Psyching Up For a December Whole 30 Graduates


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Ummmm shepherd's pie sounds delicious. Thinking I'd make osso bucco, one of the items I got on sale were some ox tails but they're ridiculously tiny so that's out. Maybe I'll just braise them and use the meat and jus to make a shepherd's pie! Thanks for the idea; I've been trying to figure out what to do with them. I pooped out on all of the chopping necessary to make the tabbouleh yesterday but I did manage to get a big meatloaf done. I'm pretty well stocked up on veggies, too and my husband is running up to Kentucky on Saturday so I plan on getting lots done while he's gone.

I just had a (not so) slight panic attack just now when I realized my brother in law and his girlfriend are coming in TWO weeks! Eek! I thought I had three weeks to get my sh!t together. I guess I better get on the ball. I'm not even sure exactly what days they're arriving or leaving; I just know which weekend it involves because we're going to the Ryman to see a Johnny Cash tribute show with Roseanne Cash and Ry Cooder. I've never seen either of them so it should be good. I saw an ad for the Monterey Jazz Festival yesterday and thought of you. Christian McBride is going to be there! We really enjoyed the show he did here with Edgar Meyer. We'll make it out there for it one year!

Haha, a horse hickey! I bet that smarted, though. We saw the wild ponies on Mt. Rogers in Virginia and it was so cool! I did pet one for just a second before seeing the sign that said it's a federal offense to touch or feed them. My husband has a pic of me petting it and says he's going to turn me in to the Feds if I don't behave!:lol:

I've been waking up before the alarm, too and it's been nice not having to rush. Of course, I tend to sabotage myself. The more time I have the more I try to do then wind up running later than I'd like or forgetting something- like taking meat out of the freezer for dinner. Kitty pooper-scooping! Yeaah, I seem to spend a lot of time in the litter box, too. I just ordered a cat cave! It's a biggish felt ball that they can get in. My big boy loves to get inside of boxes and my grocery bags so I'm thinking he's going to love this thing.

What do you think of this idea: MDA Weekly Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Klaviyo&_ke=eyJrbF9lbWFpbCI6ICJob2xseS5jLmNhc2Fub3ZhQHZhbmRlcmJpbHQuZWR1IiwgImtsX2NvbXBhbnlfaWQiOiAiUWF6SFd6In0%3D? There's a couple of things in there that I think I'd have to find substitutions for but it might be fun. And motivating.

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Uh oh, don't panic: breathe! It sounds like it will be a great visit - are they friendly, easy-going sorts? It sounds like your (this) Saturday will be productive, and also offer you some good solitude, so that should help, right? I'm thinking of that old expression, it's later than you think - but don't panic, it'll be alright! Plus, if I understand it, the earlier they arrive, the less overwhelmingly busy the garden will be, right? How do we get ourselves into these overscheduled messes? Stop the CLOCKS!

About the ponies, I knew you were an outlaw. :P

Yeah, today I cleaned the box and then decided that all the sweeping I do afterwards (twice a day I sweep all the linoleum and then wood floors she tracks the litter through) could just WAIT until AFTER MY HIKE, darn it! That felt good, I think that's how it will have to be. Especially now that it's getting hot, I have GOT to get out there before the sun comes over the ridge because then the bugs come out, and it's verrrrry buggy this year from all the rain. So with that I am learning to prioritize myself.

Speaking of that, thanks for the link! That looks pretty intriguing! WIth you as an accountability buddy I think I could benefit a lot from it. I like that he is not about strict rules. And like you, I will adapt some of them...but so much of it looks really doable and beneficial. I just printed it out, and I'm going post it over my desk...I guess I'm in! Ha!

Yay for shepherd's pie! I think I'll make burgers on the grill tonight - first time in weeks b/c of all the rain - and shepherd's pie tomorrow! It will be a busy weekend with a celebration of life on Saturday and a baby shower on Sunday. The whole life cycle...and then Tues-Sat I'll be totally buried in yucky 10 hour days. Hubby does those on the regular, and I keep it flex to support us both at home and to keep my own gigs these stints are hard on me. I don't have a wife to keep me afloat! I need a house wife!!!!! ha ha. Maybe Spooky can start sweeping.

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One of my favorite songs that my husband quoted to me yesterday:

Spread your arms and hold your breath
Always trust your cape- Guy Clark

I feel your pain with the heat and bugs. We just got a small reprieve from the heat, about 10 degrees, so that feels really good but no rain. I forgot to use my citronella oil the other day and I looked like I had the measles by the time I got in from the garden. The little no-see-ums really get me but the citronella really helps. 

I need some focus for tomorrow but I think it will come. I'm going to run a bunch of errands on the way home today so I can cook and do whatever without having to leave the house. I love it when I can spend the whole weekend at home and not have to go anywhere. We were crazy-productive over the long weekend last week so I'm hoping to carry that over to this weekend. I think I'm going to spend some time in the garden early then start some projects inside when the sun shoos me in. I printed out the June action plan, too so I want to work on getting some of those things in my head. The making goals part of it is still being elusive, though. I think my goal is going to just be sticking to it! Except the crawl everywhere day- don't see that happening! Or climbing a tree but I'll try to come up with a comparable substitute.

I have the last of my meatloaf for lunch; that was such a life saver this week. I've got the ingredients for the Salisbury steak meatballs and tabbouleh so I'll definitely get those made this weekend. Grilling sounds good for dinner tonight- we actually reheated our meatloaf on the grill last night since we had some brussels sprouts, peppers and onions going anyway.

I haven't had much luck getting her to sweep but Maybelle did some dusting for me the other day. I don't know where she had been but she showed up with a big glob of cobwebs and dust on her head so I deemed that to be housework! Sweeping would be great but I'd be happy if she stopping importing wildlife: a chipmunk yesterday afternoon and a big mouse at 230 this morning- both alive! :angry: I was able to grab the mouse in a towel before he realized he'd been set free and I got the chipmunk cornered in the bathroom so I could scoop him up and set him free. When we get busy with the garden, I have to remind my husband that all of the ordinary stuff still has to happen: laundry, dishes, floors and all of that other fun stuff that gets lumped under "housework". 

Always trust your cape!

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I needed that reminder about trusting the cape! Love it. Oh, and my PS from yesterday, wahoo to the idea of you guys coming out some time for Jazz Fest!

Maybelle, and cobwebs! Sweet girl! And all that hunting! She is in fine form as a huntress, isn't she? My husband remembers when Spooky was young and she wrangled down any flying insect she could get - as a house cat that's as close as she's ever come to hunting...and these days she doesn't see well enough to do that, and the spirit may not move her in that direction. Meanwhile, I need to find a new spot to store my garden trugs, because I keep finding lizards in them. They get in there, and then they can't get out.  Yesterday I had three big ones, and three small ones in two different trugs and one watering can. The youngsters were eager to scamper out given the opportunity, but the big ones apparently know better, and I had to leave the trugs on their sides overnight so they could escape on their own time. It was good to get a little bit of time in the yard yesterday, lopping, trimming, sweeping, organizing...I forgot my bug potion, too...I won't do that again!

As for the June re-set, I'm with you: I might try crawling at home, but crawling at work is out of the question. I have a little hesitation to climb a tree, but I will look around my property and see what I can find. It might be fun!...I might skip the for goals, I'm not trusting myself right now if I'm honest, to keep goals. I'm struggling with self image, and defaulting to weight loss goals. But today I went back to basics of W30 guidelines, and took my time making and eating breakfast. I think I undereat a little bit, in a rush, and that is a problem. So I took my time and feel full and satisfied now before I go to work, but not too full. I wish I had the day free to write in my journal and cook. The burgers last night were my first on the grill, and worked great once I remembered to shut the lid!  I hope to have time to make the s. pie tonight, but if I'm pressed for time, I might use the bison to make burgers again = ) The pinched-for-time thing is really bugging me. So I need to work on time management, I just don't want to spend morning exercise time cooking, even though that would not be the worst use of time. Sorry, I'm's how I feel. Deep sigh! Patience, and self love. It's all about self care, right?

Your plan for tomorrow sounds great! Living healthy with the seasons, and planning for it, maximizing your efforts. Will you be able to find a little down time to rest? Hope so!

Happy Friday, Holly! xo

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Okay friend, per Mark's Summer Reset, I wrote out my goals for June and the summer! They are brief, but I'm aiming as high as I can realistically attain, or get close to:

HIKE at 6am, 5 mornings per week (followed by 10-20 min. of yoga) [THIS is a big goal!)

Keep as W30 as possible (Trust your cape - trust the program!)

I thought about weight loss goals, and maybe getting out the scale, but apparently I know better. Meanwhile it is *really* working for the ladies at work. They have been weighing in each Friday all year so far, and they both have lost a lot of weight. To each her own - accountability takes many forms, right? 

Tomorrow I'll try an inversion! Then I'm going to ambush the vet at 730 when they open, me and Spooky, because I'm sick of playing phone tag with this vet, after I left a detailed message that she was still sick, and tomorrow is my only day to get her seen. I'm afraid it's an obnoxious thing, to show up without an appointment, but my little girl is bleeding from her urethra, and someone has to stick up for her! :angry:

This weekend I went to a celebration of life, AND a baby shower. It took a lot of time, but I'm glad I went, somehow satisfying to participate in rites of passage. Finally this afternoon I got into the kitchen...Instead of shepherd's pie I made a big pot of hash with 2 lbs of bison seasoned with the Lebanese 7-spice blend, and onion/parsnip/brussels sprouts and kale. I roasted a big tray of yam fries, too. This should keep me most of the week, with plenty of salad options, too.

How was your Saturday? Did you write out some goals? What's up with Mark and the cold shower? I like to go hot cold, hot cold, in a spa type environment, but a hot bath sounds like more fun. 

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Crazy weekend and I had to hit the ground running when I got to work. Whew!!

Haha my shepherd's pie didn't happen either. Saturday was a comedy of errors that completely went sideways. I got a lot done but, except for a quick hoeing of the garden, it was nothing that I had planned to do. I cooked the oxtails in the pressure cooker but realized they are REALLY gelatinous. I don't mind but I know my husband won't eat it so I turned it into a stew-ish thing for myself. Now I have a pot full of collagen-rich meat and gravy stuffed full of vegetables: onions, 'shrooms, delicata squash and green beans served over steamed broccoli. It took two days but I got a 5 lb batch of Italian sausage done so that will go in the freezer this afternoon. I got a batch of kombucha brewing yesterday and made a hash with ground turkey, lots of veg and Lebanese blend to take care of breakfasts for the week.

My big plan Saturday was to get some things done but interspersed with a Star Wars fix since my non-science-fiction loving husband would be gone for the day. Nope. We've been having wi-fi problems then it was compounded with internet access problems. On top of that, I realized that I couldn't stream Star Wars at all; you have to buy them. Then internet totally shut down so I decided it was time to overcome and adapt. I hopped in the car and went to the nursery to get some flowers for a couple of containers I have on the deck and everything was on sale for half off. I got a whole bunch of geraniums in shades of purple for my little containers and a bunch of begonias in beautiful shades of pink, red and yellow for the two big containers. Hopefully I'll get them planted this afternoon. On my way home with all of the flowers I got a call from some friends to join them for a chicken grilling potluck dinner. I took the easy route (for a change) and picked up some pretty heirloom tomatoes, spring onions and feta and made a balsamic vinaigrette to dress them with. It was a beautiful evening for sitting outside with friends.

OK, Summer Reset:

Day 1- goals- to complete the Summer Reset and see how many things I want to permanently incorporate into my life. I'm sure that's not what he had in mind for goals but that's it for me!

Day 2- my ring did the tracking for me but I spent some time looking at the data and decided I would try to decrease the amount of inactive time in my day. Right now I average 8 hrs 21 minutes so I definitely want that number to go down. It's hard during the week because I sit in front of a computer most of my day. 1/3 of my day is sleeping, 1/3 moving and the remaining 1/3 is sitting on my butt doing various things- not good ratios there!

Day 3- do the fitness thing you know you should be doing: I did some mobility work this morning and got back to my foot stretching/massage that I let slide off of my self-love agenda.

Not too sure about the cold shower thing but if I get outside and get hot 'n sweaty this afternoon I may give it a try today. I think I like your hot cold spa plan better!

How did your vet ambush go? Poor Spooky girl. And tomorrow you start your work marathon! 

Did you get inverted??

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Funny, we both ditched the shepherd's pie in favor of a Lebanese spiced hash! Your oxtail stew sounds incredibly nourishing and delish, same with the Italian sausage. Yumm.

It sounds like Star Wars was not meant to be for you at ALL - bummer! I love having a chance to watch the movie of my choice once in a while...we're not very dialed in, though we do have a smart tv, so we occasionally watch something on Amazon, and soon we'll set up Netflix streaming. At the rental we were still on the very old fashioned one Netflix dvd in the snail mail per month, ha ha!! My husband is the least movie buff I've ever met, and I was a film major, how do you like that? So I'm learning to carve out time for myself if I want to watch something, and leave him downstairs with his books! Anyway, it sounds like you had a great time in the garden. I LOVE begonias! I think they are one of my all time favorites. It all sounds beautiful, and a nice change to work with containers, I'll bet, after getting all the beds planted. The potluck sounds wonderful, too! Good to get some socializing in after a hard week. I felt that way, too, with my events of the weekend...a nice change from routine.

Reading about your Day 2 made me realize how helpful getting all the data is! I stand at work, but I should take little stretch breaks, and also do some stand/sit breaks too to help the vestibular brain as I understand standing all day is potentially as disadvantageous as sitting all day. Fortunately it involves marching around a lot, and squatting quite a bit, too as so much of the retail is low to the floor. Awesome that you are returning to your foot care! Yay!! I love that for you.

Well, we decided that the ambush was not a good idea because 1) it would be rude and 2) we might have to wait for many hours and that would not be good for the cat and 3) maybe they were just going to give me more medicine for her, no exam necessary. So I called first thing, and then barrelled down soon after. The first vet's son saw her, and I was not impressed because he didn't have complete records from her last visit, and it was less than a month ago! I thought of your question about how they would get a urine culture on a cat. Um, with a needle, right into the bladder from the outside. OUCH! She screamed bloody murder, but they eventually got it. Now it has to culture for 3 days, and meanwhile they sent us home with more of the same antibiotic as before, which is a big gun, I guess, it's called veraflox. We'll have to wait and see what the culture reveals, but there is a concern that she might be resistant to the medicine, and also her urine gravity is low (from the free catch they got the first visit) so there is some concern about her, more will be revealed. She was so pissed off, and now she is so happy to be home, so we're happy that the visit is over!

I was overly ambitious with the morning agenda...and I hadn't slept well so I let myself sleep in until 620, so there wasn't time for a good hike - i stretched a little. Why didn't I sleep, you ask? There was a huge thunderstorm when I got home from the baby shower yesterday, and I tell you, it shook the whole house like an earthquake! WIth the shaking, our walk-in closet shelving, which was sort of hanging by a thread (we knew it was on borrowed time) fell down, leaving half our our clothing in a huge pile on the floor and we didn't notice it until right before bed. It put Hubby in an awfully bad mood, and we had to get everything off the floor and draped over the tub and furniture upstairs, and it just got me all riled up. Hubs wanted to stay up late on Amazon finding a new shelving system, and I booted him so I could get to sleep, since my morning starts almost 3 hours before his. Equality, please! Sleep for me, please!!! I think I got 6 hours of sleep, but it just wan't enough. 

So I'm going to go upstairs shortly and do my June 3d assignment and try my inversions! Since it's bedtime, I'll put my legs up the wall, and I will make my first earnest attempt at headstand since I was a pre-adolescent. I used to LOVE doing headstands when I was a kid. I'll report again tomorrow!

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Oh, poor Spooky! I'm glad she got over it quickly. Maybelle's has been turning her little black nose up at the emu for the last few days and has started hunting prolifically :(. I'm wondering if I should try chicken again. I've pretty much given up on ever seeing a solid kitty poop ever again so if I can give her chicken instead of emu and she doesn't get any worse, it would make my life a little easier. I got my felt kitty cave and it was a fail! My big boy got halfway in it then decided it was a little too snug for his girth (even though they say it will fit a 23 lb cat and he's 16) and Maybelle totally ignored it. I was thinking about bringing it to our county animal shelter for their kittens but then Maybelle got in it last night! She didn't stay too long because her thunder-footed daddy came home but I have hope! I would love it if she found a nice cozy spot that she could claim as her own.

Good for you knowing that you needed rest more than adhering to the agenda! Ugh, nothing worse than a disaster right before bed. I failed miserably at decreasing my inactive time yesterday. I was so busy at work that I got two reminders to get up and move and usually I don't get any. I did my short mobility session again this morning and stretched my feet and calves. I guess I'll get fussed at this afternoon, too, because I have a long-ish dentist appointment- hopefully the last of those. I've had to have all of my fillings replace; they only last for a few years- who knew??!- and all of mine were crazy-old and cracking plus it doesn't bother me at all to get all of those mercury-based amalgam fillings out of my body. 

Since hubby was off doing stuff, I didn't even bother with a real dinner last night and it most certainly didn't fit the template. I made tostones then had a few olives, a couple of spears of pickled asparagus and some really good sharp cheddar cheese but I did make a couple of trips up and down the driveway. Back to real meals today!

I used to do handstands against the wall when I was a teenager but I'd probably kill myself if I tried that now- something to aspire towards! I like the legs up the wall thing, too. I need to add that in.

I hope your marathon day 1 is a good one!

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Any luck with Maybelle and chicken? Fingers and toes crossed that it will be new again for her palate. A new food, and a new cat-cave = ) Our news is good...I far the culture shows no bacterial growth. So that's puzzling. I'll hear more tomorrow, and meanwhile I changed her cat litter back to the old one, as the vet suggested, since the peeing outside of the box could be her telling us she doesn't like the new one we've been using since we moved. If there's no bacteria, they think it's a stress thing because of the move. Who knew? That must be a lot of stress to get the bladder so inflamed. 

Yesterday was a blur. Today was a good day - I got up early and hiked a little on the hill here, then did some yard work, then got on the floor and did some old fashioned yoga/calisthenics. I realized that I am several steps away from ready for headstand. So I'm working towards it, and will add it to my summer goals! Oh, I think your goal of seeing how many of the new things in this challenge you wish to add to your routine sounds exactly like what Mark is getting at - learn new things, make them your own, right? I thought of putting that in my goals, too, absolutely, and definitely have it in mind. Today after my sweaty morning activities, I took a cold shower. Well, it was cool, then tepid, and finished cool again. Not ice cold. But I may try that, too, one of these mornings! I kind of liked it, way more than I thought. Yay for that.

Thank you for being supportive of rest! How are your mobility sessions going? Are you feeling different from them, and the stretching? Do you still hang on your bar outside?How did the dentist go? Like you, I have been working on getting those old fillings out. I always feel nervous, not wanting to swallow any of that gunk. Starting a few years ago,  I have needed a bunch of crowns, because of fractures (I have bruxism). I have gold in all four corners of my mouth, and my smile glints the way I remember my grandmother's doing!

The chili is gone, and the hash is running low, so tonight I made chicken apple sausage patties and fresh mayo. That will get me through the rest of the week. My yard guy can't come until next week, so I'm going to try to get out every morning after a shorter hike, to pull weeds and get out in front of the weed whacking...the thistle are crazy. Oh, the poppies are orange, and not opium poppies, but now there are some blue cornflower-looking things coming up, to my great surprise! The high temps are here - close to 100, and forecast to get up to 104 soon. = (

What else are you cooking next? It's almost Friday!

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You're more than halfway through your brutal week! And, good for you, you've made time for some hiking and yoga! Work has been nutty; I felt like I had done two days worth of work before lunch today. Ew that's hot! Are y'all muggy, too? It's not as bad a Louisiana here but it's pretty darn humid in the summer. It was around 85% this morning but the temp was nice. 

I have no idea what I'm cooking and I need to get on the ball; brother in law and his girlfriend will be here in a week. Thankfully they don't carb so that simplifies cooking. Or at least it would if I could decide what to cook and if I could find out how many days they'll be here. I'd like to smoke some ribs one night and I think we'll have a tasting platter of different sausages for one meal maybe with a big salad so it's not too heavy. I'm still living off of my ox-tail and veggie stew. It's been so nice having breakfasts AND lunches taken care of all week. My husband had activities two nights this week so I just snacked for those dinners and that was a nice break, too but I need to get back to real meals. Something with ground beef tonight. I want to get some ferments going, too. I started my first batch of dilly beans last night. I hope they're delicious! 

Lots of housework and tidying up outside to get done and we have a new bed frame to put together. It ought to be interesting; it weighs 100 lbs! Our guest room will have a real bed frame and headboard for the first time, though. I'm pretty excited about that. One of the good things about sprucing things up for guests is that it makes you get around to doing the stuff that's so easy to put off like having the area rug in the living room cleaned and repaired- kitty damage from when 'Belle was young and feisty. She could attack a rug like nobody's business!

Today's action is right up our alley, right? Reflect on your approach to competition. I like the idea of competing against my former self :) 

Come on, Former Self, are you up for it?

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Whew! I've been at warp speed, and it's been kind of rough, but I made it out alive! Hiya Holly, how are you doing? How is Maybelle? Is she eating chicken? Is your brother visiting this weekend? How does your garden grow?

Yes, it's hot here...the first of our triple digits. For the most part it's a dry heat, but lately it has been kind of muggy, here, too. My coping mechanism for our severe summer weather is to set my expectations to be extremely uncomfortable so that I can be pleasantly surprised often; keep up with the laundry so I always have something appropriate to wear that I feel okay or even good in (I had to build up a new wardrobe for summers here), and take the best care of myself possible to keep my mood up. So far so good.

I did exercise almost every day last week, and then petered out on Friday, Sat., Sun., and yesterday, Monday. But I got back to it today - with the hill sprints prompted by our challenge! - and as my 7 year old niece says, "guess what!!??" I think I felt a slight boost in my fitness this morning. So I am really celebrating that. So far, hill sprinting has been the big winner of this re-set. Of course, I'm power-hiking and calling that a sprint, but it's working out great - I power up the hill from the house, then go back down, loop around the house, and sprint up the back stairs, and then go again, faster. I'm working up to more reps. I like it that Mark welcomes people to be so casual with the action plan, because god knows, I am! I'm running with the June 12th prompt to make camping plans...and I think I'm looking forward to fasting at some point....and grilling...and crawling though I won't be able to do it all day, I'm going to incorporate some crawling  into my morning routine.

The cooking ran low and we ate at the Mexican place a few times for dinners last week. I'm kind of squeaking by right now with eggs, leftovers, salads, but I'll go shopping tomorrow. I plan to add more veg, and also hard boiled eggs to my salads and Cobb it up a bit. 

Looking at competition...I like the idea of competing against the former self, too...or rather, catching up to her as the case may be for me. I'd rather throw out competition altogether and replace it with devotion. 

How goes the mobility, and stretching/massaging the feet?


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PS Around the time I started the hill sprints, I found this gem:

Your greatest chance is recognizing, that today, there are infinite ways to live, work, love, and be happy.

Your greatest obstacle is giving up on exploring what these possibilities could actually mean for you. 

~ Guillame Wolf

The summer re-set is an invitation to explore, and I love that.

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It sounds like you came through your marathon week with flying colors! Brother in law and his girlfriend will be here Friday afternoon and staying until Monday or Tuesday. We've been so busy trying to get the house ready that that has been my movement and I can really feel it. My lower back is being a little whiny and I thought I was gonna die coming up the stairs at work this morning but I did it! We sent out the rug in our den to be cleaned and repaired so it spurred us on to deep clean. We've moved all of the furniture and really gotten in, under and around everything. We spent a big chunk of Saturday putting together the new bed frame and cannibalizing the old one for parts to fix a second one that had broken. I have a million loose ends to tie up but it's all coming together. I got all of my begonias and geraniums planted but have neglected the garden for a few days so I need to get down there. I've managed to keep us well fed- chicken kabobs and grilled peppers, onions and green beans last night- oops!- forgot to take anything out for tonight.

I'm loving the summer re-set even if I'm not being as consistent as I hoped. I'm not being a stickler for what I do on which days but I'm getting a lot of the actions done. I got some dilly beans fermenting last week and we're planning a little camping trip for next weekend which will involve some good times with good friends. I like your sprint! I could do the same thing and I will! Devotion instead of competition sounds like a much better mindset. Mark says that "besting your former self is a reliable path to self improvement." Besting our devotion to ourselves has a much kinder feel to it; less recrimination, I think. I like the quote. What CAN these possibilities mean for us? Early this morning I dreamt I started my fermenting business.

How's Spooky? I gave the kids chicken this morning and they both face-planted it. I'm out of emu and the emu-guy is being difficult to contact so if there are no serious adverse effects, I'll cancel my emu order and make the switch. 

I have a little vacation time I need to use up by the end of the month so I think I'm going to leave work really early today and get some more movement in :lol:. I was going to take Friday off but I know myself well enough to know I'll work myself half to death and be exhausted by the time my BIL gets here. I like them both a lot and want to be able to enjoy their visit so I'll work now so I can reap the benefits later. 

OK, I'm off to move, lift heavy things, stretch, crawl, play in the dirt and sprint (at least once)!


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Oh my gosh, such a big job, just the indoors part. I'm so glad that you will enjoy that clean rug and all that beautiful cleaning both while your company is there, and also after they have left, including the good vibes that linger in the house after loved ones have been there - win! Such a great feeling. Your garden sounds lovely, too!

Yeah, me too, the summer re-set has spurred me on to some great new habits and a spirit of trying out new stuff! You're so good at fermenting...that is something I still have a mental block about - maybe I'll give it a go. Will have to look into it.

That emu guy is such a character! Thank God your kitties are doing well with the chicken - yay! Spooky continues to have frequent urination, peeing outside of the box, and occasional blood in the urine, so I'll have to make another vet appointment. I am thankful that she has control of her bladder, and thankful also for her quirky, sweet presence in the house, and her green eyes, though milky with probably cataracts, that slowly blink at me when our eyes meet. 

I had a great day today -- I did two loops of the hill sprinting, and I would have done a 3rd, but I opted for garden time instead. I got a lot done, in time for an afternoon meeting, and now I'm home to get some housework squeezed in. I'm making Nom Nom's orange dijon chicken tonight which has been marinating since last night - but I was out of oranges so I'm subbing honey. That will be a treat.

Have a great time with your BIL and his girlfriend!!!!

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I think we mostly have everything where we want it in and around the house. Decluttering and getting stuff out of the house feels so good! I don't look around and just see a to-do list any more. Of course there is one but it's not nearly as long! :PThe weather is going to be fantastic this evening and a little warmer but still good tomorrow. After that we're supposed to get rain every day forever, including our little camping trip.

Both of our girls just seem to be hanging in there but not getting better...sigh. Love those big green eyes! After much deliberating and agonizing at the grocery store, I got some ground chicken along with some backs to make stock and add a little fat. The cheaper ground chicken that I'm pretty leery of anyway had rosemary extract in it. I have no idea if that's OK for cats or not so I opted for the pricier version and now I have enough all mixed up  to last through the family visit.

We let someone else feed us last night but I was able to get a nice salad with a piece of grilled fish and I have some leftover salmon for lunch to go with my broccoli and ranch dip. We're going to splurge on some really nice grassfed steaks to put on the grill for tonight and some kind of veg that I still haven't figured out. Having guests gets me way out of my comfort zone and pretty spun up so I'm trying really hard not to get overwhelmed. It will all work out and be really great. My brain was so all over the place yesterday that I forgot a bunch of stuff at the grocery but I think I'll be able to leave work a little early today so I can get it all together.

How did the (not) orange chicken come out? I haven't tried that one but it sounds good.

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I am so happy for you to have  your home in such a good place - and with it that mental and emotional equanimity - and to have a less cumbersome to-do list, that is so awesome. It is so understandable that you are feeling a little "all over the place" - you have worked so hard, and been so busy, the ground traveling so fast under your fleet feet!

I continue to be pleased with the momentum I created last week, coupling the busy schedule with learning to work in hill sprints AND housework!  I went without any valerian or CBD for sleep last night b/c I felt sure that with all that activity, and being so tired at bed time that I would sleep like a log. Yet I struggled to get BACK to sleep in the wee hours, so I was too tired to get up early and accomplish the tasks I had in mind before work. Please tell me it's not the end of the world if the upstairs doesn't get cleaned and vacuumed, right? LOL. I had to settle for a slower pace, some desk work obligations, and letting it go for a few more days. The good news is that I have a giant kick ass salad packed for later, so I have prioritized my health, even if it is dusty upstairs, BFD. Sigh.

I'm sure there's a market for such as rosemary extract chicken, but still, what a bummer! Good for you for spending more for your kitties - I'll bet it's still way less than the emu, right? Grilled fish sounds good - salmon too, I think I'll make salmon tonight. The last time I bought my treasured 2 lb bag of haricot vert, it spoiled quicked than usual, and half of it went into compost = ( so this week I am trying something new - I prepped it and steamed the whole lot. I've been eating it in salads, and am crossing my fingers that it won't spoil in the next  5 days. I'm liking the new salads I'm making, and slowly, slowly, feeling a little less puffy each week, maybe even a slightly flatter belly. So I think I'm on the right track, and liking the solidarity with the idea of devotion to self.

Enjoy your beautiful weather and your company! Is the forever rain that is scheduled unseasonal? How will that impact your garden? Hubs tells me there are little baby grapes on our grape vines! I haven't made time to go down there and look yet - and alas now, I'm off to the races!

I'm learning how and when to collect CA poppy seeds in my garden - do you want some? :D

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Well, it's been a fun but trying couple of days. Self care has gone out of the window and I am totally sleep deprived and exhausted- very, very exhausted. I just have to survive one more night and I might actually survive. The Roseanne Cash/Ry Cooder show last night was amazing but then BIL et al wanted to play tourist and go check out the honky tonks. That made the third night in a row that we were up until midnight and I wake up at 530 no matter what. The software on my Oura ring is having a fit! I think I'm making it tired, too!:lol: In a way, this is making me realize I'm doing better than I thought on the self-care front. Now that I'm doing more neglect than abuse,  I feel really inflamed and achy so I guess what I've been doing is heading in the right direction. So good for you on less puffy!!

Melissa's podcast last week was about how to set boundaries and hold them. I don't subscribe but I've read the transcripts a couple of times. It was totally directed at me and what I'm letting happen to myself right now. I thought about taking her advice, growing a backbone and bowing out of the show tonight but I don't think I will. Lots of lessons here and I will be more aware next time and not let myself get into this position. Tomorrow is a new day and it is the thread that I'm holding onto right now. Instead of taking the whole day off of work I'm going to wait for house guests to depart THEN go home. I don't want to feel obligated to fix breakfast or whatever. I'm going to come home in the early afternoon and plan for some major down time- bonus is that my husband has someplace to go so I'll have the house to myself for most of the evening.

Chicken fail!! She quit eating it so I had to make an emergency emu run yesterday morning. She's still not eating as well as I would like but there may be a "stranger danger" component to it. Hopefully, once the house is quiet and we are back in our usual routine she will get back to her usual routine, too. I got lots of beautiful produce this weekend so I'll have lots of choices and variety for meals this week: yellow "green" beans, lots of greens, the very last sweet, delicious strawberries of the season. Salads! Yaaay! Right now, it's leftovers but they're good leftovers and I'm glad that I have them and didn't have to cook anything else.

We HAD to get in the garden yesterday (so at least I've had LOTS of movement this weekend) and I picked the first 3 little zucchinis and there are about 6 plum tomatoes that will be ready to pick either today or tomorrow.

"The only two things that money can't buy that's true love and homegrown tomatoes!"

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Here's to a quiet house and a return to normal routine, for you and your tired Oura ring. When I am as tired as you feel right now, I always notice that even my hair seems tired. Does that happen to you? I read your post this morning before I jetted out to get my sprints and some gardening in before I had to leave the house. I was thinking about the meditation principle, that it's not how long can I hold my focus, but how readily can I re-establish it when it's interrupted. So my hope for you is that you can recover your rhythm and feel that inflammation go back down in just a few days. You've got this, and all that beautiful produce will usher the way. And lucious homegrown tomatoes any day, yum.

I'm going to check out that podcast transcript on boundaries, too....I appreciate podcasts in theory, I just have never figured out how to make it work for me to listen to them, not liking to multi-task (or wear ear buds), and all that. Sometimes I try, while working in the kitchen, but again, the multi-tasking, ugh. So a transcript it will have to be! Will you enjoy the show tonight? I can imagine the wisdom of my older sister, saying, "If that is your decision, enjoy it, and don't regret it!" I like your choice to go to work tomorrow morning so you're not obligated to host and make/clean up breakfasts, etc. That is good boundaries, too! And a clean, quiet house to enjoy tomorrow evening. Aaaahhhh.

I had a little melt down on Sunday, feeling frustrated and cranky about the pace, and my over commitments, and all of the things I want to do that are sitting on the back burner. Of course I had to realize that I set the pace and the schedule, and I have to look at boundaries, myself, squarely in the mirror. The new house gets really dusty, and the gorgeous wood walls make it hard to see the cobwebs, but see them clearly now, I do, and I've been putting it off ad infinitum. Plus, with Spooky's frequent urination, she is tracking litter ALL over the house, and I can't keep up with it. I'm calling her Sandy Paws. So basically, I'm back at Square One with time management, and learning to say no, so definitely a review of boundaries is in order for me, too....and then on the other side of the housework are even more important things, like writing and reading, and, and, and...

Today's triumph was that because I didn't have to leave the house until 1030 I had time to increase the sprints AND garden. I made three laps, with the first one being a warm-up. I spent some quiet, slow time in the California poppies, and snipped some seed pods that look about ready, and picked up a few off the ground that had already shattered, but still had some seeds in them. This made me very happy, then weed pulling and tidying up. All good.

 I managed to whip up a double batch of shrimp patties last night, so that will be dinner for a couple of nights, and bison is thawing to make Doner kabobs out of WF2. The green bean experiment is going well - I just blanch them to re-heat, and they will soon be gone - no spoilage.

Hopefully you are right about the stranger danger - that sounds right on...more will be revealed, right? Happy afternoon off, tomorrow!!


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Yes, even my hair was tired! :P We went to bed by 8 the last two nights; it was still daylight outside and I don't care. I'm almost feeling like I'm getting back to normal. We bailed out of our camping trip that was planned for this weekend; it was a unanimous decision and I felt less tired just from having that taken off of our plate. It would be fun weekend but a lot of work, a two-hour drive and rain is forecast so everything will be soaking wet for one night of camping out, kayaking and fish frying. Setting boundaries!

I feel your melt down; I was about a nanosecond from one on Sunday morning. I am so bad about over-committing! It sounds like a good idea at the time but, when the time comes, I have to wonder what, exactly, was I thinking?! SO...I think I had lots of take-home messages from everything we did and it's actually making me feel really good. My initial inclination was to get a couple of things cooked before they got here so meals would be easy. The reality of what happened was that my husband was so wrapped up in his fun stuff that nothing happened and I feel like I let that happen. I should have told the little boy in him that he couldn't go out to play until he finished his chores! Trying to get all of our projects done plus deep clean inside and out in just a few days was ridiculous. But I was on the right track! Melissa's podcast about boundaries and Mark's summer reset are giving me good insight and I feel a good plan brewing.

July is my birth month so I'm dedicating it to self care and love. I'm going to use this weekend and the week leading up to it to start incorporating some of the things I really like in Mark's summer reset. I am finally going to set my alarm a little earlier so I actually have time to do the short mobility session I would like to do. My husband wants to join a gym so that will give me some dedicated time in the afternoon to spend on MovNat or Nutritious Movement sessions-Yaaay! I want to get some ferments going and make some more lotion, get in the garden and read some of the amazing books I have stacked up, do some hiking and spend more time on the floor. I got a beautiful floor pillow last week and, if the cats will let me use it, I can sit on it in the evening when we settle in to watch something instead of hanging out on the sofa.

Shrimp patties sound delicious! I don't have any of Mel's books; what are Doner kabobs? Duh! I read it as "Donner" and thought of that doomed wagon train. I have tons of beautiful produce that is calling my name and I ate the first three tiny zucchinis from the garden in my breakfast this morning. We are going to be overrun with zuccs so I figured I better start picking them very young or it will quickly turn zucc-crazy. So, big cook-up for me this weekend and I'm looking forward to it. Scrambling for work meals all week this week has been annoying but I still managed to not depend on the cafeteria except for breakfast on Monday & Tuesday. I've been off-roading more than I would like (pizza last night and fried stuff the night before) and have some burrata and feta cheeses that I'll indulge in. After that, it's time to get back on the straight and narrow.

How is little Miss Sandy Paws?? We have a small cordless vac that just happens to hang on the wall by the little box. I am trying to use it much more frequently so WE don't track litter everywhere. Maybelle is eating well sporadically and I don't know what to make of it. She acts like she feels fine but she has definitely lost weight. She wouldn't touch her food last night but then wanted a second helping this morning. I think she's snacking between meals (poor little chipmunks). 

Happy Solstice to you! I hope you get to enjoy all of the long day.

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PS I realized the actual quotation is this, "Make the decision you can live with, enjoy yourself, and don't look back"

That's better, isn't it? No self-judgment.

On boundaries. This morning the handyman who was going to help me with the sprinklers left a vm apologizing that he forgot about me, and could we re-schedule. He did sound sorry, but I decided not to be so f'ing accommodating as is my habit. So I left him a vm, and not impolitely let him know I was disappointed. The honesty and self respect felt right.

The above was a post I started a few days ago and never finished!

Welcome back, Holly, good to see you, and to know you are recovering so well! And Happy Solstice to you, as well!

Donner kebobs, ooh, that's a Freudian slip, and a good one! LOL. Yeah, I guess Doner refers to a city in Turkey. need, I quickly used that bison for burgers recently, but it's all good.

I LOVE your plan for July. I am sticking with hill sprints, and wish to add a half hour or so of writing to my daily practice.

Good news for Miss Sandy Paws. The diagnosis is FIC, or feline idiopathic cystitis. We are trying some mama-cat pheromones as a plug in that reaches 700 sq ft, and also a spray that I am using on her beds, around her food dish, and the cat box. And a calming cat treat called "Composure" that I have yet to investigate, but which she LOVES. Also, we added a second cat box. It's been almost 24 hours since this all went onboard. She's still going frequently, but so far no blood that I can see, and not as much peeing outside the box. It was the most traumatic visit to the vet yet, yesterday, and I promised her that I would never subject her to it again. She peed herself on the way there, and back. Poor Spooky! I should have followed my intuition and insisted on talking to the vet on the phone, because the visit was not necessary...ah well.

Meanwhile, we are leaving for Ohio on Monday morning, and returning Saturday night, so she will be in the loving hands of our neighbor/pro pet sitter. I am joking that by the time we come home, she may be associating him with her mother. LOL. He will be looking for big pee clumps, and no small ones, and no blood. That is my hope for what we find on our return. 

Zucc-crazy, that's funny! Bounty of summer is upon you, and boundaries, and all the good life lessons. What a rich time! What do you make of Maybelle's current preferences? I always respect cats who follow their wild instincts hunting. Are you still giving her broth? It sounds like her mood and quality of life are great. Is her coat shiny?

The shrimp patties were gone in one sitting. I'm going to keep them in the rotation as I now have it down with speed and ease, and we like them so much. I'm in that weird place now of the count down to travel, so I'm making some things for the freezer for my/our recovery next weekend, and otherwise kind of winging it, but not going out much, so that's good.

Off now to get my hill sprint in, a little late because I was meeting with the pet sitter. I'm a little sad that during our hour meeting some critter, maybe a iizard?, knocked down the house finch nest in our patio eaves, and raided the four tiny wasn't that windy, so it had to be a critter. It's been a rough season for this mating pair. The second nest they've lost in the same spot. Counting my blessings for having such a sturdy shelter. = (

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M/M Finch had just fledged a youngster when suddenly the Mrs. was sitting on the nest again. I couldn't imagine that so quickly, and so late in the season, she would have another clutch of eggs, so about 4 days ago, I aimed my smart phone where my eye couldn't see, and snapped this photo - then vowed to leave them alone and stay away as much as possible considering the nest is near both the front door and the mudroom. 





Having seen the nest on the ground, I now appreciate just how tiny those eggs are, pinky nail tiny, and also the cavern like quality where the eggs are. = (

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Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin' Into the future...

I wanted to send you happy travelin' wishes before you left but the days just flew by and it was Tuesday before I knew it. I hope your trip was a good one! This was visiting your brother and his family, right? I hope ya'll had better weather than we've been having; torrential rain and crazy winds resulting in power outages and intermittent internet access. It's a good thing we have camping gear; we needed our lanterns last night to cook dinner. Thank goodness we're on propane- cookin' with gas! My husband has taken the lead on the internet issues because he can't work from home without it. We have to go through the same levels of incompetence every time this happens so it's still a project in the works and really frustrating. 

That's a great picture. Poor little finch family; maybe she has time for another clutch.  Oh! I keep forgetting; I would love some poppy seeds if you wind up with enough to spare. My zinnias are just starting to bloom. I get a ridiculous amount of joy from them! The cosmos are coming along but were slow to germinate. Zucchini! Holy baseball bats, Batman! It rained all week so I didn't get in the garden to pick. By Saturday we had three GI-NOR-MOUS zuccs. Peeled and seeded, one of them still weighed two pounds! I made Mel's zucchini soup and had it for lunch all week- yum! The other two got cooked down to mush so I could use it as the base for my crustless quiche breakfasts this week. If the weather hadn't gotten so bad yesterday, I would have had zucchini at all three meals but grilling was not to be. Maybe tonight.

I bet Spooky's glad that you're back. How are the pheromones and calming treats working? Maybelle was being super finicky then stopped eating the raw food. Out of desperation, I tried canned food and she totally scarfed it down. I was worried about GI problems (carageenan and all of that) but I had to get some calories into her. I kept thinking about W30 but still kept thinking that, at this point, any calories are better than none. She's eating voraciously so we'll see if it's going to put some weight on her or not. She's lost more weight and she really doesn't have any to spare.

I've recovered from overextending myself and I'm on a roll! I've set my alarm 30 minutes earlier than usual and have been spending 15 minutes doing some stretching/mobility/yoga-type moves very first thing as soon as I get out of bed. It's not a lot but it's a start and it feels good. I've been wanting to do this and have put it off and put it off so it feels like a major accomplishment that I'm doing the thing! Were you able to keep up any of your sprinting and moving while on vacation? I know the food situation with your brother's family is very different but also homemade, delicious and real. How did it treat you? Will you be able to take a day or two to get back in your routine or do you have to get back to work right away? I took off last Monday and think I'm going to take July 5th off so I'll have a nice, long weekend. I'm working really hard on maintaining the shiny-clean house; it makes me feel so much calmer and peaceful. New habits! I'm psyched!

Welcome home!


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Heya Holly, I'm back! Thanks for the welcome. I will be taking a page out of your book, and recovering now from the travels, returning to sane, healthful ways. Thank you for showing the way - I'm happy for you that you are in a good place, getting all that early morning movement in! Bravo!

I was actually in Ohio visiting my in-laws. We flew through clouds that had just dumped a lot of rain, and that was dreamy, as flying through clouds always is. But no bad weather while we were there. I hope all your connectivity issues are better now. That zucchini! OMG. I love that soup recipe, I might make some of that, too. I'm starting to wrap my brain around what I'll be cooking next - basics at first, chicken is thawing, and I'll pick up some green things today. I love zinnias and cosmos! I have to remember where i stashed the packet of seeds and get out there to harvest some more because they are still blooming in patches here and there - amazing. 

How is Maybelle doing with wet food? Spooky sure loves her Friskies seafood pate! So my fingers and toes are crossed that Maybelle will continue to like it and get some weight on her sweet little bones. Hubs was very preoccupied about Spooky when we left, separation anxiety/fears of her early demise since she is noticeably more fragile lately.  She seems the same, but is glad we are home, I suspect! She loves her Composure treats, which are full of B vitamins, and as for the pheromones, we are taking it on faith...the frequency seems a little diminished, but there is still occasional blood. = ( We'll just keep on keeping on..

The trip was lovely and worthwhile! As for food and movement, it was in the spectrum of terrible, but could have been worse. The only exercise we got was hauling ass yesterday through the Denver airport to catch a connecting flight. Ha! We had planned to hike, but were up late almost every night, especially on debate nights, then watched all the late night round-ups, and since we don't watch tv at home, hotel tv watching is a big novelty for us. As for food, put it this way: When I ate turkey sandwiches back in our room, on sourdough with romaine hearts, those were good meals. It was a lot of takeout: KFC, pizza, etc. I kept the portions small (that's the could've been worse part, but I was hungry and anxious a lot, and not really "at home" to remedy it). The next visit will be my 4th, and I am feeling confident to initiate cooking, and then I can eat W30-ish versions of what I cook for the family. I'm still getting to know I am hopeful with that plan!

I'm off to work - want to get the month put to bed before the onslaught of Monday begins. I'm liking your plan to take Friday off in order to have a long weekend. We will be too busy for me to do that, but I think I will go in at 12 or 1.

Happy Birthday month of July to you!!! Solidarity!

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Oh, I totally feel your husband. I don't think we've gotten as far as "frail" but "fragile" is definite. She's devouring the canned food but is having some repercussions from it. I found ANOTHER food that is limited ingredient without carageenan. I wasn't sure if she'd eat it or not because it is pate and little miss finicky girl wants her gravy. Wrong! She dove into it so quickly that the bowl banged against the wall! I'll be making a quick stop this afternoon to pick up some more to see if she keeps this down a little better. After all of the reading, researching and tweaking we do to our diets, it is beyond ironic that she will be done in by her diet and I can't fix it. She likes to lie across my chest when I'm on the sofa reading or watching a movie and I try to envision strength and love moving though my body into hers.

I'm glad that "in the spectrum of terrible" was offset by "lovely and worthwhile." That's balance of a sort, isn't it? As long as it gave you no adverse physical symptoms, you'll be recovering in no time. Since I only have a three-day work week this week, I gave myself permission to do less of a cook-up this weekend and am trying to plan for a big one next week. I made some deviled eggs and a grilled zucchini salad with Kalamata olive and caper dressing to bring to a small picking party Saturday night and I have some of the leftover zucchini salad for my lunches this week. I am finding that late nights are really not agreeing with me. I didn't get to bed until almost midnight Saturday and was dragging all day yesterday- memories of my BIL's visit! We still managed to spend almost two hours in the garden yesterday, though and I got a fresh batch of kombucha brewing. I hardly ever get my second scoop of collagen peptides (I put my first one in my coffee in the AM) so I've been having some 'buche in the afternoons with my second scoop. I just have to remember to take it out of the fridge in the morning or the collagen doesn't want to dissolve. One more little piece in my self-care puzzle;)

Yes, solidarity. And self-love! Here's to hoping your back-to-work onslaught isn't too bad!


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The weight of the cat, purring, on your chest, sounds like the most heavenly thing in the world. Ahh, kitty love. I have no doubt that she gets the strength and love you send her. I laughed out loud at her pushing the bowl to the wall. Sounds like she liked it! May she continue to like it, and keep it down!

This morning I noted all the rough self talk, and over-thinking, and regret about how I got here, etc etc (did I mention if I'm not careful it's up a size I go?) I thought about the 12-step practice of one day at a time. Then I found this gem, and it gave me the reminder I needed about over-thinking:

Imagine having a bag of seeds, but refusing to plant and water them. That's the trap of overthinking everything. Ongoing action gives you something that thinking alone cannot: the feedback of reality. That's where real learning comes from. Make a choice and act on it. Act a lot and you'll see your garden grow. ~ Guillaume Wolf

I'm so grateful to have found this when I did. It helped me find my confidence and just focus on my morning workout, yoga and meditation, and work. A good day! I ad-libbed a breakfast of steamed broccoli and scrambled eggs with some coconut aminos and mayo, and for lunch a giant ass salad with pork loin, cukes, blueberries, and my favorite dressing right now: walnut oil and balsamic. I'll fast tonight. After I fixed hubs' dinner I whipped up a double batch of MJ's classic pork out of WF2. If you ever wanted to splurge on just one of her books, I like WF2 for all the meatball recipes. = )

So I am in total solidarity with you, practicing self love during your birthday month. I realized it's been about 2 years since my first W30, and I am now learning how to re-set without doing a program. So, July it is! Back on the bike, and better than ever!

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