Monday Musings

December. It’s December ya’ll.  How has this happened already ? We were just eating turkey and feeding on pie not so long ago.

We started our December by going to the night Christmas parade this last Saturday. The weather was perfect  ( comfy low 60s) and dry. The parade is of course a light parade and all entries have to have lights on them…. yes… even people walking dogs had lights on their sweaters.

I may have rolled my eyes a little haha

The parade is a tradition we’ve had in our family from forever, well since my boys were little.  And now I’m taking my grandkids too! We like to hang out by the local bakery as they provide cookies for the kids to decorate… I may be guilty of eating one….

Seriously though it’s a fun and a festive way to start the Christmas season.

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This was one of the coolest floats in parade.

The past week I’ve managed to get pretty much all of my decorating done and we got THE most amazing tree the other night.

I love big tall trees. I’ve kinda passed the madness on to my kids. We were out with my son and his family, they had found theirs and we stopped at another place to see if they had any suiting my specifications.

Lo and behold there was this one rather large monster, still wrapped in it’s net. Honestly, I’m not sure how it was still there… it was at least 13 ft tall. We unwrapped it and it instantly exploded to almost triple it’s size. ( gotta inspect it, right??)

My son, at 26, was having more fun than I was assuring me we could get it in the house and that we just “had” to get it.

There’s something about watching my 6’5 son be as excited as a little kid that was more satisfying to me than finding the perfect tree.

While my husband proclaimed we were crazy and telling us it was to tall, we just (ignored him) kept at it, surveyed and inspected it, and decided that indeed, this tree was coming with us.

I won’t lie. It weighed a ton and it was as awkward as anything wrestling it around.

Thank goodness I work out hahaha

Anyway, we got it in. It’s an amazing beast of a tree. It fit … which we gleefully reminded my husband of 😉

The first morning I woke up as soon as I opened my bedroom door all I smelled was the amazing scent of evergreen. Such a beautiful smell… well.. I think it is …

I’m the weirdo in the tree lot walking around shoving my face into a tree and breathing it in.

Honestly, I’m sorry for all you who suffer with allergies this time of year…

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I promise an after pic when it’s done 🙂  It’s it stunning ?  The photo doesn’t really convey how huge it is.

I got the lights on it tonight and hopefully, it will be ready to be finished off tomorrow in all of it’s splendor 🙂

Fun factoid… I used 400 small bulb lights on it….232 feet of light strands.

But I haven’t just been whipping up Christmas cheer everywhere….

Oh no. When you have perfect, gorgeous mild sunny weather in December… you just have to be out in it.

So today I was up and out for a ride. I just wanted to do a long ride, with no agenda or thought of time or speed, This was my first long ride in awhile. I’d been training and kept mainly to what I was focusing on for the race so I hadn’t done many “fun” rides.  ( I uh tend to be a bit…focused on my goals 😛 )

Today was 24ish glorious miles on a beautiful cool Sunday morning.

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Trust me.. the weather was perfect 🙂

 

The season of food.

I want to touch on this topic here, and maybe I’ll run with it more in a separate post. I heard someone say the other day that they weren’t worried about losing weight right now because that’s something you did in the “new year”.

Basically, it’s a feeding frenzy all month long for many people.

I don’t think you ever have to wait for a new week, year, day, whatever to start making better choices and choosing a healthier lifestyle.

Those choices are day to day and we can certainly make good choices many days of the month during the holidays.

You do yourself no favors embracing an “eat  and drink it all” mentality during these weeks of celebrating.

I mean, really? A random day during the month doesn’t require excess.

However a day making sugar cookies? Uh… I’m down for those… and I fully understand I will enjoy some of the fruits of my labors.

After all who can resist eating a Santa or reindeer cookie??

Have a plan of action.

First I think it’s super important to keep to an exercise regime during the holidays. Don’t skip workouts because you have “so much to do”.  Getting a little purposeful movement in will center you and make you feel less stressed. Not only that it is a little extra calorie burn in your day.

Don’t use every day as a reason to over eat. Yes there will be special days to enjoy things, just don’t indulge all the time.

Be mindful of parties. Choose wisely what you eat.  I never put stuff on my plate I’m not crazy about.

Take small amounts of what you like, and don’t waste calories on things that don’t matter so much to you.

Don’t go hungry. So often people think they will “save up” for a big party and not eat all day. That really isn’t smart as you will be starving and most likely over eat.

Don’t be restrictive. Seriously, don’t be one of those people who go to a party and watch others eat wishing you could let go of your control and enjoy the moment.

Really, navigating through the holiday season is about mindful eating. Be selective, don’t restrict yourself, eat the things you love in moderation, get in your purposeful exercise, and you can move into a new year lighter or at least having maintained your current weight.

Things you should avoid this holiday season…..

Crazy cleanses to “detox” you before or after holidays. Don’t ok? No detoxes.  Just say no. That’s what you’ve got a liver and kidneys for 😉

Holiday weight loss challenges that require weigh in’s, food tracking or other restrictions. If you think you need to participate in that during the holidays maybe Santa should withhold a gift from you 😉

Holiday themed workouts that punish you for eating those sugar cookies … like you ate those and you have to do this many jumping jacks or some other physical activity to work them off.

