This-n-that

Jun. 7th, 2013 10:14 am
melaniesuzanne: (Rat)
**Hubbyfink is recovering amazingly well after his surgery. As of today, it's been a full month since the tennis ball-size rock was removed from his head. He still fatigues easily and the deafness in his left ear is going to be permanent, but he is otherwise back to himself. He'll be home for another week and I'm trying to convince him to go back for half days when he starts back at work. He'll have to check with HR to see if that's allowed.

**The Tour de Cure for the American Diabetes Association went SO MUCH better than I'd expected. [livejournal.com profile] carthew and I started our route about 90 minutes prior to the official start time so as to beat the forecast blistering temperature. We rode fairly slowly -- somewhere in the 9 mph range -- and took lots of water and rest breaks. That was good for me in that it reined me in and kept me from pushing so hard that I couldn't finish the ride. We rested for 45 minutes or so at the turn-around point and then rode even more slowly with more breaks on the ride from Vienna to Reston because that route is mostly uphill. I was so jazzed when we got to the finish that I danced around like a crazed weasel, cheering on other riders as they cruised down the finish line chute.

A few photos. )

Our little team raised nearly $2,047 (thus blowing away our $1,500 goal) for the American Diabetes Association. GO, HULA BEARS! And thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who donated to our cause.

**I have begun shrinking out of my shoes as [livejournal.com profile] hannnahkl promised. Ack! I also have a humongous pile of clothes for donation in the craft room. HU-MON-GOUS. They're mostly 18s and 20s and 2XLs. I need to throw some of winter coats on that pile as well. I can't think of any body local who would need those sizes, but if you're local and COULD use some of those sizes, give me a holler and we'll set up a time for you to dig through my clothes. I'm going to put out a call on Facebook as well. This weekend will be for inventorying the clothing in preparation for donation.

**Related to the shoe- and clothing-shrinkage, I have officially hit the two-teens. Eeeee! I haven't been in the two-teens since early 1997. Seriously. I remember living in Annandale with Tansey and going to Weight Watchers because I'd hit 215. I am beyond thrilled. BEE-YOND.

**Today is the 6th birthday of my twin nieces: Anne and Emily. It's hard to believe that they're SIX! They're going to have a surprise Merida-themed birthday party tomorrow. I can't wait to see their faces. :)

**Last, but certainly not least: HAPPY FRIDAY!
melaniesuzanne: (Edward's cool hat)
It's been an exhausting ten eight days (obviously exhausting: I can't do math). Last Tuesday, Hubbyfink underwent a thirteen hour surgery -- we were separated for fifteen hours -- to remove what turned out to be a tennis ball-sized tumor from the balance nerve behind his left ear and his spinal cord. Since I had nothing else to do but fret, I wound up putting in a full day of work from the waiting room. Around 11pm, I finally got to see Hubbyfink in the Surgical ICU and did a very good job of blinking back tears and being cheerful for him.

He looked like an extra from "M.A.S.H." His head was covered in bandages, there were bruises on the visible parts of his face, and he had wires and tubes all over the place. He faded in and out of consciousness but we did get to say that we love each other. I drove home in a terrible thunderstorm and got to bed twenty hours after waking.

When I got back to Holy Cross Hospital (in Silver Spring, MD -- about an hour from our home) on Wednesday, Hubbyfink was sitting upright in a recliner. He didn't have an appetite, but he drank Ginger Ale like a champ. His head was still wrapped in bandages, but the bruises had faded and some of the tubes were gone.

On Thursday, he felt even better and was eating breakfast when I arrived. He moved from SICU to a regular room that evening, no longer needed pain medication, and was off the saline drip.

Friday evening, Hubbyfink was discharged from Holy Cross and transported to Shady Grove Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital in Rockville, MD where he stayed until Tuesday morning. During his time in rehab, he underwent occupational and physical therapies. He aced both. I was present for his PT Saturday and Sunday, and during Monday's session, I told his doctor that he would be discharged Tuesday at the latest. The rehab doctor wanted him to stay through this weekend, but Hubbyfink was MISERABLE in the facility. He, his surgeon, and his surgeon's therapist tried to get him discharged, but it wasn't until I showed up in my ass-kicking clothes and boots and bullied the doctor that we got the process going.

