29 March, 2011

the source...

So you remember this guy?

Yeah. I think we underestimated him. First of all, he is no longer timid and shy of the outdoors, unless he's in the backyard and hears one of the neighbors through the fence.
Otherwise, he does crazy things to get outside now.
Like jump out the upstairs window... to the ground. True story. I woke up one morning to a very cold upstairs. Upon further inspection, the cat was missing and the bathroom window was wiiide open. When I stuck my head out, he was sitting on the grass in front of our home looking up at me and meowing.
There were no other windows open in the house, and V said that the cat was missing and the house was cold when he got up for work too.
Silly cat. He's all right, all bones fine and no indication that he's hurt at all, thank God. But still! Freaked me out!

So remember that post about the cat pee earlier? I had narrowed it down to an area of my house where i thought it might be. Boy was i wrong. Earlier, i had found pee droplets on the floor by the back door... which was open.
Apparently Maurice had sprayed our curtain, somewhere in the chaos of that day. The open door was wafting the smell indoors and trapping it in the foyer. Yuck!!!!

As soon as i placed the curtain in the bath with baking soda to soak, the smell magically disappeared. Hooray!

So the curtains were washed and re-hung, and everything is at peace again. For now.

Porkalicious! Homemade smoked ham, Part Two

This post is a continuation of my ham smoking adventures. In case you missed part one, you can read it here.

So where were we? Ahh yes. We had just smoked the ham.
In the end, we left all the meat in the smoker to use up every last puff of smoke from the fire and took the meat out on Sunday morning. It was truly beautiful.

It tasted every bit as delicious as it looks too. 

Some of the meat was pretty thick, so in the spirit of "safe, not sorry" we cut some of them in half and boiled them so that the middles were cooked. Nobody likes food poisoning. Basically, we boiled the water, then let the meat sit in it until it was cool - so not terribly long, but enough to kill stuff without killing the taste.
Just as V was finishing that, our stovetop pooped out on us, so we're now waiting for an electrician to come fix it for us! It's been fun to think of meals that don't require stovetop cooking.

During the day, we had a photography appointment (family photos!) to do for someone, so we drove to Kinsale, and went grocery shopping afterward... which accounts for the lack of light in the next photos.

Once we were home, we borrowed a transformer from our neighbors (the ones who got the other quarter of the pig) so that we could use my Foodsaver that I brought from the states. See... I brought a few appliances from the states, at hubby's request (I had planned on leaving every electrical appliance behind) because we had planned on getting our very own transformer...
15 months later...
but anyway - we began the packing process for storage.

For the past two weeks since we started the curing process, we have been deliberately going through our freezer and eating as much as possible from it so we have enough room to store 20 packages that look like this!

V was proactive and even made little labels for all the meats. Hooray for organization!

In case you are not one who can read Polish, it says "Shannon & Witold's Homemade Meats" then has the package contents in both Polish and English (on all but the ones that say "ham and bacon" for some reason).

Once everything was packaged and labeled, we stuffed as much as we could into our freezer, and stuffed the rest into our fridge until we figure out how to clear up more space.
I can think of one way... yum, yum!!

28 March, 2011

Porkalicious! Homemade smoked ham, Part One

Being married to a Polish man and having mostly Polish friends here in Ireland, you can guess there was going to be some sort of meat sooner or later.
Luckily for me, Poland is a country rich with flavourful, delicious meats! With that as a background, I knew these men wouldn't do me wrong.

A couple weeks ago, we split half of a pig between our two families. The pig was delivered to our friends' house freshly (and humanely) dead... still warm, actually. The men set to work! Almost every single bit of the pig was cut up and set aside to be used in some way. There was no waste, and this makes me very happy.

V, Pawel, and Jacek put the cut up hams, bacon, and other yummy bits into some homemade brine in a cleaned out beer keg and let it soak for two weeks, moving the meat around in the keg every so often. We have had unusually warm weather for the past two weeks here in Ireland - so we were concerned about the brine going bad. The men checked on it every day or two, but in the end it lasted to when it was supposed to, which was this weekend! Hooray!

On Friday evening, V emptied the keg of all the brine and did a quick rinse of everything inside.

The spices from the brine were a little difficult to remove with the hose... as V's fingers kept freezing. Apparently just because it's spring, doesn't mean everything is going to be warm... haha! Below, you can see all the meat set out in bowls and things to bring them inside.

V rinsed all of the spices off the meat, and got all the pieces ready for what would happen on Saturday!

Smoking! This is our homemade smoker. The meat hangs in the oil barrel and the fire is build under the metal on the ground there. The smoke travels up and out through the holes cut in the lid of the barrel.

V and Karina put all of our meat in these "socks" and tied them closed ready to be strung for hanging in the smoker.

It was quite a struggle because the "socks" are so skinny! But it was fun to watch them wrestle with it.

Here are some hams ready to be tied closed and strung!

The ends were tied with cotton twine and then stainless steel wire was strung through all the pieces so they could hang with enough space inside the smoker.

mmmm... meaty goodness.

This one was taken after they had been smoking for a few hours. Isn't the color beautiful?

Read the next post for what happened after we smoked the ham... including photos of the finished product!

25 March, 2011


Ok, i'll admit that i'm not the most green person on the planet, though i do try to do my part where i can. Instead of 10 plastic bags when i get groceries, i use two big bags. One is made of canvas and one is made of recycled bottles. I love them and they're much stronger than the plastic bags i used to use all the time.

Instead of using a million and one paper towels when i clean or am cooking in the kitchen, i use sponges and tea towels. Don't get me wrong, paper towels still have their place in the kitchen, but it usually takes more than a month for us to go through a roll.

TMI alert - Rather than buying and disposing of hundreds of feminine products through the year, i have purchased some, as well as made and used cotton pads, which i wash and re-use. I actually find them much more comfortable and i always feel better knowing i'm not putting plastics and chemicals next to my sensitive parts. Not to mention, i don't ever feel like i'm wearing a diaper, let alone filling our landfills with them.

*ETA* The basic pattern i use is here, and i modified it a bit to my preferences.

End TMI alert.

I love straws. I admit it. I don't love to gnaw on them like some people do, but i love to drink from straws. I deny myself the pleasure of purchasing straws simply because if i had them, i would drink from them every single day. Drinking from a plastic straw every day doesn't sound too bad - but i abhor the idea of throwing them away. To me, it's the same as plastic grocery bags. You can definitely use them more than once, but not usually more than a few times before they become brittle and get holes. We all know that once a straw has a hole in it, it is no fun anymore.
We do have a couple silly straws that my husband bought when he was doing his wine-making project. He bought them to use as an airlock device - but ended up getting a real one, so we have these silly straws leftover. I love them, but rarely use them because A.) they're too thin really, and B.) i'm scared of cleaning them. I basically only drink water from them when/if i use them.

Recently, i made a discovery. GLASS STRAWS!!

This site has a ton of different reusable glass straws in all different colors and styles and with different decor on them... i seriously am in straw heaven! You can guess what i'll be buying for V and i in the next couple weeks! I can't wait to receive my new straw! I'll definitely have to consider making a protective case and sticking it in my purse for when i'm on the go...

What is your favorite thing to reuse?

Husqvarna 21 E... i love you.

This is my sewing machine. It was given to me by my in-laws when they learned i love to sew and had to leave my mother's Bernina behind when i moved to Ireland.

Upon looking at this photo though, i realize it is threaded incorrectly. Haha! Don't thread your machine this way! This machine, from what i understand, was found on a roadside in Sweden about to be taken to the dump. My father in-law rescued it. It came with a little wheel chart showing how to make certain stitches and the original extension plate too!

I found that surprisingly little information is supplied about it on the internet. That is, until i stumbled upon Jessicah's blog. In her generosity, she has shared the manual for the 21 A, and made it available for download here. I found it very helpful and informative. The internet is a wonderful place.
Though the 21 A and 21 E differ slightly, they are fundamentally the same and the manual answered all the questions i had about my beautiful sewing machine.
It can really do everything with the proper pressure foot. Sewing on buttons, zippers, creating hems... a beautiful thing.

Recently, went to the Singer shop in Cork city to inquire as to where i could possibly get my machine serviced. Wouldn't you know, she said i could have a full overhaul done on my machine in that very shop in only 2-3 days?! I also discovered that Singer parts are mostly interchangeable with Huqvarna parts - so if my machine really needs anything, it can be ordered no problem.
To think, all this time while i was lamenting about not having the correct pressure foot for a job, i could have simply purchased a Singer foot and avoided the difficulty. So guess what i did! I bought a zipper foot.

And of course, it fits perfectly. This is great because i have recently been sewing zippers into commissioned little girls' dresses and things will go much more smoothly now. This makes me happy.
I have a feeling i'll be sewing more than ever now! Huzzah!

A Disturbance in the Force...

We have had absolutely gorgeous weather for the past week, here in Ireland. Perfect temperatures, (for me, perfect means sunny, slightly cool, with cool breezes - but when you stand in the sun, you're warm) lovely. Absolutely lovely.

To get air into our house and push all that stale winter air out, i of course have been opening all the windows. The cross-breezes are amazing and our house smells and feels so fresh. The trouble with opening windows and doors, is that uninvited guests decide that this is the perfect time for a visit.
So far there have been two.

Exhibit A:

A spider the size of Rhode Island. I'm sure for those of you (Jina) who have lived in Australia... this is nothing. I didn't need a shotgun. This, friends, is a Common House Spider according to the world wide web, and these monsters can live several years.
I found him, when i was getting ready to plop into bed. That pillow? Yeah. That's mine. After a few seconds of hysterical screaming calm, rational thought, I delegated V to take care of the situation. Spider removed, i almost had to sleep downstairs for the willie-nillies i still felt after its disturbing presence so close to where i lay my head.

This morning's visit, however, was of the feline variety. Bilbo, since moving into our new place, has become somewhat of an indoor kitty. He is skeptical of being outdoors (even in our fenced-in backyard) and if something spooks him (and everything does - birds, people next door, the laundry), he comes running/scooting indoors and upstairs with his little tail tucked between his back legs. Pretty funny, i think, for a cat that was bold enough to allegedly go into the house next door where we previously lived.

I believe we have underestimated our scaredy-cat, though. While he is timid and spookable outdoors, he thinks he is a fierce lion indoors. On his own turf, he is king.
Today, he chased a neighbor cat indoors, upstairs and under the guest bed.

Now. Bilbo and Maurice have been friends through the glass of our front windows almost since the day we arrived here. I even opened the door once and let them touch noses. Our neighbors, Maurice's owners, say that Maurice is not a friendly cat, so this was unusual behaviour for him.
I was just pleased that Bilbo had a little buddy.
Until today.
Bilbo chased poor Maurice into our house from the garden and he freaked out! Maurice cowered under the bed while Bilbo stared in from the doorway. Part of me thinks he was just trying to be friends, but the look in his eyes said differently to me.
Finally, i was able to coax our neighbor cat out from under the bed and into my arms, then out the back door.
Now, there is a faint smell of cat pee in our house. I found some pee-drops by the back door (yay for tile and easy clean up), but still, the smell remains.

Exhibit B:
Can you tell from this photo where the cat pee is? Yeah. Me neither. But this is the area in which i have narrowed down the smell. I'll be mopping the floor after this post with bleach (sorry Mother Nature, i have stuff to take care of) and hopefully that will fix everything.

20 March, 2011

C25k: Week 4 Workout 1, take two and three

Before i start going into my runs, i just want to say that i had a fantastic day on Wednesday, before my run.

My dear friend M, was leaving Ireland to go to visit family in the US for three weeks!! I'm very excited for her as she hasn't been home in 3 years, but it's bittersweet... because i'll miss her. Selfish, i know! haha
I went and picked her up from her place around 10pm (she had to teach a night class, else we would have been sleeping by this time) and by the time we got home and settled, it was past 11... yikes!
We had to be out the door by 5:00am to get to Shannon Airport in time for check in and security.

Unfortunately, i had a terrible night's sleep and 4:15am came way too soon.
The drive was scary! It is still very dark at this hour, and of course it had to be foggy too... which made the drive very taxing for me. Irish roads are very bendy and curvy and narrow, so mix in a little fog and some darkness making visibility only about 10 feet ahead... yeah.

We made it in one piece though, and said goodbye for 21 days.

I definitely wanted to make use of this adventure (since i'm rarely that far from home, and NEVER alone) so i decided to do some window shopping in Limerick!
I stopped in Shannon (that's so weird to say...) and found a parking lot... and totally crashed for a couple hours. It wasn't super restful sleep, and when i would go in and out of consciousness, i'd notice someone driving by staring at me... haha but it was very helpful in taking the edge off.

After my nap, i drove to Limerick and had a good little shop around. I found some great deals and had lunch in a park along the river, overlooking King John's Castle. It was very peaceful. I had a nice couple hours in Limerick - and the weather couldn't have been more perfect. A bright sunny day and cool breezes. My type of paradise.
I pointed my GPS in the direction of home, and set out. I had intended on driving straight home, as driving makes me fairly groggy, but as i was driving through Mitchelstown, there was a street market! Of course i had to stop. I found a spool of light tan crochet thread for cheapsies! Some lady wanted TEN EUROS for a pair of "genuine vintage EIGHTIES glasses". Really. Eighties glasses are considered vintage now?
I chuckled and went along my way.

SO on to the runs.

My second attempt at this run, i had my husband cheering me on. He stayed with me and looked at brochures for equipment we are weighing the options of for our photography. He cheered me on, and gave me water when i needed it (after the running parts), and empathized with my pathetic gasping.
This run was very hard, but i made it a little farther than my first attempt. I made it to the final 5 minute run but only lasted about a minute before i had to stop. I got a stitch in my side, same as last time, and had to do my cool down walk early. I was very, very disappointed.
This run was actually really hard on an emotional level. I had a lot of "stinkin' thinkin'" going through my head -  and spent most of my mental capacities just trying to console myself. More than that though, was the warring with myself. The inner battle. I was trying to be strong and make it through the run, but because of my "failure" the previous run, i just knew i couldn't do it. This entire run was completely miserable for me and because of it, i took three days to get back on the treadmill. Three days to convince myself that i'm going to do this again.
Three days to force myself not to quit the Couch to 5k program, and ultimately give up on myself.

Today was my third attempt at Week 4 day 1. Like they say - the third time really is the charm. I did it!!
I made it through everything. The first 3 minute and 5 minute runs were much, MUCH easier than the first time i did this day. In fact, on my second 5 minute run, i lost track of time and would have kept on running, had it not been for my cool C25k app! The second 3 minute run was difficult, and on the last 5 minute run, i truly had to force myself not to quit. My breathing was sooo labored, and it was such a difficult run for me... but i kept saying to myself,
 "4 minutes left..."
 "3 minutes left..."
 " 2 minutes left..."
 " 49...48...47...46...45...44..."
 and finally, "3...2...1!!!!"
I hate counting down, i really do. One of my goals is that someday, i won't look at a clock during a run, but instead look at the miles i've gone and feel a sense of accomplishment in that way.

Today was such a great running day. It was the feeling of sheer accomplishment and personal achievement that made it all worthwhile for me and for the first time a week, i'm really looking forward to my next run, because i know i'll be a little bit stronger.
At the beginning of February, i had a hard time running for ONE minute. Now i can fun for FIVE. Go me!!

How are you doing on your C25k plan?

14 March, 2011

My Space (not MySpace, R.I.P.)

You may remember my sewing room from the original tour i posted about our current place. It started out mostly empty (the cabinet is not ours, but came with the place):

Then became super full: 

And now it's finally feeling like it's coming together. It's still miles away from finished, but over the weekend, we traveled to Newmarket in North Cork to pick up a piece of furniture which will help my creative "dream space" take shape. Behold!

Please excuse my cell phone photo... I was just so excited!! It fits as if it were made specifically for this space at 4'4" wide and 7' tall. We got it from a lady who is remodeling her home and unfortunately there is just no space for this beauty ANYWHERE inside after they knocked out a few walls. It has about a million and one cup hooks on it (note the white pile on the counter area where i've removed about half of them) and i might leave a couple temporarily, but the long-term goal is to fill all the holes and paint it  (maybe) to go with my little space.
I've been having lots of fun filling the drawers and putting things in baskets to display. All the while, i've been thinking of my mother (as many of my craft items belonged to her and with them are memories of us crafting together) and wishing i could share this with her. I'm very excited to show my dad, as i know he'll share my enthusiasm!

The most amazing part of this thing, is that somehow we carried it home with this:

except ours is uglier. This one is all cleaned up... and dent free.
The top of the curio/sideboard/whatever it's called comes off and went on top of our car. The bottom went inside! I was very impressed the the hatchback actually closed. Hooray for deceptively large interiors!

As soon as it's all finished, i'll post photos of my completed creative space. I can't wait!

Do you have any colour palette suggestions?

C25k: Week 4 Workout 1

I would like to preface this by saying that this run was a huge rollercoaster for me.
From my elation at being able to run 5 minutes without stopping to my disappointment in having to stop and walk  during my second short run... I'm definitely going to have to do this day over.

Today's run was scheduled as follows:

Brisk 5 minute warm-up walk
Jog 3 minutes
Walk 90 seconds
Jog 5 minutes
Walk 2.5 minutes
Jog 3 minutes
Walk 90 seconds
Jog 5 minutes
5 minute cool down walk

I have some big issues with self-doubt, apparently. I went into this run very skeptically, but at the same time hopeful that i'd be able to complete the whole thing. I was afraid of the initial 3 minute jog because i was worried about my previous week's 3 minute runs - and how hard they were, especially toward the end of the workout.
BUT i said a little prayer and got on the treadmill with my trusty C25k app... and hit the start button.

I blazed through my 3 minute run, surprising myself and congratulating myself on the accomplishment.
The 90 second walk went by way too quickly.
The 5 minute run was hard. But it's supposed to be. I didn't need to grab the handles of my treadmill for support, but i did have to keep pushing myself in my mind. I pushed hard, and made it!
As usual, the walking went by too quickly. 2 and a half minutes felt like only one.
I started in on my 3 minute run, and a little over 60 seconds in, i got a stitch in my side. I thought i would just grin and bear it - regulate my breathing a little more and hope for the best. At 90 seconds, the stitch was horrendous, so i sadly slowed my run from 5mph to 4.5mph. At 2 minutes, i had to slow to a walk.
My 90 second walk came and went and it was time to run the last 5 minutes - but i couldn't do it. I walked it. I'm so disappointed in myself and in my body, yet so proud that i was able to run the 3 and 5 minutes... it is true internal war.
On the bright side, i only pooped out about 7 minutes early, so i will try not to be so hard on myself and keep my chin(s) up.
Wednesday, i'm confident that i'll make it through the entire run, and my C25k program will just be one day longer than expected. :)

On a different note, my sugar fast has been going really great! I haven't been tempted by the candy bars in my pantry (thank God) and i have resisted all the sweets and biscuits (cookies) at our friends' houses. It's been wonderful how understanding my friends have been of my sugar fast.
My facebook fast, however, now has a caveat. A friend of mine is also doing the C25k program, but she doesn't have a blog. Instead, she posts all about her progress and motivation in a note on her Facebook profile - and today i logged on and read them. I didn't check my wall though, and i didn't check my notifications, either! So all in all, my Facebook fast is still in tact. I'll just be checking in on my friend from time to time to see how she's doing. :) Shout out to Melissa who is becoming stronger and healthier with me!

13 March, 2011

Ruffle Mufflers!!!

New Ruffle Mufflers listed in my Etsy shop! Go buy one now! More coming soon...

12 March, 2011

C25k: Week 3, Workout 3

Today was my last workout of week three in the Couch to 5k workout program. I truly have to say that i'm surprised i survived this week at all! But i'm glad i did, of course and i'm really looking forward to week four!

With the exception of the last run, all of the segments of today's workout were great. The last run, however, i really, REALLY had to push myself through. I may or may not have even slowed down for about 20 seconds right in the middle...

Also, today is my third day without sweets (or facebook). The first day was the hardest, definitely. Thursday, we went to The Ballyduff Drama Group's festival performance. During the intermission, there were cakes and sweets and cookies ALL OVER THE PLACE - and even tea (which i usually take with sugar)... and i had a glass of milk instead. Resisting the cakes though - that was slightly difficult.
The most difficult part of the evening for me came during this intermission.
Not because of sweets or teas - but because of anxiety.

My whole life, i believe i have suffered from anxiety. It's something i've learned to deal with throughout life, as my anxiety moments have usually only lasted a couple minutes at most and came rather randomly (ie- when i'm reading a book, watching tv, cooking, sitting in class, taking a shower...).
Last night was completely different though. The play was SUPER oversold, and as people left the theater to come into the reception hall (which is considerably smaller than the theater), the room filled up quickly. When I got there, the room was full, but there was still room to get around. By the time i got my glass of milk, there was standing room only. I tried to find a little pocket of space where i could just center myself for a moment, but no... there was no space. ANYWHERE!
I started to freak out. My breathing became irregular and the little anxiety moments i've felt in the past were absolutely nothing compared with what i felt building up inside of me. I had. to. get. OUT!
I started making my way toward a door only to be blocked by people and tables.
Freaking out.
I turned, and tried to evaluate all the exits and which one i could make for the quickest.
I decide that the main entrance was the one to go for and made my way there (FREAKIIIIING OUUUUT!!). I tried to be as polite as possible and not shove my way through (after all, people are standing around with hot tea). It seemed that there was a wall of bodies i had to get through - all chattering and laughing, and no one was noticing me or my little episode (which is good and bad) and the wave of people just kept coming in through the door.
At this point, i'm having to suppress the urge to claw, punch, kick, and shove my way through the masses when finally i see a little pocket of space and in it - an empty chair.
I bolt for it, sit down, and do my best not to start sobbing.
I realize people are feeling uncomfortable around me now, so i decide to move outside for some fresh air... and it really did help... until i realized it was spitting rain (the kind that drenches you in seconds), so i took a deep, cleansing breath, and went back into the tangle of people.
I'm still feeling a bit anxious at that time so i thought it would be best to head toward the theater, reasoning it would be emptier than the main hall. V and i make it into the theater but i feel too sick to my stomach and anxious to enjoy the rest of the play - so we left.

I feel much better today but that was definitely no fun.

A friend of mine in college once told me that anxiety can be dealt with by exercise. I hope that there's truth in what she said, because i certainly would not like to experience that level of anxiety again any time soon.

Hmm... perhaps it's really time to make an appointment with a doctor to test my thyroid levels...

PS. little reminder to my Facebook friends who follow my blog and would like to leave a comment - please remember i won't be able to read any comments you leave on the NetworkedBlogs links that come up on my Facebook page until Easter. Would love to read your comments here, instead!! Thanks!

10 March, 2011

Wedded Bliss

Come read about all the fun we had at Mark and Grainne's Waterford wedding here!!

09 March, 2011

C25k: Week 3 workout 2 - a week late.

Better late than never, i suppose.

