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Celebration & Relaxation

Last weekend my lil bro graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a Master’s degree in English/Rhetoric.  Way to make a big sis proud lil bro! Quite the smart cookie he is… let me just tell ya!

After a dinner with family & friends in celebration of his graduation,  someone threw out the idea of heading to the cabin for the night. That’s all I needed to hear.

An overnight at one of my favorite places to be. My special getaway release.

So everyone made a dash home to pack up a few necessities for the overnight & started the trip up the mountain for some much needed rest & relaxation; or some adult beverages, a camp fire in the rain,  awesome tunes & great peeps, conversation & laughs.

Time just seems to escape you there … as the last of us crawled into bed a bit after 5:00 AM! This is one place where sleep isn’t as much of a necessity as for me it’s seemingly easier to function on little to no sleep at all night after night.

This impromptu,  spur of the moment overnight at the cabin was just what I needed. In the immediate it provided me a carefree night to kick back & chill listening to tunes with great people and not worry about all that needed to be done.  It also served as a preview to and reminder of what’s to come & look forward to in the summer months.

A get away without having to hop on a plane (though I’m thinking it’s about time I get on one of those things!). A momentary lapse in time that allows me to leave the worries at home… putting on my comfy cabin clothes,  lounging by the fire,  taking walks along the creek … maybe even a game or two of corn hole or beer pong if we’re feeling at all ambitious.

I so needed cabin time… looking forward to lots more night like last Saturday throughout the summer to get me through & keep me sane!

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Wonderfully Awesome Weekend

Hello friends! How are you all? Hopefully doing well since I last posted!

It certainly has been a while since I’ve posted. Quite honestly I’ve been dying to post but between my crazy, busy schedule, my laptop still on the fritz & some situations that have rattled me & ruffled my feathers I haven’t had much of a chance to breathe let alone blog as of late.

Tonight though, I decided to put everything aside and make time to write and catch up with my blogging friends … I’ve missed you guys!!! Seriously missed ya!

Hmmmmm. Where to start?

Work is keeping me on my toes & keeping me more than busy. Between our end of year picnic & graduation this coming Friday for which we are expecting nearly 300 people and preparing for our huge summer program that begins next wrek I’ve got about 5 to-do lists going at the same time. Super busy time of year for us with the littles & then quickly transitioning to welcome a bunch of school-aged kids for summer. Lots of work but looking forward to seeing all the planning come to fruition.

Family has its way of keeping me busy lately too. Between lil bro’s graduating from CMU with a masters degree in English/Rhetoric to P-Dub’s upcoming 1st birthday to get togethers to Relay for Life fundraisers to home parties… you name it we’ve had it going on.

Life my friends, is good. While it has its way about throwing you some curve balls at times you learn lots about yourself and those around you. Some good, some not so thrilling. Pray on it. I have & will continue. Sometimes a prayer can be answered & you end up getting caught up & a lil hurt in the process; in a way you didn’t expect. The answered prayer, even though it was prayed and meant whole heartedly can still cause a tiny bit if hurt depending on the situation; a tiny bit of conflict within leaving you confused by being disappointed & happy at the same time. It’s a weird thing to experience. All I can do is listen to my heart, learn and continue to believe & pray that all things will work out in time. Not my time…not in your time either. Only in his time.

Anyways… forgive my digression there! Moving on to this most wonderfully awesome weekend I had.

A very positively poductive weekend indeed. From getting a special order of 12 frames completed on Friday to writing this blog from the comfort of my deck (on my teeny tiny phone keyboard I might add!) it was a pretty bang up good weekend to end a busy week while also ushering on an even busier week ahead.

The best part about it was the weather men were wrong! We had 2 absolutely gorgeous days this weekend in spite of a partially rainy forecast. Woo-hoooo!!!!!

Yesterday was filled with a good bit if outside time… hit up some yards sales with Jaime early in the day followed by a trip to the Goodwill Outlet Store. That place was an experience in and of itself & deserves its own post which will hopefully come in the nezt couple of days. Good deals including three pairs of brand new name brand shoes! Score for sure.