Do not question Ass-Kicking Wife.

I sprung Hubbyfink from rehab yesterday morning and carted him over to his surgeon's office for a follow-up appointment. The office staff was amazed by his progress, considering he'd had surgery a mere week ago, and his surgeon told him to get rid of the walker the rehab center made him use. Hubbyfink's homecoming was an emotional affair. It took a little while before the cats warmed up to him, but we wound up with the entirety of our small family in bed last night.

He's moving around very well on his own, although I do watch him on the stairs. He's ecstatic that he doesn't have to ask someone to help him to the bathroom or to move from bed to the sofa. I'm working from home until I feel comfortable leaving him on his own. If he's up to it, we'll take my car over to the campus and I'll let him try driving a bit. He won't be fighting or back on the bike any time soon, but we'll work on getting him back to normal.

Oh, and speaking of my car, it's a good thing I love it so much because from Saturday to Tuesday I put 290 miles on Bebe. Sure, there are lots of folks in this area who put that kind of mileage on their cars in that time frame, but that mileage typically takes me a month!
melaniesuzanne: (Deux souris by Maury)
It's been mentioned elsenet, and I may have alluded here: Hubbyfink is going in for surgery on Tuesday morning to remove a golf ball-sized acoustic neuroma, which is a benign tumor behind his left inner ear. His balance has been deteriorating as well as his hearing and his audiologist prescribed an MRI a few weeks ago. When they found a mass, the office set up an appointment with a neurologist who confirmed our fears; although, we joked about it being an absorbed twin and they'd find hair and teeth in it.

We've been going with gallows humor during this time to keep the terror at bay.

At way too early o'clock on Tuesday morning, we'll head up to Holy Cross hospital in Maryland and he'll be under for eight hours or so while I try to distract myself with telecommuting (if the hospital has decent wifi... of course, Bossman isn't expecting me to do anything this week) or reading or wandering the hospital.

What does this have to do with Les Mis? [livejournal.com profile] carthew was horrified that I hadn't seen the musical movie version and scheduled a movie night for me, [livejournal.com profile] psalite and LJ-less Kim. I've never seen a stage production, but I did read the book in high school and have seen a couple of non-musical movie version, and I've had the original Broadway cast soundtrack. So, I'm familiar with the story and the music. Because I didn't lose it during "I Dreamed a Dream" nor Gavroche's death, I figured I'd get out of the movie with my shriveled, cold heart intact. Then came the penultimate scene and I wept like a newborn babe.

Movie weeping then set off actual weeping from the build up of stress and worry and everything else, and [livejournal.com profile] carthew held me and stroked my hair as I released keening wails and wracking sobs. I was able to unload and then go back to my normal wise-cracking self. At this point, Hubbyfink and I are back to being brave for each other but we do know and understand that the other is worried. He'll be okay, and in less than a week from now, he'll be back home and fending off his spot in the bed and on the sofa from Margiekitten and Oreomonster.
melaniesuzanne: (Love)
I posted elsenet "At this very minute nine years ago, I was getting a mani/pedi with my sister Mimi. But, eight hours later (after making him sweat because I was 30 minutes late), I married my best friend in the whole wide world. Happy anniversary, my darling Scott."

I do love going back through my archives and reading what we did for each anniversary or what memories popped up on those days. We don't have anything special planned for this evening since I want for him to get in as many historical martial arts practices he can before his surgery next week (which I'll talk about in another post) since he won't be able to participate for several months afterwards, if ever. We'll go do something outdoorsy in the forecasted weekend weather.

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
-- e e cummings
melaniesuzanne: (une souris)
Hubbyfink and I had a VERY nerdy New Year's Eve which consisted of BBC America's "Doctor Who" marathon interspersed with the Lego "Lord of the Rings" video game. The game can be played either as a solo adventure or a cooperative venture. We've been playing co-op and having a fantastic time. Yes, we could have gone to a couple of parties last night, but we decided that staying home and being nerdy was our preferred way to ring in the new year.

I did not make resolutions for this year. HF and I decided, instead, that 2013 would be the year of learning useful skills such as first aid, CPR, orienteering, and the like. I'm usually prepared with gloves, an umbrella, wet wipes... I should put something actually helpful into my head.

I realized as I typed up a 2012 retrospective on my bike blog that my riding slacked off considerably at the close of the year. Was it the weather? Was it my overall health? Was it my love for driving my sweet little car? It's probably a sum of all three. My time spent in the saddle will improve and I want to ride farther afield this year.

Work is going to be stressful and exciting this coming year. My team has been transitioning into new responsibilities and roles and we've been drinking from the proverbial fire hose for a couple of months now. I won't panic. I won't. I'm going to OWN this thing.
melaniesuzanne: (DT Stig)
The last time I drove a stick shift was about fifteen years ago when I lived with Shannon. During one road trip, she coached me around the parking lot of the Christiansburg Waffle House and I did pretty good job except for stalling out Every Single Time I tried to reverse the car. Aside from that, I was pretty good at driving a manual transmission; I was practically a master at hill starts and stops.

Flash forward to yesterday when I talked Hubbyfink into let me try my shifting chops on his new Golf TDI. I drove in circles around the front parking lot of the Vz campus and stalled out in first gear only a few times. The trip around the campus was a different story. I stalled when taking off from Every Single stop sign (and there are a lot of them around the parking garages). I got frustrated, but Scott was patient and kind. Once I got out of first, my shifting was like buttah. Eventually, I tired of the stress and let him take over for a tour of parts of Loudoun County we've never explored.

When we got back to our neighborhood. He stalled out going over one of the treacherous speed bumps. I couldn't stop myself from laughing. And then he stalled out just before his parking spot and was able to coast in just before the power steering cut out. He swore that neither stall was on purpose but I think he was trying to make me feel better.
melaniesuzanne: (Bike: rat)
Since I skipped the group ride from Leesburg to Purcellville on Saturday, I made Sunday a training ride day. Scott agreed to meet me in Leesburg and ride to Purcellville and back so I had the first and last legs to myself. The ride out was pretty easy and, due to the gloomy skies, the W&OD wasn't too crowded. I found myself amongst a group of the lycra set and kept up with them through the downhills, eventually losing them before we got to Ashburn.

I made the twelve mile trip to Raflo Park -- middle of Leesburg -- in 49 minutes and waited for Scott to arrive. A couple with two young boys stopped in the gazebo where I waited and asked for suggestions on bikes for them and a carrier for the boys. I may have overwhelmed them with answers, but I stressed the importance of finding a good bike shop and asking lots of questions.


Raflo Park.

Scott finally joined me and, after chatting with the family for another 30 minutes or so, we hit the trail westward. That climb to Clarks Gap is a bugger and the downhill side is a welcome respite. I started to bonk around mile 20 as we made the final climb into Purcellville, but again the slight decline as we hit the town limits revived me enough for us to pedal slowly through town and find a restaurant for a well-deserved lunch.

Elevation map. )

I feared that heading back out on full stomachs might not be the best idea. Scott may have had the same thought and suggested that we stop and browse Trails End Cycling. He may have regretted that decision as I found a pair of white shoes at a significant discount off MSRP. A girl does want a choice in footwear... Of course the problem became how to get them home. We were both on road bikes with no baskets or racks. Scott volunteered to play his usual role of porter and crammed the shoes into his jersey pockets. Bless.

My hero. )

The downhill ride home was a breeze and Scott was pleased to note all the recumbents out on the trail. He's developed a fascination with tadpole recumbents and I see a trip to bikes@vienna in our future. Anyway, I still felt great when we hit Leesburg and continued home alone as he loaded his bike onto the truck and drove home.

My final leg was pretty easy and I'm happy to say that I avoided any crashes with the ground, or anything else for that matter. I was able to play good Samaritan to another cyclist whom I noticed bleeding and limping along the side of the trail just east of route 15 by giving her some wet wipes and a band-aid. She said she didn't need any other assistance and I continued on my way. I even had enough energy to race a guy up the route 20-hate bridge (Scott's clever moniker) and not let him pass me until about half a mile from my neighborhood. I wound up with 46.99 miles in 3h 29m, a mile farther and 21 minutes faster than my last time riding this route. Color me very pleased.

Route map. )

We ended the day with an hour at Scott's gym where I enjoyed feeling weightless in the pool and getting pounded by the waterfall in the spa. Now I just need to work up adding another 21 miles for the Tour de Cure in four weeks.

May Day

May. 1st, 2012 11:35 am
melaniesuzanne: (Bike: rat)
It's the first of May (NSFW for language), my eighth wedding anniversary, and the start of National Bike Month. Whoo hoo! I've signed up for the WABA-sponsored Bike to Work Day -- yay, free food and swag en route to work -- and am anxiously awaiting to see what activities the fitness center at work will provide on May 18.

In other news, I -- well, the staff at my LBS -- have made some upgrades to Circe and Lily. Circe got a new stem Friday afternoon and that change has made my road bike so much easier to ride. My hands usually went numb a few miles into a ride; on Saturday, I completed a thirty-two mile ride with no numbness or discomfort. I even felt comfortable enough to ride in the drops a few times and I didn't feel like I would take a header over the handlebar. The new stem has me riding in a slightly higher position which is a lot more comfortable on my overdeveloped ab and my back. As my core strength improves, I'll probably go back to the shorter stem.

Lily got a thorough bath on Sunday. And I do mean thorough. It was a two and a half hour ordeal, but I got every bit of road grime off the frame and out of the cogs and sprockets. Her rims, cassette, chain wheel, and chain practically sparkle. She's not showroom clean, but she's the cleanest I've seen her since taking possession. Unfortunately, when I put her in the two highest/hardest gears, there was some grinding in the chain wheel. I could have monkeyed with the front derailleur, but I let the professionals handle that and I had the mechanic change out the spiky pedals for the combo platform/spds I purchased a few weeks ago. It's going to take a little getting used to riding with pedals that aren't grippy, but I'm happy to have the option of riding clipless while commuting.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Hubbyfink and I took a break from car stuff on Sunday because 1) the dealerships I wanted to visit aren't open on Sundays and 2) Carmax had nothing in their local inventory which came close to my list of demands. Plus? I'm not even considering purchasing a car with at least 50,000 miles on it for the same prices as the new vehicle. Instead, Hubbyfink planned to ride to the gym, swim, and ride home. Before leaving, though, he worked on attaching some bar-end handle thingies to his bike, but couldn't get the handle over the stem of his rear view mirror. The stem of the rear view mirrors we both have are slightly too big for the inner diameter of his handlebar tube so Adam shaved the stem down just a bit and mashed it into the handlebar. The bar attachment thingie Hubbyfink wanted to put on couldn't open wide enough for him to slip it over the mirror end and he wasn't able to pry the mirror off his handlebar. I suggested we take his bike to the local bike shop and get Adam to work his magic. This ride would also give me a chance to put more miles on Circe.

The Weather Channel promised a little bit of wind in our neck of the woods, but I would call that "little bit of wind" downright blustery. We took turns acting as windbreaks for each other and that worked out pretty well. I was amused to feel the difference in exertion depending upon which one of us was in front and in rear.

We made it to the shop without issue; although Hubbyfink was fairly wiped out from the seven mile ride. He had plenty of time to recover, though, since Sunday is apparently the day when everybody comes in for maintenance. I was sad that the usual gang wasn't on staff, but I guess they need a day off every now and then. While we waited for Hubbyfink's turn, I purchased a couple of bottle cages for Circe because the pair I had were too loose and made my bottle rattle the. entire. ride. over. As I swapped out old cages for new, a couple of the salesguy came over to ask if I wanted assistance. I laughed that it was just bottle cages and I was good. One of the guys praised my self-sufficiency. I told him I could even change a tire and had taken my friend's cruiser apart and put it back together. They said I should watch out or they might hire me. I joked back that I wouldn't mind the employee discount. That banter carried over to Hubbyfink's perusal of cyclocross bikes where he asked if it was possible to change out the nubby tires for slicks and vice versa. Salesguy said yes and that I could show Hubbyfink how to do that. Heh.

The ride home was MUCH easier now that we had a tailwind and I was really able to open Circe up. I was able to get her to just over 26 mph on a flat section and sailed up a hill at 24. I then coasted for a couple of minutes to let Hubbyfink catch up. It was fun showing off and passing him on hills especially on the route 28 overpass. I hit that sucker at 14 mph and crested at just under 13. All in all, it was a fun outing and I'm enjoying getting used to the new bike.

Rawr

Feb. 16th, 2012 03:43 pm
melaniesuzanne: (I'm on a bike on OBX 10/5/11)
Every now and then I talk Hubbyfink into meeting me along the trail as I ride home from work. On Wednesday he decided he didn't want to deal with the gym and said he'd meet me for the ride home. I warned him that I needed to do a little shopping as well, but those stops would be mostly surgical strikes.

I wound up leaving the office later than planned thanks to a last minute IM from the Bossman and met Hubbyfink just before the blind curve on Smiths Switch. He turned around and fell in line behind me before a FedEx truck rumbled up behind us and then passed us with a WIDE berth. Heh heh heh.

Shopping and banking happened. The test run of my Avenir Softside shopping pannier happened (successfully). Not running down pedestrians happened. Seeing another cyclist in the shopping center happened ("He just left Eastern Mountain Sports so that doesn't count," said Hubbyfink). We headed for home and something new and exciting-to-me happened.

We rode up the blasted incline to the Route 28 overpass and I stayed in front of Hubbyfink the entire freaking time. I not only stayed ahead of him, I pulled away from him. Dude! Plus, I was loaded down with shopping bags, a tote, and my purse. I didn't need to gear down: I was in my middle gears the whole way up. I was breathing heavily when we got to the bridge, but I wasn't wheezing or jelly-legged.

There was a small amount of gloating and smugness when we got home. Hee!

Cheer!

Dec. 12th, 2011 11:25 am
melaniesuzanne: (Merry Ratmas!)
On Friday, Hubbyfink was trying to muster up enthusiasm to go to the gym. I suggested that he instead meet me on the way home and we could bike through a few neighborhoods to look at Christmas lights. He liked that idea and that's exactly what we did.

He didn't want to wait at the proposed meeting place and instead met me a little further than halfway. We nearly passed each other on the trail, but he recognized the Christmas lights adorning my basket. He also mentioned that he could see my headlight from the time I turned off the street onto the trail, a distance of just over a mile. And that was on medium power! Heh heh heh. Another fun thing was that I was able to keep up with him as we rode up the Rte 28 overpass. I've never been able to keep up with him. Yay!

We jumped off the trail at Church and rode the sidewalk down to the next neighborhood. We (okay, I) oohed and aahed at the pretty lights and amusing yard displays. I wish I'd taken my camera, but I'm not very good at taking night shots anyway. The funniest set-up, though, was a yard full of inflatable penguins, snowmen, and a Frankenstein monster with a jack-o-lantern at his feet. Hubbyfink didn't notice the monster as we passed and did a u-turn so he could boggle at it as well. On the way home, we passed a Santa on a Harley. Our neighborhood is lighting up even if our street is still pretty dark. If we get another warm snap, I'd like to tour through the neighborhoods on the other side of the boulevard. There's some seriously tacky stuff other there.
melaniesuzanne: (Deux souris by Maury)
I felt antsy this morning and wanted to take advantage of today's gorgeous weather so I suggested to Hubbyfink that we take our bikes over to Great Falls and explore. He suggested we hike instead and I agreed to that, especially since I've never been to the park.

Great Falls
Great Falls

Mind blown. I wasn't expecting to scramble over so many rocks, but the views were completely worth it. I told Hubbyfink I'd like to go white water rafting, which surprised him. Hubbyfink was totally in his element )
melaniesuzanne: (wedding)
And Happy Anniversary to my love, my rock, my other half. It's been a fantastic eight years of knowing you and a wonderful seven years of marriage.

