ooh!

in one week i’ll be on vacay! get prepared for some regular blog posts!

and the olympics have begun! the opening ceremony is tomorrow, but they’ve started skating tonight, which is my FAVE.

i got direct tv now so i could watch the olympics. it’s costing me $10/month and i can cancel any time. this is so much better than dealing with cable installation and rentals and all that jazz. i just go to their website and then chromecast it to my tv. i’ll definitely take that. 

so right now i’m watching curling!

 

hacked

apparently, someone with a penchant for linking to car dealerships and weird products was able to log into my account and place advertisements amid my blog posts. including one from the month of charlie’s TBI stories. >:| (the post mentioned liz’s pregnancy and then decided to make it so that it/he/them could link to a stupid stroller. like i would every promote a stroller. *eyeroll*.)

i changed my password.

problem afoot

so i think i’m going to run the earth day half marathon again this year, and i’ll need to start training as soon as i get back from arizona in february. two weeks after the half, i’m doing a half relay with liz, and then of course RAGNAR in september.

but my problem foot is still a problem. i think the giant sprain back at last year’s ragnar really did it in, and even though the outside of foot is pretty good now, i must’ve overcompensated with the inside and so it’s just wreaking havoc.

well, i’m gonna see if i can get back into foot physical therapy to fix that. gotta do that soon.

AND on top of that, i have hallux rigidus (?) on my OTHER foot, which is really annoying, because i’d like at least ONE functional foot. it’s like a bunion but on top of your big toe joint, not the side. and i think it’s due to how my new shoes’ inside structure falls on my big toe joint. the top of the lacing structure is placed differently than my old shoes. so i’ve got to figure that out. 

GOOD GRIEF. thanks for listening to my toe woes. 

rando stuff

i just finished up the second book of the “red rising” series because HEY he wrote ANOTHER book. so finish up the original series, then i’ll dig into the new one. i’m excited to see what he does. (also, i forgot how exciting those books are and how much i love sevro.)

work is overwhelming. not sure what to do there. i feel like my eyetwitch might be making a reappearance. there’s just so much to do and so little time. and i’m out for a week and a half in february, so definitely need to make sure i’ve got my ducks in a row.

winter has been extremely bipolar. ha! literally. -20 one day, 40 the next. i’ll be happy when i can get outside to run again. the treadmill is ok but it’s getting the point of “ugh, not again.”

speaking of running, my body has been super annoying lately. my foot is rearing its ugly hurtiness again, tho i’m not sure from what now. don’t think it’s the plantar fasciitis but i don’t think it’s the sprain either. oh well. 

less than a month to AZ!!!!! hello warm weather! hey maybe i’ll run outside there!! 

hello my peeps!

2018 treatin’ ya well enough? i guess i’m already signed up for ragnar, and it’s a month and a half to arizona (wheee!!!). 

Screen Shot 2018-01-05 at 7.40.15 PM

look at all those state parks… think i could do it in a year? i probably wouldn’t start until april. and how am i going to get to the one in the middle of lake of the woods??? can we agree that maybe i sit that one out? holy crap, what have i gotten myself into!

so the minnesota dnr has a state park passport program where you visit all the state parks. and they have an exceptions list, one of which is that red dot in the middle of the giant lake. it’s not even visible when you leave the dock! anyway, it costs $15 to join and you get a free night of camping for every 25 parks and when you finish. i might check it out!

2018: how much worse can it get?

(i mean that in a general sense – my life is pretty ok, but the world at large is heading down the poohole.)

