52 weeks of gratitude – Week 7

Ok, so it’s week seven! It’s almost midnight on Sunday and it is admittedly harder to write today. It’s not that I’m not grateful, because I am. I was actually doing extremely well. Then I ate a cookie. So first I will start with the good.

I made the decision this year to forego new clothes for work. Usually I like to buy a new wardrobe to get myself set for a new year. This year I’m trying to not have that many clothes. The clothes that I do own I want to use until they need replacing, and then get something of quality that I will love to wear. This is the plan. This kind of freed up my spend-guilt and I decided to jump into apple land again and am now the owner of an apple watch. At first I didn’t see its full value other than an extension of the iphone, but through wearing it I see my daily habits are changing. The first is that I don’t have a need to check my phone that much. Anything important comes directly to my watch as a notification, and if it’s not important enough for that it waits. I don’t have to worry if I’m missing an important phone call or text because it will let me know. That part is very calming.

The other nice thing is the health app. I have been using a fitbit since they first came out, which I believe was around 1998. I loved it, and every time they came out with a new one I got it. Including the Force which caused a rather nasty rash. After that I went back to the fitbit one, but it never quite was exciting as having it on your wrist. The way that fitness works on the apple watch and on a Fitbit are very different, and in a perfect world I could bring back the flower that grows the more active you are, and the social aspects of Fitbit competing with steps with your friends.

My general impression of the way the activity tracker works on the Apple Watch is that it is much more useful at creating multiple habits. The three rings encourage movement, standing up throughout the day, and a calorie burn goal. I have found that already I am more active than I was counting steps overall on Fitbit.

I’m also using two other health apps, the Lose it app is fantastic. I hadn’t used it in a long time, so the added feature of being able to scan barcodes to enter foods on your phone was a nice addition. I’ve set a pretty intense goal, and being able to monitor my calorie deficit throughout the day helps me to make good decisions at meals. I’ve already lost weight in the three days that I’ve been using it. Granted, it’s the same 2-3 pounds I’ve been losing and gaining for months, but I am encouraged by it.

The other app I’m using is Lark, which is more of a general habit forming health app. So far it doesn’t focus on calories at all, just generalizations about health choices throughout the day. It’s nice because it makes suggestions based on what you’ve eaten or on sleep patterns. So far using the two of them together is a good balance for me.

So I’m running out of steam right now. I wil finish this post, but I’m grateful that I’m able to do something for myself. I know that I have a challenge ahead of me as far as getting my health on track, but I’m fortunate to have the tools to make it easier.



52 Weeks of Gratitude – Week 6

Well, it may be better late than never. Even if I’m almost to the next Sunday, I haven’t made it there yet so I I’m still kind of, almost on track to make my weekly gratitude journal.

This little guy came to feed at our kitty feeding station this week. This is the second time that we saw him. The first time I scared him off, afraid for the kitties. We let him stay this time and have a meal. I think my official stance on this will be that if he makes it to the food before I can take it in for the night he gets a meal.  There is something strangely soothing about watching the cameras to see who comes to feed. Scrugs and the two kittens come daily, and we also have “not Jeff” and now a black cat who make appearances as well. Not Jeff and the black kitty might be getting spayed if they come often enough.






On other fronts, I’ve spent a ton of time in the band room throwing things out. I will spend some time tomorrow and probably Saturday finishing arranging everything to where I want it. Now that I know that I’ll be somewhere long-term, it’s so much easier to make decisions on what to keep in my life. That part of knowing is good.


52 weeks of gratitude – Week 5

thumb_1_1024It’s already week 5 of my 52 weeks of gratitude! I’m thinking about all of the wasted time not exercising, because what a great accomplishment that would be to have 5 weeks of exercise. I’m not going to let that get me down though, there are plenty of good things going on.

Last night I couldn’t sleep and I ended up doing what I do too much of, Pinteresting and hanging out around the internet. Only now I have the kitty cam to also keep me entertained. It was actually a pretty uneventful night until about 1 am when a red fox came to visit. It was such a beautiful creature I couldn’t help but wake Joe up. So we looked at the fox and waved at him a little bit before shooing him away. I don’t want our house to become a feeding ground for him. I had only left food out that late because it stormed during the day and the cats didn’t come to eat earlier on.  I’m still not positive on who is sleeping in the cat house yet, hopefully I’ll be able to see them going in there one day.

I did get in to the school for a days work. It wasn’t what I had set out to do, but I started to come up with a new setup for next year. Overall I want to move my desk out with the band so that it’s convenient to them. As I’ve done it so far it takes up too much room, so I’ll be working on the details of that. I intend on going in tomorrow to work on it.

