Friday, April 27, 2012

Hello 14!!!!

After a year of kicking my own butt in work outs and better eating habits I'm suddenly excited about shopping for a new pair of jeans.  Frankly its disgusting to me to think how I'd let myself go and got so big.  I'd like to think that it was all from stress, dealing with dads death (or not dealing so well with it as the case may be), and whatever other factors may have contributed to the weight gain but those excuses are just like butt cracks... everyone's got one.  The plain and simple truth is I got lazy and didn't care.  So its been a struggle to get back to healthy mental state where I could bear down and just get it done. 

Last April I was up to a whopping size 22 (and at that point I'd actually lost some weight) but as of today I'll be shopping for a size 14 jean because my old 16's are literally falling off my butt and I don't have a decent pair anymore that are okay for work.  I haven't been this small in years, not even in college.  I say small but know compared to the rest of the world I'm still a "big girl" and probably will always be.  And I'm okay with that but its nice to get back to feeling good and having the energy that I used to have.  I'm still working at it and would like to lose another 30 lbs by the end of this year.  But that's just my next goal and I don't feel like its beyond my reach. 

I do wish there was a gym in town for me to go to because its so much harder to motivate yourself when you are home working out rather than going and forcing yourself in a separate location.  I mean the couch and fridge are literally only a few feet away.  Its also hard when you don't have a buddy to work out with.  But maybe that will make me all the stronger in the end.  I also wish the local store carried healthy food options that I could afford.  I love fresh fruit and veggies and I only get to Missoula or Sandpoint about once every 3-4 months or so if I'm lucky and the local store barely gets iceberg lettuce and tomatoes in every week.  But at least today is a Sandpoint trip day and I've got a list a mile long for yummy/healthy foods: snow peas, broccoli, carrots, asparagus,spinach, zucchini, squash, grapefruit, oranges, etc etc.    Also planning on picking up a new set of free weights for my workouts.  I have a set of 5lbers and they are getting to easy to use so its time to either go up to 7lbers or maybe even 10 but I know too much is going to hurt for a while. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Happy Dalmation!

Mace and I decided yesterday afternoon that we needed to go get some wood for next winter.  You may be asking yourself... "why are they getting wood in April?"  Well the simple truth is its easier to do now than in the middle of a hot Montana summer and frankly we are both so tired of being in the house.  So we packed up the saws, the splitting maul, and our ever faithful dalmatian, Cassie, in the truck and went up to Miton Peak to find some downed larch and red fir. 

Cassie has been showing her age lately and we're starting to worry. Its sad to see a member of your family get old and know there is that inevitable end coming around the corner.  I don't think she has any concerning ailments but she is slowing down and starting to sleep more than be active.  I guess that's what happens when you are almost 12 (84 in dog years).  But she always perks up when she gets to ride in the ol' truck and is even happier when she gets to sniff around in the woods while we're sawing and loading wood.  When she was younger she'd actually go explore a bit but these days she just likes to prowl around the edges of the road and maybe venture up a hill about 20 feet away from us.  I know that she loves the new smells and the change from our yard but she also knows her limitations.  I'm always afraid that she'll decide to go exploring again and wind up being some mountain lion's or bear's lunch so I keep an eye out for her.  She usually stays within eyerange anymore so my job has gotten quite a bit easier over the last few years.  But the main thing is even though she's is getting old she still loves to go out and see new and interesting things.  I mean just look at the smile on this ol girl!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Keeping Busy

The last year hasn't been especially easy for me.  I've been trying to find a new job and in the mean time I feel like I've been floundering a bit.  But I've been blessed by good fortunes as well and have been able to work with people that I otherwise would never have met. 

First and foremost I've been teaching at the local preschool 2 days a week with a wonderful woman by the name of Meredith Sterling.  She is by far one of the sweetest people I've ever had the pleasure to encounter.  The kind of person that would literally give you the shirt of her own back if it would help in any way.  I've been able to open up to her about stresses in my life and issues I have living in such a small community with so little in the form of intellectual stimulation. She has gone out of her way to share her own experiences and struggles since she grew up in a community near Chicago and found aspects of living here difficult as well.  She has also invited me to join her scrap booking club and although I'm definitely a newbie I've felt welcomed and right at home with the group that has been meeting for years.  I've been having a lot of fun getting some of my artistic and creative juices flowing again and have gotten into sketching and photography again to add bits and pieces to my scrapbooks and journals.  So to Meredith I must give you a great big thank you for these opportunities and the motivation to pick myself up by my bootstraps.

As luck would have it she also introduced me to her husband Bruce who is the District Wildlife Biologist for Sanders County for Montana Fish Wildlife And Parks.  I've been able to go out with Bruce and keep my hands in the wildlife pool and gain some connections and experiences that I have been missing.  He has been sharing tidbits of information and also telling me about how he started out.  We also have a lot in common since he grew up in Rawlins.  Granted there is a good 30 year age difference but when it comes to stuff in Wyoming if you've lived there in the last 70 years you feel a connection to other residents.  He's been trying to get me out in the field with him as much as possible so I can add new and different experiences and skills to my resume to make me more appealing to future employers.  I love that I can ask him anything under the sun and he is more than willing to discuss and share any and all information he has.  I look up to him like a mentor and appreciate everything he has done and how hard he works in his own job for the state.  Again I can't thank him enough for that.

Lastly I've been lucky enough to be subbing at the local grade school about 4 days a week for the last 4 months which has been an absolute god send... both for paying the bills and just for keeping me busy and not fretting over the small stuff in life.  I've gotten to know the staff and the kids at the school and actually feel like I'm contributing.  My favorite days are the ones that I get to sub for the math and science teachers because I get the sense the kids struggle the most with these classes and I know how that feels.  Even though I pursued and education and a career that is heavily tethered to the sciences I always have had to work so much harder in these areas than others like English, history, language arts, etc in school.  I've actually been able to help some of these kids understand formulas and incorporate some of what they are studying to real life applications.  They seem to be getting it and are challenging themselves more each time I go in there which is amazing to see firsthand.  I have a greater appreciation for the amazing teachers I had growing up and how much effort they really put in.

So even though I've had these odd ups and downs I can see the good in my life and just wanted to take a moment to really reflect on it.