let’s see, what can i generally work on for 2018…

  1. oh what the heck, we’re throwing take more pics on the list again. i know i’ll be taking SOME photos, so we’ll see if i can up my game a little bit.
  2. my officemate convinced me to bring over the “do something interesting with nate” item from last year since it really wasn’t accomplished. in 2018? i KNOW i’m going to do something interesting with nate. we’re going to arizona in february for my cousin’s wedding, then we’re taking a trip up to the grand canyon and over to mesa verde. 
  3. this could also be a good way to check off a trip item on the list. in fact, there will be a few items on this list in 2018. i feel like this isn’t much of a list if i can’t work on them because they’re already planned. so i’m going to add something that is REALLY difficult…
  4. …and possibly unattainable in 2018: visit all the MN state parks. in fact, i’m going to say right now that i’m probably going to need to push this out to 2019. but at least i’m thinking about it!
  5. start thinking about either a BWCA trip or superior trail hike with liz. i think this will depend on her schedule. at this point i’ve got a pretty flexible schedule compared to her.
  6. consider bees and chickens again. do i want that responsibility? i mean, i can’t even correctly grow brussels sprouts, and the only reason the cats get fed is because they meow in my ear.
  7. TURN 39 OMG WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE
  8. Screen Shot 2017-12-31 at 4.01.18 PMrunning? hmmm. ragnar is another possibility in 2018. possibly the granddad half relay with liz. one thing i wouldn’t mind doing that i’ve never done is volunteering at a race – being the water person or cheerer or something.
  9. strive toward a more healthy lifestyle. ugh. this is so cliche with a new year. but i want to do more yoga, and i want to maybe up my speed with running. i’m not going to say “i’m going to lose 30 lbs and increase my run time by 1 minute/mile” but if i can accomplish something, that will work.
  10. in conjunction with the healthy lifestyle thing is mindfulness. my anxiety levels have actually been pretty ok (i think due to work being less stressful). yoga is super good for mindfulness, and i got a great workbook from my mom that incorporates writing with mindfulness. i might also start using the headspace app again, which is a meditation app. there’s something about clearing your mind and focusing on the present. 
  11. continue being happy. even if the rest of this list isn’t touched, if my life is relatively happy, then i’ve accomplished all i need to accomplish for 2018. i’ll continue SUPping on lake sag, working on my garden, reading, writing occasionally, petting cats, and hanging out with nate and my fam. there’s not too much else a person can ask for out of life other than being happy. 

2017. just ok.

  1. longstanding resolution: TAKE MORE PICS. i’m excited for my august photoshoot i’m a part of! it should be fantastic and fun!
  2. another longstanding resolution: get a garden in! i’m torn on where to put it, and i think keeping the riffraff out (aka the deer and bunnies) will be a challenge, but it should be super duper fun.
  3. get a compost pile going! like, a real one.
  4. consider a chicken
  5. consider bees
  6. since my trip resolution worked out so well last year, i’d kind of like to put another trip resolution in her in case it makes it
  7. i’m not sure what to do on the running front. maybe i can just say, resolve to run as much as i comfortably can and do a couple races. there’s a relay half marathon in la crosse in early may that might be a possibility liz and i decided to run the earth day half marathon here in st. cloud. bring it on (i guess).
  8. do something interesting with nate. i don’t know if this is in conjunction with resolution 6, but i’d like to do an out-of-the-house activity with nate
  9. i like last year’s be happy resolution. i think this year, i want to scale back on connectivity ALL. THE. TIME. i was just listening to npr this afternoon, and they were talking about “ambient news” – you know what’s happening all the time because you’re checking your social media all the time, and you’re getting blasted with everything, ALL.THE.TIME. it’s agitating, kind of nerve-wracking, and constant. i’ll be informed! i just won’t be immediately informed. and possibly fake informed. this would require some adjustments; i’d have to get a dumb phone. i’d keep my iphone, but i’d use it for running tracking mostly. and mobile bank deposits. i’d keep my extra sim card in it so i wouldn’t be tempted. so no more emojis and no more camera on me all the time. it’d be weird, but i think, ultimately, it’d be really good for mental health. now i just have to find a dumb phone. if anyone has one that works with at&t or tmobile, let me know.

 

  1. Screen Shot 2017-12-31 at 2.10.38 PMFAIL EPIC FAIL. the photoshoot fell through. although… i did SEE the perfect shot. i didn’t have my camera, or even ability to get my dumb phone out to take the pic. i was mowing the lawn one late summer evening, and the sun was just setting over the field behind my house that’s in CRP. dust motes floating in the air, purple and yellow wildflowers abounding, the sun rays just reaching across the native grasses, …and a DEER stood in the middle of this, looking at me. and i’m chasing a lawn mower across the yard with sweaty fingers and a sweaty phone that i can’t get out of my pocket. 
  2. epic win! i have a 36’x18′ plot in my yard, and i planted so much stuff. my pickle game this year was ON POINT. 
  3. compost pile has been piled. not sure if it’s going to yield any good compost, but it’s there and i put food waste in it all last summer.
  4.  considered it
  5. considered it
  6. trip? well yes, i did go on a trip! it was for work, but it was still some place that needed a plane ride to get to and it was a place i’d never been! i went to washington dc for a conference and checked out the sights while i was there. 
  7. for someone who didn’t know what she was going to do on the running front, 2017 sure did provide some…interesting…running opportunities. liz and i completed the earth day half marathon, even though her training sucked majorly. i was able to train on the lake woebegone trail in march and april, which is possibly my favorite running trail. it’s so smooth and flat! one day i ran from avon to albany and back. (that was a 13-mile day.) our time during the half was kind of lacking compared the half we did in 2016, but we finished eventually. 
    ***********
    THEN. liz convinced me to do ragnar trail. i have such conflicting feelings about it. i trained really diligently for it, running on the trails in the st. john’s woods. in the dark. through mud. in the rain. in the cold. i bought trail shoes. i got a headlamp and hand lamps. I WAS READY. but nothing could prepare me for the HEAT. and the overall treacherousness that was that trail! omg. the heat beat me down on the four mile, which should’ve been my jam. then on the 8 mile, i fell within the first 5 minutes and ran the rest of the trail on a bum ankle, which put me out of running for two weeks after ragnar.  so, i guess i definitely ran in 2017.
  8. i think the most interesting thing i did with nate in 2017 was eat at the new mexican restaurant in sartell. *eyeroll*
  9. at the beginning of 2017, i got a motorola razr off ebay and used it for three months. i turned off the iphone so i didn’t have news at my fingertips. but i ended up using my laptop a lot more, and no one ever called or texted me, so i was like, what’s the point of the razr? then, after using the razr for a while, i lost service in my house. no bars. so that was the end of that. but i crafted my social feeds to not be constant news, and i think that after a while, a person just becomes immune to the insanity that is the government now. so i’m back to being just as connected, but i’m less angry now. i don’t know if that’s good or bad. 
    **********
    speaking to the happy part of this, know what made me happy? my paddleboard. i bought an inflatable SUP, and about once a week throughout the summer, i was out at st. john’s floating around the lake. how utterly wonderful. 

a few things of note happened in 2017. my sisters and i started saving to buy a cabin in probably wisconsin northwoods. we figured it was about time we just set our minds to this and did it. we think in maybe three years, after liz is done paying for childcare, we should have enough for a decent downpayment.

my family also decided to not do christmas presents this year and are going to try a trip instead. we decided to go to wisconsin dells in late may or early june. 

oh! and i went with charlie to my first musical concert in close to 10 years! we went to see everclear, fastball, and vertical horizon while they were at treasure island. AND I SHOOK ART’S HAND. note: always wear the old-school band t-shirt, and don’t be afraid to be “that guy.” 

on sad news, nate and i had to put chasey down. she was not doing well: not eating, having trouble walking, etc. my poor chasey cat, who’d been with me for 15 years. 

but with sad news comes some happy cat news: a fluffy black blob showed up in my garage one day, and now we are back to three kitties. stan’s a pest, but his fluffy tail is worth keeping around. 

(note: i did not touch on much politically in this post, because i feel like it shouldn’t affect my personal life as much as it does, and it requires a block of text on its own. there was just SO MUCH, that at this point, nothing surprises me. although i do have my sign at the ready in case i need to protest again.)

2018 resolutions to come!

follow-up: st. simeon

st. simeon. the original performance artist? hmmmm.

690px-MHS_Szymon_Slupnik_XVI_w_Kostarowce_pwhen i read the initial description of st. simeon in the 12 days of christmas, i thought maybe he was banished to a platform as punishment. but no. he seeked it out.

so here’s what happened with sim. (can i call him sim? i’ll call him sim.) sim was the son of a shepherd, born in present-day turkey. he became enthralled with christianity at the age of 13 after reading the beatitudes and entered a monastery before the age of 16. he was so obsessed and extravagant that the monks deemed him unsuited to community life and kicked him out.

so he shut himself up in a hut for a year and a half and spent the whole of lent without eating or drinking. (i find this hard to believe.) he came out and it was hailed a miracle. (miracle or not, 40 days with no drink or food=death.) then, from that point forward, he decided he would only stand as long as his legs would support him. no sitting for this diehard.

sim wanted some more extremes, so he decided to live on a narrow rocky outcrop on a mountain, but crowds of people sought him out to ask advice and for his prayers, which annoyed him because he couldn’t pray. so he decided to run away.

he found a pillar in modern-day syria and placed a small platform on top of it. local boys would climb up the pillar with flatbreads and goats milk. 

now of course some monastics wanted to know if he was doing this out of actual humility or out of pride. if he obeyed an order to come down, they decided that he was humble and would leave him on the pillar. he obeyed, so he got to stay. 

the first pillar he was on was about nine feet high, and the last one he was on was more than 50 feet off the ground. his platform was believed to be about a meter square (a little bit longer than 3’x3′) and surrounded by a railing. 

Uttanasana-Standing-Forward-Fold-Pose

sim stayed there day and night, summer and winter, standing or doing a yogic forward fold. and people still came to him. he decided to be available each afternoon to talk with visitors who climbed a ladder to speaking distance. he wrote letters and preached against profanity and high-interest loans. (??????)

people were so enthralled that a double wall was built to keep the crowds at bay, and women were not allowed within the wall. not even his own mother. except when she died. sim decided then that he could look at the coffin and say goodbye to her dead body. (can i roll my eyes any more at this? no. no i cannot.)

he died in 459. a disciple found him stooped over in his forward fold, and the buried him by a pillar. a look

happy christmas! have some birds.

happy 2nd day of christmas! know what i can’t understand? people who take their christmas decorations down the day after christmas. don’t they realize that the christmas season has just begun??

so here’s the deal. the 12 days of christmas? no, it’s not a marketing ploy to rack up sales 12 days before christmas. it’s the liturgical christmas season between dec. 25 and jan. 6, the epiphany (you know, when the three kings* visited the baby jesus in bethlehem).  unfortunately, all the hype for christmas happens a month before christmas, and the season itself is practically forgotten. 

so, let’s take a look at how the christmas season plays out. before dec. 25? it’s actually advent, the time of waiting and preparing your heart for jesus. each sunday we get to light an additional candle on the advent wreath, purple, purple, pink, and purple, until christmas arrives. my friend melissa, a liturgist at a catholic church and sponsor of this post**, actually runs purple and pink ribbons on her tree until christmas, when she decorates it. i remember growing up on the tree farm and having one family come out on christmas eve to cut down their tree. 

so what happens during the 12 days of christmas besides a very rich lover sending you a bunch of birds? here’s what we’ve got for the 12 days of christmas:

12days

The first day  is Christmas, the celebration of baby jesus’ birth. it’s also a day you traditionally give your loved one a partridge in a pear tree.

The second day is Boxing Day and is also known as St Stephen’s Day. he was the first christian martyr. and two turtle doves.

The third day celebrates St John the Apostle. three calling birds.

The fourth day is the Feast Of The Holy Innocents – the day when people remember all of the baby boys who were killed by King Herod in his search to kill the Baby Jesus. four french hens!

The fifth day is remembering St Thomas Becket – he was the Archbishop of Canterbury in the 12th Century and was killed on December 29 1170 for challenging the King’s authority over the church. fiiiiiive goooooldeeeeen riiiiiiiings

The sixth day remembers St Egwin of Worcester, who died on December 30 717. he was known as the protector of orphans and the widowed. six swans a swimming.

The seventh day (New Year’s Eve) celebrates Pope Sylvester I. In some eastern European countries New Year’s Eve is still known as Silvester. seven geese a laying.

The eighth day (New Year’s Day) celebrates Mary the Mother of Jesus. (this is also a holy day of obligation, which TOTALLY BLOWS when you’re up all night revelrying. eight maids a milking.

The ninth day honors St Basil the Great and St Gregory Nazianzen – two important fourth century Christians. nine ladies dancing.

The tenth day is the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus – this marks the day Jesus was named in the Jewish Temple. ten lords a leaping.

The eleventh day  celebrates the Feast of Saint Simeon Stylites who spent 37 years living on a small platform on top of a pillar in Aleppo. (WHAT ON EARTH. this might need some more research.) eleven pipers.

The twelfth day, January 5, is also known as Epiphany Eve – it’s the day before January 6 which is known as the Epiphany. 12 drummers drumming.

many countries in europe still celebrate the 12 days, but in the US it’s practically forgotten. once dec. 25 rolls around, it’s sayanora christmas.

what i’d like to start doing? i wouldn’t mind celebrating christmas like hannukah is celebrated. each night get a small present or do something fun, with the big party on ephiphany (which makes total sense since that’s when the kings came with their GIFTS).  OR, for those families who have multiple christmas parties and people to exchange gifts with, why not do it during the 12 days FOLLOWING christmas, during the actual season? 

i know that the retail marketing has got us all hyped up and wound up and grabbed by our wallets, but it wouldn’t take much to make the christmas season part of how we celebrate christmas. and i’ve said it before: i wouldn’t mind seeing more off-color christmas celebrations become more mainstream. like actual caroling, or something equivalent to trick or treating. or krampus  (hee heeeee!). i feel like christmas has gotten too ooey gooey and blown out of proportion and saccharine. 

*or two, if you’re the kings at my mom’s house. one got beheaded for coming out of the closet (hannah was playing “kissy kissy” with two kings, and being ceramic, one broke.)

**(she says not to take her too seriously. i had to school her on what the triduum*** was her first year as a liturgist.)

*** the three days before easter: holy thursday, good friday, and holy saturday. 

meh

welp, i’ve watched almost all my christmas movies. i made a couple batches of cookies (not as many as i normally do). wrapped the few presents i needed to wrap. i guess christmas is here. 

i don’t know what’s going on, but i’m not too excited about christmas this year. i wasn’t too excited last year, either, so who knows. 

not much other news! though i did get a seed catalog in the mail today. that’s a little exciting, though i’ll probably be happier about that in about three months when i can start seeds. 

hmmm. i’m out.