Fancy Feast

For as frugal as I am at times there are things I like to splurge on. In the winter I miss all the fresh produce and farmers markets and since we moved I haven’t gotten my garden up and going. Also, I’m a little bit of a foodie. I like tasty things. I really enjoy all the great chefs and local fare in the area. It’s fun to try new places and new things to eat. But there are those times we like to stay in.

It’s often more fun (and convenient) to snack rather than make a big meal. Recently I was on a bagel chip kick and made up a bunch of different munchies with stuff I had in the fridge. Two things I like to splurge on are deli meat and fresh herbs. These make for some fun little treats. That was a few weeks ago. Today I’m doing meal prep for the week. While in the midst of that my husband broke out the meat, cheese and crackers. Sounds like lunch to me!

NYE 2018

What a crazy year it has been!

It seems like time moves faster each year and I feel like I have accomplished a lot. I spent almost nine full months running the show at home as a military spouse while my husband served oversees. I started the CrossFit journey about the same time and have invested in my health. I feel awesome. I still have a long way to go. I am a busy career-woman, finished a stone masonry project this summer and started a paver patio landscaping project. I planted apple trees. I took a certification course at the UMN. I helped out a neighbor during hay bale season. I volunteered with ESGR. I enjoyed a parade, good beer and some live music. I visited friends. I golfed. I decorated my home. I hosted Thanksgiving dinner. I feel accomplished. I am proud of what I’ve done.

There is still a lot that didn’t get done. That’s okay. No one got hurt or died. Bills got paid. Groceries bought. Car filled with gas. I made it to church. I am only one person. I am okay. My partner is home now. We hosted family for Christmas. We celebrated together.

Today my husband and I wrapped up the year with a trip to the gym for a “fun” workout and treated ourselves to lobster tail for supper.

We have much to look forward to in 2019. We are gainfully employed and love our jobs. We are healthy (and aging). Our parents are still in good health and not fully reliant on us. We have a retreat coming up and a vacation planned later in the year. In a few weeks we will have an opportunity to see two couples that are exceptional friends of ours. We are living the dream. Is life perfect? Nope!

We love our crazy, messed up life! We will always have a list of projects that need to be done (both at home and helping our parents). We will always have bills to pay. We have kids to worry about. We have friends to laugh with and memories to make…and many more date nights to Menards.

I am looking forward to whatever life brings us in the next year. It is a journey. Live it to the fullest!

It’s That Cold

First I want to start by saying that I’m in Minnesota. Cold is relative. After December 1st it’s just a different version of cold depending on the day – damp cold, cold wind chill, etc.

It really isn’t that cold yet. The really cold stuff doesn’t usually show up until sometime in January. However, my new car decided to let me know that it is more of a fair weather car. It doesn’t like the cold. Oh don’t worry, it still starts but the console touch screen prefers not to come on when it gets to single digits. So this past Saturday I drove around for an hour and a half with no hand free system, no rear view camera, no ability to control the internal air temp, no navigation and no radio. Just awesome (note: large amount of sarcasm here)! It is the third time I’ve had an issue and the longest it has been off.

It’s hard to have a malfunction evaluated when it’s working but we tried. The dealer couldn’t find any computer code to tell them what’s going on. So it’s a wait and see game. I’ll try to catch it in the act. In the mean time I’m just wondering if Mother Nature would mind a mild winter of 20 degree weather?

Sharing

One of my least favorite post-deployment experiences is reintegration and specifically learning to share again. I almost feel like this is harder than pre-deployment because you have much more time to mentally prepare for their departure. While they are gone we run things our way, make decisions, change our minds, set the schedule, change the schedule, rule the space, eat what we want, do what we want and what works for us. I encourage others not to wait until they are here to mentally prepare yourself for this change. It can cause frustration. This is coming from someone who has been through it. Be thinking about it now and talking openly about it to others. Talk to the kids about it. Talk to your soldier. The 30 day and 60 day reintegration events are great but you really need to prepare for reintegration long before those occur.

Reintegration sneaks up on you. Time flies by especially when you are busy. Holidays are especially tricky because you are often focused on events and lose sight of the big picture.

In my profession work a lot on (for lack of better words) ‘change management’. I prefer the term ‘business readiness’. Give people the tools they need to be ready for what is next. Communication is a tool. Change is part of life. That’s not new. It happens all the time. Things evolve continuously but nonetheless big changes can be stressful. Families receive support from Family Readiness Groups (FRGs) when you have a family member deployed. As part of family readiness – we are often preparing for what is next. What does your “next” look like? Are you ready? A shout out to all military families this holiday in National Guard style – “Always Ready”!

Time Gets Away

Wow. Where does time go?

Another successful deer hunt in the books. Everyone will have a little meat for their freezer.

The weather has changed. I think winter is here to stay. It’s pretty but dang I hate winter driving.

I have returned to my first love – volleyball. It feels good to be back together again. Timing might be a little off but everything seems to come back quick. I have great muscle memory.

Work is ridiculous which seems to be my norm. I’ll be adding to my team in a few weeks. I can’t wait.

I’m getting ready to host thanksgiving again this year. It will be a full house.

I’m also back to my adjunct faculty gig. Never a dull moment here.

Who has time to take a vacation? Or sleep? Not this girl. Instead I just enjoy some quiet time in a tree stand in the woods.

Saturday

Yesterday I sat at a local coffee spot for the afternoon to get some work done. I had not planned to be there quite as long as I was but nonetheless it was a productive afternoon. As I was heading for home I was recalling what was in my refrigerator and considering what I might drum up for supper. In all honesty, I wasn’t feeling all that ambitious.

I decided while enroute that I’d be better off just stopping for a bite along the way. As a result I ended up at my favorite local establishment, Northern Cowboy Flame & Brew. I timed it perfectly. I got a spot at the bar in front of the TV as the Gopher Women’s Volleyball team was warming up for their home match against Nebraska.

I love sports but I especially love college sports. Volleyball and hockey are two favorite followed closely by softball. I tried to get tickets to see a game this season but finding 2-4 tickets sitting together (for any home game) proved more difficult than I thought.

I was excited to get to watch the entire match on tv. I was bummed when they lost the first set. I caught myself yelling at them on the screen a few times. They comeback in true maroon and gold style. They won the match 3-1. It was a mix of emotions.

I had a nice visit with the two ladies behind the bar. I was excited to see that the brisket finally made the menu as a stand-alone item. I enjoyed some good food and some good volleyball.

Sleep

For the past five or six weeks I have been waking up in the middle of the night. The times have been inconsistent. Sometimes I roll over and go back to sleep but often not. Tonight has been the worst so far. I have been awake for 2.5 hours so far this round and this is the second time I’ve been awake tonight. It is getting frustrating.

To date, I have not had to turn on a light or do anything to get back to sleep. Tonight is different. I’ve been on social media, read the news, played cards, and still nothing – wide awake.

Subconsciously I think it is related to news I got yesterday that is weighing on my mind. Nothing stressful but I’m a logical, analyzing, thinker and I think my brain is trying to get wrapped around an idea and it won’t let go.

So the thought is – how do you trust your body and equipment 150 meters below the water’s surface? It’s a thought I can’t grasp. I’m also trying to get my head around that distance. Holy crap, that’s a long way down! I am an adventurous person but I like calculated risk and when something lacks applied logic (in my mind) it just doesn’t make sense to me.

My alarm is going to go off in a few minutes and my day will start. Pretty sure after my volunteer stint at church is over I’ll be returning home for a nap. I hope the weather is lousy today. I’d hate to miss out on an opportunity to do something productive outside.