Saturday, February 28, 2009
I am pretty sure that could have been taken outside my house....it was THAT cold. Again. Just when my poor hands were recovering, they are splitting again.
It's mostly my right hand, and what is sad is that I can be doing nothing with my hands, look down, and it's bleeding. I could literally soak my hands in lotion all day and it does no good. I don't even go outside and my hands still do this. Ah well. It's a pain, but I suppose it could be worse.
I've been kind of lax in the exercise department. So this upcoming week will see me taking more of a charge in this. At the very least I will be doing the boot camp videos daily. My goal is to do a 2-mile WATP dvd each morning. That's 5 days of 30 minutes each day. My other goal is to log log log what I eat. Tomorrow I will be making a heart collage to hang in a few prominent places in my room. Like the first place I look when the alarm goes off. Over the mirror on my dresser. On the wall above where my personal media player sits when I'm working out in there. Just to remind me. :-)
I was so happy to get that contract for the grass-roots advocacy company. Then, on Day 3 on the phone, my voice quit working. I think my mind has finally rebelled. I could pick up the phone and talk to friends. I could pick up the phone to schedule eye exams. I could not pick up the phone to make cold calls to talk to people about this project. So that's it. I was done.
I am transcribing voicemails, which is actually quite fun. I am still doing medical transcription, but am having concerns about getting paid by that company. So I will also be looking for a new contract, one that is full-time and pays a decent wage. (I'm essentially working for free anyway, at their rates.) And I am now a ChaCha Generalist. What that means is when someone sends a text or voice question to ChaCha, I am one of the people who finds the answer and sends it back to their phone. Not a lot of money coming in, but better than NO money coming in!! And the best part? No talking to people on the phone.
I've still got 101 projects going on. Welll....that might be a slight exaggeration. :-) I started a pair of knifty knitter slouchy legwarmers. My jeans are a smidgen short and so when I sit down they creep up my legs. Pretty soon, my ankles and lower legs are freezing in the office, even with the space heater running. So these will help with that a lot. I have 3 b-day gifts "on hook." Two of which will officially be late on the 3rd. I don't think they'll get to Norway on time!! (Sorry!!) Then I have my cabled wrap and a sweater, plus yarn for another sweater for me. Oops...and another one! The one sweater on hook is one I've had "in progress" for a few years, but just never seem to get back to. One of the ones that are waiting to be started is simply called "crimson pullover" and is to wear on National Wear Red Day. Of course, I won't be able to wear it until next year, since I bought the yarn on the 6th, I believe? The other yarn is a boucle for the Floral Fantasy Pullover from Lion Brand. That sweater is not one you wear alone! lol But it is very pretty. The yarn I selected is a variegated brown/black mix that I can wear with a lot of tops. So I should be busy, to say the least!! I also want to knit a washcloth for my nephews before I head to the Hills, but I'm not sure I will get it started, let alone done. :-( We'll see.
My son has started to work out! I'm so proud of him. He is doing the Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga dvd 3 times a week. Not to lose weight, but to build muscle. He's doing far better than I could!! That workout is HARD. I bought another WATP dvd set, with the walk belt, making a deal with him that his off days from the yoga he needs to do at least a 1-mile walk. He was fine, until he watched this video! LOL I'll start him off easy with the easy 1-mile walk.
Well, if I want those slouchy legwarmers to get done, I better get on it!!
Sunday, February 22, 2009
I cannot believe I'm a team leader...I'm so not a leader! lol BUT to see my page, please go to:
http://heartwalk.kintera.org/siouxfallssd/heatherstoops (blogger isn't letting me link, sorry!)
To see the Sparkin' South Dakota team page, please go to
I'll be walking in memory of my mother, of course. If you're in the area the day of the walk, look for a group of people in I (heart) Sparkpeople t-shirts...that's us!!
Monday, February 16, 2009
Heart Health.....I'm just going to put my SparkPeople signature here:
From www.GoRedForWomen.com: Cardiovascular disease is public enemy No. 1, claiming the lives of more women than the next five causes of death combined — almost twice as many as all forms of cancer. ... Educate yourself and your loved ones about heart disease and stroke. Then do something about it.
I have decided this year to take part in the Sioux Falls Heart Walk in August, along with friends from SparkPeople. As most of you know, my mother passed away from a heart attack in 2006 with no signs or symptoms that we were aware of. Now, of course, I am more aware of them and I think it's very very important to get the word out. The symptoms in women are different than in men. Please visit www.GoRedForWomen.com and educate yourself. I will always wonder what could have been, as she actually had her heart attack a week before she passed away. If I can prevent that in one family, I will be happy. If I can help prevent that in more, I will be thrilled.
