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Fabric Covered Binders

Since I'm not able to do my three hour workouts this month, I've decided to tackle some of the 2016 Personal Challenges . This one w...

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Day 17 Report Card

One ornament here explains the color scheme.
You can see from the picture that we are still celebrating Christmas. I realize its almost the middle of January but it's just now getting cold here (on occasion) and I wanted it to feel like a chilly Christmas. I also love the glow of the lights at night. Perhaps there a bit of love for a bohemian vibe there.

There's also the fact that I don't feel like getting into the attic. It's awkward and I have to stoop, and I am not a good stooper. Maybe my motivation is that this might very well be the last time I put Christmas away in this attic. The new house will, I hope, have an attic to rival an Amish barn.

Maybe not.

30 Day Flexibility Challenge
 -- Knee to chest, again. Love it. Could sleep like that. Maybe.

30 Day Journey to Splits
 -- Okay, at this rate, this journey is going to take a long time. Am I that inflexible? My hamstrings are almost refusing to stretch past a certain point, and I'm nervous about pushing it. I've pulled one of those muscles and it's not a fun or fast recovery.

30 Day Burpee Challenge
 -- I am happy to take this day off and walk the dog instead. It's less stressful...except if you notice that a neighborhood dog has decided that your yard is a perfect place to squat. Oh, people. Pardon my French, but NON!

30 Day Vocabulary Challenge
 -- Went with this one. chirography: handwriting, penmanship; calligraphy.

30 Day Back Challenge
 -- I am sooooo looking forward to the next rest day. ha ha!

30 Day Cleaning Challenge
 -- Dust seems to love our lamp shades. Anybody have any ideas for lamps that gather less dust?

30 Day Wall Sit Challenge
 -- Yeah. Three sessions. Boom.

30 Day Plank Challenge
 -- This is getting seriously shaky. I shake much.

30 Day Arm Sculpting Challenge
 -- Ooooo, burning!  Burning muscles!

30 Day Butt Lift Challenge
 -- I hope the fact that I still like these doesn't mean it's not working as well as it could if I hated them.

30 Day Mom Challenge
 -- So, kinder is balancing chemical equations these days. D found a good nerdy joke relating to it:
I heard Oxygen and Magnesium are a couple.

- 30 Day Blog Challenge
 -- I'm busting these out with very little planning. I know for the non-challenge posts, I'll need more than one picture and will have to do actual research for my home-building posts (saying 'that thing that looks like a plank of wood but isn't' probably won't make readers understand a thing, unless I take a picture and draw an arrow to 'that thing.'). Grow with me, people.

By the way, if you were able to buy a ticket to the ridiculous jackpot, congrats! I went out this morning with that intention (just a couple of tickets, come on!), and they denied me. Their machine wasn't allowing them to sell anything, and now I smell conspiracy. What do you smell?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Day 16 Report Card

Weird Florida 1 of 12
Above is one of the Weird Florida things we went to see this past weekend. It's called 'Muse of Discovery' by Meg White. On the Weird Florida site, they call it the Half-Buried Giant Woman. It would've been cool to see it at night, since her blanket of greenery appears to be decorated with lights.

Guess what that means?  It means I get to check something off my personal challenges for the year.  Only eleven more Weird Florida things to go this year!  Now, for part 16 of my 30 day challenges!

30 Day Flexibility Challenge
 -- Today, I'm not tortured and enjoyed myself.  *yay*

30 Day Journey to Splits
 -- Put some official yoga moves in today.

30 Day Burpee Challenge
 -- *pant, pant* I broke that up. I can't run a marathon just yet.

30 Day Vocabulary Challenge
 -- I went to the original pin page. rutilant: having a reddish glow.

30 Day Back Challenge
 -- Rest day. There are too few of these for this challenge, I must say.

30 Day Cleaning Challenge
 -- Aww! D did this yesterday. Very sweet.

30 Day Wall Sit Challenge
 -- Getting close to the three-session mark with these. What's your max on these? Is anyone else doing these?

30 Day Plank Challenge
 -- Two sessions again, but really, the forearm plank is making this hard.

30 Day Arm Sculpting Challenge
 -- Day off! For the record, I would like a day when ALL physical work-out challenges allow me to veg.

30 Day Butt Lift Challenge
 -- The side-view is pretty awesome these days!

30 Day Mom Challenge
 -- C at 25. Driving. Working. Paying a mortgage. Whoa, you guys.

- 30 Day Blog Challenge
 -- Can you tell which days I'm feeling less than motivated with my words? I guess the good thing is that I'm meeting the challenge, and that's awesome. I know I won't be updating every single day once the challenges are over. Getting the feel of posting is the preferred outcome.

My husband found a hot dog place near his work. I think we'll visit in the next couple of weeks, so be expecting some pics of wacky dogs, you guys. I'll try to include the list of ingredients, just in case anyone wants to recreate said wacky dogs.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Day 15 Report Card

Ready to scoot!
Ah, Monday. It's one of those special days that happens once a week that seems to bring out the grump in us all. Not me! This was the Monday that I broke out my new boots in preparation for the dude ranch and strutted around the yard. I don't have cow poo to kick just yet, but I'm workin' on it. But seriously, these are so cute, I don't wanna kick poo. I guess I'll continue to be a drugstore cowgirl for now.

30 Day Flexibility Challenge
 -- What is this torture?! I haven't yet completed my Journey to Splits, and this challenge is telling me to just go ahead and do a couple?  Nonsense. I faked these and checked them off anyway. Like gifts, it's the thought that counts...at least for the stretches today.

