Little Naturalist

It’s true, I’ve been an arrant blogger. So let’s not skip a beat and we can all pretend that months haven’t gone by without a post and jump right back into it, shall we?

For awhile now I’ve been doing social media marketing, which I enjoy immensely.  Part of why I love it is that I get to work with some amazing people and companies who are truly do good in the world. One of these people is a holistic doctor and you can find his book here.

One of the necessities of true health is quality time spent in nature, for both children and adults. I’ve always been a fan of spending time outdoors, preferably without shoes. Working with this client totally validated all the good feelings that I get from spending time in nature.

On another note, in my world we are leaving the hot days of summer, where running around shoeless (and without clothes for some members of my household) are coming to an end. The air has chilled, trees are changing colors and I feel the season of hibernation quickly upon us.

Spending time with Porter outside this year has been awesome. He’s into exploring and loves being outside. I’ll leave this short post with photos of our adventures and with a quote from Dr. Scott the paleontologist (host of a favorite show, Dinosaur Train), “Now get outside and get into nature!”

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“Fishing” in the Boise River
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Flying kites in Ann Morrison Park, Boise
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Wildlife viewing at the Boise River
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Hiking with the fam in the foothills
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Putting the zoo membership to lots of good use
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Hiking near Exit Glacier in Alaska
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Viewing Alaskan wilderness by train. There is no thrill quite like standing next to the open windows and letting the rushing air literally take your breath away. Porter and I spend 30 minutes, freezing, so we could be pummeled by the fast moving, and fresh, train air.
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Fishing in Denali Nation Park, Alaska
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More Alaskan fishing
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The joy of no media whatsoever at Denali Park Lodge, Alaska
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Picking wild blueberries on our hike up Blueberry Hill, Alaska
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Exploring Alaskan backcountry
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Visiting Malheur River Meats in Vale, Oregon. Where all the animals are raised in natural habitats. Oink!
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Viewing piglets in their shelter
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Peddle boating in Julia Davis Park, Boise
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Rafting the Boise River
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Soccer with friends at Municipal Park, Boise
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Love the irrigation canals in our neighborhood, and the flowering cactus plant
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Celebrating Boise’s 150th birthday at Julia Davis Park, Boise
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After dinner family walks to Payette Lake, McCall Idaho
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Appreciating the garden art at Ann Morrison Park, Boise
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Make Way For Ducklings in the Boston Public Gardens
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Hiking the Boise Foothills, Highlands Trails
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Breaking mama’s back, hiking the Boise Foothills
child naturalist quote
Tree climbing with the big kids at Camel’s Back Park, Boise

 

 

Weigh In Wednesday #25 – Status In Art

Today felt like this:

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My life feels like this:

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My partner in crime:

Partner in crime

Words to live by:

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

~Maya Angelou

Weigh In Wednesday #24 – The Stinger

weigh in wednesdayIs it Wednesday already?

I’m a grown up, for all intensive purposes. But I’ll tell you, when a person you’re close to lets you know that they have little or no faith in you achieving your goals (whether it be a flat out statement or a joke) it stings. Sure, I have a lofty weight loss goal of 100 pounds and it was a New Years Resolution (therefore almost a definite fail), and as it turns out I’m not going to bust it out in the year that I initially gave myself.

Does that mean that I’m not still working to achieve that goal? Are my guidelines so strict that if I don’t achieve it by my time limit that I should give up on the whole thing altogether? Am I less motivated than I was on January 1st?

Nope. None of the above.

I don’t expect everyone to be totally supportive of my goal, especially since I’ve sidelined the weight and measurement aspects of the process. (FYI – I’ve maintained at 249 since I last posted that a few weeks ago). I also recognize that I’ve put myself out in the open for judgement by making my declaration on the internet, publicly. So I guess I should have expected a couple stingers by now. Let me explain why my initial attempts didn’t work and what I’m figuring out along the way.

Going Paleo or Whole30 is novel. Lots of people can do it and live those lifestyles. I certainly feel great when I’m living that way too. But in my house, with my family and my food preferences – it’s not sustainable. I was giving myself complexes about wanting a slice of homemade bread. I was bingeing on the natural version of Nutella. I was weighing myself repeatedly and seriously stressing myself out about losing weight. If I went a week and didn’t lose weight, or gave into a “temptation” (like rice or noodles or bread or crackers) I got angry at myself and often took it out my my husband and my kid.

I got to a place that wasn’t healthy. I was becoming phobic about eating. To the point that I didn’t eat on Tuesdays before or after my dance class because it was a surefire way to lose at least a pound so that I’d have something to show for it on Wednesday. When my body got achingly hungry because I decided to skip a meal, I told myself that it was “primal” to occasionally “fast”. I felt like shit.

