Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Day 331

While I am undoubtedly enjoying being at home, I must say that the amount of my potential blog content has diminished since I am not leaving the house very often. I haven't put gas in my car in weeks. I think I have spent more money on postage stamps than fuel this month.

Raising Cane's emails me multiple times per week to remind me that they're open for business. I guess it's working because Richard and I have picked Cane's for Fried Chicken Tuesday the past two Tuesdays. (Don't shame me for going to the drive thru.) It's particularly impressive that we chose Cane's today when Taco Bell was giving out a free taco (no purchase necessary), but that's how dedicated we have become to our Fried Chicken Tuesday tradition.

I called my mom while I was in the car, as talking with my mom while I go pick up fried chicken on Tuesdays is also becoming a tradition. I expressed some concern that I might eventually have to fry my own chicken, but she assured me that frying chicken is easy (although it can get messy). Maybe I'll enter chicken frying territory once I figure out macarons.

Something that made today great: My office staff shared photos from their weekend/quarantine activities, and that was fun to see!
Time I woke up: 8:30 am

Monday, March 30, 2020

Day 332

Well, after a week of canceled classes and a week of Spring Break, today was....not remarkably different from every other day the past two weeks.

I'm starting to think more seriously about my school work (which is good considering I have a quiz on Thursday and two papers on Friday) and wondering how much I could knock out if I really motivated myself and worked steadily for a few days. For two of my courses, all of the materials are uploaded to Moodle. That means I could do my readings, watch my videos, and turn in the remaining assignments (other than a case study that will take some time) in the next week or two. That'd be quite a sprint, and we all know that marathons/low and slow are more my style, but I am tempted by the idea of getting a lot of things checked off of my list. We'll see how much I can motivate myself.

Richard is off of work this weekend, so I will want to spend time with him on those days. When he's working and going to bed early, though, I could get a lot done. Maybe that is the motivation I need to stop watching Netflix for a little while and start focusing on finishing some major course assignments.

Just Do It, Reminder, Post Note, Sticker, Sticky Paper

Something that made today great: I made this butter chicken for dinner, and it was delicious.
Time I woke up: 8:45 am

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Day 333

Today made for a good end to the weekend! I started my morning by video chatting with the BAKErs, my best friend circle from high school, which is always a treat. I have noticed that many of my Facebook friends are using their newly-discovered time at home to stay connected (or reconnect!) with friends, and I must say I think that's a silver lining to all of this.

Last weekend when I made macarons, I only used the whites of eggs. Not wanting to waste the perfectly good cooking materials, I did a Google search to see what I could do with my egg yolks. There were several options, but I settled on lemon curd because my friend Mary Bess used to make delicious lemon curd. The situation quickly escalated into an If You Give a Mouse a Cookie or If You Give a Moose a Muffin situation where I had to buy or make other things to use the yolks. Really just lemons, though. Then this morning, I made scones to go with the lemon curd (another famous Mary Bess goodie!), and Richard and I loved them!

This afternoon, I went for a long run--6 miles with Ken through and around LSU, then 7.1 miles on my own on the levee. I ran out of fluids around mile 10, which was less than ideal. I have clearly forgotten how much I need to drink once it warms up, and it's only March! At least I remembered my sunscreen. 

Tonight, Richard and I picked up crawfish for dinner. This is the second time we've picked up crawfish in a week, which is quite the change after not eating boiled crawfish at all in 2019. I'm not complaining about this tradition.

Tomorrow, it's back to work, but I am ready for the week. It's going to be weird having class again, but I think the added time constraints will put some additional structure in my life...at least that's what I'm telling myself as I optimistically head into this week!

Something that made today great: Enjoying delicious food with my best husband
Time I woke up: 8:45 am

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Day 334

After yesterday was productive, I stayed up late knitting and watching Glee on Netflix. I didn’t want to get up and go run this morning, but I managed to drag myself out of bed to run five “extra social distance-y” miles along the levee with Slow Mode. Then, I proceeded to take a three-hour nap after I got home and showered. 

I worked on knitting beards while Richard and I finished The Pharmacist, and we had leftovers for dinner. It turned  out to be a very relaxing day! I made lemon curd with some egg yolks I had left from my macaron attempt, and I am planning to make scones tomorrow. Tomorrow will also be a day for knocking out some school work before my classes officially resume on Monday. 

In news that isn’t related to COVID-19, here’s a photo I saw today of a suspicious flashlight making the news. I have no idea when this was (or of it even happened), but I decided to share it in my daily post. 

Something that made today great: My nap!
Time I woke up: 7:30 am

Friday, March 27, 2020

Day 335

I'm rather impressed with how much I can get done at home when I really focus on checking things off of my to-do list. I recognize that it's much easier for me than most people because my husband is home part of the time, and I'm not responsible for any tiny humans. Still, I'm not missing out on an opportunity to congratulate myself. Today included the following:

  1. Participating in a video call with our financial planner
  2. Doing regular work for my GA job
  3. Submitting IRB paperwork for my upcoming case study
  4. Writing mail
  5. Knitting a beard
  6. Napping
  7. Running 5 miles
  8. Cooking cornbread (Richard made the rest of dinner)
  9. Watching a little bit of Glee
I also did regular stuff like showering, brushing my teeth, playing on Facebook, and unloading the dishwasher. Some days I really crush the working at home stuff, and other days I am not focused and struggle to accomplish much. I guess it all balances out, though.

Scrabble, Words, Letters, Wooden, Work From Home, Home

Something that made today great: My nap was a definite high point.
Time I woke up: 8:45 am

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Day 336

In typical Kimberly Davis fashion, I'm picking up quite a few hobbies during this shift in routine. Ever since he shaved his beard, Richard has been sad about it and complained that his chin is cold. Yesterday, I took matters into my own hands (quite literally) and knitted him a new beard and mustache! I finished it this morning, and Richard tolerated a brief photo shoot on our back patio. I recently upgraded my cell phone, and this was the perfect opportunity to test out the portrait mode. (Speaking of hobbies, I was a SUPER amateur photographer back in high school but haven't done anything beyond snapshots of events in my life and post-run selfies in at least a decade.)

Richard shared the photo with some of his coworkers who also had to shave their beards, and now I will be knitting beards while I watch Netflix for the next few days. I'm switching to some less bulky yarn, which will keep future mustaches from being so...pronounced....but I'm thrilled with my first one! His coworkers referred to it as a Viking Walrus mustache, and I'm okay with that. Still, I'm looking forward to mixing and matching the styles. (The patterns for beards and mustaches are here!) Also, this was my first time knitting an I-cord, and it turned out just fine. 

Other than knitting, today involved a combination of work, exercising, logging 45 minutes toward a writing challenge I'm doing, and watching The Pharmacist on Netflix. Richard and I will finish the series tomorrow, and I am excited but also sad it will be over. I was late to the game on starting the series, but anyone else who hasn't watched it yet should totally start now.

Something that made today great: I had a good run, even in the heat! 
Time I woke up: 8:45 am

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Day 337

Yesterday's post was a bit of a downer, but that's okay. The current world situation is a bit of a downer. It's okay to feel the ugly feelings.

Something good in my life is that I am being more intentional about being in touch with people. I have connected with friends near and far with phone calls and text messages, and I have now added card writing to my repertoire! I wrote a card to a sorority sister last week, but I have set an unofficial goal of writing at least one card per day. I didn't establish any consequences for not doing a daily letter--let's be real, I have enough stress and pressure in my life!-- but between the stationery I've acquired over the years and the fountain pen I have recently learned to love, I have beyond adequate supplies for letter writing. What's not to love? If you want a letter, add yourself to my address book here.

Letters, Email, Mail, Hand, Write, Contact, Glut, Spam
Photo from Pixabay
I took the day off from running but had a nice time working from home while Richard was here. After the few days he has had at work, being at home is a welcome change of pace for him. We also started watching The Pharmacist on Netflix. I'm a little behind most of my friends on starting to watch the series, but I am really excited to see the rest of it.

Something that made today great: I did some knitting while Richard and I watched the first part of The Pharmacist on Netflix
Time I woke up: 10:00 am

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Day 338

My husband works in healthcare, which means he has an important job. Sometimes, it's a tough job; he often has to have difficult conversations with patients and/or their families, including telling them truths that they are often not prepared to face. 

Sometimes, it's a really tough job. Sometimes, people die.

This afternoon, the Louisiana Department of Health reported the following numbers regarding COVID-19:
  • 1,388 cases
  • 271 hospitalizations
  • 46 deaths
We are told, "It's going to get worse before it gets better!" We are hoping that what we are doing will actually help to "flatten the curve." Meanwhile, it's getting worse (as they said it would), and that means that people are going to work, giving their best efforts, and still watching people die. As someone who once had aspirations to work in the medical field, I wonder now how I ever thought I could brave the really challenging times. Then I wonder how many ever thought they would face a global pandemic. 

