Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The Thing With a Thing a Week/ Meditation + 7 Minute Workout

Originally, it I figured doing any kind of a "weekly challenge" should begin on Monday.  BUT, I'm going to change that now.  And maybe I'll change it again, depending on how this works out.  Doing it on Monday somehow felt rushed.  Monday's are always busy and to recap last week's, and think up next week's thang was feeling too "chore-like", so I'm switching this up.  Because it's not intended to be a chore.  It's intended to be FUN.  And it's just for ME anyway.  So I make the rules and I can change them.  POW.

My last "Thing a Week" was to meditate on a daily basis for a week straight.  For as little as just 5 minutes a day.  Easy peasy, right?  Well, whatever.  I've done better, but I still haven't locked into a 7 day streak.  But I'm not giving up on it yet!

So this week, starting TODAY (also known as Wednesday), I'm going to continue on with the thing being to meditate a minimum of 5 minutes daily.  So far, I've been using the guided meditations on the "Insight Timer" app.  It's free, there's a big selection, and I like it.  I do the guided meditations usually, but sometime I just use the timer.

This week, I'm also going to ADD doing a daily 7-minute workout each day. Months ago, I found this app called "7", and as the name implies it's SEVEN minutes of a timed work out.  Not even long enough to make you sweaty!  But it's invigorating.  Whenever I do it, I'm super glad I did.  And the workouts, believe it or not, can be pretty challenging.  You do each prescribed exercise for 30 seconds. You roll through a lot of quick exercises in a short amount of time so it's not boring. 

Just like the mediation, I know this stuff is good for me,and I actually like doing it. There's no reason NOT to do it daily. I think the main reason I don't, is because it's not yet a habit and I often just forget my intention.

This week, I'll do it (well,... both!- the meditating and the 7 minute workout) daily, and keep a running tally that I will post here next week.  On Wednesday.  Because mid-week just feels a little easier for me to get my blogging thoughts together...


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Weekend Super Fun Party

This weekend, my brother Fleetwood and his dog, Deville came to visit us.

They came in on Saturday afternoon, and although they were going to leave Monday morning, we were all having so much fun, they stayed an extra day. Yay.

But that extra day didn't make him leaving any easier.  I did NOT enjoy that part.  But I LOVED all the rest of his stay here. 

We didn't really do anything out-of-the ordinary (although, we did buy a sectional!), but just having them here made everything EXTRAordinary.

More than anyone I've ever seen, Deville LOVES to eat.  Anytime we'd be eating, he has this look on his face that clearly communicates, "PLEASE put some of that in my mouth, NOW!"

He was with us when we stopped for a burger at Shake Shack and was treated so sweetly by the people who work there.  They brought him an ice cream sandwich, on the house.  It was sorta messy but very delicious.

Lucy, as usual, was sort of bossy.  Ricky felt really cool getting to hang out with his big Cousin Villy.

We went on a couple of neighborhood hikes.


 Mainly: we laughed.  And LAUGHED.  Because that's what we do when we're together.

But, as they say, all good things must come to an end. I was mopey all day after they left to drive back home on Tuesday. Our house was so quiet without him and Deville here.  Fermin had a mid-day golf date, and once he left, I understood that "empty nest syndrome" people go through when kids leave for college.  It was just me, Lucy and Ricky. Normally, I LOVE that kind of quiet time.  But yesterday, it just made me feel lonesome.  I actually worked myself up into a cry, and Fermin had to console me reminding me that we'd see Fleetwood again soon. I also texted my brother and told him how sad I felt. He said the same thing to me that Fermin did, adding that since we don't live in the same city anymore, we see each other sporadically (and not just "whenever") and for longer stretches of time, so it's actually even better.  And it is.  It's true.  Those long stretches of days together are the best.

But I guess it's like when little kids are at a party, or a friend's house playing and having a blast, and then eventually, it's time to go back home.  And they just feel sad the party's ending.  THAT's how I felt. I was not ready for our party to end.

