Coffee date

 

You know the story of the professor, the mayonnaise jar and coffee? No, I’m not telling you a dirty joke! It ends with “It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there is always room for a couple cups of coffee with a friend.”

I’ve missed having coffee with you. But I’ve been trying to make time with people to have a cup of coffee, grab a meal, take a yoga class, or have a drink in person. Connecting with the people around me, experiencing stuff with them, and not being worried about getting pics for the blog or other social media has been really great for me. (I’ve taken some pics, but my focus isn’t documenting anymore.) The conversations haven’t all been weird, but many have been revealing – sometimes just something about me.

If we had coffee today I’d tell you that I’m loving coaching the little kiddo swim team (3 weeks in, check back in 10 more to see how I feel!) and how my new schedule at the pool is really working for me. I would tell you that I spent a lot of time in the sunshine this summer, made new friends, and reconnected with old ones.

I’d  tell you that this summer I pulled more all nighters than is healthy at my age for no other reason than to chat with people, read a book which had sucked me in, or binge watch something on Netflix/OnDemand (Lucifer, Avengers, NCIS, I’m looking at all of you!)

I would tell you that I’m working on my To Be List and focusing on finding me again after spending what feels like far too long working on my To Do List. (I actually put “Create my To Be List” on my To Do List.)

I would also tell you I’m a little worried about today and this weekend. Historically, this time of September isn’t my best point in the year. There was the terrible car accident I was in, a really hard break up, LN passing away, etc. It just seems a lot falls in the last couple of weeks of September so if you’d be so kind, send up some good energy for me? Or am I just silly to worry about it?

But I would tell you that right now, I’m okay.

While I work on my To Be List, what would be on yours? Is there a part of the year for you that’s historically bad? What would you tell me if we were having coffee right now?

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Little Bit of Lovely

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Also truly lovely?
My tribe’s support and love.
Thank you.

I’m going through some decently big changes in life and I don’t know what it means for this space but I thought I’d check in quickly and mention a Little Bit of Lovely I was witness to…I hope to record some of them to share with you, but if you have something you’ve seen or been part of lately, let me know. I’m always open to guest posts.

The first that comes to mind is from one of the little girls (let’s call her Bug) I have been teaching for a couple of years now and went from super anxious to a little fishy. She’s recently joined the little kiddo swim team I’m working. This is super exciting to me because she hasn’t always loved being in the water. There’s also a girl on our team who is deaf, C. C has been hard at work becoming a little fishy herself. It’s one of the goals for our team that everyone fit in and be part of it, so I’ve been teaching the kids signs and helping them communicate with the deaf girl, C.

Last night, Bug says to me, “Ms. Courtney, how do I ask C to play with me when we’re done with practice?” So I showed her the signs. And she did them. And lots of eyes lit up because you know what? 5-6 year olds don’t see the differences between them, they just want to be kids, be accepted, and play.

And that was lovely.

 

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Friday Five

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This doggie jumped out of her car to come see me and say hello.
If I hadn’t had to be on the pool deck for several hours that morning, I might have taken her home with me.
It’s not dog-napping if they come to you, right?

Gosh. Friday you’ve arrived you beautiful thing, you. It was one of those weeks I didn’t think you’d come around, but you always come through. Eventually.

Let’s get a quickie Friday Five in before it’s time to commence weekend activities of work, work, work, and then play by the pool with some babes.

