Friday Round-Up


Howdy, partners! Happy Friday to you all. This week has felt interminably long due to the fact that it was actually 5 (five) working days. Who came up with this?!

Most of you know I started the job with Thurston County back in August. What you may not know – and what I didn’t know when I took the position – is that the project needed to be approved by the new Board of Commissioners before it could actually go forward. Yeah. Anyway, the Board approved the jail expansion and the RFQ (Request for Qualifications) for an architect/engineer hit the papers today. Woo hoo! Now we’re getting somewhere.

Next week, a group of us from the County will take a work field trip to a local jail to score some design ideas for our project. The jail is called SCORE (South Correctional Entity). Get it? Score? Anyway. It houses inmates for 7 member cities and several other contract cities, with over 800 beds. It’s a glamorous life.

A friend and I went to lunch at King Solomon’s Reef yesterday. I never knew King Solomon *had* a reef until this week. Kind of a dive, but great diner-style food. Not too pricey, and right in downtown Olympia. The people watching aspect was excellent as well. It made me less homesick for Portland.

The walking/running plan is moving along. I’m making sure to stretch and walk a lot during each day. Our stellar weather streak continues, and is only now starting to cool off with a high of mid-70s during the day. Just about perfect.

How has your week been?




Friday Morning Freedom


I let the cats onto the back deck this morning. I can see them out the dining room window, together but not together, exploring the backyard. Chloe sticks close to the chain link fence. She sniffs to discover all the places where nocturnal animals have crossed into or out of our yard. Rex hears the window open and stares at me. His golden gaze says “what do you want?” He’s more concerned with the small gaps in the fencing. He pokes his face through them and gazes at the trees and bushes and birds on the other side. Meanwhile, Chloe bites off grass tips that stand up taller than other pieces. I figure this is okay, since we don’t have goats.

Out the front dining room window, I can see and hear traffic. Cars, trucks and buses rush by in their morning commute. The occasional runner or cyclist pass on the pedestrian path. Walkers pound up and down the hill in pairs, like heeding the last call to board Noah’s Ark. Mornings inspire momentum.

Mornings have always seemed sort of magical to me. How does God do it, day after day? Each one crops up new and whole, sprung out of the earth’s turning. As children, we learned Earth’s rotation causes us to see a sunrise and a sunset every day. Systems for seasons  and moon phases have been set for millennia, yet still present unique and ever new. This morning, the clouds pulled back from the north like a sunlit snowy blanket. A thin scrim of hazy cloud remained, hiding the mountain. Our infamous marine layer lingered nearly all day yesterday, allowing us to barely reach 70 degrees by day’s end.

This is my last free Friday before I step back into the working world. I’m not sure what lies ahead. But I think I’m ready to rejoin the fray. Mornings bring hope. I’m reminded of this Bible verse, written in one of the darkest times in Israel’s history:

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
    his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!” – Lamentations 3:22-24



Friday Funk

I woke up late, which threw off my routine. I planned to walk on the treadmill. About 3 minutes in, it shorted out and completely stopped. While getting dressed, I tried on three different tops. None of them made me look like Angelina Jolie or even Tina Fey. Feeling slender, I stepped on the metal box under the window. I should also mention I can’t even read the dial unless I’m wearing corrective eyewear. I’ve tried all kinds of squinting and peering to make it happen, to no avail. Yet the new analog scale, aka ruthless truth-teller,  said my weight hasn’t budged.

Despite an inauspicious start to the morning, it’s still Friday. Every day this week, I’ve gotten up and done my best. So what good things happened this week? Glad you asked.

  • We found out our house appraises on Monday. After that, it won’t be long before we close. Yay!
  • It’s warmed up into the 40s during the day now.
  • Tuesday night in kettlebells class, I did most of the exercises with heavier bells – used the 26 lb in place of 18, the 35 in place of the 26, etc. Great workout.
  • Wednesday night I covered the K-5 class and only had 8 kids. Lots of sickness going around. It was Ruby and the Seven Boys. Ruby sat at one table, the boys at the other. And all they wanted to do was draw. We also told jokes.

“Knock knock”, a little brown-eyed five-year-old boy said.

“Who’s there?” I replied.

“Banana!” he said, eyes shining.

“Banana who?” I said.

“Banana peel on the ground!”

Doesn’t get much better than that.

  • Yesterday, I got to take a walk in the afternoon. The rain had stopped. Patches of blue sky and golden-tinted clouds greeted me.
  • Jonathon gets paid today. Pizza, baby!

How about you? What good things happened in your week?


For Every Mountain

Happy Friday! I’m sitting here again, coffee and smoothie at my elbow. I’m thinking back over the last few months and I’m thankful for all God has done. Like the song says, “For every mountain…you brought me over….for every trial you’ve seen me through…for every blessing…Hallelujah! For this, I give you praise….”


Ah, here’s the song:

It’s not over yet. Still a lot of walking and some running to do. But He didn’t bring us out this far to to leave us. So, we press on. He holds us up.

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31

Hail, Friday!


Is it just me, or did this 4-day work week seem like it lasted 8?!

I ran four miles this morning. I had not planned to run so many. But I got moving, and things just clicked. I felt really good. We did the kettlebell challenge last night. I figured I’d be moving slow today, aching and tired, legs unwilling. I’m not. That says to me I need to go up in weight, exchanging 18 lbs. for 26 and sometimes 35 for 26 lbs. Eek!

Running today felt like a natural thing, a heartbeat of sorts. It doesn’t always. Some days, it seems like uphill both ways through the snow, with lead weights on my back. Today, I breezed up the hill. This, non-running folks, is why runners run. Days like these make it all worthwhile. I did not stop, finding the pace while breathing in the scent of honeysuckle blossoms and damp earth from yesterday’s rain. We’ve got another little slice of summer on tap this weekend, with temps soaring into the 90s.

I’ve given up sugar in my coffee, the last holdout. Not so terrible with half and half in it. Could that be the culprit holding me back, all this time? I wonder.

Or maybe it’s just that I’ve decided to keep on, no matter what.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. – 1 Timothy 4:7




sun giphy(source)

We’re enjoying another glorious sunny day here in Shelton. Supposed to get to 80 degrees today. This random day stolen straight from summer is a gift. April here is generally 1) coldish, with temps topping out in the high 50s and night time lows sometimes hitting freezing, and 2) drizzly. The rain has lost its power and purpose by this time of year. Yet it hangs on, like the last recalcitrant guest at an after party.

We’re smack-dab in the middle of spring break. Ruby hosted a sleepover and has been to a sleepover. Many little girls frequented the house and the hot tub this week.  Zac has stayed up late playing computer games and slept, period. Jonathon has worked at his job as well as outside on the yard. Oh, and he inaugurated the outdoor grill for the sunny season. Ahh…

What to say today? I’m listening to my coworker use a drill on a broken van door. The sound of metal hitting metal makes that high-pitched squeal, like when the dentist drills on your molars, only 10 times louder. Not that having a drill a few inches from either ear doesn’t make it sound loud already. Anyway. He’s wearing his welding mask. Sparks fly around him, forming a temporary prickly halo.

Which brings me to another point. Can I say that working with mechanical cutting or flame-throwing implements makes you a rockstar? Cause I think it’s true. You should get hazard pay, carry a badge and wear a medal. And have your own line of action figures. Seriously.

I’m sipping a cup of shop coffee. It’s very, very strong. Which is good, because I am very, very tired. Hence the lack of coherent thought in this blog. I’ve upped my running and it’s taking its toll. Still nursing the old foot and calf injuries, but they’re clearing up.

I’ve made a decision. I’m keeping the digital scale in the sweet spot on the floor where it weighs me 3 lbs. lighter than anywhere else in the room. I know; I’ve checked. Heck, why spend the day discouraged? That’s my motto. Like so many things, it sounds better in Latin: Quare appenditis die fiant ?

Vade, et vincet, my friends. It’s almost Friday.


First Friday

New office

Happy Friday! Okay, technically it’s not the first Friday of 2016 But it is the first full work week of 2016. All hail the return of 40 hours!

The picture above shows how the new office turned out. Fresh paint (NOT baby blue, as some have implied), new lighting, and a new desk worked wonders. One of the maintenance guys, an electrician, recommended and installed the lights. He also put in the coat rack (right side). I’ve got a couple of other minor touches to add, but this is the “after”. Oh, and the rug.

office rug

It turned out so nice. Not too masculine, not too feminine.

Some of you may be wondering how my dessert-free lifestyle challenge is progressing. Well, so far I’ve lost about 2 lbs. in a little over a week. Not much, but when you’re a shrimpy girl, it helps. I don’t crave chocolate much anymore. If I do, I eat some fruit. I did grab a handful of Ruby’s new favorite cereal – gluten free! – but way too sugary. I couldn’t eat any more.

I think the best part has been the increase in energy. I feel awake. My energy seems to come at a steady pace. Also, I’m more hopeful. I didn’t eat a ton of desserts, perhaps, but they did sort of numb me. It’s better to feel the feelings and get to the other side. No medicinal sugar required.

I’ve stepped up my exercise ever-so-slightly. I find myself craving walks in the fresh air. Jonathon’s Christmas present to me, the treadmill, made its way inside after a brief and frigid stint in the carport. It’s helping me ease back into running. My left foot still hurts, but it’s healing. Slowly.

All in all, I’m happy with this progress report. How are your resolutions coming?