Thursday, November 25, 2010

Random: Thanksgiving Wish and KC Trip

First, let me start by wishing you all a very blessed, happy and bountiful Thanksgiving. Wherever you are, I hope you are content.

Days like today reminds me of those who live in shelters or on the streets. I work at a nonprofit with a homeless shelter for teens and my heart breaks for the youth there today. But luckily they are not alone and surrounded by adults who care about them. I wish it could be that way for everyone.

I'm thankful that I get the chance to give back on Christmas Day when my dad and stepmom and I will serve meals at The Salvation Army. I couldn't think of a better way to spend Christmas.

I could talk about this topic for awhile so I'll move on to a different rambling...

I went to Kansas City last week for database training for work. A co-worker was with me and we got to do a little sight-seeing (shopping) on one night. Unfortunately I didn't get to take any pictures because it was raining and I wasn't about to bring my baby (camera) out in the rain.

But on our way to the airport, we stopped in Parkville, Kan. to shop and look around. We spotted a beautiful building on a hill, and I had to take a picture of it. It's called Mackay Hall at Park University. So I wanted to share the ONE picture I shot on my short Kansas trip because it's such a lovely building. And if you know me well, that's hard for me to say that I only took one photo. :)


Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Germs are not my friend

Disclaimer: I realize this post makes me sound like a nut job.

Welcome to part two of What's Your Quirk?

About 2 months ago, I posted about my No. 1 archenemy: germs. I listed five things that give this germaphobe the heebie jeebies. I thought it was time to add on to the list.

1. Sink faucets

Oh, sink faucets. You make me cringe. I don’t even like my sink faucet at home. I especially hate public ones. Someone who just went to the bathroom touched it. And you have to touch it. Then you have to turn it off after you just washed up. Isn’t it horrible when there are no paper towels to turn off that faucet? I love when a bathroom is all automatic.

2. Money

I can’t stand touching money. That night explain why I rarely have cash on me. Imagine where that dollar bill has been! It’s been touched by who knows how many people, been stuffed who knows where, dropped on the ground, sneezed on, sweated on, etc. Yuck!

3. Office keyboards

Is it just me or do keyboards and mice that belong to coworkers feel greasy? I can’t wait to wash my hands after I touch someone’s keyboard. I can’t stop thinking about the germs on my hands afterward. Yes, I have a problem. I'm the first to admit it.

4. Steering wheels

I can’t imagine how many germs are crawling on steering wheels. After you go to a store and are forced to touch a door handle or hold your phone or hand off money at a drive-thru, you touch that steering wheel. There is lots of germ transfer through that thing. Nasty.

5. Phones

I have a hard time using people’s cell phones; particularly touch phone screens like iPhones. Luckily that doesn’t need to happen often. I need to figure out a safer way to clean my own phone. I’m germy, too, you know!

What are some other germy things you can’t stand to touch?

P.S. I hope you all have a VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Route 66 Bliss

Today was a very important day for me. I ran my longest race to date at the Route 66 Marathon relay. But the distance wasn't the most important part about the race - it was why I was doing it. I want to share with you why today was so special.

At my last job, I worked with a wonderful man named Randy. He had a sunny personality, greeting everyone with a big smile and slap on the back or a "Hidey ho!" Everyone had something nice to say about him.

Randy was a marathon runner. Earlier this year when I started running, he would always encourage me and ask how it was going. I felt silly feeling proud of the 1 mile I ran compared to the 26+ that he could run, but he always treated it like a great accomplishment.

Running marathons wasn't Randy's biggest fight. He passed away on Sept. 27, 2010, from melanoma. After he was diagnosed and started treatment, we watched the weight fall off of him. Even though you could see in his body the arduous fight he was going through, you'd never know it when you spoke with him. He was so inspiring, so encouraging, so strong; still always smiling, still asking about you when you wanted to talk about him.

D.C. trip with co-workers

When Randy lost his battle to melanoma, I was asked to participate in the marathon relay in honor of him. I accepted in a heartbeat, although the distance (more than I had ever run) daunted me. But I had to do it for Randy, for everything he went through. Today during the race, I started to feel tired and I took the time to take a short walking break and talk to Randy. I asked him to run with me because I needed a piece of his massive strength. After I had the talk, I started running again and I hit my stride - I felt great. It was the best race I've done and I surprised myself with my time.

Randy kept me going today.

That one was for you, Randy. I miss you.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I Heart Photos

Now that my photography class is done - I thought I'd post a few pictures from the class. It was a great learning experience for me. I wanted to learn how to use the manual mode in my camera. I still have a lot to learn (and understand).... but it's been fun practicing!

For our final assignment, they sent us on a scavenger hunt... hence the random photos below. Here's a few from the project.

American flag

Tall buildings

Moving water


Now on to the next photo adventure!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Adventures in Cooking Part 1: Guacamole Disaster

The title says it all. Guacamole = disaster. And I don't think it was the recipe's fault. It was all me. In case you're wondering why I'm talking about guacamole - see Attempt at Healthy Eating.

I "halved" the recipe (which by my standards doesn't mean I actually used measuring cups. Mistake No. 1.)

I had to look up the correct way to chop an avocado. (Don't laugh! I wanted to do it right.) I mashed the avocado, chopped the onion and tomato and added garlic powder and lime juice to the mix. Just like the recipe, except..... the exact amounts of each ingredient it called for.

The end result, albeit it looked good, tasted awful. Too much lime. Too oniony. SUPER gross.

This lime juice was no bueno.

Don't trust this guacamole.

I hope take two goes better for this newbie.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Attempt at Healthy Eating

I recently joined a weekly organic co-op; mainly to start changing my eating habits. And because I don't really trust the meat and produce at the grocery store.

I'm not much of a cook, and I'm embarrassed to admit that I don't know what some cooking terms mean... like dicing. But I bookmarked a website to teach me... and now I know to dice means to cube. ;)

Luckily being a part of the co-op will force me to cook more. It's helpful because they send out recipes featuring that week's meat and produce. Perfect because I don't quite know what to do with eggplant or a green tomato. I'm one who's always found it easier to make a box of macaroni and cheese rather than try to follow a recipe and cook something up. Hopefully joining this co-op will change that.

I'm going to start off with something "easy" and make a tiny batch of guacamole with my lovely organic avocado. I'm not a big meat eater so I'll have to think of what to do with that sirloin steak.

This week's share:

Yum! What's your favorite part about cooking? Any tips for a newbie?

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Man, what a week. I got sick Monday night and have been couch-bound since. I couldn't bring myself to blog but I'm back!

It took several months, but then about a month or so ago it hit me. I noticed that most of my work pants were too big. Could it be? Yes! I was finally seeing the results from running!

I tried on a dress that I used to wear and it fits like a bag.

Results! See you later dress! Wait, I mean, hope I never have to see you later!

So last week I bought my first pair of skinny jeans and jean leggings at Express.

I never thought I'd be able to wear skinny jeans! I might not look super skinny in them like the above model, but I feel confident, and that's what matters.

But if I keep eating these.... I might not be able to fit into those skinny jeans! ;)

I discovered these chips at QuikTrip, and gosh, I wish I hadn't. They're so good. The nacho twists are delicious, too. Darn you, Tom's!

What piece of clothing helps you feel great about yourself?