Psyching Up For a December Whole 30 Graduates


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:lol:Oh yeah, I have a giant mental pic of your Mom & my Dad getting high and playing Scrabble! That's awesome! I still have the Scrabble set that my parents had when I was a kid. The box is broken but all of the wooden tiles are still there as far as I know. My husband is dyslexic so Scrabble is not exactly his favorite game. He's a statistical programmer and when I look at his computer code I don't know how he does it since it looks like a bunch of jumbled up letters, numbers and symbols but he's really good at it. The Psycho cat was hilarious, too. I really had to thank MJ for inserting some humor in my day. I haven't seen The Namesake. Did you like the book or the movie better? My big boy does that with our shoes, too and we say he's making love to them!

It sounds like Spooky's mama had a hard day, too. Maybelle had her belly shaved when she had that ultrasound and the hair is finally growing back. I'm probably glad that I wasn't present for any of that even though, at the time, I felt like I was abandoning her. She does give herself pedicures- usually on the bed in the middle of the night. I've never seen a cat do this but she bites her nails and pulls that outer layer off so they're always sharp as razors. My boy isn't nearly as attentive to his grooming, though. Probably because he was raised by me and our chow. He didn't even see a cat until he went to the vet to get fixed when he was several months old so I think he's been species-confused his whole life. Our chow used to get terrible dreads on the back of her hind legs, too and I'd finally have to just cut them off. She looked like she'd been attacked by a weed wacker by the time I finished.  

Yay for the grill! I did a dry rub with taco seasoning on some kabob meat last night and that is definitely a keeper. We grilled some peppers and onions to go with it and put a big blob of guac on top- tacos for my husband and just plated for me. It was easy and yummy after spending some time in the garden getting ready to plant. It seemed like we walked a mile back and forth across the garden getting the rows measured out and laid out perfectly, exactly, OCD kind of straight (a compass was involved)! My husband even wanted to know how many steps we took and said my phone was lying because it was only about 1500 steps. My ring should be here tomorrow so I can quit obsessing over keeping my phone with me at all times. Plants go in the ground this afternoon then we're going to let someone else feed us dinner. I wish my phone could count squats because I'll probably get about 100 in this afternoon and squats should count for even more than stairs!

I read an article a couple of days ago about how human touch is disappearing from medical care and it made me think of your hospice visits. Touch, especially caring, loving touch is so important.

Hugs to you and Spooky. I hope the dasuquin helps; it sounds like a really good supplement. I might try it on my big boy. He's moving like he has some arthritis in his back or back legs and that might give him a boost.

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I'm reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman right now, which is making it easier than usual for me to imagine other-worldly goings-on such as that ruthless and stoned Scrabble game we have conjured up! LOL! My husband won't play Scrabble with me, either - I think because he hates to lose so much. Whup, did I just say that? It's true, he can't stand to lose! The other game I love is backgammon, and he won't play that either, because he says it's too complicated, which really confounds I am always on the lookout for gammon players. MJ mentioned it was part of her bday celebration, and that made me happy. I know there are many forms of genius, and your husband's kind has my true respect - how do they do it? Also, curious, what are his favorite games?

Turns out Spooky has a bad UTI, so we are continuing the dasuquin on principle, and also giving her liquid antibiotics. She seems not to mind it in her food. I asked about a probiotic, or anything to offset the potential dangers of the antibiotic and got a zero. Any suggestions you have are welcome! Like you and Maybelle, we'll be hoping the fur grows back ASAP - it hurts to see the bald spots...and we'll have to take her back for phase II of the "sheep shearing" pretty soon to get the rest! Anyway, I'm glad it's a treatable condition - one always starts to fear the I know you well understand. I'll be interested to know if the dasuquin helps your big boy - our vet gets stars in his eyes when he talks about this supplement.

Did your ring come in yet? Your garden sounds amazing! It seems everyone is counting steps these days - even my husband is counting his at work. Aren't we modern?

If you still have it, I'd love to read the article you mentioned. I have struggled to find a hospice to work with since moving to this area, after being in super savvy coastal communities. I'm about to offer a touch awareness training to the volunteer staff of the outfit I take referrals from, but I'm really encouraging them to invite the clinical staff, too. I get so bummed out when I see people who I think should know better, treating the body like a sack of potatoes. I can teach them how to do better, but they have to be willing to show up for it. I'm going to be such a P.I.A if I'm ever in a hospice bed with my OCD preferences regarding presence and gentleness.

Okay, now to pack for our two overnights...and Seinfeld to make us laugh! I will probably be off-line up until your departure day, so I wish you, and all your pretty shoes, a safe and wonderful, memorable trip!! xo

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Vitality Science Pet Flora is what I've been using. It has no prebiotics which can be gut disruptive because they're FODMAP's. I just open up the capsule and mix a little of it into her food and she doesn't seem to object to it. So glad to hear that's it's just a UTI. Shaved kitties are so sad! When I was a kid, one of my mother's friend shaved her Persian like a poodle - poof on the end of his tail and everything. He was so embarrassed that he hid under the sofa for a month.

I think the Scrabble game we conjured up sounds like a blast. Maybe they'll let us join in when we get there! I used to play backgammon a lot in college but it's been so long that I don't even remember how anymore. That's sad. We're not much on games or cards. My husband used to be a really good foosball and pool player in his first go-'round of college but that's about it. I can't find that article about touch. I know it came in one of the medical newsletters I get and I've looked back through them but no luck. It talked about the effects of AI being a good thing for some diagnostic procedures but a bad thing because of the resultant lack of touching. If I come across it again, i'll send it along.

My ring is here! Now I just have to learn how to interpret the data and get it talking to my phone and the walking challenge app correctly. I've noticed that my phone does a terrible job if tracking my steps when I'm just moving back and forth around the house or garden. I'm wearing the ring on my non-dominant hand to minimize "extra" motion and yesterday I tried to make it count things like drinking and folding clothes and it seemed to know the difference between those motions and walking. 

