Bienvenida a 2016!

2016 is here, and I’m determined to have a productive year! (Remind me of that in March or September if I’ve gotten off track!)

I have lots of things on my plate so it will be interesting to see what survives or at least what I manage to do consistently.

Without further delay, let’s jump into some of those things:

  • To start, I’m participating in Apartment Therapy’s The Cure, which is basically a way to get your house in order during the month of January. My first task is 75% complete. It’s to clean all the floors. I’ve done all the vacuuming, now to the scrubbing. (Can you tell I’m thrilled?)
  • I’ve also decided I want to consistently art journal this year. Last yearNo_Excuses_art I purchased No Excuses Art Journaling. I loved the ideas and suggestions, but never managed to implement them for more than a couple of days in a row. Here’s a link to Gina’s website if your interested.
  • I just set-up my 2016 Reading Challenge on Goodreads. I kept it the same as last year: 75 books. I didn’t make my goal in 2015—I was 5 books shy—so I’m going to try and do better in 2016.
  • I’d also like to get back to writing more consistently. Do you hear that Ms. Muse?? Thanks to my friend Dawn, I’ve ordered 2 writing books to improve my craft and get me free writing. The books are Now Write!: Fiction Writing Exercises from Today’s Best Writers and Teachers and Spellbinding Sentences: A Writer’s Guide to Achieving Excellence and Captivating Readers
  • On the health and fitness front, I’ve set some lofty goals. I’d like to train for and run a half marathon this spring/early summer. If my knee can take that training, I’m going to try for a fall marathon. I’m not excited about training in the heat of summer, but with any luck, I will get a lot of biking in, which should help.
  • If you noticed the title of my post, I’ve been learning Spanish. It’s come in handy in my job. I plan to continue with my studies and hopefully can be fluent (well, as fluent as an American living in the US can be!)
  • And speaking of studies, I’m all set to start grad school in March. I will be registering for classes at some point this month. Mercyhurst University best look out!

I’ve probably overlooked a goal, but right now, I’m drawing a blank. Willow (the ever grumpy cat who doesn’t like being photographed) and I wish you a healthy and happy New Year! May you get to read, write, and relax until your heart’s content!

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Still Alive, Just Away from the Blog

I’m still here…just haven’t made the time to post to my blog. I’m sorry for neglecting it, but it’s been a rather eventful week.

Work was absolutely crazy! I earned my pay and then some! I really hope this week is a bit more laid back than last.

On a better note, I got good news. Woohoo! (Insert happy dance) I found out that I’ve been accepted to Mercyhurst MercyhurstUniversity’s Graduate Certificate Program in Applied Intelligence Analysis. If you aren’t familiar with the program, here’s a link to it. Now, my fingers and toes are crossed that I get some financial aid. Grad school isn’t cheap! I’m going to start in the spring, and it looks like my first class will be Intelligence Theories and Applications.

So what else have I been doing with myself, you ask?? Not writing (sadly). I’ve been working on my Spanish. Thanks to Duolingo, I’m almost 50% fluent. My hope is to finish up Spanish and start Arabic. Yeah, that one’s going to be quite the challenge! If anyone can recommend a good online program/app, I’m all ears.  Continue reading “Still Alive, Just Away from the Blog”

Running on the Canal

It’s been an outdoorsy weekend for me. Yesterday was hiking the Pole Steeple circuit in Michaux State Forest. Today was catching up on a run on the C&O Canal. Unfortunately, I was overdressed for my run, and if I have to admit it, I was a tad sore from the hike. My planned 4 mile run turned into a pathetic 2.5 mile plod. Nope, nothing fast about it. At least I got out, right? That has to count for something…I hope!

At least during my cool down, I noticed a particularly nice reflection and snapped a picture. I hope you enjoy it. I’d have to say it was the best part of my workout!

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Rail Trail Run

I wanted to share some images from my run yesterday. I was good—I saved the picture taking until my cool down. These shots are with my phone, though I’m thinking next time I go, I need to take my good camera. Regardless, it was a beautiful day. I would say ‘spring has sprung,’ but today felt more like February than late March.

Hope you enjoy the pictures!

This is going to be a short post for me…I want to watch some more episodes of Homeland before bed. I keep wondering what Sgt. Brody would think if he was faced with Cal Lightman from Lie to Me. Could be interesting… Oh, I am early on in the series, so please don’t spoil anything for me *grins*
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City Girl Runner

I had a great weekend, and I wanted to fill you in on some of my adventures. It’s not everyday that I get to be a city girl!cherryblossom10mirun

My friend Cathy and I spent the weekend in Washington D.C. I was fortunate enough to win a spot to run in the Cherry Blossom 10 mile race. Before you start thinking I’m a bad ass runner, let me clarify. I had initially planned on running the full 10 miles, but since knee issues cropped up early on in training, I switched to the 5K. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I decided I wasn’t going to over-pack because of lugging my stuff around on the metro so I squeezed everything into a North Face backpack (not one of the climbing or backpacking ones, one that is more of a book bag). Yay me! Sort of (that explanation will come later). Continue reading “City Girl Runner”

Creep Factor to the Power of Ten

My run started off pretty good tonight. Despite sore calf muscles and feeling tired, the weather was a bit cooler and it felt good to be outside. I wasn’t far along when I spotted two deer mamas and their fawns. Thankfully, they watched me before heading back into the woods (and away from a heavily traveled side road). 

My usual running/ walking route is just over two miles. I try to run everything except for the pesky uphill that happens to be right by the hospital.

I’m going to share my story to remind those out there exercising alone to be aware of your surroundings and to have a plan in place if needed. Continue reading “Creep Factor to the Power of Ten”