Random Thoughts – 10/31/2015

Hi y’all!  (Do you see what I did there?)  🙂

I’m super excited about this picture!  I was just in a great mood and feeling sassy so…  BOOM!  One of my most favorite pics of myself ever.  What a great feeling that is!!!


Time for some squirrel-style random thoughts…

  1. Is it just me or is James Spader playing Raymond Reddington in “The Blacklist” the HOTTEST he has ever been?!?!  (And it’s totally ok if it’s just me.)  I mean, Daniel Jackson in the Stargate movie was supa-fine, but Reddington is a big ol’ bottle of wicked hotness.
  2. I’m on a mission…  My check in appointment with my doctor this month was BAAAAAAAD.  My hormones are the best they’ve ever been, but I gained weight (and lost muscle) and my cellular health has tanked.  Sad face.  So it’s GAME ON this month!
  3. Related note:  Part of my cellular health is determined by a phase angle measurement.  Mine roughly equates to an 80 year old woman.  Not good.
  4. Related note #2:  I’ve been strength training like a BOSS.  BRING IT ON next month’s check up!
  5. Does anyone else like these sleeves with the thumb holes?  Or is it just me?  I think they make me look Avril-90s-grunge cool.
  6. Today is Halloween!  My kids are jazzed and already pumped full of sugar (it’s 2:47pm).
  7. Related note:  One of these years I’m going to dress as Wonder Woman.  I was always too heavy for the Wonder Woman underoos as a kid.  But I really want to rock the Wonder Woman costume some day.  Not like “slutty Wonder Woman”… more like “modest and totally badass Wonder Woman”.
  8. Somewhat related note:  When I left work on Friday, they were installing glass phone rooms (booths) on our floor.  I own a purple Superman t-shirt and heavy-rimmed glasses.  I’m absolutely giddy about this upcoming photo opp!
Sleeves with thumbholes... making Gen-Xers look like those whippersnapper Gen-Yers for over 20 years!

Sleeves with thumbholes… making Gen-Xers look like those whippersnapper Gen-Yers for over 20 years!



My friend, Nalini, and I at Turner Field... My first MLB game!

My friend, Nalini, and I at Turner Field… My first MLB game!

Another post I wrote a couple of weeks ago and am now just getting around to posting.  Oops.

  1. Holy hell it’s HOT here! People are telling me that we’ve started summer early in the ATL. For the first time, I’ve admitted that I might not be mentally prepared for this heat. Yikes!!!
  2. I went to a Major League Baseball game! For those of you who know me personally, you know this is kind of a big deal because I am rather sports illiterate. (SQUIRREL – I got a few eye rolls from my colleagues when I kept yelling “YEAH SPORTSBALL!” tee hee hee) Here’s the really weird thing… I LOVED IT! I could totally see myself becoming a Braves fan, especially when they move the stadium closer to work.
  3. Related note: Do stadiums have public wifi? I’d like to see if I can VPN in from my seat. If so, I might start teleworking A LOT.
  4. I’ve been making some new friends at work. YEAH!!! It’s a very interesting environment and we’re not really set up to get to know people on other well. But you know me… I never stop talking so it was bound to happen no matter how we’re structured.
  5. Related note #1: Some of my friends are much younger than I am so I’m learning some hip stuff. Their influence has introduced me to things like Wolf of Wall Street and the show Workaholoics and phrases like YOLO. Oh yes, I can totally hang with the youngsters.
  6. Related note #2: One of my new friends (wait for it, this is EPIC) has YouTube videos of his Rush drum covers!!! Whenever I’m in a mood, I take a minute to watch one of his videos and it immediately cheers me up. (Thanks for sharing with me, OA!) You guys should check it out! This is one of my favorites.
  7. I had a little bout with the flu a couple of months ago. I was stuck in bed for a few days and decided to start (binge) watching Game of Thrones. OMG. So addictive. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a show that I cannot predict at all which is weird because there’s quite a bit of foreshadowing. I think I might read the books. Apparently, I’ve got plenty of time before the next season starts. Well played, HBO.  You brilliant bastards.  😉

New Atlanta Adjacent Observations – 6/13/2015

I wrote this a couple of weeks ago and didn’t get around to posting it… UNTIL NOW!

Greeting from the ATL!!!

Date night with my daughter

Date night with my daughter

I’ve got some RANDOM THOUGHTS-style things I wanted to tell you about. Moving to the south, specifically in the Atlanta area, has lots of challenges, but also has some super cool and funny stuff too.

  • TGIPSD!!!!! That stands for Thank Goodness It’s Pine Straw Day!!! What is pine straw you ask? Well I didn’t know what it was either until we got down here. Pine straw is kind of like mulch. But it’s pine needles. I know… weird, right? But it’s totally a thing here. There are lot of hills (SQUIRREL – For any of you who have been to my house and have had to brave my driveway, you know these are more like small STEEP mountains than hills) and there are a lot of subdivisions which means there are a lot of landscape beds that require covering. Enter pine straw. This stuff is literally sold by the bale out of the back of semi trucks at our home improvement stores. And ours was just delivered. YEAH! It looks so much better.
  • Related note: Apparently laying down the new pine straw made a little red snake leave its home in our bushes and die in my driveway. Eeeeewwwwwww!!!
  • Cool famous people come to Atlanta. Yesterday morning I was listening to the radio on my way to work and heard Jim Breuer playing some goofy celebrity trivia game with my morning show hosts because he is in town for a show this weekend. Also, Kevin Hart is in town this weekend too. He apparently organized an impromptu 5K at Piedmont Park yesterday morning. http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2015/06/13/kevin-hart-leads-spontaneous-5k-run-in-atlanta/ This is just normal every day stuff here.
  • Related note #1: During the same radio morning show, they announced that traffic was backed up on 285 (VERY normal) because a truckload of watermelons had spilled out all over the highway (wha-wha-WHAAAAAT?).
  • Related note #2 : We recently had another odd traffic issue a couple of weeks ago when a small 4-person plane crashed onto the highway. Terrible thing that it happened (thoughts and prayers for the families of the people who were in that accident). But everyone at work, and at MANY other businesses around Atlanta, just packed up around 11am to head home because they knew they’d probably be looking at an 8 hour drive It’s just an accepted fact that people will just up and leave when there will be bad traffic.
  • We have EVERYTHING here. Our 7-year-old might be the youngest superfan of the show Cupcake Wars. She often commentates… well, just about everything… in the style that the bakers use to describe their cupcakes. (Today, I’ve made you a red velvet cupcake, filled with chocolate ganache, that has a white chocolate vanilla bean buttercream frosting, and topped with a pink glittery fondant butterfly.) She also knows who the regular judges are and everything about them. Florian Bellanger is a household name at our house. She can also tell you all about Candace Nelson, owner of the very first cupcake bakery, called Sprinkles, so routinely that it sounds like all one word. We recently had a free night to spend with only her (sister was at a sleepover) so I thought wouldn’t it be cool if we could take her to that cupcake shop? Aha, to the Google! Sure enough, there’s a Sprinkles half an hour from our house. So we went! The best part was we kept it a total secret until she actually saw the store. That was awesome!


  • Related note #1: We got Red Velvet, Triple Cinnamon, Dark Chocolate, and Key Lime cupcakes. Red Velvet is her FAVORITE.
  • Related note #2: The cupcake store is at Lenox Square Mall. This mall is CRAZY busy and has some pretty upscale stores – the mall entrances have valet parking and one of the first stores I saw when we went in was Prada. Ironically, the only things we bought at that mall were California Pizza Kitchen pizza, Garrett’s popcorn, and those cupcakes. LOL – that’s how we roll!
  • Related note #3: The weather here is forcing me to get very comfortable with my body because it’s so damn hot! I used to be very self-conscious about my arms and legs showing during the summer so I avoided wearing shorts and sleeveless shirts in public. But I realized while we were walking through that mall that I have pajamas that cover more of my body than the dress I was in. Don’t start thinking all crazy… it was just a sundress (see pic above, perv)… but it was sleeveless and fell above my knee so that was a pretty big deal to me.

Bye for now!

Check out my TREADMILL DESK!

Hello, Team Squirrel!!!

