Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Every day is our day


Take some time today to think of the women in your life who taught you how to be strong...how to be unique and feel the fire in your belly for the things that drive you wild in your quest for knowledge and wisdom. For those who told you it's OK to laugh...that it's OK to cry.  That girls CAN do that...that YOU can do that. That you are valued for who you are and your presence, not for what you look like or what you can give or bring. You are enough.

My dear friends - I salute you. I thank you. I love you. I am making changes in the hopes of making more space for you in my life and heart so that no matter how little or how much time I have on this earth I will have spent part of it making sure you all know how important you are to me. I would not be where I am now without the strength and laughter freely given to me when I was the lowest of the lows and I am unable to fully express my gratitude. I want to inspire you in the ways you have inspired me - just by being the amazing women you are.

To the role models in my life:
My dear mum - I miss you. You quietly showed me how to love and give and work with peace and contentment and to find joy in all the little things. I keep you with me in my heart.

My sister - you are strong and confident and you bring order and strength and class to whatever you put your mind to and I am so glad to call you my friend You inspire me to be a strong leader and mentor.

To the mentors in science - you show me how to be smart and strong in a strange and sterile academic environment and that to build up others in the pursuit of greatness is the best way to learn. As I grow older and slide into that role I hope that I can work to be that kind of mentor to others.

To my friends, new and old- Although I am often lacking in words I hope you know how your very presence in my life gives me strength to live my life my way. Having fought for my life and gotten it back with you cheering me on I want to make sure that you all know just how much that means to me. I don't know if there is any way to even begin to encapsulate it, but I will say this - that if you ever need me I will be there. Know that I  have your back....and knowing you have *my* back and that even if our world crumbles and burns to the ground in a whirling dervish of chaos there is a shelter from it all in our hearts? I am truly blessed.


Thing is -we've all made it through some serious shit in our lives, and I'm sure there's more to come, but when it all boils down to it it is the people in our lives that can really elevate us and I want to thank you for being who you are. Some of you ladies I've never even met in person, but it doesn't diminish how thankful I am for your kind words, encouragement and for sharing your lives with me. Together we are stronger. Sisters and Friends. One day at a time :)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

This is insanity yo

This morning I got up and did the first Insanity workout. Eep. Hard. Oddly burned less calories than my tabata class does...but I had to stop a few times to catch my breath so I know I worked hard. I feel good now. Ready for the day though. Starting to get visible muscles in my shoulders again - getting stronger :)

sweaty high five anyone?
It's a snowy blizzardy windy mess of a day. Not too cold (-12C) but the wind is absolutely ridiculous with a tonne of blowing snow.  Winter's last hurrah I think. J and I spent an hour shoveling the yard out from the snow dump we got yesterday after supper and literally as soon as we stopped it started snowing again....meh. It was so nice for the last few weeks - we got spoiled. If I lived out of town I would not be at work today.

But I am. Because in Saskatchewan that is how we roll. Just a little snow...haha. It's why when we see other cities talk about a massive snowfall and storms and there's just an inch of snow we scoff. We've got about a foot of it in a day and a half and more is coming - but  that is winter in Sask. Gotta hate it and love it at the same time.

Have a good day. Keep warm!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Up and down and side to side

Learning. Changing. It's what we all do.

Each on e of us has things that we need. That drive us crazy. That we crave. This weekend I got to spend time with a dear old friend and see her transition with strength and beauty into a new life on her own. She and her husband were together for 20 years...and they have decided to go their separate ways. Being good friends with both of them, it is hard to see them both so indifferent to each other now but I am so grateful that they are being civil and decent and doing their best for their kids. I went out for a meal with them and the kids to see them all (which I'm not gonna lie was hideously awkward and sad for me) but they were civil. I am still wrapping my head around it, but seeing Cindi happy in her new home and moving on with confidence and style and strength is a wonderful thing. I know this is the best for them - when you are unhappy and you both are not willing to work on things...that's when you need to step back, gather your dignity about you like a shield and move on.

At the end of the weekend J and I had a hideous argument based on previous things and mistakes were made by both of us. It really was awful. We have worked it out, but being in that sort of a place after seeing my friends separated really made me think about what I want and need in my life. I thought about hat I need to do to make things work better, not just for us, but for me. What I need from J for things to work better. What I need from myself. What I deserve. We both are willing to work at things - which makes me happy, because I think that is where things fall apart - when there's no impetus to keep going, to me that is when it gets weird. For now, slowly, changes need to be made for both of us and I hope that it will lead to us both being more solid, contented people, both together and apart. It has really inspired me to work on my self FOR myself and to see what changes treating myself and others with respect will bring to my life.

