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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Catching Up Since Christmas....

So, this happened in May:

Two years of hard work, very little sleep, and not seeing much of Bud!  I'm still trying to relax a bit, and just "work" full-time.  Life has been very hectic so far this summer.  My plan to de-clutter my house hasn't happened just yet, but I guess there's still July and August, right?  And my itch for school is done for awhile....unless I decide I need another MA or even perhaps a PhD?! 

I'm going to try and keep posting to this blog, now that I have some time.  Once again, stories of life, food, flowers, and stuff I want to share. In the meantime, Hello everyone!  Glad to be back.  I'm still working on healing my left foot and the plantar fasciitis that has plagued me for two years.  Now I'm visiting a chiropractor and so far one week in and a few adjustments have meant that I've been able to have days where my foot doesn't hurt at all.  Downright amazing.  There's hope for me getting back into some running, even though I'll never probably be super serious about it.  I do miss running early in the mornings in the summer.  The best time time to run, in my opinion. 

Stay tuned, and I'll be bringing you more stuff from the great Midwest!  

Happy Summer everyone :)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hello! I'm Back! 2014 in Review

I have missed writing this blog so much in the past year.  My book blog, The Bookalicious Babe has taken off and I'm so happy about that!  So many good things happened in 2014 because of that blog that I can't imagine what 2015 has in store for me. 

Another year is coming to a close, and what a whirlwind it has been for me.  It is certainly true that the older you get, the faster time flies.  It seems like I just started school yesterday, and now I'm entering my last semester.  I am counting down the days until May, when I will graduate with my MLIS (Masters in Library and Information Science).  I have learned so much--most importantly, that I don't know so much and there's always room for more knowledge in my life.  

School and work have taken up so much of my time that I tried and failed at CrossFit this past summer.  My plantar fasciitis is still very painful and has pretty much hobbled me this year.  Weeks of physical therapy didn't help much at all.  It is frustrating.  I am hopeful I will be able to start running this Spring again.  It was such a stress reliever (and sometimes gave me stress) and I desperately need it back in my life.  Bike riding and running for fun are two top priorities for me in 2015.  Maybe, just maybe, I will have time this summer to try CrossFit again.  Fingers crossed.

My honorary Auntie status has awarded me with a wonderful little picture that I am going to hang up in my study room at home.  It will remind me that there is a pot of gold at the end of this long haul, and that this year will be full of new beginnings, sunshine, and rainbows.  I feel like I am finally coming out of a dark tunnel and my soul is finding some peace.  But first, I have to finish those last 6 miles of this marathon I'm on, so I will be attending to this blog more often to chronicle my triumphs and crash-n-burns this year.  I hope you join me!


Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Summer of No School and CrossFit Beginnings

It seems like I just finished my last final for school and now it's almost July.  June has flown by; I think trying to catch up with everything I neglected over the school year kept me from relaxing and enjoying 40 hour work weeks instead of the 60 hours I was managing with work and school.   

It also gave me a chance to look at myself closely, which is not something I care to do much at all.  The stress of school, work, and life the past two years has added more weight to my body and has stopped me from running.  I look and feel horrible.  Grief=weight gain for me.  I stuff my face and just want to sit and read books all the time.  My grief has eased, and now it's time to challenge myself and learn to be stronger and healthier.  

CrossFit was my answer.  My niece and nephew both do CrossFit where they live, and absolutely love it.  I've seen for myself how much weight both have lost and how much strength they've attained.  They are healthier and happier and full of energy.  It shows in their faces and attitudes.  

So I joined CrossFit a few weeks ago.  Went to the three classes that show how to properly do the basic moves.  Talked about what to eat--basically lean meats, veggies, and no "white stuff".  Some fruits (mainly berries) and lots of water.  You can go super hard and do Paleo, but I find that too restrictive and a recipe for disaster for me.  I've chosen to try the Primal way, but I just can't find it in me to be hard core about it.  I've been avoiding bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes; eating more meat, eggs, and greek yogurt, and eating lots of berries. Eating a lot of spinach, olives, and other veggies.  The Primal even lets you have red wine.  I haven't been super strict, but I think about what I'm eating.  I have noticed I don't crave the sweet stuff like I did, and if I do eat any "white stuff" I don't feel good and it doesn't sit well.  The tough part is finding something to eat for lunch every day.  I have to take lunch to work; having a cafe in my bookstore just leads to bad eating choices when I don't have a lunch ready and waiting for me in the fridge.  

Bud has been very patient and willing to eat whatever I make for supper.  Mostly we've stuck to grilled meats and grilled veggies.  No desserts.  

And Crossfit?  I've set a goal to go 3 times a week.  This is my second week; I can honestly say I am the weak kitten in the 5:30 AM class.  I am astounded at just how out of shape I am.  But everyone there is encouraging and the coaches say "do what you can" and take as many breaks as I need to.  A few short term goals I've set for myself:  do a proper push-up!  And get my tush down low when I do squats.  My mobility is terrible, but I've already seen a bit of an improvement just after a few weeks.  Starting at the bottom means I can only improve and that's what I'm looking forward to in the next months.  By the time school starts in August, I hope I've improved my endurance and strength. I'll need them to keep myself together and moving forward over the next semester.  

What are you doing to stay fit?  Have you tried CrossFit?  

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

One Year of Grad School Behind Me, Summer in Front of Me

It's been awhile since I've posted.  My life has been a never ending swirl of books, homework, and work.  But I'm happy to say I took my last final of the year last night and now I'm free for a few months.  This will take some time to understand; I've already woken up this morning thinking I have homework to do.  Nope!  The summer months stretch out before me….with lots of work.

I've neglected my little house something terrible these past 9 months.  A major de-trashing is required.  Planting flowers, making limoncello, sorting through clothes, getting outside and running again….all those are to-do's for me.  No rest for the weary.  I wrote a paper on urban beekeeping this year, and now I'm all big on bees.  My flower planting will be big!  I want those bees in my yard.  

My other blog, Bookalicious Babe has kept me extremely busy.  And I was so grateful to be interviewed for Publisher's Weekly last week.  School kept my reading for pleasure (and to keep me sane) at an all-time low, so I'm gearing up to do a major reading marathon in the next few months.  

And I can't wait to cook on a regular basis again!  Too much eating on the run has left me….not able to run.  Ick.  Bike rides and runs are on the menu, too.  

So what has this past year taught me?  That I am strong.  That I can keep getting up every day and keep going.  That I can't do it all, and something has to give.  That I miss my Bud terribly when I can only see him once a week.  I've learned that I love being in school.  It never gets old.  I've learned that I'll never stop going to school.  Retirement will include attending classes.  I think I've got another Master's degree in me somewhere.  

I've learned that having people around you that encourage you is priceless.  I've learned that there are younger people out there who are serious, study hard, and want to make a difference.  

College isn't the be all and end all for everyone.  But for me, it is.  I can't imagine missing out on it, and how different I would be without that education. I think my world would be a little smaller, somehow.  It gives me a sense of being part of a global community; part of humanity with all the good and bad.  

I'll try to relax this summer.  How about you?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Where has the Time Gone?

Holy cow!  February is almost gone, and we're inching closer to Spring.  I think most of the country agrees with me when I say it can't come soon enough.  I'd much rather have a few blizzards then having snow storms every few days that require frequent use of the shovel every week.  Although it is the only exercise I've been getting lately.  There  is no more room for snow around my house.

School is going fairly well; this semester is going to have much more output for big papers than last semester.  I'm handling my time a little better, but still have to ban myself from seeing Bud whenever I want to  because I have so much homework to do every week.  I'm happy to say I'm going to the ALA (American Library Association) conference at the end of June in Las Vegas, and two of my nieces are going to join me for a weekend of fun.   Discovering where my heart lies in the world of librarianship continues….just goes to show surprises can still happen when you least expect them.

I hate to say I quit the Y because I haven't been since I started school in August.  Shame on me.  I can feel the difference, too.  I am so anxious to get outside and start running again I've become positively twitchy! Hope to get in a few small races this summer.  I have no problem starting over in my running quest.  Slow, steady progress is what I'm after, and the ability to work off some stress (and weight!) in the beautiful outdoors.  

So until this never ending winter finally goes to sleep, here's a reminder of warmth, color, and the scent of spring:

One more thing:  I'm celebrating my 100 followers on my other blog, Bookalicious Babe with a giveaway.  Please check it out and enter to win a book of your choice from my reading lists of 2013 and 2014.  When all else fails, read a book!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Mom has a Beau and My Boyfriend has Banned Carbs…Welcome to 2014

I have no idea what 2014 will bring except for sure more homework and a fair bit of stress with school. 

 So far, it has brought me the news that my mom has met a man at her retirement home who keeps her company and makes her happy.  I must admit I immediately went home and cried my eyes out; it gave me such a pang to think of my Dad.  Don't get me wrong--I am very happy this has happened.  Moving my Mom to a retirement home this past Fall was difficult in ways you can't imagine.  My brother and sisters and I spent a lot of time making this possible and were beyond stressed by all we had to do on top of living our lives and managing things.  We are still working to keep things operating smoothly.  It is tough to do when you can't ask your parent about things because  A) she either won't tell you, or B) doesn't remember.  Fingers crossed things will be better as we go along.

In the meantime, my Mom is eating regularly and getting all her medications at the correct times, which means she is a completely different person--and that  is a good thing.  She's making friends and taking part in what goes on where she lives.  She has an apartment (this is an assisted living place) and seems to have finally become used to being in a new place.  And her beau appears to have given her an opportunity to be more active instead of sitting in her apartment and watching tv.  

My darling Bud has decided he needs to cut carbs out of his life--and of course it's the fun carbs that I like--pasta, potatoes, and bread.  Boo.  I'm working on making sure I do what I can to help him along when he eats supper at my house.  I've been trying to get him on the quinoa train and so far he hasn't seemed impressed with this high protein stuff.  Thanks to Iowa Girl Eats and other food blogs, I've got a few recipes to try that sound incredibly tasty.  Meanwhile, I still eat pasta when he's not around :).

I can't wait to get out and start running again!  This cold weather and snow makes it seem light years away; let's hope for an early Spring.  What are you doing to make it through the winter?  Any good recipes for soups to share?  And quinoa--how often do you eat it?  

Thursday, December 19, 2013

One Semester Down, Three To Go!

I handed in my computer final last night and that is that.  That class was a struggle for me, and while I am not happy with my performance and lack of understanding, I am glad I used my "marathon" memories to power through it.  It certainly felt like a very very long run.  Still waiting on grades, but I have to be happy with knowing I did my best.  The problem with grad school is that you know you're smart enough to get in, and you don't like not feeling so smart when you have trouble in class.  It shakes your self confidence, especially when you've been pretty confident in the rest of your life.

This is my first night since August where I don't have to think about homework.  It will take me a few weeks to decompress, just in time to start again in January.  As always, I've learned a lot about myself and hope to use those lessons to be better next semester.  For one, I neglected to realize I don't have a place to study at home.  I will be taking my spare bedroom and turning it into a study room, complete with desk, chair, and good smelly candles.  Sitting on my couch and using the coffee table has just about driven me mad!  This is one of the few bad things about having a small house.  No kitchen table.
I need to create a space that is conducive to studying and learning.

I also missed running terribly these past few months.  I simply didn't have time to work out at all.  My schedule for next semester will hopefully be a bit easier (only have to travel to campus once a week) and enable me to get back into the gym.  I also learned the hard way that I need to spend more time with Bud for my mental health.  I got a bit depressed not seeing him much at all; sometimes not for a week at a time.  When you love someone, you want to be with them, and Bud's faith in my school plan needs to be reinforced sometimes with him being here with me !  So we're working on that.

It's been a semester of playing catch up and trying to learn Excel and Powerpoint on the fly.  I'm taking an Excel class in January over the course of two nights to learn a bit about it so I feel better prepared for school.  I've been feeling fairly frustrated over missing opportunities to get some experience in librarianship.  Working full-time leaves little time for extra stuff.  This semester I'm going to take some chances on the temporary opportunities that come up at school to help with projects.  I'm excited to see what's around the corner.

So…I'm relaxing tonight on the couch with a beer and mindless tv.  Retail Christmas hell is in full mode, and bad weather is a 'comin the weekend before Christmas.  Cue the hyper shoppers frantic to finish their shopping.  I'm just looking forward to baking a few breads and making a batch of cookies before Christmas Eve.  And cue the reading marathon I am starting tonight.  I have one month to cram as much reading in as possible.

Everyone have a wonderful Christmas!  What are you looking forward to in 2014?