit down at the table where the food is sitting. I should have told myself, "Step away from the table...." like I tell myself at family gatherings. If I'm not sitting there looking at it, within arms reach, I'm good. More than likely it's a good thing that I took in food so that it absorbed the little bit of alchohol that I took in. I had a cosmopolitan martini, with half the alcohol, but by halfway through I was warm and the room was looking kind of weird. That wore off within a half hour. Thinking ahead, my alcohol intake stopped after my first one....knowing that I was to get up this morning for a long run and also knowing that I didn't want to make a fool out of myself.

Well, it's about that time. According to my house thermometer it looks like it's about 23 degrees out. says 15 and feels like 15. says it's 18 but feels like 8. I don't know who's right, but at this point it doesn't matter. By butt's up and ready to go.

Friday, February 15, 2008

All Ready To Go

Okay, I think I'm all set and ready to have the party. Of course I shouldn't have had much to clean considering I'm always cleaning, but you know in my mind there's always something to clean or organized. I'll do a few more things within the next couple of hours but all of the "big" stuff is down. I'm excited. It's nothing all that special but we've never truly opened our house and entertained per se (with the exception of the 'rents), so this should be interesting. Hopefully it will be a fun-filled night with a ton 'o laughs.

I can't stay up all that late tonight. Erika, KD, and the kids will be in town due to birthday parties so I'm meeting up with her bright and early in the morning to get a long run in. I hope my knee holds up, as I've been having some issues. But we shouldn't be hauling butt or anything, just getting in the miles, which makes me feel more comfortable. I'm always worried about holding her back. She's so understanding which I appreciate more than she knows. I'm also glad that she allows me to tag along with her when she comes into town. It helps to pass the time. When you're out on the road for 1+ hours or more it can get kind of lonely, even with music. Don't get me wrong, I love it, taking it all in, but it's nice to have someone once in awhile.

We got some good news yesterday. It looks like the adult education program at SHS will be having a boilers license class. That's awesome considering David was planning on going to LCCC, 40 minutes away, to take the class. Not only will it be less driving but it's also a little less expensive. Not much, but a little adds up. We'll save a ton in gas money alone. Thankfully he stopped by the school a few weeks back and showed interest. The teacher said if David could find a certain number of people to take the class they'd set a date. David passed on the information to others without much luck, however some other people must be interested, as the teacher contacted him to let him know the class was going to be available. At least David got his name out there and showed interest, which possibly spurred them having the class. So he enrolled today and they'll start classes the last week of this month.

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Northern Winter

I haven't had much to post about lately. It's just been a drab northern sort of week. Snow, cold temperatures, and people with colds. David's still battling whatever he has. He feels better for a few hours then it comes back for a few hours. Keeps coming and going. I believe he's done with the gastrointestinal signs but his chest and head are still stuffed. It has taken the same course as with all of my coworkers. However, I don't think he acquired it through me. There were several people at his work that came down with the same symptoms the same day as David or the day after. And come to find out Alpa ended up leaving work yesterday and mom said they're dropping like flies at her work too. So whatever it is, it's out there and it's there with a vengeance. Thankfully I'm still holding strong. I don't know if it will last but I will continue taking my vitamins and can only hope. Maybe hope that those long runs in the cold weather helped. Wishful thinking? Dunno. We shall see.

Speaking of running. Our last run was last Saturday. That's when the cold and snow hit. I've been keeping up with pilates and other crosstraining type of stuff. But that's more of a "feel good" type of thing for my mind. Not saying that pilates doesn't do anything, I know it does, but it's not the same as running. But at least I know I'm doing something.

