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My Barnhouse is Quiet, but Dirty

4500 square feet.  What the fuck am I thinking?  Who does that?  Who lives in a 4500 square foot home?  I thought I’d be in full on panic mode.  How on earth do you make sense of the chaos that is living with children and animals, in a 4500 square foot home?  It’s seriously going to take me 30 minutes just to sweep the entryway.   And the windows, now I get to clean slobber and greasy handprints on four times as many windows.  I’ve got windows I can’t reach, and strangely enough they have handprints on them too.

We bought this home because we loved it when we walked in.  The outside is nothing special, huge, but not unique in any other way.  When we walked through the front door we knew it was ours.  We knew it right away.  It was perfect.  Not priced any higher than the other, smaller homes we had looked at.  It’s the perfect combination of old and new.  I’m living in my dream home, only I didn’t realize it until I moved in.

dreamy kitchen ceiling

This house needed every square inch cleaned.  The previous owner, and I’m just speculating because of the state of the cobwebs and inch of sand on the walls, did not enjoy cleaning.  It’s a LOT of fucking work.  Like so much work that I’ve lost weight even while I eat potato chips and pepperoni like a hog.  Like an ACTUAL hog.  I just can’t stop eating.  Our Radical Unschooling is playing an interesting role here in that I’ve never required my kids to do any chores.  Come on kids!  Seriously, now would be a good time to pony up with that housework you’ve been dying to get in on!

carpet shampoo contrast. other people’s mess is so much grosser than your own, isn’t it?

It’s peaceful here.  Inside and out.  The dogs are calm, the cat is calm, I feel calm and the kids are throwing bouncy balls off the loft trying to hit the 30+ foot ceiling.  You didn’t think they’d be calm did you?  Oh hell no.  But now I have space!  And if there’s one thing this Capricorn appreciates it’s a little personal space!  Though, I am just shocked at how much more connection we are experiencing in this big barnhouse.  It’s like we all have ENOUGH space that coming together is never an issue and we’ve hung out, played more games and enjoyed each other’s company more in this past week and a half than I can remember in our entire RV trip.  Well, that’s not entirely true but it’s surprised me enough to make that statement, even if it is a lie.

my ridiculously peaceful backyard

I’ve got a list a mile long for today.  The kids are sleeping in (there’s that unschooling thing creeping in again) and that gives me lots of time for scrubbing down the cabinets and steaming the bedroom floor.  While I KNOW some of you are cringing; Yes…  I’m actually enjoying this.  Just find me in a year and we’ll see where I’m at with all that cleaning.  Maybe I’ll still love it or maybe I’ll be selling the children’s artwork on the street corner to pay for the maid.

Four Months of Transition: From Washington to Vermont

In two days time, life as I currently know it, will be over and a new chapter will have begun.  It feels so normal and comfortable and right to sit here in my cozy RV bedroom with Azula, while TJ works outside and while Skylar cooks eggs and Phoenix and Milo have a spat over some plushies.  Josie is in her self-appointed cat perch away from the commotion and Linky is undoubtedly sleeping in the midst of angrily hurled toys.  It’s not everyone’s heaven.  Actually, it’s probably not most people’s idea of a home, but for the last 4 months it’s been our home.  We left our tiny island of Vashon, WA on May 31st.

We’ve watched sunsets in the vast landscape of Montana.

We rode horseback in Idaho.

We made beds for the dogs in the back of the van and all drove through Yellowstone for an entire day and saw everything we could possibly see in 14 hours time.

 We found that North Dakota, for all of it’s vast landscape of not-a-whole-lot-to-see has a growing gem of a town named Fargo.

We rode roller coasters and bumper cars until our hearts were content in the Mall of America, two days in a row.

We had campfires and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows all across the United States.

We celebrated not one, but two of our children’s birthdays while living in this RV.  There’s been haircuts and hair coloring and ear piercings.  We’ve spent time fishing, celebrating, canoeing, hooping and so many more things I couldn’t possibly list them, and we’ve done it all almost exclusively together for just about 4 months.

On Wednesday, we’re moving into our new home, which is 2250% bigger than our current home.  When we were looking for a home here in Vermont, I lost the small house battle in a major, cathedral-ceiling and our house-has-a-library kind of way.  Nevertheless, I’m ecstatic to have found such a glorious property right in the middle of all the people that I love.

When we started this journey, I’m pretty sure my teenager did NOT pump his fist and say, “Wow.  I’m 14 going on 15 and I can’t wait to hole up inside a tiny RV with my parents and little brothers for 4 whole months!  Wooo!”  I’m also pretty sure he did in fact have fun, even if he hibernates down in his room and I don’t see him for the next 6 weeks.  I don’t really know what I hope he learned, or what I hope I was able to show him but I am eternally grateful to have him so close for this past period of time, since I know he’s itching to get out there in the world, without the rest of us.  That growing up thing…  it’s bittersweet, isn’t it?

We’re all different people then we were when we left and I couldn’t imagine a better transition than this one right here.  Even if I am freaking out on the inside about how long it will take me to clean our new castle.  Though it becomes unlivably messy seriously fast, I can clean the RV faster than I can put back a couple glasses of wine, and since I’m not cleaning much, I’ve got plenty of time for that!

I’m looking forward to a full kitchen, enough space for the dogs to tear-ass around the house when there’s too much snow and for the physical and personal space we all crave right now.  A lot of my FB feed is full of dreams about tiny houses and living with less (I was there once).  Even though I could travel for a much longer period of time,  I’m am looking forward to quite the opposite, (as is my usual style) and having a big house and seeing my things again; my favorite painting, my sock collection and the rest of my hoops.  When we chose to buy a house, we chose against full time RV’ing, which is sad and happy all at the same time.  Though, I still picture TJ and I as retired, old people living in a sweet Class A with 4 slides and dishwasher…  Man…  I do miss my dishwasher, a lot.

Inside My Hoop

I bought my first hoop on Memorial Day weekend 2011 at an unschooling conference.  It was a beast, at 54″ in diameter and heavy as all hell. At that time I really didn’t know the scope of what was happening in the hoop community. I just knew I had a friend who was in my eyes the best hooper in the entire world and I wanted to try it out. I didn’t hoop with it at the conference AT ALL.  I let a few others try it out and I watched, knowing I couldn’t hoop with it just yet.  I brought it home where I felt safe, to look like a complete ass.  It didn’t take too long to realize that something I couldn’t do when I was child, I could do now! 10 minutes of practice and I could waist hoop with the best of them!  That giant heavy hoop was the KEY to my success.

At first I just sort of played with it. I hooped all over the house and the yard, often being silly and having contest with my husband or children. There’s a rather classy photo somewhere of me hooping with a giant spatula in one hand and a margarita in the other.  Then… I learned a trick and it was all over.  Throughout the next year and half I became inseparable with my hoop. This piece of plastic brought me more joy then anything I can ever remember.

With every new trick I learned, or every movement that felt right I gained a sense of accomplishment I’ve never experienced before. The important part?  The rules are my own. I hoop WHEN I want, and HOW I want. I have no expectations of my learning or my skill level. When I’m inside my hoop the all of the shoulds and have tos and need tos just fall away and I am happily, perfectly me.

Before my hoop, I was very much too shy to show up to a group trip or a group of hooping strangers.  Now, showing up and looking like a complete ass while trying something new (in public) is one of the best parts of it!  My hoop feels like the doorway to finding myself and it just keeps spinning in all the right directions.

The Story of a Shaved Head /hair

I haven’t blogged in ages.  I haven’t really blogged as a big part of my life in years.  I haven’t written anything at all in awhile, and I certainly haven’t written anything down before 10am.  This isn’t my big, “Hey, I’m blogging again!” announcement.  This is just too crazy not to blog.  While lying in bed last night I kept thinking about what I was going to write today.  I couldn’t stop thinking about this whole experience in the third person.  Like I wasn’t even the one doing it.

