Tag Archives: life challenges

In other news….

That picture is soooo not me, I don’t have a picture of me working out! Perhaps I should fix that!

Anyway, to start, my stress triggers recap: house hunt/purchase attempt(s), Equifax mumbo jumbo, mortgage application, frigid weather, sinus cold, my dad’s state of being, hormones, relationships/moving-on from pointless hopes, kids being kids…

Yeah: I think that’s most of the ones I’ve talked about of late.

Now add to that my brand new shiny computer had a glitch from a recent Microsoft update, and the resulting frustrations over not being able to work on my dome designs. I had really hoped to have a significant amount of that completed to show here by now, but alas it will have to wait until the glitch is resolved. I won’t have Sunday time to do that until after Thanksgiving, but I very much look forward to the results when I eventually do get to it.

I am slowly chipping away at the process to become a continuing education course provider. Currently I’m on the portfolio/curriculum vitae. It doesn’t seem on the surface that it would be a big deal, but organizing 15 years of applicable skills into the format they are seeking is a bit tedious. So that is not completely done yet either, and I haven’t even started writing my courses. I projected 6 months when I decided to commit, and like all cases, my estimate may or may not be entirely accurate, but I will eventually complete it. One step at a time, as my schedule allows.

Finally, because of all these stress triggers, I’m feeling the need to burn it off – quite literally!

Except when I’m smack dab in the middle of a stress-trip with a spice cake right in front of me, I have little to no appetite. I’m still eating, but finding it easier and easier to stick to healthy items in very small portions. That’s a great thing! Especially since I’m officially eating vegan now; no grains, no meat, no dairy, no soy, no nightshade vegetables; except that darned piece of cake!

Then, I have a strong desire to move nearly constantly. In between clients I am finding myself pacing quite a bit. I’ve also been taking every opportunity to go exercise. Being it’s been so much colder, nearly all of my workouts have moved inside. I’ve been alternating between the Planet Fitness across the street from work and the YMCA near home.

I have been lifting 2 to 3 times a week, except this week because my cold caused a missed day. I do use the dummy-proof machines since I’m not working with a trainer or spotter.

As for cardio, I am still getting at least 40 min of speed walking via treadmill 4 to 5 days a week, I aim for an hour when possible. I fluctuate between 3.8 and 4.2 mph on the treadmill because I so enjoy matching the beat of the music I’m listening to. This last week though, I’ve been working with incline more, to push the cardio aspect a bit. It’s that or run, and I really don’t enjoy running…. ¿Yet!? …. Will I ever?

Anyway, I just wanted to share my progress with my readers to show you really can do anything you want. For me, that just means a little of everything.

My current lifts are all weights based on 3 to 5 sets of 10 reps at a time. I do 2 sessions, with the second hitting 5 sets, before I raise the weight by 5 pounds again. Last week I had a day I pushed a little too far or too fast and I really felt it for a couple days afterwards.

  • Leg press 205
  • Leg extension 85
  • Seated leg curl 90
  • Inner thigh (Adductor) 110
  • Outer thigh (Abductor) 110
  • -Glute extension 70 (I haven’t actually done this one recently so it may not be completely accurate.)
  • Back extension 140
  • Abdominal (curl- arms up) 85
  • Abdominal (curl- arms front) 80
  • Rotary torso 80
  • Lateral raise 55
  • Shoulder press (I just learned this is also called military press, and it was one I had backslide on poorly, I’m part way back up.) 30
  • Tricep extension 55
  • Tricep press 65
  • Biceps curl 30
  • Lat pull down 70
  • Seated row 65

I haven’t been good about logging my times weightlifting in the health tracker- mainly because I log the pounds and sets in a different app and forget to duplicate it, but here’s my average steps and calories views.

I’m not seeing the results myself yet, but several people have said I’m looking better these days. In my pregnancies, that stage was 2 to 3 weeks before I actually noticed changes myself. Besides the scales have not budged, they still stay between 220 and 225. Merh.

I welcome all of you to share your progress in the comments as well. I’d really love to know if there’s anyone out there that I’ve inspired in any way, or encouraged to persevere through their own struggles. And there’s always room for commiseration in fitness journeys!

May you all have easy stress free times. May you have great work-outs with plenty of support. May you find you only desire the calories your body needs. And finally, may you see results of your own hard work.

Siva Hir Su

Lookin’ Up

So the new year has brought challenges, all of which I’ve met so far.

I was hired full time as Activities Director. Yet to see a pay raise from it. Oh well, I’ve come to realize corperations rarely stay good on promises designed to get the good workers to do something. I fell hook, line and sinker for that stinker again.

Cleaned up mess number two from the oaf I filled in for. This time for good.

Lost power for 3 days due to Winter weather and stayed afloat with a minimum of lost wages, and only one night in a hotel.

The ball joint went out on our only vehicle, noticably making noise on a Saturday. We were gentle on the car to get through until the first available opportunity to see our mechanic (Tuesday), and $400 later we were rolling normally again.

Unburrying from oaf’s mess required extra work hours, some of which I voluntarily did off the clock to ensure meeting other needs during the week. Corporate neither knows nor cares, as they are against overtime at all costs, and all they care about is a warm body keeping things moving from resident/outsider perspective. So problem solved. The ones that care, most likely noticed, as I’ve had many compliments about how I’m such a hard worker this week.

The whole mess put together led to weak self-control with food, and reduced sleep, so I did loose my upbeat demeanor briefly on Friday. I apologized to those present and regained composure to complete my work week.

I will get back on my wagon- AGAIN!

I spent part of my week in training for software we currently use, though apparently not to its fullest potential. It left the trainer and I both with things to straighten out technologically. I also pointed out to my manager incongruent polar opposite sentiments between the training that day and the company Facebook posting policy, she essentially said “I know you should have said something to them”. So now I get to be the bearer of an uncomfortable email conversation in hindsight. Yea me. But hey, it might make two of our other processes easier and quicker- more efficient. That’s a good thing.

And I keep trucking.

I’m looking forward to extras I’ve put into the entertainment calendar for February, including a birthday party for myself. I figure since my birthday already falls on a Friday, which is the usual day for music and Happy hour, why not add a few extras to make it special for me. That includes inviting my family and what few friends I still have, to join us -on the house. I’m quite looking forward to it and hoping at least a couple of people can come down for a bit that afternoon. It would go miles to reducing my feeling of ostricized loneliness, something I know is completely an unintentional side effect of working so darned much.

It’ll be a moment of relief regardless of who shows up.

I’ve come to acknowledge that in a way the residents have become my friends and family to a large extent. They genuinely want to know me, how I’m doing, and especially all about my little ones. That means mountains to me. I hope that this arrangement continues to be full of warm fuzzy moments, and sets my steady course to another step better.

May you all clear this winter with warm fuzzy moments of improvement, feelings of belonging, and loving celebrations.

“Nobody said it was easy…

No one ever said it would be this hard.” – Coldplay

That’s us.

I’m still waiting to find out if the birth is going to be covered by the insurance I was required to take (per government regulations in December). Insurance that cost me nearly a thousand dollars and my employer over three thousand. By that means alone I think they should have to, being the premium charges are greater than medical services provided to me during eligibility. My birth costs if rejected will be $3200 (that’s about 3 grand less than a hospital birth with no complications), and to-date the insurance has covered $35 of chiropractic and about $200 in labs. I’m still crossing my fingers they cover at least the thousand dollars worth of premiums taken out of my paycheck.

Anyway, I’m doing my best to stay positive, and not having complete success.

I wish life were like college, or school in general. I did great in academics, school was easy. Follow the rules, do your work, and poof you’re done. I Graduated in 4 years with honors, and 2 semesters of double load. I am that person that set/busted test curves and slept through classes to still get A’s.

Life is not that.

What do I mean? It’s a jumbled confusing mess of “wants to’s” vs “have to’s” vs societal dictations vs expectations of/by myself and others.

My baby wants me, just me. Nathan is OK at times, Hannah gets by for a while too, but ultimately, she just wants mommy. All day, and all night, every day.

The problem is, Ian has gotten jealous of her getting all the attention and has started making the same demands, acting out to a very obnoxious and frustrating level.

It’s impossible for me to do the same thing for both children, I must share my time.

Beyond that I’ve been contemplatinging myself, my needs and desires.

Even if I had the luxury of being able to stay home indefinitely, be it working at home or simply retiring due to money plenty, I couldn’t solely devote all of my time to two children. It would drive me insane, my brain requires variety, and lack of variety literally stifles me.

Thus, this month has held the most challenges in just attempting to appease my brain. Too many days inside watching and feeding children has left me stir crazy, but then going out leaves me shaking my head in confusion. I don’t want to spend any more money than necessary to keep savings in case the birth doesn’t get covered, but I still want to have fun. Then I find myself not knowing what fun looks likes anymore. Everything seems like too much work to accommodate two littles and my special diet, & some things just seem plain impossible. I find myself saying I’m not sure what to do, because the old me and the new me (with 2 babies) are 2 different people.

I’ve been attempting to stick to Abraham processes, and my success is still minimal. I work myself up to just fall again. Figuratively and literally.

