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Current Read: Carry On Warrior

I will begin this blog post with the fact that I know very little about Glennon Doyle Melton. Not an avid follower of her blog, in fact I do not believe I have once opened the page. Now that I mention it, I will open it once I am done here. I have read one book of hers previously, LOVE Warrior. I think I liked it. Like many books I read, I soon forget the details after having put it down. The good thing is, I can pick it up and read it again and gain new insight. It does not mean it wasn’t a good book. If it were not a good book (in my opinion), I would not have finished reading it. Those I set aside, return to the library, pass off to a local free library before nearing the middle, let alone the end.

Last week I went to the library with the goal in mind of checking out a book to take with me on a trip to Miami. Visions of reading by the pool danced in my head. Little did I know, I would spend very limited time reading. There was more fun to be had, and I would enjoy it. Now that I am back home, I have opened the book and consumed 19 pages. A bit of Glennon’s story is coming back to me. Which either means, I know more of her than I thought, or she repeats her story in her subsequent books. Maybe both.

I do recall the one thing in particular I liked about her book, the one I previously read. Her honesty. Not honesty as in, I am impressed she is speaking the truth. Honesty, in the sense of baring ones soul in an effort to expose yourself to yourself in an open forum. We can call ourselves out in our own minds and never change, but speaking our truth out loud, holds us accountable for what we have done, what we are saying, and what we will then do. I can appreciate the baring of her soul. I have sat down at my computer many times and began to do the same only to stop myself and delete it.

What would people think? It’s not my friends I worry about. It’s our clients. Our son’s friend’s parents. The soccer moms and dads. Those who would send us business, our current livelihood. One day, when I retire, I will speak (write) my mind freely. And so, with that in mind, I admire the way Glennon shares her thoughts, her truths, her life, as if no one is watching. Or at last as if she does not care who is watching, who is listening. Well done.

My truth for today is this, I am ever a work in process when it comes to my temper. My past aside, I stand up for myself far too quickly. I jump before being jumped on. I trample before being trampled. Words of edification are heard as accusation. Feedback heard as criticism. Suggestions imply I am incapable. Some would say, my reaction is justified or explained by how I was mistreated as a child and a wife. I choose to say, I must hold myself accountable for my actions no matter my past. I must reveal them to myself, own them, learn from them, grow and desire change. I refuse to remain a victim. I must be the change I want to see in the world. It starts with me.

Family and Pets

Crazy Cat Lady

A neighbor of mine takes the ‘Crazy Cat Lady’ to an entirely different level. I could say that names have been changed to protect the innocent, but there is no one innocent here. Guilty, guilty, guilty. Her name is Carrie. A small, okay, maybe not so small part of me wants to blast her last name as well. I will show some restraint. Just a little.

Carrie lives in the condominium complex just north of our home in the lovely Bitter Lake neighborhood of North Seattle. I have met her once. A few years back I had a brief encounter with her daughter. A young girl of maybe 11 or 12 years old was dragging branches, large and small, down our road from the local park to her home at the condos. I watch her come and go a few times, it was a peculiar sight.

Finally I said, “Excuse me, what are you doing with all the branches?”

The young girl paused. Her lashes down cast she peered up at me hesitantly, “I’m making a fort.”

“Huh, okay. Well if you need a place to build it, I’m sure you could do it in our side yard.” I couldn’t imagine the other condo owners were thrilled with the mass of branches and debris she was hauling in to the common area.

“I’ll ask my dad.”

I never saw the girl again. Literally, for a few years I believe, I didn’t see her. Assuming she moved, I move one too, mentally.

Then one day I heard a male and female voice out in the street. Talking and laughing as they passed by. I opened my door to take the garbage out. They looked up and the girl and I locked eyes. It was her, only older. Long dark hair, a wool cap pulled over the top nearly down to her eyebrows. Her lashes once again obscuring her eyes. The couple continued on, down towards the park. Likely walking to Ingraham the local high school. Her walk, he demeanor, her laugh, the lilt in her voice when she spoke, once again struck me as odd. A little off as they say.

I went back inside and gave my cat a little scratch behind the ears. Rocky, neighborhood socialite. Our family got Rocky at about 8 weeks old right around my 40th birthday. It wasn’t long before he was roaming the neighborhood. In and out all day long, out to play and home to eat and sleep. Chasing birds, squirrels and other rodents I imagine. Lovingly leaving a few here and there on the porch. A thank you, I am told.

Often times when I would head outside I would find our neighbor Will, the masked man, sitting in our driveway getting his Rocky fix. Will, is one man Rocky will stop and let pet him. Will told me it was a nearly daily habit, at least on the nicer days. Other times I receive an email from LeAnn with a photo of Rocky sitting on her deck. He would climb up there and wait until she came home so he could see her. After some pets and love he would walk the rail and then wander away.

A few other neighbors tell tales of Rocky walking right into their home when they leave the door open. They look up and there he is sitting on a couch or chair, natural as can be. Thankfully they do not mind and are always good to shew him out the door when they leave or close up for the night. Except for that one time, when I heard he got locked in the condo building. Someone left the door propped open bringing in their groceries and didn’t see Rocky enter. Once they were done they closed the door. Some time later another neighbor came out into the lobby and found Rocky wandering around meowing his head off! Apparently he wanted back out.

All of this goes along with having an indoor/outdoor cat. The neighbors tell us great stories, we apologize for his intrusive behavior, and we all get a bit of a laugh. Until last year, when Rocky starting disappearing for 2 days or so at a time. First I was worried. Maybe he had been hit by a car. Maybe he was laying on the side of the road somewhere, dying or dead. We would look around unable to find him anywhere.

After a day or two we would wake up to find him at the back door meowing his head off as if we were the ones who had forgotten to let him in. Upon entering, he would make a be-line to the basement where his food dish resides. We have a silly little ritual. I put wet food in a dish and before setting it down, I lean my head down and he gives me a little head bump. We call it a kitty kiss. Only, I noticed when we bumped heads a strong smell of flowery perfume. I do not wear flowery perfume.

I began to pay attention and sure enough, whenever Rocky was gone for more than a day or two he would come home smelling of this perfume.

“Babe, Rocky is cheating on us!”, I declared to my husband.

“Seriously?” Pretty sure at this point my husband thinks I am the crazy cat lady. I assure you, I am not.

One dark and misty evening I headed out with a bucket of compost to toss in the yard waste bin. The bins are secluded from the street by an arbor vitae hedge. Works great for those times you want to run out in your night clothes (hopefully not your skivvies).

“Uh, hey. Don’t mean to startle you. It’s me, your neighbor Dwight.” The voice came from the other side of the hedge. A man stood taking a long drag of his cigarette.

“Oh hey, Dwight. How are you?”

“I’m good. Don’t know if your daughter told you, but I know who is taking your cat.”

“Oh really? Who?” My curiosity peeked, smoothing away the irritation which had crept in when he startled me.

“Her name is Carrie. She lives in our condo building. I don’t want to start trouble. But I’ve told her several times Rocky has a family and she shouldn’t take him in. She keeps telling me that she likes him and so she wants him.”

“Seriously? If we all took things we liked we end up in jail.”

“Yeah, well she’s a little bit, um, how do I say this? Off, ya know?” He continued to smoke his cigarette.

“Well, I appreciate you telling her he has a home. I was getting worried when he was gone more often. Honestly, I haven’t seen him in a couple days again.” I turned to head back to the house.

“I bet he’s in her house right now. She lives in condo #101. Uh, don’t tell her I told you. I don’t want to start any trouble. I mean, she has a teenage daughter who’s allergic to cats. I’ve told her it’s not fair to her daughter either, even if you didn’t want your cat, but I know you do.”

“Yeah, we do. Okay, well thanks for the info Dwight. Have a nice night.”

