Hello…? Is Anyone Here?

She shakes a cobweb from her arm.  At least she hopes it was just a cobweb and not a web with a big hairy spider attached.  Shudder.

Thick vines cover the entry and she wonders if this is what the Prince encountered trying to enter Sleeping Beauty’s castle.  No matter.  Moving on.  Stepping through the arch of vines, she enters the blog.  Shadowy moonlight filters through partially exposed windows.

samhain-wheel-300x300Rather appropriate for Samhain Evepronounced Sow-wen – don’t you think?

Samhain marks the end of summer, which we’re feeling even here in the desert, and the beginning of winter for the Celts, with the day after Samhain being the official date of the Celtic New Year.

Like all new years, a time of rebirth.

Tomorrow is also the first day of NaNoWriMo. We’ll see if the muse smiles on my attempt.

Here’s to breathing life back into this ol’ blog.

Weight Loss Progress Report

Okay, this will be a monthly feature. At least until I’ve reached my goal :)

Most of July was spent losing and gaining the same freakin’ few pounds. Yet when I look at my overall tracking chart I’ve hit or surpassed my targets with the exception of one week.

23 pounds down.

What I noticed in July is the inches are disappearing. I had to clean out my closet and dresser this weekend due to clothes being too big. Awesomeness!

I had planned another cleanse for July, mostly to keep my palette set to no sugar, but also to kick my weight loss to the next level.

CleanseThe cleanse consists of two days of greens, some combo of parsley and lettuces this time rather than the nasty Swiss Chard mix, and a day of “sweets.”

The first time I did this I dropped 7 pounds and wasn’t overly aware of being hungry. This time…oy…very hungry. I don’t know if it was the different greens or if my water intake was off or what. My results weren’t as impressive either though it did take care of the budding craving for something sweet.

Additional cleanses will be played by ear but suspect anytime I hit a plateau I’ll choke down another three days of juiced meals :)

The sweetest thing that happened in July is that That Man has joined me in the pursuit of weight loss. It makes this whole process that much easier.

Video I Love: 100 Days of Rejection

My boss goes to a lot of conferences as part of her job and the industry in general, not to mention an impressive number to receive awards. One of the things she likes to do when she gets back is schedule staff meetings to watch videos of the various keynote speakers.

She breaks out a bottle or two of wine and our operations manager will bring in snacks.

We did this Friday afternoon. #lovemyjob :)

The keynote speaker was Jia Jiang.

It was a “my story” speech and very inspirational.

He shared his story of coming to America as an exchange student and landing in rural Louisiana. Landing in a town of about 500. He came from Beijing, a city of about 15 million at the time. I’d say that’s culture shock, LOL.

But his speech was about rejection. At some point he found himself living the “American Dream.” He was working for a Fortune 500 company but had no passion for the position. He was married with a baby on the way. His wife gave him six months to follow HIS dream. Four days before his son was born, he quit that Fortune 500 job.

Would you have the guts to do that? I wouldn’t.

Long story short, his dream fizzled but his wife wouldn’t let him give up. Thus he went on a journey to desensitize himself from the pain of rejection. He even created a blog of videos journaling his road to overcoming rejection.

There are so many levels of wow in that to me.

Here’s a shorter but similar speech ~ ENJOY!

Staying the Healthy Course

This vegetarian thing seems to be working for me. Yay.

And maybe there is a reason behind it.

While at my nephew’s wedding I chatted with my sister-in-law about the blood type diet she’s been following for years. According to her, and my follow up research, I should be a vegetarian. Now, I haven’t completely cut out diary but I noticed I’ve reduced my intake quite a bit without orchestrating it.

All rather interesting.

As of Wednesday, I’m a pound and a half shy of 20 pounds gone! Woot.

Yep, recalculated calorie intake and burn numbers. Lost another 48 calories this week and upped the amount I need to burn by 20 calories. Rather worried about reaching that number of calories burned each day. Getting the exercise in, beyond my daily walks with Beastie Girl, is a major challenge.

It’s mostly a time thing. Work. Wee beasties out of school equaling a lot of movies and sitting (card and board game type activities) because it is so stinkin’ hot. Feeling guilty if I go somewhere after work to work out, even if only three times a week.

Blood Type Diet: Fact or fiction? Discuss in the comments :)

Inked

I finally did it. Only ten years in the making!

Last May, I talked about this tattoo.

Tat_outlining_1

Outlining

Tat_shading_1

Shading

Tat_finished_1

Finished

I’m completely thrilled with how this turned out.

For those of you on the fence:

Start to finish, this piece took two hours.

I was pleasantly surprised at how little this hurt. I’m not sure if that’s due to me having a high pain tolerance or, more likely, extra padding, LOL.

During the outlining stage it felt like someone was drawing a pin across my skin, the only painful part was when it felt like it was going against the grain, if that makes sense.

The shading stage didn’t hurt at all.

Aftercare, I recommend A&D ointment. It seemed to speed up the healing process. You use a light coat over the tattoo for 5 days then switch to a lotion like Lubriderm for 2-3 weeks depending on location. A tattoo is completely healed once the flaking is over and there is no raised skin in the tattoo area.

The itchy/flaky period of the healing process is the worst! You don’t want to scratch which can damage the art.

And don’t tell That Man, but I think I caught the tattoo bug…

This one I had been thinking about for ten years.

Another, which I can’t do while working where I do as they don’t allow exposed tattoos (and I don’t plan to be regulated to trousers for the rest of said tenure), is an ankle tattoo to represent the wee beasties. I’ve wanted to do this since youngest came along but it wasn’t until oldest designed it about five years ago that I added it to my list.

After my post last year and someone mentioning a sister tattoo, I have that on my list too. I even know what I’d like to do if beloved sis is up for it :)

I better stay on top of this weight loss, LOL

Health Update

I’m a figment of your imagination today as I’m attending my nephew’s wedding, visiting family, and spending a day with BFF.

Send good thoughts to That Man for holding down the fort :)

~*~

I’m back to walking 2 miles every morning with Beastie Girl. We’re out the door at 5 AM on the dot, because it’s already freakin’ 80+, and back by a quarter to 6 depending on the route we take. I’m hoping to work up to 3 miles but need to work on my speed a bit. No more attempting to run for me! Doctor’s orders.

I’m officially down 11 pounds since I started this trek. Yay!

However, that means I also recalculated my daily calorie intake/burn numbers, something I plan to do every 10 pounds lost so I stay on track. I lost 40 calories a day, boo hoo. I decided to keep the burn amount the same for now. Once I reach 1200 calories per day I’ll definitely have to work on increasing the number of calories I burn each day.

More than the weight loss, though, I feel healthier and have more energy.

Getting Healthy in 2014

Back at the beginning of the year I stated I was going to lose 50 pounds this year.

Yeah, that hasn’t exactly gone as planned.

Around my one-year anniversary at the Day Job I realized I’d put on 10 pounds since starting. :head desk:

And the birthday rolled around with the realization the big 50 is looming all that much closer.

Here’s what I’m doing:

  • I downloaded Hydro on my phone. This app allows you to set your choice of measuring units and your weight, gender, and lifestyle. It calculates how much water you should drink daily. You also have the option of hot day and/or strenuous activity. It then reminds you every hour (or whatever notification alarms you set). This alone has helped me constantly increase my water intake to the point I regularly exceed my daily goal.
  • I also downloaded C25K. Due to my bum knee, my plan had been to power walk the running segments of this program. Sadly, this aggravated the injury. I’m not ready to give up on this program but it’s on hold for now.
  • The big change occurred when we changed cell carriers and I upgraded my phone to the Samsung S5. One of the standard features on this is something called S Health. S Health has a Pedometer, Exercise (walking, running, biking, hiking) Tracker, Heart Rate Sensor, Food Diary, Weight Tracker, and a “Coach.” I’m still learning my way around all of this stuff. (Samsung has wearables that work with S Health but I’ve seen less than stellar reviews of them.)
  • The first thing I did was activate the Pedometer. The second, order an arm band for my phone, LOL. It showed me just how inactive I’d become. Rather shocking considering the wee beasties pull me in a gazillion different directions. In fact, I’ve only managed to reach the 10,000-step goal once since Easter weekend. Because I can’t carry my phone around all the time with me at work I still plan to get a wearable pedometer.
  • The Weight Tracker was next, only because I needed to fill in that info during the profile set-up, but I’ve been steadily entering my weight each morning since April 30th.
  • When I realized the C25K wasn’t going to work for me at this time I turned on the Exercise feature. You can set this either by distance or time. You do need the GPS feature turned on to track the distance. It signals the start, half-way, almost there, and goal complete marks and will work with Pandora running.
  • Then I did a kick-start. A co-worker of mine has a friend who is a holistic coach and has a juicing business. One of her programs is a 3-day cleanse which I completed. I dropped 7 pounds in those 3 days. Since I’m drinking more than my recommended water intake I know this was not just water weight.
  • Based on recommendation of this holistic coach, I now also drink 16-20 ounces of water each morning BEFORE I even roll out of bed. I just take up a big glass of ice water with me when I go to bed, so yes, it’s room temp in the morning. This water shouldn’t have anything in it, like lemon juice, because when you add stuff like that to your water your body needs to metabolize the additive before it can metabolize the water. Who knew.
  • During the cleanse I made the decision officially return to a vegetarian diet. I also researched what my daily calorie intake should be for maximum weight loss and how many calories I should be burning each day. I updated my settings accordingly.
  • By making sure I have pre-measured snacks and eat something every few hours, I’m not hungry. In fact, I often have a hard time MEETING my daily calorie goal.

Now, I have not managed to lose any additional weight yet but nor have I gained any back. I’m sure once my knee is appropriately healed and I can return to my morning walks with Beastie Girl the weight will start dropping again.

Other things down the pike:

  • Regular massages. I’ve been reading up on the health benefits and decided to add them to my routine.
  • Joining Curves (or similar) for strength training.
  • Joining a Yoga class because it isn’t happening at home. I’m also sure more regular, and consistent, practice in this will help my knee.

I have an initial goal to reach before Christmas. With a secondary goal to reach before my next birthday. I’ll keep you posted :)

How do you stay healthy?

Crap, Where Did April Go?

Just like priding myself for not mixing up the boys’ names (at least until the fourth one came along, oy), I used to make fun of my mother for needing events in my sister or my lives in order to remember something. She still adds thirty years to my age to remember her own. (Of course, it’s a neat trick and I do it too, LOL.) I realized this month I’ve become my mother, which is far from a bad thing as she’s an amazing woman, when I was helping the wee beasties with some school projects.

Wee Beastie #1 had a family tree project and, with most of my genealogy research packed, I had to rely on the ol’ gray matter. There were a few holes, LOL. Luckily, wedding album to the rescue for the names I knew but wasn’t quite sure of the spelling.

Wee Beastie #3 had a life event timeline project and this is where being my mum came in, LOL.

They both got an A so I must not have been too off.

Then, dude, football. Four days a week. ‘Nuff said.

Wee Beastie #3’s choir wraps up tomorrow. That means school will be out in five weeks!

April was supposed to be CampNaNoWriMo for me. I had a couple sweet days in the beginning but couldn’t maintain. I don’t know if it’s the story or if it’s me. I need to evaluate where I want to go, and if I have the drive to get there.

Right now, there are too many pans in the fire.

Wishing you all a blessed day.

 

 

 

Celtic Gathering & Games

I’m proud of my Scottish ancestry, to the point of eye-rolling according to the wee beasties, and I wholly support any event that celebrates that. I went to the Las Vegas Celtic Gathering and Highland Games yesterday.

Perhaps it’s because I went alone.

Perhaps it’s because with “games” in the heading I expected, well, games.

Perhaps I’m spoiled, and likely bias, but the Portland Highland games are much better. In fact, I highly recommend if you find yourself in Portland, Oregon on the third Saturday of July that you make your way to Mount Hood Community College and enjoy a taste of Scotland.

Clan and vendor presence is about equal between the two events. The music, as in bands and singers on a stage, is probably better at the Las Vegas event. However, the marching bands are probably better at the Portland event.

The Portland games are very sports oriented. There are more dancing, piping, and drumming competition stages at the Portland event.

The Las Vegas event includes street parties on Freemont Street Friday and Saturday nights and the Gathering/Games goes on for two days. The Portland event only happens the one day and is followed by the Ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee).

I used to be a contributing sponsor of the Portland games and regularly volunteered. I’d hoped to become similarly active in the Las Vegas organization yet yesterday left me feeling blah.

Kilts, I promised you kilts. Enjoy ;)

Wicked Tinkers1
Wicked Tinkers2
Wicked Tinkers3

Caber Toss

Caber Toss

 

The Ladies

The Ladies Throwing the Weights

Caber

I couldn’t resist :snicker:

It’s Official, There’s a Teen Male in the House

If the rapidly increasing food bill wasn’t enough,
If the changing voice wasn’t a clue,
If the growth spurt, which caused him to pass me in height, wasn’t an indicator,
If the changing interests didn’t tip us off,
The cheesy pick-up lines did it!

Him: “Did it hurt?”
Her: “What”
Him: “Did it hurt when you fell to earth?”
Her: blushing “Thanks.”

Him: “Do you have a map?”
(Different) Her: “For what?”
Him: “Me. I got lost in your eyes.”
Her: embarrassed laugh as she walked away

We could be in trouble, LOL.

What cheesy lines have you heard, or had used on you?

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