Monday, May 12, 2014

On and Off

Friday was even better. I was able to make it to the C25K group run. We ran part of the actual course for the upcoming Ferguson Twilight 5K. There is a big hill that I have been dreading but I have a number of big hills on my home based course so I knew I could conquer it. Once again the Galloway method came through for me. Not only did I get up the hill. I passed 3 runners and recorded a new PR of 11:44 min/mile split. I felt strong and was able to finish with no problem.
Sunday on the other hand was a different story. It was hot 86 degrees, humid, and just all round not a great day. I was so tired I even took 2 naps throughout the day, this is very unusual for me. My feet and legs are sun burnt from Florica's soccer game yesterday. My hip and shins were hurting. Although I enjoyed having the kids over for Mother's day I was just not in the mood to cook and apparently no one else wanted to either even though they all wanted to eat. I ended up eating left over pizza before trying to run, probably should have waited until after the run. I knew I was running slow but I was ok with that and my shins loosened up nicely within half a mile. However, when I reached what should have been the 1 mile mark I noticed that my mapmyrun app was on pause, argh. Everything was starting to hurt (my shoulder, breasts, hip, and back) were all saying enough I was so hot I am sure my face was red as a beat. I decided then that I needed to cut my course short and turn it into a brisk comfortable walk.
Florica has a number of games this week making it difficult for me to meet up with the group until Wednesday. The weather is changing which I am hoping is why my hip hurts. I just started "running" in March and have found the experience invigorating. I look forward to each run and miss it on my off days. Yesterday was a big disappointment for me. I am hoping I feel better tonight so that I can get a run on the treadmill. Next week will be the next step in my running endeavor as I start training with Big River Summer Speedwork in preparation for my Firecracker 10K on July 4th.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Florica has had a soccer tournament this week making it difficult for me to run with my C25K group. I am supposed to run 2.75 miles on Monday and Wednesday. On Monday I was able to run before her game.  On Monday I covered 2.78 miles at a split pace of 12:29 min/mile and on Wednesday 2.94 miles at 11:55 min/mile. Both were new PR for me. I tried to get in as many hills as possible in prep for the Ferguson Twilight 5K. Hopefully, I will be able to make the group run on Friday as there are only 3 runs left before our race. I really like the Galloway method of run/walk and am currently pursuing some other running groups to prepare for the Cowbell Half Marathon in October.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Welcome Back, What's New.

