Friday, February 16, 2018

Unexpected Flowers

Don't you just love flowers?

I do!

I love the colors, the shapes, the smile that crosses your lips when you see them. I love my garden and I love planting more and more flowers every year. Yes, it's kind of an obsessive-compulsive thing.

What's even better is receiving flowers from a friend. The other day I was waiting for a girlfriend so we could drive together to run the Fat Tuesday 5K. When she showed up she surprised me with not a dozen tulips, but three dozen tulips. Gorgeous!

For the record, I love tulips!! They are just such happy flowers. I love how they sleep at night and open up during the day. They look like they are smiling, which makes me smile.

The fact that these flowers were a huge surprise from a great friend made my day. And the tulips were pink. My favorite color!

Don't you just love good surprises?

The unexpected is what makes life interesting. Don't ya think?

Grateful for my friend for being a part of my life and for bringing a smile to my lips.

I hope you all have wonderful friends in your life. Hope you not only appreciate a terrific surprise but you do the surprising.

Have a terrific day and may the unexpected be positive!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Laughter is good medicine

They say laughter is the best medicine. How can you disagree?

The benefits of laughing are all-around fantastic! Laughing has a relaxing effect. In this day of stress as the norm, relaxation is something we should seek.

Laughing boosts your energy, boosts immunity, decreases muscle tension and pain, and helps prevent heart disease.

I did it!
When you are sitting around drinking your coffee with coconut oil and you watch your skinny cat hop in a box and I swear practically bounce back out again you have to laugh.

When Mayhem's chubby brother tries to crawl in the box (because his backside is to chunky to jump) and the box keeps sliding across the floor you MUST laugh. Mischief did make it into the box but I could not stop laughing. He is so dang cute and was so determined. What is it about cats and boxes?

What was funnier was watching Mischief try to turn around inside the small box. He did it!

His brother, Mayhem cracks me up. I was eating chicken for lunch the other day and of course he wants to eat some. I sit a piece on the counter for him and the entertainment ensues. Check out these photos of him getting the piece of chicken off the counter.

Oh! I spy chicken.
Come here, chicken!

Together these two brothers, Mischief and Mayhem keep me laughing and entertained on a daily basis. Look at those faces! I am blessed with these two troublemakers.

Where does your daily does of humor come from?

Friday, February 9, 2018

Morning routines

Do you have a morning routine?

From the minute your eyes pop open to the time you walk out the door for work, what do you do? Maybe you don't leave for work. Maybe you work from home. What's your routine?

Do you take solace in your routine?

I am usually woken by sunlight streaming through the windows or my two cats. The moment my feet hit the floor I make the bed. Yes, you read that right. I make the bed. My mom taught me to make the bed first and I've been doing it ever since. It's important to me because I don't like messy and I am not one of those people who can crawl back under the covers at night if the bed has not been made. Maybe that's a little OCD, but I think not.

After that I have to feed the kitties. Why? Because oh my goodness they are these cute little fur balls that yell at me if I do not immediately go downstairs and feed them. Did I mention they were cute?

Then it's finally about me. I get to get cleaned up, dressed and yes, I look forward to my one and only cup of dark roast coffee with double espresso almond milk. This is my relaxing part of the morning. I share it with the two fur balls, Mischief and Mayhem. I drink the coffee and they get morning treats good for their teeth. Lots of licking chops happen all around and purring ensues. Okay, I don't purr, but I do lick my lips.

If I work from home I try to go for a short morning walk to get some fresh air before being cooped up for the day. Then have breakfast before being enslaved by my computer. If it's a day I have to travel to the office I pack up my bag and computer and hit the road. No time for breakfast. Yeah, yeah, I know. Morning is the most important meal of the day. And I do believe that, but I'd rather skip that than be stuck in traffic.

I enjoy my routine. It's all warmth and cuddles and relaxation before the storm of stress.

How do you feel about your morning routine? Does it give you comfort?

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Friends and Neighbors

Remember when you were a kid and how you had friends in the neighborhood? Remember how your parents used to hang out on the weekend with your friends' parents?

Do people do that anymore? Do you know your neighbors?

I remember playing Frisbee across the street with all our neighbors, friends, and parents. The memories of cookouts with neighbors and friends is vivid in my mind. I recall playing at each others houses and my mom getting together for coffee with other moms in the neighborhood.

What about you?

I am happy to say I know my neighbors and they are friends. Maybe I don't know all my neighbors, but definitely some. We do hang out together. In the summer we hang out at the fire pit. In the spring we talk about what flowers we are going to plant and ooo, aahh over the results. In the winter I can send a text that says, "Steak Thursday night?" and get a response back from, "I'll do the sides."