UGH, You can’t “work off” food from the day before! You can just get back to your sane sensible workout program, eat normally and that is perfect.

OK my rant is over 😉

If you follow a few simple steps you can have your cookies and still fit in your jeans too as you move into 2019.

Your turn.. how do you keep balance during the holidays with eating well, enjoying the holiday treats, and exercise? Do you have tips or tricks to keep from adding holiday pounds?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday Musings

Hello World! What a week it’s been. We just wrapped up Thanksgiving here in the states ( sorry my Canadian friends, I know your turkey and pumpkin pies are a distant memory now 😉 ) and I’m left wondering why it whirled by so fast.

All in all it was a good week. There was shopping to be done and food to be prepped for the big day. I always admire those perfectly set, Norman Rockwell style pictures I see of some families meals and I’m over here figuring the best way to feed a lot of people before the turkey starts chillin’ up.

Really though, it’s the people that are there that make it what it is, right? No one is concerned over the plate or glass. People want to feel comfortable, enjoy good food and better dessert and watch some football 😉

Food, laughter, more food, pie.

Thanksgiving is easy ( mostly) it’s all about the food. You don’t have to buy gifts, or wrap or worry about parties. You just throw down a bunch of tasty dishes and let people at it.

 

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Pie. I made this a few days before Thanksgiving to see if it was any good. Well, needless to say it made it to the Thanksgiving menu. I’ll try and add recipe at the end

Of course Thanksgiving weekend is also my kick off for Christmas. It’s time to wrap up all my Fall decorating items, and start Christmas decorating. I love being able to create beautiful areas to look at through out my home so it takes me a good part of the weekend to get it set up. I just love creating magic others appreciate.

Christmas makes me still feel like a kid 😛 

One of the “traditions” we enjoy is going to a festival our town hosts every year called “Dickens on Main”.  Sometimes you can get a little shopping in ( not easy with loads of extra people in the stores) and it’s fun to catch up with people and buy some of the tasty street vendor snacks… like Kettle Korn.

If you don’t know what that is, it’s popcorn that’s sweet with a hint of salt. It’s perfect when it’s crisp, steaming and hot from the huge metal kettle they cook it in.

They also have a snow machine…. yeah…. that’s what happens when you live in south Texas… you gotta make the stuff and shoot it through a machine.

Unless… unless…. it’s one of those very rare moments that came to us last December. We got real, real snow.

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How gorgeous is this ???

Anyway, I don’t hold out any hope we will see that this year so I have to live vicariously through last year.

I promise to share more fun Christmas recipes, pics and fun ideas in another post : )

Once decorating is done I can focus on shopping and Christmas cookies.. and candy… and cookies…

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A sneak Christmas peak……

And that is why I keep running and cycling….

Oh. Speaking of that…. I may or may not have mentioned I had a duathlon coming up… 😉  which was last weekend… I have so much in my head to still process out over that event. Stay tuned for a post this week on it. I’ve been dragging my feet waiting for a few race pics to come in to add to my post.

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I love picking up my race pack and a new number. Never, ever wear the shirt till you actually own the race 😉
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Early morning warming up settling pre-race nerves. That finish line looming behind me. The weather did an unexpected shift into cold, wet and windy.

Anyway, I have an entire duathlon recap post planned so stay tuned for that this week 🙂

I will say, I always have such a euphoria at finishing, followed by a let down that what I’ve been working towards is now over.

What do I do now? What’s the next “thing”?  I will be pondering that in the days ahead.

Speaking of days ahead….

I am almost finished with all my decorating. I have plans to do some shopping and (hopefully) finding a few perfect gifts this week.

Why does it seem like once Thanksgiving is over you are ushered on the Christmas bus at full speed ahead?

Every year I fight against that and try to just focus on things that matter and remember what the season is about.

Seeing people fight over electronic devices and TV’s and boxes of cheap made in China items piled everywhere isn’t what I want Christmas to be about.

I want to embrace the peace, the joy, the love of the season and I try to offer that where I go, even if I sometimes have to chew on my lip to behave.

Now let’s talk about some food….

First just some words of advice. If you feel like you “over did it” eating this past week, leave it and move on.

Get back to normal eating and your purposeful exercise.  That is enough. Please don’t think you can “work off” food you ate.  All you will do working out harder is maybe hurt yourself or make yourself sore so you want to not workout for a few days.

Don’t take on guilt for what you feel you over did on. That isn’t what the day is about. Guilt and food are two words that shouldn’t go together. You can read more about that in my post here…..  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/07/07/food-and-guilty-feelings/

And below I’ll share a few things I made for Thanksgiving…..

 

 

 

All of these recipes made an appearance at my Thanksgiving table.  I’m such a sucker for desserts haha. Of course I also had the traditional pumpkin and pecan pies as well.

Other popular items of course are fresh green beans and a jalapeno corn casserole that I’ve had to literally triple up on the recipe ( grown men children devour it haha)

Ok your turn! What do you like best about Thanksgiving ? Favorite food?  Christmas is coming…do you think the commercialism is pushed on us?  How do you embrace a joy and peace in a time where people seem to be moodier and less than happy?

Monday Musings

Hello world 🙂  As I’m writing this it’s at the end of the weekend…. a weekend that has been near perfect weather. A weekend that has breathed the promise of fall and changing seasons and all things cozy.

