People Just as Crazy as Me

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Don't LEAVE ME!

Work has been insane. And when I have enough time to post.. I am busy wrapping or cooking, or baking.... or hiding gifts...

IT IS INSANE.

I'll be back in January y'all.

I'm sorry.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Snow Days and Work - Need I say more

Between the massive amount of work, and the 2 days of snow days... 
I haven't had time to write anything... let alone THINK anything.

I feel this is going to be a quiet month from me.

Stay Tuned.
I'll be around...

Hopefully more than the past few days.

Friday, December 6, 2013

My volunteerism.. and how it scarred me

On Wednesday, I went to a "nursing home"... not one of those NICE ones, that you see in happy movies... But, one of the STATE run ones... that are... dreary and smell like pee.

Some people there, are there because they have no family, and no one to take care of them, but have such horrible medical problems that they need constant care.

Others, have family, that obviously could care less (because NO ONE would leave there family member here, if they really cared).... And are stuck.

Some are amputees... Some are mentally disabled...

We brought these people presents.... That's what my organization does.. we reach out, and make sure everyone enjoys this holiday.

I went in with my best positive attitude.
I went in thinking, "I am going to make someones day. I will make a connection, because who knows when the last time this person will get another visitor?"

I left...
Feeling sullied and unusual. . . .

It wasn't the conditions of the hospital. You can tell they try to keep it as clean as physically possible.. But, they are packed to capacity. Let's just say that.

I was walking through one of the wards... and we were instructed to leave the present on there side table. Whether their curtain was OPEN or SHUT... I thought this was odd, and it made me uncomfortable. I was raised, if a door or curtain is closed.. you don't enter, unless someone can acknowledge you are there... and invites you into their space.

Well... back to what happened.

I go into this room (5 beds in each room.. this was a little much for me) and I drop of 4 of the 5 gifts, and the last bed has the curtain closed... and the table is just beyond the curtain... **SIGHS**.. So, I lean in just to drop of the present....

And, the man was in there... let's just say... I got an eyeful...

And, an experience that I want to erase from my brain.. COMPLETELY.

I quickly ducked out, I'm sure he saw me, and I just scurried away... Feeling very dirty.

I did not open any additional curtains during my volunteerism.
I let the MAN that was with us do it...

I just kept focusing on what happened, and thinking not of the.... "event".. but the horrible circumstance... I mean... That tiny little hospital curtained space.. is THAT MAN'S HOME. That is where he feels most comfortable... and safe....

And that struck me as very sad.
Yes, at least he is warm and has a bed... and is being medically provided for.

But: I wouldn't let my worst enemy.. live in a place like that.

It made me cherish what I have and love the family I have around me.
It also made me realize that one day.. my mother might not be able to take care of herself.
Now, I don't speak to my mother, and she is NOT a safe person... But, I would never allow her to be in a place like that. I wouldn't take her in to live with me... That is just not something I am comfortable with... But, I would make sure that she was someplace... that could actually feel like a home.. and not a hospital.. Not have to share a room with 4 other people... That's...

It's no way to live.

Feeling very reflective on this, and I can't seem to find the right words...

I could drone on and on about how awful it makes me feel.

 I think the basic sentiment is that LIFE IS PRECIOUS, and SO IS YOUR FAMILY.

And sometimes, family isn't blood... it's love... Make sure those you care about are taken care of.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Day my car Exploded.

Well, I guess "exploded" is misleading... you read that word and you instantly think of fire and flames... There were none of these things.. However, the car is down for the count.

This started about oh... a month or so ago. My car was starting to shudder upon acceleration. My mechanic looked into it, and well, it turned out that there was something up with my transmission. Since my car is under 36,000 miles, anything internal is covered by my manufacturers warranty. So, my mechanic said... GO GET THIS FIXED FOR FREE! (He's a good guy, took a hit and sent me to the dealership....) 

I go to the dealership, that took 4 freaking hours to diagnose the exact problem. It came down to 2 seals in my transmission were cracked. BUT: the parts are on back order (since this is happening a lot with my current make/model/year car). The parts were 6 weeks out. However, the dealership assured me my vehicle was safe to drive, that I would not do any additional damage, and that it would make it 6 weeks... 

