Month: January 2015

Skiing Saturday

No running for me today.  Rest day, woohoo!  And extra woohoo because it’s also skiing day.  We were both still a bit sore from that long run yesterday, but after taking some Aleve it improved. 🙂

Get ready for lots of pictures because we had a busy day!  First, it started out with some mischief at the hotel.  Isn’t that always the case when you are in a hurry to get somewhere??

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After about 25 mins we arrived at our destination… Holiday Valley Ski Resort!

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The country side is very pretty out here.  It’s a little bit of work to get there, not not too bad.

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We decided to put our ski boots on when we arrived at the ski resort and that turned out to be a problem for me because it was a major pain trying to put on those cold stiff boots!  I thought I was going to hurt my ankles trying to cram them into my boots.  Not fun.  But I survived, and we hit the slopes.

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It is really beautiful here – lots of pine trees and quiet woods.  We had the extra treat of having a lot of fresh powder in the woods.  It was quite an adventure!

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When I was following Zack through the trees he said “Don’t go this way!” and I found him like this….

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It was as steep little hill and his skis went straight down into the snow and popped right off!!  We also ran into a couple runs with this super huge mounds in them.  We have never seen anything like that before.  They were so much fun to ski on!  They were super steep, but not hard to ski.  It was just a matter of getting brave and doing it.

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Another brave thing we did was ski the Wall.  It was a crazy steep run which was icy.  A bit too icy for my liking!  We had talked this up to the kids since we skied it years ago when we went there (before kids).  As soon as we got over there my son said “Can I go??”.  As soon as we said yes he zipped down that run faster than anyone I have ever seen!  I was cringing because he was going so fast, but he was in control.  It was pretty crazy!  He made it down with no falls.

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I went next and as soon as I took my first turn I fell.  I slid.  And I kept on sliding.  My skis did not pop off so soon I was a big blur of snow flying all over the place because I just wasn’t stopping!  That was about 50% scary and 50% embarrassing!  Eventually I stopped and then Alan and Sydney made their way down the run very cautiously.  They also fell and slid for a little bit, but they made it down better than I did.  Good times!

We had a full day of skiing and then we hit the town for some dinner and microbrews.

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Dinner was great and now to enjoy some downtime at the hotel…..

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Bonding with my YakTrax

I got a surprise running partner today – my husband! He had told me that he was supposed to run 13 miles today, but this morning he offered to run my 18 miles with me! Woohoo!
Since it was a bit windy out, I planned to run on a path near the river that is sheltered. It’s a really great trail for hiding from all sorts of weather – wind, hot sun, rain but apparently not snow. The trail was well covered for the whole length. Speaking of length, this trail is also the only one that you can run on for an out and back that will get 19 miles. At the turnaround point there is a dam.  Those are seagulls flying around in the back.  Too bad I had Alan stand right in front of the dam in that shot…. you can imagine it though, right?  Lots of water flowing!

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An exciting part of our run today was that I got to wear my YakTrax for the first time. Those things really rock. The trail was packed snow and ice and I had no issues with slipping what so ever!

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When I was planning my run yesterday, I figured it was going to be 3 hours. Then later on I thought I had done some bad math and recalculated it (mentally) at 2 1/2 hours. I was pretty excited about that! Sadly, during my run I realized that my first estimate was indeed correct and I was in for 3 hrs. Imagine my excitement when I crushed that estimate by finishing in 2:59:32! haha

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Here is an example of some fashionable way to keep your hands warm. Knit mittens over running gloves. Those mittens make my hands look huge!! I could really use some super warm gloves.  I did overdress a little bit by putting on a fleece jacket (my 3rd layer!) so I wrapped that around my waist about a mile into the run.

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After taking a 1 hour shower to warm up (it was “feels like” temp of 6 degrees!), we packed up for a ski trip in NY. We just had to try out the new truck!!  And you know what…. sitting in a truck for 5 hours after an 18 mile run REALLY made it hard to walk when we got to the hotel 🙂

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Q: Do you hit the snowy trails or stick to the cleared streets?

Well duh! What was I thinking?…

If you’ve been following my blog (well, since Sunday), you would have seen that I had 9 miles on my plan this morning.  Yep.  For some reason I thought I was supposed to run 5 miles and that’s just what I did!  I didn’t even realize it until almost lunch time today.  What to do… run 4 more miles??