30 Day Journey to Splits
 -- Still on my Journey, right 30 Day Flexibility Challenge?! Ooooo, the day 15 extra is also a fave of mine.  Love that stretch.

30 Day Burpee Challenge
 -- This is getting up into 'need a bucket beside you' territory. I have thrown up working out several times in my life, but learned the warning signs of impending doom so I can avoid it if at all possible. I know the build-up getting to this point is small enough to make it seeeeeeem easy, but I'm someone who is just now returning to something other than walking. I'll keep at it and relish my rest days.

30 Day Vocabulary Challenge
 -- Changed it.  onerous: oppressively burdensome; having obligations or responsibilities that outweigh the benefits. I have potentially onerous challenges on this list. First on the list? 125 reverse flies! lol

30 Day Back Challenge
 -- Let's just say I'm looking forward to rest day. I might have to break these up from here on out.

30 Day Cleaning Challenge
 -- Should be a very comfy evening with a fresh bed! I sprinkled baking powder all over the mattress and let it be for an hour, then vacuumed it up!

30 Day Wall Sit Challenge
 -- Two sessions for this. Not bad, but still a challenge.

30 Day Plank Challenge
 -- Two sessions because the forearm one, as has been mentioned before, is much harder.  Did one on forearms and one on hands.

30 Day Arm Sculpting Challenge
 -- These are getting easier. I suppose I could up the weight.

30 Day Butt Lift Challenge
 -- Nice and challenging, but doesn't make me puke. I like this.

30 Day Mom Challenge
 -- I think we're at the stage where even saying hello might be considered harsh.  Ah, teens.

- 30 Day Blog Challenge
 -- I feel like I'm getting later and later with these. It's like the cold has made it hard for me to type or something.

I'm pretty stoked! I'm half-way finished with these challenges. I'll be sure to approach the remaining days with lots of gusto, but I know there will be a few days that will be a challenge, as I'll be oot and aboot and not near my workout stuff. I'll have my list of things I can do without equipment with me and get that stuff done, but will either have to get up early (!!?) or wait until midnight to get it done (thus waiting until then to update my blog). I'm thinking out loud here...

By the way, I'll have pretty cool updates for Saturday and Sunday. So excited!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Day 14 Report Card

"Take Flight" by Douwe Blumberg, one of many sculptures surrounding Lake Eola.
I forced the fam to go downtown and see art...and birds. There is the possibility we saw more dogs than birds. It was a chilly walk for someone now acclimated to the usual hotness that is Florida. It was 70 degrees F...but see, it was windy -- AND, we were near water.

If you decide to go visit Lake Eola here in Orlando, FL, take some spinach or other lettuce for the swans and ducks. No bread. No popcorn. If you're really into feeding them, they sell food pellets in gumball machines. For those unfamiliar with pigeons, they will swarm if those pellets take flight. Don't say I didn't warn you to keep your mouth closed and face down.

30 Day Flexibility Challenge
 -- Is anyone else doing this with me? I could fall asleep doing some of these...

30 Day Journey to Splits
 -- It's hard to find a big wall to do that day 14 pose. We have furniture in our house.

30 Day Burpee Challenge
 -- No jumping. You guys go ahead and jump.

30 Day Vocabulary Challenge
 -- This one.  ignominious: dishonorable; despicable; humiliating. 'Ignominious retreat' seems like something I might take part in after smack-talking a Steelers fan yesterday. Y'know what I'm sayin'? I don't have a dog in that fight, so I'm not taking sides, but that was...weird.

30 Day Back Challenge
 -- I feel like if I add any more reps, I'm gonna hulk out. I mean, looking ahead to the last day of this challenge, I have 125 reverse flies to complete. THAT DAY! ALL IN ONE DAY!  I'm gonna need some protein.

30 Day Cleaning Challenge
 -- Hmmm, I guess I did that.

30 Day Wall Sit Challenge
 -- Still two sessions. I need numbing lotion for my thighs.

30 Day Plank Challenge
 -- Back on my forearms. I'm a little sad, but my hands and wrists feel normal.

30 Day Arm Sculpting Challenge
 -- My day to massage my huge arm muscles. Nice!

30 Day Butt Lift Challenge
 -- Still love these, but a bubble wrap for my knees would be awesome.

30 Day Mom Challenge
 -- It is a gift. I'm grateful.

- 30 Day Blog Challenge
 -- I'm going to have to learn how to blog on the go. I can't be busy all over town then wait until evening to make my notes. I'm sure it would make everything easier.

This was a very chill day. I can really get into chill days, but know that there are days when 'chill' just isn't going to allow much to get done. I have big goals this year, so days like this will be few and far between. I don't just want to be busy, you know? I want to get out and see stuff and improve myself and taste new things...and write stupendous run-on sentences.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Day 13 Report Card

Big. Pile. Of. Ropes.  The battle ropes are gonna be used a lot.
Can't believe it's already Saturday. I started the day with a huge cinnamon roll from D. I never thought I'd actually say this, but it had too much frosting. Quel dommage!  Is that correct?  French was ## years ago. Yes, that ## was on purpose.

30 Day Flexibility Challenge
 -- Oooo, this day made me feel very flexible...even holding things twice as long as they require.

30 Day Journey to Splits
 -- Mkay, so that fifth pose still hurts a little, but the extra post (number 13) was fab.

30 Day Burpee Challenge
 -- Not gonna lie: I was nervous doing these. I tweaked my knee yesterday, so my knee was wrapped up and I was cringing. Instead of jumping, I just used hand weights for that part (so, instead of jumping, I did overhead presses with weights).

30 Day Vocabulary Challenge
 -- This one. fealty: intense fidelity. Since we don't practice feudalism here (or do we?), I didn't include the part about vassals and lords...unless you count this sentence, then I guess I did. Hmm.

30 Day Back Challenge
 -- Superman. Again. Dude is tough. I want a blankie after that.

30 Day Cleaning Challenge
 -- Did the challenge for today only, so that other stuff will have to wait. That nap yesterday took a toll on my schedule and I stayed up until 9 a.m.  Yes, 9 a.m. this morning. I did feel the need to get a few z's, so indeed, my entire day was weird and off, made even worse by the headache centered around my left nostril. If you see me with my finger pushing on my left nostril, you'll know what's up there (namely, not my finger).

30 Day Wall Sit Challenge
 -- So, 130 seconds. I goofed the other day when my 110 second calendar item equaled two very unequal wall sits. I suppose I was wishing things. Either way, I was wrong. I am now in full acceptance of the fact that I will think this challenge as punishment. This might be worse than being grounded.  One full minute plus 5 seconds, twice. My no-slip solution isn't working anymore. I need some clogs super-glued to the floor...

30 Day Plank Challenge
 -- I got a day off, so I contemplated going back to the forearm plank. I'm sure that will be better for my hands and wrists. *ponder*

30 Day Arm Sculpting Challenge
 -- Did you see that pile of ropes way up there?  If you've never seen them in action, I'll try to show you later this month, when the rain isn't an issue.  Today, however, was all about 14 x  3 sets of those sculpting beauties.

30 Day Butt Lift Challenge
 -- Added a bridge or five today, but really, I've been holding a bridge during my back challenge pull-overs. There are tons of pull-overs.

30 Day Mom Challenge
 -- Mmmm, hard when you get the 'teen 'tude when you open your mouth...or exist. Fun.

- 30 Day Blog Challenge
 -- I did it, and did it twice yesterday. Did you see my second post about personal challenges for 2016? All the interesting challenges mean I'll be writing about it here or giving stuff away. Who wouldn't want my old movies? Hey, I could even give away one of my crafts -- but only if you want it. No concrete hands, though, I'm afraid.

So, back to the ropes. They are more than just for arm workouts. They work the full body. I won't get into the 'calories burned per hour' debate, because that can get ugly. I will get into how awesome they are, though. Plus, you can act like you are a drummer with really heavy, floppy drumsticks. Fun times!

Friday, January 8, 2016

2016 Personal Challenge


Okay, I've seen other bloggers do this, so I thought I'd give it a try. I'll update my progress once a week or so, just to keep myself accountable.

1. Read 50 paper books (50/50) -- UPDATE (4/11/16) -- Yes, lots of these are books for kids because we have TONS of them. Might as well read them before donating.
  1 - Childhood's End (Arthur C Clarke)
  2 - Cold Tom (Sally Prue)
  3 - The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis (Barbara O'Connor)
  4 - How to Steal a Dog (Barbara O'Connor)
  5 - Bad Magic (pseudonymous bosch)
  6 - Judy Moody, M.D. The Doctor Is In (Megan McDonald)
  7 - Judy Moody, Around the World in 8 1/2 Days (Megan McDonald)
  8 - Airball: My Life in Briefs (L.D. Harkrader)
  9 - Prisoners in the Palace (Michaela MacColl)
10 - Woods Runner (Gary Paulsen)
11 - Princess Ellie's Summer Vacation (Diana Kimpton)
12 - Pippi Longstocking (Astrid Lindgren)
13 - The Supernaturalist (Eoin Colfer)
14 - Edwina Victorious (Susan Bonners)
15 - The Enormous Egg (Oliver Butterworth)
16 - My Last Best Friend (Julie Bowe)
17 - The Comet's Curse (Dom Testa)
18 - Ark Angel (Anthony Horowitz)
19 - Sassy (Sharon M Draper)
20 - Pandora of Athens 399 B.C. (Barry Denenberg)
21 - Mudshark (Gary Paulsen)
22 - Animal Ark: Spaniel in a Stocking (Ben M. Baglio)
23 - Scorpio (Anthony Horowitz)
24 - Matched (Ally Condie)
25 - Deep and Dark and Dangerous (Mary Downing Hahn)
26 - Vet Volunteers: Homeless (Laurie Halse Anderson)
27 - Firegirl (Tony Abbott)
28 - House of Dark Shadows (Robert Liparulo)
29 - Watcher in the Woods (Robert Liparulo)
30 - Gatekeepers (Robert Liparulo)
31 - Timescape (Robert Liparulo)
32 - Whirlwind (Robert Liparulo)
33 - Frenzy (Robert Liparulo)
34 - Truth & Beauty (Ann Patchett)
35 - The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch (Joseph Delaney)
36 - The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
37 - The Summer of Good Intentions (Wendy Francis)
38 - A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning (Lemony Snicket)
39 - Woman with a Secret (Sophie Hannah)
40 - Spelled (Betsy Schow)
41 - Bite Me: A Love Story (Christopher Moore)
42 - A Series of Unfortunate Events #3: The Wide Window (Lemony Snicket)
43 - A Series of Unfortunate Events #4: The Miserable Mill (Lemony Snicket)
44 - A Series of Unfortunate Events #5: The Austere Academy (Lemony Snicket)
45 - hush hush (Becca Fitzpatrick)
46 - Marie Antoinette: Serial Killer (Katie Alender)
47 - A Series of Unfortunate Events #6: The Ersatz Elevator (Lemony Snicket)
48 - A Series of Unfortunate Events #7: The Vile Village (Lemony Snicket)
49 - The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous (Suzanne Crowley)
50 - A Series of Unfortunate Events #8: The Hostile Hospital(Lemony Snicket)
2. Get rid of 50 paper books (26/50)
3. Organize books by category (1)

