Lost dog tails: Tea/coffee Date June 2020

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Thankfully my dog tale/tail had a happy ending!

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Pull up a chair and mug with Coco and Deborah and me for the ultimate coffee tea date: and I’ll tell you how I’m trying new/old stuff, spending more time outdoors, and finally getting to see (but not hug) my mom.

Enjoying my own herbal tea blends

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you everything old is new again. I have been fascinated by herbs for a long time. I’ve taken a few classes in the past, making some herbal teas I rarely drank. I have come full circle back to that, but now I am drinking my herbal teas. I guess I’m not alone, because it’s been hard to find some of the herbs I want to use!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you even though we have not been that hard hit up here, I’m not up for large groups yet. It’s a personal decision and everyone has to do what they’re comfortable with. It’s not always about one person, sometimes it’s about the people in that person’s life. I am down with one on one in the open air.

The base for the next fountain & an outdoor rug courtesy of our neighborhood

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you we are slowly working on making our backyard more of an oasis, although Mr Judy does most of the work. There’s the Yoga platform. I put the Wicker chair I dragged home from a dumpster a few years ago behind the platform; it’s my meditation seat.

Mr. Judy is working on a fountain (all his fountains have been made with things we have at home so far, except for the power sources and pumps). Actually, now he’s working on another fountain with an old fire pit we dragged home this week. We’re planning to move our trellis over there, and I’m planning to hang some wind chimes from it.

Then I found the outdoor rug I’m carrying above — I carried that home about 3/4 mile (with multiple stops). Turns out that it’s pretty stained, but I’m working on cleaning it up and hoping to use it for my Yoga students (they can put their mats on it).

The sad part is that I’m the one that spends all the time out there and Mr. Judy does most of the work!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I walked the dogs last week, and at one point I noticed a dog that I thought was in its backyard. Then I noticed it wasn’t in its backyard. I tried to hustle the dogs along, but that’s when the dog noticed us. He ran over to us, and chaos ensued (if you’ve ever walked two dogs meeting another dog, you’ll understand).

Lola was freaking out and being all reactive, while Bandit was standing patiently and letting the dog sniff him. I felt terrible leaving the dog there, but I couldn’t try to get it into its yard with the way Lola was acting. The dog (who was very sweet) ran after us for a while, then headed back, and I was pretty sure I knew where it lived, but I had to get the dogs home first.

I went back as soon as I dropped the dogs off at home (I was basically far enough away that by the time Mr. Judy could’ve gotten to me, I would’ve been home already). As I was looking for the dog (and saw that indeed, the gate was open at its house), someone called me from across the street and wanted to know if I was looking for a poodle.

We chatted, I told him where the dog lived, and he was going to take it over later (it was still pretty early in the morning). I felt so much better, I’d felt terrible leaving the dog loose, but I couldn’t get him to his home safely with Lola raising such a fuss.

Socially distancing with Mom

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you we finally did make the trip to my mom:

  • 4 hours in the car
  • 1.25 hours chatting, socially distanced, outside, with masks
  • 1 pit stop
  • 1 hyper geriatric dog
  • 1 carsick dog

Totally worth it, even though it always makes for a tiring day!

Ever had to wrangle a loose dog to its home?

Have you picked up any new skills while in quarantine? 

Are you working on making your backyard more inviting? 

ICYMI: I’ve got another new Yin Yoga practice to help keep your immune system strong — or possibly help your digestion and breathing — maybe both! It’s a relatively short practice for Yin Yoga, a bit over 30 minutes long. Check it out here.

I am also linking up with:

I am also linking up with the  Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness from Fairytales & Fitness.

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What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger: Runfessions May 2020

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I know people hate to say what we have is the new normal, but I think that’s the truth until a vaccine or treatment is found. You wouldn’t think I’d have much to runfess considering I am not racing, and not running a lot either. Coming clean always feels good, though, doesn’t it? Even if one of my runfessions is about my complete and utter lack of the cleaning gene.

I runfess . . .
I am still cleaning more than I used to — not hard to do! — but less than I was in April. We seem to have survived. Knock on wood.

Thumbs up for the Yoga platform & nice weather

I runfess . . .
Part of the reason I have been cleaning less is because we finally got nice weather, and between the tablet, the laptop, and the Yoga platform, I’m spending a lot of time outdoors. Who wants to be stuck inside — doing anything? — much less cleaning.

I runfess . . .
I didn’t really know how prophetic my word for 2020 would be (strong, which you can read about here). I thought it was because of my parents . . . well, we all know why we need to be strong now! In addition to all that, though, I’m taking advantage of no races to run less and try to do more strength training. Literally getting strong — or so I hope.

I runfess . . .
Ok, it’s not a runfession, but yes, my thoughts have already turned to Thanksgiving. I was going to host it again this year, with my father gone. I joked to Lloyd at one point, when we were considering eating the turkey en croute from TJs in our freezer, that that might be our Thanksgiving dinner.

I don’t think that’s a joke anymore. I can’t see my family, and especially my mother, coming here for Thanksgiving. At the moment if my mom leaves for anything other than a doctor’s appointment, she would have to self quarantine for 2 weeks. My sister is also planning to go back to work at Old Navy, so lots of exposure.

I’m trying to hunt down where bathrooms might be so we can make a trip out to see her soon. Yes, there are apps for that — except I haven’t found any that are really terribly useful.

I knew I bought it, and have the photo to prove it. What I don’t know is where it’s hiding!

I runfess . . .
In the perennial problem of I know I have it, it’s big, but where the heck is it, I have had a pair of capris go missing. I know I wore them last year, I have the photos. I’m mostly done with moving the Fall/Winter clothes out and the Spring/Summer clothes in, and yet — it’s hiding. I guess it’s a good thing that we’re now past capri season.

GWY Immunity Yin Yoga

ICYMI: I’ve got a new Yin Yoga practice to help keep your immune system strong — or help you stretch out before or after a run — maybe both! Check it out here.

Did you pick a word? Do you remember what it was? 

Do you find yourself wanting to stay outside all the time, even though you have things to do inside?

What was the last thing you couldn’t find that drove you nuts?

What do you have to runfess from May? Come join us

Runfessions

I am also linking up with:

The Pros of Running at Home

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Always looking for a silver lining (or trying to convince myself of something), so I decided to come up with reasons why it’s good to run in my own neighborhood. Can I come up with five?

Fairytales and Fitness

Less pollution
The photos of the change in places like Los Angeles and Delhi are just mind-blowing. Who knew just 2 months could make such a difference? I wish those changes could stick around. How do we come back together and somehow drive less?

No driving saves time
Even the closest place I drive to run is 10 minutes away, some are 20 minutes. That’s 20 or 40 minutes round trip. Of course this also reinforces Pro #1. Not to mention you don’t have to find someplace for your keys.

More likely to Warm Up
It’s easier to skip the warm up when you’re chatting with friends — or it’s cold out. Easier to do it on your own, and if it’s cold, you can just warm up in your own warm home.

Easy to make pitstops . . .
. . . in a real bathroom. I admit I’ve never had to do this, but knowing that it’s available — there’s peace of mind.

Mailboxes. They’re not just for mail.

Easy to shed layers
Many times when I’ve run in my neighborhood, I step outside and realize I don’t need a jacket or gloves. Sometimes I just leave them on our patio, but there’s also the option to stuff them in the mailbox temporarily, or just leave them inside.

You’re mostly stuck if you want to shed a layer once you’ve driven somewhere, unless you want to go back to your car — but you might want to shed that layer before you can get to your car.

I sometimes put my water bottle in the mailbox when I’m doing strides. You can do that so you could loop around & pick up more water/fuel/whatever it is you’re going to need and don’t want to carry. Because we all know that we don’t want to take more steps than necessary when we’re out there running for our health, LOL!

Do you feel that there are any benefits to running in your own neighborhood?

Do you make use of your own bathroom when you do run in your neighborhood?

What do you stash in your mailbox?

GWY Dare to Be Yourself

ICYMI: I let my hair down (almost literally!) and talk just a little bit about being yourself and daring to do the things that scare you. How will you ever know if you like them — or not — if you don’t try?! Catch this short vlog here.

Hydration is good for ________

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Fascia!

Your fascia is just reason #999 to stay well hydrated.

Fairytales and Fitness

What is Fascia?
Fascia is all the rage/buzzworthy right now, but what exactly is your fascia? Short disclaimer: I’m not a medical professional, fitness expert, or fascia expert. Fascia gives you shape. I know you think it’s your bones, but your fascia surrounds all your bones, your organs, your muscles. It’s actually what keeps you upright.

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It’s made up of ground substance, and that ground substance has collegen fibers and blood vessels — and a whole lot more. Click herefor a really deep dive into fascia (it’s fascinating!). I also highly suggest watching the Fuzz lecture here.

Your fascia actually gives your body feedback on your the state of your muscles, and is important in proprieception (figuring out where you are in time and space).

Makes sense that taking care of our fascia is important, right?

Ground Substance is thirsty
Ground substance is 70% water. Many liken it to a sponge, as you can see in this post here:

When a sponge dries out it becomes brittle and hard. It can easily be broken with only a little force because of how crispy it has become. However, when a sponge is wet and well hydrated it gets springy and resilient. You can crush it into a little ball and it bounces back. You can wring it and twist it, but it is difficult to break.

Hydration is important to your fascia, and once you’re dehydrated, it begins to stiffen and stick to itself — and you feel knots and stiffness, too. You can’t completely hydrate your fascia by drinking more, but good hydration is a good first step to keep your fascia happy.

Fascia is also hydrated by movement (this is where foam rolling can come in), although not by repetitive movement — like running — which is why cross training is so important. Running can be good for your fascia — but only running, not so much.

Rest is important too (you know I’m always harping on that!). Tom Myers, an expert on fascia and author of Anatomy Trains (Amazon Affiliate link here),  writes:

The fascia gets temporarily weaker and then comes back stronger after a heavy workout. Always alternate work-outs with periodic rest to allow for maximum integration and strengthening of the fascial network.

You can also check out his YouTube channel here.

Coach Debbie @ Coachdebbieruns is a Fasical Stretch Therapist. Read her post hereabout how FST can make you a better runner (someday we’ll be able to do this again!).

Did you know what fascia is?

Are you more motivated to help your fascia stay happy?

What do you do when you feel stiff in the morning?

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ICYMI: Feeling in need of a longer stretch after a run? When I shot my postrun stretch  video for the 21 Day Yoga Challenge (sign up here), I went a little long on my first try. Like double the amount of time that short video should have been. When you have time to take more time stretching it out, try out my new Post Run Stretch Video here.

15 Years of Skirt

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A Love Letter

I did not start wearing Skirt Sports 15 years ago — heck, I wasn’t even running 15 years ago. I lived in a different state. I didn’t have dogs yet (although I would get my first dog soon). I was the crazy cat lady who liked to walk, who had a treadmill because I lived in TX and the summers there are brutal.

Running? It was not something I thought about. It was, as they say, the thing I’d do only if there was a bear chasing me.

Fairytales and Fitness

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This was used in a Skirt Sports Ad

Then I started to run
We moved to NY, treadmill in tow, and I slowly began to run (mostly on that treadmill). Slowly being the operative word. I’ve always felt that if you look good, you do good — so the hunt was on for cute running clothes.

I tried running in skirts. Let’s just say I don’t have the lean runner body so many imagine when they hear you’re a runner — and that’s okay — because in truth, there is no “real” runner body. We’re all real runners.

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Touring hot & humid NOLA

As much as I wanted to love skirts for running, the shorties always rode up on me. I tried brand after brand only to be disappointed. Then I bought my first skirt from Skirt Sports, which was a Happy Girl Skirt, by the way, and I was in love. The pockets! The cute patterns!

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Running through hot & humid NOLA to a PR!

It was, as they say, the beginning of a true love story. Forget music being the background of your life — for me it’s been skirt.

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I may not look like your typical runner, but I can do hard things, like run down mountains

I came for the cuteness . . .
. . . I stayed because Skirt Sports is a company that cares. They cared what people thought of their skirts. They didn’t just have Ambassadors (yes, I’ve been an Ambassador for quite a few years) to help market skirt, they really listened to us.

Like any company Skirt Sports had its skirts that knocked it out of the park — and those that were near misses. They included their many Ambassadors in so many decisions: which skirts to put in the line, what patterns to put those skirts in, what new products they should focus on.

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Teaching Yoga in Skirt Sports — they don’t care your age or your body type, only your story

They were inclusive in choosing their Ambassadors, too: all sorts of bodies, all sorts of sports — not all Ambassadors were runners!, all ages. No cookie cutter Ambassadors here.

Skirt Sports also tried to help all women benefit from the joys of activity, whether it was their #womenwhomove campaign or their Running Start Program.

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I had such high hopes for this race: the skirt didn’t disappoint, but the weather did

I remember the first half I ran in Skirt
When I first started running in skirt, I chose the Happy Girl Skirt because it covered my legs more. I was self conscious about those non-runner/runner legs. It got me through the brutally, unseasonably hot Heartbreak Hill Half. In fact, at the top of Heartbreak Hill, when they doused me with water, I remember suddenly thinking oh s#@t! My phone’s in my pocket! Both the phone and I survived (me, just barely!).

Eventually, as with many love affairs, I strayed. I cheated. I had gotten over the self consciousness about my legs; all I cared about was being able to run comfortably and having enough pockets. I ran into problems, though — Happy Girl was just a little too long for this petite girl, but I chafed in the more popular Gym Girl Ultra in longer distances.

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My “uniform” for all hot races (and my longest race)

Eventually, though, the ever innovative Skirt Sports team came up with the Cool It Skirt, and for this runner’s body, it was perfection. It was all Skirt Sports, all the time from then on out.

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Who wears short skirts? And Cool It Tops are great in the Summer & transitioning from Winter to Spring

I even began wearing the shorter skirts, the Jettes and the Lionesses — my legs may not be my best feature, but they can carry me 18 miles, and I fell in love with those shorter skirts! I turned many friends onto Skirt Sports, too.

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Will run for chocolate

Skirt helped me tackle trails, too. They got me through my first trail half, which obviously lived up to its name: Mud and Chocolate. Usually you’ll find me running trails with my friends in the Summer, though, and I’m usually looking to cool down, not warm up (the Cool It tops work great for Summer trail running!).

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Skirting through Summer

Skirt for Life
In the warmer months, I live in skirt. In the Winter months (which is about half the year in the Northeast), Skirt Sports gets me through my cold runs.

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Cold, snowy runs — more fun in Skirt Sports & with friends!

I have hiked through many states, and many scenic areas in my own state, in Skirt.

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Kicking it up in the National Parks in UT
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Scenic upstate NY
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Walking with the dogs
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So many walks & hikes with dogs! Those pockets help so much with doggy paraphenalia
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Meeting new Skirt Sisters in Savannah just last year

One of the best benefits of Skirt Sports are the friends I made. I ran into an Ambassador — or a Skirt lover — at so many races across the country. Sometimes by design, sometimes randomly, sometimes more than once!

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There were good times with my parents in skirt, too

Skirt Sports has been there for me, through the good runs, the bad runs, the good times in life — and the bad times in life. Yes, I even wore a Skirt Sports skirt to my parents 70th anniversary celebration — and to my Dad’s funeral service.

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Not a PR, but a rare AG place!

I came to Skirt to run, to race, and I have, indeed, run so many races in Skirt Sports. Good ones, bad ones, the rare ugly one, the PRs. Looking cute and feeling comfortable always gave me that little extra boost.

Final Thoughts
I apologize for the many photos and the length of this post, but those of you who’ve known me for a while via this blog, know that my love of all things Skirt runs deep. I can’t believe there won’t be a #31daysofskirt this July. I can’t believe there won’t be cool new patterns to drool over next year. I can’t believe there will not be new skirts that are even more innovative.

I have had my own business, too, and I understand that there often comes a time when you are ready to move on — and that that moving on isn’t easy. Thank you, Nicole DeBoom, for sharing your dream with me and so many other women. You have made a difference in our lives, and we wish you well wherever life takes you.

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Shop the Skirt Sports Finish Line Sale here

Cute running clothes may seem silly. Until you run or race in them. Cute, functional running clothes? Those can literally change your life.  — Chocolaterunsjudy

No questions today. Just sincere love & gratitude for being a part of the Skirt Sports family.

Battling Elements & Tech: Tea/coffee Date May 2020

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Remind me why I thought starting a YouTube channel was a good idea? (it’s here, if you haven’t already checked it out).

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Pull up a chair and mug with Coco and Deborah and me for the ultimate coffee tea date: and I’d chew your ear off about all my tech woes.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you tech has been super frustrating lately. Editing videos is just not for the impatient. Although the volume sounds just fine on my devices, apparently not on anyone else’s. I don’t know why. I am working on fixing that (but nothing is easy when it comes to tech!).

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you it’s truly amazing what you can have delivered these days, and those delivery people are superheroes in my book. I even finally found some baking powder — I believe, anyway, we’ll see what happens when I get that delivery.

C’mon Spring, it’s time to put those Winter coats away!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I am still occasionally wearing Winter coats (I hope that’s not true by the time this goes live!). At least I don’t have to wear the purple monstrosity, although there was one day last week I considered it. I did wear the green coat this week, sadly. I’m hoping that’ll be the last time.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I came home from my long run last Saturday, and told Mr. Judy I was bored with my 8 mile long runs so I went 9. You get me, right? He’s lived with me long enough to sorta understand, but he’s not a runner, so he doesn’t really get it.