Sorry this is a little ADD but I've got a million things spinning around in my head that I need to get done at work and at home before I head to the airport at 0530 tomorrow. I'll try to check in at some point during all of the social obligations of the weekend. I'm bringing shoes & clothes for walking so I'm being optimistic about having some down time.  I hope you have a good trip and enjoy Seinfeld- he's so funny! Dining out too, right? 

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Thanks for the link! That poor Persian cat, shaved like a Poodle? That is horrible... and a Persian of all breeds, yikes! I would hide under the sofa too, until my fur grew back and my nails were very sharp, and then scratch up her favorite rugs and furniture! 

Yes to Scrabble in any realm...let's make it a date! I know you could pick up backgammon again quickly if you had a partner! It was a big thing in my family. My stepsister and I, long the dearest of friends, used to take her oversized, deluxe red and white/gold trim board to one of our favorite bistros, sip pints, and play. Repeat.  I have probably played more backgammon with her than anyone else. We both grieve that our husbands' won't play with us, and that we don't live close enough to play together anymore! My older sister is also a big bg player, and was in her early adulthood in San Francisco in the 70s when it was so popular, bars were designed around the game, and people often gambled on the sly. She has some exciting stories. She's a great player, but is my ever-so-bossy-big-sister, trying to "teach" me and "help" me at every turn, so it is so annoying, I don't play with her if I can avoid it. 

I'm impressed that your ring can detect the subtleties of movement and know the difference between chores and walking. I'll bet it will be fun to get it all synched up. My husband always relishes such processes. 

Seinfeld was entertaining as usual - this is our second time - and there's a renovated district near the hotel and auditorium, where we found some good eats and browsing. We like to walk and explore and take our chances, not utilizing Yelp and the like...just to discover what we can discover. The post show hunting mission was memorable for the long walk, and the wind, light rain, and awesome lightning storm...the food was a bust, but the next day we found a gem of a burger joint and liked it so much we ate there two days in a row. I had the fried fish sandwich, and it was worth it in spades. A few bites of hubs' fries. Now: back to the straight and narrow!!

Your post didn't seem ADD to me at all...but I know the feeling, I have felt that way writing here, too, wanting to, and also making a mad dash. Thanks for the time it takes to check in here - I get it! Happy travels!

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This morning i got up early, ready to begin-again with great seriousness, and I got over the mental hurdle I've had about driving to my morning hike. So, I did it, I got in my car and made the ten minute drive to the beloved trail head that used to be a 5 minute walk, from the old place. Not only was it not so bad, it was liike going home. I haven't seen that trail since late autumn, before we moved, and it was just the shot in the arm that I needed. By July it will be too hot, and too populated with tarantula hawks, but for now, I am back!!!

I've put on some real inches, and am feeling it, and not happy about it, but I've been here before, and I'm catching it before it gets out of control. I'm pulling out all the stops --self care all the way.

Today I'll make chili for hubs for while I'm gone, and other things for me to take to Monterey tomorrow. It's due to rain in Monterey the whole time I'm there, but I'm focused on hiking there every morning in a favorite spot. We'll see....I'll be back on Saturday, with a car full of Mom's things.

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Good morning @LadyLisbette and welcome home! How was your trip to Monterey? I hope going through your Mom's things wasn't too hard for you. Knowing you had to do that helps put the time I spent with my Mom in better perspective. It was very...trying. And exhausting. I came home to chaos so that didn't help my mental state. Like you, I've put on some inches and didn't realize it until I saw a picture of myself that was just appalling. I had four days off before coming back to work and I was working on being productive without working myself into a stupor and getting back to a better place in my head. I got called into work yesterday, though, which totally wrecked my cook-up for the upcoming week and threw me all out of whack. Plus it turned out to be a wasted trip; the cells I was coming to collect had been discarded so that was a real bummer, too.

I made chili, too! We had a piece of brisket that I used and gave my Mom's Instapot a whirl. I have to say that it was pretty sweet but, since I have a crockpot AND a pressure cooker, I don't know that I could justify another appliance- both space and $$. We walked every day while I was there and the weather was fabulous but there was way too much family drama going on. As wonderful as it was to see my brother and his kids, I was counting the minutes until I left. Oh! and the whole trip started with multiple flight delays! I arrived 7 hours late and missed the whole graduation party on Saturday. I did a little off-roading with some bready things but not too badly except food/sleep schedules were vastly different from my usual.

Now it's kinda become a comedy of errors and everything's going wrong. The guy I get my meat from had a huge sale so I ordered a whole bunch of stuff. After I got home and unpacked it, they had totally messed up my order. They're going to make it right and they're trying to make it up to me (it's not the first time) by letting me pick three items of theirs that I've never tried. I don't want to do that but I have two pork butt roasts (I've never seen such a thing) that were supposed to be two whole butts and I don't know what to do with them. I can't really return them because of the logistics of how they're going to bring me all of the things they messed up. I hate confrontation and they're really nice but it's hanging over my head.

So, new day and fresh opportunities, right? I actually slept pretty well last night but then I left my phone at home (with my driver's license attached to it)- not exactly how I wanted to start my week. I'll be driving very carefully and obeying all speed limits driving home this afternoon! I like your thought about serious self care. The only time I manage to do that is when I'm full-on W30. As I've been writing, I've been thinking that that is probably my answer to pulling myself back up. If I count today as Day 1, my brother in law and his girlfriend will be here to visit on days 27-30 and I know they're going to want to go out and eat. I don't want to use that as an excuse to NOT do it, especially since it seems far away right now and I can try to just figure it out when it gets here. So far, my meals for the day are compliant (except dinner but only because I don't know what it is yet!) so I think I'll ponder the possibilities.

How's Spooky?

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Hi @hollysmokes, and welcome home to you, too! Yay, we're back! Whew. Jerry Seinfeld had a funny routine about "getting out", I've got somewhere to be, I've got to GO! Insert his distinctive body language as he pantomimes leaving, pacing across the stage. Then it's, "I've got to get BACK" and back he goes, striding across the here WE are, and it's "I've got to get back to my ROUTINE!"

Your comedy of errors reminds me of this children's book, do you know it?,_Horrible,_No_Good,_Very_Bad_Day

I hope that all the elements start to fall into place for you! It's very hard to come back from a big trip like that and slide right back in! Especially since your "get settled at home" period got cut short/interrupted, and for nothing. Wah! If you DO start your W30 today, I'm sure you can adlib a tasty dinner! Since cruising on your own bike since our December W30, have you ever set your intention to get the self care back onboard? Why is it harder to do a movement-type W30 than a food W30, I wonder? As you ponder the possibilities, know that I am psyching for a movement W30-type commitment, now that I'm open to driving to my morning hike, or...maybe I'll join you and do a W30, too, just don't think I can start today because I know that my lunch out will probably not be compliant...I did not in fact hike every day on my trip, as it was raining so much (we're having weird unseasonal rain, here at home, too, it's like winter!) and on the one day it didn't rain, I got a little walk, but nothing like what I intended. Anyway, this morning I did get a 10-15 minute sweat on, just here on our road because I have an early call, then yoga and sitting, all together just a half hour, but if I can do that, at the very least, every day, that's where I want to be, and I know it helps keep me on a smoother bike, not so many wobbles.

Oh! I'm glad my situation brought you to a different mind-set with your mom! Although there was drama, are you glad you went? I'm sure your presence was appreciated! I was anticipating a little power struggle with my stepdad over accessing the storage (he was worried about the rain and wind b/c there is a lot of fine art still in storage) but we spent a good chunk of time visiting well the day before, and we got lucky with the weather, so it went well. I'm pleased to report that it went very well for me in terms of grief - no tugging heart ache or crying jags...even yesterday when I went through some boxes looking at photos (that is usually hard for me) and letters, I felt very even-keeled. I did fall apart at one point visiting a dear family friend, who at 101, is starting to lose her memory, and she has lost track of who I am. We were very close. I was warned by her daughter that she was confused about me, and Mom, who was a dear friend, and I thought I would know how to finesse myself and the situation when this happened, but in fact, it was really, really hard. I cried on my way out...the reality of "losing-her-in-layers" triggered a new feeling of loss of Mom, I know you get the picture. Still, overall, it went well. I visited with a couple of dear friends, my older sister on the way home, a bunch of visits and meals with me stepdad, and went to the movies TWICE - that means a lot to me b/c we're so rural we never get the good movies, just the most middle of the road crap, and it's a long drive, and I seldom go, but I LOVE going to the movies. The restaurant-going was OK, nothing special...I brought some of my own food too, so once a day I ate my own W30 cooking. A couple of sugar binges, and a couple of Rx bar it wasn't perfect, but could have been much worse, so I'm not being hard on myself at all. But. Like you. Back to business!!

Thank you for asking about Spooky! She is almost done with her antibiotics, and while I think I can see signs of frequent urination in the box, there is no blood...We just ordered a rake brush online to get in front of those dreadlocks, and she is as feisty as ever. I'm sure she's really enjoying getting an increase of food! How about Maybelle? (Did I spell it correctly?)

I have to dash now - this morning is my part of a massage trade with a graphic designer who did a poster for one of my community things. Then it's senior lunch and movie day at the Retreat - always fun to work with my collaborator and see me peeps. 

Sweet day, and safe driving! xo




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PS My massage trade partner forgot our appointment, so I found some free time! I was reviewing my dream log and while traveling I dreamed that I was on a path, avoiding snakes and crocodiles. But I wrote "avoiding snacks..." LOL dangerous snacks!

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Ha! At least you were on a path! A couple of nights ago I woke my poor husband up twice calling for help. I was running from a DEA agent that was trying to kill me :(. His gun misfired and gave me a chance to run. Maybe there's actually a good message there- a second chance.

It's true, the self care and movement parts are harder than the food part. I tried to not let it go at the end of our last W30 but, over time, it kinda just fizzled out- got squeezed out by other STUFF, I guess. The walking challenge has helped me focus on movement again and my ring is definitely a motivator but now that we're down to the last week of the challenge the software is all messed up and not recording our steps. Hopefully they'll get it straightened out soon.

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. It made me tear up and "losing-her-in-layers" is especially heart-breaking.

I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner but I have a lot of kitty probiotics; the smallest size was 50. Maybelle (named after Mother Maybelle Carter) would be happy to share with Spooky if you think it's not too late.


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Aww! Thank you to Miss Maybelle for being so generous! For now my husband has vetoed any supplements for Spooky, and while she is our cat, she was his cat for the first fourteen years, so I don't press it...but if he changes his mind, or if she shows signs of side effects and I veto his veto, i will let you and Maybelle know. Thank you! 

That's a scary dream! I like what you said about a second chance. What do you associate the DEA with? Are you an outlaw in some way, and do you need a safe house or safe shelter from something? A place to be understood, or people who understand a different view that you hold? The Jungian author I like - I think I mentioned Toko-pa Turner - talks about the dark visitors in our dreams, and the value in embracing them. 

