Monday Musings

Happy Monday you crazy kids! I don’t know about you but I’m hitting the floor today with a smile and a mile long to do list!

This past weekend was busy as I was preparing to move my little vintage business to a new location. The new place isn’t that far away but moving is always, well, moving right?

You still have to pack it up and drag it to the new destination.

Oh. And rain.

Yes, let’s add rain to the mix for a little extra fun. ( Insert sarcasm here 😉 )

I was pretty happy with the month in sales…lots of stuff went to new homes so it means I gotta get going on some new projects.

Thankfully my barn has plenty waiting for me.

Seriously though, I’m so grateful for new opportunities and can hardly wait to see how this next part of the adventure unfolds.

Sunday afternoon I got my new space all set up and Monday will find me at the shop entering all my inventory in the computer.

It’s hard to believe that July marks my one year “officially” doing this.

A year of doing this messy, fun, challenging, and extremely creative work. I’ve learned to do so many things I never knew how to do.

Thankfully I have a “jump in the deep end” personality so it’s never crossed my mind I couldn’t fix up some horrible, ratty, falling apart piece of furniture. It kinda comes naturally to me.

It has been the most unexpected, satisfying work.

Speaking of work….

I love that summer mornings get light out pretty early allowing me to get on the road for some miles while the sun comes up on me.

Did I mention though, our county decided to “pave” our little country roads? This amounts to pouring out hot tar, and then covering it with small stones and rolling over it a few times.

It is then expected the usual traffic will pack it down. The bad part is that all the loose stone where cars don’t drive gets pushed into areas and that can make for some, exhilarating ? Moments on the bike if you hit one of those patches.

Curves and cul de sacs I used to ride into like a wild woman, well, I have to be a little more cautious on….. for right now 😉

In the ways of athletic shenanigans….

More than once this week I’ve been reminded of the payoffs for my strength training days. I’m more than capable of helping lift various pieces of equipment at my sons shop….me offering to help unload something from a truck…ha…

Surprised looking man “Oh you’re going to help me?”

Me: indeed I am.

I’m always amused at the usual expectations that because I’m a female I’m not equipped to handle heavy things .

Now I jokingly quip I don’t just have muscles for decoration haha

I helped move a big china cabinet out of my shop yesterday that I sold. I felt like I handled it better than the guy on the other end 😉

Seriously though, you get stronger by using your body. Practicing functional movements and lifting heavy things transfers over into real life by being able to handle all the day to day things you may deal with.

In addition to all that….it’s empowering to be strong.

And today starts a new month…..

Not just any month, July. All things summer and our nation’s birthday month and yours truly as well.

It will be time for another birthday post so stay tuned for that 😉

Speaking of the United States birthday. My kids have been pleading with me to whip up my homemade strawberry ice cream.

This is like seriously the most amazing treat ever. It will not be on my healthy eating tips post Haha

It is made with nothing but heavy cream, buckets of sweet, juicy bright red strawberries, and uh, sugar.

You let it churn for quite awhile in the old ice cream maker ( electric of course) although I’ve entertained my kids with stories “back in the day” where we had to hand crank that thing for eternity before we were rewarded with actual ice cream.

Did you ever get that experience??

Homemade ice cream is one of those quintessential summer treats for sure.

It will also be accompanied by hot dogs off the grill topped with various condiments, along with tasty side dishes to keep them company.

The night will be topped off perched on a blanket, watching spectacular fireworks while that delicious ice cream drips off my chin or runs down my arm cause that stuff gets messy.

But I ask you, is there a better way to end a celebratory day than hanging with people you love and eating tasty food?

I think not.

If you’ll be celebrating the 4th, what treats do you enjoy? What are some if your favorite summer foods?

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Monday Musings

I was feeling kinda lazy and toying with not writing and then I thought about you, my 1.5 readers. I thought about you and how you’d be bleary eyed over your morning coffee looking for todays Monday Musings  and then it wouldn’t be there and you’d be mildly disappointed…ha… so here we are.

I do have a  few things I’m musing this week… as in….

How the heck do I have a 30 year old child now? Well, not a child a man for sure, but you know what I mean.

Tomorrow, he officially turns “30”.  For some reason he’s been dreading it like he’s now gotta sign up for AARP and get fitted for dentures or something.

I find myself pondering where 30 years rolled off to? I think I’m to young to have a child this age 😛

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A homemade 3 layer German Chocolate Cake

My first born son.

Sweet, kind hearted, gentle, ridiculously off the cuff funny, smart, ( he used to toss the directions for Leggo kits and just build them from sight), he impresses me with what he can teach himself and what he knows, he’s beautiful and comes in at about 6’5, a combination which often makes the opposite sex pay attention.

He’s also married and going to make me a grandmother again with a beautiful little girl in the spring 🙂

This is the gentle, compliable, laid back child that convinced us it was so fun we should have another one.

Enter my strong willed, stubborn, head strong, out spoken, bold second son. You know the shopping cart that refuses to go the right way and is constantly careening everywhere and you gotta keep a firm hand on it at all times? Yeah.  This child may be more like me than I want to admit… but he’s another story 😉

I joke it’s good the oldest one came first….