To celebrate the anniversary of our nuptials, we attended a matinee of Cirque du Soleil's "Totem" in Baltimore Saturday afternoon and then met Hubbyfink's parents for dinner on the waterfront. Today we were planning to run along the C&O Canal or hike along Great Falls, but the weather was so dreary we decided to stay in. Also, my allergies sucked all the life out of me and I spent much of the day napping or zoned out on the red sofa of AWESOMENESS. But it's all good. Hubbyfink got to scratch his home improvement itch with some work in the basement while I napped. We also caught up on "Doctor Who", "Renovation Realities", and are a third of the way through the fourth season of "Battlestar Galactica". Our geeky hearts and minds are quite full and happy.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
I took Friday off to accompany Hubbyfink while he had his wisdom teeth yanked. It was a fairly quick procedure but Hubbyfink's coming out of anesthesia took a while. I was tempted to whip out my phone and record his mumbled ravings for posterity, but Hubbyfink was so pitiful I didn't have the heart to embarrass him like that. Although, later it would have been useful for him to try to decipher what all he was raving about. I do remember that he was really wanted to go to Best Buy (I told him we could go on Saturday if he felt like it) and he was absolutely adamant about going to HMA practice on Sunday (yes, dear, if you feel like it) and he kept verifying that it would be okay for him to play video games this weekend (yes, dear, if you feel like it). He was most concerned about playing video games, which is pretty funny in retrospect since he didn't play any games this weekend.

We got home, propped him up on the sofa, got pain killers in him, changed out gauze throughout the afternoon, and took it easy for the rest of Friday. He was still rather loopy throughout Friday evening. Saturday was a little better. In fact, he'd started laundry and dishes while I ran errands early Saturday afternoon. I gently fussed at him for overdoing it. But gently. I've always promised him that I will never get upset with him for doing housework. :)

Hubbyfink was about 85% on Sunday. We went out for a drive to keep the cabin fever at bay and he helped with more housekeeping. My experience with recovery from wisdom-tooth extraction was sooo different: I was drugged out of my mind and in excruciating pain for about a week. Hubbyfink, on the other hand, took his pain Rx once and has been taking Advil for soreness since. He even went to work on Monday and was speaking normally again last night. He's still eating soft foods and is being gentle with his jaw, but he's back to normal otherwise. He's even going to fight practice tonight; although, he has promised that he won't actually fight this week.
melaniesuzanne: (DW: Converse by duskwillow)
Hubbyfink has started accompanying me on my walk/jogs and I have to say that it's a lot more fun to have him by my side than be off on my own with the ipod. I mean, the long walks by myself are pretty grand for centering and grounding myself. But now I'm trying to get ready for the Herndon Festival 5k (actually, we both are) and I'd really like to run it rather than walk it. It's a pride thing.

Hubbyfink is helping me learn to run by setting good paces and pushing my comfort zone. I realize that I can jog/run longer with him by my side than I will go by myself. I may be breathing heavy, but I'm not in discomfort anywhere. And so I continue until I really can't run anymore and my pride is too tired to care one way or the other.

On the flip side, Hubbyfink has a tendency to overdo his exercise and push himself too far which results in injury that sidelines him for a few days to a week. My pace and occasional breaks keep him from heading off into injury-land. Our compatible neuroses and obsessions have one again neatly dovetailed so that we can make each other stronger.

Also, running/jogging/walking with Hubbyfink feels a lot more like "play" and less like "exercise". We tease each other with "race you to the next bridge!" and "race you to the next block!" throughout and rib each other on how we walk/jog: I think he walks the trail like a cowboy who's been riding the range for months and he likes jogging a bit behind me so he can watch my hips swing or booty bounce. And then of course there's the full-out sprint from the opening of our street to the house (uphill both ways). He's still letting me win, but I'm starting to give him a good race.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
I'm in a good place right now. I'm the smallest I've been in ten years. The Retin-A is doing its magic on my complexion. Yes, my skin is peeling like crazy, but the moisturizer [livejournal.com profile] greta_k recommended is working as advertised. I feel like the beautiful, powerful woman I am. It feels good.

Hubbyfink and I are in a good place together. We're a month away from our seventh wedding anniversary. Good heavens! How'd that happen? Seven years, holy cow. It feels like the blink of an eye. We adore each other and both want to ensure each other's happiness.