I know that we have to hold on, have hope, and stay home when possible. It seems like the part that the "regular folks" play in all of this is simple and straightforward, yet many are not taking the situation seriously. I have so much respect for all of the workers (not just healthcare workers, either!) who are serving their communities and trying to keep as many people as possible safe and healthy. I'm proud of my husband and his peers for the work that they do, but I am also at a loss for the right words and the best ways to offer support to him when all signs point to the situation getting worse--way worse. Although I am striving to remain optimistic, I feel powerless at best and like an insufficient support system at worst. I hope this part gets better, too.

Map from http://ldh.la.gov/Coronavirus/
Something that made today great: The weather was beautiful today!
Time I woke up: 9:00 am

Monday, March 23, 2020

Day 339

After a weekend of minimal school work and no GA work, today was quite the change of pace. I drifted away from my fabulous Google spreadsheet schedule toward the end of last week and am working on getting back to a bit of a routine. Balancing my many commitments today has led me to writing my blog post at the last minute (again)...fingers crossed for a less hectic Tuesday.

Cute, Animal, Pet, Tired, Yawn, Sleep, Kratzbaum
This cat photo was a result on Pixabay when I searched for "Monday." I don't know if the cat is yawning or yelling, but I can identify with the cat either way.

Something that made today great: My Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify provided excellent tunes for working today!
Time I woke up: 9:00 am

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Day 340

With the help of a Facebook Live cooking show from my friend Sara, I made French macarons today! A few months ago, I purchased almond flour and a kit of piping bags and tips, but I never actually made the macarons. I had some strawberry extract on hand as well as some pink food coloring, so that was

I have a long way to go, so I’m too embarrassed to even post photos. Here’s a snapshot of some of the mess I made. I fully expect to make a second attempt one day this week!

Something that made today great: I did the Marine Corps Marathon 17.75K race virtually today (with proper social distancing, of course...see above)
Time I woke up: 7:00 am

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Day 341

After my Saturday morning run with Slow Mode (which I kind of didn't want to go to but was glad I went after it was done), I came home, showered, and enjoyed a long morning/early afternoon nap. With encouragement from Richard, I also made the decision to upgrade my phone, so I had a new cell phone to look forward to in the next week. Yay!

Tonight was especially exciting for two reasons. First, Richard and I picked up crawfish for dinner. Somehow, we missed all of last year's season, so this was our first time having boiled crawfish since we moved to Baton Rouge. I seem to have retained my limited peeling skills, which I was pleased about. The second thing is that I saw Richard's chin in real life for the first time ever. He has had a beard since I met him, but his job in the medical field has led to the shaving of the beard, not so much because the beard is unsafe or unsanitary, but more because there could be a perception that the beard is unsafe or unsanitary.

Life just keeps getting weirder around here. Who knows what kinds of things I'll be writing about in a week.

Something that made today great: Crawfish!
Time I woke up: 7:20 am

Friday, March 20, 2020

Day 342

It's the weekend again...how fascinating!

Today was day four of working from home, and I'm having a hard time keeping track of the individual days. Although I have been breaking up the time at home with exercise and [appropriate socially-distanced] errands, I didn't find myself looking especially forward to the end of the workweek. That could have something to do with the fact that I allowed myself to sleep in, though I slept in because I stayed up past midnight reading last night. I'm going to have to get back to enforcing my midnight bedtime.

One of my errands today was going to donate blood. Here's a reminder to go donate blood if you're able to donate right now. The need is high here in Baton Rouge, and I imagine it's either high or rising just about everywhere else. Here's an infographic from the Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nurses.

Donate Blood Infographic

Something that made today great: Socially distant happy hour at Emily's!
Time I woke up: 10:24 am

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Day 343

A short rundown of the day before we get to the real meat of the story:

  • Exercise: Check! (7 miles)
  • Study time during class time: Check....ish. Didn't get a full 3 hours. 
  • Run some errands while practicing social distancing: Check!
  • GA job: Check!
  • Make dinner: Check! (Slow cooker pork chops)

    I'm getting better at the new routine every day. My big takeaway today is that intense studying is more draining than listening to a lecture and taking notes. My plan for improvement is building in more breaks.  I need to build in more breaks.