Nah.  I’m not sure what that would prove.  I’d kind of like my legs to be a little more rested for that seemingly unending 18 miles I have on schedule for tomorrow.  And yes, I did double check that distance 🙂  Here’s the kicker though… early in the AM I got this text – school delayed.

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So technically, I did have enough time to get those miles in AND wash my hair this morning.  Argggh.  Now I’m even more annoyed at myself.  The weatherman told me this morning that it was going to be “bitterly cold” tomorrow, so I’ve got that to look forward to!

Things I am looking forward to about my long run this week: 1) accomplishing the goal  2) new GU flavor!!  chocolate peanut butter  3) listening to some new podcasts from my favorites (Another Mother Runner and Naturally Nicole)  (( I know, I threw you on that Naturally Nicole aka “Snooki” podcast, but she is pretty darn funny and just rambles on for hours on pointless topics, which makes my long runs go by pretty fast ))

My little man was excited that he got to hang out with me at work today for an hour during the school delay.  I even made him alphabetize some time sheets!

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Here is an interesting science experiment that was happening at my house.  One potato was was cut into four pieces and each piece was exposed to different elements.  One control piece, one was breathed on by our family members, one handled by my daughter, and one was rubbed on something germy… What’s interesting that the potato that was “rubbed on tredmill” was the potato that grew the most mold!  Not really surprising I guess, but pretty gross!

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And in closing… Thursday night is “date night” around our house!  Beer and pizza night is our tradition.  Not only is it super delicious, it’s also an awesome way to carb load 🙂  Since Survivor is not on right now, we are watching King of the Nerds.

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Q: What would you have done – run the additional 4 miles after work, or just let it go??

Q: Are you a Survivor or King of the Nerds fan?

 

Glorious rest day!

Oh yeah, it’s rest day!!

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Ironically I felt even more tired when I woke up this morning.  I still got 7 hours of sleep, but I really had to drag myself to get up!  That’s one of my big draws to morning running – it’s a great reason to get out of bed!

Instead of a dark picture of my basement I thought I would mix it up a little with the nice sunny view I saw on my way to work.

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I didn’t completely rest today.  Tuesday was supposed to be my gym day, but I didn’t make it there yesterday, so today was the day!  You know those jokes about people parking right next to the door at the gym?  Well that was me today!

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I sneaked in a picture of my gym… I don’t think you are actually supposed to take pictures at the gym “for everyone’s privacy”, so don’t mention it.  See how dead it is again?  Looks like those new year’s resolutions have been forgotten already!  That’s good news for me because now my favorite locker is available again 🙂

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I got a solid half hour of weights in which was perfect.

Q: Do you lift weights in your house, or at a gym?

A:  I do have a set of hand weights by my treadmill, and I try to do a quick few reps with those when I have time after running.  I have found out that I usually only leave enough time to stretch and the weights haven’t been used as much as I envisioned.  But there’s still hope!!

Q:  How much time do you devote to weight training during a session?  How many times a week?

 

Mommy and the monster walks

Remember that 10 miler I was concerned about today?  It was no big deal.  This is no big deal.  (to paraphrase Katy Perry!)  Since my targeted marathon pace is 8:50, I figured my half pace should be 8:30.  So I ran 5 miles around 9:30 and then I ran 2.5 at 8:30, and the last 2.5 at 8:15.  It worked out well and I got it done.  Thanks to Alan getting Sydney ready for the bus, I was able to wake up at 5:15 instead of pre 5am.  That really made a difference.  Of course I woke up several times  last night being concerned about getting up on time.  12:30 – woke up and found the TV on and reminded Alan that he needs to go to bed (we are truly on different schedules during training!). Also woke up around 3:30, 4:40, 5am…

This is how I fuel up in about 2 minutes or less to run 10 miles on my treadmill!  One bar for each 5 miles is my nutrition plan.  I love how I can just eat these bars and run immediately.

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I was pleasantly surprised to get a bit of motivation from Alan for today’s run!

