Is This Thing On?

It’s been…checks calendar…two and a half years since I’ve made a blog post.


Photo by Bich Tran on

I’ve had a slight job change – I’m working for the same company, but in a different group, so everything feels fresh and new to me now! I’m also using this as an opportunity to start blogging more and getting back to the person 10 years ago who blogged on a near daily basis.

But what to talk about? In the past I used this space as a way to talk through diet, exercise, and the lack of success with weight loss, so I suppose I could start there.

Typically I would complain about my failures with weight loss, but you want to know the worst part? Starting January 2020, I found my groove with diet and exercise and I was starting to see results. Yes!

Then the pandemic hit.

My fitness outlet of choice (OrangeTheory) closed down and while we had a rower in the house, it wasn’t the same so I fell off the fitness wagon. Over the past year, we outfitted our home exercise equipment so I could do just about anything out of the house: dumbbells, TRX bands, weight bench, etc. The big purchase was getting a treadmill – which the one I wanted finally came back in stock in August so we jumped on it. This spurred on an office makeover where I updated furniture and rearranged the layout so I could fit the treadmill right next to my desk. I don’t use it while I work, but I’m more apt to use it here than in the basement where the rest of the equipment is.

Side note: my husband and I are talking about moving all the basement exercise equipment to our unused spare bedroom so it’s a nicer place to be and would make it more likely that we’d use it. Right now going into the “dungeon” next to the litter boxes doesn’t sound too exciting.

We’d lose the spare bed, but nobody visits us now anyway – if so, it’s a few days per year. So we’re seriously considering it.

My diet had been going SO well too – started WW on January 1, 2020 and had lost 10lbs over the first two months and noticed all the changes the combination of fitness and diet were making to my body.

Then, well, you know.

All the food shortages threw a wrench into things – the staples that allowed me to lose weight without stressing out were impossible to find. Nevermind what the overall stress levels did to my mental well being. Hellooo wine!

Ended up buying whatever was available in the store and I dove into comfort foods and just not caring in general. I mean, we all lived through that time – that shit sucked!

Now, I’m just as heavy as I was when I started my weight loss journey in January 2020. I am running more since I got the treadmill and on New Year’s Day this year I ran a 5k without stopping for the first time since 2015. I’ve also been hitting other running milestones since then, so I’ll take that little success. 🙂

It’s so hard to get the food thing back on track. I’m super tempted to sign up for one of those meal services so I don’t have to think about it because planning menus is THE WORST. I’ll happily eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch, but once dinner hits, all bets are off. I learned how to make really good pizza dough and hot wings over the pandemic, so that’s part of the problem. Like, if I stopped eating like an asshole, I’d probably have a better time of it, so this isn’t a problem with no solution. I’m just unmotivated and lazy and I don’t know how to get myself out of it.

I guess my biggest problem is that I’m still feeling the weight of stress about the pandemic and how everything in my life has been put on hold. I’m lucky that my job was already remote before all this happened, my husband’s job pivoted to being remote, and we both stayed healthy throughout the past year. But I’m missing travel and visiting family and it’s hard to get motivated again.

I guess that’s enough for an update. Maybe I’ll write more than once every few years going forward. 😀


Well, my big “I’m gonna blog more!” plan for my sabbatical has fallen by the wayside because it’s been a month and a half between posts and I’m halfway done with my sabbatical. Whoops.

Looking at my rough list of “to-dos” from my last post, I have gotten some things done:

Major tree and shrub removal: This one happened the very first day of my sabbatical and I wrote about it in my last post.

Replacing the last two sets of windows on the house: They look amazing! Was a much smoother and clean process than I was anticipating – kudos to the Pella Window crew! If I were more organized, I would have taken before and after photos. Whoops.

Constructing a garden shed: Well, we have the shed, obviously, but it’s been sitting in it’s boxes in the garage since I bought it. The plan is to have the location prepped before the 4th of July week (dug out, leveled, sand and pea rock laid down). Why that week? My sister is planning on coming up for a few days that week and she’s willing to help me put it up (weather permitting, more on that below).

Painting: HAH. Absolutely zero of that happened. 😦

Having my mom stay with me for a week: I went down to the farm on Mother’s Day and brought Mom back to my house. We had a great time – went shopping, talked a lot, and she spent a ton of time looking out the back windows on the yard and pond watching all the wildlife. Also, I watched more local news and Wheel of Fortune than I have in decades. 😀

Landscaping: I’ve been working on clearing out all the landscaping rock in the garden bed next to the garage SINCE MOTHER’S DAY. Why is it taking so long? Because to get the rock out, the ground has to be dry – so about two days after the last rain is ideal. Problem is there’s been only two or three days where those conditions have happened – otherwise it rains every other day, or in the case of the past week, it’s rained EVERY DAY. ARGH!

Once the rock is out, there’s a stump we need to dig out, but the soil can be damp when we tackle that, so it’s not as crucial to be dry for two days in a row. Then I’ll plant my hydrangeas and get some new edging and mulch down then that project will be DONE.

Electrical work: Still haven’t done this one.

Designing Tim’s studio space: Well, we had the plan, but then he was focusing on his illustration and comics work full-time for a month or so and in the interests of saving money, we put this project on pause. Plus, he has a desk at a local studio with other comic artists, so he’s been spending a lot of time there working so having a better space here wasn’t a necessity.

