21 October 2017


Someone explain to me how I am somehow signed up for another 5k tomorrow? Akhtar talked me into it, but only when he explained that they teach you CPR at the end. Okay. That's like the universe talking to me. So I'll get my ass up before dawn to go exercise IN THE RAIN and learn CPR. This time, I demand mimosas afterwards.

Also excited to get dinner with Missy. I thought she lowkey unfriended me in real life, but it turns out I'm just not getting all my text messages. Super.

On that note, I'm making an effort to repair/strengthen some of the friendships that I've neglected the past few years. I've learned that I tend to withdraw when I'm struggling with something... and while it's super easy to withdraw, it's not psychologically healthy in the short or long-term. Thankfully the folks I surround myself with are the forgiving and understanding type.
[I'm surprised at how much active effort it takes to meet up with people now. It's soooo much easier to go home and plop on the couch.]

Also making an effort lately to be present. Like, to stop and smell the roses, literally. Instead of running through life and everything blurs by, to stop and actually experience the small things. To notice the shapes of clouds when I'm at a stoplight, focus on the background beat in a song, or take a random deep breath and identify all the things that I can smell (not advisable sometimes in a lab). It's like little mini-meditations. It's going well.
In other news, allergies have been killer lately, and the zyrtec just makes me sleepy. Even if I take it at night I'm groggy the next day. In an effort to help with all things allergenic, I washed my pillows. Just tossed them in the washing machine and dried them with tennis balls in the dryer. Now they're SUPER fluffy and I can't wait to jump in my fresh clean bed.
Acne has taken a turn for the crazy, because that's life now. I know it's hormonal and I can tell it's on a cycle now. So there's that.
Anyway that 5k's not going to complete itself tomorrow. Peace out, y'all.

14 October 2017

A few small updates

-The new teeth are beautiful. They should be, considering what they cost. My dentist is meticulous and he did a really great job. You can't even tell that anything was done, except if you look closely the crowns are prettier than my actual teeth. Next up he'll be filling all of the regular cavities (4 or 5?) in one [sedated] appointment.

-The annual allergies/sinus infection process has started, despite my benadryl efforts. I broke down and bought some 24-hr zyrtec and nasal spray to make things more comfortable, but overall it sucks and I felt crummy all week. By the way, tissues with lotion are pretty great, but the tissues with lotion + Vicks are remarkable!

-Andrea talked me into going to this yoga triathlon thing. As a rule I usually decline things like 5Ks, however disguised they might be with wine/chocolate/costumes/colored powder... underneath it all I don't particularly like paying money to deal with large crowds and exercise in the blazing heat.

BUT I've been trying to find ways to hang out with my friends that don't involve food or booze. Because it seems all we ever do is go out for dinner or drinks, which is nice but gets old and it seems like we could be doing much healthier things while maintaining our friendships. So I agreed to try it. (And sewed up a quick yoga mat strap for the fun of it)

Overall, it was actually a pretty neat event, and I met some cool new chicks. I would have enjoyed it more if it were not a sunny, 95-degree day. I did my best through the sweat and sinus congestion; I walked the 5k but I lost steam halfway through yoga and had to seek shade during the meditation. In the end, we all skipped our extra activity and went home because it was so damn hot. I really wanted to try hooping but I guess it wasn't in the cards today.

-I cleaned my shower last weekend. I always feel the need to talk about it because it's such a huge pain in the ass. No matter how much I scrub, I can never get all the hard water deposits off the shower door and it looks constantly grungy. This time, I tried something I saw on pinterest and it actually worked better than anything else I've tried.
So, I'm sharing the shower-cleaning miracle: A dryer sheet. Yep. I took a couple of (new) dryer sheets, got them wet, and used them to clean the shower door. It wasn't effortless, but took WAY less elbow grease than any other cleaner I've tried, and took off WAY more grunge. I was surprised and totally happy about it. Once the doors were clean, I sprayed them with Rain-X to hopefully buy more time until the next cleaning.

-I found an old James Avery charm bracelet, empty with the tag still on it, in the drawer the other day. I used to love wearing my charm bracelet. It got filled it up so I asked for a new one for my birthday many years ago. Then I stopped wearing it because it got in the way in the lab, and I never filled up the new one. Now, I think I'd be able to wear one since I don't deal with specimens as much, plus I can afford the charms now. So I'm looking forward to building this new bracelet.

-Acne adventures continue!
Quick recap: When I first went to the dermatologist after ending birth control, she prescribed a few topical antibiotics (Velitin and Aczone). I gave the products a chance, but they didn't do much, so I went back. Then she asked if I would consider taking oral antibiotics. No, thanks. She respected that, then prescribed a retinoid... which also isn't doing great things for the acne but it IS fading the dark spots so I use it a couple times a week but discontinued the other products. Why pay for a refill when they don't help?

Backtracking, Chris randomly bought a bottle of tea tree oil with a bunch of dietary/ workout supplements a while back. When I saw the bottle I convinced him that it would probably not be a great idea to ingest it (??) and then it sat in the bathroom cabinet for a while.
The last time I got a big hurty zit I dabbed a little on it, and what do you know, it calmed that big hurty zit down overnight. I don't think I can use it preventatively, but it certainly helps shorten the life of the acne that does pop up.

That's all for now.

06 October 2017

teeeeeth are so dramatic

Let's talk for a second about root canals.

I thought they'd be like an intense filling and then I'd move on with my life.
Wrong. It's been three days and I still can't chew! That side of my mouth is sore and tender and even if I chew on the other side it's still too much when something accidentally gets chewed on that side. I haven't eaten solid food in THREE DAYS. Breakfast and dinner aren't so bad because I can eat yogurt and soup at home, but I have tried two different meal replacement protein drinks to take for lunch, and both were awful. I'm hungry and I want to chew something.

The root canal itself wasn't too bad. I can't believe I just said that but the dentist gave me a pill which made me calm-ish, and I discovered dental dams are AWESOME because they basically eliminate surprise fingers and tools down your throat.
The process of taking x-rays made me gag so much that instead of having me bite down, he held the film in place with his hand. Good call.
The tooth molds weren't too bad, but the process of digitally mapping my mouth for the crown sucked. So it was a very up-and-down procedure. It took 3 hours and I actually was exhausted by the end of it.
Also I have gained mad respect for my super patient dentist, and Maribel his sweet assistant who held my hand and insisted on turning on Cinderella for me to watch during the procedure. (Which I didn't watch because I shut my eyes, but the background noise on the headphones was kinda nice)

So anyway, now my mouth hurts and I didn't expect it. But at least I get to keep these teeth. I have to travel next week and I gotta be careful so the temporary crown doesn't fall out. I'm so glad these two are behind me and I can move on to the next thing.

I think it's a combination of not being able to eat + a sore mouth + some busy workdays, but I've been ready for bed by like 9pm every night, including tonight. Night.

02 October 2017


This morning a very odd thing happened.

My alarm went off and I pushed the snooze button, like normal. When I put my head back down on the pillow, prepared to steal another few minutes of sleep, I heard my mother's voice in my right ear. She said my name. In a tone of voice that I havent heard in years; the tone you would use if you were trying to gently wake a small child.

It was so clear that I can hear it now, hours after waking up.

Before I woke up, I was having a dream that I traveled back in time but couldn't get back, so I was forced to re-live my life from the age of 10. Except I still had all of my adult memories. So I was thinking about all of my regrets in life and what I would do differently the second time around.

So the odd feeling of the dream combined with my mom's voice in my ear prompted me to call her at 730 in the morning. Which literally never happens because neither of us is usually up and capable of speech at such an early hour.

She answered the phone saying, "What the hell is going on in the world," to which I replied, "I wish I knew, mom."

It turns out, she thought I called about the shooting in Las Vegas, which I hadn't heard about. She'd been up for hours because she and my brother are scheduled to fly there this evening for a slot tournament at a hotel right next door to where the shooting happened. And of course was distraught.