Recently one of my neighbors moved to Georgia where his family lives. While I am ecstatic for him and his family, I am sad by my loss of the friend and neighbor that I can call up and say, "Chicken wings?" or "A movie?" Sometimes I could even convince Mike to take a long walk with me. Even though he has moved miles and miles away, we still stay in contact. We are friends.

Oh my gosh! The day I bought my house I was introduced to my neighbor and now friend, Donna. The first thing she said to me was, "This is the view you will see all summer." Then she proceeded to bend over and show me her backside. Because she spends a lot of time in her yard and gardens.

I knew at that moment we would be friends! And I am grateful to have them in my life.

Are your neighbors friends?

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Is there such a thing as a work family?

Yesterday was a Monday. Honestly, who likes a Monday? Seriously.

The day starts by getting up before 4 AM just so I can be in my car and on the road to work before the crack of dawn so I can beat the horrific traffic. The bonus is that when I get to work there are very few people there so I can actually get some work done before the wave of noise and lower productivity sets in.

The engineers who work for me, however, are the delight of my day. These guys are wicked smart, creative, and funny. They are the reason that work is fun and the reason I put up with the ridiculous bureaucracy in the organization.

What I love about these people is that while we are working our tails off to deliver good software we laugh. Someone will share a Dilbert cartoon or a web link from some other software coding disaster. Or we share personal stories like how they met their girlfriend/wife or the latest family vacation. One guy who works with me longer than anyone shares recipes, talks about his beer making, his golf struggles.

When someone calls out due to a cold or this nasty flu we cover for each other. Everyone steps in to make sure nothing gets forgotten and the sickie doesn't come back with a full plate to sift through, but can come back and hit the ground running.

It's all terrific and it's what makes us a work family. Yes. That is the perfect description. We are a family who comes together for 8 to 10 hours a day and then goes home to our home life.

I am grateful for these wonderful and talented people for making my work family so diverse, interesting, fun, and extremely productive. Because yes, they do amazing work and make me smile.

Do you have a work family?

Monday, February 5, 2018

Ruck for fun?

What is a ruck? A ruck is loosely defined as getting your gear from point A to point B in a backpack and on foot. Walk or run in my case does not matter. As long as you are hoofing it and making forward progress.

I'm training for a 26.2 mile ruck that occurs in April. During this ruck I have to carry gear that weighs 15 plus pounds. That does not include the water you might drink because obviously by the time you get to the end then your pack will be lighter. My pack ONLY has to weigh 15 pounds because I am a civilian, while the military, both active and Veterans will carry three times that weight.

Last weekend I did 3.5 miles with 5 pounds in a backpack. It was great. I felt terrific. So today, in my all-knowing stupidity decided to go with 8 pounds in a ruck for a 3.1 mile run with a friend.

Being winter we dressed in layers. Thank goodness! A mile in I was ready to strip off everything. Okay, not naked everything, but definitely the outer layer. Once we hit the aid station I whipped off the pack, stripped off my vest, hat, and mittens and tossed them into the rucksack then strapped it back on and away we went. SLOWLY.

Now the pack weighed just shy of 10 pounds. Have you ever lost 10 pounds and then put it back on? You know 10 pounds is basically an entire clothing size and the weight is probably distributed. Now imagine wearing that on your back while trying and not really succeeding at running. Instead of slowly jogging, which is just nuts, we (my friend Lisa and I) used the pole method.

What's the pole method you ask?

We sprinted from one light pole to the next then walked to the next pole. We kept this up until the end. I was probably faster doing that than trying to jog very slowly with 10 pounds of gearing bouncing on my back. We did it! We made it to the finish.

What did I learn from this? That I am ever grateful for Lisa for being supportive in my test run and that I was clearly not ready for 10 or even 8 pounds in my backpack. More training is needed.

Even more important. I am grateful to the men and women who serve in our military and carry 45 to 50 pounds on their backs going from point A to point B while on foot. You have not only my deepest gratitude for your service, but HUGE respect. Thank you!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

I love to read!

When I say I love to read, I mean I like to read anything ad everything. I crave to read. I crave losing myself in a story, I crave learning something, I crave just the peacefulness of my mind when I'm in a book.

Mostly I read mystery, suspense, romance. But I do veer off the "normal" path and read non-fiction (especially books on what entrepreneurs went thru when they started their business). Not the "how-to" books because quite frankly that is boring. I want to know the pain and suffering and the joys of the unknown, the failures, and the successes. I'll read books in running, again not a how-to, but the journey that other people have go through to get to be the runner they are today. I'll even read science fiction. Okay, not very often and only if someone I trust recommends a book. That's how I suffered through the first 100 pages of "Dune" and then loved it til the end.