Let's go to this past Tuesday. I wake up, I am running late, and I do not have enough gas to get me to work.. so I planned on stopping down the highway and fueling up. I was about 15 minutes from home when... 

SHUDDER SHUDDER STALL.

http://vitalministries.org/my_devotions/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/warning-lights.pngThe car turns off... All of the dashboard lights illuminated... I coast to the side of the road, and begin to CURSE.. I mean, like a sailor, truck drivers would have been SHOCKED. 

It is 5:45a... The dealership isn't opened for another 2 hours... my mechanic is still asleep... And I am definitely not making it in to work for my exercise... Let alone to do my job. 

I begin to talk to my car. I turn it off, and start rubbing the steering wheel. Because that works.. RIGHT? 
"Hey, there, I can tell you aren't feeling well today, and I completely get that. But, if you could just turn on... and allow me to drive 2 minutes up the street to the Diner... I will sit there until the dealership opens, and then we will get you fixed.. Mmmmkay?" 

http://mothsmokelingers.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/bombay-burning-prayer-bw.jpgI sit there for a minute and continue to rub the dashboard. Praying like mad. I turn on the car, the engine starts... I squeal, and proceed to slowly get off the next exit, and up the hill to the diner. 

God was with me, definitely. The Diner is uphill from the Dealership.. I just had to COAST my way down. I called the dealership when I was safe in the warm diner... Instructing them to call me immediately.. that there was something really wrong with the car. 

8a hits (Do the math, 2 hours of waiting)... No call from the dealership, that opened at 7:30a. I definitely used the word STRANDED in my message. So, I prayed over the dashboard again.. and coasted into the dealership parking lot. 

My car is just about a year old. This isn't supposed to happen. LIKE AT ALL. 

The same service attendant saw me, and didn't seem happy to see me. They took the car right in... much to my surprise... and about 45 minutes later... He came out to me with a set of unfamiliar keys. 

They had to give me a loaner car... INDEFINITELY. 
The mechanic at the dealership discovered that my catalytic converter has gone defective, ON TOP of the problems with me transmission, and THAT part is ALSO back ordered. 

http://www.fairtrasa.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/shutterstock_92433031.jpgIn case you aren't reading between the lines: the 2013 Ford Fiesta... is a LEMON. And Ford will probably recall the entire engine and swap it ANY TIME now. 

Ford is paying for everything...

But, until these parts come in... I am the proud new driver of a SUPED UP 2012 Ford Focus Hatchback. 

http://www.thetorquereport.com/assets_c/2011/12/2012_Ford_Focus_Electric_new_fr8-thumb-530x325-16840.jpgIt's speedy, and the engine is 10000% beefier than mine... However, it is HALF the size. There is four seats.. and four doors... But, Clowns would be more comfortable than Emry and I. *SIGHS* Pickers can't be choosy. I am appreciative to be able to get to work... I am appreciative for the vehicle...

I just hope that I get my car back.. oh... by the new year? That be lovely.. right?!

So, there were no flames... the car didn't turn into a billowing fire ball.... It just... STOPPED. 

And it completely stinks. 
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-iygVqMoVlIs/UjIu1oPbcdI/AAAAAAAABKI/aE5jQA5M70k/s640/pouty+face.jpg


The 8,000,000 calories of Christmas: Office Edition

For those of you who do not know, I work in a pseudo corporate office, for a Nonprofit Christian Organization. We take Christmas very seriously here. 

For the record, every department does "Fellowship Treats" all month long. What are "Fellowship Treats", you ask! Well, everyone in the department signs up on a particular day from December 1st through December 31st, and they provide goodies for their co-workers. 

Now, what you should be reading here is: There is a lot of food temptation. Carbs galore, cheese, meats, fat fat fat fat fat, cookies... etc. It is very hard for anyone, even the most disciplined to survive this month without gaining a few pounds.

I, for one, am very scared. I am a food junkie, I know I am... I know that once I start eating, I continue to eat... I know that I have a hard time saying no... I know that I have a hard time stopping. 

So, I devised a plan: I would bring in a TON of healthy options, and instead of eating the deliciousness crap, I would instead snack on fruits, veggies and lean proteins. 

This week, I brought a Gallon Sized Ziplock bag filled with Veggie Sticks. I have zucchini, cucumber, celery, carrots and Red Peppers. I bring a giant apple with me each day, and I have an entire container of hummus. In the mornings, I bring a glass of almond milk, and depending on what the Breakfast Treat is, I bring oatmeal. 

How has this plan gone? Well, this week... not so good. Well, let me be really honest. Monday went GREAT. I stuck to the plan, and was not tempted. Tuesday, my car EXPLODED (there will be an entire post on this), so I was stuck at home and the dealership... so, eating healthy was... Stalled. Wednesday, started out great.. but then, after me and a few co-workers took a volunteer trip to a local Nursing Home (there will be an entire post on this as well), we stopped at Chili's, and I may have had a Lunch Chicken Fajita Combo with Chili... and then when we got back to the office, I may have overheard a conversation about Peanut Butter Pie.. and then proceeded (hypothetically) to eat two HUGE servings of it. So... Wednesday was another wash...

So here I am today, Thursday... and I hear the following: "I bought 3 fresh baked loaves of bread for ROCKLAND BAKERY, then Major StickupButt (really, not her name) made Minced Meat PIES, and pumpkin bread, and cranberry walnut bread... and we made TWO type of SOUPS" 

I instantly started pounding my vegetables... Seriously, no joke... After a PLATE of veggies and a CUP of almond milk, I still find myself going in and out of our break room... And I'm at WAR with myself. So, since I knew I was going to succumb, I ran to the refrigerator and grabbed my gigantic apple.

The goal of this Christmas Holiday is not to GAIN weight. I don't care if I lose any.... but I will not go above my 5 pound cushion of 135 pounds. It is NOT happening. I have been weighing myself weekly, and I have been able to keep between 130 and 135 consistently.. some weeks better than others... But, with 18 days left of "Fellowship Treats".... I feel like there is this GIGANTIC MOUNTAIN in front of me... and that it will be impossible to conquer. 

What is even worse, is that 2 of those 18 days are Office Parties. Which means that I will not be able to bring my own food... And, our company... well... We are EATERS.. let's just say it that way!

The goal is NEXT week, to do better. There will be no car disasters, and no volunteer day.... so, I think I should be able to keep on track better. 

I know with my mindset, I should be fine... But, I love food. I love home cooked food... and, I don't want to seem like the ungrateful coworker for not participating. You know?

You might be asking yourself, "What are you making on your "Fellowship Treat" day?"

That is a good question, and you are going to hate this. Because it goes against all of the above writing.

I plan on doing a Breakfast Item, Lunch Item, and Dessert Item.
Breakfast: Klay will be making his AMAZING SCONES. They are usually apple cinnamon with maple sugar icing. He makes these from scratch, and they are ADDICTIVE. 
Lunch: I am going to make Chicken Fajitas. Now, this in the basics, is not an unhealthy thing. Lean Chicken Chunks with peppers and onions? Not awful! Now, once we add the tortillas and cheese to this.. well, that's when things get CRAZY
Dessert: Cake Pops. I'm making 50-80 Cherry Chip Cake Pops coated in Dark Chocolate. I am also going to see if I can inject some fruit filling into them. I know, this is a HORRIBLE idea.. because they are tooo tasty. But, I want to give a nice spread!

Also on this day, Karissa signed up with me. I should have put a line through the entire day so she couldn't... But, whatever, I am going to make up a sign to show what I provided, and we'll see what she brings. Last year, we were supposed to do this "together" and at the last minute, she bailed, and I didn't have enough food to feed everyone. I was very embarrassed... she could care less. One of the many reasons that I have (very maturely, mind you) backed away from this person. I don't like negativity and two-face behavior. Just saying. 

My day is scheduled for Tuesday, December 17, 2013. 

Also: during this month, I promised Emry that we would make Holiday Cookies for his entire class. We are going to make classic Sugar Cookies, and I bought a bunch of nifty cutters. They will be dipped in different types of chocolate and decorated with icing and colored chocolates. 
(So, you know that I'm going to eat more than a few of those). 

Christmas is a hard holiday... 

Just got to stick to the code... 
DO NOT GO OVER 135 POUNDS.

I probably will be writing a lot of posts about how this is going, and how much I hate it... But, writing is very therapeutic... It will keep me away from the food... Right?

Monday, December 2, 2013

So, who wants to read about my AMAZING 5 day weekend?

Hello All! I hope y'all liked my pre-written posts from last week. And I hope you all had a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving. 

So now, that I am back, I wanted to give you a first hand account of my AMAZING 5 day weekend!

Ready? Because this is going to be a long one!

I woke up on Wednesday morning, without pain in my foot/ankle.. feeling really good. Of course, I couldn't sleep late, because my body is trained to be up and ready at 5a during the weekdays... So, I got up and watched "Identity Thief" on demand... I have to admit, there was a couple funny moments, but overall.. I really didn't enjoy it. I think the Melissa McCarthy's humor supersedes the scripts that they write for her. Just saying.

It was a perfect day. The previous day, Emry was supposed to have a "Turkey Dinner" at his school, but due to the weather it was postponed until Wednesday... which is WONDERFUL because I could GO! The first grade classes had a feast of Turkey, Stuffing, Vegetables, Corn Bread Muffins, and a wonderful dessert section. Needless to say, my hopes of not eating any crap before my race went RIGHT out the window... but, I didn't go over the moon... and I had a nice time.

Emry showed me around his class, and I got to see the little hidden things, that only a mother would find... The group of girls that would walk over and giggle when they spoke to Joey. The kids who seemed to be unsure whether or not Klay and I were his parents or his siblings (which on a side note is a pretty cool feeling)... 

After that, it seemed kind of silly to let him sit in school for another hour (half day and all).. so we took him home early, and had a really LAZY day... 

I made the trifle for Thanksgiving Day Dessert... It was a Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle... If you want the recipe, you will have to find it here...    I did some additions, like between each layer I used Dark Chocolate and Caramel Syrup (and I may have used some Spiked Egg Nog.. just for a little something special!).

Then we watched TV, and movies... and just hung out. I didn't clean... I didn't work out... I didn't do NOTHING... I wanted to be perfectly relaxed for the next mornings 5k.

THURSDAY THURSDAY THURSDAY! Turkey Trot Day! 
I woke up at ... wait for it... 5a AGAIN... I really have a hard time sleeping in... It's awful. I got dressed, and got to Registration around 715a... The race began at 8a. I got registered, proceeded to warm up slowly outside. This consisted of me walking to and from my car a couple of times...

The temperature was 24 degrees, there was very little wind, and no precipitation. This was the best way to start this race. My father, Klay and Emry met me by the starting lane... 

And almost as soon as I got there... I was off... It was cold, and I didn't want to push to hard and run out of all of my energy, so I found a good pace... and just started to chug along. 

Photo by: Catello Somma
To my surprise, I was starting to pass people. What do you mean I was passing people? I know, it was kind of amazing to me.. Of course the hard core runners were far ahead of me.. but, I didn't care... I knew I was doing something AWESOME. As I made it towards the first mile, I looked up, and in the distance, I saw this very tall man, with a camera.. and this little woman next to him.. JUMPING up and DOWN... And waving at me. Lissa, and her New Beau (the photographer)... I smiled and kept chugging along... UP the first hill. 

After mile one, there was this other hill, not too steep, but , it prepared you for a very nice downhill trip to mile 2. At mile 2, I saw my entire support group (From dad - to Lissa's new beau)... All cheering for me... Emry screaming "GO MAMA RUN!!!" And Klay "HELLO GORGEOUS!" That gave me such.. adrenaline and happiness, I realized I started to pick up some speed. I was 2/3 of the way there.. I can DO this... 

My new gear felt amazing, the only thing cold, was the tip of my nose.. the only thing that WASN'T Covered! Ha! I rounded my way down the hill... and started to see someone ushering people towards the 3rd mile marker. I looked more closely, and it was the President of the Running Club, ED! 
"Good Morning Ed!" I screamed to him.. 
"Good Morning Jillian! I came back for you! You look great, you are doing great! Let's finish up!"
How sweet is that? He remembered me from the 2 times we have met, saw me running and after he had finished.. Wanted to SEE ME THROUGH! That's a great man! 

I passed the third mile marker, and could see this finish line! I pushed through.. even though I was tired... And crossed the line. 
Photo by: Catello Somma
Official time of 37 minutes 25.5 seconds. 

Not my best time, but an AMAZING time for my first ever 5k!

I was so happy! 

I sat down inside the mall (where the race was held at) and warmed up... With everyone around me.. We posed for a picture with a fellow runner.. who was dressed as a turkey... 

AND THEN: 
We went to breakfast at Denny's... and oh BOY did I have a WONDERFUL breakfast! 

Came home, finished watching the parade... and then had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with Klay's family. These people haven't seen me in a year.. so the reactions to my new physique were very.... well, they made me blush! 

We ate WAY TOO much... went home (with left overs OF COURSE) and then watched TV together. I don't remember what movie, all I know is that we all got into our PJ's. And ZONED out. Into a turkey coma! 

Friday morning was the day when I woke up and actually did a little workout. No cardio of course... But, I felt the need to, since I could still feel the previous dinner still in my stomach. I went food shopping, and may have stopped by the custom shoe fitting place... and got REAL running shoes... And oh boy are they fancy! Came home, cleaned the house from top to bottom, made the food for the week... Curious? Well, It's gumbo.. The recipe can be found somewhere in my Recipe List! MmmMmmmmm Can't wait to have it for dinner, come to think of it. 

Then we lit a fire, and had another very peaceful evening. Which may have included a quick trip to Dairy Queen for ice cream. Oh man... It was TASTY! And counter productive. Just in case you were curious, sitting in front of a fireplace while eating ice cream.. makes you eat it REALLY FAST.... due to increased melting! 

Saturday was COVERT OPPS Day. I told Klay that I had to help my friend run a "pampered chef" party... and then disappeared for the morning. This is something Sandy and I have been planning for about 2 weeks now. She came with me, and we hit up a Record (read: vinyl) Store about an hour away. This was so I could get Klay's Christmas Present without being suspected. 

When I got home, I watched Klay hang our outdoor Christmas Decorations. No, we didn't do a tree, we plan on picking that up this weekend! But, our outdoor stuff looks CLASSY and BEAUTIFUL! 

We then took Emry bowling. Which was a LOAD of fun.. We ate Food from the snack bar, and played in the arcade. Let me just tell you, Emry was the big winner of the night. That kid has some talent. Where as I... while I needed the bumpers put on to my lane! Ha! 

We came home, and then my dad took us out to our local Indian Restaurant. This is when Emry saw the folded napkins and decided they looked like hats... Klay followed suit... It was ADORABLE.

Came home, and almost instantly went to sleep. Busy day.. but great it was!

Sunday:

We were supposed to go to a Christmas Party on Sunday, in the early evening. But throughout this weekend, Emry had this cough that wouldn't go away, and I didn't want him coughing all over his friends. So I texted the mother, and let her know that we wouldn't be attending. 

Klay and I had previously planned on hiking up to Table Rock (at Minnewaska State Preserve), so we left Emry with the grandparents (Klay's mom and dad)... and proceeded to take this great hike. 

Klay has been building up this view for years now... and when we got to the top.. it was really overcast. He was really disappointed, but, I still thought it was beautiful. Plus, I couldn't have made this journey a year ago... so, I took it as a major accomplishment.

We then started heading out to lunch, which was supposed to be at Bacchus.. which is where our first official "date" was. But, at the last minute, Klay asks if I want to go to this other place. And since I had never been there.. I said yes, and we went there. It's called the Gilded Otter Brewing Company. They are a brewery and restaurant. 

Now, this is where things get pretty interesting, I hope you all have stayed with me to this point.
 
During lunch, Klay puts this tiny nesting doll on the table.. "I got you a present".

I collect nesting dolls. I absolutely adore them. So I grab it, and there was this weird clunk sound that came from within it. Not the sound wood makes against wood... but, a more metallic sound.

I put the nesting doll down, and said "There's something in there."

Klay very snarkily, "Isn't that the point."

I knew... I hope you all know where this is going...

So, I peaked in and saw it... So I closed it really quickly and looked away... Crying and Laughing. 
As I began to open it again... Klay got on one knee... 

And asked me to marry him. 

:)

Yup, that's right people... I am officially engaged.

And over the moon about it. 

It fits perfectly..... 

I am very happy. 

So, there, is my FABULOUS (from top to bottom) 5 DAY WEEKEND!