So now I've got a weird unsettled feeling that I can't exactly place.

27 September 2017

lappy and stitch fix

Dude, old lappy is really, really starting to lag.
I've been spoiled by my super new, super fast work laptop and now when I log onto lappy for personal use, it's more frustrating than anything else. Especially since it updated to the windows 10 version and I really hate it. Cortana is a betch and I can't find anything.

I had an office day yesterday and did a full backup on it because as laptops go, this one is definitely on borrowed time. After years of digging in my heels and refusing to update this trusty old laptop (after all, it still boots up!), I think it's time. This thing has been chugging since 2010 and that's pretty old in lappy years. (Also according to that link apparently I hate every new windows version haha.)

So anyway. Starting that research I guess. Not that I can afford a new computer right now because, teeth and home repairs. Oh, adulthood is fun.

Anyways, the real reason I logged on to blog. Stitch fix! Gotta have some fun in the midst of teeth and home repairs. I got a really great box of clothes last week.

It's been a while since I last got one, since I postponed it due to travel and Harvey and I was low on funds. The last few fixes have been awesome and I've kept everything, so I prepared myself to return a few things I didn't love this time around. I really didn't expect them to keep the streak going.

Well, that didn't happen. I loved all the things, especially the uber preppy plaid knit blazer (socute!). Every item filled a need in my wardrobe, and I've already worn the pants and orange-y blouse. (I have something similar but this has flower cutouts in the arms, guys)

With the $20 styling fee applied and the 20% discount for getting all 5 items, I paid around $270. I'm not mad at it. Because individual pieces would be way more expensive and that white blouse is Calvin Klein. Does that still count as designer? Alicia Silverstone counts it as designer.
Plus I didn't actually have to go to the mall and fight the hordes of people to search through racks to find the right thing. I never would have picked some of these things out for myself but I LOVE them.

I am SO pleased with the whole process. Life was so much simpler when I wore the same color scrubs to work every day, but it seriously hindered my ability to dress myself like a professional adult who hustles. I feel so much more confident now when I have to pick out clothes for work.

I will gladly shop at Aldi and keep the AC a degree or two higher to be able to afford my stitch fix. It's not only good for my wardrobe, it's good for my soul.

25 September 2017

Auntie moment

I'm convinced that your life is not complete until you have a sweet little 4-year-old grabbing onto your leg begging you not to leave.

And, for contrast, a grubby little almost-2-year-old waving and saying "byebye" on repeat.

I thought I'd have to do spectacular, special things to get those kiddos to like me, but all I do is show up and play a little, tell them I love them way too much, and bring a present every now and then.

Mostly I just drink wine and gossip with their mom... and they think I'm great.

I'm okay with that, but I don't get it, haha.

13 September 2017

weird week

It's been a weird week. And it's only Wednesday.

After a few frustrating setbacks, the plumber came and ultimately fixed the tub issue. He did admit that he had no idea how it had broken, and he'd never seen anything like it. I told you it was weird. He also complimented my tub refinishing skills. Sweet. So now I can finish caulking and enjoy a bath the next time I work out in the yard and my muscles are achey.

The saga continues.

I forgot to mention that this dentist is the super sweet guy who opened his practice on New Years to see me back when my wisdom tooth was infected. Over the years I've always wanted to go back to see him, but he was never in network. Well, now he is.

I tried half of a xanax before my appointment to test it out. I don't know if it's the placebo effect in action, but my anxiety wasn't that bad. Granted, the appointment consisted of simple x-rays, a cleaning, and a small filling to repair the one that had fallen out; it didn't require numbing or drilling, and was in the front. Super quick. It feels SO much better. So smooth.
Now I need to break myself of the habit of tonguing the spot. Remember how he mentioned my teeth are clacking together and chipping because they're crooked? Well I was never aware of it but since he mentioned it, I can TOTALLY feel it now. How did I never notice that? It's weird. I don't know what to do with my mouth.

Anyway, after the cleaning and minor filling business, the real fun began.

Same situation; old fillings got loose and rotted underneath. New cavities are still popping up though. He commented on how my teeth are really freaking clean, my gums are healthy, and he can't figure out why I have so many cavities. He even did this saliva test that counts bacteria levels, and if they're high it can lead to cavities. The first one came out low, so in disbelief he repeated it. Low again.

My new theory is that it's from growing up with undiagnosed celiac. The right minerals were just not absorbed through the damaged intestines, and the enamel is weak. Well... anyway.

Immediately he wondered why my previous dentist didn't start on the big problems first- she focused on doing the small fillings first and left the root canals for last, but the insurance money ran out so I didn't go back. Fast forward a year and I'm finally back in the chair, with a better insurance plan because I knew what was coming.

He said I was in danger of losing two teeth if I didn't get them done fast. They're right next to each other, and they've got an additional cavity that formed between the teeth. EVEN THOUGH I FLOSS LIKE A NUTJOB. He showed me the xrays and damn you can totally see them.

So...two root canals and crowns, and that's just the start. There will be two more root canals, one needing a specialist because the root is curved. Sure. Of course.

Now, the xanax was helpful but there's no damn way I could make it through all that fully aware of everything.

His suggestions cracked me up and made me like him even more. He said to stay up super late watching netflix the night before the appointment and try not to sleep. Then to come in exhausted for the first morning appointment where he'd give me a sedative and laughing gas. He said most patients fall asleep through the whole thing. I'm really, really hoping for that. I really don't have a choice.

The cost? Holy crap. Over a grand just for those 2 teeth. Insurance only covers 1 crown every 86 months or some ridiculous longass length of time. So the rest is out of pocket, actually my HSA, until I reach my deductible. I need to go look all that up. The sedation by itself is $200, which in my opinion is worth every penny.

AND THEN after all that's done I guess it'll be time to consider straightening my teeth. But how do you do that--- can you even get braces/invisalign with a bunch of crowns??

What I'm trying to say is: I just want teeth when I'm old, and I guess my kitchen counter money is going into my mouth.

09 September 2017

plumbing woes

Well, damn. I was all excited that I finally got around to refinishing the bathtub and 100% completing the guest bathroom. I mean, the materials have sat around for a few years. I did refinish it, it was pretty easy, and it's beautiful.

But there's this smell. I've noticed it in the bathroom on and off, but recently more often. Like a sewer gas smell. I figured that it was because we don't use the bathroom much and the pipes are drying out. So I'd pour some bleach down the drain and move on with my life.

I guess after spending so much time in the bathroom, I became motivated to figure out the source. I expected to find something dead somewhere. I even pulled up the bathroom cabinet floors. Turns out, there's an access panel to the shower/tub pipes underneath the cabinets, and once I removed it I could see that there was a problem.

It was definitely damp under the tub. The gasket around the cleanout was super old and worn, so I figured water was leaking when the tub was used and that's where the funky smell originated. I replaced the gasket, and while I had my head in the hole I looked a little closer at the pipes.

Further down, where the tub drain met the sewer pipe, something didn't look right. The pipe edges looked jagged at first glace, which doesn't seem right since there should BE no pipe edges because they SHOULD BE smoothly connected. I couldn't get my head at the right angle to get a good look, so I grabbed a mirror and sure enough. Something was wrong. It was almost like if someone tore a piece of paper and placed the two halves about an inch from each other. That was how the pipes looked. I could see it with the mirror and put my fingers clean through the space where there SHOULD BE solid pipe! Basically the tub has been draining under the house.
How the pipe broke, I have no idea. The foundation was checked only a few years ago so something tells me it's been that way for a while. It looks like someone ghetto rigged something at one point which is just dandy.

In the meantime I pointed a few fans at the hole to dry things out until Monday when I'll call a plumber. Here's hoping that they don't have to tear out any walls or floors to get into the space to fix it... I am NOT about that kind of life right now. I put a ton of work into making that bathroom pretty and I'm going to be really annoyed to have to put more work and money into it.

Especially because I've saved up a small home improvement fund... because the A/C is questionable, the siding is literally rotting off the house, we need new doors, and could really use a few upgrades like decent ceiling fans. I guess that's just the way things work when you own a home.

06 September 2017

eventful day

Today was interesting.

It started with a trip to the dentist. WHY can a trip to the dentist never be a simple trip to the dentist? WHY does it always have to involve drama and trauma? I have great oral hygiene and healthy gums, but terrible, terrible teeth.

Continuing last year's cavity extravaganza, where I learned that Valium doesn't do crap for my anxiety, and I only got 1/4 of my mouth filled before I ran out of insurance money. Today's trip was inspired by the fact that back in April, a filling fell out of one of my front teeth. I've developed a serious compulsion of tonguing the rough spot plus exposed cavity is never good. So, to take advantage of the fact that half of our customers are underwater and work is slow, I went to the dentist.


The anxiety is still there, possibly worse?

The dentist said that the reason the filling fell out so quickly was that because my teeth are so crooked that they're hitting each other. I know my teeth are crooked. I'm pretty self-conscious about it, especially because despite 3 years of brutal braces back in high school I'm now in my 30's with crooked teeth. I figured one day I'd get vain enough to fix them.

Well, I had to laugh when the dentist suggested braces. Yeah, no. No. No. No.
Adult acne AND braces?
Not signing up for that. No way.

But he's got a point. So I figure I'd consider invisalign. Something less socially awkward has got to be worth every single penny. But first I have to make sure I still have teeth to align and get all these cavities filled.

*slow sob*

So that was the first event of the day. Moving on.

The biggest event of the day, I thought happened when I heard a box drop on the front porch. I was so excited because I'd been tracking the package. The laminator I ordered 2 weeks ago but was delayed by Harvey finally arrived! I unpacked it with a giddy laugh, turned it on, and it laminated beautifully. Oh, it was glorious. LAMINATE ALLLLL THE THINGGGSSSSS!!!! Really, though. I have a legitimate work purpose for a laminator, but also, consider all the wonderful personal uses! It totally made the crappy dentist visit leave my brain. That was the most exciting thing of the day, rightfully so... until my evening walk.

A few weeks ago Akhtar and I agreed to commit to go walking every other Wednesday. Just meet up and get some light exercise, catch up. Today was one of those Wednesdays. So we're walking along the Braes Bayou and the weather is gorgeous, it's actually a little cool and breezy. We're discussing Harvey and how devastating it was, and how blessed we were to be personally spared the devastating flood waters. Then we come up on a woman lying on the ground and a man giving her CPR.

I'll let that sink in for a second.

Apparently this woman exercising along the trail collapsed, and an anesthesiologist happened to be the first person to get to her, found no heartbeat, and began administering CPR.

Then we walked up.
I, having no phone or demonstrable CPR knowledge, identified the nearest intersection so that Akhtar could give it to the 911 dispatcher. I said a silent prayer for her and the man giving her CPR until help arrived in the form of 4 burly firefighters. When they began to intubate I suggested we move on and let them do their job. I couldn't watch that.

So we continued on our walk, discussing how we are suddenly really, really motivated to take that CPR class we've always talked about doing. On our way back, the emergency vehicles were leaving. I really, really hope that she made it.

How crazy, to be enjoying a nice evening and suddenly your heart stops? I wonder what she was excited about today.

Counting my blessings, indeed.

05 September 2017


I'm in a funk.

Thanks to Harvey, the stringing of days spent being useless has reached capacity and has overflowed. Having ample time to think, by myself, produces thoughts that aren't easily distinguishable between groundbreaking and paranoid. The logical part of my brain is telling me not to make any big decisions while in this funky state. Kind of like how they tell you not to do any online shopping or banking after a surgical procedure because you're not in your right mind.

As much as I cherish my solitary moments, over the past few years I've gotten used to companionship. That, combined with this new job that involves a lot of working from home, means that I find myself feeling lonely a lot now.

What do I do to pass the lonely evening hours? Drink, of course. I've found myself watching that clock so that when it hits 5pm, I can start drinking. Drunk and lonely... super satisfying.
Not ideal, not healthy.

When my alcohol tolerance and waistline increases, and it's harder to get out of bed in the morning, I know it's time to cut back. I can feel myself spiraling into a pattern that's not good.

I'm determined to re-start some healthy habits.
Which means now I'm sober and lonely.

After depleting my junk food stocks during Harvey-snack-fest 2017, I stocked up on a bunch of healthy foods and have adopted a Whole30-ish diet again. This time, I include beans. Because I love beans and they make me feel good and they're literally a whole food so I don't see a problem.

I started walking around the neighborhood again. It's hot and sweaty and miserable, and the mosquitoes attack almost immediately, but I heard the mosquito truck spray last night and it kinda feels good to get sweaty, even if it has nothing to do with exertion.

Back to measuring out a serving of wine again. Because, you know, it's good for your heart. This time around, though, it's hard to limit myself to 1 glass a night. Because alcohol and misery go together so well.

I even started poking around meetup again. There are not a whole lot of groups that I'm interested in, mostly moms with toddlers and hardcore yoga groups, but I joined a Science Enthusiast group and one for "Multiple Interests and Tastes," which is right up my alley. I also figured now's a good time to stretch my comfort zone. So I joined a Toastmasters group. Have not motivated myself to go to anything yet.

Mk, time to go walk.

02 September 2017


Damn, Harvey. We get it. You're a monster of destruction. Over a week since the hurricane hit and Harvey is STILL wreaking fresh havoc all over the Houston area. The word disaster doesn't even begin to cover it.

Our area is in recovery mode, at least the areas where the water has receded to leave behind a soggy, moldy, heartbreaking debris field.

Watching the news, while harrowing enough, does no justice to seeing it in person. Walking down a neighborhood street lined on both sides with tall piles of destruction is shocking. Helping friends with the damage; literally the walls of their homes disintegrated into a muddy mess in my hands. It's surreal, because it's not an isolated situation. It's everywhere. Everyone knows someone who has been affected. If your home is safe and dry in this city, you're the exception.

I know I keep saying it. I'm counting my blessings. Despite all of the factors involved, myself and family, and property, are okay. Neighbors a few doors down have those piles of destruction in their front yards. Somehow, we are the exception.

It's been exceptional watching the outpouring of help in this community. Because at the end of the day, it's just stuff and most are thankful to be physically unharmed. Homes and businesses can be cleaned out and rebuilt.

The damage is overwhelming, and so is the compassion.

20 August 2017

Project Backyard

For some strange reason I chose today, of all hot-as-hell days, to start Project Backyard Cleanup 2017. Maybe something broke and I couldn't stand looking at it anymore.

Let's take a quick trip down memory lane and check out the progress we've made since purchasing the house.

Exhibit A: Unkept jungle. Rat habitat. Messy flowerbeds. Call it what you will. The back corner was a hodgepodge of old tree stumps, vines, and trash. We had to take a chainsaw to a tree that had fallen and had been dragged to rot in the corner. We screamed at bugs when we moved it all out. (The first "we" with the chainsaw was obviously Chris. The second "we" screaming at bugs was all me.)


Over the course of several weeks, we managed to clean things up and make them look tidy. Much sweat, a little blood, and a burst of tears (when I once fell over on a rake and hurt myself.)

Exhibit B: Taken maybe 2 years ago? Managed and tidy, if still ugly. Notice how the corner behind the (leaky) birdbath is nice and clean.

This is how that corner looks today*. The jungle had taken over again. In an act of desperation, Chris bought some industrial strength vegetation killer and nuked the whole thing, with the exception of that corner, because I forbade him to kill my gardenia and rosemary.  He even sprayed a little onto the back neighbor's jungle, because it started to climb over the fence and invade our side.

*This is how it looks after hours of tearing out grass, weeds, vines, and discovering a new sinkhole. The rosemary is scraggly and the gardenia didn't even flower this year, because it's so choked.
I didn't take a before picture out of sheer embarrassment. You couldn't even see the fence. I'm afraid to go deep into the actual corner because I'm not sure what's living in it.

