My Own Wild Kingdom

And other incoherent ramblings...

Begin again... and again if necessary
Monkey Business
End of the year... Time to pretend I am going to spend the next year blogging.  We all know how this is going to go by now, right?  Let's just pretend for a minute though.

2013 wasn't my favorite year.  Not for any particular reason but that it wasn't.  Not sure what caused that to happen but I think I am ready to put 2013 in the rear-view and get on to 14.

I am a little conflicted, as I write this.  I am not sure what I want my goals to be.  Maybe it is because it seems like they need to be so big in order to make real change in the next year.

So I think I start small.

In January my goal is to walk an intentional mile every day.  That means a mile more than what I would walk incidentally just getting to and from work every day, or at work or whatever.  If for some reason I can't do the walk during the day then I have to do 5-10 miles on the bike.

I think I start there.  My puppy kids need to start going for more walks too.  The only problem now is that it is so stinkin' cold that trying to get them out of the house may be tough.  That means we go for walks on the nice days and on the cold ones, I take the tunnels.

I have a goal to start saving more money too but I haven't quite figured that one out yet.  Every idea I come up with involves cash and I rarely actually have cash, so I will have to keep working on that one.

Besides one special project, my crafting goals are to sew from my stash rather than continuing to by additional fabric to squirrel away.  The next part of that craft goal is to sew at least two premie quilts each month.  It's a win-win.  Sewing the stash, practicing new quilty ideas sometimes, and keeping tiny babies warm.

So there we are.  This is where 2014 starts.

Muddy paws
Yesterday I was out with the dogs for my walk. Bennett is still full on puppy when we are out. He is so happy but he really is not fit for public consumption when we are out. Too much running like a crazy dog. I don't really mind that actually... Burn that energy Benny Bad Dog... Burn it like crazy! The problem is that he just can't seem to control himself when other dogs or people are around... Or cars. So we are still working on this. Daisy, on the other hand, knows that as soon as her leash shortens she needs to lay down. Between the two of them, though, they make the biggest hazard sharing the paths with cyclists. We'll get there but it will take some time.

So yesterday we were out doing our mile loop around the neighborhood. We were trying to beat the rain. We managed to do it, but we have had plenty lately and with all the construction, the munkies were full of the muddy when we got home. Daisy managed to walk right through a puddle and when she does it, no matter how small, she is belly deep. But she is happy. I can handle the muddy paws of happy puppies.

Tonight we didn't beat the rain... So tonight I did some bike time again. Been a long time so it wasn't the best I have ever done, but it will do. It will do.

Can't seem to get stats to post from tablet so you will just have to imagine that they are here.

Begin again...
Been here before.  Hopefully not here again.  I am having a little trouble keeping motivated but still slogging through a bit.  Need to figure out a way not to want to completely go off the wagon on the weekends. I do okay during the week.  More places to be, more reasons to keep moving, better chances to be healthy.  On the weekends I can just hang out on my couch all day if I want to.  And sometimes I want to.  I am actually okay with that level of laziness... Just need to figure out how to be lazy AND get some movement in too.

Who am I kidding... I know HOW to make that happen... I just have to WANT to make it happen.

I have joined the Summer Walking Challenge with  But now that I think about it... My tweets don't really matter in this challenge since I have made my account private again.  Hrmm...

Okay... Who wants to be my persistent but not annoying cheerleader?  Who wants to be the person who holds me accountable without making me mad?  It isn't an easy job...because you know what?  Sometimes I want a donut and I am okay with that.  The problem is that sometimes I want ALLLL the donuts.  :-)  Sometimes I want to just stay home.  Who wants to be the one who reminds me to get outside to go for a walk... no matter how short?  It's not an easy job... I am stubborn.  When I want to just sit and watch Harry Potter movies I am hard to convince otherwise.  And honestly... I won't take it from someone who doesn't already love me as I am.  If you know me, you know I don't trust easily... While I need someone who will hold me accountable, I also need someone who understands that before I will let you near me, I have to trust you.



Was just looking at my beginning of the year posts.  Noticed I hadn't posted my new song for the year.  I truly do hate Sugarland but this song always seems to strike me... at least the chorus does.

I ain't settling for just getting by
I've had enough so so for the rest of my life
Tired of shooting too low, so raise the bar high
Just enough ain't enough this time
I ain't settling for anything less than everything, yeah

That has how I have been feeling lately.  I have fallen waaaaaaaaaaay off track with food and exercise.  I can see this in so many ways but the one that really struck me is The Daisy's inability to walk for any length of time without wanting to pass out.  This isn't cool.  Me and the girl need to get back out and move.  And I need to get back to eating food that doesn't suck. I have gained a bunch of weight back.  It is hard to determine exactly how much, since I keep forgetting to weigh in the morning, but whatever it is... it is bad.  I got on the scale tonight.  The number is off, for sure, due to eating all day and literally within a half hour of climbing on, but I have to get started and I can't count on myself to remember first thing in the morning.

Here's what I am trying, mostly just to get a little bit of a detox going.  I am going almost exclusively veggie and fruit this week.  There are a few exceptions.  Breakfast is oatmeal with a scoop of protein powder and a banana.  I am also adding some cottage cheese and/or greek yogurt, in an effort to make sure I get a somewhat decent amount of protein in my system.

I am most concerned about my time at home.  I can be awesome all day long... but when I get home, I seem to lose control.  This is what I am conquering now... that and getting my feet back under me and my dog.  When I go to San Francisco I plan on walking my arse off... I can't do that in the condition I am in now.  And really... I would like to walk some of it back off before I go.  :-)

So there we are... claiming the badness and my plan to get through this week.  All I can do is a week at a time for now.... But then again... I probably should first worry about getting to sleep if I am stupid hungry.  :-)

When was the last time you tried something new?
There is the first question.  Technically it is day two but I forgot I was considering this so let's just pretend otherwise.

And as I think, I think it has been entirely too long and certainly not daring enough. The most recent thing I tried new, was ... (actually that pause is me changing my answer mid sentence) ... a boot camp.  It was a little scary for me to go.  There is that fear of doing things where you will look ridiculous and where you will fail.  What I discovered is that I probably did look ridiculous but I didn't know any of those people so who cares.  Also, I found that I can actually run more than I have in years.  I didn't run a lot... very little in fact... but it didn't hurt, I didn't blacken any eyes, and I didn't keel over.  :-)

I was sore for days after but it did give me new ideas of things I can do at home on days I don't want to go to the gym.  

(And to think I was going to select jewelry making!)   ;-)

Who... What... When... etc
Whilst I was looking for something else, I came across this.  It has me thinking I may give it a try.  Can I bring myself to answer all the questions and finish it up on Dec 31, 2012?  Probably not.  Let's be honest... I get bored with this blogging thing after a while and then stay away until I am interested again.  But maybe, maybe, if I know the question and have the time to think on the question as I go about my day... maybe I can formulate a response that may actually be interesting... and maybe even important... by the end of each day.  We'll see.

But for now... here they are for your perusal... and now I shall go back to what I was actually looking for.  :-)

  1. When was the last time you tried something new?
  2. Who do you sometimes compare yourself to?
  3. What’s the most sensible thing you’ve ever heard someone say?
  4. What gets you excited about life?
  5. What life lesson did you learn the hard way?
  6. What do you wish you spent more time doing five years ago?
  7. Do you ask enough questions or do you settle for what you know?
  8. Who do you love and what are you doing about it?
  9. What’s a belief that you hold with which many people disagree?
  10. What can you do today that you were not capable of a year ago?
  11. Do you think crying is a sign of weakness or strength?
  12. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
  13. Do you celebrate the things you do have?
  14. What is the difference between living and existing?
  15. If not now, then when?
  16. Have you done anything lately worth remembering?
  17. What does your joy look like today?
  18. Is it possible to lie without saying a word?
  19. If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow this person to be your friend?
  20. Which activities make you lose track of time?
  21. If you had to teach something, what would you teach?
  22. What would you regret not fully doing, being or having in your life?
  23. Are you holding onto something that you need to let go of?
  24. When you are 80-years-old, what will matter to you the most?
  25. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards and just do what you know is right?
  26. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
  27. Would you break the law to save a loved one?
  28. What makes you smile?
  29. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?
  30. If you had the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of people, what would your message be?
  31. If the average human lifespan was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
  32. What do we all have in common besides our genes that makes us human?
  33. If you could choose one book as a mandatory read for all high school students, which book would you choose?
  34. Would you rather have less work or more work you actually enjoy doing?
  35. What is important enough to go to war over?
  36. Which is worse, failing or never trying?
  37. When was the last time you listened to the sound of your own breathing?
  38. What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
  39. What does ‘The American Dream’ mean to you?
  40. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?
  41. If you could instill one piece of advice in a newborn baby’s mind, what advice would you give?
  42. What is the most desirable trait another person can possess?
  43. What are you most grateful for?
  44. Is stealing to feed a starving child wrong?
  45. What do you want most?
  46. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
  47. What has life taught you recently?
  48. What is the one thing you would most like to change about the world?
  49. Where do you find inspiration?
  50. Can you describe your life in a six word sentence?
  51. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
  52. What impact do you want to leave on the world?
  53. What is the most defining moment of your life thus far?
  54. In the haste of your daily life, what are you not seeing?
  55. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
  56. What lifts your spirits when life gets you down?
  57. Have you ever regretted something you did not say or do?
  58. Has your greatest fear ever come true?
  59. Why do we think of others the most when they’re gone?
  60. What is your most beloved childhood memory?
  61. Is it more important to love or be loved?
  62. If it all came back around to you, would it help you or hurt you?
  63. If you had the chance to go back in time and change one thing would you do it?
  64. If a doctor gave you five years to live, what would you try to accomplish?
  65. What is the difference between falling in love and being in love?
  66. Who do you think stands between you and happiness?
  67. What is the difference between innocence and ignorance?
  68. What is the simplest truth you can express in words?
  69. What gives your life meaning?
  70. Can there be happiness without sadness?  Pleasure without pain?  Peace without war?
  71. What’s the one thing you’d like others to remember about you at the end of your life?
  72. Is there such a thing as perfect?
  73. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
  74. What does it mean to be human?
  75. If you looked into the heart of your enemy, what do you think you would find that is different from what is in your own heart?
  76. What do you love most about yourself?
  77. Where would you most like to go and why?
  78. Is it more important to do what you love or to love what you are doing?
  79. What do you imagine yourself doing ten years from now?
  80. What small act of kindness were you once shown that you will never forget?
  81. What is your happiest childhood memory?  What makes it so special?
  82. Do you own your things or do your things own you?
  83. Would you rather lose all of your old memories or never be able to make new ones?
  84. How do you deal with someone in a position of power who wants you to fail?
  85. What do you have that you cannot live without?
  86. When you close your eyes what do you see?
  87. What sustains you on a daily basis?
  88. What are your top five personal values?
  89. Why must you love someone enough to let them go?
  90. Do you ever celebrate the green lights?
  91. What personal prisons have you built out of fears?
  92. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?
  93. Why are you, you?
  94. If you haven’t achieved it yet what do you have to lose?
  95. What three words would you use to describe the last three months of your life?
  96. Is it ever right to do the wrong thing?  Is it ever wrong to do the right thing?
  97. How would you describe ‘freedom’ in your own words?
  98. What is the most important thing you could do right now in your personal life?
  99. If you could ask one person, alive or dead, only one question, who would you ask and what would you ask.  
Live journal didn't like the full list of questions.  Follow this to see the rest.

And so she returns... again...

So it happened again, as it always does I write blog posts I write them pretty consistently for a while even.  And then I disappear again sometimes for a year or more (as you can clearly see.)  I often dont have much to say that I havent already said somewhere else.  As you likely know, if you are reading this, I dont much talk about myself in any way that is terribly important.  I see too many people with problems that are real.  People who are truly sad and hurting.  People who are starving or homeless.  My problems, if I have any, are trivial.  I grump a lot.  I dont want anybody to think that I dont realize that.  But in most cases, I am also giggling inside as I am grumping.  I like to think I have a good internal BS meter for my own bitchiness.  I am pretty good at recognizing my own ridiculousness. 

That being said One thing I am terrible at, is figuring out how to get out of my own way.  I have goals.  I have things I want to do and destinations I want to reach.  What I cant figure out is how to get out of my way so I can actually reach them.  I have a great means for sticking to something when I just make a decision to do it.  However, making a goal for me doesnt actually mean I have made the decision.  I have to assume that means that the goals I am making arent important enough to me or is it something else?

So I am going to start 2012 with a new set.  This is the set I am willing to tell you about.  There are others in the background but to be honest I am not ready to tell them to you yet. J

1.     I am starting my Christmas 2012 planning already.  Yes on the 26th of 2011.  J  I have a goal to make at least one gift per month in order to not be rushing for ideas in December. 

2.   I make a lot of cards.  It is silly how many I make.  I love the card class I take most months and I love the cards we make in them.  There is NO reason to be making all these cards and not sharing them with the world.  So going forward they are going to be going out in to the world.

3.   Each month I make a new goal That goal will have the purpose of making ME better. Whether that is physically, spiritually, creatively, whatever.  I have no idea what those goals are going to be but to that end

4.    In January I will not eat takeout of any sort, at the restaurant or not, unless there is another person with me.  (This takes in to account that my mothers birthday is in January and we always get together for lunch and shopping.  Not gonna miss birthday time with Mom.  Shes in her 70s.  Hard to know how many are left)

And that is enough for now. 

I had to think on what I should make my song for 2012.  Every year I pick a new song and it is the first song I use during my workouts as well as my ringtone.  The hope is that it inspires me.  Not sure if it really does but it feeeeels like it does, so that means something I suppose.  I do know there seems to be an underlying joyful theme to the songs I have picked over the last several years.  And that isnt changing in 2012.

Let Me Tell You...
Monkey Business
This has been kind of a rough week or two for me.  I am not 100% certain why.  I do know that this is the time of year that is generally rough on our family as it is the anniversary of losing my father.  However, I haven't felt it as hard in the last several years so I am not certain it is that.  I do think that the argument I had with my mother regarding Thanksgiving may have had a little to do with it but I can't blame it all on that.  I am a grown up and have long since stopped blaming any issues I may or may not have on my mother.  ;-)

Then a couple of days ago a cheerleader showed up at my doorstep.  It came in the form of a little note.  Completely unexpected but the faerie that sent it is magical that way.  She seems to know exactly when someone needs a little lift and sends it.  

My friends amaze me.  They know me well enough to know that serious cheerleader rah rah stuff would just annoy me but they show me in a hundred different ways that they are behind me and support me and that no matter what happens, they love me just like I am. There is nothing that I can ever do that would help them understand what it means to me to know that.  And they likely would wonder if I was dying if I suddenly got all warm and fuzzy on them anyway.  

Will all of that get me through the funkiness of right now?  No.  Only I can do that.  But knowing that there are people standing behind me while I work my way through it certainly helps.

A couple of days ago I was talking to Mom about a lunch she had with one of her cousins.  She does this every once in a while.  They live about three hours apart so they find a place to meet in the middle and sit and talk for hours.  Her cousin is a wonderful person.  Though I realize I am writing that as though I have no personal attachment to her at all.  It isn't true.  However, my relationship with Mom's side of the family is a bit lacking since they didn't live near by.  I did see them whenever we went to see Grandma, and when I spent vacation at Grandma's in the summer I was at their house a lot.  

All my family traditions, though, revolve around my Dad's side of the family.  Thanksgiving... Christmas... Birthdays... most Easters.  All of it with the grandparents that lived just up the road, aunts and uncles, and cousins.  Almost all of my holiday memories are wrapped up in time at Grandpa's farm.  The table in my dining room was something I have wanted to be mine my whole life.  My father made it when he was in school so it is special to me, but it is also where we ate all of our meals together. I sat at the end of that table at "the kids table" too.

Over the last twelve years I have definitely seen things change.  It has probably been longer but I can definitely pinpoint how things have changed in the last twelve years.  Fewer holidays have been spent together.  It makes sense.  The cousins are all growing up... getting married... having babies... celebrating holidays with the other side of their new families.  There has been something else too...

Over the last dozen years, I have found that having the holidays with the family has been a fight.  After my grandparents passed on, my family and each of my aunts have taken on a holiday to host.  We did Thanksgiving.  Always.  And as of late, getting this done has been a fight.  Every year.  The fight happens right about now. The fight is always about whether or not we are going to have Thanksgiving.  Last year, as soon as the fight happened I put a stop to it and started planning to have it myself.  I was not at all opposed to this.  The only issue with me having it is the distance.  As soon as I started discussing it, Mom she managed to find the will and started inviting the family over to her house as normal.  *mutter*  

A couple of days ago Mom mentioned that she had invited her cousin and her family for Thanksgiving.  Awesome.  They are great people that I haven't seen often enough.  We started talking about how dinner would be done, including not catering as we have done in the last several years.  We hung up and the conversation was over.  Except one thing.   The *PRAISE JESUS* moment I had afterwards where I did a little dance.  Mom had just brought up Thanksgiving and started planning for it without a push from me and without anything resembling a fight. We have broken through!

Except not really.  What she didn't say, or what I didn't understand, is that she meant JUST those cousins.  My brother's family and me as well, of course, but nobody from my Dad's side of the family.  I was stunned.  It never crossed my mind.  I tried to discuss this with her in a reasonable manner and there was no discussion to be had.  

I am not sure what is going to come of it.  I am not even sure what to do with it.  What I do know, is that if this happens that will officially be the end of it.  We will officially no longer have any holidays with my Dad's family. My heart has broken little by little with each of the changes as they have happened.  This was one thing that was still keeping the family connected.  It was the one time, it seemed, when we could be sure that we would all be together again.

Today it is twelve years since my father passed away.  And it often feels like every single minute of it.  And it often feels like it just happened yesterday.

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