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July Wrap Up!

Well, this was a crazy month, wasn’t it?  You just never know what will happen.  From the job getting all whacky to the craziness of the tutoring situation and finishing my settee!  Life is never boring around here, I tell you.

So, Here were my July goals:

1. 400 bike miles this month. Done!  I actually got somewhere around 430.  The weather was a big help in this since pretty much every weekend had one or both days for big mileage.  Now I need to rebalance my exercise.

2.  Declutter and reorganize these 2 bookshelves.  I only got to one of them.  Before:

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After:

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I even tried my hand at purposeful styling!   I do like how that one book is kind of falling out of the side there.  This is not the best design for a bookcase :D

3.  Eat more veggies.  I did a little better with this.  I am at least back eating the broccoli again.  I even ate some tomatoes and cauliflower this month. Go me! LOL

4.  Deep clean rooms. Yeah, that didn’t happen so much on my end.  All the extra work I have been doing (without extra pay…grrrr…)  took its toll on some stuff and cleaning got moved to the rank bottom.  John, however, made himself a little chart of cleaning projects.  

So yeah, this month had some stumbling blocks, but I am trying to stay upbeat.  We are really, really hoping we might get an actual closing date on the house soon.  There should be some news with the next extension we sign for August.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Lifting and the end of tutoring.

Back to lifting today!   I did not lift as much when I was shooting for the 400 biking miles this month.  Doing challenges like this teaches you about balancing exercise.

Here was my upper body workout today:

  • 2-point row:  3 sets of 10 with 20# kettlebell
  • Chest press:  3 sets of 10 with 15# dumbbells
  • Reverse crunches:  3 sets of 12
  • Side Bends:  3 sets of 10 with 10# dumbbells
  • Lying chest flies:  3 sets of 10 with 10# dumbbells
  • Arnold Press:  3 sets of 10 with 10# dumbbells
  • Bent Reverse Fly:  3 sets of 10 with 8# dumbbells
  • Front Raise:  3 sets of 10 with 5# dumbbells

Then I got on the treadmill and did some walk/jog intervals.  Sort of thinking of testing the running again.  I know, I know

I am done with literacy tutoring now.  I had mentioned before that I was going to be stopping. We were waiting to get a new tutor set up for my learner.  I had let him know a few weeks ago that there would be a transition and he seemed okay with it then, but yesterday he was not okay after meeting with his new tutor.  I had a meeting with him after that to see how it went. He ended up angry and yelling very loudly at me and stormed out of the McDonalds (where we do our meetings).   It was a pretty horrible experience. Then as I left, he came back around the building and told me to tell John not to bother showing up on Thursday for math tutoring and continued yelling as he rode away.  That was really not how I wanted things to end and after 1-1/2 years of tutoring, I certainly did not deserve being treated like that.   Ugh.  Unfortunately for him, he will have no more tutors because the literacy coordinator told me she cannot assign a tutor to someone with outbursts like that, which is too bad for him.  Thank goodness that stress for me is done, although I wish it had a better ending.

I also got some lab results back.  Blood work looks good, although my cholesterol was a little high.   I also had a thyroid ultrasound done last week:

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That was really interesting. I have never had an ultrasound done to me.   Turns out I have small thyroid nodules, which would explain why I was feeling something in my throat.  As with most thyroid nodules, these are benign and I just need to have an ultrasound yearly to make sure they aren’t getting bigger.   So, lab work is pretty clean, but no real answer to my fatigue (other than stress).   I am hoping once we get done with the move and work stress eases up that I will feel better.  If not, there are some other tests I can have done, but for now I will just keep on keepin’ on!

On a fun note – We were at the mall on Saturday night and I found the perfect mug for me, even though I didn’t buy it LOL!

mug

:D

Saratoga Ride!

Another great Saturday for riding!  We  are joking that we aren’t getting anything done around the house or doing errands because we have been saving them for a rainy weekend and there haven’t been any for a while!   We headed down to Saratoga.  It was all road riding down and we took a more straight path, so not as many pictures on the way down.

I felt really good on Saturday, too.  When John and I ride, we rarely ride side by side – pretty  much single file.  We swap out the lead every few miles unless one of us is tired.  Or when I have hill legs – then look out because I stomp on the pedal!  I had hill legs today!

We stopped around 11 miles in for a snack:

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This is in the Moreau State Park area, which is really nice and wooded.

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About 15 miles into the ride, we started to pick up a headwind.  I didn’t mind that too much since we only had about 6 miles to go and that would mean a nice tail wind on the way home!

Mile 21 and we arrived into downtown Saratoga.  It’s full on track season right now and it’s all about horse racing.  Saratoga is really a tourist destination.  It’s kind of an expensive city, though.  Lots of unique shopping:

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I was so hungry in this store:

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We decided to carb up with a bagel!  I know, imagine that.

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I had brought along some coconut water lemonade.  This was pretty good. It’s more tart than straight up lemonade, but quite good when icy cold.  I had half and saved the rest for the ride home.

We walked around a lot this day.  John accidentally left his tracker on after we got off the bikes and we ended up walking 3.5 miles!

Horse decoration:

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Very blingy, but he should have ditched the hat  (the horse, not John.)

Shelley, here is an idea for you that we saw at the yarn store:

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Then it was time for cuppies!!  We tried a new place called Park Side Eatery.  We had checked it out earlier and when I saw a maple cupcake with a pecan filling – I was totally sold!

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This was delicious!  We spent a lot of time chatting, too.  It’s funny how we both work at home, but we don’t always get the time to just sit and talk for long periods of time.

Time to head home with a tail wind!  We cooked the whole way home and didn’t stop except for 1 time – at the top of a long rolling hill section.

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I had the rest of my coconut water and a few bites of John’s protein bar.

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Lots and lots of wildflowers are in bloom now.  Here is some Queen Anne’s lace.

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Zoom and we were home!   We were booking!  We did 13.1 miles per hour on the way down and finished at 13.8 on the way home, which meant we had to have been averaging 14-15 on the way back!

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Ride stats:

Total miles: 43.3

Average speed:  13.8

Top speed:  27.5  mph

Calories burned:  1480.

Rides in the mid 40s for mileage are pretty much perfect for me.  It feels like enough for a good workout out and not so much that I am exhausted.   In fact, we went out and shopped at the mall after dinner! :D

It was after 5 o’clock when we got home because we spent so much time in Saratoga.  Here was what I had for dinner.  Cheese omelet, tortilla chips and fruit.

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 It’s somewhat light because I don’t like huge meals after a day of riding.  I do a lot of grazing in the evening when I start getting hungry again, so that I get my calories in :D  

I hit my 400 miles for July this weekend, too! Yippee!

What’s Blooming!

Blooms and blooms and blooms!  I woke up today to a temperature in the upper 50s, can you believe that? In July!  That is not so unusual for later in August, but wow.   It felt so refreshing!

Let’s start with a shot of the whole shebang.  The lawn is neatly mowed and edged here.

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 The grass is nice and green. Too bad it is mostly clover and crabgrass LOL, but it looks green, so I don’t care.  John also did a lot of touch-up paint this spring, so thank you John!!

The last of the old-fashioned daylilies this year.

 

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The orientpet is also just about done.

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I have a terrible case of red lily beetles this year, although it is not just me.  This area is being hit hard by them.  One of the garden club members said the beetles stripped her lilies to the stems with just a blossom on the top!  Guess I am lucky they just are chewing them.  I don’t spray, so this is the result.

Tiger lily heirloom:

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I love these so much.  I feel like you could put one of these on a present as a bow!

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Those little black balls on the stem are part of the plant. I don’t know what purpose they serve, but they were there last year and this year and are attached to the plant.

These are quite tall, too>

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My butterfly bush has a bloom on it now.  This is very stunted this year, probably 3.5 feet tall instead of the usual 5+.  The bloom is huge, though!  I have never seen one this long.

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Maybe some butterflies will come now.  There haven’t been many this year. :(

My sweet potato vine took over the pot this year.

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It’s only July and I wonder how long that will get LOL!  Gonna strangle the mail carrier.

Surprise black-eyed Susan in the armeria.

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Those blue dots are petals that fell from the delphinium, FYI.

Razzmatazz.  This plant is coming with to the new house.  I don’t care if I have to dig it up in the dead of winter LOL!

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I just can’t express how happy this garden makes me.  Even when parts of it frustrate me, I love the challenge and I also love how stuff pops up where it feels comfortable.  Like this snapdragon:

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I haven’t actually planted snapdragons in years.  They are all volunteers. All I do is deadhead and let the seeds go where they will.  I never know where they are going to pop up.

My first experience with a spike plant has been a success.  This is a traditional pairing, but I have never done it before.

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Have a great weekend everybody!

Updating

We had rain come through last night and today was glorious in the 70s.   It was so hot and humid earlier in the week.  I know you southern peeps are used to that stuff, but I cannot hack it.  It makes me cranky and I don’t need any help with that LOL!

