Sunday, April 28, 2013

Make it work

One of my favorite Tim Gunn sayings. He has a few that I love.

I'm pretty good at making things work. Not actual things, but situations. Undesirable situations.

Like losing my apartment and finding a new place to live(thank god for friends). Then making the hour long drive to work even though it was difficult and I knew I couldn't do it for long.

Moving into a new place which is very small(a master bedroom) and making it work without having a kitchen. A lot of people ask me how I do that.

Below is my kitchen set up. It's not the same as having an actual kitchen but it works. I also have a small fridge and a microwave that I keep in the closet, plus a tabletop oven on a bookshelf that bakes anything from frozen pizzas to cupcakes. See that burner next to the electric skillet? That belonged to my grandparents. That thing is OLD. Like 50 years. It still works fine!

I use the electric skillet the most, with the microwave and the Kuerig a close second. Gotta have my coffee. I try not to use paper plates that much. I have a small tub that I put hot soapy water in. I rinse the dishes in the shower after and I have a drying rack in the hallway between my room and the bathroom. That's actually the thing I find most inconvenient about the set up, the lack of a sink. Well that and no counter space.

Like I said, not ideal but I'm making it work. I find that I can be pretty resourceful when I need to be. I try to stay positive about things by telling myself it's not forever(it's not) and that it's a good life experience. I have a lot of those lately. LOL.

Still, I can't wait to move another place with a kitchen again. These life experiences are really making me not take things for granted.

On a totally unrelated note, I got new running shoes. I desperately needed them. Unfortunately they did not make me run any faster. I was really hoping they would. Still struggling with the running. :/

There they are next to my old running shoes. I told you I needed new ones! Now I need to break them in because right now the toes on my left foot fell asleep while I was running and it was painful. It worries me because my Nikes were comfortable from the moment I put them on but I can't afford another pair of those right now. These are Avias and they got ok reviews but they were on sale and I simply had to have another pair.


My friend Joannah did this on her blog and since I'm not sure what to write about I thought I'd try it

Currently I am:

Listening to: The Lumineers current album. It's really good. I have also been listening to a lot of Ben Lee. Love him. Also my sister got me listening to Train. Loving them too!

Loving: my new running shoes. To go along with that I'm also loving the running(walking) trails where I live. They are beautiful and there are so many nearby that I could exercise on a different path every day if I wanted to. I'm a creature of habit though and usually keep to the same variation of one of them. It's a combination of asphalt and dirt. I prefer the dirt trails except my new running shoes get dirty. I'm such a girl. It's also shaded which is important for me as I become over heated easily.

Thinking: about my future. I love my job but there are times when I wonder if there is something bigger out there for me. Also doing some thinking on the future of where I want to live and how that will affect the relationship with my husband. He can stay where I am now because the guy I'm renting from doesn't really care one way or the other but in looking for a place to share with someone else(I can't afford an apartment on my own) I have not found any roommate situations or townhouse/condo shares that want to rent to couples. I don't want to live where I am long term. Not having a kitchen is just too hard. I am not cooking much and have been eating crap. Thinking about this keeps me up many nights.

Wanting: dragon boat season to start(very soon!). Also anxiously awaiting something I have been waiting on for about a month now. I'll reveal soon!

Needing: warning, this is tmi. I really need a new supportive bra for running. The one i have isn't cutting it. The one I need is around fifty dollars though and every payday I say I'm going to get one but something else always comes up. I could also really use some cooler clothes for summer. I currently own about three shirts and four pairs of Capri pants. I'm set on workout clothes because last spring my friend Brenda sent me like fifteen pairs of workout pants and shirts. I'm getting so much use out of them. Thank you Brenda! They are a few of the items of clothing that survived the two moves. As for the summer clothes, see above about the budget. There is simply never enough money at the end of the month.

Reading: I was in a slump for a long while and wasn't reading anything. I blame fb and that stupid candy crush game. I really was wasting a lot of time on those things. Since I haven't been spending time there I have read two books! The first is by Jodi Picoult. I used to be a big fan of hers and read almost all of her books but after awhile they started feeling formulaic and too similar in plot. I downloaded The Story Teller and I could not put it down. It is very reminiscent of her earlier books. And it is about the holocaust which is heartbreaking. I am going to look up some other non fiction books about that because I realized I know very little about it and I should. Everyone should.

I just started reading The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout. It has hooked me in and I am really enjoying it so far.