4. Watch/give away 10 owned movies (10) - I'll give these away all at once! Be prepared!
  1 - Vamps
  2 - Cedar Rapids
  3 - Bring It On: In It To Win It
  4 - Max Payne
  5 - Paul Blart: Mall Cop
  6 - John Sandford's Certain Prey
  7 - Wild Hogs
  8 - Flight 29 Down
  9 - Shredderman Rules!
 10 - Monster House

5. Sandcastle challenge with pics whether they rock or not (1)
6. Ski ball on the beach (1)
7. Sea turtle walk (1/1) - call in May for June/July events
  -- We did this mid-July, and it was amazing! None of our cameras would cooperate (no flash or white lights allowed), so we didn't get video or pics. If you're thinking about it, go for it.
8. Photography walk (6)

9. Weird Florida (1/12)
    1. Half-Buried Giant Woman - done!

10. Workout (4+/week) (208+)
11. Eye Doctor (1)
12. Physical (1)
13. Go to sleep by 11 p.m. (2x/wk) (104) -- I predict a failure here, but I do have hope.

14. Try cut-out recipe (keep or toss) (52)
15. Organize recipes into categories (1)

16. Halloween (3)
     1. Potion Bottles
     2. Snake Wreath
     3. Spiders  - Done!
17. Thanksgiving (1)
   1. Book Page Pumpkin
18. Christmas (3)
     1. Puffy Trees
     2. Wooden Christmas Trees
     3. 'Believe' Art
19. New Years (1)
     1. Blackberry Brie Bites - technically not a craft, but looks good and I don't have to get dirty

20. Make skirts (1/3)
     1. Easy Maxi  - Made one for Halloween!
     2. Circle Skirt
     3. Chiffon Maxi 

21. Glass-Blowing Class (1)
22. Pottery Class (1/1)

23. Cookbook review and giveaway (12)
24. Pinterest projects (2/6)
    - Concrete hands
    - T-shirt bag
    - Marble Art
    - Watercolor words
    - Pearl hairpins - Painful experience involving magic
    - Fabric-covered binders - Made some PERTY ones

25. Great Courses learning (2/6) -- They have these at my library!
    - Influence: Mastering Life's Most Powerful Skill
    - Fundamentals of Photography - complete
    - Fundamentals of Photography II - complete
    - Fundamentals of Sustainable Living
    - How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening for Everyone
    - How to Grow Anything: Your Best Garden and Landscape in 6 Lessons
26. Organize each day (365) -- Each day, figure out what isn't working, then try to fix it
27. Write 100 words each day (100)
28. Make List for 2017

I might add to the list, but let's face it - - if I add anything else, chaos will ensue.  I'll keep it short.

Day 12 Report Card

Young tomatoes and eggplants in soil-less bags. Amazing set-up!  I'll have this on my land at some point.

I was a farmer today. I went to a mini-farm that grows tons of things a variety of ways: hydroponically, soil-less bags, containers with actual soil, etc. I am so glad I was introduced to this amazing place, and try to volunteer there once a week.

Today, I spent a good deal of my time raking up busted tomatoes and clearing the walkway for foot traffic. I would say I spent over an hour alone with that task. Mind you, it was supposed to be an off day for my poor, poor arms.  ha ha!  Needless to say, when I returned home, a nap was in order. I think I set a record with this one, people.

30 Day Flexibility Challenge
 -- I just want to add another 20 seconds to each pose. Might just do that from here on out.

30 Day Journey to Splits
 -- Pose 12 was okay, but I didn't look like the pic. I was a little bendy.

30 Day Burpee Challenge
 -- Ouch.

30 Day Vocabulary Challenge
 -- This one, ,again. rugose: full of wrinkles. I like the 'rugose visage' in the second sentence.

30 Day Back Challenge
 -- Day of rest.  I invoked nap time.

30 Day Cleaning Challenge
 -- Nope. This is what weekends are for...at least this weekend.

30 Day Wall Sit Challenge
 -- Broke this into two sessions again. Wonder what the magic number will be for three sessions!

30 Day Plank Challenge
 -- A minute and a half of lovely contemplation of my yoga mat. I need to rinse it off. My dog loves it. Also, this one semi-hurt my palms. Isn't there a solution out there?  Anybody?

30 Day Arm Sculpting Challenge
 -- Another day of rest? Added to my nap time...

30 Day Butt Lift Challenge
 -- Ten of each. I guess I can't point my toes at all anymore. The cramping of my toes is getting out of hand. It's creepy.

30 Day Mom Challenge
 -- Indeed. Many days, that's all I can do.

- 30 Day Blog Challenge
 -- I think this update was a little lazy. I'm probably still napping.  More likely, however, is that I'm thinking about a couple of future posts about the farm. There is so much coolness there, and I want to show it to you, right here!

I will admit, yes, to having a large, large nap today. Farming is hard, you guys.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Day 11 Report Card

My sister L gave me this Jane Austen mug, and I filled it with coffee this evening, then emptied it so I could function.
I did NOT want to move in this direction today. I had a long, busy day that ended late and I seriously came home and sat and stared at nothing. I wanted to go to sleep but that would screw up my entire sleep schedule, or what little of it remains. Thank goodness for husbands that say a few words of encouragement...and coffee. Yes, I drank coffee late today just to get me going. I hope I can sleep in a few hours!

30 Day Flexibility Challenge
 -- Had a chance to try out the new Child's Pose...and I love it. Aaahh! You know, I could probably just do all of these all the time and not worry about challenging myself with them.

30 Day Journey to Splits
 -- I love that day 11 stretch. I'm still pretty limber in that respect.

30 Day Burpee Challenge
 -- Hooo, boy! It's like I just sprinted around a track! I get slower as I go. I don't think I'm supposed to do that... Of course, I've had wiggly knee all day today, so I'll just go in the direction of 'I needed to be slow.'

30 Day Vocabulary Challenge
 -- The original! dross: the scum that forms on the surface of molten metal; waste or foreign matter; something that is base, trivial or inferior. Probably won't use this one much, unless I take a cue from their example and describe Nicolas Cage's career ledger. *eewwww, buuuuuurrrrrn* I mean, my ledger is stellar, to be sure.

30 Day Back Challenge
 -- Yeesh! Superman is a challenge. I breathe heavily after them anyway, but after a full minute, I need a medic...and a fan.

30 Day Cleaning Challenge
 -- Point blank: did not clean today. The end.

30 Day Wall Sit Challenge
 -- I broke this up into two 55 second sessions before I remembered math. First session was 55 seconds, and the second one was a measly 15. Nothing broke this time, so I'll take it.

30 Day Plank Challenge
 -- Using the hand weights to make my wrists more comfortable was my best idea evar. I did 60 seconds without a shake or pain.

30 Day Arm Sculpting Challenge
 -- First set was tough. This is a consecutive arm workout day, remember? Also, I had a flu shot this week and have to whine about it a little. *whine* Surprisingly, the other sets were easier.

30 Day Butt Lift Challenge
 -- Still love these.

30 Day Mom Challenge
 -- I said my words and she literally ran away.  Awww...  LOL!  Of course,  it was after she'd knocked some things over, so perhaps she thought I was about to punish her for her inherited clumsiness.

- 30 Day Blog Challenge
 -- Once I get started, I'm okay. I have a problem coming up with a good picture lately. Maybe when I'm pleased with my outfit, I'll have the kinder take a pic of me rockin' a plank or doing the actual splits (ha ha!).

Anybody participating in the huge Powerball thing? I can't wrap my head around $1 billion, if it comes to that. Yeah, yeah, tons of it will not end up in the bank account of the winner, but still, putting that amount in the 'taxable income' portion of the 1040EZ would make one giggle.

See you Friday, earlier than this, one assumes.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Day 10 Report Card

Do certain life events impact your reading choices? Curiouser and curiouser...
Dudes and dudettes. It was tough this morning. There is something about going to bed earlier than usual (2 a.m. is my usual, mkay?) that makes me wake up several times a night. I find myself in weird positions, like with my head at the foot of the bed or sideways on the bed, holding a pair of fuzzy socks. I should take a video and see if I can figure out what's happening. Anybody else have sleep drama?

30 Day Flexibility Challenge
 -- So, one of these I did in a chair. While I was stretching in the chair, I had an epiphany. I researched an alternate way to do child's pose, since that's my favorite yoga pose that I can no longer enjoy. I can do it in a chair, by leaning forward from one chair and placing my arms onto a folded blanket sitting in the seat of another chair! I'm stoked for future child's poses!

30 Day Journey to Splits
 -- Relaxing, but I start thinking about weird stuff...like hey, I wonder if bugs dream. Who was the first person to figure out that fingernails and toenails could be cut without pain? Why did they even invent the evil and delicious Oatmeal Creme Pie? Give me something to ponder.

30 Day Burpee Challenge
 -- Rest day. That means I took a nap at some point.

30 Day Vocabulary Challenge
 -- Back to this onebogart: bully, intimidate; to use or consume without sharing. I've only ever used it as the second definition -- never the first. Have you? Well, I'm gonna start! I'm gonna bogart my way up to the DMV counter and demand a...a smile or something. Have you been to that happy place?

30 Day Back Challenge
 -- Holy Town in Ohio, these just get harder! I'm sweatin' over here! Also, I cage the beast (Nilla) during this challenge (among others) so I am not drooled upon. That ruins my mood...plus, I get a little gaggy.

30 Day Cleaning Challenge
 -- Double-up day! I did days 9 and 10 today, and it wasn't so bad. I'll tell you what, though: I have a lot of Tums.

30 Day Wall Sit Challenge
 -- This is already getting ridiculous. One hundred seconds is 1:40. I did it, but I think I pulled something in my neck and broke my collar bone from the strain of it all. I'm going to have to break that up into two parts...and possibly three. Call me a wimp, if you must, but only after I've seen you do it.

30 Day Plank Challenge
 -- I used my hand weights in place of the pods and boxing gloves. That was awesome. Sixty seconds and only breathed heavy for the last 5 seconds.

30 Day Arm Sculpting Challenge
 -- I forced the kinder to work out with me here. Yes, forced is a good word to use. She did two sets then said she had a ton of homework to do...and if her arms were too tired to work, then it would be my fault. Hmph.

30 Day Butt Lift Challenge
 -- My tail end is going to be fabulous, if my sweat and tears are any indication. Those little numbers on a calendar just don't tell you the whole story, you guys.

30 Day Mom Challenge
 -- Joy! I'm looking! I'm finding! Wit. Artistic talent. Singing voice. Empathy. The stellar logic used to get out of the arm workout? I could go on and on...

- 30 Day Blog Challenge
 -- So, after these things are over, I'm going to be a little more thorough with my posts. I don't want to just update with one or two sentences about certain things. What I mean by that is, I want feedback. Give me ideas about what you want to read. If I'm at all up for it, I'll write about it. Heads up, though: no lion-taming or swimming with 'gators for this chick.

I've been motivated by these challenges to work on other parts of my life besides my fitness. Reading books (that stack above is first -- do you sense a theme?), getting out to see the local sites, making things I see on pinterest...all of these things that need doing! I'm making a list and will post soon. Maybe it will motivate you to make your own list. Who knows?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Day 9 Report Card

This day was very full. I survived the dental office and the flu shot, but I'm feeling both. Plus, you know how, when you have something new in your mouth, your tongue just travels over there time and time again, just to check it out? I think my tongue is raw from that. Am I alone in my struggles?
I found my stability pods! See how lovely they are? 
I did have a hard time getting to the challenges this evening. I ate when I got home and, really, who wants to do burpees on a full stomach? I will admit right now *spoiler alert* that at least one of my challenges has to wait until tomorrow.

30 Day Flexibility Challenge
 -- This was nice and easy. I do so love downdog.

30 Day Journey to Splits
 -- These are getting really easy, but that number 9 pose hurt my knee. Won't be doing that one again.

30 Day Burpee Challenge
 -- Oye! Oye! Oye! These are going to make me puke.

30 Day Vocabulary Challenge
 -- The new one again. endothermic: characterized by or causing the absorption of heat.
Endothermic reactions are often described as reactions that "feel cold," and they contrast with exothermic reactions, in which heat is released. Reliving my chemistry classes.

30 Day Back Challenge
 -- These are challenging, but I believe they're working well!

30 Day Cleaning Challenge
 -- Hello, tomorrow, you'll do just fine for doubling-up. I'm a sleepy bear...

30 Day Wall Sit Challenge
 -- Ninety seconds is a long time. I tried cuddling the cat during this time, but the noises I make
slowly but surely making my way down the wall scared her. I bled. I finished, however, and for that, I take a bow.

30 Day Plank Challenge
 -- Look at my hand up there! My pods might have to be retired from this exercise. That was just plain weird. Also, don't attempt planks wearing socks. You're welcome.

30 Day Arm Sculpting Challenge
 -- I'm going to do these tomorrow. It's a rest day, anyway, so I won't be doubling my efforts.

30 Day Butt Lift Challenge
 -- These are working my butt, no doubt, but I feel it in my calf muscles, as well. I look forward to these. Odd.

30 Day Mom Challenge
 -- Myself at 15? I was so awesome...just like my child!  This one is better at art, though.

- 30 Day Blog Challenge
 -- Although late in posting, I did it. I'm not as hilarious today, I know, but it takes energy to be hilarious. I don't even have the energy to drink out of a cup without dribbling out of both sides of my mouth. I'll blame the dentist for my overworked, overstretched lips.

Tomorrow is another day, and man, I can't wait to sleep tonight!  Farewell!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Day 8 Report Card

Eggplant, zucchini and honkin' onion, ready for the oven!
I was up and shopping at the local grocer early today, apparently before the stock was added. No produce, no fish, no bueno! I was also going to get a flu shot and the pharmacy was closed! I guess this means I can sleep in the next time I feel like getting a jump on my healthy lifestyle. hee hee!

I did, however, have some things at home that needed to be used. Above, you see a bowl full of one cubed eggplant and three medium zucchini then one onion cut into some monster-sized pieces (D hates cooked onions, so I make it easy for him to remove them), all tossed with 1/4 cup olive oil and some basil. I feel rather accomplished since it's so pretty. I'll cook it tomorrow (350 degree F for 20 minutes) and feel accomplished again, since it's dental day.  More on that later.

30 Day Flexibility Challenge
 -- These are the same moves as day one, and they were indeed easier. I'm not Cirque du Soleil-flexible, but I AM touching my knee with my nose.

30 Day Journey to Splits
 -- I've increased the time I do several of these stretches, but the new one today was weird. My left kidney was like, hello! I'm calling out to you. Do kidneys need stretching?

30 Day Burpee Challenge
 -- Lucky number 13! Bah. I lost count. I probably did 80.

30 Day Vocabulary Challenge
 -- New one today!inalienable: that which cannot be transferred to another or others; unforfeitable.

30 Day Back Challenge
 -- It's a rest day, so to reward my back, I wanted to hang on my inversion table. I love that thing. It has saved me several times when my back feels out of whack or when my neck is screaming. Indeed, my neck screams...  Alas, my table is being held captive by Christmas boxes. I must rescue it.

30 Day Cleaning Challenge
 -- Yeah, yeah. I clean, cut some veggies, then clean again. I think I cleaned the counter 11 times today.