Dialing in my nutrition/exercise plan: HAH.

I’ll clarify: HAHAHAHAH.

In all seriousness, I’ve been doing really well at CrossFit. I did my first (half) Murph on Memorial Day in the 90+ degree heat and did a lot better than I expected. I’ve also been setting some PRs on my weight lifting (bench press, front squat, back squat, etc.) and now that summer is here, we’re doing more running, which has been great even though I’m the slowest one there.

Nutrition-wise, I haven’t done anything. I’m in a funk and my motivation and drive to make meaningful changes is at zero right now. Which results in me wrapping myself in a warm blanket of comfort foods and making bad choices. It’s times like this where I wish I had that friend that I could talk to when things are low. But, after being rejected by the last friend I trusted with my troubles, I don’t bother anyone with my business anymore. Which is fine – all you can really rely on is yourself, right? And I know what some of you are thinking: “get a therapist” – I’d censor myself there too because I don’t feel comfortable talking to a virtual stranger about those things. I’m sure it works for other people, but in my experience it wouldn’t help. Maybe I should get one of those old-fashioned paper journals where I can sort out my thoughts. 🤔


Back to the nutrition thing: I’m going to try and make small, incremental changes to my eating and drinking habits and hope that this gradual change is the key to success. Especially since the “RAWR NO EXCUSES” method that I’ve tried in the past fails miserably.

Still haven’t made any plans for a weekend trip, so that part probably won’t happen – but who knows.

Now if it would just stop raining!

Three Months

It’s crazy how fast time has been going by – my last post here was in December 2016?! Perhaps that means my day-to-day was too busy to take time out of my day to write. I’m not one to write in the evenings – that’s “zone out and relax” time for me. 😀

What’s different now? Well, this week is my first week of a three month sabbatical from work! Automattic, the company I work for, has the option to take a three month sabbatical after you’ve been at the company for five years. Since my five year anniversary was at the end of February, I decided to wait until the weather was nicer so I’ll be out May through July.

The most common question I get when people find out about my sabbatical is “any big trips planned?”

I know a lot of my colleagues took some amazing, multi-week trips while on their sabbaticals, but that wasn’t something I wanted to do with my time. Additionally, with Pixel being 18 years old now, it’s more difficult for us to both be away from home for any length of time. Between her twice-daily thyroid medicine and the fact that she gets crazy stressed out when we’re gone for more than a day or two, we’re not going to put her through that just for a trip.

Seriously, how can you not give her everything in the world to make her happy? 😍

But what I really wanted to do is work on projects around the house – stuff that I don’t want to spend nights and weekends doing.

The last time I took any substantial time off do to home improvement projects was back in 2012 when I took three weeks off when we first moved into that particular house to unpack and paint 70% of the rooms in the house. Satisfying stuff.

So what’s on deck for my next three months? A rough list:

  • Major tree and shrub removal
  • Replacing the last two sets of windows on the house
  • Constructing a garden shed
  • Painting: kitchen, master bedroom, Tim’s studio, guest bedroom, and possibly my office
  • Having my mom stay with me for a week
  • Landscaping
  • Electrical work: fixing some issues with switches, installing new lights, new outlets, etc.
  • Designing Tim’s studio space
  • Dialing in my nutrition/exercise plan
  • A few day/overnight trips?

All in all, not a bad list.

Monday we had the tree and shrub removal done. We had a giant cedar tree in the front of the house along with a big spruce on the side of the garage that were long overdue for removal. We also had a birch in the front yard that was encroaching on the roof of our house that they trimmed back. But the biggest project for them was our silver maple in the back yard. They took down two huge branches (one was a foot in diameter) and trimmed back anything that was overhanging the roof. It was wild watching them at work – they use a series of ropes and wear climbing harnesses to scale up in the tree with their saws and chainsaws to take stuff down. Very glad I paid someone else to do it.

After seeing the amazing results (I really should have taken before and after shots) we bought an electric chainsaw (the Ryobi 40v one) mainly to cut up the big branches I had them leave behind for firewood – they had a wood chipper and took care of the smaller stuff. We also have been obliterating the smaller overgrown and half-dead cedar and rhododendron shrubs I hated from around the house. Looks SO much better now. 😀

The shed was on low my list, but after finding a killer deal for one at Costco, that plan got advanced a bit and I’ll probably get that done this month.

My mom coming to visit for a week is because my sister needs a break. Since my dad died almost two years ago, my sister and her husband have been living with my mom out at the family farm. My sister is the one that would have eventually gotten the farmhouse anyway, so being there now gives my mom a bit of security too. But with anything, one needs a break so I’m happy to do that for her. Plus it’ll be fun to have Mom around when I don’t have to work. 🙂

The whole nutrition/exercise thing is more of a “build a habit” goal. I already exercise regularly by going to CrossFit and using the rower we bought around Christmas, but I need to get my cooking game back on point. I love cooking, I just need to get my meal planning back on track. I’m going to meal plan and make sure I have all the stuff I need on hand to make dinner without it being a big production, otherwise I’ll just say “fuck it” and order takeout or pizza. Since I’ll have all the time in the world and can grocery shop and prep ingredients, I can get into that routine then once I go back to work in August, it’ll be muscle memory at that point.


All in all, I’m going to enjoy the house we work so hard for and enjoy the time off to rest and recharge.

Also, expect me to write more than once every 18 months. 😀