Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Signed Up for Another 5K!

I just decided to sign up for a 5K road race THIS WEEKEND! It's the Free to Breathe 5K in Raleigh, with proceeds going to fight lung cancer. I feel like I need something to shake things up workout-wise, even before the Apex Turkey Trot on the 17th with Laura.

My main goal will be to improve my last 5K time of 42 minutes. I would love, love, love to break the 40 minute mark. Will it happen this weekend? Not sure, but I'm going to try!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Busy Day

Today, I'll split my time between the Rice Diet Program, where they're having a reunion weekend, and ERUUF, which is having a fund-raising auction tonight. I'm excited about being asked to be on a panel this afternoon at the RD reunion. I'm going to take long the pair of jeans I was wearing my first day at the Rice Diet. I'm not sure I'll show them, don't want to come across as showing off, but I think it's pretty cool. The pants just drop to the floor now.

Meanwhile, my heart's still heavy from hearing the news yesterday about B.M.'s husband passing away Thursday night. So sad.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Life Down the Road

I just finished reading the book The Number: What Do You Need for the Rest of Your Life and What Will It Cost? , by Lee Eisenberg. It was a pretty good read, with no new information really, but it was well written, and got me thinking more about retirement. Just yesterday, I had an appointment with a TIAA-CREF rep over in Duke South about my 403b. I took my various retirement investments in, he crunched some numbers, and recommended that I diversify my allocations to be in the "very aggressive" category. According to the number crunching stuff, I was already "aggressive" about my retirement money, a good thing at my age, but I decided to take the advice to step it up a notch. The projection was that at my current contributions and allocations, I'd probably be okay as long as Social Security is still around, but if it isn't, well, I wouldn't be in very good shape. Eeeek!

Body Image

I've had a couple of conversations recently about body image and my weight loss, which is all pretty obvious by the clothes I wear these days. My older clothes are pretty baggy (at least, the ones that aren't too big for me to wear now), but the newer clothes are more form fitting, and I always get more compliments on my weight loss when I wear the new clothes. It's hard for me to give up the baggy clothes in a way, and equally difficult for me to buy more form-fitting things. I'm still "seeing" my old body.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Another 5K on the way

I've signed up for another 5K, the Apex Turkey Trot on November 17th! As I'd hoped, it has helped rev up my workouts and get me recharged. Of course, I overdid it at the gym this morning, and am feeling a bit tired. I hope to do some running on the treadmill tomorrow morning.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

North Carolina State Fair

George and I made it to the North Carolina State Fair last night and had a fun time. We almost didn't go, then the lines for tickets were so long, we almost turned back around. We found a shorter line to get in, and we were glad we did. It was a beautiful night to be out and about! It was really crowded inside, though--big surprise, with it being the last Saturday night of the fair. We enjoyed the crafts, bunnies, and various exhibits. Of course, we had some roasted corn (sans butter, of course), which was yummy. Later, George stopped for ice cream, and I was able to find a place nearby that served a decent garden salad for $5. (The rest of the fair food was tempting at times! George's ice cream looked really good, of course! And I must admit, I was both intrigued and repulsed by all the deep fried delicacies offered at the fair: cheesecake, candy bars, even deep fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and Coca-Cola (how does THAT work??)!) At the end, we went to the Village of Yesteryear area and poked around while waiting for the fireworks to start. (The tobacco barn display was warm inside, which felt good at that point of the night!) The fireworks were surprisingly impressive, bright and loud, but parts were quite pretty!

I'm always impressed by the crafts with ribbons hanging from them, and wonder how people get to that level. Is it through a county fair? How does one enter? Of course, I'd love to get good enough at something to have the confidence to enter! ;-) I guess a big part of it is how I choose to spend my time!

We plan to go back next year, but plan a little better for the things we'd like to see and do.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Well-Rounded Week

This has been a busy week, and it's only Thursday! I've had two meetings-both ERUUF-related but different. I had a paper due for my computer class at Wake Tech, which had me awake past midnigt the past two nights, but it's DONE! On Tuesday, I got to visit with LH, a former co-worker from my Wake Forest days. Her husband was having surgery at Duke Hospital, so I was able to walk over and visit with her while she waited. It was really good to visit with her!

Today I had lunch with JC, an former intern in our department last spring and summer. She's in library science school, and is interning in the Reference Dept. at Duke now, in addition to continuing her degree at UNC. It was fun talking with her about a variety of things, including school, the GRE, and apartment living.

This afternoon I made an appointment to talk with a TIAA-CREF rep next week about my retirement fund allocations. Since most of my retirement funds are with TIAA-CREF now, I need some advice, perhaps some reassurance, about how things are set up right now. My retirement has really been on my mind lately, so I was glad to see the opportunity to talk with someone, even if the rep is going to be a little biased toward his company!

I must admit, I'm feeling pretty wiped out. My exercise sessions have gotten shorter as I've gotten more tired. I feel low on energy, but am fighting the urge to succomb to caffeine. Tonight, I'll go to bed early.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

End of Vacation

Tomorrow I'm returning to work after a week off! I've enjoyed the time off, by and large. It's been nice having a week off that's outside the realm of Christmas break. There are plenty of things I wish I'd done that I've run out of time for, but I did accomplish quite a few things.

I am looking forward to going back to work; I feel rejuvenated for the change of scenery. Of course, I need to get to bed soon to keep that feeling going! I have two ERUUF-related meetings this week, one tomorrow night and one on Wednesday. I have a big paper due for CIS110 on Wednesday, as well.

George and I have started talking about our finances as a couple, and we're discovering that we have different thoughts and financial personalities, as it were. We'll have more discussions, I'm sure, as we make our way through this new territory. Part of it is surely the fact that I'm ten years older and have thought more about retirement. In the mean time, this discussion has motivation me to order a book from Amazon called Financial Bliss: A Couples Guide to Merging Money Styles and Building a Rich Life Together. I figure it can't hurt to read it and start getting some ideas.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Vacation in Virginia

George and I had an interesting time in Virginia for our vacation. As it turned out, we learned at least as much about each other and our traveling selves as we did about the area. We realized we didn't plan enough for this trip, for starters. Our "trip luck" works best when we do plan. We did plan well with our hotel, trying out the Country Inns and Suites for the first time. We enjoyed this Roanoke hotel, which was clean, convenient, and had nice amenities, including an indoor pool and hot tub. It also had a lending library of classics with fresh covers, which I thought was quaint! I would've taken advantage of a couple of books, but I was already looking forward to finishing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and The Kite Runner, which I'd brought with me.

Even without our usual planning, we had a good time, including visits to Endless Caverns and Grand Caverns in Virginia, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and a great stop in Floyd, VA, which turned out to be a charming little town, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. We had a healthy lunch and decaf coffee at a quaint little place called Cafe del Sol, and stopped by the Floyd Country Store as well.

We're already looking forward to our next vacation together, and of course we've already started planning! :)

Monday, October 01, 2007

What a Weekend!

Yesterday I did something really different for me! I was the Worship Associate at ERUUF! It was a great experience, helping with both worship services (at 9:15 and 11:15). My reflection about worship appeared to go over pretty well--my biggest regret is not having it better memorized. Don tied my thoughts into his sermon impressively, and Mary was in the audience smiling and nodding at encouraging times. Before and after each service, I helped Don meet and greet everyone who stopped by, and that was fun too.I must admit, though, I was tired when I got home. I took a long nap, and didn't talk much for the rest of the day. Even today, I'm not in a talkative mood, though I've pushed to be my normal self at work. Tonight I have Covenant Group, and it feels a bit challenging to know I'll need to be engaged in the discussion tonight as well. I need a little longer to coccoon!On Saturday, I went shopping to look for a new outfit to wear on Sunday. I didn't want to look like I was from the 'hood in front of all of ERUUF. :) It was a great shopping experience! I found three pairs of pants and two tops, all of which I could wear at work or to church. The pants were all size 16s, and the tops were (shock!) size 14/16! The two tops are the same style, just different colors. I wore one yesterday, and another today. (So much for saving them for special occasions, huh?!) I've gotten some nice compliments, and it's been so encouraging.After shopping for clothes for Saturday, I went to a nail place at the mall, and got a manicure at Avalon. I used to enjoy their services, but I didn't enjoy it as much on Saturday. The gal who worked with me kept trying to sell me on other services (French nails, waxing), but didn't chat with me about anything else. I brushed it all off, but will keep looking for anoher nail salon.I got my hair cut on Thursday in preparation for yesterday's deal, and went to a new place, Bella Trio Day Spa. I thoroughly enjoyed that experience! I arrived early, and was scouting out the different stylists to see who I'd pick to do my hair if I'd known ahead of time who to ask for. Well, the lady I'd "picked" was the one who I had the appointment with! I was watching her finish up on one lady, who's hair looked great! She seemed to be interacting in an engaged way, knowledgeable, friendly, and upbeat. Well, she ended up being a delight to talk to, and did a great job on my hair, with good styling advice to boot! Her name is Debbie, and I plan to return to her. :-) (They do nails, by the way, but I usually get my nails done on a whim, when I happen to have the time and cash. I love being able to decided on it and walk in to a place!)Saturday afternoon, after shopping and nails, I went to a party over at Steph's house. It was great to see her and several others from Covenant Group, ERUUF, and even Toastmasters! A fun time!