We should be having our taxes done soon. I absolutely hate taxes. With the exception of the first year we were married we have always owed. How can that be? We claim "zero" on our tax forms meaning that take out the most throughout the year and we still owe. We don't get it. It's very frustrating year after year. At this point I don't even care if we were to get a return, I just want to, for once, not owe anything. Anyway, by the slight chance of grace we were hoping to get some sort of return this year (right, I know...pipe dream). With that return we had thought of looking into a treadmill. Once again, I'm not a huge fan of treadmills but it'd give us an option, not to mention we actual have room for one at this point with us cleaning out the downstairs bedroom. But after doing some research it looks like the treadmills located in most stores should be used mostly for walking with some running. They're not made for constant running. That's news to me. I'm sure people do buy those treadmills and use them for running, but I wouldn't want to attempt it only to have it breakdown after 1 year. So instead of the $800-$1500 range we were looking at, we should be looking at the $2000-$4000 range. Right. That's not going to happen. On to plan B.....Get my butt outside. Ah well.

The conditions outside have been dangerous our poor at best. Living on side streets we don't get the same care as the main roads. So in order to get to the main roads you have to pass over some treacherous terrain. Then you end up still running in the streets on the main roads, hoping not to hit a patch of ice or worse, black ice. I will continue to be patient over the next day or so. This too shall pass. By Sunday we'll be in the mid 30's to low 40's. Perfect. Hopefully I can fit in a short run on Saturday followed by a long run Sunday.

David's had an even harder time training due to the cold. His feet go numb shortly into the run. He's been known to trip and fall due to not feeling his feet. He went on a short 3 mile run last Saturday with me and realized he's gotten out of the routine of running. That put a bit of worry in his mind.

Of course the Cleveland Half-Marathon/Marathon February newsletter had to come out last weekend. They were encouraging you to get out in the cold weather and train....explaining how to dress, etc. And they said, "The event is only 3 and 1/2 months away." Geez. Minor freakout. It's just around the corner and I know it will be here before I know it. I know, I know...We'll get there and be prepared. But sometimes it can seem overwhelming, especially as I sit here having not run for 4 days, feeling as though I'm moving away from the goal rather than toward it. I'll just keep telling myself, March will be better weather. If not, ah well, we'll still meet our goal. I have 93 days to do it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Almost There

Within the past week I feel as though I've jumped leaps and bounds with my schoolwork. Heck, within the past 24 hours even. As I updated you last week, I've gotten my assignments done. Now, with yesterday's "easy" work schedule and the help of mom I recorded my entire video. I thought that I'd slowly transfer the video throughout the week and have it completed sometime next week. Once again, I had sufficient down time last night so I took advantage of it and transferred all of the video. By the time it was time for bed I had it edited in the correct order and ready to record. Given that recording time usually takes awhile I set everything up, hit record, and headed to bed. When I got up the recording was complete. So at this point all I have to do is check the video to see if it's viewable and send it off to the school. Whew. I still have to have my remaining assignments signed by Doc, scanned and sent, and also take all the rest of my quizzes and exams, but that's a huge load off of my shoulders. Thanks again mom! Now I think I can take a deep breath and enjoy myself for a few moments.

Monday, February 11, 2008

It's Come

For the last couple of weeks one by one my coworkers have been getting sick. Originally it was thought to be food poisoning due to vomiting and diarrhea. However, after the 3rd person was dealing with the same exact symptoms we then realized, "We must be dealing with a rotavirus-type thing." According to a friend of Doc's, who's also a doctor at the local hospital, this is something that's been traveling around the area, so it's no surprise that one after the other was contracting it at work. Everyone with the exception of me and the new girl (we hired a new technician last week! Yes!) has had the symptoms. As I stated, it's slowly being passed around and last week took a toll with at least 1 person being out of work sick each day. Although I've been adamant about washing my hands, keeping my distance, and using my own pen, etc., I thought I'd be the next one to be dealing with it. Not so. Last night after David's 'rents left he started to deteriorate fast. Aching, nose was stuffy, coughing. He was up almost all night with the chills. I let him sleep another 1/2 hour this morning after I awoke. I came downstairs to find that he dug into the Vitamin Water. He's big on hydration as is, when you add something like this, he's a crazy drinker. When I went to check on him I came to found out he's also been battling diarrhea all night. Uh oh. The rotavirus has hit home. I gave him another Vitamin Water and left him to let him sleep this thing off for the rest of the day. I only work a half day today due to us not being open (Doc's out of town), so I'll be back around noon to see how he's doing. Looking at the trail this thing has left, everyone's major symptoms lasted about 1-2 days but the residual feeling of crap lasted a good 5 days or so. We shall see what happens. Not that I want anyone to deal with this but I definitely hope I steer clear. Famous last words, eh? Let's keep our fingers crossed!

Monday's Thought For The Day

Sunday, February 10, 2008

It's Too Cold Out For Penguins

Boy, did we have a full weekend. It was fun at the same time. Saturday we went out for a quick morning run, knowing that more than likely we wouldn't get out today. After that we went to get my haircut. Yep, the hair is gone. Not pixie gone, but it's back to being short. I'll post a pic at a later time. After that we decided to head out of town. We ended up in the Beachwood area. Our first stop was Legacy Village at their Dick's. I don't think we could ever leave Dick's empty handed. It's too tempting in there. I invested in a Nike Hood for the cold days. It kind of looks like a ninja type thing. Pretty cool and I'm excited to use it. After that we went to Whole Foods. I couldn't imagine getting all of my groceries there but we love to go there, browse, test, and just check things out in general. We purchased some fruits we had never tried before, that were also recommended by another blog I've read, and a few other odds and ends.

It's been a weekend of testing, research, and learning. With me having this upcoming party I knew I needed to supply some sort of alcohol. With the help of my coworkers we've decided on martinis. As you can guess I have little to no knowledge about alchohol, let alone mixing drinks. I'll leave the mixing up to my coworkers but I still have to provide the alcohol. This has lead me to the alcohol aisle and online to various sites for recipes. It's got me interested. I don't want to go wild and crazy, I just want to learn and try something different. In addition to mixed drinks, this has also lead me into the territory of wine and researching what is what. A little knowledge here....a little knowledge there. With that along with our trip to Whole Foods and Trader Joes I feel we're making ourselves more well-rounded. Maybe it's true, maybe it's not, but it's still been fun learning in the process.

After that we had an early dinner at Maggiano's. It was our first trip. We've wanted to go there for a long time now but everytime we end up in Beachwood we find ourselves going somewhere else. This time we had a giftcard so we definitely had a reason to go. At first we were slightly overwhelmed by the prices. However, when we sat the waitress explained the menu to us. The 1/2 portions are a good-sized portion for 1-2 people. Perfect! We ended up getting a 1/2 portion of spaghetti and meatball and got an appetizer of mozzarella and tomatoes (we knew we'd have more than enough on the giftcard). When our food arrived we were amazed by the portion size. Shoot, we each had good helpings and still had leftovers! Our bill was only $23 with a drink, appetizer, and entree'. We loved the dinner and were thrilled with the price. The atmosphere was great too....dark and home-like but in my opinion, a step up from Bucca De Beppos decor. Definitely a repeater.

After dinner we went toward the city. No stops, just driving, taking it all in. I took David through Ohio City, since he'd never been to the area, then we headed home. We spent the rest of the evening with the kids and started to talk about our next home project....the downstairs bedroom. Ugh. Bad idea, that gets my mind going, so when I woke up at 4:30am I couldn't go back to bed and was ready to go. I finally got back to bed and then we woke up at 8:30am.

It was bitter cold out today. Not only cold but windy. Take your breath away windy. I couldn't bring myself to go out for even a short run. It would've been impossible. The ground was a sheet of ice. Instead of running we took advantage of our time and started in on the downstairs bedroom/closet. I had taken the paneling down back in the late summer and it's just one ugly room. We weren't exactly sure how to attack the walls. Yes, there was a reason that paneling was on the walls. We're still not sure exactly what we're doing with the walls but with some reading we feel as though we're heading in the right direction. After a trip to Home Depot I worked on the walls for a bit. It's going to be a long time consuming project, but will be worth it.

