I know there are tons of great programs out there to motivate and encourage folks to get out and get moving every day. Ten thousand steps a day programs, Couch-to-5K, and lots of other great ideas. I'm feeling called to something simpler for me right now.
Every fall I get motivated and re-energized by the weather and start going for walks and hikes and tell the boys, "I want to do this in all kinds of weather. Don't let me stop when it gets cold." Sometimes I do a different version in the spring, just insert "when it gets hot." And then there's when it rains, or when there might be a breeze, or when, or when. And then the first day I didn't sleep just right or things got busy or whatever and I don't walk that day and it snowballs from there. I don't want this year to be like that.
Last summer our neighborhood community banded together and advocated and volunteered and installed a lovely 3/4 mile hike and bike trail. It goes through woods and past two retaining ponds. There are lots of birds in the morning, and it goes in and out of the woods enough that you can even feel changes in temperature depending on where you are on the trail. It's really is lovely. And never crowded. And less than 1/2 a block from my house. So it really couldn't be more pleasant or convenient.
So I've decided I'm going to once again try to walk a minimum of one loop around every day. Right now, without working too hard I can do this in 13-15 minutes. One would think that every day I could find at least 15 minutes. I prefer to walk first thing early in the morning. Some mornings when we have to be somewhere, one loop will be all I can manage time wise. But I should always be able to pull that off.
And that can be my baseline minimum for exercise every day. I've got some other things I've got to work on too, like this crazy bike ride we're going to do, but this will be the foundation of what I hope to be improved fitness, energy and mood. To keep me accountable, and give me a little break every walk, I'm going to take and post a picture from my walk each day. Just a little something to keep me motivated and honest. Here's my first shot from this morning:
We attended the Camacho Film Festival, a yearly event. Words defy the films. There's nothing quite like seeing your then 7-year-old dangled from the ceiling in a harness trying to grasp a golden toilet paper roll on a pedestal in a Charlie Chaplin-style silent movie. You'd really have to see the film to understand. And seeing all the films would either make you rush out to get your kids involved with the Camacho Activity Center or run the other way. It's quirky and unique, and our boys home away from home.
The same evening my burgeoning teenager attended a dance sponsored by a homeschool group where he takes classes. There are no photos of that. Probably for the best. I'm assured MY CHILD did not dance.
Next up was a quick ride on the Veloway with same said teenager. He didn't lap me (but he could have.) That evening both boys got to see a special showing of The Three Musketeers sponsored by the Austin Fencers Club. Having seen this cinematic marvel recently at home, Lyman and I opted to take advantage of the drop off option and escape to Barnes and Noble for a bit. I felt geeky that this is our idea of a great date until I asked a couple of other folks, and they agreed they often do the same thing. At least we're in good company.
Finished out the weekend with more biking. I rode the whole 25 mile route from Bastrop SP to Buescher and back again. I finally made it all the way to the ranger station at Buescher. That's the big reward. You can stop for a length of time and it looks normal. (Not like when I stop on the side of the road and people slow down and ask if I'm okay cause I look so pitiful.) Bike Monkey tells me that the big treat in the summer is hanging out in the air-conditioned bathrooms for a bit as a break. If only they had Starbucks chai too.
Just to top it all off we got to see Lady Gaga pop out of an egg that evening. I haven't watched the Grammys in years, but I have a teenager now with an avid interest in pop music. Let's just say it's stretching me.
Valentine's Day itself started with a gussied up breakfast at home for the boys and a second breakfast for me and Charlie Brown at Upper Crust Bakery with his oldest brother. After putting in the hours at their respective co-ops, we were invited to horn in on our friends tradition of bowling. Watching children from age 1 to 14 bowl is not quite as funny as T-ball, but it's close.
And I arrived home to beautiful flowers from Lyman. He was being modest about my gifts to him and didn't want to brag about the playboy bubble bath scented "Pink Sugar" and the card that played "Let's Hear It for the Boys" on Facebook or anything, so I have to mention it here. I think I'm shopping at Big Lots for Valentine's Day every year now.
In the midst of all this, there was lots of baking: heart-shaped sugar cookies, thumbprint cookies, and those dangerously addictive Valentine Dots. There was also a little bit of crafting for Charlie Brown's co-op party. I'm really, really challenged on that front. I don't want to admit how many times I had to roll the card stock to figure out how to make a cone. And then it took like 8 before I didn't have to think it through every time. But they came out pretty cute if I do say so, and I used up some of the card stock and fabric stash I have on hand. The photo card idea that I stole turned out super too. It helps that Charlie Brown's so photogenic.
We also made some homemade playdough for younger friends of ours. The pink version didn't exactly photograph well, but I had forgotten how easy it is to make, and how soft it feels. We were so inspired that Charlie Brown and I made a bright yellow batch for ourselves later in the week.
On top of all this, Lyman went to read Po'try in San Angelo, and I got to see some of the most amazing and moving stage craft I've ever seen in the form of Black Watch by the National Theatre of Scotland at the PAC at UT.
I'm hoping this will be a slightly less eventful week. I'm a little tuckered out by all the hubub.
I live in my testosterone dominant household, so while this article doesn't directly apply to my life, I found it thought-provoking. And my boys interact with girls, and may one day marry one or father one, and at the very least befriend and/or work with women, and so maybe it does apply to me, and I think the topics and conversations raised should be pondered by all.
Inspired by Elizabeth Foss's post and instructions, I made the Valentine Dots that I mentioned a few days ago. We're not white chocolate fans, and milk chocolate kisses were all I had on hand, so our dots don't have the variety Elizabeth's batch did.
It was fun, and again, what's not to love about pretzels and chocolate. And thanks to my friend Susan, I got my first valentine card, with adorable beagles, and a temporary tattoo to boot.
My camera had gone AWOL for a couple of weeks, but now that it's returned, I have every intention of getting back to regular posting. Summary post with accompanying photos coming soon.
I've had my new to me and first ever laptop for about two months now, and it's either the best thing since sliced bread or destined to be my downfall and largely responsible for the borderline neglect of my children. Either way, it's really exciting to be sitting in a comfy chair by the fire, and "wandering" around online. Here are some things that I've stumbled upon lately and find interesting/thought-provoking/amusing: