CATS_MEOW_0911's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=CATS%5FMEOW%5F0911 CATS_MEOW_0911's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ "Intuitive" Exercise Plan and Intermittent Fasting http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6414881 I have had no luck sticking with a regimented plan. So, I will try to workout more intuitively, with some method to the madness. I will do 3 strength training workouts, 1 upper body emphasis, 1 lower body emphasis, and 1 upper/lower. I will aim to do Pilates and/or yoga every day, with 1-2 longer workouts a week. If I feel like doing a video I will do that, otherwise I will do on my own, while listening to music or watching TV. <BR> <BR> Exercise to include: <BR> -Dance/dance drills <BR> -B... Mon, 25 Sep 2017 11:13:07 EST Better eating plan http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6413837 I accidentally discovered (or maybe rediscovered) something this week. Eating a generous meal early in the day makes me want to eat more later in the day. The other morning I just had a Purefit bar and a piece of fruit and my appetite was much more regulated throughout the day. I still want to eat after work and I will have a meal when I get home, but the desire to overeat has been greatly reduced. So, in the morning when I break IF, I will just have some fruit and 1 oz. of nuts/seeds. Fri, 22 Sep 2017 09:18:20 EST Dealing with night eating http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6412842 Night eating is sabotaging my efforts. For some reason I am satisfied with healthy eating and small/reasonable amounts of treats during the day, then I get home and it's like ladies' night at the Golden Corral. I'm not totally sure why I'm doing this, sabotaging myself. <BR> <BR> Part of it is that I just need to grit my teeth and have more discipline. I just need to STOP the night eating. Truly, the night eating is the only thing holding me back from having the body I want and feeling how ... Tue, 19 Sep 2017 11:54:44 EST 9/15/17 journal--progress pics and night overeating http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6411479 I took progress pics last night, I guess the dreaded "before" pictures. I'm ashamed to say I'm pretty disgusted. I'm not going to sit here and pick apart everything I hate about the way I look. Mostly I'm just sad that I hate the way I look. It "shouldn't matter,” but we all know it does. Mostly I’m concerned about my health, and the fact that I struggle so much to turn things around when it comes to my weight. <BR> <BR> I’ve continued to overeat at night. Part of it is that I’m actually hun... Fri, 15 Sep 2017 11:06:54 EST Progress Pics (September 2017) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6411342 247ish pounds <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/86909b7c-7b8d-4f2a-9519-dc63f0c394b1.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/13aa64f7-8bbc-4d46-bacf-6dcbc2fb1b59.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/bdcf736f-ae2d-4a19-be1b-71ffd63f046a.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/30be6f46-d394-4eb8-a6f7-1f9373cf296c.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/24792391-75... Fri, 15 Sep 2017 00:25:35 EST 9/10/17 Birthday Eve http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6409881 It's the night before my 39th year, and I'm gearing up for my Fab by Forty plan. I've been feeling pretty good over the past few weeks: more connected to others, able to set boundaries, and improving eating and exercise. I've got some dates and fun concerts coming up. I am in a pretty good place. <BR> <BR> Mon, 11 Sep 2017 00:27:49 EST 8/30/17 journal: overeating at night/burnout http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6405760 I have had great difficulty fighting the urge to eat at night after work. Although I haven't had any disgustingly stuffing binges, the night eating is sabotaging my weight loss. I know I'm burnt out from work. Maybe the eating makes me feel like I'm maximizing my relaxation/downtime. When I come home from work, I'm supposed to do belly dance, yoga, qi gong, etc. Instead I have been plopping down with some Netflix and snacking well past the point of being hungry. Mon.-Thurs., I'm supposed to s... Wed, 30 Aug 2017 12:19:17 EST 8/28/17 journal http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6404955 Still struggling with overeating, but getting better...less bingeing and more healthy choices. Went for a walk this morning, but skipped upper body workout after. I think I need to start out a bit slower. Healthy breakfast and feeling good, good start to the day and week. Mon, 28 Aug 2017 12:18:39 EST 8/22/17 journal http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6402925 Today was: Eh. I ate plenty of freggies, beans, protein, and fermented stuff. I overate (black bean tacos and 2 Take 5 bars) after work. I did resist any further grazing. <BR> <BR> No exercise today other than work. I read all morning and then came home and vegged after work. Kinda knocked out by allergies or cold, feeling blah. I should have gone for a walk but chose not to. Wed, 23 Aug 2017 01:32:22 EST 8/21/17 Journal http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6402568 Solar eclipse today, I got to see a good portion of it before work. <BR> <BR> Today was the best day I've had in a couple weeks. I had some bad and embarrassing binging over the past couple of weeks, not exactly sure what triggered it. I think it is a combination of insomnia and work burnout. But today was the first day in a while where I did not have strong sugar cravings. I made reasonable food choices although still overate a little (no binges and no candy/junk). I also went for a walk af... Tue, 22 Aug 2017 00:46:31 EST 8/11/17 Weekly Journal http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6398716 5 good things this week: <BR> 1) Contacted Metro State to get the ball rolling on going back to school. <BR> 2) Massage from Chanda <BR> 3) Email Jill and Dava <BR> 4) Feeling more motivated <BR> 5) Good week at work <BR> <BR> <BR> This week did not go very well. I have still been feeling disproportionately stressed, having trouble sleeping, and dealing with a racing mind. I feel better after getting a massage yesterday, so I need to make a point to get worked on at least every two weeks. <... Fri, 11 Aug 2017 14:57:23 EST 8/5/17 Journal http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6396281 GOOD THINGS highlights from this week: <BR> 1) Lots of cash tips and compliments from clients <BR> 2) Bought some concert tickets for upcoming shows <BR> 3) Wrote this blog post :) <BR> 4) Emails from Jill and Dava <BR> 5) Yoga <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> It’s been a rough couple of weeks. PTSD has been out of control, everything and everyone is overwhelming. I hope I can find a new shrink soon. In the meantime, I need to keep reaching out for support however I can and read and educate myse... Sat, 5 Aug 2017 11:08:18 EST Health Coach blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6392884 My dad was the smartest person I knew. He was a math whiz, electrical engineer, and a well-liked boss as a project manager designing pacemaker circuitry that saved lives. But he put the blinders on when it came to his health. He was obese most of his adult life, doing some yo-yo dieting and exercising here and there. But he couldn’t get the changes to stick; he always pushed back against improving his habits. <BR> <BR> About fifteen years ago, I got a call from a family member that my dad ha... Thu, 27 Jul 2017 21:49:42 EST Week 6 Journal: Health Coach Exam DONE http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6381989 Well, the big news is, I passed my health coach exam yesterday! I have been wanting to do the health coach certification for several years, and this is on top of the personal trainer certification I have. They are closely related, but health coaching has a broader reach. I'm working on another blog post about health coaching. <BR> <BR> Needless to say, it is a huge relief to have the test out of the way. I get bad test anxiety and it was really weighing on me. The test was hard as h3ll and t... Sat, 1 Jul 2017 10:38:09 EST Week 5 Journal http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6379140 Super quick journal for this week. It's crunch time for studying for my health coach exam this coming Friday. I am also not working as hard as I would like to be on my screenwriting class. <BR> <BR> On the upside, my time has been full of exercise and socializing. I had been isolating myself, so socializing has been good for lifting me out of depression. Exercise has also been vital for the depression. <BR> <BR> After a solid month of strength training, I can see and feel differences in my ... Sat, 24 Jun 2017 13:10:55 EST Week 4 Journal: Gettin' somewhere http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6375937 This past week has gone pretty well. I realized I had no stress eating or binging, for the first time in a long time. I tracked, and workouts have been going well. I can feel the effects of strength training starting to kick in. I have been making sure to go easier than I'm normally inclined with workouts so I don't end up p!ssing off my joints and unable to progress. I've been taking 2 rest days per week. I need to remember that part of my exercise/activity includes 25-30 hours of massage ev... Fri, 16 Jun 2017 13:06:46 EST Quick Weeks 2-3 Journal http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6372921 I have a goal to blog every week for accountability and to journal progress. I've been pretty bogged down with a screenwriting class and studying for my health coach exam. I'm also still struggling with depression, and the 90 degree weather here in Minnesota has not been helping with that. <BR> <BR> Despite struggling, I've been pretty productive with organizing and studying. I "should" be doing more writing, and that will be my focus over the weekend. I will aim to write for at least 1 hou... Fri, 9 Jun 2017 10:25:21 EST Week 1 Journal: Summertime Blues http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6365129 SUMMER!!! <BR> <BR> Ohmigod, don’t you like, totally love summer? Sun, friends, noise, crowds, fun! <BR> <BR> I start to hide inside more when it’s hot outside. The heat and sun don’t energize me, they drain me. I get seasonal affective disorder in the summer, bringing on a strange combination of being exhausted, yet also irritable and agitated. Minnesota can get tropical humidity, and this year the disgusting heat came very early. I find summer to be overstimulating in every way. Too hot,... Mon, 22 May 2017 10:52:11 EST Don't be like me! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6361421 I've returned to Sparkpeople after a hiatus (see previous blog entry for update: <link>www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo<BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=6360858 </link> ). I am going to journal on here at least once a week. It will help keep me accountable and track my progress. <BR> <BR> While I do have a goal to lose 100 pounds, my main concern is not actually weight loss. At least, my motivation for losing weight is not that I'm worried about "looking better." I do need to weigh mysel... Sat, 13 May 2017 14:24:58 EST Looooong time, no blog--overdue update! (and obligatory pet pics) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6360858 Hello Sparkfriends! <BR> <BR> Life put me through the ringer for a while there, at some points I couldn't envision how to get out of the rut I was in. By "rut" I mean depressed, underemployed, and near homelessness. Good times, huh? <BR> <BR> Quick recap: I lost my house in 2015. Moderately broke and with no one here in Minnesota to turn to, I moved out to Washington state, planning to relocate permanently to Washington or Oregon. I downsized from my house to whatever would fit in my Toyot... Fri, 12 May 2017 00:35:44 EST Dugan's Road Trip Adventure (PICTURES) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6058897 I'm working on an update blog post, but thought you might enjoy some pictures of my dog Dugan enjoying life on the road in his big adventure out west. Enjoy. :) <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/acfb4656-ec0a-491b-96a5-7d8758a9dd81.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/be0f6364-159e-4817-9cef-ef85d4eab50c.jpg"> <BR> Badlands National Park, SD <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/32010c82-e6c6-4af8-b031-4a22f58e... Sun, 3 Jan 2016 12:39:57 EST "How can you NOT smile?" http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6011363 Tonight I tried (and loved) a different jiu jitsu gym out here in Washington. We did a conditioning class (both adults and kids) and one of the students, after 40 minutes of insane sweaty goodness, jokingly said, "Smile!" to the class. <BR> <BR> One of the little girls in the class, without missing a burpee, said: "How can you not smile. It's a WORKOUT, for pete's sake!" <BR> <BR> How come kids are always right? <em>30</em> <BR> <BR> Working on a couple of update blogs, they'll be up s... Thu, 8 Oct 2015 01:42:04 EST Movin' right along http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5958647 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/b6f78919-fd2a-40f3-bf2b-0f50e64f9483.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Have you been searching everywhere on SparkPeople for the most whiny-ass blog ever posted? Yes? Well, your search ends here! <BR> <BR> So I haven't posted a moving update in a while because 1) I didn't know what the hell was going on, and 2) There was a lot of back and forth as far as if I was going to stay in Minnesota or move to Oregon/Washington. The primary reason I had decided not to m... Fri, 10 Jul 2015 14:08:24 EST Overdue Update Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5930312 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/2653c62f-2e55-4589-a360-515749cff399.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Hello, friends. I hope all is well out there in Sparkland! Just wanted to post a quick update on house/job/life. <BR> <BR> <em>199</em> House: My house is up for short sale; short sales are anything but short. Not sure what all happens next, but I should here from the bank over the next week or so. The short sale bought me another summer in my house, which actually pissed me o... Mon, 18 May 2015 17:03:31 EST Plans http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5893252 So first I would like to announce that I will be staying in Minneapolis for now. I had a disheartening conversation with my uncle in Washington a couple of weeks ago and it was clear that my mother would just have them abuse me. I simply can't have any contact with my family. While I would get away from the womb donor if move out of state (and winter), my friends here were very upset that I was going to move. When I told my best friend that I was staying, she said she was glad because she had... Sun, 15 Mar 2015 09:52:11 EST Shadow of the Sainted Son: Beginnings of Abuse http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5881220 Thank you all for the supportive comments on the last blog post about my mother. Again, this blog post has ended up being long, but it really helps me to write this stuff out. I am working on healing from emotional abuse and biding my time until I can officially get away from my mother and all of her flying monkeys. The only place where there is no one to report back to my mother is my work. I live two doors down from close friends of hers. My brother is at my gym. My family reports to her. I... Mon, 23 Feb 2015 14:24:51 EST Two Years Ago Today... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5874044 Two years ago today, at this time, I had a nice normal day off and was getting ready to head out the door to jiu jitsu class. <BR> <BR> Two years ago tomorrow I was picking out the coffin I thought would suit my dad the best. <BR> <BR> Today is the two year anniversary of my dad's death. His death was absolutely not on my radar. In fact, just the day before we had made lunch plans for later in the week. Our last words to each other over the phone were, "I love you." <BR> <BR> I am still h... Wed, 11 Feb 2015 18:47:38 EST Back in da Hood http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5870212 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/6/l66002145.jpg"> <BR> No, not that hood, this Hood! <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> "You don't climb mountains without a team, you don't climb mountains without being fit, you don't climb mountains without being prepared and you don't climb mountains without balancing the risks and rewards. And you never climb a mountain on accident - it has to be intentional." <BR> -Mark Udall <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> When I was a kid, my uncle John moved from Min... Thu, 5 Feb 2015 18:13:35 EST The Shadow of Gaslighted Grief http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5867490 I have been tinkering away at a couple of “serious” blog posts for a couple of weeks now. I had intended to post the blog about my house first, but this one got done first, so here ya go. <BR> <BR> This post became monstrously long. It felt good for me to write it, so I’ve posted the whole thing. If you want the very succinct version, here you go: I am cutting off contact with my emotionally abusive mother after realizing what a poisonous human being she is, as she is totally unwilling to a... Sun, 1 Feb 2015 22:28:13 EST 2015 Plan: From "Meh" to Yeh! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5853369 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l1624443928.jpg"> <BR> <BR> “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you’ve lived so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all.” <BR> -J.K. Rowling <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I posted a blog yesterday about how hard 2014 was, blah blah blah...today starts a series of blogs about what the hell I plan on doing about it. <BR> <BR> During the first week of January, I watched a show called “Wake Up Call” sta... Tue, 13 Jan 2015 09:47:15 EST 2014: Meh. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5852650 “For last year's words belong to last year's language <BR> And next year's words await another voice.” <BR> -T.S. Eliot <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Hi there. Here is a very overdue blog post and review of 2014. <BR> <BR> If I could rate the year 2014 on Yelp, I would give it 2.5 stars. One star for earning my blue belt in Jiu Jitsu, another star for my trip out west and to Yellowstone, and a half star for finishing massage school. The stuff that was good was really good, like being handed a har... Mon, 12 Jan 2015 11:53:43 EST Wonderful Article on Food Addiction http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5798726 I came across this opinion piece on CNN, and this woman's story is very relatable. She frankly discusses her feelings towards herself and her experiences with food addiction. <BR> <BR> <link>www.cnn.com/2014/09/26/living/weight<BR>-struggles-first-person/index.html?iid<BR>=article_sidebar </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> P.S. I still plan on posting a blog about having surgery last week. Wed, 15 Oct 2014 12:15:07 EST Bittersweet Birthday: A life celebrated, a hero remembered (repost) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5777794 This blog is a repost from 2011; I probably couldn't write a better memorial for my cousin Bobby today, so I thought it best to reshare. My birthday has become a bittersweet occasion, as it has also been a death anniversary for a family member since the World Trade Center fell 13 years ago today. Thanks for reading. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/6/l868856980.jpg"> <BR> My second cousin Bobby, in his younger years. <BR> <BR> <BR> <... Thu, 11 Sep 2014 08:47:26 EST Scale Confessions http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5767655 I am here to confess. Yesterday, I got on the scale for the first time in a while. I could've been all like: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l1218390059.jpg"> <BR> Picture from http://www.themilitantbaker.com/ <BR> <BR> But instead I was all like: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l1691415188.jpg"> <BR> Picture from http://jessegriffis.org <BR> <BR> <BR> Yeah, I’ve gained. Eh. I expected it. I’ve gained about 20 pounds back over the... Tue, 26 Aug 2014 21:46:27 EST Being great, according to Amy Poehler http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5766330 I came across a quote from Amy Poehler ("Saturday Night Live, "Parks and Recreation") that I wanted to hang on to: <BR> <BR> "Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it... Doing what you're afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that -- that is what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that's really special and if you're not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know so... Sun, 24 Aug 2014 22:38:24 EST Yellowstone and More: Trek Across the West (lots o' pics) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5764238 On July 25th, my friend KVARNLOV and I got on a train headed to Portland, OR, where we were going to meet my aunt and uncle and stay for a few days. They live across the Columbia River in Camas, WA. KVARNLOV had never been to the Pacific Northwest, so we had fun showing off the spectacular sights. We went to the Oregon Coast (Seaside, OR, and Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach) and Multnomah Falls/Columbia River Gorge. I didn't take many pictures while we were in the Northwest, as I have spent a... Thu, 21 Aug 2014 11:48:46 EST Blue Belt (with pics) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5763445 I got promoted to a blue belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu on June 8th. For the test, we had to roll (spar) for one hour straight. In class, we usually roll for five minutes at a time with a break, for a total of 20-30 minutes, so rolling for a whole hour was an endurance challenge. Afterwards, several of my teammates went out for Japanese food, and then went and met my teacher for a picnic on the beach. It was a very fun day. <BR> <BR> There are five belt levels in jiu jitsu--white, blue, purple,... Wed, 20 Aug 2014 09:16:55 EST Ummm, yeah...long time, no blog... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5763174 Hello SparkPeeps, I hope all is well in your world. <BR> <BR> I haven't blogged in a long time. So, I will give you a ridiculously quick update: <BR> <BR> *I obtained my personal training certification in January and have been building a clientele. <BR> <BR> *I finished massage school in May and am working as a therapist now. <BR> <BR> *I earned my blue belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu in June. It is the second level out of the five in traditional jiu jitsu belt systems. <BR> <BR> *I went o... Tue, 19 Aug 2014 21:29:41 EST 2013 in Review: The Most Chaotic Year of My Life http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5574240 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l1680025621.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> The year 2013 was--by far--the most chaotic and difficult year of my adult life. My father passed away very suddenly on February 11th, sending a shockwave through my life at a point when I was approaching a high point. What ensued after with dealing with his ice-cold wife was what made the ordeal nearly unbearable, as my brother and I watched helplessly as she erased his existence (without our consult)... Sun, 29 Dec 2013 00:29:11 EST Quick Update (with pics) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5544169 I haven't blogged in quite a while! Part of the reason for this is that I have started focusing my efforts on paid writing gigs and developing a freelance writing business. I will be writing primarily for health and wellness and also for veterinary medicine. I finished my first article for publication (and for pay!) for a strength training journal and it will be published in January (details to follow). <BR> <BR> I am also working on a book (or possible series of books) on creative life cha... Mon, 18 Nov 2013 10:03:07 EST Saying Good-bye to a Gentle Soul http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5437958 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l1217964075.jpg"> <BR> Dmitri <BR> 1999 (or thereabouts)-2013 <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I made the difficult choice to euthanize my dog Dmitri today. He was about 14 years old and I adopted him from the Humane Society 12 years ago, in July of 2001. He was a total impulse buy. I was a die-hard cat person. I NEVER thought that I would have a dog. I went to the Humane Society that day to help a friend pick out a reptile. While she was looking, I we... Mon, 29 Jul 2013 22:46:12 EST Beast Mode...ENGAGE http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5403944 We have all been in low places. Hopefully most of us haven't truly reached rock bottom before, but many of us have been there, too. I am lucky; I did not reach rock bottom this time, but came dangerously close. Fortunately, I had developed coping mechanisms that were strong enough to get me through even the toughest moments, even when my forebrain was wondering how much more I could take. I have been Depressed as Hell Erin for the past few months. Perhaps I had a right to feel that way, but i... Thu, 27 Jun 2013 20:55:02 EST The Martin http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5386508 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l157755485.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> "My guitar is not a thing. It is an extension of myself. It is who I am." <BR> -Joan Jett <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Wow. I haven't posted a blog since mid-April. That's probably a good indication of how stuck I have been. But today I had a really big problem. I'll get to that in a second. <BR> <BR> Of course I have been struggling a lot since my dad's death in February. Unfortunately, sadness... Wed, 12 Jun 2013 02:42:20 EST My "Spring" Garden http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5328814 Taken April 19th, 2013. It should be about 60 degrees and bright GREEN. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l1587603609.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l1247701161.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/6/l664725701.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/7/l1783130256.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img... Fri, 19 Apr 2013 14:42:44 EST The Ever-Frozen Ground http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5324194 Minnesotans are know for being cold-hardy. We love winter. We think people from other parts of the country are babies when it comes to cold and snow. We joke about "Minne-snow-ta" and hunker down with hot cocoa as the flakes fall. When we do have to drive through ice pellets and the surrounding opaque whiteness, we shake our fists in frustration at people going too slow, figuring they MUST not be from around here. We bundle up until no skin is visible and venture out to sled and plop on the g... Mon, 15 Apr 2013 15:54:55 EST A New Journey http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5310925 Some events are so shocking and so significant that they change us to our very core. A few days after my dad died, it dawned on me that I would probably never be the same person. But sometimes the worst circumstances cause us to grow the most as a human being. By saying I will never be the same person, I do not mean that I will be some moping depressed person for the rest of my life. Actually, other than the meltdown a couple of weeks ago, I have felt pretty good. I had a great relationship w... Thu, 4 Apr 2013 02:30:34 EST The Week in Review: Putting Honey Badger to Shame http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5298773 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/0/l606791879.jpg"> <BR> Awww, how cute, honey badger is trying to be me. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> In reading over this blog before posting it, I can tell it has a pretty different tone from what I usually write. I wrote most of it while I was really pissed off. I also wish that SparkPeople allowed swear words. But as they say: Honey badger don't care. <BR> <BR> I am not normally an angry person. Of course I get upset, I GET angry, bu... Sun, 24 Mar 2013 22:06:56 EST Office Space: Creating a New Work Life http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5296817 "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now." <BR> -Chinese Proverb <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> My career goal when I was a child was to be an astronomer. Astronomy was my hobby and passion. I started to pursue a degree in astrophysics by taking basic science and astronomy courses in college. I did okay in basic astronomy courses and got good grades in math courses until I got to calculus. I just didn't get it. I could not grasp chemistry and physics. My ... Sat, 23 Mar 2013 01:20:15 EST The Week in Review: Six Feet Under http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5273508 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l1582622874.jpg"> <BR> My dad and my brother Brian when he was a toddler. We could not get them plots right next to each other, but my dad was buried in the same row as Brian. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> As most of you know, my dad passed away suddenly on February 11th. The past few weeks have been an exhausting emotional roller coaster. I have felt virtually every emotion there is, sometimes simultaneously. <BR> <BR> I had finished watching th... Mon, 4 Mar 2013 22:29:09 EST In Memory of My Dad http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5261389 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1393550882.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/4/l942171704.jpg"> <BR> My dad in his early 20s. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> As many of you know, my dad passed away suddenly on Monday, February 11th. I buried my dad a week ago today. This has been an overwhelmingly emotion time; I will address that in a later blog. I wanted to post a quick blog in memory of my dad. A single blog cannot, of course, encompass our ... Sat, 23 Feb 2013 19:33:56 EST