In addition to that we also did some major purging of the downstairs bedroom closet. The downstairs bedroom is our "animal room". As of now it's an empty room and the closet is now a little "nook" for the animals. As with the walls we're not sure what type of room it's going to be....meaning what's going to go in there. For now it's nice just to have that space. Our coats (that were in the closet) are now hanging (on new hooks David installed) in the hallway going to the basement. In the process of purging I also organized what was left in the closet, put it in the attic, and even organized and purged things in the attic space. I went through my closet and drawers purging. We also purged some built up rubbish in our garage. Needless to say we've kept busy today. It's so great to feel like you've accomplished something.

As of now Sita and Alpa are here. The guys are watching the Pro Bowl. Looks like they have great weather in Hawaii. At least someone gets great weather when they go there. Oh wait, that's everyone but us. Me, still bitter? I think it's safe to say we'll be bitter for awhile. Ah well...onward to our next vacation planning....I think it shall be a cruise. Stay tuned for details.

It's time for me to do some studying. I've put it off all weekend. At this point I feel quite prepared for my video, just need some refreshing tonight and tomorrow morning and I should be great. Hope everyone had a fun-filled weekend and stayed warm!

Friday, February 08, 2008

What To Do?

Friday, Friday, Friday. Whew. I go into work at 12 noon and get off at 6pm. Only a few more hours of work this week, then on to the weekend. What shall we do this weekend? Hmmm. We've been wanting to see that movie "Juno" but were bummed to see that it got knocked off the local movie list when the Hannah Montana's movie arrived. Bummer. That means the closest movie theater showing it is around 30 minutes away. It's never out of the question, but I'm not sure if we'll go that route this weekend. Of course a trip to Cleveland is never out of the question. It looks like the Lake Erie Monsters are playing Saturday night. That's an idea. I dunno. We'll have to see. I do know that I want to do something though. The past 2 nights I've been at a loss for something to do. Me, at a loss? What's the deal?! With having my assignments done my next thing on my to-do list is to complete my video. My plan is to complete it Monday and/or Tuesday after work hours. In the meantime I've been studying my notes, you know, doing the whole taking aloud thing (that gets annoying after awhile). I can only do that for so long, so the rest of my time has been spent cleaning and staring at the walls, not sure what to do. I can't study much more than I already am....I'm already having those nights of sleep where my dream is me talking through the exam. And it's the entire night of "performing an exam" and restless sleep. Yeah, that's not very fun. Once again, it's times like these that I wonder what I'll do with extra time after I'm done with school. I'm sure I'll find something but I hope I'll eventually hit a happy medium....not too busy but at the same time not bored out of my mind...which is when my OCD kicks into gear.

Enough about that. I do have one thing planned tomorrow. A haircut. I was going to stay hush hush about having my haircut but I think I need some help here. I'm at a loss of what to do with my hair. There's one side of me that says, "Chop it off." When the other says, "Let it go." I'm bored with my hair and it's starting to have bad flyaway, dead-end type of stuff. I'm unsure why considering I don't hardly do anything to it. Only blowdry. I don't curl or pull it into a ponytail and I try to use products to protect it. I'm almost 100% sure I'm NOT going super short. But I need something that's runner friendly....short enough not to go into my eyes (or able to use bobbypins), or keeping it long so I can eventually pull it back. David hasn't been much help. He's pretty even across the board with his ideas. However, he did say he likes it real short or real long. Not much help given the fact that I don't have the option of going real long (unless I add extensions...not happening) or cutting it super short (which I don't want to do). Anyway, any recommendations?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

What's This Mean?

The past 48 hours have seemed kind of weird. Everytime I turn around I read about someone being sick, having a disease, or dying. Some individuals are family members (my cousin Caitlin...check out her blog), some are acquaintances, while others are unknown individuals I read about in passing. In addition, we've also had a recent influx in euthanasias at work. It definitely makes you appreciate your life and those around you. At the same time it's kind of freaked me out though. I think to myself, "Is God trying to tell me something? Do I need to go to the doctor?" But then I come back to reality and think, right, I'm going to go to the doctor and say, "Nothing's wrong, nothing hurts, but I just want to make sure I'm okay." Yeah, they'd send me to the nut house. I think the best thing is to keep reminding myself not to take life for granted and to give those around me an extra hug and an "I love you."

King Cake....

I totally missed a post yesterday for Mardi Gras. No big surprise, but I was a little busy. So, Happy Mardi Gras! I hope you and yours had a bit of king cake. Thankfully mom ordered one for them and shared with us. Yum! I think I've been on a sugar high since Saturday. Saturday we had Alpa's cake, Sunday night Sita and I went out to Kalahari's Candy Hut and I had a chocolate covered banana, Monday consisted of a piece of Coldstone Creamery cake for a coworkers birthday AND a piece of king cake. Even though I compensated my other meals to fit the sweets in, by late Monday night my stomach turned sour. Too much sugar. I think my body was going into shock. It's not like I've cut out sugar entirely from my diet. Ya'll know I love my treats, but one thing after another in decent sized portions probably isn't a good idea. Not only that but we also had left over Coldstone Cake (my coworker didn't want to take it home and you know I wasn't going to let it go to waste!) and king cake. That's not exactly a no fail environment, eh? And after you eat it you feel like a lard. Thankfully I was able to get out and run last night. It was pouring down rain but I didn't care. I had to work off some of that sugary sweetness that's been building up.

In school news, I've completed all assignments. Thank God. I'm currently in week 4 of my class schedule. I'm sure some of you are saying, "Why the heck did you kill yourself over getting all your assignments done? You had 12 weeks to do them and you did it in 4." Yeah, I hear you, but let me explain. For some stupid reason my professors/school have done stuff backwards. I have to submit my video by week 7, however, all of my assignments until the end of the semester are in regards to preparing for the video. basically I had to do them in order to prepare for the video. In addition to getting them done I can now focus on the video for the next 2-3 weeks to make it as best as I can. In the meantime I will continue to take my exams/quizzes and keep focused on keeping Doc up to date on signing off on all of my assignments, so I get them turned in on time. Trust me, even though I'm "ahead" there's always something else to be done. Even with all of this being said I still think this program is a good idea for someone looking to do distance education. I will say this definitely have to be disciplined to do so. I also probably wouldn't recommend taking 4 classes, which means you're going to school full time, while also trying to pull 47 hour weeks at work. Who wouldn't be exhausted?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

January's Total

I know I have my Yearly Miles To Date posted on the side of the blog, but with all that's going on I never addressed my January mileage...especially in regards to the Diabetic Runner Challenge. Even though I feel as though I didn't get in as many runs for January as I would have liked to, I don't think my mileage is all that shabby considering the circumstances. Previously, my month for highest mileage was October 2007, at 51 miles....Well, my mileage for January 2008 matched it. Not too bad. That was refreshing given that November and December my mileage had significantly diminished. But I guess my mileage would increase given the fact that I'm adding in longer weekend runs. That definitely helps. I can only hope my mileage will continue to increase at this point. As for the Diabetic Runner Challenge, I'm on track for meeting my goal. Holding that 10 miles/week over my head definitely puts my head in gear on those days I want to run a shorter route or too tired to run at all. Unfortunately those "too tired days" have been plentiful, especially this past week, and the 10 miles/week thinking didn't help much. Even still, I made my monthly goal.

As for my long run today. Bah. Not all that great. I was going good at 4 miles, just easing into my comfortable pace, and my IT Band decided to become a nag. In addition, a new knee pain surfaced throughout the run. I stopped a couple times to stretch it out and continued on. I kept debating whether to head home or continue and came up with the decision to continue on. Being uncomfortable during runs is nothing new, I just deal with it and move on. Usually the problems subside after awhile. I had hoped to complete the same route as last week, but wasn't so lucky. I kept pushing myself to keep going but by mile 7 my body was officially saying, "Alright Heidi, it's time to stop." I obliged and cut the route shorter and ended up with 8 miles even. I can't say I'm all that disheartened with today's run. I've been lucky enough to have awesome runs the past few weeks and I'm realistic in knowing that not all runs are great. So I knew I'd get a wrench thrown at me sooner than later. In addition, what can I expect given the last time I ran was Tuesday and my running schedule hasn't necessarily been consistent. I'll just continue on....

Happy Birthday To You, And You, And You....

Wow, it seems like there are so many birthdays in February. What's weird is I've never noticed it before. In our family we have back to back birthdays in September/October, almost on the same day. Then we have a week of birthdays in January, a week in May, and then June/July, once again back to back. This month I'm thinking that everytime I turn around I'll be making a cake, eating a cake, and singing Happy Birthday. That's fine, I just think it's crazy that I've never noticed it before. This weekend we celebrated Alpa's and Allysen's birthdays. Last night we went out to eat at the Roadhouse for Alpa and then came home to have a homemade cake, which David made. Yellow cake with green frosting, Alpa's favorite. We even spelled out "Dad" with M and M's for fun. Later in the evening David and his dad played Game Breakers, a NFL trivia game. They were hooting and hollering, so I can only guess that they were having a good time.

For Allysen's birthday we went to a family gathering, ate some good food, and watched her as she watched others open her presents. It's crazy to think that's she's one year old. Time certainly does fly. She was pretty unsure of her birthday cake. She definitely didn't dig in and seemed to want to stick to her bottle of milk. Even so, watching her attempt to try the cake was still fun.

It's been a few days since my last post. I'm sure you already know I've been crazy busy. Just trying to make it through the week alive, with my sanity has been my goal throughout these last few weeks. Even when I get to the weekend it's tough to unwind because I'm always needing to do something or go somewhere. It's not necessarily that I don't want to do certain activities, but it makes for days that actually have to be planned out and not just going with the flow. For instance I had to work yesterday. Then immediately after work we went to Allysen's party. Then a few hours later out to eat with Sita and Alpa. As for today I wanted to wake up early enough (which calls for setting my alarm clock, even on my only day off) to make sure I could get a long run in, because come noon we have a spaghetti dinner fundraiser to attend for David and Dad's coworker who completely lost everything in a house fire just before Christmas. Then we have to prepare for the Super Bowl. Once again, it's not like I don't want to do these things, it just makes it tough to relax and take a deep breath. And ya'll know that every spare moment I have between those activities I sit my butt down in front of the computer to jot a line or two for school work. Yeah, it's getting old, but I'm getting there.

I guess I better fill you in my schoolwork/professor situation deal that I told you about in the last post. After multiple emails throughout the week I have found that the video doesn't have to be completed all in one sitting and I can use notes. Whew! I'm not allowed to read my notes word for word, but I know that those notes are going to be my savior. Thankfully I had already started an outline for studying reasons. As of now I'm tweaking it here and there and I should be ready to videotape soon. For the most part the videotaping is easy once I get a crew together to help (mom and David) and figure out a specific day. It's more of a hassle transferring and getting everything in orde. I have a Hi-8 camcorder which means I have to transfer it to the computer, then edit it, and finally make it into a DVD. Thankfully we have the Pinnacle setup. If we didn't have that I'm not sure what I'd do....the funny thing is I didn't get it for school, I got it to transfer family videos, etc. I never knew I'd need it for school. One of those small, important details that they don't tell you when you sign up for the program.

With all of the school crap and crappy weather this week the last time I ran was Tuesday. I'm kind of nervous for my run today, but after looking outside the roads/sidewalks look the safest they've been all week. We've been dealing with hardcore winds and freezing rain-type of stuff all week....making for a nice sheet of ice. I got up awhile ago, got some oatmeal in my belly, and now it's time to get all geared up. Wish me luck.