Here are the project plans:

I decided to make the flowerbed a lot smaller, and turn the rest of it into grass. It's so big that it can't be kept up and the jungle keeps taking over and it's ugly and probably harboring critters. So the new edge of the flowerbed is to the left of the tree, where I moved the bricks.

Here's where the new flowerbed starts. I chose that spot mostly because there's a raised sprinkler head that would be really weird and annoying in the middle of the yard, but makes sense if it were watering a flowerbed.

My to-do list involves removing all the old bushes and weeds. I've also got to fill the surprise sinkhole*. I'll need to clean out the rest of that scary corner and trim the bay trees and oleander. Next I'll trim and transplant the rosemary and gardenia, which has to wait until winter or I'll likely kill them both. Then next spring I'll need to sod the areas that will turn into grass.

It's a lot of work but here's hoping that this will make things prettier and easier to maintain in the long run.

*When researching how to fill sinkholes, I came across a cute idea to put a time capsule into the sinkhole before filling it. Totally going to do that!

17 August 2017


Today I got blessings from the appropriate folks and am officially checked off on the software system we're updating at a bunch of sites in the area. What does that mean? Freedom and usefulness at work! Yay! Which means even though I had not scheduled to visit any customers today, my 'office day' was actually busy. I love it.

Speaking of, I need to do a quick office tour because it's been completely re-done but is still in progress. I dig it in many ways. But it's still in progress. So.

Today I also went to Walmart. I swore off Walmart years ago because I hate it. I literally haven't been in a Walmart in years. The crowds, the long checkout lines... I'm over it. However I needed to pick up some folding stools for my colleague and myself, and no other place had any like it and I wasn't about to pay 6 bucks for shipping. (They're handy when going into customer sites that don't have precious extra chairs or chair real estate.)

Of course, when I was in Walmart with my stools in hand, something caught my eye. I've been looking for a smaller roller bag to fit all my supplies in, because the one I have is too large and bulky to be rolling through labs and it's a pain in the ass. This one, however, is perfect. Small and tidy and fits everything I need. My label maker even fits in the side pocket. I must have looked at a dozen online that I didn't like before I saw this one today. It was fate.

Today I also renewed my library card. Random, but necessary. While I was there I noticed a flyer that says they do 3D printing. Say what? Cool. Now I need to figure out what I need 3D printed. A custom cookie cutter, perhaps?

15 August 2017

tuesday musings

I'm tired. So tired that I wonder if I'm coming down with something. Or maybe just a lot's been going on.

I got pretty travel weary, then I thought I'd have a travel break for a while. Then grandma passed away and it was back to Wisconsin, again. It was a good trip, full of cheese curds and too much drinking with family, listening to records and sharing memories of grandma. I'll miss her. Such a huge amount of genuine loveliness was packed into that tiny woman.

Today marks the first day that I was at a customer site without a chaperone. FINALLY. I'm still not officially signed off because the one who must bless my checkoff is out on PTO but I'm happy to be helping out and I know what I'm doing. I actually did some troubleshooting and fixed a few things in the software and overall it was a success. Baller.

Digging the stitch fix stuff I've been getting. I feel so much more confident when I have to dress professionally now.

My sweet neighbor who watches Pumpkin when I travel just brought over flowers and a card with grandma condolences and visited for a bit and now I'm ready for a shower and bed.

31 July 2017


I keep a couple of her letters in my desk. I'm not an overly sentimental person when it comes to keeping old things but for some reason it has always felt right to hold on to a few of her letters.

Although her body was shutting down, her mind was all there. How must that feel, to be acutely aware of your own mortality? She frankly told us that she was ready to die peacefully in her bed. She said, at 95, she'd had enough of life. It was a bit unnerving, but I mean, I get it. If I was 95 with congestive heart failure, I'd probably be ready to die, too.

When Ashley and I concluded our visit to Wisconsin a few weeks ago, she seemed strong, and in good spirits. That didn't stop her from telling us as we hugged her goodbye, "Take a good look! You won't be seeing me again!"

I'll be damned if she wasn't right. The thing is, I really expected to see her again. I figured she'd hang on for a while longer, even as the disease and drugs gradually shut down her body. I figured it would be more of a process, perhaps because working in healthcare, I've seen that long, slow decline.

Nope. The woman said her goodbyes, took her last communion, made peace with the world, and slipped off to heaven in her sleep, in her own bed. I'm convinced that somehow, she orchestrated this. I gotta give the woman props. She actually died how she said she wanted to. Slow clap for grandma.
I know that it's a good thing that her life ended now. It would have been horrible to watch her suffer. I'm thankful that it didn't get to the point that her death would have been a bittersweet relief.

That being said, it's a sad day. She really was a joy to be around. There's so much about her that we don't get to know now. It is a shame that we lived so far away and our visits were not frequent.

It's surreal that she won't be around to teach us anything else. Just a few weeks ago, we learned that Orioles love grape jelly. I'll never hear her tell the story again about the hummingbird who drank the sugar water mixture moments after it was out of the fridge. The stories about going to dances on Friday nights and wringing chickens' necks for dinner. I'll never hear her talk again about all of her 13 brothers and sisters, and how they all died.

I'll miss her sense of humor. She had a sense of humor you'd never expect from such a sweet person. I loved the way she started to chuckle mid-dirty-joke. 

She'll never scold us again about throwing away tin foil. The ancient jars of mincemeat in the basement will eventually be thrown out now.

She is survived by 2 children, 5 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren who are going to do amazing things in their lifetimes... and will no doubt share her sense of humor and pass on her passion for the simple beauty in life. What a legacy.

Her ashes will be kept in a green urn with a hummingbird on top. That part makes me smile, because I think it would make her smile.

Rest in peace, grandma.

30 July 2017

clearing out brain space

In the midst of traveling coast to coast and neglecting to record my thoughts (except for on instagram and snapchat), I thought about how counterproductive it is. I mean, this is my outlet. It makes no sense to neglect it. I have often wanted to post while traveling, but I don't feel comfortable logging in on my work laptop. Big brother and all that.

So, a little bit of psychological self care and a big old dump of brain thoughts. Ready set go.

-Adjusting to the lack of a housemate. The hardest part is when I'm going to sleep. I might be a strong, independent woman in the daylight hours, but an incredibly competent gun-wielding man is very reassuring against all of the things that go bump in the night. Plus things like snuggles and general affection are missed. Actively trying NOT to revert to cat lady status. I try to speak to actual people more than the cat, on a daily basis. Meanwhile kitty is enjoying extra pets and attention.

-Work stuff is slowly, glacially, starting to evolve. I have plans to move things along so I can start to be a productive member of the damn team.

-Skin. Yowza. My skin has revolted. The apex of summer has arrived with a full onslaught of pimples. Even though I've managed to avoid a lot of Houston's sweltering summer while traveling... or maybe that's the cause of it? Either way, the dermatologist gave me retinol which seems to make them angrier. Adult acne, yay. The super fun part? It's not just on my face, but on my scalp, back, and booty. Sexy. Also. Did you know they make shampoo with salicylic acid in it? It's an actual thing. That, combined with good old fashioned Head and Shoulders, is working. At least on my scalp.

-Speaking of hormones and how fun they are, my period is over a week late. I'm trying not to freak out because, you know, lack of fallopian tubes... and sperm, for that matter. Still, the paranoia abounds. I gave away all my pregnancy tests in a moment of confidence, and now I wish I had one. But I'm not going to go buy one because of the aforementioned lack of required circumstances, and it's always the case that I get my period literally 5 minutes after I break down and take a pregnancy test that reads "negative." This particular madness is no doubt related to the aforementioned pimple factory. In the meantime I'm wearing all my black underwear and wasting pantyliners. My boobs are extra large though and I'm okay with that. Hormones, yay.

