Lately I just haven't felt terribly talkative. Work has been busy. By the time I get home I just want to read and comment on other people's blogs. Or knit. Or read a book. Just not blog. Maybe I'll be back into the swing of things soon.
Tomorrow I'll drop off my passport application at the local Post Office. In January I'm hopefully headed to Amman, Jordan to help put on a workshop on public health and outbreak investigation. Later in the year I'll make a couple of trips to the Republic of Georgia, also for public health training. I'm rather excited about trekking about the world and getting paid to do so. I don't know of any other international travel coming up based on the projects with which I'm currently involved, but that could change.
And a different kind of trekking...
It's just a couple months now before Sis and I head to Orlando for her birthday half marathon (aka the Disney Princess Half Marathon). I've been hitting the treadmill at least twice a week for the past month. Most weeks I manage 4 days. It helps to have audiobooks on my mp3 player. I could also watch TV while I'm in the fitness room, but I can't imagine there's much worth watching at 0430, given that there's very little worth watching during prime time viewing hours. I now find myself waking up at 0400 without my alarm clock going off and even on weekends! (I can, and do, sometimes go back to sleep.)
I think my stamina has improved since I've started training. Now that my back and piriformis muscle have all decided to play nice, I'll have to start pushing things a bit more just to stay on the training schedule. I need to be a whole lot more diligent about stretching after my workouts.
Holiday Baking Season
I have only in the past week started to think about holiday baking. In past years this was a big deal because I had to bake goodies for Boy and then ship them so they'd arrive in mid-December. Now that Boy lives two buildings over , the time pressure is much less. Of course, now I'll end up baking for my various relatives and shipping cookies to them instead. I haven't a clue what I'll bake. I found another source for raw peanuts, so peanut brittle is always an option. I picked up a cookie recipe magazine a few weeks back but don't recall if I even read through it. I suppose I'll have to park myself in my comfy chair this next weekend, figure out what I'm going to bake and start planning the schedule and shopping lists.
This year I'll be hanging out with Boy for Thanksgiving. We'll be having a vegetarian feast. So far we've decided to have mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes and apple dumplings for dessert. I think there needs to be some sort of a green vegetable in there, which could be green beans or a leafy salad or even some sauteed kale (with or without the sweet potatoes). I might make some whole wheat dinner rolls too, letting the bread machine do the hard work of mixing and kneading. If it weren't for the cream cheese pastry on the apple dumplings, we'd actually have ourselves a vegan feast, now that I consider our menu. Pretty neat! The rest of our holiday plan consists of watching DVDs and football games. And figuring out which healthcare plan details we're picking during benefits open enrollment.
Also About Thanksgiving
Our workplace holds a food drive for the local food bank every year. The goal is to collect a couple thousand pounds of food for people who aren't as fortunate as we are. Boy and I did our food bank shopping this past weekend. Between the two of us, we dropped about $45 on canned veggies, dried beans and rice. We also decided that since each of us could definitely do with a little less food, we could continue spending $20-25/month on food bank food throughout the year. While extra donations are welcome over the holidays, the need doesn't go away the rest of the year. If you have the resources to do so, please consider donating something to your local food bank, even if it's just a couple cans of soup or a package of rice or a few hours of your time.
It was a dark and windy night...
Ok, the windstorm outside can stop now. My entire apartment building is shaking and all the windows are whistling. We're having winds of 35-45 mph with gusts to 70 this evening. This explains why my little sub-compact hatchback car wanted to shimmy sideways while I drove home. I'm glad I wasn't driving an ambulance or any other high-profile vehicle. Hopefully by tomorrow morning the severe wind advisory will be over.