My five year plan...

A friend was telling me about her five year plan today (or lack thereof) and it made me wonder what mine would look like. So I've decided to write one:
  • I'd like to successfully run the Rock'n'roll half marathon in Nashville in April (this year). 
  • I'd like to be in a new role professionally in the next two years - whether that's a new position at Southern Miss or elsewhere is undeclared. And "elsewhere" can also be defined as back in school fulltime working towards another degree.
  • I'd like to cook my way through Julia Child's cookbooks...

Okay so it turns out writing a 5-year plan isn't super easy to put out there. I keep thinking of things I need want to do around the house this year:
  • I'd like to clean out my garage or hold Markus to his promise to do it for me 
  • I'd like to finally donate those bags of clothes in the spare bedroom
  • I'd like to finish whatever-it-is I'm going to do with my new piece of furniture starting with a piece of glass for the top
  • I need to call the chimney-man to look at this mold-like stuff growing from the bricks in my living room
  • I'd like to clean out my storage shed in the backyard
  • I'd like to re-do the kitchen cabinets (but that's for sure a longer-term goal)
  • I'd like to remove the carpet in the living room/foyer
  • I'd like to build a pantry closet in the laundry room or continue to beg Dad to come do it one summer.
  • I'd like to finally do something with the hundreds of letters my mom wrote my grandmother every day she was abroad during their first few years.

Maybe I should stick to a bucket list rather than a timeline of goals?
  • I want to take another Asian vacation while my folks are still in Indonesia
  • I want to live abroad full time and if this happened to be via the Peace corps I would be okay with that
  • I'd like to be married and have kids notice that was plural
  • I'd like to learn another language
  • I'd like to take piano lessons again
  • I'd like to take ballroom dance lessons and yes I realize this shouldn't be difficult considering Markus' folks own a dance studio in Madison
  • I'd like to drive cross-country and visit all the kitschy tourist traps and the glorious ones like the Grand Canyon
  •  I'd like to watch The Godfather (all of them), Rocky (all of them), and all the best picture winners since the beginning of time.

I'll come back to this...


Just 4 Kicks...

Those four ladies I mentioned recently - the ones I've committed to running a half marathon with - we decided to chronicle our training for those interested. I'll link back and forth where possible - or maybe there's a way to do that within this blogger software stuff #idon'thavetimetofigureitout.

Meet Jessica (me), Samatha, Staci and Toni, and follow our survival rate training at Just 4 Kicks.

I've started training for a half...

I've started training for a half marathon. I use the word training lightly as my three friends really started hard a week earlier than I, and I had to opt out the first week due to a swollen lymph-node situation that actually hasn't been resolved yet but we'll leave that for a different post. There are three of us, two of whom are experienced half-marathoners. The fact that two of our four would opt to run a half again made me think, ‘maybe this won’t be as awful as every inkling in my body is trying to tell me it will be’…

It all started when Staci joined Jack and I for a run on the trace a few weeks ago. When we don’t listen to our iPods we take turns talking about what's going on in our lives at the start of our runs. 

Me: hey, remember that time you ran a half marathon?

Staci: yeah, I do. Remember that time I tried to convince you to run one with me?

Me: racking my brain for conversations of the sort from over a year ago…No, you never tried to convince me to run anything like that with you…

Staci: yeah, that's because it's happening now

Me: I thought this was just a quick there-and-back 1.5 mile jog? Wait, what?

Staci: You, me, Sam, Toni, Nashville, in sixteen weeks. We'll take the Friday before off to drive up there and come home Sunday. And I have a coupon.

It must have been the thought of "saving money" you know I'm practicing living on a budget. Or maybe it was the endorphins my body released from that first mile before it started screaming 'what the freak are you doing? This is not fun! Stop running!’ Or maybe it was my intense focus on keeping up with Jack and acting like his pace was my normal pace while Staci didn't struggle at all

I said "okay, sure, I'll train with you.

Stay tuned…


Kudzu, the cat that likes to "get high".

For those of you who haven't met Kudzu, she is my room mate and she is a character. If you read Kudzu's first day of Rehab you'll have some background on her addiction to catnip. This entry takes her addiction to a higher level. 

Kudzu and I spend our evenings loving or fighting, most often a little of both. She lies about having been fed all the time, and she knows exactly how to get what she wants much like her mother. She has completely shredded the textured wallpaper in my red dining room, there are white marks from her claws about three feet up the wall along the entire room. She uses this space as her scratch-post whenever she REALLY needs attention. And don't misunderstand, she adores her actual made-for-cats scratch post, but as you know we oftentimes crave variety in our lives, whey should it be any different for sweet daemon Kudzu?

Most recently it has become extremely apparent that Kudzu likes to get high...

Kudzu has begun to dart out of the house to explore the world outside whenever I'm not paying attention. She is fascinated with the azalea bushes surrounding the house. Something is on them that she can't stay away from. When she darts out the door into my garage, it's fine, because the garage door is usually closed. When she darts out the front or back door, I have to lure her back with treats as I've been afraid she'll wander too far and there are some pretty nasty-looking cats in our neighborhood. 

The other night while it was raining (which, let's face it, has been every night the past few) I decided to keep the door to the backyard cracked during the downpour, knowing Kudzu wouldn't go too far. I've never seen a cat take such thrill to darting in and out over and over. She was drenched by the end of it. 

Last night while watching a movie with my men, Kudzu scratched and howled at the door to the backyard. I let her out. It wasn't raining. There's a bell on her necklace that lets me know where she is, and she's pretty good at coming to me when I call. So I set her free. 

I don't have any trees in either of my yards (well, I do but they're shorter than the house at this point) so I wasn't too fearful of her getting stuck in one. About 3 minutes in to the outside adventure, one of my men started to whine, and I'm not talking about Blackjack.  Markus began to worry, "you want me to go check on her?"

"She's fine. Do you need to go check on her?"I replied calmly as I made breakfast for dinner - my fave.

Five minutes in to operation: let-Kudzu-explore-the-outdoors-on-her-own, I walked outside to call for her, I could tell Markus wasn't going to stand for his darling daemon cat to be left frolicking in the cold and wet for long. He couldn't stay focused on the TV show we were watching, kept looking out the window, walking in and out of the kitchen stay out of my kitchen when I'm cooking, fidgeting, asking Jack if he needed to go outside, etc. 

Sure enough, Kudzu came when I called, she was SO PROUD of herself, all growed-up. I asked her, "boo-boo what are you doing up there?" and as the words left my mouth I saw Markus through the window hurriedly putting on his shoes. 

Like I said, she loves to get high and she made it to the highest place available: the roof. She was eyeing the chimney when I spotted her (thanks to the bell) and it was clear she wanted to come down, but couldn't quite figure out how. Markus was abhorred, "she could get stuck up there!"

Our "family outing" ended promptly when Markus climbed in the chair I had collected from the dining room and lured Kudzu off the roof. 

Next time she explores the outdoors I have a sneaking suspicion she'll find a way to come in through the chimney shoot!