Forget the fact it’s still warm enough for shorts…..

The sun was out and after so many weeks of mostly rain and dark cloudy days, this sunny weekend was a balm for my soul and I know, many others.

This meant some long overdue work outside in the yard and it was wonderful to just be able to work outside in the sun and feel the wind on my skin and hair.

There was some time spent cutting grass…. I don’t mind using a push mower and honestly enjoy the work of pushing it everwhere. We’ve got a lot to cut so it can keep me busy.

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Ready for work… need your grass cut ?

 

The electric company was also out cutting trees back this week and left some oak trees cut laying off the side of the road. Well, actually, it was down the hill…. so it was run down, grab chunks of wood, and back up the hill with it.

Me… I’m thinking… I should go get those, drag them home, and get hubby or my son to get the chain saw and cut them into more manageable pieces that we can use later for our fireplace ( eventually we’ll get one or two cold days :-P)  and I love having a fire on those cold dark nights.

So I apprehended the red flyer wagon laying around my grandkids use occasionally and loaded it up and dragged the wood back home.

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Uh… yeah.. it was a little workout haha

It was overall one of those satisfying, working weekends.

Don’t over look the fact that doing some extra movement outside can be a fun part of keeping fit 🙂

Oh… but then… food.

When I’m not doing athletic things or other activities, I am a wicked baker. So there’s cookies…..

I made two kinds. Hubby had requested oatmeal raisin but then I just wanted something chocolate …so…..

I’ll share recipes below. Find all of my tasty dessert recipes on Pinterest. ( you can also find lots of exercise tips and workouts too 😉 )

https://www.inspiredtaste.net/18596/soft-and-chewy-oatmeal-raisin-cookie-recipe/

https://www.ihearteating.com/chewy-brown-sugar-chocolate-chip-cookie-recipe/

I’d never made a chocolate cookie recipe where you melted butter first, then stirred everything else in. I loved how fast and simple these were and sooo good too 🙂

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Aren’t they pretty ?

 

In other weekend fun….

One of the things hubby and I enjoy doing is going for breakfast dates at a local place in town. The building is old. It’s not fancy.  During the winter it can be stupid cold in there ’cause their heat is sketchy at best. On any given morning you’re hoping you can score a table because the place is packed and sometimes you are wrestling for the last fork in the utensil holder.

The food is good and the coffee is too.

This past week I couldn’t help but again get distracted people watching and observing.

Couples, families, friends meeting for coffee the place hummed with a low key activity and bright energy.

It’s one of the cool things about living in a kinda smallish town… the local eating place. The place that isn’t fancied up… it’s just down home cozy.

That’s one of the things I love about my home town. These small areas that still feel “homey” in the mix of growth and things changing so much.

Not only can you meet new people but it’s often a place to catch up with friends you may not have seen in awhile.

For a social person like me….well.. it’s a good fit 😉

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A cozy corner you can sit and watch the world go by in….

Oh… and so like… Halloween is this week.

Stay tuned… perhaps in next weeks post I’ll have a pic of my costume. Let’s just say I’m putting my own spin on Glinda the Good Witch from Wizard of Oz.

Am I the only one who mooches candy of their kid while you’re out making the rounds to houses gathering candy? Please tell me I’m not 😉

Actually now days I’m mooching it off my grandkids hahaha

Of course once Halloween is over, it seems like things are full speed to Christmas. My kids have already begun to present their gift lists to me.

How early do you start shopping ?

And finally… that approaching duathlon…

Got a solid brick training session in on one of my days last week. Out on the road in the dark early morning, fog still in the air, I really wanted to be inside drinking coffee.

But somehow, there I was, out on the road taking off for my first run. I kept it short. A 2 mile run, followed with a 10 bike ride, then a 2 mile run.

I’ll tell you, it’s always that last leg that I have to intentionally and purposefully dial in on my mental muscle. I guess because at that point I know I’m close to finishing and I have to remind my legs, we aren’t quite done yet.

I have to stay focused and sometimes that’s hard when I know finishing is so close!

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Finished for the morning!

I’m actually anticipating a training week ahead that doesn’t involve wet stuff outside! Although I know race day can offer up anything, I’m hoping for perfect weather like we had last year.

That’s a wrap for this week….

It’s another busy week ahead with lots going on. What will be keeping you busy? Have you tried any new recipes? Had any new adventures?

 

 

 

Monday Musings

Hello world! In the words of an old Staind song…. “it’s been awhile….”  since I’ve offered something up.  I’m still here and per usual, got stuff on my mind.

First of all, here in Texas we’ve had an unusually high amount of rain and overall wet stuff for what seems like weeks now… which can feel like…eternity….

Cloudy, rainy, foggy days seem to literally suck my creativity out of me for some reason. Not just writing, but with my furniture projects too.  Am I the only one who gets derailed when the weather is awful?

Last week it was wet and cold. I layered up and took off for a 4 mile run while the rain had seemingly stopped for awhile. Well, stopped till I was about half through then the skies opened up.

I just kept going. I was already out and semi wet from the misty air, might as well finish and get it done.

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This photo doesn’t reflect the fact my clothes are all wet 😛

 

Ah, then I returned to find no power which meant no hot shower  and a chilly house to come back to.

Cold. Wet. Hungry.

Good times.

It just felt wonderful to be out, moving, even if it was cold and wet. There’s no guarantee of the weather the day of the duathlon next month ( which we’ll discuss more in a bit) so I try and suck it up and train in the awful weather too.

Other things happening in November….

Here in the states, it will be time for our elections. We have a tremendous freedom, privilege and responsibility to vote for those we feel can lead and represent us best. I saw a sign out on my bike ride today encouraging voters to vote a certain way to support a parties “Agenda”.  Guess we’ve all got an agenda but we really need to vote for those who hopefully have a less self serving agenda.

Please, make it a priority to go to the voting booth and exercise your right to use your voice.

Oh… and football….

Football is back in full swing and having a family with lots of men, well, needless to say it’s a standing party every Sunday and some week nights too.  Even now as I’m writing, I can hear the cheers, yelling and excitement of them watching the game.

I should mention, my kids who are now adults, several married with kids of their own, have chosen to live close by.. And when I say close I mean they walk over from their house to mine.  We’ve been blessed with land and they have chosen to stay close.

I don’t take that for granted as I know for many, they only see kids and grandkids a few times a year.

My home becomes a place of controlled chaos, kids, toys, dogs, food and stuff every where during this time.  I’m not as much worried about trying to keep a spotless house as I am making sure they all always feel welcome and want to hang out here.

Those are the simple things that make life good, right?

Now about that duathlon…..

it’s less than a month out. November 18 it’s going down and it’s only my second time so I hardly feel like a pro at it.

And because of that, it’s exactly why it was back on my radar as soon as I finished my first one. There is so much room to grow and improve my game because well, any time you are juggling multi sports, it just gets more intense and there’s a whole lot more involved. It’s not “just” running or “just” cycling… it’s both and both demand hard work.

I like a challenge what can I say?

Here’s the deal though. This year, life has been different. I don’t feel like I’ve had the extra time to do “more” training.  The weather has been less than ideal for months now which in the name of safety has cancelled many outdoor workout sessions. I do have a “Plan B” which is indoor strength training or rowing or boxing or a combination of it all but it’s not the same as putting those miles in.

I am working several days during the week with my son so that wasn’t planned and although he knows I need to get my training in before I come, I don’t have a lot of extra time for doing more.

On top of that a couple weeks ago my leg started acting up. I can’t say it’s my knee, but more like on the outside of it.

Like where did this come from??   I do NOT have time for any of these kind of shenanigans.

Properly warming up it tends to not be to bothersome… but it’s there.

Saturday I finally got to get back on the road for a 4 mile run. With the weather and my schedule it had been a week since I had been able to run so I let myself go pretty easy for half of it.

It was in the last half mile that I really started feeling it… and then the overwhelming emotion of what I was training to do…. and then the tears started falling.

My gosh have you ever tried running and crying ? It is not a good combination.

I have to say, endurance sports bring out an emotion in me that I had never experienced before I started doing them.

The tears can come from anger over a situation I can’t control, frustration when I want to do better,  to falling with joy when I do something I didn’t think I could do. Like the very first time I rode up this massive, massive hill.

I just can’t stop it from happening but have to rein it in so I can keep doing what I’m doing ’cause you know, crying and breathing to support my exercise don’t go well together.

Last year, as I crossed the finish line for the duathlon, the tears were there. The poor guy guiding me in and directing me off course as I finished was all “Are you ok? Are you hurt?” I assured him I was fine but the enormity of just finishing something I had worked so hard for, sacrificed so much for, invested myself in ways I never thought possible just washed over me. It is an emotional experience I can’t explain.

I had done it.

But the tears falling during my run on Saturday were ones of frustration, momentary self doubt, angst over the worry of an injury so close to the race, and the general feeling of “what the hell am I doing??”

This is a state championship race. Most of the athletes are college age young adults. No I don’t compete directly against them but they make up a huge part of their field.

The course is listed as the toughest in the state, and it is.  I cannot imagine even attempting it without some real training under me.  It’s brutal.

And maybe that’s where I am, knowing all these things.

Me, a middle aged wife, mom, grandmother in the mix of these young athletes at the top of their game.

Me, just beginning to dabble in multi sport events, but loving the challenge of it, yet feeling like I have so much yet to learn, surrounded by those who seem so experienced with it.

So many thoughts running rampant through my head as I finished my run with my leg reminding me it was there.

Maybe, just maybe, it’s good to have some feelings of inadequacy with such a big event.

Don’t get me wrong. I know I’m strong and capable. Physically, I know I can grind it out. I just went out and rode the whole course today and topped it with a mile run.

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Smiling after 21 miles on the bike and a mile run on Sunday

Will it be in a time I want? Only race day will really reveal that.

Saturday I wore my t shirt I got last year for finishing ( that’s the only t shirt I’ll ever collect, the finisher one) and I got to thinking that I had earned the right to wear that little shirt.

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It represented months of work, sacrifice, early mornings, aching muscles, learning new things, training in cold, rain and heat, tears, and more sacrifice.

I earned that shirt and in the same way, I’ve earned the right to be heading back there again.

I’ve learned a few things you can only learn in events with the transition areas so I’m hoping to tighten my time down there.  I know the course. I know the freaking hard parts and the places I can “briefly” recover before hitting more hard places.

I don’t know what the weather will be like or other random factors.

I do know I can get my mental game locked in tightly, protect my body as best as I can and keep it healthy and go that day ready to take no prisoners.

I really would like to scoop up first in my AG again.

Regardless, I’ll be there, as ready as I can mentally and physically ready to do “My” best, not worrying about anyone else and what they are doing. I’m fiercely competitive so that will add to my fire too.

I’ve earned the right to be there and I’m ready to what I’ve trained for all these months and that will have to be enough.

Processing these things out before an event seems to be how I roll.  Does anyone else relate to that?

And of course before I leave you…..

Food. This weather has definitely been about comfort foods. I’ll share a recipe everyone has gone crazy over and it’s soooo easy.

FYI I subbed greek yogurt for sour cream… less fat… more protein.

https://www.plainchicken.com/2009/01/creamy-chicken-casserole.html

Now tell me about your week. What’s new out there with all of you? Anyone training for an event? Do you have any favorite comfort foods?

Monday Musings

Hey boys and girls. Happy Monday! So many things I could talk about in todays edition but I’m going to just focus on a topic that’s been on my mind a lot this week and left me musing the ways of our world and how disturbing a current situation is.

So I guess I should just say today’s post is going to be a little heavier and a whole lot of me thinking out loud on some dark things.

So what’s on my mind, exactly?

Well, if you live in the states, you’d have to be under a rock to not know what’s been going on in the political arena of our nation.

We (were) in the process of appointing a new Justice to our Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh.

If you live somewhere in the rest of our vast world, I’m sure there is possible news of it where you live as well.

In a nutshell, things were moving along, literally hours from him being appointed when a woman materialized proclaiming he had sexually abused her some 30 odd years ago… like when they were in college.

Say what?

Ok.. but first.

Before I go any further I’m going to establish this…… never, ever is it right or appropriate for someone to touch, handle or take advantage of a person, man OR woman against their will or wishes.  To cross boundaries they’ve not been given permission to cross is unacceptable.

Yes, I’m including men because if women hold back from saying anything about what happens to them, men for sure will not speak. And yes, it does happen to them but there’s always the stereotypical thought that a guy would be ok with it and would want it ’cause well, he’s a guy.

There’s a meme that circulates around that I guess, some find to be clever or funny. It’s pictures of Hollywood women in glamorous, yet low cut, backless, thigh cut dresses. The caption says something stupid like… “If you don’t want people touching your critters, don’t make your barn look like a petting zoo” and supposedly someone’s grandmother said it ( yes they can say some funny things) I don’t find it funny… it makes me angry every time I see it.

Not only is it stupid, it’s putting the blame on the person and how they may or may not be dressed and not putting the blame on the person who’s putting their hands on someone against their wishes.

Let’s put the blame firmly where it belongs… and it’s not on the victim.

AS IF… how you may be dressed gives someone a right to touch you. This is the screwed up mentality that has to be dealt with today.

No matter your gender, any unwanted, non consensual advances directed towards you are wrong.

Now with that being said…..

I guess I’ve been troubled over so many aspects of what has turned this important appointment into a circus by grown men and women who are a part of our government running our country.

Shameful behaviors all because at the root they’ve never gotten over the election results.

Shameful how a man has been placed on trial…although they try and pretty it up calling it a “job interview”. It’s reminded me of the old time lynchings when white men went in angry mobs to find the black man they were so convinced had done an offense because he was well, black.

Did they have facts? evidence? Anything conclusive?

Often, not likely.

Shameful how he’s been ridiculed for having a righteous anger over having his name, his family and his reputation dragged through the mud. How dare he be angry? As if… how dare he be upset over all that was going on? How often I’ve heard the holy than thou people bring that up.

Shameful that a woman who decided she had to “share her truth” …. ironically at this very moment in time…… has not been given any more protection from the onslaught that has come from bringing her story forward.

Even if it does lack huge gaps and  has some perplexing questions to it.

I’ve watched numerous news stories with women screaming in the streets already proclaiming he’s guilty. They are wild eyed and on a mission.

This is my gender. Sometimes I’m disturbed my by gender.

They have no evidence. They have no facts. They have no personal accounts or interactions with either of these people. At best they have what the media has regurgitated and fed them.

But by damn, he’s a man, and he’s guilty.

I understand many carry pain and angst over personal experiences, but personal experiences aren’t what’s used to proclaim a man guilty.

And I don’t want someone going off telling me I don’t understand. Yes, there are all types of abuse, inappropriate behavior, and wrong doing that happen against people who wish otherwise.

Growing up, I always looked older. People saw my height and made an assumption I was older. My mom was constantly keeping the male species in line with me.

I remember when I was young, 13-14, a family friend being a bit to flirty and hands on with me at a party.  I remember an Uncle ( slightly drunken at the time) making comments about my barely there breasts in a little dress I happened to have loved.  I remember spending time at the track during the Fair ( I adored horses) and many would let me hang out and brush them and a man far to old wanting to hold me in a hug longer than necessary which to this day I can still remember how uncomfortable it made me. These are just a few situations I’m sharing,

I was far from my woman skills which would take me years to hone, to learn how to handle and deal with anything like that.

Every one of those people trespassed where they shouldn’t have, whether it was with comments or their hands.

