Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Back To The Real World

Perhaps I should file today?
Well, today is day three of back to the daily grind.  I had a fab.u.lous week last week visiting with so many of my precious college buddies.  We had a great time.  We didn't sleep much.  We ate probably a little too much.  We laughed until our sides hurt.  We talked while the tears flowed.  There were nods of empathy & understanding followed by hugs of warm acceptance.  The goodbyes are always hard.  This year they stuck in my throat worse than ever because of major geographic moves.  Japan, Texas & Slovakia are not just a little bit out of the way.  Our future get togethers won't be the same because we know that there are definitely going to be some who won't be there.  So that made last week a time to savor the sweet & delay thinking about the future. 

I'm good at that delay thinking feature.  Mike says I do it a lot.  He's convinced that it makes it harder for me but I don't think so.  Besides, that's seems to be how I'm wired emotionally - don't feel the feeling until you just can't hold it off any longer!

Maybe that's why we knew each other for something like 8 years before we dated...

Anyway, I'm back in the normal day to day grind & I still feel like I have a bit of vacay hangover.  Feeling a little tired & disorganized & behind my schedule of To Do's but still mellow enough from the time off to not freak out about it.

I am all caught up at work.  That huge pile of papers has now been filed.  We had a man in here all day Monday & Tuesday as well as part of today installing a new phone system.  I felt bad for him - it was a lot of work!  Now I have this shiny, sleek black phone on my desk & I hardly know how to use it.  Plus I've been nominated to record all the greetings for our voicemail system.  Ugh.  Sometimes it stinks being the only girl here.

I have pics from last week that are dying to be sprinkled over a post telling all about the time I spent away from my normal life.  We have one small problem though.  Some pics are on my iphone & some are on the really nice camera Mike got me for Christmas.  I can easily access the pics from my iphone but the camera pics need to be downloaded to a computer.  Our laptop went on it's own little 5 day vacay with the Geek Squad yesterday.  Hello, Trojan Horse!  I can't upload pics on my work computer.  My only option is to get friendly with our desktop again.  Somehow it just seems much more complicated to figure out how to manage pics with it.  But I'll hopefully get it done in the next couple of days. 

So I'm getting caught up on the laundry, the straightening, the other To Do's, & my sleep.  It's been a great week so far & I'm super happy about the three day Memorial Day holiday that is on the horizon.  Memorial Day is the first official Picnic/Cook Out holiday of the season - I'm stoked!  It's wonderful to have something to look forward to, don't you think?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday Is My Friday!

Each day before I clock out, I have to set things up for the pharmacist that will be compounding the drugs the next morning.  We have these handy little sheets (called Kit Prep sheets) that list all of the drug kits that we would possibly make.  I fill in all of the lot numbers of the drugs that need to be made that next morning & then the pharmacist fills in the rest of the sheet as he compounds the kits.
Today I'm going to be tempted to circle that big fat "F" for Friday.  Because this is my first & last day to work this week!
This evening I am going to have the fun of hosting some of my wonderful college buddies for dinner.  Stephanie, Adele, Christie, Diana, & Rachel will all be knocking on our door at about 5:30 this evening.  Christie is even bringing her adorable baby girl Claire & Rachel is bringing her boys Spencer & Parker.  I could not be more excited.  We usually get together every year as time & schedules allow.  The last time I was with these gals was when Mike had his table saw accident.  I was there, but I wasn't really present if you know what I mean.  This time we are reunioning in my neck of the woods so I was really excited to have them come to our home.  I've been fussing & cleaning & cooking all weekend long & I think I'm actually ready to feed them well!
I'll be home tonight & then leave tomorrow after I send the husband to work.  I'm going to join up with the girls at Camp Assurance & hang out there with them until the last possible second.  Then I have to beat it home to get my hair taken care of (skunk stripe anyone?  gotta love that gray!).  I'll get to spend that night home & then head out early Thursday morning to meet up with Roxanna & Becky to head to Iowa for Erin's wedding!  Bekah is already there, having traveled all the way from Japan.  We'll have some time to hang out with Erin before the big day & then get home sometime Saturday night.
It's going to be a GREAT week! 
God has been so kind to bless my life with good friends.

I will be busy out there so you won't see much of me until the next time...happy trails!

Friday, May 13, 2011


It seems to me that I've had an entire post disappear.  When I look at my blog on my iphone, it's there.  When I look at my blog here on blogger, it's gone.  It was published on Wednesday & it's title is/was 'This 'n That.'

I'm confused.  What does it mean?  Has this happened to anyone else?

