Friday, December 31, 2010

news and resolutions


It is New Years Eve 2010, and the weather is great! A rare warm front in Missouri, or not so rare?

Anyway Darrin and I survived the Holidays, they went Great! And Darrin is wonderful! I could not have asked for a more loving and peaceful Christmas. But I must say, our settling into coupledom is making us lazy :) This New Year (2011) I have to get back into shape, my belly is starting to protrude otherwise ha. I still love my body but I know how good it feel to be in shape. SO....I invited all friends and family to comlete a Beginners triathlon with me, which is in 3 weeks! Its short and sweet, so a perfect dip back into fitness. I might also do a 5k in 4 weeks, its in underground tunnels how cool is that??? And Nicole - - Dont back out. We have to do this triathlon!!!! very important :) I need to swim badly.

I also made the New Years resolution to pay off my credit with a year. I really dunno if its possible actually. Ideally I could pay it off in 16-18 months, so a year would be pushing it. I might alter that resolution and do a 50/50 plan where 50% savings goes into credit card debt, and the other 50% goes into TRAVeling!!! woo hooo what a much more self serving plan hahaha. I love traveling though. I started a travel fund, with two envelopes, one for darrin and one for me. I put my xmas gift money in my envelope as a starter. I have enough for my first plane ticket so thats nice. Lessons in Saving, and getting rid of debt at the same time.

I want to mention, that just this hour on New Years Eve, I did CLOSE my credit card. I know it does not have to be that drastic, and I know the benefits of having a long standing good account history (which I had 4 years on it) but I made the personal decision to take that Scary step. Why not??? If it encourages me to live more economically and control my spending, it only does me good. If I decide I am living recklessly by not having an actual credit card, I am sure it would only take 5 minutes to open a new one. And when I realized that, my fear of living without a Ccard turned into straight up relief. aaaaaagggghhhhhhhhh.........I love it. And life will go on and be better.

Now, there are eleven hours left until 2011 and I must go enjoy them! Off to the park for the last warm outdoor jog for possibly months. Love you all :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

tell the truth?

I was jogging on the treadmill at the gym the other day, and saw a few lines on the tv about the wikileaks situation. I figured some government website had accidently leaked information to the public. It piqued my interest slightly.
Later, I asked Darrin what he knew, and he said that some military official has illegally leaked a bunch of documents but we dont know who.
Today, I understand.
And I am angry, justly angry, about what it currently going on in the world. This thing is BIG. I think this issue would divide people straight down the middle in a basic human argument: Should you tell the truth or not?

That question is complicated because many believe you should NOT tell the truth in many cases. I wholeheartedly disagree, because I know what it feels like to discover that people around you are directing YOUR life by withholding information about YOU. I will never decide someone else's future. I would never take someone else's life away. Let them LIVE. Let them know the truth.

If you knew who a friend's parent was, and they did not. Should they spend their whole life not knowing who their father is? Maybe because you decided their father is a bad person. LET THEM DECIDE!

If you knew your friend's husband was cheating on her, would you tell her? Do you really think it is your job to decide if she can handle the truth? SHE CAN HANDLE THE TRUTH! AND SHE DESERVES THE TRUTH. You are not God.

What people dont know WILL hurt them. I do not want to live a lie my entire life. I will not leave the table. We should know who killed JFK by now.

I have been honest at times when I knew it would affect other people most. I have shared information that upset my family, the people I love the most, because they deserve to know the truth and I do not deserve the ability to play God, or decide what they should and should not know. That is character. I told the truth when it would hurt ME. When it would hurt the people I love. And we are all better now because of it, we understand each other in a much more human way. We are closer, happier, and truly know each other.

That all being said, ........of course I support Wikileaks. I support free speech, government transparency, the cause for truth. Time magazine said wikileaks "could become as important a journalistic tool as the Freedom of Information Act."
Wikileaks is non-profit."Wikileaks brings truth to the world by publishing fact-based stories without fear or favor." They are not terrorists. They have been motivated by current events just like I have since 9/11.

I have a feeling my stance may not be the majority. I am angry that Paypal, Visa, MC, and other supposedly non-government companies have shut down access to support wikileaks. I saw that you can still use snail mail to support wikileaks. And of course, the government will still be able to keep secret and confidential information as they wish. This controversy might shut down wikileaks, but I hope not. Honestly.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

ohh the Holidays :)


I LOVE the holidays! I like the weather, the lights, the festive atmosphere. I like the smells and the gifts and seeing family. Its great. I wanted a real tree this year for the new home with Darrin, but we decided to go artificial. We covered the tree with blue and silver. To replace the scent of a genuine pine tree, I bought some xmas tree scented potpourri :) Its probably the neatest thing in the living room for me.


A couple things I really love about this year's holidays:


1. Experiencing it with Darrin, living together, and planning it together. I would love to do it this way every year. Last year I flew to Mexico as a single and met friends who showed me Mexico City. It was an extraordinary experience, but it was also overshadowed by a tumultuous breakup back home. I am glad to be free of that and will enjoy this peace as long as it lasts. In the future, I think I will be content whether I am traveling or sharing a home with Darrin, or whether he is traveling with me or not. What I mean by that is; I have finally experienced the peace that I knew was possible. I know what life is like with peace and without, and I believe I am prepared for both.


2. On a less serious note, I have saved in advance for Christmas gifts! For about 13 family members I have budgeted $520 to spend. And yes, the amounts are even broken down per person. It's tight and evey penny I save this month, even on gas for example, goes towards xmas. All gifts are ready except for 3 people and it's just today the last day of November! Now I can relax, wrap gifts as they arrive in the mail ...hehe, sit back, and smell my winter tree candle :)





Tuesday, November 23, 2010

obsessive organization?

Darrin has mentioned before that my organization habits are a little extreme. I dont think he is worried about me, ha, but I would agree: I get a lot of satisfaction from staying organized. A couple examples:

After forgetting too many passwords, I started a username and password folder. Really its all just scribbled down on a manila folder, but they are all there and reachable when I need them. I know other people must get fed up of emailing forgotten passwords and answering security questions, so what else can you do? The part that scared Darrin was when I sat down and transferred them all from a ratty notebook to the folder.

After 9 months of creating and tweaking a budget (after reading Dave Ramsey's plan) I am about to the point of getting to a zero balance every month. If you are not familiar, that means a person knows where every cent of their income goes and plans in advance. Its awesome! I have zero financial worries, and the great satisfaction of paying off debts quickly. Because of the financial plan, I budget on a weekly basis. I also log every expense as I spend. That doesnt seem extensive does it? Well either way, its working :) When I get free time you might easily see me flipping through my envelopes and written budget or writing down receipts, etc.

Those are probably my two extremes, most other areas I would say I am about average at organization, including at work. Until next time..

Monday, November 22, 2010

sleep and safety

Oh My it is Monday morning and the exhaustion is extreme. This weekend was short and labor intensive (I worked Friday night, played nurse, then unpacked for two days). My body is screaming for some rest and relaxation and there will be none of that in the next two days. I need to be home. I need to sleep.

Instead I will be at school until 10 pm both nights tonight and tomorrow. I am repeating myself, but Its ridiculous. I will take a nap in my car after school which seems to be how I am getting by. Really, any job can be overwhelming. Its not about how hard the job appears, it is the amount of your time that is consumed. Even if your responsibilities are only of minor importance, if it keeps you from a reasonable nights sleep it is too much and not even a worthwhile paycheck makes up for it.

So off that soapbox and possibly onto another: Someone is scouting Darrin's house and we are truly scared. A couple items disappeared from his property last month. Yesterday we discovered someone had tampered with and tried to enter the house through the back door (which they had to sneak into the back yard and pass through a fenced gate). We live out in the country; its not a busy street with people walking by. I just want to feel safe! Take what you want and dont come back! We are working on locks, doors, window coverings, alarms, but I cant do a single thing because I work every minute. arghhh. I just hope Darrin makes time to do some precautions.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Coaching and work

I do not have a personal life this week. Cheerleading has swallowed up every minute of my time before and after school for this month, as I had expected of course. I leave for work at 6:45 am and get home at 10:30 pm. The nights are not horrible, they can even be fun actually, but I can sense the exhaustion building up. The little cheerleaders are tired too. Work has compounded life: overwhelmed with grading artwork and more importantly dealing with misbehavior. I still have to get through tonight, and believe me I am not happy about doing this on Friday night as well. Next week; more of the same before Thanksgiving.

I am really looking forward to the end of my duties as a coach only because: I need sleep! It really has gone too far when sports force students and teachers both to operate on 6-7 hours of sleep per night for a month. I enjoy the time, but it is not balanced or moderately scheduled. Enough of that anyway.........

I am moved into Darrin's house, and after a frustrating ordeal with shampooing carpet, we have unpacked and reorganized. The house looks good and smells good now. We can also now eat in the kitchen and start doing the regular routine. So pleasant :) If only I were home to enjoy the new space.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Deamlining

At the moment I am currently high on pumpkin flavored fudge and Dr. Pepper. You might be able to see the high and then the low on this post, haha. I am typing in the classroom as I wait my time to coach cheerleaders tonight.

I want to share some of the neat ideas I am picking up from the current book, 4 Hour Work Week, by Tim Ferriss. I think I have some natural qualities that he describes and which he used to further along his career.

Ferriss recommends an alternative view on lifestyle and career. His focus is on simplifying things, especially time-saving adjustments and challenging the traditional way of doing things. He is very business oriented but I am trying to pick up as much as I can apply to my career. One of the neatest concepts is to create mini-retirements for yourself instead of waiting until you're 60 yrs old and working your tail off until you are too old to enjoy retirement. I think I already save time, am an eliminationist at heart already, and have chosen a career that will allow "mini-retirements." Maybe I can improve it even more?

Four of my "dreamlines" or mini-retirement goals are:
-Have a pool that I can swim in anytime of anyday
-Learn Spanish fluently
-Have an Art studio room for making my own art
-visit Greece

Now these first four are supposed to be reachable in 6 months. Why wait, right?? Retirement is too far away!

So I am working on all four goals, and fortunately 2 of them are at no cost. I have a Spanish tutor and the public library on hand. I have a plan for the Art Studio, just need to run the idea by someone special :) The pool idea is the hardest, even harder than Greece actually. Anyone know of someone with an indoor heated pool in Sedalia? Maybe I could rent some time. The other idea for a pool I considered is pretty far-fetched but I am still brainstorming and already took a couple steps. Finally, I have the summer off and would like to start researching summer opportunities in Greece. Even just a 2 week trip would be exhilarating. The downside is that I would want Darrin to be with me for that kind of grand experience.

Well those are my first four from a list of about 15 dream mini-retirements. More to come in the future of course. It feels great to dream, because there have been a couple times that no dream felt worthwhile or enticing. Live life, and do it now :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

vacation and the latest

Darrin and I had a worderful and laid back vacation. The drive was nice, weather plenty warm, hotel plenty modern, the city Eureka was interesting, yummy food, and good times. We also visited the Beaver lake Dam, bought some fudge and spicy salsa jalapenos, and rode with the convertible top down. We did not spend too much money and enjoyed our calm times at night in the hotel. I must say we both felt boring retiring so early on vacation to our hotel room to watch TV and play UNO, yes Uno hahaha. But it was nice and lovely. I had sadness about going back to work Monday.

I am almost completely weaned off of pain meds for the viral infection, its mostly cleared. Good news I can start light exercise this week and next. My two pals still competed in the half marathon and they both had personal records. I am not sad about missing it; just glad to be healthy and ready for MODERATE exercise.

I started reading a new book, The Four Hour Work Week, by Timothy Ferriss. It is right up my alley: Traveling, living rich although not being rich, getting past the 9-5 boring day job etc. I am only on about page 10, ha but I can tell this book will be a great read. I am also finishing up Pearl Buck in China, which is a highly fascinating biography about an author.

Teaching this year has gotten officially boring and I know Christmas will be here very soon. I am supplementing career with the couple college course opportunities I can find. The first is the dual credit high school class that I am hoping works out for January. The other is applying for a job at SFCC in Sedalia, as a part time adjunct art teacher, in which I would probably teach one night class and hope to teach one summer class. I dont want my career to get into a standstill, and I definitely dont want to get beleaguered down by behavior problems in the public school system. The few kids today made it rough enough.

I am moving the big furniture into Darrin's house this weekend. Yay for more change. And I was disturbed by a friends pessimistic remark about us living together last night. He admitted that he is an obnoxious cynic when it comes to relationships, but the comment still hurt and discouraged me more than it should have. I am happy for Darrin and I, our compromises, our continued support and love for each other, and our easily possible future. I hope my friends and loved ones can share that hope and happiness. I also hope my friends and loved ones can see there is more to life, and my life, than just this relationship. There can be more to our friendship, our conversation, our growth as people, than judgement and cynicism. I love my friend that I mentioned, and I hope to see him soon and hope he can see me as more than a buddy's girlfriend, because we used to have a whole lot more in common.

Thanks to Fred and Jill for the wonderful evening out with the ladies tonight and I look forward to our next get-together! Gotta have those girl nights :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

change of luck

WOW....everything in that last post "8 days" ended up being WRONG. I woke up the next morning with a migraine! The headached I mentioned turned into a viral infection keeping me in bed for 10 days! I had to call in sick to work for the past week, missing every night of school events also. I made it to Art Club's pumpkin carving contest, but missed my little cheerleaders first game as well as conferences and senior night. The vacation was cancelled! booo hooo We are hoping it is just postponed to this weekend. And I had a CATSCAN today. Just making sure I dont have a tumor or anything! really? And this whole week that I have been homesick, I have been lucky to be able to eat, shower, or even pick up a dirty Tshirt. Needless to say, I didnt get a single box packed while I was home doing absolutely nothing. I also visited the hospotal ER to get two shots for a migraine and a bag of fluids because I was so dehydrated. Its been very very Very painful.

I truly hope it is over. Cat scan results are normal I assume; unless I hear otherwise. The pain has finally receded somewhat and I will try to return to work tomorrow (Tuesday). I saw an old friend and classmate, he actually performed my cat scan today how neat is that? I am very sick of taking Vicodin, believe I dont like how nauseus and woozy it makes me. I just want to be healthy dammit! There are a lot of things I would love to be doing and enjoying in this life if I can just get painfree.

Btw, our fitness challenge is over. Darrin and I have tied, although he is trying to say I won and give me the money. tempting ...:) We both got a little healthier and tied in weight loss etc. You definitely cant count my weight loss anyway after throwing up meds and losing appetite on vicodin.

Also lately, I have realized I want to travel. Kel and Courtney are in california. An old college friend Molly has a spare room in colorado. I would like to start saving for trips! well, until next post, gbye.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Feeling better after 8 days

Well I can walk, which means I can get to packing and moving again. It was hard to spend my weekend off my feet when all I wanted to do was pack and clean. My ankle has been mostly pain free and my left knee has ached less today. I had a sorta migraine for 2 days also, and its mostly cleared. I am hoping to add swimming to my schedule Tuesday night to get back into shape after the grueling marathon running i did the past 4 weeks.

Danny: I bought Saucony running shoes, they didnt work well enough for long distance though.

I survived 1st quarter of school, and parent teacher conferences are Thursday night and Friday morning. Its a busy week (school stuff every night) until Friday at noon when Darrin and I begin our weekend vacation.

Yes i said VACATION!!! woo hoo. It is a weekend trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas where we will stay in the Doris Day suite at a little hotel run by a gay couple. They are extremely good at customer service and each room has a theme: Harry Houdini, Rock Hudson, Cocacola, etc. Talk about a fun place. I have also never vacationed in Arkansas and despite all the churchiness in Eureka, I think I will really like it. The town is historic, full of artsy shops, and surrounded by mountain trails and a lake. Cant wait :) It doesnt compare much in price and scenery to Darrins brother Dave's current vacation (they are in hawaii...jealous!).

Wish me luck in surviving my Art Club pumpkin carving contest tomorrow night....imagine 5th graders working with knives and sawing away at a pumpkin and being assisted by high school students. haha

Friday, October 22, 2010

They said it could happen..

Well I have read and people have told me that training for a half-marathon should be done gradually and carefully to prevent injuries. When a friend asked me about joining a half-marathon for November 7th, I had exactly 7 weeks to train. I pondered and then created a 7 week training schedule. The shortest training schedule I found online was 10 weeks (first warning) so I condensed a couple versions down to my 7 week plan. I had a 3 mile base but my 3 mile run is pretty weak and slow.

Anyway, the first 3 weeks went well. I worked up to 6 miles, then 8, then 10. My knees would ache for 2 days but nothing else. After the fourth week, however, I ran 11 miles. My knees still ache slighty and it has been 5 days. What concerns me though, is my ankle. It hurts to stand or walk even after 5 days. Something is really wrong unfortunately. I would definitely not walk very far right now. Monday and Tuesday I was limping, the next three days it has healed slightly.

I hope that it heals and I could complete the half-marathon, but not at the cost of paying for Xrays and limping for weeks. I will wait and see, in the meantime my diet and motivation for the fitness challenge has gone KaPLOOey. Neither Darrin nor I have lost any bodyfat. We made slight changes in exercise and diet, which is good. I think after this Halloween and challenge ends, new goals are definitely on the horizon, and more small achievable goals.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Can I just say it again?

I am happy. And content. I have learned, starting in December of 2007 and until the end of this summer, that happiness does not come easily with age. I have honestly not felt this happy for a while, and those of you that I call friends and family know that me being so content again is great. Sometimes I feel like I should warn all the happy teenagers that bop into my classroom that "Hey! you better remember this time because life will get really really shitty the older you get!" hahaha. I don't really tell them....just let them find out themselves I guess.

People close to me know that I was miserable just this past summer. And last winter. (mostly due to breakups and feeling alone). And that I was pretty depressed after my week long stay in the hospital in 2008. I also had a tough first year and a half getting used to my new career.......i know i know.....it could have been much worse. Many people would consider my complaints to be so small in comparison to their own. But for me they were very Real and very Heartbreaking, and very Scary.

Now a couple of things have helped me along, such as starting work again this second year of teaching and taking some important steps and compromises with Darrin. But I want you to know thats not the only thing. I read lots of books, I accomplished goals such as the triathlon, my friends and family have always been there for me even though I did not make sense, and I started taking an over the counter herb called 5htp (thank you Kendra for the tip) . The herb itself is pretty mild and unimportant, but it seemed to give me just a small boost in mood. These things combined with other small things somehow helped me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Once I saw that light, I could step out of the tunnel and feel its warmth. But i was awfully close to pitch black darkness, and a very scary level of darkness, that I had never been to until this summer. I am glad its gone, and I hope it stays that way. This warmth is amazing, and yet such a small and subtle warmth.

Now if you know what I am talking about, please let me know. I know that depression affects most people, not just me. I dont want to pretend that I didnt feel that way, and it helps when the people you look up to have been there too and are not afraid to admit it. Thank you to each and every person in my life that has just been there for me, making me feel part of their lives, loved, and important.

A quote that I saved in my phone this summer helped me along, and it is still saved in my phone. "Saying yes to life even in it's strangest and hardest problems." author unknown.

Thank you RENA for this text: "Listening to song Sorry and thought of you. You are a strong person! :) I love the way you LIVE life!" Rena I love the way you live life as well!

Theme song: The Warmth, by Incubus. Thank you DANNY for introducing me to that song years ago. It has always moved me. Also important to me: Warning, by Incubus.

LYRICS - The Warmth
I'd like to close my eyes, go numb
but there's a cold wind coming from
the top of the highest high-rise today.
It's not a breeze 'cause it blows hard.
Yes and it wants me to discard
the humanity I know, watch the warmth blow away.

So don't let the world bring you down.
Not everyone here is that fucked up and cold.
Remember why you came and while you're alive
experience the warmth before you grow old.

So do you think I should adhere
to that pressing new frontier?
And leave in my wake a trail of fear?
Or should I hold my head up high
and throw a wrench in spokes by
leaving the air behind me clear?

So don't let the world bring you down.
Not everyone here is that fucked up and cold.
Remember why you came and while you're alive
experience the warmth before you go.
So don't let the world bring you down.
Not everyone here is that fucked up and cold.
Remember why you came and while you're alive
experience the warmth before you grow old.

Before you grow old. Where did it go? (x4)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

November is gonna be bad..

So although life is truly fabulous, I need to let friends and family know that for the month of November I will likely disappear. For this month, I have taken on the responsibilty of Junior High Cheerleading at my school. Art Club is also very busy, as well as grading and 2nd quarter. Senior sponsor requires that I work concessions the nights that I am not supervising cheerleaders. I will be riding the school bus with the basketball team all around our district, starting in a week. My weekends are filling up and my evenings are going to be exhausting. On top of work, this is the month I am moving. I have to sort my belongings and be out of the apartment by Dec.1.

Its all great, but I do miss family and friends. I squeeze in time with a pal a couple times a week and a visit to mom's for a day, but I miss dad, my bros, and KC friends. So, if any of you want to plan a visit to Sedalia, or halfway in between, lets do it! and hurry up :)

moving along like Odysseus

Sometimes I think my life is like a collection of phases. Similar to Odysseus, he went from one place to another and collected experiences, sometimes staying in one place for a very long time before leaving and beginning the next adventure. Some of those phases were much happier and healthier than others, some were dangerous and full of tragedy.

I am sure we all live in phases. I am currently in one of the most content and happy places I have been since I was probably 19 years old. When I was 19, life was full of the unexpected. I was surrounded by young single friends, dabbling in odd and crazy hobbies such as rollerblading, hackysack, playing guitar, face painting at Silver Dollar City, learning what I believed in, sewing handmade dresses, lifeguarding at the pool, etc. I worked crazy jobs, took classes on every possible subject, and had zero guy problems cuz I just did not date. My priority was learning.

I had a completely different phase before I was 19 (high school and the sweetheart) and after college (living in Kansas City with Danny and learning how to party). Life in my current phase is very calm. I am happy with Darrin. I have a great job with tons of potential (I might get to teach a dual credit Art class...heck yeah!) And I am paying off debt. I have goals, old people goals like saving, retirement, traveling, and moving up in my career. And I might just be creating a new home with Darrin. A home of mutual love and encouragement, growth in a relationship, and sharing life's experiences. I hope my family sees that love and growth and is willing to be a part of it. I also hope that it lasts, but I feel content either way at this point. I would be fine if this piece of my odysseus timeline lasts quite a while.

Finally some change

I gave away Monster Kitty last night. I put all her belongings in my car, set her carrier facing forward in the backseat, and drove 45 minutes to exit 98 to meet a girl named Amie. Monster and I looked each other in the eye the whole way (through the rearview mirror) and if she cried any I sang to her. When Amie pulled up with her husband, Monster was calm and scared. She actually did not hiss or get defensive. He picked her up and held her. We switched all of her belongings to their trunk and I kissed her on the head twice goodbye. I couldnt stop looking at her, and she seemed to be trembling as he held her in the passenger seat. It was heartbreaking.

The couple seem to be true animal lovers, although not clean people and they looked poor. It scares me to death. The thing that is helping me along without a meltdown is that Amie and I have texted each other and Amie plans to keep me updated on how things go. I have not felt like doing much or being social.

As sad as I am, I need to start thinking about the future because I am truly grateful for the current changes in my life. I am finally moving out of my solo apartment after 3 years of living alone. I can take all the chord protectors off my electrical chords and wash all the cat hair out of my apartment. I can leave a pair of earrings sitting on the counter. I can sleep with the bedroom door open. I still miss her and its so much more lonely here as I begin packing my bags and sorting my belongings. I pray that she is safe and well cared for, she seems to be. And I am happy and sad at the same time.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Lost Girls



I just finished a book called "The Lost Girls." Three 28 year old girls gave up their magazine publishing jobs in New York City to travel around the world for 1 full year. Two of them left behind boyfriends, one of which a very happy relationship. The 3 girls went to South America first, followed by Africa, then to India and Asia, and ended in Australia.


The book can be pretty boring at times, but I stick things out with my nonfiction books because I know a true story has highs and lows. Life can be boring at times, and full of human emotion and action at other times. Sitting in an airport, riding on busses and trains, can be boring aspects of traveling, if you dont already love traveling. I LOVE traveling. I like airports full of strangers, crowded subways, living out of a bag, and exploring new places. Its all worth it.

These 3 particular girls lived it up in South America, volunteered at a girls home in Africa, spent time at a meditation school in India, got 8 dollar massages in Thailand, and surfed in Australia. Why is it that women love to travel, yet its tooth and nail to get your loved one to travel with you??? Do women know how to enjoy life more? Traveling is not a privilege afforded to many of our mothers and grandmothers. Are men too preoccupied with bringing in the dough to travel? I have known since my childhood (thank you dad) that traveling is the best experience money can buy. Anyway that is a tangent.......back to the book.

So the Lost Girls did not figure out every aspect of their lives. When they returned home even the happy relationship had not survived the long distance. They made a ton of money off their book and new group of fans. I enjoyed reading it and agreeing with the epiphanies and the non-epiphanies they came to while traveling. I have a new desire to visit Thailand, Greece, Costa Rica, to learn Spanish, to teach English abroad, etc. I have a feeling I will get to do many of those things during my lifetime, and that I have chosen the perfect career to help me along. Anybody want to join?

Latest Art Project


At the school where I teach I have a lovely, oversized, and practical art classroom. However, after construction, my two windows to the outside world were walled in to make a new hallway. So now, when the lights go out, my classroom goes pitch black. Its a safety hazard and a big pet peeve for me when a kid "accidently" turns off the light.
To keep things safe, I have been leaving the supply closet open and the closet light on. I also have a flashlight next to my desk. I know I could always put tape over the light switct if i need to, but right now its okay.
Regardless, I have used the light situation as an excuse for my latest clay project - a ceramic lamp. Its been SOOO fun.
I bought a used lamp from the thrift store for two dollars, of which I can take the "guts" out for my handmade lamp. I have a cadet teacher thats great with anything hands on and helped me work out the mechanics of switching over the wires. So far I have the outside of the structure built, and now it is time to seal the top and carve out creative designs, as well as the hole in the bottom for the chord.
The clay was given to me by Darrin's aunt Debbie and I absolutely LOVE this clay! Its like modeling and sculpting clay, thicker and sturdier than the grey clay in my classroom. Needless to say, I owe her one of the creations I make.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fitness challenge: Update

Darrin and I are about halfway through the fitness challenge. We started with a total of about 6 -7 weeks. It ends October 31. I am afraid there is no clear winner so far. Maybe that is good, kinda like a close football game with a tie score? The problem is, neither of us has lost any bodyfat. We have fluctuated in losing about 1-3 pounds each, depending on when we weigh.

So, all that to say, the data is inconclusive at this point. To up my chances, I spent about 70-80 dollars in healthy groceries, including protein supplements. How does that help me then? The contest cost $50 so would that put me in the hole already? Haha i hope not.

I do want to win. I am training for the half marathon and it feels geat. I am learning to cook my meals and resist temptation...some. I am trying to do cross training between lifting, swimming, and jogging. Darrin has increased his running distance and speed as well. So, although there is no clear winner, we both look and feel great. Maybe in the end one of us will win or else split the pot. We will see Oct. 31.

Furniture



So I bought my first piece of furniture! A beautiful bamboo style chest (imitation of course). I saw it at the thrift store and immediately had to have it. I also hand picked the mirror for an extra $25 to sit atop it. Finally, Darrin's mom stopped by with gifts and the plant just matched perfectly. The new furniture is oversized but thats what real furniture is like i guess? Everything I own I collected for free from family. My couch is a twin bed with a full mattress set behind it and brown slip covers covering it. My bed is one mattress sitting on two box springs. My dining area is an old tv stand painted black. My entertainment center is two coffee tables stacked upon each other, all for free. AND....it looks great! hahha. If you saw my place, I must proudly say: I have made it work.

Now Darrin and I have started discussing living together, and we have no idea where any of my belongings would fit in there, but I really dont care. Who knows, I may garage sale half of it or just store it in a basement. It didnt cost me much to collect so far, but I will definitely be holding onto my new additions.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Girls day out at the Chiefs game

I survived the weekend. I could barely stand after Friday night, but I managed to rise early on Saturday to help Weave move, jog 6 miles (broke a personal record!), then worked Sat night.

Now I mentioned that I wasnt completely into the Chiefs game on Sunday (I was already exhausted) but planned to go because I wanted to see a few girlfriends, and I do really need the girl time. I woke at 8:20 am, showered, packed, filled up with gas, then headed to the city. The girls were ready before me so they went inside and I knew they were annoyed with me already for not sleeping over Sat night, then being somewhat late for tailgating. I had a great time tho and it was great to see them. I was not drinking, and I know sober people look boring, but I HONESTLY had fun. The Chiefs played awesome, the VIP tickets were outstanding, the homemade burgers were "the best burgers I ever put in my mouth", and the girls are the best girls I could have been with.

However, at the end of the game, I soberly watched all the fans evacuating the stadium at 3 o'clock, and I was so envious. I had loved catching up with the girls although it is very hard to have a conversation during the previous 3 hours of cheering and drinking. SO, I watched those fans leaving, looked at my watch, and I knew that my girls were prepared for another two hours of partying easily. I wanted to go home. So I did.

Thats where things soured. My bestie was totally bummed that I refused to stay as they cheered and slowly downed their last beers during the final minute of the game. I told her how great everything was but that I needed to start my commute home and rest before working another 12 hour workday. It ended up being a complete clash of viewpoints. She had worked hard to put everything together and was not ready for the festivities to end, I understand. And if I had not been sober, I am sure I would have wanted to party longer as well.

In the end, she told me she wouldnt have wanted anyone else there and that she wasnt mad at me anymore. She truly is a great person and I know she doesnt like to hold grudges because she cares about people too much. (love ya Tino:)

To conclude..... I would like to keep going in this new direction with my social life if I can. I want to meet and hang out while saving money and with less drinking. We shall see.....thats easier to do when I am as content as I currently am. I hope it stays that way because I feel great.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Spirit Week and Friends

Well it is Spirit Week at school. I like to dress up so this year I have created my own spirit costumes. Yesterday I was an alien from Toy Story. Today I am Indian themed, from Pocahontas. Tomorrow is Greek day.

Anyway, because it is Spirit week it is also very busy. Monday I worked from 8 am until 8 pm at meetings and then extra duties. Grades were due Tuesday. Friday is Homecoming day, the football game, and then I am working extra duties at the school dance until Midnight. Saturday I have to help senior sponsors set up and tear down a dinner banquet. I LOVE my job. I don't mind the extra duties or being busy occasionally, as long as I can still squeeze in some fitness and personal time at home with Darrin before starting the next work day or week.

I am facing a slight conflict with balancing things, as usual. My girlfriends have been planning nights out for a few weeks now, and I have been missing in action for many of those nights lately. Tino has been picking up tickets to wizards and chiefs games; Kendra has been getting free happy hours at power and light. They are great deals, free meals, good seats etc. My little problem is that right now my priorities are different. I have been finding a great amount of peace in eating healthy, drinking less often, enjoying the outdoors, going for jogs and lifting weights, and especially saving money. I have been saving over half of my entertainment budget lately and feel great not drinking.

What I wish for is the ability to meet the girls for happy hours, dinners, walks at the park, movie nights, painting our nails etc, and then be able to go home. Instead it requires a commute to Kansas city, heavy drinking, overspending, and hugely crowded social events. This often requires arranging rides, driving, or packing overnight bags.

Why am I complaining????? They are the greatest friends I could possibly hang out with. I love them. I should feel lucky they want to hang out with me. I hope when I am in need they would be there for me and I hope I am not wussing out on them too much. I am going to meet them this weekend because I want to see them, not because I want to go to a chiefs game or drink beers or pay 20 dollars to park. When I get there I might even enjoy it as much as I know I will enjoy seeing the girls.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

a little bit of everything

When I put this blog together, It felt sooooo good. I was super excited about having a place to vent, share thoughts and ideas, and spill my guts. So every day I think to myself "what could I blog about today?".........work, exercise, friends, family......and I draw a blank!
hahaha
My life seems casual, balanced, scattered. So here is a random and scattered blog post.....hopefully I will be able to develop more interesting and specific posts in the future.

1. I LOVE work. My job is truly great right now. I dont dread coming in to work, I actually look forward to it. I have made new friends, gotten to know the students, and my schedule is better this year. Classes are smaller, better behaved, and my lessons are better. I am carpooling with the music teacher. We have fun and I feel like I have some type of comrade. I also save maybe a hundred bucks a month on gas.

2. I still enjoy Sedalia. I enjoy having friends close by and on call. I enjoy the parks, trails, hanging out with my mom, and cheap nights out. That said, I have definitely become tired of living in my cute little apartment. I have been ready for quite some time to live with someone, either Darrin or a roommate. Monster needs a new home before i can move.....

3. The fitness challenge is fun and motivating. I am also looking at a possible half marathon (13 mile run) in November. My college pal Melanie is interested in helping me work out a diet and fitness plan to beat Darrin in our challenge....lol. I can swim, run, bike, weightlift, etc. My gym membership is cheap and I can swim for a dollar a night.

4. My financial plan is coming along awesome. I am paying off debt, saving, snowballing, and i am past all the hard parts. It took me 3 months to just figure out WHERE i spend my money, and then to create my budget. Now that I know my budget, I look forward to every expense, including bills. Its satisfying to me, just like throwing things away and cleaning my house. How wierd is that??

5. I have accepted that I might not have children. I would of course if all the necessary pieces of the life puzzle had fallen that way for me, but so far they have not. I am not sad or regretful. I enjoy kids (why else would I enjoy teaching), but I am like many people that were never in a hurry and if it happens, it happens. I saw a documentary on happiness, and it said that having children doesnt necessarily make people happier. In terms of relationships, it said couples that have children are less satisfied with their relationship because of less quality time, obligations, etc. This doesnt mean that ppl with kids are unhappy, just that relationships change when you do. Whether I have kids of my own between 28 and 40, or meet someone and become a stepmom, thats fine. If i never do, that is also fine.

6. SO........now to Darrin. I love him. I enjoy every minute with him. I have never had any qualms about my ability to be loyal, to commit, to enjoy the rest of my life with him. That said....our relationship has been on again , off again, and rocky. I could probably write a novel rather than a blog post on that subject. I will save the energy for later and time unfolds :)

7. So all in all, I am very happy with my life. Career, family, friends, money, travels, fitness, all are exactly where I want them to be. If I could get the relationship on calm and settled ground, I think I would fly from cloud nine up to heaven already.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

the challenge


So Darrin and I have decided to compete against each other in a fitness challenge. So far it is fun! Our competition lasts two months (until Oct. 31 halloween). In the jar we are each putting in 50 dollars. We are also contributing one dollar per each: over the top sweet, fast food meal, and alcoholic beverage.
Our winner will be measured by bodyfat percentage and weight loss. (We ordered those skinfold calipers online).
So....I know Darrin and I are fairly healthy and in decent shape but we both wanted some motivation to exercise. I would like to focus on a healthy diet and weightlifting with light cardio. I am curious to see who wins :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

the alligators

The red hot chili peppers said in a song "Up to my ass in alligators, lets get it on with the alligator hators"

I have always loved this quote. I picture myself standing in a knee deep baby pool with calm, happy, well-fed, alligators sleeping all around me. Now what would those alligators do if i made them very very angry??

Look around you, who are you surrounded by? What would upset them? What are the silent rules in your life that you are not supposed to break? The things that you maybe sometimes wish you could do? I hate living with those restrictions, but the sad thing is that I have to. I created those restrictions when I grew up and took on responsibilities, such as a career, paying bills, working in education, renting a house, etc. I have to act responsible and smart to keep my life the way it is. Of course, I can change my life anytime, but that involves making some decisions about my career etc.

So what do i do when I just have the urge to be CRAZY???? The urge to act out, have too much to drink at the wrong place or wrong time, do too much of one thing, skip my obligations, run away, max out my credit cards and travel the world, meet a stranger somewhere, what else?? Arent those things all on my bucket list anyway? Ha!

I know....its all about BALANCE, and careful planning. but thats boring and involves no alligators...or alligator hators.

why blog?

I have not read many blogs. I am partly inspired to create my blog because I was invited to read my friend Whitney's blog "days of my life." She is an open book: honest, real, funny, and personal. After reading her blog I was jealous of her ability to share EVERYTHING with EVERYBODY. And I am not kidding, "everything" is what makes her life and blog so interesting. It looked so refreshing to just spit it all out there regardless of what people might think, especially since she has a tight circle of family and friends that already know, and already love her no matter what.

I am not sure that I have that tight circle of family and friends, but I sure would like to. My family is very supportive and my friends are generally positive. But tight-knit? I dunno. And do they know everything about me? I think........

So my dream is to create that loving circle of people around myself and know that they are there through whatever life phase I begin. Maybe this blog will help. Even if it doesnt, lets have some fun.