Thankfully, I know there will be another party soon.  We agreed that we'd make a point to see each other every 6 weeks. 

I noticed Facebook is calling today "National Siblings Day".  Well, nanner nanner, Everybody.  I've got the BEST sibling anyone could have.  And I'm lucky- I'll see him again soon.❤️

Monday, April 1, 2019

A Thing a Week, Week 3: Meditation

I'm not new to meditation.  I've practiced it, I've taken classes on it, I've used phone apps to guide me, but I have a really hard time putting it into regular and consistent practice.  I always hear how good it is for me, but since it's not something I can measure, I have never really seen or noticed the benefits.

Maybe I've never stuck with it, consistently, long enough.

Because my goal each week is to always make my goal achievable, I'm going to start with this.  I'm going to meditate 5 minutes every day.  That's it.  Sounds easy, right? 

But yet, I haven't made time for that 5 minutes for 7 days in a row for probably 5 years or more!  And that motivation came from the fact that I was enrolled in a class.  It felt like homework. 

I think revisiting things again is good.  Just because it didn't stick with me that first time, doesn't mean it won't this time.  Maybe I just need a little jump start.  I know right now that I'm doing this 5 minutes for the first week, but I'll revisit this idea of meditation for many weeks to come.  And who knows, maybe it will end up being a forever daily practice. 

If meditation might possibly help with things like sleep, the way my brain ages, my anxiety, etc then isn't it worth AT LEAST 5 minutes a day?!!!!  The answers pretty obvious.  So. Here I Go.

A Thing a Week- Week 2 "Dog Tricks" Recap

Happy Monday!

Last week's THING was so much fun, I wanted to first do a recap of it, before moving on to what's my thing for this week.  This past week it was dog tricks (and playing games) with Lucy and Ricky for at least 5 minutes each day.

I found myself wondering all week, "How come I don't ALWAYS make time for this?"  It's so easy to do, and it's so fun.  And most of all, it makes my dogs HAPPY.

I was reminded just how amazing dogs are.  If you taught them a trick 5 years ago, if they're like mine, they remember it!  It may need to be tightened up a little, but they remembered all the tricks I had taught them in the past. WOW

One of the tricks they didn't quite conquer back when we first tried it (I gave up too soon!) was "shut your door"- Meaning, shut the door (by way of a bandana I've tied on to the metal) of their crate after they walking in.  Lucy seemed to almost immediately understand what I was asking for and did it after we tried just a few times the first day.  Ricky still doesn't have it 100%, but is VERY close.  He grabs it in his mouth, but doesn't yet pull it shut.  But he will! 

I have to share a very cute/funny thing Lucy did while Ricky was working on "shut your door". She had just done it, flawlessly, about 15 times in a row.  So, she was in her crate with the door shut.  But not locked...  Ricky was trying to follow the directions I was giving him, but like I said, he just hasn't quite got it yet.  So Lucy pushes through her door, makes a sneezing sound once she's out (so we will notice her) and then runs in her crate and slams her door.  She's was either encouraging Ricky or just wanted another treat herself.  (Probably both.)
Lucy, our little Show Off
 We also played games like "Hide and Seek"- which they LOVE, Lucy especially so.  Fermin even did the Hiding a few nights. Family fun. ;) I also practiced recall when we'd go out on our walks.  They LOVE running really fast to me.  Here's Ricky...
"Wait" 
"Ready? Ricky, COME!"
and like the speed of light...
he arrives!
I'm pretty sure my dogs are even smarter now than when they were younger and I was putting more time and effort into training them.  I'm SO GLAD I took the week to re-commit to this practice. It's such a great way to bond with a dog, and to watch their brain work, which is just fascinating.  I think the trick of it all is just keeping it short, and SWEET.  I only encourage, and say "yes! good job"- ALL POSITIVE.

