beverly cleary

last week at next gen house

As suspected, last week, starting a new job, was a whirlwind. I keep telling people that my brain feels like a fried egg, but I don’t even like eggs and have no real idea what a fried egg tastes like. I guess I just kept thinking of those “this is your brain on drugs, any questions?” commercials from the 80s? I don’t know. Either way, I’m finding my footing and hoping that in the next few weeks I’ll have more capacity for blogging, since I actually do have some ideas for posts and will soon have gardening plans to share. I’m getting there. Thanks for hanging in while I find my footing.

I did manage to get my Groot bobblehead from Mark up at my desk. That’s something, right?


So let’s talk about last week, shall we?

Last Week in Running

I was really hoping that last week would be a 100% nailed it situation, after having a really hard time the previous week and resetting. I had 34 on the schedule, but I only completed 26. Though with the disruptions to my routine and schedule, I am happy that I at least hit three shorter runs, including one speed intervals and one hills, plus a really solid 13 mile course preview long run on Saturday with Elite. Loved the break in the rain this weekend and it was easy to get myself out the door in capris and a long sleeve tech shirt instead of what was starting to feel like a parka.

I have 26 on the schedule for this week, and I’m going to hit what I can and just take it day by day. I wasn’t expecting to have a job change in the middle of training, right after I came off two weeks out for the flu. Yes, my training hasn’t been the same since I got sick. But I already PR’d in the distance this year and so I’m doing my best to just finish as strong as I can.


Speaking of finishing strong, if you haven’t donated to my fundraiser for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, would you consider making a donation? Even $5 matters. I am $117 away from my fundraising goal and I’d love to grab that fundraising PR as we enter the home stretch up to May 3. Use the box to the right or visit

Last Week in Eating

Getting used to my schedule led to another week of our standard meals and nothing really new. But I did spend most of Sunday cooking, making some meals for friends who had their first baby a few weeks ago. I made doubles of everything so that we’d have some meals already prepared for this week – two batches of granola, two batches of Creamy Chicken and Dumplings and two pans of enchiladas.

sunday food collage

Last Week in Homesteading

Going to bottle the kombucha tonight, so that’s a great victory. Warm weather is making weeds spring up in the garden beds and some flowers are poking up here and there. Also, my chives have regenerated. What in the world? I can’t wait for May and to create my backyard oasis again.

Thinking of starting another freezer and pantry challenge with myself, because the more hectic our schedules get, the more our pantry fills up with good intentions. Going to start with another inventory.

Last Week in Reading

I finished Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Won’t Stop Talking on audio and moved on to Hausfrau. It’s working okay to listen on the bus and walking out and about, so I’m getting used to a different format. I’ve got several nonfiction titles on my audio list next. Last week I also finished Heap House, which was similar to A Series of Unfortunate Events and sort of ended on a cliffhanger, but it didn’t blow my skirt up enough for me to want to put the second book on my TBR list. Not bad, just not worth my precious reading time (which right now is primarily lunch breaks and 10 minutes before bed). I also finished several trades of comics, including Dead Class and Alex + Ada and Lumberjanes. Now I’m on to reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on my Kindle, which I had started back in the winter on audio on a road trip and then couldn’t finish on audio because it was a library loan. So I’m going back to just read it on Kindle, which I prefer anyway since with fiction I like my own reading speed better than most audio narrators.

Looking forward to a new Toni Morrison this month, which I have preordered for Kindle. And my TBR pile grows every day, which isn’t a surprise to anyone. And I’m also behind on reading my feeds/blogs. Imagine that.

Also, shout out to Beverly Cleary, probably the most influential writer of my childhood, for turning 99 recently. Ramona Quimby was introduced to me by my mom, who gave me Ramona the Pest. And then I was insatiable with those books, and I even liked Dear Mr. Henshaw, and I’ve always wanted to meet other people who liked it to, since they didn’t exist in my circles at age 8. Books are formative and transformative and man, her books have such a special place in my heart. I’m considering a re-read, which is something I rarely do due to the size of my TBR pile. We’ll see. But in the meantime, thanks Beverly Cleary.

beverly cleary