I’ve started a few healthful habits. I started to take my vitamins again, at least I do it almost every day. It does give me more energy and makes me feel better. I also started oil pulling in the morning. I did a post on that, but I’ve noticed a big difference in my sinuses and the whiteness of my teeth since doing it, and I think that I’m only on day 4. I plan on continuing this.

So what I’m grateful for is that I’m able to lead a pretty interesting life right here from my house. We have a lovely garden, and it’s good to be able to do something for the neighborhood cats even if Scruggs will hiss at me for the rest of my life. I also got to spend some time this week at lunch with friends which was a great way to break up the monotony. What I’m most grateful for is the opportunity of choice.

This next week I have to buckle down and get some serious work done. Wish me luck.


Stanley’s Daily Challenge

I’ve decided to initiate Stanley’s daily challenge! This is just 7 days of doing something good. I’ve tried the 21 day challenges to create better habits, but it always seems to fall apart about that third week. Maybe by doing a weekly challenge I can kind of stew three weeks together and create some better habits.

So for this weeks challenge I choose:

To walk the dogs every morning!


I’m choosing this because this is something that I’ve done in the past consistently. I got out of it when life threw me a few curves.  Going for a walk in the morning is one of the best way to wakeup and clear the head before the day begins. Let’s see if I can do this for 7 days.


52 weeks of gratitude. Week 4

This marks the first month of completing my challenge. It’s the 5th of July. I’m thankful that I live in a country where anything is possible still. I believe that some people forget that although anything is possible, sometimes sacrifices have to be made to prioritize and achieve those goals. That’s another thing that this summer is about: re-prioritizing.

We decided to purchase this gigantic cow picture. It was not expensive, and it makes Joe and I very happy. We had to rent a truck to bring it home because it just wouldn’t fit in the car. The house is becoming more and more of a home every day.

We are probably going to be putting some M O O  letters next to her today.



Trap-Neuter-Return Part 5


So the kitty condo is done! Well, almost. We’re still going to add a coat of paint to it to hopefully keep it nice. The instructions on how to build it were pretty simple, but it did take a day to complete. Now that we’ve done one I’m sure that the next one will go by a lot quicker if we need to build a second one.

We put it out last night and someone definitely was sleeping in it for a bit! So glad that someone will be able to use it.

I’ve offered to help our local TNR group when they need it, so I’m sure I’ll be updating more and more as I go along this new kitty adventure.

Trap-Neuter-Return part 4

Part of accepting responsibility for community cats by having them neutered and spayed is to have a place for them to live. Letting them live under the house where they were born seemed like a fine idea at first. However, it was brought up that we might pay the price of convenience by having a flea problem. So, the alternative is building a cat house.

The plans we got were from fivercats. The cost of the materials was about $100.00, but we actually spent about $200 because we bought some new tools. There are some prefabricated houses out there, but this one really does seem to be the most well thought-out house for outside cats. So my husband and I delved into building a cat house.

We spent about 2 hours making the house and roof, but we made a slight miscalculation so the roof isn’t fitting. It won’t be too hard of a fix, but we decided to rest on it and finish tomorrow. Pics to come!

Meanwhile our momcat “Scrugs” and two kittens “Sparkles and Princess” were chowing down in front of the house, and the other male cat came by tonight. I guess we’ll set the trap out for him.

It looks like more cat-house building might be in our future.


52 Weeks of Gratitude – Week 3

I look forward to writing about my gratitude, so I’m kind of bummed with myself that I’m two days late. For me, having the weekly writing goal has been helpful. I’m usually the kind of person who goes so overboard with goals that I would have tried to have written a daily gratitude journal. This works out so much better, and it is less stressful than that.

When I was in middle school I liked to write quite a bit. I’m thinking of this because I remember Mrs. Peterson used to have us write in journals all of the time.  I used the time to copy and practice my spelling words. I did love to spell as well, and spelling tests were always after journal time. I know that the journals were never looked at, and I know that Mrs. Peterson knew I used the time to practice my spelling.

I’m grateful for this time to sit and write. I feel like I’m clunky at it, that it used to come so much easier years ago. Again, I wish I could pinpoint the moment or moments where I just stopped doing some of the things that I love to do.

I’m grateful that this week we donated and sold off even more of our unused clutter. Doing that made room for some inexpensive furniture that really make the house nice and complete. I have a lot of gratitude for the time that I have this summer to  grow and recollect my thoughts. I’m following the adventures of my FSU classmates on their way to London, and I’m really happy for them.  I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had so far in life and am looking forward to all of the crazy things that will come up in the future.