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  • Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

    Sep 13 2009_2780
    From September 2009

    In My Head
    I’m thinking about how fast we’ve sped through September already! I am also thinking about how glad I am for the Autumn Equinox. I’m finding that so many people have latched onto loving Fall in the last few years. There’s just something about the light and the colors that make it a magical season.

    I decided to go through my archives and pick some old posts from the last five years from September. It was fun to go down memory lane:
    2010:

    + The Ocean

    2011:
    +16 Miles Through Sam Houston

    2012:
    +Making Way for New Growth

    2013:
    +Cedar Brake Outer Loop | Dinosaur Valley State Park

    2014:
    +Forest at 3 Weeks

    Watching
    Still not a whole lot. I debated getting back into Big Bang Theory this season and did jump into it the other day. After not watching much tv the last three or so months it is a little overwhelming/overstimulating to see commercials and general tv. Still waiting for Homeland to debut in a week or two.

    I did end up watching part of that movie Tiny on Netflix one day. I never finished it as I kind of lost interest.

    Cowspiracy has been on my radar for the last several months and I did end up watching it on Netflix. I definitely recommend this one as it touches on veganism/vegetarianism on an environmental aspect in regards to water and land use in agriculture. After watching it I did my typical delve into the internet to read about it and to also see about opposing viewpoints. A few years ago I became interested in permaculture and listened to a lot of podcasts and read a lot of blogs about the subject, and overall I generally like the principle. Around the same time there was a TED talk going around by Allan Savory about using grazing animals and how they can restore habitats. Initially the talk captivates you and it all sounds well and good. Until you think on it a bit more from an scientific standpoint. I had a lot of problems with this theory because a lot of permaculturists have latched onto this but I don’t think they quite get that local ecology and local ecosystems might not be well suited for grazing and thus try to apply permaculture principles/theories to habitats that aren’t built for it. The movie did touch on Allan Savory a bit. The guys in the movie were also on the Rich Roll podcast recently and delved a bit more into Mr. Savory, talking about meeting him and actually being invited to his home in New Mexico. The whole thing is a complex issue. I do recommend watching the movie, though. It offers a differing viewpoint on the thought process behind being vegan/vegetarian with less of a focus, though touched on a bit, about animal welfare and more on impacts environmentally.

    Since I was on a documentary kick I ended up watching Miss Representation, a movie I saw previews for about four years ago. This movie discussed issues regarding sexism in regards to women, blatant and covert, in our media. The more I watched the more I was happy I am not watching a lot of tv right now. I mean, none of this is news, sexism towards women, or the fact that overall in this world we live in a patriarchal society. Just a good re-focus movie if you want need a little bit of a reality check.

    The final documentary is Stories We Tell. I love Sarah Polley and when I first heard about this movie a few years ago I knew I wanted to watch it. I, of course, forgot about it until I went looking for something the watch the other night. Overall I really liked the movie, loved how she shot it—she did good with trying to replicate scenes and passing them off as home movies (there were real home movies interspersed). It actually took me awhile to figure out that a lot of them were replications. And of course it made me want to dig out my Road to Avonlea tapes.

    Outside My Window
    The light, I love the light this time of year. It is something to soak in.

    In The Art Studio
    Scrapbooking! I am finally scrapbooking again! Yes, lots of !!!! surrounding that. My photos came in the mail one day and the itching began so I got everything spread out on the table in the studio and I’ve been scrapping away. I have spent a few evenings over the last few weeks in there at just an hour a time, but it feels glorious to be using that space and to be creative again. I’m planning to do a scrapbooking post sometime in the next week.

    I need to do some more clean-up in the studio but I anticipate getting back into painting/drawing later this Fall.

    In The Garden
    Chris and I spent two hard weekends, really it was a total of about four hours between two weekend days over two separate weekends, completely weeding the vegetable garden. Chris has spent another probably two hours tilling in compost and then spreading mulch over the beds themselves. Our weekends are full for the next month so he is trying to go early in the morning to get mulch during a weekday and then spreading it out in the evenings. I’m just glad that space is usable again.