You may remember from my last post that one of the things I need to do to work on my Adrenal Fatigue issue is exercise.  Oh goodie, I love exercising.  <sarcasm font> 

Actually, I don’t mind exercising *that* much.  But I really struggle to find the time.  In Michigan, I had a weekly Zumba class that I absolutely loved (Hi Carrie! 🙂 )   I haven’t found one in Atlanta yet that I think I would like.  (SQUIRREL – I did drive by one class once recently, but it was in kind of a seedy-looking place and it scared the crap out of me and I wimped out.  Did I mention that with Adrenal Fatigue comes increased nervousness and anxiety?  Good times, eh???)  However, I did pick up a treadmill, stationary bike, weight bench, and weights from Craig’s List during the holidays.  But again, really struggling to find the time not to mention get interested and motivated to use all that stuff.

Well, one day I’m reading a post from one of my favorite bloggers…  yep, you guessed it, The Paleo Mom!  (SQUIRREL – Gosh, I hope I’m not freaking her out. Dr. Sarah – I promise I’m not a stalker.)  She set a goal for herself of 10,000 steps each day.  WOW!  And to try and meet that goal, she purchased a treadmill desk.  Pretty brilliant since her job is researching and writing which can keep you pretty sedentary.

OMG I wanted one of those!  And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that using something like that could really help me.  If I could set up some kind of desk at my treadmill, I could walk or run while I read a book, watched movies, or even while I was working from home!  But there was no way I could afford to buy one any time soon.  Wait a minute!  I could MAKE one!!!  Or at least something that would give me a desktop to use at the treadmill.


I realized that a couple of PVC pipes could slide over the handles of my treadmill and if I could get a board affixed to that, I’d have it.  (SQUIRREL – Most of my ingenious designs start with PVC pipe.  It’s versatility and ability to fix the universe is right up there with duct tape.)  So I started my design, made a list of supplies, and sent my husband to Home Depot (in the beginnings of an ice storm) to pick up my supplies.  Here’s how I did it!

First, I measured everything.  I figured out that I needed a 2 inch internal diameter PVC pipe an I needed two of them at about 6 inches long.  I also needed a board that was between 10-12 inches deep and 32-36 inches wide.  Then I started designing and made a list of what I would need.

Did you know Home Depot will let you use their cutting tools to cut PVC pipe in the store?!?!  So cool.  So I started with the 2 pipes and covered them with fleece so they wouldn’t scratch and could slide on and off easily.  I actually slid that whole piece of fleece inside the pipe and then folded it to the outside.  I wanted it covered both inside and out.

 PVC PipePVC/Fleece Darth Vader

I used spray adhesive to get the fabric to stay on.  Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na CRAFT BOND!  (That was supposed to sound like the Batman song.)

 Craft Bond

Then I got this cool stuff so I could secure the pipes to the board.  So we cut this stuff to length and screwed it in.

 No clue what this is calledStarting assembly

I was a little worried that the desk might slide off if I really started getting nuts on the treadmill, so I got an eyebolt so I could use it to secure the board to the treadmill.

Got my eyebolt on

Then I broke my staple gun… so back to Home Depot to get a new one!  Pretty spiffy, huh?

My NEW staple gun!

Then I covered the board with felt.  (SQUIRREL – I used to be an avid crafter and I still sew so I have tons of stuff like this just laying around.)

 All covered up

All done!  Now to slide it onto the treadmill.  Voila!


And just to be safe, I secured it with a teeny, tiny bungee cord.  (SQUIRREL – Yet another universe fixing apparatus.  Note to self:  In the event of a Zombie Apocalypse, send someone out for bungee cords.  Got it.)

 Bungees - they help kill zombies too

And here I am (pretend) typing on my tablet… WHILE WALKING AT MY HOMEMADE TREADMILL DESK!!!!

Check me out!

Boom!  (I especially love how my feet are blurry, giving the impression that I’m really cruising here.)

I have hit my 10,000 steps nearly every day I’ve been on here.  I’ve been running while I watch movies and walking while I’m reading, listening to podcasts, or even doing my java homework!  I even wrote half of this post while I was on it!

Thanks for reading and talk to you again soon!

The Squirrel Comeback

I'm baaa-aaaack!

I’m baaa-aaaack!

Long time no see, Squirrel Friends!!!!!!!!

I haven’t written in a long time.  Because frankly, I haven’t felt like it.

I’ve been tired… like crazy tired.  And stressed, and sad, and worried, and overwhelmed by EVERYTHING.  And I’ve gained weight and felt so unhealthy no matter how hard I’ve tried to fix it.  But there’s a reason why.

If you want the short story, that’s it.  You’d better stop reading here.  Thanks for coming.  Buh-bye.

But if you want the long story, then here we go!

Again, I haven’t felt like it, but there’s a reason why.  I have been diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue (… and a major hormonal imbalance… and a mutated MTHFR gene… and some other stuff.)

I’m guessing right about now you are saying “Hey Squirrel, WTH is adrenal fatigue?”  Most people haven’t heard of it, including many typical heath care providers.  Let me try to explain…  When the body gets stressed, it goes into the “fight or flight” mode and your adrenal glands secrete cortisol (and a whole bunch of other crazy science-y stuff happens too – but cortisol is the biggie).  When you calm back down, your cortisol levels try to level out.  However, if you don’t calm back down and you stay in that “fight or flight” mode for too long, you wear those poor little glands out and they give up.  They start malfunctioning.

(SQUIRREL – I’ve been trying to prove my Adrenal Fatigue for over a year.  I knew there was something “not normal” going on.  It made people call me a hypochondriac, but dammit, I knew I was right!)

I thought my move to Atlanta had caused some of these bad and unhealthy feelings.  I mean, that’s pretty stressful, right?  Moving your whole family halfway across the country and starting a new job (for those of you who know where I work and what happened there recently, you know this is also a MAJOR cause of stress) where there’s horrendous traffic and we know almost NO ONE.  (Not to mention while still paying for 2 sets of mortgages and utilities.)  Nah, that’s not stressful at all. <sarcasm font>  OK, sure.  I accepted that this would be hard and might have really thrown me off my game.  But I still knew something wasn’t right.  And, as always, I was TOTALLY RIGHT.  (LOL – Oh I crack myself up!)  Adrenal fatigue can jack up your metabolism, sleep, immunity, hormones, and the body’s ability to handle stressors.  Many people with adrenal fatigue suffer from depression, nervousness, and anxiety in addition to all of that other crappy stuff.  Yep, I have all of those.  Severe all of those.

Luckily, I now live in an area where there are PLENTY of doctors who know what this is and how to diagnose and treat it.  Also luckily, I live near The Paleo Mom who has some very similar issues and wrote about her doctor that is helping her fix her issues and get healthier.  (SQUIRREL – some of you know that I am her quasi-stalker… and have even met her in person, TWICE… so it just makes sense that I should also see her doctor, right?!?!)

SQUIRREL – Dude.  This is cool.  I read the post above by The Paleo Mom on a Sunday morning.  I immediately went to the doctor’s website and filled out an information request (his office is only 10 minutes from where I work).  I got an email from their office around 12:30pm asking if I’d be available for a phone consultation with the doctor the next morning.  Again, this is all on a Sunday.  So I had my first phone call on Monday, my first blood draw that Wednesday, and my first 3-hour appointment with the doctor and then his nutrition/supplement/exercise consultant as soon as my test results were back which was 2 weeks after that.  I freakin’ love that office.

He figured out the Adrenal Fatigue and how it is affecting me on a cellular level.  I’m basically a 70-year-old woman as far as my cells are concerned.  Stupid judgmental cells.  I also have this hormonal imbalance – partially because of my age and partially because of these other issues.  I have somewhat of a testosterone deficiency and a HUGE progesterone deficiency.  I’m one big ol’ ball of estrogen!  And I have this MTHFR gene thingy.  I really don’t know much about it except that it affects the way my body detoxes.  (SQUIRREL – Rest assured that as soon as I finish my research, you’ll hear all about it.  😉  )

I’ve often said that my body is really good at telling me that I’ve pushed too far.  I tend to get sick and end up laid up for like a week then I feel better and get back to the same hectic routine.  These “knock downs” had been coming more and more frequently over the past few years.  I had no idea that this is actually a REALLY BAD THING and that my body was trying to send me a VERY IMPORTANT message.  Things have to change.  Like straight up lifestyle and mindset changes.

So I’ve started taking tons of supplements and super vitamins to regulate my hormones and cortisol.  I’m also following a pretty strict Paleo Auto-Immune Protocol (AIP) diet.  I have a specific number of carbs, protein, and fat I need to hit every day.  I have to exercise.  I have to sleep.  And I have to RELAX.  Not just rest, but find ways to actually relaaaaaax.  The relaxing is the hardest part for me.