Figuratively: I have moments where I feel like a naive fool, a wishful idiot, having let myself get hurt. Then I beat myself up for letting it continue to dog me, but have to acknowledge all of the external reminders that contribute to remembering.

I have other moments where I’m overwhelmed with all of the things I’ve yet to finish from before birth, knowing its simply more difficult to get them done when the baby wants to cling to me. I have to stop and acknowledge that I have managed to still accomplish some of them, just not all.

Then I have moments where I panic because it’s time to return to work, and on one hand I want to-finances and variety are needed; but not wanting to on the other-because a large part of me has really been enjoying cuddling with baby and playing with Ian so much.

Those figurative moments have started manifesting literally physically. I’ve fallen 3 times in a little over a week, and I never fall. Previously, my only fall in the last five years was during an attempt at ice skating.

Yet, I’ve fallen tripping over baby’s bouncy seat, luckily I fell sideways and baby didn’t even stir. Then I missed the last 2 steps going downstairs, and fell hard. Baby did notice that one, but was okay more startled and scared than hurt. Hell, that one scared me. I’m still feeling the hurt with several bruises, but it scares me fiercely that I could have really hurt baby. My third fall was on our outdoor swing. It’s one of those bench style with cushions, and I have no idea how, but I hit the ground going to sit on it and knocked the swing off it’s hooks. That after having fallen on the stairs, so baby cried, but again was just startled, as she was snug and safe in the moby.

However, at this point I don’t trust myself, pretty much at all. I’m now to the point that if I have to do something that might cause a fall I either go very slow with baby in a snug sling or I pass baby to someone else. I’ve even stayed upstairs and talked from a distance and tossed things down to avoid going up and down stairs too often. This week has scared me immensely.

So, time to focus, ground, and find some balance.

I want to make my kids happy while still meeting my needs and desires, and meeting necessities of life in a big family. I want enough rest, exercise, and enough variety to keep my brain happy. I want to feel like a productive member of society and be helpful to other humans in need. I want to enjoy my daily activities. I want to feel loved and supported. I want to see my manifestations take shape in wonderful ways. And I acknowledge that the universe knows the solutions for all of these requests and more, so ultimately I want to be in the best receiving mode I can be. I want to allow the divine to assist me with these and all of my requests. My asking is already done.

Relax. Breathe. Believe & Know. Allow. (That’s the hard part!)

When plans change….

So today I had 3 goals in my plans:

1) mow the lawn

2) get a shower

3) go to choir/orchestra practice

Nathan had 3 goals as well:

1) haul water

2) do dishes

3) go to writers group followed by choir/ orchestra practice

I ate breakfast,  made sure kids ate. Filled water bowls inside & out.  The cats & chickens & duck all appreciated that….

I was 30 minutes into mowing when I hit a bit of insulation from the remodel house. 

 Suddenly the mower wasn’t acting right.  My heart sank. I was only about an 8th of the way done. 

I lifted the mower to see this: 

WTF- where’d the blade go. 

It was 2 ft to the side,  & there was a bit of plastic I guessed must be the drive belt cover.


I asked Nathan if we had a back-up mower.  He said “no”, followed by “why?”.

 I told him what happened, & after much jesting, he helped me reformulate plans. 

The mower wasn’t an instant fix. So, take it to a small engine repair guy in Gallatin later. 

However,  I was really just getting started on mowing & this was truly my only chance for days to do so. The grass is so tall already! 

So the new plan,  a “quick” run to Cameron for a smaller as-cheap-as-it-gets mower as our back-up. About an hour & $150 later,  we’ll be somewhat back on track… sort of. I hope. I hope we get our goals accomplished anyway. 


Ian liked mower shopping, mommy just wishes she could afford his favorite….


We finally have a yard again. 3 hours,  about an acre of grass, & 15000 steps later… sigh… I have just enough time to solar shower myself before orchestra practice…. nicer shower will have to wait till tomorrow. 

“Your name is your virtue”

Listening  to Jason Mraz’s song “I’m Yours”,  I always get choked up and want to cry over that line.  “Your name is your virtue.”

Google  shows the definition of virtue as the following:


behavior showing high moral standards.
“paragons of virtue”

synonyms:goodness, virtuousness, righteousness,moralityintegritydignityrectitude,honordecencyrespectabilitynobility,worthiness, purity; More

(in traditional Christian angelology) the seventh highest order of the ninefold celestial hierarchy.


Those are all wonderful words.  I believe those are elements that most people would strive to embody.  I think as  humans,  most of us feel an innate need to “be good”. I know I certainly feel like I do.