I have already chosen my next book. Is going to be She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb. I forgot how much I enjoyed reading!

Friday, April 26, 2013


I deactivated my Facebook account. Facebook takes up a lot of my time. More than I care to admit.

It's just too hard right now. People have referrals. They are celebrating and making travel plans and we........aren't.

I get up and go to work every day. I come "home"(this place will never be my home) and exercise(most days), I go grocery shopping, make dinner. Take a shower, watch a TV show or two, check fb, go to bed and start all over. We like to joke at work that every day is like groundhog's day(love that movie).

Except that at this point in my life I had hoped for so much more. I had hoped to be living in an apartment with my husband. I had hoped to be driving a nice(er) car than the crappy one I have that is falling apart.

But mostly I had hoped to be staring at the picture of a baby who lives in a country far from here. Our baby. Celebrating. Showing off her(or his) picture to family and friends. Making travel plans.

It's hard.

It's harder than I thought it would be.

A lot of times fb leaves me feeling upset.

So and so is going on vacation(again).

Someone got a new car.

A new job.

A baby.

Most people only put the good stuff on fb. They don't write about how crappy their day is, or what a hard time they are having lately, because no one wants to hear that stuff. But sometimes I do. It's ok to not have a perfect life. It's ok that some days suck. Sometimes things suck for weeks at a time and it's nice to know you aren't alone.

I always have a hard time around this time of year. Mother's Day is typically a hard day for me. This year may be even more so if I get stuck in what might have been.

I miss blogging. I miss people writing stories about their lives, beyond a one word sentence.

Last night joe asked me if this(fb) isn't bringing anything good into my life, or is making me upset in any way then why in the world would I want to spend time there?

He is completely right.

And since I'm not the kind of person who can have fb available to me without going there(why is that?), I deleted it. For now. It's not for forever and I certainly will be back but it's the right thing for me right now.

Most people probably won't even notice, which is fine. I probably wouldn't notice if a lot of my "friends" unfriended me or deactivated their accounts. It's the nature of fb I think.

So I'm feeling sad. And maybe a little bit sorry for myself.

I just need some time to snap out of it.

I have some amazing things coming up. Dragon boat season is almost upon us. A friend is offering me a fabulous opportunity to put me back in touch with a part of my life that I have missed terribly. My sister is making plans for us to spend some time together this summer that I am beyond excited about.

I have good things in my life.

Sometimes I think you just need to step back and enjoy them.

And so I will.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Delayed reaction

A friend on fb asked me how i have been feeling since our referral date. I told her I was surprisingly ok, that I felt fine actually.

I have been kind of surprised by my lack of emotion over the whole thing.

I thought maybe I was just feeing numb about it. Or maybe I'm just relieved that it's passed. Perhaps I just have a better attitude about it, an "it is what it is" frame of mind(I usually despise that saying, but it seems to fit in these circumstances)

My therapist told me that I'm not done processing it. She told me I should expect to have some periods of grief that might sneak up on me when I wasn't expecting them.

I was like nope, I'm good, I think I'm going to sail through this without a problem.

I'm sure you can see where this is going.

Last night during dinner joe put on the Discovery channel. The blue sea, or some such program was on. They were doing a segment on whales.

It was an arial shot of a pod of grey whales, which was stunning. They truly are beautiful creatures.

Anyway, there was a momma grey whale and her baby. They are swimming along minding their own business when a pod of killer whales came swimming up.

I was like cool, killer whales, they're pretty too.

Suddenly the program started playing somewhat ominous music as the narrator explained that the killer whales were trying to get at the baby grey whale.

I turned to joe and said "nothing is going to happen to that baby whale right? Killer whales don't eat baby grey whales, right?" He is usually quite knowledgable about these things.

He replies "no, of course not. I've never heard of that, and besides they wouldn't show something like that on this program. It's family friendly."

The killer whales continued to try and separate the baby whale from it's mother and the ominous music started to get faster(think Jaws).

I was very concerned at this point. I told Joe I didn't like where this was going. I asked him to turn it off.

Suddenly one of the Killer whales comes out of the water and the next thing I know....CHOMP.. He takes a bite out of the baby whale. The water turns red with blood.

I'm pretty much freaking out at this point saying nonononono. Turnitoffturnitoffturnitoff. I'm crying now. Joe is frantically searching for the remote so he can change the channel and I'm crying and shouting that poor baby whale! I don't want to see this, TURN IT OFF!!(over dramatic much?)

Finally he found the remote and changed the channel but by that time I was so upset and crying that I couldn't stop for like fifteen minutes. I realized when I finally calmed down that I wasn't crying over a baby whale(although that is terribly sad).

It triggered something else inside of me. That's the first time I have felt that much emotion in weeks. It didn't feel good. I could do without feeling like that again anytime soon.

I can laugh about it now but last night it was very upsetting.

I don't think I am done processing this grief.

Not by a long shot.

Who knew that killer whales ate baby grey whales? I didn't. I thought all whales were friends(lol). I know, circle of life and all of that but it's still sad. Poor baby whales. :(

No more nature programs for me for awhile!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Run Forrest, run

Joe and I had the following conversation the other day while we were out exercising:

Me: ugh! I always forget to bring tissue when I am running. My nose always runs when I run(haha). It's so annoying!

Joe: you just need to learn to do snot rockets.

Me: um...NO.

Joe: yes, that would solve your problem. Here, let me show you. (Proceeds to shoot snot out of one of his nostrils onto the ground)

Me: (gagging). Gross. Gross gross gross gross gross. Do NOT do that in front of me again.

Joe: whatever. It's better than having to carry tissue with you every time you run

Me: I'm okay with that. Thanks.

So I am still trying this running thing. And I still hate it. I am on week five of the couch to fivek program and it really doesn't seem like it's getting any easier. I'm simply not able to run for any length of time over three minutes or so. Not because my body won't do it(like in the beginning), but because I can't catch my breath.

Twice I became so winded that I had to stop and sit down because I thought I was going to pass out. I don't know if it's because I am so fat or if it has something to do with my respiratory system. I have been having a lot of congestion lately and kind of a wheezing cough afterwards.

I used to have asthma but I haven't had it in years.

I did read that people with kidney disease have decreased lung function and I wonder if it has to do with that. I'm seeing my doctor next week. I'm going to see what he thinks.

That makes it sound like an excuse and I really don't mean it to be. I'm not quitting. I'm just disappointed that I am not progressing with the program like I am "supposed" to.

For now I am running for three minutes and walking for two, even though on the program I should be running for five and walking for three by now. I'm just going to do what I can do right now. I have improved my time quite a bit since starting, and I do feel good about that.

Either way it's getting me outside and it's great cardio so that's a good thing, and we have some lovely walking trails, as you can see below. Spring is in high gear around here and the flowers are beautiful.

Today is my Mom's birthday. It just felt weird writing a post and not acknowledging that somehow. Happy birthday mom. You are still missed, even after all this time.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Dragon boat season

And just like that, dragon boat season is upon us. How does the year fly by so fast? Seriously. In the blink of an eye.

I am ecstatic(as usual).

The kick off picnic was today. Oh how I love our team. This will be my fifth season with them. There is serious talk this year about going year round. And also going to two festivals this year and participating in two races. Our usual races in long beach, as well as one in L.A. It makes my heart sing.

I have missed it so.

It was nice too, to be around people who understand how hard the whole referral date has been for us. Lots of hugs and supportive words. How lucky we are to have this support system.

It's hard for me to put into words what it is about this sport that I love so much.


Physical exertion

Ties to a culture that we have grown to love



Salt water

Weekly trips to In 'n Out Burger

What's not to love? :)

Only a few more weeks!

I can hardly wait.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Referral day

So it's here.

Referral day. What once was a day that we joyfully anticipated is now a day we have been dreading for the last two years.

But it's here. I wasn't fully prepared for the extent of the emotions I am feeling.

I want to lay down and cry. Curl up in a ball and sleep all day until the pain subsides.

I asked joe how he was feeling. I was expecting my English professor husband to come up with something eloquent and touching to say(as he often does). Instead he turned to me and said "this sucks ass". He made me laugh out loud with that comment, which was exactly what I needed right now.

Maybe now we can move on.


Let go of this aching pain in our hearts and really move on.

I hope so.

I truly hope so.

Tonight we went to the beach. We wrote her name in the sand and we watched the water wash it away. I cried my eyes out. We watched the sun set and drove home.

I won't lay down and cry. I will do the exact opposite. I will get out of the house. I will exercise. We will find ways to keep ourselves occupied until the pain and rawness dissipate.

And I will try to remember that this too shall pass.

I'm so sorry Sophie. I hope you and your forever family find each other. I will carry you with me always.