Wow it has been almost 2 years since I have even thought about this blog. So much has happened I am not sure where to start. I finally finished my degree as of May 2013 I am a SLU graduate with a BA in General Studies. I thought about taking off a year or two but then panic set in and I signed up for my Master's in Developmental Organization. Ugh, after 2 classes I realized this is not for me. I was lucky enough to realize early that I needed to look into something else. I enjoy my career in Healthcare and realized the options in the Allied Health Department would be a better fit. I was able to switch in January and am starting to work on my Master of Health Informatics. Two classes down.
Brad has been out of the house for almost 3 years now, you cannot believe how proud I am of him and how well he has done in life. He now has a new roommate.
She is a real sweetie once you get to know her. She was abused as a puppy so she understandably has some people issues.
Florica is a senior in high school. We have been busy trying to plan her future... as of right now she will start vocational rehab next year working in a retirement home with the Special School District. Florica knew softball was not her sport and after spending the summer playing tennis with Special Olympics she joined the Ritenour Tennis Team this year. In the spring, she has once again made the Ritenour soccer team on the varsity level. Practice and games as well as Special Olympics basketball, bowling, tennis, volleyball, and softball have kept her busy. 
Doug bought the remaining assets of King's Automotive and opened his own business: A-King Automotive, LLC. We have had some ups and downs but it seems to be on the right track now and building into a success. 
I on the other hand had a health scare when I was diagnosed in Aug 2013 with diabetes. I went through all the stages of denial, grief, anger, and acceptance. I refused to allow a disease take over my life and made the decision to take control. This brings me to my current obsession with running. I have been jealous for some time now of my friends and family when they post pictures and results of 5K's, mudders, and color runs. I wish I could run but there is no way. Even when I was at my healthiest I could not run. Anyway I did everything the doctor asked of me. Meet with the pharmacist to discuss when and how to track my sugar and taking my medication correctly. The dietitian looked at my log and gave me a few pointers but could find no big problems with my diet. I bought a fitbit and determined my biggest problem had to be lack of exercise. I started to force myself to walk on my breaks everyday, with or without my walking partner. But I still longed for a better plan, I could not afford a gym membership but we had a new treadmill at home we had bought a couple of years ago. My first time trying to run on it I could not even run through a 30 second commercial, boy did I have my work cut out for me. Every time I saw a posting about a 5K run I would dream that some day I could participate. Then it happened..... I found out they have a 5K run on Castaway Cay and at Disney World. How did I not know about this sooner. Well I had a new goal, we are going to be on Castaway Cay in November and it can be walked, I knew I could walk about a 15 min/mile. Then I found a program called C25K. I downloaded the app and started to run. When I started to search for a local 5K as a prep I found the Ferguson Twilight 5K run/walk. Once again "walk" popped out at me. Hey I know I can walk a 5K. Then I found a C25K free running group in Ferguson, ok the word "free" got my attention and my competitive nature took over. I joined the group and we are now on Week 7. The only problem is I still cannot run for long without wearing down. That's when I started to look seriously at runDisney trainer Jeff Galloway's run/walk method. The idea is that walk breaks help keep your legs fresh so you remain strong all the way to the end. This week our C25K instructions are to run 2.25 I cannot run that long without a break so I decided to try the run/walk method with a 30:30 interval. I cut my average mile/min time by .84 seconds. I felt strong and was able to finish. My training continues and my first 5K is set for May 17, 2014. Hopefully I will be able to keep it up and complete a few more runs including some Disney 1/2 marathons in 2015. Not to mention I am having fun coming up with ideas for running costumes.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Sorry for the long delay in postings. I finished my classes for the year in May. I have continued to try to free my home of clutter and move to a minimalist sustainable future. On April 28 we were hit by a hail storm that has completely turned my world upside down. I have spent most of May and June dealing with a contractor and subcontractors who need to be baby sat every step of the way. We are still waiting for a resolution to the crooked unsealed roof. Guess we are lucky we have not had rain since the beginning of June.

The leaky ceiling and numerous cracks are gone. Since the room is mostly cleared of furniture we decided now is as good a time as any to put the new floor we bought about 10 years ago down. The rest of the furniture will be moved out (Not sure where to go with it yet) and new floating wood floor to go in.

I had to take a break on the cupcakes as we were getting sick of them. But I have a request for this weekend and will once again be scouring my favorite recipes for something new.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Week 09-12 March 1-31

Back to the 52 Week Organizational Challenge. Oh no, where did the month go! I have to admit I got busy with my two classes and my daughter made the JV high school soccer team, as well as, spring softball practice. Then after visiting a food truck at work and paying $3.00 for a cupcake I thought well I can do that myself thus I completely forgot about organizing. But I got two A's yea me and here are the cupcakes:

Banana Cupcake with Caramel Lime Cupcake with Lime Curd
Meringue Frosting and Caramel and Vanilla Meringue Frosting

Strawberry Cupcake with Chocolate Mint Cupcake with

Strawberry Meringue Frosting. Mint Butter Cream Frosting.

However I did manage to sneak in a complete reorganization of the dreaded Junk Drawer which is supposed to be my tool drawer:

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Week 09 March 1, 2012

29 Day Challenge Final Result

This is it I am done. My room is huge again. I cannot believe how much more open it feels with all the piles gone. And they really are gone or at least will be on March 5 when the donation pick up truck takes away 4 boxes of donations. The trash is gone, recycle items recycled, and things that did not belong there were put in their home not thrown into another room. I cannot believe I accomplished all this while working full time, babysitting part time, and taking 2 college classes. Florica has had a busy soccer tryouts week and it is finals week for school also, therefore, I did not get much done this last 4 days.

The closet is still a little full I did not have time to do a real purge here. However, I can now close the door.

The dressing table and dresser are functional and decluttered.

Finally the stack of boxes going up the wall are now organized and not falling over. I realize I still have a few more things to deal with on the shelf but at least I can get to the items now. I will handle that in one of my self imposed weekly challenges.

1. What space did you decide to organize and why?

My Bedroom because of health reasons and it had become the dumping ground. Every time we had family of friends visit we would clean then dump the rest in the bedroom, close the door, and pretend the house was company ready.

2. What steps did you take to ensure you completed the space within the 29 day timeline?

I planned the space. Designating certain spots I wanted to achieve by the end of the week (the next link up). However, if I did not get everything done I did not beat myself up over it. I would redo my plan if needed and allow myself a regrouping not a failure.

3. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and how did you overcome it?

The hardest part is starting. When I see those huge piles of items and know that they could fall on me as I started to move things I would give up. This time I took little steps and reminded myself I will be able to breathe easier when I am done.

4. What did you do with the “stuff” you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?

5 boxes of donate, 2 kitchen size bags of trash, and putting things in their proper home not just moving them from this room to another room to deal with later. If an item did not have a "home" one was made or it was donated.

5. Tell me one of your proudest moments during this challenge?

After finally calling it finish I decided to dust and vacuum. It was so easy to accomplish this chore that I had not enjoyed for years. And there was nothing on the floor to get caught in the vacuum. Yea ME!

6. Explain any organizing “tools” you used to help you create additional space and to establish some limits and boundaries?

I bought a couple of bins from Dollar Tree and Target to add a little color and make the shelves look a little nicer. For the most part I used cardboard boxes and labeled them. The "closet organizer" next to the closet was a free from the neighbor. The small wooden shelf stacked upon the table in the corner was from another room but it was not being used. The picture frames and cork board for jewelry storage were all from Goodwill taken from an idea I found on the internet. Finally, three 12x 12-3 drawer Sterilite storage containers were perfect to hold make up, crafting papers, and necessities beside my bed (flashlight, batteries, inhaler, a book, change... and there is still room. Most of the other items were already there.

7. What is ONE piece of advice you’d give to someone else to encourage them on their organizational journey?

Decluttering and Organization are an ongoing process. I posted my final pictures but I am far from done. There will always be one more thing to move, put away, give away, or rearrange when it stops working. Failure is not a part of organization, Slow and steady wins the race and a peaceful home.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Week 08 February 24, 2012

29 Day Challenge 3 Week Follow Up

This week has been about the details. I followed the advise of Peter Walsh from Clean Sweep and removed everything from the dressers, shelves, and most of the room. Then in a staging area I took 15 minutes a day going through the boxes of clutter to determine what will return to the room, trash, donate, OR belongs somewhere else. Most of the drawers have free space and one of the small drawers is EMPTY. I placed all hair adornments in one drawer, perfume in another, nail care items in one, then watches and misc items, and finally "valuables" (notes and cards from the kids, unused wallets, )
I also googled some ideas for make up and jewelry storage. As a former Avon Rep and Shop for Free crazy couponer I have a ton of these items. The wooden previously unused "end table" turned into a perfect shelf unit for my makeup. I spent another $25.00 on the Sterilite storage drawers from Walmart but everything else was prepurchased on week one or from around the house.

Organizing the jewelry was fun after finding some great ideas. I stopped at Goodwill and found 2 one inch deep picture frames and a cork board to use. I had the cup hooks, stain, and screen material already making this a functional, cheap $7.00 display. I still need to add the screen for the hanging earrings.
I would like to eventually get the white plastic shelving unit out of the room. It mainly holds crafting supplies, Old photos, and various other projects. When I get to the craft area I will move this shelf there after another round of purging. For now I just purged and categorized the items.
Next I tackled some of the various paper work in the room. I had a number of packets from our Disney trips with duplicate information, receipts (because I wanted to track price increases), and fun stuff for scrap booking some day. Purging and grouping these items helped form an organized system with only what I truly need for future trips.

: Earth Day is Sunday, April 22. Check local listings to see if there are any Earth Day Fairs in your area. We have a big Fair in Forest Park in St. Louis, MO. They have a number of companies collecting old appliances, bikes, paint, computers, costume jewelry... I have a number of items that I just could not throw away but now I can get rid of them and keep them out of the land fill. I also received a call from American Kidney Services they will pick up from my home March 5. All the donate items are ready for pick up!