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After work we picked up a new truck for Alan.  This is one sweet ride.  We will be enjoying it for a long, long time 🙂

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And later, my family got a good laugh at me doing my PT exercises.  They think the monster walks are quite funny, and now that I see pictures of myself I have to agree!  They do really give my muscles a good workout though, so I’m just going to have to endure the ridicule.  And no, I haven’t put away my Christmas shirts yet.

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Q: When was the last time you got a new vehicle?  Do you want a new one now?

A:  The truck we are replacing has 109,000 miles and is 9 years old.  My SUV is a few years old but I still love it and don’t want anything different!

 

OMG, I got my Boston jacket!

I wasn’t sure what was going to be my topic for today, but I think this picture of my shoes post workout this morning foreshadowed my day…

Those 5 miles were pretty slow this morning.  Feeling sore.  I’m on day 4 of my running streak.  I try to only run 3 consecutive days at the most, but due to all of that shuffling around of my workouts over the weekend I’m overextending a little.  I am already looking forward to my rest day on Wednesday!!

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And at work someone brought in some of these beauties and I had to try one.  I just had to!!  But I did limit it to just one, and they were small.   Small victories!

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And on my way to lunch, I saw a coyote out in the field.  I swear it was!!  Nope, not a lost dog, I’m quite sure it was another coyote!  Who knew there was so much wildlife around here?

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But the best thing to happen today was a package that I had waiting for me at home.  My Boston jacket!!  Sure, you normally buy these at the expo, but I did have that 20% off coupon, so why wait?  And I can never decide on the right size, so I got a medium and a small just to see how they both fit.  I’m still not sure which size is better!!

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I really do like the color now that I see it in real life.  It’s a deep purple, which really makes that orange pop 🙂

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Too bad it has to go back in it’s box until I actually run the race.  But still, how cool!!  Off to bed now for that early wakeup call.  snooooooze.

Q: Did you have a good Monday too??

 

Short but sweet Sunday

I was going to tell you all about my renewed faith and inspiration with running outside today and how great it was to run with other people, but instead, my run date didn’t happen!  I do take comfort in knowing that my friends are a lot like me and when we looked outside at the windy dark morning, with slippery light rain, we both came to the conclusion that our long run together wasn’t happening today and I hit the treadmill instead.

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Nope. Not happening today.

I was scheduled for a 12 mile long run, but heck, if you’re going that far you need to just go for the half, so I set the treadmill for 13.1 and ran.  Done in 2:01.  The last 5 miles were spent with +1 or -1 incline/decline every half mile so I got my “hills” in there too, and the last mile was made up of some speedwork – racing to the “finish” line at 7:24 pace for that last .1 miles.  Woohoo!!  Where’s my medal?? I’m pretty sure I was ahead of the pack 🙂

Looking ahead at my schedule this week I will be back on track for some hard work.

  • Mon: 5 miles
  • Tues: 10 miles LT (lactate threshold) run with 5 at HMP (half marathon pace)
  • Weds:  Rest!!
  • Thurs: 9 miles
  • Friday:  18 miles long run
  • Sat: Rest!
  • Weekly total – 42 miles
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My training schedule, with a little bit of inspiration!

Tuesday and Friday will be tough.  I don’t know if getting up super early for the 10 miler will be worse, or getting in that 18 miler.  That’s some serious distance!

I spent a few hours cuddling up in my favorite blanket working on the yearbook pages and catching up on emails.  It was a really cold looking blustery day out there!!

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Then we went to see Penguins of Madagascar.  My review “eh, I wouldn’t want to watch it again”.  I do give a A+++ rating to Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.  It’s great!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Q:  Did anyone see any good movies this weekend?

A: We also watched National Treasure on Saturday night.  A really good movie!

Hitting the trails

I ventured off to the trails around my house for today’s run.  I laced up my new Bocos and geared up.  I knew this would be a much slower run due to the snow and frozen ground.  Also, I took along my phone to take some pictures.  One thing I love about where we live is that we have quite a few park trails to choose from, all of which are close by.

I was looking for two things on my run today –  snow, and deer!  By 2 miles into my run I was not disappointed.  First though, I had to make my way over the “hills”.  By hills, I mean an overpass and the service road leading into the park.  Don’t be fooled – this is actually heading down the “hill”.  I think it just photographs bad, because it actually is a decline at this point!  I know, it’s pretty hilly around here right??