My entire life people always told me things like, “I wish I had your hair.” and “You are so lucky to have a head of hair like that.”  I have very fast growing, thick and strong hair.  It doesn’t mess easily and is somewhat bedhead resistant.  Still having so much hair is a lot of work, the washing and the brushing.  Ugh.  So what’s the problem?  Well, I never really appreciated it all that much.  When it was long I sort of felt like a slave to it.  When I was older, same, it was just too much work.  I became the queen of the knot.  The ultimate in motherhood anti-style.

At a time when there seemed to be some sort of female head shaving revolution on my facebook news feed, my hair was long.  Very long.  I knew I wanted shorter hair, but still didn’t have the gonads for “boy cut”.  I suppose even then I knew I wanted one, but just wasn’t ready for it.  If you know me, you know I don’t do anything until I’m ready.  Whatever that even means.  I had TJ tie my hair into a ponytail and cut my hair.  I rocked this cute longish A-line for awhile.  This was my short haircut.  In a flash, my high maintenance hair became…  SOMEWHAT high maintenance hair!  And really, super cute.  I loved this haircut, for a while.  Then, it was boring and too easy to tie back every day.

I went to the local stylist in January of 2012 and had her stick to the same cut, but even shorter.  I didn’t really like it.  I’m sure it was a nice cut, but why is it that almost every time I go to a stylist I’m not entirely happy with what happens to my head?  I think there’s only one person who cut my hair that I was really happy with.  (Yeah, Brookie!)  Though, it’s probably my control freak tendencies.  If I fuck up my hair I can rationalize the shit out of it.  If someone else fucks up my hair?  It’s not even rationalizeable at all.  It’s a bad haircut.  (Totally, sorry to all my hairdressers who may or may not be reading this.  It’s all my fault.  I’m a terrible client.)

I decided I needed to go for it.  I’d thought about having short hair all my life, but afraid of not looking like a girl, afraid of not being pretty.  What the fuck is that?  Afraid of not being pretty?!  Like, pretty is some sort of requirement to being human?  It makes me cringe just writing it.

 

So with TJ’s help, this is what I ended up with.  I love this haircut so much.  The entire time I had that cut, I felt like it was the cut I was meant for.  Like I should have come from the womb, with that exact haircut.  It’s the best haircut I’ve ever had.  It’s fierce, badass, but still cute, girly, pretty.  Shit.  Not what I was going for.

 

It wasn’t enough.  I needed to go further.  I needed to experience having no hair.  I needed to challenge every standard of hair styled beauty I’ve ever known.  I needed to challenge traditional standards of female beauty and society’s gender standards.   I needed to love myself with or without my hair.  I needed to not think about whether it was pretty or not.  I’m sure this is the haircut I’ll go back to in a few months, but for now I’m rocking a crew cut.

If you’ve always had a lot of hair, and you’re wondering if it’s as hard as you think it is to shave all your hair off, the answer is Yes.  Yes it is.  There is one thing I’ve pretty much always had, bangs.  And one thing I’ve had for a very long time, pink hair.  Shaving just the top of my head still felt I was shaving all hair I ever had, off.  When I turned off the clippers I realized it wasn’t the clippers causing vibrations in my hands.  I was actually shaking.  I shaved from the back and moved forward until I has once tiny piece of my pink bangs left, then…  gone.  I totally felt a huge surge of adrenaline which immediately exhausted me.  I hopped in the shower for the most GLORIOUS shower I have ever taken.  (Fellow head shavers totally know what I’m talking about!)

I feel naked, completely exposed, vulnerable and I’m transitioning from noticing my hair, to noticing my face and trying to love what I see.  When I wanted this experience I really had no idea what I was in for.  It hasn’t even been a day and I feel like, it’s been just that, an experience!

TLDR: I just really wanted to know what it was like to have a shaved head.  Now I know.

 

Gluten Free Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes

This blog post is being resurrected from July 4th 2010.  It’s one of my all time favorite cupcake recipes and I wanted to come back and tweak the instructions just a bit.  Phoenix, my youngest has been playing a cupcake maker app on Enrique (that would be my iPhone, Enrique.  He has a name). Yesterday he came to me and said, “I want to make house cupcakes!  So after realizing he didn’t want them to look like a house and he wanted to make them IN the house, we did!  I really wanted to go with a 4th of July theme here, but obviously I wasn’t getting past choosing the papers.  Phoenix had some pink and blue sprinkles in mind.  Hope you enjoy your holiday as much as I enjoyed baking these!

Happy Independence Day America!  I could say Happy 4th of July.  Sure, it *is* the fourth of July and all, but I think it takes away from the meaning of this holiday.  Not that I don’t love beer and barbecues, but we should all remember why this holiday exists in the first place.  Today we commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.  Therefore, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.  How to best celebrate this great historical event?

With cupcakes, duh.

Gluten Free Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups rice flour (white or half white and half brown)
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 tbsp cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 stick butter (softened)
  • 14. oz strawberries (pureed)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (frosting)
  • 1 sticks butter (frosting)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla (frosting)
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar (frosting)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients. Rice flour, potato starch flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and xanthan gum.
  2. In a medium sized bowl beat together sugar, cream cheese and softened butter until crumbly.
  3. Add sugar mixture to dry ingredients, mix together.
  4. Add strawberry puree, vanilla. Beat for 30 seconds.
  5. Add eggs. Beat on high for 2 minutes. Fill lined cupcake pan.
  6. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. (cupcakes are done when you can poke it with your finger and have it bounce back)
  7. To make the frosting, beat together the 8oz. cream cheese, 1 stick softened butter, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla and confectioner’s 2c. sugar until smooth.
  8. Frost completely cooled cupcakes.

Below is the original photo I took in 2010.  We made these colorful strawberries to go on top!  The berries are simply dipped in melted white chocolate than in colored sanding sugar or sugar crystals.

Happy Independence Day!

Couch to 5K: Week 6 – Running Maintenance

Awhile back I promised to write a little bit about the problems I’ve encountered while running and how I’ve dealt with those issues.  I um…  procrastinated and um…then kind of forgot.  Shocking, I know.  But today, a friend wrote to me on my Facebook wall and it reminded me that I really wanted to document all of this.  So here I am!  Documenting.

I think the first thing to know is that the internet is your friend.  There is NO END to resources out there.  I know you’re probably thinking, “Um duh, Heather!”  I think my very favorite way to learn is though a very basic form of crowd-sourcing.  I LOVE posting a question or problem on my facebook wall and seeing the variety of answers and ideas.  Real experiences are so much more valuable to me than textbook cases.  So, hopefully some of my experiences can be helpful too.

I’m having trouble with my lungs can not seem to get a deep enough breath. I don’t smoke or have many allergy problems, also & this maybe a question for a doctor, today my knee & neck randomly started hurting after my run. Last I am looking for a new pair of shoes, just wondering what you run in… thanks again

Breathing: The first few times I ran, I DIED.  I mean like crazy heavy breathing that left me feeling more winded than anyone in there right mind would want to be.  I attributed it to being a beginner and just kept on.  One problem for me is I HATE feeling like I can’t breathe and when I am winded like that I tend to panic, only making the whole situation worse.  I knew I needed to relax and when it didn’t improve much, I started to wonder if I was breathing incorrectly.  As it turns out I was doing it ALL wrong.

First things first, breathing in through your nose and breathing out through your mouth doesn’t count for running.  Nose breathing isn’t going to get you enough oxygen to carry you through your run.  The idea is to breathe IN through your nose and mouth at the same time getting as much oxygen as possible.  Take breaths from your belly, these are deeper than from your chest.  Then breathe OUT through your mouth.  Every so often I also exhale quite forcefully to rid my lungs of excess CO2.  If my lungs are holding any CO2 then that’s space where oxygen can’t be.  The other biggest help for me was keeping a steady breathing pace, rather than breathing erratically.  This took A LOT of practice and didn’t come naturally, but once I got it…  I got it.

Livestrong has some great advice on breathing.  Although at this time I find trying to follow a 3:2 ratio is unreasonable for me.  I also breathe quite loudly and the article suggests I shouldn’t.  I believe this is partly a beginner problem as my lungs are still adjusting and strengthening.  When I run I do seem to get a little winded within a few minutes, but as long as I practice what I know about breathing I do level out and hit a point where I feel like I could run forever.  (That is IF my calves would hold out!  All in good time I am sure)

Knees: I have experienced some sore knees, but this was not until after I ended up with nasty shin splints.  What I learned from friends and articles was that sore knees can be due to a tight IT band.  So I began some stretches that were directly related to that.  Also, I  used advil to keep inflammation down and ice for 20 minutes ASAP after my run.

Neck: I really have no advice here.  Although in the beginning I did have some neck trouble.  I have a large chest.  It took awhile for my neck to become accustomed to the new activity.  I don’t mean running.  I mean the bounce CAUSED by the running.  I have the sports bra of steel…  but still.

Sneakers:  I was wearing these.  But after a few weeks I realized that they aren’t made for feet.  They are terribly stiff and too narrow in the toes.  I very quickly hated them.  Now I wear these and I’ve been love from day 1!  These are a minimalist shoe and really do make me feel like I’m barefoot.  Honestly, I haven’t had any knee pain or shin splint pain since I started wearing them (this may or may not be a coincidence since I put all the work in to get rid of those issues).  The biggest differences I notice is 1. comfort level and 2. my feet are working harder so they were more tired after a run the first 2 times I wore them.  I’ve run in them 3 times, so this all has plenty of time to change.  Also I bought a half size up in my running shoe.  I am normally a 6.5, but I bought a 7.  Feet swell during running and you need room for that in your shoes.

I think the very best thing that I’ve done for myself is maintenance.  Running is really hard on the body and can require a lot of maintenance work.  Especially in the beginning.  Every time something comes up, I research the heck out of it and deal with the problem immediately.  For example, when I began an old painful hip injury resurfaced so I looked up hip strengthening exercises and within 2 weeks I was pain free in my hip.  When my neck was sore, I found some stretches for sore necks and did them faithfully for weeks.  Same with my shins and my knees.  I’ve also recently started doing yoga from runners.  I hate yoga.  Errr…  I hated yoga.  Now I look forward to it and know that it is helping me.  In the long run (no pun intended) all of this is paying off and means I can run farther and actually feel good about it and not like I’m about to die a thousand times over.

As someone who hated exercising on purpose, I can truly say that I look forward to our runs.  5 weeks ago, on day 1 of Couch to 5K 60 seconds of jogging left me completely winded, but 2 days ago I ran for 20 minutes without stopping!  (Woot!!!)  It’s a big challenge and you CAN do it, but you HAVE to listen to your body and take care of it when it needs you to.  When I wanted to start running the maintenance part didn’t really occur to me.  Now I like to think of it as working out the kinks.

Happy run/walk/jog!  How are YOU doing?

(Have more advice?  Post it in the comments!)

Pad Thai Day

We’ve been doing the Couch to 5K program about 3 days a week.  1 of those days always lands on a Friday.  At our house Friday is known as Pad Thai Day.  I can’t even imagine a better post-run dinner than Pad Thai.  It’s one of my favorites and I almost always order it when it’s on the menu.  I promised the recipe last blog post and I’m usually not to good on keeping promises over the internet but this time you can say, I delivered!

I had never thought of making my own Pad Thai before.  There is a take out place here that makes it decent enough so I just bought it from them once in awhile.  Occasionally the chicken was overcooked, but it was cheap, abundant and saved me from cooking dinner for at least 2 nights in a row.  It was a win-win.  Of course until we ordered food one evening and Tj found a chopped up cigarette in his food.  Oh, how I WISH I was joking.  We have never been back since.  How does that even happen!?  Did it fall from his mouth?  Behind his ear?  Was he chopping vegetable while smoking AND blindfolded???  Do I even want to know?!

Anyway, I searched around for a recipe and eventually came across one that I thought matched perfectly.  Most of the recipes are similar, but something about this one just stood out.  Full Disclosure: This isn’t my recipe but I’m rewriting it since there are some mistakes in the text and I modified it just ever so slightly.  Also, on the original when you click for the photo version it’s different.  So here is the recipe that I cook every Friday night.

Pad Thai
Recipe Type: Entree
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 8 oz. Thai Rice Noodles (linguini style)
  • 3/4 tbsp. tamarind paste
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp chili sauce
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken thigh, sliced
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce or Bragg’s liquid amino’s
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 fresh Thai chilis, minced (optional – these tiny chilis can pack some heat!)
  • 2 tbsp. chicken stock
  • 3 cups bean sprouts
  • 1/8 tsp ground white pepper
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/3 cup peanuts, chopped
  • fresh lime wedges
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Remove from heat and place in the rice noodles. Allow noodles to soak while you prepare the other ingredients. (The idea is soften the noodles enough to eat without making the mushy. I find this step happens quite fast so check regularly) Drain. Rinse with cold water. Set Aside.
  2. In a cup dissolve the tamarind paste in the warm water. Add the fish sauce, chili sauce and brown sugar. This is the Pad Thai sauce. Set aside.
  3. Stir together the soy sauce and 1 tsp of corn starch to make the marinade. Pour over the sliced chicken. Stir well. Set aside.
  4. Heat the oil in your wok or large frying pan over medium-high. Add the coconut oil. Stir fry the garlic and chilis for about 30-45 seconds.
  5. Add the chicken to the wok and stir fry until brown on all sides. Pour in the chicken stock and continue to the cook the chicken until cooked through. 5-8 minutes.
  6. Add the noodles to the pan, pour the pad thai sauce over the noodles and mix with the chicken. Gently lift and turn to mix the noodles with the chicken. Stir Fry for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Add the bean sprouts and the white pepper and continue to lift and turn to mix in with the noodles.
  8. Removed from heat. Add the green onion, cilantro, and peanuts and toss together until well mixed.
  9. Serve with lime wedge and chili sauce. Also, add more fish sauce to taste if desired.
Notes

Instead of chicken try shrimp or tofu!

 Before I go, I should share that on Saturday we attended a film festival at the local theater.  There were 29, 1 minute videos entered and  I should probably also mention that one of the videos happened to be made by Skylar and his friend Charlie.

This is his second movie screening, at a real theater, of one of his own videos and all I can say is what an amazing experience for him as a young film maker. All of the videos appear here at The Vashon Line.  Skylar’s film, entitled “God” is the last one on page 2.  I can’t even tell you what a thrill it is to see your kid’s face on the big screen!

 

Cto5K Week 4: Making Serious Progress

Today wasn’t the best day on earth for self-adoration.  Then 6:00 came and TJ and I headed out for our run/walk/jog that I talked about last week.  When we returned I was bragging ALL OVER THE PLACE about my performance.  I fucking rocked it.  Like a boss.

Week 4, Day 1 of Couch to 5K looks something like this:

  • 5 minute brisk walk
  • 3 minute run
  • 90 seconds walk
  • 5 minute run
  • 2.5 minute walk
  • 3 minute run
  • 90 second walk
  • 5 minute run

I wasn’t even sure I wanted to move on yet.  I had almost convinced TJ that I wanted to repeat another day from week 3.  Then at the last minute I just said “oh whatever” and went for it anyway, because I’m either cool or stupid like that.