After our bargain shopping adventures I was beat but somehow managed to resist the urge to take a nap. Decided instead to wash my car & clean the interior as well. Miss Serendipity looks stunning if I do say so myself! I was saddened a tiny bit upon seeing the little nicks & scratches my pretty little car accumulated since her last washing. Two dents on the hood from the hail storm we had a while back and little chips I can only assume are from stones coming up off the road. Nicks and all I love my little car! ūüôā

I picked up the 2 flats of flowers I ordered from B-Shane at mom’s house and brought them home to plant. My little deck looks positively bright & cheerful with the addition of fushia Impatiens, white Vinca and purle and yellow pansies. A new addition this year was a tiny step ladder (yard sale find) to hold 3 pots… looks adorable!

Today was the day they were calling for rain. I myself didn’t see, hear or feel a drop though I was told it had briefly this morning. The sun shone beautifully pretty much all day! After church I decided to go tanning, using a gift certificate I was given as a birthday gift LAST year for my 32nd birthday. Yep…about to be 33 in two months & I just used the first session today!

After tanning I came home & laid down for just a bit & then headed to work for a little while getting some items crossed off of my to do lists.

Went for a much needed walk with my cousin & chatted the miles away in the evening sun. Exhausted by the end but rejuvenated by the fact that we made it up the last hill without falling over!

Ran to the grocery store to pick up a few things for salads for the week. Dinner was exceptionally delicious if I do say so myself. A salad made of sweet butter lettuce, cucumbers, fresh raspberries, dried cranberries, and green olives with fat free raspberry vinaigrette dressing. I bought a new brand and I LOVE it!

So here I am now winding down the evening; enjoying the cooler air outside instead of my warm apartment … thinking about an ice bath for my knee…. mentally preparing for the week ahead.

Thankful for such a nice weekend in the midst of all the business that’s behind me and all that is yet to come.

Glad I made the best out of it considering curve balls that were thrown my way… got lots done that needed done; not too shabby given that I wasn’t feeling so hot in recent days either. Sometimes being a girl can be rough… just sayin’.

Keeping my head up & looking towards the goal… a promise of days to do what I want, when I want. VACATION, my friends. Thinking about that word gives me the tingles! Less than two months away with no major plans for 10 days I can hardly contain myself just thinking about it!!!

So that’s enough about me… now it’s your turn! What’s been going on in your neck of the woods?

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Apple Shopping

1st 5 songs on my HAPPY playlist

These are the current models of the iPods from...
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Well, I am afraid to say it, but I believe the time has come to replace my iPod with a newer updated version….

The freezing of the screen, the toggle wheel not always working, having to restore it several times a week… they’ve all taken their toll.¬†

It’s been very well-loved¬†for the last 5 years… many¬†playlists added; synched and re-synched more times than I could count.

My Nike+ sensor up and fizzled out on me as well…

So I’ve been wearing my¬†armband¬†

My running companion...

with¬†the nano and carrying my phone while running so I can listen to my tunes and still record my runs.¬†¬†Not completely tragic, but¬†I must admit it’s a bit of an annoyance…especially since I’ve dropped my new¬†phone more times in the last two weeks than I did¬†in two years with my old phone.¬† ¬†¬† I can chalk it up to klutziness, but I’d rather pass the blame on to something else. ūüôā

Think it will be time to replace the ear buds as well…. mine have truly seen better days but really do work well still.¬†¬†¬†

They’ve seen better days….

 

So, I decided it was time to start shopping… NOW I am wondering what on Earth I was thinking!¬†

I thought it would be an easy task to complete, but it is proving to be a bit more difficult than I originally thought.  Who knew there were soooo many choices.  Apple sure knows how to get you interested and browsing their products.

Trying to weigh the options of each version and my brain is just a bit befuzzled with questions…

TOO MANY DECISIONS for this girl right now!

8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB….

Nano, Touch or Classic… (Shuffle is out as I want a display screen)

Refurbished or not…

Early generation versus newer…

If I get a newer model it comes equipped for Nike+ so I’d only have to get a new sensor… BUT I could get an older model and have to buy a new sensor and receiver…

UGHHH!¬† Decisions, decisions….