As a woman today I am confident in my abilities to put people in their place. Do I deal with things still?

All the time.

There’s a fine line between an admiring look and someone leering at me. I’ve been followed in the grocery store multiple times. I’ve had someone stand so close to me in line they told me my hair smelled good… I thought I’d need security that day leaving I was so creeped out.

I’ve seen men with their phones out not being subtle that they were taking a photo.

So yeah, I deal with stuff.

I say all that to put myself in with those who have dealt with inappropriate behaviors too. Yes, I know many have dealt with much more. But what I shared was as unwanted as what any one else would not want.

Yet, I’m disturbed over the absolute head hunt of a man when there has been no hard facts or evidence.

Where has fairness or reason gone to?

It’s hard to hear things like “college party”, “heavy drinking”  etc and not think.. how is that different then from what we hear going on today? And how if people were judged on being in college and drinking and it played into their lives 30ish years later would that affect their jobs? their lives?

Many people live a heavy partying lifestyle in younger days and mature into responsible, law abiding citizens.

Again, I have no “personal” facts or information on this subject, I am merely an outsider observing and thinking out loud.

And really, the majority of people will only cast outside opinions driven largely by emotion and their own personal experiences.

That… does not make a man guilty.

I know my gender.

I’m surrounded with some cool women.  But then I’ve been exposed to some that make me raise my eyebrows and wonder… what the heck?

I know stories can be turned. I know anger can breed revenge. I know unreturned desires can lead to petty behaviors. I know willing sex can be turned around on the man to get even or make a point or even proclaim rape.

Again, I do not have personal information on the woman involved in this situation. I’m not judging her. I believe something happened to her.

I’m just saying… things aren’t always what they appear to be painted.

So I watch all of this unfolding, troubled, as I know many are. Troubled over how all of it seems odd, how people are acting so horribly, how people to the far left think nothing of a respected man and his family being dragged through hell and back thinking “he deserves it” when they know nothing, and at this moment, there isn’t any hard evidence or witnesses supporting it otherwise. Troubled over how it feels like a modern day lynching as I referred to earlier.

As I write this, there is an “official” investigation under way before any possible progress moves towards him being seated on the Supreme Court.

I feel fairly certain, even with the FBI involved, there will be that group who will still not be happy, still not accept the answer and still continue to stir up trouble and angst, no matter what the answer is.

And like many others, I feel like, good. Do the investigation. Then no one should be able to complain, right? Ha.

It is important to cover all important angles before something as big as a new Supreme Court Justice is ruled on.

An honest inquiry gathering facts is far better than the crazed frenzy I’ve seen displayed on the news reports.

But more troubling than all this….

I have a lot of wonderful men in my life. Much like Brett Kavanaugh is to many people in his life and his work.

It is troubling to think that years from now a woman could go back to some random party, ( to use words in the news ” a drunken party” or a “drunken college party”) and with years gone by and an alcohol ladled mind, bring charges against one of them.

Far fetched? Maybe.

If you asked Mr. Kavanaugh a couple weeks ago, he would’ve thought it a bit far fetched too I’m sure, yet here he is.

Just as women need protected from sexual assault, and unwanted advances and all that go with it, men need protection too.

So I’m left mulling all these things around in my head this week. Wondering what the answer is, not just for this situation, but for our society as a whole.

How do we protect women? How do we protect a man who would be innocent? What if all our lives ( those things from our past) were dragged out and waved around to our employer? If we did this with others in high political positions it’s fairly certain many would be ushered out the door.

How many could stand under the examine and be able to walk away still holding their job? If drinking and college partying are criminal, there’s a whole lotta people in the same boat.

I’d be way more concerned if this was still his behavior and what he participated in today.

Where have we gone wrong to feel self righteous in finding a man guilty without evidence to support it?

So my thoughts continue to roam, unsure of what the answer is, or will be. I do know that we need to have a level of human decency in the process. I do know that wild behavior,  driven by personal emotions, isn’t the answer.

What I do pray is that righteousness and justice prevail and that those in charge have clear wisdom in all that goes on in this process.

As stated, these are my thoughts, my musings, on a highly volatile topic.

Now….

Your turn to weigh in. Thoughts? Is there a cut and dried way to deal with situations like this? How do we help victims and protect those who may be innocent?

 

Monday Musings

Send a boat. Seriously. Send one. The rain has been going on here long enough and I’m starting to feel like if I should sit still to long I may get moldy.

In the south we hate to complain about rain ’cause when it’s done, it goes and we don’t see it for awhile, but I think we’re all ready for a break. The ground just can’t hold anymore and smooshes under you when you walk.

Yes, I just used smooshes. Enjoy that 😉

I’ve come to the realization if I’m running or cycling I’m gonna get wet from more than just my sweat. I’m ok with that, mostly.

Have you ever been on a bike, flying along, with water flying from the sky and it’s all over your glasses?

I’ve yet to figure how to make that all work as I need/ prefer to have them on.. tricky though.. with water on them and not wanting the wind in my eyes.

Speaking of my athletic shenanigans……

I took off on Friday with the intent of doing a brick session, meaning  a run/bike training work out.

The weather guy had promised a “mostly dry” day ahead. I pondered that statement when I walked out and felt light, misty rain hit me.