Today, we tore it up!  Errr…  *I* tore it up!  Not only did I complete the day with ease, but I added a 90 second run to end of program and could have kept going! For reals, yo!  TJ just barely managed to keep up with my lightning fast pace!  (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)

I can’t even tell you how hard the first 3 weeks were.  I have dealt with what feels like NEVER ENDING problems in only 27 days.

  • Edema in my legs and feet
  • An old hip injury resurfacing
  • Shin splints
  • Sore knees
  • Neck problems
  • Panicky breathing (while running)

I know that there are a lot of us beginning new exercise programs right now.  It IS spring after all.  So I’ll write about each and every one of these issues and how I’ve dealt with them in another post.  Hopefully, it will help someone out there.

This whole program was beginning to make me feel weak and *GASP*, old.  I’ve already spent WAY too much time being discouraged.  However, I’ve spent an EQUAL amount of time dealing with EACH ONE of these issues properly and it has paid off.  The progress I made today totally trumped my piss poor attitude this morning.  Today, I felt like a machine!  A machine that has two heaping portions of homemade pad thai (recipe to come IF you beg for it), a slice of homemade pizza and a ginger ale and whiskey to top it all off.

 

She Runs

I’m eagerly awaiting my husband’s arrival. After he gets home from work, we’re going for a run. Yeah, you heard me right. Miss I don’t like to exercise on purpose is going for a run. Actually, more like a jog. Or maybe a jog/walk. Really, it just sounds so much cooler when I can smugly say, “yeah… I’m headed out for run.” And stretch my elbows back with overzealous pride.

Here I go.

Today begins 3 weeks of Couch to 5k. The program I’ve been hearing SO MANY people love and have success with. What kind of success, you ask? Running success. Meaning they don’t rage quit or bust a hip or swear off running for the rest of their existence. These people actually end up liking running! Imagine that. By the end of the program they can actually run a 5k. Total superheros!

So, I’m feeling out of shape. Yes, I know ROUND is a shape. I’ve heard that joke before, hardy har har! Not really the shape I’m going for, though neither is square or um, triangle. Actually, since we are not in preschool let’s not talk about shapes at all. Really, what I’m going for is more energy. Currently, I cannot outrun my husband. This means I get hit with the water balloon EVERY time. Dodge ball? Forget it. While I can throw a head shot with pinpoint accuracy, getting out of the way is just not happening. I get hit in the boob EVERY time. Though, that may have nothing to do with my speed. :/

He is sweet to run at my pace.

So… anyway enough chitter chatter. Here is what we have done for 3 days a week so far.

Week 1:
Brisk 5 minute walk
Alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for 20 minutes.
PIE! Well, not exactly, but I made it and it felt GOOOOOOOD.

Week 2:
Brisk 5 minute walk
Alternate 90 seconds of jogging and 2 minutes of walking for 20 minutes

My experiences are varying. Week 2, day 2 I *dramatic pause* DIED!!! However, I kicked SO MUCH ASS on day 3! Today we begin week 3, where one of the running stretches will last for 3 whole minutes, a freaking eternity. Holy Mary Mother of God. Help me, Jesus.

Week 3, Day 1 complete. I'm ALIVE!

A Sticky Situation

It’s taken me a long time to love Seattle and the PNW.  I mean REALLY love it like it’s home, which it is.  It’s taken me a good couple years to settle in and to feel completely at home.  So now I want to see more.  So this spring and summer I’m making it a point to explore the shit out of this place!  I’ve seen the Space Needle, that’s not what I’m looking for.  I wanna see the weird stuff, and incidentally the sticky stuff.  Our first stop was Pike Place Market.  We’ve seen the market before…  old news.  Instead we went below the market to Post Alley which happens to be home to the second most unsanitary tourist attraction just behind the Blarney Stone.  The tradition began in 1993, though it became an official tourist attraction in 1999.  That basically means they quit trying to clean it up.  If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em right?

 

Architectural Gum

Seattle Gummed Window