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The Yellow Lung

Spring is very confused today.  The wind chill was 35 degrees this morning.  I had my air conditioning on yesterday.  Technically, my AC might have still been turned on this morning, but since it was 64 degrees in my apartment when I woke up, and the AC was set on like 75, it wasn’t blowing.  Now I have the heat on.  I’m sorry I’m not sorry.

One thing spring is not confused about is raspberries.  I am normally more of a blueberry/banana/apple fruit consumer, but they were out of blueberries, and my mom always says the important thing is to eat colorful food, so I bought raspberries.  I’m not sure if these were particularly amazing raspberries, or if the fact that I ate nothing but white bread and mayo last week had something to do with it, but I can’t remember tasting anything so delicious.  I felt like the kids from Lord of the Flies who are starving and find the tropical fruit (mangos maybe?) and can’t stop themselves from gorging.  But then I remembered that those children felt very sick afterwards and that each raspberry cost about a dime, and I tried to limit myself to no more than a $1.50 in raspberries in that first sitting.

In other news, I ran out of flonase this morning, and I called the pharm for a refill.  The nice lady at the pharm said,”Goodness!  You sound terrible!  Rough time of year, huh?  I figured while I was out of allergy medicine, that I should sweep all the pollen off of my front porch.  Not like, the yellow gritty dust, but the hairy oak pieces.  I’m grasping for a better way to describe the oak debris, it sort of looks like mini caterpillars?  Or maybe a yellow dust bunny? Debris is one of my favorite words.  Spring time brings a lot of extra debris.  My car looks like it hasn’t been washed in two years.  It’s been more like ten days.  Even Briscoe is sneezing.

Despite the fact that there is a windchill today, yesterday was hot and muggy and rainy and the mosquitoes were having a grand time.  Briscoe and I went for a walk around 8 yesterday morning, and we sat down on a bench by the water, and I looked down, and there were at least five mosquitoes trying to bite Briscoe through her fluffy hair.  We came home immediately.  How do you keep mosquitoes off your dog?

I was home in Augusta last week for the Masters, and it was a whirlwind of friends, family, flowers, sandwiches, beer, and pollen.  I attempted to see as many people as possible, and I still missed some important people.  The amount of white bread and mayo consumed was upsetting, but necessary.  My friends from home (The “A” Team) and I discussed how the Augusta National is like Narnia, how the grass is greener, everything tastes better, life seems crisper.  But you can’t take it home with you.  Egg salad does not travel well.  The pairing sheet is just a dirty piece of paper when you get home.  And this week, apparently, the end of the Masters means the return of the endless winter.

My childhood buddy, Lilibet, has written an excellent book – Box Girl: My Part Time Job as an Art Installation.  Check it out, it’s totally hilarious.  And if you need any other book recommendations, The Goldfinch was insanely awesome.  And The Circle was an engaging and terrifying look at social media.

Briscoe and I happy to be back in sunny Charleston, but it was hard to leave home after such an amazing week. The first couple of days after the tournament are pretty rough, but I think I’ve made it through the worst part.   I hope that you are all surviving this STUPID cold snap.  This has to be the end of it, right?   It’s not fair to have pollen and a wind chill.  Winter can’t last forever.  Until them, I recommend hot coffee and zyrtec, and a fuzzy dog if you can find one.

*I also posted a post below that I wrote about a month ago, but forgot to actually post.  Finishing the drill is hard sometimes.

Relatively Easy

I swear, I have the very best of intentions when it comes to blogging, but the worst follow through.  The truth is, 2014 has turned out to be a bit of a whirlwind, and it’s difficulty for me to believe it’s almost the end of March and I haven’t blogged since January. February was a big month. The old Blog had it’s tenth birthday in February, and I didn’t even mention it!  So, Happy Belated Birthday Blog, I’m sorry we don’t spend enough time together, you deserve better!

Back to February. February 2014 ended up being unbelievable, and I want to preface this by saying that it is an inaccurate representation of my real life.  I spent most of 2013 halfway crippled, and I vowed that as soon as I was able to do fun things again I would take advantage of any and all opportunities, because you really don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, YOLO.  Thanks to some amazing friends, I had some awesome opportunities, and I feel extremely lucky.

First this happened – (THANKS LIBBY AND CBS!)

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Super Awkward

Super Halftime with Bruno

 

The football didn’t end up being all that exciting, but I got to hear Queen Latifah sing America The Beautiful with a children’s choir, and I got to wear a ski cap that had lights on it that was part of the half time light show.  I freaking love light shows.  And fireworks.  And Bruno Mars.  It was a really great day, the Broncos notwithstanding.  We had to go through airport style security that was pretty intense, but it’s nice to feel safe.

The second spectacular occurrence in February 2014 was that I went skiing in Austria with a group of 15 great friends. I mean, the ALPS! Who knew?  The mountains were breathtakingly impressive, the snow was exceptional, the company was first rate.  I will admit that the combination of jet lag, altitude, and apre’ ski was aggressive, and not for the faint of heart, but it was all worth it.

Good Morning Zurich! ImageImage

 

ImagePowder Day!

 

Austria was an epic experience.  We spent three days in Solden, which is a giant ski resort comprised of three mountains connected with extensive gondolas.  One day we skied in Ishgl, where we had the pleasure of skiing from Austria and into Switzerland for lunch.  We spent a day in St. Anton, where the snow was less impressive than Solden or Ishgl, but the apre ski was amazing.  We stayed in this great solid house with a big basement that had a pool table, ping pong, and foosball.  When we weren’t skiing, we cooked a lot of food, drank beer, ordered pizza, and laughed.

 

Leon

In case you did not know, I love weather.  All weather.  My mom loves weather.  I have special weather buddies (GARY!)  My brother’s friends in high school called our mom Accu-Kate and Kate Cantore because she always wanted to tell us about the weather and talk about what might happen.  I love tracking hurricanes.  I had a ten page, hand written note from a cousin in Charleston detailing the events of hurricane Huge that I read over and over again.  I remember exactly where I was during hurricane Katrina (on my bedroom floor in Athens watching the weather channel and talking to my mom on the phone, obviously).  To this day, my parents will get in the car and drive around specifically to look at trees felled by a storm.  Twister and The Perfect Storm are excellent movies.  I count the flooding in Charleston as one of my hobbies.  Twitter is shockingly entertaining when it comes to inclement weather.  Don’t you just love the word inclement?  It gives me happy shivers.  

I have no less than six weather apps on my phone, at least if you count my tide app, which I do, and you don’t count Twitter, which i could.  My NOAA Hi-Def Doppler app is my favorite, but when it comes to free apps, Intellicast and TWC are my favorite.  I could get lost on the NOAA website for hours.  

Y’all, I am absolutely giddy about the weather right now.  This is the best weather week ever.  I’m on tour with Jim Cantore (side note – I’m going to the super bowl!).  It is DUMPING snow in the ATL, and Jim Cantore is reporting live from the Cistern.  Jim says we are going to have 2-3 inches!  I will die.  Seriously die.  Last night when twitter told me that Jim Cantore was headed to Charleston, I was frightened, since Jim generally heralds the angel of natural disaster destruction, but now I’m optimistically delusional that we might get a fun winter storm instead of a scary ice storm.  

It’s hard to imagine what this town is going to be like when it actually starts storming here.  The power lines in my neighborhood are threaded through and basically wrapped around branches.  I live on a peninsula, with three grocery stores.  We are at a dead end.  I heard the Harris Teeter manager tell someone yesterday that he was planning on spending the night at a hotel downtown.  

ANNNNDDDD it’s starting to rain! I just made Briscoe go out real fast.  I think it’s raining.  Sleeting?  Whatever it is, it’s coming down.  

Man.  I did a ton of laundry, and I’ve got everything charged.  I made soup last night. I bought a couple bags of ice on Chuck’s advice.  Lots of beer and wine.  I think I’m going to take a shower, since my hot water heater is electric.  Jim said it’s freezing rain at the airport.  It’s coming for us!  I really want one of those laser thermometers, for future gift ideas.  Yippee!  Stay safe and warm my friends!  

Twenty – Fourteen

These Twenty Dash years are speeding along rapidly, although I have to admit that I was happy to see 2013 exit the stage.  My ankle surgery in October and the government shutdown were rather disruptive forces, and then in mid November I developed what was inconclusively walking pneumonia or a vicious viral infection.  Either way, by the Friday after Thanksgiving I was in the bed.  Two and a half weeks of antibiotics, a steroid pack, and five sick days later, and it was almost Christmas.  Seriously, I didn’t drink alcohol or coffee for almost three weeks, in December, to give y’all an idea of how ill I truly was. Obviously, ankle surgery and a terrible hacking cold with a racking cough that last a month is not the worst thing that could happen, but it did make me appreciate all the things I take for granted.  Like walking, and breathing.  It made me a little more compassionate towards the subjective complaints of the claimants.  Additionally, in the instance of my ankle and my respiratory difficulties, I was required to see more than one doctor and be my own health advocate to fight for additional treatment options and testing.  Not because my doctors aren’t competent, but because many of them are overworked and jaded and under appreciated, and lacked the time or effort to waste on an otherwise seemingly healthy young person with no real health risk factors.    I’m not going to get into all the nuances involved in health care, suffice it to say, being sick or injured sucks, and if you don’t like the answers you are receiving, keep asking your questions, find additional opinions.

When I woke up from being sick and realized that it was almost Christmas, I had to play catch up on the festivities.  My friends and I threw an oyster roast/skeet shoot, which we’ve decided will be known as the First Annual Christmas Clays.

Here are my friends shooting skeet.

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They were some of the best oysters I’ve ever had the pleasure of destroying.

We had a blue grass band, oysters, skeet, venison chili,ham, Frog Island Punch, koozies, and a lot of fun with all of the frogs.  The party was held at my friend Zan’s family’s property, and Zan and his father are sculptors, and the property is littered with artwork.

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Shannon and me playing in the froggy scrap yard.

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Me and my favorite frog.

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This is Jack, and Briscoe was a really great sport.

Christmas brought the arrival of a new family member at my parents house -

Christmas Day with besties from home.

Christmas Day with besties from home.

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Polar Bear Plunge with some of the greatest friends ever!

Christmas was great, and I got to see a lot of old friends.  New Year’s Eve was Alicia and Bryan’s beautiful wedding.  And New Year’s Day, we all jumped in the ocean to celebrate 2014, and then we ate hoppin’ johns and collards, with mac and cheese, and the best wings in america, washed down with a game changer at Home Team.

Overall, the last two weeks of December more than made up for feeling like I was on restriction from the beginning of October until the middle of December.  And 2013 will always be the year that I really found a home in Charleston, with amazing friendships, a job I love, and an unrivaled picturesque natural setting.

As a side note, I do have to admit that I’m currently freezing to death at my house, whilst wearing an obscene amount of clothing and my uggs, wrapped in a blanket, with my arm warmers.  My power still works, but my house was not designed for the cold, and it’s all my little heater can do to keep up.  This is the coldest weather I’ve experienced since I moved to Charleston in Fall 2010.  The upside is that it’s suppose to be in the 70s this weekend. I’ve started running again, and yesterday I ran two miles, which is the furthest I’ve run since I stopped running in December 2012.  I’m looking forward to my first yoga class since September tonight, and can’t wait to be in the suffocating heat, after this freezing day.

Speaking of freezing, this weather has brought to my attention that I only have the bare minimum of cold weather gear.  I’m going skiing in February, and I think I need some new gear.  You know, like gloves with fingers.  None of my gloves have fingers.  Suggestions?

You kids try to stay warm out there, and if winter ever gets to be too much, come on down to Charleston some weekend, the cold weather never lasts for more than a couple of days.  I promise to take you to Home Team and to an oyster roast.  My new year’s resolutions are obviously to blog more, and to get back into fighting shape.  I’m going to get back on the mat, back on the tennis court, and take some things out on the pavement.

Cheers to 2014 being the best year yet!  Happy New Year!

The Big Bridge

Thankful

This week had it out for me. Briscoe felt the need to chew up and swallow most of an old wine cork, I got a giant nail in my back tire on Friday and didn’t realize it until I hopped in my car Monday morning (one of the perks of downtown living is car-free weekends), and I’ve had a horrific cold.

The beautiful thing about problems is that they help you appreciate the good stuff. Just in the last week, I’ve enjoyed local oysters with old and new friends in the beautiful city that has turned out to be a real home. Saturday, Jeff, Drew, Suzy, and I enjoyed a long lazy day of wandering around downtown, and we only broke two champagne glasses. We met up with Cara and Ashley later in the night, and shared with them the ridiculous thoughts we had developed over the course of the day, and I am thankful for their tolerance.

When I discovered my flat tire, sweet Denise came and got me and took me to work and picked me back up on a moment’s notice. After work, Paul was my tire changing hero. I was starving by that point, not having a car necessitated foraging lunch around the office and vending machines. Just when I was about to go pick something up, Caleb called, he was in town for a deposition that had just finished, and treated me to favorite place, The Macintosh. When I got home and realized Briscoe’s poor dietary choices, I texted Suzy, my bestiest vet buddy, who assured me that the fluffy dog should be fine.

By the end of the day, I felt extremely blessed with the best friends ever. Caleb asked me at one point if I ever felt lonely in Charleston. And I realized that lonely is one thing I never feel, and to ever end up alone I have to turn my phone off and lock my door. Which is exactly the way I like it.

This thanksgiving I am especially thankful for my parent’s good health. Everyday you are not at the hospital with a loved one is a day to be thankful. I’m thankful for my big headed dog, for all the happiness she brings into this world. I am thankful for my brother and sister in law, and all my friends near and far. And I am thankful for the copious amounts of food I am about to consume. Love y’all, I hope you day is full of turkey and pecan pie and good wine and roaring fires with the people you love, football, naps, old movies, old dogs, and the beautiful November late afternoon light. Oh, and ‘Merica, obviously.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Capital Collection

I see this as one of the greatest marketing fails in recent memory.

 

It makes me think that the people at Cover Girl don’t novels, because if they did, at least one of them might have read the Hunger Games novels.  It is hard to believe that if anyone at Cover Girl had read the books, that they would be glamorizing the Capital.  As a single example, most of the country is starving, and the people in the Capital are attending parties where they eat until they are stuffed, and then they drink something that makes them throw up so they can keep eating the rest of the night.  Um, not to mention that the best thing that happens in the Capital all year is the televised competition where children from the districts fight to the death while they all cheer from the comfort of their well fed homes.

Seriously Cover Girl.  Fail.

I’m all for sparkling makeup and metallic nail polish, and this could have all been avoided if it was simply called the Catching Fire Collection.  Also the “Easy, Breezy, Beautiful” tag line is inappropriate at end of the commercials, cause, well, there is nothing easy and breezy about the Hunger Games (I think Jennifer Lawrence is beautiful).  Someone in the Cover Girl Marketing department should be fired.

 

Getting back to real life has been more difficult that I anticipated.  It’s been six weeks and one day since my surgery, and I’ve been back at work for more than three weeks.  I may have hit the ground a little aggressively, but there were some things I could not help. I could not help that I HAD to go see Libby run in the New York Marathon the first week in November.  It’s not my fault that it got cancelled last year. Libby had to train twice, and the least I could do was rebook my trip.  Plus, I really wanted to go, and I needed to see Betsy and Andrew and meet sweet baby Cash.  I can’t help it that being in New York necessitates a lot of walking.  Going to New York left me in the Boot for an extra week, but I was able to get around surprisingly well, and I don’t think the extra boot walking caused any lasting damage.

I’ve had the opportunity to see a lot of music this month, which I was not expecting.  The first weekend I was back in Charleston, someone gave me a ticket to the Robert Earl Keen show at the Charleston Music Hall, at the last minute, so I had to go to that.  Then Michael Franti was at the Music Farm and I went with my sweet friend Anita.  Finally, The Avett Brothers played at the Coliseum last week, and those tickets were purchased this summer.  All three shows were fantastic.  I’ve seen REK and The Avett Brothers at the Georgia Theater, and it’s hard to compare any show to a Theater show, but the Charleston Music Hall is a really cool venue if you ever get a chance to see it, and the Avett Brothers are a completely different band than they were in the Georgia Theater days.  When I first saw the Avett Brothers in 2007, it was three guys, and the entire show was high energy Bluegrass Ska music.  Now there are seven or eight band members, and it’s a much more professional production.  It’s nice to watch a band grow up.  The show last week was one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time.  It was well paced, with lots of old music, and lots of new music, and we stood up the entire time.  The only thing I did not understand was the couple with the baby in the Bjorn in front of us.  Or the other couple with the two boys, aged maybe four and six.  The two boys were clearly miserable, with the four year old plugging his ears the whole time.  How is that fun for anyone involved?  And they stayed almost the entire show.  It’s not normal for kids to stay out til 11 on a school night, right?

Speaking of music, I’ve been enjoying the new Katy Perry album.  Hate all you want, she’s fun.  Also, I love Eminem.  I tolerate Rihanna when she is playing with Eminem.  I love that this new song is about seeming crazy.  I realized the other day that a casual observer would think I spend all day talking to myself.  But the reality is that not I’m talking to myself, I’m talking to the inanimate objects around me.  Example, I’m pulling sheets out of the dryer, and they are not dry,  “Dude!  You aren’t dry at all!  Look at this, you’ve gotten all wadded and tangled up, you are never going to dry that way.  Get back in there.”

The weather has been crazy, yesterday it was 83 degrees, 90% humidity.  This morning it was 50 degrees, 60% humidity, with winds 20 mph.  The former is a lot hotter than you’d think, and the latter is a lot colder than you’d expect.  I’ve completed all of the levels of candy crush, and now we wait for an update.  In television news, you should be watching The Blacklist.  That is the only new television show I can definitely vouch for as amazing.  If you watch Homeland and Scandal, you should be reading this weekly blog series The Heroine Watch.  It definitely enhances what otherwise has been a season of extremely depressing and upsetting story lines.

I can’t wait until I can run and go to yoga and play tennis again, I’m hoping to be able to start doing more in the next couple of week.  I’ve been walking a mile in the morning and a mile at night, and standing up at my desk during the day, and I’ve been able to do that with occasional pain.  The range of motion in my ankle is limited in all directions, but I believe that it is getting a little better every day.  I still have some numbness in my big toe and on the outside of my heel, but the scar is healing well.

Until then, Briscoe and her pink gorilla are making sure my yoga mat feels loved.

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