Before W30 I observed that my greatest likelihood of having all my best practices fall into place seemed to occur when I was trail running. Even though I started in my 40s, getting that vigorous cardio made everything else tumble easily like dominoes. And I lost weight, too. That was such an empowering time! I ran two half marathons, and felt so good. On my trip I was reflecting on that awesome morning hike I had, and I felt inspired to try running again, very conservatively. Before my joints started acting up, I learned that running uphill is not that much harder than power hiking uphill! One of the films I saw last week was a documentary about BKS Iyengar, and THAT inspired me to set some yoga goals for this year, mostly inversions that I haven't attempted since I was a kid. So we'll see what I can make happen. Because of the knees I'll have to be very conservative with the running...I'll start with a good week or two of hiking, then each week add a little running. And no downhill running, not for a good, long time, which will be hard, because I LOVE to run downhill, it's so much fun. I'm realizing as I write to you, that I haven't tried any running since my W30 life started two years ago, so maybe there's a pleasant surprise waiting for me.

What did you make for dinner?

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An outlier maybe but outlaw, I don't think so :D not even by Willie's definition! The dark visitors in my dreams always seem to be chasing me but, thankfully, it doesn't happen very often. 

My best practices happened when I was training for a women's match-racing (think America's Cup-style racing on much smaller boats) clinic and regatta. Now I know that those were NOT best practices but at the time I was doing my best and following conventional wisdom: counting every morsel that I consumed, chronic cardio and weights. My husband and I used to joke that every time we ate an almond it meant 7 minutes on the elliptical to burn it off! Definitely NOT sustainable but I was the fittest and strongest that I have ever been. As I think about it, I'm finding parallels between that and my walking challenge. The team aspect of it is definitely a motivation for me- can't let the team down! Now why can't I apply that to "can't let myself down"? I think being able to look at the data from my ring will help with that. The walking challenge ends on Monday but I've really gotten into all of the metrics available to me now including the sleep data. Are you still taking the collagen peptides? That is one of the lasting habits I have from our December W30 but I typically only do one scoop in the morning and never manage to get in the second scoop in the afternoon. 

I had a mini cook-up yesterday afternoon and put together some Scotch eggs for my breakfasts, seasoned up some pork that I had ground Saturday to make Italian sausage and cobbled together a pretty good dinner- grilled pork chops with Creole seasoning, buttered carrots for my husband (not my fave) and sauteed turnips and kohlrabi (not his fave) for me. Now I have leftover turnips and kohlrabi and some pork left from my lunch on Saturday to have for my lunch today along with my usual raw brocc and ranch. I get a break this evening and have the house to myself until 7 or 8 so I need to decide what I'm going to do with that time.

I've been compliant since yesterday morning and still haven't committed to a real W30 but I'm letting my husband have my leftover brisket, sauteed peppers & onions covered with a thick layer of cheese. Ideally, I would just like to tighten up my act to be more compliant and permanent instead of feeling like I need to do another W30 because I've strayed so far. Can I do that without the rigidity of The Rules? 

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I like the two questions you're asking in this post. Why can't I keep from letting myself as team of one down, and can I tighten up my act to be more compliant and permanent instead of feeling like I need the rigidity of The Rules....yes! I've been asking myself all morning, now that I've done three rounds of W30, what are MY rules for myself? I say we can learn to follow our own rules -- we can find our own deep commitment. We have wobbled, yes, but we can start again, and be committed. The word permanent has neon light around it for me...could that be a set-up, like right and wrong vs. to the best of my ability? May I suggest rlaxing on the permanence idea since what we need may shift and change, and with time see less frequent wobbling? How to keep committed is the question. It seems that the peer support of the forum, and your walking team, are a yes to peer support, right? And also the event on the horizon, or deadline such as your walking challenge/match racing, and my half marathons, these things help. Every year I try to use the September jazz festival as my event on the horizon to train for, but it's not an athletic event, it's a special occasion that I want to look and feel good for, and it's not quite the same. We have a backpacking trip planned for late summer, I should focus on that re training...

If you make this a new W30, I support you 100%! FWIW here is where I'm at with "starting again".

If I'm really honest, I think I've started thinking of W30 as the weight loss program that I know it's not supposed to be. So I'm looking at all I've learned from the eliminations/re-intros, trying to integrate it into my self-knowledge bank, and think differently than I have been/be really honest with myself. "What are the new best practices for where I'm at right now?" Somehow, I haven't included this question following my re-intros, or not quite as deeply or seriously as I am now. Legumes are okay, occasional dairy is okay for me, grains and sugar and alcohol to be avoided as dangerous, and combinations are to be rare, and recovered from quickly...So this morning after my hike (!) I was totally out of fresh produce (shopping tomorrow), so I got frozen spinach, green beans, and peas out of the freezer, and made super green scrambled eggs, with a couple of leftover chicken apple sausage patties, and a little feta stirred in there - pleasure on my palate please - with a dollop of mayo. Easing up on the strict rules and self judjiness, but needing to satisfy myself to keep from sugar binging, which always comes on when I'm hungry, and not focused, or otherwise in throwing-in-the-towel mode, which is so self destructive, and I have been there a lot lately.

So for today, so far so good - one day at a time. Yes, I am even borrowing from what I know of 12-step to keep myself off of sugar. Ha.

Thanks for reminding me about turnips, I'm putting some on my shopping list. For lunch I'm going to add salad greens to the other half of the giant green scramble and sausage. W30 has definitely taught me to be more inventive with my meals. I like the meme I saw on IG, "Before W30 I'd look in the fridge and say, there's nothing to eat, let's go out. Now I say, let's fry a couple of eggs and put them on the leftovers"

I'll have to carry my trekking poles for downhill hiking until I get the muscle ratio back up - I can feel my knees asking for some help. My goal is to hike and stretch 5 days/week, and good that I got out today before the rain started.




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So much to think about...

22 hours ago, LadyLisbette said:

"What are the new best practices for where I'm at right now?"

Maybe "permanent" wasn't the best choice of words. I guess it would be better to say sustainable and flexible and, yes, to the best of my ability but still adhering closely to The Plan- not so much right vs wrong or good vs bad. I've done three rounds as well and I've reaped different lasting benefits from each but it's not a W365, rinse and repeat. I'm having a harder time setting and sticking to my own personal rules that I did to the more rigid W30 rules. After thinking about all of this, I decided that instead of another W30, what I need to do is RIDE MY OWN BIKE and ride it well, according to the rules I have set for myself. 

Like you (again!), I have been tending to think of it as a weight loss opportunity. What I need to do is think about my portion sizes, the amount of movement in my day and the amount of off-roading I allow to creep in- craft beer, I'm SO looking at you. Mindless snacking and wine-ing come to mind as well. So, last night I had the house to myself and was going to treat myself to one of the little pieces of filet mignon I got as an apology for my meat guy messing up my order. I didn't have any ghee and really wanted that buttery flavor to baste it in but also didn't want to make any because I'd just gotten finished putting up some pickled asparagus and garlic scapes and I was ready to be out of the kitchen. Since I'm not sensitive to dairy products and they don't set off any cravings, I made an executive decision that a little butter was acceptable off-roading for me at that moment. 

I have a yummy compliant lunch: grilled salmon, guac, kale salad (actually kohlrabi greens salad but it's essentially the same) and a few berries. Dinner will probably be fish cakes. I got some cod a while back and it didn't freeze well but it makes great fish cakes if i chop it up in the processor first. 

Still thinking...

Having a goal helps, right? You have a good one with your end-of-summer hiking trip. I need one. My last one was looking/feeling good for my trip to LA but that obviously didn't motivate me sufficiently; heavy on the self-sabotage there. I think it needs to be fitness-oriented not appearance/weight-oriented. 

It's good to get out of throwing-in-the-towel mode. As crummy as I felt, that just made me feel worse.

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I'm looking for a new word for us, for those things like your butter, my feta, the half-n-half I took in my decaf today (yeah, living dangerously me and coffee, all good today!). I used to think of these as "the verboten" foods. But in cobbling together whatever the new way of thinking is, which stands apart from W30, but has W30 factored into it, what is a good word for those moments and those choices? BTW that steak sounds yummy. 

I'm going to ask my CSA lady if she can get kohlrabi, it looks so good, and like something I might really like - thanks for the reminder. I still haven't made the mackerel cakes that have been in my orange "next up" folder for a long time, but your fishcakes remind me of that, too. I got all the shopping done, and it's notably grounding and comforting to get organized in the kitchen and pantry as I take these baby steps back towards health and fitness. Happy sigh, I needed that! Tonight I made tomato soup.

It's so helpful to hash out the thinking here - thank you. I was thinking that one huge advantage we have is maturity and the mental focus that comes with it. Speaking of mental focus, isn't that a really huge part? I'm going with that. I was also thinking about that period when I was trail running. The impetus to run came when my mom got sick - it was like a survival instinct, a voice yelling, "RUN! RUN! RUN for your life!!!". I will never forget that. I wanted to lose weight, yes, I was at my heaviest weight ever, but I also instinctively knew it would help me stress-wise, and in ways that I couldn't put words to. And it did....and the caregiving gave me, not being a parent myself, the most profound sense of purpose I've ever known. So, back to mental focus, I'm going to treat myself with the same sense of purpose. Yesterday I was reading something about knowing who you are, I mean, really who you are, underneath personality and even self image...your real essence in the hall of ancestors kind of I'm thinking that whatever that author was driving at (I can dig it up if you're interested - it's upstairs) is what deserves the same care and devotion that I gave my mother. Right? Whew! Why not?

Day 3 of my new habits and hiking, I feel like I'm climbing out of a murky swamp. But I think there's part of me that likes the begin again phase, is that why I sabotage? That's such an old, bad habit! Like you said, about getting out of throw-in-the-towel mode. I think it's awesome and huge that we got honest about W30 and weight loss...I KNOW we can do this! As for an athletic-type event to work towards, any thoughts as you slept on it? Here's a crazy idea, do you want to find a 5K or something that's on the same weekend, different places? Oh, my final insight from today is that after 3 W30's and lots of self-knowledge, whatever we do now can include weight loss as a goal, not the only goal, but that can be in the mix, no taboo there...that doesn't feel or look right in words compared to the feeling I get when I think about it...I guess I want to just be honest with myself about it, and that feels better... does that make sense? Now I'm rambling, sorry, time for bed! 

Is your walking challenge software back up?

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You know what? I think it's just really riding our own bikes! :lol: Maybe we've been tootling around with training wheels on and we're finally getting far enough along in our journey to make our own N=1 plan: my bike ride will look a bit different from yours. You're right, mental focus IS huge. Maybe that's why the team motivation works so well for me; it gives me focus. As we know, knowledge is power so, armed with these realizations, I think we're both in a good place to make a plan that includes the parts of W30 that we want to either strictly or closely adhere to while also including a weight loss component. Less wobbling and more focus will ultimately lead to our desired outcomes.

I like your idea of finding an event to aspire towards but I hate to admit that I've never been a fan of running. I wish I liked it because it's so convenient but this is our game and we can make the rules. Nothing says it has to be the same type of event, does it?! Haha that makes me thing of the I Love Lucy episode when she and Ethyl played golf against Fred and Ricky after Fred and Ricky made up all kinds of wack-a-doodle rules to discourage them from playing. Were you a Lucy fan? Anyway, we used to go to Virginia every October for a music festival and always piggy-backed a camping/hiking trip onto it. Because I really wanted to enjoy the hikes and not be miserable, I trained for them pretty well. That's not to say a couple of them didn't kick my butt but I survived and had great fun. Maybe we should pick something, anything and make that a goal- maybe a 5K for you and a strenuous hike for me, or something like that.