I think trick training is just another way to show a dog how much they are loved, so I really intend to keep this up. They are so smart they can probably learn just about anything that I can think up.  So I'm going to keep a running list of things I'd like them to learn.  And we're going to keep practicing our old tricks too.  And play old games, and learn new ones.  

Monday, March 25, 2019

A Thing a Week- Week 2: DOG TRICKS/GAMES

First, a wrap up of last week's challenge, which was drinking at least 64 oz of water daily.  DONE and DONE. It actually wasn't all that challenging and I easily drank 64 oz, no prob. 

I continued to read more about recommended daily consumption of water, and over and over it was recommended to drink anywhere between 1-2 oz of water PER POUND OF BODY WEIGHT.  So for me, that was 50-100 oz.  That's a huge variation.  But because I walk outside many miles each day in a dry climate, I decided it's probably better to drink more than that goal I had set of 64 oz. I ended up averaging about 112 oz a day.  Yay, Me!
my weekly tally sheet of 8 oz water glasses i consumed daily
One thing that made it easy to do that was using a glass that holds 8 oz.  I drank one whenever I thought about water.  Gulp, gulp, gulp- and after about 10 gulps- It was gone.  And I felt a sense of accomplishment each time I would get to mark a new tally on my little Post-It.

I'm not sure I felt different drinking all this water, and I actually still drank a Diet DP each day.  But I know making sure I get all that water in can't be a bad thing!  I think I generally consume a lot of fluids.  Fortunately, most of them are water.  And very fortunately, I rarely drink alcohol.  I'd probably be a huge lush if I did.  Because I'm not a sipper.  I'm a gulper.

Week 1 was a great start and made me feel successful. So now, I'm ready for Week 2.

I thought this past week, "What do I want to do next?" I had several different ideas cross my mind, all of which I'll eventually get to.  But I thought, besides drinking a healthy amount of water daily, what else is super important in my world?  And the easy answer is MY DOGS!!!!!

Lucy and Ricky are both Super Smarties.  They LOVE playing games like Hide and See, Fetch and they love learning new and practicing old TRICKS!  I used to spend a lot of time training them when they were babies.  We still do it occasionally and they always love it.  (Because learning tricks equals getting treats and kisses!) I always think to myself, "Why don't I do this with them more often? They love it and so do I!"

So, my commitment for this week is to spend a minimum of 5 minutes a day (per dog) practicing tricks with them.  Just 5 effing minutes!  It doesn't sound like a lot, but it's a great start.  This week, just fun stuff.  There are some things I KNOW we need to work on, like not barking at strangers (people and dogs), and getting better about going places together. (Currently, they act like monkeys if we attempt to take them anywhere together.)  But, this week: JUST FUN STUFF.    Brushing up on old tricks and maybe learning a  new one.  We'll see.

Dogs have short attention spans, and I know it works best to keep things short, and sweet, and most of all, FUN.  So 5 minutes, per dog, it is.  I KNOW we got this.  I'll report back next Monday with the results!
The rare occasion of walking in public together, and acting civilized!  The long term goal is MORE OF THIS. ❤️

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Hildebrand Ranch Park

After spending the bulk of our Saturday watching the 20/20 special on the horrifyingly evil Diane Downs who attempted to kill all of of her children back in the early 80s, we then became obsessed and went on to...
1. watch the 1980s ABC Farrah Fawcett mini-series called "Small Sacrifices" about her (Damn! Farrah was actually a good actress.  I'm sure Diane was flattered (barf!) that she played her in the movie.)
2. watch some clips of interviews with Diane we found on YouTube
3. Google all things Diane that led us down a few different rabbit holes.

Ricky looked at me and said, "HEY! Enough is enough! Let's do some real-life stuff!" Where would we be without our dogs to remind us about the BEST things in life?!
"Enough of Diane Downs!"

So, late Saturday afternoon, Ricky and Lucy went with us on a hike within our neighborhood.  Which is ALWAYS great fun.

Sunday afternoon, after Ricky had his own 3 miles walk close to home, Lucy got to hit the big time! We took her to a place that was new to us.  Hildebrand Ranch Park.