Work is good, too. I have plenty of projects to keep me busy but not so many that I feel frantic. I'm happy with where I am.

I wish I could bottle up this feeling and apply it liberally when I'm in the dumps. For now, I'll simply be grateful for the many blessings in my life.
melaniesuzanne: (Spring)
What a glorious day. It looked kind of dicey this morning with the overcast skies, but now the sun has burned off many of the clouds and it's absolutely gorgeous out there. I left the windows at home cracked for the kitties so they could get their fill of smell-o-vision while the gorgeous weather holds. I hope that Hubbyfink is able to leave work early so he can spend some quality time rollerblading on the bike trail. I'm looking forward to quality time on the trail tomorrow and Sunday.

Hubbyfink talked me into leaving work a little early yesterday and we walked most of my 5k route through the neighborhood. We cut the trip short due to darkness, but still got in a fairly good walk. He was impressed with my jogging pace. I guess I was describing it as much slower than it actually is. One of these days I'll actually be able to sustain that pace for more than a few minutes at a time. When we got to the end of our street, I challenged Hubbyfink to a race home. I ran full bore, and so did he for a moment. He slackened his pace to match mine, teasing me about running like a girl and since he was within reach I punched him repeatedly in the shoulder while hollering, "Of course I run like a girl. I am a girl!". All of this while still running, mind. He let me win. One of these days, though... I'll win on my own.

It amuses me to see the ever shrinking piles of snow in the shady spots of the campus. These drifts are surrounded by crunchy brown leaves. Symbols of two, two, two seasons in one! One of the peonies at home is starting to poke branches up through the dirt. In a few more weeks, the tulips and daffodils and lone hyacinth should make their appearances. One of these years I'll remember to plant springtime bulbs in the autumn to ensure more tulips and hyacinths in our garden.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Friday night was a romantic date night with Hubbyfink. We went to The Cheesecake Factory for our yearly not-quite-Valentine's dinner. I don't think we'll go back on a Friday again. I mean, the food was good and my dinner date was fantastic, but between the family arm-wrestling (really? at a restaurant) each other and turning over dirty plates when they slammed each others' arms onto the table on one side of us and the family with the whiny kids who didn't want to eat their dinner on the other side of us, we had a less-than-romantic environment. Ah well. We still enjoyed ourselves and date night was grand.

On Saturday, Hubbyfink cleaned detritus in the basement den and made a run to the dump while I took a walk/jog through the neighborhood across the boulevard and onto the W&OD up to Crestview. According to mapmyrun.com and my ipod stopwatch, I did 3.98 miles in just over an hour. After a good stretch and a long, hot shower, I helped Hubbyfink reorganize and clean the laundry/storage room. We finally have a decent storage place for the bikes, hooray! We capped off the day with a trip to Hubbyfink's gym for a soak in the hot tub -- I needed to cool off and jogged some laps in the MUCH cooler lap pool -- and then watched a series on the history of blues on Smithsonian Channel.

Today was another trip through the neighborhood and into Herndon. I made it up to Ferndale this time. I even wound up jogging a few times without realizing it. I was listening to my dance music, looking at the scenery, and then looked down and realized I was unconsciously jogging along to the beat. That was new and exciting. My time was a little better today: 4.78 miles in seventy-five minutes. More stretching and another long, hot shower to work out the kinks in my legs. I celebrated my two days of fitness with a relaxing pedicure. I was happy to discover that I fit in the massage chair well enough now that the lower body massage stuff actually feels good rather than annoying. We shall see if I'm able to move my freshly polished toes and soft feet when I get out of bed tomorrow.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
On Friday I left work very late because 1) I had no plans for the evening other than vegging before the tube and 2) there was plenty of work to keep me occupied for long stretches of time. Bossman happened to hope onto the company IM and asked what the heck I was still doing in the office. He appreciated my dedication and asked me to thank my husband for sacrificing family time with me. Eh. Hubbyfink thought I was at the gym and I was in the zone and doing my favorite type of work: design documents. I did eventually go home and zone out before the boob tube.