“Sure, you bet. Sorry about the smoke. Bad habit.” He slunk back into the cover of night out of reach of the street light as I turned to go back inside.

Long story, long, this lady was letting our cat into her home and then keeping him in her home. I can only imagine against his will. I have often described the sound Rocky makes when he wants out as a caterwaul, and that is putting it mildly. He carries on and on until we let him out. If we ignore him and go to bed, we wake in the morning to a pile of cat poop somewhere other than in the litter box. Rocky’s way of say, “I’ll teach you to ignore me!”

The next day by late afternoon when my cat still had not come home I had had just about enough of this. I asked my daughter if she wanted to come with me to go see if this Carrie had our cat. We headed up straight away.

Knock. Knock. Knock.

I stood in front of her door, phone in hand, with a photo of Rocky (and me) loaded up for viewing.

The door opened just a little, “Hello?” The woman shielded her body with the door and peered out at us.

“Hi, we live just over there. We have a cat named, Rocky. You know him right? Here’s his photo.”

She took a glance at the photo and nodded her head.

“Well, he’s our cat, but it sounds like you have been taking him into your home. Is this true?”

“I like him. He’s a nice cat.” She stayed close inside the door while she spoke to us.

“We like him too. Pretty much everybody in the neighborhood likes him. He’s our cat.”

“He doesn’t have a name tag.”

“Excuse me?” I was taken aback by her random comment.

“He doesn’t have a name tag.”

“Well, actually he has had a name tag. Twice someone has removed his collar and name tag. I got tired of buying new ones. He does have a collar. And he is micro-chipped. Definitely our cat.”

“I like him.”

“I know, you told me that. Here’s the deal. He’s our cat. I don’t want you keeping our cat. It’s not okay. You can pet him, talk to him whatever, but don’t feed him. And definitely do not keep him in your home. He has a home.”

She stood there looking at me with this blank, deer in the headlights stare. It dawned on me that she wasn’t opening her door very wide. Bearly sticking her head out to talk to us.

“Is he in your home right now?”

She flinched.

“Are you kidding me? Is he in there?”

She opened the door wide and stepped to the side.

Sure enough, there sitting in her rocking chair was my cat, Rocky, all curled up. Traitor.

I walked past her, into her home and picked up my cat. He meowed and then yawned.

“Do NOT take my cat and keep him in your home again. Am I clear?”

“Yes.”

We left and she closed the door behind us. Life went on as it had before crazy cat lady began taking our kitty into her home. For a while, maybe 3 months or so it seemed. We began to get more affection from Rocky. Apparently he had been getting his fill of love and affection elsewhere and thus didn’t require any from us. Now with crazy cat lady out of the picture he was a bit more snuggly. Nice.

Fast forward, present day. We headed out of town for the long weekend for a soccer tournament. Our daughter came by every day to check on Rocky, let him in/out, feed him and such. Only problem was, he wasn’t home. Not one single day. She happens to live in our neighborhood and realized she didn’t see him roaming as he usually does either.

We got home late Monday night. No Rocky. I stayed home all day Tuesday as our son was sick. No Rocky. By Wednesday I had a sneaking suspicion crazy cat lady was back at it. After a short walk, I suggested Tom go speak to this woman. He is much calmer than I.

Tom heads up to her condo and knocks on the door. Crazy cat lady opens the door and says hello.

“Hi, I am the owner of Rocky and he hasn’t been home again in several days. Have you seen him?”

“No, I haven’t seen him in like 3 days.” Crazy cat lady responds.

“You’re sure you haven’t seen him?”

“No, I haven’t seen him.”

“Hmmm., so Rocky hasn’t been in your home?”

“No.”

“He isn’t in your home right now?” A tone of disbelief dripped from his tongue and the words passed through his lips.

“No, I haven’t see him in 3 days. He’s not here.”

“Okay.” Tom turned and left.

