Sunday, July 9, 2017

Quick Trip to Lexington

Suzie came down from New York City on Friday to visit. Like her last visit, we watched the Great British Baking Show (well, Masterclass version), ate Indian food and gave each other backrubs. A funny thing happened with the Indian food: I was wondering why it was taking forever to be delivered. I got a phone call 30 minutes after it was supposed to get to the house. "Your food is ready for pick up." UGH, I forgot to click on "Delivery"!!! Fortunately, they were nice enough to deliver and since they aren't that far away, it didn't take forever for the food to get here. Sigh.

Suzie and I took the Metro down to Virginia to meet up with Robyn and Meg, and off we went!  The whole point of the trip was to drop Suzie off at Alumni College (think of it as camp for adults) and also walk around town and campus. Suzie's apartment was in the brand new junior housing. Wow, it's so nice! The single rooms are spacious and each apartment has a kitchen and large living room and balcony and a full size washer and dryer! And air conditioning!  They are so spoiled!
We walked to the restaurant that we used to eat at. You know you're getting older when you look at the menu board and think "You shouldn't get that cheesesteak. You'll regret it later." I ended up getting a salad with chicken. I saved my calories for our trip to the ice cream shop (I got coffee crunch). We walked around campus and eventually sat to reminisce. We left Suzie on campus so that she could get settled into her room.
I was in charge of reserving the hotel room and when we opened the door, it was 2 double beds. Crap!  I should have gotten 2 queen beds. Robyn and I ended up sharing a bed because Meg was getting over a cold. It wasn't too bad for a night, Robyn and I have slept in smaller beds when we've had to share.

We met up with Suzie after breakfast and went to the bookstore. I almost got a tank top, but decided against it because it was too tight in the chest area. I ended up with getting a post card for us to write and send to Page, one of the other girls in my college group. We went to get coffee and we sat near the Commons to rehash some more stories from college, mainly about nutty girls that we didn't like. Finally it was time to say good-bye to Suzie and drive back.

I picked my car up at the Metro and drove to my parents' house to pick up RJ, who, I heard, was Mr. Grouchy Pants. Julie said that he hissed at Uncle when he came for a visit. SIGH.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Karen's Retirement Party

My boss and I stayed later than usual last night when she rode in from the airport to address a bunch of things on my to-do/to-ask-about list and then we went to Happy Hour afterwards with 2 other coworkers. First thing this morning, I had her signed off on a bunch of things so I could take the weight off my shoulders and then we did my performance review (I'm hoping my promotion will be effective any day now...I just want an official email with the news!). She then went to have her final chat with the Executive Director while we were setting up for her party. I was a little nervous about the cake because it was raining outside when I went to pick it up from Giant. It didn't fit in the grocery cart, so I had to lay it across the top. I was crossing my fingers that it wasn't going to slide off and land in a puddle before I made it to the car!

The retirement party that I coordinated for my boss was a success: pizza, cake (marble with buttercream frosting), plaque commemorating her 22 years of service, presents (a very nice tote bag with other travel related gifts) and a PowerPoint featuring funny pictures of her (I had a little bit of help from other staff).

I was able to hold off on the tears until our final hug before she gathered her belongings and headed to the airport. One of my coworkers said she almost teared up watching us hug because we were both crying (I almost didn’t want to let her go).

Her parting gift to me was her collection of giant microbes: syphilis, gonorrhea, H1N1, etc. Yay, science! I stitched her an amaryllis plant, which based on the florist's website, is given to commemorate a big achievement. I usually send her flowers for events, but they only last a week or so. These will last forever! I also made a card for the office to sign.

Guess it’s my time to grow up a little and take the helm of the department.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Chat with the Executive Director

Julie and I were the only ones at CrossFit this morning. I guess everyone's sleeping in today or coming in later. I'm glad that we went because otherwise Ryan would have no one to coach!

After getting cleaned up from the gym, I went to the office to have a chat with my Executive Director to talk to him about planning my boss's retirement party (her last day is July 6). We talked about how the work conference we were at was a big success, but that we were happy to be home. When we got to the topic of my boss (he was going to help with planning her retirement party), he said “Karen (my boss) told me how proud of you she is. She said you really stepped up to the plate this year.”

Whattt. Wow, that was so nice, both for her to say that to him and for him to report that back to me! Our staff has really grown over the years, and I’m not always sure he’s aware of everything that his staff does because there’s so many of us and he’s got a lot on his plate. It was nice to get one-on-one time with him and get that recognition. He said he'd take care of lunch, Drew would take care of the staff appreciation plaque, and I'd take care of cake/cards/conference room reservation.

I also went to the office because I wanted to order some food. My refrigerator is looking very bare from being away from home on work travel. “Butter chicken? I like butter chicken!” Mmmno. I’m pretty sure you don’t. Nice try though!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The End of Spring Work Travel

Whew! It's been a busy spring in terms of work travel! In May, I went to Boise, Idaho and Albuquerque, New Mexico for work. I was also in Phoenix, Arizona in March and Jackson, Mississippi in April. This past week's trip to Providence is my last work-related trip until New Orleans, Louisiana this fall.

One of the cool things that I saw in Providence, Rhode Island was the WaterFire. People riding in gondolas lit up wooden braziers along the water. At first the flames weren't that big, but once this breeze picked up and they had some time to burn, it was a beautiful sight. It felt very "Tangled," if you've seen the Disney movie.
At the pre-meeting meeting for staff, we were highly encouraged to thank the vendors and make them feel welcomed since they paid quite a bit to exhibit at our conference. While wandering the Exhibit Hall yesterday, one of the vendors saw my watch, and we had a 15 minute conversation about our cats. I mean, we did talk about their product, but we talked mostly about our cats. My teal heels also got attention. I lasted about 2 days with them before I started wearing my flip flops as covertly as I could.
This is my 8th year attending this work conference, and it has probably been my busiest: staffed 1 pre-conference workshop, prepared 1 poster presentation, staffed 3 demonstrations, and coordinated 3 sessions (and moderated one of them). It was nice to see people that I normally communicate with via phone and email and get a bunch of hugs, but I was so happy to be back at home, sleep in my own bed and get back to my workouts.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Empties #10 and New Liquid Lipsticks

Since the beginning of the year, I've been making a concerted effort to use the stuff that I already have and not buy new stuff. For example, I have so many travel size toiletries from when I've gone to the dentist and have traveled for work. I had 2 sandwich bags full of them. I also wanted to use up some perfume samples.

I'm sad that the Palmer's lotion and The Body Shop Mango shower gel are done because they both smelled amazing. The Up and Up brand eye make up remover worked just fine. I've found that it's not necessary to buy brand name stuff for that kind of thing. I used up a Gucci Guilty purse spray perfume, but I bought a bottle of it for myself for Christmas this past year, so I still have it in my life!

I used up two make-up products recently: a under-eye brightening concealer by Maybelline (already repurchased!) and a Maybelline cream eye shadow in Bad to the Bronze. I scrapped out every bit of product in that jar, and I would repurchase it but I have other cream eyeshadow products that I need to work through.

Even though I told myself that I'd allow myself one new makeup product a month in 2017, I failed like 3 months in. Heh. I couldn't resist a good deal and a product that got good reviews on Youtube. These are the Wet N Wild Liquid Catsuit liquid lipsticks. I tried Oh My Dolly first, and wow, it's so bright! But it's an amazing summer color.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

A Quick Trip to Jackson, Mississippi

My boss and I took a quick trip to Jackson, Mississippi for work (left on Wednesday, going home tomorrow). We are here to serve as facilitators for an assessment. I've gone to these assessments in the past as a notetaker, but with my boss retiring this summer, I needed to have experience as a facilitator. My boss did the first two sessions and I did the two afternoon sessions. I'm not sure if the people were just in a food coma or they didn't have the knowledge to respond to the questions that were in the assessment tool, but they were not as chatty as they were earlier. I was getting a little nervous, which apparently showed because after that session my boss was like "The only feedback I would give you is that you should probably smile more. You looked scared to death." Oh really? THAT'S BECAUSE I WAS! Heh. The last session went a lot better, so whew, I'm glad that's over!

The food here has been amazing. I had scallops last night and I had scallops tonight too. I also had something called a lemon ice box pie, which is the consisitancy of key lime pie, except with lemons. OMG, so good.

While I loved how cozy my king size bed was (I could lay in it diagonally and still have room to spare!), I'm looking forward to going home tomorrow!

(What I found concerning about Jackson was that there were pockets that looked great and other parts that looked run down. It was kinda sad to see the difference in just a few blocks. The apartments across the street from the hotel were run down, but I heard that they were going to be renovated, so perhaps the city is making a comeback.)

My boss's second grandson was born earlier today...and it's also her birthday today!  What an awesome birthday present! :)

Monday, April 3, 2017

Testing Deadlifts at CrossFit

6:30 AM CrossFit, check! It’s test week…1 rep max for deadlifts. My 1 RM is 170 lbs, but with my back injury last year, I haven’t been able to (or wanted to) lift anywhere near that weight. I stopped at 135 lbs today, and I’m happy with that since the last 3 x 5 I did was at 115 lbs. I can’t wait to see where I’m at the next time deadlifts appear in the strength cycle.

WOD, for time, 15:00 time cap
100 Walking lunges
80 Sit-ups
60 Push-ups (I started with just a black band, but I had to add a red one halfway through because my arms were toast.
40 Wall Balls (10 lbs ball)
20 Pull-ups
Score: I got through 11 wall balls in the time cap. Whew! What a way to start the week! I’m wearing a new shirt I got over the weekend. It’s got hummingbirds on it!

Lip color: Maybelline Creamy Matte in Touch of Spice