Category Archives: Workshopping

Workshopping

Table

Hello, kittens.  In case you were wondering, this is what my Saturday mornings look like.  I’ve been absolutely terrible at waking up early for any of my long runs this training cycle (sleep has become extremely valuable to me over the past year) so instead I roll out of bed, get some coffee and breakfast going and wait myself out for ~1.5-2 hours before I start running.  I don’t drink coffee from my camo tumbler during the week, but for whatever reason it seems like the fun thing to do on the weekends.

It was 39 degrees this morning in Minnesota, so that should really tell you all that you need to know about how our descent into fall is going.  I’m still sorting and packing and purging and arranging and it is quite soothing.  The pile of things to be sent to the Goodwill just continues to grow.

We celebrated Dad’s birthday yesterday with a trip to Fulton’s taproom and Anchor Fish.   Sweet Child of Vine is one of his favorite beers and Mom had never been to Anchor so it was an excellent adventure for all.  After dinner and some celebratory cheesecake at home we called it a night.

Cheesecake

This thing is a monstrous pain to make, but the end result is so delicious you will not be disappointed.  We are not big cheesecake eaters, but even I am tempted to attempt actioning this with some berries/oreos/something mixed in.  It has been approximately two years since I last baked a cheesecake so I don’t anticipate that this next project will be happening anytime soon.

One of my summer projects that faded into fall was finding some volunteer work that I could do with the hours I’m not spending studying for the SPHR.  I contacted a few organizations that we are connected to with varying degrees of success.  One processed my interest indicator, waited three months and then asked me to complete a NEW interest indicator.  That got scratched from the list immediately.  Another took a month to respond to my initial application and the act of scheduling the introductory phone call was such an ordeal that finally I realized that while I really liked the group, it wasn’t really where my heart was at.

What has clicked is the opportunity to volunteer with Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners.  I used to do food shelf donation intake there in 2012 and we like to participate in their back-to-school/Christmas programs.  They had some needs that really seem to be a fit with what I am available to do and what I am good at doing, so I am looking forward to sitting down with them next week to discuss this more.

It seems that by degrees, life is finally settling into a pattern that I would describe as “normal.”  I couldn’t ask for anything better.

 

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Workshopping

KITTENS.

This has really been quite the week.  This is me.  Right now.

Me

Watching Sharknado because apparently that is A Thing.

  • I know that this is straight from the department of First World problems, but coming back to work after being gone for a week (or more!) is So Hard.  And this Monday marked the fourth time I’ve done that this year.  It’s exhausting.  I knew if I survived the meetings I had today, that the week would be a success so as I was driving home after my last date with PowerPoint, I put a point on the board for Team Kat.
  • Jetlag hasn’t been terrible this time around, which is nothing short of a miracle.  It may have to do with our 30 hour journey home, in which our bodies gave up on any semblance of time-telling.  That being said, I have been crashing HARD at 9:00 PM every single night.  I can’t imagine that tonight will be any different.
  • In spite of the heatwave that is paralyzing the country, my Petunias have performed quite admirably.  I think they may have cousins close to the equator because otherwise I can’t find a way to explain how they’re doing so well.  Look.

Flowers

  • Otherwise, Le Jardin has largely been an act of willful ignorance.  I did move our hanging basket from the deck to our front steps because I don’t think the Impatiens were agreeing with their location, but before we left we were getting tons of rain (no need to water!) and then my mother looked after our plants while we were away.  Much less stressful than herbs (though I won’t be tossing my flowers into a summer salad any time soon).
  • My parents were in London the week before we headed out to Europe and they brought me back an eclectic potpourri of wonderful commemorative Royal Souvenirs (I know – so trashy, but they kill me).  It’s basically a Customs House around here these days.

Souvenirs

  • In other Good News, my mitts and paws are finally in order after 20 days.  It only took me three days longer to accomplish than I had originally planned (read: I thought they would be done on Monday), BUT they are done now.  I still think that going polish-free for Europe was the right idea but, restoring order?  So Centering.
  • I’m headed up to the cabin tomorrow afternoon and I am So Excited.  Yes, seriously, I need a vacation from my vacation.  What better way to do that than with a weekend full of pizza from Zorbaz, beer, sunning and running?

Workshopping

1. I made it onto the Twin Cities in Motion blog last Wednesday- check it out here.  I was so tickled that they would post MY answers to their questions!  I have made some of my absolute favorite running memories (and some PR times) out on their courses.

2. I am not ashamed to admit that ever since it got warm out, I have been driving daily with my sunroof open and the country music blaring.  Sometimes with air conditioning as well, sometimes not.  It is So Centering.

3. We’re headed to Iceland tomorrow night, right?  Based on the timing, we will not be able to hop on a Golden Circle tour until the afternoon, which is actually for the best because it will give us more of a chance to explore more of Reykjavik instead of spending the entire day on a tour bus.

But that also left me scrambling to assemble an itinerary for our daytime adventures.

I’m sure you can imagine my amusement when I was looking at a map from The National Museum of Iceland and saw this.

Sword Map

I have yet to determine what the sword actually means.  Only in Iceland, right?

4. We are watching The Bull Runners of Pamplona right now which is a documentary about the Encierro.  I think my mother was hoping that by viewing it, Marcus and I would see it as a cautionary tale.  On the contrary, it has been nothing but Inspirational.  Pamplona, we are coming.

Workshopping

As I was looking over the posts on The Blog for the past few months, I’ve noticed that almost all of them are thematic.  They have to do with travel recaps or running or Birchboxes or what we’ve had for dinner.

I think y’all know that those things are very obviously important to me (especially the travel-running-cooking), but I also think that if I’m focusing all of my energies on packaging up my life into “themes” then there is a lot that gets…lost in the shuffle.  I mean, yes, the person that you read about and the things that I am showing you?  Those are very very real.  This blog is an unedited version of the life I live.

So I guess, what I’m really saying is that once a week, I just want to create a space where I can chat.  With myself.  With you.

And because The Universe has a sense of irony, we’re workshopping travel today.  Because in case you have not noticed, this year it is unending.  Perpetual.  Constant.

Next weekend we are hopping on a plane for a 17 day-backpacking around the continent extravaganza.  We will be visiting Reykjavik, Berlin, Prague, Munich, Pamplona, Bilbao and Madrid.

The reason for all of this is that Marcus’ life dream is to join in the Encierro, or as well all know it, The Running of the Bulls.  We’ll be meeting up with a pair of friends in Pamplona for a few days in the middle of our trip to participate in the Festival of San Fermin and to run.  We can discuss the sensibilities of all of this later (answer: there are none).

In there here and now, I need your help with the following:

Uno: If you have been to any of these places before, what would you see/do and where would you eat?

Dos: If you have backpacked through Europe before, what would you pack?

Workshopping

Oh, what to do. Just file this under: My Most Meaningful Post Ever.

1. On Sunday, Marcus finally sacrificed my yellow Parker mixing bowl to the watery, tile-clad sink god.  I’ll be honest, I feel like we’re living on borrowed time with basically everything that is breakable in this place so I am impressed that the entire set of bowls stayed intact for ~2.5 years.

2. I watched Breaking Dawn: Part I on Friday night, right?  And we all know that I’ve been having crazy dreams lately, right?  So in this one, I was a Twilight-style vampire who only drank True Blood and I was really only mostly excited because being a vampire because of how well I could run.  Figure that one out.

3. I’m trying to force Marcus to start playing board games with me regularly.  Yes, we registered for a bunch of them and no, we don’t play them.  Ever.  Some of them are definitely still in the original wrapping.  We played Scrabble on Sunday night and tied.

4. Did anyone else feel like their face is about to fall off?  I don’t know where all of this dry air came from but in the past week, I have moisturized to the point of excess to no avail.  To wit: I even have dry skin on my upper lip.  These are trying times that we live in.

XO

Workshopping

All: Mercury is in retrograde.  

So if you’re trying to figure out why every day is uphill, or like me you’re having vivid dreams featuring honeybee hives and mobsters, there’s your answer.  Y’all know that I casually dabble in astrology when the time is right and after last night’s dream along with a text from a sorority sister informing me that she dreamed I had twins, it was just time.  According to Meredith, it rolls out on the 26th, so let’s all just keep going until then.

Anyway, no, I haven’t dropped off the grid.  While we were cooking dinner, Marcus observed that it had been a few days since I posted and I told him that part of it was because I don’t really feel like I have anything to say right now, and other part largely has to do with the fact that over the last five days (Thursday – Monday) I was up to my ears in visiting with girlfriends.  Birthday-ing, Running, Friendsgiving-ing, Passing out during My Big Fat Greek Wedding-ing.  You know the drill.

It’s unseasonably warm here right now.  Even though I don’t even know if you can really say that anymore, since I’m pretty sure that it was just as warm here last year at this time.  But I’m not complaining.  Because if a large swath of Minnesota winter is dominated by temperatures hovering around or above freezing (this week’s theme is 50s and 60s), I am SO DOWN.  I will embrace brown winter for the rest of my life.

Since it’s so warm, the geese have returned.

No I cannot make any sense of this either.  But it makes me so 11/10 happy.  Yes, I have more snaps to share on the days where my bottomless well of content runs dry.  I’ll leave it to you to decide whether that’s better or worse than my cat lady blogging.

Meanwhile, tonight I finished the book, I am Forbidden, by Anouk Markovits.

On the couch in the living room.  Because after dinner, that’s what I really wanted to do.  And no, I haven’t been reading a lot lately either, so it was all sorts of soul-filling.

I think Sue, my Mother-in-Law recommended this one to me.  It was extremely painful and very beautiful.  It flew by.

What have y’all been up to for the past few days?

Workshopping

I just feel like tonight is the kind of night that lends itself well to workshopping.

So we begin.

1. I am CRAVING sweet potatoes and citrus fruit.  First it was blood oranges and now it’s grapefruits.  Despite my fear of biting into something overly-tart, I’ve found that they’re actually sweet enough without any sugar sprinkled on top.  Which either means that I need more Vitamin C and Fiber or the light is changing.  I’m choosing to believe that it has to do with the light.

2. Last weekend at Winterfest, Kari taught me this elaborate new way to wrap my pashmina.

It looks quite lovely without involving any fear of strangulation.  Don’t lie, we’ve all been there.  I’ve also witnessed it done with a two-color scarf and the effect was quite pleasing.  I like to think that it gives the effect that I’m trying.  I’ll be keeping this one in my rotation forever, probably.

Apparently this thing is all over The Pinterest (which we all know I do not do), so if you’ve seen it somewhere else on The Internets that actually shares how to tie the damn thing, please do the rest of the group a favor and share it in the comments.

3. I was digging through the baking section of Veganomicon and found a recipe for Chewy Chocolate-Raspberry Cookies that is calling my name.  Yes, we’re taking a foray into Vegan baking.  And why? Because I love the combination of chocolate and raspberry (it is my all-time favorite) and it doesn’t involve substitutions for things like milk, eggs, or butter.  They just aren’t part of The equation.

4. I got an award last week at our company party, and today one of my co-workers gave me an excessively nice (and extremely lengthy) compliment in front of our boss.  It’s nice to know that people recognize what I do.

5. Still reading The China Study.  Still not giving up meat.  Still holding firm on drastically reducing the amount of it in our diet.

6. Valentine’s Day.  It’s coming.  And for us, it’s a two-day celebration.  This weekend we’ll be dive bar dating.  The rules for this go-round being: The establishment must have a “chalkboard” AKA wall-mounted menu AND/OR we have to have a really good coupon or gift certificate to use there.

On actual Valentine’s Day, I’ll be cooking for Marcus (translation: we’ll be doing what we always do).  But since it’s a holiday, we’ll make something fun/special/bizarrely time-intensive.  Considering how many ideas I have for two days of low-key celebration, I guess it’s good that we’re not limiting ourselves to one, right?

7. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion continues.  That it is a three-part extravaganza is something I’ll be forever-thankful for.  If you’re a fan and want to laugh so hard that you cry (seriously – I was literally in silent cubicle hysterics), check out these recaps from the VULTURE.

Yes, they’re absolutely worth reading from the very beginning.  And then you’ll wonder where they’ve been all your life.  You’re welcome.

Have you started making Valentine’s Day plans yet?

What are you craving right now?