Life moves along and I think one of it’s biggest markers/milestones is watching your children grow up.  I’m blessed for sure with what I’ve been given and am so thankful to watch him celebrate another life milestone.

I realized this week sometimes I underestimate myself

Not often, but I do.

When I was asked before Christmas to offer up a wish list, it was on my mind to ask for heavier free weights. I have a variety of weights I use depending on what I’m doing, everything from light 15lb for higher reps, to a 35 lb kettle bell, and Olympic weights for all the other fun stuff. I had asked for 20lbs thinking that would be enough of a move up to make me work a bit harder than the lighter ones I used mostly for arm work

I did get the requested 20 lb weights.

What I realized is in the past months, the time I’ve been working out, my arms have gotten stronger than I realized and the 20 pounders felt, well, a bit breezey. ( Iguess tossing all that other heavy stuff around added up :-P)

As in, I easily curled off 12 reps without missing a beat. I knew if I wanted to be challenged more I’d need to up the weight. So I went to athletic store and played with the 25 and 30 pounds. Even though I use a 35 kettle bell, it’s usually with both hands so the single 30 was heavier for single arm work.

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I opted for the 25’s because it’s hard enough, and when I add more reps I really start to feel it. Doing renegade rows with them I REALLY feel them.

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Don’t know what a renegade row looks like? Here you go. It’s a little work for a lot of your body

Needless to say, I’ve got some new arm goals for this year 😉

The holidays are behind us, time to get productive again…

Meaning, I need to get back to flipping my vintage and antique furniture! My daughter in laws were asking me what I’d done lately and I’m like…uh nothing….

Tonight though, I finished off a chair that’s mine that’s been sitting waiting for a new seat and waxing over the paint. I love this old chair, it’s legs and weathered details. I bought it in horrible condition for 10.00. It now looks pretty, distressed, usable and cute with my old Sligh desk I refinished last year.

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I love the spindle back
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I love the legs 🙂

Want to read more about what I do in my uh…spare time? Find my posts here…

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/05/22/the-art-of-flipping-furniture/

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/05/23/steps-to-transforming-vintage-furniture/

In the way of really, really cool things….

Do you remember, way back in April of last year, there was a Southwest Airplane that the engine blew out on ? The pilot, a woman named Tammie Jo Shults, calmly, successfully, navigated and landed the plane to safety with only one engine and a hole in the cabin after a window blew out.

Here’s the super cool thing.

I’ve gone to church with her for years.

I remember one summer doing VBS ( vacation bible school) with her and finding out she was a pilot and being in awe of that…and then finding out later she’d been a Navy fighter pilot.. the first woman to do so.

I mean, really, that seemed like a crazy, cool kinda job.

Needless to say, when that day happened and we heard about it, but then it got really closer to home when we all started hearing who the pilot was.

I tell you all this because this morning she shared her story during the morning worship service.

Before she spoke they played clips with  air traffic control and her in the cockpit during that unnerving flight while pictures of the plane were shown.

To say it was moving is an understatement.

Soft spoken, well articulated with a good sense of humor, she shared her personal insights from that day.

Already a strong and committed Christian, she gave a beautiful testimony of peace and trust in God during that time. She said “I realized quickly that today could well be the day I meet my Maker” but then she said” I also knew we were still in the air and flying but somehow knowing the truth that it could be a possibility, a calm settled over me as I began to do what I needed to do. ”

This is the calm steady voice you will hear on the audio tapes from that day.

She jokingly said one of her sons friends had commented “Your Mom is so calm!” and his response was, “No she’s not, you should see her when I leave my dishes in the sink!”

She talked about the unsure, scary moments when the engine went out, the cabin losing pressure, smoke in the cockpit, not being able to hear, see, or breathe, how horribly loud everything was and how badly the plane was shaking.

She wondered if it would be able to stay together to fly. With one engine gone and parts of the plane destroyed with it, she said the left side was essentially like having an “anchor in the air”.

She talked about the pain she still feels knowing a woman lost her life that day and how she has kept up with her family. She mentioned passengers that she said were the “true hero’s that day” and her crew that did an amazing job at handling such a difficult situation.

Listening to her speak about that day was not only interesting to hear her personal account, but also to here her share about her steady and unwavering faith in God even in the midst of such turmoil and difficulties was encouragement to us all.

I can’t top that…..

What a story, right?

I’ve got a busy week ahead and ideas for new topics to bring you. One post I’m looking forward to writing is a comparison post on low carb vs. keto. Are they the same? Different? What are the good and not so good points on them? And lots more ideas as well.

Your turn… what do you have going on in this new week of a new year?

 

 

Monday Musings

Hello world and welcome to another edition of Monday Musings!

It’s been a crazy weekend and as I write this ( late Sunday evening) it feels amazing to finally sit and get comfy and chill for awhile.

I’m listening to thunder in the distance and the sound of rain falling outside on my deck. Heaven knows we really need the rain here so I’m grateful for that. I also kinda like the sound of evening storms. Do you ?