So ready to go somewhere. Anywhere, really!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I long for a vacation, even though I know it’s not happening. I have a feeling this will be my longest stretch ever with no travel. We’re considering getting some BBQ & bringing some to my mom.

We can’t go in, but we can social distance with her if she comes out on the porch. It would mean a really long day in the car (and for the dogs in the car, no way could we leave them at home for that many hours). Then do we eat it in the car or do we bring it home, which means reheating it hours later? If it ever stops raining . . .

Is it still cold enough to wear a Winter coat sometimes where you live?

Are you excited or bored by your runs/workouts? 

If you could travel, where would you go? 

I am also linking up with the  Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness from Fairytales & Fitness.

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ICYMI: I took advantage of the one nice day this week to film outside; I talk about Karma vs Dharma here. I’m also going live on Facebook at 4 pm ET  hereto share a short-er preview of next week’s longer Yin Yoga video (which was also filmed outside — feels so much better out there!).

I can’t really interact with you while I’m doing the live video, but you can like it and/or comment and I’ll get back to you later! Maybe there will be a new meditation this weekend . . .

Be the first to know when I release new videos: sign up for my newsletter here to find out when I add new videos, and you’ll receive a free Self Love Affirmation PDF and a bonus audio-only version of this self love meditation.

Damn Wrong Siders!: Runfessions April 2020

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April was so full of runfessions that I had great difficulty keeping them to five (which is just my own personal number for a runfessions post).

Okay, I’m starting out with a bonus runfession: I’m not always procrastinating on my runs. Sometimes I can’t find something I need, like these Saltstick Chews. I spent two weekends wasting time, searching for the damn things.

It’s like the elf on the shelf!

I usually keep my little holder in my messenger bag that I take with me on the run, but I’m not driving anywhere so I’ve had the bad habit of not putting them there. Then having no earthly clue where they were. Clearly I need to stick to my routine here.

I runfess . . .
I have always washed my hands, but clearly I wasn’t doing it right. Now my hands are dry and cracked and I’m having to apply lotion multiple times a day . . . and they’re still mostly dry and cracked!

I runfess . . .
I know in the scheme of things this is small, sort of, but NYS had just issued a plastic bag ban before C19 hit. I have used reusable bags & my own produce bags forever. I hate that there is plastic accumulating everywhere now!

I know some this may seem silly when people are dying, but it’s also killing our planet. I don’t even have kids to worry about, but still, the Earth is my home. Ok, rant over.

They’re thin, but I like them

I runfess . . .
I only washed our hand towels once a week. Mainly because we only had two sets of serviceable hand towels. Now we have enough to change them out every day in our upstairs bathroom, which is the most used bathroom. These hand towels on Amazon (Affiliate link here) are cute and not too expensive and they’re available. They’re thin, but I’m happy with them.

I just added another set from the same company, that is slightly different, as I got the link for the above towels, into my Amazon shopping cart. They come in some vibrant colors (Amazon Affiliate link here). I think we’re going to be good on hand towels going forward.

I runfess . . .
It’s no secret that cleaning is not my thing. No stress cleaning for me! I am heartily sick and tired of the incessant cleaning. My house is cleaner than it’s ever been — which isn’t really saying much, it’s still not as clean as it probably should be. There are days I’m just tired and I don’t wipe down the kitchen or the bathroom.

I runfess I had almost never cleaned my phone or tablet before this happened. Occasionally I’d take a microfiber cloth to them. They are getting cleaned on the regular now (just not every single day), along with door knobs and light switches (but what about all the handles on cabinets? Oy!).

I runfess . . .
I saved the biggest pet peeve for last. No one knows which side of the road to walk/run on. I am constantly having to cross the road because people are on the wrong side. Even runners who I know are not new runners.

It is making my neighborhood runs so frustrating. Why am I the one who has to move because you are on the wrong side of the road and are the one who will get flattened by the car that doesn’t notice you? Not to mention it’s putting me at risk because then I’m on the wrong side of the road.

Thanks for listening! Mr. Judy is definitely getting sick of my rants about the wrong siders, and I know I should be more Zen about it, but hey, I’m human too! And thanks if you actually made it this far. I know this was kind of a long one. Things have been building up this month!

What’s your latest, biggest pet peeves? 

Are you hands dry & cracked, too?

Do you find yourself hunting for stuff more than usual?

What do you have to runfess from April? Come join us

Runfessions

I am also linking up with: