Thursday, October 27, 2011

Road Trip! Girls Weekend Chi Town Preview

Tomorrow is another fun trip for me... life has been kinda stressful lately... kids are great but I am looking forward to a trip away to my good friend Dez. Back in 2006 Dez and I trained for our first Triathlon. She dropped 50 lbs training for it and did awesome! Since then, we did a half marathon together and one Olympic distance tri together and a few sprints.
Now the last time we raced together was 2009. She injured her back and has been struggling to move without pain. She has been trying different options to work her way around back surgery... poor thing.
I was venting some to her recently and she suggested we do a girls weekend. I. Am. So. Ready.
So after work tomorrow morning, I will drive to her place near Chi Town for a girls weekend!!
Just got the oil changed, tires rotated, and air filter changed! Now, just got some laundry, and a little packing and woooooo hooooo!!
Can't wait!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Weekend Recap: DC

Late Sunday night I flew into DCA.
After finding out that my 'shuttle' that I had booked online was not available, I managed to find a ride to the hotel... probably not the smartest way I have ever done, but hey, live and learn!


By managed to get to sleep by 1:30am but forgot to change my cell phone alarm to off.  So promptly at 5:30 am I had to get out of bed to turn it off.

I couldn't sleep much after that so I read a while, and eventually got ready to meet Kate.  I was still an hour early.  I decided to take a walk.  My hotel was nice.  The Melrose Hotel. Just blocks down the street was the White House.  That was my goal.

Kinda broke my heart to see the homeless around, but unable to help them out.  But DC is MUCH cleaner than Cincy.  Smells better and more spacious too.  I did feel comfortable walking Pennsylvania Ave by myself.

I managed to find 3 starbucks in that short walk.  Imagine that.

The Reflection Pool was under construction.
At 10 am I nervously waited for Kate in the lobby of my hotel.  I was worried I wouldn't recognize her.  Thanks to Facebook, I had an idea of what she looked like now.  Shortly after 10am she arrived.  We quickly set out in search of a coffee shop to sit down and 'catch up'.  Since it has only been 17 years since we saw each other we managed to talk for about 2 hours there, then we set out to continue try some tourist type things, we checked out the Lincoln Memorial.  Here is Kate on the left, looking out from the Lincoln Memorial toward the Washington Monument. It was free to see the memorials and monuments, and even the Smithsonian.

By the time we left the Smithsonian, we both were tired.  We had managed to walk about 7 miles.  Yes, I know that from Kates pedometer.  We were going to meet up with her husband Nick about 8pm.  We took the metro (subway) back closer to the hotel and found a place to eat called Thunder Burger. I got the Ventura Burger with Sweet potato fries.  Kate talked Nick into trying Corn Dogs.

Kate and Nick were telling me about some of the differences in the countries..
  • Food in America is very extreme.  More sugar.  Fake colors. Probably more salt.  Kate picked up some Kraft Mac-n-cheese to take home with her.  
  • They have 28 mandatory vacation days a year.
  • They have a public health system and said it isn't that bad.
  • They have 20% tax.  To pay for the health system.

It was a shame we didn't have more time to talk, but I had to head to the airport at 4 am, so by 11:30 we had said our good-byes but managed to sneak in a quick picture before leaving each other.

She was talking about making a trip in the next year to visit where she grew up and show her husband a bit of culture shock in good ol' Appleton Wisconsin.  He grew up in Africa and likes to eat meat.  Weird meat.  Like not normal meat.  Anyway, it was fun trying to help Kate warn her husband about all things Wisconsin. He has apparently heard of her Grandparents great love of Shopko. lol.

It was so much fun, I wish I had a bit more sleep though!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Count down.

Seventeen years ago I had a friend from England. Katie.

We met in Elementary school. First grade I believe. We became very good friends and stayed friends even when she and her family had to return to the United Kingdom.

Many memories of sleeping over at her big house, dancing to Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney's song 'Say, Say, Say', Phil Collins and Weird Al songs... She had a 'snuggle' bear that she just loved. I loved listening to her family talk. I developed a love a of 'REAL hot tea' and Twix candy bars, which they always had on hand.

She returned to England with her family after the first year of Junior High. Thanks to her Dad's many frequent flyer miles was able to return every summer on her school break. Usually for about 3 weeks at a time. All of her friends took turns hosting her during her stay. We usually had one week with her.

The last time she was her was the Summer of 1993. We had her for 2 weeks. As luck would have it my high school sweetheart, P. also was living with me at my parents house. As I write this as a parent of a 16 year old, I am in awe that they let me do that... Anyway, she spent some time with him and he confessed to 'something' happening... I can't really remember the details, but it was the last time I saw her or really talked to her...

Now, fast forward to 15 years later and thanks to the magic of Facebook, I asked her brother about her and what-do-you-know, we became friends again. Now, she is in DC and I managed to get a ticket to see her for a VERY short visit, but I am very excited to put the past behind us and meet up with her again!

24 hours from now, I will be in route to reconciliation and I can't wait!!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Stress Reliever?


My heels are ugly. I admit my feet are not the most pretty thing in the world... in fact, I really feel sorry for the poor people the two whole times I have gotten a pedicure in my life. They had a lot to scrub off! My hubby likes to joke that my heels make great scratching posts.

Also, apparently I run marathons in my sleep. My hubby has told me for a while that my legs 'go crazy' at night. I sleep well. So I just never gave it much thought.... until today.

During the night my foot caught the sheet. A few times. I thought it was strange but went back to sleep. So today I pulled the sheets to toss 'em and low and behold, THIS is what I found...

So, personally, I find this funny, since I really don't have trouble sleeping. I actually feel like I sleep GREAT! I rarely have trouble going to sleep. Yes, some of my life has been a bit stressful lately, but not to the extreme that I have trouble sleeping.

I tried NOT to laugh while reading about 'support groups' for restless leg syndrome (RLS)... one had the tag line 'support for friends or families of RLS patients'. Really? Is it that bad?? Maybe I am just not that bad yet.... but some interesting facts about it I did learn...

  • it occurs in middle aged and older adults
  • stress makes it worse
  • it occurs more often in patients with Peripheral neuropathy, parkinson's, pregnancy, chronic kidney disease, and iron defiency
  • form of RLS may be passed down in families. This may be a factor when symptoms start at a younger age.
  • can result in a decreased quality of sleep (insomnia). This lack of sleep can lead to daytime sleepiness, anxiety or depression, and confusion or slowed thought processes.
  • Usually occur at night when you lie down, or sometimes during the day when you sit for long periods of time

  • May be described as creeping, crawling, aching, pulling, searing, tingling, bubbling, or crawling

  • May last for 1 hour or longer

  • You will feel an irresistible urge to walk or move your legs, which almost always relieves the discomfort. (which I do when I work, from time to time I have to get up and wander though the hospital.)
  • There is 'no treatment' BUT they said warm baths, gentle stretching and MASSAGE can help with symptoms!! I wonder if I could get a WEEKLY massage thanks to my health insurance!! I may just have to check this out! Oh,yeah!!
  • I REALLY THOUGHT this paticular tidbit was interesting....
    If your sleep is severely disrupted, your health care provider may prescribe medications such as Sinemet (an anti-Parkinson's medication), gabapentin and pregabalin, or tranquilizers such as clonazepam. However, these medications may cause daytime sleepiness.
    My Dad has been on Sinemet for a few years now for the anti- Parkinson's benefits. So, makes me wonder if I am heading down the same route as my Dad.
Hey, at least I will be a happy forgetful person! Although, I may not know who I am married to.... but maybe I could still get my weekly massages!!