The Sioux Falls Heart Walk is a fundraising event. I've never been good at that, but I'm going to break out of my shell a bit for this important cause.
(And yes, she was also a breast cancer survivor, just as importantly. Next year I am hoping to participate in the 3-Day Walk in the Twin Cities!!)
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Yup...it's that time of week again! I admit, I am hooked on this show. I do agree it is reasonably unrealistic. "Normal" people do not have 8 hours a day to work out. But I do like that they teach people how to eat and how to prepare foods and how to, in general, take care of themselves first. Of course, I also cry at each episode, but don't tell!! LOL
Some day I would love to meet Bob & Jillian. Some day.
One contestant in particular kind of caught my ears. He had been one to go home until his partner hopefully brings him back in 30 days. Sione is his name, and his cousin is Filipe. They are Tongan? warriors? I hope I'm getting that right! When asked how he pulled off near-Ranch weight loss at home, he replied "I was watching TV for 3 hours a night." Pretty simple, eh?
One thing I was glad to see was that Mikey was able to show how eating right for your current weight makes a difference. He'd been losing what is considered "minimal" amounts on the Ranch. Bob sat him down and said, "Look. You NEED to eat. You need to EAT. YOU NEED TO EAT." Not exactly, but close. And it's true. Your body needs fuel, and if it doesn't get enough then it will hang on to every bit it possibly can.
Lessons learned. Hopefully retained this time. LOL
I am very happy to announce that I got my contract!! I will be working for a grass-roots advocacy company raising awareness of issues and contacting elected officials on their behalf. It will be part phone calls and part letter-writing. I train for my project on the 18th and am really looking forward to it. This is part- to full-time work, and I will fill in my MT work around it as well as my voicemail transcription. What is really nice is that the pay is better than what I was making outside the home!! It is contract work, so I need to learn to budget for taxes..gleeps!! Math and budgeting has never been my forte. LOL
Let's see...crochet projects. I am working on gifts right now, so I can't divulge too much. One project I was having problems finding what I wanted for a pattern and so I am creating my own! Kind of adapting a few patterns into one. I have yarn for 2 sweaters picked out for me, but they will, of course, be put aside while I work on gifts.
I am considering making some beaded items to sell on Etsy, which is an online craft store, basically. You know, because I don't have enough to do in my time!! LOL We'll see. I don't really want to overwhelm myself, but I want to do things I enjoy. Time will tell.
Goals: Water. Must drink my water. Must drink my water. Must must must. Exercise. Move it to lose it. Move it to lose it. I love that song. hehe
Monday, February 09, 2009
So, I'm looking at that picture and thinking, "Gosh, what a difference." Well, that picture doesn't really show it. But I was looking at pictures after having lost 50 pounds and I really looked good. Even though that is only about 1/3 of what I need to lose, I still really looked good. So, what happened?
Loss of focus.
Inherent laziness in the kitchen.
Loss of time.
I really do think that those 3 things are intertwined. They happened at the same time, essentially. I bought a house that the bank said I could afford. I didn't listen to my own gut feeling, I let my desire to own a home overcome my knowledge of what I was able to afford. Then, my job cut back their hours. So I picked up 2 more to help out. Oh, yes, and started a medical transcription training program. Now, I do enjoy cooking to an extent. I just hate to clean up afterwards! LOL And, working 3 jobs really sapped my time. I was also a single parent trying to keep that on track as well.
So what is my excuse now? My husband cooks. Granted, not the healthiest of food all the time, but he would if I asked him to. My son is on dish duty. I am working part-time. I am done with my medical transcription course. I know how to put a menu together. I know that I need to "move it to lose it" as sang on my favorite album (Skinny Songs).
I need to regain my focus. In doing so, I can get my work done sooner in the day allowing time to do the fun things. I get up at 530 AM, for the love of Pete. My son is off to the bus at 630. I can go straight to the treadmill or, more recently, WATP dvds, plus a SparkPeople bootcamp workout. Then I can work for a bit, eat a healthy lunch, and work a bit more. Weekends or day off I can put together a menu. It's not that difficult.
Of course, as I am typing this, on my laptop which is on my lap...my Fuzzy-kitty is sprawled across my stomach covering both arms. If I think about moving, I get a dirty look! LOL Makes it really easy to not move.....
But not moving is not in my best interests. Eating healthy IS. And I look at what is available for food purchasing. There is Wal-Mart. In my opinion, their produce could use a little help. We have Coborns which is good, but expensive. And Fair City Foods.
But none of them really have as much of a selection as I would prefer. For example, I love to make smoothies with frozen mango. I cannot find it here. I guess, really, I'm just dissatisfied and wondering if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence....100 miles away. I would like to see what the Hy-Vee stores have to offer. So perhaps one day I will drive up there and see. What I like is their website. They have their weekly flier online along with a menu based around their specials! I don't see Wal-Mart doing that. 30 meals for $3 each...wow. Budget-friendly meals, too.
Maybe I'm spoiled...but to me that is exactly what I need. One place to go for everything nutrition. And not be distracted by clothes, sporting equipment, etc. etc.
But this week...my goal is to regain my focus. If anyone knows where it went, would you mind sending it back this way?? LOL
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
The day started off well. I got up, got the kid on the school bus. Did my 1-mile Express Walk Away the Pounds plus an 8-minute Boot Camp upper body workout. What a great way to feel confident during the interview!! If I keep this image out of my mind....
Granted, it was in my room...but still. I think I will ban my kitty from being in my room when I am exercising!! AND on a hardwood floor, my shoes sound cloppy!!
But I love the way I feel when I am done working out. I feel confident and on top of the world. And, I forgot to mention this on an earlier post: when I exercise daily, my right ankle doesn't give me grief. Yay!
The interview went well. I should know sometime later this week or early next week. And, just like my previous employer, they seem like really, really nice people. So I can hope.
In the interim, I am trying to get back on track with my MT work. I was doing well this afternoon, until my son called. At 3:20. Asking if he could stay after school to work on schoolwork and one of his classmates would drive him home. (According to my spouse who took the call, anyway.) At 4, I see the bus go by. Go by. At 4:15 I see the 2nd bus for this route go by. At 445, I see an SUV pull into my driveway and drop my son off. He claims to have missed the bus when calling us. However, for the past 11 years he's been in school (back to kindergarten):
1. You will never be able to stay after school on the same day. I need 24-hours notice to make arrangements to avoid numerous trips to town.
2. You have not been allowed (since starting high school) to ever ride with a classmate. EVER.
3. NEVER risk missing the bus. See #1.
So he's in trouble. Again. As usual.
Biggest Loser tonight...JOELLE....so dense. Some people just never learn. I feel so bad for Carla, but wow does she look wonderful!!! Actually, so did Joelle. So some good came of it, I suppose.
Tomorrow spousal unit goes to work (he had Mon-Tues off this week). Having him around the house wreaks havoc with my schedule. To give him credit, he did some of the dishes. Um...this afternoon, after I went and hid in the office to work. And not all of them, as promised. Ah well. Life goes on.
Positives for the day:
I did my workout!!
I felt good about my interview!
I started a crochet project for my sister in law that I can't talk more about for fear of ruining the surprise!
And I am pumped and ready to work out tomorrow!!
Monday, February 02, 2009
No no no...that's not right....
THAT'S more like it!!
It started off as a good day. I didn't exercise but I at least managed to stay awake. I went to bed at 1030 last night, but didn't get to sleep until after midnight. Tomorrow I will get up, have my yogurt, and when my son gets on the bus, back to the bedroom to work out.
I was fairly lazy this morning, chatting with friends online...hehehe. At 1, after lunch, I went into my home office to prepare paperwork for a contract, then do some MT work. First, though, I needed to install my all-in-one printer on the desktop so I could scan the papers and email them rather than sending them via fax. At 330...yes, 330...I finally got it installed and the forms printed. THEN I couldn't get it to scan! I finally got that done and the papers emailed at around 5.
On to the MT. I log in, download a file. Sweet! It's an actual transcription file, which pays twice as much as an editing file (editing a file typed by voice recognition). Then the program tells me I'm using hardware that is installed outside of my range? What?! I can hear sound...but it won't play the file. By this time I am furious. I log out (which means I lose that file, it gets passed on to another MT) and restart the computer. And it works fine. So I did 2 files, and by now it is 6pm. Time for local news.
And there sits my spousal unit. He'd been playing on his laptop all. day. long. He had mentioned that he would work on the pantry today. (His mother, God bless her! sent home 5 boxes of groceries!!) It was a pit...too many plastic containers, none put away properly...slowcookers poised to fall...oy. So at 615 I asked if he had plans for supper (because normal people at at 5 or at 6...right?). No response. None. Not even a glance. So when the news is done I made broccoli & cheese rice a roni and when it's done add some canned chicken (which I really like). As it is in the final simmering, I start on the pantry closet. And I am *not* quiet about it. He walks in and asks, "Whatcha cookin' honey?" in this simpery-sweet voice. I didn't bother to answer. Mature, I know, but dang it...
