Monday, October 31, 2011

Green Gone Bad

I am green. I do all the small things--turn off the lights, use reusable bags, I rarley buy water in placitc bottles, I use my bike to run errands, and some other small things. Go me--kind of! Nothing revolutionary, I know, but it is something small that will add up to a big impact.

I am always on the look out for ways to continue to "green up" our lives. Last month, I was reading in the Whole Foods flyer that one way to save water is to use the water from boiling pasta or rinsing beans in our plants. Wow!! That is a great idea that I had never even thought of.

Last Thursday, I made some pasta and veggies for dinner, and it was fab! (Fab in the gluten free pasta that I got for free at Whole foods with a coupon so naturally it is going to taste super yummy way!)

P got home right as I finished dinner, and he was getting changed, putting out the plates, and getting the drinks ready. While he was doing that, I kept walking out to the porch with a measuring cup. Finally, after about 5 trips, he asked me what I was doing. I explained what I was doing, and how smart and green I was, blah blah blah.

Once explained, he walked out to the porch and looked at my plants. He then looked at the stove where I was pulling more water from the pasta pot. He looked at me, shook his head, and the following conversation ensued.
He: You just killed the plants.
Me: (in shock) No I didn' did I do that?
He: look at the water, its boiling
Me: No it's not
He: Ok, its not boiling, but it is really hot
Me: So
He: Hot water kills the roots of plants
Me: Oh
He: Yea--think about it
Me: But its cold outside
He: That does not matter
Me: But the flyer didnt say anything about that
He: Well, you cant learn everything from reading
Me: Crap

Lesson learned. Before using the water from rinsing beans or cooking pasta, be sure to let it cool, before you put it on your plants.
Good intentions, bad ending.
RIP plants, RIP

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Friday Confessions

It is Friday Confessional---

1.I talk to my dog like he is a person
2. I ate 2 rolls of fruit flavored mentos in less that 5 minutes
3. My co-worker brought a sandwich for me this week, I threw it in the trash, but told her it was good.
4. I ate an obscene amount of cookie dough, and didn't even think about making cookies with it.
5. I run yellow lights.

Your turn, fess up. What have you done this week?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Lessons Learned from a Family Weekend

2 weekends ago, P and I flew down to Houston for my grandfathers 90th birthday. It was a great party, and it was so much fun, but I learned some pretty significant lessons from that weekend.

Scar run deep and old wounds caused by our own blood tend to hurt more and take longer to heal. I saw that in my mother. Her parents divorced when she was a baby, and she and her dad did not get along for many years. They began to repair their relationship about 15 years ago. My mom has worked really hard to repair their broken ties, and now they are in a place of genuine love and respect for each other. However, no matter how far they have come, those old scars still burn. P and I were talking to my mom during the part about her and my grandfather as children, and her eyes welled up with tears talking about those old hurts. There is something about sharing blood that makes those old wounds hurt just a bit more than others. It was a great reminder that words have power, they can tear down or build up, and once they are out, you cannot take them back.

Family tiffs can go on for years. My grandmother died when I was about 13. She was the anchor to my mothers side of the family. She and I were always very close. She spent the last year and a half of her life fighting lung cancer. My family and I came to see her at least 2x a week (she lived about 45 min. away) while she was sick, and the last month of her life, we were at her house every day. I was there in the room when she died. She stopped speaking a few weeks before she passed because of the soars that had grown in her mouth and throat. The morning she died, I was by her bed, and she looked at me and told me I was the sunshine of her life. After that, she fell asleep and never woke up. God, I loved that woman. I loved her for who she was and not what she could give me, because she couldn't give much. After my step-grandfather died, she went to work at Walmart to make ends meet. The most valuable things she owned were 2 small necklaces with 2 tiny diamonds in there. She left those to me in her will. I never knew she had them. The day of her funeral, my uncles wife flipped out when she found out I received those necklaces, and yelled at me in front of everyone. I told her she could have them if she wanted them, and I meant it. Ever since that day, she has removed herself from our family. We have seen her maybe 10 times in the last 15 years. I would gladly give those back to have a better relationship with her. I learned that stuff, no matter how beautiful or precious can never replace relationships
My other aunt, my mom's step sister (my mom is 1 of 7, 5 are still living) moved far way and have never spoke to our family since the funeral. My mom thinks she had always felt like an outsider. I miss her, and I have written to her a few times over the years, but never heard back. I learned that you cannot take family for granted, we all need to feel loved and wanted.
My mom and the others are still really close. They email and talk to each other all the time, which is awesome. Family is such a funny thing. I come from a huge, crazy tribe. The final lesson I learned from my mother in law. After a family reunion on that side of the family, she looked at me and said, "Family is a good hard thing."

That is absolutely true.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

View from the Top

I work in a high rise office building now. My schedule, life, and office settings are totally different from when I was a teacher.
Now, my desk is near one of our office doors and just outside my office door is the men's restroom.
Being next to the door is probably not a good thing for me, as I watch everyone that walks by. I also watch the comings and goings of the men going into the restroom. The conclusion I have come to just by observation--men are gross and weird.

From my fabulous vantage point, I have observed many things about many men on my floor. For example, one ma goes to the restroom every sing hour on the hour. He will go into the restroom no less than 8 times a day. I chug water all day long--and I don't go 8x a day. Sometimes I wonder if he has bladder issues or a prostate problem. I was not sure so being the inquisitive, ravishing creature that I am, I decided to ask my expert, Dr. Google. The dr. says this man could have diabetes, he could be pregnant, have prostate problems, intestinal cysts, high blood pressure, or bladder cancer. I wonder what he has. Not judging, just curious.

Sometimes there are men who go in the restroom, open the door, and turn around and walk right out. You KNOW somthin' aint right in there for a man to walk away.

Other men use the restroom lest frequently, but choose to stay in a while longer, a lot longer. I once noted that one man was in there for more than 30 minutes. Uhhh, Houston, that is a problem.

It is funny to me when the men don't expect someone else to be in the restroom. They get really surprised and I can see them jump and give a little start when the notice they are not going to be alone. I see them talking to one another, and sometimes someone will hold the door open and talk to the other person in the restroom from the hallway. --Real classy guys. Real classy.

Sometimes, if it is really quite in my office, I can here the toilets flush. It is kind of sick when the toilet flushes and the man stays in in there for a while longer. I have been told this is called a courtesy flush. O my gosh.

There is also a really sweet old man on my floor. If I had to guess, I would say he is in his 80's. He is very sweet, and every time I see him, I make a point to chat with him. The problem is, when he goes into the restroom, he looks into my office to give me a wave. If I don't make eye contact with him, he will stand outside the restroom door and wait until I wave back at him. He is in there a long time in the mornings. Guh...

Finally, there are the men who come to my floor to use the restroom that don't work on my floor. That skeeves me out. What horrible act are they going to do in there that they cannot bear to do within 100 feet of their own office near they own co-workers? Go home then, please.

Yes, I do sit at the precipice of power.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Friday Confessions

I think I might start trying to do this regularly, just confessions on Friday's.

1.I am in an intense game of Words with Friends with a coworker--I have used scrabble cheat for all of my plays.
2. I come from a family who consideres it a massive waste of time if you do not bring reading material into the bathroom with you everytime. (Do with that what you will)
3. I don't think expensive cupcakes are worth it. I will stick with homeade
4. I spent half of my work day yesterday playing on my ipad.
5. I spent the other half of this day emailing with another girl in my company in another state. Way to be productive at work.

Alright--fess up, what are your confessions this week?

To Fool or Not To Fool

I have been debating for last few weeks about doing another full marathon this year or just doing a half. Just a half, it makes it sound so simple.

One day I decided I want to do a full, the next day I change my mind. I think about it all the time. I ran the full in San Antonio for the past 2 years, and it is a great race, but I just don't know if my heart is into doing a full this year. I have been doing more smaller races this year, quite a few 5K's and I have gotten faster with each race, and I go out wanting to p.r. every time. I have also been incorporating a speed workout into my routine every week, something that I always blew off in my past marathon training. As a result of my speed work, I have increased my speed, and I have found myself running about 45 seconds faster per mile comfortably. (That is based on the marathon pace of course)

Overall, I am pleased with the progress I have made. I want to do more than 5K's but less than a full marathon. I think I have set my mind on a couple of 1/2 marathons. I think this will allow me to do a big race, but continue to work on speed.

I still struggle with actually thinking of myself as a runner because I don't run sub 16 marathons a year at a sub 4 hour pace. I wish I could, but I am not there.

I think the 1/2 is where I want to be this year, and I really want to push myself. Plus, I am excited about doing some different races that I have not done before. Tentatively, I am thinking about doing the Austin half and the Cowtown half, and maybe one more this racing season.

What do you guys think? Are you doing any races?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Weekend Recap

We had an awesome weekend---how was yours?
Friday night P and I flew home for my grandfathers 90th birthday party. (It is a 6 hour drive and only a 45 min. flight. My parents offered to pay for our plane ticket if we came down, we said Yea!)

We went down to Houston for Papa's birthday, and all of my mom's family was there. She is 1 of 7 kids, 5 of whom are still living, needless to say, we are a huge clan.
After landing on Friday night around 8, we popped over to the house to see the family and say hi to everyone. We drove home to my parents and hit the sack.

I woke up early Saturday and did a slow 5 mile run, then my mom and I hit up Target. She had a ton of coupon match up's and ended saving over 20.00 off her bill. We showered and got ready for the party. We went back over to my grandparents house, then to their favorite resturant and caught up with family members we have not seen in years. It was a blast!
After the party, we went home, changed, and walked 2 miles to my grandmother's house on my dad's side. We hung out there, watched the baseball game, and talked for a few hours with her and my uncle.
Once home, we showered, watched the football game, and I passed out on the couch.
We flew back to the big D on Sunday mid-day and got stuff done. I went to the store, P went and picked up our dog, we did some laundry and cleaned the house.

It was a great weekend full of family time. I wish it was longer, but it was still so good.
How was your weekend?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Not Good

P and I are not good travelers. Wait, scratch that, we are great travelers. We are fun, adventurous, up for anything kind of people. We will go place on a whim, and we always want to explore and see whats out there. We will try most anything once.

We are good travelers, we are not good packers. NOT AT ALL. Our luggaage is cheap and broken. As a result we pack using bags. P has 2 backpacks, one small one that is actually a camel back holder and 1 large one that I can fit into. And that man can load those puppies up.

When traveling, I usually carry my backpack, my purse, and then another bag, all of which are bursting at the seams. There is crap shoved into every pocket. A change of clothes in our carry on, and last minute crap we grabbed going out the door. Needless to say, it aint a pretty site when we drag all our crap in 18 different bags into the airport.

When we drive somewhere, it is actually worse. I am a bag lady. I buy bags all the freakn' time and I don't know why. Not purses, but big ass bags. The kind that hold a ton, but don't zip. Yep I am that girl. I have so many bags. I take those when it is a road trip. I have also been known to pack using a laundry basket. I just throw all my junk in there, throw it in my trunk and go.

On road trips with P- his motto is--we have the car, load er' up. Back seat- open for anything-just throw it back there.

Plus, we each over pack. Once, when we went skiing for 7 days, P brought 18 t-shirts. (Honey, sorry to throw you under the bus, but you did!) That is a lot of t-shirts given that we were in 8 degree weather.

I over pack undies and socks. I have this fear that I will run out of fresh/clean panties. For a 2 day weekend, I tend to pack 8-10 pair. Do I ever use them all, of course not. And books. I have being confised so I have to bring a ton of stuff to read or entertain myself.

But it ALL ENDS TODAY. Today we become good packers.

In my mind, upon making that announcement there is some triumphant music playing in the back ground.....just go with k.

Today I scooted to REI during lunch and bought this case.

Then I ran to Target and bought a small carry on bag that zips up.

The they don't match at all. At least it is luggage. I am driving to Austin for a girls weekend and I did not want to roll up into the hotel with 18 bags and a laundry basket, and my foam roller.

These bags give me the paramaters I need to avoid over packing.

My packing is going to be beautiful. Can't you see it now--I will be the picture of travel efficiency. I will be just like those people in the movies who carry one small carry on that holds 16 outfits and 5 pair of boots somehow. Yes, I will claim victory today over this travest of travel and become an organized packer. Victory will be mine.

Hey, I can dream...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Meeting #2

We have finally gotten all the paperwork done from our first meeting with our financial advisor. It has taken forever, been a major pain in the rear, but it is finally done. Now that he has our money, we have to decided what to do with the money, and how to invest it. For now, I leave you with all the questions that I typed up to ask him tonight. Some of these, I should have asked before now, but here they are.
I will be sure to update you on the meeting tomorrow.

Why are we investing with this fund?
Should we diversify, is it smart to put all of our money with this one company?
What happens if this fund shuts down?
Will the stock market go up again?
What happens if you leave this company?
Is now a good time to invest our money?
What happens if your company shuts down?
People are talking about taking their moeny out of the banks, should we consider this?
Is investing 15% enough?
What is your one one our money is invested?
What set of checks and balances are there with your company?
What will you be able to do with our money once you give it to you?
How many clients have beat their benchmarks or are on track with their goals?
What goals do you have for us?
How have your clients fared during the recessions?
Can you combine all of your clients into one portfolio and tell me how they did?
What is your short term investing record?
What is your long term investing record?
How do you make investment decisions for us?
How do you decide when to stick with an investment or pull out?
Who makes the decisions about our investing options? You, others, a group?
Can we have a written outline of fees and investment strategies?
If we want to leave this investment company is that possible?
How many clients do you have?
Have you ever been disciplined for unlawful/unethical actions?
Is your company making money?
Who is your biggest competition right now?
How is your company faring against the competition?
How many lawsuits have been brought against this company?
What is your investing philosophy?
What kind of car do you drive?
Have you ever been fired from a job?
How do we know when we should adjust our investment strategy?
What if we dont save enough moeny for retierment?

Ok, there are about 20 more questions that I have typed up for him. Do you see any more I should ask.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


I am not one of those people who lives with out regrets, are you?
Those people who say they don't, well I admire them.
I have done some stupid things in my life, as well as some smart ones, but I still have regrets.
My biggest regret is that I never moved to Paris, which we all know is a place I long for.
Here is what I did:

I graduated college in December and I did not have job. I moved home, lived with my parents, job searched, saved some money, applied to grad school, and worked as a substitute teacher. I was accepted into grad school, and would start the following August. 8 months at home. While at home I worked out a ton, hung out with my parents, shopped at Target entirely to much, and probably annoyed my mom and dad enough for them to be thankful that I was their last child. To this day, I swear I hear anxiety in my moms voice when I tell her I am coming home for more than a week at a time. Apparently, they are concerned that I will try to change their eating habits, and throw away all their crap, and live a more minimalist lifestyle. What, you wouldn't like that? As we know, I am always right, as is my mother.

Here is what I should have done:
I wish I would have moved home and had a huge garage sale. Just put all my junk out in the driveway and sold everything that people would have purchased. I should have taken that money, pocketed it, and work like a dog in about 18 different jobs.
I should have saved all of that money. Once I had enough funds, I should have booked a one way plane ticket and short term apartment and moved to Paris for as long as I could afford it.
I should have spent that time eating, reading, and exploring the city. Taking it all in and just live the life of the ex-pat.

That is my biggest regret. I should have taken the chance, and ran with it.

What is your biggest regret?