I have been reading the Warrior Goddess book by Heatherash Amara and I have been finding it to be amazingly helpful. Not hippy dippy. I highly recommend it. I have also been reading Scattered by Gabor Mate and it has been a huge insight into my ADD (which chemo has really caused to be more prevalent) and JJ's (I really think he's got this going as well). Also really well written, practical book by a medical doctor who has ADD...I am learning a lot. I have another book by Pema Chodron waiting that was recommended to me that I am looking forward to as well...I have the Hoopla app on my phone now so I can listen to books directly if they're at the library.  And thanks to my meds I can read them and hear them and actually remember them!! Seeing things is the first step to deciding how to improve them. I want to work on both my mind and my body. A dear old friend has sent me a link to a 8 week online workshop for dealing with stress and anxiety and I am finding it helpful. The thing is -I have a whole life ahead of me - I owe it to myself to really look at the parts of me that do not bring me dignity and respect and work to change them for myself and those I love. And to love me just the way I am. Because really - I am awesome.

Exercise wise I have been consistent. I've tried to eat well, with the odd "happy meal" and some beer and wine here and there and I am getting stronger and leaner. My jeans that were tight and muffin toppy are now loose. I could do 10 push ups on my toes yesterday at my tabata class before I had to go down to my knees. :)

AND!! And I finally have the date for my plastic surgeon appointment - it's the end of April, but at least I have a date. I have a few months to really dial it in and get fit and toned to my liking so that when I see him I will be working with the "me" that is the healthy me and hopefully he can help me make my foob look a little more smooth edged. I found a new bathing suit when I was visiting Cindi this weekend and I am so looking forward to wearing it this summer. (bathing suits are stupidly expensive...what's with that??) The top is a tank style top with a cool lattice back that looks like a darth vader chest panel (I *KNOW*!!! NERD SUIT!!!). The bottom is a pair of black swim shorts that look awesome - they weren't a full suit but I think they look great together and the bottoms will go with a lot of my other bathing suit tops. I have a real trouble finding suit bottoms that don't bulge weirdly or fit wrong and I like to have ones I feel comfortable wandering about in at festivals. I have one suit bottom I like that has a skirt on it but it's a bit big, and having another option like this that I am totally comfy in, looks great and I can dance in will be fabulous. It's a small. A small!!!

The logo I made. Hee Hee. Science.
Anyways - it's my big Research Day that I've been working on tomorrow for the last month so I should go and finish up the final details. We have custom lanyards, 2 speakers, a catered lunch and a poster competition with 33 posters and prizes to give out. I still have a tonne of work to do to get ready for tomorrow. Gotta run. I'll post some pics of the event. I'm pretty proud of it coming together.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Jeepers

Jeepers. It's been a while. Sorry. I've just been doing stuff and work has been crazy, so I haven't really stopped by...I am well. Workouts have been good and regular. I'm feeling stronger. The weekend away with the girls was a tonne of fun and it's been a really good few weeks. I feel like I'm building a circle of friends...it's cool.

One funny memory from the last week just popped into my mind. J and I have been making a conscious effort to try and go out and meet with people and do more so that he gets out of the house more (working from home can be literally crazy making for him it would seem) and we had made a date with a few friends to go for wonton soup tuesday night. Both friends eneded up having a horrible day - one had a surprise exam to study for and the other spent the afternoon cleaning up water in her basement so neither of them really wanted to go out for supper so they cancelled= totally understandable. So I thought it'd be sweet to pick up some soup and leave it at their place as a surprise so they could have soup and still do their things in peace. We picked up take away soup and salad rolls and snuck into their place and left their soup on their table...and when we got home we realized that the restaurant we went to packs up it's wonton broth separately from the soup contents -  soooooo we only had left them containers of broth and had their wontons and stuff. Heheh...oops. They were still happy we thought of them and tossed in some noodles and we got extra wontons, but it was pretty hilarious all around. So yeah - I learned that I need to go to soup fairy school.

This weekend I"m going to Edmonton to visit a very old friend Cindi - she and her husband are separating after 20 years of marriage and she's just moved out and moved into her new place. We're gonna hang out and she can vent and we can go out and eat and drink and let some friendship love heal each other's hearts for a bit. I've been waiting to get out there for over a month now and I can't wait. J is driving out with me and will be hanging out with some people over the weekend and lining up some work for the summer. Can't really afford to go, but Cindi has always been there for me...she came to see me to make christmas cookies while I was home on chemo and has always been a good friend. I miss her and I really like being able to keep in touch with her now with things like Snapchat.Technology can be pretty cool sometimes.

Anyways - I am in the midst of planning a Research Day for my 2 laboratories on March 3 and building a website so I've got a tonne of work to do here at work. We ordered custom nerdy lanyards! I only have 30 posters to proof and print, catering to organize, books and nametags to print and judges to find. Eep.I should go.
Have a good weekend!!!

Friday, February 10, 2017

That time when I howled at the moon

Last night I didn't sleep well at all and got to sleep late. I tried to get up to workout but the little bit of extra sleep was needed. I did walk to work this morning though, so there is that. It was only (ha) -15 so I bundled up to get a little activity in. I I can sneak in some isometric work at lunch in my office I'll do some strength stuff, but I'm not gonna get worked up about it. I've been so spot on all month it seems weird to cheat out...but that is life. Things happen. What matters is your life and how you keep going :) My barometer pants are fitting better again so I'm getting back in shape... I feel better about that.

