Hopefully Hidden

 

treats

Today’s post shall be short because I am hungry.

And there are Rice Krispies treats in the house.

My sister bought them for my kids.

I love Rice Krispies treats so much.

They can’t live here with me.

I ate one…maybe two…

I’m lying.

I ate a lot of them.

Then I gave them to my daughter to hide them from me.

Tomorrow I shall talk about my problem(s) with food.

Now I will finish making my salad and my bowl of fruit

because that is a better decision

and will make me feel better in the long term.

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Hopefully, the Rice Krispies treats are hidden well because night-time sugar cravings are the worst.

 

 

The Walk

Yesterday, in an attempt to improve my health, I ventured into unfamiliar territory with my dogs.  It’s a route that I used to walk all the time, but haven’t traveled much in the past year or so.  The homes in our neighborhood are on 1 to 5 acre lots and its got lots of gentle hills…an ideal place to walk.

So, I leashed up Matilda the Basset and Barret the Dog and we started walking. We walked about a mile down the road, hit the dead end, and turned around.  The weather was beautiful and we were just slightly winded…having a good time.  All is well.

On the way back, however…

One of my neighbors, who I had not previously met, had let out (into her fenced yard) three of the biggest, bad-ass looking dogs that I have ever seen.  They may well be the sweetest dogs on the earth.  I try not to judge by appearances.

Matilda is one of those dogs that thinks every human and every dog on the planet is here to be her best friend (and rub her belly).  She is also very vocal.   Barking away, she tries to run up to the fence and say hello.

I try to discourage her.

She does not want to be restrained.

She really wants to meet these dogs.

I am becoming entangled in her leash.

She pulls out of her collar.

I am completely hobbled by her leash.

She is at the fence.

The three dogs go wild.

Matilda is baying.

The three dogs are gnashing their teeth and lunging at the fence.

Spittle is flying.

They are all running up and down the fence.  Matilda is apparently unaware that they want to completely rip her to shreds.

Barret decides to come to her rescue.  Barret is a very, very scary dog when he gets riled up.

The neighbor comes outside screaming.

I am still tangled in the leash and my shoe has become untied.

The dogs are raising holy hell.

I can’t hear what the neighbor is screaming so I think she is yelling at me.

I’m apologizing…we are in her yard and my dog is loose.

Turns out she is yelling at her dogs and not me.

I am trying to get untangled and retrieve Matilda and keep Barret from going over the fence and introduce myself.

At this point, Matilda grows tired of “playing” with the three dogs and catches the scent of a rabbit.

When a Basset catches the scent of a rabbit, what little brain function they have shuts down and pure instinct takes over.  They will run for miles.  This property backs up to over 300 acres of undeveloped cedar and rock.

As I finish the pleasantries with my neighbor (which we are yelling at each other over the chaos of the four dogs trying to kill each other) I manage to free myself from the leash and hand Barret’s leash to my new friend.

“I’ll be right back!”

I take off after Matilda. I can hear her baying as she runs.  The path she has chosen is uncleared , cedar covered, rocky terrain. After climbing and sliding through a 6 foot deep rock ravine about a half mile away, I finally catch up with her.  She has come to a wildlife fence and stopped to rest. She is very pleased with herself and happy as can be.

I pin her in place with one knee and finally tie my shoe.

Then, I hoist up her long, wriggly, loose-skinned 50 pound body and balance her on my shoulder. I’m not trusting the collar again.  We hike back through the ravine and cedar.  Matilda is drooling down my back.

I retrieve Barret from the neighbor and once again apologize for the whole fiasco.

Then begins the long trek home. We still have almost a mile to go.

Today, I think we’ll take another route for our walk.

The Importance of Being Intentional

I am weary today.  My head feels full and my heart, not so much.  I have accomplished what needs to be done today and a little bit more.

Youngest and I went to the grocery store and shopped the special deals, sales, and coupons.  We are having a crowd for Thanksgiving and I am trying to spread out the shopping so it comes from multiple paychecks.  Shopping only for our Thanksgiving meal, we spent $70.35 for 46 items.  We saved $45.80.  I’m going to count that as school for the day.  We’ll call it consumer science or home management, or “how to save a crap-ton of money and host an awesome Thanksgiving celebration without breaking the bank”.

I cleaned out the pantry and ditched the expired items and unhealthy food that creeps in somehow despite my best intentions to be careful about what we eat.

I tried on a bunch of clothes this morning in an effort to get dressed to go out in public.  I definitely have public clothes and home clothes – home involves art, painting, cleaning the chicken coop, and various other aspects of real life.  Home clothes don’t last very long.  I felt fat, nothing seemed to fit right, and I was just generally unhappy.  When I got home, I realized that all of those clothes ended up in a pile that the dogs knocked to the floor and made a comfy bed out of.  More laundry and more clutter. I guess it’s time to once again go through the wardrobe and get rid of the “if” clothes…if I were thinner, if I wasn’t walking around in a 50 year old body that birthed 4 kids, if I actually wore something that needed to be dry-cleaned, ironed or hand-washed…

When I lost a lot of weight, clothes shopping was hard.  I had worn “fat” clothes (oversize T-shirts, sweats, baggy jeans or anything else that helped me hide and ignore my weight) for so long that I didn’t know who I was – what I wanted to look like.  I did almost all my shopping at thrift stores so I could accommodate my changing size and try out different styles.  That means there’s stuff in my closet that just isn’t me.  Time for it to go.

But first, I’m going to pay attention to me.  I’m not going to underestimate or under-value the importance of taking care of myself – of noticing the symptoms that mean I’m overdoing it or pushing myself too hard. I’m going to intentionally rest and recharge.  I’m going to sit, make some art,  and watch a cozy British mystery on the telly.  Youngest is going to snuggle with me and read while wrapped up in a blanket.  We may fall asleep.  It’s that type of day.  My thoughts can settle.  My heart can fill with love.  All shall be well.

Declutter for the day:

  1. A small trash bag from the pantry.  Out-of-date food, junk food, empty containers from opened foods that were combined and miscellaneous trash.  Donated, trashed and recycled.
  2. A vintage dish that could be cool to organize and store something in, but it’s empty and I’m not going to refill it.  Donate.
  3. Coat hangers from past declutters.  All the laundry is caught up and they are still empty.  Donate.
  4. A large wire spool that we have used as a table on the deck – falling apart but still hanging around.  On the burn pile.
  5. And to be done:  clothes from my closet.  I promise I’ll do it today so we’ll count it now.

If You’re Not Paying Attention

 

What happens if you’re not paying attention?  Good question.  It may actually be more than a question…more like an actual lifestyle issue that needs attention.  We may be talking about my problem with addressing and paying attention to more than one area of my life at a time.

By now, you may be asking a question of your own.  What is she talking about  – or trying to talk about.

Remember my health “crisis” last October?  Emergency surgery, intestinal obstructions, the imminence of death.  What I didn’t share was that a month later I had some out-of-whack lab results that indicated pre-diabetes.

My focus was fully on my health.  I started exercising.  Walking about 3 miles a day.  Dropped most carbs from my diet.  Only whole grains.  LOTS of veggies and some fruit.  Dropped almost 40 pounds.  Felt fantastic!

And then…

because I felt so great, I started getting lots done around the house.  I decluttered and then organized.  I ripped up carpet and made plans for all the little (and big) stuff that needed to be done around here.

And then…

because the house was looking better, I had the opportunity and peace of mind to go on a creative binge.  Lots of art-making.

And then…

you guessed it – somewhere along the line, I forgot (conveniently) about taking care of myself.  I quit paying attention.  One missed day of exercise became two.  Eventually it wasn’t a habit at all.  I’ll just have one slice of pizza with my salad turned into pizza with no salad at all.   And so on…

And the house?  Well, it only stays decluttered and organized when you actually pay attention to it every day.  Otherwise, you wake up one morning and you’re right back where you started.

So, keeping in mind that I’m having an anxiety attack right here, right now…let’s establish this as a judgment free zone.

I started this blog with a promise to myself that I will always be open and honest.  I may not be telling you everything, but what I am sharing is the absolute truth.

I struggle with keeping my life together and sometimes I feel like such a failure.  I start to believe that I must be the only one in this same struggle.

But, I know that isn’t true.  Others are seeking to find balance also.

If you struggle with not “having it all together”, here’s some encouragement for you.  You are not alone.  We’re in this together!

So, here’s the “before” photos…some yesterday and some this morning.

the pantry...
the pantry…
the fridge...
the fridge…
the kitchen...Sigh.
the kitchen…Sigh.
IMAG0504
the blank canvas…
the unworn shoes and only 3257 steps on the fitbit...
the unworn shoes and only 3257 steps on the fitbit…
dinner last night (there were two cookies also, but I can't take a photo of them because I ate them)...
dinner last night (there were two cookies also, but I can’t take a photo of them because I ate them)…

I’m going to work towards improvement, but not perfection.  There can be room in my life for health, home, family and art.

There can be celebrations for small successes.

There can be forgiveness for failures.

I can try to pay attention.