  1. I’ve been looking at puppies again. It’s come pretty close to sending the email off to go meet them but I was stopped when a friend said to me, “Court, really? A mastiff/great dane mix? This falls under ‘Not Your Best Idea’ category. You’ll have to work a second job JUST TO FEED IT.” (Kill joy, but I suppose they had a point.) One of these days…
  2. I haven’t been blogging much because my hands feel tied about some things I really want to talk about, but I’m not allowed to. Know that my nephew is awesome (finally growing into his head), my friends are great, and I have some plans in the works.
  3. My cousin got married a couple of weeks ago. It was a great wedding, she was beautiful, it was ridiculously fun, and my family is awesome. We really like her dude and his family. Well, I really like him, The Bro and Miz think he’s “okay”. (In fairness, that’s pretty high praise from them.)
  4. I will never understand high-school and college kids not wanting to take hours at the pool. Ms.Bix and company and I took literally all the hours we could when we were in high-school and college. I mean really. It’s okay, I’ll take them I guess…
  5. I’m so far behind my book reading and reviews it’s not even funny. I’ll have to read a bunch on my upcoming plane trips and get my butt in gear on the reviews or they’ll stop giving me free books!

What’s up in your world? Have a quick Friday Five for me?

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I went for a run. There’s good news and bad news

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Please enjoy this gross picture of me post run.

Good news is my legs remembered how to run! (It’s been awhile, I was worried.) Bad news is my lungs seemed to have forgotten, but I also know that’s fixable.

It didn’t feel great at the time, but I’m glad I put up 20 min today. It worked out to be a little under a mile and a half. I prob could have rounded that out for an even 2 mi, but I was up against my lunch break timeline.

Why did I hit the tread mill? Couple of reasons, I’ve been super antsy lately and it’s good to get rid of some of that bullshit. Plus, I was inspired by the shorties in short shorts at the Toby Keith concert the other night (which was great by the way!) so I’ve decided to see what I can do about getting my tuchis in gear. Also, I’m pretty close to fitting back into some of my favorite pants so hopefully this will be the boost I need to get there!

My coworker was impressed I went and asked if I was going to do it every day. HAHA, no, but we’ll see how it shakes out. I expect this will last possibly 3 weeks, but that’s long enough for the short shorts, right?

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Good things 2016: Week 22

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Brodsmontana eating a stick as he does.

It’s important to remember the things that are good in life. It reminds me how blessed I really am and also helps to ease the sting of the bad. I’m incredibly lucky, there’s more good than bad (Knockonwood!) and I want to document how thankful I am for it.

Last week was total crap. Total, absolute, bullpucky crap. BUT! I had some good moments though so let’s focus on the Good Things:

  • A four day week
  • Coffee
  • Paper doll voodoo dolls
  • Grilling weather and laying on my tree fort deck
  • Listening to the rain storm in stereo
  • Surprise visit from my Bro and Brody
  • Friends welcoming new babies
  • New candles
  • Dinner and laughs with MsBix at The VanDyke (Really good gf pizza and cobb salad!)
  • Work sanctioned arts and crafts/designing stuff
  • GF Donuts Frank brought me as a surprise.

Good reads:

I read a terrible book and a bunch of stuff for work. I am reading a good book now and will review it soon. Otherwise I was so slammed with work stuff I don’t think I read anything at all. My brain was pretty much shot by the end of the day.

Favorite Photo:

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Isn’t it lovely. A gf donut I didn’t have to make myself.

Favorite Song:

This one spoke to me this week.

How have you been? What made you smile? Tell me about one of your successes? Read anything good this week?

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Good things 2016: Um, lately

Fotor_146326166047689It’s important to remember the things that are good in life. It reminds me how blessed I really am and also helps to ease the sting of the bad. I’m incredibly lucky, there’s more good than bad (Knockonwood!) and I want to document how thankful I am for it.