30 Day Wall Sit Challenge
 -- Even though my yoga mat slipped slightly during my 80 second wall sit, I kinda breezed right through it.

30 Day Plank Challenge
 -- I searched all over for my stability pods and came up empty! So, I did the next best thing: I grabbed the boxing gloves and used them. All is well in plank land.

30 Day Arm Sculpting Challenge
 -- Day of rest. Thank goodness. Had to carry groceries this morning.

30 Day Butt Lift Challenge
 -- Oooo, ow! Pointed Butt Lifts mean you point your toes up, right?  I tend to get cramps in my toes when I do this. It's uncomfortable. Obviously, I would have been a horrible ballerina.

30 Day Mom Challenge
 -- There are 52 weekends left in this year alone. If I double that, then half it and add all that together, I'm gonna cry. I have 130 weekends left to spend with my teen. Oh, man...

- 30 Day Blog Challenge
 -- Today was weird! I almost felt like I had to wait for an audience before I started doing my challenges. I did normal house stuff, then I shopped and played with the fur friends. Once someone walked in the door, it was time to perform!  Watch me do this! They don't. Tomorrow, however, is going to be a toughie. I know my visit to the dentist is going to be looooong, and I usually feel like parking my rear in a prone position afterward, but I won't be able to do that. So, if my update is sparse and doesn't show up until 2 a.m., you'll have my excuses beforehand. I fully intend on at least attempting everything, so there is that. *ramble, ramble*

Thanks for sticking with me on this.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Day 7 Report Card

Before the carnage began...  Thanks for the pic, J.
I was treated to a Dim Sum brunch today by a few of my favorite people. It was amazing, but lemme tell ya: me and overeating are not friends. My meals are small because I ate small meals for over a year and haven't stretched my stomach out since then. I ate a few things and then a few more things, then pretty much stuffed a couple of other things in near the end just to clear the table. I came home and fell into a coma for a few hours. It's now 8:00 and I'm still stuffed. Ack!

30 Day Flexibility Challenge
 -- These poses (side lunge, wide split, wide straddle) make me feel weird. I look at the side lunge in the photo and then compare to how I look and there's no similarity whatsoever. I know I can't bend my left knee like that, but seriously? My right knee looks just as nonfunctional. Oh, well, the correct things were stretched, and thus, moving on...

30 Day Journey to Splits
 -- Getting easier, but for reals, people, these are hard to do after waking from a coma. Please, dumplings, stay where you are!

30 Day Burpee Challenge
 -- Eleven down. Urp. Urp. *ahem*

30 Day Vocabulary Challenge
 -- This one totally fits today. alacrity: promptness in response; cheerful readiness. I will say I was awakened this morning with a new plan (no sushi today, we're doing dim sum) and responded with alacrity.

30 Day Back Challenge
 -- My back better look amazing after this.  Just sayin'.

30 Day Cleaning Challenge
 -- I did the stuff for today and most of the stuff for tomorrow. I think tomorrow will be a pre-planning day for decluttering of the bathroom stuff. I have a ton of small shampoo, conditioner and body soap samples. I might put the family on a showering-diet of small bottle-use until they're all gone.

30 Day Wall Sit Challenge
 -- I sat there for 70 seconds, poking my really hard thigh and nodding my head.  Yup.  I wonder how my friend J is doing on her two minute wall sit. I think she's rockin' it...on the floor.  LOL

30 Day Plank Challenge
 -- Okay, so I had my hubby research wrist pain for me while I sat on the wall. Planks on the hands apparently exacerbate carpal tunnel...and that's why people are switching to the forearm plank...which stinks. I don't think I have carpal tunnel, but dang. Planks hurt me. I have some half-dome stability pods that I might try out tomorrow. That will make the plank more difficult, of course, but if I can save my wrists and hands from pain and injury, fine. By the way, no shaking and I sang a ditty as I planked.

30 Day Arm Sculpting Challenge
 -- A friend just posted something on FB about really sculpting arms. I think I'll change to that on my next 30 Day Challenge Extravaganza. This one, however, is a fine start! I'm going from zero activity for several months (inexcusable, I know) to working these guns every other day. I already have attractive veins popping out all over, so...let's take it further. That's future talk, y'all.

30 Day Butt Lift Challenge
 -- You know, I just looked through this calendar and noticed that there are NO days off. I suppose that means I'll reach my goal sooner. When I took that class all those years ago, I think I only attended class three times a week. So, if math is my friend, 3 classes a week times 8 weeks equals 24 days to pow booty. I'm dangerously close to being half-way there!

30 Day Mom Challenge
 -- Sweet note written. I didn't nag a bit.

- 30 Day Blog Challenge
 -- Today is a challenge, for sure. I'm going to put this out there for all to hear: If I say, hey, tomorrow is a good day for a buffet or whatEVER overeating event might be available, comment with a reminder about how I'll feel afterward. Sometimes I forget life lessons...like when raw cookie dough starts to sound delicious.

One full week of challenges complete, and a little over three weeks to go, and I'm feeling confident. How is your New Year treating you?

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Day 6 Report Card

Hi, Sprinkles...or rather, high Sprinkles.
I am so happy to be clumsy. I get rid of so much stuff just by dropping it. For example, I just got rid of about a cup of catnip. On the rug. The cat is extremely chill about it, and Nilla is confused. I figure I'll let the cat roll around in it for a few days, then suck it up. 

30 Day Flexibility Challenge
 -- I love knees to chest. It's like I'm a roly-poly after being discovered! The Posterior Kinetic Chain felt really good!  Try it!

30 Day Journey to Splits
 -- Okay! Day six means I add that sixth pose.  I felt like an awkward giraffe, trying to get a drink at the watering hole. Please, clock, move faster. I like my awkwardness to last as little time as possible.

30 Day Burpee Challenge
 -- Nine, nine -- feelin' fine!  Pretty soon, I can count this as a HIIT routine.

30 Day Vocabulary Challenge
 -- Words used correctly make me happy. This one - quash - is supposed to mean to nullify especially by judicial action. However, I sometimes use it like this: to quash rumors. I've heard people try to squash rumors. :-( No.

30 Day Back Challenge
 -- So...I finished these exercises and am winded from it all. Nilla got in a few hand-licks, as well.  I did a few more Posterior Kinetic Chain stretches after that superman.  *bliss*

30 Day Cleaning Challenge
 -- Sink is super-clean, and under the sink was organized a few months ago. I looked, with a flashlight even, and all is well.

30 Day Wall Sit Challenge
 -- Definitely getting better. This time, the countdown was correct and, once again, I started trembling with seven seconds to go. My secret now is that I have yoga shoes and a yoga mat under my feet. That means no sliding and - BONUS - I get some cushioning for my poor, trembling toes.

30 Day Plank Challenge
 -- Day off! I don't even know how to give up a day of planking!

30 Day Arm Sculpting Challenge
 -- Day off!

30 Day Butt Lift Challenge
 -- I wrapped my knee for this one since I kneel on it for a couple of sets. My poor knee has been rather nice to me through this whole process but is a bit achy today. Is it the cooler weather?

30 Day Mom Challenge
 -- The weekend before a school break ends is always sad. Knowing your kinder hasn't completed the assignments means there is tension in the air. If a few things are finished before I go eat, I'll get her some Funnel Cake fries...which are always a hit.

- 30 Day Blog Challenge
 -- I can't believe it!  Seven days in a row! I should reward myself with dim sum!

Life will begin again soon, so I will have to be a little less lazy about completing the challenges. I do them all day long in little spurts between laundry and eating and being on pinterest...and everybody knows how long pinterest can take.

My weekiversary is tomorrow! So excited!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Day 5 Report Card

As I was cleaning out the 'fridge yesterday, I figured I'd put the salad fixings to good use and make some Mason jar salads. Aren't they pretty?  These are just basic salads this time, but I do have a Mason jar salad book that I'll be testing out this year. I like the idea of fixing weekday lunches on Sunday and being lazy about shaking and serving them to myself later. If I find one that makes me swoon, I'll let you know.

How did I do today?

30 Day Flexibility Challenge
 -- Cobra stretch is lovely. Bow stretch is not so lovely. I could tell you how long it's been since I put my leg behind my head, but I won't. Okay, yes, I will.  I just did it. I will now call the chiropractor.

30 Day Journey to Splits
 -- I am so good at this. Tomorrow I will add a move and I think I'll wrap my entire left knee into a knee burrito. Did you look ahead to that move? I'm already cringing.

30 Day Burpee Challenge
 -- I did seven, and Nilla didn't get excited for me until the end. She knows when I'm about to pass out, so she gets all concerned. She's a Canine Companion trained darling, don't you know?

30 Day Vocabulary Challenge
 -- They are good! The word is appropriate for today. annus mirabilis: a remarkable or notable year. Will 2016 be our annus mirabilis for the home building project?  We hope so!

30 Day Back Challenge
 -- Skip a day and then double my number of additional reps?  I'm a sad super-monkey.

30 Day Cleaning Challenge
 -- Some sinks just aren't built for washing 'fridge drawers. I need a big swimming pool in which to dump them, and that would make cleaning them fun. Instead, I end up inadvertently flooding the kitchen floor after each drawer. Also, I hope one day to find a use for seven bottles of Dale's Seasoning.

30 Day Wall Sit Challenge
 -- Oh, mah gawsh! I did it! I had to laugh at myself, though, because I set the timer for 50 MINUTES instead of 50 seconds, so I'm adjusting myself on the wall and wiggling my toes, really starting to struggle, when I look down and notice that the timer says 49:17...and I only had 7 seconds to go.  Ha!

30 Day Plank Challenge
 -- Completing the plank after the wall-sit disaster yesterday makes me think I've redeemed myself. Research opportunity to figure out how to keep my wrists comfortable.

30 Day Arm Sculpting Challenge
 -- I feel like Jessica Jones, you guys. Strong and powerful -- and super! -- and maybe it's all in my head.

30 Day Butt Lift Challenge
 -- Do I detect a little pow in that boom-boom?  Judge me in a month.

30 Day Mom Challenge
 -- Yes. She's fifteen. She'll be old enough to drive soon. That means it's almost time for me to send her to the store for a loaf of bread, a container of milk and a stick of butter!  Awesome!

- 30 Day Blog Challenge
 -- I'm cruising right along, writing snippets of hilarity...right? I do, one day, hope to begin my own writing challenge, also known as writing the novel before I'm fifty. My uncle, Rooster Morris, has reached his goal of writing books for kids. I know it's possible, and one day, I'll take his advice and just get it done!

In the meantime, I'll observe people, dream of plot twists and develop characters that I think people will love. The fun part will be the villains. Are there any real-life villains you love to hate?  Fill me in.

Until grade-time tomorrow...