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Monday, March 29, 2010

Leaving California: Part 2

Living in Humboldt County has taught me many things. Some of them are very Humboldt, some of them are just things I happened to learn while living here. This was Bryan and my first home; we moved here just weeks after we got married. I have definitely grown over the past two and a half years.

Here are just a few things I've learned during our time in Humboldt.

1. Just because someone mentions their "partner" does not mean they are gay. This may be incredibly obvious to some of you, but I'm sure not to everyone. Sometimes it refers to a homosexual significant other. Sometimes it refers to a heterosexual significant other. It can mean boyfriend, girlfriend, fiance, fiancee, husband, or wife. It's like saying "my other half." All you really know is that the person mentioned is someone who is loved. I've even called Bryan my partner a few times, and laughed at myself later. Never thought that would catch on.

2. Nuggets mean pot, not chicken. Okay, not all the time, but a lot of the time.




3. Grass-fed doesn't mean organic. Organic doesn't always mean tasty. It usually is, however.

4. Never mention you went to McDonalds. Stop going to McDonalds. Same goes for pretty much all fast food, except In-N-Out.

5. Natural birth isn't a freakish thing. It's not for the crazies, it's a very normal thing that a very large percentage of pregnant women choose (here at least). It can be in the home, in the hospital, doctor assisted, midwife assisted, or unassisted. Birth can be transformative and exceptionally powerful and spiritual.

6. Babies don't need a lot of STUFF they need a lot of LOVE. They are also not as scary as I thought they were.

7. Beer isn't just beer. There is a culture and you should probably know if you prefer wheat to IPA to lager. Or something. Or you will look like a dork in an area that has at least 6 breweries within 40 miles.

8. High fructose corn syrup is in everything.

9. You don't need to wear makeup every day to look nice. You don't need to wear makeup in order to leave the house. Or to go grocery shopping. Or to go to work. In fact, it's perfectly okay to go to work with wet hair, no makeup, and wear a t-shirt and jeans. If you live here, that is.

10. Some of the people who are homeless choose to be, and some of them are victims of mental health, circumstance, and society. You really don't know which is which. Just because they look 22 and say they're "travelers," you shouldn't snub your nose at them. It will be hard not to snub your noses when they are asking for your spare change while they are wearing Patagonia. If you give them money, fine. If you don't, fine. But try not to judge them. This is a very very hard thing to learn.

11. The church is good. The church is corrupt. The church helps the poor. The church helps itself. The church can be powerful and transformative and honest. The church can be hateful and self-seeking and dishonest. The church is just people, and people are flawed. It is good to be a part of a movement that is committed to social justice, beauty, intelligence and community. However, conflict and ugliness can be found even in such a movement. We're all sinners. Let's learn to forgive ourselves and others and go on from there.

12. The Redwoods are huge and powerful and awe-inspiring. And then, slowly, they just become trees. They are still beautiful.

13. When people complain about paying $40 for a half hour doctor's visit and free meds, and you tell them how much it would have cost them if they were uninsured in Chicago... Well. They don't want to hear it.

14. The ocean is a thing of beauty. It is extremely powerful to be on the edge of a continent. You can go no further west on land. It's amazing.


15. Humboldt County is beyond beautiful.


Mary Jane? Like, in Spiderman?

First off: In your opinion, should marijuana be legalized?

I've lived in Humboldt County for 2 and a half years now, and I've become well acquainted with the smell of pot. It's everywhere. Don't believe me? Go on a run. You may not smell it on EVERY run, but on the majority of mine I have noticed the pungent smell. Sometimes, it annoys the heck of me. Marijuana and I don't seem to get along, although I can't really say for sure, since I've never tried it firsthand. I have been around it a few times, and, like I said, I smell it all the time. It usually gives me a headache.

But other times I smell it and smile a bit. Ahhhhh Humboldt. It will be hard for me to ever think of life in Humboldt without thinking of the marijuana culture that is so prevalent here. Of course, most of that is an illegal culture... although many, many people have a 215 card that allows them to consume pot for medical reasons. How VALID these reasons are? Well. I'm not sure.

In November, California registered voters will have a voice in the decision to make pot legal. According to the New York Times, "On Wednesday, the California secretary of state certified a November vote on a ballot measure that would legalize, tax and regulate marijuana, a plan that advocates say could raise $1.4 billion and save precious law enforcement and prison resources."