    Reading
    Same as I was reading in July, but I did start Wild. I am making progress with Wild but since I read it before bed I end up getting sleepy rather quickly.

    Drinking
    +Kicking Horse ‘Bear Claw’ coffee in the mornings once again. I had a bag of Cinnamon Dolce Starbucks but just finished that. I love Kicking Horse, though. Thanks Elizabeth for getting me into it!

    +In the afternoons at work I’ve been sipping some hot tea. Usually chamomile, decaf chai, or my Mother’s Milk tea.

    Loving
    +A new self-supported/unsupported Appalachian Trail thru-hike record has been set and smashed by Heather Anderson aka: Anish with a time of 54 days 7 hours and 48 minutes! The previous record was by Matt Kirk in 2013 of 58 days 9 hours and 42 minutes. Now all that is separating a supported record and an unsupported record is 8 days! I think it will be a few years but I do think someone out there will attempt to get this even closer. Chris and I talked a bit about that 46 day record for a supported hike and how Scott Jurek only bested Jennifer Pharr Davis by a few hours, that beating that 46 day mark is going to be tough. In essence, all ducks need to be in their proper rows while at the same time the stars align perfectly. I like Anish…she’s a badass.
    + Matrimoney podcast. I have listened to Kelsey on her other podcast, The Girl Next Door, but this one is with her husband and they talk about money and marriage. They have an aggressive goal of paying off their mortgage in about five years. Lots of interesting advice and discussion in this one.
    +Seriously lifting weights again!!!
    +Being more serious on potty training Forest. I’ve been getting him to use his little potty lately, first thing in the morning and it is working. Slowly, but working! In fact, #1 and #2 is being done on it! I’m so thrilled about this and very glad I started casually doing Elimination Communication when he was a month old.

    What’s up in your world?

    tomatoes2
    Tomatoes from two years ago on this date.

    In My Head
    I’m thinking about Autumn! I am so thrilled that the weather is thinking of cooling off and am very excited about camping and hiking trips! Going outside in the summer isn’t so bad for myself but we’ve kind of kept Forest out of it since he was so little this year. The heat just isn’t something to joke around with here, especially paired with the humidity. I will be happy to be able to get out in the yard on the weekends and in the evenings during the weekdays for a few minutes with him now!

    I’ve actually been thinking about a whole heck of a lot but I can’t really put it into words here!

    Watching
    Still just watching Masters of Sex, which should be wrapping up soon. I’m looking forward to Homeland starting in October as well as The Paradise—err, I just looked this up, there is no season 3 of this show! I severely disappointed! This was a great PBS/BBC period piece. booo! Ok, well, I guess Homeland is it.

    Our library system is set up with several digital lending options, including one called Hoopla. I listened to an audiobook from it the other day and saw they have a lot of movies to stream as well. One particular caught my eye, Tiny, a documentary about small house living. I think I’ll be checking into documentaries soon!

    Outside My Window
    The changing light. Hummingbirds. Deer. The garden switching to slowly go dormant. Weeds. The neighbor across the pond added some dirt on his yard near the shoreline and now it looks like a beach over there. Right now as I sit typing this the sky is a tinge of pink, the mimosa tree is still blooming, and Chris and Forest ran down to the dock for a morning look-see before they head off to daycare.

    In The Art Studio
    Nothing much but I rearranged it a bit to accommodate our old kitchen table as my new crafting table. Which means I’ll be in there a lot more often very soon! I’m going to be starting my Project Life scrapbook soon as well. I’ve actually been thinking about crocheting once again. That hobby is very much a dark season hobby.

    In The Garden
    I’ve been spending time weeding the path once again. Hopefully the weed growth will slow down soon and it won’t be such a big deal. I need to tackle more weeds this weekend in preparation for Forest’s birthday party. This fall we need to replace several small trees that bit the dust either in the deluge this spring or the heat this summer. I thought we were going to lose our longleaf pine sapling last week—I saw several trees in the area looking like they had just hit that breaking point with the lack of rain and heat—and then we got a bunch of rain over a few days and I *hope* we got that haulted. It’s iffy at the moment. I’ll be disappointed if that happens because it had done really well since we planted it almost three years ago.

    Reading
    On that Hoopla site I streamed The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I had wanted to read it for awhile but didn’t necessarily want to buy it and I figured the wait list for a hardcover check out would be really long at the library. This was a 5 hour listen and very easy. I’ll do a formal review of it next month when I have a few other books to review, too. The main premise was “Get rid of the things that don’t spark joy.” And loosen the emotional tie you have to certain things.

    A few blog posts to highlight:
    +Speed Bumps On the Way to the Mail Box by Pure Florida
    +Finding What’s Essential by Elise Blaha Cripe
    +Scenes from Chesuncook by Patrice and Justin
    +River Lover from 6512 and growing. When the news of the Animas River mining spill happened a few weeks ago I thought of this blog immediately. The family in this blog had recently written about their outings to the Animas and are into a lot of outdoor activities around that area. It’s a lot easier to identify with some disaster when you ‘know’ of someone directly affected, even if it is from behind the computer screen.

    Still reading Wild and Illumination in the Flatwoods. I plan on using September to tie up some loose reading ends.

    Drinking
    Ruta Maya coffee. Water. Pineapple juice flavored kombucha.

    Loving
    +The Matrimoney podcast! Money + Marriage…it’s great! They’ve already given me a lot of good ideas to think about. Definitely worth listening to.
    +This Conrad Anker interview on the Rich Roll podcast.
    +I’m just loving the idea of Autumn! I learned to love it so much when I lived in Florida. I mean, anything from October to April was just the best part about living in Florida. We get those glimpses here in my region of Texas with a just a couple of harder cold months, but I like to soak in what I can of the best months!

    image

    Last last year I wrote about my return to fitness after having Forest. Since then I feel like I have come even further down this path to fitness and wellness.

    Some time after the New Year I decided that in order to really work on losing the baby weight and to get healthy once again I needed to take advantage of my lunch hour to work out. I am lucky that our office is next to a residential neighborhood and that we have showers at work. Working out at home in the evenings was just too much for me. It was doable but I felt like I was cramming in just another thing to do into my already busy evenings of making time for chores, the family, and then whatever personal stuff I wanted to do. At that time, too, Forest was littler and still not in a good rhythm with bedtimes so it made the evenings even more stressful. I was doing the PiYo and other YouTube workouts but losing motivation. I knew I had to return to doing what I enjoyed most and that was to be outside.

    I started off by walking and then running and it all felt good. Over the spring months I was joined by coworkers on occasion but most of the time I took off on my own. Sometime in May, I think, I remembered about rollerblading—why I forgot I really loved it, who knows?!—and dug them out, putting them in my car so I’d have them there when I wanted them. Since then I have switched to primarily rollerblading at my lunch hour. I bought a new pair this summer after I realized just how bad of a condition my old ones were in. It’s pretty amazing how much better I’m able to move down the road now!

    Also in late spring I started incorporating weight lifting back into my routine. I had lost a lot of muscle and strength since being pregnant and having Forest. I know, I could have lifted and done a lot of workouts that are available to pregnant women but I really took it easy on the heavy lifting while pregnant. Lifting weights is something I have always loved since I did it in highschool for softball. Lifting and having a good muscle mass is very beneficial, especially as we age. I would really love to do Crossfit and considered it a few years ago but never bit the bullet. Maybe someday I’ll get to try it.

    Another thing that has been on my mind this year has been mobility. It’s one thing to do cardio and get some weight workouts in, it is also another thing to keep joints moving appropriately and muscles stretched right. It’s also an aging thing, too. While I definitely want to be in good shape for vanity reasons and for overall health reasons, I want to be in good shape so that as I age I don’t become susceptible to diseases and ailments that plague our current culture. So, I’ve also been incorporating exercises that help to work various body parts and I can definitely tell a difference when I’m active in doing them. Before I got pregnant I started to have ocassional lower back pain but it has definitely been exacerbated since being pregnant and having Forest. Not only that, I seem to have developed some kind of heel problem, too. Yay, thanks 35!

