Sunday, December 1, 2013

Her Royal Highness.

I am in a bit of trouble.

It has come to my attention, that while the Basset Hounds have had posts dedicated to them, my cat has only been mentioned as an afterthought.

She is displeased, and now I am fearful for my life.

Without further ado,
may I present to you,

Her Royal Highness, Supreme Ruler of the Universe, Meeko McGonagall Killer Piss Hiss Fred Murphy.


Meeko, as I get to call her
Yes, I know her name is long, but each name has a reason.  Meeko, her first and most commonly used name, is from the Disney movie 'Pocahantas'.  Do you remember the raccoon?  Yep, it's Meeko.  Her tail is striped just like a raccoon.  McGonagall is from the Harry Potter books.  The cat that Professor McGonagall transforms into reminded me of her.  Killer is from the summer she killed 45 birds.  I almost turned her in to the ASPCA and PETA.  She has since retired from hunting in her older years.  Piss is from a very grumpy day.  Hiss just sounded good with Piss.  Fred is the funniest one.  Do you remember the Bugs Bunny cartoon with the Abdominal Snowman where he finds Bugs and picks him up and thumps him on the head while saying. "Love him and Pat him and Call his name Fred"?  As you may know, cats need to be taken down a notch every once in a while and I jokingly did it to Meeko one day and she just looked harassed and tortured, that now all I have to do is call her Fred and she behaves.

One of her former napping spots.
Now that you know her name, it is time to get to know her.  Meeko is very shy.  If you come over to the house and even see her, be impressed.  Most people do not even think I have a cat.  Be honored by her presence.  I got her from the Humane Society and from what they knew, she was a street cat for the first two years of her life.  She bonded with me and the dogs, but other than that she is very shy with her affections.

She loves catnip.  Fresh only, not dried.  She gets mean with dried nip.  I have to grow 2 catnip plants during the summer for her.  In fact, I have been thinking about adding a new name to the group.  Mellow Meeko.  Every Summer by Labor Day, I threaten to send her to rehab for her nip problem.  The last two winters I have brought her plants inside and they have thrived.  If you know my indoor plant problem, you know what a miracle that is.  Meeko must of decreed they must live.

Like most cats, she loves to nap.  She takes a morning nap,  mid morning nap, pre lunch nap, post lunch nap, early afternoon nap, late afternoon nap, pre dinner nap, post dinner nap, and an early evening nap.  All naps require a different location and heaven help you if you disturb a nap.  However,  Meeko is allowed to stare at you in the middle of night to wake you up if she wants attention.  If staring does not work, she will knock items off of counters, dressers, nightstands, etc.  And, do not fall into the belief that just because she is little, big items are safe.  They are not.

Enjoying her Realm
Meeko is not overly cuddly, but loves to head butt you and get tickles down her spine.  On occasions of her choosing, she will jump into your lap and purr and cuddle; it just has to be her choice.  Royalty must be obeyed.

She does like the dogs, do not let her tell you otherwise.  She and Bacall will play and chase each other, and while she may slap at Bacall, no claws are ever used.  Meeko and Humphrey have a very funny relationship.  Meeko likes to bug H.  When entering a room that Humphrey is in, Meeko will first attempt to make eye contact.  If contact is made, she will begin to slink, that slow motion cat walk.  I imagine it like fingernails on a chalkboard to Humphrey.  It just bugs him to NO END!  Humphrey will bark and threaten to chase Meeko and then she will run into the room.  The kicker, if she can't get H to make eye contact, she continues into the room at a normal pace.  The brat.

Putting up with another photo session

 While you may never get to meet her in person, you now know a little more about the cat that rules my world.

Hopefully, this gets me out of trouble,
but until I know for sure,
I will be sleeping with one eye open.

Melissa


Friday, November 29, 2013

Grateful....

I needed to run one errand today, Black Friday, and it was fraught with peril......

I could not locate my wallet.

The last time I knew for sure that I had seen it was at a gas station in Brigham City, Utah on Thanksgiving night.

PANIC!!  FREAK OUT!!!  and CRY!!!

I went to the car and searched one more time, before I called the gas station, and happened to glance under the car on the passenger side near the wheel and there it sat.

Whew....

It had been outside and unprotected since Thanksgiving night at 11:30 til 4 pm on Friday.

As a result,

I am so very grateful that my neighborhood is a safe one.
I am grateful that my wallet was still there.
I am grateful that I did not have to worry about my identity being stolen.
I am grateful that I was able to go to PetSmart to buy cat food for Meeko and snacks for my dogs.

As this season of Gratitude draws to a near,
I just wanted to say Thank you for all the gifts, opportunities, travels, people in my life and even trials that come my way.

With a prayer of Gratitude in my heart,
Melissa


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Overtime...

I think most of you know that I am a HUGE sports fan, especially football, but this post has nothing to do with sports despite the title.

I am in overtime with Humphrey.

One of my favorite pictures of Humphrey
Three weeks ago, today, Humphrey was getting off the couch on his pet stairs (we'll discuss how spoiled he is at a later date) when he suddenly seized up.  I immediately knew what it was having seen seizures in my brother.  Humphrey jerked and his eyes rolled back into his head and lost control of his bladder.  I had a brief moment of control and timed the event, because in my heart this seemed like it was going on forever. Reality shows the seizure lasted just over a minute.  When it was finally over, I was not even sure he survived the seizure.  It was absolutely terrifying.  I laid down on the floor with him to make sure he was breathing and to give both of us some comfort.

A phone call to the vet was next.  An appointment two hours later was made when they squeezed us in between other appointments.  During those two hours, I began to mentally prepare myself that this was then end.  It was brutal.  I think I cried for almost the entire time.  Humphrey was breathing, but that is about all I could say at this point.  He did not respond to his name.  He looked confused and out of it.  After about an hour, he attempted to stand up and needed some help.  He had very little control over his body.  My heart broke once again.  I could tell he needed to go to the bathroom, but he had no idea where to go.  Bacall and I led him out to the backyard and Humphrey followed out of love and trust.  We led him back in, because he did not know to come back inside.

His heart was beating, but it was like Humphrey, as I knew him, was gone.

It was finally time for the appointment, and I loaded up the dogs and went to the vet.  Bacall would not leave Humphrey's side, so she had to go, too..  She was all excited until she realized that we were at the vet, then I had two worrywarts at the vet.  Me and Bacall.

The first thing Dr. Gold did was calm me down.  He was actually pretty excited that Humphrey could walk in (it was a good sign).  I learned that seizures in dogs are more common that I had previously thought and more importantly, it was not a death sentence.  Epilepsy is even seen in dogs and with medication can be managed like it is in humans.  Whew.