However, there is a lot of worry in Humboldt that legalization will lead to the corporatization of marijuana. This, plus the fact that marijuana currently sells for a LOT more than it really should, is causing many people to go AGAINST legalization since it could hurt Humboldt's already anemic economy.
From the Associated Press,

"Community members are gathering Tuesday night to consider the consequences. They worry about the ripple effect that a drop in marijuana prices could have on the county as a whole if legalization undermines the black market.
'We have to recognize that if we have something that is this big a piece of our economy that is subsidized by being illegal, that this is an unsustainable situation,' Humboldt County Supervisor Mark Lovelace said."

Money aside, is making marijuana legal a good idea? I, like most of you readers, grew up with marijuana being taught as a "gate-way drug." Marijuana leads to cocaine which leads to heroin with leads to death. I'm not sure I believe that at all, though. I can understand that certain substances lead to other substances. There are a lot of people who only smoke WHEN they are drinking. I can see how drinking could lead to smoking cigarettes which could MAYBE lead to pot. I can't see pot leading to cocaine though. Or meth. I think if you're willing to try those intensely dangerous drugs, you may have gotten there from MANY places. Like depression. Or prescription drugs. Sure, maybe you got there from marijuana but I don't think it's the predominant route.

There are those who say that if pot is legalized, we'll have more car accidents and more crime. Not necessarily. Drinking and many prescription drugs can cause a person's reaction times to slow or may cause aggression or tiredness. I'm not sure that pot would cause enough additional accidents to be statistically relevant.

Like I've said, I have not tried marijuana, but the biggest reason for that is that it is currently illegal. I try to obey the laws of the land, including this one. I do think that marijuana can be medically appropriate for certain conditions, however. Yes, it's a drug. So is Tylenol, and caffeine. Now, I don't have any serious medical conditions, but I do struggle with anxiety. However, when I am having an anxiety attack, I take this:
Lorazepam. It makes me nice and calm. In fact, it makes me feel like I've had about two glasses of wine. It makes me want to curl up with a blanket and just veg out. However, it's apparently quite addictive, so I've only taken 3 in the past 6 months. I don't want to get hooked, and I try not to take more medication than I absolutely need.

If marijuana was legalized, would I try it for my anxiety? If I'm being honest, yes. Quality, organic leaves versus chemicals? I would go leaves.

But it's not legal. And even if it is, I'm moving away from California in 6 days.

We'll see if Humboldt survives legalization.

What do you think? Should pot be legal, regulated and taxed? Do you have more information for the discussion? Do you care, or is it a moot point?


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Saturday, March 27, 2010

I have a confession to make...

...Although, if you know me, it's not really much of a confession.

I am a closet nerd. And not so closeted.

Although I am a nerd, I am not ENOUGH of a nerd to be considered "cool" by other nerds. No, I'm just your boring, like some things that are slightly nerdy nerd.

True story.

For instance, I can't really tell you much about Star Wars other than I've seen them all a couple of times. I know a lot more about Star Trek, but not necessarily enough to hold a real conversation. Yes, I've seen more of them, but it was in my childhood. In my childhood when I was mercilessly mocking my parents for watching Star Trek, that is.

Although Jean-Luc? Yum-my. The fact that he always requests Earl Grey just makes him better.

Back to the nerdiness. I enjoy sci-fi television and movies. A lot. My absolute favorite sci-fi show?

Ohhhh yes, the now-ended Battlestar Galactica. Not the old version, the new one. It's got sci-fi, robots, space travel, drama, sex, and Gaius Baltar. It's like crack. If you haven't seen it.... well I'm not quite sure what your problem is, exactly.

Now that Battlestar Galactica has ended, I have greatly anticipated every new episode of "Caprica," a prequel of sorts to Battlestar. I really enjoy it, although I know a lot of people consider it too slow. It's definitely NOT as sci-fi, true. The parts I enjoy the most are the relationships between the main characters, the fundamentalist monotheistic religious cult (in a world of polytheism, monotheism is CRAZY), the differing notions of "terrorism" and "salvation," the differing sexual values, and the creation of the CYLONS! (Cylons are the killer robots. OH YES!!)


I do worry a bit about the general public's reception of Caprica, however. It's not as popular as Battlestar, and I am worried that it will not be renewed for another season. I suppose I just have to enjoy every new episode that is released and keep my fingers crossed.