    One thing I have really appreciated this year has been my FitBit. At first I didn’t think I would enjoy using it but it really helps hit home how much I move and motivates me to get steps in. Some months I’m a lot more diligent about trying to hit 10,000 steps. Other months I’m less diligent but will try to push myself to get another thousand or so if I’m only at 5 or 6K for the day. Just Google ‘Sitting is the new smoking’ and you’ll get a ton of articles about how detrimental sitting can be to your health. I remember feeling just how constraining sitting felt four years ago when I came to my current job after being active for previous last year and a half. I now try to make sure I get up more often during the day and change positions from sitting to standing and trying to move myself out of one position the entire day.

    As for weight loss, I’m not sure what I weigh now. The last times I’ve checked I’ve waivered between 7-10 lbs from pre-pregnancy weight, but it has been several months since I’ve done that. I started controlling my portions a little better in May and did notice an impact to my clothing at that point. Many pieces started fitting looser and I am able to get into a few pieces here and there that are what I was wearing in early 2014. For the most part I still sit teetering at a standstill and I know a lot of that has to do with my eating. It’s not that I necessarily eat all that unhealthily but like I said it is more portion control than anything. I still have a bigger than normal appetite since I’m still breastfeeding, too.

    That’s kind of where I am at now. Trying to increase my activity and start pushing myself a little harder. I’m looking forward to cooler weather so we can start hiking again, too.

    Some interesting links:
    +Katy Says: A blog about natural movement. She has a podcast, too, which is fantastic.
    +Mov Nat
    +Lift Like A Girl
    +Sitting Is the New Smoking—Even for Runners
    +Harder to Kill podcast

    I’m a little late to the game on some aspects of podcasts, like subscribing. Sometimes I ask myself why it took me so long to hit the Subscribe button in iTunes and you know, get new podcasts when they came? Instead I spent a lot of time searching for podcasts I had listened to before but forgot the names of…*doh*!

    Now that I subscribed I save the ones that have really hit home for me. Here’s a few that I’ve enjoyed lately:

    +Being Boss – Minisode Successful Creatives

    +Harder to Kill Radio, Episode 006, How to build an Unbreakable Body with Kate Galliett

    +No Meat Athlete- How to Pick Yourself and Start Making Change in the World & Feel Better, Do More

    +One Bad Mother – Ep 112, When Will We Be Normal Again? and Is My Child Leading a Double Life, Ep 110—I swear every single episode it’s like they are looking inside my brain.

    +One Part Podcast – Ep 35 The Nitty Gritty On Gluten, Oil, And Soy With Dr. Thomas Campbell Of The Campbell Plan

    +Rich Roll Podcast – Ep 156 Fully Raw Kristina

    +The Trail Show #38, SHR Redux—mostly because they touch on the Scott Jurek AT/Baxter State Park debacle.

    +Trailside Radio – Ep 10, The Legacy of Hiker Heaven

    +Zen Parenting Radio – Overwhelmed

    Any recommendations for me?


    IMG_2166

    Every so often my friend Chel does these great posts with one word/short phrase prompts where she just kind of brain dumps whatever is going on with her into these posts. I love them so I’m going to copy her tonight!

    In My Head
    Trying to wrap my head around the fact that in 6.5 weeks I will have a one year old! A ONE YEAR OLD! I’ve been writing a post in my head about this year of parenting for several months now and will need to sit down several weeks before his birthday and start writing it all down. This kid…gah, infinite love…infinite love y’all. Even when he drags out bedtime like he’s doing now.

    Watching
    Not much. Just in the last week Masters of Sex came back on for its third season so I have been watching that. I started watching Poldark about a month ago but never got beyond the first episode. The rest are recorded for me to catch up on sometime. I did binge Orange Is The New Black back in June for its third season. Really, television has been on the far-far-far backburner this summer. If it wasn’t for a few select shows that I really like, I’d cancel cable.

    Outside My Window
    A yard that’s overgrown! You know, last year I thought it was hard to keep up with the yard while pregnant. Nope, this year was harder. Pair that with a baby who is stalling his bedtime now and I lose gardening time every evening. Plus, I can only do so much. It’s a two person job these days and Chris has been working on the bathroom since early June so he hasn’t been doing a lot of garden work either.

