Things I Love

Max and Osito, two that like to be as close to me as possible at ALL times.
Max and Osito, two that like to be as close to me as possible at ALL times.

Sitting here on a Sunday night as I start to write this post. Looking around me and seeing all of my animals dozing or just about there…the bed was just freshly made with laundered sheets and two fleece blankets, so you know what kind of a magnet that’s gonna be this evening for all of the felines! (Well, and this human and of course, the dog.)

It just makes me feel content, moments like this. The heat is running (of course, it is Boston on Feb. 1st, after all, and we are expecting ….wait for it…., more snow!!!) YAYYY (yes folks, you’re not imaging it…that is sarcasm you are hearing as you read this post to yourself.)

But really, it does. I feel content because I know I’m settled in for the night, and don’t have to go out in the cold. (Gotta love having a dog that is trained to use pee pads and who hates the cold, too.) Well, at least I don’t have to go out until the morning anyway, since it’s unlikely my workplace will close.

My buddy, Ross, the pony!!
My buddy, Ross, the pony!!

Earlier today, as is my normal Sunday routine, I got up early, had my two cups of coffee and got ready to go to the shelter to take care of some animals. I was delighted to see that they had another goat that wasn’t there last week! Even the skiddish goats who came in a few weeks ago as emaciated strays seemed a bit more acclimated to us today. And at the end of my shift there, I spent some time with Fancy the horse, and Ross, the pony, outside. Ross can be a bit, how shall we say, overzealous, when food is in front of him, so it was hard holding the last carrot out of his reach so Fancy could eat it. He is such a cutie – he kept backing up or sidling up next to me to be petted and scratched, and then at one point, he got down onto the ground and rolled over on his back and kicked his legs up in the air. It made me so happy to see him so happy (and relieved from his itchy back, I’m sure.)

My cute, little HoneyBun. This is the dog's bed, but whenever the dog is close to me, she loves to spend time there. In this picture, she is kneading the blanket, happy as a cat can be.
My cute, little HoneyBun. This is the dog’s bed, but whenever the dog is close to me, she loves to spend time there. In this picture, she is kneading the blanket, happy as a cat can be.

I have come to realize that whenever I am at the shelter with those animals, I laugh. I talk to them just like I would my pets at home, always in a calming voice, and the horse and pony make me laugh. There are five goats there now, including a mama and baby girl, and the baby girl is such a nut – she has taken to jumping into the wheelbarrow while we are cleaning out her pen. Both myself and  the other volunteer this morning thought it looked super cute, but we still both shook our heads like “girlll….you are weird!!” Only for these animals would I get up so early on a Sunday and actually look forward to cleaning up after them.

That's ok, Max, you just go ahead and lie right there. It's not like I was actually reading that or anything.... :-)
That’s ok, Max, you just go ahead and lie right there. It’s not like I was actually reading that or anything…. 🙂

Other things I love? Spending time with good friends, having a good conversation and four forks to eat a piece of chocolate cake. That’s how I spent my evening last night. It was very needed – with the weather and my starting school two weeks ago, I found myself in a very down mood toward the end of the week. Seeing my best friend and two others definitely helped lift me out of a funk. And hearing that my best friend is still feeling amazing as she reaches week 17 of her pregnancy, that is just awesome in my book. She will find out what she is having in two weeks – my guess is it’s a girl. Don’t know why, but I just do. She is blond haired and blue eyed, and her husband is from the Bahamas, so you all know just how beautiful that baby will be. (I gotta admit, girls are so much more to buy stuff for, what with all the pink clothes and stuff, but …ok, I digress.)

From what I could tell, this was a minivan at one point in its life.
From what I could tell, this was a minivan at one point in its life.

Did I already mention chocolate? (Yeah, there was that bit above about the chocolate cake.) I could go on and on forever about how much I love chocolate, but I’ll stop now so I can shove a few chocolate chips into my mouth…ok, I’m back!