Any BSG fans out there? Have you seen Caprica? Thoughts?

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Random cool thing of the day

Listen, this isn't all that interesting. But. I think it's hella cool.

Did you know you could use green onions all the way to the very top of the white part (right above the bulb) and then put the unused part bulb-side down in water, and IT WILL GROW BACK????

OH YEAH LIKE THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Isn't that awesome??

Just a little thing to make your day better.

Also.

Even on a coldy, rainy day when I'm sick, it's nice to open up the curtains from the comfort of my bed, and to see this lovely scene!

Leaving California, Part 1

Last night was my last Girls Group. It was sad, and I cried a bit, I will admit it. It didn't help that I was sick and had a fever, which always makes me EXTRA emotional. I would have cried anyway, but it may not have been as ridiculous.

The ladies were lovely as always, and Rachel put together a yummy smorgasbord of snacks. We talked and played "Apples to Apples" and enjoyed each one anothers company.

The ladies gave me some going away presents too! How sweet is that??

First of all, the most awesome "goody bag" ever, a handbag by Humboldt designer Amy Lou.

How gorgeous is that? The actual color is a very pale ice blue, almost silver. It's so beautiful! Amy's shop is here if you are interested in her work.

As you can see, the goody bag is full of goodies!



First of all, this awesome thing. I admit I didn't know what it was at first. But now that I do, it's AWESOME. It holds your yarn when you're crocheting! You put it on your wrist and shove the yarn inside and voilaAnd look how cute the inside is!


You can find one at Chicken Boots Etsy store. Also a local Humboldt seller.


Some deliciously yummy Satsuma Body Butter from the Body Shop.


Some delicious chocolates from Venlo Chocolates. They make some amazing amazing chocolates. They're located in Old Town Eureka. Bryan got me some of their handmade chocolates for our first married Valentine's Day. EPIC.


A big ol' bottle of Lost Coast's Tangerine Wheat. If you like beer, especially fruity beer, you HAVE to find a way to try this. SO. GOOD. You can buy a six pack online at OC Wine Mart.

There was also a really sweet picture included and a very lovely card. Man. Those girls.

So yes, I was incredibly spoiled, and it was just so generous of my dear friends!!! If any of you ladies are reading this, I will miss you greatly, and I love you dearly. Thank you so much for all of the wonderful memories!

Sicky

I'm sick and took a long nap this afternoon. Which is why I'm awake at (almost) 3am. Which is why I'm awake and just painted my nails a delicious dark dark plum. Which is why I'm awake and just painted my nails and cut my hair.

Yes.

I'm sick. In more ways than one.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Newest Crochet Project

Shhh she doesn't know it yet (unless of course her mommy reads this) but I made new little niece Ella Marie her own little shrug! It's very cute if I do say so myself. It won't fit her until next fall, but I think it will work out pretty good. I've made a handful of these, including some for myself, and they're very nice and cute, and useful for covering your shoulders on a cooler day, or if you're looking for a bit more modesty.

Here is Ella's:

Front
Back
Pointing out the variation in the colors. It's all green, but it has a colored thread that changes colors in it, and it provides some cool shading.

I think she'll look cute in it!

Here's a picture of me wearing one of mine -- mine has shorter sleeves.
Cute huh?

Biscotti

I LOVE biscotti. We've had biscotti (store bought or home made) as a fairly regular staple in our house since I was in middle school. I started making it myself about a year or so ago, and I absolutely love it. It's delicious, it's very satisfying to dunk, and when left in an air-tight container, it will stay fresh for up to a month. How great is that?? (note: it will not actually last a month uneaten)

I was in the mood for biscotti earlier this week but I'm trying to watch my calories and fats, so I went online in search of a low-fat biscotti recipe. Most biscotti is low-fat anyways, but some include oil or butter in the recipe. I took this recipe from Epicurious.com and changed it a bit to meet my taste desires.

Instead of Low-Fat Almond-Cinnamon Biscotti, I made Fairly Low-Fat Chocolate Spice Biscotti.

Here's as best of a recipe as I can give you:

  • 3 large organic cage-free eggs
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose organic flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Dash of cardamom
  • Dash of ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Chocolate chips. Dark, milk, white, whatever. About 1/2 cup. Maybe a tad bit more.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease baking sheet. Combine eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract in bowl of heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat until well blended. Mix flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Gradually add to egg mixture, beating until blended (dough will be soft). Mix in chocolate chips.

Turn dough out onto LIGHTLY floured surface and gather together. Now divide dough into two equal sized balls. Roll dough between palms and work surface into a log almost the length of your cookie sheet. Make both about the same size, palming the ends so they're rounded. Transfer to greased baking sheet. Take a bit of sugar and sprinkle it on the top of the logs. Flatten log with hand to 1-inch thickness. Bake until light brown and cracked on top, about 30 minutes. Cool log 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

Transfer warm log to work surface. Using serrated knife, cut log into 1/4- to 1/3-inch-thick slices. If you're feeling fancy, cut on a diagonal. Arrange cut pieces face up on baking sheets. Bake 10 minutes per side. Transfer to racks and cool (biscotti will harden while cooling).

If you're feeling crazy, it's fun to melt chocolate, put it in a Ziplock baggie, cut one of the corners and use it as a decorating tip to drizzle chocolate.

This is what mine looked like when they were done:

And that's my fancy new Eco Cup. With a bit of chocolate on the sides. :)

Unemployment Begins

It has been far too long since I have written, and for that I am sorry! So much has happened since I last wrote that I have been thinking of how best to blog about it. It's difficult to know what should be written and what should be kept private. This is a public blog, but it's a personal blog as well. I have not been able to find a "niche" for this blog... it's not about crafts, or religion, or weddings, or being a mom, or any of that. I'm not a mom, I've been married for two and a half years, I'm terrible at remembering to photograph my crafts, and although I will write about my beliefs, I am by no ones standards an expert on religion.

So I just write about my life, really.

Here's a quick(ish) catchup, and I will consider going more in-depth.

I finished my last day of work and it was excellent. I cried, just a little, and just once. Okay, maybe twice.

I wanted to give the girls something small to remember me by, so I wrote them each a thank you letter for being such awesome coworkers and friends, and I gave them each a plastic dinosaur. They each got a different dinosaur, and I tried to match it up to their personality a bit. Sarah got a triCERAtops, Rachel got an Apatosaurus (gentle and quiet), Melissa got a T-Rex (because, well, that's obvs) and Mia got a baby raptor. They all really liked their silly dinosaurs and are keeping them on their desks. It was silly but cute.

I met with Mia and thanked her for being a great boss and I gave her the card and dinosaur, and she gave me some beautiful presents!


She made these earrings for me, and she gave me a copy of her favorite baking book. How sweet is that?! I admit to tearing up a little bit, but I did not let myself really cry.


A bit of a closer look at the earrings. They're made of sterling silver, labradorite, rose quartz, and freshwater pearl. How beautiful are those?? I know the color is hard to see, but the labradorite has a very beautiful grey-blue tone, and the rose quartz is the gentlest pink. They're so beautiful and I've worn them three times since Friday.

This is a glimpse into the baking book. It's excellent and has lovely pictures. The really cool thing about this book is that all of the recipes are just one page long, so you don't have to flip in the middle of baking! I'm super excited to try out some of these recipes.

The front desk ladies (Sarah, Rachel and Melissa) gave me some very cute balloons and some beautiful flowers. It was then that I cried. And tried to hide my crying by covering my face with balloons. No, I'm not awkward at all.

How bright and beautiful!!! How can those not make you happy?


And I was so charmed by these little guys (no idea what they are called) that I put them in their own little vase. So simple and beautiful! And what gorgeous color!

So that's it for work! I am now officially unemployed until May 1st. It's a bit scary knowing we have no income for the next month and a half, but I think we'll be okay. I'm getting more and more excited for our Wyoming adventure, but first I get to see my family in Idaho and meet my new niece, Ella! And then we fly to Chicago to see my family and Bryan's sister, Amanda, and her family! And all my Chicago friends! I'm very excited. Life is really good right now.

We had a going away party hosted by our good friend Paul on Saturday, and that was a lot of fun. We'll have a lot more time to say goodbye soon enough, but it was cool to see so many people I care about all at the same place.

To steal a quote that my dear sister Stacey put on her blog, "Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all." - Helen Keller.

I've been focusing on that quote a lot lately. Isn't it great??
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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spaghetti Squash

I made Spaghetti Squash for the first time today and it was really good!! I didn't know what to expect, but I liked it. It's definitely not soft like actual cooked spaghetti, but with a nice Italian sausage marinara, it was very yummy!

My roommates too it to work tonight and had it with regular marinara. As they are not eating meat this month, and we're trying to only eat meat for 50% or less of our meals, I think I'd do a bit more in the future with this recipe. I think next time I make it I'll add some cooked veggies and some Morning Star Vegetarian Sausage patties, and maybe a bit of Parmesan cheese. Delicious! I know not everyone is a fan of this, but I highly recommend it. It also has SO FEWER CALORIES than regular pasta, which is nice, and it's non-fat, which is good with the diet I'm pretending to be on. :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

TODAY'S DEALS!

So I went to Rite-Aid during lunch today. Now that I no longer live close enough to go home for lunch, I have very strong urges to go on walks or go shopping during my lunch hour. I actually work during part of the clinic's lunch hour by myself, and take my lunch a half hour later than everyone. When the clinic is slow, like today, it's a lot like having an hour and a half of lunch. I know, life is rough. :)

So I sauntered over to Rite-Aid, which is just one street over, to see what was on sale. I found some good stuff! I almost bought a really beautiful Ranunculus plant, but realized that I do not have a permanent home at the moment, and I probably don't want to bring ANOTHER plant across the county. So.

I picked up a new nail polish, Sally Hansen "Hard as Wraps" in "Stony Creme." I don't really get what "Hard as Wraps" means. Wraps? Like... like tortilla wraps? Or wrapping paper? Or Saran Wrap? All of those things are not hard. So. I dunno.

After picking up some nail polish I wandered towards the shampoo aisle. I always like to keep a look out for the 75% yellow tags on, well... anything. But this time I struck gold with their "Buy one get one free" yellow tag. Remember how I told you that Rite-Aid has a lot of shampoos with free rebates? Today they had a BOGO free sticker on a rebate shampoo! Two products, for FREE!! Fab-u-lous.

So here they are, my fancy new free products.

Sorry for the cell phone pic, I can't find my battery charger for my camera! Must find that soon...

First up, Renpure Organics "My Pretty Hair is Parched!" Moisturizing Shampoo. Smells yummy, has silk protein, pomegranate and olive leaf extract. The bottle says it's made with 100% certified organic extracts and safe, fresh, natural ingredients. They do not use sulfates, parabens, colors, or dyes. And the products are tested on people, namely the family that makes the products, not animals. I like! I like!

I haven't used it, seeing as I just bought it, but it smells nice and I really like all of the info they give, especially the information about their family and their avoidance of dangerous chemicals. Score!

Next, the "Amazing Miracle Deep Penetrating Reconstructor" which is like a hair mask or really deep conditioner. It has aloe, kukui and silk proteins, and once again 100% certified organic extracts and safe, fresh, natural ingredients, and none of the bad stuff. And it's color safe! Which I would care about if I was still coloring my hair.

This product smells YUM. I can't wait to use it! Apparently you just put it on your hair and wait for five minutes, then rinse out. My hair is already dry at the ends, so I'm looking forward to using this since it will be even DRIER in Wyoming, which is like the Sahara compared to Humboldt County, which is almost always damp.

From what I've read online, Renpure products everywhere have this rebate, so you can probably find it at CVS, Target, or Walgreens. If you want to get the two for free though, definitely check out Rite-Aid.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Countdown

Two more days of work! For those that have suffered through my many many hours of complaining, you know I have a love/hate relationship with my job. I'm a medical receptionist at a clinic that has a sliding scale and takes a lot of low income/chronic pain/Medicaid patients. I'm glad that we're able to help populations in need, but at times that also means populations who expect a handout and refuse to pay $40 for a half hour doctor's visit where they received about $100 worth of sample medications.

The mind, it just boggles.

Anyway. I have two more days left. On Friday at 5:30 I will be done! It will be bittersweet. I really enjoy the majority of my coworkers, and although at times I hate my job, I have learned so much working here for the past two and a half years. It's been good most of the time, and I will definitely miss my coworkers.

That said, this week has been AWESOME. Yesterday was my going-away potluck at lunch, and it was so tasty. Everyone at the clinic is a really good cook, and we had yummy spicy Thai soup, some delicious Mexican dishes, lemon pasta, curry, cup cakes, and tortellini salad, just to name a few. SO GOOD. Then, my favorite drug rep, Dusty, came in and told me he'd bring the whole office drinks from my favorite coffeeshop, Jitter Bean! Dusty is the cousin of my dear friend Heather, and we always talk about Idaho and Jackson and Heather and have a good time while he visits. He brought me a delicious Skim White Mocha with Irish Cream (YUM!!!) and a COOKIE! So. Nice.

And THEN!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Stolen Lunch Item

I put this on the fridge at lunch.

Tea Tree and Mint Shampoo

Remember when I said how excited I was about that free Tea Tree and Mint Shampoo?

I am afraid to say that I am NOT IMPRESSED. It's supposed to be hydrating. The first time I used it I liked it, but now that I've been using it regularly I realize how extremely DRYING it is.

It's a sad day, folks. However, it makes decent bodywash, and it was free. I would give it a 1.5 out of 5 stars. Do NOT recommend.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Buying Stuff

I am trying so so so hard to be good and not to buy stuff right now. I know we won't be working for a whole MONTH so we need to be frugal. But it's haaaarddd because I like stufffff and I LOVE a good deal.

So. I bought stuff today. But I will try to justify it right.... NOW!

First purchase doesn't even NEED to be justified because it's FREE!

Organix Tea Tree Mint Shampoo! It came with a free "try me for free!" rebate, so I decided to take them up on their offer. I realize I had to pay $6.99 at the time of purchase, but as soon as I got back to work (I often shop during lunch) I put the rebate in the mail. I should get my rebate in the next month or so. Freeee! And smells really minty and fresh, which is nice.

Okay. Not too bad so far, right?

Well.

I went to Kmart on my lunch, thinking 'I'll just go see what's on sale.' Well. Almost the whole STORE is on sale. All Women's Fall and Winter clothes are $3.99 or less. SER.I.OUS.LY.

I started thinking.... "Jessica, you will be in Wyoming in just a little over a month. It is cold in Wyoming. And even when it's warm, it gets cold at night. Perhaps just take a little look at the sweater selection..."

C25K WEEK 6 DAY 1 AND 2

My runs this week have been a bit different! When we lived in Arcata, I would either run the "lap" around our block/area that Bryan and I mapped out to be about 1.2 miles, or I'd run at Mad River Beach. Last weekend Bryan and I drove back to Mad River Beach because it's a quieter beach and good for dogs. It also has nice long stretches that aren't popular with families, so there is less distraction.

This week was different. On Wednesday nights I attend a Ladies' Life Group in Arcata at 7pm. It's about 10 minutes away from where I work, so it doesn't make sense to drive the 20 minutes back to Eureka at 5:30 in the evening, just to eat something quickly, turn around, and drive back. Instead I went straight to my friends' house, where we have the Life Group. I brought my workout clothes and changed there and decided to run 'out in the country.' The little subdivision they live in backs up on a number of farms, so it's a nice quiet place to run.

It was a difficult run after that 23 minute run last weekend, I'll be honest. It's a lot harder for me to run in shoes than to run barefoot on sand, and I ended up getting a nasty blister. It was cool, however, to run by cows and to run towards the sun set. I was pretty happy when it was over though.

When I came home from work last night I pretty much just wanted to crash, but Hagen needed a bit of exercise. I figured if I was going to be out walking him for the next 20 minutes, I may as well run. I know the C25K program says to take a day in between runs to rest, but I figured I'd try it. It was HARD. And these weren't 20 minute runs either... it was back to interval training. Still, running those two 10 minute runs with only a 3 minute rest in between felt brutal. Hagen keeps a faster pace as well, so I was going a bit faster than normal, and I was running on my blister. Still, I'm hoping my next run will be on Saturday (so I'll get today off!!) and that it will be back at the beach, barefoot. I'm highly considering those Nike Frees or Vibram Five Fingers for running, if it's really more like barefoot. I've even considered trying to run in flats, but I think I'd just get sweaty and my foot would feel cramped. We'll have to see though.

Harvard University did a really interesting study on Barefoot Running that I recommend reading just because it's kind of cool. I'm also really enjoying "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall.


His writing reminds me a lot of Jon Krakauer; he has the same gift of writing non-fiction and making it read like fiction. You never feel like you're reading "a book about running" but more a book about these crazy people and this wacky adventure and this crazy race that takes place on top of a mountain. It's just great, fun reading. If you've read "Into the Wild" you'll know what I mean. I highly highly recommend it.

Monday, March 8, 2010

"We're trading comfort for human life... and that's not just murder, it's suicide...."

"This Too Shall Be Made Right"
- Derek Webb

people love you the most for the things you hate
and hate you for loving the things that you cannot keep straight
people judge you on a curve
and tell you you’re getting what you deserve
this too shall be made right

children cannot learn when children cannot eat
stack them like lumber when children cannot sleep
children dream of wishing wells
whose waters quench all the fires of Hell
this too shall be made right

the earth and the sky and the sea are all holding their breath
wars and abuses have nature groaning with death
we say we’re just trying to stay alive
but it looks so much more like a way to die
this too shall be made right

there’s a time for peace and there is a time for war
a time to forgive and a time to settle the score
a time for babies to lose their lives
a time for hunger and genocide
this too shall be made right

I don’t know the suffering of people outside my front door
I join the oppressors of those who i choose to ignore
I’m trading comfort for human life
and that’s not just murder it’s suicide
this too shall be made right


Dog Sitting

We are currently living in Eureka, California, with our friends Keith and Bethany. They are in Burkina Faso for the next week and a half, and we are watching their dog, Hagen. Hagen is an incredibly handsome red Doberman. He is obedient, attentive, and affectionate; pretty much everything you'd want in a dog. Bryan keeps saying if Keith and Bethany die in/move to Africa, we will take Hagen. Not that we wish bad things on our friends. But their dog is pretty awesome.


My current cycle chart...

Looks like a wacky constellation.

I will call it "Gradual Mountain Peaks."

Otherwise known as "I sure hope I ovulated when my chart said I ovulated because I'm trusting its logic better than my own."

Saturday, March 6, 2010

C25K: Week 5, Day 3

Yesterday I did Day 3 of Week 5. It was actually more like Week 7 as far as the calendar, but it's hard to run when you've been packing, cleaning, and moving for a week and a half. YES A WEEK AND A HALF. How ridiculous is that?! We had so much crap, and thankfully we got rid of a lot, but it was still incredibly reDONKulous how long the whole process took. I'm quite happy we are done with the first move. We are now living back in Eureka, about 15-20 minutes from where we were in Arcata. We're watching Keith and Bethany's house, and their dog Hagen, while they are in Africa. They're awesome enough to let us stay here the full month so we don't have to pay rent for March!

Thanks Muhlenkamps! You guys rock.

So anyway, my run yesterday. I did it barefoot again on our favorite running beach, Mad River Beach. One gal on Facebook asked, "Isn't it really really hard to run in sand?" Why yes, gal, it is, if you run on the nice dry warm sand. I however take the easy way and I run on the very wet sand, right by the water's edge. I even get a bit of splashage some times, but it's fun. When I start to get really tired I pay special attention to the shells and rocks I'm making sure not to land on. "Ohh that's a pretty rock" or "ohh look half of a sand dollar!"


Bryan at Mad River Beach
My legs were aching after 10 minutes. But Mr. Robert Ullrey's all, "ohhh you're halfway through you can totally make it!" and I was all, "You're right, Mr. Ullrey, I kick alllll sorts of booty."

And I did! I finished my 20 minutes and then I ran another three. I considered trying to run the full 30 minutes that the C25K program trains you for, but then I realized I may push it too hard and really hurt myself. For 23 minutes was good. I'm quite happy that I stopped running, because my ankles were quite tender last night. After a good sleep last night, I feel almost 100% better.

This week's program has me going back to running intervals, which I suppose is all right. Bryan said it's good, I pushed hard yesterday and this week is about watching form and relaxing a bit and all of that. I sort of just want to keep going though, maybe running 25 minutes this week and then 30 next week.

Apparently, that's not how the program works. So I have to be patient.

I'm hoping this running starts to pay off in weight loss. Bryan says I probably won't start to see results until I'm doing three 20-30 minute runs a week. I sure hope to see something when I start running that much!! For right now though, I just feel really great about all the progress I've made!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Dork dork dork

Man I am a dork sometimes.

So I got dressed this morning in a very springy strappy dress with a white puffed sleeve tee underneath. Bryan told me I looked cute and very springy.

Then I went outside and it was chilly. Eak!

