Monday, December 31, 2012

Missing New York

I'm kind of sad today.  I had planned to return to New York City this year to run the midnight run in Central Park like I did on New Years Eve, 2010.  It turns out that I just couldn't do it this year.  My daughter is preparing to study abroad next semester and we have to have her all ready to go on January 8th.  I'm going to Key West in 3 weeks which is going to cost more than I thought it would.  College nearly cleaned out my savings even with the scholarships I received.  (If it wasn't for the scholarships, I'd have a lot less to spend on Key West.)
Anyway, I'm going to run the local New Years Eve run tonight.  It's at 10pm which isn't as much fun as midnight.  It is small town and nothing like the atmosphere in Central Park on New Years Eve.  There were so many people there!  It just goes to show that runners just love to run!  Runners celebrate every occasion by running!  The run is 4 miles and I didn't run very fast, it was so crowded at the start that it took 11 minutes for the first mile!  It did thin out somewhat but there was still so many people all around me!  There were fireworks, too!  I had run nearly 2 miles when the fireworks stopped! The 4 mile run took longer than it usually takes me to run 4 miles but it was over with so fast! 
As for real life - Weather Channel website says 27 degrees at 10 pm here which isn't too bad.  I will think about sunny days, palm trees and shorts while I run!!  I go to Key West in 2 weeks, 3 days!
Tonight, I will be missing and thinking about this:
My daughter, my sister and I in Central Park before the run

My friend, Nestor (who lives there), and me after the run

Next year, for sure!!  I'm going next year!!  New York City, I will see you this date next year!!!

Runner Nerd
longing for the fun in Central Park

I Miss My Friend

I miss my friend; the one my heart and soul confided in

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance

So many things remind me of you.
When the sun is shining bright I think of you and smile
When I see the full moon I think of you (and say hi!)
When it's unseasonably warm in the fall or winter I think of you and smile
Occasionally I feel a hand on my shoulder for a moment and I wish it could stay there.
I often think of you and I smile, I laugh, I cry, I remember
I will never forget you
I am so very glad that I had you for my bestest friend throughout those years.
You believed in me when no one else did.
I hope that you could see me graduate and I hope more than anything that you are proud of me.  I always wanted to make you proud of me all through my college journey.
I miss you...I miss you more

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A house full of relatives

Last Sunday (23rd)  was my family get together.  All the years I was growing up and then many years of my adult life we had a family Christmas get together at my Grandmother's house every year until the time came that my Grandmother wasn't able to live in her home anymore.  My Grandmother has been gone for 11 years now but we still get together every year with the relatives.  Grandma started a couple of traditions many years ago because she felt that we were too wasteful and frivolous and too much money was spent with Christmas gifts.  She had us do a grab bag!  Everybody brought a gift that could be for anyone and they went into a big bag and everyone grabbed one.  Grandma did not allow any trading of gifts!  The other thing was that she gave everyone a brown paper grocery bag and filled it with very practical, useful things such as food items, toothpaste, thread, even toilet paper!!  All were things she had collected over the year when they were on a really good sale or clearance at the store.  We still carry on those traditions, although, we now allow trading of grab bag gifts!  Everyone still gets a brown bag but we all contribute to the brown bags now.  Grandma called it "Crazy Christmas" and that is what we still call our gathering every year!
I haven't hosted Crazy Christmas in a long time so this year I wanted to host.  My sisters and I were talking about it during our sister vacation in August and I committed to hosting it then.  I figured that I'd be graduated and would have all the time in the world to get ready.  I might have had a lot of time but I had 2 years of full time college and no housework to undo!  I threw out old junk mail that I won't admit how old it was!  I also cleaned out my large pantry; again, I won't disclose some of the expiration dates I threw out!  My house is cleaner than it has been in a very long time!    
I wanted to have a really nice meal so I first suggested that I'd like to have prime rib but my sister said that beef tenderloin is better.  I don't cook so I was asking her if it would be hard to cook and my brother in law (who knows that I am not known for my cooking) said he'd help me with it.  I ordered the meat from a nearby meat market, picked it up Saturday and took it to my brother in law; he cooked it at his house and brought it to my house.  It was really good! 
We ate and then proceeded with the grab bag festivities!!  I got a garlic keeper and garlic chopper.  Grab bag gifts can range from some really good things to some really silly things.  Then came the brown bags!  Then we ate desserts! 
2 extra tables set up to accommodate relatives, kitchen island overflowing with food!

relatives everywhere you look! (ignore the awful looking coat closet that has never had the doors put on)

table in the living room
At the end of the day I was exhausted.  It took 3 loads in the dishwasher to do all the dishes.  I started the first right away when dinner was finished, my daughter and sister so nicely unloaded it and started another when it was done and I started the last one right after everyone left. 
After everyone was gone I did what any sane person does - I went shopping!  I had a few things to get and I was not going to go to town on Christmas Eve.  Around here, the last few days before Christmas Eve many stores are open very late and some are even open 24 hrs for a couple of days and then they close early on Christmas Eve. 
It was a great day!  I got to see my relatives and my house is clean!!