What I'm Reading

One of the guys that I work with has a sister who is an avid reader.  Thankfully, she still reads actual books instead of using a Kindle or Nook.  Whenever her shelf gets full of books she has read she has Tom haul them in here so that we can all look through them & snag whichever ones catch our eye.  Recently I was lamenting that I didn't have anything to read when I opened a drawer & found one of Kathy's hand me down books. 
I haven't read much yet, but I'm hooked.  The basic story line is based in Mississippi in 1962.  The story is told from the perspective of a black lady who works as a housekeeper for a white family.  There is some major conflict brewing that is full of racial tension. 

I love books like this.  Books that tell a story from the perspective of a real life.  Books that represent an era in history that I did not experience.  I'm not very far into the story so I can't wholeheartedly tell you it's a must read but so far so good.

This book has really made me think.  It's set in 1962, only 49 years ago.  Well within the lifetime of my parents & only 17 years before I was born.  And yet my jaw almost drops as I read when I discover the differences in our culture now from our culture then.  The racial issues were the first & most obvious difference.  The other differences are more subtle.  Back then, women usually didn't go to college.  They married & had babies & stayed home.  The husbands alone bore the responsibility for providing for the family.  I'm speaking in broad terms here; I know there were many women who sought higher education & careers.  It just made me aware of how I myself have come to consider these things as rights & customary & definitely the norm. 

And I'm astounded at how much change has taken place in such a relatively short time frame.

It makes me wonder about what changes we will look back & see 47 years from now?

I mentioned before that we have had special meetings at church this week.  One evening Tom Palmer spoke about Making A Difference, Being Able To Make An Impact For God.  His message was based out of the story of David as he approached Goliath (I Samuel 17). 
His main points were:
1.  David had a burden.  He had an overwhelming concern about the situation.
     I should also have a burden & this burden must be deepened.
2.  David had a vision.  He believed that God could do anything.
     I have a vision that must be expanded.  When I can't, God can.
3.  David had a passion.  His passion was that God would be known as God.
     My passion must be intensified.  Why do I do the things I do?  What drives me?
4.  David was dedicated.  He was willing to do whatever it took (even fight Goliath!) to get things accomplished for God.
     My dedication must be renewed.  Jesus should be the Lord of my life.  There should be no "I would," or "I could," or "I should."  It needs to be "I will."

All of this has been swirling around in my head this week.  I've been wondering about all of the social change that's happened since 1962.  I've been wondering about all of the change that will take place between now & 2060.  Change will take place; change always happens.  I just wonder how much change will be affected by people who want to make a difference for Christ.  I hope I'm just one of the many who work for His cause.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

This 'n That

Right now I feel like my brain is chock full of stuff.  Things we are planning, things we are supposed to be doing, activities going on, places to be, people to see, stuff to do, stuff to do!

~This week our church is having revival services with Tom Palmer.  What a blessing!  I have learned that I really don't trust God, I don't acknowledge Him like I should, I don't pray like I should, & that He is ready & willing to help me change all of that!  I've been convicted, blessed, & refreshed.  Now I'm teaming up with the Lord to make some changes. 

~Mike's dad went into the hospital Monday afternoon.  He has some chronic health problems & they have raised their ugly heads again.  It's hard to see him unwell & the temptation for the family to be stressed & worried is very strong.  The Lord has been good though & will continue to sustain us & hopefully grant Estel healing quickly so we can have him back home again.

~I got to get my hands a little dirty & potted some flowers that were given to me on Mother's Day.  I kinda felt like a faker because I'm not a mother, but it was nice to be gifted.  And our front porch is a much cheerier place with a white geranium, fuchsia coxcomb, & pretty little Bridal Veil.

~I made a smoothie for breakfast yesterday that was muy magnifique'!  Not sure about my French there but I am sure it was really good.  Take some strawberry kefir, some coconut milk, some fresh blackberries,  some ground flax seed, & a little bit of honey.  Blend them up good & take a long slurp.  I dare you to tell me it's not fabulous *grin*

~I never dreamed I would be eating things like kefir, coconut milk, or ground flax seed.  Or even blackberries.  I was an extremely picky eater as a child.

~I forgot to mention in my Indy Mini post that I still have all of my toenails.  Running is hard on those little piggies!  I do have one that is bruised kind of badly that will probably come off after awhile.  Perhaps that is an overshare...

~Strange things have been happening to me lately.  I have a pair of Dansko clogs.  One day at work one of the rivets broke & then the strap wouldn't stay on my foot.  Broken shoe = major bummer.  Broken expensive shoe = cause for a tantrum!  I didn't throw a fit but I was very sad.  That same day I took my lunch to work & it leaked all over my bag & my jeans.  I smelled like green beans & I had a broken shoe all day.  Later that night after I changed shoes & cleaned the green beans smell from my self, I went grocery shopping.  When I pulled a bag of Gardetto's off of the top shelf I grabbed a bag with a tear in it.  This was the result:

That was a strange, kind of rough day.  I'm glad it's over.

~I'm doing a little countdown to a mini vacation; only 3 more work days!  Next week I will be getting together with Steph, Rachel, Adele, Diana, & Christie (some of my best Northland buddies).  They are all coming over to our house for dinner Monday night & I'm so excited to have them in our home & cook for them.  I'm such a nerd but it does delight me.  And then we will all be at camp together until Wednesday.  Then on Thursday morning I am headed out of town with Roxanna & Becky to go to our friend's wedding in Iowa.  Bekah is already there with Erin & we will have three days to visit, do important wedding prep like get pedicures, & laugh.  These are the I-thank-my-God-for-you-continually kind of friends.  I am feeling so blessed that I get to see them all - I can't wait!

~Today my boss sent me to get gas gift cards for all of the employees at our location.  Nice deal, huh?  I went in the super busy gas station to purchase seven gift cards.  I stood in line for a good five minutes.  I gave the cashier all seven gift cards & she loaded them up.  That takes a while!  Then I swipe my corporate purchasing card (an AmEx) & it gets declined.  She asks me to swipe again.  I swipe again & my back gets hot & my cheeks begin to burn.  We tried it four times & guess what?  My card was declined four times.  I was a little flushed & warm as I left empty handed.  I'm not sure what the deal is but that was just a little humiliating.  And we don't have our free gas *pout*

~It has been sunny & near 90 degrees the last two days.  I'm loving it!  Mike is about ready to die from the heat already & our house is giving my workplace a run for the money for which is colder.  Better keep my sweaters & knee socks handy!

Ahhh...I feel better now.  It's nice to get my head cleared out just a bit.  What's going on in your head lately?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Indy Mini #5

Here's all the nitty gritty sweaty details of my 5th running of the Indy Mini.

Thursday afternoon Mike found out that he had to work on race day.  This was a huge bummer for a zillion reasons.  Our plan was to head to the Big City Friday night & have dinner with his brother & then stay at his brother's apartment for the night.  Mike & Stew (the brother) were bummed that they weren't going to get to hang out & I was super bummed to lose my #1 cheerleader.  Don't tell Mike I called him a cheerleader...doesn't sound too manly, does it?  Anyway, I felt like I should revamp all the plans because I didn't want to tie Stew up all evening & morning, blah, blah, blah.  Turns out I couldn't figure out how to swing the race without getting up there the night before.  So I ate Fazoli's with Mike - had to carb load! - then I took my time packing & got to Stew's at about 11 p.m.  Stew got up early Saturday morning & dropped me off within blocks of my starting corral.
I was in Corral E this year.  The first Mini I ran in I was in Corral U!  I've done a little bit of moving up *grin*

This was a fun corral - there were beach balls flying around everywhere!

I tried to tame my nervous butterflies by taking a few pics.
The actual running of the race was pretty uneventful; I didn't trip & fall this year!  It was as crowded as ever & I never really felt like I got out of the horde.  It didn't bother me too much though.  The weather was perfect - overcast & cool with a light breeze.  It did sprinkle rain a few times & that just made me run faster.  I hate running in the rain!  Mike texted me every time he could while he was at work to cheer me on (what a guy!).  Every time I felt my iphone vibrate I knew it was a message from him telling me to keep going.  I didn't actually read them all until after the race - I was way too paranoid about falling again!
One of the best things I did this year was look at the clock when I crossed the starting line.  That shows the gun time.  When I crossed the start line there were 3 minutes on the clock.  Then every time I hit a mile split where they had a clock with the gun time, I could keep track of my pace.  That really helped me stay consistent.  I also tracked my run on my iphone Runkeeper app.  Since I was tracking my pace I was able to maintain a 10 minute per mile or less average until about mile 11.  Then I hit a huge, hard, ugly wall.  At that point I bargained with myself & let myself walk through the pits while I was getting a drink.  It gave me just a little recovery time & I actually got most of the water/gatorade down my throat instead of all over me!  But it did slow up my pace. 
I finally crossed the finish line with a time of 2:13:03. 

And that finish time put a big smile on my face.  I wasn't sure then, but now that I have had a chance to look it all up, this finish time is a Personal Best for me.

