Day 7 -Moderation

So the creeping crud has managed to make it to my house. Older Son has brought said crud home from work, and has missed two days of work because of it.


This morning, I am feeling particularly tired, even though I didn’t do anything very energetic yesterday. My throat is a little sore, and my sinuses seem to be clogged more than usual.

Whoopeee… here we go. 😦

As I can’t afford to be sick right now, I am going to take things a little slower this week, and hope I can avoid it. I did walk on my treadmill this morning, but only for 10 minutes. I am hoping to get back on it when I get home today, and walk the other 20 minutes I need to get in today. However, I did get on it and walk, so Day 7 has been accomplished. I think sometimes when things get hard, or weird, moderation is called for. It does no good to cram too much into a vessel that can’t hold anymore.

Older Son wasn’t able to sleep, so he got up and made coffee for us this morning, which feels nice on a sore throat. Skipping the smoothie. Coffee will do today, thanks.

Speaking of moderation, I’m about to get a little ranty about what is going on in our government, and I have a few words for Mr. Trump:


You have four years ahead with which to shove whatever your hard-right Republican backers want you to do down the rest of our throats. Please stop trying to cram it all in the first week. For crying out loud change is good, but not the pull-the-rug-out-from-underneath-everyone-all-at-once kind of change. Please take a freaking break, so the rest of us can take a breath and try to make sense of all of the carnage left in the wake of your 1st week in office. A little moderation is called for, probably more than a little, and we’d appreciate it very much if you would just slow the hell down.

Here’s hoping that you find your day nicely moderated, and if you have someone zooming through it wreaking havoc, let them know. It’s ok to speak up when someone is acting crazy. Blessings all!

Day 5 – Making use of Nooks and Crannies

Another day downtime-1-28-17, and I am struck by how quickly time passes. I am completely unaware of how much time has gone by until I look up and am astonished what the time is.

I seem to be perpetually astonished this way.

Yesterday, I only experienced fail once with the treadmill stopping on me. Not terrible, but in fussing with it, I seem to have lost 6 minutes of my 30 minute walk. Well, at least according to my Fit Bit. That doesn’t take away from the fact that I did spend 30 minutes walking, but I don’t get whole credit for it. If I am to be able to track my progress, I will need to find some ways around all of this tomfoolery. Or do I need to? I’d like to, because I want to be able to look back and see just how much work I had to do in order to lose the weight and get healthy.

So, who says I don’t get credit for how much I walked? The company who makes Fit Bit? Face Book? My peers? Me?  All of the above, but that is easily fixed. I’m only the real one that matters, because I know. My body knows, because it’s stiff from the morning assault of exercise, where before there wasn’t any. I’m in constant recalculate mode to make sure I am on time in the morning. Time is everything in my daily life. Keeping track of time, and what I do in a given span of time,  is the top thing that seems to matter. It feels like I need to cram in what’s important to me in between work and other responsibilities.

I’m more than a little sick of it, no lie.

I crave to be able to just get up and not worry about how much I can get done in a day. I want to just sit at my computer and write some days, and not have to care about anything else. I’ve missed blogging, and by now you have undoubtedly noticed that my 100 Day Challenge is just as much about blogging as it is exercise. Getting healthy isn’t just about the body, it’s about the mind too, and I needed to make time for it.

I have been fretting about what I would have to chop out of my life in order to “make time” for a healthier lifestyle, and for blogging.  I think the answer isn’t to chop anything out, but to just rearrange things when the opportunity presents itself, or fill up the space with something positive where there is an empty nook or cranny available.

You may have noticed that I have a tendency towards verbosity. Part of this 100 Day Challenge is that I am trying to learn how to blog meaningfully, crammed between exercise and running to work,  while throwing back my morning smoothie. I want to learn how to cram more and better meaning into a smaller amount of verbiage because time does get away from me.  There have been so many times I had something to write about, but felt like I couldn’t do it in whatever sliver of time I had available to me. Today is awesome, because it’s Saturday, and I don’t have to be anywhere for quite a while, and I can write to my heart’s content. It feels REALLY good to write again.

Here’s hoping you find all kinds of lovely opportunities in the nooks and crannies of every day life. Make them count, even if your goal is just a really awesome nap. Blessings!

Day 4 – Nutrition matters

I love TED talks, and I happened along two of them while watching You Tube during my treadmill walk this morning. As luck would have it, they were both about nutrition. One (TEDx Christchurch) focused on how nutrition affects people experiencing mental illness, and the other (TEDx Bismarck) was all about how food affects cognitive impairment you see with conditions like Alzheimer’s.

Good food is expensive, and it’s so much easier, and cheaper sometimes to just run out and get a burger from a fast food joint. You pay for it in the long run, though.

I have noticed problems with brain fog, and just down right memory issues in recent years, and usually its due to dehydration, but I think nutrition plays a part in that too.

New goal: eat real food, not junk.

Here’s hoping you all have access to fresh, good food, and that you take advantage of it. If no access, maybe grow some? I hoping to do that this summer. Blessings all!

100 Day Challenge, make it your own

I have noticed a trend pop up in my news feed. It looks like the 100 Day Challenge is taking the world by storm. I’m told that if you start exercising, and stick with it for 100 days, you will actually lose weight and feel better.

I can honestly say I have made that work, but I just didn’t know it at the time. When I was in the process of getting divorced, I walked a lot. It helped me get rid of my anger by exhausting me. I would just keep walking until I was too tired to feel rage for what I was going through, and I ended up losing 50 pounds as a result.

Here we are, 7 years later, and a lot of that weight has come back. My life is so busy, that I haven’t been doing any regular exercise for a long time now. And, I’ve been eating a lot of grab and go food, which isn’t healthy at all.

So I have contemplated doing a 100 Day Challenge, but it seems really time consuming, and my life is already jam packed full. What do I cut out to make room for it?

Like any good multitasker, I’ll stick this task in the between the nooks and crannies of daily life. I think the thing to do here is not what other people do, but to own this little project and do what I can do… some kind of exercise every day.

So today is Day One, and I got myself up and walked on the treadmill today. I managed to choke down a banana smoothie that was really awful, but undoubtedly good for me. Now it’s off to the shower. Let’s see how many more steps my Fitbit can log today.

Here’s hoping you find something challenge-worthy, and that you find a way to stick to it. Or, feel free to hold me accountable to what I have promised myself to do. Blessings, all!

Day 3 – Equipment Fail

Good morning… Welcome to Day 3!

Getting out of bed this morning was so much easier, given that I went to bed at a decent time last night. I feel like I got a good night’s sleep and I was able to get up a little earlier hoping to save sometime this morning.

That’s fabulous!

What isn’t fabulous is that my treadmill kept stopping on me. Apparently, it all of a sudden feels like I need to “Select a Target”.  There’s nothing like a little equipment fail right away in the morning to get your blood pumping, and not in a good way.

Well, I tinkered with it a little bit, selected something, and just went for it. All that time I spent diddling around with this recalcitrant piece of machinery cut out some of my walk time, but at least I got up and did something.

That, I think is the important part. I got up and did something.

I feel good this morning. I hope that I will still feel this good by the time the end of the day comes. Maybe, I’ll get up and walk on my treadmill again today.

Here’s hoping that the equipment you need to get your day going doesn’t fail. If it does, that’s ok, just keep trying! Blessings, all!


Day 2 – The Zombie Rises

I did it…Day 2 accomplished!

I only walked half a mile, but I stuck with it.  Now, if I can just get my carcass out of bed half an hour earlier, I might be able to get a whole mile walked, and some housework done.

Or, perhaps I could get my brain going well enough to write a decent blog post, rather than praising my zombie self for doing the simple task of rolling out of bed and doing something worth while. Hm….food for thought.

Here’s hoping you have a productive morning, whatever that means for you. Even the smallest thing counts. I mean that. Blessings all!

Homework at age 47

So, my latest adventure is taking a course in meditation and mindfulness. The guided meditation is what lured me in, as that is one of the activities I miss greatly. I used to belong to a study group, and we did guided meditations all the time, and I loved it.

This class goes every Monday for 4 weeks. Simple enough, right? Well, as it turns out, I have homework.


What a whiner I am. I know plenty of people my age going to real school, who have real loads of homework to take care of every night. Taking a quick quiz, and spending 10 minutes meditating is nothing, and yet I still dig my heels in. So, enough of that. Let’s dive in!

I am supposed to start a journal, which is pretty well taken care of with this blog. I just have to get into a better habit of getting out here and writing on a regular basis again. Then, we have to participate in this quiz every day, and meditate.

And, there’s the goal setting. I need to set a few goals, weekly to start with. I think my first goal is just to train myself to get out of bed in the morning as soon as my alarm goes off and not keep hitting the snooze. The struggle is real…I’m not getting up until the last possible minute. There’s my first goal.

Goal number 2 is to eat better. I’ve been eating a lot of junk, as my expanding waistline will attest to, so I need to cultivate some better eating habits.

Goal 3, and probably the most important, I need to make more quiet time for myself. I think if I do that, all of the rest of my goals will probably fall into place. If I were to get up early enough in the morning, I would have time to meditate, or exercise, and eat breakfast in the morning. I would probably feel better and function more efficiently during each day.

So, having said all that, here’s hoping you all find quiet time in your day to meditate, read a book, or do whatever feeds your soul. Blessings, all!

Of beer, bologna and beets

I had a very interesting conversation today about bologna. No kidding! If it’s one thing that North Dakotans take seriously, it’s food. All food. And, you better take 2nd’s, as someone’s going to get their feelings hurt, or wonder if you are unwell for not being a “good eater”.

