Departing on a magical journey to the land of good health

Something I don’t write about is health. Probably because I’ve never been too focused or concerned about it. I’m not the healthiest person in the world, but I’m not the worse either. That being said, two years ago I started a health initiative for myself. I wanted to get healthy and stay that way. For about a year I was well on that road. Then something happened and I decided to take a break (honestly don’t remember what, I think I just got busy and allowed some of my old habits to creep back in and make me lazy). Seeing as how I started in October last time, I’m going to go ahead and do that again and lose the rest of the weight I wanted to lose back in 2012. I lost about half of my goal the first time around, so now it is beyond time to lose the other half.

All choicesWhat steps am I taking? For starters, actual steps. Working out is obviously a big key to weight loss and overall health, but as many will tell you that is only a part of the equation. Another is adopting a healthier diet, or at least one that doesn’t include eating everything in sight. Another factor, one talked about less often, is how important mental health is to overall health. The mind is the pilot, if it’s not ‘on-board’ how can it deliver the body to where it needs to be?

I gave myself a ‘soft’ start (not unlike a soft opening businesses do) last week. Weighed in, developed a plan (like any FCCLA-er would), and started implementing what I could. To conquer the physical I found some 30-day fitness challenges I could do (one for each month) as well as got my work out clothes ready (found and washed) for going to the fitness center. For the diet I organized a couple weeks of meal plans to get me started. To improve and maintain my mental state I made some cards to keep me motivated, valuable things to remember in general and made my health binder. Overkill? Perhaps, but what I’ve been doing hasn’t been working, so things needed to change.

October 15

Bi-monthly weigh-in progress

Monday was my real kick off. What does that look like? Everyday eating the right kind of foods at sensible portions, tick off one day’s worth of fitness challenge, go to the gym 3 times a week (for starters, will work my way up to the recommended 5) and keeping a good head on my shoulders. Hopefully, with some dedication and patience I’ll make my goal by my birthday. It’s a long way off (seven and a half months) but I have a long way to go.

We’ll see how this experiment goes. Maybe by writing about it/needing something to write I’ll be inspired to stay on track. Fingers crossed.

Until next time
~ Q

Fall is here!

Has it been two months yet? Not quite? Well, that’s okay. I suppose I can write a post any way. So Summer is over. Shocking no one I wasn’t able to blog 15 weeks in a row. August really took me out and September stomped me down, but here we are in October. Not to say bad things happened in August and September, quite the opposite! It just kept me busy and I didn’t take the time to write. Refocusing on that now.

The house keeps inching along and there is light at the end of the tunnel! Which is fortunate because I will have 6 house guests for a long weekend in just over 6 weeks. Wow, I really shouldn’t have written that. Puts things in perspective a little too much. However it’s also quite weird to think that that means Thanksgiving is right around the corner and with it extended family time! I’ll hold photos of the progress for another time since I want to finish this post before my mom gets here. That’s right, we’re working tonight. (To those of you who know my father/my family this will not come as a shock, but I have a detailed list of every single thing (I think) I need to do everyday of the week in order to have everything just ‘so’ before winter/the holidays hit. It’s intense and I love it. Keeps me focused which, let’s face it, I need.)

Already I’ve had a reunion with one side of the family. Two weekends ago the Quarnstrom’s got together for a Northwest Missouri Bearcat game. Both my father and uncle went to school there. My dad only has one brother and they both managed to get all of their kids (and grandkids) wrangled together for a Saturday of fun (even me, who swore up and down I would NEVER go to a game in Maryville. Well played dad, well played). After 6 or 7 years, it was nice to be able to catch up and see what my cousins and uncle & aunt have been up to.

With what little free time I have left (that I don’t decide to just loaf around at home) I’ve managed to cut out some time with the friends. Just last night I went to a concert with one of my buddies.

Hear that weirdo laughing? Yup. That’s me. Good times. We even waited around after the show to meet Ingrid. Although she was quite pressed for time so we only got a few moments with her we got to talk to Billy (the dude singing on stage in the video) for a short while which was quite fun. I don’t go to many concerts so it was a nice break from the norm.

Okay, well time is tight and I have some wood shoes to measure and cut.

Until next time
~ Q

Week Eleven of Summer

Drawings 11 The eleventh week of summer was an odd one, full of intentions that didn’t go quite to plan. My parent’s were gone on vacation and I was left in charge of their plants. Now I am not the most faithful at watering plants so I was a wee bit concerned. Luckily it all worked out and I managed to keep them and their cat alive – hooray!

Drive-InOutside of family ‘duties’ I had made several plans, some of which that didn’t quite work out. On Thursday I had planned to go to a Drive-In movie (Guardians of the Galaxy) with my friends. Mother Nature had other plans. The week started with rain and kept up on Thursday. So rather than sit in our car and watch it through windshield wipers we, being a flexible bunch, altered our plans. Instead we went to an Irish pub for dinner and went to the theater to watch it. (Clearly NOT seeing the movie was no longer an option. We were all rather excited to see it). It was awesome. I recommend it.

HikeI had the day off on Friday so I continued leisurely working on the basement. I FINALLY completed muddying and sanding the last of the drywall. (Hint – this is very very exciting.) I also got said room primed. What what! Work continued on Saturday when I painted the stairwell. After so much productivity I decided to pack up and go for a hike. It did not go quite to plan either. I made it about 1/2-3/4 of a mile in before the mosquitoes got too bad and I had to turn around. They’re wicked little blood suckers. I think I’ll postpone that hike until the fall when the they’ve gone for the season.

ConcertSunday rolls around, the day that I had planned to go to an outdoor concert. I was kind of excited to see Ingrid Michaelson but earlier in the week I discovered the concert was cancelled. Presumably because of the rain (I’m guessing that don’t blend well with an outdoor venue). So the plans for the day rather cleared up. I was feeling rather productive when I woke up so I went ahead and got the bedroom painted. So all in all, despite the week not going to plan it was still quite lovely.

Until next time
~Q

Summer Series: Intro | Week One | Week Two | Week Three | Week Four | Week Five | Week Six | Week Seven | Week Eight | Week Nine | Week Ten

Daily Writings: August 5 | August 6 | August 7 | August 8 | August 9 | August 10 | August 11

Summer 2014

  1. Nap in a Hammock
  2. Have a Bonfire
  3. Play Sand Volleyball
  4. Visit an Iowa Winery
  5. Go to the Zoo
  6. Eat Sushi
  7. Go Stargazing
  8. Christmas in June
  9. Rainy Day Picnic
  10. Make a Summer Soundtrack
  11. Visit a Bed & Breakfast
  12. Ride a Carousel
  13. Go Camping
  14. Watch a Baseball Game
  15. Harry Potter Non-Stop Movie Marathon
  16. Radio Silence (no music, tv, computer or phone for 24 hours)
  17. Watch a Movie Outside
  18. Go Roller Blading
  19. Go to a Concert
  20. Go Wading
  21. Go Bowling
  22. Make Caramel Apples
  23. Meal Over a Fire
  24. Launch a Firecracker
  25. Urban Exploration
  26. Have a BBQ
  27. Make a Quilt (started)
  28. Blow Bubbles on the Porch
  29. Play Bocce Ball
  30. Go People Watching
  31. Fill the Tank & Drive
  32. Make Wind Chimes
  33. Draw a Landscape
  34. Go Berry Picking
  35. Take a Weekend Trip Alone
  36. Paint a Canvas
  37. Do Yoga
  38. Make a Meal using only Farmer’s Market Food
  39. Spend the Afternoon on a Riverbank
  40. Watch a Sunrise
  41. Attend a Street Market
  42. Listen to Rock Music from a different country
  43. Picnic in the Park
  44. Start a Wish Tree
  45. See a Drive-In Movie
  46. Make Sangria
  47. Go for a Hike
  48. Go to a Fair
  49. Make a Banana Split
  50. Sketch Everyday
  51. Give to Others (donate old clothes to charity)

Week Ten of Summer

Attend Street Market I know this is late, but c’est la vie. Summer is (or was) two-thirds done! The excitement of my tenth week of summer was Saturday. I decided to get up nice and early and head to the Des Moines farmer’s market. It was fun to walk around and see what is being produced locally. I managed to snag a few things for supper later that night.

Week 10 drawingsAfter touring around the market I returned home and was already muddying my bedroom when my mom called at 9:30 to see where I was. To say she was surprised would be an understatement. Who sleeps in on weekends?

Farmer's Market FoodLater that afternoon I took my loot from the market and concocted a lovely treat for supper. There were so many options there it was hard not to get too much food, but I ended up with some nice fresh green onions, new potatoes, some Gouda cheese (with bacon) and some focaccia with green peppers and garlic. With such beginnings I went with cheesy hash browns with a side of bread. I don’t usually make hash browns so I’d call it a success. Really it was just nice to get out and enjoy the day in a way I don’t always get to, which, of course, is the point.

Until next time
~Q

Summer Series: Intro | Week One | Week Two | Week Three | Week Four | Week Five | Week Six | Week Seven | Week Eight | Week Nine

Daily Writings: July 29 | July 30 | July 31 | August 1 | August 2 | August 3 | August 4

Summer 2014

  1. Nap in a Hammock
  2. Have a Bonfire
  3. Play Sand Volleyball
  4. Visit an Iowa Winery
  5. Go to the Zoo
  6. Eat Sushi
  7. Go Stargazing
  8. Christmas in June
  9. Rainy Day Picnic
  10. Make a Summer Soundtrack
  11. Visit a Bed & Breakfast
  12. Ride a Carousel
  13. Go Camping
  14. Watch a Baseball Game
  15. Harry Potter Non-Stop Movie Marathon
  16. Radio Silence (no music, tv, computer or phone for 24 hours)
  17. Watch a Movie Outside
  18. Go Roller Blading
  19. Go to a Concert
  20. Go Wading
  21. Go Bowling
  22. Make Caramel Apples
  23. Meal Over a Fire
  24. Launch a Firecracker
  25. Urban Exploration
  26. Have a BBQ
  27. Make a Quilt (started)
  28. Blow Bubbles on the Porch
  29. Play Bocce Ball
  30. Go People Watching
  31. Fill the Tank & Drive
  32. Make Wind Chimes
  33. Draw a Landscape
  34. Go Berry Picking
  35. Take a Weekend Trip Alone
  36. Paint a Canvas
  37. Do Yoga
  38. Make a Meal using only Farmer’s Market Food
  39. Spend the Afternoon on a Riverbank
  40. Watch a Sunrise
  41. Attend a Street Market
  42. Listen to Rock Music from a different country
  43. Picnic in the Park
  44. Start a Wish Tree
  45. See a Drive-In Movie
  46. Make Sangria
  47. Go for a Hike
  48. Go to a Fair
  49. Make a Banana Split
  50. Sketch Everyday
  51. Give to Others (donate old clothes to charity)

Week Nine of Summer

Week 9 DrawingsA very slow week, last week, for yours truly. Well I say that. There was stuff happening. The week just ended rather quickly. Between all the random things going on (house work, summer shenanigans with friends, family time, etc) I did manage to get something checked off my list! CarouselMy coworkers and I volunteered to run the town carousel for a few hours on Sunday. While running it, my parents brought my nephew around and we all took a ride. That’s it though. So besides celebrating my mom’s birthday, attending a farewell potluck for an acquaintance and getting to have a drink with one of my besties who was in from out of town, that was my seek.

Until next time
~Q

Summer Series: Intro | Week One | Week Two | Week Three | Week Four | Week Five | Week Six | Week Seven | Week Eight

Daily Writings: July 22 | July 23 | July 24 | July 25 | July 26 | July 27 | July 28

Summer 2014

  1. Nap in a Hammock
  2. Have a Bonfire
  3. Play Sand Volleyball
  4. Visit an Iowa Winery
  5. Go to the Zoo
  6. Eat Sushi
  7. Go Stargazing
  8. Christmas in June
  9. Rainy Day Picnic
  10. Make a Summer Soundtrack
  11. Visit a Bed & Breakfast
  12. Ride a Carousel
  13. Go Camping
  14. Watch a Baseball Game
  15. Harry Potter Non-Stop Movie Marathon
  16. Radio Silence (no music, tv, computer or phone for 24 hours)
  17. Watch a Movie Outside
  18. Go Roller Blading
  19. Go to a Concert
  20. Go Wading
  21. Go Bowling
  22. Make Caramel Apples
  23. Meal Over a Fire
  24. Launch a Firecracker
  25. Urban Exploration
  26. Have a BBQ
  27. Make a Quilt (started)
  28. Blow Bubbles on the Porch
  29. Play Bocce Ball
  30. Go People Watching
  31. Fill the Tank & Drive
  32. Make Wind Chimes
  33. Draw a Landscape
  34. Go Berry Picking
  35. Take a Weekend Trip Alone
  36. Paint a Canvas
  37. Do Yoga
  38. Make a Meal using only Farmer’s Market Food
  39. Spend the Afternoon on a Riverbank
  40. Watch a Sunrise
  41. Attend a Street Market
  42. Listen to Rock Music from a different country
  43. Picnic in the Park
  44. Start a Wish Tree
  45. See a Drive-In Movie
  46. Make Sangria
  47. Go for a Hike
  48. Go to a Fair
  49. Make a Banana Split
  50. Sketch Everyday
  51. Give to Others (donate old clothes to charity)

Week Eight of Summer

CampingLast weekend ended up being quite the weekend! My family and I went to my sister’s place in Minnesota for a camping weekend. We haven’t been camping in a couple of years because the last time we went was an unmitigated disaster. Well, in some respects it was, in others it was quite fun. Part of the reason it was so terrible was that it randomly rained. However, the rain was nice enough to only rain at night. My sister and brother-in-law might disagree though. Their air mattress turned traitor in the middle of the night and deflated. The tent joined the party and leaked so that caused the two of them to wake up in water the next day. So that was a whole thing.Then we were up on the bluffs playing a board game when it rained bugs. You might think that’s hyperbole. Let me be clear. It’s not. We were under a tree and out of no where these little black gross bugs started falling. I still don’t really understand what the deal with that was, but once we heard it was suppose to rain during the second night as well we bumped up our departure from 10 am the next morning to 8 pm that evening. We were all happier for that choice.

FireworksNow you know some of the baggage we all had going into this weekend. This weekend we decided to test the waters of camping by just sleeping in tents in my sister’s back yard. It was the first time sleeping in a tent (and outside I believe) for my nephew (who is three). I am pleased to announce that from that stand point (and many others) it was a resounding success! Little squirt loves camping and all that comes with it. We slept in sleeping bags and tents. Had a fire, roasted marshmallows for smores. (He helped me and when we lit some on fire that no one would eat, he sided with me statingFire that he liked burnt marshmallows. He then proceeded, like I did, to eat the burnt ‘mallow sans smore. Best. Ally. Ever.) My sister also surprised us by having a fireworks pack at her house. I forget it’s legal to have them in Minnesota. They let me light most of them, but honestly that was to add to the show. Shenanigans all around, but I didn’t burn myself, anyone else, or the tent. Although that last one was a concern at first.

PicnicThe next day we lazed about before packing up chips and drinks and heading to a deli. After securing sandwiches we went to a park along one of Minnesota’s many lakes for a picnic. It was a delightful afternoon. After our picnic we took a quick trolly ride. Although it only lasted a few minutes we learned a lot about the history of the trolly system in the cities. Quite fun. After that we went to a play structure and while nephew climbed to his heart’s content my sister’s and I played speed dominoes. (Dominoes is a thing in my family, however I had never played with sixes and less. With that set-up the game flies.) After that we decided to rent a paddle-boat and go out on the lake. LakeI remember doing paddle-boats at summer camp and I don’t remember it being quite so difficult. Maybe it was because we were a man down. We rented a four-person boat and manned it with myself, my two sisters and my nephew. He couldn’t quite reach the pedals yet, so he got to ride completely. It might have gone better if I was more effective. I was laughing so hard it made peddling difficult. My bad.

Week 8That, in a nutshell, was my weekend. Lots of laughing, family bonding, and games. Then we got back and my mother and I attached the basement with avengence. My parents are headed out west in a couple weeks, and I challenged her (and myself) to get all the little tweaks done before she left. We had some random patching that we needed to get done before I could finish up muddying, spackling and priming. So while my parents go out west for a wedding I’ll stay home and hopefully get the walls all done. Pipe dream perhaps, but I’ll keep dreaming it. It just might work out.

Until next time
~Q

Summer Series: Intro | Week One | Week Two | Week Three | Week Four | Week Five | Week Six | Week Seven

Daily Writings: July 15 | July 16 | July 17 | July 18 (Posted July 21) | July 19 (Posted July 22) | July 20 (Posted July 23) | July 21

Summer 2014

  1. Nap in a Hammock
  2. Have a Bonfire
  3. Play Sand Volleyball
  4. Visit an Iowa Winery
  5. Go to the Zoo
  6. Eat Sushi
  7. Go Stargazing
  8. Christmas in June
  9. Rainy Day Picnic
  10. Make a Summer Soundtrack
  11. Visit a Bed & Breakfast
  12. Ride a Carousel
  13. Go Camping
  14. Watch a Baseball Game
  15. Harry Potter Non-Stop Movie Marathon
  16. Radio Silence (no music, tv, computer or phone for 24 hours)
  17. Watch a Movie Outside
  18. Go Roller Blading
  19. Go to a Concert
  20. Go Wading
  21. Go Bowling
  22. Make Caramel Apples
  23. Meal Over a Fire
  24. Launch a Firecracker
  25. Urban Exploration
  26. Have a BBQ
  27. Make a Quilt (started)
  28. Blow Bubbles on the Porch
  29. Play Bocce Ball
  30. Go People Watching
  31. Fill the Tank & Drive
  32. Make Wind Chimes
  33. Draw a Landscape
  34. Go Berry Picking
  35. Take a Weekend Trip Alone
  36. Paint a Canvas
  37. Do Yoga
  38. Make a Meal using only Farmer’s Market Food
  39. Spend the Afternoon on a Riverbank (spent it on the lake)
  40. Watch a Sunrise
  41. Attend a Street Market
  42. Listen to Rock Music from a different country
  43. Picnic in the Park
  44. Start a Wish Tree
  45. See a Drive-In Movie
  46. Make Sangria
  47. Go for a Hike
  48. Go to a Fair
  49. Make a Banana Split
  50. Sketch Everyday
  51. Give to Others (donate old clothes to charity)
Image

A picture is worth a thousand words, so here is about 50k.

For my free writing blog (Can you tell it’s somewhat dominating my free time? I love it!) I’ve been collecting various writing prompts etc to inspire me and give me something to write on for 10 minutes (or way way more). One of those prompts came from The Daily Post and suggested a person try a medium they don’t normally choose. So what did I do? I decided to try a photo blog. Today from 7am-7pm I snapped a quick picture every fifteen minutes (or so) of what was happening at that moment. It might not be earth shattering stuff but it’s how I live my life, although, to be fair, being so time contentious all day was not all that interesting. If I ever do it again, it’ll have to be more organic.

Until next time
~Q

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