The next thing that happened was that I learned I was in a 24, then a 48 hour window, before we decided anything.  Seizures can take up to 48 hours to recover from in dogs.  No medication was dispensed and we were sent home.

Humphrey was still out of it and it ended up being a very long 24 hours.  He had to be led outside when he would stand up, due to the fact, he did not remember how to go outside.  When he got outside, he would do his business and then just lay outside.  The temperatures that night were near freezing.  Bacall would go out and bark at him and nag him back inside.  During that long night, Bacall became a great sister to H.  She took care of him, worried about him, and for once did not challenge him in any way.

We made it thru the night and I called the vet to give an update.  Humphrey was starting to recognize his name and seemed a little more with it.

I was to call after another 24 hours.... the very important 48 hour mark.  Night two went better and he was starting to want food and snacks.  (A key indicator in Humphrey is whether he wants food, if he doesn't, you know something major is up)

By the end of 48 hours, I was no long having to escort him in and out to the bathroom; he responded to his name and could walk well, slowly, but well.

Humphrey was all the way back.

Whew.

Another phone call to the vet......
We now need to go 30 days without another seizure.  If he does have one within the 30 day window, he will most likely go on medication.  The vet's main concern is that Humphrey is 10 years old and seizures, especially major ones like he had, are hard to recover from.  I understood.....

I am in overtime with Humphrey.
We have had a AMAZING time during regulation and I got bonus time.
To cherish.
To enjoy.

He is a bundle of love.  He is happy.  He is not in pain.

He is, however, weaker than he was before the seizure.  He sleeps a bit more.  His walks take longer, but he still wants to go.  His back legs, sometimes, take a little bit to get going when he stands up.

We have a week to go before the 30 day mark.  I hope he makes it without another seizure.
But if he does, we'll get thru it and make the best decisions for him.

A dog lover....
Melissa

Friday, November 1, 2013

Yes, I did it again...

My once a year art skills came back to me this week.

I carved another pumpkin, Tigger, to be precise.

Tigger, the Pumpkin.

He did not take me as long as others had in the past, so I worked on my photography skills in low light...

In other words, I turned my bathroom into a photography studio.  I duct taped towels for back drops; I put sheets on the counter; I covered the window to completely block out the light; and basically banned everyone from entering.  :)

see the need for towels and sheets?
ok, a good background, but my extra lighting was in the wrong spot
Jackpot!


Both pumpkins together!
I was fun to get my tripod out and work with a slower exposure speed and capture the pumpkins in all of the glowing glory!

I hope you enjoyed it!
Until next year's pumpkins,
bye, bye drawing skills.....

Melissa

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Itinerary

Ok, so I haven't written in a while....
sorry about that.  Life has been a little crazy with work, training, and a very scary incident with Humphrey.  I'll write about that later, but first, a post that has been requested by a couple of people.

Yes, I have people who read this blog!!!  You make my day!!!!!!!!!
The 101 Roadtrip Guide


So here it is....
the itinerary of what I did on my Road trip in August.  What I loved and what I would do differently.....

Day 1
Drive to Seattle.  Yes, it is a long drive, but completely doable.  If you want to break it up, stop in Yakima, WA.   If you left early in the am, you would still be able to explore and shop at all of the fruit stands I saw advertised.  The next day, get up early and go into Seattle.

Before you get to Seattle, stop at Snoquamish Fall.  Beautiful and a nice break before you hit Seattle traffic.

Day 2
We drove up to Bellingham, about an hour north, and went on a Whale Watching tour.  LOVED, LOVED this adventure.  We went thru Island Mariner Cruises and had even gotten a groupon to make it an amazing deal.  If I had the opportunity, I would spend a week exploring the San Juan Islands!!!  They are so beautiful.  I would hike, camp, and even splurge at one of the spas on one of the islands.

Day 3
Exploring Seattle.  We did it thru a Segway tour.  A fun way to cover a lot of ground.  Here's my one Seattle tip, don't go up the Space Needle.  It is expensive and not the best view in Seattle--instead go up the Columbia Building.  Cheaper and a better view.  We did not go in the Chulily museum and regretted it.  Other than that, just explore....

Day 4
Left Seattle behind...took my car on its first ferry ride!!!  Hooked up with the 101 Highway and got to Olympic National Park.  If you can, allow more time for this area.  The Sol Duc campground is AMAZING!!!  My only complaint, you can not make reservations, it's first come first serve, but worth it!!!  Soak in the Hot Springs; take the hike to the waterfall; and just enjoy the scenery.

Day 5
Went to Kalaloch Beach and campground.
Had my first experience with the Pacific waters....they are cold.  Do not expect to spend time in the water, unless you have a wetsuit.  It is still fun to explore the beach and the surrounding areas.  One of the cool things near by is the Quinault Rain Forest.  Yes, rain forest.

Day 6
Continued down the 101 Highway and got to Oceanside, OR.  The adventure along the way is part of fun.  We ate at Clark's Restaurant in Arctic, WA (it's listed in every guide I found about the 101).  Old time diner with amazing food.  We also found out that the 101 coincides with the Lewis and Clark trail and stopped at a National Historic site, Fort Clatsop.  It is very interesting and they have historic re-enactors as well.  We did not spend any time in Astoria, OR and wished we could of.

We got to Oceanside early enough to explore the Prom and the shops.  That was enough for me..  I did not really enjoy the vibe of the town, but did find an amazing photography studio.  It's a very touristy town.

Day 7
A short drive to Newport, but first a stop at Cannon Beach.  If you can, spend an entire day at Haystack Rocks and Cannon Beach.  It is beautiful, clean and perfect.  I saw a horseback tour going on the beach and thought, I wish I had signed up for that.  The town of Cannon Beach does not allow any chain stores in its limits.  Accommodations are expensive--I could not find anything under $200!!!  Oceanside does have very good deals (our hotel was $59) a night and I could have chosen at least 3 others in that price range.  Stay in Oceanside, but play in Cannon Beach.....

One of the fun things on the drive from Oceanside to Newport is that you go thru Tillamook!!  With the cows and the factory.  Yes, it is busy and touristy, but stop anyway.  You get to sample cheese and then there is the ice cream.....Yum.....  I got a map and found the actual cows.  I did not know that the Tillamook Creamery is actually a co-op of small family famers!!  I like them even more for this.

Take the time for all of the scenic side trips that you can.  The views are amazing.

