Friday, August 31, 2012

A whole entire year!

The year to which I am referring, is that I have been going to the gym for that time period now, and to be super cliche- wow what a difference a year has made!

Last August 31, I went to Triple B because I knew that I needed to do something to help me keep my weight loss going. I knew that walking would not be enough, though it is the core of my calorie burning activities, that work and the weather would truly find a way to interfere with my ability to get outside daily.  So I decided to try out the gym, if nothing else for the cardio equipment, but I was interested in lifting weights.  I used to lift weights, sort of, at home.  I liked doing it, but I never felt particularly successful, mostly because I had no idea what I was doing.  I read a lot when I am interested in something, so I had an idea about proper form, but of course had no way of knowing if I was doing it right.   And when you are at home, it is just as easy to sit down after 15 minutes of randomly picking up and putting down a 5 lb weight in various ways, or drink more coffee, or get distracted by any other thing.......

So I got brave and went in to sign up.  Yes, that was a brave thing for me to do.  I like to know if I am doing something right, I don't want to feel silly or out of place.  I knew Lori from when she worked at our public library, I had the girls in art class, so that made it a little easier.  I had also gone in for a few magnificent pedicures before I started working out!!  So, I wasn't a total stranger, but had NEVER ventured into the "other side of the building".  That was a scary place for me- it was sort of noisy- lots of foreign clanging .... there were people I did NOT know and they are all way bigger than me!!  It was bright and GOD FORBID there are mirrors EVERYWHERE!  A year ago mirrors were not exactly my friend yet.  I had lost 30 pounds in the past 7 months, so I was ready for a little more, but oy, was that a step out of my comfort zone.  I did not feel exactly like I belonged, and I stressed out over whether I was doing something wrong.  I did not want to bother the people around me, did not want to get in the way....

Of course everyone there is super nice and very helpful.  I was given a tour, a primer in weight lifting and Lori was kind enough to show me the exercises multiple times when I asked for help.  I learn a lot by observing, so it was awesome to have all the family members working out among us.  It took me a while to feel brave enough to talk freely to everyone, I think it was a couple weeks before I said more than a word or two to Brian and Brandon!  (Now they can't get me to shut up!  LOL)  And the encouragement that I received was above and beyond what I ever imagined.  I do not know if they realize how it motivated me with the simple act of noticing my improvement and commenting on it.  I will never forget the time after I was coming regularly for about 6 or 7 weeks and Brian said to me that he could see the changes in me!  I was flabbergasted, since I could not yet see them in myself.  Or the time Lori said that she wanted to take a picture of my back, because I never see it and I would be surprised how much definition was starting to take place.  Or the way I was forced into the front row of dance class by Lori and Brianna because I obviously love to dance.  The things that they have done for my fitness and self esteem are immeasurable.  I can go on and on....  Bridget will stop her work out to hand me a weight to lift over head so i don't clunk myself on the noggin, Brandon will accuse me of having too many Red Bulls, when really I am just so glad to be there.....

So here I am 70 plus pounds lighter, and so much fitter to show for it.  And I have to give credit where credit is due.  Thanks you so much to the Duba family and also James, who also works there!!!  Triple B has been a big part of my life the past year, and it is a relationship I plan to continue for a long long time!  You guys ARE the best!  xoxoxox

(Pix to follow when I get time to find them!!)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Clean room and art supplies

My room is clean!! My supplies are here. This is the most bestest time of the year.

Besides the first week of June... and play week and maybe Christmas vacation.

Yeah. Lots of moments of joy!!

Sunday Photo post!!

Hey, kids, here it is again.....  an official Sunday photos post!

I've not been following ANY kind of schedule lately, ahhhh, that is summer for you- and so in an undoubtedly futile attempt to get myself in line (we know this won't work, but an admirable attempt) I am starting Sunday photos.  So you know how this goes, suddenly I will be posting pix on random days like Thursdays and an occasional Monday......  well, never mind.

Stone house corner



Lola is very happy to be featured again!

Sunset fire in the sky
Favorite pic of the week

climbing vines
rays of light

sunset of beauty

Smith Creek

Smith creek

Shadow and window

Scattered showers

Morning light
There was joy to be found this week!

Until next time, be a joy giver!


I can't believe I am still awake at 12:30. Are you kidding me - I have been laying in bed for 2 hours!! Ugh.

There is no good explanation for this. I am tired. I need to rest. But my mind is running at 100 mph. And it is having a hard time slowing down. Im blaming School!!! It could be the wine I had earlier. Idk.

So I am up and in the dark living room and trying not to overstimulate my eyeballs, which is what they say not to do. And so I need to put my phone away.......

And try to be tired.

Not so joyful

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The reason for a garden

Here it is. The Reason-
Love the lettuce. Adore beans and beets. Really enjoy zucchini, peas and loves me the brussel sprouts. But this IS the reason to fence in, mulch, add leaves, compost, dig and worst of all, do moderate weeding. The queen tomatoes!!!

All hail!

WHAT a joy!!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Im such an art teacher

I LOVE art supplies. They never fail to make me happy. One of my favorite things-ever- are Sharpie markers. Sharpies are awesome things. Their colors are wonderful, and they demand to be used to decorate and embellish. And I am thrilled to oblige! Just ask my friend the band director how great his calendar looks each month after our staff meetings!! Sharpies and paper keep me focused and on task and not bothering my neighbors and partners in crim.... Uh, my colleagues. :)

So here is my latest acquisition. Check those babies out!!
And loooooooook!! Silver, gold, AND copper!!!

Such are the little joys of an art teacher world.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sunrise/sunset today - edited

It was really pretty this morning and again this afternoon. Subtle. Moody. Pretty in a less obvious way.

Alright, I had to edit this totally- I couldn't stand the blurry pix!!  Lol.  Here is quality photography!  :) 

Be a joy giver!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Freezing cold down there, volume 3

This is not going to be a fancy post- it is a straight-forward, this is what the MA has accomplished, this is my garden shed to be, kind of post!  So, JON and GREG and MIKE, here it is so far!!!

My friend Laurie sent me a post on Facebook that showed a very cool little interior- which got me thinking about the shed again.  And the possibility of it being finished!  And I have some cool stuff around that I can put inside!!!!!

Of course, bear in mind this is going to be a working garden and art shed, not one just for looks.....  

So here is the garden shed so far.

Front view, including entry
Notice the fantastic cement work!!  Lol
details of  north side

detail of overhang and rafters

Southwest corner

Interior from west window

the overhang over the double doors
So if anyone has any corrections in my verbage or terminology regarding the parts of a shed, seriously, I don't want to hear it!  Overhang is the best I can do!

Do you SEE the possibilities for awesome here??  I sure do!  And like I said, it will be a working art shed, so there will be "stuff"  and I love stuff!

Now if only I could get him to be so enthusiastic about finishing the siding on the house!!

Until next time, be a joy giver!!  Dream big!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tired Brain

People, my brain is tired.  

First- I had to go back to school for inservice this week- so many things I could say, but that can just stay my little secret.  Going back to school taxes all my reserves.  I love summer (in case you haven't noticed).  And while I love my students and my teaching, I am not quite so fond of the "educational opportunities" afforded the teaching staff in the late summer.  Nuff said.  So inservice exhausts me, since I have to work DARN hard at editing my  mouth which likes to spout off on occasion- I have a penchant for sarcasm when under duress.

Second- I haven't slept very well lately.  Combination of factors, including the information listed above, a need to start my day off  EARLY with a hot cup of coffee and a little alone time with facebook and the Channel 9 news, and various twinges and aches that seem to crop up about 5:30 in the am- at the latest!!

Third- I have been absent from my home and I need to be here a little bit.  I have been gone for the majority of each day for over a week.  Now most of this has been really awesome, heaven knows I packed a lot of living into my days last week, but I need to crash and burn.  And so I am!

I even skipped the gym tonight, which is somewhat horrifying to me, but I will get in a good long walk later, and will get in all 4 days of workouts this week..... so it is all good, but still!!!  I just couldn't do it, I had to come home.

I have eaten out WAY too much and while I can't believe I said that, I need to cook for myself. ASAP!!!!!  Like tonight!  I am fantasizing about beets and kale and carrots and garlic mashed potatoes......  and zucchini on the grill and possibly some peppers and portabello mushrooms......  I am surely not hungry yet, but my tummy wants some clean foods!!

Alright, so there it is......

My brain is tired and I think it needs a nap. Or a good rousing game of Word with Friends.  We'll see which one wins!  I'm thinking the nap will......


Until next ti.....


until next time, be a joy giver!

Monday, August 20, 2012


YOU KNEW it was true!  You KNEW the Mad-Art Teacher was pretty filthy most of the time---------------------
 Say now people- I meant in terms of my hands as a rule!  Let keep it a little cleaner than that for now, shall we??