Being that I’m a self proclaimed optimist, living day to day feeling like an angry piece of shit, IS NO WAY TO LIVE.

So I stepped back. Like any sane and normal person should do. I surrounded myself with words of positivity and love and light and healthy foods. And some not so healthy foods too. I started eating. I’m working on de-criminalizing food. All kinds of food. You know what? I feel a whole lot better now. I’m happier, nicer and don’t feel so crappy all the time.

Being on track looks a lot like being more active. On days that I don’t have a gym date I’ve started walking or riding my bike. I got a Fitbit to help keep track of my movement. The next step is to start paying attention to my food again. Not to cut any of it out – because if I know anything now I know that I like to have ice cream – but to find ways of eating what I want without having to feel like I’m sacrificing. Time to burn more than I take in, but in a reasonable, non-starve myself, exercise regularly type of way.

My problems are first world problems, it’s true, but they’re mine. Maybe I’m being sensitive to the comment that was made in jest, and in passing, but don’t give up on me yet. I haven’t.

Slug Bug’s Big Adventure

P has been desperate to take photos with my camera. Being that he’s like a bull in a china shop, you can imagine how willing I am to let this actually happen. A couple days ago, I was feeling generous and patient so P finally got his wish. His first photo session was in our back yard and his muse was none other than the yellow, flower power, slug bug from my dad.

Waking Up Happy is proud to present, the artists premier photography show:

Slug Bug’s Big Adventure

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Among the Herbs
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Bar None
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Dung Beetle (deconstructed)
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Life As A Jeep
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Flower Power
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The Abyss
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King Of The World
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Oz Interrupted
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Impression Of A Cat
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Carwash
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Mama as “The Assistant”
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The Artist as “Captain”
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Can you guess what this is?

 

Weigh In Wednesday #23 Heat Wave

weigh in wednesdayPhew! What a week this has been. Imagine the back drop of a heat wave that has lasted for 6 days and has brought us temperatures of 102-106*. Without air conditioning and an older home, the box elder bugs have come out in full force. Like, jungle bug status. Totally gross! Porter has caught a head cold, throw in a wildfire or two, and we decided to move into a hotel for 3 days.

It’s one of those situations that makes me grateful for the life we have that includes plenty to eat, cold water and shelter when things get bad. On the other hand, Porter repeated the F-word today after hearing me mutter it under my breath. Yes, I swore.

What has come out of this overwhelming week is that I now believe I can do anything if I live in a home with A/C. I’ve also come to wonder what the heck humans were thinking when we settled in the deserts of the west. Seriously.What.Were.We.Thinking? I’ve also decided that I want to move our little family to a foreign country for awhile, to spice things up and have an adventure. We’ll see how that one goes over.

One of my requirements of our stay-cation location was that it have a pool. We opted for the Marriot Residence Inn, which has met all of our needs entirely. Not only do they have a pool, but a hot tub too. Because what feels so good in the midst of a heat wave and after a jump in the pool? A nice soak in the hot tub! I kid you not.

I was sitting in the hot tub this evening in a rare moment of solitude AND relaxation and I had a thought. (I do still occasionally have them, but only briefly.) Maybe it was the all the heat getting to me, but I think there’s a kernel of truth in this. It goes like this:

What if the person I was, and the person I thought I was going to be (as a parent), is entirely different than who I actually am?

After going through such a metamorphosis as growing and birthing a person and ending a full time career, how I could presume to be the same person I was before? I do believe that’s the opposite of a metamorphosis. Maybe I’m no caterpillar? But a lovely butterfly now?

Silly me. I thought that birthing a child was all that I required to be a mom. I believe, now, that it takes more time, personal reflection and open mindedness than I had originally assumed. Remembering that I’m a person outside of being a mother is important too. And definitely learning to lose or give up control. LOTS of that.

On the health note, this week I did an awesome workout with my friend Sarah. I was sore for days and in places I haven’t felt in years.

Here was my favorite quote of the week:

The diet gurus tell us that we have to give ourselves eating disorders in order to lose weight. We do not.

~GoKaleo.com

Weigh In Wednesday #22

weigh in wednesdayIt’s a strange feeling when someone as confident as I am in my body’s ability becomes angry and frustrated at that same body. One which has allowed me to dance, run, jump, swim, sing, birth, see, hear, taste, love and learn. The body that got me to this finish line after completing an Olympic distance triathlon: mile swim, 25 mile bike and 6 mile run and then to leap over the finish line.

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I knew I had some body issues (I did grow up in the US after all), but I can’t tell if I’ve always had them or if doing this challenge has created them. Either way, I’ve found myself getting mad at my body for not contorting itself at the pace I want it to. I WANT IT NOW! Alas, I’m a product of my times and have become impatient and cranky with mother nature (aka my changing body.)

Recognizing this about myself, and this awkward feeling of mistrust in my body, I have decided that I need to take some time to regain confidence in my body. I’ve been following GoKaleo on Facebook (she’s ever so slightly militant about not dieting and self love), searching through blogs of moms who are proud of their stretch marks, and making a concerted effort to move my body in ways that make me happy and to eat real food. Any real food I want. It’s strange that I’ve gotten to the point of demonizing a slice of homemade sprouted wheat bread with almond butter.

In an effort to cut my self and my body some slack I’ve re-instituted positive affirmations and decided to stop weighing/measuring myself until I get this ish in order. Weigh In Wednesday will continue, but with a more positive message about self love and acceptance.

Something tells me this challenge will last longer than the designated year. My parents always say that a plan is something to have for when life isn’t happening. Welcome back life! It’s nice to see you again, I missed you.

My affirmations for now:

  • I love my body.
  • I love my self.
  • I love my life.
  • I am unbelievably, utterly and immeasurably beautiful.
  • I am exactly perfect just as I am.

My favorite quote from the week:

“ok. 30 days of no sugar, no alcohol, no dairy, no grains, no coffee. and yet the muffin top? it persistith. time to get down with some of this ‘accepting yourself as you are’ BS i keep reading about.”

~Jade from A Beautiful Body Project  <–You NEED to check this out!

Weigh In Wednesday #21

weigh in wednesdayGET BACK ON YOUR HORSE!

“Long ago, warriors trained daily to hone their mental focus, physical strength, and skills in preparation for meeting any situation in battle. Battles, like birth, are not choreographed. Never knowing exactly what to expect, a warrior has to be spontaneous and creative on the spot.

Picture a woman riding into battle on her decorated warhorse. Imagine her engaged in a fierce battle, when suddenly she loses her balance or is knocked off her horse. She hits the ground hard, but the battle continues.

What can she do?

She could feel defeated or ashamed for falling off her horse; she could give up or ask people what she should do. While waiting or trying to decide, she might get trampled. Or, instead, knowing that falling off the horse is part of the battle, and not shameful or weak, she can get back on her horse, continuing to do her best, moment-by-moment, without attachment to outcome.”

~Excerpt from Pam England and Virginia Bobro’s new book-in-progress

#21 6/19/13 Last Week This Week Difference Overall Loss
Weight (lbs) 244 249 5 12lbs
Left Leg (in) 30.5 31 0.5 -1.5
Hip (in) 50 51 1 -3
Waist (in) 42.5 43 0.5 -8
Chest (in) 45 46 1 -1.5
Left Arm (in) 15.5 16 0.5 -1
Neck (in) 15 15 0 -1
Total inches Lost 16″

 

What’s Bloomin’ In Boise – Early June

june blooming

We’ve been slowly but surely adding to our garden and I’ve made it a point to add mostly perennial, drought tolerate/low water plants. Boise is considered the high desert and if mother nature had her way the only thing growing here would be sage brush. Coming from a home that always had flowers growing I couldn’t give that up, so I figured out what would grow in my adopted home of southwestern Idaho and ran with it. Here’s what’s blooming in my garden in early June.

june Front Yard

june thyme collage
Our Thyme lawn.
LATIN NAME: Thymus ‘Reiter’
COMMON NAME: Creeping Reiter Thyme
june syringa collage
The Syringa flower is the Idaho state flower and in the lilac family.
LATIN NAME: Philadelphus Lewisii
COMMON NAME: Syringa
june yarrow collage
Yellow yarrow.
LATIN NAME: Achillea ‘Moonshine’
COMMON NAME: Moonshine Yarrow
june sage front collage
LATIN NAME: Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’
COMMON NAME: Walker’s Low Catmint
june pink flower collage
LATIN NAME: Salvia nemarosa
COMMON NAME: Salvia Ave Maria
june rose collage
Climbing Red Rose that was here when we bought the house 8 years ago. It’s gotten big!

june back yard

june sage back collage
LATIN NAME: Salvia officinalis ‘Minimus’
COMMON NAME: Little Leaf Culinary Sage
june darling collage
I’m not sure what this one is. I picked it up randomly last year and tossed the tag, oops. It has these darling little flowers, most of which are white. There is a little cluster of pink ones those. I love it!!
june iris collage
Iris
june pink back collage
I’m labeling this one for my dad. It’s NOT a weed!
LATIN NAME: Centranthus ruber ‘Coccineus’
COMMON NAME: Jupiter’s Beard

june veg garden

june herbs
Culinary mint and oregano from Peacefull Belly Farm.
june lettuce collage
Various lettuces from Next Generation Organics.

 

 

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