About 60 minutes later, no more, as I was standing in the kitchen I see a flash of mixed grey fur in my line of sight. I lean over just as Rocky begins pawing the glass door wanting to be let in.

Imagine that! Rocky came home.

Crazy Cat Lady must have let him out.

30 Day Cleanse Workout

As Easy as it Was Hard

Today was Day 4 of the 30 Day Program and the first day that is not considered the cleanse. In some ways it was much easier. More food made it quite appealing to my stomach, mind and attitude. The plan consisted of morning elixir, breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, Dinner, snack. Quite honestly it was too much food! After 3 days of so little, it seemed like over eating.

The difficult part had nothing to do with the food or the recipes, it had to do with my schedule. I had been very privalidged to be able to stay home for the 3 Day cleanse. This made timing of tea, water and smoothie drinking, not to mention the hundreds of trips to the bathroom, very doable. Today however, I had a 3.5 hour real estate training class to attend during what would be snack and lunch. Then between our son’s soccer practice and an open house tour of the middle school our son will most likely attend in the evening, we were left with about 30 minutes to cram in some dinner.

As we entered the real estate class we were greeted by 3 long tables full of bagels, cream cheese, danish pastries, fresh fruit, and coffee and tea service. I glanced and smiled. I had tucked my allowed two hard boiled eggs in my bag and brought my allowed mug of tea, with the plan to refill my tea at a break. I was proud of myself to say the least.

I had eaten my breakfast, had my snack midway through the class and yet, I found myself growing quite tired as the class went on. It wasn’t boring. I have heard the speaker before and really like her delivery, as well as the subject matter. The State of the Market. This particular woman makes predictions each year and is historically 98% accurate. She is educated as much as opinionated. I think it was sitting sedentary for so long after the 3 day detox that was getting to me.

After the class finished up I dashed home and was supposed to make my lunch. Knowing the evening we had in store I chose a quick 55 minute nap instead. I slept like a log! Woke up to an alarm and dashed downstairs to make my grated beet and feta cheese wrap. It was DELICIOUS! No pics today, sorry.

After driving my son to practice I came home to get dinner prepared for us all. Leftovers from the freezer for my husband who is not participating in this challenge, grilled cheese and fruit for my son and I elected for a smoothie as I didn’t have time to make the bokchoy salad with turkey bacon. I plan on making that tomorrow evening instead.

After the open house we came home and got our son doing his homework. I dished him up a promised bowl of ice cream with chocolate sauce and then made myself the allowed evening snack. A small smoothie. It was wonderful. I love the variety of smoothies this program has had. Danette May knows what she is doing.

Many in the group are putting away the scales and will not weigh in until day 31. I am on the fence. I may join them, or I may do a 2 week weigh in and then a final weigh in. I’ll keep you posted. Future posts will be a quick check in now that the detox is over.

30 Day Cleanse Workout

Chew, chew, chew! Day 2 Detox

I’ll get right to the point, breakfast kind of sucked. Not taste wise, texture wise. Day one consisted of a smoothie for breakfast, a smoothie for lunch and a smoothie for dinner. They varied in ingredients, size and texture, but all erred on the side of a thick consistency. Breakfast this morning was glorified flavored water. Healthier than most I imagine as it had mint leaves, fresh ginger, and cucumber mixed into 2 cups of water. I added ice as I knew I would need at least that. My hopes were dashed when the added ice did little to the consistency of the drink. To top it off it made it cold. Duh. I know. This time of year I prefer hot drinks, but a hot ‘refresher’ (as this recipe was labeled) made my stomach turn.

I sucked it down, all of it. I had to. It was all I was getting besides the morning elixir, detox tea and about 40-60 ounces of water until lunch time. My energy was low from the moment I woke up. Hadn’t slept well. I did the bare minimum and couldn’t help but wonder if those who were at work doing this have their own set of advantages. Mainly, distraction and a reason to keep moving.

I drove my son to school. Upon returning home I forced myself to head to my home office to get a bit of work done. I am knee deep in editing a piece of writing for a reading at a book launch this Friday. My very first publication, a chapter in an Anthology entitled, True Stories. As soon as it is available for order I will edit this post with a link. All things told I worked for about three hours, all the while considering going to lay down for a nap. My cozy bed was calling my name. Clothes and all, which for me says a lot. Normally I overheat when trying to sleep. Today I felt nothing could get between me and a little shut-eye if I only I would let myself go lay down. I persevered.

Lunch did not disappoint, but then how could it after breakfast? Never have I been so happy to drink a green smoothie! The consistency was thick, smooth and it tasted good too. The main ingredients were avocado, pear, spinach, ginger, lemon, cilantro, Greek yogurt and coconut water. It filled a very large beer pint with a bit for seconds. I drank it all.

Confession #1:
I Took A Nap

I say #1 as I imagine as this month goes on I will accumulate more than this one confession. Honestly, I do not know if naps are a forbidden no, no but it felt a little like cheating when I was perusing a few of the posts on the group Facebook page. Other women, stronger women packing their blenders to work no less, holding meetings, reaching goals, even baking breakfast sweets for a living! And here I was in the luxury of my home, everything at my fingertips, including my nice cozy bed. I slept for 60 minutes and knew, whether they knew it or not, my family thank me for the sacrifice.

MAJOR WIN #1
The dinner I made for my husband and son:

And the Day 3 Detox dinner I made for myself.

I stuck to the plan. A total win in my book. I ate my ‘chew-able’ meal and it tasted good. I love spicy so I added a little more red pepper flakes than suggested. The dinner for my husband and son, looked and smelled A-Mazing! I did not take one single taste. A small potato called my name as I dished up their plates. I had it in my fingers. I nearly plopped it on my tongue. And then, my inner goddess said, “What the hell are you doing? You are stronger than this. Why sabotage yourself? You made a plan. You bought the ingredients. You have nearly made it through 2 days without a single hiccup. You don’t want that potato.” I set it down. Went to the table and enjoyed every bite of my special meal. The meal that says, I care about myself. I care about my health. I care about my body. And dag-nabbit I’m sticking to the plan!

I am finishing up the day with my final warm water with ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar), fresh squeezed lemon and cayenne pepper. I will have a cup of hot tea in bed, most likely while my honey sips bourbon again. It’s okay, I’ll have some. Just not yet.

30 Day Cleanse Workout

Green$ for the Greens

Morning Wake Up Day 1 Cleanse Drink

Today was shopping day. Thankfully the program, Danette May’s 30 Day Challenge, includes a check list for the 3 Day cleanse. After looking through my kitchen I was able to check off items I already had on hand and then those I needed to purchase. The private Facebook page for participants has also been full of suggestions complete with links to amazon or stores where difficult to find items could be purchased. The program even includes a substitution list for some items you may not be able to get or be unable to stomach.

I elected to purchase the items for the 3 Day cleanse as well as for days 4-7. I imagine I will not want to go to the store after 3 liquid days, in and out. A friend commented that I was thinking ahead. I told her, “No one wants to see me shopping while hangry.” Truth. I had hoped to prep the veggies and pre make the quinoa this evening, but the day got away from me. I decided I would rather lay in bed sipping on my final bourbon and enjoying some dark chocolate pre-cleanse.

I should have added up my receipts, but I didn’t. I also shopped for the family while shopping for me. I would say I spent about $100-130. Some of the items will last into week 2, while others will last well into week 3. I plan to get new veggies each week.

Tomorrow I will get up early and have my first cup of warm lemon water with apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper. After getting my guy off to school I will complete the food prep that will make the week a bit easier. Then I will follow the plan for the day: Meditation, smoothie, tea, pilates, water (3/4 gallon no less), smoothie, snack, water, tea, smoothie, water. Sleep and repeat. (Something like that.)

See you tomorrow………………………..