Yesterday I read a book because it caught my eye with the title. See, a good title will get someone to pick up a book. "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck," by Mark Manson is the book I picked up. Yes, I use the F word, but not as often as some might think. At first I was thinking I'm not sure I can read a book with the F-bomb dropped all over the place. But you know, I loved it. I recommend it.

Blame my parents for my hunger and love of books. After all, they taught me to read.

When I was a kid and my parents would stick us in the car for a 4 hour drive to my grandparents for a visit, I would read every sign. If they hadn't taught me to read then I wouldn't be such a reader.

I am grateful for my parents who taught me to read and for every author who has put their heart and soul into a book. Very much appreciate you sharing your stories.

Who taught you to read?

Saturday, February 3, 2018


Smashmogram is the nickname I lovingly refer to as a mammogram. A torture device used on women's breasts invented by a sadistic man...OF COURSE. If the inventor tried the machine, smashing his private parts I bet he wouldn't like it either and wouldn't do it a second time.

It's not only the pain, it's the indignation of bearing the 'girls' in all their splendorous glory to a total stranger to be manhandled. And not just manhandled by a pair of impersonal gloved hands, but lifted, squeezed, tugged, and finally smashed.

I commented through gritted teeth to the technician when she had my right boob in a vice grip, "Wow, talk about high and tight."

I mean it's like she thought scraping my rib cage with that dang contraption wasn't close enough. I'll have bruises for a weak!

Worse is the fact that the technician can't just plop them on a shelf, smash them once and snap the picture. No! That would be too easy. It's repeated torture. Three different views, three different smash sessions PER BREAST.

Torture. Pure and simple.

But...I am grateful to my OB/GYN for betting me that I wouldn't go. Cuz, yeah, that made me have to get the dang event over with.

I am also grateful to the evil man, Albert Solomon, the inventor of the mammogram machine to help with the early detection of breast cancer and saving many lives and boobs. Even if it is through a modern torture device.

I thank you for the torture of the TA-TAs.

What are you grateful for today?

Friday, February 2, 2018

Positivity Day 3

Really going to see how many days I keep posting positive things to be grateful for. Honestly, I believe everyday something good happens even if it's just the fact that you woke up and put two feet on the floor or you kissed your spouse or children good morning.

It doesn't have to be a major event to make you focus on the fabulousness that is you.

Yesterday, for me, was reading my dad's comment to my first blog on Gratitude with Attitude. I mean how can you not feel blessed and overwhelmed with warm fuzzy feelings to have your father put in writing how proud he is of you. No matter how old you get, you can never hear that enough.

I am grateful my father shares his feelings and thoughts, and honestly, we have some of the most amazing conversations about everything. If someone ever recorded us they'd probably think we were nuts. And I love it!

What made you grateful today?

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Positivity Day 2

Continuing our journey of gratitude with attitude.

Yesterday's positive event was receiving an email from NECHV (New England Center and Home for Veterans) confirming that I am on their Marine Corps Marathon running team. Looking forward to not only running my favorite marathon but the opportunity to help raise money and support for such an amazing organization that supports At Risk Veterans.

In the near future I will post a fundraising page so anyone who wants to help Veterans at risk of homeless and homeless Veterans can donate. Help me thank our Heroes!

How is your positive attitude journey going? What was your positivity for today?

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Gratitude with Attitude

Every once and a while I diverge from my insatiable appetite for fiction books and try something else. When I go off my mystery and romance path I tend to read things that are of a personal nature, about someone who has discovered their path in life; someone who has figured out how to make a difference in this world.

Well, a few weeks ago I found a book titled "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do" by Amy Morin. Quite the mouthful for a title, right?

I know having done several ultra marathons that being mentally strong is very valuable, especially when you hurt everywhere, can't remember the last time you ate, but aren't really hungry, and it's so dark you wonder what is ready to meet you around the bend on the trail. It's not the body that keeps you moving forward, it's the mental strength that convinces yourself, "You can do it."

Anyway, one of the chapters was talking about how to not focus on the negative, but focus on the positive. Amy suggested that the reader identify something positive every day.

So, with the idea of wanting to be mentally strong I vote we all try this. Every day identify something affirmative. Take this positive thing and be grateful for it. Write it down. Share it with others or put it in a jar every day and at the end of the year you can see how much you have to be grateful and happy for.

I will start.

Today I am grateful for my nephew, Codi. Today is Codi's birthday and I hope he has the best day with lots of cake!

I am every happy to have Codi in my life. I may not see him often or talk to him (he's not a phone guy) as much as I would like, but I am thrilled to have him as my nephew. And I am positive that he will soon have a job.

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