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My Baby is 20!

Mom and meMini Red, a/k/a Ginja, is 20 today!

Can you believe that?

Kiddo, I love you to the moon and back.

-Mama Red

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Summer of 1981: I was about to turn 13. My sister was only a few months old and our family of five climbed into the little blue, 1978, Datsun 510 wagon and headed to the beach. As we got older the Folks liked to take us on trips in the area but it was getting tighter in that little wagon. Eventually, the Folks bought a used, full sized, van. The inside had the two front swivel captain chairs and two more right behind them with a table between all four. The rest of the van had shag carpet, on the floors as well as the walls.

Yeah… It was one of those vans! The Folks turned it into a family mobile. The best part of this van were the weekend quests, but they didn’t call them quests then. Dad would drive to wherever we ended up going and Mom would drive home so Dad could get in the way back with the kids and play. No seat belts required back then.

Their adventures changed over the years. I got my driver’s license and the Datsun became mine-ish and I dipped out on the adventures. Eventually, it was just Mom and Dad and their adventures changed over the years.

Today; Hophead and I have started our own adventures. We call it Questing.

It started when we decided to head north to a winery we heard about. We ended up at the wrong winery but in downtown Gettysburg. We found a little Irish shop and our receipt had a 10% off coupon for a local Irish Pub, The Garryowen Irish Pub. The pub was in the opposite direction of where we were heading but we are so glad we went. They have the best Irish Breakfast ever found in the U.S. plus they have 60 Irish Whiskey’s.


We got a seat at the bar and ordered two pints of Guinness. The place was very busy but what caught my eye was the priest in the back having a pint himself. Then a family came in for brunch and the little girl said, “Mommy! Mommy! It’s Father Ritchie! Can I go say hi?”.

Hophead and I just looked at each other as all this went down. How very Irish like this place is including the families too! We continue to go up there every chance we get and take as many people as we can. We are even taking Mom and Dad this weekend.

On that first visit we also came across the opening of Gettysburg Polish Pottery. They have the best selection I have ever come across. We can’t go to Garryowen without stopping and seeing our friends at Gettysburg Polish Pottery.


Our adventures aren’t like Mom and Dad’s but we are having fun questing.

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You can find me in da club, bottle full of bub

The Club I’m referring to is the United Club at the airport.

Back in August I took a new job and joined the group of Road Warriors that travel every week. By travel I mean I fly out every Monday and home every Thursday.

I considered the United Club a very cool part of the secret flying society. Only those elite flyers could get in or there is always the people that pay heavily for it.

My coworker brought me, and another, in as guests. This was on a Thursday and that means it is a HUGE business traveler day because business people are all flying home for the week.

I wasn’t so impressed. For one… the toilets don’t flush themselves like every other toilet in the airport. For two… the place was PACKED. Once we found three seats together two went to get drinks… free drinks. OK that is a great perk but no decent IPAs so I got a Cabernet Savignon. The bartender was swamped  but a really cool guy and I loved his holiday tie.

They also had snacks you could help yourself to and this included water. This was another plus because sometimes you just want a small cookie and endless ice water. Hanging in an airport usually means overpriced food and if you want cold water you have to buy it. You will never find veggies in an airport.

The people in the club looked very regular, I don’t know what I was expecting but maybe I expected something more extravagant. I can only assume this is a very different place on any other day, minus all the business travelers.

So far it isn’t something I see myself buying into but I have finally seen past those elusive doors.

Maybe if those toilets flushed themselves I might have more interest.

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Bucket Lists

Bucket lists can be made for more than places to travel. It can be for food or activities, like skydiving, or even skills.

I’m in my hotel room in Houston working before Hophead arrives to celebrate our anniversary this weekend. I have the TV on for company.

I don’t know how I ended up on the Bravo channel but I did and it was and a Below Deck Reunion Show with Andy Cohen was on. At some point in the season a chick named Kate put a blanket in the shape of a dick/rocket ship on a customer’s bed. What a great way to express your feelings towards someone and to call them a dick. Now that is a skill.