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That's so funny...I've been slowly coming around to  thinking the same thing (surprise!)...we're finally learning to ride our own bikes! Well, it's a process! I like your metaphor of training wheels. I'm also thinking of the Meadowlily wisdom, not needing to do so many W30s...didn't she say you only need to do it once? Well, we obviously needed to do three...but good that we are exactly where we are at now. = )

Also, it was silly of me to impose a 5K on either of us...I got carried away. I'm sorry. I don't even know if I will be capable of a 5K to be honest. But I'm right there with you for a strenuous hike any time. It seems like there is a lot of light at the end of the tunnel.

You're making me want to look up that old episode of Lucy, with the golf game..sounds funny! It's been too long since I've watched those old wonderful shows.

I'm game for a date, and taking the solidarity into that realm! Speaking of dates, my husband and I have to put our calendars together and set a date for our backpacking trip. Meanwhile, I'm having a good week with the morning hikes, and soon I'll be ready to schedule in a "long" hike, and do a long one once per week.

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No apologies necessary; I think it's a great idea!

What date did you settle on for your backpacking trip? Is it too far away for it to work for our goal setting? If so, maybe we could have an intermediate goal on the way to a more long-term one. I like the idea of doing one longer hike/walk every week but haven't made it happen. That's a Katy Bowman thing, too. I think she does a 20 miler once a week? once a month? 

I took the day off of work tomorrow so I'll have a long weekend. Part of it is supposed to involve quality time with a shovel but we're having logistical problems getting compost. It will work out eventually. I know there's a shovel in my future and that's good; I like shovelling for some crazy reason. Maybe it's because I'm feeding the soil and my body all at the same time.


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It looks like our trip will be the last weekend of August, which is Labor Day weekend - we'll get 4 days!!! I wonder, does Katy Bowman disclose what kind of diet she keeps? Is the MovNat crowd Paleo-oriented like the Cross Fit folk? I used to wring my hands a lot about carbs, etc, for big endurance days like Katy's 20-miler, and our backpacking, which could be 9-12 mi. or so miles depending on the elevation gains. 20 miles! The longest hike we've ever done in a day was 17 miles. It was flat, and we were pretty worn out, especially our feet, at the end! 20 miles sure is impressive.

I think for our purposes I'd like to do something sooner...what do you think? This week has been easy 2-3 milers. Straight up the mountain, and straight back down, with a little rolling in between. Heaven! For a little extra strength work, i climb the (livestock) fences instead of using the gates. I've got the sleep aid benefit onboard already, yay! Next week I'll be ready for one day of modest increase, and I don't know if it will be distance or a bit of running. Probably it will be safer for a month or so to increase by distance and wait until after that to add any trail running. I'll probably shoot for Fridays for the increase days. I know our work schedules are different, and you might usually have to wait until the weekend? The buddy system, knowing us, will survive that! I just had another idea, since I'm such a creature of habit, I could/should add a new yoga pose once in a while...and I haven't done any inversions yet. I need to find the right wall...I have filled up the spaces with art and bookcases...have to work on that.

Enjoy your day off!! Shovelling sounds like a great work out.

Today I was remembering how your rocked your reintros, and did so well staying on program in 2018 after our first December W30. 

It was a full, wonderful day. Still have some chores to do, so, happy long weekend to you!

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It's been a full, wonderful day for me so far and it's not even 10 yet! We couldn't get the compost pick-up worked out so I started a BIG bucket of compost tea that we'll apply Monday. After all of the incessant rain from November through April, now that we have plants in the ground, no rain. I didn't want to use chlorinated city water because we're trying to encourage good microbes and not slaughter them so I hauled filtered water from the house and applied it with a pitcher. Three trips down the driveway with 2 5-gallon buckets of water in my little red wagon and three trips pulling the empties back up! It was beautiful this morning but I finished up just as the sun was starting to hit the garden and the temp is already 86. Perfect timing and I even had time for a good breakfast before I started. I considered skipping because I was trying to beat the heat but decided that wasn't a good idea. I thought about that meme you mentioned the other day: leftovers + eggs= a delicious meal. That's what I had.

I think KB does real food and they cook (very often outside which I think sounds awesome) but, from what little I've seen, I think they include grains and legumes and maybe light on the meat?? I've seen pics with her kids going for early morning walks and everybody has a big mug of oatmeal or something like that. She does mention that it takes her a while every spring to get her feet ready for long treks and I think she swaps out shoes periodically for variety. I've been looking for a good barefoot shoe to wear in the garden; I can't go barefoot because some compost we bought a couple of years ago had a shit-ton of glass in it. The guy has bins at restaurants and diverts their waste into compost but, obviously, there was a flaw in his process. Anyway, KB had suggested water shoes as good barefoot shoes for kids because they're cheap and kids grow out of their shoes so quickly. I picked up a pair this morning and they're perfect for gardening. They keep out the rocks (and glass) and don't make my feet hurt AND they cost $10!

Yeah, I think we need something sooner, too. Memorial Day to Labor Day is too long to stay focused without a mid-point. My birthday is at the end of July but I don't know how motivating that would be for you! :P I'd like to get my husband on board; it would make it easier for me to get out in the real world to hike. I get a little nervous going by myself- too many pervs and ax-murderers in this world. Oddly enough, I'd probably be more comfortable on more remote trails. When I walked the nearby rails to trails around here I had my head on a swivel the whole time and it made feel really paranoid- not exactly what I was going for! It's just accessible enough at different points along it and just unpopulated enough to make me wonder if I was being foolish being out there by myself. 

Good for you climbing the fences! I used my 80 lb red wagon as a counterbalance to do some squats on my way down the driveway and trying to hold onto it was a great shoulder stretch, too. Time to go rinse the garden off of my body and decide what I'm going to accomplish on this long weekend. 

