Monday, November 03, 2014
Hey hey, Spark Peeps; how's every little thing?
I've been drafting a blog in my brain for roughly three weeks and finally decided to let it out. There's some news to share and a few call-outs to make, so bear with me.
ETA: Let's open with a Shadow (aka Moose) shot!
My paper - comparing the logistics and supply chains for biomass - was well received by the reviewers (see previous blog); no changes requested! My co-author and I successfully presented our work at the ASEM conference last month. We were asked to reformat our papers and submit them to the Engineering Management Journal. It's not a big deal to me - really! - but my co-author would like to land a tenure track position someday; back to writing!
Here are two shots from the hotel:
My husband successfully found another teaching spot, so he's an adjunct professor at two schools now; Metropolitan State University and University of Minnesota-Crookston. Fortunately they are both online, as the commute to Crookston would be a bear!
I started working with a personal trainer in June? July? I made the decision to do this because what I was doing wasn't working. 'Trainer Joel' and I have met once a week since then (with some time off for his vacation and my conference) for strength training. The goal is to do ST 3x a week, though it's more like 5x over two weeks. I'm losing inches, even though the scale isn't budging, which is OK for now.
If I let go of the beer cans, I'm fairly certainly the pounds would fall off. I know my shortcomings.
My current work assignment is wrapping up this month, which is a good thing. I'm ready for something new.
The Hubster and I are [certifiably insane] considering a trip to see our parental units around year-end. I'm not terribly excited about this and will try not to stress too much about it. Let's just say that 700 miles between us is a luxury.
(I just like that frog, no relevance otherwise.)
As for the call-outs, in no particular order:
PCOH051610 - You really are a terrific gal. I hope that you are feeling your best very soon.
DOGLADY13 - I've missed you and it's so good to see you visiting SP again. I suspect that Lenny and 'Trainer Joel' are related, hee hee.
BOVEY63 - I truly hope that your worst days are behind you. You have amazing strength to have weathered so much!
JUNEPA - Your photos and stories are always so inspiring. Thank you for sharing them with us!
F8CONE8 - I am so happy that your fitness efforts are paying off. Everyone deserves to live a healthy life.
SHAKINGTHETREE, VALKYR8 and SOAPSANDROPES - You are bad@$$es on so many levels. When I grow up, I want to be fit and strong like you are!
Okies, folks, will be back later to share some photos!
ETA: I'm back - Go Lions (v. the Vikings at TCF Stadium)!!
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Hey there Spark Friends -
Let's open with something cute. Rascal - aka "Boing" - sat still long enough for a photo.
The trip to China and Japan was amazing. I don't know when (or if) we'll go again, so we really did it up big. Now that the credit card bill has arrived, I just need to keep reminding myself that we had a ton of fun.
The Hubster will undoubtedly put some photos up on our website, but I wanted to give you a preview.
Right on the heels of that trip, I went into heavy training mode for the MS-150. Between traveling, jet lag and the extended winter, I was really behind in my goals. Fortunately I had been going to the YMCA, else I would have been in big trouble.
The event was a lot of fun; really! We got up to Duluth the day before, brought a friend along and made a day of bar-hopping and lake watching. It was a beautiful day. We woke up Saturday to pouring rain; ah, well. It rained the entire time that I was on my bike. That means 75 miles of wet, sandy/muddy, coldness for my trouble. But it was fun. Everyone was super friendly and courteous, likely because of the danger that wet cycling can pose. Sunday, by contrast, was sunny and became warm quickly. The event became much more crowded, which is not my idea of a good time. That said, I still managed to see my friends along the course, which is hard to believe in that sea of people.
Here's a shot from the end of the event. See? I'm still smiling!
And if THAT isn't enough fun for ya... The first draft of my conference paper was due two weeks after the ride. I went from spending the day on a bike seat to spending the day in a desk chair, reading and writing about corn stover. Trust me, it was more grueling than 150 miles on the bike! It's done and on its way to the review group.
Today I'm trying to figure out what to do. I suppose it's time to get back to my knitting... or clean the house. It seems a number of things have been on the back burner!
Make it a great day, Spark Friends!
Thursday, May 01, 2014
Yes, it's been a while. I'd love to say that I've been busy - and it would be mostly true - but that's really not an excuse not to check in. To be honest, there's been a swirl of energy around me, both positive and negative, and sorting it out has been tricky. I'm not one to 'just be' so I've been tinkering. No, it doesn't really change the outcome, but at least I feel like I'm doing *something.*
Time to get to the point? OK, let's do this:
I ended my last assignment at the end of February. I haven't worked since then and it's beginning to get a bit pesky. I really tried to relax, but that's tough for me. I figured that this was THE time to find a new position that leverages my graduate degree. After all, I can always go back to what I've already done (IT Consulting / Software Quality Assurance). The Hubster is being very supportive and is a good shoulder for my occasional freak-outs. I've been interviewing and have a good chance that's in the works now... and the waiting is eating at me.
I've been using my flexible schedule as a reason to try other classes at the Y. Well, I'm trying the same classes with different instructors. I enjoy change, but I'm also a fan of routine. I thought that this was a good compromise.
The weather around here has not been conducive to cycling, but I am trying to get in some training for the MS-150. Rumor has it that it will be not raining too much this weekend, so I'm going to get Utopia out on the trails (goal is my standard 18 mile ride).
If you are curious and want more ride details:
The Hubster is looking forward to riding support in our VW Beetle. His job is to have the beer ready at the end of the trail and to make sure that I'm doing alright during the course. The last time I rode the event, he made the decision to pull me off the trail because it was too darn hot (and it was!). He's a pretty good 2nd Opinion and Voice of Reason.
We are returning to Asia this month. It's likely our last trip to China, given the costs and the fact that we're trying to focus on our careers. Being our 20th wedding anniversary this year, we justified doing this one more time. You know I'll share photos when we return!
While all of this is going on, I'm also working/avoiding a paper that I'm slated to present at the annual conference for the American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM). Remember that certification test that I took in December? The paper and presentation at the ASEM Conference is a step towards professional development units, which translates into "I won't have to take that test again to re-certify." I love the topic - A Comparison of Logistics and Supply Chains in Corn Stover versus Corn Cobs - but I'm just finding it hard to be focused.
Look, a prairie dog!!
And I'm not kidding about loving the topic. It's cool - for a city girl - to consider what's involved in taking post-harvest plant material out of the fields to use for energy. In today's reality, alternative fuel sources are critical to the planet's well-being.
In other news, I'm knitting 1) my first sweater and 2) two socks at the same time. That may not seem like a big deal, but it's been a fairly relaxing distraction for me (one of the few!).
While I've been active on Spark, I've been lax on updates. It's not by design, I assure you. It's just hard to think that any of my current efforts are all that blog-worthy. I mean, it's not all that motivating or inspiring. Being selfishly motivated, I'm simply hoping that this entry helps me to straighten it out. If not... well, I'll find another way to tinker!
Have a super rest of the week, Sparklers. Keep Moving!
Oh! And I walked my first 5K. Here's a photo for AMBERNICHOLE3:
Sunday, January 26, 2014
I made it! It's the last day of the challenge!
As you may recall, my SparkFriend DogLady13 posted a blog challenge that looks like a great way to express and examine my goals and accomplishments, so I. AM. IN!
Credit where credit is due (DogLady13's blog post): www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
21. This is a long one. You just spent three weeks reflecting on yourself and your journey to a healthy lifestyle. Write yourself a heartfelt, loving intention to help you reach your goal.
Actually, it was more like three months, but who's counting?
I have been doing a lot of planning and making progress. I passed my certification exam (*just* received the official word this week. Gee, that only took six weeks), and celebrated my accomplishment. I even ordered new business cards.
I was recruited for a job that would have been awesome - setting up a QA team and strategy for a company that currently has neither - but the client isn't settled on their goals. Sure, they can still come back, but I'm moving on.
After a chat with The Hubster, I decided to sign up and train for the MS-150, a two-day bike rife that raises funds and awareness for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. I've ridden the event 8-9 times, but it's been a few years since the last one.
What does all of this mean? I think they are good steps on the way to my goals. Sure, I didn't get enough knitting done. I can work on that. But my career and fitness plans are moving forward. What's next? Well, the ride... and I was approached to write an article for an online software magazine... and I plan to co-author and present two papers at the annual conference of the ASEM. It's going to be busy and challenging, exactly the way I tend to do things.
Enjoy the remainder of the weekend, SparkFriends; stay warm and keep moving!!
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
I'll bet you thought I ditched this...
20. What simple step can you take to make yourself happier today?
So. Very. Timely.
I've had a few interviews lately that *I* thought went well... until yesterday. What happens from here is anyone's guess, but I'm already over it.
So, what can I do to make myself happier? Focus on the things that I can control and make time for happier tasks.
"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving." ~ Albert Einstein
I hope to post a more involved blog soon. Today this is where I'm at and it will simply have to do. Happy Wednesday, SparkFriends!
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