Apparently it's supposed to get up to the mid 60's today but I was freezing. I thought about grabbing my jeans and just wearing something else. Then I thought about grabbing a pair of leggings.

But then I thought, "I should see if I can pull off the dress with jeans look again."

See, a number of my girlfriends here layer dresses over jeans. It always looks cute on them. And I always feel like it looks super dumb on me. But this morning, I thought I'd try it. I even asked Bryan if it was okay and he told me to go for it.

And all day I keep wondering, "am I pulling this off??" I can be super confident when I feel good about myself. And I don't feel fat in this, which is really nice. It nips even very nice under the bust and I know my boobs look good in it. And because it's a strappy halter-style dress with a tee, I don't wear a bra with it. And I LOVE not wearing a bra. I know, very Humboldt. But I've loved not wearing a bra since high school, when I could get away with a lot easier with my B cups. I'm quite bigger than that now, hence the necessity for halter style dresses and tees underneath.

So one of the guys at work told me he liked my dress and I blushed. He called me on it and asked me if that embarrassed me (it didn't) and I told him what REALLY embarrassed me is that I kept wondering if I could pull off the jeans and dress thing!!!

MAN I am awkward.

He pretty much told me that it's Humboldt county and no one cares what you wear, and people wear really weird crap here so I could pretty much get away with anything. It wasn't "You are TOTALLY pulling that off" but it was pretty good. Good enough that I felt alright wearing this for the rest of the day, at least.

Confidence, Jessica, confidence.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

If you had.....

500 bucks, no strings attached, to spend on whatever you want, what would you spend it on??

Okay, realistically, I would spend it on plane tickets home to Chicago. But we're talking about frivolity here, folks! This is assuming that I can budget for plane tickets and this is just fun money.

Mad money even. Quick story: my grandmother always had $20 in her wallet for when things 'come up.' It was called mad money, and it was to be spent on fun, cute things, or for ice cream, that sort of thing. When she passed away my senior year of high school, her only son, my Uncle Craig, put $20 in this little drawer in her casket. She always had mad money on her, so it seemed appropriate.

Today is a crappy day for me. Work sucks, we're super short staffed, and I keep thinking of all the stuff I need to get done at the apartment. And at the Muhlenkamps', where we're currently living/moving. Bryan got off work early so he has to do all the work himself, which is lame. And it just got sunny and what I could really really use is a good run, get some of this anxious energy out and stretch my legs.

Alas. I cannot.

So instead I'm going to revel in some "window shopping" online, in between helping patients.

So. $500. How would you spend it??

I think of a lot of people would be tempted to get one big thing. My husband, for instance, would get a television. While I would love a nice big television, that's just not how I am when it comes to spending. Oh no. I want a vast array of stuff. STUFFFFFF.

To start off with, I think I would get these mugs from Anthropologie:

I already have the "J" and "L" mugs, so at $6 a mug, this would be about $145 dollars (we're not counting tax on these fake purchases).

Monday, March 1, 2010

March 2010 Anthropologie Catalogue

Almost every gal I know that's in her 20s-30s has a love affair with Anthropologie. And who wouldn't? They have ridiculously cute stuff and everything has that "you will feel unique if you wear this" vibe, even though it's mass produced. Not only that but everything is expensive so it feels super fancy. When my husband really likes something I wear/make, he'll say it looks "very Anthropologie." And then I hug him.

So I went to our almost-totally-moved-out-of-has-very-little-food apartment and lo and behold, there was the new Anthro catalogue in the mail! Yum!

One of the things I love about Anthro is it is so darn cute and styled, and it totally inspires me every time I go into the store or open one of their mailings. It's just great. So I'm pretty much going to show you lovely readers a few of the things that stuck out to me today.

First of all, bathing suits. I love bathing suits even though I totally hate shopping for them or wearing them. Weird? Yes. But I love that they represent summer and fun and when they really start to hit the stores I get all giddy about sunshine. When I was a size 6 I was quite inclined to wear bikinis. Now that I'm not size 6 (ahem) I am much more comfortable in one-pieces, which I think can be a bit more adult anyways. So I was looking at bathing suits and I started to wonder.... could I sew a bathing suit? I have a perfectly good machine. My mom made herself a bathing suit (and one for me!) so I know it can be done. So I'm considering trying it out this summer. Here are two that I am loooving. I'm hoping I can replicate this sort of thing.