Definitely going to be relying on the help of a good friend, who happens to be an Apple “junkie”, to pick out what best suits me!

Not tonight though…¬†¬† I’ll¬† hang onto my tried and true for another day or two until I figure out what’s what!

Suggestions on which way to go?  What are the first five songs on one of your playlists?

My first 5 on A Happy Playlist are…. 1.) Beautiful Girl by William Fitzsimmons 2.) Two Step by Dave Matthews Band 3.) Car Crash by Matt Nathanson 4.) Awake My Soul by Mumford & Sons 5.)¬† Say When by The Fray

My first 5 on Shuffle are…1.) Worth the Wait by Adelaine 2.) Fool in the Rain by O.A.R 3.)¬† Better Together by Jack Johnson 4.)¬† On and On by Mac Miller 5.)¬† Hurricane Waters by Citizen Cope

A little of this… with a side of that.

1.)¬† I’m happy that … It finally stopped raining today!¬† After WAY too much rain over the last 2+ days, the clouds finished wringing themselves out and the ground started to dry.¬† People were even cutting grass!¬† While the sun wasn’t shining, I couldn’t help but be cheered by the rain’s cease and desist for the remainder of the day.

No Rain!!!

 

This means… I was able to go for a jog today after not having been out since Sunday.

That means this girl’s legs were a bit stiff and sore initially.¬† After a little warm up though, things got a bit easier.

This lead to my running a new personal best for the mile and also making good time on 3.24 miles…

That made me a very happy girl!¬† (albeit with more tired and achy legs than before ūüôā )

 

2.)¬† That saying… “It’s all about people. It’s about networking and being nice to people and not burning any bridges.” ~Mike Davidson is so true!¬† You never know what things will come about just by talking to those you bump into.¬† Telling your story leads you places.

Every little bit helps!!

This leads to the possibility of another craft show this weekend if an extra table is available AND a table at a vendor show in May to benefit victims of the Tornado that swept through Hempfield, PA a couple of weeks ago.

That would be OUTSTANDING as I’ve got tons of product prepped and ready to go.

This makes my heart happy as well, because the cost for the tables goes directly to the fund for the victims… Helping those who lost so much so close to home is an awesome, awesome thing.

3.) The fact THAT¬† the Pittsburgh Penguins have entered the playoffs (winding up game #1 as I am typing if I had to guess) means I can get minute by minute updates without turning on the tv or radio. As a matter of fact I could tell ya they’re winning 2-0 and I’m sitting here listening to nothing but the sound of my laptop and my fingers hitting the keys.¬†

That doesn’t mean I have ESP or can see in a crystal ball.¬† NO, not at all.

This means my neighbors are back in action screaming uncontrollably, stomping, pounding and clapping incessantly throughout the duration of the game.  I can tell you almost exactly a play by play just through gauging their actions and reactions.

That drives me crazy.¬† Especially since I have come to learn that they’ve made a new purchase to add to their celebration festivities… AN AIR HORN… Yes, my friends an air horn is now being blow whenever they score.¬†

This means¬†I’ve now moved outside to sit on my deck in 46 degrees so I don’t have to hear the raucous¬†when the game ends. Ummmm. Make it 3-0… I’m outside and I can still hear it!!!

That annoys me a bit as it’s only game #1 and I’m sure the Penguins will be playing for a bit in the playoffs!¬† LET’S GO PENS!!!¬†

Let's Go Pens!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is¬†WednesdayTHAT makes me smile because it’s almost Friday!¬†

Woo Hoo!

 

A little of this with a side of that…

 

Tell me a little bit of this or that from your day! 

I Ran a 5k Today!!!

Seriously!¬† Doesn’t that sound AMAZING?!?!

Truth be told, I’ve done it before… just didn’t ever pay attention to the fact that 5k was¬†equivalent to 3.1 miles and some change.

But,¬†regardless….¬† Today I participated in Automattic‚Äôs Worldwide WP¬†5k.¬†¬†And let me tell ya, I’m really quite proud of myself with my accomplishment.¬† The powers that be at WordPress came up with the idea of¬† “organizing”¬†a 5k amongst their staff and WordPress users all over the world and today was the day.¬† Pretty freaking cool.

Getting ready to head out!

Usually when I go out for a jog, I alternate intervals of jogging for a minute and walking for two.  Several years ago, I jogged 4 miles every day faithfully but fell off the wagon somewhere along the way. 

Recently I started getting back out there and while my times are no where near what they used to be, I was quite pleased with how well I did given how long it had been. 

Today though… I really made myself happy.¬†ūüôā¬†

I didn’t walk at all…

I jogged mile 1, RAN mile 2 and jogged the 3rd as the additional .4 mi to get back to my starting point. My total time being 41:29.

AND not only did I RUN the 2nd mile, it was my fastest mile ever with a time of 12:24.

Maybe it was because I was “participating” in¬†the¬†WordPress 5k versus just going out for a 3 mile jog.

Maybe it was because I went back to my old jogging route from those several years ago.

Maybe I was just a bit more determined today.¬† I don’t know, but really don’t care either because it feels really good!

I realize that to many¬†of the¬†more seasoned, trained runners, this may not seem too big a deal, but for me this was pretty awesome.¬† I’ve never considered myself to be a runner.¬† I always categorized myself as a jogger/walker, but NEVER a runner. I was never a distance runner or a speed runner.¬† I just went¬†about my merry way.

TODAY, though it felt so incredibly awesome to be out, jogging and running along my old route. It just felt good to accomplish something such as setting a new record without even intending to do so. 

I¬†RAN an entire mile… How freakin’ cool is that???¬† I felt like I was gonna die afterwards in all honesty….¬†

Barely breathing and giving thanks

  

I sat down and found myself giving thanks up there. ¬†For me, it’s pretty awesome my friends. Still not convinced though that I would classify myself as a runner, but a blogging buddy shared this picture with me a while ago and reminded me of the quote as I compared our 5k times today.¬† ¬†Thanks buddy!

Does this make me a runner then???

 So, hmmm.  Maybe I am a runner?  Eh.  I dunno.  Does it really matter?  No, I guess not so much.  BUT, TODAY, I am a runner. 

I dragged myself to my car and headed home where I replenished with TONS of water…

Thirsty and tired....

and then ate a super yummy salad!   Sweet butter lettuce, red peppers, feta stuffed olives, artichoke hearts and carrots with homemade red wine vinaigrette dressing.  Also had a little bit of humus and carrots to finish up my dinner.  Good stuff!!!!

Mmmmmmmmmmm!!!! Yumminess ūüôā

 

Today was¬†a¬†great day.¬† I slept in until 11:00.¬† Chatted with a great friend, talked on the phone with one of the besties…

AND I ran in a 5k!  Tired of hearing me say that yet?????? 

What was something that really made you proud of yourself?   

There’s NO Place Like Home…

Frank L. Baum sure knew what he was talking about when he penned the phrase, “There’s no place like home” for his character Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.

I sorta, kinda felt like I was in my own version of Oz today from beginning to end!¬† Well, actually the end of my work day would be more accurately equated to Kansas than Oz, but I’ll get to that in a minute… I told a couple of friends today that I just felt all kinda out of sorts/ in a disarray today.¬†

Just  ALL. OVER. THE. PLACE.

Woke up not feeling so hot today after a less than par sleep and so began the craziness that was today.¬† Basically if anything would have or could have happened today, IT DID!¬† From being short-staffed¬†at work to an unmentionable incident that occurred in the midst of figuring out staff schedules and placements for the day to personal issues to the ensuing storms that blew through our area… it was through and through a BANG UP, wacky day…

Any ways…

¬†So for as LONG as I can remember, I’ve¬† HATED thunderstorms.¬† I mean to the point the used to worry me so incredibly horribly that I would be¬†SICK to my stomach at the sight of a dark cloud, the sounds¬†of the wind picking up or thunder rumbling. Not sure why or when the fear originated as a child, but I quite simply never enjoyed a good storm as some may.¬†

Here’s¬†THREE of my best weather related stories that explain a little bit of the fear I have for storms, wind, and such.

  1. This one time, at band camp… No SERIOUSLY! This one time at band camp during my freshman year there was a tornado warning ON MY BIRTHDAY.¬† I remember us all being huddled (well maybe all of us weren’t huddled, but I sure was) in the laundry room of the door we were staying in.¬† I was a mess.
  2. May 31, 2002… I was working at Kennywood Amusement Park as a games manager as I had for several years… (ok more than several years… like about 8 years.) Had a blast working there, met some of the most amazing people there… Good times for sure!¬† Until about 7:00 pm on May 31st of that year.¬† The sky got BLACK above and then it sounded like a train rolling through.¬† A lot of chaos happened in a very short time… after the storm passed and I opened the stock room door, my mouth about dropped open.¬† I’m not going to go into all the details, but it was a very sad day for the park.¬† A life lost, TONS of damage, lots of bad memories for me.¬† If you’re interested in reading up on the story, here’s a link for one of the local news stations out here and a newspaper article.
  3. The summer before last, I accepted the position I currently hold at work.¬† My first week¬† flying solo, after working side by side with one of my best friends who held this position prior to me, tornado warnings began appearing across the tv on the evening of June 17th.¬† Having just moved into my current 3rd floor apartment I began pacing around and freaking out… Stomach flip-flopping, panicking while on the phone with my friend and my mom.¬† Decided to go down to the basement with a flashlight, a comforter¬†and two pillows, a radio, my cellphone and a couple of bottles¬†of water.¬† No one’s down there.¬† I start freaking¬†out more. Travel back upstairs and lock myself in the bathroom.¬† I got the phone call…from the best friend… that the school flooded and it was BAD.¬† Hearing those words snapped me out of it.¬† Threw on my shoes, grabbed my purse, my flashlight, and my COMFORTER¬†(no.clue.why.) and hopped in my car.¬† Couldn’t believe my eyes as I began to drive the short 5 minute commute to the school in the pitch black of night, weaving in and out of debris all over the roads.¬† It was a pretty bad storm… tore a bunch of places around us apart… roads buckled, trees down… Walking into the school and seeing the mess that was left and all that was destroyed brought tears to my eyes instantaneously.¬† We lost pretty much EVERYTHING on the bottom floor.¬† Clean-up began, business went on the next day with many modifications to routines.¬† It was insane.

So THAT’S why I’ve hated storms….¬† I could go on with a few more, but I get the feeling this post is going to be pretty long already!

Did ya catch my reference earlier?¬† About the end of my work day being better equated to Kansas over Oz.¬† Well in true Megan fashion, I was a human tornado all freakin’ day.¬† ( A term the aforementioned best friend and I use when we are in rare form, ticked off about something or just a big ball of stress.)¬†

Little did I know we’d have a tornado warning issued today…¬† “Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore”… ya, seriously… A tornado warning that lasted until 5:30 PM.¬† We had the kids in the basement having a “party in the hall” so as not to scare the littles.¬† Hail about 2 inches pelted our cars and winds were a blowing during the first round.¬† A friend of mine in a neighboring town spotted a funnel cloud as she called to warn me of the storms.¬† Good times were had let me assure you.¬† Brought the kids back up because it looked as if the worst had passed.¬† Then we got notice of round two… rounded up the kiddos for another “party in the hall.”¬† The sky was as black as I saw at Kennywood, luckily for us though, we got tons of rain, lots of hail and yet even more crazy wind but we were all safe and sound.¬† Property unharmed. My nerves a bit rattled, but overall I managed ok.¬† Having to buck up and be positive for all the kiddos around was the best possible scenario.¬†

With age I have learned to deal with a lot of things.¬† Trying not to let the stress get to me… Again, letting go of the worries.¬† Seriously, what could I do if a tornado was to touch down?¬† Not one thing that would PREVENT it from touching down.¬† All I can do is buck-up!