We saw it last weekend, when we took Ricky to another hiking area nearby.  We had promised Lucy all week she would get her turn next.  And next time just happened to be today.  It was a beautiful day- nearly 60 degrees.  We knew rain was coming much later in the afternoon, but we had plenty of time for tacos, and then the hike!

Lucy LOVES trails.  She walks at an entirely different pace when she's in a new place.  Never trailing behind, but always forging ahead to be the leader! She wasn't sure where we were taking her at first, and doesn't love car rides- even when they're short.  But the payoff was definitely worth it.

I didn't love this hiking spot as much as some others, but on a crisp, cool day, it was great.  I loved that we could see the weather rolling in way off in the distance. This would probably be hot on a warm day, but for 50/60 degrees, it was perfect! There were other walkers and dogs, and also cyclists.  But it wasn't too crowded at all.  We'll definitely go back again soon.
Lucy and Fermin- and that big, beautiful sky.

see the rain off in the distance?

❤️

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

SPRING!!!

Ahhhh.  I FEEL it.  Spring is more than just in the air today.  It's officially HERE. 

And although we have some snow still on the ground, there isn't any more on the way in the 7 day forecast.  I have a feeling the snow isn't quite over for the season, but since the days are longer, and the temperatures are getting a little warmer, I think any snow we get from here on out won't stick around too long.

I LOVED our first real Winter here in Colorado.  Loved it with a capital L. So much so, that I'm a little sad to say goodbye to it.  However, this will be our first Spring here.  I can't wait to see what pops up flower and plant-wise. I'm pretty sick of my winter clothes at this point, since I Kon Marie my way to such a small wardrobe. I'm ready to change that up already!  I'm also looking forward to warmer temps, so that I can head out earlier in the days with Lucy and Ricky for some good long hikes. 

I've been so conditioned during my 40+ years of living in the sweltering heat of Dallas summers (excuse me, but... BARF) that this will be my first time to fully soak up the joys of Spring.  Spring in Dallas is actually nice. However, I always have the knowing dread of what's ahead. We arrived in Colorado in June of last year, so I know what the summers are like here.  And although it's not my favorite season (it's still a little hot during parts of the day, and those f-ing rattlesnakes scare the crap out of me), I still like it!

So I am fully welcoming Spring this year.  Completely.  I'm ready to soak it up. 🌼
oh, and yep, this pretty Warner brooch is up for grabs in my ResparkableVintage Etsy shop- the first flower of SPRING


Monday, March 18, 2019

A THING A WEEK Week 1: 64 oz of Water Daily

There are so many little things that I always intend to do more regularly.  Things that would be relatively easy to do,but I just don't do them. I think, "Oh, I'll start that tomorrow." But I don't.  Or, I do it for a day here and there, but I'm not consistent.

I was thinking last night, maybe if I committed to one of those little things each week, it wouldn't feel like a big committment and I wouldn't shy away from it so hard. I mean, a week of nearly anything can't be too bad, right?

And the things I have in mind are things that I actually want to do, and/or they're actually good for me.  So really, this ishould be great.

I want to be a success at this, so I'm going to make this as easy on myself as possible.  Each Monday, I'm picking what my "thing" is for the week and posting it here. Most Mondays, I'll pick a new thing to focus on. Some weeks, I may do a repeat of a previous week. Every now and then, I might decide to take a week off from this.  But as long as it feels like a pretty fun challenge, I'm in.  I figure, by being allowed to pick a new thing each week, it will feel fresh and exciting, like that Kool and the Gang Song...


Monday's will not only be me picking my new thing for the week, but I will recap how I did the previous week, and make a brief note of how it impacted my life.

This week, my very clear and concise challenge is to drink a minimum of 64 oz of water daily. I read somewhere that to calculate how much water you need to drink, you just divide your weight (in pounds) in half.  I weigh 100 pounds, so if I use that calculation, I could get away with 50 ounces.  BUT, I'm active AND I live in a really dry climate, and 50 oz just doesn't sound like enough, so I'm upping it to 64 oz.