    On another note about ‘outside’…maybe I’m craving autumn already, but it seems like the light is already changing. Maybe it’s just me. Anyone else notice that yet?

    In The Art Studio
    Ah, Chel is much more active in her studio than I am. I have to clean up the studio this week since my niece and nephew are coming this weekend and they always want to go to the studio to hang out. I have a major desire to purge items from there…and from the house. If I don’t use it, it’s going to the trash or thrift store.

    In The Garden
    See: Outside My Window

    Reading
    I finished The Wild Truth by Carine McCandless while on vacation and am trying to finish Illumination in the Flatwoods before it is due in a week. I’ll have a July book report up after I finish it.

    Drinking
    +Kati Kati blend Starbucks in the morning. It’s a little strong. I admit buying it for the blue color on the packaging.
    +Green smoothies—or trying to drink more of them. Trying to get myself off of a multiple times a week breakfast taco run and opt for oatmeal and a smoothie instead.
    +Water…always water.

    Loving
    +My subscription to Clean Eating magazine
    +The new Project Life scrapbooking set(s) I got over the weekend (Thanks Neil! (my BIL)). I’ve been thinking about using it for a few months for Forest’s next year of scrapbooking. This year I didn’t scrapbook per se, I just created an album with his weekly photos and included the stickers we get from the pediatrician for his check-up appointments as it has his vitals on it. I thought I’d do something a little more involved for documentation next year as it has been several years since I have done a real scrapbook.
    +Cuddles with Leo! He has been looking for cuddles a lot lately.
    +Lychees! We were in Dallas over the weekend and stopped by Central Market to pick up some lychees. A few summers ago we bought a bunch and it was around my mom’s birthday (her birthday is next week) so I figured that there was a good liklihood that there would be some this time around. There was and we bought them out!
    +I got this sea turtle mug on vacation and it makes that Kati Kati coffee really enjoyable!
    +Forest’s laughs! Always!

    How about you??? Fill me in on what’s going on with you!

    thredup1

    thredup2

    thredup3

    thredup4

    I’ve been seeing ThredUP mentioned a lot lately and I finaly decided to check it out. Someone had posted a link to $10 off your first purchase with the company and I thought it was worth it to see what they may have. Instead of going with the typical brands that most people into fashion would go for, I instead went for brands that you might find at REI or Backcountry.com. Outdoor and hiking brands. It is rare to find good outdoor clothing brands at a Goodwill or other similar stores.

    Some of the brands I searched for were Patagonia, Lucy, Mountain Hardwear, Prana, Icebreaker, Arc’teryx, Stonewear Designs, and REI. One I forgot about and looked at later was Marmot. It was hit and miss on some of them, but I did find a few things in a size that I could wear. For those who don’t know, ThredUP is an online consignment/thrift store. You can get some super nice brands for very, very cheap. Items you would definitely not find, or rarely find, at a general thrift store. You can send them your stuff, too. I haven’t done that yet. There’s a whole process where they send you a bag and you ship your stuff off to them and they will either give you money or credit towards the store. It helps you to verify which brands they accept before sending your stuff off to them.

    lucyshirt

    lucytrackpants

    Lucy is a brand I found years ago when out shopping with my parents at the Southlake Town Center near where they live. I found and fell in love with a pinkish-orange shirt that I wore to pieces. I still have it and wear it for yard work.

    icebreaker

    I have several Icebreaker pieces, but they do not come cheap. Sale items are even generally still over $30 or more. This shirt I wore on the Florida Trail is an Icebreaker shirt my dad got me at Christmas before we went on that hike. I really love it—can’t fit into it at this second—but I love the merino wool hiking shirts.

    mtnhardwear

    Mountain Hardwear items are also not very cheap. Another outdoor company I love!

    columbia

    Columbia is a popular brand and you can find affordable sale items of this brand at places like Academy and Sport Authority, even REI. I liked this tank, though, for my lunchtime running this summer so I threw it into the mix.

    stonewear

    Stonewear Designs is an even more niche brand that is difficult to find a lot of places. I’ve eyed their stuff on many occassions, particularly when mentioned on other hiking or climbing blogs. I’ve just never had the opportunity to purchase anything from them. What was great about this particular piece was that it had never been worn and still had the tags on!

    And a bit more of a review…

    If you are interested, use this link and you can get $10 off your first purchase—it helps ME because then I can get $10 for later….and so on and so forth down the line with you if you end up buying and then you can share your link with your friends. So far I’m really pleased with the service and I may look into it for getting Forest clothes in the future.

    I’ve got a lot of ideas and posts up my sleeve in the coming week or two, but until then I thought I’d share some things I’ve bookmarked in recent weeks and months.

    +I heard about the Qalo silicone wedding band on two fitness podcasts recently. I wish I’d known about it (I wonder if it was around 5 years ago?) when I hiked the AT and FT. It is super affordable and much more realistic for hiking than even the simple silver band I wore.

    +My brother made a video of his kids fishing during a campout back in April. Love it!

    +The map and plant geek in me loooooves these density gradient maps from BONAP.

    +Anne of Green Gables fans were full of sorrow back in April when Jonathan Crombie, the actor who played Gilbert Blythe in the three Sullivan production films, passed away suddenly. A generation of girls were in love with him back in the 80s and 90s. I’m pretty sure, no I am sure there are I love Jonathan Crombie and I love Gilbert Blythe doodles scrawled in some of my old diaries. This write-up in the New Yorker summarizes what he meant to many of us.

    +I found the Hike It Baby site a few months ago and didn’t really share it with anyone. Then my friend Keely happened to find it as well and she took the initative even further and decided to lead a hike. AND she’s got three sons, the youngest being three or four months old. Anyway, we’re going to join her and some others for a short hike this Saturday. Looking forward to it and maybe I’ll lead a hike around here sometime soon.

    +The Crybabies podcast with Susan Orlean (of The Orchid Thief fame) and Sarah Thyre. For the more sensitive of us out there, the ones who easily cry. Gah, there was a commercial that came on right after Forest was born and it would rip me to shreds as I sat there holding Forest while he nursed or napped. I can’t even think of what it was now but I can picture the scenes. Also, if you want to punch me in the gut, play Holocene.

    +This Rich Roll podcast episode with Dr. Garth Davis. As much as I am loving my chicken thighs and pulled pork, I am looking forward to going back to being mostly vegetarian eventually.

    +This great article about lifting heavy in relation to the myth about being ‘bulky’ from doing so. I’ve got a working out post being written in my head at the moment that maybe I’ll write-up here soon.

    What about you? Any good links to share?

    DSCF2530

    This time last year I was starting 100 Happy Days and gearing up for my baby showers. This year I’m just trying to stay on top of things around the house and anticipating Forest’s first birthday in 3 short months. 3 months, y’all! I was looking at the photos and videos from the days surrounding his birth and thinking that we didn’t take enough video! But, I think I’m going to put together the videos I do have and share them on his birthday. I forgot how tiny he was! It’s easy to forget sometimes.

    Our summer is full, full, full…at least the first half. We haven’t planned the second half yet. A month ago I sat down and came up with a rough came plan for our weekends until mid-July. With three sets of grandparents and two sets of aunts and uncles, everyone wants to make the round to see the baby every 2-3 months. With balancing all of those visits, plus trips for ourselves and time at home, it is essential that we get some kind of game plan months in advance. Forest is getting better at travel, though by the end of a trip gets really fussy about having to be in the car yet again, so we’ll be able to make trips to DFW more often where we can see groups of people at a time instead of having everyone filter through down here one weekend at a time.

    I’m looking forward to a vacation we’re taking with my parents to Port Aransas in July. I haven’t been on a vacation to the beach in years, muchless to Port A. I’m excited for Forest to visit the beach, too! I’m thinking of all the seafood to eat (no shrimpdon’t eat shrimp!), shopping, salt marsh explorations, soaking in the sun, jumping waves….ahhh, yeah!

    We’ve had such a wet spring here already and this last week or so has just really done us in. I’m sure a lot of y’all have seen the flooding issues around Texas. Thankfully what you saw in Houston did not directly impact us much. Though, the day after all of the major flooding in Houston proper, we got some rain that closed off roads around our house and office which had our office closed on Wednesday. The pond came up into the yard, higher than a usual small ‘flood’ but not as high as July 2012. A week ago I mowed our yard and had to avoid a few spots because they still had standing water and it was rather mushy. I was planning on mowing again this weekend but everything is still saturated too much, so I’ll be postponing it until later this week. I think we’re supposed to have some sunny weather this week which will help dry everything out a bit.

    The garden is quite a disaster, too. Well, the flower garden is mostly in order because I’ve been busting my butt with it the last two months. I only have to mulch 1/2 of one bed, and it’s a small bed, and finish pulling the weeds in the path and around the beehive. I need to get my suit on for this and do it one evening. It might take two evenings to do, though. The vegetable garden, however, is an utter disaster. Chris had kept it pretty maintained until March sometime and it kind of got left to Mother Nature after that. I started working my way through that yesterday but it is going to take some heavy duty work. The beds will be easy to pull but the path is more compacted and the weeds are harder to pull. I can’t work out there in the evenings because our baby monitor signal doesn’t reach that far out when he’s sleeping upstairs, so I’m really relegated to work out there on weekends or maybe if I come pull weeds for 20 minutes during my lunch break.

    Anyway, here’s a list of some summer ‘goals’ I’d like to accomplish:

    + Read three books. I miss reading a lot. I seem to spend my evenings catching up on blog reading, or my new habit—watching YouTube vlogs—, but I could spend 20-30 minutes reading a few times a week. When we went camping at Brazos Bend a few weekends ago I read the last several chapters of Outlander in anticipation of the last two episodes of the tv show so. Reading it really made me miss reading in general and I think I can bust out some books now.

    + Work one day a week for 1-2 hours on editing my book. I already started this one. I realized one day that I didn’t have to sit down and do it every day…sometimes I get in that all or nothing mode with creative endeavors. If I work one day week on it the book will eventually be completed! Small steps!

    + Continue to stay active in the heat. I haven’t run in a week or so—all this damn rain—but the last time I really ran the heat and humidity was pretty rough at noontime. I may be switching to rollerblading for the summer. I have a 5K on the agenda with a friend sometime in August and I really need to get my running up to that level by then. I can run a little over 2 miles straight at the moment, but haven’t pushed myself for 3 yet.

    + Organize my studio. If it takes me all summer, that’s fine. I just want to make it useable for fall and winter when I have a lot more time indoors.

    + Get the garden and yard in maintenance mode. I have a few ‘big’ things I want to get taken care of and then I want to get into a mode where I’m just maintaining it instead of having to do major work.

    Those are the big ones. We have several house projects and organization projects that need to get done around here. Plus, I’ve got a list of blog posts I want to write…oh, it’s never ending!

    What’s on your agenda for summer?

    There’s a short vlog/synopsis at the front and then a lot of is clips from the San Antonio Botanic Garden, Sea World, and the San Antonio Zoo. There’s a lot more from the zoo…I got a little movie happy on that end. Sorry for the ad, I found a song from Free Music Archive that is supposed to be an Attribution license under the Creative Commons license but You Tube is claiming the owner is monetizing that song—so…I may revise that section soon. A little frustrating!

    It’s a long one….feel free to skim around! I’ll have some other posts later this week with photos! We had a great weekend and I’ll share more soon!

    necklace4

    necklace1

    necklace3

    Chris and I first came across jeweler Dawn Vertrees at the Redland Orchid Show at the Fruit & Spice Park in Florida back in May 2008. Later that June Chris got me a ghost orchid necklace of hers for our anniversary, which I really love!

    Fast forward to the morning of Forest’s birth and he presents me with the necklace above. I’ve been meaning to write about this for awhile and finally remembered to get a few photos the other night. Unfortunately babies and necklaces aren’t exactly a winning combination so I haven’t worn it very much. I could wear it to work but I often forget. A few weeks after we were home from the hospital Chris showed me Dawn’s post about creating the necklace.

    My husband is pretty cool! I could totally turn this into a collection. Hehehe!

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