I am sorry for not having blogged the past few weeks but I just started school and am settling into a rhythm of handling that and working full-time. I have to admit, I am enjoying learning again. And I started auditing an animal law class last week at work – it’s so cool to be in a room with so many others that feel the same way about animals you do, and are passionate about it.

Yeah, this is NOT something that I love. Ever. Thank God it's not mine.
Yeah, this is NOT something that I love. Ever. Thank God it’s not mine.

Oh, and one last thing I love? Knowing that this is my LAST winter in the northeast. The location where I am looking to move hardly ever gets snow and as of last week, while we expected a blizzard, its weather forecast was for highs in the 50s. Enough said. I’m going, baby!

What  kinds of things do you love – what warms your heart and makes you laugh as if you don’t have a care in the world? Please drop me a line below and let me know!

As always, if you have liked this post please hit like or subscribe!

Defining (and choosing?) priorities

I just had to snap this photo of little Osito when she wore her new parka for the first time. She seems to really like it as it keeps her ears warm!
I just had to snap this photo of little Osito when she wore her new parka for the first time. She seems to really like it as it keeps her ears warm!

Editor’s note, written a few hours after the post was first published:

I had a follow-up appointment with my doctor’s office to see how I’m doing and feeling with cutting my Wellbutrin dosage in half. I’m happy to say, I’m doing pretty well, I think. And having cut out the Singulaire I take for my allergies-induced asthma, I’m breathing really well and clearly. Even ran outside yesterday and didn’t experience any wheezing afterward, like I used to do.  There is a medical student working there now, and she is from Seattle. She told me I can definitely can get work out in that area, and that yes, it really is possible to find a place to live there for about $700. She said things are definitely cheaper out there, and after having talked to her, I’m so jazzed, and leaning toward the PNW again. But I know, I need to keep an open mind and think everything through.

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So, one thing I have learned over the past year or so is that I change my mind. Sometimes a lot. Enough that I am now somewhat making fun of myself when I tell my friends what my “newest” plan for next year is. I go from wanting an RV, to just having a tiny apartment, to wanting an RV, to wanting a tiny apartment or small place to rent. And well, after I put my post up about so many RVs to choose from, I spent a good week or so watching my animals, and I mean really watching them. Watching how they interacted with each other, when they seemed to be the most content, and how far apart from each other they might be at that time. And I realized a small travel trailer just isn’t going to be enough room for them. Not if I don’t want them to be in a constant state of stress, and if I don’t care to alleviate that, it makes me quite selfish and a horrible fur mom.  Two things I never want to be.

I’ve changed my mind about what I want to do with my life a few times – for about two years,  I thought I wanted to be a personal trainer. Enough so that I took two certification tests (the second being known for being extremely hard.)  However, I have realized that while I do like working out, and occasionally helping out friends, I don’t think the lifestyle is for me. It would have me inside all the time (or a majority of the time) and it can get kind of boring to do just do one-on-one training all the time. I see that in the face of my gym’s trainer.  (He’s a great trainer, don’t get me wrong, but I can imagine it gets boring to work with the same types of problems day after day.) Plus, I find it hard to justify spending the money myself for the sessions (and I get them at a discount) when I’m trying to save money and pay off debt. So how could I then be asking people to pay for my services?

On a sunny day like this one, you just HAVE to be outside even if there is a brisk chill in the air!
On a sunny day like this one, you just HAVE to be outside even if there is a brisk chill in the air!

I was interested in going to an outdoor awareness school at one point (in the PNW) but then, of course, reality started to set in. The program was $10K or so, and involved a few trips that would require me to leave the animals for at least a week or more. That, and while I love the outdoors, I really do like some creature comforts, like, a warm bed. One that doesn’t involve sleeping on the ground, constantly worrying about bugs crawling over me as I try to fall asleep. You get the picture. So that idea went out the window, but the one thing behind it stayed the same – I love to be outdoors, and it would be awesome to live in a place that values the outdoor lifestyle. And if I could find a place to work where I could be outside, or teaching others about nature, so much the better.

So my thought is now to work with animals. That’s always been part of my plan – to do more to help them, but now I want to make it part of my future career, to the extent I can. I have been researching into what it takes to be a veterinary technician, if I need to have an associates degree, etc. I’ve been looking into the various AVMA accredited programs and their locations, cost of living, etc. Still have a lot of research to do on that, but hey, it’s what I do!  If I do go that route, I want to cash flow it as much as possible and would plan on applying for as many scholarships as I am able to do.  And I hope that I can start to volunteer at either a vet’s office or clinic or even work with the livestock that the Animal Rescue League of Boston have at their Dedham location, so I can see what it might be like to work as a large-animal vet tech.

I’ve thought about living in the southwest, like NM, and the Pacific Northwest, and just last week, Colorado. What do they all have in common? Yep, the weather is better than in the northeast, and they all value outdoor lifestyles.  The weather is certainly different in all three places. But one thing I have held fast to, and even more so, as we have just changed our clocks back to not be on daylight savings, and as I saw *snow* flurrying this past Sunday along with 40 mph wind gusts, is I’m DONE with the New England weather and winters. DONE. When I rode my bike to work that morning (it’s either that or walk since the buses don’t run early enough), it was sleeting outside. It hurt my face, not to mention the wind was out of this world, making me very glad my bike has a motor and is a bit on the heavy side. And I thought to myself, yep, I am DONE with this weather. It’s way too early for this crap.

So, here are my priorities:

  1. Live simply. Regardless of what the home looks like, it’ll be just what I need and nothing more. It’ll be a lifestyle that allows me to take care of myself and my animals, and pay off my debts (eventually).
  2. Live someplace where an outdoor lifestyle is valued and desired. And where winters don’t force you inside for months on end because the weather is so miserable and nasty cold. There are so many things you can do for free in the natural world, hiking, running, biking, etc. Why sit inside and stare at a TV or computer screen when you can experience all of that?
  3. My animals need to be happy and have enough space to be so. I have found that most of the time, we are all within the same room and a half (my living room and bedroom alcove), with usually 4 of them being within arms’ reach of myself. So I think a place that is about 400-500 square feet is going to do us just fine. Maybe even someplace smaller.
  4. Find a community of like-minded people. People who are somewhat liberal minded and don’t care so much about appearances or that the almighty dollar is the thing to be worshipped. Living in the NE, I think it’s hard for some people to understand why I would leave a good paying job to do something that makes so much less, especially with all of my degrees. I don’t want to constantly feel like I have to explain my decision to do so.Around here, and especially where I work, I work with very driven students and people who have always strived to be at the top. Many are proud of saying the name of our institution and hearing people go “oohh, and aaahhh.”  The name of my employer means nothing to me. In fact, I even ask people to not hold it against me sometimes, as it can also have a negative connotation, at least in my mind. It can conjure up images of wealth and prestige and power. All things that I simply could care less about.

So, these are my priorities, and while I may change my mind about what I will ultimately end up doing, and where I may be, from time to time, I’m holding fast to them. If anyone knows of any places that fit the bill, I’m all ears, so please drop me a line or comment below.

And, as always, if you have liked this post, please hit like or subscribe! Thank you for reading.

Oh, and just one more pic of Baby O below because she is always just too cute for words, and really makes everyone smile when they see her on our walks.

This is her "old lady" red sweater, complete with flowers and everything. But, it's the perfect weight and thickness for the mild fall days when there is a brisk chill in the air.
This is her “old lady” red sweater, complete with flowers and everything. But, it’s the perfect weight and thickness for the mild fall days when there is a brisk chill in the air.