On Saturday I sprang out of bed at the crack of 9:30, donned my exercise togs, stuffed a couple of small parcels in a fanny pack and took my usual extended weekend walk through the neighborhood and up to the post office. It was such a gorgeous day. The temperature was in the upper 30s/low 40s but I was quite comfy with my earmuff headphones and a light jacket. Lots of people were out raking leaves or holding yardsales or walking dogs. I love those little slices of suburban Americana. When I returned home, I discovered to my surprise and delight that Hubbyfink had emptied and reloaded the dishwasher, started laundry, and vacuumed the house. He said he felt guilty about playing a video game while I was working out. I thanked him profusely and told him that I will never, ever be angry with him for doing housework. After cleaning up, we spent the rest of the afternoon grocery shopping, dropping off recyclables, dropping off Goodwill donations, and hunting for the perfect replacement for the living room torchiere-with-reading-lamp whose base finally gave up all structural integrity. Hilarity ensued.

On Sunday I sprang out of bed at the crack of 8:30, surprising the heck out of Hubbyfink who is used to a wife who slumbers until 10 or so on the weekends. There were things to do and put away before my friends arrived at 1pm for a Slumber Party. Somehow, everything came together with lots of time to spare. Even food and drink prep went smoothly. The party itself was lightly attended, but my guests were enthusiastic and the consultant was as charming and hilarious as ever and we all had a grand time. The Sparkling Holiday Punch (cranberry, orange, lemon juices, a little sugar, and two bottles of champagne) was a hyoooge hit. The honeycrisp apple slices and warm caramel were gobbled up as was the cream cheese topped with cranberry-pomegranate chutney. Most of the guests stayed long after the consultant left and we gabbed as dusk turned into full-on dark. Ah, girl time: just what I needed. :)

I had the house set back to rights and most of the serving platters cleaned by the time Hubbyfink got home. He'd had fun killing jack-o-lanterns with swords at [livejournal.com profile] flonzy's house. Ah, boy time: just what Hubbyfink needed.
melaniesuzanne: (Love)
All last week Hubbyfink and I were puzzling over what to do for our anniversary. Inspiration finally struck early Saturday afternoon as I prepped and primped for my pedicure and he prepped and primped for his excursion for more frog feet shoes in Frederick.

"Let's go to Old Town," I suggested and he said that sounded like a fine idea.

After foot-focused errands, late lunches, and a bit of napping, he donned snazzy summer clothes and I donned a sundress and new sandals. We zipped down to the Alexandria waterfront and noticed a tall ship moored on the Potomac. That looked interesting. We ambled over to The Chart House and put our name on the 2.5 hour wait list. We had no issue with waiting (see: late lunches) and wandered back over to the tall ship.

She turned out to be the Peacemaker and she was open for free dockside tours. We boarded and wandered up, down, and through her beautiful decks. I'm sad that we didn't think to bring a camera with us, but oh well. I wanted to know if you'd be able to pull a skier behind her, but I couldn't find a crew member to ask. Hubbyfink said that if I asked that question, he was going to pretend he didn't know me.

We left the ship and wandered back to King Street where throngs of people jammed the sidewalks. We explored a couple of funky little art stores and then ambled through the residential areas peeping in unshuttered windows and barely maintaining our balance on cobblestone and brick sidewalks. After an hour or so of walking, I suggested we go by the restaurant again and see how they were progressing with the dinner crowd. It turned out to be a fantastic idea because we were next on the list. We'd just ordered drinks at the bar when the hostess was ready to seat us.

We sat on the patio and watched boats go by and listened to a jazz quartet on the boardwalk below. We stuffed ourselves on lobster spring rolls, crab-stuffed shrimp, crab cake, seasonal veggies, and ginger rice. My two amaretto sours were the sneakiest amaretto sours I've ever enjoyed (I was in a [thankfully non-headachey] stupor until nearly noon on Sunday). Such a good dinner and wonderful company to boot.

We enjoyed a leisurely drive back down the GW parkway and then a significantly less leisurely drive west down 66. All in all, a beautiful evening with honey bunches of domesticated oats.

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Mary F'ing Sunshine

August 2015

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