About Me

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My goals for the future is to obtain a teaching/librarian job, lose weight, own a house, and to travel the world.

Friday, December 31, 2010

My Year in Review for 2010

This is my year in review of what I have learned about myself and where I need improvement.  This blog has certainly helped me open my eyes about myself and inspired me to make some changes for the better.

There are two blogs I like to read consistently: the first is Minimalist Adventures by Dusti Arab and Blog of Impossible Things by Joel Runyon.  Gathering ideas from these two amazing writers fits quite nicely with what I am trying accomplish in writing this blog which is to reduce my spending, i.e. minimalize and to weigh less, i.e. increase my activity.

My Accomplishments:
While it is easier to focus on all the goals that I have fallen short on, it is important to recognize what I have accomplished.
  • I have worked on a project consistently for more than two weeks.  This is my fourth month blogging and a huge step for me. 
  • My writing skills have improved.
  • I am volunteering with the International Girls Group of Portland a.k.a. "Kinetic Midnight Energy"!
New Revelations:
  • Goal Setting:                                                                                                                             Goal setting is huge when trying to get something done.  I have not really used this tool much in the past.  When I started this blog, my "goals" were too vague.  Having something specific in mind makes a task much easier to manage and complete.
  • Procrastination:                                                                                                                       "Why put off tomorrow what you can accomplish today"  This old wives' tale rings so true for me.  I am a huge procrastinator and constantly put off things for later, someday, next week, etc.  My husband is forever accusing me of procrastination but I did not understand how this effects not only myself, but it also effects my family.  Plus, my son is starting to become a procrastination.  Nothing gets accomplished with procrastination.
  • Networking:                                                                                                                              With my sister moving away to another country, I have learned to rely on the other people in my life.  I was too dependent on one person which is not healthy for me.  Also, I am beginning to open up to my husband more about my thoughts and feelings; he is actually more insightful than I gave him credit for.
  • Minimizing:                                                                                                                                     I no longer need to keep clothes that do not fit or does not fit my style.  Since my main goal is get healthy and loose weight, I need to make room for clothes that reflect my personality and style.  I really love fashion from the 1920s through the 1960s.
Goals for 2011:
This will serve as a starting off point as I am sure that I will add to my list as the year progresses.
  • Ace the job interview:                                                                                                              Some people have no problem with the job interview but for me, it is a huge obstacle.  I have the knowledge and the talent but I freeze up. 
  • Run a race:                                                                                                                               First, I will start with walking the Shamrock Run (Portland, OR) and ease myself into actually running a race slowly.  I have not run since the Army when I was 20 years old, so this is a big goal for me.
  • Visit Saudi Arabia:                                                                                                                    This will be accomplished one of two ways, by getting a job with the same company my sister works for or by saving money and visiting my sister.  I have always wanted to visit the Middle East.
  • Scrapbooking:                                                                                                                                 I have procastinating for years with scrapbooking my pictures into a single books vs pictures spread out all over the house.  This will also help with minimizing.
  • Lose 50 lbs by June:                                                                                                                While I will love to be ina bikini by June, is more manageable to loose 50 lbs first.
Work on my List of Impossible Things!

Well, this is what I have so far.  I am sure I will think of some more things.  Let me know if you can help with accomplishing any of these things, especially practicing for a job interview!

What are your goals for 2011?

Monday, December 27, 2010

I fell like I am falling behind...

It has been a full 24 hours since my sister has left.  It is hard watching my best friend move away.  My husband accuses me of running off on a whim whenever she calls; there may be some truth in this.  But it is not as simple as "I miss her"--good grief she only left yesterday and will visit in the summer; plus there is e-mail and Skype...

  When I was 19 and newly graduated from high school (yes, I was 19), I joined the Army.  Not only was this completely outside of my personality and comfort zone, it was unexpected and unconventional for a girl to join the Army.  While I was scared senseless with running, yelling, and shooting stuff in basic training, it was also secretly thrilling.  It is also the one adventure that my sister will never have. 

So here is my true dilemma.  I am jealous. Why am I jealous?  Since those long ago Army days I got married, had a baby, and earned a master's in education.  In the mean time, my sister has traveled to Switzerland, Germany, Brazil, Japan, and now Saudi Arabia.  There is one snag that holds me back and that is I cannot interview worth a damn and I am stuck in substitute teacher land.  I feel like I am falling behind.  I want to go on my adventure, I want to teach in another country, and I want people to be excited and sad that I am leaving.  I realize that I sound whiny when I don't mean too; of course I am proud of her. I am just frustrated because I want to join her and start crossing things off my list of impossible things.

With the closing of 2010 and the beginning of 2011, it the time of New Year's resolutions.  Naturally, I will be making one but I also fully intend to keep my resolutions, not just let them fall to the wayside.  What are they you ask?  You are going to find out....next post.

What are your New Year's resolutions?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day 102: I am tired of watching her go, this time I want to follow...

What is a good way to have a minimalist Christmas?  Limit the budget which forces you to be creative.  While my husband may not exactly endorse mininmalism, he understands the power of a budget.  With all the craziness of shopping, cooking, and cleaning, the holidays is a fun time for me.  I love to entertain despite having a small house.  I have exactly the right amount of dishes, even though I may have to get a little creative (I don't have duplicates of everything like my mother does--love you mom!)  There were many surprises this year, such as flowers, cookies, and presents delivered to my house.  A kind stranger even bought my groceries for me!  Plus there is ymmy leftovers--my philosophy is cook once and eat twice.

However, tommorow, December 26th, my sister is moving overseas for job reasons.  While I am excited and proud of her, thinking about her leaving brings up childhood nightmares.  Every since I was 5 years-old, my sister has been moving somewhere...California, Japan, Brazil, and now Saudi Arabia.  Well, I am tired of watching her go, this time I want to follow...and meet up or better yet she can follow me to somewhere, anywhere. 

Two opportunities are unfolding before me, first my sister in Saudi Arabia and second, my friend is getting married in Mexico.  So I plan on crossing somethings off my list of impossible things.  I plan on visit my sister in the Middle East and attend my friend's wedding in Mexico.

Share your thoughts with me....

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 97: Casino Royale

This time of the year is both exciting and stressful.  Stressful because money is tight but we are taught this notion that Christmas is not Christmas unless we buy a bunch of presents.  Growing up, I remember having dinner on Christmas Eve and then rushing over to the tree to open our presents (we couldn't wait).  Christmas Day was when my oldest brother and family would come over and we had the big dinner with turkey and trimmings.  I had no idea how much my parents spent or if they worried. 

My husband has far different experiences.  Being raised by a divorced mother, he felt every stressful and tense emotion from his mother, especially around Christmas.  His mother tried to compensate by buying lots of inexpensive gifts to create an illusion of plenty. 

Now that we are the parents, my husband feels bad if we don't have a multitude of gifts surrounding the tree.  I try to remind him that quality is better than quantity.  I also remind that we are broke because we are finally paying off our student loans so we are broke for a good reason.  He knows this but sometimes old habits creep up.

The exciting part of the holidays is two weeks vacation from teaching and parties to attend! We attended the "Casino Royale" party at my neighbor's house.  Even though I didn't know most of the people it was fun to inneract with random and kind strangers.  It was also fun to "gamble" at blackjack and craps.  Later, I drank a type of German schnapps (yummm) and chatted with the "dealer" Daniel who was one of the other party goers that ended up teaching the rest of us how to play the games.  We talked about the importance of good conversation, good company, and good food.  All the best parts of the Christmas holidays....

What are your best memories of the holidays?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 94: I am so dang slow!

Why is is that when you finally admit the truth it feels like a new discovery?  Or more like "Duh, I guess I should have put the pieces together sooner!"  What am I talking about?  Apparently, this pattern of procrastination  before the panic rises is something that crosses to other areas of my life.  This is something that I suspected but now I am beginning to make the connection.  My family has been teasing me about starting projects and never finishing them.  Furthermore, my friend was talking to me about weigh loss and the struggles that go along with it.  The truth is I have not lost as much weight as I think I should have by this point.  If I go back to my original rules so why am I doing this, I should have lost around 24 lbs.  So why haven't I?  Why do I sabotage myself?  Of course I could argue that injury both my shoulder and my knee in the last few months has not helped the cause. 

Uggh, this is so frustrating!  Learning about yourself is both exciting and eye opening at the same time.  My mother told me that when I was younger she decided that it was easier to do things herself then to make me do it, i.e. chores.  Maybe I am still waiting for someone to do things for me.  Now I need to do things for myself.  Making my list of impossible things and writing this blog is a step in the right direction.  Getting started is easy for me but finishing a project...homework, housework, weight less, anything seems so daunting that I want to walk away and distract myself with something else; I need to focus on completing my projects.

I have made some progress.  My darling friend helped me paint my dining room (I am tired of living in my rental house painted "landlord white").  I have been wanting to paint the house for a long time but getting started seemed impossible.  We painted the first coat yesterday and I finished with the second coat today, but I am so dang slow!  I am slow in everything and get distracted easily.  I have also started to sort through my stuff moving toward a minimalist direction.  I can except that I may be slow, I just need to remember to finish what I have started, just like the saying "Why put off tomorrow what I can accomplish today."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day 90: Pseudo zombies

One thing that I like about blogging is that it is an outlet for my thoughts.  It is also a good tool to keep track of myself and what lessons (even if it is the same lesson) I have learned to improve myself.  What also is fun is to read other people's blogs and consider their thoughts.  So here my thoughts about a post I written by Everett Bogue, a radical minimalist, about Zombie Hunting 101.  He is talking about those individuals whose soul is tired and hates their life.  These individuals are too caught in their past, their miserable job, and unfulfilled dreams they will never pursue. 
The problem I have with his argument is not that I disagree but that Everett Bogue seems to classify people into two categories: those individuals who hate their jobs, are "caught in the system", and therefore is miserable in all aspect of their lives or those individuals who quit their jobs in order to pursue other dreams.  I would argue that there is a third group of people--"pseudo zombies" or "half zombies" if you will.  "pseudo zombies" are those individuals that shuffle through their unwanted jobs for a variety of reasons but when they come home is when the truly wake up and come back to life.  So why stick with an unwanted job?  Perhaps it is for money, a family to support, or to maintain a certain lifestyle.

I think I am part of the third category, "pseudo zombie".  As a substitute teacher, I am getting tired of teaching in someone else's classroom.  However, I went back to school, started this blog, and an identifying areas of growth I need to work on.  At home and with the International Girls Group, I come to life.  I spend time with my family, sew with my mother, and study with my sister. 

Another example of a "pseudo zombie" is my neighbor.  She hates her job, it is boring to her.  However, in the evening she comes to life.  My neighbor has ran a marathon, biked a 100-mile race, goes hiking, camping, and traveled with her mother to Panama.  I would never classify her as full zombie!

Share your thoughts about zombies or "pseudo-zombies".  Do you know any?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 89: Pulling myself out of sefl-inflicted hell!

I finally finished all of my assignments for the fall term on time and turned in.  No incompletes and no missing assignmens.  This has been two of self-inflicted hell and it is a wonderful feeling to finally have pulled myself out of it.  I never want to enter this hell again.

What are your thoughts about self-inflicted hell?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 86: Downhill toward the finish line

This past week as been pure hell and what is worse is that I created this hell.  My husband asked why now, why am I now coming to the conclusion that I have a procrastination problem?  I am not sure why now I woke up but I have and I plan on staying awake.  So far, I have just completed all of my assignments for one of my classes and now I have two more assignments left and will accomplished my goal.  Now intead of the panic rising and having to force myself to breathe (Before the Panic Rises) I can start on my metaphorically trip downhill toward the finish line.  It is a wonderful feeling.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Day 84: 5 more to go

5 more assignments to go!  1 final project + 4 little assignments = 5 more assignments to go.  I feel like I am on the last hill before before descending toward the finish line.  The last hill is the hardest but if feels so sweet to finally finish.  Yet I almost succombed again.  Apparently changing my habits is not going to come so easy...this is why it is on My List of Impossible Things (see other page of blog).  I worked today teaching little angels how to read new words and subtract big numbers.  When I came home my internal voice began to whine.  I am tired, I can do it tomorrow, I am almost done.  But what I finish tonight will set me up so much nicer for tomorrow, so I sat down and finished one more assignment.  Now I only have 5 more left.   I decided to reward myself.  If I finish an assignment, then I can to yoga.  It was a great motivator.

I think I have an answer to my previous rant (see Day 83: One Down and One More to Go).  Why is that I can cram 10 weeks worth of work into a week and a half but I can't spread out over the course of the semester?  Somewhere along the way I fell into a pattern of tommorow, tommorow, I can do it tommorow.  Eventually the tommorows run out.  I need to do things now, just right now, whether it is homework, working out, losing weight, saving money to travel, accomplishing my impossible list.  Just do it now!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Day 83: One Project Down and One to Go

Sitting in the school library helps me to get a lot done, although my husband thinks I am completely bonkers.  I understand his frustration...my procrastination means time spent away from the family especially on a Sunday afternoon.  I need to work on this because as I said before procrastination sucks! 

The bright side is that I finished one major project with one more to go.  I do have some smaller assignments to complete but those won't take long.  Why is that I can cram 10 weeks worth of work in an week and half but I cannot complete over the course of a term?  This has always haunted me from 5th grade to the present and now my son is starting to do the same thing as me.  Great role model!  Although growing I did not have a role model as far as study habits are concerned.

It is interesting to sit in the university library and listen to a flurry of languages...Arabic, Chinese...I wish I could understand.  I wish I was the international student (or teacher).

As always, I welcome your thoughts.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Day 82: Procrastination sucks!

I am progressively, slowly work my way out of this work load and moving toward the light.  My newest item to add to my list of impossible things is to work ahead in my assignments through the entire term and not fall behind.  That is the central lesson in all of this...procrastination really sucks and it gets in the way of accomplishing some many other goals from list!

How has procrastination prevented you from accomplishing goals in life?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Day 81: Some of the light is shining through

As I remind to just breathe and I pray to the Univerise to get me through my scramble to finish, I have made some progress and some of the light is beginning to shine throug.  I am not quite to the surface.

Share your thoughts about working through difficult projections.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 78: Before the Panic Rises

I have put myself in a difficult spot...agian.  The usual pattern that I have maintained since middle school which is to shove off my homework until the last possible moment.  Only now I am grad school...why haven't I learned?  Will I ever learn?  This is the last week of the term and everything is due this Sunday.  While I am slowly crawling my way out from under a pile of homework, I am not seeing sunshine yet.  Therefore, my immediate reaction is to run and hide which equates to distracting myself with everything else but my homework.  Yet I know within my soul that I absolutely cannot fail...I must finish by Sunday evening.  So am trying to calm myself down before the panic rises to the surface.  What if I can't finish?  Last summer the same thing happened and I took some incompletes, so that is not an option for this time. 

I have to finish and I have to calm down before the panic rises.

Before the panic rises....

I am trying to imagine the immense sense of relief when I do finish.  If I survived basic training, I can survive this...before the panic rises.

Send me some encouragment please...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 76: New Design

So if you have read my blog you noticed the new look.  Hope you like it.  Also, on the side bar, I have my "wish list" and "projects currently working on".  As I complete a goal from either list I will check it off with the date completed.  The idea for creating a wish list/ current project is adapted from this blog on Tyler Tervooren's Advanced Riskology:

Let me know your thoughts about your own wish list of things you want to accomplish.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Day 75: A Tale of Two Coats

In an attempt to sort through my pile o' stuff, I have come to the conclusion that I do not need two coats.  However, tying to decide which one to keep has been a dilemma.  Why?  As I pair down deeper into my closet, old habits of trying to talk myself into keeping items or finding excuses to keep something based on the "some day" scenario creep up.  So I have come up with a list of pros and cons:

Coat #1: dark forest green w/ fur lined collar from consignment shop

Pros: 100 % wool                                                                                                               
         fur-lined collar
         vintage circa early 1970s?
         My mother has offered to
         repair it for me!
 Cons: Seams and lining ripped
           creative repairing required

Front view

Just one of many holes in the seams

Ripped up lining

Another ripped up seam
Coat #2: light blue w/hood from Old Navy

Pros: has a hood                                                                     
 love the sky blue color    
Cons: weighs a "thousand lbs" when wet
made out of acrylic/polyester material
ugly little "pearly" balls everywhere
looks very worn
view from the back side

ugly little "pearly" balls as a result of the polyester material

view from the front--I dig the hood

So what is the dilemma besides one is ripped up and the other is worn looking?  In my attempt to declutter my pile o' stuff, I have come to the conclusion that I only need one coat.  Eventually, I will need a new coat but the fundage is not readily available and I want to spend my money elsewhere at the moment.  So which one to keep?  It is a hard decision to make.

Tell me your thoughts on which one I should keep?  Or what are your struggles in sorting out your pile o' stuff?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 73: Black Friday

The highways around backed up with busy travelers attempting to leave the city (or go to the city) and the airports are working around the clock to ensure wayward travelers arrive on time.  Thanksgiving is a fun get together with family but it is the day after Thanksgiving when an even busy mad rush begins.  The day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday which holds a reputation of long lines, grumpy people, and the occasional snarl fest over toys or electronics.  For the past 3 years, I have participated in this ritual of waking up at 3 o'clock in the morning to go stand in the cold for two hours.  This year I have decided to not go out on Black Friday.  First of all, I don't have the money but this is actually a good thing.  I don't have to think to decide to participate or not, the decision is already made.  Second, in an attempt to declutter my pile o'stuff and finish my projects, I don't need to bring more stuff into my house.  Finally, the purpose of my blog is the work on spending less money.  My goal is save enough money to visit my sister in Saudi Arabia, hopefully by the end of August.

However, I realize that some of you may decide to participate in this ritual of Black Friday, so here is my gift to you to take shopping, whether it is Friday or any other day.

Before you buy something, take out this card
and ask yourself these questions:
  • Will this purchase help me reach my financial goals?
  • Do I really need this item or just want it?
  • Would I come back tomorrow to buy this?
  • Can I really afford it?
  • Would I buy if if I had to pay cash for it?
  • If I buy it on my credit card, can I pay it off this month?
Adapted from "Making Money Work for You" by the University
of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension
Financial Fitness

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 70: Mad Rush toward Thanksgiving

For my demonstration today, I sampled "Dry Soda" a low-sugar option for wine.  It was actually pretty good, more like a flavored water than sugary soda.  While my demo was interesting, what really caught my attention was the mad rush of customers frantically running all over the store to buy specialized ingredients in order to spend hours of cooking for a giangatic feast.  Usually, cooking falls on the shoulder of one individual, perhaps the mother while everyone else enjoys stuffing themselves endlessly.  Why is Thanksgiving set up to be a gorge fest?  Is it supposed to be about family and being thankful for our health and happiness?  Weight Watchers teaches that holidays are just another meal, maybe a little nicer meal, but a meal nevertheless.  That means that it is not a gorge fest but just a great meal.  For consumeristic Americans, this is a difficult concept to wrap our brains around.  Would we not enjoy Thanksgiving if we just had some turkey (or not), a starch, and a nice salad followed by desert a little later.  Four or five carefully selected dishes, so much simplier yet still enjoyable.  Better yet, what if our new tradition of a non-glutounous Thanksgiving dinner was followed by an activity, such as board games, card games, or a nice walk. 

What are your thoughts about Thanksgiving dinner?  Please share them with me.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 69: Old Friends

Today while working a demostration I ran into an old friend, Jeremy.  Actually, he was once my neighbor and I had a huge crush on him (from afar since I am very married).  I met Jeremy when we were still in college and my son was just learn to walk and talk.  Jeremy even babysat my son, so my husband and I could go on a date (a rare occasion when a small child is involved). I recognized my friend instantly. The last time I saw him, he was not in a good sense of space. Today he looked fanastic, working as a contractor for an environmental friendly construction company in Portland.  So if you live in the NW, check out the website, From These Hands (http://www.sukita.com/).

Have you ever run into an old friend and a rush of memories come flooding to the surface?  Share your thoughts with me.

Checkin:  Worked a demonstration and my knee was throbbing.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 68: Kinetic Midnight Energy

Kinetic Midnight Energy is the name of the girl's group that I volunteer with on Friday afternoon.  The girl's decided on the name by voting but I don't think some of them realize how accurate this name is for them.  Kinetic energy is the swirling energy molecules that bumb into each other at complete randomness; just like the girls.  I like this group because they are the children of Somalian refugees and arrive each week wearing their brightly colored scarves; like working with a rainbow of chaos.  The girls bring a brightness and sweetness to end the week on a good note.

Today's accomplishments:  Worked full day subbing. 
                                          Volunteered with the International Girls Group of Portland
                                          (aka Kinetic Midnight Energy)

The Cheetah symbolizes the energy of the girls X 16 personalities

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 67: Rain

The rain is pouring down, which is not unusual for Portland weather.  Today, I got a sub call and on my way to work I narrowly escaped being swallowed by the instant lake forming at the bottom of the hill.  I promptly turned my little Kia around and choose a different route. 

A Portland winter day
I like the rain.  Watching it fall from the sky just to jump back up in excitement.  Or read a good book with a hot cup of coffee (or tea).  Rain also makes me sleepy and  I just want to curl up into a ball under my warm quilt.  Or better yet to settle back into a hot bath with a candle lit filling the hair with lavender or mint.

Yesterday, in the rain, I met another Portland blogger for tea (http://www.minimalistadventures.com/.  It was strange to contrast the image in my mind with the person in front of me.  It was also strange to realize we knew each other from our blogs yet exciting to find out new things.  It was like meeting my pen pal, spending months reaching out through the electoral current known as the Internet.

