Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lost or Not

I recently joined my local SAR (Search and Rescue) team and have been excitedly signing up for different types of training offered. Last weekend was navigation training.

I finally learned how to properly use a compass and to understand what it was telling me. I learned how to plot a course using a map and compass. More importantly I learned how to properly read a map, a topographical map at that. Just because it is only 4 miles as the crow flies doesn't mean that it's 4 miles as Jenn walks, this is where the topographical map comes in handy.

I lucked out and had a fabulous seatmate for the course. Thankfully we both shared a similar sense of humor and a mutual annoyance with the instructors use of the word "awesome" and the suffix "-ish" every other word. We coined a new word by the end of class ... "awesomeish"!

I have discovered that I love navigation. Maybe I just love learning... whichever, I want to take further orienteering courses. Speaking of orienteering, do you know how hard it is to find books on orienteering? I have checked several bookstores, sporting goods stores, dept stores and backcountry supply stores to no avail. I did, however, find a map and compass book which has good basic information. As my seatmate said, it is almost as though all navigation has become GPS oriented and to find any information on map and compass you'll have to look in the history section haha.

A co-worker gave me a GPS unit when he found out I'd joined SAR, which was very kind of him. Tonight I decided to have a play with it. I googled Geocaching in my area and took some co-ordinates. I plugged them into the GPS and headed out. I found the spot the cache should have been at, but since it was night and the area was under snow I didn't find the actual cache. I did however find that this could possibly become and addiction for me.... Yes, I think I like Geocaching!

Who knew navigation could be so much fun!!

Go on, tell me to get lost, I just may take you up on that ;)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Girls First Love

My daughter messaged me at work today to say "Motherrrrrrrrrr you have flowers". Of course for the rest of my shift I was wondering who in the heck had sent me flowers.

I anxiously raced home to see. I was excited, it's not often that I get flowers, and last time I checked there was no one "in" my life persay that would send me flowers for the big V-Day.

I carefully unwrapped the bouquet.

I gingerly opened the card.

A huge smile spread across my face as I read the senders name....

Every little girls first love..... DAD!!!

My Dad, bless his soul, wasn't sure whether or not I had someone special in my life to send me flowers today, so he did.

There is no man that will ever be as special to me as my Dad.

His act of love made my day today, I am still smiling.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Love/Hate and Burn, Baby, Burn!!

There are many things I could claim to have a love/hate relationship with, but I think my workout is the biggest.

I have recently been doing Billy Blanks' Boot Camp missions (tae bo with resistance bands). Mission 1 was the hook, I mean it was a workout, but I didn't hate it. In fact, I embraced it.

Soon, it was time to begin Mission 2. I watched it through first so I'd know what to expect, it didn't seem too bad. I can do this!! I got ready, sneakers on, water at the ready, hair in pony... Let's go!!

First part, yep I'm sweating, but feeling good!! Let's work those triceps, c'mon, gimme one more set...

One more?!? Are you out of your freaken mind??? My arms feel like rubber, in fact I am pretty sure they are going to fall right off my body and run away, they hate me.

I grunt, groan and moan my way through the tricep, shoulder and deltoid work. MY GOOD GOD ...... it BURRRRRNNNNSSSSS!!! Ok, so Billy is telling me to make it burn, no problem there, any more burning and I'm sure to spontaneously combust.

Ohhhh thank God, we are moving to the lower body.

WHHHAAATTTT, he wants me to put BOTH bands on one foot??? Ok, this won't be so bad.
OH... more burn, great. Well make it burn, make it burn. That's right, you know what Billy, you can take your burn, go EFF yourself with your burn!!!!

Run in one spot, ok I am down with that. Knees higher, are you kidding me? Where should I put them?? Stuff them in my ears?? How freaken high am I supposed to get them? Faster, push harder ....... arrrgggghhhhh

Still, I perservere, I WILL complete this. I glare at the tv, I am HATING on BB HARD. Who does he think he is... make it burn indeed.I yell at him as I burn, I curse him and his workout. There are things I'd like to make burn right now, and let me assure you NONE of those things reside on my body.

I pant and huff and puff my way through. I can't believe my he... omg ... YESSSSSS ... Remove your bands. Stretch out the burn, stretch out the pain. Good workout.

I feel good, I feel like I've done something. I feel as though I am taking ownership over my body. Soon, when someone asks me "What's shaking?" I won't be so quick to answer, "Cellulite and flubber!".

I LOVE Billy Blanks!!!!!

Bring on Mission 3 .....

Friday, February 8, 2008

Parental Pride and a Pat on the Back

As a parent I am always wondering...have the lessons that I have attempted to impart to my children stuck? I think all parents wonder this same thing. We worry, will they make the right choices when the time comes, will they remember our warnings and "talks".

Today I was given proof that the lessons have stuck and my daughter will make good choices.

We were talking about her friends, as one had just slept over and had indicated a desire to spend more time here. This is a friend she has lost touch with somewhat as they are in different schools this year; I mentioned that I really liked this girl as well as the current "best friend".

Kelsie informed me that her "best friend" (I shall call her S) has been making some bad choices as of late. S has been hanging out with a girl of questionable moral character, one whom I have forbade Kelsie to hang out with. This girl is welcome to come to my home where I can supervise, but she is not to hang out with her elsewhere... so far this girl has never graced my doorstep. S has been going to a boys house while his parents are not home and experimenting with alcohol...not a good equation because the results are sure to be negative. She has a tremendous crush on this boy, this week anyway. She is desperate for a boyfriend and I'm very concerned as to what lengths she will go to have one.

Apparently S has told her parents that she will be sleeping over at F's (the girl of questionable moral fiber) house this evening, when they are going to be sleeping over at the boys house. I should mentions these are FOURTEEN year old kids. WHERE THE HELL ARE THE PARENTS of the boy ????? When kids want to spend the night at my house I make sure I've spoken to the parents to ensure they know where their children are.

My daughter told S that if she was going to be drinking, lying to her parents and making bad choices she no longer wanted to hang out with her. S told Kelsie fine, seemingly uncaring. When Kelsie asked her whether or not she cared that she was losing her best friend S gave a non-committal whatever as an answer.

I feel bad for Kelsie, she is hurt by her friends actions and nonchalant attitude toward her stance. At the same time I am indescribably proud of my daughter. I told her that I am so very proud that she is making good choices, even when it is hard and even when it is "costing" her a friend. She recognizes that S is not a true friend if she is willing to "whatever" away Kelsie's concerns.

As a parent I feel validated, my daughter is doing everything I had hoped she would and more. She is showing remarkable maturity. She is amazing.

I don't by any means think that my child is 100% innocent in all things, or that she is a goody-goody; but by todays standards she runs pretty damn close.

Kelsie I am so very proud of you!! Don't ever stop being true to yourself !

Roaring fires, hot chocolate ........ Damn it's cold!!!

Yesterday the weather was rather nice for a winter day. Today I woke up to blustery winds, snow swirling and bone chilling cold. GRrrrrrr. I am soooo tired of winter.

Perhaps I wouldn't be so tired of it if I had someone to cuddle with. Days like today are meant for cuddling in front of a roaring fire, with a cup of liberally laced hot chocolate. Maybe a big bowl of popcorn too and a movie on the tv.

For people like me, who have no one to cuddle, it's just another DAMN COLD DAY!!!!

If I didn't have to go out in this crappy weather it might not be so bad, however I have promised my daughters haircuts today; and since I am in class for the weekend, we have to go today.

If you think you see the Michelin Man's sister out there today, have no fear, it's just me... trying to stay warm.

Monday, February 4, 2008

This is one fruit best left to the dragons...

Every once in a while I decide that I'm bored with the same old foods and fruit. This is when I shop around to find things I don't normally eat, or haven't tried before. This week it was "try a different fruit" week.

I bought a pomelo, a papaya, a starfruit and a dragon fruit. The dragon fruit looked sooooo pretty. Fushia colored skin drew my eye, the pretty petal like folds that occurred around it on the skin made me think of a delicate rose. I excitedly brought my new fruit home.

Of course, never having had this type of fruit before I did a little googling to find out how to eat it. How simple, I thought, you just cut it and eat the innards with a spoon. The picture I saw on the internet had a gorgeous deep red colored flesh in the center, dabbled with tiny black seeds. It looked yummy!!

The next morning I thought ooooohhhh I'm going to take some of my new fruit for a snack at work. I carefully cut the dragon fruit in half, almost hating to ruin the pretty exterior of it. I was somewhat surprised when I noticed that the flesh inside was white with black seeds. It looked like petroleum jelly full of tiny fruit flies..... how appetizing. Meh, whatever, I'd try it anyway. Cannot say you don't like something if you don't try it first.

Along comes the time that I'm feeling the need for a snack. Out comes the dragon fruit and spoon. I am again a little miffed that the inside of my dragon fruit is not the pretty red color I had seen online, but again, I'm brave, I'll try it. I swirl the tip of the spoon in the center, creating an almost perfect circle. I take this soft flesh into my mouth. I allow my tongue to feel the mushy texture, then I chew, feeling the tiny seeds pop and crunch between my teeth; but wait... where's the flavor?? There doesn't seem to be a taste of any type. How bizarre. I try more bites, still no flavor. Mushy bland texture, crunching and popping as I chew. How odd.

This must be what black and white tastes like. Nothing. It's there, but not really.

Yes, this prettily packaged fruit will be one that I pass by on my next foray into the fruit aisle.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Reality Check

Every morning I grab my coffee and sit down at the computer and read several online newspapers. One of which is the paper from home. I like to keep up on what's happening there; maybe I'm just nosey.... who knows!

Morbidly, I read the obits daily. I scan the names to see if I know anyone who's made their final journey. This morning I saw the name I recognized...a "boy" (I use the term boy because I never knew him as the man he became) I used to party with, hang out with on weekends (for as long as I dated his friend anyway). I remember him as a quiet sort, yet fun loving. Most of all I am remembering a certain rodeo dance where he and I shared the longest kiss surrounded by the cowboy hats of our peers held in a ring around our heads. I didn't know him any more than could be allowed given the circumstances surrounding our interactions; ok, the group of us were usually drunk on weekends.

He was 41, a mere two years older than I... wow.

If this doesn't bring your mortality to the forefront I don't know what will. I mean, seriously, I may be 39, but I still feel young and I have a lot of living left to do. How long before my clock of life reaches it's end? What a daunting thought. Will I have left things undone, or will I go with no regrets? No regrets... what a funny concept,

I think we all have that goal but as I've gotten older I've realized that it is a silly, almost impossible notion. Life is full of lessons designed to teach us and make us think/realize... there are always going to be things we "wish" we could have done differently (regret). So perhaps just striving to live the best life we can is the best course of action.

It seems as though everytime I hear of someone who has lived a life far too short, I think I should count my blessings. I should be more appreciative; less wanting Enjoy more; rush less. Talk less; listen more. Judge less; understand more. Stress less; relax more.

Life is short, no matter how long you are given. Make the most of your allotted time.