-Got a few projects in the works. Mostly necessary home maintenance... which are mostly backyard upgrades but it's just too horribly hot to work out in the yard. So instead it's mostly couch time (Netflix-- Hart of Dixie and The Ranch), and going out for drinks with friends and family. Not the healthiest habits, BUT I've got a pushup challenge to start in August. I've found myself far too embarrassed at how difficult it is to hoist my (relatively small) suitcase into the overhead bin. Wimpy arms are also not sexy.

-Dentist. Do I EVER need to see one. A filling fell out in April and the tooth is so jagged that I compulsively tongue it and I should really, really see a dentist sooner than later. Also I think that the last dentist I saw filled a lot of "cavities" that didn't really need to be filled. Ugh. I would call her a bitch but she DID prescribe me valium and xanax without a second's hesitation. Not that I liked the valium, and I actually haven't tried the xanax. Speaking of, is it healthier to have a few drinks at the airport bar before a flight, or to take anxiety meds? I haven't decided. A colleague who is uncomfortable flying prefers the meds but the drinks are working for me so far.

-I swear I'm not a drunk, cranky, sweaty, hormonal, pimply mess with great boobs and funky teeth and wimpy arms though. In general my disposition is pretty good and I've got my mental shit together. Getting a bit travel weary, but for the immediate future I should be able to stay in town. Even though next week starts with a trek straight into the medical center first thing in the morning. I do NOT miss that mess. At least now I get paid for the commute.

-Again, it's too unbearably hot to work out the way I usually do- with a walk/run around the block, BUT I've made a point to exercise 30 minutes every day that I travel. Yes, I pack my tennis shoes and workout gear even though it takes up precious luggage space. Since the places I've traveled to have much more moderate climates, I've logged quite a bit of exercise in the last few months. Go, me!

-After trying that Whole 30 diet, I've actually preferred to eat a breakfast that consists of fruit, eggs, and greens. I don't miss waffles or cereal at all. I also find myself choosing to eat lower carb, probably because it's easier to find celiac-friendly travel meals in the form of salads and such and they're naturally lower carb.

Mental health/anxieties/paranoias, check.
Physical health and eating/drinking/exercise habits, check.

I think we're good here.

09 July 2017

got me feeling some kinda way

Trying to be productive over here amongst major adjustments that I never feel ready for.

The world gets tilted when it's travel, travel, travel and I come home, open the door, and things are different. I'm not sure if it made it easier or harder that he packed all his things when I was away.

Admittedly, I expected this to happen under a completely different context. Several scenarios were discussed and before I could come to terms with any of them, my husband is living 8 hours away.
How can four years of military-related absence leave me unprepared for a mere two years of grad school? There was a point where I never thought I'd have to experience that complex set of emotions again, yet here they are.

I'm surprised to find that, even in a wildly different scenario, the same underlying sentiments still swirl under the surface. It's like dejavu. On a basic level, I know how to do this all too well. Suck it up, gather some strength, look on the bright side and embrace the independence. On a complex level, there's still so much tumult and a feeling of loss.

It's this fresh adjustment period that's the worst. I keep noticing empty spaces where objects should be. A few years ago I got deep satisfaction from his shampoo bottles in the shower, and now they're gone again. His side of the closet is now starkly empty. I'm used to sharing my life and my space with him and it's a bit of a shock to find it abruptly gone.

The universe likes to make things happen whether you're ready or not-- but I take comfort in the fact that somehow, things always fall as they should.

10 June 2017

Stitch Fix

I signed up for Stitch Fix because I need help dressing like an adult.

The first few fixes were disappointing, because I initially entered some sizes in my style profile that I thought were right but turns out were inaccurate. There was one whole box that made me look like a bag lady and I returned everything. It was sad but the return process was super easy, even for me who hates anything that is remotely a pain in the ass.

I adjusted the sizes in my profile and since then I love everything. I've really wanted to post about it but who's got time for that? I have a little time this weekend to upload pics and such. Here's what came in the latest one.

It came with:
1 bag (The first few fixes came with shoes but then I requested bags)
2 blouses
1 blazer
1 pair of pants

I asked for a tote that had room for my laptop. I got one in the last fix and I love it. It travels super well and I wanted more. But they've only got one tote in their inventory right now and that's the one they already sent to me! Fortunately my laptop fits in this punchy orange bag they sent instead. Keep!

I didn't specify anything for tops, but my profile says I'm looking for classic, lightweight, dressy pieces for work- bonus if they don't take up much room in a suitcase. These were great. I especially love the blazer because it's one of the few that FITS!

Pants are the hardest thing for me. Most are either too big or they fit in the waist but are baggy in the booty.

I got a pair of pants in the last fix that I was initially super skeptical about. They are pull-on with a faux fly and seemed more like leggings than slacks, but they look surprisingly nice when worn. I loved them so much that I asked for a similar style. These navy blue patterned pants are the same deal and I love them. I noticed the pocket has a discrete zipper closure. So cute!

(See? They make me look like I have a booty)

So that's the latest fix. I'm keeping all the pieces and I can't wait to wear them.

If I get a minute I'll try to post some of the other pieces I've kept. There's some really solid stuff that I get compliments on a lot.

05 June 2017


Last night's vivid dream involved tornadoes. I was in a hotel room with my mom and sisters and a tornado hit, so we hid under the bed and shielded ourselves with a mattress while the twister raged around us. Then, the hotel gave us free breakfast coupons.

In the fridge: cantaloupe, watermelon, cherries, apples, peaches, blueberries, and grapes. I'm basically a fruit hound. But no lemons; the stores have been out. Curses!

I lost my favorite sunglasses. Merp. But in the search for them, I got to make an extended pit stop at Ashley's and play with the boys.

Notable moments: Calvin was making silly faces and when I asked why he was doing that, he replied, "Because Andrew likes it." Sure enough, he made a silly face at Andrew and Andrew started cracking up, hands shoved in his mouth. Soaking up these moments.

Got a ton of weird shit swirling around in my head. Some's been brewing for a while. Actually, most of it. However the time for action may be upon us shortly. Should be brutally fun. Maybe then I'll stop dreaming about monsters and tornadoes.

04 June 2017

coffee talk

Currently eating fruit for breakfast and pushing coffee & water. I think I ate like 6 cupcakes yesterday. I enjoyed every single one of them but now I've got a food hangover. Nothing like a good, classic party that ends with a few choice folks and sing-alongs on the back porch.

Comcast pissed me off again. No surprise there. They took the opportunity to charge us $50 more a month for the same service after our contract ended. When we called to renew our contract, the only thing we were offered was a bundle that included home phone service, plus a bunch of other stuff we don't want, and our bill would be even higher. Missing the point here, Comcast. You dicks.

So I think I'm ready to ditch the cable service. I don't watch tv that much, so Chris did some research and got a Sling subscription. Our tv didn't allow us to download the appropriate app, so then he ordered a Roku. I haven't played around with it much, but it doesn't seem like it's that much different than cable.

I intended to set up my office either in the actual office or turn my craft room into an office. What actually happened was I kinda set up camp at the kitchen table. I don't like the atmosphere in the other rooms; too closed off, not enough natural light. It works for now, but it's definitely not sustainable.

I do love being able to look outside while I'm sitting at the computer. However I get a great view of the giant, unkept crappy flowerbed. I'm seriously considering removing it and letting the grass take over. So much easier to maintain and at this point, it would look better and hold up best to dog trampling. Then maybe I can create a smaller, easier-to-maintain flowerbed. It's too hot to do any sort of yardwork now, so honestly to avoid heat stroke it'll probably wait until next spring. But the idea is there.

03 June 2017

dreams and cupcakes

Been having some very vivid dreams the past few nights. So vivid that I wake up, and I remember them after.

One was creepy, supernatural, and monstrous. There was something in the house that I could sense but not locate. I woke myself up screaming in my dream. I couldn't shake that weird feeling for hours.

Last night I dreamed I was at a Christian music festival. Apparently not with anyone. It was awkward because everyone was singing along and I wasn't familiar with any of the songs. Then I started chatting with this random group of people, and one of the men introduced himself. I recognized the last name, and it turns out I know his brother (in real life; we were acquaintances in college but we haven't spoken in years). I woke up and wasn't able to get back to sleep, so I looked him up and re-friended him on Facebook. I figured if this random guy's name popped up in my dream, it might be a good idea to see what he's up to. The universe is doing some networking for me, haha.

Other than that, I'm making cupcakes for Frank's engagement party this afternoon and debating on whether or not I should wear a dress. The weather is hot, humid, and rainy so on one hand a dress seems nice, but when there's a lot of moving around to do it can get a little annoying. Re: sweaty thighs. Real life problems here.

27 May 2017

learning from bad decisions

I am feeling disgusted with myself.

I tried that Whole30 thing and while I didn't obsess over the rules, I made some healthy changes. I didn't expect cutting dairy and carbs to make a big difference, but I felt good. Really good.
Less bloating, more energy, more motivation to exercise. I found that I didn't actually want the things I was cutting out because I felt so good without them. Can you believe I didn't actually miss cheese?? (I did miss chips, though, but I know that's purely psychological.)

I was doing really well. Then, I started traveling. It's challenging enough to find gluten free food on the road, so I didn't stress over finding something Whole 30, but I gave it my best shot.

Week 1 I was in Louisiana and it went well. It really helped that the hotel had a decent breakfast, and I ate lots of salads. But when you find a gluten free pizza place after a week of salads, you;re hungry on a primal level so you get a pizza and it's good for your body and soul.

Then week 2 I was in North Carolina. Still not bad. I'm so glad I traveled with workout clothes. After a day of sitting in a dim room on a computer, I was CRAVING movement. I exercised a bit, taking advantage of the gorgeous weather and nature-ful public spaces. Lots of salads again. Took a chance on some bbq and it turned out to be delicious and I had no tummy troubles.

The trouble started in week 3. I went to San Antonio for some training. The odds were on my side; the hotel room had a kitchen, so I could make sure the things I ate were safe.

But... I was in San Antonio. Who wants to cook in their hotel room when the Riverwalk is right there and the weather is gorgeous? Plus the group turned out to be super fun. I didn't want to be the only person to say no to happy hour. Life's short. Enjoy margaritas alfresco, baby.

I was proud that I limited my drinks, and I even got a decent amount of activity walking the riverwalk and the Alamo. The problem was with dinner. In general, if I'm with a group and they want to eat at a certain place, I don't insist that we eat at a different place, even if there's not much I can safely enjoy. Most people don't understand how important it is and I don't want to come across as rude and demanding.

So there were several times when I took a risk and ordered something -probably- gluten free. Mexican restaurants are particularly hard because there are so many things that are -probably- gluten free, but have a high potential for contamination. Needless to say, I got myself into trouble. Not big trouble, but just enough that I was feeling kinda crummy and I knew I had eaten something slightly gluteny.

In addition, the course instructor make sure there were plenty of GF snacks that I could enjoy throughout the week- but although they were gluten free, they were mostly junk food (chips, popcorn, cookies). I wasn't feeling very snacky, due to the above mentioned reasons, but I was thankful that she thought of me and I didn't want to offend her by not eating any. So I ate them, and I (duh) felt worse.

Yes, that's right. I ate things that I didn't want to eat, and I ate more than I wanted to, on top of a crummy stomach that I only got because I ate things that I shouldn't have. I made all these decisions because I don't want to seem rude. And then I suffered. What?

And it gets worse. Since I was one of the local folks and didn't have to get on an airplane, I was sent home with a bunch of the uneaten food so it wouldn't go to waste. A giant bag of chips and popcorn and sugary granola bars.

Now, I don't buy these things anymore, on purpose. Because if they're in the house I will stuff my face with them. Which is exactly what I did as soon as I got home. I ignored the ALREADY MADE salad and fresh fruit in the fridge and I strapped on the feed bag of chips and popcorn and chocolate and red wine. I did this ON TOP OF the gluteny crummies. And of course now I feel terrible.

As a result of all this, I've identified a horrible spiraling pattern of behaviors and their triggers. If I had made better choices this past week, I'd feel completely different today.

You know what? Maybe some food is better to be "wasted.". Junk food is junk food and it should be in the trash right now.

30 April 2017

sunday morning musings

Up early on a Sunday that I fully intended to spend sleeping as late as possible. However, upper respiratory issues are on the attack again. I've been fighting these swollen sinuses/ adenoids no doubt triggered by whatever allergens are floating through the air this time of year. I am thankful that at least now, some preventative care means it's not as bad as it has been in the past.

Today I hand my car keys over to my sister so she can take it for an extended test drive.
Her car, "Charlie," is literally falling apart and I happen to have a car sitting in my garage that I'm not driving. Because I've been driving the company car, selling my car will soon become a practical option.
Whether or not Suzy actually buys it, it's bittersweet for both of us. We become way too attached to our vehicles around here. I fully appreciate this car-incidence and tip my hat to the universe, for I bought that cute red car exactly 6 years ago to the day.

Supposed to be attempting the Whole30 food phenomenon starting tomorrow, but I'm not digging any of the "approved" breakfast options. Y'all know I love my breakfast and after trying chia pudding, I'm not convinced it's actual food. On the other hand, I doubt my cholesterol levels would thank me after 30 days of ham and eggs. Either way, I predict a loose interpretation of the rules... at least for breakfast. Until we meet again, peanut butter toast.

Been trying to focus on positive affirmations. Always been a firm believer in the 'mind over matter' mantra, and starting the day with a positive thought can't be bad. I dig the potential of the good thoughts rattling around in my head pushing the doubts away. Coming up with my own positive thoughts is a struggle some days... good thing Pinterest is full of them! Let's go with this one today:

20 April 2017


I promise I'm still around. I've had tons of neat things happen, but not much time to record them in blog form. (Instagram is SO much faster...)

I fully expected to have so much time to do all the things, but alas, not the case.

New job is still dreamy and awesome, even with a few 10-hour days sprinkled in. They say it takes about a year to get comfortable in this role, and I see why. Also I plan to take full advantage of that assumption and soak up as much information as I can before I'm saddled with responsibility.

Altogether, things are shaping up to be about how they should. Like they usually do.

09 April 2017


Enjoying this Sunday afternoon in the backyard, sipping a spritzer.

We don't get many nice days between the humid winter and the suffocating summer, so I'm going to soak up every bit of this tolerable sunshine.

I started tinkering around in the garden, but it's been minimal. Mostly cleaning up all the dead stuff.

Although over the past couple of years I've adapted my planting goals around my own shortcomings and the dog's destructive tendencies, this year I simply won't have the time. I've managed to kill some plants already and got another scolding from my yard guy.

As I cleaned out some sad old pots full of dried up things that used to be pretty, I had a couple of surprises. The small cutting of yesterday, today, and tomorrow from my neighbor came back from assumed destruction. I found some turmeric that my coworker gave me and I long ago dismissed as dead. When I dumped out the pots, they were full of the roots so I replanted them. Two of last year's rosebushes survived the freeze this winter, and the aloe vera is already sprouting babies. Thankfully the rosemary and gardenia bushes were pretty well established and they only had superficial damage. The mums didn't bloom this year but managed to stay alive. That's the kind of plants I need; sturdy survivors.

This year I'll plant a few herbs on the kitchen windowsill in tin cans. Basil, green onion, and oregano are the current contenders. I gave up growing them from seeds and grabbed some already established plants. Hopefully if they're in plain sight, they won't be neglected.

On another note, I'll be traveling a lot to different places I've never been. I thought about starting to collect something from the cities I visit. But I don't want to do something typical like key chains or spoons or post cards. A colleague has a gallery wall full of pencil drawings she's collected on her travels, which I think is spectacular and unique. I'd like to do something like that. Suggestions?

02 April 2017

bad adult

Things have been so crazy lately that I forgot it was the beginning of the month and completely spaced on paying bills. I woke up at 5am to pee and something must have triggered in my brain the fact that I didn't pay the mortgage. The MORTGAGE. Ugh! I logged in on my phone and transferred the money while laying in bed.

I usually pay bills a week ahead because I'm extra anal about paying bills on time. But last week was madness and I spent several 12-hour days at a new install. This must be the first time I've ever paid a bill late. Two bills, actually.

The mortgage I think has a grace period before any late fees are charged, but I'm pretty sure Comcast will be its usual dicky self and charge a late fee. For paying like 5 hours late. Which I will fight. I'm hoping my on-time-paying customer status over the last few years will be enough to waive it.

Hopefully because the 1st fell on a weekend things will roll over to the next business day and I'll be ok. How do these things usually work?? I do not need one more thing on my plate. Merrrp, man.

24 March 2017

bits and pieces

My mind still has not grasped the massive difference between last week and this week. I'm kinda going through the motions, soaking up the experience and absorbing every learning moment I can. So far, I'm loving all the things. I'm feeling this for the long haul. It's all so good. Pinch me.

Work wardrobe is still abysmal. I must go shopping. Forcing myself to go and try on pants after pants and drop some cash on clothing.

I have developed a massive zit on the bridge of my nose, right where my glasses sit. Oy.

Speaking of glasses, this tiny little family of two has spent ridiculous amounts of money on vision correction lately (about a grand). We've both gotten contacts (daily disposables FTW) and I got a new pair of glasses that I don't love so I'm about to order these or these, and toot got two new pairs, which he desperately needed.

Speaking of toot, while I normally look forward to having the house to myself, this time to my surprise I find I'm missing the companionship that comes in toot form. I haven't felt this way in a long time. It's nice.
We've been getting along really great lately; almost as if something has turned a corner. Things feel different. Of course they do.

20 March 2017

life, revisited.

I've sat down to write this post several different times, but I would get up and walk away after only a few words; I couldn't find the right ones.

Somehow, describing the facts of this new chapter in my life don't capture the "pinch me I'm dreaming" effect. I can't spell out how huge this is. The sky's the limit?  No, no. This opportunity can catapult me over the moon and back twice around venus.

I could list the tangible items.
I could describe the daily changes.
I could talk about the difference in personal presence.
I could elaborate on the networking opportunities and perks- like hotel, rental car, and airline rewards.
I could say how much more I'll be learning, how much more I'll be earning, how I get MY VERY OWN SET OF PIPETTES.

-pause for effect, applause, and prosperity-

I'm suddenly in a league of incredibly intelligent people who are just as ambitious as I am, who are willing to teach me everything they know and help me succeed. I'm part of a collective of people who can make amazing things happen. I'm poised on a realm of possibility that I always thought I'd be lucky to achieve.

Here I am. This is actually it. The girl from the trailer park gets a company car and an American Express, bitches!

Jokes aside, I've worked hard for this and I deserve to be here. I'm going to use this opportunity full of new challenges to grow into something even better; to make my loftiest career goals happen. To make the world a little bit better from a different perspective. I'm a strong woman and I'm ready to keep roaring.

But all the same, I've got stars in my eyes.
I'm so thankful for them.

19 March 2017

ace in the hole

Ah-ha! She got an egg in the nest. I'm so proud.

one small change

A few months ago I made one small change that has affected my life in a big way: I started taking a benadryl at bedtime.

After years of denying it, I finally admitted to myself that I have allergies.

I develop a sinus infection every November, and last time when I went to the Walgreens clinic the nurse practitioner mentioned that it's probably due to seasonal allergies and I should start taking an antihistamine to prevent it. Oh yeah. That makes sense, huh?

A few weeks after that I developed some more sinus issues and I took a benadryl at bedtime to help with the symptoms. It helped tremendously, so I continued to take about a half a dose each night at bedtime.

What I didn't expect was how much it would improve my quality of life.
First I started sleeping better, thanks to benadryl's sleepy side effect.
Then I noticed a few weeks ago that I have had way more energy. I'm not as cranky and I generally feel better.

I think it's because I haven't woken up with one of those massive, debilitating headaches since I started taking it. I might have a slight headache every once in a while, but I'm still functional.
I don't have that constant sinus pressure that fogs everything up and causes me to schlup through the day.

I never noticed how much those issues affected me, until I didn't have them anymore. I feel a LOT different, and a LOT better.

Yay, man.

18 March 2017

bird update

I've been waking up every morning to chirpy commotion at the front door.

Upon closer inspection, it seems that my little friend missed the mark a bit. The egg didn't exactly make it into the nest. Rather, it's balanced off to the side.

The nest hasn't been abandoned, so I'm assuming it's still okay? I guess I'll find out.

16 March 2017

hey, birdie

Some bird decided to build a nest on the wreath hanging on my front door.

What first caught my attention was a bird singing one Saturday morning. When I discovered the bird's motive, I tried to discourage it and cleared away the beginnings of a nest. But the bird persevered and I decided that if the bird wanted to build a nest on my front door, he/she could go right ahead.

Turns out, now I get a clear view of the nest and hopefully the babies. Despite the fact that it's on my front door and we use it sometimes, which might make for some disruptive moments, maybe I can make up for last year's fiasco.

Stay tuned.

26 February 2017

freshening up

Updates in a few areas.

I felt ambitious on Friday and committed to a boot camp Saturday morning with my coworker at our work gym. It was my kind of workout; 30 seconds at a different station. Lots of variety, fast-paced. Many of the moves were squat-heavy. I hated it while I was doing it, but of course afterwards I felt great. Today, I'm feeling every single one of those squats.
When I have a cute perky ass I'll be thankful but right now it sucks.
But the soreness is also kinda motivating? I dunno. I'm weird.

The face-to-face interview was smashing, I think. The job was clarified a bit more, and at first it was intimidating but now that I've had time to mull it over, it's perfect. It would be a good challenge, I would grow personally and professionally, and once I found my groove I would kick ass. It would change my life and I want it. For now, we wait.

Tangible De-Clutter:
It seems like spring (even after a shitty, warm winter) re-affirms all the "clear it out, freshen up" vibes. Sometimes cleaning stuff up only leads to more messes. Clutter that was once semi-hidden is now in random piles until it finds a new home. Insert eye twitch.

Brain De-Clutter:
There's a to-do list rattling around in my head and sometimes I see it with great clarity but I've forgotten to write it down and now it's all jumbled. Most of it has to do with home maintenance and I forget about it until I notice it again. I don't have the time or energy to handle it all, so I'm hoping to outsource some of it.

Schedule pest control. Ants, roaches, and flies. Flies? Really. They're everywhere.
Clear out flower beds (ask yard guy to clear out flower beds)
New front door (pick it out, buy it, get handy man to install)
Deep clean (Stuff like floors, windows... hire a maid?)
Touch up baseboards. Roomba is a daily lifesaver but is rough on baseboards.
Put away Christmas decorations. Yes I know it's almost March. Don't judge. They're all in boxes in the office and I wasn't able to help Chris put them in the attic after surgery. Now they're just sitting there. Being all cluttery.

Re-organize closet? Waiting to see if my wardrobe needs change- aka if I get the job.

All right, enough spazzing out. Time to switch the laundry and take a hot bath.

08 February 2017

jumbled but not really

Trying not to focus on how much I blew it last week during the digital interview. Let me clarify: this was NOT a skype interview. This "interview" consisted of questions on a screen and videotaped answers.

Which, apparently for me, equals temporary retardation and jibberish answers while trying to stare at the webcam instead of myself or anything else. It didn't go well. Even after I asked my reporter sister-in-law for tips. I'm the chick that got booted from the hospital's commercial because while I'm sweet and awesome in person, on video I turn into an awkward creep.

I'm torn with this whole idea because I really am happy at my current workplace. I would not be concerned with changing jobs if it weren't for this opportunity. I love my coworkers, their curious personalities and lighthearted ways, and the sense of community we have. Yes, I'm bored and unchallenged, but at the same time my heart really is calm and connected to this place. It would truly hurt to leave. Plus I LOVE the insanely short commute.

Then there's also the idea that I might move with Chris when he goes to grad school. I'm not sure our marriage can handle another long-term long-distance trek, but if I get this new job I'm definitely staying in Houston. Everything is so gloriously up in the air.

At the end of every day, I'm not really stressed at all about it. I'm convinced it all will work out the way it should.

23 January 2017

dress up

I had a really fun experience today.

I walked into White House Black Market and told the salesman that I needed to look like a professional grown-up and didn't know where to start.

I swear I saw a twinkle in his eye as he tossed me into a dressing room and started throwing clothes at me. I loved every single thing I tried on, but in the end I left with one fabulous outfit (plus a gorgeous pair of shoes that I can actually walk in and my sister petted for a bit).
I may have a new favorite store.

Even better? When I got home I realized that I have a blazer in my closet that looks exactly like the one I just bought, so I get to return it and get this other jacket that I really loved. (It looks lame on the computer screen but it's super cute on)

I've talked about this before, but it's really hard to look nice wearing cheap, old clothing. Especially as I get older and (hopefully) work my way up the career ladder.

So today I stepped it up. Like a girl boss should.

17 January 2017


I've heard this tip many times: Put a tennis ball in the dryer to help fluff things.

Dude, but have you ever tried it?

Chris used a couple to help dry his sleeping bag, and they were around so I tossed one in with some towels.

It's amazing! Fluff city!
It's literally my new favorite thing.

My sheets and comforter used to roll up like burritos in the dryer and not get dry. The addition of a tennis ball or two prevents that from happening. Like magic!

I fluff my pillows each week and if I add a tennis ball, holey moley they're twice as fluffed. I'm so happy about this little life hack!

Try it.

16 January 2017

Recovery entertainment

I woke up feeling good so of course I did some laundry, tidied the house up a bit, and now... ouch. It's really hard to not use abdominal muscles. Mom scolded me when she found out I did things.

I am not good at resting.

Especially not for the 4th day in a row. Even on painkillers. I can't drink, I'm not supposed to drive, and I'm bored. It's also been weird asking for favors or having Chris do things for me. I'm independent, darn it! But I know I need to take it easy in order to heal, and I definitely want to get back to work next week.

SO I decided to park it in bed, pull up the laptop, and compile a list of things I can do to keep myself sane while not moving. Plus when my sister comes over I'll ask her to unload the dishwasher and get the mail (♥).


-Read a book. I've got a $50 Amazon gift card and a whole wish list of kindle books.
-Clean up Pinterest boards. THAT will kill some time.
-Color. Seriously. Mom got me one of those adult coloring books and my skeptical self was not having a bad time coloring last night.
-Bullet journal. Oh, which reminds me I need to make a follow up appointment.
-Netflix. Watch all those shows I've heard about but haven't had the time to get sucked into a Netflix series. Now, I have all the time. (P.S. Stranger Things did not suck me in. A little suspense is fine, but I like having answers!)
-Cross stitch/embroider. I have all the supplies, I just need to download a quick pattern from Etsy.
-Magazines. I'd have to ask someone to bring them to me, but I love me some magazines.
-Catch an Uber to Target and shop around with a motorized cart. This is my favorite and I'm saving it for when I'm super bored.
-Organize/clean out drawers. This might be ok if I sit in a chair. I have SO much time and it would be great to declutter.
-Play with the lazy cat.
-Puzzles! My sister is bringing me one.
-Nap. The best thing ever.

I'm all out of things. Suggestions?

14 January 2017

don't move

Ok so recovering from surgery kinda hurts.

I woke up post-op and the first words out of my mouth were "pain" followed by "nausea." Both were addressed immediately and I was feeling much better within a few minutes. The rest of the day was spent in bed with little of that pain and nausea sprinkled in. Nothing major; I felt ok as long as I laid still and did nothing.

Woke up the next day feeling great. Of course that means I overdid it, moved around too much, and today I'm hurting.

There are 3 incisions, 2 above my hip bones, and one in my belly button, each about an inch long. No stitches, just glue. The two side wounds don't hurt at all; it's the belly button one that's really sore.

Laughing, coughing, sneezing... pretty much all movement causes pain. So again, I feel ok as long as I lay still and do nothing.

So I'll raise my glass of water and pop another painkiller to that idea. Cheers!

11 January 2017


Today when I walked through our pathologist's office, I took a peek at tomorrow's surgery schedule.

Sure enough, I'm on it.

After struggling with birth control and its various side effects for my entire adult life, I've finally decided to do it. The official phrase used on my FMLA paperwork was "desires sterilization." You bet I do.

I've never had the deep desire to become a parent. Realistically, I assumed I would marry someone who wanted kids and I'd go along with it. I figured my clock would eventually start ticking and one day I might want a kid, but I was never excited about it.

Then I got older, married someone who also does not want children, and no child-bearing urges have hit. At 32, I know that I do not want children. It's not a realistic idea for me.

My former gynecologist did not like the idea, due to my age and lack of children.
But my current gynecologist is more understanding.

The thought brings me relief.
My aunt's contraceptive-induced stroke a few years ago really freaked me out. Because basically I was headed down the same path.
Then I started worrying about the long-term effects of pumping all of these hormones into my body. Which combined with the anxiety brought on every month by the small chance that I could have conceived.

I might struggle with the transition of stopping birth control, and the recovery period might suck, but I welcome it.

10 January 2017

shifting focus

Focus. I've shifted it a bit.

It's still pointed pointed towards health, self care, and simplification, but I've got to meet mini goals in order to actually make anything happen.

Rather than expect to make a bunch of changes all at once (like lowering my carb intake and an exercise commitment), I figured I could focus on a few of these mini goals at a time.

[And in the meantime I'm going to attempt to live more in the now instead of the future where all of my goals are met.]

Mini goal #1: Cut back to 1 daily glass of wine, with dinner. 
So far, achieved. Easily. Surprisingly.
There's really no good reason to have several drinks every night, and the empty calories are crazy. Plus it's easier to wake up in the morning.

Mini goal #2: Meatless Monday.

I've done this in the past, mostly because we were poor and meat is expensive. No worries here; I do enjoy a nice bean-ful meal.Variety will be the biggest challenge.

Mini goal #3: De-clutter.
This is ongoing. The strategy is to designate a box and toss things in as I notice they're no longer needed, or when I clean something out. The box sits there for a while, long enough that we can take something out if we realize we need it. So far, nothing that's been in a box has come back out.

Side note- Exercise:
I still haven't figured out how to motivate myself to work out. It's definitely a mental thing because I've never regretted a workout, but I'm so damn lazy. And tired. But mostly lazy. Most days I hit the recommended number of steps, according to the fit bit, so that counts for something, right?

Anyway three things seems like a good enough number for the moment.

07 January 2017

Planned lazy

I did not expect to put on pants today.
Our world was icy and cold, and my heated mattress pad was on high all day. Plus it's the first weekend I've had off since before Christmas and I am tired of going going going.

I drank tea and did laundry and made cookies, savoring the fact that I was able to make the whole batch at once, instead of multiple little batches in a toaster oven. Still smitten with that oven.

For the record, I did put on pants. And I drove places. And I got an unexpected take- home container of chili out of it. (Mah always has something tasty, whether you're hungry or not)

Got home, put on a different pair of jammies, washes the ones I wore all day so they'll be clean for tomorrow.

Because being lazy sometimes requires planning.

01 January 2017

Hi, 2017

Oh, HEY 2017. Welcome, welcome, welcome. Welcome.

I'm ready to make 2017 my happy year.
My goals focus mostly on health and self-care and simplification.

*sips green tea*