We camped at Beverly Beach State Park.  Loved it!!!!  We even had our own beach access!!!

Day 8
Explored Beverly Beach, Newport and the surrounding areas.  Whatever your interests, you can find something to do.  A tip, pick up the locally produced guidebooks when you are in the area.  They have split up the coast into 3 regions and give a TON of ideas.  At the Yaquina Head lighthouse, go to the tide pools, but beware, the beach is made up of River Rocks!!!  It is very hard to walk on.

Day 9
It is time to leave Oregon behind and head to California.  But before we did, we spend the morning at the Newport Aquarium.  It is ranked in the top 5 Aquariums in the country.  It's fun and as a special treat, we got a behind the scenes tour and kissed by a Sea Lion named Leah.

Leaving Newport around 3, we headed off to Crescent City, CA.  It was a little long, but stunning in its views.

It was another camping adventure, as we had made reservations at the KOA.  DO NOT BOOK THERE!!!!  It was awful, between the shower hogs, the drunk couple fighting until 4 am, and just general bad attitudes all around, I wanted to leave in the middle of the night.   There are many campgrounds in the National and State parks of Redwoods.  Go there...  there are hot showers at most of them and they are cheaper than the KOA.

Day 10
Explore Redwood State and National Parks...  It's weird--California has Redwood parks and the then there is the National Park.  As far as I could tell, they overlapped a lot.....

On the road into the park, we saw a herd of elk on the side of the road that must of had 30 in it..

Now onto the trees,  AMAZING.  I am 5'9" and felt like an ant.  Take some time to do some hikes and become immersed in them.  Lose yourself in their beauty.

We stopped at the Trees of Mystery in Klamath, which is soooo worth it.  We took a tram ride thru the trees, had nice paved trails-with a self audio tour with information about what we were seeing, and the largest privately owned Native American museum.  It was well worth the money and time.

Another fun fact, all of the drive thru trees that you hear about are on privately owned land.  We paid $5 to drive thru one.

Day 11
It's time to head to San Francisco.  The 101 Highway was still our guide.  We took a little time off of it to drive the Avenue of the Giants, but still got to the Golden Gate Bridge by 2 pm.  If you can, park on the north side of the bridge.  I missed the turnoff and drove the bridge and then got in a mess of traffic before I found the parking lot.  I was surprised how busy the walkway was and how many groups will walk 4 across.  It made for a frustrating walk on the bridge, but still do it.  GO THE WHOLE WAY and back.

Here is my one and only hotel tip of the whole trip.  The Wharf Inn.  When I was planning the trip, I went into sticker shock for the price of hotels in San Francisco. WOW....  The Wharf Inn's rooms are very basic, do not expect a fridge or microwave in your room, and yes the walls are a bit thin.  Request a room on the 3rd floor and in the back and the noise is not too bad.  I did not find it too bad, and the free parking (even for 6 hours after checkout), the price and the location made it all worth while, plus the front desk clerk was very friendly and informative about the area and gave a great dinner recommendation (Alioto's).

Day 12
San Francisco....Ride the cable cars, explore China Town, and whatever else catches your eye....
We left around 5 in the afternoon and drove to Sacramento.

Day 13
Drive home....

In summary, to make this trip affordable, we camped about half of the time.  I love to camp and all of the campsites we stayed at had warm showers......

The purpose of the trip was to get a feel for the area.  I had never stepped foot in either Washington or Oregon.  I would go back in a heartbeat.  A week in the San Juan Islands....  More time in Olympic National Park...... Time in Cannon Beach.....  Hike more in Redwood....  See more in San Francisco....

Did I have fun....
ABSOLUTELY!!!!
So get out there...

Your Tour Guide,
Melissa

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Drip, Drip, Drip.....

I recently went on a bit of a road trip.

Ok, it was an epic 3000 mile adventure.

Since creating my Bucket List a while back, I look for ways to complete items.  I checked off quite a few on this trip.

#1.  Visiting all 50 states.  I got Oregon and Washington on the list.  For as close as they are, I had never visited either one.

The beauty of Snoquamish Falls, Washington

Haystack Rocks, Cannon Beach, Oregon

#2.  Go on a Whale Watching Tour...
        Ironically, a groupon helped me out with this one.  I went on the Seattle page of Groupon and found a 6 hour Whale Watching tour out of Bellingham for $49.  It ended up being closer to 7 hours since we were in fog for a majority of the trip, so it was a very good deal.  We saw Orcas and a Minky whale.  This only increased my desire to see Grey whales.  So don't be surprised if I do this one again.

A pod K male Orca in the San Juan Islands


#3.  Help someone achieve their goal.
       My mom, for reasons I never understood, has always wanted to take a Segway tour.  I have not, but since I was the main organizer of the trip, I took the lead and once again used Groupon for a Segway Tour in Seattle.  Mom was very scared and nervous when we got there, but between our guide/instructor, Aaron, and me--we got her on and within minutes, she was having a ball.
Learning the ropes and crossing off a Bucket List item off for Mom

Guess what, I had a ball too!


The main lesson of this one is this--I was not that excited about doing this.  In fact, I thought I would be embarrassed the whole time while doing this with her, but I had fun too!!!  In helping her achieve a goal, I encountered something I would have NEVER EVER done and enjoyed it.

#4  Visit all of the National Parks

       This is a goal that will probably take me a long time to achieve and that's ok....  I love spending time outdoors and our National Parks are exceptional places to do that.  On this trip, Olympic National Park and Redwood National Parks were visited.

The Beauty of Olympic National Park

The massive trees of Redwood National Park


#5 Walk the Gold Gate Bridge
  There was not a great start to this adventure, when after a 5 hour drive to get to San Francisco, I missed the turnoff for the parking area and my GPS decided to have a hissy fit.  I was a little frustrated when we finally got there and started the walk.  The crowds, sometimes walking 4 across, the wind, and being right next to 6 lanes of traffic didn't help once we started either.  As a result by the time we had crossed the length and started back, it was not fun.  We found a a quiet, non windy, spot and took a break and to realize what we were doing.  On the parts of the bridge that were not crowded, we would stop and enjoy the views.  By the time we completed the back and forth, we were actually having an ok time.  We were a little taken back with the wind and noise of the this adventure, but still glad it was done.