Sooooo, I’m about to go on a journey.  A really scary one that I have no idea how to do.  But also one that I’m excited about because there is hope that I will feel better.

Wish me luck!  And I’ll keep you posted!

New Year’s Resolutions!

Hello fellow Squirrels!

Although many think it is a recipe for failure, I’d like to set up some resolutions for 2015.  Whether I meet them or not, I like goals… and lists.  Oh my gosh do I love my lists!  I have lists for everything:  groceries, household chores, books, tv shows, movies, songs.  Wow, but I GREATLY digress…

Here are my 2015 New Year’s Resolutions (aka LIST of goals… or just cool stuff I’d like to do)!!!

  1. Read more. I think I’ll see how many of the “classics” I can read.  I think there are many available on my Kindle app.  I love reading and there are so many that I have never even looked at.  I can’t decide whether to start with The Secret Garden, or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, or Pride and Prejudice, or Little Women.
  2. Be more involved with my kids. One of my kids has asked me to teach her how to use PowerPoint.  The kids’ school recommends that I start some computer programming activities for the other… my 6-year-old.  Oh my.  Time to step up my game.
  3. Explore Atlanta. I have yet to venture downtown or the east side (either inside or outside the perimeter).  There are lots of cool things to do in the suburbs too.  The kids and DH and I made a “bucket list” of places to visit this year.
  4. Get healthy. I’ve gained quite a bit of weight and my autoimmune conditions have gotten worse.  I want to do everything I can to reverse these autoimmune problems.
  5. Find a new Zumba class.  OK, maybe this one should actually be titled “find some new female friends to hang out with.”  But I really would love to do some Zumba too.
  6. Spend less.  Moving the family to a different state, still paying 2 mortgages (not to mention 2 sets of utilities), and having the steady stream of surprise expenses that keep popping up has really depleted the family finances.  Time to get frugal until we get things squared away in Michigan.  (SQUIRREL:  I’m going to do another “NO SPEND” challenge month again this year in February if anyone wants to join me.  I just turned in my credit card points for store gift cards.)
  7. Learn to relax.  Honestly, I suck at it.   I don’t know how to do it.  It makes me very uncomfortable when I don’t have 600 things going on at once.  But I’m determined to learn how to be at peace and just enjoy the moment.

Oh yes.  I got this.  😉

Here’s to the end of an exciting 2014 and the beginning of an amazing 2015.

Extremely Random Thoughts – 11/7/2014

Today, my squirrel friends, is all about feelings.   Here goes…

1.  I’m tired…  This week has been a whirlwind.  My little family is Georgia – bound today.   We are making great time already.


The sun rise this morning in Indiana

2.  I’m proud…  My kids have been amazing on this trip.  We’ve asked so much of them with the travel and the funeral and the multiple short family visits.  I owe them something special for this.

3.  I’m sad…  I miss Grandma and I’m already aware of the hole that our family now has.


Grandma White's Family (pre Abby, that precious little peanut)

4.  I’m grateful…  I know how lucky I am to have had her in my life… and more importantly that my kids had a relationship with her and they are big enough to be able to remember her.

5.  I’m queasy…   This was a terrible idea to try and blog on my phone in a moving car in the middle of Indiana.

6.  I’m happy… to be going home.  Although it has been wonderful to see family this week (even though it was for a very sad occasion), we miss our home and our own beds and our new life down south.

7.  I’m annoyed… at my piece of crap phone. It can’t keep a charge for a whole day and it struggles to recharge when it’s plugged in.  And it’s too damn small for me to text on quickly and that makes me feel old.  Stupid condescending, judgmental phone.

8.  I’m confused…  I’m considering the Samsung Note 4 or the iPhone 6+ as my replacement phone.  And I debated whether or not to even tell you this because I feel it will be more controversial and cause more trash talk than the elections and the MSU/UofM game combined. 

9.  I’m excited… that we have family visits at our new home planned for Thanksgiving,  Christmas, and in January.  Also, I get to cook the entire Thanksgiving dinner myself.  That makes me giddy!  (SQUIRREL – we’ll see how giddy I am when I’m up before dawn to get started cooking.   LOL)

… but at this moment, tired is definitely the winner.  Yep, really freakin’ tired.