    Now to the important stuff:

    While I was running errands, I caught a glimpse of today's Advocate, and I just want to let the world know that I appreciate that Coach O is willing to participate in COVID-19 prevention. Many people of Louisiana don't want to hear from a highfalutin politician or some government agency telling them what to do, but when Coach O speaks, the people listen. Since football isn't happening right now anyway, I'm glad to see him using his powers for good (as usual). We all know that everyone needs as much help as they can get these days!

    The Advocate bringing people what they want: Coach O.

    That's all I've got today.

    Something that made today great: I had a good run this afternoon!
    Time I woke up: 8:45

    Wednesday, March 18, 2020

    Day 344

    Well, I'm still working on finding that balance I mentioned yesterday. I did not work as many hours toward my GA job as I had hoped, but I did exercise. Actually, I exercised a lot. Scooter and I met Ellen for a walk this morning, then I went for a solo run (that 6 miles I skipped yesterday!) this afternoon. After dinner, Scooter, Richard, and I went on a Family Dog Walk, so it's been quite a step-filled day for me.

    Tomorrow will involve a slight change of pace because I am going to use the time I am typically in class on Thursday to do some studying/reviewing of Structural Equation Modeling. I am hoping that such a review will help me catch up on the content I struggled with before the midterm. I could certainly use the extra review. I've planned a 10-15 minute break in the middle but hope to otherwise spend the time actually studying. We'll see if that works.

    Here's a fun photo I just sent over Snapchat. It includes a quote from a TED Talk I watched tonight before I took a quiz that I probably should have taken weeks ago (though it's not technically due until April 30) as well as some good advice. The "Hey, drink water" part moves on Snapchat! Oooh, ahhh.

    Something that made today great: I finally took my second Strategic Planning Quiz!
    Time I woke up: 7:55 am (without an alarm!)

    Tuesday, March 17, 2020

    Day 345

    The internet feels like a blessing and a curse sometimes, but I think the pros are outweighing the cons this week.  Before I write anything else, I would like to share that I discovered a great (FREE!) Google Sheets schedule that I adopted for myself today. It's available here and is broken down into 15-minute increments. There are a few spots where it says AM where it means PM and vice versa, but that was an easy fix. There are also hourly schedules, but I wanted to have more time slots while I'm still figuring things out.

    Anyway, I decided last night after I finished my blog post that I needed a schedule. I am proud to report that my efforts weren't completely futile, and I'm already adjusting to have a more effective plan for tomorrow. My plan for myself today involved the following:

    • 8:00-9:00 - Eat breakfast, make dough for icebox rolls
    • 9:00-12:00 - Work (GA job)
    • 12:00-1:00 - Lunch (but also fill out IRB paperwork for an upcoming project, and send feedback to the papers I was discussant for at ACPA)
    • 1:00-3:00 - Work (GA job)
    • 3:00-3:45 - Make the rolls (they have to rise for an hour and a half before baking)
    • 3:45-5:15 - Go run 6 miles
    • 5:15-6:00 - Shower and get ready for dinner
    • 6:00-9:00 - Dinner with our cousins Tim and Emily
    • 9:00-11:00 - Transcribe the interview I did for my qualitative research class
    • 11:00-midnight - Write my daily blog post
    First, the good:
    1. I made my rolls, and they turned out great
    2. I worked the 5 hours of my GA job that I planned to do today
    3. Dinner with Tim and Emily became dinner with Emily, but it was delicious
    4. I transcribed my interview, which is time-consuming even with the help of Otter.ai
    5. I only used 45 minutes of my scheduled lunch hour.
    Next, the fails:
    1. I didn't start my workday on time, which bled into my running time, so...
    2. I didn't go run 6 miles. I didn't go run at all. I didn't come close to meeting my step goal
    3. I didn't do the IRB paperwork during my scheduled lunch hour.
    4. I didn't send ACPA feedback during my scheduled lunch hour.
    Third, the bonuses:
    1. I washed, dried, and folded several loads of laundry that weren't in the plan for the day. 

    Finally, some lessons learned:

    1. Laundry takes time out of the day BUT it's nice to be able to spread it out.
    2. I need to either build in time to drag around in the morning or expedite my morning routine of stuff I do around the house
    3. Maybe I should shorten my lunch "hour" and give the tasks I expect to be short their own 15-minute time slot rather than dumping them into "things I'll do during lunch"

    Counting, Fingers, First, Hand, One, Second, Third
    Guess who didn't take any photos today? Pixabay to the rescue!
    Something that made today great: I made strides on a task I hadn't worked on in several months.
    Time I woke up: 8:00 am

    Monday, March 16, 2020

    Day 346

    On Saturday, I mentioned that I have been loving the COVID-19 memes lately. Of the many things I have seen shared online, a common one is the COVID-19 Daily Schedule for kids who are now home from school (see below). 

    While the schedule itself is admirable, it appears that the application is perhaps not as straightforward. I give all parents and caregivers an A for effort on this one, though. I also applaud the meme makers who have been realistic about sticking to an hourly schedule during this time.

    Not surprisingly, most of LSU staff will be shifting into working from home starting tomorrow, and I am included in that number. I was telling Richard tonight that I am going to need to set up an optimistic daily schedule for myself that includes work, exercise, school work, cooking, and maybe even a house chore that I've been putting off (cleaning a closet, anyone?) I think I'll make a rough draft, do a trial run tomorrow, and report back tomorrow night. It's worth a shot, and anything has to be better than using all of my downtime to nap or watch TV....but I am definitely scheduling a short nap now that I don't have a commute. Without structure, however, I'm sure to fail. 

    Good luck to everyone else who is transitioning to working from home!

    Something that made today great: I filed our taxes tonight!
    Time I woke up: 8:00 am

    Sunday, March 15, 2020

    Day 347

    In a time of conflicting advice, I opted to follow the “Don’t forget to suppler your local businesses!” message today. As you can see in the photo below, however, lots of people stuck with the “Stay home” advice. I welcomed the opportunity to do wear my dinosaur dress and necklace in public and to enjoy good food, beverage, and conversation with some of my favorite people. 

    Based on what I’m seeing in the news, New Orleans and some other places went a little too hard supporting the local businesses (read: bars and Cafe du Monde). As with many things in life, there’s a balance to be found. I probably won’t be going out and about too much in the next few weeks. 

    Along the lines of slowing down, I caught a glimpse into the upcoming hot runnin’ season, and it was not pretty. I’m hoping I’ll get used to the heat and humidity again quickly, but my body was not ready for it today. I’m hoping my pace won’t suffer too much in the process, but with the way things are going, I’ll take any chance to get a run in, fast or slow. 

    Something that made today great: Delicious brunch and good conversation!
    Time I woke up: 8:00 am

    Saturday, March 14, 2020

    Day 348

    Today turned out to be a very good day! I went to Slow Mode this morning and stayed after to socialize for a bit, which was nice. Our social distancing wasn't exactly 6 feet apart, but we'll work on that in the future.

    This afternoon, Richard and I braved Costco. It turned out to not be a huge deal, so I think either (a) the #PanicShopping is slowing down in Baton Rouge, or (b) everyone went shopping yesterday. I'll be interested to see how the next few days shape up, including hearing about how my classes are going to work for the remainder of the semester. There's still so much to figure out...bleh.

    A bright spot in a challenging world is that the memes I am seeing online are pretty excellent. Here's one of my favorites from today to lighten the mood.

    Something that made today great: Hanging out with Richard for most of the day was pretty fabulous.
    Time I woke up: 6:00 am

    Friday, March 13, 2020

    Day 349

    There is so much to process about this week, this day, and the upcoming weeks and months. Questions without simple answers are flying, and decision-makers are reminded once more that it is impossible to please everyone. I'm not envious of their positions.

    With all of the COVID-19 changes, I am facing a relatively easy transition with classes changing structure/delivery method and potentially having to work from home. Richard will continue to go to work, but so many people are facing major skake-ups and enough uncertainty to last a lifetime. This is yet another reminder of how fortunate I am, but there there are going to be plenty of people who need assistance as we move forward. So many people live paycheck to paycheck, and many of them are facing unexpected childcare changes and costs, cutbacks in work hours, and more. As everything becomes more complicated on a global level, I'm conscious of how important it is to be compassionate and flexible but also to lend a helping (well-washed) hand. That's something I will definitely be thinking about this weekend.

    Also, in the grand scheme of all of this, my terrible midterm seems like much less of a big deal.

    My search for "compassion" on Pixabay yielded several pictures of compasses.

    Something that made today great: Tonight has been relaxing.
    Time I woke up: 6:30 am

    Thursday, March 12, 2020

    Day 350

    LSU made the decision to cancel classes next week, the next week is spring break, and the week after that, classes will move fully online. Woah. The second half of this series of 100 blog posts should be a little different than the other semesters!

    Before the major changes kick in, I still have one more day to go, and it's a day that includes taking a midterm. I have entered the stress eating stage but am trying to manage the situation. I had one Snickers egg before realizing that I was ready to snack on an entire house, so I made the switch to some marshmallows that were an impulse buy when I went to Walmart Neighborhood Market last Friday. They're colorful and come in the shapes of Lucky Charms marshmallows, but they taste like regular marshmallows. At 100 calories per 15 marshmallows, I think I'm going to need more bags in the coming weeks.
    Jet-Puffed Lucky Charms Magically Delicious Marshmallows, 7 oz Bag
    Something that made today great: I had a productive study session this afternoon with my classmates
    Time I woke up: 8:00-ish

    Wednesday, March 11, 2020

    Day 351

    Despite being in the midst of uncertainty and madness worldwide thanks to COVID-19, I must say that I had a lovely Wednesday. Work was good, I enjoyed a nice mix-and-mingle lunch at Newk's with faculty and students from my program, and I went for both a walk and run this evening. Richard and I did some straightening up at home, and I have now settled into my computer chair to work feverishly on my study guide for Friday's midterm. (Have I mentioned that I can't wait to be through with this midterm?)

    Sandra and I are on week 6 of 8 of a Half Marathon Trainer RunBet, and our plan this week calls for 5 miles, 9 miles, 7 miles, and 13 miles, and they must be done in that order. Thus, we have to run 9 miles before the weekend. We went ahead and knocked it out today, and I must say that I am glad to have it behind us. I also did an excellent job plotting our run (without MapMyRun!) at almost exactly 9 miles, which is pretty impressive if I do say so myself.

    Life is proceeding mostly as usual for me (though I'm anticipating NASPA canceling its conference and some of my upcoming races not going forward either), but I suspect it's only a matter of time before Coronavirus descends upon Baton Rouge. Until then, I'm trying to keep my act together and not add to the panic.

    We included Scooter in our post-run selfie today!
    Something that made today great: I really enjoyed eating lunch outside during the mix and mingle!
    Time I woke up: 7:30ish

    Tuesday, March 10, 2020

    Day 352

    I had a great Tuesday, but this week is shaping up to be extremely busy. I didn't have class today, so I was able to go to Happy's for the first time in a long time. Sandra and I ran 5 miles along the levee and skipped the Happy's 3.1 route in favor of drinking beer. The weather is in a sweet spot (that's sure not to last) where it's warm without being oppressively hot, so it was a nice night to sit outside and chat while enjoying a beer.

    Then, I came home and did some laundry, ate dinner, and worked on my study guide for my midterm on Friday. I am starting to feel nervous about my midterm....there's still a lot I need to review. Bleh.

    At least I am finding time to sleep and run. :) Life is good!
    Beer photo from Pixabay...I was not feeling creative today
    Something that made today great: Monthly lunch (a roast beef po boy with gravy -- OMG!) and conversation at The Chimes with Holcombe
    Time I woke up: 8:15 am

    Monday, March 9, 2020

    Day 353

    Richard has been working nights lately, so I have been flying solely on evening dog walks with Scooter. It's no secret that Richard is the favorite dog parent, but we're making do. Everyone will be glad when the week of nights is over.

    I'm running out of time to write things and look up a picture...ahhhh.

    Something that made today great:  I finally knocked out a task at work that had been looming for several weeks.
    Time I woke up: 8:15 am

    Sunday, March 8, 2020

    Day 354

    Whew, what a weekend! I had a blast over the past few days and am a little tired, but I am optimistic about the upcoming week. After missing my marathon last weekend, it was nice to be toeing the line at two different races this weekend. I even managed to run a 2:27-ish race today, which is my unofficial 3rd best half marathon time! I am waiting on the official results to see if it's actually my second best half marathon time, but it's pretty close to my Baton Rouge Beach time.

    Although we had to wake up at the new 4:00 am (the old 3:00 am) to meet up at 4:45 am and head to New Orleans, the day turned out beautifully. Elena ended up doing the 5K rather than the half, and it was lovely to see her smiling face when I came through the finish line. It was even better to see her smiling face holding a cold beer just for me! I showed my appreciation by doing a celebratory dance. Road tripping and racing with two of my favorite female running buddies was a lovely way to spend the morning of International Women's Day.

    After I took a quick shower, I napped for a few hours, and I slept HARD. Once Richard left for work, I worked on my midterm study guide for a bit and then met some friends for dinner part 2 (I ate a little bit of food while Richard ate his dinner), which was a lovely interlude (though I admit that it was a little early to be taking a break since I napped so long today).

    This is going to be a good week, and next weekend is our protected weekend for March, so I have that to look forward to as well. I'm going to eat something delicious after my midterm.

    Something that made today great: Spending time with so many people I like and love!
    Time I woke up: 4:00 am

    Saturday, March 7, 2020

    Day 355

    Last year, I ran my first sub-2:30 half marathon at the Amazing Half Marathon (2:29:32), and I set a new PR at the Baton Rouge Beach Half Marathon in December (2:26:54). Today, I took exactly 9 minutes off of my time at last year's Amazing Half and 6:22 off of my half marathon PR with a finish time of 2:20:32. I was thrilled about this because I thought I would be close to my Baton Rouge Beach time--maybe a little over, maybe a little under. I am attributing my success to the margarita I drank at Superior last night.

    Elena, Sandra, and I celebrated a good race day by going to Waffle House, then I took a big fat nap. I made dinner in the slow cooker (I'm behind pace on my 100 meals in 2020 goal--gotta catch up!) After Richard went to work, Scooter and I walked 2.2 miles, and I caught up on such exciting activities as laundry and unloading the dishwasher. I also started preparing for my midterm that is happening on Friday morning, and I feel fairly certain that I will need to hide under a rock with my study materials most of this week if I want to perform well on the midterm...so that's fun. Fortunately, my other classes are not giving me the same caliber of demands, so I should be able to restructure my time to prepare for the midterm.

    Tomorrow, I'm heading to New Orleans for the Women's Half Marathon, then I'll be buckling down and studying...with a dinner interlude for chicken wings because I'm worth it and didn't get to see Cissy at today's race.

    Pre-race photo, courtesy of Elena
    Something that made today great: Napping with Richard
    Time I woke up: 5:30 am

    Friday, March 6, 2020

    Day 356

    Sometimes, I tell myself lies, such as:
    • I will wake up early and do this tomorrow 
    • I won’t procrastinate on my reading/paper/assignment next week
    • I am going to start fixing my hair and/or doing my makeup regularly
    • I am going to be at work by 8 am every day this week
    • I might be a morning person someday 
    • I’ll nap for 20-30 minutes and wake up ready to tackle my next task
    Another lie I often tell myself is that I will get up early and go for a run, but today that wasn’t a lie! I met Ken for six miles around the LSU lakes at 5:16 am. (I was a minute late.) That makes four days of the last seven that I have been awake at 5:00-ish in the morning, so I was starting to believe that I might actually shift into being a morning person. 

    However, I allowed myself to climb back into bed (the same fabulous bed I wrote about yesterday) thinking that I could lie there for half an hour and still be at work by 8:30...9:00 at the latest. That was a lie (as it almost always is) and I slept for 2.5 hours, but I did go to work full of energy and managed to have a productive day. Thus, it wasn’t all bad! I’m just not sure I’ll ever be a morning person, even if I do eventually manage to make it to work by 8 am every day one week. 

    Tonight, I met Jeff and others at Superior for a pre-race meal and to celebrate the end of the week. I hope margaritas, chips, and salsa are the secret to a new half marathon PR. I guess we will see tomorrow!

    Something that made today great:
    Time I woke up: 4:55 am

    Thursday, March 5, 2020

    Day 357

    Traveling is great, and learning stuff while traveling is even better, but it's hard to beat the feeling of crawling into your own bed after being away for a few days. I had lots of catching up to do and finished reading for class approximately two minutes before class started, but today was a good day! I'm glad tomorrow is Friday, though.

    That's all I've got. I'm going to sleep.

    Here's my dog drinking broth from my chicken noodle soup.
    Something that made today great: Reuniting with my best husband and best dog!
    Time I woke up: 5:00 am

    Wednesday, March 4, 2020

    Day 358

    Yesterday, I went hard with the conference activities starting with a breakfast session and followed by educational sessions all day long. Today, I took it easier and went to Donut + Dog with Susan for fancy hot dogs and donuts after the plenary speaker this afternoon. We also had some hot chicken for dinner, because that's what one does when visiting Nashville. (We'd hoped to try Bolton's but ended up at Hattie B's instead.) This evening, we checked out a hipster bar (Bar Sovereign)with one of my new conference friends, then we went to the Cabaret, which was fabulous in multiple ways. I also ran into my UIFI co-facilitator, Liz, and we caught up for a while. It was a lovely conference day, and it's hard to believe I'll be back in Baton Rouge and attending class tomorrow. What a whirlwind!