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Happy Memorial Day Weekend to you! Compost tea? Yet another thing I am learning from you. Hope you are continuing to get such great, fun outdoor time. Your descriptions of the trekking up and down are fun to read. We are socked in with rain, which is oh-so-very-strange, but wonderful. The town is FULL of visitors zooming up to the Park, and local merchants are selling and renting snow chains again. It's enough to make you think it's still January!

I worked from 9am - 10pm yesterday, with a break for lunch and then an hour-long talk with my bro, and I packed a "dinner" for myself, but I barreled through and didn't eat it. So when I got home I was famished, which was silly, and I ate some frozen chicken tikka masala samosas  - delish, but not compliant at all. I'm doing a lot of non-compliant things right now - beans at lunch, remind me not to do that - and a bagel at breakfast which I haven't had in an age -- but at least I'm not bingeing on sugar. I'll start again soon, and even so, am ahead from where I was a week ago!! I'm making pasta for Hubs tonight, and I think I'm going to enjoy that. It's a gourmet Italian pasta my stepdad turned me on to. It's like spaghetti, but hollow inside like a straw.

This morning I realized that a rainy day, and the start of an actual 2-day weekend is a chance to enjoy myself.This is so obvious right?, but I had to focus on not going into boring chores mode. So in between mandatory laundry and just the most essential light chores, I took some fun projects off the back burner, and I've spent most of the day playing with my essential oils!! I made my first batch of bath bombs (no color, thank you!) in a small square silicon baking mold (I think they will look pretty in a jar), a few body sprays, and a couple of oil blends for face and bath. Joy! Hubs has been doing his own projects, too, including the first use of kitty's new rake brush, which works really well getting the mats out. She's still pouting, but it's better than taking her to the vet! (She's done with her meds, and I'm still seeing some signs of infection such as small pee clumps, and recently some pale I think it's back to the vet.)

I'm thinking about selling my body sprays at our store! I've been reading about ecocert certification, which seems to be the current standard for organic safety with EOs. I have a virtual pantry of EOs and I honestly don't know the safety or status of all of them, so I think I need to work on that before I sell any. Meanwhile, I sure do enjoy them for myself and for gifts. I sell Nature's Alchemy at the store, which is certified organic and cruelty I should probably just use those to be safe, and also to help promote DIY with those oils, anyway! What do you use for research, and what are your favorite brands? You may have told me this at some point, but I can't remember. Thanks! I found some pretty labels, and I'll use my own swirly vine border and calligraphy, and I think that will be fun. It always bugs me when the blend is not disclosed, so I will name the blends but also list the oils. This is my idea of the day! 

How is Miss Maybelle doing?

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Bucatini! It's the "official" pasta shape for pasta all amatriciana. I made pasta for my husband also (ziti) and I think I would have had some if we'd had Parmesan cheese to go with it but it didn't seem worth it without that hit of cheese so I had my sauce on purple cauli- looked funny but tasted great. I had mixed up some Italian sausage but hadn't gotten around to stuffing it and it needed to get cooked or frozen so I just browned up the whole pile of it and added some Italian red gravy that I had in the freezer. My husband said it was the best Italian sausage he'd ever had and we need to keep it stocked up in the freezer. I think using fresh herbs was the secret! I had so much of it and I needed something for my breakfasts so I ladled some into baking dishes and baked a couple of eggs in each one. I had a one pot, multi meal cook-up! Lunch yesterday, my breakfasts all week and my husband's lunch today with a little left for the freezer. It's a good thing that worked out because a big cook-up wasn't going to happen even though I managed to get may, ghee and brown butter ghee restocked Saturday afternoon.

It was a garden/movement weekend! We were slackers yesterday and didn't get out there until 7 but we made it for 630 Saturday and Sunday! Everything is planted except for the onions. I figured that if I had to plant 200 onions on top of everything else we did, I would be worthless so I put that off but all seeds are in, the soaker hoses are in and connected to the (now) non-leaking pipes running from the rain barrels under our house, all of the tomatoes are caged up and everybody got a nice dosing of compost tea. I love this stage when it's all pretty and neat and tidy! It doesn't stay there long, though. All of those heirloom varieties grow wild and crazy! I saw my first zucchini blossom just starting to open and I think my two eggplants (first time growing them) are about to flower.

I'm thinking it's time for another call to the vet for Miss Maybelle, too. She seems to be feeling great and has really been out and about all over the hill but persistent water-poop for quite a while now! I just started backing down on the steroids and don't really know what else to do. The answer may be "Nothing" since she seems to feel well and I have no trouble keeping her hydrated. Sorry to hear about Spooky's infection not clearing up as expected. I don't even know if it's possible to do a urine culture on cats. Would it be too contaminated unless they catheterized her? And I bet she would NOT be thrilled with THAT!! Our poor girls. 

What fun; I think you should definitely look into selling your body sprays! I look at Plant Therapy pretty often; they have lots of safety info about the oils for use on children and during pregnancy. I'm all over the place with what I buy but have been sticking with Plant Therapy lately. I have some NOW and a couple of Aura Cascia; it often depends on who's having a special but I try to stick with organic, for sure. I accidentally bought a non-organic peppermint oil from Aura Cascia and it tasted awful and nothing like their organic one I had just run out of. I can't use a blend unless I know it doesn't have frankincense, myrrh or anything else in that family so, I agree, listing the ingredients in the blend is a good thing. Keep me posted; that's exciting!

