Saturday, February 28, 2009

Slim-Down Saturday Update, Week 3

So, the talley for this past two weeks is 5.0 pounds. I don't really know how, but I'm thankful. I made it to the gym on Tuesday and today. It ended up being a very stressful week, although not NEARLY as bad as last week. I really made progress in my 5K training this week too, which made me feel good. I'm running based on distance now and not based on time. To me, it's easier to look at the little lights around the virtual, 1/4 mile track than it is to watch the seconds tick by. I almost made it a whole quarter mile at once. My goal for my next running session is to run 1/4 mile, then walk 1/4 mile, run 1/4 mile, and so forth until I get to two miles. I'll just go from there!

The rest of the day will be schoolwork, schoolwork, schoolwork, cleaning, and then brinner:).

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Slim-Down Saturday Update

Sadly, it's not been a good week. I couldn't get my head in the game this week. But, after some good time spent Friday getting things back in order, I think this week is going to be much, much better!!

So, goals for this week:

1. Get to the gym tomorrow, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday
2. Have one raw food day this week.
3. Stay away from the crap in the office

I think that's probably reasonable for this week. I don't want to overdo things; I did that this past week and it didn't go well.

Thanks to everyone who prayed for me this week. Things are starting to even out, finally, I think.

Monday, February 16, 2009

An Ode to Joey

That pic is from this morning. How cute is it....Shelli curled up and wanted to be under the covers. She loves her daddy much more than her mommy, I'm afraid, but I'm not nearly as mad as I pretend to be about it.

I had a panic attack this morning. Like, full-on, breathing shallow, shaking, freaking out attack. Joey took very good care of me. He made me breakfast, got me set up to do my schoolwork, and reminded me that everything is okay. That's a pretty awesome husband right there.

I finished the front side of the memorial pillow for Vic and Carol last night; I'll probably start on the other side today. I've got a 5 page paper due for my Indigenous Literatures course, but I'm not too worried about it since I'm interested in the subject material (that always helps).

Sunday, February 15, 2009

WIP Update: Memorial Pillow

What's better than an entire pound of yarn?

Not much, honestly. I'm making a memorial pillow for my in-laws for the loss of Lady. I'm not going to post any more photos until I'm done, but below is the start of the first side. Sorry for the crappy lighting; it was already dark outside when I started taking pictures.


It's been not the greatest of days, to be truthful. I've spent too much time today being sad over what I lack rather than remembering how much I'm blessed.

I need a little freedom right now; I'd really like for Joey and I to go camping or something...just get out in the quiet and forget about all of the "stuff" that fills up everyday life. There's just so much of it.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Slim Down Saturday: Valentine's Edition:)

First, a tribut above to my two wonderful Valentines on this day of love:).


Then, a lovely shot of what I see every morning as I'm sitting at my desk at work.

Okay, now to the real meat of the post; as you all know, as I've (ashamedly) told you, I have forty pounds to lose. I'm pretty disappointed in myself, since my first job was as a receptionist at Weight Watchers which I kept for seven years. Prior to that, I lost 35 pounds during the summer before I went into the ninth grade, so I already know what I need to be doing.

There's something about getting a little older that makes you start to slow down and get complacent, and I really hate that. So, Saturdays will be my "weekend update" of my continuing journey to get back down to a weight where I'm comfortable and feel much more fit.

I'm training for a 5K in April, so that will help some, although I've hit a wall the past couple of weeks, which one of my cowkers told me to "suck it up and get over it." I wish she was my personal trainer, because I'd probably already be where I need to be. I've also told myself that I my second tattoo will be my reward for losting 20 pounds, the halfway point, and I want it so badly that I think it'll be a pretty good incentive.

So, I'm not going to post what my actual weight is, until I get to where I want to be, because I'm a little ashamed of that, but I will post weekly updates regarding how much I've lost and what I've done that week (exercise, eating, recipes, etc).

My goals for this next week are:
  1. Get to the gym at least five times (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and either Saturday or Sunday).
  2. Avoid whatever junk food is brought into the office next week.
  3. Pack a well-balanced, bento-style lunch every week day.
Here's my most recent lunch purchase:

It's my bento lunch set!! From Ichiban Kan!! The bag is adorable! Here's my lunch from Friday:

Larger container: Tofu steak from Mizuho, bean sprouts and carrots, edemame
Smaller container: two corn tortillas (we were out of rice).

So, join me on my journey. I'm going to be as up-front as I can possibly be without humiliating myself;).

Thursday, February 12, 2009

First Edition: Thrifty Thursdays: Week One, on Living Smaller...


This is our home. Well, now there's a privacy fence and some of the bushes have died, but that's not the point. Our home is 1100 square feet...talk about living small! This isn't by far the smallest home that Joey and I have lived in; our first apartment was less than 500 square feet, and our second was just at 1000. However, for a few years before we bought this house, we lived with Joey's parents, and they have a considerably larger home, and we got accustomed to having room, and as a result, we collected waaaaaaaaaay too much stuff.

Stuff has been the bane of our existence for as long as we've known each other; we're both packrats by nature, and together we've amassed piles and piles of useless junk (not to mention the piles of stuff I left at my parents' house before I moved out).

So, a major "thrifty" focus for us over the next couple of months is getting rid of "stuff." We began this process last year and started with a yard sale in April, which netted us almost $200. We held a second one at the beginning of November, and weren't quite so successful, but we were able to get rid of a lot of unwanted items. We'll be doing another one in April of this year, and we figure that we'll continue the trend until we've pared down to things that are relatively essential to us.

Also, any money earned can go toward debt retirement, toward the car and toward tuition. Despite an unexpected setback (we'll probably need to get a new roof this year), we still feel as though we can get the card paid off and handle my summer and fall tuition.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

RIP, Dear Sweet Lady...

She was ten years old, and she was my husband's grandma's dog. His grandma passed away four years ago almost. Now, Lady is with her in Heaven. She was a beautiful, sweet friend.

Such is life, I suppose. They are with us for much too short of a time. They, too, were punished because of our original sin, and I feel that guilt every time we say goodbye...honestly, every time I see one of God's creatures hit on the side of the road. I know that most fundamentalist preachers will tell you that they aren't as important, and I do understand that, but I also believe in our responsibility to care for all creatures, especially those who had no control over what our sin did to them.
In memory, since I'm grieving all over again today, here's a picture of my sunshine, Puss, who passed away on Dec. 7th, 2007:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Blog Modifications/Upgrades, etc

Joey and me on our private balcony, May 2008
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So, in reading some other blogs here and there over the past few days, I've come to realize that my blog isn't nearly as organized or purposeful enough. I mean, you know that my overarching themes/subjects are frugality, sustainability, green living, knitting, grad school, and my own personal psychoses, yes? But I'm thinking that it would probably help me more to make necessary changes in my life by actually being accountable for them on the blog. So, here are some rough ideas as to how I intend to "mix it up" per se...
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1. I need to lose forty pounds. If I can lose that, I'll be back to where I was when I got married (which wasn't that long ago, and I'm not that old) and I don't think that's an unreasonable goal. I've decided that I'll allow myself to go on a (thrift-store) shopping spree once I lose ten. My next tattoo will be my reward to myself for twenty pounds (I figured that was a fitting motivational tool since I want it so badly). So, I'm probably going to take one day a week to post updates on my fitness/weight loss goals. It'll be the same day each week...whatever day I can come up with a "catchy" title for;).
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2. Frugality and personal finance will also take a much more prominent position on the blog. Joey and I are in a position right now for which we should be very grateful. I have a stable job with decent benefits. We are both able to go to school right now so that we can ultimately pursue our dreams. We have no debt other than the house, car, and a small student loan. We can afford to eat out once a week. But, we've set some pretty aggressive fiscal goals for the year (paying my tuition without any loans and paying off the car), so I want the continuing journey toward frugality that we're working on to be a focal point of the blog.
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3. I'm going to post more pictures of my knitting works in progress and finished objects. Bear in mind, this will not be a knit blog. While I love to read them, I don't have nearly enough money to use the expensive fibers that they do, so you're not going to read about any exotic and beautiful yarns here. I can afford Red Heart, Bernat, Caron, Sugar n' Cream, and Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn!, so that's what you're going to get from me. If I'm lucky, you'll get a little Lion Brand Wool-Eeze and some Patons Classic Merino here and there. But, I do knit, I do love it, and I do want to share it with my faithful readers (all three of you!).
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4. I'm probably going to have to back off the green/sustainable living portion for a while. I will attempt a container garden (on a relatively small scale) this spring/summer, but beyond that, just know that we're always working toward conservation of any type to the best of our ability, but I'm not in a position fiscally to buy only free trade, organic, etc. We've got to do the best we can where we can.
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5. Once a week, I'm going to do a "Blog Round-Up" of posts I've found interesting from the other blogs that I follow. There are too many good things out there for me to let them stay in the dark to you, my readers.
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I guess, in short, I've decided to get a little more serious about this whole thing so that it's a little more interesting and involved. Yay for the blog future!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Consumer Diet Update, Etc.

Me behind a stone monument we found on one of the trails on Morrow Mountain

I spent most of my morning doing schoolwork; apparently, Saturday morning really is the best day for this. I've gotten everything but part of my reading done for Cultural Studies, and I've read so many things this week that have changed my outlook on the "cultural products" that we consume and how corporations and mass culture producers seek to shape us to their whims rather than letting us realize that we do have free choice to accept or reject what we want to consume. It's definitely made me rethink the concept of the tv diet and we'll probably revisit that within the next few weeks.

The consumer diet goes well; other than food purchases and toiletries, we've made no purchases at all in the month of February. I suspect that we'll get through this fairly easily as February is a short month and we're so busy that we don't really have time to go shopping anyway.

I spent a lot of time journaling yesterday, working through some things that I'm carrying, personal baggage and whatnot, and I feel like I'm (hopefully) starting to at least approach the other side of the most recent identity crisis that I've been dealing with for the past week or so. I'm trying to reconcile my present-day self with the "me" of ten years ago, seeing what about myself I wish that I had kept and trying to revive it and seeing what I didn't like then that I continue to do and trying to stop those things. It's funny how you can simultaneously change so much and also not change at all.

I'm feeling like very little of this makes sense, and I apologize for that, but I also feel like good things are happening, so if nothing else, that's making this day better:). Tonight will be spent reading the last two chapters of one of my Cultural Studies books and trying to make a thoughtful post or two on that before getting ready for the always-busy Sunday activities.

Here's a pretty good picture of relaxation for you:




Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The View from the Mountain...

Lake Tillery as viewed from the top of Morrow Mountain

Today has been quite the frustrating day, beginning with the horrible weather that left me awake at 3:30 and fretting about Joey getting to Wake Forest safely, followed by the roads not having been salted at all and not being safe, to my needing to take a personal day due to the weather, to feeling guilty because I had to do such.

So, Joey is fine; he got to work safely. The roads have just started to clear out here. And I had the day to use, so I really shouldn't feel guilty for using it. I've been trying to do schoolwork so that I'm making the best use of my time. I watched a documentary on the indigenous people of Hawai'i and their building a canoe out of traditional materials and using it to sail to Alaska and along the western coast of Alaska, meeting with indigenous people of those areas and sharing their cultures together. It was incredible. Watching things like that really bring home to me that I'm right in the center of God's will with this program. Cultures must be preserved and respected, not discarded and discouraged. Surely we don't want the rest of the world to be lazy, obese, lacking self-motivation, and unhealthy like we are?

So, anyway....thus brings me back to my feeling of restlessness today....whenever I get to sit at home and have time to think to myself, especially when I'm already dealing with a negative emotion (guilt today), it makes me think about things in my life that I'm disliking and seeking to change...I guess you could say that it tosses me right back into my identity crisis, honestly.

My professor for my cultural studies class included an interesting quote from Frost when he was reacting to our papers:
“My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation”

How do we do this? I think that everyone can agree that this is true; we spend our lives searching for a livelihood that will let us do what we love to do all day. I feel like, the longer we go without being able to do that, the sadder we become. That emotion exudes from us and can make us difficult people to befriend. I've seen the people who struggle through each day hating what they do; they are unhappy people, they're unfulfilled. Obviously, God intended for us to work (and I mean that in more loose terms than the "corporate, white-suit, 9-5 kind of thing...in my opinion, stay at home moms are probably some of the hardest workers out there), but I don't believe that it was part of God's divine "punishment" that we are to hate every moment of what we do. He's given us joys and desires, talents and natural bents toward certain things. I have to believe that all of these things are providential and that He intends for us to enjoy our every day life.

Is all of this some diatribe to how much I hate my job? Absolutely not. I love where I work, I love the people I work with, and I enjoy getting to make a difference in the small way that I can. However, it's no secret that I'm going to graduate school so that I can teach on a college level eventually because literature is where my heart really is. Learning is where my heart is. I can't change that. I'm disappointed in how little I embrace it, however. Yesterday, I intended to cut the tv off and spend the whole evening reading, but I ended up piled up in front of the tv with my dinner and the laptop until I went to bed. I guess I'm angry with myself for not taking greater advantage of what I'm being allowed to do by going to school. I should be more grateful for it.

Which, of course, brings me to the identity crisis of becoming the person that I want to be. I always feel like that person is fighting with the person I've let myself become...the lazy person, the ungrateful person, the person who can't handle more than one or two responsibilities per week. I've been a busy person before; I was super-busy in college, going to school full-time, working part-time, and still staying active at church. Now, it seems like I'm a zombie the moment I hit the door, further numbing my mind with endless amounts of reruns. Who really wants to live that way when they think about it honestly?

One of my goals for the year was to figure out a way to sell my craft. I love to knit. I love what I create. I love it enough that I wrote a cultural studies paper on the knitting culture. That's a goal that I'm very serious about achieving.

Ah, for days of idle thought;).


Monday, February 2, 2009

Crossroads.

Those are mine and Joey's footprints on the beach at Grand Turk. I like the picture because there are a few prints that show where I turned back to take the picture...I think it's funny how life is that way....there are times where we push ahead and walk straight with purpose, but there are also times that we should "turn back in the sand," per se, and review what's brought us to this point....maybe to reflect and see if something needs to change.

I think I'm at that point right now. Nothing earth-shattering, no huge major life changes, but it's time for some reorganization, I think. Time for a change in outlook. Time for a shift in priorities and time to refocus on life. Time for a new outlook. Time to let go. There are things in my life that I've held on to for too long. Things I need to let go. Time for new.

I'm getting my hair cut at the end of the month; I've been growing it out since Dec 2007 for Locks of Love. It's going to be really short when it's all said and done. I think it'll be cleansing to get rid of it.

Sorry. I know that very little of this probably made sense. I just needed to put it out there.