About Me

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

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!