- Felt so good to drop off a load of clothes to the consignment store. I’m on a roll with the ‘getting rid of stuff’ task. Must keep it up.
- Was a treat to have my Bose doc at work today. My office was jamming with awesome tunes all day long.
- I think I’m missing the point of the detox diet by totally over-eating. Just because the foods are “approved” doesn’t mean I should be eating 3 times more than I need. I never learn. No dinner for me tonight.
- Met with a forestry company to discuss the possibility of harvesting timber off our land. This is something that I have always been against, but the logical part of me knows we need to at least investigate it. Still a sad thought though.
- Felt guilty about the total over-eating at lunch and settled on an apple for dinner. Drat
- Big exciting day at the Eastern States Exposition for our yearly trade show.
- Enjoyed talking to customers all day and evening, but it took a toll on my poor throat. Why is it so hard for me to talk all day?
- Hosted a little party after the show and yes I broke down and really cheated this time. I had a glass of red wine. Gasp. And nearly fell over from drinking it. As if I wasn’t a light weight before, now I really can’t handle alcohol.
- Raced home as fast as we could to make it in time to see the American Idol finale. Unbelievable talent.
- So exhausted that I could barely crawl upstairs and flop into bed.
- Spent an annoying amount of time trying to wire money to Maine this morning. Of all the letters I mail in a year the ONE that has to go missing is the very important, time-sensitive deposit on the lot. Darn US mail system.
- Throat is still sore from yesterday and despite being determined to drink water all day, I failed miserably. I’m going to shrivel up soon.
- Went to a camera club meeting tonight and it just pissed me off. I’m sick of witnessing people less talented and intelligent than me making a successful living off of photography. What a waste of my night.
- The only good that came out of the trip was learning that I won a prestigious multi-club award. Still not even sure what picture won or how it even got entered, but still that was some happy unexpected news.
- Raced home to see the American Idol winner announcement. So happy Candice won. She was always my favorite.
- Made initial contact with engineers today regarding sub-dividing our land.
- Gave up on our pre-scheduled date in order to go home and do some freelance work. uuugh
- Finally had a real drink tonight to celebrate many things, but mostly the start of our future.
- Another thing to celebrate tonight is it being the last day of my crazy diet. What a relief.
- Starting the vacation count-down . . .
Gee, it looks like I got way behind posting these. I’ll catch up this week. I hope.
- Counting down the hours until my dreaded yearly check up at the doctors. Once a year is far too frequent.
- Why is my ToDo list growing every day even though I’m feverishly checking things off of it?
- Doc said that I’m “The Gold Standard of Good Health.” I’m very pleased with that report.
- Feeling like I’m falling further and further down the worm hole. There’s no turning back now.
- Cheated again today and ate 2 strawberries. I don’t even feel guilty, but the truth was they weren’t even sweet so it wasn’t even worth it.
- Got tortured by a pizza and beer work meeting where I got to watch all my coworkers eat and drink yummy things. Not fun.
- Is it really necessary for the dentist to keep that darn suction vacuum tube in your mouth throughout an entire cleaning? What’s wrong with just swallowing?
- Went to the pre- junior prom festivities to see my niece and Tina’s girls all gussied up.
- So nice to catch up with family and friends even if just a couple of hours.
- Going to bed completely unprepared for tomorrow’s tag sale. Hoping for rain.
- Was completely amazed at how many people turned out for our tag sale and gallery opening. From 9 – 1 we had a streaky stream of non-stop traffic coming and going. It was fun to meet and talk to all the folks that came by.
- More motivated than ever to do another gallery opening. I hope this gets my butt in gear for a Summer opening.
- Counted up all of earnings, but that wasn’t nearly as satisfying as knowing we got rid of a bunch of things. Next stop Goodwill for an even bigger relief. We must keep this ball rolling.
- Happy that Mother Nature took care of watering my new grass seeds today. It’s about time.
- So so so happy that Karlo has lifted my HGTV ban. We now watch the design shows together and I am in Heaven. So many ideas to gather.
- 2 weeks down on the detox diet and it feels good. Good to be in the final stretch that is.
- Going to the grocery store is torture, but at least it’s quick with such a restricted diet there is no deliberating and debating. In and out, bing, bang, boom.
- Enjoyed kayaking at Mansfield Hollow today. So nice and peaceful. Not too hot, not too cold. Just right. Contentment at its best.
- Trying to decide on an art gallery showing and the deadline is tomorrow. Only problem is I have nothing framed and ready to go. Is it possible to get my act together in 4 days? I can’t decide!
- Excited about the fact that I cooked a chicken in the oven. Never attempted that before and it came out great in our cast iron dutch oven pan. Opening up new cooking horizons.
- Pleasantly surprised at how quick and easy it was to liquidate some investments.
- The camels back is starting to break with another diaster with my father’s house. I’ve had it with being a landlord!
- Too bad that part of my investment liquidation has to go to more repairs. Grrrrr
- Happy that I felt stronger during tonight’s hike, but I’ll still never be ready for our vacation.
- Wondering why I keep picking crazy hilly places for biking trips. Must keep this in mind the next time around.
(I picked this title mostly because Karlo will get a kick out me blaming him for something while he’s away!)
We are just over one week away from leaving for our next vacation and to say “I’m concerned” would be an understatement. This vacation is another one of our typical cycling tours, one that I would normally be chomping at the bit and eager to go on. But this time things are different. I’m in no way, shape, or form ready for this trip, not physically and not mentally . . . and it’s all Karlo’s fault.
You see, I booked this vacation approximately one week after my surgery, when I was home alone all day, with nothing to do and slightly altered due to the drugs. I actually believed my doctor when (back then) he told me that my recovery would be three months. All I had to go on was watching Karlo recover from his back surgery the year before. He walked out of the hospital the next day, took it easy for about a week, and was on his bicycle and back to a normal life within weeks – WEEKS!
So naturally I assumed my recovery would be just like that, only instead of 3 weeks it would be 3 months. No big deal. Well, Karlo set me up for disappointment and disaster. I guess now that I think about it, my situation was a little different. Karlo’s body had an object that it didn’t want inside of it and it needed to come out. My body, on the other hand, had an object that it didn’t want put INTO it and it seems to be rebelling. I just have to accept that this is a completely different ballgame.
Here I am a week and 2 days before flying to Greece to bike every day. I keep trying to tell myself that it will be OK and I’ll be able to do it, but given my track record of not being able to complete an easy 10 mile ride at home without two days of resulting nerve pain, I’m beginning to doubt it. And a recent email from the tour company didn’t help. It spelled out all the important info we should know about the trip and explained how this tour is among the more challenging rides. I was so focused on the fact that the daily mileages were low (less than 30 miles) that I didn’t even pay any attention to the elevations. After all, I am a non-metric-thinking American and “climbs that reach over 500 meters” meant nothing to me. A few days ago I decided to do a little research to translate 500 meters into something that I could relate to. Big mistake. Come to find out 500 meters is the equivalent of biking up Cadillac Mountain in Maine. That has always been on my Bucket List . . . for some day when I had time to train . . . NOT when I’m pathetically weak and recovering from surgery and not for multiple days in a row. Oh yes, this is going to be one doozy of a vacation.
What really helps is Karlo saying, “What did you expect Greece to be like? What did every photo you ever saw of Greece look like?” After pondering these questions I realized it’s true. Every picture of Greece shows buildings tightly packed on the steep sides of hills over looking the water. This is going to be just like Croatia and Montenegro (the Black Mountains). What the heck was I thinking? When am I going learn to pick a flat place to go biking? My excuse is that I was grossly misinformed by my doctor, I had unrealistic expectations thanks to Karlo’s recovery, and I was hopped up on drugs when I booked the trip. At the very least maybe some good stories will come from it . . . if I live to tell about it.
Karlo has been very busy with the new duck-viewing deck. It seems like I blinked my eyes and we went from this:
Luckily, I was there to catch just a small bit of the action.
While others just plain lounged around all day.
And when the deck building work was done for the day, the clean up work began. It seemed like endless amounts of wood had to be cleaned up from around the area and they eventually made there way to their final fate.
We picked a good day for it because not too long after the blazing inferno came the soaking rains. As if we planned it that way!
Still no idea what we will do this new deck of ours, but I better start planning something. Pinterest here I come . . .
I vividly remember the week that I started reading a book called “Clean.“ It was not a good week at all. It was the week following my first little bike ride, when my nerves were acting up and causing me all sorts of grief. I spent a lot of time in tears, so sure that the surgery was not a success and depressed that my dream of getting my life back was shattered. I desperately wanted some good news. I wanted a magic pill that would just make things all better.
The week before this scenario, I just happened to pick this book up from the kitchen table at work. While waiting for my water to boil I quickly flipped through some of the pages. I just wanted to get right down to it. What was the Clean diet and why would I do it? As luck would have it, the book very clearly stated why the diet would be beneficial and it immediately peaked my interest.
It’s hard to summarize without writing pages upon pages (which I can easily do because I absorbed every word and not many things in life made so much sense to me), but in a nutshell the book explains how toxins are effecting our health. And toxins are everywhere. They are impossible to escape. Not only are they in just about everything we put into our mouths, but they are also in the air we breath, in the soaps and lotions that we slather all over our body and on the fabrics that we allow to touch our bodies. There is simply no escaping them. Yes, this does sound like a very depressing and scary topic and I guess it is, but at the same time it gave me so much hope. The book explained how all of these toxins effect us. It listed multiple symptoms that may be caused by too much toxic build up and it promised that in just 3 weeks of eating properly you could reverse much of this damage. The stories told were incredible and I just had to give it a try. Not only would it possibly fix my foggy brain, fatigue, itchy ears, running nose, and an assortment of other nuisances, but what if it could help my chronic nerve issues? There was just so much to gain and nothing to lose (except maybe a couple of pounds) that I had to explore it further.
And so I embarked on my 3-week Clean diet detox. I’m now past the 2 week point and I’m very proud of making it this far. Sure, it’s a challenge. For me, the actual diet (avoiding all kinds of foods and eating the same old handful of things day and day out) was not bad at all. I could do it forever. It’s the preparation that is killing me. Every morning starts with a smoothie for breakfast and no less than 10 things go into that smoothly. Just gathering all the ingredients takes me 10 minutes, then there’s the blending and the washing. No question that a bowl of Quick Oats is a million times easier, but the truth is that smoothie really does keep me full all morning long. Rarely do I get hungry for a snack before lunch. And I can still snack, as long as it’s one of the few approved foods.
Lunches are just as much work. Those are supposed to be the biggest meal of the day, but when you only take a 30 minute break at work it’s just not realistic to be cooking the approved elaborate healthy and pure meals. I’ve been eating a salad with various items added to it every day. And again. those various items take a lot of time to prepare. I’m getting tired just thinking about all this food prep work. I swear fasting would be easier.
Dinners are supposed to be liquid only, but I haven’t been playing by those rules for fear of losing weight. Every single night for 2 weeks I’ve either eaten veggie soup or a salad. And the kicker is that not all veggies are allow. Not even all fruits. Everything I put into my mouth has to be on the very short list of “approved foods” but now that I have those foods memorized it’s not so hard.
One thing is for sure, eating this healthy is very expensive. I’m eating less than half the amount of food and paying more than double, but I’m sure it will all be worth it. I just love knowing that, at this point, my body is as close to clean and pure as possible. Of course, I still have a long way to go at removing the non-natural soaps and lotions, but I’m taking steps toward improving that as well. It will be a long slow process evolving toward Clean living, but I’m excited to be heading in that direction. I highly recommend picking up a copy of the book yourself if you’re at all interested in the subject of health and nutrition. I also blogged about this subject on my YogaDudes blog and if your curious to read more, please click here:
Progress has been a little slow with the Godzilla deck that Karlo is building, mostly due to the fact that he killed his chainsaw. Apparently milling out huge planks from trees puts the machine under an awful lot of stress. We therefore had to invest in another one and I’m curious to see how long it takes him to break that one too. This “free” little home improvement project seems to cost us money on a regular basis. If all else fails, there’s always the trusty handsaw that Karlo would have no problem using, being the nut job that he is.
So far all the bark has been tediously scrapped off of all the structural logs. I’m sure Karlo is relieved that is behind him. Now he’s in the process of making the decking planks. This looks to me like another long and tedious process, but he seems to be enjoying it. Of course, the bugs are not out in full force yet so we will see how long the enjoyment lasts.
I’m just hoping that we can get enough planks from the trees that he already harvested. Please God, don’t let him have to start that entire production all over again. We will completely lose our Summer and that is not cool.
OK, maybe I didn’t exactly get asked “to the prom,” but I did get invited to the pre-prom festivities at my brother’s house. My niece Nicole was all gussied up for her Junior prom and I wanted to be there to witness (and document) it. It was a great opportunity to get some nice family portraits.
And I got double the bang for the buck because my buddy Tina was also there with her family.
Tina’s twins were also all dressed up and on their way to their very first prom. It was such a treat to be able to get to see them off.
I had fun running around taking photos of the action.
This was my favorite picture . . . Nicole thinking, “What is wrong with these girls?”
Nicole would have liked to take off in my car . . .
But she had much more plush accommodations in a fancy coach.
It was a little stressful for me trying to capture all the fast moving action, and ask the kids to pose . . .
when really, my favorite thing to do is take photos when nobody knows I’m pointing the camera at them.
Here’s to the Juniors. I hope everyone had a fun and safe night!
I don’t even know where to begin. For some reason I just don’t seem to have much free time for blogging these days. So much has been going on and I’m already feeling that these pieces of my life are gone because I didn’t document it all. Last week was, in a nutshell, a pivotal turning point in our lives and we still haven’t fully taken it all in yet.
So I guess I’ll begin at exactly one week from today. We’ve been talking about taking a drive up to Maine for months now. All Winter long it’s been, “Let’s go up to our lot in the Spring and see how it feels.” Karlo and I have been playing this game of trying to decide how sure we are about wanting to someday build on that land. Seems we could never get higher than 7 on our “from 1 to 10″ rating system. And 7 just wasn’t a strong enough feeling to really push forward. Nothing would help us better than getting to the lot, taking pictures of the potential view, scouting the area, and getting a quote on the site work. And that was the plan.
Only I couldn’t just let it go at that. I figured, since we were driving all that way for just one day perhaps we should at least take a look at some other available opportunities. We needed all of our choices presented if we were to ever make a firm decision. After a very quick search on realtor.com the night before our road trip I did find one piece of land that really caught my eye. It was not only in my target town, but in the exact neighborhood that we have been stalking all Winter. We HAD to go and check it out on the way to Northport.
And that is where the story gets long, complicated, and unbelievable.
We arrived at the new lot and it was love at first sight. Within an instant our rating of a 7 moved to a 10. There was no doubt in our minds that we wanted to build a house and have that view overlooking the ocean. My heart raced and we not only contacted the agent, but we also had the builder check out this new piece of land in addition to the one we already owned. For sure he thought we were nuts and maybe we are, but we like being nuts.
This is the spot:
Sleep was hard that night and Sunday was consumed by dreaming about that land and imagining a different home design. We couldn’t stop talking and thinking about it, but we felt a little stuck. There were still so many uncertainties surrounding everything. Would we ever really be able to pull this plan off? Would our employer really grant us the ability to work from a different state? Without the answer to that very important question we simply could not move forward so it was clear that we needed to call an emergency meeting with our bosses.
Well the meeting went better than I ever dreamed it would. They supported us completely and Karlo and I came out of the meeting walking on a cloud. This was finally the confirmation we needed to know that we could officially chase our dreams. And that opened the gates to let us run free. I called the agent again the next day and got some paperwork started. We put in the official offer on Wednesday and it was accepted by that afternoon. Less than 5 days from first discovering the piece of land, we are about to own it.
It’s all very exciting to know that we can really pursue the future that we always talked and dreamed about. Everything is suddenly becoming so much more ‘real.’ All I can hear is Karlo’s voice in my head, saying his famous line, “Are you ready?” I think I am!