No big deal. I grabbed my bike and other gear, got set up and took off to do my 5K run.

Finished off the run. swapped gear, and got on the road for miles on the bike.  It always feels good to settle in and have time to drink something and catch my breath from the run.

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It was still fun and games…until….

My mind moved ahead to the route I was taking as the miles dropped under me. I approached a road that I turn on and ride into the cul de sac before looping back the way I came.

There’s a house that sits on the corner and the people there have a couple dogs. It’s not usually an important thing to me however one of them last summer decided it wanted to chomp my thigh when it chased me into the cul de sac and I had to really slow down because of all the loose gravel.

It took me a couple rides down that road before I started to relax again. So whenever I ride I’m always aware.

This was my mental status on Friday. However as I approached to turn on the side road I saw one of the dogs through trees in front of the house…. immediately aware…

Oh my gosh they are out and loose.

It’s funny…well not funny… but my mind began to immediately seek out the best way to avoid conflict.

First, I’m obviously not turning up the road as planned. If I kept going straight it took me down a huge hill that immediately dropped into a sharp, fast “S” curve. As much as I love playing daredevil off those hills. the idea of doing it with dogs chasing me didn’t seem prudent.

I determined to come to a stop as quick as possible, unclip, and hopefully put my bike between us.

I guess I wasn’t aware of this, but now instead of having two dogs, there were four, ( when did they get more??) who began barking and heading towards me, including one who snacked on my thigh last year.

It just happens so fast….

Before I could fully stop to unclip,  he came charging up and yes, again, chomped me in the thigh.

By now the owner was calling all of them and they were scampering off sniffing grass and what not.

Shaking I got off my bike, my upper thigh already throbbing, blood running down my leg.

Then damn it, tears.

It hurt, but seeing four dogs coming at me had been a little unnerving. I can’t explain how my brain was processing things, but I couldn’t get it all going in time to avoid the bite.

Tears because I was angry as I knew my ride was over, that I’d need to go home and tend to myself. Angry because I already felt like I’m behind in my training and this clipped the rest of my training time.

Angry because that stupid dog bit me….again.

The owner was like… “Oh that’s  bad bite.”

Really??

I’d say as it was a full mouth bite.

At that point I just wanted to get home. She asked that I wait while she herded them inside.

Here’s what you need to know. I live in areas where the roads are mostly quiet and there aren’t a lot of people up and down them. It’s great training ground. Plenty of hills, inclines and flat roads.

Being outside with your dogs with you, not in a fence, isn’t awful, necessarily. The problem is, if someone comes along and you have a dog that already goes after someone on a bike, he should never be loose. I mean, realistically, they don’t know when someone will come along and well, then, it’s to late.

After getting home and cleaning up, I sent hubby a lovely leg photo. Probably not the kind of leg photo he may have preferred as this one was a thigh with teeth marks, bruising, and blood.  Let’s just say I won’t win any great leg contests right now 😛

Of course, he wanted me to go to the clinic to be seen. Which of course I did.

Something  I hadn’t really planned into my day.

Before I got back home, the owner was sending messages that they were calling authorities, that the dog would be quarantined and was current on shots etc.

Damage control?

The thing that concerns me with all of this is…. the dog was very focused and intent on what it was about. Headed right into me to bite.  I carry a lot of heavy muscle on my thighs and it took the impact and still had damage. But what if I was a smaller person? Or worse, a kid on a bike? They might not stand up under it as well.

So I’ve got some decisions to make and things to consider with this.

I hate having to deal with it. I hate that my leg is swollen and tender and I seem to hit it on everything. I hate something making me feel insecure. ( after last years event it took several times that way before I didn’t feel tense riding there)

Could I not ride that way?

Yeah, I guess. But why shouldn’t I be able to ride a public road without fear of being attacked? It’s not my responsibility to keep my dog under wraps.

and this is the second time…..

Anyway… that was my exciting way of ending my week…

In the ways of work…

it’s been a busy week in my vintage furniture world. I sold several things this week, picked up another custom order and got the coolest table and chair set… that I want to keep. That is the cool thing about doing this. If I find something I love, I rework it, and it gets added to my collection.

I’m going to freshen it up and it will be a unique kitchen set, It’s legs and details on table…. so gorgeous!

I’m telling you… you just can’t go down to the local furniture place and find things like this anymore.

Oh and I also got some fun fabric for my chair projects.

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I scored a set of 8 antique harp back chairs that I’m getting this week. I guess we’ll see what I do with them…

I know we are approaching Fall….

my daughter in law asked me the other day if I was going to decorate for fall. I told her when it’s not 99 degrees and feels like summer.

I just want a little bit of a weather change, that’s all.  Just a bit of crisp in the air.

The warm, muggy, humid, sauna like weather we’ve been having has not put me in a festive mood wanting all things Pumpkin Spice

Speaking of that…shame on Starbucks for getting greedy rolling out Pumpkin Spice in August,

Are you kidding me?  August?

Not feeling it guys, not feeling it.

The grey days though have put me in the mood for soup and cozy foods. One favorite around here is taco soup. Toss all the ingredients in a crock pot and whoever shows up can grab something to eat. It also reheats well too.

 

I’ve got another busy week ahead…per usual…. and as always new adventures wait.

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Smiles for a new week ahead

What does your week ahead hold? Are you ready for fall and a change of seasons?

 

Monday Musings

Monday. Literally like swimming into Monday. Was it only not so long ago that I was complaining we needed rain? Well as it goes in the south, when it shows up, it’s ready to party. The past week offered plenty but the weekend saw lots of local areas, streams and creeks flooding.

I’m just over here annoyed that it doesn’t make for the best training environment for running and cycling. But I also know it’s good to train in everything since you never know what race day will offer up in the weather department.

It always amazes me though, with a good dose of all that wet stuff, how it almost turns everything green overnight. The fact that my grass is going to be approaching my height in days is rather troubling… and means I’ll be picking up some extra cardio work shoving a push mower all over the place cutting it.

I’ve had people tease me about my preferring a push mower over a riding mower, but honestly, I just like the work that comes with it. There’s something satisfying about it and it feels good to be able to do it.

Do you have a preference?

Rainy days are always good for projects…

So I used the time inside this weekend to work on some of my furniture projects. I pretty much wrapped up a custom order I’ve been working on. Two of the final chairs are old harp back chairs and I’ve had to basically build the harp part (painstakingly) back up because age and careless handling from a previous owner’s “better idea” had left them broken and in sad condition. My customer loved them and wanted all four I had ( plus four other random ones I had) But I’ll really be glad to get past the repair stuff on these, it’s been one of my more challenging projects.

I did however, flip this cute phone bench I got last week fairly quick. It too needed veneer repair on side so it made it a good paint candidate… not only that… I just got a quick vision for what colors it needed and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how it came out…

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It’s “before” look

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And after… I am seriously in love with this.

 

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Not happy with the lighting in photos, the yellow is actually a bit deeper and warmer but matches the fabric perfectly.

In the list of things that are annoying…..

This week, once again, I was wrestling off thick, goopy price tags off some glass items I’d purchased. It is up there on my most annoying list.

I get it… person slapping price tags on glass or other surfaces doesn’t have to see it after that. They don’t have to go home with it and begin the frustrating attempt to remove it without destroying item in the process.

Ugh.

There’s got to be an easier way, right? Something kinder and gentler to the poor purchaser. I try a variety of tricks to extract them, do you have any clever ideas that make the work easier?

Oh. Let’s not forget to add to the list “easy open tops”, “just tear here” markers on packages, and “re closeable Ziploc ” tops.

Lies.

They are all lies.

It sounds good in theory, but really, have you ever tried to really successfully open those package tops without losing your sanity, much less having it actually zip and seal afterwards?

This my friend, is what scissors are for, and re closeable tops be damned.

Making the news this week…..

Just Do It.

I probably don’t need to say more than that do I? Unless you live in a cave you couldn’t have missed Nikes controversial new campaign ad with Colin Kaepernick.

The meme’s have abounded from humorous, to crazy, to thought provoking, to well, down right stupid.

Every person has become an expert on knowing him and what he stands for…or doesn’t stand for.

Every person has an opinion on Nike even if they didn’t previously.

I’ll just state the obvious here. Personal opinions are not absolute real…. facts. No matter how hard someone tries to make them be, they just aren’t.

I have sat back and processed, observed and studied lots of angles of this. I’m certainly no expert on the topic.

I just try to look at things in an objective way not driven by wild personal passions or half baked beliefs of questionable truths gleaned off internet postings of my friends, or worse yet my own desires to “make” something be true without actual, ya know,  real facts or evidence.

It is crazy to me how people jump on bandwagons without actually digging into something on their own and gathering their own info but just blindly accept others thoughts or opinions on a topic.

There is a reason people are referred to as sheep. Sheep just collectively follow each other without any thought to doing something different from the others, thinking for themselves.

Maybe because I write and am often digging and researching for information that my perspective looks at it in a different way.

If you tell me the sky is blue, but I can’t for sure assess that myself, then I’m darn well gonna go look to the best resources I can find to help me come to a conclusive idea if the sky is really blue or not.

Nothing gets me more than self imposed ignorance on anything.

I was going to make this a passing topic on todays post, but really have determined it needs it’s own platform, it’s own separate post.

I’m going to let my own opinions out ( and yes, I’m just as entitled to them as the next guy) perhaps I’ve seen this whole thing in a different way than others. I have seen some interesting, sane, thoughtful posts made by others that let me know there are other thinking and reasoning people lurking out there.

I also plan to bring some “facts” in alongside my own thoughts.

And on that note… I’ll move on… for now.

Let’s talk about food….

Of course I need to share a new recipe with you. I went out to eat this week and the local restaurant had added fresh asparagus and cherry tomatoes with garlic as one of their side dishes.

It was amazing and colorful.

Of course I immediately set out to find a similar recipe to duplicate at home, which I did and whipped up last night.

 

Seriously these few items paired together are amazing. I baked chicken, made some rice pilaf and dinner was served.

In other news….

I got a new book this week I’m really eager to get into. It’s called “Roar” and it’s written for women athletes, addressing  our physical make up and how we difer from men in our training needs, eating, and conditioning to be stronger, better athletes. It’s such a rich book full of great information I am hopeful to get some new ideas for training. Of course, once I finish there will be a book review on it as well 🙂

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That’s a wrap for this week. Have you read any good books lately? Tried any new foods?