Unfortunately for folks living in Rillton, they were not quite as lucky having had home sustain serious damage.¬† A local high school lost part of its roof.¬† Here’s a little bit from MSNBC. Haven’t turned the news on since I’ve been home because quite frankly this girl can’t take another ounce of stress in this day!

At the end of the day, as I walked in my front door I thought… There’s no place like home… Seriously, there is really NO PLACE LIKE HOME.

On a completely unrelated note… I just wanted to add a little tidbit in remembrance to my pap who¬†passed away¬†5 years ago today. Quite simply he was a ONE of a KIND guy that was hard to please but had a heart of gold beneath his tough as nails exterior.¬† He had his own way of doing things¬†and only his way was the right way… there was no¬†telling him otherwise.¬†¬†Some of the best memories we as a family have of him all revolve around the same thing… his words.¬† he had his own set of vocabulary that you truly¬†couldn’t appreciate without having know him.¬† (Verizon=Vehr-i-zon, croissant=croos-ent and¬†Amish=Aim-ish to name a few) He gave me the nickname Meginski¬†for some unknown reason which was later shortened to Ginski¬†and he never said his son and family lived in Michigan, he just called them¬†Sheegans.¬† He¬†was a rare man, an old¬†soul.¬† He was probably the only person I know that would turn on a football game or baseball game and turn off the audio because he couldn’t stand the BS’ing¬†of the commentators.¬† He took us kids to the sportsman’s club to fire our first rifles, teaching us how to hit the target or the clay pigeons.¬† He made some pretty good kielbasa and some of the best pickles I¬†ever had.¬† While he was tough, he won over many a persons.¬† Hardest though on those he loved most…had a funny way of showing it.¬† Miss ya pap.¬† ¬†

 

Ok, that’s all I promise… If you made it this far… THANK YOU FOR READING!¬† You guys are the best… Have a fantabulous night my friends

Ever experienced a bad storm situation?¬† How’d you react?

How do you remember those you love that are no long with you?

Getaway…

We all need to at one point or another…

Take a break & relax…hang out, chill, breathe, just be.

I’m getting to that point where I’m just itching to get away!

While a trip to Europe,¬† Florida or even Washington State to visit one of my bestest girl friends ever would be fantastically AMAZING…my sights aren’t set that high. Although doing the above would take care of 3 items on …the list… !

My sights are set on something much more immediate & way more affordable … much closer with the perfect mix of relaxation & fun.

My brother’s cabin, nestled among a quaint little family of cabins, is the perfect place for me.¬† It’s the perfect weekend getaway to hang out & chill during the day… walking, reading,¬† cooking out, listening to tunes, playing card games & maybe even a game or two of pong or cornhoke with an adult beverage. Evenings/nights tend to be my favorite… sitting around the fire till the weeeeeee hours of the morning just chilling, relaxing, talking, listening to more tunes (if we’re lucky, little bro will even bust out his guitar), make smores, reminisce or just BE.

Having gone up there since I was a kid (the cabin originally belonged to lil bro’s pap), I’ve always looked forward to going.¬† I must say though that I truly didn’t appreciate it or look forward to it as much as I do now!

We’re all itching to get up there … lil bro, lil sis, bro-in-law, nephew B-Shane, plus friends. As soon as the nights aren’t too cold, we’re heading up for cabin fun in the mountains!

Now don’t let this fool you… We’re not roughin’ it by any means … i dont sleep in a tent! myself,¬† lil bro, & lil sis & family each have a bedroom. We have running water, electricity, plumbing & cable. Our version of roughing it involves taking 5 minute showers & driving down the mountain to the nearest grocery store to pick up any necessities we may have forgotten. Just had to clarify!

I guess for me it’s a nice GETAWAY without having to GET AWAY.

It’s a great way to spend time with lil bro & little sis (&fam)… lots of fun has been had together up there & am looking forward to getting up there again soon.

Once my laptop is up & running I’ll post some pictures from past years.

Do you have a special getaway spot?

Pretty sure you’ll be hearing about mine again soon!

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