I’ve been remiss in doing these posts, but want to get back on track. Here’s a few weeks worth of  Good Things:

  • Hugs from wonderful human beings
  • Not getting my purse snatched in Wilmington, DE as happened to someone right after I went into a shop
  • Reasonably easy travel
  • Meeting new people
  • A coat of paint making my like my kitchen again
  • Pics of my nephew
  • Amazing food, drinks, and people in Chicago
  • Very large work project being over.
  • Sharing stories about meaningful tattoos
  • Honest conversations with Frank about the future and what it might look like.
  • Getting back into the swing of things and some normalcy
  • Laughing with kiddos on the pool deck
  • Pleasing bossman.
  • Frank.
  • New teas to try (Tea Forte being my new favorite. You have to try the Blueberry  Merlot and Iced Ginger Pear. They aren’t paying me to say nice things about them, but if they wanted to, I wouldn’t be opposed. I just really liked their tea!
  • Fun exchanges on Twitter with the shows I like’s hosts
  • Surprise Brodyman visit!
  • Long weekend after a crappy few days.
  • RugRat little sister graduated from college
  • Trashy novels
  • Colored ink pens
  • sushi lunch and shopping with Sue
  • Pen pals
  • Chia “pudding” <– was surprised that I liked this so much. I’ve taken to eating it instead of yogurt.
  • Grilling season

Good reads

Favorite Photo:

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First bit of the kitchen done. Slowly working on the rest.

Favorite Song:


My friend Andy has teamed up with a few other talented musicians to form Whippoorwillow and is currently working on putting together an album. If you’d like to help out that endeavor you can do so here.

How have you been? What made you smile? Tell me about one of your successes? Read anything good this week?

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This past adventure (Chicago and Wilmington) by the numbers.

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It’s not as easy as I thought it would be to color on the train so this is as much as I did.

I’m back from a whirlwind week  and exhausted. It’s all good, I’ll catch up on the sleep eventually.  I’d love to go into so many more details about the adventure I had to Chicago and Wilmington and some of the realizations I had while away but because it was really amazing in a lot of ways, I’m still processing some of it.

Right now, let’s just talk about the numbers.

  • Miles traveled if the planes and trains were by car: ~ 2,410 miles
  • States I touched down in: IL, MD, NY, and DE (this doesn’t count confusion, inebriation, or exhaustion.)
  • Steps logged into my Garmin: ~ 59,808
  • Text messages sent: ~2,500
  • Laughs with friends (old and new): Too many to count but let’s say 3,587,123,045
  • Hard Ciders consumed: roughly 9, but I won’t say how big some of them were
  • Bottles of wine shared with CAR: 3 (Side note: Chicago has a wine delivery app. Jealous!)
  • Wonderful meals shared: All of them.
  • Perfect moments: 16 off the top of my head
  • Random strangers who are now my friends: 8
  • Cups of Coffee consumed:~50
  • Cups of Tea consumed: ~12
  • Truly amazing grilled cheese sammiches consumed: 1 but it was really fricken tempting to order a second.
  • Trips to Whole Foods: 3
  • Times imaging leaving my current job and relocating for something new: 5
  • Hours spent away from home: 156 (I was briefly home – about 8 hours – Thursday night)

I learned a lot in my work group program about lots of school related stuff, but I think I learned more about myself while I was gone. Like I said, I’m still processing. I don’t know how much (if any) will make it here, but I think in some ways, this trip to Chicago was one of the best things that could have happened to me.

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Coffee Date

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This is the best stick ever!

Hey there. What’s up today? It’s been a bit since I’ve been around other than some prescheduled book reviews. I don’t really have a reason and always hate the “I’m sorry I’ve been gone so long!” posts so I’m not going to bother.

What’s in your cup this morning? I stopped on the way into work and picked up some pistachio flavored coffee from Dunkin’ and it’s really fricken awesome. I think it would be even better with a little Frangelico! (My favorite Mixologist, Heather, used to put just a little in my coffee on nights I was DD. There’s a reason she’s my favorite.)

Just to catch up, I’ve had a few weekends off from the pool so we’ve been doing some work on the house and yard. We’ve been working on a kitchen facelift which I’m super excited about! It won’t be finished until Memorial Day weekend because I’m traveling the next few weekends but when it’s done, I’ll (maybe) be writing a post about it. The yard included ripping out what we refer to as Northern Kudzu, weeds, and small trees and burning them. We have a huge pile to still burn, so we’ll have kindling for lots of summer smores fires.