My son and I cleaned up the living room. My son brought EVERYTHING downstairs from his room and we sorted through it...which took ALL WEEKEND. I've done 4 loads of dishes since Saturday. I vacuum. I sweep. I cleaned the superworms' critter-keeper. I look for a job. I try to do more MT work to get more experience. I do all the laundry (although my son is doing that now as he owes me a lot of money). Heaven forbid I get help from my spouse without getting torqued off first.
Well...not that it can be seen...there was about a 45-minute gap in there. I spoke to my brother about my computer and figured out my best option. I had been operating under the assumption that I had a gig of RAM on that poor thing. This is a 2003 Dell. It's been doing the job wonderfully for me. It has a 2.5ghz processor, 80 gig hdd (which is not even 1/2 full) so I could not understand why it was bogging down all the time. Turns out...I have only 256 mg of RAM!!! And my programs require 512 or more!! Poor thing. Soo...in a month or so I will buy some RAM and install it. That will solve that problem. Yippee!!
Tomorrow I have an interview at Wells Fargo, plus I need to drop off an application at Lewis Drug (pharmacy tech/cashier). Then home again to work. Spouse has indicated he will finish the dishes tomorrow morning and help me with the pantry tomorrow afternoon. We will see....
Sunday, February 01, 2009
I found this picture under the google search "realization." I've had some "realizations" lately that I really want to reinforce in myself. The picture is probably irrelevant, but I like it!
1. I've been sleeping longer lately without feeling rested. I've also been having troubles falling asleep again.
2. I've gained back 3 pounds.
3. I'm more easily irritated again.
4. I'm feeling overwhelmed again.
5. The couch has become infinitely appealing again.
In January, after 3 days of daily exercise (the SparkPeople boot camp and either treadmill or Walk Away The Pounds dvds) I was having no problems falling asleep. I woke up feeling rested. After 2 weeks, I had lost 5 pounds. I was more patient and tolerant. I felt like I could do whatever I set my mind to. And I hated sitting on the couch except to crochet.
At the end of 2 weeks, I hit a funk. I don't remember what it was that set it off. Well, I might. See, I was looking forward to a 4-day weekend over Martin Luther King Day, because it was a floating holiday and then Tuesday was my day off. What they didn't bother to tell us was that we had to have the day off pre-approved. I was not the only one who was unaware of this. In fact, at the beginning of January, I had discussed working that day and using the floating holiday for that Saturday so I could go to Sioux Falls for Christmas with the in-laws. (That request was denied as there were no vacation spots available.) I then assumed I did not work on Martin Luther King Day. Silly, I know.
So I got a call that day asking what happened, and somewhat being "taken to task" for not showing up. I was upset and frustrated and let it get to me. The conversation was a bit confusing, but it got straightened out. But I was still offended. And I ended up quitting my job. The thing is, I didn't need to, except that I was burning out big time. But I had no savings to fall back on and bills coming up. And they were so nice about it all. That was the main problem with quitting. I was burning out on the job, but I LOVED my coworkers and the company was great.
So, as I search for another job and try to get this MT thing to come through and do other little odd jobs here and there...I've given in to a depressive funk. And last night, as I was trying to fall asleep...it hit me. I FEEL BETTER when I am exercising daily. I sleep better. I feel rested after sleeping. I fall asleep faster. I feel like I can do anything. I am more tolerant about things in the house. (Namely, people and actions/non-actions.) I also make healthier choices. I drink less soda and more water.
What does this mean? When they say "exercise is good for you" they really mean it! And so I need to get back on track with exercising every morning. I do have the mental issue of not being able to do so in front of my husband. Long story, boring story, so we'll just leave it at that. It's just a mental thing with me. But I do have a bedroom large enough to do these workouts in. So today, after my son is done with his room, I will go work on that one. I will use my laptop as a DVD player and I will be good to go. Boot Camp videos and WATP videos. And push myself. None of this lax stuff that does not cause sweating. I will sweat. I will push myself.
I will dress to work every day. No more sitting in my jammies until 10am or so. Of course, doing the exercise 1st thing and then showering will help with that. I will log my foods daily and ensure I am getting enough nutrients and water. I will resume taking a daily multivitamin. I will log in to my MT accounts and work what is available. While I am waiting for reports to come in, I will do voicemail transcripts as they come in. As I am waiting on those, I will review my coursework and prepare to take more pre-employment tests.
But I will also still leave time to crochet or read or whatever. I have so many crochet projects lined up it's unreal. I will leave downtime. And if it means going to the guest room to get away from the drama in the household, so be it.
If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy! Time for mama to do things that make her happy and healthy!!