So last October or so, I had heard about this Dirty Girl Run,
which was is a 5K run and obstacle course.  It is to benefit Breast Cancer Research and is sponsored through the Susan G. Komen foundation, and I am here to tell you that they put on quite a good party!!  Preparations were begun last fall for this as I registered myself and Sarah-Jane for this event.  Sarah-Jane is an athletic girl, and was quite a good sport to put up with me for this.  Back in October this was a step out of the box experience.  First of all to even dream that I could run 3 miles was amazing (let's be clear right now, because of my knee and lack of training, I did not run the whole thing) and to imagine what kind of obstacle course this could be was pretty scary and daunting. I was NOT in any sort of shape to do that last fall, so this and the canoe trip were definitely driving forces behind my working out.  The working out eventually took on a life of its own, so this was all a really amazing transformation for me physically and mentally!

This is one of my phone pix- I of course found an awesome cloud formation while there
We began getting the emails about the event earlier this summer when the run series kicked off and got under way around the country.  It looked fun, slightly scary and very exciting.  People dress up for these kinds of things, so I made a mental note to pick up some supplies for shirt making..... in my usual procrastinating way,  I picked that stuff up the day before!  We made our own Tshirts and added a scarf and a purple boa!  Next year (oh yes, there could very well be a next year) we want to do tutus or tiaras and socks and we will definitely remember our towels..... but that is part of the story for later.

Before the race, at Greg and Sarah's place

At the race, watching the end

Sarah at the finish line
This race was full of positive energy and excitement.  The weather was fantastic!  It wasn't too hot, it was sunny, it was gorgeous!  The people were so excited and the atmosphere was charged with positive vibes.  Crazy outfits were everywhere!  There was music and BEER!  The beer comes at the end.

Starting line
Off we go
Still clean and cute!

First obstacle
There were a few obstacles that were available for spectators to see at the beginning and the end of the course.  The majority of the event is beyond the vision of people who were not running.  I have a theory about this, I am guessing that everyone does better when they are not being watched.  You can do what you need to with out being encouraged, discouraged, judged, recorded or laughed at.  The ladies on the course were all one big temporary family.  There were high fives and atta girls and all around a lot of laughing and some serious lack of grace and self-conciousness!  I am planning to get a picture of the one obstacle that for me was a major accomplishment- the rope climb.  

First big obstacle on the course
The rope climb was one of those traditional obstacles that you might think of when imagining a course like this.  It was on a metal frame, was at least 15 feet high, and was like a rope ladder.  You had to climb up, hoist  yourself over and then let yourself down on the other side.  For someone who is scared to death of heights, this was major!  I had no fears about the physical side of this, I was easily able to get up that obstacle, it was that transition at the top that was so scary.  I over came it!!!  The fear is not gone, but I proved that I could do it!  whew!!!!
That is Sarah climbing over the top, I am about half way up

Here I am going over the top!
Delirium had set in!
There was a definite area where the clean and happy go in and the dirty and delirious come out!  Here is the place where the change occurs!  The people going in will encounter tires, tunnels, walls to climb over, ropes to go up, mud holes to crawl through, people spraying you with hoses (big hoses!) spiderwebby areas, haybales to climb, and other amazing and dirty things to go through.  Plus a lot of running

Of course there were the dirtiest parts left for last!  

Sarah crawling under the  longest, muddiest, rockiest obstacle

She made it!

Running up the hill to the last obstacle

Getting to the finish line!

And of course we slid in the mud!  Who the heck wouldn't???

At the finish line!!

 Where is my beer????

 So, the end of the race- the clean up- was just about as interesting as the race itself!  We unceremoniously were shown to the animal bathing area of the fairgrounds, where of course no cameras were seen, to hose ourselves off!!  It was hilarious.  Then we got to change in the cattle barn!  It was funny to see the look on people's faces when they realized where they were!  We of course reshowered later- as the clean up process was incomplete at best.  And it does help to take along a TOWEL!!!!  Which of course we did not.

Oh here it is!!!

This is what my clothes looked like the next day before I shoved them into a bag and took them home.

3 washings later they were as good as n.....  well, they are usable, except maybe not the shirt.  And the jury is still out on the socks.

It was an amazing, transformative event.  And we just may be back next year!  I wonder what will be the next new thing the Mad-Art Teacher will do???  Stay tuned!

Until next time, find your joy right outside of your comfort zone!  And be a joy giver!