You can watch a clip here.

I found this fascinating and want to learn how to do this. New bucket list item!

I found a how to video. Yay!

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Don’t Make Me Say It

The search begins…

It’s not there. I swore it was in the desk drawer.

Ok… Let me think a minute… I can see it in my head. I see it there… and there… and there.

Not there. Where is it?

Ok… I’ll go look upstairs in my room. I can see it in my head. I see it there… and there… and there.

Not there either. Where is it?

Ugggh. I really don’t even want to go to the basement. I really should check there but I’m not feeling it. It has to be in the basement because it isn’t anywhere else.

I go to the dirty basement and walk over to the shelves. I’m not even going to look in the green box because I was in that box just two days ago. I KNOW it’s not in the photo boxes because there just isn’t any room. I check the basket, which is the only place I feel it might be.

Not there either. Where is it?

I walk along the shelves.

I’m not feeling this.

I stand in the middle of this chaos that is called the basement and scan the entire place.

I’m not feeling this.

I go to the other side of the basement where Hophead keeps most of his tools. I check the white shelves because it can’t be anywhere else.

Not there either. Where is it?

It’s not even that important. I’m just stuck on finding it especially now that I’ve stopped everything else I was doing.

Please don’t make me say your name.

You always come through for Hophead. Go figure? He has never had religion. I was the Catholic then the “Cafeteria Catholic” and now the “Catholic in Remission”.

Yeah, Remission! I am free from Catholicism… Sort of. I can never be free of Catholicism because it’s in my core. This is how I was raised, not-to-mention Aunt Dot.

Aunt Dot always had a Patron Saint for any situation and sometimes there was even a prayer to go along with it;

“St. Anne, St. Anne send me a man as fast as you can.”

Yeup, I’ve used that one and shared it with many of my single girlfriends. Last time I used it I added a “For realz this time” and then I met Hophead.

Since I was a little girl the one prayer I ALWAYS used was to St. Anthony, patron saint of lost and stolen articles;

“Dear St. Anthony, Something is lost and can’t be found. Please help me find it.”

Not sure if that is the official prayer. I tended to start everything off like I was writing a letter; “Dear God…”. Maybe I would have had faster results if I added;  “… Yours Truly, Reddudette”.

A few years back Hophead was desperately searching for something and I told him about St. Anthony and THE (my) prayer. It worked like a charm! Kinda freaked Hophead out a bit due to how well it worked.

For a while there, St. Anthony wasn’t always so helpful for me. Maybe he was too busy with Hophead? Maybe he was not happy with my “Catholicism in Remission”?

So I stopped praying to him…Until… this morning.

Please don’t make me say your name.

Ok, ok…

“St. Anthony please help me find this stoopid thing”

I went back to the desk, which is the first place I looked. Opened the drawer further and BAM! There it was.

As soon as I said his name… It worked!

I just can’t get away from it… The Catholic upbringing. Then again I don’t want to.


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Is He Wearing Pants?

Every time this AT&T commercial comes on I think the guy in the ceiling is sans pants.


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When is Enough Enough

How well do you know your body to say “Enough is enough”?

Today was a big test for me on that subject.

I have done things in my life and pushed myself for fear of embarrassment and it has hurt me and that is not good. There is a fine line of pushing yourself and pushing yourself where you get hurt.

I started running back in 2001. I trained with some friends to race a marathon but in the end I didn’t run that marathon. I had a stress fracture in my a ankle and then hurt my knee. I felt so weak and and like a fucking baby. I continued to raise money with my team and to be honest I still felt like a failure.  The money I raised did not make the failure I had with my body any better. I thought maybe I was just being a baby and maybe I should have pushed myself more.

My friends ran that marathon and I healed and continued to run.

I needed to figure it all out so I concentrated on my feet and knees and I got the form down right. Then I realized when I ran my legs could keep going my my lungs could not. So I worked on my breathing.

So I run and then I don’t and then I run again and I don’t.

2012 I lost a good amount of weight. I joined a running program and started from scratch. This wasn’t easy because I’ve already run a half marathon so to join a 5k program was good and bad.  I felt it was beneath me but I also felt I needed to get back to basics.

The first few weeks were so blah. This was easy shit and I was up front and flying through it until we got to the day we had to run 2 miles non stop. Here was where my real issue was… ALWAYS. I never ran throughout that and consistently. The day came and I was nervous to do that two miles and I thought. “Damn! If I’m nervous what do some of these others (beneath me) think.

I ran those two miles and I ran through wanting to stop and I learned so much that day. Fleet Feet has some fantastic people!

Our training program was leading up to a 5k that we all did together. My goal was to pass everyone in a blue Fleet Feet Training program shirt and pass them. Sounds like I’m a condescending shit but we all have to find what it is to push us. I got my best time EVER! I finished in 27 minutes 11 seconds.

I was skinny and I was getting faster. I felt so good. So I signed up for the Nike Women’s Half in DC in 2013.

We moved to Frederick at the end of the summer of 2012.

Where do I run now?

Trying to figure out where I was comfortable running during this training. Food in downtown Frederick is so good and so easy after a long day of work. I did run that half marathon after many trials and tribulations and I did beat my previous half marathon time by ten minutes and luckily I did not hurt myself.

Fast forward to 2014 and I signed up and got selected for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. Easy enough to train for but this winter was phenomenally bad and that is my excuse. So I ran the 5k with very little training under my belt.  I had a great run but it was tough for me to take that step back from 10 miler to 5k.

So I decided to step up and do the Pike’s Peak in Rockville, which was today. I was over confident and started to far forward and too over confidant.

My watch would not sync and it was an all around cluster… you know.

Mile one I was in pain and uncomfortable. Usually by mile one I’m warmed up good and pushing through. I tried walking out these horrible pains in my calves but it wasn’t getting any better. I’m embarrassed to walk but I need to do what I need to do for me. This is not easy for me to show this weakness.

I reach mile two and this is getting worse. I don’t know what to do. If I keep going I could really hurt myself but this is embarrassing and I just wish I could sneak off.

I call Hophead but just as I did there is all this fanfare ahead with the Fire Department and I can’t be seen sneaking away near this. So I run…

There is a water station after the Fire Stations so I stop there. I ask:

“What do I do? I have to stop.”

This man tells me to sit down and he will get help.

I’m so embarrassed!

A woman comes to me and asked me if I’m ok and I tell her I have to stop. I tell her I started too fast and if I keep going I will hurt myself. She reassures me and tells me a van will come along at the and of the runners and will take me to the end.

Everyone running can see me sitting there. I’m so embarrassed as I sit there and my leg throbs.

Just as the van approaches I see a man on the sidewalk (not with the runners) and he is clearly a participant but he is limping and is hurt. I’m sure he does’t know there is a van to help him.

I climb into the van and thank them profusely and then point out this man. When they reach him he seems very thankful he has been found because he is hurt. He climbs into the van and we chat was we ride down Rockville Pike.

We never expected to be riding through this race and we are both disappointed in ourselves but feel better that we aren’t alone.

We reach the White Flint Metro and he is ready to get out and have his wife meet him. I get his shoe chip and say good bye.

All I want to do is cry about this position I am in. I don’t want anyone to know but I have to meet up with my brother at the finish line and my nephew has his own race. I hold all my emotions in as I tell my brother and his wife what happened.

Am I failure? Did I give up? Or was it smart?

I didn’t hurt myself further and came home, cleaned up and rode bikes with friends and had a great day.


In the back of my mind I still feel like such a failure today… Or was it smart to call it and not hurt myself? They might have missed that guy who was limping.

I still feel horrible about my showing today but I made that call to not hurt myself further. That isn’t an easy call. Maybe I am weak but who knows… maybe that makes me stronger.

I thought maybe I should be more upset and vow to never run again but that didn’t feel right. I’m taking this as a lesson to trust my gut and to start slower in the future and to train more before signing up.

So I won’t rush for another race but I won’t shy away from them.

Pike’s Peak 10k I will be back next year.


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