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This was the first deer I ran into.  He had 5 other friends with him, hiding in the tall grasses in front of him and behind him.

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Shortly after that, another one was just standing on the trail!2015-01-24 08.26.47

By the time I had gotten to my turnaround point I had seen 16 deer!  That made my outdoor trek worth it 🙂

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My new shoes did a great job of keeping me upright in the snow and on all of the ice I encountered.  Don’t get me wrong, a sheet of ice was still slippery (these aren’t YakTrax!), but I felt they gripped the surface really well.  Another super plus – they weren’t even cold!  There is no open mesh on these shoes and I could really tell a difference.

It was clearly time to turn around now, despite not quite getting half way through my run.  The river had overflowed quite a bit into the park.

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The part of the trail I was most looking forward to was the towpath portion of the trail.  The towpath is a built up area where they used to tow canal boats with mules and horses!  Pretty cool.

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On the way back to my car I saw another group of 9 deer in someone’s back yard!!  I figured those might be all of the deer I had seen earlier, so I didn’t add them to my total count for the run.  I ran 8 miles in the park today, averaging a 10:05 min mile.  Probably would have been 9:30 overall, but I forgot to turn off my watch when I stopped for the deer one time and got an 11:30 on that mile.  Oops!

After lunch we headed over to the RV & Camper show.  We always attend this show to check out the campers, but I’m not sure I like any of them more than our current popup camper.  There was one model we liked last year, but it wasn’t there.  They do have some really cool features though and I know the kids would like separate beds… but probably not this year!

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On the way home we stopped to get a frozen yogurt treat for the kids.  Sydney got all A’s on her report card this quarter and Zack did awesome too.  Congrats to them on a job well done!!

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Q:  Do you enjoy camping?  If so, is it tents or an RV/camper for you?

A: Alan and I started out as tent campers, but soon realized our trips would be much more enjoyable with a camper when we had kids.  We LOVE to camp!

My weird cat

I was going to run 8 miles on the treadmill this morning, but after being stressed out with some vacation planning last night, I figured I would be too tired to get up early enough, so I ended up running 6.5 miles instead.  It was a good run.  I bet I could have woke up 15 mins early to knock out the rest of it and wouldn’t have been tired.  I’m not worried about it because it’s a cut back week for me, so I’m enjoying a bit of rest before training gets hard again next week.  See the blur of my Newtons?  They have these cool little reflective circles on the toes.

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Here’s an interesting fact about my cat… she has a freezer obsession.  She meows loudly until we give in and open up the freezer drawer.

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Then she runs over to the drawer and licks and chews on it!  She actually gets her little tongue stuck on the cold metal.  Luckily it’s only for a quick second, and then her tongue snaps back.  So crazy!!  We give her ice, but it just doesn’t have the same effect on her.

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Today was a big day for my yearbook job.  Two photographers from the yearbook company came to the school and we took candid pictures and group class shots.  I think I got some really great pictures and I will be putting that together very soon.  On a interesting note, our parent teacher association just bought these bouncy ball seats for this class.  When I went in, half of the kids were bouncing up and down in the their seats.  I don’t know if it’s disruptive for the teacher, but it was a little odd to see!  I think the seats would be really comfortable though.

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After school I was helping with homework.  In the middle of the help I had to run back to the school, and when I returned home I found Sydney working really hard on the remaining assignments.  She accomplished so much.  Uh huh.

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We had the good fortune of having both kids invited to sleepovers tonight, so it was date night.  I had a craving for some Chinese food and we found a restaurant that serves sizzling rice soup.  Yummm!  We haven’t had that soup for a long time, and it was just as delicious as I remember it.  If you go to a place that serves it, I highly recommend ordering it!

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That pretty much sums up the day.  With the kids at sleepovers, I’m going to be getting in some miles on the trails hopefully.  I *really* want to run in my new Newtons.  I did accomplish my goal of finding a running partner for my long run, which got moved to Sunday now.  Looking forward to some companionship!

Q:  Do you have a pet with any weird habits?

 

Taking one for the team

Let me start with “Happy Birthday Jennifer!!”  (you know who you are.)  Hope you had a fun filled day at work on your b-day, but most importantly, hope you got to enjoy a nice evening with the family.

I had 8 miles on my training schedule today, but after all of my socializing and eating (and drinking!), I really had no interest in getting up before the crack of dawn.  I woke up with a Capri Sun straw wrapper in my ear.  That’s how you know it was a good party!!  The culprit was actually my kids who watched a movie in my bed while the party was going on.  Since I have to move my long run back a day, I’ll just move today’s workout to tomorrow.  Easy peasy.

It was so nice to see all of my friends last night at bunco.  We are supposed to get together every month, with each of us sharing the hostess duty, but last year we only played bunco twice, and got together for drinks/chatting probably 8 other times.    A few months never came together and we didn’t see each other at all.  When we originally started bunco our kids were all babies/toddlers/preschoolers and it was a great way to get out and socialize.  It’s still a great social occasion but we now have tweens & teenagers and more and more activities that keep us busy.  Here’s to keeping on schedule this year and seeing my friends more often!

Speaking of that purple Boston jacket, I ordered mine last night!  Most people buy theirs at the race expo, but I had a coupon code for 20% off, and at $110 for the jacket, that is a serious savings.  I don’t think I even paid $110 for my ski jacket, and that’s usually my big coat expenditure!

I did get a cool new pair of shoes this week.  They are Newton Boco AT‘s.  These came highly recommended from my husband, who loves his pair.  I love my Newtons, but they are far too lightweight to run in the snow, and they slip like crazy on surfaces like snow and ice.  So that makes room for these beauties.  The soles are full of grippies and the material is much thicker to keep the snow out.  I can’t wait to try them out this weekend!

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A question came up of what my job is…  My business cards say “Vice President of Technology”, but really that is a fancy title because I am the only IT person at my company!  Which also makes me in charge of anything with a plug on it.  Computers, fax machines, servers, modems, electric pencil sharpeners… you get the picture.  My primary role is as a programmer, which is what I went to college for.  I’ve had to take on the job as network administrator, and repair tech.  I write the software which runs our business – bank couriers.  Recently though my job has changed into an interesting arrangement.  I work 4 days a week, and 2 of those days are as a contractor at another company 5 mins down the road from my office.  My commute is nice.  I am spoiled to work only 10 minutes away from my house.  My schedule is a bit odd – Monday is a full day as a contractor, Tuesday is split between both jobs, Weds is a full day at my company, and Thursday is another split day.

Here I am this morning at my company.  On the left is my desktop computer, and to the right of me is a group of computers which are either test PCs, or PCs I am setting up, or computers I need to get rid of!  I have a lot of crap in my office!  Bummer part about my job at my company?  The courier drivers are all retired guys and I have to troubleshoot a lot of tech calls about a ink jet printer that is not working, and is located in some other state.  Most of them do not have internet access.  Have you ever tried walking your Dad through a printer set up over the phone?  Yep, it’s just like that some days.

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Here I am after lunch as a contractor.  Looks vaguely familiar, no?  My job as a contractor came about because I wrote the software they use.  It’s a bank, and I used to work with my “bank boss” a long time ago at another bank.  So we go back a long way.  I have written MANY programs that the bank uses for it’s daily operations.  I was supposed to work at the help desk at the bank, but no one ever calls me so I pretty much just do programing.  I am totally fine with that!  It makes for a nice quiet work day.

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Two slight bummers for working at the bank.  1)  I have to dress professional!  My company is a relaxed environment and I have gone back to wearing nylons and heels for 3 days a week due to the split days.  2) See that space behind me?  That’s where my coworker sits.  So yes, he looks at the back of my head all day, and he can see my computer monitors!  I don’t like that much.  But, I don’t think he can see my phone, so I do get a break now and then! 🙂

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Random fact, I normally just wear a white layering t-shirt with my sweaters, but today I had this button up on (which I don’t like nearly as much as a t-shirt) and my husband said I looked nice!!  It’s a keeper, I’m wearing it for my fancy days!  Overall I enjoy my jobs.  They are very different environments, but the people are pretty cool that I work with.

Q:  What is your work environment like?  Do you travel for your job??

A: No travel for me!