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Bucatini! Ok! Thanks! SO seriously yummy. I am realizing that for all my word nerd ways, I've never bothered to learn the names of pastas besides the most obvious (to me) ones...of course, maybe I shouldn't get too excited about pasta at this stage of the game, but I sure do like knowing what that one is called. It has a swashbuckling vibe, like, buccaneer, 'Ol Buckaroo, Bucatini. I was reading up on amatriciana, and pork cheeks sound like somtething I'll have to try. Yep, it's got to have the cheese! Wow, you've perfected the Italian sausage. Good job getting all those yummy meals made! (I used Italian sausage on the bucatini, too...I sauteed shallots and diced mushrooms, then the sausage, and a splash of red zin, simmered for as long as I could stand it = ))

Your weekend sounds heavenly, and now you have things blossoming already! Congrats! I haven't done squat in the garden since the first few rounds of weeding...and I'm longing to get out there! Did I tell you that I have red poppies turning up? I'll have to harvest some seeds...I think they are opium poppies, quite forbidden, and it makes me devilishly happy to have them. Also, the California poppies haven't peaked out yet, either...nor have the thistle :(  I'll have someone help me with another round of weed whacking very soon. Do you just hate to come inside from the garden when it's all neat and tidy the way you like it?

I'm so glad that Maybelle is feeling so well - she's a resilient one! It sounds like the steroids didn't do much, eh? Like Maybelle, Spooky seems to feel just fine...the vet should be getting back to me tomorrow with a plan of action: a new antibiotic, or another course of the first one. I'm amazed and impressed that she hasn't suffered any GI issues, and I'd hate to push our luck, but then again, we want the infection treated, so, argh. Oh, I'm not sure how urine cultures usually go, I just know that she volunteered a sample on the examination table, and they collected it pronto! Good going, Spooky, girl!

I'll need to get a bunch of good cooking in the freezer because I'll be doing a work marathon next week while a staffer is taking time off...I think I'll make the mackerel cakes, and ckn apple sausage, and not sure what else. It will be a busy weekend with a funeral and a baby shower - the entire life cycle.

Are you allergic to the frankincense family of oils? That's a bummer...what are your favorite blends of late? Are you still using an oil cleanser for your face? What's in it? So many questions, I know...

Happy mid-week! Is your walking challenge over?

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Walking challenge is over. It was a very anticlimactic ending; we went out with a wimper because the numbers never got straightened out and all of our data was deleted from the first 4 weeks when we were ahead of the other department so we just accepted what was there and congratulated cardiology on their win. Now I have no accountability except to myself so I am working on that. How is your yoga? Have you found a nice piece of wall to start some inversions?

One of the many standing jokes around our house is that I'm allergic to wise men! :lol: Theoretically I have contact allergies to frankincense, myrrh and everything related like sandalwood but I haven't tried any of it in a long time so I'm not sure if it's real or not. I reacted very slightly when I had contact allergen testing done about 12 years ago. I haven't had any rashes in a really long time but I'm afraid to test it. I have a room spray with cedarwood and bergamot and really like it. I'm guessing the cedarwood is in the same family but don't really know.

Poppies are so beautiful! I need to find out if they'll grow here. I got my cosmos seeds planted and some zinnia seeds plus I had about 25 volunteer zinnias that I transplanted. Last year I had several different begonias in some small pots on the deck and really enjoyed them so I think I might go begonia shopping this weekend. 

I need some good cooking in the freezer as well. I've been using up my stashes and not replenishing. I have the ingredients for the Salisbury steak meatballs so I want to do a double recipe of those. I found the most beautiful parsley at the farm store up the road from us so I'm dying for some tabbouleh but didn't have any cashews to use as the bulgur replacement. I fixed that yesterday so I'm going to make it this evening when I get home. I got a whole bunch of grass-fed meat on sale but it's all braising cuts so I guess I better come up with some braises. We lose all of our vacation time if we don't use it before July 1 so I'll have a few extra days off before then to try to stock up before the garden gets too overwhelmingly busy but my brother in law and his girlfriend are coming for a visit in June and we have an out of town get-together the weekend after that. 

We can do this! Gardening and cooking and moving, oh my! ;)

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That's too bad about the darned data - poop! As for accountability to self -- here's to MOMENTUM! I'm laughing at myself, humming that word like OM. Moammmmm-Mennnnn-Tummmm. Is that Sanscrit for get my ass to the hiking trail already? Yes, it is! Most days I get at least 5-10 minutes of yoga. And that is something, better than nothing. But the little bit of momentum I had hiking has been lost the cat box? It seems like it takes me a lot of time every morning just cleaning up after the cat. But that's no excuse....just need to get out there. It's done raining. Have I mentioned that since we moved I have not used or needed an alarm clock? My husband is jealous. When I can get up easily at 545 and get OUT there, it's a good day. So, I start again tomorrow. Oh, and I've found a good wall for inversions, I just haven't played there yet!

Let me know if you want some seeds! 

I got the shopping done today, and I'm planning to make bison shepherd's pie with loads of veggies and a fluffy mashed yam top, and I'm ready to make mackerel cakes and also beef burgers; meanwhile I have lots of haricot vert, broccoli, parsnips, brussels, eggs, salad greens and cukes, so I have no excuses! I also made mayo today, in fact I made a double batch in order to share some with a friend. I wasn't sure if it would double well, but it did, and it felt even more like magic, if that is possible. I love my silicon quart measuring jar. It has a honeycomb texture, and a divet for pouring. It was perfect for the job.

Goodnight, wise woman, more soon!

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Okay,  I got out early, and I hiked! I wish I had brought my camera because I encountered 18 horses. Mares and two month-old foals. A local family grazes them on these public lands, and whenever I get so close to them it is a special day. I passed them on my way up, and when I came back down they were on the way back up, navigating a rocky I made plenty of room for them, standing along the side, but I was close enough to touch them (of course I didn't) and smell them (oh that smell!)...

When they're not so preoccupied with their young, the mares will often follow you on the trail hoping you have a carrot or some other treat, and once I got nipped on the shoulder, leaving a hickey-like mark. 

It was a nice welcome back to the trail!

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