One particular memory I have of the rain was a wild wind storm screaming its presence.  We lost the electricity, so my mother and I had to got outside to find the telephone number on the electric box.  A flash of lightening burst forth, struck a tree branch, and my friend's father ducked quickly behind his truck in order to miss the tree. 

Today's check in:
worked a full day and finished one of my reading assignments.

to drink some chai tea and take a hot bath

What are your thoughts or memories about the rain?  I discovered something about my blog.  When I looked at my stats, I have viewers from as far away as South Africa and Hong Kong.  While I am thrilled to realize that I have an audience for my thoughts, please don't be shy about leaving your thoughts.  I want to hear from you!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 66: Progress Report

I have been this blog for roughly two months (give or take a day or two) and I think it is time to review my progress:

1)  I have not lost any weight.  Uggh...However, in my defense I hurt my shoulder making it so I could lift my arm above head without tears and I recently crashed and burned on bike, slamming my knee into the concrete (see Day 59: Chain of Support  http://spendlessweighless.blogspot.com/2010/11/day-59-my-chain-of-support.html). 

2)  I am behind in my homework...again.  This is constant battle for me.

3)  I sometimes succumb and but lunch or tea vs packing my lunch or tea in a thermos.

4)  I have started the slow process of weeding out my excess "possessions" such as clothes, shoes, and junk occupying my kitchen.

5)  While I am behind I have started the process of unburying myself.

6)  I have reduced my spending even though I have slipped up.

7)  My way of eating has changed centering around Weight Watchers which means more veggies and less meat and eating according to proper proportions.

Immediate goals:
1)  Continue working on my homework...I have three weeks to get it all done!

2)  Started working on my mountain of sewing projects and Christmas gifts.

3)  Figure out a modified work program while my knee heals.

4)  Start tracking my walking steps...again.

5)  Accomplish at least one thing a day or make significant progress.

Long-term goals:
1) Work on my husband and son to set a modified/reduced budget for Christmas.  We don't need more "things".

2)  Weed out more junk and simplify our junk load.

3) Save money to visit my sister in Saudi Arabia.  While I am bummed about her moving, it is good for me to stand on my own two feet for awhile.  Besides, I have always wanted to visit the Middle East...such a fascinating and ancient place in humanities history (the number zero, medical knowledge, and preservers of the Greek mythology).

3)  Continue toward my weight loss goal.

4) Start riding my bike more (without crashing :)

So far a mixed progress report.  I certainly have room for improvement, but that is the purpose my blog--to keep me on track.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 63: Still Hobbling Around

As the title suggests, I am still hobbling around due to my little "accident" (see Day 59: Chain of Support http://spendlessweighless.blogspot.com/2010/11/day-59-my-chain-of-support.html).  The good news is that my chain of support has continued with phone calls, the sweetness of my husband cooking and cleaning, and even my moody 12-year-old-son helping out with minimal arguing.  I have also been doing a lot of studying in an attempt to unbury myself from a mountain of homework.

Let me know your thoughts or injuries!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 60: Veteran's Day

So today is Veteran's Day, a federal holiday that several enjoy as a day off.  I certainly enjoy my time off, but it is humbling to me to think of those veteran's that have fought and survived WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan... As for me, I am blessed to have served my country nice and safe from Ft. Hood, Texas.  Applebee's even provided a free meal to all veteran's which we enjoyed.

As for my knee (See Day 59) I am hobbling around, trying to catch up on my homework.  Hope you enjoyed your holiday.

Day 59: My Chain of Support

Today I was so proud of myself because I rode my bike to the Portland State University campus!  6.5 miles is an accomplishment for me.  In another post, I stated that I was going to ride my bike 3 times a week, but I have to admit that I have whimped out because of the cold and rain.

Unfortunately, when I was getting ready to leave, it was late in the afternoon and I was trying to talk myself out of simply throwing my bike up on the bus or train; I can be tough girl.  Now, I am convinced that it was God, the Universe, my own personal instincts warning me.  As I was beginning my journey, I was stuck behind a bus and I had the "brillant" idea to pass the bus.  Except that my tire got caught on trolley railing and my knee slammed into the concrete; not a pretty event to behold.

So here is the upside: a bike rider rode by and helped me out of the street--definately a good thing.  Then a very kind gentleman walked over and stayed with me until I was able to secure a ride.  I called everyone that I knew until finally my brother-in-law was able to rescue me.  Angels was watching over me, both metaphysically and in the shape of the kind stranger and fantastic in-laws! 

Finally, it felt nice that although I had difficulty getting ahold of people at first, every single person called me back not knowing what had happened.  After sitting in my chair with my leg propped up, my husband got me worried about my bike being locked up downtown, alone, in the dark, all night.  So I called one more person in my phone list: my brother, who unfortunately I don't call to often.  There is something about having a genetic connection because when the call came, my brother drove me back downtown at 10 o'clock at night to rescue my bike.  It was nice to know that even if we are not close, he is still my brother and there to help when needed.  I think I need to reach out to him more, not just when I need rescueing. 

So, you ask, am I hurt.  Well, yes my knee is banged fairly bad but nothing broken.  The swelling needs to calm down.  I just got over from hurting my shoulder and back into yoga again and now this.  Maybe my brother-in-law is right, I am a walking accident!

The lesson I learned from this experience is that I reach out to the same person over and over again, mainly my sister.  However, this is not healthy.  Now I now that I have other people to support me, such as my brother.  It is good to widen my circle of support.

Please share your thoughts or feelings.  Who is your chain of support?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day 55: Infinite Hope

So this weekend I attended a women's conference with my friends and their church ( I posted a little teaser about this on Day 54) and I took away so many empowering thoughts I want to with you.  Regardless of your spiritual path lessons of infinite hope applies to everyone.  Hope is like oxygen, a necessity for life...

1)  We are angels in disguise.
Instead of dwelling on the things that we have failed to accomplish, it is important to recognize all the good that we have done for ourselves and for others.  Remind yourself that you are a beautiful angel.

2) There is great power in being touched by someone who loves you.
Whether from family members, God, Allah, or whoever, remember that we are touched with love.  Furthermore, remember to touch those you love.

3) There is power in choosing to be cheerful and the choices we make.
While a bad attitude followed by anger & negativity might seem the easier choice in the long run it is difficult to maintain and effects the quality of life.  Instead, choose to have a good attitude about life complimented by strength & positivity.

4) Choose to be grateful.
Acknowledge the good things and good people in your life; this changes your attitude and the way you approach things.

5) There is power in surrendering control.
While it is human nature to want to control what comes into our lives, sometimes things happen and it is better to let go and just laugh & have fun in life.

By remembering we angels in disguise, power in choices and attitude, and surrendering control, we actual create a space for new opportunities and adventures.  When we have hope, then we can focus on our dreams and what is truly important instead of letting all the negativity clutter up our lives. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day 54: Hope

This weekend I am attending a women's conference through my friend's church entitled "Time Out for Women" (great title).  Tonight was amazing! Lots of jokes, great music, and beautiful stories.  The main message:  we need to seek Hope and hold on to Hope in order for our lives to open  It is only when we have Hope can new opportunities to seek us out.  Plus it is fun to hang out with a bunch of girlfriends!

Let me know your thoughts about Hope!

Day 50: Reflection in the Mirror

After an epic battle of looking at my son's planner and figuring out that he does indeed have homework, I have come to the conclusion that he is indeed my son.  Even though it is difficult to admit, when my son is defensive like this, it is own reflection in the mirror.  When I was in middle school, I was secretive about my homework, especially if I was in the wrong.  Unfortunately, I still am secretive even though I get caught.  My husband calls it "falling asleep".  Part of the many reasons for this blog is to address these issues of "falling asleep".  When I look at my reflection in the mirror, i.e. my son, I want to be proud of my image.  I want to set good examples for him so that he will grow up to my a good man.

So here is my confession: I have gotten behind in my homework yet again just like in the summer.  I have one month left of the term and so I need to bust it out to complete everything in time.  I need your words of encouragement!

Let me know your thoughts.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 48: Listening Ear

As part of my goal to "kick it up a notch" (http://spendlessweighless.blogspot.com/2010/10/day-38-kick-it-up-notch.html, I bought a pass to the local community center and attended the deep water aerobics class.  It was an amazing work.  Afterward, I slipped into the hot tub for a little rest and relaxation.  A woman started talking about being sick, abused by doctors and the police, and harassed in every way possible; she was a "slave" to the system.  While I am not quite sure how much of her story I but into, I felt that what she wanted the most in that moment was someone to listen to her.  So I choose to become a listening ear, regardless of whether her story was true or not.  It was her truth and she needed a companion...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Day 46: The student serves the master

Today I visited my parents; I am lucky enough to live nearby.  My mother has been undergoing hip surgery as well as chemotherapy and radiation treatments!  Cancer is a nasty business and quite a process to recover from let me tell.  At the same time, it felt good to know that I can help mother in the kitchen and cook dinner for parents.  A true reversal of roles, it was almost like the student took over and the master chef had the pleasure of watching...and then took a nap!  Happy sleeping mother!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Day 45: Dance Party

On Fridays, I volunteer with the International Girls Group of Portland and today we had our Halloween Party.  Marcie (the other leader) and myself prepared games and the girls squealed with enjoyment.  We finished off our little party with a "dance off"; it was fun that I could enjoy myself dancing with the girls and not get tired.  Dancing is a great exercise and as I mentioned before, I secretly like to dance....
Think of me as the red dancer...which one are you?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day 44: Easy Route vs. Difficult Route

I subbed for half a day this morning.  It was an easy gig and the students were great.  However, I ran into another substitute.  Only this gentleman said something that caught me off guard.  He said that sometimes he gets discouraged and wants to just give up and bag groceries so he does not have to "think" about work.  With the economy the way it is school districts have had to make major cuts by laying teachers off.  While this is discouraging, I do not think the same way as my "new friend".  First, I have fought too hard, owe too much in student loans, and have put in a lot of hours to just simply give up.  I have always wanted to be a teacher and even though I struggle with interviewing, I am good at what I do.  I just need to find a way to let my talents shine forth.  And that is part of the reason why I write this blog.  One of my goals is to obtain a full time teaching position as a teacher or librarian or ideally both! I will never choose the easy route and just find a random job.  I choose the more difficult route because it my calling and my passion.  Teaching is not about making money.  I started out serving my country and now I will continue serving my community.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day 43: Shadows in the Night

As I was watching my son practice soccer with his team, the light began to fade with the evening creeping in.  Twelve year-old-boys running around the field in the pitch black looked like shadows in the night.  I was imaginng that they belonged to some other world, Middle Earth maybe.  So why tell you this?  It is because I have a secret to share...

I love the night.  No, I am not some creepy vampire nor do I want to be a vampire;  I am not Twilight's Bella Swan.  But I have always loved the night...watching the stars, the moon, or the planets Venus and Mars.

The moon-ruler of the night sky

Tuesday nights is my night to clean the yoga studio (it is a trade for free yoga).  I love being the only one there with the music playing while I clean.  This leads to another secret...

I secretly love to dance.  Some people sing in the shower but for me I like to dance.  I can pretend that I am a bellydancer preforming for my audience (the yoga mats).  I love to take lessons from the Gypsy Caravan (see below).  Such beautiful costumes and graceful moves!
Gypsy Caravan: a local dance troop in Portland, Oregon

As for today, this Wednesday, I need to catch up on my homework.  Old patterns are starting to creep in and I have fallen behind, yet again.  So now I need to sprint to catch up....

Monday, October 25, 2010

Day 42: The Coffee Addiction

Sometimes on the weekends, I have a side job working as a demonstrator handing out samples of yummy treats to customers conducting their weekly hunt for groceries.  Secretly, I like to peek out what customers place in their cart because about what other people buy.  Some are junk food junkies with frozen this and processed that.  Some are super-duper healthy with soy-this and raw-food that.  And some fall into the in-between with a little junk mixed in with a little healthy; I would fall into the third category.  I am not a vegetarian however cooking the Weight Watchers way, I eat a lot less meat and more vegetables/ whole grains.  But I digress....

If you have read my blog before you know that I love coffee and love coffee shops.  My husband says that I am addicted to the stuff but now I am convinced that he is very, very wrong.  My demonstration this weekend centered around my favorite little black drink with a little cream and sugar; I even got to do two of them both Saturday and Sunday!  People are so happy when they receive free coffee while being chatty and friendly at the same time.  I learn new facts and meet interesting people.  Of course I meet some strange ones as well.  My first was for Kicking Horse, an organic, fair trade company based in British Columbia that uses sustainable growing practices (shade grown coffee).  I got a lot of comments that it was "expensive"  ($9 for 12 oz. with the coupon) but it tastes so good.  In fact I plan on buying some. 

Kicking Horse coffee comes in a reusable can
The second was for Starbucks instant coffee Via.  Customers practically ran over claiming they needed their "fix" or that they were "thirsty".   How much coffee must you drink to need a "fix" in order to function?  Some customers would not speak to me...obtaining the coffee was more important.  The Church of Latter Day Saints (aka Mormons) does not believe in drinking coffee because our bodies are a gift from God therefore why inject poison?  While associating coffee with poison may seem a little extreme to me, still there is some truth in this statement.  Do you agree or not agree?   Furthermore, the Via practically flew off the shelf.  People were willing to spend $7 for 8 cups of coffee ($7 per 8 pack).  What is it about name recognition?  Slap on the Starbucks logo and customers are willing to pay any price.

As for me, I drink between 1-2 cups a day but not always.  If I drink too much I get sick!  Drinking coffee is not about getting my "fix" on or quenching my "thirst" but about pleasure and a warm fuzzy feeling especially on rainy, winter days.  It is about creating new combinations and flavors.  Coffee is about socializing and enjoying good company!

So now I am even more convinced about cutting out my Starbucks and encouraged that I have come so far!

Let me know your thoughts!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Day 41: Arabian Nights

So my sister interview for a job in Suadi Arabi teaching at a women's college and got the job.  I am torn about have my sister leave....again.  Part of me is happy & proud, part of me is sad, and part of me is jealous. 
Saudi Arabian national flag
 I know in my heart that I am full of potential bursting to shine through but because I struggle with that damn interview (this is a thorn in my side) I am stuck on the sidelines as the "substitute teacher".  Don't get me wrong, there are some wonderful benfits.  It is part-time, I work when I choose.  If my son needs something for school or I am asked to volunteer for something, I am there.  But imagine living in someone else's house and expected to enforce the rules while learning the rules....doesn't always run so smoothly.  So why is it when my sister interviews she gets like every job.  I seriously need to pick her brain!  My darling sister, please don't feel bad when you read this, I am just thinking "out loud". 

Maybe God/ the universe is providing an opportunity here.  Maybe I need to find away to follow her instead of just watching her leave.  I want to travel too....

Part of my goals with this blog is to obtain a full time job and travel.  I need  a lot of money or a big house...I want to my own adventures to share with my sister.

I invite you to share your thoughts.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 39: Screw-Up

I weighed myself this morning and I lost two lbs!  I am now 243.6.  That is the good news.  Otherwise I am sad because I screwed up and it will affect my darling husband.  I am nervous about telling him, so I am not really in the mood to write a post.  Don't worry, it is not horrible bad just frustrating bad. Just wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 38: "Kick it up a notch"

So far my exercise has included walking and yoga but I have come to the conclusion that I need to "kick it up a notch" as the famous Chef Emeril would say.  You ask why I have come to this conclusion?  Well I will tell you.  One of my favorite blogs that I like to follow (even though I may not always agree) is http://www.minimalistadventures.com/.  The creator, Dusti, advocates riding her bike and refuses to own a car.  Now I thought is that possible?  I do live in Portland, Oregon, one of the bike friendly cities in the country.  Dusti claims to ride 27 miles a day, with her daughter in tow.  My next thought was if she can ride 27 miles a day, I could ride 10 miles to the yoga studio and back.  I have done it before but I am just so slow...I am slow in everything I do...I was born slow.  On the other hand, maybe biking is like running, you start out slow but your body builds up endurance. 

Generally, I am slow and easily distracted (a bad combination) but I am also stubborn; once my mind is made up I will put forth all of my effort.  I have done that several times in past.  For example, I was a very shy girl who did not have boyfriend, did not party or drink, did not play sports, and did not have many friends in high school.  So what did I do after I graduated?  I joined the Army which is the polar opposite of my personality.  In the Army, running was a daily part of a solidier's life.  Just like breating, it was automatic.  I had two choices when it came to running: A) choose to run and try my best or B) not run, get yelled out/ punished (extra duties), and end up running anyways.  I chose option A. 

I think I need to apply this mentality to biking or at least biking to the yoga studio; my little 10-mile jauht through the streets of Portland.  It cetrtainly falls into live with this blog.  I will spend less in gas money while working out at the same time.  I am going to shoot for 3 days a week.

So as I hit the payments of Portland, with my goal to "kick it up a notch", I give a shout out to Dusti.  Maybe I will see you on your bike!

Let me know your thoughts about this blog!  Any suggestions as I attempt to become a bike commuter?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 36: Cold Weather

My favorite season is fall when the leaves come down, the rain comes, and I am snuggled up with a sweater, a cup of hot coffee, and my favorite book.  I was thinking about this during yoga class with the steam against the windows, the candles flickering, and breathing my way through the vinasa flow in a warm studio.  Yummm!  Unfortunately the central heater is currently broke down with a new one on the way which the landlord will install later in the week.  So what this means is that it is cold in the house, cold in the morning, and cold at night.  I think I would like to revoke natures visiting rights and ask her to move back outside.  In fact, just to top things off, the maintenance man had to turn the hot water off to fix something else and forgot to turn it back on!  This equals to a very cold shower for my husband this morning.  I love the guy but better him than me.  Don't worry, the hot water heater was rescued this morning so no more cold showers!  Since I had coldness on the brain, I was drooling over a pair of long wool arm gloves and wool knee socks that cost $34 apiece.  They looked adorable and I wanted them so much! 

Enough complaining, I still love the fall weather.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day 35: Mix-Match of Things

In trying to think of a theme for the post,  I could actually come up with several, it is such a mix-match of things. 
Friday's relevation--In yoga class I can fumble and fall with the poses but gather my thoughts and come right back to trying the pose.  Perhaps, when something becomes frustrating, instead of shutting down and distracting myself, I gather my thoughts and come back to the task.  As my yogi teacher says, apply what you happens on the matt to my life.

Saturday's relevation--Took my son to a Portland Trail Blazer's game which was a total blast.  Although I can't play basketball is one of the few games I understand (thanks to my older brother).

Sunday's relevation--At first I wanted to bail on the auction meeting but a parent/friend of mine talked me into going.  It was worth.  We decided to scale back from "auction" to a "party" with a live band and a few key items to raffle off.  It sounds like a lot more fun, less stess on me, and more economically for families to attend.  If anyone of my readers wish to donate an item, talent, or service please let me know!

Daily steps:  172,000 Almost to my goal!
Activity:  Lots of walking and biking (my car broke down so I have been on 2 wheels for a week)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day 31: Calling in the Calvery

Today my rock-star of a sister came in to help with reorganizing my son's room.  What has boggled my mind for months my sister conquered in about three hours!  Wish I could do that.  Furthermore, I asked for help from my sweet, darling friends to fold a million envelopes for my son's school auction, accomplishing far more that I could have on my own.  Thank you! 
Did not feel so well this evening so no work out for me.  Tomorrow is a new day!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Day 30: Weigh-In

So I have a lot to do today so this is going to be quick.  Weighed in this morning (that is the best time to do it when you first wake up).  The result:  245.6 lbs.  This is a small accomplishment I will admit but this month I have had a rocky start toward my weight loss goal; I am a little behind only I refuse to stress about it.  I hurt my shoulder and it is now finally starting to feel better and my husband started Weight Watchers.  Cooking that way uses a lot less food but much better quality of food.  I look forward to the challenge!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 28: Mother-figures

   Is a mother defined as the person who gave birth to you and that is it?  Because not everyone knows there mother or lives far away or does not get along with their mother.  Or can a person have more than one "mother-figure"?  Are we simply related or not related to people based on bloodline?  Or do we define who is our family because we claim them as so.  As for me, I have had several "mothers".  My favorite aunt from childhood who is no longer of this world.  My sister who was my second mother the first 10 years of my life but now is my best friend.  My girlfriends who seem more like my sisters.  My husband's "adopted mother" who definatley seems like a second mother-in-law.  My neighbor who is someone I seek advice from or an ear to listen.  And of course my real mother who I am fortunate to know, live near, and get along great with. 

Daily Report:  Water--5 16oz glasses (much better)
                       Activity--Day of relaxing
Daily Steps:    134,000

On a side note, I do ask that if you are starting to read my blog that you'll either become a follower or give me a shout out in the comments section. It keeps my motivated knowing people are reading what I have to say! :) 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Day 27: Troubled Referree

     Standing in the rain and watching my son's soccer game, I was struck by the troubled referree (spelling?).  We arrived while the previous game was in progress and this gentleman argued with a parent and the coach while refusing to allow the players to be subbed in and out of the game.  Then it was our turn and this same troubled referree blew his whistle so much that even the boys were confused and just stopped mid-game scratching the heads.  Funny how some individuals may change by the power of the whistle.
    This afternoon I made my menu, trying to find dishes the may fit with Weight Watchers (see Day 26) and went shopping. My son went with me and we actually had a good time; just that I am so slow.

Daily Checkup:  Water--Could have done better
                          Activity--grocery shopping
Total Steps:       131,000

So I made my menu for this week but I am always curious what others like to eat.  What are your thoughts?  What are our weekly menus?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Day 27: Car Trouble

     For many years, my family operated with one vehicle in which my husband drove off with it in the morning to work and I took Trimet everywhere else.  Then my parents bought a new car for themselve and in a moment of genorisity gave us their old car.  Instantly, we were a two car family which is a nice luxury but a royal pain when it is taken away.  My car, my little Kia's allignment is off and the two front tires are completly ruined.  I know this because I was driving along 82nd Ave when the passenger front tire burst apart in protest (this is not exactly the safest place to break down but there are worse places).  After the AAA person gave me this lovely bit of news left us with one car again.  Can't afford to get the car fixed plus new tires to yet.   
     However, the upside to this tale is that I live in Portland, OR, one of the most bike friendly cities in the nation.  I have been admiring those diligent commuters for some time now.  Friday afternoons I volunteered with the International Girls Group but instead of cancelling with the lame excuse of the car, I rode my bike and it was lovely.  After all I am trying to find ways to increase my activity levels.  God just decided to kick me out the door on this particular day!

If I have to ride at least it is in Portland, Oregon!

Daily Checkup:  Water--could have done better
                          Activity: 1 hour yoga & 6 mile bike ride
Total steps: 128,000 (see Day 26)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Day 26: Living on the Wheel of Fortune

      Today I got a last minute sub call for a 3rd grade class in the afternoon.  The kids were chatty but mostly good kids.  But that is not my fortune.  My good fortune comes from meeting the librarian.  I have an assignment due Monday ( I am studying to be a librarian) and I needed to interview a school librarian with a degree in library science and I found one.  God and the Universe was smiling for me!
     Second, my husband had his first Weight Wachers meeting!  I think this will be a good program plus it is free to us, thanks to the school district, Keiser, and Madam Obama!  As for me, I started walking the Bruce Trail in Queenstion, Ontario, Canada on Day 4 (http://spendlessweighless.blogspot.com/2010/09/day-4-volcano-in-city.html).  Although I have gotten a little off task, the point of the blog is to remind to get back on task :)  And now that my other half is starting his own weight loss program, things will be easier for me.  So here is my update: I have made it to "Blantyre" and a total of 116,000 steps.  My goal is to reach "Craigleith" abd 178,000 steps in 8 days. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day 27: Sleepy Day

     I have mentioned before that I have one advantage which is I get free yoga in exchange for cleaning the studio once a week.  There are 16 cleaners total and they are coveted positions.  Tuesday evening is my shift and I had 36 mats to clean--a record for me and took about an hour and 15 minutes.   I have to spray cleaner, mop, let dry, roll up, and put away all by myself.  Then there is the rest of the studio.  I was there until 11:30 at night!  I don't mean to whine it's just that today I was sleepy and did not get a lot done.  I watched "The Frog Princess" (adorable), Julie/Julia, took a nap, swept & mopped kitchen floor (way overdue), and folded a basket of clothes.  Then I bought pizza and walked the dogs.  Very stressfull I am telling you.  Well, we all need sleepy days every now and then.  I will always have plenty to do waiting for my attention.
     Tommorow I will assess where I am out with my goals.  Goodnight for now!  Do any you have sleepy days?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Day 25: Homework

So I have neglected my blog but for good reason.  I have conciously reduced the amount of television I watch and have worked on completing my summer coursework  (See Day 6), keep up with this terms coursework, and housework!  I also have my other projects of preparing for the Gala in spring and working with little refuge girls from Somalia on Friday afternoons.  Whew that is alot.  On my last blog (Day 19) I have made the commitment to reduce my television intake.  Today, I was successful and got a lot down.  Just as I have made a new commitment to my self and following through with my task, I need to recommit to my weightloss goals.  Two weeks ago I hurt my shoulder (Day 10).  I have never been injured before and this is driving me crazy.  Although not perfect, I can start my walking goals and some yoga again.  Yeah!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day 19: The Event

So here we are with fall ushering in with the rain or sun--this is Portland and the weather can never make up her mind!  With the fall comes the new school year, both for my son, my husband (he is a teacher) and myself ( I am studying to be a librarian at Portland State University).  But also with the fall come the new season of all of my favorite TV shows as well as the new ones.  I wanted to record "The Event" but is got cancelled because so many other shows were being recorded.  So I am faced with a dilema.  My old habits is to turn to television and eating when things are too over whelming, but this blog is about addressing these old patterns.  So, I think I need to create "My Event" and prioritize what I really like to watch and cut some shows out.  Truth is television is a time-eater.  With that time I could work out, go for a walk, actually get ahead in my homework, or work on some long awaited project that has been shoved in the closet for a millenium.  This is big for me, this definately is "The Event" for me.  Cut down on televistion, it almost seems sacralige and yet I am smiling!? Strange.  What are your thoughts?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Day 18: Girlfriends

Today I went out with a "new" friend today and played.  We went to this amazing store that is like a cross between the Goodwill and Michaels called SCRAP (School and Community Reuse Action Project) focusing on reusing school, office, and crafting supplies.  I have actually know her for awhile through someone else but this summer we really hit off.  It is nice to make a new friend or rather learn about someone familiar in a new way!  As for spending money, I resisted temptation.  There was a pretty piece of fabric that was $8, not a bad price, but did not actually NEED!  So I decided that if it is God or the Univervise's will, the fabric will be there for me the next I go back.

Have any of you made new friends this year or connected with someone in a new way?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Day 17: Responsibilities

I feel really proud of my small accomplishment this weekend, however minor it may be.  One of major vices is to buy coffee, especially Starbucks coffee and  I am committed to cut it out or least only for a very special treat.  For example, my sister gave me a coupon for a free drink but I cannot use until I finishd my summer coursework (see http://spendlessweighless.blogspot.com/2010/09/day-6-challenges-and-sabotage.html#links).  I am really, really close!  Anyway, I digress.  This weekend I worked my little side job working as a demostrator at Fred Meyer's.  Now, usually  I would buy coffee during my lunch break but this time, I was able to resist and drank from my waterbottle instead.  Yeah!  I am a dork, I know!
No more, no more!

Secondly, I had a meeting to discuss my new responisbility that I volunteered for--yikes!  My job is to procure as many donations for my son's school auction.  He is lucky that Portland Public Schools has such programs as the Chinese Immersion program and he will go to China next year!  But that takes money.  However, I feel the universe's call to take on this challenge for my professional growth.  I will have make phone calls, lots of phone calls, and stay on top of things.  I just pray that  I do it right.  So if you anything you want to donate, let me know! 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Day 16: Reunion

Last night my husband and I went to the Kennedy School at McMenniamins and but with some old college classmates.  All of us met going through our graduated teacher program at Portland State University.  While listening, I was struck by how many changes we have gone through.  Most of them have added on subjects endorsements such as Special Education, PE, English, Math, etc.  As for me, I just started working on my Library Media endorsement; I feel a little behind the power curve.  This is one of the my reason for this blog, so I can focus on move forward in my professional development and get a teaching job.  Although, this seems impossible in this economony--what a great accomplishment for me to get a teaching job despite the odds.  It would be something like Will Smith's "The Pursuit of Happyness"!
I want to get the great job and beat the odds!
      This week has sucked.  My shoulder hurt all week and I couldn't work out or walk.  So I will start again on Monday!  Have a great weekend and leave me your thoughts!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day 13: Projects

So my sister came over and we went to Costco (I love this place but it can be a $ trap if you are not careful).  Our topic of conversation centered around projects and goals.  First, I need finish my summer coursework since the Fall term is getting ready to begin on Monday--yikes!  My classes are online and know that I will need/must  be disciplined, not my strong suit.  Second, hurting my shoulder has put me out for a week so I am beating myself about it.  Third, I am in charge of procuring donation items for my son's school auction, that will definately need consistant attention.  Finally, I have a million projects around the house I would to complete such has painting the house to make it more homey--it is still "landlord white".  Eventually, I want to work up the courage to ask my husband about cutting out the Direct TV, at least for the school year.  It would save about $700!  Unfortunately, cable for my husband represents a need even though it is a want.  *Sigh*

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day 10: Wounded

Spend Less Weigh Less: Day 6: Challenges and SabotageThis has been a slow weekend because I hurt my shoulder.  Our bodies are perfectly balanced to allow freedom of movement but when one little thing, like a pinched nerve in my left shoulder, is thrown off balance the whole body is affected.  ~Sigh~  Tomorrow, I plan on finishing my homework (project #1-see Spend Less Weigh Less: Day 6: Challenges and Sabotage) and driving down to Woodburn to celebrate my father's birthday.  Also, tommorow I sahll continue with my walking goal.  Goodnight everyone!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Day 8: Temptations

So as summer is rapidly fading into the rainy sky, the sub jobs are starting to call in (which is good), I have returned to work.  So today, I stumbled in meeting one of my goals.  In preparing for work, I packed my lunch, but bought coffee from the Starbucks today so I only got it half right.  Tomorrow I will start again.  However, so I did so well last week, I decided to reward myself with a new experience.  I met up with my friend Belladona and attended a meditation yoga chant called Kirtin chanting with the artist David Newman.  For the curious, checkout his website:

My friend has been feeling sad lately, so an evening of beautiful and relaxing music was just the thing!  Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Day 7: First weigh-in

     So I got on my scale this morning and nothing had changed!  So I have to ask myself why?  I know from previous diet attempts, that sometimes it takes a few days for what we ate to catch up with our bodies.  So what did I eat--pizza for one.  Now I am not saying that I can't have pizza ever, but maybe just pepperoni is not the best choice.  Second, and more importantly, I have been terrible about drinking water!  Sigh! 

      So now to regroup.  I have succeeded in reducing my spending habits this week and resised temptation.  Tonight, I am going out with a friend to listen to a musician, so I saved my money for an experience vs Starbucks (a huge vice of my).  Next week I will focus on drinking water and increasing my activity.  This next week, I will explore different options for activity beyond just walking (although please keep walking).  Catch ya later!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day 6: Challenges and Sabotage

     Tuesday was a series of challenges for me, but I was proud myself for pushing through them.  My first challenge was my pedometer was not situation correctly on my hip so my steps did not count correctly.  According to my darling pedometer, I walked about 3,000 steps but I helped my mother out, cleaned her bathroom, and swept & mopped the floors.  Then, I made dinner, took my son to soccer practice, and cleaned the yoga studio, so my body was telling I walked about 10,000 steps (or more) so I am going to go with that number.
     My next challenge is one in which this blog is addressing.  Last Friday, I bought groceries for the whole week in which I will prepare my meals based on what I bought.  However, when I got home the dialogue in my head started rolling about being tired, don't have enough time, the kitchen is messing, blah, blah, blah.  I wanted to run out and buy some fast food due to convenience; but my goal is to spend less, weigh less.  So I took a deep breath, straightened up the kitchen and made my dinner.  All in all, I spent about 30 minutes making pizza, the same time it would take to buy pizza, and I saved my money for another day!
    Finally, my darling 12-year-old son announced that his brand new school clothes the he picked out no longer suits his tastes.  As a mother, I am not very materialistic. Goodwill suits me just fine, but my son is growing up and making things difficult.  So I left him with a choice, to either embrace his new wardrobe or wear the same three shirts everyday of his 7th grade year!
       The challenge of convenience vs commitment seems to come up often.  Convenience is a powerful motivator, but the same thing can be accomplished through organization and commitment.  Making pizza turned out to be quit simple once I decided to commit to the process; it was the commitment it self that was the hardest part.  Commitment is a challenge that come up often for me, especially when I fumble and make mistakes.  It is easier to opt out then push through; I will definitely need to work on this.  It reminds of an old Army saying, to "suck it up and drive on."  When I don't commit to the process I end up sabotaging myself, which is a saddening thought.  I doing this with grad school.  I haven't finished all my course work from the summer and now fall term is about to begin, but since I have fumbled and it is my fault I want to run, the more convenient path.  Just like with my dinner, what I need to do now is commit to the process, finish my work, and drive on.

So, enough of the heavy philosophizing!
Project #1 is:
                 complete is my coursework for the summer.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 5: Clean your way

Today, I almost lost my beloved pedometer but luckily I found it in my car; it never made into the school.  I was proud of myself because I packed my lunch and my snacks and did not stop to buy coffee.  This is a major accomplishment for me and my goal to reduce my spending habits.  I subbed in the afternoon and recognized a student from a long time ago.  Liam was in the Cbscouts with my son and his mother was the pack leader.  I left the pack because the mothers was a little too gossipy for me.  Oh well.  Liam was nice though. 

So I walked about 7000 steps; not bad.  Since I picked such a long "virtual" trail to walk on it will take more than a few days to complete but I am getting there.

While my health and exerise is one part of my blog, finishing the multitude of projects that I have started is the other part.  My first project is to cleann out my drawers, closets, and trunks.  I have too much stuff.
So one of my favorite blogs that I like to follow is http://minimalistadventures.blogspot.com/ , which talks about considering what possesions are truely important in your life.  By removing nonessential possesions you make room for other people and experiences to enter your life.  So I started cleaning my trunk and was surprised to find that several objects held no immediate memory for me; therefore, off to the Goodwill they will go.  It felt good to clean out my trunk.

Day 4: Volcano in the City

So I meant to post this last night, but the husband was "occupying" the computer.  Therefore, please ignore the date, and pretend this post is for Sunday, September 12th.

I decided to leave the neighborhood and take my dogs and my son on a long walk to Mt. Tabor .  Not only was it beautiful and relaxing (as we talked about Star Wars and cloning) but it was kind of surreal to think we were walking on an ancient volcano.  Mt. Tabor is one of the only volcanos to be found inside city limits (Portland, OR). 
As for my virtual walking tours, I decided to focus on a longer one that shall taking many days to complete.  We are now tranisitioning into fall which to me seems the perfect time for hiking, so come "hike" the Bruce Trail in Queenstion, Ontario, Canada with me:

Friday, September 10, 2010

Day 2: Grocery Shopping

So today I planned out my menu and went grocery shopping--I know, really exciting?!  But, I got some snacks and fruit so that this coming week, so I will prepared.  I want to try to spend as little money as possible, meaning no more Starbucks ( "sigh"--this will be a hard one) or "emergency" trips to McDonald's.  Today I walked 9,442 steps, so I came close to my goal. 

Here are 2 more "virtual" walking adventures for you to enjoy:
Mall of America

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir