Thursday, March 29, 2012

How Will Your Garden Grow?

I adopted a mostly plant-based diet back in Sept. of 2011.  I feel great and want to keep my diet as such.  Last year I had a small garden.

2011 garden

 We enjoyed many rounds of zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, some carrots, spices, mint, and several varieties of peppers.    I like the idea of walking out my door and picking out my lunch and dinner.  I don't have to worry about; how many miles these veggies traveled to my house, how they were transported, where it came from, pesticides,  and how many people touched it before I bought it.

            This year, we have more than doubled our gardening space.

2012 garden

I will be adding brussels sprouts, a larger selection of lettuce and spinach, and yellow squash.  Here is an awesome recipe for the sprouts.  You can also just drizzle olive oil on them, spice 'em, wrap in foil, and throw them on the grill.  Delicious.  My Grandmas would be so proud of me.  I hated them as a kid, I could eat them everyday now.

Jim planted three tomato plants in our front yard, no one complained.  We enjoyed tomatoes clear through November.  I received some great advice on what to do with green tomatoes last year and it worked.  Simply wrap them in newspaper and put them in the basement.  Check on them every couple weeks.  When they are ripened, they taste just as good.

Front yard tomato garden

Front yard.  Final round picked in Nov.

  I have only just begun.  I will keep you posted on my farming skills or lack thereof. 
If you have any gardening experience or tips to share, please do. Now, I need to get out there and remove the grass so Jim can till it one more time and I can start planting next week.  

Monday, March 26, 2012

Which One Do You Want First?

When it comes to good news/ bad news scenarios, I prefer to end on a good note.  Without beating around the bush, I tried out for the Airborne Flight Crew.  I was not what they were looking for, so I did not make the team.  I was a little disappointed, but realized that this leaves me open for new things.  You know the saying, " when one door closes another opens" ?

Found this in the crack in my driveway

However...... I celebrated my 43rd birthday recently and scored huge.  Thanks Babe.  

I love how Kona makes bikes to match my kit

Of course it's a 29er

My white Velocity Blunt SLs rock

You can read more here about my new bike. 

Today, Monday March 26th I began training for the DK200. Revenge will be mine.

I thought of a great way to keep my mind busy while training.  I will be coming up with witty comebacks to " I like your Big Unit" or "nice Big Unit " .

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hunting For Leprechauns

Sydney blew out the candles on her birthday cake and we were off to spend another weekend in the woods.   She had requested a weekend of hiking,  playing on rocks, and some swimming.  Of course, we can accommodate that.  This would be our second trip to Powder Mill.  Three years earlier, my 40th birthday, was spent there.

Heading out

Our campsite

This is where we are going?
Coffee in hand, we began our 1 1/2 mile trek to Blue Springs.  Sydney and I had completed this hike in our pj's in 2009.  Jim was busy taking sawyer certification classes while we enjoyed our day.

All dressed up and ready to go

Getting our HIKE on

Is that a Leprechaun?

First snake 

Journal time

We made it

What an honor

Family feet
That was the coldest water I have ever felt.  Sydney loved it and we had to gently discourage her from doing a belly flop into it.

Family photo


Hello spring

Pulled a tooth today

Perfect packing

Our Subaru holds a LOT of gear.  You just have to pack it correctly.

I found that rock

Destination #2
We spent Saturday night in the backcountry.  My first sleep over in a working forest.

Working forest


Early a.m. hike with Dad for rocks
   I love weekends with my family.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Close, But No Socks

There is not a correct answer yet.  I am going camping this weekend, so keep guessing.  I will be back on Sunday to see if anyone has won.  If you have guessed already, you may have two more tries.   A few of you are so close.  Good luck.

In the event of a tie, the first one who guessed wins.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Team Seagal Sock Sale and a Contest

Would you like to sport some Superior Attitude this year?  Now is your chance to own "the most coveted socks" in the universe.  For the low price of $10 they can be yours.

I have them in size small/medium and large/xlarge.  They were designed by my other half, and quality crafted by Sock Guy.  I own several pairs and love them.  I wear them on days when I could use a superior state of mind, and can tell you, with all honesty, they work.


You can purchase these from me, and only me. I will accept cash, but am wondering if a pay-pal account would make things easier for everyone. - You can leave me your input on that.-

I will have them at the Lost Valley Luau on March 25th, and at several other events throughout the year. They are in limited supply though, so act fast.   I can mail them out for an additional two dollars.

Special note.... by buying these you will be supporting Team Seagal non-races, as a portion of your purchase goes to the team.  Awesome, I know.

You can email me with any questions.

On to the contest......

Guess how many pairs of socks, total pairs, were in this box.  Winner gets one pair of socks. Pretty easy.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Share With Your Kids

My husband and I share our love of the outdoors with our 6yr old, Sydney.  She began her outdoor princess lifestyle at just six months old.  She attended her first Ozark Trail build, in the rain, and will forever be known as the baby who was breastfed, by a tree, under an umbrella, trail-side.

Just chillin'
" Mommy, can I sit up there" ?
This weekend we took a special adventure, just minutes from home,  that took three hours from start to finish.  We hiked a special trail, climbed the vines, walked on the fallen trees, and enjoyed the misty rain.  In that short time we reconnected as a family and made another memory.

Yes, of course

 We  built a little girls confidence.  Every time she climbs higher, runs faster, and jumps further, I have to smile.  I know I am doing my job as a mom.  I will send her into the world with un-shakeable self confidence. You can bet on it.

Field hike

We also like to scurry up streams, climb up and down and mountains, hike and mountain bike the trails, camp, kayak,  just to name a few......  It has taken a while to figure everything out.  These experiences have been  worth every dime we spent, plus any mishap encountered along the way.  I have learned enough to fill a book. ( I will write it someday ).

Vine swingin'

In case you didn't get my point......  No matter what you like to do, share it with your kids.  Make it super crazy fun.  Show them why you love it so much.  Wouldn't it be awesome if they loved it too?  You could enjoy it together, as a family. Priceless.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Flip Your Switch

On March 16th 2006, at 8:30am, " my switch was flipped " into the ON position.  Almost six years later, I have not flipped it back.  That Friday morning, I gave birth to my beautiful girl, Sydney.  The moment I saw her I knew I had to make some changes.  It was not fair to her to have been born to me.  Who did I think I was bringing a life into the world when I couldn't even take care of myself ?   I was not worthy to be her mom.   I did not feel I deserved her.  I never wanted her to know who I had become.   I wanted to be her hero, someone she could be proud of.    I became 38 years old just five days later.  Could I be forty, fit , and fabulous?    I had about 2 years to whip myself into shape.  If I timed things right and worked very hard, she would not ever know that person existed.  If someone told you it would take you 2 years to get your life and your body back, would you go for it?  I did.

Not one person  came knocking on my door to help me.  No one came and whisked me away, in a limo, to a ranch where I would have unlimited access to trainers, nutritionists, and a gym.  No personal chef to cook me healthy meals.   No one was going to do this for me.  I had done this to myself and  I was determined to fix it myself.   With the help of the internet,  I began googling and researching diet after diet. Then it dawned on me..... Diets DON'T work.  I decided to approach my situation differently than most people do.  After all, I was not trying to fit in a dress or lose a few pounds to sport a bikini.  I needed to lose a lot of weight and be healthy so I could take care of my family.  I needed a lifestyle intervention.   I became my own help, my own cheerleader.  I began creating my lifestyle.  A lifestyle I could live with.  And a  lifestyle I could be proud of.

My doctor gave me the green light to start walking about 4 weeks after giving birth.  My starting point was 200 lbs.  My husband had purchased a jogging stroller for me to use.  I began walking around my neighborhood, starting with 30 minutes at a time.  It was ridiculously hard being 50 pounds overweight and pushing a stroller up and down the street, especially with my lack of fitness.   ( If you don't see the challenge, strap on 50 lbs and try it yourself.)  My legs, hips and arms hurt terribly those first couple weeks.   The emotional pain, from sitting on the couch and stuffing my face, was far worse than any physical pain I have ever felt from moving my body.  I embraced the pain, and made friends with it.  As I hurt physically, my emotional pain lessened.   Really, it did.

 Walking and pushing a stroller is where I began.  I walked everyday, sometimes twice a day.  Fall came, then winter, and I was still walking.   As long as it was at least 40 degrees, we bundled up and put in the miles.   I felt a  huge sense of accomplishment to finish a walk everyday. During the summer months, I referred to it as " earning my shower ".   I had established a routine, something I could live with.   The first piece of my lifestyle puzzle had been found.

Walking does not require a lot of gear. Invest in a descent pair of walking shoes. Expect to spend about $75 to $100.   You deserve to be comfortable, you will log a lot of miles in them.  Remember, good gear will keep you moving therefore, keeping your excuses to a minimum.   Cheap gear ends up in the back of the closet or in the trash, while expensive gear will make you feel guilty for not using it.

Take one last look in the mirror.  You will NEVER be here again.  This is your starting point.  Take a picture, you will NEVER look like this again.  Hop on the scale.   You will NEVER be this number again.  Throw the scale out, or have someone hide it.   You will not be judging yourself daily by what the scale says.  Trust me on this.  ( My feelings about the scale will appear in another post )

  Every journey starts with one footstep.   Take the step forward to a better life and everything else will fall into place.   Stop worrying about what it looks like or how scary change is.  You can do this.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Happiness is... MOUNTAIN BIKING

  Yesterday, March 7th , I took my first mountain bike ride of  2012.  I have been working on other things , and have not scheduled any " training rides " for the past two months.  I headed to Lost Valley, it was 70 degrees, and the trails were perfect.  I will admit to being a little nervous since my single speed has been gathering dust since December.  Did I still know how to do this?   I had a 32x19 set up and hoped I had the legs to push it.

Aaahhhhh.... singletrack

Having time to ride only one 10 mile loop, I made the best of it.  In short, I had a perfect, clean ride.  The hills, both long and short, I seemed to pedal up almost effortlessly.  I did not bobble or have to put a foot down anywhere.  I felt incredibly strong and, as an added bonus, I regained my confidence.

Spring has arrived

Pulling into my driveway, I still had a huge smile on my face.  I hopped out of my car and jumped up and down, hootin' and hollerin'. ( I know it's hard to imagine )   My neighbor saw me and he said " what the ..."  I yelled back " can I get a hell yeah" . He obliged me and then asked why I was so happy.  I told him I just got back from an awesome ride in the woods.  He said " yeah, but don't you do that all the time" ?

Very few people understand what my happiness is.  My happiness comes from being healthy and active.    My happiness is living the life I created.  My happiness thrives from being able to run, ride, and play outdoors. My happiness increases by showing others the way.

No matter what your happiness is, get out there and do it.  Happiness is a choice.  Choose it.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Background Info

  I have had problems/issues with food my entire life. However,  I did not have a weight problem until I was 30 years old. It was 1999, I was training for my 7th marathon. On Dec. 17th, my world came to a screeching halt.  I was waiting tables during the brunch shift.  I stepped onto a step ladder , to reach some canned juice, and somehow managed to step off of it into a drain hole that was missing its cover. The pain was immediate and crazy.  I could not walk and had to be carried out and placed into a car that was headed to the hospital. I felt broken from that moment on.

Upon further investigation, the Dr. informed me that I had ripped ALL of tendons and ligaments off my left ankle bone.  I would need surgery and a lot of therapy. ( Boy, was that an understatement )  I told him I was a runner.  He said " not anymore".  That hit me hard.  My life as I knew it was over in that instant.  I was miserable and found out that ice cream, among other foods, made me happy.  Or so I thought.  The weight came on very quick.  Within a month, I could not zip my pants.

I finally had surgery in April of 2000.  The work comp doctor fixed me up real good.  He boasted that he re-wrapped my tendons and ligaments so tight that I would never sprain that ankle again.  He also reminded me not to get excited about running.  It was just not going to be possible any more. There was limited movement now, and that could not handle the pounding of running. ( Oh, if he could see me now )

 Things went downhill from there.  Depression set in and I became a slave to pills.  Prescribed pills, mind you.  I had pills to wake up, pills to function, pills that made me zone out and I could forget my life, and pills to help me sleep.  On top of those pills, I was given OxyContin, for pain management. What a ride that was, well, what I can remember of it.  I ingested enough pain killers and antidepressants on a daily to kill a small horse.  By the grace of God I am still alive.

 I had been 128 pounds and ballooned to 220 pounds.  It took me six years to pull my head out of my ass.  I wasted six years of my life.   I am not going to sugar coat any of my journey.  It sucked.   It was hard.  At times, it hurt terribly, both physically and emotionally.   BUT, it was so worth it.   I did not follow any fad diets, take any pills or powders, no special potions, nor did I have to starve.   I am ready.... So, let's get this party started.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My First

I loved English class.  My high school teacher had us write in our journals everyday.  He told me, way back then, that I had a "unique honesty" in my writing.  He let me write special pieces for extra credit.  He urged me to write about growing up as a child in the seventies, what it was like being a female jock, and what it felt like to run. All topics I was familiar with.  I wish I had saved those papers.  I did save my journal, and glanced through it about a year ago.  Wow, did I write about some crazy stuff.

I have had an on again, off again love affair with writing.  When I was going through tough times, writing about it seemed to give me a voice.  When I felt like my life out of control, I would write about it to clear my head and gain some perspective.   Back in April of 2010, I wrote my first blog entry, on the retired blog.  I had no idea if anyone would see it, much less read it.  I did not let those doubts keep me from writing.

Last year I took a writing class and loved it.  I learned so much in such a short time, it has left me hungry for more.  As time passed, my followers grew and an opportunity knocked at my door. The Ozark Trail Association puts out a magazine called The Connector.  I was asked to write an article for this years edition.  Long story here.

Write from the heart

Well, it's spring, and the magazine will be out later this month.  I have already seen it, and I must say, I felt so many emotions at once , I was glad no one was around to witness it.  At first, my mouth fell open, next my eyes started to tear, and then I felt like I...  wow, I did that.  I can't even begin to describe what it feels like to see my name in print.  Big, bold letters, spelling out my name. Very cool.  There are two pictures that were chosen, and they are perfect for what I wrote about.

I am not able to share it with you just yet, but will let you know where you can pick up a copy.  I will be able to provide you with a link to where you can view it online also.  If you would like it autographed, teee-heee, that can also be arranged.  Until I get the word, you can view last years copy here.