Work has gotten on somewhat more even footing.  Basically what is happening is that I (along with a few other MTs) am being ‘loaned’ out to another company for an unspecified amount of time.  One of the many problems with this was, and is, communication.  There was a lot of missing information and no one seemed to be able to get this information, which I don’t understand at all.  I just wanted to work.  The good news is that I came off of QA evaluation, which is where they hold all the reports while they make sure you are doing what you are supposed to be doing and following the account specifications.  The problem at first was that no one gave us account specs and this other company does almost the exact opposite on reports  (double spacing after periods, Oxford comma, editing sentences for clarity,etc.) than I do currently.  I am used to strict verbatim typing, so this has been a challenge.  A week later after we got the specs, it has been better and now that I have worked a lot, I am having a better time.  My current boss actually had the nerve to tell those of us on the account that we were in jeopardy of losing it because we weren’t working enough.  Really?  Well, I had to have a say about that, which I did ‘reply all‘ on LOL!  I got thanked by fellow MTs since no one else was willing to step up to the plate. 

The only issue I am working on now is getting up my production speed.  It helps being off of QA, because I don’t get every report back and have to sign it off – which ate up a lot of time.  I am bummed right now, though, because in order to make what I was making before, I have to work 1.5 hours extra each day due to production.  I don’t know if this will get better or not.  Probably some, but it’s a bummer to have to work more to get the same pay.  Or I have to take a pay cut.   However, I do have to look at the fact that I have a job and I do get all those perks of working at home.  I’ll just deal with it now as best I can.  

With the heat we have been experiencing, I have been getting in my rides in the morning.  Normally those have always been rides alone, but last week John started joining me on those rides, which has been fun!  It’s nice to have company.  I am doing great on my 400 mile biking goal this month.  I only have 60 miles to go, which barring mechanical or body failure, I will get likely over the weekend.  Jinx, jinx!

I had an appointment with my PA about my fatigue yesterday and they did some blood work and ran some other diagnostic tests.  There probably won’t be anything in those results, but best to cover all bases.  You know what she tells me?  I need better sleep and less stress.   Well  - d’uh.  And I paid for that advice  :roll: 

All of this has created some eating issues for me.  Snacking, as per my MO.   You can’t outbike the fork.  However, my sense of humor has returned a good amount this week, which feels really good because I normally am fairly silly :)

Tomorrow is time for another What’s Blooming post already, which means it’s Friday!  And the Tour de France ends this weekend. I can’t believe how fast it has gone by!

My life in GIFs

Zooming by for a quick post. These kind of sum up how my life has been lately:

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Then this makes it better:

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Just the way it is going to be for a bit.

I do have a new flower to show.  Not waiting for blooming Friday for this so you all don’t miss it. This is an heirloom lily and it just started opening up. It’s like a little turk’s cap.

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I will be taking a ton of pictures of this with better lighting this week!  

:D

Douple dip ride

We have been having the best biking weather this summer, which makes up for the poopy spring.  It’s funny, though, we don’t get projects around the house done since we save those for rainy weekends and we haven’t had a rainy weekend in a couple months! :D 

Saturday we went garage saling via bicycle, which is good to keep you from buying whatever.  I have specific things I am looking for, one of which is a trunk. I want to use a trunk as a coffee table, but I have to find the perfect one.  I have been seeing a lot of them, and it was no exception on this day.

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This one is a little big, though.  Too tall, but the look is right.  The search will continue.  John is really hoping that I don’t find one until after we move :D

We rode about 15 miles and came home to eat some lunch before taking another ride.  We decided to head up to the lake.  The side of the path is covered with little wildflowers.  Wouldn’t you love a purple and yellow lawn?  I think that would be cool.

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I was feeling a little fatigued, which has been the status quo as of late.  I was concerned about hills today, but I ended up okay.

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We reached the peak point and could see all these cars backed up forever.

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This is near the outlet mall, which always gets a lot of traffic.  Traffic is not well managed in this particular area.  Good thing we were sailing over it!

It was pretty much a perfect biking day. In the upper 70s and little to no wind. 

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We just walked around a bit at the lake. Not long.  It wasn’t actually super crowded at the lake, but that could be because it was opening weekend for the Saratoga race track.

Unlicensed Walter White sighting:

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Lots of tacky/touristy stuff in Lake George.

We decided to take our ride snack back in Glens Falls at Spot!  So, it was time to start the climb.  Once you get into the Adirondacks, the path is cool and beautiful.

 

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We stopped by the marsh so I could take pictures of water lilies.

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This was around 42 miles for the day when we stopped for the snack (15 of which came before lunch).

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Yummers!   Love those ride treats!   It was a quick ride home from there.  When we aren’t on the path, this is a lot of what we ride on.

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Home!

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Stats:

Total miles:  48.3 miles

Average speed:  12.5 mph

Top speed:  29 mph

Calories burned:  1463.  

This was a nice way to get in this many miles with a morning ride and an after lunch ride.  That way I wasn’t dragging at the end.  Then we had to get cleaned up and head out to the movies!

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Quality time with my sis:

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I have a big head LOL!  Planet of the Apes was an intense movie.  Really intense.   Very violent, too.  I think I liked it.  I was exhausted when it was finished.  I have seen 2 movies in the theater  in 2014, which is double the quota I went to in 2013.  I’m on a roll!  :D

What’s Blooming!

What’s blooming? Lots of coneflowers!  :D   I took time last night and got in the garden. With the craziness of work, some things slipped down the list of being able to do and getting out in the garden was one of them, unfortunately.  Last night I needed a good meditational period of weeding.  Join me for a seat?

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I finally found the name of this flower – Armeria.  It’s an annual, but reseeds like crazy.  Every year for the last 3 years I have been getting these popping up wherever.

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I bought 3 delphiniums and turns out one is a different color. 

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Here is where I weeded out about a lawn’s worth of seedlings from my birdseed:

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The liatris is in full bloom and there were bees on it. Bees!  Definitely much less than in other years, but I was happy to see any bees.

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The milkshake coneflower.  I do love this one.

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More tiki torch have opened up.

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The little yellow bits in the background are sundrops.  They were very short this year for whatever reason.

Shortly will come my oriental lilies that I love so much.

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Gaillardas.

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The old fashioned daylilies are just about done.

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The traveling blue water can gets set in different places in the garden :D

The garden still feels so fresh since we have had a lot of rain.  Please ignore the birdbath of shame. It needs a good scrubbing.

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I spent over an hour in the garden last night and it felt great to get it ship shape and try to forget about work.

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The weather looks amazing for this weekend. There will be biking and going to the movies!  We are going to see the new Planet of the Apes movie :D

Take a bite

It’s that time of year again!  Downtown Glens Falls does 4 Wednesdays of an outdoor event called Take A Bite.  

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Downtown restaurants offer small portions of menu items for $5 or less so you can sample what is available.  We missed last week, but I wanted to get out and have some fun, so we biked down there this evening.

Sample menus:

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John tried the eggplant slider:

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Plus he got the cheesecake:

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That was only $3 for that slice!

I decided on something called Bang Bang shrimp with rainbow kale saw with pomegranate vinaigrette.

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This was really good!  I would definitely get this dish from the menu. It actually came from a bar. Sometimes bar food can be really good :D

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For dessert, I decided to have a chocolate bread pudding with bourbon cream sauce:

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This sauce was liquored up LOL!  Tasty, though.  I love the small portions so you don’t get stuffed.

There is also entertainment all over from singers to saxophone duets to even a classical quintet!

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Four strings and one clarinet, so I don’t exactly know what kind of quintet that is LOL!  They were good, though.

There are a couple of these left this summer and we just have to see if weather and schedules allow getting out again.

The eats today.

What a day, again. Is it only Tuesday? LOL!  I was up early this morning and wanted to get a bike ride in since rain was supposed to be coming.  It was pretty cloudy and oh so humid out.  Here is my 6:30 a.m. face:

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Kinda tired LOL. I did a quick 6.5 miles before breakfast with the hopes of getting back out after breakfast.  Then it was time to eat! Protein waffles.

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I am on a totally blueberry binge lately.  

I worked for a while and had to wait for some spitting rain to stop before I went back out riding.  I always have to remember how lucky I am to be able to flex my work to ride.  The sun peeked out for a bit.

I saw some bee balm today:

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I would like to find space for this at our new house.

Nice 15 mile ride done.

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Only 198 miles to go for the month!  Woo Hoo!  I had my mid morning snack when I got back in, dripping buckets of sweat from humidity.

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Let’s do more food pictures today, okay? I’m on a roll!  This was lunch – greek yogurt with some cereal and a side of blueberries to go with my binge :D

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Sorry to do this again and whining about work, but I have to say it was a horribly frustrating day at work. I thought things were getting better, but not so.  This new account is so convoluted. There is another transcription company that has hired *my* transcription company to do overflow work for them. (I would think somebody has to lose money in this chain somewhere). When I was put on the account, I have sort of been bounced around with who to talk to and how to do stuff.  I think I found a match for the most unorganized company, which I thought mine had the lock on. Apparently not.  So, there is a lot of wasting of my time running into a brick wall, and the one thing that will piss off a transcriptionist is interfering with production.  I have about had it. I am now actively looking for new employment. I like my company, but if I don’t do this new account then there will not be enough work for me, but this new account is not worth the money.  I think you are all as tired about me griping about this as I am dealing with it.  Maybe I will have to start flipping furniture LOL!

Okay, that’s done!  Time for a latte!

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I put the AC on so I could have a hot latte today.  Figure that one out ;)

I am eating lots of broccoli again. I made that goal this month to eat more veggies and I have been better at least about getting in the broccoli!

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I need some chocolate or something tonight while I work on my resume.