The discussion started out as a simple plea for ideas as to what to do with ring bologna on Facebook. The flood gates opened and there were so many suggestions, as well as references from people’s childhood memories of eating it, either in the ring or sliced version. Personally, I loved when my mom would either fry bologna, or put it in a sandwich with cheese, pickles and Miracle Whip. Good stuff!

How lovely to have a discussion with a whole bunch of folks I haven’t even met, about a simple subject like food. We all have our likes, and dislikes, but still had a very good, positive discussion. Okay, we were talking about ring bologna, but it was a good time! We talked about other things as well, but the bologna is what brought us together for a few minutes for some fun in talking about one of the most mundane subjects ever: food.  Big thanks to my friend “E” for starting the discussion. It was fun, and I got a lot of interesting ideas!

I also ran into a discussion about beets. Yes, I love beets. I know it’s not a favorite veggie for a lot of people, but it’s one of my favorites. One of the best ways I have ever eaten beets is sautéed in butter and tarragon, on a grill. SO YUMMY!  For those of you who are not fans of beets, give it a try. I bet you might like it.

Last, but not least, I had a really interesting beer tonight.

Firestone Walker - Stickee Monkey BeerI was gifted with this amazing  beer from my friends whose cats I babysit sometimes. It’s made by a very interesting brewer, which you can check out here:

I’m a sucker for a good dark beer, and this was a good one. In fact, it was so good, I drank the whole thing. It was a 22oz,  11.6 % alcohol beer. What does that mean? That means that I am one very tipsy Sparrow. But I’m getting ready to head off to bed for the night, so it’s no matter.

Tonight’s theme has been food and drink. Here’s hoping that you have many opportunities to try new foods and drinks, whatever that looks like for you, and that you have awesome people to share and discuss it with! Blessings all!

The peace of home

Sunday mornings have become one of those times in the week where I get to have a little peace and quiet. I think the most important part of that is that I get to spend time in my house. I’m not home a lot, but that’s slowly changing, as I have been on the run with life for so long, it’s become apparent that I just really need to spend more time keeping the place up.

Line dried towelsThis morning, I managed to get two loads of laundry washed and on the line. In between, I sealed my front porch, which was so very, VERY dry. I even managed to get the bills paid. All in all, it was a very productive morning.

While waiting for my last load of wash to get finished so I could get it on the line to dry, I sat in my living room for a few minutes, sipping a fresh cup of coffee. Those few moments of peace and quiet were so awesome. It’s rare that there isn’t a radio, or Ipod playing, or sometimes the tv is running. Even the traffic was quiet. Just about the only thing I could hear was the laundry sloshing around in the washer, and the clock ticking.

Quiet, steady ticking sounds, like a clock, are so comforting to me. That, and traffic out in front of the house, is something I strongly associate with my childhood. My grandparents’ house is not too far from where I live now, and you could say I grew up there. No matter where we lived, their house was always a constant in my life. They had a cuckoo clock my dad got them before I was born, and it had the requisite little bird that would pop out on the hour. I always loved to watch my Grandpa wind up the clock with the long, delicate chains that hung down from the bottom. They lived on a very busy street, and traffic sounds were a constant.

Sometimes, if I close my eyes and just sit still and listen, it’s almost like I am sitting in their living room again.

So now it’s night-time, and I am lying in bed with my laptop, and the radio is running because I just don’t sleep well without talk radio. I have it turned down really soft, and all I can hear besides that is the sound of the computer and whatever random traffic out front. The irony is not lost on me that it drove me nuts when Grandma listened to talk radio at night, and it kept me up. Now I can’t sleep without it!

Something that is missing in my home is the solid feeling of my grandparents’ house. They had this really solidly build home, with heavy oak doorways that were darkly stained. The front door was so big and heavy that I couldn’t open it by myself when I was small. It always had this big heavy feeling like laying under layers of warm blankets on a cold night. It was a comfortable, homey, safe place, and I miss it every single day.

That home was sold in ’96 after Grandma died, and the folks who bought it take really good care of it. It got wet during the Flood of 2011, but they restored it and it looks wonderful. It broke my heart to see it under water, but I am so grateful they have taken pride in it and have made it their home for so long.

So, I wonder how it is that I can create that same feeling when I walk into the home I live in now? That’s a mystery. Perhaps it is just my perception because it’s a different house, or perhaps it’s because I have never really liked this house. I respect it because it has kept my family dry and warm all these years. It was my world during my divorce because I only left it to go to work, or shuttle the boys around, for a good two years. This crappy little fixer-upper has its charms, but it won’t hurt my feelings to leave it. I wonder how I will feel when the day comes to move? I’ve lived here 16 years, and there are a lot of memories here, good and bad.

Maybe the answer is to just spend more time at home, and stop being on the run so much? I guess I will just keep inching along, making repairs and upgrades as I go, until it feels like home. It never really has, even though I’ve lived here a long time. I’m betting that I can overcome that feeling if I try hard enough.

Here’s hoping you find peace in your home, and that it makes you feel safe and comforted in that space. Blessings all 🙂


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