Brody went back to my brother’s house and we’re sad to see him go. Both boys are loving being back together and my bro sends pics often. (Although I was considering giving Brody his own Instagram, for now he just has his own hashtag)

We also went and saw my boy Alton Brown again! It was a totally different show. Dare I say, even better than the last time?

Work has been busier than normal with some unusual challenges popping up. I’ve been reminded I can fire off some decently put together writing in a unreasonably short amount of time, that being able to play nice in the sand box may is more important than being right (unless they’re so far off base it changes the conversation), and that there are parts of my job I’m really fricken good at.

Tomorrow I’m back to the pool for the next few weeks and our session is super full again. We’ll see how it goes but I suspect tomorrow after the pool, I’ll have a paintbrush in one hand and a gf beer in the other!

So what’s new with you?

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Reading more: Gabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle

book squareGabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle by George Hagen was provided to me at no charge through NetGalley. The opinions are my own. You can see other books I’ve reviewed here.

Again, I may have missed my calling teaching kids to read, but then again, I like to read for enjoyment, not to dissect a story, characters, and plot within an inch of their lives for a deeper understanding.

Let me read to read, enjoy, get a little lost, and maybe learn something new.

Gabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle is one of those books I suspect is being picked apart bit by bit to have every microscopic element examined and analyzed. It’s a good one.

From Amazon:

A tangle of ingenious riddles, a malevolent necklace called a torc, and flocks of menacing birds: these are just some of the obstacles that stand between Gabriel and his father, Adam Finley, who has vanished from their Brooklyn brownstone. When Gabriel rescues an orphaned baby raven named Paladin, he discovers a family secret: Finleys can bond with ravens in extraordinary ways. Along with Paladin and three valiant friends, Gabriel sets out to bring his father home. They soon discover that Adam is being held captive by the evil demon Corax—half man, half raven, and Adam’s very own disgraced brother—in a foreboding netherworld of birds called Aviopolis. With help from his army of ghoulish minions, the valravens, Corax is plotting to take over the land above, and now only Gabriel stands in his way.

The book took a little to get into, but once the action got going in part 2, I really liked it. It had riddles to decipher, magic, mystery and adventure. While the components were quite fantastical, they fit the characters and the plot of the story well.  I appreciated the compassionate tones that ran through he book as Gabriel was on his quest to save his father, the commentary on human (and raven) nature, and the characters.

There were some dark and what might be scary portions of this book. It’s geared to 4-7th graders. It would be okay for many, it wouldn’t be awesome if you had a more sensitive child.

Is this something you’d read? Would you read it with your child? Hand it to them? Why or why not.

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Reading More: Witch of Painted Sorrows

book squareWitch of Painted Sorrows by  M.J. Rose was provided to me at no charge through NetGalley. The opinions are my own. You can see other books I’ve reviewed here.

I’ve professed my love of M. J. Rose before and I’ll likely say it some more. I really like her books even though nothing about her genre entices me otherwise.

I’m just not a fantasy, gothic, historical kind of fiction girl.

I’m a M. J. Rose girl though for sure.  Let’s talk about Witch of Painted Sorrows…

From Amazon:

Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.

Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten–her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse

There was some back and forth mystery, some really naughty bits, intrigue and fun. There’s something about reading the mostly positive presentation of an 19th century courtesan that’s refreshing for a time I understand to be really uptight about such things. (I could be wrong.)

The only thing I had to keep straight in my head was that it wasn’t present day. Often times I had them walking around in present day clothing and had to back up and re read sections because it was wrong. I like to get the picture right in my head.

If you’ve read other M. J. Rose you should read this one. I hope they bring Sandrine back for another book. I don’t know that they will, but is already another Daughters of La Lune Series book to come out.

I’ll be checking that out as well.

Is this something you’d read? Why or why not.

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