Friday, January 31, 2014

31 days

Back in November I was running my mouth to a few of my gal pals, saying I'd like to do a no drink January. Why I'm not entirely sure.

In December we talked about it again and decided to do it. Make it a contest - First one to drink has to buy the others lunch as incentive. 

31 days of sobriety. Could I do it? I don't think I've not drank for such a stretch of time since the last time I was pregnant 11+ years ago - I never drank, not even a drop when pregnant just so we are clear.

That first week was brutal. All I could think about was drinking - literally. Was it because I really wanted a drink or because I simply couldn't drink? I do not know. I was sure I'd hear any day that my friends hadn't been able to pull it of and we'd be done with this ridiculous idea of mine: the no drink January and I'd be happy about it.


If we were really going to stick this out I decided to incorporate the no drink January with a cleaning of my lifestyle habits. Eating better and getting my buns back on the exercise train. I started wearing my pedometer again because I like the fact that I could see how active I was in relation to the inactivity that has plagued me since my surgery and made it my goal to get a minimum of 10,000 steps a day. I managed to actually get 10,000+ steps every day but one. Found an app for my Kindle that I could track my eating and exercise progress. It's blows my mind to to see what I put in my mouth actually equals calorie wise. Tracking food is a huge help for me. Also seeing that all the bread and potatoes that I practically based my whole diet on are so horrible in the amounts I was consuming them - you know those fried potato sandwiches? Yes definitely NOT the best thing to be eating on a regular basis. Reading labels has become my thing. Since I don't eat a lot of meat, don't drink milk or eat eggs at all I need some kind of protein in my diet. The best kept secret for protein in my mind is Greek yogurt - love that stuff. 

Second week was easier, not much but a little. Loosing some weight even. Beginning to think that maybe I could actually do this. 

Third week. HOLY CATS! Three whole weeks not drinking. Exercising a minimum of an hour a day. Eating well and healthy. 

Fourth week! can we all say almost done and feeling freaking triumphant!

Now I am contemplating this last month. It was surely a struggle not to drink and I am comparing it to the difficulty of when I quit smoking. I feel good though. I've lost 10 pounds.  Back to a happy weight that I haven't seen in years, one that I like and makes me feel good about myself. 

So whats next? No idea. One day at a time.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wednesday not wordless

Two more snow days for the kids due to the freezing and blustery weather. 
And boy let me tell you it was cold out!
Both Sunday and Monday night we saw temperatures between -20 and -25 then add in that rotten wind and it was anywhere from -40 to -60!

It doesn't really matter how cold it is out when you have animals to take care of though and chores seem to take twice as long when it's that cold. 
The horses were all locked up in the barn and the temp in there with all their body heat was about zero, which really wasn't too bad. Now if I could only keep them from poopin in the damn water - ugh.

That freshly fallen snow proved to be a hell of a drift maker too. 
My hitching post is about buried.

The snow boy dug himself a hole he could stand up in. 

Somewhat warmer weather for the rest of the week thankfully. 

Consensus on my dishwasher is that the cascade pods I use didn't fully melt and clogged up the drain tube.
Easy fix I suppose, but still a pain in my ass.

I spoke too soon on Chyann not bugging us to drive now that she has her license.
I see her point - she has her license and wants to drive.
I see Daddo's point - it's been incredibly cold out and breakdowns happen easily in this type of weather.
He's convinced her to wait a bit, until the weather warms up just a little.
He is known as Mr Safety around here after all so she shouldn't be too surprised he'd be cautious on handing over the keys.

Colton made it back to school and started all his new classes.
He says they will be interesting and that he knows quite a few folks in each of them.
I'm glad he is getting to know more people - to have a network of sorts away from home.
We sure miss him not being here.

All else is well.
Happy humpday :)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Morning coffee

I really like my Keurig. 
Great coffee every time.


Another week of inclement weather. 
Snow, blowing snow and subzero temps.
The Hubby literally having to do the driveway multiple times a day.

Five inches of snow overnight and the wind is going to just start howling about noonish creating whiteout and blizzard conditions until freaking TUESDAY.
Course Colton is supposed to leave for college today at some point.

This is what our place looked like this morning when I went out to feed the animals at half past dawn. 

Jennifer, Gypsy and Scotch awaiting my arrival and the mornings rations.
Can't see Casper, but he is behind Scotch, sorta blending into the snow.

At the bend in the driveway.
Do you see the four foot berm to the right, in-front of the shed?
Worst place of all is right there. 

Looking up the driveway towards the road. 

Another all day basketball tournament yesterday at a town an hour South of us.

The boys won 2 and lost 2.
Not sure what place they came in as we left the school before they handed out the ribbons.
We'd have had to wait an additional hour to find out and didn't want to hang around, but figure they came in 3rd or 4th.

First game 41 to 12
Second game 29 to 24 - Caden's highest scoring game to date - he made 10!
Third game 27 to 34 - oh man this was a tough game! 
Caden fouled out for the first time early in the fourth period and was extremely upset about that - embarrassed even. At one point we were down 20 points, but they came back strong and almost won. 
Fourth game 16 to 36 - The boys literally walked off the court after the third game and onto the next court for the fourth game. No rest at all for them and the other team had been idle for two hours.
They just couldn't keep up. 
Still it was a great basketball day.
Caden's feet held up and he was only a little sore after playing hard all day.

Knocking the ball out then stealing it and going for a layup.
It was a great play!

 Caden and his buddies showing off their new matching shorts.
I think next year we are going to do a fundraiser of some kind and get all the kids matching outfits.
You should see some of the boys. They show up wearing orange shorts, pink shirts under their jerseys and other crazy mismatched apparel. I wonder what their parents are thinking to let them wear glaringly clashing stuff like that when clearly our colors are RED, BLACK and WHITE. 

A shit load of other drama here, but ugh - shaking it off and moving forward. 

Happy Sunday to ya :)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Free day

Got to love a paid day off from work, even if it is in January.

Slept in a bit this am. You know until 615a when I got the kids up for school.
Was pretty nice though sitting on the couch, drinking my coffee, watching the Today show and visiting with the kids while they got ready for school.

No big plans for the day. 
Maybe round up some tax crap since that is right around the corner. 
Maybe a hair cut.
Maybe some tidying up around here. 
Maybe a nap.
Maybe watch a movie. 

Interestingly enough Chyann has not once asked to drive since she got her license.
When I was a kid you couldn't keep me from driving. 
Course I had my own vehicle.
I worked at the Post Office cleaning before I turned 16 and saved up my money to buy Gerry's old purple Dodge pickup.
A thousand bucks plus my three wheeler. 
Hell of a deal.
An old friend recently reminded me that we cruised the roads of Cold Bay in that truck listening to Kiss on a little boombox everyday lol We had some great times. 

This is Colton's last week home before returning to school. 
I think he's ready to get back to it.

Big anniversary today. 
Another year of being a NON-SMOKER.
YAY me!
Sometimes I cant believe I ever smoked, but I did and I loved it.
I knew it was bad, but figured nothing bad would ever happen to me. You know - the basic mind screw we do to ourselves to rationalize our bad behavior.
Then my Aunt Ellen was diagnosed with lung cancer. 
THAT was the close to home wake up call I needed apparently because shortly after her diagnosis I quit.
Once in a while I'll think "I could sure use a cigarette" but to hell with starting that shit up again.
No way. Not ever.
There are much better ways to deal with and relieve stress than smoking.


I leave you with my dreams for summer to come:

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday morning coffee

What a week.
It's been a bit of an ugly one.
A few of the highlights were:

A bruised left foot for Caden that kept him hobbled up for most of the week - not broken thankfully. You know me, we went for x-rays last Sunday am when he couldn't put any weight on it and had three different docs verify he had no broken bones (you know like Colton did way back when).
He was a miserable child not being able to participate at school/practice, but what do ya do.
REST so you can HEAL is the only remedy for a bruised foot.
also - this had nothing to do with his severs, completely different issue.
What is it with my boy's and their Cinderella (fragile) feet?

Chyann turned 16!
She's growing up so fast. 

About every other day we had freaking Alberta clippers swinging through. They typically don't drop a lot of snow, but the one on Tuesday gave us around 9" add in the blustery winds and it was nasty out.

Which of course equaled that the SEARS repair man could not make down my driveway to look at my dishwasher that is again making terrible noise and not washing the dishes as it should. 
Nice right. 
I really can't even talk about how upset I am. 
The jist of it is that I was given incorrect info the last few times I'd had someone out and could have gotten a new appliance after the third service call, but now have to freaking start all over. 
I am not happy at all. 

Bring on Thursday and another clipper, less snow this time but we had a major howling wind!
And wouldn't you know it's Chyann's drivers test day.
I got off work at noon to pick her up from school, thinking we'd do lunch and drive the course a few times before her appt at 230p.
Good thing I started early because I got stuck in the drive way about 40 feet from the road. 
I almost made it!

Called Colton at the house to come help me dig out. 
Also I'll add that since I work from home on these opportunities to exit the house I like to be dressed up.
Nice clothes, hair and make up all on.
We spent almost an hour in the howling wind shoveling then rocking the van, shoveling some more, rocking the van until a friend of the Hubby's stopped to give us a hand.
Even with his help it took us another half hour to get out!
Freaking snow - ugh.
Meanwhile Chyann is calling from the school!

Literally soaking wet I finally make it to the school.
We've got just enough time to get to the DMV and take one lap around the course before test time.
I've never seen her so nervous about anything.

I knew she could do it tho and she did!
The instructor even told her at the end "well done"!

The wind howled all night Thursday.
Friday AM the driveway is socked in again. I figured this would be doable as the Hubby could clean it up after work because Sears never comes in the am. 
Wouldn't you know it tho Sears called and wanted to come by early in the day.
Sorry driveway not plowed. 
Tuesday is the day. 
Fingers crossed for no blowing snow. 

blah blah blah blah

Since it was Chyann's sweet 16, we figured we'd do something different/special for her birthday.
I took Chyann and a few of her friends to a local hotel Friday night and we spent the night. 
Swimming, hot tubbing, bouncing on the beds, eating pizza, watching movies until the wee hours.
I think they had a good time.

I was sure glad to sleep in my own bed last night though.

What a week.
Busy and crazy.
Going to be getting cold again this next week they say. 
I'm looking forward to spring.
Speaking of spring - it's still light at 5pm now!
To me there is no better sign that spring is coming than that.

later :)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

What a day!

This weeks tournament was quite a boost for the boys.
First off thankfully more than the expected nine boys showed up.
They ended up only missing one player. 

Little video of the first play in the first game.

Throwing the ball in.
Caden got a very nice compliment from the parent of another player.
She said Caden was the best all around athlete she's ever seen.
And really he is GREAT - proud parent right here.

The big kids were coerced into coming and I think after the initial crabbiness of having to get out of bed super early on a Saturday wore off, they had a great time watching their little brother play.

Caden mugging on his bro.

Triumphant team!
Second place overall!
Quite the move up in ranks from seventh place last week. 

Game 1 - 34 to 16
Game 2 - 33 to 6
Game 3 - 27 to 9
Game 4 - 35 to 12, their only loss

I tell you the boys on that 5th grade team were freaking GIANTS!
At least three of the five players that were on the court at any given time, were head and shoulders taller/bigger than our boys. So really making 12 points off them was pretty good. 

Cadens' severs was fine throughout the games however late in the third game he came down from a shot and landed funky on his left foot. 
It was sore and he wasn't as effective for the remainder of his playing time. 
Which really bummed him out.
He said to me last night that just when the severs was straightening up THIS has to happen to him.
Rotten luck for sure, but what can you do. 

Guess what tomorrow is?
Chyann's sweet 16.
Unbelievable right?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Tell me


Make a delicious pan of brownies only to come back after they've cooled to discover they've been mutilated!

The warmer weather has arrived.
I can't tell you how good 25* feels - crazy warm.
By Sunday we could actually hit 40* and if that isn't just bizarre I don't know what is, but whatever I'll take it.

Today we are on tap for another full day of basketball. 
Should be interesting because there will only be nine players today, which means a LOT more playing time for Caden. Fingers crossed his feet hold out. 

Later alligator :) 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


It's incredibly cold here.

The kids are on their second day off from school.

Yes, I consented to having blankets hung over the big windows in the house to help keep the heat in.

The horses are all locked in the barn. They don't like it much, but I'm guessing it's a whole lot better than being out in the blustery wind chill that has been reported to be down to -60 a few times these last 48 hours.

The barn cats have a heat lamp in their cat house and are all snuggled up together. They don't seem to mind having the horses in the barn.

With the wind the driveway drifted in so much that the UPS man actually walked a box down to the house yesterday. If it were me, I think I might have just driven on by. No box is worth frost bite.

Hopefully we'll be seeing some above zero temps soon.
Stay warm :)

Monday, January 6, 2014

AK 4 old friends

A little more on the AK trip. 

I saw some ladies that made a huge impact on my life.

Had the a wonderfully long lunch with the gals I used to work with. 
We talked and laughed so much. 
Just like old times. 
No kidding some days I'd drive home from work thinking my face was sure sore from smiling so much during the day lol
How's that for fun?

We told old work stories and had a blast. 

It's funny I dream about these folks all the time. 
We are (almost) always at the old hangar on the lake working away. 
I love these strange dreams. I wake up in the morning feeling like I just had the best visit with them and other folks we worked with. 

And then there are these lovely gals. 

My favorite neighbor ever and sister in law. 

It's funny because Charity and I met through the kids.
My kids would be in the back yard and so would her's.
The boys would be playing their game boys sitting next to the fence talking so we were like why don't one or the other go over so they don't have to talk through the fence and can actually play together. 
And that is what started my best friend experience. 

We did almost everything together. 
It was so much fun.
Scrabble in the back yards, drinking diet pepsi and smoking. 
Making dinner together and drinking corona. 
Learning to sew and perfecting our sewing - one Christmas we set up our sewing machines at her house and sewed up a storm for all the families. 

Hardest thing about leaving AK was telling and then leaving her. 
It was the worst. 
Knew it would be a good thing for our family, but I hated leaving/being without her. 
We were like two peas in a pod. 
Even loved music growing up - Duran Duran of course. 

And we did keep in very good contact for about the first seven or eight years after I left. 
Then we just kind of fell out of touch, which was strange considering when I saw her in AK it was like I never left, like we had talked just the week before. Same thing with my Sister in law. We always talked, then it just tapered off - no idea why. Time I suppose. We get busy doing the here and now life and don't take enough time to maintain what is not right in front of us. 

And strangely enough she ended up moving just down the street from my Brother and his family and they all became like family to each other as well. Helping each other and taking care of each other. 

Thanks to all of you ladies for all that you've contributed to my life. 
You've all made a difference in who I am and who I continue to be. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Happy New Year - a little late

No idea where the time goes, but it does. 
I barely got used to writing 2013 on checks and now it's time to start writing 2014. 

No resolutions for me this year, just try to maintain my shit. 
Keep it all together. 
No more no less. 

Once again it's colder than hell here. 
News man said the other day we had a streak of 68 hours below zero. 
Warmed up for about a day and a half and now we are back in the deep freeze. 

Schools in the area are already cancelled for tomorrow. 
The state of MN has cancelled all school and stated if you don't have to go out, then say in. 
I'm guessing our state will be announcing something similar soon too. 

Today's high temp is -9 with a low tonight of -30. Tomorrow is even worse with -17 being the high and warming up a little over night to maybe -20. Course throw in some stinking wind and we've got wind chills from -30 to -60. 
Freaking cold folks. 

If the system maintains it pattern maybe we'll be above zero by Wednesday. 
Fingers crossed. 

Caden had his first basketball tournament yesterday. 
We got up at the crack of dawn to travel an hour South.

There are 14 kids on the team, so to me it seemed just when the group of boys who were on the floor got a rhythm going it was time to switch out the group. 

Caden's group getting ready to go in during the first game. 

I'm not all that impressed with my new camera, I'll fiddle with it some more - see if I can get it to preform the way I want. 

Caden made two baskets!

Resting and talking some strategy.

Got fowled and made one of his two free throws. 

Throwing the ball in during the second game. 

They played four games with a little over an hour between games. 
Unfortunately they lost all four games, but sure gave it their all and played well.
Good learning experience for the whole team. 
They know the areas they need to work on now and hopefully can put it together for the next tournament this coming Saturday. 

We even had a little birthday part for one of the boys' who's birthday was yesterday. 
It was a great basketball day all in all. 
I love to see Caden play.
He is so quick and gets right in there.

His severs bothered him a bit last night, but with some ice felt better. 
I was sure worried his feet would really hurt and he'd not be able to play, but he knows he's got to stop if it gets too bad so he doesn't end up back in the boot. 
No way does he want that again.

In total he had 17 points.
5 the first out of 15
4 the second out of 14
4 the third out of 30 - almost won that game!
4 the fourth out of 14

Stay warm folks :)