#6.  oh wait, I missed the opportunity to pay a toll for someone else.
  When I was getting in line for the ferry in Edmunds, Washington, I was all set to pay for the car behind me til I saw how much it was, and then I backed out.  It would of been $20 something bucks and I wimped out.  I thought I had a cheaper toll still ahead and would do that one.  There wasn't.  The Golden Gate Toll is all automated now, so you can't pay for the car behind you.  The toll that I thought I would pay later was included in my ferry fee.  Lesson of the day, don't wimp out.  Don't think, oh, I'll do it next time.  Do it......

One of the reasons I wanted to do this post was to reiterate that Bucket List items do not have to be expensive.  The Whale Watching and Segway tours were done thru Groupon.  Visiting a National Park is not that expensive and when you camp in them, your costs get even cheaper.  It was free to walk across the Bridge.  Life is all about experiences and Bucket Lists can be about making sure you accomplish the experiences that matter to you.

And now that I am home, I am working on more drips in my Bucket.
Melissa

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Change in the Wind....

Even though life has been going pretty well for me lately, I have been wanting some changes.

Is that weird?  I'm not sure.....

The feeling has been getting more and more intense and pushing to the forefront of my mind.  I am questioning why I do what I do and if it still works for me.  Somethings just need a little tweaking, but I have a feeling others will have massive changes.

Traveling seems to bring this out in me the most, and I just got back from an epic 13 day road trip that I will be posting about later.  I think it is because when you travel, you are completely knocked out of your routine and comfort zone, and I love that, mainly because it is always your idea when you travel.  The universe, life, your job, your health, your family did not knock you out of your routine, you did and that is a wonderful thing.

I changed my hair color yesterday.  This is something I have not done in YEARS!!  It has worked for me, but it was time to change it up.  My hair is now a light brown with blondish highlights--no longer the dark chocolate brown with caramel highlights.  I lightened up....  :)  It took about 4 hours to accomplish and I love it.  Pictures will be coming soon, so keep an eye out on facebook.

I'm tweaking my exercise routine.  Running, of course, will be staying in.  It would be hard to train for a marathon in January if you are not running.  My yoga practice will be changing from antigravity to a more tradition vinyasa practice with some Bikram thrown in.  I stopped Bikram a while back because I was getting too competitive with myself in class--doing challenges (which was an amazing experience), but it made me think that if I was not going everyday, I was failing somehow.  Lame, I know, but I'm fairly competitive by nature and it just happened.  I am going back with the intention of being in the moment.  I'll see how it goes and let you know.

I am signing up for American Sign Language classes thru my local community education.  I feel like I have not been challenging myself mentally lately and learning a new language, that requires coordination, should amp up my mental skills.  As an added bonus, it is on my bucket list.  :)

It is also time to change up my inner conversations....  I was doing well for a while keeping the negative self talk out, but it is creeping back in and I want to nip it in the bud.

It is funny because I was just thinking about my New Year's Resolutions and the first one that popped into my mind was my 'Continue' resolution.  It is all about moving forward and not getting stuck in a rut or back sliding.  Maybe that is where these Winds of Change are coming from...

Melissa.

PS...
GRRRRRRR!!!  Just went to sign up for the American Sign Language class and it is postponed until the Winter semester.  So I signed up for a Photoshop class instead.  Just working my brain in another way.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Random Musings on a Half....

I went...
I ran...
Slowly, but I ran....
and here are some random things about my adventure.

1.  I can not run and drink from a cup at the same time.  Runners, is there a class I can take?
2.  No matter how many times you offer me Gu at an aid station, I will never ever take it.
       Seriously, it is gross.....
3.  I can run and eat an half of a banana or gummy bears.  I felt so coordinated after my drinking misadventures.
4.  Apply your anti chafing product with gusto.  I was whiter than normal, but made it thru ok.
5.  Steep hills during mile 6 are just mean.
6.  Kids dressed as superheroes that are willing to run up with you make mean hills slightly better.
7.  Volunteers along the course really keep you motivated with cheering.
8.  5:25 is early to get up and get ready for a 6:30 start time.
9.  Runners, as a whole, are an amazing wonderful encouraging group of people!
10.  I ran the first 1 1/2 with a runner from Texas in a race in Morgan, Utah.
11.  Misters are the greatest thing ever on a race course.
12.  Otter pops at mile 11 rock!  I even got my favorite flavor--grape.
13.  13.1 miles is a long way, but it is doable.
14.  I ran slower than I had planned 3 weeks ago, but you know what.....it doesn't really matter.
15.  I will be running another Half Marathon in October.
16.  I will run on Tuesday, because that is one of my running days.....
17.  Yes, I am tired, but not in pain.  Added bonus....no loss of toenails.
Melissa

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Build-up

I have been training since the end of March for my first Half Marathon.  That statement alone should give you a clue to my sanity and reasoning as of late and give you an inkling of what I am about to describe.

It started off great.  I had a training plan, with 4 extra weeks, to get ready.  I ran; I swam; I did yoga; and I rested.  It was not easy, but it was doable.

About 3 weeks ago, I hit a groove.  I had finally conquered the mental block for 10 miles and I was cruising.  I began setting goals for myself beyond just finishing, which when I started this adventure was my only goal.  I began worrying about pacing at certain speeds and about my finish time.  I began comparing myself to a weird ultimate runner who only existed in my head.

My dreams starting to have a running bent to them.  The Half Marathon was taking not only time and thought during my waking hours, but in the nighttime too.

I was stressing out.

Then on Saturday, I got sick.
A bug that has left me exhausted, tired, and drained.  My appetite has been off.  I have missed my last 2 training runs.

On Monday, I considered canceling my hotel room and missing the race.

Today is Thursday and I will be running on Saturday.
Without a watch....... I will run at what my body tells me is ok, not what I think I should do.
Without a goal.......except to cross the finish line.

With joy......I love to run.
With gratitude.....A year ago, I barely ran a 5k.  On Saturday, I will run 13.1 miles.

Why do I do this to myself?  And it is all on me.  Everyone in my life has been so supportive and encouraging about just attempting a Half Marathon.  I was the one who started putting time limits on it.

A thought keeps popping in my head that sums it all up.....

Let it go
and it will be what it is meant to be......

Melissa


Monday, June 17, 2013

Am I Crazy?

The bathroom in my house is hideous.  I'm not exaggerating, just telling you the simple truth.

It has peach/pink tiles, not just around the bathtub, but halfway up the wall the entire length of the bathroom.  It's like the 70's threw up in there.  To make it even worse, the cabinets were painted to match the tile.  euwwwwww.....

The colors have driven me crazy the entire time I have lived here, but have you ever done a bathroom remodel?  They are insanely expensive.  boo.

So, I lived with it and painted other rooms and lived with the bathroom.

If you read this blog with any regularity, you know that I have a Pinterest problem.  How does this relate to my ugly bathroom you may ask?  Pins that show cheap and easy ways to redo a bathroom.  I have been stock piling those pins, and then asking people who know these things if they are a good idea or if I would just be making a bigger mess of things.

I have planned and plotted and dreamed......

and now I am springing into action with the pace of a turtle.  This will be a slow process, as I will be doing the majority of the work, but the end result will be worth it.

The Plan......

Sand, prep and then paint the bathroom cabinets from their icky peach/pink to Chocolate Coco from Behr.

Prep and paint the walls from their dull beige/peach to Organic Green from Sherwin Williams.  (I won a gift card to them a year ago that really sparked this idea)

The tiles are the biggest project and the one that has given me the biggest grief.  I saw on Pinterest a way to paint tile.  Was this really possible?  Would it last?  The answer is yes, but with some major qualifications.  You have to use the correct paint; properly prepare the tile and make triple sure the grout is clean, free of mold and in the best shape possible.  I can paint with the best of them, but grout work is  not my forte.  That is where professional help will be brought in.

The cabinets will be painted first.  This will be an upgrade even if I do nothing else.  The mismatched portion of this adventure will occur when I paint the walls, but the tiles will still be their icky color.  I've  already prepared my tidy organized soul that this will be an uncomfortable phase.

Say farewell to this....
UGLY Peach/Pink Tile Begone!!!


My budget for this entire project... $250.
DIY!!!!

I'll keep you posted on my progress......
Melissa


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Silence, Bliss, and then every thought in the Universe

Meditative Frogs


A meditation student went to his guru and said, 'Every time I sit down to meditate, my mind goes crazy and I can't calm down.  My mind wanders and it does not seem to be doing any good.'

The guru responds, 'Don't worry, just wait two weeks.'

Two weeks later, the student comes back in and is soooooo excited and exclaims, 'My mind is calm.  I'm finding bliss and peace every time I meditate.  This is the greatest thing ever.'

The guru calmly replies, 'Don't worry, just wait two weeks.'

My meditation challenge has been exactly like this.  It goes in ebbs and flows and brick walls and stops.

I've practiced many different forms of meditation since January 1st.  Guided meditation, Zazen meditation, moving meditation, sleep inducing meditation, and holy crap has it only been 5 minutes mediation.

I've learned to let my mood and day choose my meditation style for the day.  If I have an idea of what I want to do and force it on my practice that day, I WILL STRUGGLE.  As I prep for my meditation, turning off my phone, etc.,  I ask myself, 'What is going to work today?'

So, Lesson #1 of meditation,
Let it flow.  Do not force it.

People have been asking me how long I meditate....  The answer is a bit complicated.  It varies.  Some days I'll meditate for almost an hour, the next 10 minutes.  The goal is to meditate with full intention, not time.  The Zen meditation practice of Zazen is very structured and regimented.  You sit for a specific time in a specific posture.  I have done this style, but I started rebelling against the time restrictions.  For 25 minutes, I would be in bliss and peace and then I would feel like my meditation was complete, but I would still have 25 minutes left in the time.  I would then sit in frustration and lose what I had gained.

Lesson #2 of meditation.
Be flexible on time.  Listen to your body and mind.  However, challenge yourself every once in a while and do a longer timed meditation.

My New Year's Resolution was to meditate every day.  By a bit of luck, I put no other conditions on it, like time or style, which is not normally my style.  I have missed a few days, but not a lot.  Ironically, it's on the quiet days, that I have a tendency to miss.  On crazy, busy, hectic, stressful days, I crave my meditation.

Lesson #3 of meditation.
Make a habit of it.  Consistency is the key to this....  You'll survive the brick walls and stops, if you just keep meditating.

The best part of my meditation  has not occurred during my practice.  It has occured in the rest of my life.  My critical inner voice is calming down--you know the one that says you can't do this.....  During exercise, I am able to find that quiet space in my mind and just let my body do what I set out to do.  I am also sleeping better.  And on those nights that I'm not sleeping well, I do a guided meditation that sends me right to sleep.

So, the final Lesson of meditation.  #4

Enjoy the results.  Enjoy the silence and bliss.....
just Enjoy.

Since I've started this, friends and family have been sending me quotes and cartoons about meditation, so I will leave you will this final thought.

If you do not have time to sit in silence for 30 minutes,
you need an hour.

Namaste,
Melissa



Friday, April 5, 2013

Humphrey, the Ham.....

This is Humphrey.....
You've met him a couple of times before here on the blog:  here, and here, and even in the one where his sister wrote, but he's never had a post dedicated to just him.

So, today is Humphrey's day here at A Little to the Left.

A little background information about Humphrey.

His full name is Sir Humphrey Dyson Murphy, aka Boo.

I got him at a Petsmart Super Adoption.  He was on the last row and the last cage and when I saw him, he walked over to the edge of his cage and looked up at me and said, "I'm yours."  I had no intention of getting another Basset Hound that day....  I went looking for any type of dog, but a Basset.  I was still getting over the death of my previous Basset Hounds, Tobie and Daisie, and did not think I could take another one.  Humphrey changed that idea and came home with me that day.

When I got home, I realized this full grown 70 pound dog had no leash training and was terrified of almost everyone and rapidly had separation anxiety anytime he was left alone.  The leash training took a couple of weeks of long walks, giving him a stick to carry so he wouldn't bite his leash, and a lot of patience.  The fear took quite a bit longer and a lot more help.  Humphrey was about 2 or 3 when I got him, and was (and I still believe) a handsome hound dog.  He's a big guy,  but not fat, just long and dopey looking.  People along the routes of his walks in the early days would want to talk to him, but he was just too scared and shy, but there were a few dedicated dog lovers who took the time to earn his trust.  Humphrey soon realized that in addition to me and the family, most of the world is very nice to dogs and he did not have to be so scared.

Humphrey still has a few quirks from his early abuse and lack of socialization, but has become an amazing dog.  He's a little more protective in the house than I would prefer but is easily disciplined.

Why did I explain all of his?

To show the growth and love this dog now has for people and the belly rubs they give out and the joy I feel when......

Humphrey, the Ham shows up.

You see it on walks when he sees kids, who are the most likely to pet, and he puts his tail up and his ears out to look very handsome.

But it really comes to life on a couple of events a year.
1.  The St. Patrick's Day Parade in Salt Lake City, when the Utah Friends of Basset Hounds (the Basset rescue group I now belong to) has an entry in the parade, which we call the Wasatch Waddle.  Humphrey spends the entire parade route on the edge getting tickles and pets from anyone who will give him one.

This photo is from a couple of years ago, but you get the idea.  Notice how he rolls over to get his belly rubbed.  I call him a 'BellySlut.'

2.  The Easter Bone Hunt at Wheeler Farm.  While this is more a dog event, Humphrey always seems to find people to pet him and basically make a big deal about him.

By the end of the event, I joke that Humphrey had a fan club and they were his 'peeps'.

3.  Strut Your Mutt....  I don't know what it is, but Basset Hounds seem to draw a lot of attention at events, and Strut Your Mutt is no exception.

Here is is taking a break in between all of his 'peeps' and pets.

4.  Walk, Wag and Swim.   This is a great event!!!!  The Saturday after Labor Day, the Draper pool is open to dogs.  Humphrey loves to swim and his people are there.  Could there be anything better?



If you are wondering about Bacall, she tolerates all of these events.  She loves her family, but other people are a bit suspect.  I always tell the people who she lets pet her that they have a special touch.  Dogs, however, she'll say hi to and play with.  She always makes sure Humphrey is in her sight, but stays off to the edge and let's him have the spotlight.

If you're out and about and see Humphrey, please feel free to give him a pet.  He'll probably sit on your feet to keep you there a while and if you show any skills at belly rubs, he will roll over so you can test your skills.

Later,
Lover of Basset Hounds,
Melissa

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Like Totally Tubular, Man.....

We've actually had a winter this year with snow, storms and cold weather.

I am not a big fan of this.

Mild winters are happy!  Mild winters are sane!

Yesterday I was running around in a t shirt without a jacket.
Today, it is in the low 40's with wind to make it seem colder.  This winter does not want to go away.

Starting in January, when I realized that this winter was serious, I had to make a plan to keep my sanity.
I had to find activities to get me outside and actually enjoying the snow, instead of cursing it as I shoveled, shoveled and shoveled some more.  Seriously, at one point, I had to shovel paths in my backyard so the dogs could go outside.  The snow that fell around the middle of December and all of the snow that fell after did not leave my yard until this week!!!!  Three months of snow on the ground and a lot of it.

Snowshoeing was put on the agenda, including a full moon hike that went straight up a mountain and straight back down.

Then a LivingSocial deal showed up in my inbox......
2 hours of tubing at Soldier Hollow.

I seem to get one every year in late January.  :)  I've gone with the deal for the past three years.  The first year, the tracks were fast, not too fast and perfect.  Last year, there was very little snow and it was warm.  You would have to push off your tube 3 times to get down the hill.  This history lesson was to set up what occurred when I went this year.

I went up on February 27th.  It was cold and there had been fresh snow a couple of days before.  The tracks were packed down and ready to ride.

On the first ride up the tow line, I noticed a sign that I did not remember......

When you get to the cones, drag your feet to slow you down.

Ok... I took note and took off down the hill sitting in my tube.
Got to the cones and realized a problem, my feet really did not reach the ground.
I was flying!  Excessive speed was reached....
I met the safety fences.
And eventually stopped.

For the rest of the runs down the hill, I laid down on my belly on my tube and DUG my feet into the snow to stop before bonding with the safety fences again.

At one point, the staff drove a snowmobile up the runs with an attachment behind it to grind up the tracks to slow them down.  They were running that fast!!!

All in all it was a very fun day that made all of this snow bearable.
Being pulled up the hill!!! What a way to Tube.


 Still thawing out.
Melissa

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Great Crayon Massacre of 2013

Hi, my name is Melissa and I am addicted to Pinterest.

It started out simple enough with an invitation to join by my cousin 2 years ago at Thanksgiving.  I started slow with a couple of boards and a few pins.

And then,
it quickly went out of control.

Soon I was planning to build furniture, build an arbor, redo counter tops, outfit my friends and family or anyone who would let me for Halloween (seriously, I have over 50 costume ideas in my Holiday board), create the best workout ever from tips I found, and create amazing meals and desserts .

It stayed at the virtual level and planning for quite some time with only a few simple easy recipes making their ways into the real world.

Life was good.

Til that fateful day, when I stated, "I need to do more than just pin; I need to start doing these crafts and such....'

Little did I know what would happen next.

Gauze ghosts at Halloween
Subway Art printables at Christmas
A cake that took 4 HOURS to prepare (it's reallllllllly gooooood, but just beware)
A clean oven using ammonia
A wreath, including making my own frame for the base
Cleaning my toilet with Alka Seltzer
Cutting glass bottles with fire and nail polish remover
A crockpot that is begging for mercy from all of the recipes
and I could go on....

and then I saw it....
a Valentine's Day craft that was cute, not cheesy or overly gushy....
and thought, I can do that.

Here's the link to my pin....

martha, you done me wrong.

Yes, Martha Stewart is the blame for the great crayon massacre of 2013....

I read the directions, and tried to follow them, really I did, but my crayons, which I had purchased for this hare-brained idea would not shave in a sharpener.

So, I hacked them to death with my butcher knife.  That should of been an indicator to stop right there, but I forged on.  I proceeded to crimp, or so I thought, the edges of my wax paper and layered my precious crayon remnants between the craft paper and ever so lightly began to iron them to melt the wax.

Did you know that melted crayon wax can go thru wax paper and craft paper and completely leave your established work area in a heartbeat?
I do.

Once again, the universe was saying, "STOP", but did I listen,
No.

Attempt #2 included folding of the wax paper before crimping and leaving a 3 inch gap of empty space before the edge and multiple layers of craft paper and an iron turned WAY down.  I think my breath was probably hotter than the iron.

I got the crayons to melt, not in a pretty and even way like the photo for the directions, but in a weird streaky abstract sort of way.

I did not care.  I let them cool and cut them into hearts and hung them in my front window for the world to see.

6 hours of work, mostly in clean up

If you drive by my house before the end of February, take a look at the Pinterest addiction problem in my window, and warn your friends about the dangers of Pinterest........

I've gotta go,
I think some new pins have been added since the last time I was on.

Melissa






Monday, February 11, 2013

Reunited, and it feels soooo good....

                                                     glub...glub, glub........glub....  :)

My inner fish, alright technically a dolphin, is a happy camper!  I got back in the pool this past week!!!  I did laps.  I circle swam to share a lane with 3 other people.  I swam a mile, granted not a fast mile, but I swam a mile.

The moment my flip flops hit the pool deck, I realized how much I missed swimming.  How did I let almost a year go by without it?  Life got in a the way and other dreams and goals took precedent, that's how....

I started running last year and it took the majority of my focus and let's face it, exercise time.  As an adult, there is not an unlimited amount of time you have to workout.  There are other responsibilities and things that just need to get done that take the majority of your day.  Finding time to workout is a priority for me, but sometimes I have to choose one activity over another.  This year, my goal is to find a balance in between running and swimming for my cardio activities.  I actually have a plan, which I did not last year.

Now, let's get back to the pool, shall we?

I had no goal, no plans or times for my laps when I did my first introductory dip back in the pool.  I swam without pressure on myself,  only for the joy.  I think that's why I was able to do the mile.  I alternated between freestyle and breaststroke, with the majority in free, and just let myself swim.  I did a mantra from my meditation challenge to keep my mind quiet and to stay in the moment, not in how far I had swam or how far I needed to go.   I'm trying to keep this attitude in mind for all of my swims.

The past few years, both in and out of the pool, I have become interested in a swimming technique  called, 'Total Immersion'.  It teaches you to move in the most efficient way in the water, i.e., reduce drag, no wasted energy.  It reminds me of a moving meditation, everything has a reason and is, in my opinion, beautiful to watch.   Natural swimmers use a lot of the techniques Total Immersion teaches--they are long in the water and generally use less strokes to cover the same distance when compared to others.  If you are interested, you might want to check out their website.

One other thing, if your inner fish is screaming for you to get in the pool and you are worried about the damage that chlorine can do to your hair....
try this tip from another swimmer that I use, apply a little olive oil to your wet hair before you get in the pool.  While you are swimming your swim cap will keep it on your hair, and if any water gets on your hair from the pool, the olive oil acts as a barrier to the chlorine.  When you are done, just shampoo the olive oil out.  Hair protected and deep conditioned.  :)

Well, I've gotta run....
I've got a date with a lap lane at the pool.

Melissa





Sunday, February 3, 2013

Blurred into Darkness....

In the middle of the night, on Thursday (actually Friday, because it was around 3 am), I got up for a routine reason.  A bathroom break and a sip of water.  I do not know about you, but I have a time of night that I get up almost every night for that.  Why is this blog worthy?  Normally, it's not, but what happened on that night turned out to be so.

My vision was blurry when I made my way through the darkness to the bathroom.

I have horrible eyesight.  That is no secret.  When my contacts are out and my glasses are not on, the big giant E on the vision testing board is a blur.  I honestly would not know that is an 'E' if not for the fact that the chart has not changed in all of my years of living.  A blurry trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night is not that uncommon, because I know the route I take,  I do not put my glasses on.  What made this night different?  I got into the bathroom and looked at something up close, it was still blurry.  As this occurred in the middle of the night, I didn't think too much about it.  I was half asleep and had been rubbing my eyes.  In my half asleep state, I put it in the back of my mind and went back to bed.

When my alarm went off a couple of hours later, I knew that my blurry vision at 3 am was an indicator of the massive migraine that now occupied my head.  If I had been more aware at 3 am, I would have taken my medication and been ok, but I had not, so at 6:45 I was in pain.  My vision was down to straight in front of me, my peripheral vision was gone.  I could not handle light, it made me nauseated.  Noise, like an alarm clock, was like a chainsaw on my nerve endings.  The next 36 hours were spent in an attempt to rid myself of these symptoms.  Sleep is elusive; the pain will not let you drop off into oblivion.  The medication that at 3 am would be so effective at 7am does not make a difference once the migraine has taken full effect.

This was not my first migraine, and unfortunately, I do not believe it will be my last.  Bummer.  Through out my years, I have learned about my migraines and their triggers.  I, somehow, manage to get both hereditary and environmental migraines.  Hereditary migraines have a family link, normally from father to daughter or mother to son.  Weird, huh?  Not all of the time, but according to the information my doctor gave me, it's true the majority of the time.  My dad gets migraines.  We both get them where our vision is affected.  It's not fun.  Environmental migraines are triggered by food, light, or something outside of the body.  I have issues with nuts, especially almonds and walnuts.  Flashing lights, like strobe lights, trigger them as well.  A certain tight muscle in my neck left untreated will trigger them as well.  I have spent a lot of time figuring out what causes my migraines, because I would do about anything to avoid one.  They just suck.

Since my mid-twenties, I have managed to learn my environmental triggers and my number of migraines has dropped dramatically.  Amazing progress and results, because for a time of my life, I was having way too many.  The frustrating thing about my migraines now is that when they happen I can not identify the trigger.  I posted about this one on facebook and got a couple of ideas, but none of them were it.

 (Guys turn away for a second....it's time for period talk)

One trigger of migraines, especially in women, is tied to their menstrual cycles.  Some women get them right before their period starts; others when certain hormone levels drop or rise.  Everyone is different, but this has never affected me.  There goes that trigger.....

(ok, guys, you can come back)

The reason for this post is two-fold...
Number 1, if you suffer from migraines, what are your triggers?  Any ideas for me?  I am willing to try just about anything.

and Number 2, if you don't suffer from them, Thank your lucky stars, but please also realize unlike a normal headache, a couple of advil will not solve the problem.

Feeling human again....
Melissa

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Drop in the Bucket....

You can mock, and you can laugh, but a few months ago,  I created a Bucket List...

Yes, a cheesy, cliched Bucket List.

"Why?", you may ask, well,  I'll tell ya why...

Life is a series of opportunities and decisions, both big and little, and if you have not taken the time to figure out what you really want out of life, you may miss a once in a lifetime opportunity that in hindsight you might regret.  Bucket Lists can help you avoid that.....

So, where is the controversy and mocking coming from?

In a nutshell, the internet.

The reason, I believe, that Bucket Lists have gotten such a bad rap is a majority of the items that are being put on lists that you can find on the internet are expensive.  Will your life be a failure if at the end of your life, because you were fiscally responsible and could not pay for a trip to China and as a result you did not stand on the Great Wall of China because it was on your list?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!  Items left on your list are not failures, in my opinion, but dreams not yet fulfilled.

My friends and I had been talking about things we want in life lately and my bucket list grew out of that.   A lot of my items have to do with travel, as it is something I LOVE TO DO!, but others will require nothing but love and time.

I am not going to post my entire list; for one thing, it has 106 items on it, but the main reason is I believe Bucket Lists are fairly personal.  My list is a representative of  my hopes and dreams for my life, not shallow thoughts.  If at the end of my life, I still have items on my list, I will be ok, because that means I am still a dreamer.  My list is also not complete.  I expect to add to it as my life continues.  Dreaming, both little and big, should never stop.

Here on my blog, you will see a few of them, as I discuss them and I will let you know when I attempt an item and how it goes.  Some of the ones I have already accomplished did not go so well, like learning to surf, but I am glad I at least had the courage to try.

This blog post came from an item I checked off yesterday--Take a Photography Class.  I found a groupon for an all day workshop for $35. 
bokeh effect on a plant
Why did I post this photo of a leaf?  I learned how to create this effect at the workshop.  I thought I needed a different lens with aperture settings not on the lenses I currently own.  If I had not created my Bucket List, I might of missed an amazing opportunity.  Bucket Lists rock!

The main thing I'm finding after creating my list, I am more aware of opportunities and in a weird way, there seems to be more of them presenting in my life.   Awareness is an amazing thing.

It took me almost a week to come up with my list.  I searched the net for lists that I liked and thought about things, experiences and service I wanted to have in my life.  While I won't be sharing my entire list, I will share a few to maybe help jumpstart yours and see that it does not have to cost a lot of money to be a Bucket List item.

                ----See the Northern Lights
                ----Watch the AFI 100 best movies
                ----Learn to say 'no' without feeling guilty
                ----Help someone fulfill a goal

I hope you still dream and dream BIG....
and from that, put it to paper and make a Bucket List or whatever you want to call it.

Melissa



Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013 Resolutions...

It's time...
for my 2013 Resolutions to be revealed.

Are you breathless with anticipation?
or just really tired from all of the posts from the last few days?

Drumroll.....

#1.  Meditate every day

       Why?  You may ask...good question.  In November 2012, I participated in a 21 Meditation Challenge sponsored by Deepak Chopra and LOVED it.  I had been toying the idea of meditating every day for a year when the challenge presented itself and it cemented the idea.  I've downloaded guided meditations from iTunes, purchased the Challenge from Chopra and 2 others, and am planning on doing Buddhist Zazen meditation, well.  I'm three days into to it and have learned a couple of things....
                1.  Don't meditate right before bed.  I am very relaxed right after, but then the energy build happens and it takes FOREVER to fall asleep
               2.  This is going to be really cool.


#2.  Swim a mile, then decrease the time by the end of the year.

       Oops, this is a re-resolution from 2012.  :(  I got in the pool 3 times last year.  My inner fish is gasping for air and is severely dehydrated.  The goal for this year--GET BACK IN THE POOL, build up to a mile again (it shouldn't take me too  long) and then decrease the time.  I have a plan this year and will update my time, here on the blog, and then my goal time.

#3.  Communicate more.....

       With my friends and family; with my journaling; and with my blogging....  I noticed in 2012, when I got busy, stressed or overwhelmed, I turned inward and stopped calling and writing.  I even stopped journaling, which helps with my stress and funkiness.  I blogged inconsistently and then overwhelmed myself at the end of the year....

#4.  Be fearless!!!

       I want to do stuff that has in the past that has scared me.  I'm not talking about my logical and completely reasonable fear of snakes.  I'm talking about singing lessons (January 8th)....I'm talking about being the first one to sign up for something.  Live without the inner dialogue that stops me from doing things I really want to do.  I know it's a little vague, but it's a mindset.  :)

#5.  Continue...

       with the progress of the last year.  Keep eating healthy and maintaining a balance.  Keep running and making progress.  Keep my emotional stuff in check.  I do not want to look back at the end of 2013 and then do previous goals again....  At the end of 2013,  I want to see progress and keep on moving forward.

Here we go 2013...
Melissa

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Stairs of Haramara...

During my stay at Haramara, documented here, I mentioned the natural state of the retreat.  One of the quirks that I encountered everyday and multiple times a day were the stairs on the trail from my casita to just about everywhere (both yoga pavilions and the dining room).  The stairs were made to fit into the hillside and meant not to disturb nature as much as possible.  Beautiful, yes....  Equal and level, not so much.



The first couple of days, the stairs drove me nuts.  They bugged my ankle.  I could not find a rhythm on them--1 wide step, 2 short ones, then a half..and on and on...  With the humidity, I would be glowing (haha) by the time I got to the top.  My complaints were endless, and yet the stairs remained.

I started to realize something....
Life, like these stairs, is not meant to be perfect and even.
You need to focus on what you are doing in the moment, i.e. be present, to successfully navigate it.

When I let the stairs be as they were, not as I wanted them to be, I was able to make it up and down without incident.

Life lesson in a flight of stairs.....

Melissa




Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Resolution Recap...

Remember in January when I posted my 2012 New Year's Resolutions?

If not, here is a little reminder.

Now that it is January 2013, it's time for an update.....

#1. Run a 5k.

Yes!!!  This was my most documented resolution here on the blog, with one, two entries about it.

#2.  Take singing lessons

This was the hardest for me, by FAR!!!!!  I wimped out, I got scared, and I delayed.  It started off well enough in January when I put out a plea on facebook and in real life for a voice coach.  I was full of enthusiasm and had little fear.  I did not find a vocal coach until about June when a friend and my research came together in the same name.  Did I call then?  Nope.  I lost her number.  I put it off until about September when I reread my resolution list and asked my friend again for the number again.  Still did not call.....
fear had set in.

December rolled around and I thought, 'Now is the time to call' and actually did, but got the voicemail of the vocal coach.  It turns out that December with all of the Christmas concerts and other activities  is not best time to schedule a lesson.  I have since talked to her and have scheduled a lesson in January.

So, does it still count?  Not sure.....

#3.  Take 10 minutes off my 1 mile swim time.

Nope.  I can count on one hand how many times I got into a swimming pool this year.  I think my mistake was doing two resolutions that had fitness goals attached.  Running dominated my mind and exercise time this past year.  I am going to re-resolve this one and actually make a plan to make it happen.

#4.  Get up earlier on weekends and my days off.

I did ok on this one.  I am not a big napper, so when I am tired and overstressed, I recover by sleeping in a bit.  I learned with this one to listen to my body and rest when I need it.

Not a bad result, I think.  There is a lot of talk about how resolutions do not work and set you up for failure, but I have always like them.  I do not always succeed, but when I don't I always try and see why....  Sometimes, it was just a lack of a plan, like #3, but others, it's a lack of overcoming a fear (#2) and you still end up making progress.

I'm still forming all of my 2013 resolutions, so I'll be posting them later this week.  It was really nice and encouraging to get  the comments on the blog and in real life.  They kept me motivated and honest in my resolutions, so THANK YOU!!

Melissa