I have a little 8 oz glass and I find it's really easy to chug the whole thing in one swoop. At first, I was thinking I would set an alarm to go off hourly to remind me to gulp down that cup of water.  But that's setting myself up for failure because I don't intend to be at home, near that glass, every hour on the hour.  And I don't even NEED to drink that much.  That would be well over the 64 oz if I started that around 8am, and kept it up until I went to bed.

Instead, I'm just going to keep a little tally sheet, and see how many of those glasses of water I can drink throughout the day. Assuming I drink water when I'm away from home, I'll make note and estimate the amount. A MINIMUM of 64 oz of WATER each day this week. Sounds fresh! And exciting!

I'm sorry to admit, I still drink Diet Dr. Pepper.  It's my bitch, for sure. I've given it up before, and thought I'd kicked the habit, only to eventually return to it. (I've done that several times.) And to be honest, I HATE thinking about giving it up yet again.  Instead, I'm going to focus on GIVING myself lots of water, rather than DEPRIVING myself of the Diet DP. Maybe I won't have room for anything but the water in my belly.  That COULD happen. It's possible.  But again, it's not about that.  All I'm aiming to do is drink down the 64 oz of water each day.

Here are all the pros on why I think drinking the water each day is a great thing:
1. I'll have more energy.
2. I won't ever feel "thirsty" so maybe my craving for Diet Dr. Pepper will diminish.
3. My skin might look better.
4. I'll pee more often, which I consider a good thing.  That's how you move toxins out of your body, I'm pretty sure.
5. After this week, I'll have this one challenge under my belt and I'll be ready to take on the next thing!

That sounds pretty FRESH and EXCITING to me!

I'll report back on this next week.
Cheers.


Thursday, February 21, 2019

Big Birthday Weekend

(Oops.  Just saw the draft for this.  I meant to write it last week, but we had company come into town and I got sidetracked. Oh well- better late than never.)

Not only did Ricky have his 8th birthday February 8, but the next day, my favorite (and only) brother had his (not his 8th tho). And then just a few days later, little Lucy had hers (like Ricky, she's 8 years young now!).  So weekend before last, we had plenty of great reasons to celebrate.

Ricky loves a good long car ride, so he got his birthday wish- Friday we drove to my brother's place in Chromo, Co- which is about a 5 1/2 hour drive from where we live.
on the road again... i just can't wait to get on the road again...🎧
It was a pretty drive.  Making a 5 1/2 hour road trip in Colorado feels a lot shorter just because it's so pretty. 


 It was pretty snowy where my brother lives.  So if you get behind on shoveling the snow, it can turn into thick ice- My brother had quite a build up, so he and Fermin spent both mornings we were there trying to make a dent in all that ice.  It looks like they caught a little whale- but nope! That's ice, baby!


 And of course, there were some dog walks- with Lucy and Ricky's cousin, Deville, a.k.a Villy.


Something about that cool mountain air made me sleep in late... And I wasn't the only one.
It was our first visit to see my brother since we've all moved to Colorado, which is actually ridiculous.  We vowed to do it far more often.  It's such a peaceful and beautiful place to visit.  But far more important than that, it's where my brother lives- We laughed a LOT, and we all need more of that... always.

 



Monday, January 28, 2019

Resparkable. Again.

I'm re-opening my Resparkable Vintage jewelry shop.  Resparkable, oddly, wasn't a word before I named my shop.  But even still, it's so obvious how to spell it AND what it means, right?

RESPARKABLE
re-spar-ke-bel
1. something both sparkly and remarkable
2. bringing back the sparkle and shine to something old, especially jewelry
3. also, making something old into something new and highly desirable again

That's from my personal, made-up-words, dictionary.  But like I said, I bet you knew the meaning of that new word as soon as you read it.

I curate vintage jewelry and handbags.  I clean up and repair really cool and unique pieces so they return to their like-new, original and beautiful condition. But, when vintage jewelry is broken, or missing parts and beyond repair, I use the salvageable bits to make brand new, unique designs.

I'll be re-opening my shop over at Etsy, along with getting back to posting regularly on the ResparkableVintage website.  You can read about vintage jewelry designers over there, see pics of things I'm selling, seeing "before and afters" on repurposed jewelry, and more!  I'll also be posting again on the Resparkable Vintage instagram feed.

I thought I would be opening the shop up today, but there was a little technical glitch that will take about 3 business days to resolve.  But by the end of the week, please be all up in my business!  My Resparkable Vintage business. ❤️
resparkable vintage sarah coventry earrings.  looking brand new again!
 



Thursday, January 24, 2019

Brighter

I've been on a roll with my book choices lately- I've loved everything I've read for the past few months it seems.  And I have a few I'm about to start that make me think this good streak is going to continue.

When I went to the library the other day to pick up my books I had put on hold, I of course couldn't help but look around a little and see what else might be available to check out.

I saw Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward.
I had heard a lot about when it was first out.  And I was sort of interested, although also (and mainly) repulsed.  But since I read all sorts of genres of books- including true crime, being repulsed doesn't usually stop me.  So, I checked out this book, along with several others.
There were plenty of good books I could have started with, but I went straight for the Fear book, for whatever reason.

But after a couple of chapters, I thought, "What am I doing to myself?  When did I become a masochist?"  Filling my head with the information in this book is not how I should ever end my day just before drifting off to sleep.  I have enough problems with sleep.  And with anxiety.  The words and the stories I fill my head with matter.  So I slammed the book shut, threw it on the floor, and told Fermin I wasn't going to keep on with that book any longer. He continued to snore.

The next morning, I cracked open one of the other books I found at the library.  This time, I went for the polar opposite theme.  Instead of FEAR, I chose something that would make me (hopefully) feel better about everything, whether it's something in my control or not.  I started the book called The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan.  I already know I made the right choice.

I know how true it is that it's our attitude (and hence, our gratitude) far more than our circumstances, that bring us joy. How we look at the world makes all the difference. I know it, but I need to be reminded of it sometimes.

I'm so glad that I chose to close that book on FEAR and instead, start reading more about GRATITUDE. Already, things are looking a little brighter.


Monday, January 21, 2019

BLOOM

Up until fairly recently, I had lived my entire life in the concrete jungle that is Dallas, Texas. I never intended to stay in one place so long, but life flies by and the next thing you know, you've lived many decades in one city.

When I was in Dallas over the Christmas holiday, I went to CoAmerica bank to close an old account I had there.  I was chatting with the bank teller helping me, and she asked me where I moved, and then asked me why.  I told her we had always wanted to move to Colorado, and finally we just decided to do it.

"Oh, I can't imagine.  I would never want to live anywhere but Dallas," she said.

WHAT?!  I really was floored that anyone felt that way.  But it's true.  Lots of people love Dallas.  There's a pride many Texans have that I've just never felt.  This particular woman loved the heat of Texas summers, loved all the shopping and restaurants, loved having lived in the same place her whole life (and she was even older than me!), and had no desire to ever move.  The only thing we agreed on was that the traffic in Dallas is awful and that it gets worse each year. But this lady is willing to put up with that traffic, because well, she's deep in the heart of Texas.  She truly loves it. So, really good for her! Stay there forever if you feel that way!
 
I live somewhere that I love now.  Being surrounded by mountains and so many trails right out my door is so important to me. Places to shopping, and restaurants aren't nearly as convenient or as abundant as they were in Dallas, but for me, that stuff is NOT what I care about.  But hey! everybody's different, and that's a great thing!

I've heard that saying, "Bloom where you're planted."  I'd like to amend that and instead say, "Find the place that makes you feel in bloom, and plant yourself there."