Runner Nerd
Christmas party hostess

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Silent Night, Holy Night

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Oh Holy Night

Oh, Holy Night, the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Running in Sweaters

Tonight was our running group holiday run and party!  The person who made the Facebook invitation threw in the option to wear Christmas sweaters!  I just happened to have one that I bought a few years back at a thrift shop for a party or some occasion that called for wearing ugly Christmas sweaters. 
This is 3 of us with our sweaters!  I look strange; I'm not good at trying to pose like a fashion model!! 
My sweater zips up in the front and halfway through the run I had to unzip it.  It is very strange running with a sweater flopping around!! 
So that was the 2012 edition of the holiday light party!  Hard to believe that another year has rolled around.  Since Christmas and New Years fall on Tuesdays there will be no running group the next 2 weeks.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


I, Runner Nerd, am no longer the world's oldest college student!! 

The journey that began January 10, 2009 is now finished!! 
The shiny gold sash is for National Honor Society and the gold cords are for highest honors!!  I also got a certificate for Highest Academic Achievement for my 4.0 GPA!!  I was the Valedictorian!!!  Imagine that, the oldest student got the highest grades!!! 

I will post more pictures later when I get them from my son. 

For the last time, I sign my name.....
Runner Nerd
World's oldest college student, just graduated

(I'm not sure who I will be after this but I am not going to be a nerd any more!!)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

3 Long Days

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week my Respiratory Therapy class had board exam review.  It was 3 full days, 8am - 5:30 pm.
I'm very glad we had it, I feel so much more prepared to take my exams now.  I have 3 of them to take.  It's an odd thing; I just spent 2 years in school full time, a million hours studying and we just went over everything we need to know in 3 days.  Taking these board exams is almost like playing a game.  We learned how to pick the "key words" from the questions and what certain words signal.  It's as if we aren't going to be thinking for ourselves but playing a game, decoding a puzzle.
I'm not sure when I'm going to go and take the first exam; I hope to do it soon after Christmas.  There is a series of 3 exams that have to be taken to become a licensed RT.  Tomorrow I have to go and be fingerprinted in anticipation of applying for my license.  It has to be done before applying.
Graduation is Saturday!!!
Next week I have one week to undo 2 years of neglect in my house.  I'm having a big family get together on the 23rd.  I wish I could spend the time studying the materials from the review but I have to get the house ready. 

Tuesday night I was able to make it to running group.  When I left school I really didn't want to go.  I thought about just going home but I went.  I'm really glad I did!  We headed out for a 4 mile run.  Part of the run was on cart paths of a golf course.  The running store employee who runs with the group had went out and run the route and printed the map from his Garmin.  We looked at it, it seemed simple, it was a big loop.  We made a wrong turn somewhere and ended up running 7.7 miles!!  I really needed that!  I ran good.  I felt good afterward. 

Sunday is 5 weeks out from Key West!!!!

Runner Nerd
Nerd days coming to an end soon!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

School's out forever!!!!!

I, Runner Nerd, am DONE with school!!  I HAVE MY LIFE BACK!!!!!!
Today was my last clinical!! 
I don't graduate until the 15th  but I do not ever have to go to class again, don't have homework, no final exam to take, my journey is over!!!!!
I am one happy nerd!!!
Next week I have to go to a board exam review which is 3 days, Monday through Wednesday.  I'm not looking forward to it but it is necessary.   

I can't just be a bum between now and Christmas.  I have to recover my house from two years of being a full time college student.  I'm hosting my family Christmas gathering on the 23rd.  I have a lot to do. 

I also have to get a lot more serious in training for the Key West Half Marathon.  It's down to 6 weeks from Sunday.  I have my flight ticket and my hotel booked!! 

Runner Nerd
done with college

Monday, December 3, 2012

Last day of school

Today was my LAST CLASS!!!  The last day of school......FOREVER!!!!! 
I can't believe that my nearly 4 year journey is so close to done!! 
Driving to class this morning I was remembering driving to my first day of this program in January of last year.  I was wondering what I had gotten myself into.  I made it through!!!

I still have clinicals tomorrow and Thursday and then I will be officially done with school!! 

Oh, there's one other thing too..........
I HAVE A CAP AND GOWN!!!!!!!  Yep!  I picked up my cap and gown today!!!! 

Runner Nerd
attended last class
excited nerd

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Holiday running

I'm the one wearing a skirt and striped knee socks!! Tonight was the Holiday Hustle 5K!  I ran pretty good!  Well, good for me these days!  I ran the 5K at a 9:12 pace.  I also wore my string of Christmas lights but they don't show in this picture.  This was the last event I get to wear the lights but I still have one more event to wear the knee socks!! 

I have ONE more class left!!!  Monday is my last class!!  I have clinical on Tuesday and Thursday and then I am DONEEEEEEE!!!!!  Graduation is the 15th!!  The end is near!!!!!!  Then end is in sight!!!!!!  Light at the end of the tunnel!!!!!!!!  Can you tell that I'm excited!!!! 

Runner Nerd
almost done