Sunday, March 19, 2017

Ugh. I Hate to Say It.

I turned on my air. Ugh! There I said it. It's hot here. It's too soon, and it's allegedly only for the past few days then it will drop back to a more normal and comfortable temperature. But it was up to 82 in the house here and I just couldn't take it anymore.

So farewell again to my comfy pants and warm cushy socks and slippers. It's time for shorts and tank tops for sleeping again. I guess that means I'm going to have to start shaving my legs again. Ugh. The struggle is real here in the desert.


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Single Swag

Do you ever have one of those weeks that feel like two? Yeah.. been there, seems like weekly these days. But today when the clock finally turned 8pm... I was free! I had a happy mailbox when I checked this evening and it's always a nice to have happy mail! 

I'm a fan of subscription boxes, I've done Birchbox before which is a monthly box delivered full of makeup and beauty samples. I've never been a huge wearer of makeup and my beauty routine remains something to be improved so I haven't subscribed to Birchbox for a while but I did manage to find a few products that have become regulars.. I'm looking at you Lulu Organics Lavender Clary Sage Hair Powder. I came across the Singles Swag, which is a monthly subscription box where you can discover full-sized products from best selling books to artisan-crafted foods and trending fashion accessories. I've seen some of the boxes in the past on their Instagram page and who can say no to box off goodies to treat yourself! Here's a peek of what was inside my March box. Pretty good I'd say! Can't wait to see what I find next month! 


If you think you'd like to give a try use this code for 25% off your first box! 

Happy Fri-yay everyone and remember happiness is not having to set an alarm in the morning! 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Seven Years Ago on a Tuesday

Tuesday March 2nd is an important day in North of 10th history. Seven years ago this little blog came to be. I find it fitting that on the month of its seventh anniversary I'm back. 2016 saw only 5 sad little updates to the blog and that is not going to happen again starting now. I think I initially began the blog as an escape from my every day and sadly I find myself needing an escape once again. 

September 1st of last year I found out the job that I had moved to Arizona for, a job that I came to love so much, was being eliminated due to a reorganization at my company. The great thing about the company I work for is that a job being eliminated does not mean you are no longer with the company, it just means you have to post for a new opportunity within the company. At first I was bummed, but tried to remain optimistic knowing that this could end up meaning a promotion for me. December 5th, just three months after I first learned my position was going away, I was starting my new job in the company in our claims area. We had about a month of training before going 'live' on the phones and it the work queues.

Here I am about three months into this new position and I already feel off. I can't quite put my finger on what exactly it is. But I can tell that this job is not inspiring me and using the skills I had become so accustomed to in my previous position as a new hire trainer. I should be happy this is a promotion for me and a great opportunity for me to advance in the company but it's not turning out to be the happy occasion I had hoped it would be. 

So yet again I find myself in need of distraction and inspiration. I hope those that followed me since the beginning and the new followers who I picked up along the way will once again join in this crazy little life of mine here at North of 10th. 

For those curious to see what the very first post was like all those years ago... click here for a little blast from the past.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Don't Talk and Target

Went to Target for 3 items, returned with 14. 14 of the most random items on Earth. I feel like the cashiers are past the urges of judgement. I was talking to my friend Tulip while I aimlessly wandered the aisles.

Here is my list of items. The first 3 are what I went in for: 

1. Paper Towels
2. Cat Food
3. Glass cleaner 
4. A Weekender Bag
5. Deodorant 
6. A Watering Can (for decoration, I have no plants)
7. Tampons
8. A Wedding Card
9. Razors
10. Toothpaste
11. Double Stuf Oreos
12. Blueberry Pie Oreos (had to try)
13. Denture Cleaner (for my retainer)
24. 2 emergency ponchos (for NiBo and I on our Hawaiian hiking adventures)

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Last Man on the Moon

Tonight while perusing the newly added movies and shows on Netflix, the documentary 'The Last Man on the Moon' caught my eye. 

The documentary follows the last astronaut to step foot on the moon in the final Apollo mission in 1972.

As I watched of course I was enamored by images and the thought of what it must have been like to be one of the few humans who have ever stepped foot on the face of the moon. 

The thing that unexpectedly struck me, even with the mind blowing thoughts of space, was a simple shot of the astronauts being welcomed back and a ticker tape parade in their honor. 

It saddens me to think that I live in a place where my generation has not stood together united as a nation for something so wholesome and hopefully optimistic about the future as my parent's generation did with the space programs. My generation has only stood in united somber and remembrance as tragedy after tragedy has befallen our great nation. We have stood numerous times together as a nation in mourning. Even as I sit here and try to think of a time when we have stood together united in happiness the thoughts escape me. 

Even though it's hard to see past the sadness and to feel hopeless for the future, I remain hopeful that in my lifetime I will be able to see our country united as one for a happy reason that betters all of mankind. 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Are you Ever Actually Done Cleaning?

My version of cleaning, I'm pretty sure, varies quite a bit from what a normal person would consider clean. Clean to me also changes on a daily basis. Can't see the stove because it's covered in delivery pizza boxes? Looks clean to me. Then there are other days where the sight of even the slightest bundle of receipts cleaned out from the bottom of my purse will send me into a frenzy. 

I also suffer from, what I have self diagnosed as, Nocturnal Must-Clean-Now-itis. You know those moments on a Sunday evening, when you should be winding down, preparing yourself for the workweek that is coming, but instead you begin with folding the clean laundry that you should have folded from last weekend when you attempted laundry but didn't. Then next thing you know, you have this urge to go through your closet and make an even better mess in an attempt to 'organize'.

I have been on this cleaning roller coaster for about a month. It ultimately ends up in stacks of clothing that get moved from side to side of my bedroom as I continue to live around the ever growing mass of clothes that I don't even know where they came from. 

A.Drama was in town over last weekend (more on that in the coming days) and we attempted to get organized, but instead fun prevailed (totally not complaining).

But here I am again, when I should be gathering myself for the work week ahead, I find myself sorting through stacks of junk mail into throw away and shred piles. I'm gearing up for a vacation too (more on that later as well) and I want to come home to a really really clean house. 

Even with all that work though, are you ever actually done cleaning? 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Hello Again Friends

Hello there Friends! Remember me? 

It's been a good little while since I've made an appearance here on the world wide web. 

I went to the Junk in the Trunk Market...





and found a Mystery Castle




and drove to the top of South Mountain!




What have you all been up to?!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

It's 2016... Now What?


Hello friends and welcome to the year 2016! It appears the locals have grown restless with my blog hiatus. The two yahoo's pictured above within 5 minutes of each other had given me a hard time about not updating my blog, so I said smile, you're the front page, the above picture is what you get. 

You might be wondering what I have been up to since October, well here's the short version.

In Mid November we did the WipeOut Run...


December got busy...
On the same day that NiBo arrived in Arizona, that morning I did the Ugly Sweater Run, we had an ugly good time...





Then after that Tulip and I were hungry, and since we didn't make it up to our favorite little spot in Payson to see the fall colors, we decided we would go to see the snow.

The Crosswinds restaurant is a little place at the Payson airport and they have the most amazing Biscuits and Gravy.. seriously they are worth the drive in my opinion. Payson is a small little town and this restaurant is home of the million dollar view. It's right off the runway and small planes fly in to eat and then fly back out. It's net too because they play the communications with the tower over the speaker and you can hear the pilots talking as they make their way to the airport. Both times we've been we've got to see planes coming and going.




You may remember our next stop from my 2014 post 'In Search of Fall

We tried to take the same road we took last time to go to the edge of the rim, but it's not maintained during the winter and was closed. So we couldn't go as far as we wanted, but we made the best of it! 



Then that same night, NiBo arrived on the mainland from Hawaii! He has all kinds of interesting stories to tell about his adventures exploring the Island and tales from the Army. (I've tried to get him to guest post but he has declined)


NiBo hung out here in AZ for a few days and while he was here I had the terrible idea of us going hiking to the wave cave that I had heard so much about.

A little background, it's been cold (Arizona cold) for the past two months here. I blame El Nino for my higher than usual winter electric bills. The day we went hiking was really the only day that would work with our schedule and it wasn't the prettiest of days. It was overcast and a bit chilly, the first picture is actually the last picture. As we began our climb down from the cave it began to mist and the low clouds came in and made for a ominous picture.


The wave cave hike is listed as a 'moderate' hike. I don't know who decides what to rate these hikes but a more honest and helpful description might have been if you are out of shape at all, reconsider. I threatened to quit at least 5 times telling NiBo to go ahead and just leave me for dead on this nice rock. He declined and was annoyingly motivating. With my complaining on my end we made it to the cave. Normally you can see the mountains bathed in sunshine as the cave silhouettes you, but that was not the case this day.


You can see why they call it the wave cave! 


We did some shopping and saw all the pretty decorations...


Even the Chicago Airport was dressed in Holiday spirit.
NiBo and I flew into Chicago on Christmas Eve and rented a car to drive the few hours back to Central Illinois. We were not prepared for the lack of food options that late at night on Christmas Eve but at last, the golden arches of McDonald's shined brightly in the distance and we knew we would not starve, for 30 minutes later that Big Mac would be ours.


When we drove down our street and turned into the drive, I joked that mom would probably be sitting in the window watching for us. And sure enough like a little kid waiting for Santa to arrive with the pretty white candle lights in all the windows, there she was. She was so excited to have all three kids home for Christmas I was honestly surprised she wasn't in the middle of the street flagging us down. I mean just look at this tree and all the presents! 


The Monday after Christmas the whole family, mom, dad, A.Drama, Marvin, NiBo and me, went to see the new Star Wars movie at the IMAX theatre, and it was AWESOME! 

We spent the rest of our time at home visiting with friends and hanging with the family while we could. After dinner at our favorite local pizza place one night, NiBo and I went and saw Star Wars again for the second time.


Our time at home seemed both long and short at the same time. We flew back to Arizona on New Year's Day and NiBo flew back to his little island the morning of the 2nd. The kitties definitely missed me as proven in the picture where there isn't enough of me for all of us to be comfortable cuddling.


The first day back to work after a vacation that long is not fun. I'm glad I gave myself the two days of the weekend before I had to be back at work. Usually I don't give myself a break in between, but with this trip I was spoiled and might have to reevaluate my thought process on trips like that in the future.

I read an article and saw some posts on Instagram about this 52 hike challenge. Basically you pledge to complete 52 hikes this year and do just that I will.

My first hike was at the Lost Dutchman State Park on the treasure loop trail. This is the same trail that A.Drama, Marvin and myself completed last year for our first day hike. {you can take a trip down memory lane here}

I even bought myself an annual pass to the Arizona State Parks, so hopefully I will get to explore those this year too.





Howard the Travel Troll went hiking too! 
Be sure to give him a follow on Instagram @HowardsTravels

I also binged watched, on a Tuesday until 1:30am no less, Netflix's documentary show Making a Murderer. A classic tale of did he or didn't he.


That pretty much get's you all caught up on my exciting life. Not too much to tell, but I'll be sure to update more often (It's on my Resolutions list) If you missed the blog while I was on my end of year hiatus, thanks for hanging in there and checking back. I hope today you were pleasantly surprised to have some new content! Catch y'all later! 


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

3 Years ago today




Thanks to a little app called timehop, your past social media posts are only a finger tap away. Funny that this one popped into my feed today.

Exactly three years ago an overly optimistic October Heather, signed April Heather up for a race two races. A 5k Friday night race and an exhausting 10k race Saturday morning bright and early.

You can read about how that went with the posts titled: Dear October Heather and one gem titled 9.2 Miles in 48 hours.

I say funny this popped up today because, well the thought had crossed my mind to do something similar, only instead of April the race would be in January! I do have the fact that weather will be much more on my side here in Arizona over the winter than it would have been back in Illinois over the winter (which was my lazy excuse last time) I've been throwing the idea around of starting to run, I'm not 100% feeling the snug clothes and I'm past the point of being able to say oh I just moved it was stressful, that's why I eat like crap and never go to the gym.

At the very least I will sign up for the 5k race, stay tuned. I might do something stupid like sign up for the 2nd day race too. You just never can tell here at North of 10th can you?! Also I need some way to kick my dad's butt on the Fitbit steps, that man is a beast! Anyone else fitbit? Oh and that #195 days.. it's 100 days less to prepare as of today #95days #DoubleEek

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Book Talk: Elizabeth Gilbert ~ Big Magic




This is actually a really hard post to even articulate into words, but I will try.

Elizabeth Gilbert first came into my life all the way back in 2010. A little book club in Central Illinois called the Page Turner's picked a book called 'Eat, Pray, Love' to read for their August meeting. I LOVED the book. That book means so much more to me than words on pages, after I read that book I feel like it changed the way I look at myself as participant in the universe.

Fast forward five years. I now live in Arizona, and part of living in a sprawling metropolis is authors make stops here to talk about their new books, and I'm literally 10 minutes away! 

Today the author in town was Elizabeth Gilbert, talking about her new book 'Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear'. I think what I like about Elizabeth is her humor and I love a girl who will drop an F-bomb in front of a room full of strangers. She writes like I would think to myself, a flowing stream of consciousness narrative with sarcasm sprinkled in among a few choice words, totally right up my alley.

She started her talk by reading an excerpt from the book. It talks about living your creative life, whatever that creativity means to you.
"and while the paths and outcomes of creative living will vary wildly from person to person, I can guarantee you this: A creative life is an amplified life. It's a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life. Living in this manner--continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you--is a fine art, in and of itself. Because creativing living is where Big Magic will always abide"
Whoa. It's big stuff. I wish I could have recorded her talking because her responses to the Q&A session were like whoa, change the way you see yourself kind of responses. She goes on to talk about fear. Fear and creativity go hand and hand. Wherever there is a creative thought there is fear right behind. You become afraid of so many things that it steals the ability for you to find the jewels hidden within you. Fear of not being good enough, fear that others have already done it better, afraid your dreams are embarrassing or afraid of so many things. 

She ended by telling us that she was sorry. Sorry because she would not be doing a signing line and personalizing books. She did however go to the publishing company's warehouse and sign over 20,000 books ahead of time. She said this was the hard part of creativity, you sometimes have to say no to things you love in order to keep yourself healthy. She is doing her biggest book tour ever and knew that in order to do that she would have to say no to meeting us individually. 

She ended the session by reading a poem by Louise Erdrich which also makes you think...

Advice to Myself
by Louise Erdrich
Leave the dishes.
Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator
and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.
Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster.
Throw the cracked bowl out and don't patch the cup.
Don't patch anything. Don't mend. Buy safety pins.
Don't even sew on a button.
Let the wind have its way, then the earth
that invades as dust and then the dead
foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch.
Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome.
Don't keep all the pieces of the puzzles
or the doll's tiny shoes in pairs, don't worry
who uses whose toothbrush or if anything
matches, at all.
Except one word to another. Or a thought.
Pursue the authentic-decide first
what is authentic,
then go after it with all your heart.
Your heart, that place
you don't even think of cleaning out.
That closet stuffed with savage mementos.
Don't sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth
or worry if we're all eating cereal for dinner
again. Don't answer the telephone, ever,
or weep over anything at all that breaks.
Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons
in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life
and talk to the dead
who drift in though the screened windows, who collect
patiently on the tops of food jars and books.
Recycle the mail, don't read it, don't read anything
except what destroys
the insulation between yourself and your experience
or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters
this ruse you call necessity.

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