We hosted my grandsons 6th birthday party this weekend so we were all pretty happy the rain held off all Saturday for his party. We had one of those huge inflatable water slides and probably didn’t need any extra water to go with it 😉

On a side note… you know it IS true…. grandkids are all the amazing things your friends always whispered to you before you had them.. but you thought they were lying or crazy or some other adjective.

Anyway, we did the party, he had a blast and that’s what matters.

I still have an obscene amount of balloons gracing my dining room….

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I finally got some time to work on some of my projects for my space at the Vintage store. If you missed my post on my journey into a vintage business, find it here.  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/07/25/the-journey-of-opening-a-vintage-business/

I love doing small things to fill in at my shop. I scooped this little wood caddy up on a local garage sale site this week.

It was kinda…. well…. sad… but I was already envisioning it’s future beauty….

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Pathetic, right?

But then… just give me a little time with something and then this happens…..

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Does it even look the same now ??

Look inside… I love this…

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Uh…yeah it was a pain in the butt cutting out those squares but so worth it 🙂

I think it came out super cute… such a bright cheery little thing now compared to its former self 🙂

Oh and I’m pretty excited to have had several people contact me to do custom orders for them. Meaning, they have a piece they want me to do some wizardry on.

One girl has a 7 foot buffet. For the love of heaven… nothing small….

I had been chatting with her answering questions, looking at pics and she messaged one night asking if I had an estimate together. I took a deep breath, finished it off, and sent it thinking she’d either decline my price or take it.

The next morning her message simply read… “When can I bring it by?”

Ha… I guess I got the job.

My weekends need to be productive ’cause I’ve kinda signed on to help my son at his shop for awhile since the woman who typically is up front is off gallivanting on a month plus long vacay.

Which means I’m like… a working outside the home kinda woman…  most of the week.

Gah.

So my mornings start with me hitting the floor early to get my workout in, showering and eating yogurt and berries while I get ready at Ninja speeds so I can get in to the shop at a reasonable time.

My “boss” knows I’m training for a duathlon so he’s willing to work with my training schedule 😉

Oh yeah speaking of that…..

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I already rode up this sucker, now the fun part 😉

How about a look down one of the hills I ride on the regular?  and don’t be jealous of my snappy Cannondale bike.

So I get some training in before I go to work…..

My son has a small engine repair shop. I run the front taking in orders, checking people out, answering phone and doing anything else he throws at me.

Like helping him lift a heavy generator into the back of a truck.

Those “Practice”  squats and deadlifts  in my workouts do have pay offs for real life 😛

I had forgotten how… “fun”…. dealing with the public can be in customer service ways or how people can have such high demands and well, gosh, they can be horribly rude.

One customer… “well, I’m not happy. I had this in here for repair recently and it doesn’t seem to be working now.”

Me: “Ok, well when was it in? If it’s recent then we can fix it under warranty, no problem. ”

Customer… “yeah it was in March I think.”

Me: ” Uh… so you mean like about 6 months ago….”

( I always use my smile when I’m dealing out an obvious statement to Mr. Customer)

Then you find out they were using it and ran over a rock or a stump…. like no.. we are not responsible for fixing your stuff for free when you trash it, just because you had it in here 6 months before…

And yes, yes they do expect that.

Or they want stuff fixed but don’t want to pay for what needs to be done, like fix it for free or do just enough to make it work but not do the actual work to fix problem so they can come back and complain.

The other day this man was ranting about a charge for a pick up and delivery fee ( which is the cheapest in town for this service) he’s… older… one day he’s asking me if I’d come cut his grass and telling me he’d make me zucchini bread and the next he’s ranting about the charge and how he’s gonna write negative reviews on us and blah, blah, blah, I just casually tell him no worries we’ll be fine, and may I please have his card number?

Threats are always great too.

When he called back to ask about the exact charge to his card, I told him, as I asked if he’d like a receipt I heard a weird noise and realized he’d just simply hung up on me.

Ah yes. The world of customer service.

I’m constantly amazed not just working there but out in the rest of the world, how horribly awful people can behave to workers behind the counter….like they have a given right to treat them badly…. just because….

I’ve seen to many people go off on baristas at Starbucks over a drink. Like for real. Even if it’s not right, can’t you be decent, talk nicely, and state the problem?

Didn’t your mommy teach you to be polite and respectful ?

The world would be a nicer place if we all took a deep breath and smiled a little, right?

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Saturday morning… coffee n braids 😉 I love my Starbucks baristas.

 

How has your week been? Any new adventures? Any thoughts on the world of customer service? How do you feel when someone is acting poorly to a person behind the counter?

Monday Musings

Happy Monday beautiful people. Before I launch into todays ramblings, I want to pause and recognize that today here in the states, it’s Memorial Day.

If you don’t know, it is a day set aside to remember the brave men and women who died fighting for the freedom of our country.

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Amidst the BBQ’s, and store sales, there is a far deeper meaning and acknowledgement of this last day in May.  No words could ever express how we as a Nation feel for those who fought, and gave their lives for the freedoms we enjoy each day.

My dad served several years in the Vietnam war. He had Alzheimers and died from it a little over a year ago. To the end of his fading memory, he remembered he had served, he was proud of his service, and he still had pain in his heart for those he had served with in the war who didn’t make it back home.

As an American, I am grateful for those who have served, and continue to serve our great nation today.

Weekend adventures

I took off on a little road trip to see hubby this weekend.  I always have fun exploring or doing things with him in different environments.

Saturday morning started off eating breakfast at this healthy little breakfast place we found before. They use like, real food to make your breakfast. As you can tell my eggs in my omelet are that creamy yellow. It also held all kinds of tasty veggies inside of it. Add to it hearty whole grain artisan toast and leafy greens with plenty of coffee, it was delicious

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A wholesome veggie omelet. Hubby isn’t ever impressed with the greenery though 😉

After food and some exploring we found ourselves at the pool later on. I was hanging off the side, lost in thought, watching the kids bounce around everywhere.

It should be mentioned, as a writer, my mind is constantly whirling, thinking, pondering. I observe the world around me and pay attention to people… the ways they interact, their conversations, body language etc.  I can have a topic start forming in my head with just a casual observation of something.

For instance…..

I watched this little girl go skipping by in her little red bikini, blonde braids bouncing on her shoulders, goggles clutched in one hand completely enjoying the afternoon at the pool.

She was unconcerned over her body. She most likely wasn’t wondering what her stomach looked like or if she looked “fat”. She wasn’t wishing she had a bigger butt or wondering if people were looking at her judging her.

Nope. She was blissfully free. Sadly, in a few years, she may not be like that.

I began to share my thoughts with hubby who admittedly said he wasn’t sure he wanted in my head when I told him I had stuff whirling in there all the time…. haha

But he listened to my observations stating the obvious… well she hasn’t grown up yet and developed all those body insecurities.  And this is true.

Family, society, friends, social media, even strangers are all big influencers of how we can lose our care free abandonment over time… meaning when we grow up.

When we grow up and determine we aren’t adequate or our bodies aren’t “good enough” or they could “be better” or worse yet, compare ourselves to others.

Sure, with good nutrition and exercise anyone could “be better”.  But what happens that people can’t simply go enjoy life without being hung up on their imperfections, real or perceived?

We  continued to talked about how beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And really, what IS a perfect body? That will vary person to person in what they believe to be attractive or desirable or whatever you wanna call it.

Yet the pursuit of these very things ( what someone believes to be desirable)  will hinder people from going out and just enjoying life.

Really, no one cares if your thighs are super thin. No one is thinking you don’t fill out your swimsuit enough.  No one is worried about the little extra pudge around your middle. Chances are, they have their own anyway.

Guys, no one is wondering where your washboard ab’s are or why your arms aren’t bulging in your t shirt.

Yet the times I hear women young and old lamenting over their “flaws” or imperfections ( how they view it) is staggering and they are held back by these beliefs.

Those ideas hinder you from just enjoying and savoring life.

What happens along the way that we can’t just go out and enjoy things with a child abandon instead of sitting on the sidelines, watching.

I’m in decent shape for a woman close to collecting her senior citizen discounts on morning breakfasts.

I wear a bikini because I can. Because I want to.

Because I hate having a white belly. hahaha

I don’t consider my body “perfect” in that unattainable sense. I’ve had babies. I have marks to prove it. However I also have some decent muscles now in my belly that I think, trump that. I have strong powerful legs, largely a side effect to my athletic endeavors. I don’t have “skinny” legs, but then I don’t want to have them either.

Oh. And I really don’t care if some random stranger may make a judgment on me or not.

But then again, as mentioned , I’m older. I’ve had time to get comfortable in my skin and be ok being me.

I won’t sit out watching from the distance while other people are having fun and doing stuff.

I will never sit on the side watching and not doing.

So as I sat, and watched these children so happily playing, still comfortable and untainted in their skin, I wondered why that has to be lost. Why so many will go through life burdened or feeling like they are inadequate or not enough and how if ever, that tide will turn.

Can I just say this? You are enough. Really. Your body is fine and no one is responsible for it but you.

If you need to lose some weight to feel better, do it for you. Do it for your health. Do it for the way it will make you feel.

I will always support good health and wellness ( mentally and physically)

Love yourself, learn to be a little more free, and enjoy the life you have to live without being hung up on if your body isn’t some particular “way” you think it should be.

Sweet heavens. I’ve been preaching. I shall now stop that…..

Weekend exercise…

let’s be real. When we aren’t on our “home turf” it is harder to get a workout in. We may feel like we are on a break and can step away from it.

I do it most days, so time off makes me feel more tight and achy than when I do workout. My muscles are used to frequent movement!

Thus started my Sunday morning pondering what I could get in to shake out legs and a body that had driven quite a bit the day before and was begging for something.

I decided to go on a quick, brisk explore walk, 30 minutes. It was already warm and humid so it was easy to start working up a sweat. After that I decided to finish it off by running three flights of stairs for 10 minutes.

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cool down time at the top of the third landing

Let’s just say, if you wanna test your cardio endurance, go ahead and get after some stairs for awhile!

Ok so all that was great and awesome. I wasn’t thinking that later in the day, I’d be driving for awhile again and that my legs would be sitting and still.

I stopped for gas and a coffee and got out trying to not initially hobble like an old woman till they stretched out haha

Speaking of that… I had been craving an iced coffee for miles. The place I stopped is like this mecca in the middle of nowhere. It has the usual gifts, and more food than you can imagine to tempt you to take back on the road. It boasts I’m sure, a hundred gas pumps. And it definitely boasts the cleanest bathrooms anywhere on the highway.

Oh… I did mention observing people. If I had time to just sit outside and watch….

It’s an adventure unto itself to stop there.

Since no Starbucks was around for miles, I was thankfully, able to improvise with what they had for sale and settle my iced coffee craving.

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I shoulda bought two…..

Anyway, it kinda fortified me for the remainder of the trip so I won’t complain.

A holiday weekend isn’t complete without food

We will be doing a Memorial meal like most of America so I thought I’d share a couple of recipes I plan to use.

Yay for new recipes!

 

I’ve kinda really been wanting to try this, so better to do so when I have other people to test it out on .

But let’s not forget dessert….

Mocha brownies with coffee cream cheese icing. How amazing does that sound??

Two new recipes on the menu for dinner so we’ll see how that goes.

Before I go…..

As we head into a new week they are promising record breaking temps topping us into the 100+ degree range.

Ah. I know we are getting into summer months I’m just not ready for that rough heat yet.  It also means I need to be up and on the road to bike or run before that sun starts getting to high in the sky. It’s a complete sweat fest with heat and humidity combined with the work of what I’m doing.

But, it’s summer and summer in the south means blistering hot days. Ready or not, here it comes.

Your turn! Tell me something from your week. Anything new, different or fun? Or was it the same ( yet sometimes comfortable) familiar grind for you?

 

It’s The Small Things

You know that saying “it’s the small things in life?”  Meaning it’s those things we might not think much about that really matter in big ways. Things we seemingly take for granted and don’t often give maybe a lot of thought too.

Sometimes, the small things really are big things.

For example, my week. I hurt my hand last week.  And not just “a little hurt” but hurt enough to make some things not only painful ( as in make me sick to my stomach pain)   but also super inconvenient as well.

My advice… don’t stick your hand in when two dogs are at odds with each other.  Dumb I know. It’s an unthinking move at the time.

Of course, it was my left hand.  And yes, that’s my dominant hand. I’m one of the few unique ones operating with a hand many of you still express surprise over when it’s revealed.

Ha… where… do you think all my artistic creativity comes from ? 😛

I’d never view my health or body wellness as a “small” thing, it’s just that I’m used to going through my days fairly effortlessly and without dealing with inconveniences.

I never really pondered the ease of doing zippers, buckling belts, tying shoes, doing my makeup, driving! , writing,  waking up without my hand instantly aching or attempting to grasp things with my hand.

I have now pondered it a lot.

What physical activities?

Given my hand had some serious injuries, it’s curbed me from activities like boxing, rowing, cycling, weights.. pretty much anything that requires me to have a good strong grip.

Yes, I can still run but my hand was swollen and I didn’t think it was a great idea to be out swinging it and running and all that would come along with it.

Today was my first venture back out, a short 5kish distance to see how it felt. I tried to be mindful to hold it up more and not let my arm move as freely as I usually might. I guess it worked ok ’cause I didn’t feel awful after.

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It’s a good thing I like running ’cause it appears I will only be doing that for awhile. I’m ok with the idea since there are so many ways I can adjust running to mix it up and not get bored.

Running let’s me plot different routes, distances and I can determine how easy or hard that will be.

Do I include a route where I know I’ll get plenty of hills? Or do I keep it mostly flat? Better yet, do I want to do just hill repeats which is a strength and speed workout all in one? I really, weirdly, love doing hill repeats. If you’ve read my posts before on them, they aren’t your average “hill” but literally are mountains that have been paved over. It’s really quite a nice workout.

I was picking up my mail one day and one of my neighbors was there at that time. Our conversation went like this…

“Hey! I saw you running up that big hill this morning!”

Me… “yes, yes I was.”

Neighbor… “Running. You were running up it.”

( he said it like a statement of something I may or may not have been aware of)

“Yes sir, I was running up that hill. You are correct.”

“Girl you are crazy. I don’t even think I could manage to walk up it.”

Ha I should be semi amused he called me “girl” and  it should be noted this isn’t the first time my neighbors may have referred to me as a little crazy in regards to my cycling and running on some of the tough terrain we live on.

So yeah. Hill workouts will definitely be a part of my regime as my hand heals until I can get back to that other stuff I love doing.

But I digress….

in this week as I’ve dealt with it I have thought about those things, big and small, I can take so casually. Perhaps it’s when you go through struggles or difficulties that you focus in on it more.

It should be noted, I really don’t do confinement well. I don’t do good with clipped wings. I don’t do well not being able to confidently take care of the things around me I need to.

I literally have grass threatening to grow over my head…. I need to have a strong enough hand for that push mower.

Perhaps it’s in these times that I am more aware of those seemingly small things I assume is a privilege and it’s really not.

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None of us are really, entitled to anything. Which makes the gifts we have so much more treasured and valuable.

Being able to freely use my hand to drive, to cook, to grasp, cut, lift, do my makeup or blow dry my hair, to do all of the creative artistic things I’m enjoying ( ha I’ve just sucked it up and endured some pain to keep on with a few of my projects) write something without looking like someone hijacked my penmanship, so many things I’ve found myself considering.

In the course of life, this isn’t earth shaking and awful.

Certainly people daily go through so much more. It doesn’t have to be huge to make us stop and think and reflect on what we’re given and how precious it is and how we should value the abilities and gifts we have.

It’s all about gratitude

perhaps it comes down to that. Understanding that no matter what our situation we can choose to have a grateful attitude. Not for what we’re going through necessarily, but for all the small things, big things and everything in between.

For me, it’s simply easier to stay there than focus on the negative.

So I will try and appreciate all those small things in life that I previously hadn’t. I will celebrate daily improvement getting back to “normal” ( hahaha well that will most likely never happen as I’m far from that 😛 )

I will fully embrace my abilities when I get them again to wrap my hand firmly around heavy metal and lift it. To ride my bike at swift speeds and feel my hand clamp down on the brakes slowing my speed.   To slip into my boxing gloves and sink my body weight into the bag. To be seated on the rowing machine hands wrapped around the pull as my entire body responds to the work.

Sometimes the small things aren’t so small. Sometimes it’s those very things that make us feel alive and quicken our spirits.

Tell me, how do you embrace difficulty? Have you ever given much consideration to those “small things” in your life? Can you choose to be grateful in those times or are you annoyed to be in them?

 

 

The Beauty Of Adoption

Birthdays. We all have them and if we’re lucky and blessed, we will be given a good number of them as we spend our days on this earth. Kids eagerly anticipate them and often are planning them longer in advance than Christmas.

Even though I’m in the age range of “approaching older than dirt”  I guess I’m still a kid at heart.

I want presents. I want an amazing cake and my favorite ice cream.  I want balloons. I want all the good stuff.  I don’t subscribe to being old means you don’t need/get that anymore.

Nonsense.

In my family we are entering birthday season and yesterday we celebrated my youngest, my daughter.

She officially left the teen years behind. She was the last of my brood to do so.

I have grown adult kids.  Holy cow how did that happen??

Yesterday was her official birthday but we will kinda be celebrating her through out the week.  I will be making some type of wicked cake this Saturday, but yesterday we had monster cupcakes ’cause you need something to celebrate moving into a new  decade, right?

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Cupcakes are larger than they appear 😉

 

 

Kids grow up, that’s normal right?

Yep, they do. And as mentioned she’s the last one leaving her teen years so I’ve got a little practice on me with several ahead of her.

But here’s the deal.

We got her when she was 8 years old. Half of her childhood had gone by. Sometimes maybe, I have a hard time realizing she is now a young woman.  Maybe I’m still caught up thinking there should be more childhood years.

Of course add to it she’s a whopping 4’10,  I  sometimes forget that she isn’t a “little” girl anymore.

The choice to adopt.

born under my heart

 

We had children. We had three perfect, wonderful,healthy sons that we were quite happy with.  They were all big when we made the decision to add to our family through adoption. Our youngest son was 11.

We knew we were done with babies and wanted a child that could just get up and go with us and start to fit into our family. We were told adopting older children was fairly easy since there were so many and families tend to want younger children.

The labor begins

Adoption has it’s own labor as much as carrying a child and then delivering them. It’s just a different labor and delivery process.

We adopted our daughter through the foster care system. There are literally hundreds of thousands of children in the U.S. foster care. We found an agency to work with and began the classes and working on home requirements, inspections etc that were required.

There was loads of paper work.

Some of the classes were painfully boring. Some things as a parent, we already knew and were just understood yet we had to sit in parenting classes.

We told the agency about the type of child we wanted. We settled on somewhere between age 7-10, race wasn’t important and of course, we wanted a girl.

The delivery

We got the call not many days after all of our official paperwork was done. There was a young girl who needed emergency placement within a couple days or she would be taken to the children’s shelter.  She fit into our criteria, would we want to meet her?

Well, of course we did.

We made arrangement for the next day, a Wednesday, to meet her and her foster family as well as the caseworker at a local restaurant.

It is a weird experience walking in and seeing a child that you know is going to be yours. It is weird knowing you are getting someone else’s child and are picking up the reins to raise and care for them.

There are a whole lot of emotions that are going on.

And not just for us, but for her too. At 8 years of age she had been through more than a lot of children. She also knew that something was up and was trying to be her most ‘impressive”.

We enjoyed our time meeting her and told the caseworker we were willing to move forward.

That was on Wednesday. On Friday December 1, 2006 our daughter arrived with a book, one stuffed animal and a small trash bag of clothes, most of which did not fit.

She was nervous, a bit hyper and desperately wanting to do all the right things.

You see we were her fifth placement since October of that year.

5 homes in a few months through no fault of her own.

Imagine being at your job one day. Your life isn’t perfect but it’s what you know. Then a nice man shows up and tells you that you can’t go back home but you are going to go live with some other nice people. He has stopped at your home and brought a few of your things but that is all that goes with you.

You leave everything you know behind to walk into a new home and life… immediately.

Imagine for a moment if you can, what that would feel like.  The complete uprooting of your life.

Now think of a child having to deal with it.

Is it any wonder they all have some sort of “emotional issues”?

The journey begins

It’s hard sitting here writing this, to think back to those early days when we got her, attempting to remember the way she was.

She’s always been sweet and loving. She desperately wanted a family and to be able to stay somewhere. She also was prone to immediate temper tantrums, biting, lying, and delivering words you might not expect from a child.

In the beginning any wrong move terrified her making her sure that she “would have to go”

I remember asking her one day what did she think was so bad that she could do that she’d have to leave… that we wouldn’t keep her.  In her child’s way she had all these reasons that I assured her weren’t reasons for us to get rid of her like a bag of trash.

How did that happen?

It took day after day of love, care, patience and showing her that in families people make mistakes or do things wrong but you love each other and keep moving forward. There wasn’t going to be something she’d do that would make us send her on to another home.

It took day after day of love, correction, discipline, and showing new examples for changes to occur.

Since we did the foster to adopt route and she was older with parental rights already terminated, we were able to move forward in a quick way with the adoption.

In May, 5 short months later, she officially became ours. But even then it was a long time before I think she really believed she was truly home and no one could take her or make her leave.

We had to develop routines and consistency and set boundaries. We had to show her love in ways our boys never needed it. We had to work through some negative behaviors that are really more survival skills kids pick up going through the upheavals of changing homes and being in foster care.

After about the second day of having her I realized I needed to handle her just like my own kids. For awhile it seems like you’ve got the neighbors kid and you find yourself allowing or even giving them little things they request.  So that’s what we did. If we were committing to make her our daughter then we would handle her like our own.

And then the years move by

Day by day, moment by moment you’re living life. And somehow this new life merged into ours.

Love, patience, training, teaching. helping, more patience and she began to blossom.  The more secure she became the less talk there was she might have “to leave”.

She made friends, was doing well in school was liked by her teachers and was living a normal life a kid should have.

As I contemplate the young woman she has turned into it’s hard not to feel a little proud. Her dad and I consider her no less ours than the ones that biologically were given to us.

She went through her entire high school career on the dance team, maintained awesome grades, worked, kept a close circle of friends and was an overall good kid.

She has finished her first year of college and heading into her second. She has goals set for herself. She is focused and determined. She has continued to work and has arranged her school schedule around that.

She is sweet, compassionate, loving and giving.  Oh, and she still has a strong little stubborn will too haha  But she is also always grateful, always thankful for the life she was given.

I’ve tried to show her how to be strong, how to do things for herself and how to be proud of who she is and not compare herself to others.

I want her to be a woman who knows how to get things done and can see ways to make it happen.

She always says she is blessed and grateful but we remind her we feel the same way.

Adoption.. things to know

We did it more than once. In fact we did it three times. Like pregnancy and delivery each one has their own story and out come.

If you feel led to pursue adoption consider doing it through the foster care system. A little known fact is that it costs next to nothing to adopt.  This could vary state by state but for ours it was nothing.

There are tons of myths about kids in foster care and adopting them. Yes, some do have serious issues. You would need to know and understand your level of abilities and care giving skills if you felt called to care for them.

Overall, there are more kids that are like yours but unfortunately they are in situations they didn’t ask to be put in. They’ve done nothing wrong to be there. They just want to be kids and do kid things and be safe and loved.

The children are many and they desperately want the same things your own kids do.

Love, security, family, a sense of belonging, birthday parties, friends, holiday celebrations etc.

Many “issues” are from the emotional trauma of what they’ve been through. With love, care, patience and a little time these behaviors leave.  Our daughter exhibits none of the behaviors she came with all those years ago.

You can pick the age, sex, race and level of behaviors you think you can handle in a child. You can ask for a single child or a sibling group.

We found the agency and workers we dealt with to be very helpful and encouraging. To this day I maintain connections with many of them.

Keep in mind, you might be excited about the adoption idea, but when you share it with family they may or may not be immediately on board with the idea.

Don’t worry about it.

This is about you and the calling you and your family have. The rest will eventually come along you may have to give it time. Even if they entirely don’t, this is about your family. Just focus on that. Adoption will take all of your positive energy.

Finally, adoption is simply a most beautiful way to not just add to your family but to give a child their forever family, something they all long for.

It’s a beautiful gift you both give to each other and there is nothing more rewarding than that.

Todays post is more of a life post. Sometimes I’ll spend some time sharing things that impact us in our lives. Have you had any connection or interaction with adoption?

Monday Musings

Happy Monday boys and girls… here we go again! A  week behind us and a new week of adventures ahead.

Since it’s Monday, I think it’s appropriate we talk about M&M’s.

Candy. Yeah I know.

You like hanging out with me ’cause I’m sane and sensible when it comes to health and fitness and treats are an allowable part of a good life.

But there’s a story here…

You see our local store has been hawking them like crazy for weeks now.

Why? I’m not exactly sure. But they are everywhere. On the end of every aisle and literally all down the center of store right before check outs with huge signs that say

“BUY 1 GET ONE FREE!”

They have them in baskets right where you pay with the same sign.

Ok, I just can’t be tempted that easily. You gotta come at me harder.  I mean I do have many moments of temptation in the store but can usually dodge stuff like that.

The checker the other day was prompting me…

“Don’t you want some? I mean, you get an extra bag”

Me: “No, I still have candy from Halloween, Christmas, and Easter laying around” ( I didn’t buy any for Valentines day)

I’ve managed to avoid temptation until I realized they were peddling a new flavor….  which would be Crunchy Mint.

I bought into it like a fish going after a June bug. A girl can only take so much pressure, right??

Chocolate and mint are in my opinion, have the right kind of relationship going on

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It says “Sharing size” I’m not sure about that idea 😉

This is evidently one of their new flavors you/we the public get to have a say in. Let me say this about them… have you ever had the Girl Scouts Thin Mint Cookies?

Yeah… like little crunchy, chocolate morsels of ground up Girl Scout cookies.  They are up there in ways of tasty deliciousness.  Vote for these little suckers to stay around all the time.

Ok and I may share with the fam…  maybe….

Anyone tried these?

A deep thought provoking question for you

Hubby shared something last week, one of those meme’s that said something like ” being an adult is a lot like trying to fold a fitted sheet”

Well, the topic of folding fitted sheets got more discussion than the actual funny intended meaning of the post.

Which got me to thinking… weird.. I know…

I pretty much stated how I felt about folding fitted sheets.  I find them annoying. I can fold them, my mom and grandmother taught me well. It’s just I don’t spend any amount of time trying to “get them right” or perfect or whatever.

Sometimes they might be a loosely tossed folded ball  hahaha

Not really. The point being, I find it largely irrelevant. I don’t care if they are folded right or just clean and put away.  I understand no one is patting me on the head if I do it “right” nor do I get an award for being awesome at it.

I’m to much of a free spirit to worry about many things, that being one of them.  I’d rather get on to something more fun.

Lots of people though, seemed to take their folding fitted sheets pretty seriously.  I guess the older I’ve gotten the more I seem to not worry or get hung up on a lot of things that don’t need so much of my attention. The sheet thing just got me to thinking about it.

How I’d rather get done necessary chores, in as quick a way as possible while keeping a clean, organized home, so I can get on to stuff that’s fun and enjoyable to me.

As in I like a clean house, but it’s not something I love doing.   I like the final result but  I don’t get a thrill out of.

I save that for flying off hills on my bike 😉

What camp do you fall in? Are you super particular with sheet folding? Or do you just hit it and get on with life ? Or are there other things that you prefer not to do but get done to move on with something more fun?

Then there’s life in the hill country

Nothing makes my day more complete than coming home and realizing two of my goofy dogs have gotten a wild hair to dig out under the fence.

Nothing really makes my day more complete than one of them coming home looking like this….

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Yep, a face full of porcupine quills

The sad thing is, he’s so goofy. This isn’t his first time. Or his second time.  I wasn’t feeling super happy with him at this point… the next day and hundreds of dollars later he came home… much happier than when he went in.

Goof head. All he had to do was stay in his safe yard and not go running through miles of rugged country and he wouldn’t have to go through that.

But before that unexpected surprise

I had been out shopping and gathering ideas for some of my furniture projects I’ve been working on

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these colors 🙂 you’ll have to see they all play out

 

 

You will just have to wait and see what unfold with this scheme 😉

Oh but I did collect some fun new goodies this week! The best part, they’ve all been super cheap.

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1930’s beverage trolley

this little piece I got from a girl selling some random things out of a storage building. I knew it was old but took it and knew I’d research it more when I got home. It was 15.00 so I was willing to take a chance on it.  It’s an old school beverage cart/ trolley. How clever right? They actually used to use carts for teas and other drinks. I love the little drawer that I guess, held utensils.  I also got a cute solid wood accent table that I have ideas for, I just need to get to it.

I’m excited to have several pieces I’m working on that will hopefully be ready to go to new homes in the next week.

Sunday I picked up some chairs that I came across. I haven’t really gone after chairs as I haven’t been sure exactly what I would do with them. But these were so cute and old and she was selling them for next to nothing, I couldn’t resist.

I couldn’t resist, especially since I immediately had ideas bouncing through my head for them.

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those legs!

ok what I love most of all is how perfectly, horribly needy they are. It’s my idea of perfect project pieces.

 

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I’ve only learned to celebrate my win when I’m actually driving home with my prize

 

Random fact

If there’s one thing I get a lot it’s comments on my smile and this week I guess I heard it more than usual.

So I’ll just say this to the questions I get often.. yes my teeth are naturally like this and no I never had braces 😛

I’m a good girl and see my dentist twice a year for cleanings, floss most of the time and eat foods that keep my mouth healthy.

Are you good about flossing? We all should be 😉

Speaking of food…..

I came across this tasty looking recipe a day or two back. I haven’t made it yet, but think it will be on the menu sometime this week.

 

Have you whipped up anything new this week?  What new adventures have you been on? What are you most looking forward to in the week ahead?