Little Things for Which I am Thankful

Doesn't my baby girl Osito look like she's smirking?? :-)
Doesn’t my baby girl Osito look like she’s smirking?? 🙂

You know how it feels when you wake up one morning and you feel a little tickle in your throat that wasn’t there the night before? Yep…happened to me on Tuesday. I went to work anyway, thinking, ok, maybe I can get through this without it becoming worse. We have all this leftover candy in one of my colleague’s office (from an event) so I felt like a 70 year old Wilford Brimley, sucking on Worthers’ Originals all day long.  (If you don’t know what I’m referring to here, well, please don’t tell me and make me feel old…) While they tasted good, they didn’t do squat to fight a cold. So…I took the next two days off while the cold went into my chest and then into my head. I still have it now, but it’s much more manageable. Nothing that a lot of cold medicine and sleep can’t  help!

Here’s just a sampling of what I am thankful for this week:

1. I am so thankful that I had over 60 days of sick time saved up so I was able to be paid for those days off. Not everyone can. At least my head doesn’t feel like it wants to explode from the pressure today, anymore.

2. You know how animals always know when something is off with their human (slave?) Mine are no exception. As Mom needed to sleep, they burrowed in next to me both days. I felt very loved.

Don't worry, Mom, snuggles will make you feel better.
Don’t worry, Mom, snuggles will make you feel better.

3. How well my building is maintained. When I got sick, I finally got the energy up to take a shower, only to find that I had no hot water. The guys in my  building figured out the problem pretty quickly, and wow, did the hot steam from the shower make me feel a ton better!

4.Still thankful that October is a 3 paycheck month!! I have paid about $1167 on my student loan this month so far, and I would like to pay a bit more if I can! Just seeing the balance go down to the $13K range feels freaking awesome!

5. This weekend is the pretty famous Head of the Charles Regatta, where crew teams from all over compete. I was able to sit and watch them practice yesterday for a few hours. If you have never seen how powerful the big 8-man/woman boats appear to be when watching a really good team work together, you don’t know what you’re missing! It’s pretty inspiring. They are one of my favorite parts about Boston – whenever I run around the Charles on morning runs, seeing them row by always gives me a little boost of motivation to keep on going.

6. Being home sick and not having a TV, what’s a girl to watch, other than Netflix and YouTube? I ended up watching several videos of people talking about minimalism and budgeting, and I’m even more jazzed than ever at keeping a lid on my expenses and seeing just how low can I go.

So, this morning, I woke up, and really wanted to make a smoothie to use up some food in my fridge. Problem is, I don’t have a blender anymore. I found that I didn’t really use the large blender that often, like I had used my single serving blenders in the past. (Unfortunately, both were on the cheaper side and lasted less than one year.) So, this morning, I ordered the Nutribullet through Target, and it’s ready and waiting for me to pick it up later today. Hello, healthier-eating-me! Hello, less wasting of food! Hello, green smoothies! (It’s a bit more expensive but it seems to have a lot more power than the others did, so here’s hoping…)

7. I heard from my author the other day – she has more work for me to do! Not a ton, but hey, every little bit helps!  Working for her helps me to justify/rationalize the purchase of an Asus Transformer T100 which I should be receiving through Amazon this weekend, yay! (Quick explanation – my chromebook is not compatible with Microsoft Office, and I need some of the extra functionality of Word that Google Docs doesn’t give me.)  This is a purchase that I think will pay for itself over time, if I can get some online work to supplement any kind of workamping or physical work I will end up doing. For people like me living on a budget (or at least trying to), it gets good reviews.

A view of all the crew teams lined up, ready to practice on the Charles River, before the Head of the Charles Regatta.
A view of all the crew teams lined up, ready to practice on the Charles River, before the Head of the Charles Regatta.

What are you thankful for this week? Please drop me a line below! Also, hit like or subscribe if you’ve liked this post, and thanks for reading!

Little Things for Which I am Thankful

Osito says "I know what you're thinking right now. I am just way too cute for words..."
Osito says “I know what you’re thinking right now. I am just way too cute for words…”

 

1. I took the day off on Monday as comp time for having worked six days in a row the week before at my full time job. We have this really cool option to rent cars in Boston through something called ZipCar. You don’t have to pay for the gas you use (you use their gas card and enter in some information) and you get 180 free miles per day. So I used it on Monday and drove around to five different RV dealers to look at all different types of RVs. It really helped me to figure out some priorities as to what I want in an RV. Also, I had the help of two very good online friends who are more knowledgeable when it comes to RVs than I am.  D and R, you guys know who  you are. Thank you!! (I’ll save the particulars of what I discovered for another post, because I really want to talk about it in more detail than this type of post will normally allow.)

2. I no longer have to regularly open up the gym on weekday mornings, and what a difference it has made in my energy levels! I am now back to my normal routine of being able to work out every day before work. And what a difference it has made to my morale and self-esteem. I’m happy to again be doing some of my harder “Terri workouts” that I use to put myself through. God, I cannot tell you how much I have missed working out hard! (If you’re one of those people who hates to work out or sweat, well, then you can just consider me a weirdo. No offense taken!)

3. The weather has returned to being cooler, more autumn-like in New England. Lots of leaves have fallen, which makes me kind of sad, because I know what is following in its wake (the dreaded winter), but it also creates such a homey, nesting type of atmosphere. Osito loves the cool weather for our walks, I can tell. She has an extra spring in her step, and Wednesday night, she even appeared to be running!  When your dog is 13 years old AND blind, and she starts running, you can’t help yourself but be happy. I just get such a huge smile on my face when I see her doing that. I usually yell out “You’re running, Baby O! You’re running!” (To which she is probably thinking, “duh…Mom, I know that already!”)

4. I’m feeling good enough about my moods that I have asked my doctor if we can start weaning me off of one of my anti-depressants. I take Prozac and Wellbutrin. Why two different pills? Well, they go to different receptors in the brain. Prozac has a very long half-life so that means that if you were to stop taking it cold turkey (which you really shouldn’t), it would stay in your system for about 5-6 weeks. The half life for Wellbutrin is much shorter, so I was told I could even start taking it every other day, since the one I have been taking is a tablet with timed release. I was a bit nervous to do something that seemed so drastic, so we are just cutting my dose down slowly, and the pill I am now taking is only 75 mg, and it’s not time-released. So we will see how it goes!

I think I am past that point in my life when I needed the wellbutrin. I started taking it to help me with the side effects of Prozac when I was on a high dosage for Prozac. (High doses can sometimes make you feel very “flat” – in other words, you just don’t give two craps about much at all. Everything is very “meh.”)  Whatever stressor was bothering me at the time is no longer there,  so wish me luck! It is my hope that by next fall, I will not be taking any medication for my asthma (something else we are slowly weaning me off of), and probably down to just one prescription.  It will cost me a lot less if I am successful, and also, I’d like to just take as few medications as I possibly can.

5. This weekend is the final weekend of the Topsfield Fair, and you know what that means!! (Well, actually, you don’t, but you’re about to!) That’s right, folks, think of it….Deep Fried Oreos!!! Seriously, the best thing ever in the world. It’s good enough that I salivate all year just thinking of it. 🙂  The fair also means I get to pet lots of farm animals, and see the Guiness World Record setting pumpkin – that’s right, they judge that every year in this little corner of MA.

6. Oh, I almost forgot!!! I paid $750 on my LAL loan earlier this week since this is one of those 3-paycheck months at my full time job!! So now the balance is down to $14, 017 and some change. With the next regularly scheduled payment on the 16th, that bad boy is going down below 14K!!!! Die, bastard, die!!!

7. At my part-time job, we made our sales goals for the past month, so I’m hoping to wake up to a bonus in my savings account as a result. I’ll update this post if it happens!

Have a great holiday weekend (if you’re reading this in the US and are one of the lucky ones to get Columbus Day as a holiday.)  If you’ve liked this post please hit like or subscribe! Or drop me a line below!

 

 

 

 

Getting Rid of my Debt (What # am I up to now?)

Shhh...the baby is sleeping....
Shhh…the baby is sleeping….

I seriously have lost count. I know I have not been talking about the Debt Killing much lately and that’s because it has slowed down,while my savings has really ramped up. Now that I know I definitely want to move to WA state by September of next year (and possibly as early as August if I get accepted to the Outdoor School I mentioned in my last post), I have figured out how much I need to save to feel comfortable when making the move. I want to have at least 4-6 months living expenses saved up, a scooter (which I estimate will cost me about 2K), and have planned on saving up about $3K for the move. I figure the motor home will cost me probably about $1200 for gas alone, and I’m thinking right now my budget for the motor home purchase will probably be around 10K. I’m not expecting to get the latest model but want something dependable, and I don’t mind putting in some sweat equity to make it my “home” Ii.e. my goal is to make it feel “beachy” by probably painting the walls, and possibly the cabinets depending on what color they are to start with.) Read more

Little things for which I am thankful

She sleeps.... (just try not to say "awww" when you look at her picture...I dare you!)
She sleeps…. (just try not to say “awww” when you look at her picture…I dare you!)

As  I sat down to write this, my little calico Callie came over and started rubbing all up against my computer, so she starts off my list – I’m so thankful for all of my animals and their continuing to remain healthy even as they age. I like to think I have something to do with it, by giving them good food and a good home where they feel safe and can sleep as much as they want. Or, they could just have really good genes. 🙂

I’m all packed up and ready to go on my trip to St. Lucia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I know people think all I do when there is sit on the beach, but really, our conference is a good couple days with events at night as well, so I won’t have much free time after my first night there, until pretty much my last day there before I fly back. But don’t worry, I’ll still take lots of pics of the beach for all of you!! (Do I sound like I”m gloating?? Well, ok…maybe a little….lol)  I’m thankful my roomie is here to take care of all of the furballs – makes me feel a lot better to know their environment doesn’t have to change just because I’m traveling. Especially for Osito, that makes me very thankful. She tends to get nervous when she is in a strange place, which is understandable with her lack of vision.

With the help of two very good friends, I am feeling pretty good about the decision I made this week, to move to Washington State by next fall, if my savings plan works out the way I want it to. My hope is to start attending the National Personal Training Institute in Renton, WA in September, for their 6 month program. It’s $6300 if you pay it all up front, and it lasts for 6 months. The program consists of 300 hours of classroom time, and 200 hours of hands on time, which also includes an internship. They do have a program here around Boston, but really, I want to meet people in the field where I will be living, so I’ll put off attending until I move.  One of my brother’s lifelong friends lives out there now, and he’s been super helpful in answering all my inane questions.

With the decision to move, I have put off my decision to buy an RV or a tiny home and land. Since I don’t know for sure where I will end up doing personal training with clients, and I’m not familiar with the Seattle area, it just doesn’t make sense. Plus, I looked into the campgrounds near the Seattle area, even the state parks, and it would still end up costing me at the very least around 500 but more likely closer to 750/800 a month to rent a spot. I can get an apartment for about 650-700, I think, so financially, it just makes more sense to rent at first. Plus, WA does not have income tax, and Seattle’s minimum wage is $15!!!!  But they make up for that lack of income tax with very high property taxes. Just something else to think about.  I

I’ll also slow down my debt repayment for a bit to stockpile savings.  I will still make at least double payments on the private loan.  I think I’m better at stockpiling savings, and then if I can, pay a chunk of it before I move. We’ll see. The plan is still evolving, but with my friend L’s help, I saw last night it’s financially feasible for me to do this, and (hopefully, which is my word, not hers) not have to touch the money I’ve already saved for the tiny home.   Honestly, my fascination for tiny homes began when I saw people living in these tiny apartments. So now, I’m hoping my unattachment to things will help me find a small place out there that will also hopefully be easier on my wallet.   It’s going to all be about living simpler. I’m excited at the thought of downsizing my space even more.

I’m grateful for boxes. Why boxes, you ask? Well, they give my animals something to do, which is entertain me with their silly antics! I got lots of packages delivered this week (I get their pet food online), so there has been much exploring being done by my boys, Max and Sebastian.

I’m feeling like my life is coming together, like I’m figuring out my purpose. And it’s a good feeling. I  hope you will all have a wonderful fourth of July!

 

 

 

Little Things for Which I am Thankful

Wow, I am SO GLAD today is Friday. I’m just tired. Been a long week with lots to do and I’m feeling overwhelmed about a few things. I just have to keep chugging away.

First, I’m very thankful for my second job at the gym. I never see the money that comes in for it, other than to see my tiny home/motorhome fund growing every two weeks. I’ve become the go-to person, in a way, for extra shifts, because I can usually am able to take them, and I guess they realize I’m dependable. All a good thing. I’m opening up there next week, 6 out of 7 days.  Since I have a ton of time saved up at my full time job, I am taking some time off there so I don’t get completely burnt out.

How can you not fall in love with this adorable face?
How can you not fall in love with this adorable face?

Second, I just have to share this picture of little Osito with you. I was getting ready this morning at around 4 a.m. and she had woken up. She and the rest of the animals were looking at me through these little slits of tired looking eyes, and I thought to myself, “it’s even early for them!” I felt badly for waking them up, but I know what they are going to do while I’m gone today. (Yep, a hard day’s work of sleeping.)   Anyway, Osito just looked so super cute, and as I walked toward her, even though she’s blind, she knew I was approaching and her tail started wagging a mile a minute. On last night’s walk, I’m not kidding – she was practically running! It makes me so happy to see her so spritely moving, and knowing she has that youthful energy at times. She makes me smile so much, I honestly don’t think I could love that little one any more than I already do.

Third, I was able to make that extra payment of $400 on my  LAL student loan today as originally planned. This is in addition to the $167 payment that is regularly scheduled. While this won’t bring the balance below $16K, it will bring it closer, anyway. And I’m not done yet paying on it for the month!  Will keep you updated, as always!

Fourth, I’m going to a party/housewarming tonight and will get to see some folks that I don’t get to see often. It’s a  nice opportunity to just get together and relax.

Fifth, my marathon training is still ongoing. Thankful that my brother, who is also my coach, is going conservative with my mileage so I don’t ramp up too quickly.  It is super important to me to not get injured. And for the most part, I’ve been feeling good on my runs. I’m not fast, but I don’t care. To me, right now, it’s more about the fact that I am doing it.

Sixth, my little brother, the aforementioned running coach, took on a Penniless Challenge over the past two weeks. For one week, he didn’t spend a cent if it would benefit him. (Meaning the money he spent on flowers for my mom for Mom’s Day didn’t count.) He did really, really well, even though I know it was definitely hard for him. But you know what? He found he liked making his coffee at home much better than waiting in line at Starbucks! (This is saying a lot – my brother used to work for Starbucks back in the day and loves their coffee!)

Well, on to the day! If you have liked this post, please drop me a line below, hit “like” or subscribe! And, thank you!

 

 

 

 

Little Things for Which I am Thankful (yeah, really not so little…)

It was a busy, but wonderful week. I can’t believe it was a week ago that I picked my friend Lisa (Mom to Marathon) up at the airport so she could stay with me and run the Boston Marathon! We had such a great time and even though we started as friends online, 6 years ago, in ways it feels like no time has passed, and in others, it feels like I’ve known her forever. Know what I mean?

So much to be thankful for this week!  If there’s anything you are thankful for, please drop me a comment below!

1. My friend, Lisa, finished the marathon!!! Now, normally this isn’t a big deal. She’s a great runner and has a strong will so if it’s within her power, she will always finish. Last year, however, it wasn’t within her control, due to some a-holes setting off bombs near the finish line.  So, this year she got to run down that wonderful stretch of Boylston that they had stopped her from doing last year. She told me it was one of her slowest marathons ever, but her face hurt from smiling so much. I was sooooo happy for her!

2. I had gotten to the point at work last week where I could just tell I needed time off. Whenever I start to feel like students are “grabbing” at me (for lack of a better word), I know it’s time for me to be out of the office. I mean, being here to answer questions is basically my job, so when I don’t want to do it, I know I am getting burned out. I can’t think of a better way to have spent those few days out of the office than with a good friend. We went to Castle Island down in South Boston, right on the water, on Tuesday. It was a gorgeous, sunny day. We took little Osito with us and of course, we were stopped by many children and adults alike on the way, who kept cooing over her and her cuteness. 🙂 I mean, she was in her summer dress – how could you not?? (Laugh if you will, I love that little girl and she totally doesn’t mind being dressed up.)

3. This was the week I decided to train for a marathon this fall. My second. I’m a bit nervous about my body being able to take all of the stress of the pounding, so I’m going to really pay attention to it along the way. I’m thankful for all the support I’ve received from everyone since deciding to go for it again. I’m especially grateful for having such a wonderful brother who has agreed to be my coach and put together a program for me.

4. I am thankful for having found a brand of sneaker called Hoka One One. Without them, I thought I would be relegated to no longer running races of even 5 miles. Thanks to them, I have felt so much less back pain this week and even been able to run a few days in a row. They have so much cushioning that they have been able to absorb a lot of the pounding for me. Wish me luck for the 5-6 miles I will be logging tomorrow. For right now, it’s my longest distance I’ve run in a while. It will soon be eclipsed.

5. I am so so so so thankful for my chiropractor. He’s given me such great advice and exercises to use and I am feeling the difference every day. I used to feel like my body was that of an 80 year old woman with the constant back pain. I no longer feel that way.

6. My mom got engaged this past week. I’m really happy for her. The guy she is with now is really great and treats her with such respect and admiration. It’s clear he is really in love with her. She deserves to be happy.

7. A photo is worth a thousands words! Tookie, the cat in the picture below, was my foster baby for about 7 months. His mom just sent this picture to me this week – the dog, Po, is now Tookie’s bestest, bestest, bestest friend in the world! Clearly, Po feels the same way about him as he’s letting  Tookie eat his food!  I am not sure Tookie would have been put up for adoption out of the shelter due to his elimination habits, so I felt so happy when I saw this photo and know that his mom is still totally committed to him, quirks and all.

Tookie, my former foster baby!!! (He's the cat, by the way.)
Tookie, my former foster baby!!! (He’s the cat, by the way.)

Little Things for Which I am Thankful

Osito in her pink jacket and her pink scarf, a Christmas present from my nephew!
Osito in her pink jacket and her pink scarf, a Christmas present from my nephew!

I hope everyone either had a good Christmas this week or a good day off! I celebrated Christmas Eve with my brother and his family and then spent Christmas Day with my best friend, her husband, and her grandma, watching 4 of the 6 Fast and Furious Movies. Then we had the “traditional” Christmas Day meal for a Jewish household: Chinese food!

To the left is my little Osito on a (finally) sunny day. You might not be able to see it but she is nice and warm in this photo thanks to her bright pinks scarf which my nephew made for her. It fits perfectly underneath her pink jacket! ❤

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Little Things for Which I am Thankful

Love....she makes my heart melt.
Love….she makes my heart melt.

This week has been much better than last week. Even took a day off all for myself. “Mental health days” as I like to call them, are much needed sometimes, especially when you are facing the longer, colder nights of the Northeast. Not looking forward to looking out my window at work and seeing that it’s dark out by a little bit after 4 p.m.  But I have a plan to combat that SAD syndrome I usually go through! (See number 4 below.) Read more