    Something that's fun about attending a conference is learning new terminology. I have picked up a few words along the way, but one of my favorites was actually from the Donut + Dog. When the waiter picked up our empty plates, he asked us, "Did it suck outright?" and we were completely puzzled by what he'd just asked us. Our food did not suck outright, and now I have a new phrase for asking if something was bad or not. My learning at this conference has been multi-dimensional to say the least.

    Donut destruction and hot dogs ready for consumption
    Something that made today great: Lots of good food and socializing/networking today!
    Time I woke up: 9:30 am

    Tuesday, March 3, 2020

    Day 359

    Well, the last 24 hours have certainly been interesting. Last night around 12:30, my phone went off with a tornado warning. I didn't think much of it, but about 25 minutes later, the hotel staff announced that everyone needed to report to the stairwell and get to the lowest level possible. My room is on the 14th floor, and I had to go down quite a few stairs.

    The warning ended a little after 1:00, and we were allowed to return to our rooms. Once we made it upstairs, Susan and I started scrolling through the #ACPA20 tweets on Twitter, which were entertaining. Our favorites were the ones about how people trained in crisis response reacted in an emergency when they weren't corraling students. (Turns out we all stayed relatively calm and followed the instructions.) Soon, we learned that a tornado had touched down in Nashville. Woah.

    Throughout today, we followed updates on the destruction and the casualties caused by the storm. I'm still not sure I have grasped the events of last night. Everything happened so quickly, and I certainly hadn't expected anything more than some rain while I visited Nashville. It's unreal that we were so close to the tornado and didn't even know it happened. I'm so thankful that our conference delegation stayed safe, but the tornado impacted many lives last night. I have been impressed with ACPA's response to help guests in the city make a positive contribution to recover from this crisis, and I am looking forward to doing my part.

    I made Susan's Instagram story!
    Something that made today great: My paper presentation went well, and the other papers in my session were awesome!
    Time I woke up: 6:15 am

    Monday, March 2, 2020

    Day 360

    I made it to Nashville, and my presentation is tomorrow! My discussant already sent some feedback to me, and I am looking forward to seeing how the three papers in our session fit together.

    While I was working on my PowerPoint (because of course, I procrastinated...of course), I ran across a typo in my paper. Specifically, the last part of the sentence read, "They hose to take part in the activity or behavior" when I meant that they chose to participate. When I read the typo aloud to Susan, I started laughing because "They hose to participate" sounds kind of like "They're hoes to participate," and that's just silly enough that I laughed about it more than once.

    I'm probably just tired. Guess I better rest up so I can be ready for the rest of the conference!

    My selfie for Badge Day 2020!
    Something that made today great: Reuniting with Susan!
    Time I woke up: 5:00 am

    Sunday, March 1, 2020

    Day 361

    When I worked at LSMSA, one of my favorite things to do on Saturday morning was wake up early, go for a run before my building opened, and come back for a hot shower and a morning nap. I was usually fortunate that there weren’t too many shenanigans on Saturday morning, because most of the students slept in, too. 

    These days, it’s rare for me to get up “it’s still dark” early and run, and when I do, it’s usually because the rest of my day is packed with other stuff to do. Thus, it’s rare that I catch a morning nap after a run.  Today, however, I hit the jackpot. I met my new friend Ken at 5:30 this morning, and we ran 5.2 miles together. I needed 10 miles, so I kept going. I felt good the whole time, which was especially appreciated after feeling puny most of last week. When I finished, I showered and jumped in bed for a morning nap. It was as good as I remembered morning naps being. 

    This afternoon, I did a few more fitness things as part of Varsity’s Core Challenge. First, I did a rowing workout at Hotworx, which was challenging, but I also can’t wait to try more of their workouts. Then, Sandra and I went to goat yoga! It wasn’t the longest, most challenging, or best smelling yoga class I’ve ever attended, but man it was fun. Added bonuses included new experiences such as seeing a pregnant goat and having a goat try to eat my shirt.

    To complete the day, Richard met Sandra, Sarah, and me at Fuzzy’s for dinner. Later, Richard and I grabbed boba tea because I wanted to try a place that recently opened near our house. It’s been a good weekend, and I’m excited for the week, especially attending the ACPA conference!

    Something that made today great: Today was not stressful at all.
    Time I woke up: 5:00 am