It’s hard though, especially when life throws you challenges that would otherwise make it easy to swing the other way.

I didn’t ask for my husband to have health problems.  I didn’t ask for my Gallbladder to fail.  I didn’t ask for all the medical bills,  or  having to become the provider for my family.  I didn’t ask for all of the resulting financial woes,  and certainty didn’t want to default on my student loans.  But once it had happened its nearly impossible to undo it all. I will never be able to get credit again, unless I can magically pay back my student loans which are now 3 times their original amount because of all the penalties.

Anything’s possible,  but that is not probable in my current state of affairs.

So what’s a person  to do? I’ll admit I’ve had to steal a couple  of times to be able to make ends meet. I’m not proud of it,  but I’m not going to let my children starve either.  Anya is not my biological child and before her mom died they wouldn’t let  me count her as being in our household.  I still had to feed her,  and food banks here only allow you 3 trips per year unless you are homeless. I wouldn’t let that, combined with my inability to compensate for losing my husband’s income, prevent us from eating and having  a home.  So when rent was due it got paid,  and I found other ways to feed us. I gathered as much as I could from our  environment. It’s interesting to eat salads made with wild violets,  field greens, and wild strawberries, but we did.  I found wild fruits, mulberries, and all kinds of wild  edibles, but that’s not a loaf of bread  or muffin that a 3 year old wants to eat.  I had to feed her too. When our food became bare,  I did what I had to.

Yet I had scruples.  I wouldn’t steal from a local person.  I wouldn’t steal from someone that might not be any better off than we were.  I only took from big stores that I knew were budgeting for  theft and still making profits. Does that make my past thefts ok? Not really, I should never have been in that place to begin with,  and even though it was a last resort,  it was still theft. I’ll always have to live  with the fact that I was unable to find another way to ensure my daughter from another mother was fed. 

So obviously,  even though I aim for being virtuous,  I haven’t always been.

But why is my name as my virtue so intense for me? Well,  this is where I divulge myself.

My birth name: plain old Teresa Smith
Treasa means Reaper.
Smith is a craft worker that uses metal and flame, most people think of iron workers.

I’ve never felt that I’ve been a reaper of anything,  but I wish I were. I am an artist,  and I do use metal and flame on occasion,  but I would not call myself a smith in the sense of iron worker.

Perhaps,  that is why changing my name wasn’t too painful.  When Nathan and I were planning on getting married I’d had so many instances of getting things for other Teresa Smiths’ that I decided I wanted to change and be unique.  One of a kind.

So I did.
  Now I have a Married name.

Treasa- I wanted to keep the essence of my birth  name, but be unique.  So I opted to take the Treasa of my heritage.  It’s Irish Gaelic, and originally meant strength.

I took a middle name too. I’d never had one before and hated that most people had middle names and I didn’t.

I stayed with the Gaelic theme and chose Darinne, which supposedly meant prosperous. I liked the sound of the name, and again I wish I were prosperous.

Finally,  last name: Cailleach. It is Gaelic, but not technically a name,  more of a title.  The Cailleach of a community was the wise woman/medicine woman,  often a shaman or witch,  and would get called a hag in jest. Again,  with exception to the hag reference,  that’s something that I aim to embody.

So again,  why does that make me want to cry?

I think it’s because I doubt myself.  Having been through such hard times,  having been so far down, having done  things I would rather not have,  and finally talking this new journey just to feel like I have  a real home for once. It’s like I am that bad person that nobody wants to be around. I’m the bad egg of society,  broke,  destitute,  and having to use government assistance just to make it through life, even my own family no longer talks to me.  And it’s all so far from where I wanted to be. It’s all seemingly so impossible to reach for, that I’ve relegated to only being able to attain those qualities under some sort of miracle intervention.

Don’t get me wrong,  I’m going to keep trying,  keep doing my best,  and even though the trailer is taking 3 times longer than I hoped,  it’s still progressing- which means that eventually I will have a home similar to what I’ve always wanted. It might just take me longer than I prefer. It’s just not the virtuous life that I’ve dreamed of.  It’s not the beautiful dome  home, farm, and successful business combination that I dreamed of creating completely off the grid and utility free. That dream may or may not ever come true in my lifetime. C’est la vie.

I can only hope,  and keep meditating,  and praying, and maybe one day it might.

For now I’ll just do with what I have,  my hands and time.  And if the shit hits  the fan again,  I’ll just have  another screaming match with the universe about how it could help fix things. It does  usually get a little temporary relief at least.  It seems that my angry fury is like no other, and even the universe responds like “alright already, I get it – you’re upset,  I’ll help you”.

Just wish I didn’t have to get  that kind of angry to get some help.