I have been keeping track of my training schedule on this blackboard in our kitchen.  This last week the miles were low but the time seemed hard to come by - isn't that always the case?  Anyway, I wanted to document that I finished the program on schedule because it took a lot of effort to get it done.

And this funky box of numbers?  I call it "The Box of Shame."  Yeah, these are the workouts that I missed.  Out of 79 scheduled runs, I missed 8.  I don't think that's too awful bad.  It bugs me a little because I always have the delusion when I start out that I can do them all!  No matter what!  Yeah, that is not the real world.  But I do plan on trying to make these up over the next couple of weeks.  We'll see *grin*

And just in case you are bored out of your mind with nothing else on earth to do, here are the full smattering of statistics from all of the half marathons I've run:

2004 Indy Mini
Finish Time - 2:55:01
17,338 out of 19,577 participants
7,207 out of 8,763 females

2007 Indy Mini
Finish Time - 2:39:41
18,966 out of 29,213 participants
8,066 out of 15,241 females

2008 Indy Mini
Finish Time - 2:15:25
13,411 out of 30,063 participants
4,761 out of 15,734 females

2009 Indy Mini
Finish Time - 2:20:15
15,785 out of 30,281 participants
6,127 out of 15,877 females

2010 Blues at the Crossroads Half Marathon
Finish Time - 2:28:09

2011 Indy Mini
Finish Time - 2:13:03
12,763 out of 30,642 participants
4,563 out of 16,384 females

This is just stuff I want to remember & be able to look back on.  One day when I'm old & decrepit & have arthritic, creaky joints I'm going to tell stories about these races & I'll need the facts to back me up.  Otherwise all the young whippersnappers won't believe me!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

It's Race Day!

I'm running my 5th Indy Mini today.
I've been working toward this goal for quite a while.

I'll be back in the next couple of days to give you the
rundown on how it went - every sweaty, gritty detail!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Just A Small Confession...

First of all dear reader, I have to know...are you willing to be my friend no matter what?

Because I have a little something to confess...

I've often been accused of having weird food tendencies...

I tend to deconstruct food when I eat it.  For example, I prefer to eat all of the chocolate off of the Butterfinger before I eat the middle part.  My nephew Aidan is a kindred spirit. 

But that isn't my confession.

The other night I ate 1/3 of a can of tomato paste.  Yep, straight out of the can with a skinny spatula.

And you know what?

It was GOOD!

Then I chased it with some Black olives.  They were good, too.

Yes, I was making pizza.  No, I am not making any pregnancy announcements.

I just needed to clear my conscience.

That's all for today.  I hope we're still friends?  :-)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

From My Driver's Side Window

This morning we had a customer from about 65 miles away add on a dose.  None of the drivers was available so I got elected to make the trip.  So I loaded the dose up, grabbed a coffee to go, & headed north.  Lately we have had so much rain but today I got the blessing of driving in the sunshine.  The grass is so green (thanks to all of the rain!) & I noticed that many of the unplanted fields have some sort of lavender wild flower (probably just a weed) growing in them.  I'm thinking it's about one of the prettiest things I've seen this spring.
Actually, there might be one thing that's prettier - the new dirt filled hole in our front yard.  That spot signifies a couple of days of angst & a lot of money gone from our hands BUT it also signifies the beauty of freely running water! 

Washing a huge sink full of dishes.
Showering leisurely with the water running the whole time.
Laundry done as many loads at a time as I want.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Biggest Part Of The Unexpected

The Big Bad Digger
When I got home from work on Monday Mike gave me the sad news that we were going to have to do some digging again.  This time we need to dig on the other end of the line.  Our work schedules, the short time frame & the inconsistent weather all conspired against us being able to do the dig ourselves.  Fortunately our plumber recommended someone to dig for us.  It took them quite a while to get there because they had to drive this Bad Boy all the way to our house on the city streets.  I wish we could have done the digging ourselves because it would save so much money, but it just wasn't an option.  It's the next step in this ordeal to have free flowing water.  We take that step gladly knowing there are several things to thank God for:

1.  The rain quit on Tuesday morning so that the work could be done.
2.  Our plumber recommended someone who doesn't charge nearly as much as we feared.
3.  Their digger has tires instead of tread.  The tread on the small digger we used last time destroyed the grass everywhere it went.  A digger this big would have caused some massive damage.  We don't have a manicured lawn by any means but we want to keep as much of it alive as possible!
4.  These guys will haul all the broken pipe away & we won't have to try to figure out how to dispose of it.
5.  Our overstuffed closets.  It's a good thing that Mike & I both have a hard time parting with clothes because I haven't been able to do much laundry at all for about 2 weeks.  We've been dragging out some stuff we haven't worn in ages.  When this thing gets fixed, I'm probably going to have 15 loads of laundry to do!

I don't want you to think that I've been going through this whole thing with an open checkbook & a smile on my face.  I've really had to force myself to focus on God's goodness & sovereignty through this because there is major temptation to be discouraged & be anxious.  In fact, I was on the edge of a migraine all evening Monday & all day Tuesday because I was stewing about this & the other things that are going on right now.  I just have to keep handing all of this over to the Lord again & again.  And I realize that malfunctioning plumbing is so insignificant in the face of what others are facing right now due to earthquake, tsunami, tornadoes, flooding, illness, and so on.  We have nothing to complain about & though tempted to wallow in my worries, I'm so grateful that He can be trusted to take care of my cares....  

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
I Peter 5:7

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Random Things That Make Me Happy...

There are four bird's nests on the building where I work.
I love to see momma birds on their nests.

Momma Robin
Roasted zucchini & yellow squash.  Hello yummy summer food!  I might have rushed it just a little...these veggies could not have been grown anywhere locally but they sure did taste good.  Gotta get my taste buds ready for some yummy summer produce!

Squash, olive oil, oregano, & garlic powder - my oh my!
What random things are making you happy today?

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Unexpected Part II

Sometimes I just don't have any idea how much what I hear in church on Sunday is going to be helpful to me as I go about my life on Monday.

Let me explain just a little bit...

Yesterday, Pastor Jeff preached out of James 1 in the morning & Psalm 96 in the evening.  I don't even remember thinking yesterday that the two sermons really went along with one another.  I just remember really being struck in the morning by the reminder that God is the ultimate gift-giver & He will never change, His character always remains the same (James 1:17).  And in the evening I was blessed by the verse by verse breakdown of Psalm 96 which is a call to worship God; the psalm gives so many reasons why He is worthy of my worship.

And this morning all of the little bits that have been coming to mind have been comforting me with the knowledge that my God is good; He can be trusted; He is never surprised; He is mighty & powerful. 

I rejoice in this kind of knowledge about my God when I wake up to breaking news that seems to be so world changing - whether it be an earthquake, tsunami, tornadoes, or the apprehension of Osama bin Laden.  That is all big stuff; our world seems to be changing dramatically & it calms my heart to know God & be able to trust Him through all of it.

But let's face it, even though all that stuff is big news & my heart truly does ache for those who have experienced tragedy from mother nature or the war, it doesn't actually hit me where I live.  I know that sounds cold hearted & calloused & I'm not, really I'm not.  I'm just trying to say that my faith in God is most sorely tested by things right in my own heart, home, & yard.  Yes, I said yard.  That's where the sewer line is, my friends.  And yes, it is causing some major faith testing in this little PharmGirl's heart right about now.  I am attempting with the Lord's help to really find reasons to rejoice in this situation.  I'm looking for reasons to be grateful & through this attempt at obedience to be grateful/joyful in all things I find that the Lord has really helped my anxiety about it all. 

Here's my list of thankful so far:
1.  Mike was able to be home from work today without getting a penalty for it.  That means he can be there to talk to the plumber & deal with all of that.  I'm completely unhelpful in situations like this.  I just nod my head & say "uh-huh" over & over.  It's a wonder that I haven't accidentally agreed to someone redoing the blooming thing without knowing it!
2.  It quit raining this morning so that the plumber could actually come out & do the job.
3.  We still have some water usage in the house; we aren't completely without water function.
4.  Indoor plumbing in & of itself is a huge blessing that I hope I will never, ever again take for granted & I hope that I never feel like it is something that is owed to me.
5. My boss is exceedingly gracious about the numerous phone calls & texts that I get on days like this.
6.  I know without a doubt that my Lord is an unfailing provider.  He has provided our home, the plumber, & He will provide the means to fix the problem.  I don't have any doubt that He will take care of our needs.
7.  I'm grateful that I have Mike to be my partner in all things but especially situations like this!  I'm also grateful for how God has gifted him; he understands all things plumbing/electrical/construction related.  And he is usually quite patient in explaining things so that I can understand them.

I know over the course of the next few days as we hopefully get this situation under control & completely resolved that the Lord will show me many more things about Himself & His character.  I welcome any opportunity to get to know Him better!

Oh sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the earth!
Sing to the LORD, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods.
Psalm 96:1-4