This weekend I'm going away with a crew of girls that I've been getting to know at one of their cabins for a girls weekend. There will be a full moon and fires and cards and snow hikes and possibly some full moon howling...I really hope it is a fun time. I'm a bit nervous, since I'm mostly comfy with them, but still not sure where I sort of fit in...but I am  quite happy to be invited. I've been slowly getting to get to know this crew for a while. They're all amazing people and I feel happy to have been invited. Oh the mind games of youth huh? How they linger. I still have to remind myself that yes people do like me and no they aren't just doing this so they can be mean later or feel pity for me...truth is I still find most girls genuinely confusing -but these women are my kinda women...so I feel different about them. And, it turns out, that yes, it's quite likely that they really do like me as well. I have a shortage of girlfriends in my life and surrounding myself with a bunch of strong creative women who really build each other up is a really good thing at this point in my life. It's gonna be a full moon with a partial lunar eclipse and some comets. And snow. I hope we'll get on some late night winter hikes. The weather should be around -10 or so, which is nice for outdoor stuff. So yeah...It should be a fun time.



We're all in charge of 1 meal and mine was (at a request) my baked french toast. Easy peasy. I hope to try and be healthy this weekend and not throw all my hard work out the window - we'll see. I'm just looking forward to a fun weekend of just doing what I wish with no stress and deepening some friendships. I feel a bit bad as J is quite jealous. He says guys don't do this sort of thing enough...and perhaps that's true. He is better friends with a lot of the women in this group and thinks this would be a perfect weekend and would hide in my bag to come along if he could. A few of the guys who are partners of the women going up have invited him over for a beer and to hang out but I don't know if he'll go...he's a funny duck that way - he's like I am with guys - he gets along better with women, so he's never sure how to hang out with "just guys".  Plus, he sometimes decides that he doesn't want that and just needs to be alone. I get that. I made up some hummus and guacamole for him so he won't live on bagels and cereal while I'm away so he and the cats will be fine.

Hope you all have a great weekend. I'm off to do some science and then run away to the woods and howl at the moon with some witch folk :)

Thursday, February 9, 2017

OF Day 8 and 9 -

after class
Last night's tabata class was nuts. The instructor was sick so her husband did the class...he did an Insanity based tabata class. 8 rounds. Holy crap - I burned almost 500 calories and got my heart way up for almost 45 minutes...much more than the usual 20 or 25 I do in the mornings. I felt amazing afterward. The insanity moves are a lot easier to take when they're only for 20 seconds. The 45 second intervals on my workout this morning seemed like they were FOREVER in comparison.







Last night for supper we tried a new recipe - it was on the Ten Thousand Villages international calendar we picked up for the kitchen.Each month has a recipe from around the world...and this was so good.  It was fresh and filling and delicious - we had them with homemade burgers (no bun for me) and it was a great reward for a great workout.

Pineapple Avocado Salad (African recipe)

-2 avocados, cut up small
-4 slices pineapple diced up small (about 1 cup canned pineapple pieces)
-2 generous T of cottage cheese
-Handful of cashews diced up
-dressing:1-2T lime juice, ~1/2 T olive oil and 1/4 t paprika, with salt and pepper to taste. Mix up and pour on and stir it all together well. Let it sit in the fridge for a bit to mix flavours (I made mine before class to eat after). It keeps the avocados from browning and adds a fresh taste.
To serve tear up a few leaves of romaine and place the salad on top. Grate a bit of fresh pepper on it and dig in.

Nom. Totally making this regularly. No pictures because I was too damn hungry after class to remember to take one and too rushed beforehand getting between work and class. Tabata is at 6 right after work for an hour so I don't eat until almost 730 on wednesdays...

Gotta run. Time to go be sciencey. Just wanted to log....

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

OF 7

This morning I did the workout 5 of the series. Solid workout. I could keep the vest on the whole time for this one and I could do all of the moves so I felt pretty badass by the end of it...I forgot to turn on my watch again until over half way through, so I don't have an accurate log of things.

Today at work I got to attend a workshop with a few exercises to help reduce stress. It was very relaxing and I have a few new ideas about how to spend some time when I'm happy to build associations in my mind for when I am stressed out so that I have some happy places to go to when I really need them.

It's another stupid cold day today. -41 with the wind and -30 without. Brutal. I just keep reminding myself that the cold kills the big bugs and spiders...yeah that's it. With the right gear (which I have) you can deal with the cold...but I don't have to like it. I try not to whine about it (much) since it happens every year, and we're due for another cold snap like this before the spring wanders in, but dayum - let's just say that when your eyeballs start to freeze so you want to dig out your snowboard goggles just to walk to the bus it makes you question your life choices :P