Yesterday, i was truly concerned about how i would do on my second workout of week three, because i've basically taken a week off. Granted, i did walk and do some exercise while i was away, but i worried that i had lost some of the precious stamina i had built up over the last couple of weeks with my previous runs. Yikes!

I became nervous as i tied my shoes and started the treadmill. My palms became sweaty when i started up my C25K app...
The music started... the treadmill started... i started...

the first 90 seconds were fine, both running and walking. The first 3 minutes of running was worrisome. I got pretty winded toward the last 35-40 seconds of it.
The second 90 second run, i got pretty winded, and hadn't fully recovered before the last 3 minute run came around... so it was with great personal effort and lots of mental encouragement that i pushed through and made it. I must note that during my last workout, my last 3 minute run almost had me quit - i had to grasp the handles on my treadmill in order to make it. Today, i didn't need to do that!
Though it's hard to see progress while i'm running - when i look back as i blog about it, i definitely notice a difference. Today i was not as out of breath for as long after i completed the run as i was last week.

This week has been all about seeing improvements in my stamina. I can walk to my friends' house without getting winded. I can go up a hill without panting and gasping for breath. Apparently today, i don't need to hang onto the handlebars.
All these changes i notice and have a mini-celebration mentally. I am very proud of myself.
On the other hand, i took some measurements today and i am sad to report there has been absolutely no change at all from two weeks ago. I'm more than a little disappointed. I had hoped for at least a small change.

I don't know what that really means, but i am a bit sad.
Hopefully my sugar-break over the season of Lent will help! Crossing my fingers!

08 March, 2011

a little bit of fail... a little bit of success...

If you know me or have known me for very long (or have been following my blog for very long) you might know that i'm the type of person who has a hard time finishing things. I get off to a great and strong start - then i gradually slip back into whatever it was that i was trying not to/to do.

Apparently the C25k program is no exception! I'm super ashamed to say that as of tomorrow, it will have been a week since my last run. Tomorrow should be the middle of my triumphant week four! But instead, i'm going to hit the treadmill for another day of week three... followed on Friday by still another day of week three of the program.
Part of me feels like a failure. I feel like i let myself down. We went on a little trip to England and i feel like if i had just MADE the time on Friday to run like i was supposed to do, i would be in the middle of week 4 right now, and blogging instead about my triumph (or my painful, painful legs... or my laboured breathing... haha).
I know that on Friday i was insanely busy getting things together and tyeing up loose ends around the house before our departure - but i can't help not forgiving myself. I hope that this is something i can get over with my next run.

Part of me feels like it's a good thing that i've waited a week to start running again, because it's allowed my body to heal. That same part of me also remembers the large amount of walking we did in England while we were gone as well as how i spent the entire day climbing steep hills in Kinsale today with my friend. SO of course, that part of me argues that though i didn't run, i was certainly not idle during my away time.
I have the aching baby cows to prove it.

All i know is that tomorrow, i have to push that silly "stinkin-thinkin" out of my mind or i'll never succeed. I'll never finish, and i'll never know if i could truly "do this".

I have a little progress report to give though, since we're being positive.
For our anniversary, V and i went to Kinsale and walked all day around the roads and hills and peeked into the windows of all the shops (which were closed... drat!). I remember feeling winded going up one hill in particular and asking my husband to stop with me for a minute while i caught my breath.
Today, i not only conquered this hill without having to stop, but i went up several more without even breaking a tiny sweat. I am sooo proud of my progress!

Dear legs,
Thank you for bringing me through 26 years of amazing life. Thank you for never giving out on me even though i've been mean to you over the years. I know you'll stick with me through this trial and together, we'll come out of it stronger than ever.


Lent: the sequel.

This will be my second year celebrating the season of Lent by giving up stuff. After some careful thought, i decided to give up Facebook for the next 40 days. I definitely find myself checking in on all my friends and acquaintances way more than i'm proud to admit. My husband will be maintaining our fanpage, so that's always good. In the mean time - i think i'll learn to tweet. I'm sure it sounds counter-productive to give up Facebook for Twitter, but truthfully, i have no idea how to use Twitter. This should be interesting. You can follow me here, and laugh.

Since i'm giving up one vice for another (i know! It's probably comparable to quitting drinking only to take up smoking...) - i decided to make a healthy decision as well - in the spirit of being good to myself lately.

As you may know, i've started a little running program to try to get fit. So far i've seen a few minor results but i feel like i'm holding myself back because of my diet. I love sugar. I love sugar in my tea, in the occasional coffee... i love cookies and chocolate and sweets...
The trouble herein is that i overindulge in these things. Sometimes, i eat what sweets are laid before me before i even think about it - and as i've just finished swallowing a donut, for example, i feel guilt for not being smarter about it.

SO i will be going for the next 40 days without any sugar or sweets. It's better for my body, and i read an article that once you cut them out and your body adjusts, you don't crave them anymore. That is my ultimate goal... to stop craving sweets so much.

This year is all about good choices. I'm sure i'll mess up along the way... i am human after all, but i am choosing this year to also be the year of encouragement, self motivation, and all that those things entail. I am really looking forward to a healthier me.

02 March, 2011

C25k: week 3 workout 2

In a nutshell, today's run started off strong and ended weak.
My warmup went fine, of course and the first 90 second run and walk were good. My first three minute run today was great.
In fact the whole workout went well until the last three minute run. 60 seconds into the run, i felt like i wasn't going to make it. For the last minute, I had to hold onto the handlebars of my treadmill for a little support - not because i was going to fall down, but because i was out of breath and focused so much on trying to control my breathing that i was worried i would trip. Nonetheless, i pushed through it and it took a full 4 minutes before my breathing returned to somewhat normal. The cooldown was over surprisingly fast (where do the minutes go when you're not thinking about them?!) and that was it!

I do admit that i was very happy when this workout was over and i think i'll hit the treadmill (or the park!) tomorrow just for a bit of brisk walking to keep my heart rate up. I find that it's easier on my "running days" when i walk in between. Nothing strenuous, mind you, safety first! But just to keep the blood flowing and i'm sure it helps my muscles too.

My legs are still sore from the run on Monday. After today's run, they are achy and i just think i need to take it easy. Stairs hurt. Not so much going up but coming down... :(

Today i'm getting things sorted and making sure things are picked up and tidy for our little adventure this weekend. This day is all about finishing up the laundry (it's sunny, so all of our stuff is going out on the laundry tree today! Woohoo!!) and making our house presentable for our return. Tomorrow will be all about buying healthy snacks for our journey so we don't have to spend a lot on eating out... unless we want to :P

01 March, 2011

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

I used Random.org's integer generator and guess what!

Dulcecupie is the winner!

Dulcecupie said...

"Beautiful photos!"

Thank you for your comment. Please contact me to redeem your prize before March 8th!

having a "day after"

Boyolla, i have sore baby cows.

They were sore after last night's run, and got progressively more sore throughout the evening, then this morning... well... they're not as bad as last night. Going up and down our stairs is not so fun... Here's hoping that tomorrow's run will not be excruciating.

I did some calculations and found that if i'm good and stick to running tomorrow and Friday, i won't actually have to worry about running alongside a road in England somewhere. We'll be back on Monday in the afternoon, so there's plenty of time. Hooray!

Today's agenda includes laundry, cleaning, and possibly some YOGA to stretch myself out and limber up. All i have for "instruction" is a YogaX (from P90X) DVD and an old Denise Austin "Personal Training System" where Yoga is used for 5 minutes as a stretching exercise. Talk about one extreme to the next!
I'm thinkin' i might find something in the middle online, if i do end up doing some yoga today.

I'm also waiting for the mailman to bring me some shirring elastic for a little project coming up. My little "workshop" has been busy preparing some things to sell on Etsy! I'll let you know when they're finished :)

what do you want to be when you grow up?

what do you want to be when you grow up?

Answer here


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