Tuesday, February 21, 2012

On Hiatus

Until further notice, this blog is on hiatus.  Probably until about June.  I am sorry that I didn't post sooner. As many of you already guess and expected, I spread myself too thin.  Graduate school, pregnancy and work are not a good combination for creating engaging blog posts and actually posting them! ;(

I love blogging and definitely want to continue to do it, but will just need to take a little break.  Do check it out again in June!



Saturday, January 7, 2012

Good Bye 2011!

Good Bye 2011, Hello 2012!

It's a new year and I come back to my New Year intentions.  I didn't fair as well as I had hoped last January but in my defense this was a challenging year filled with lots of changes.  Here's my recap of my intentions....

 New Year Intentions 2011

1.LOSE THE WIEGHT~I would be happy to lose the 25 lbs that I gained in 2010 because of PCOS, but I am aware that I might not be able to do that.  So if I can at least stay the same weight it would be a goal with the bonus being weight lost, even if its just 5 lbs.

RECAP: Unfortunately, I didn't make any headway in the weight department.  I did finally even out and was able to maintain my weight which is definitely what I wanted but still frustrating.  Of course, to throw a very welcomed wrench into the mix I learned I was pregnant in late September.  Mind bogglingly enough, I started losing weight once I got pregnant and lost almost 11.5 pounds!  Now bridging my 2nd trimester I am starting to slowly gain weight back.  Pregnancy has definitely given me a new perspective on weight and right now I revel in my belly!  I think next year my focus just needs to be on nutrition and wherever the scale falls it falls.
2. Read 40 books in 12 month period (2009 was 27 in 12, 2010 was 12 in 12) 

RECAP: Argh!  I have no idea how many books I read in 2011.  Life became super busy and I lost track.  I still read LOTS of books and I like tracking what I read just to see the variety of things that I enjoy.  For me a book reading goal is just some silly bet I have with myself than a serious goal.  I would still like to make a prediction for 2012 but I have a feeling with a new baby and graduate school its going to be a little difficult to get in a lot of reading but we shall see.  I am totally going to allow text books! 

3. Go camping at least twice-I so need to hug a TREE! 

RECAP:  I never hugged a tree! Well maybe the ones in the city but I never made it camping.  Its a little sad and Scott and I need to just toss some sleeping bags in the car and drive the 45 minutes to the nearest established camp site.  I am not sure what the next year will bring but I am hoping at least for 1 camping trip!

4. Develop a strong workout routine~Go to the gym 3 times a week with one of those workouts devoted to strength training

RECAP: I had some months in 2011 when I had a strong workout routine but with some of the changes and a ton of travel I didn't keep up a consistent workout.  Simple is better and I have given up trying to make myself a runner.  It just hurts.  I do have hopes to make myself a swimmer in 2012 and get back on my bike as soon as I recover from birth.  I have high hopes because I do like being active and I know its so important but it can definitely be pushed to the back burner when you life gets busy.

5. Develop a regular meditative practice~Work on at least 10 minutes a day, but no less than 3 times a week.  It would be great to be able to get to 20 minutes by the end of the year! 

RECAP:  This was too aggressive an intention.  I was trying to make it concrete to help me do it, but meditating is hard but I still very much believe in it.  I think I just need to make this more flexible but still stay committed to making it happen.

6. Write one chapter in my novel each month~ Join a writing group?

RECAP: Um yeah!  This so didn't happen, but I do wish it did.  My novel idea is going to have to take a BIG backseat while I work on some other really important things in my life...graduate school and motherhood.  But I like the idea and definitely want to save this intention for the right year.

7. Continue to blog!  Any ideas?!~Start a PCOS Blog?  Try and blog 3 times a week.

RECAP:  I LOVE blogging, but completely fell off the bandwagon when my life became complicated.  I want to continue with it (hence this post) but I need to tone down the posts.  I am going to aim for once a week and right now keep it focused on my everything blog, Plain, Simple, True.  I am considering creating a professional blog to document my journey into librarianship, but I only plan on posting maybe once a month.  Keep looking for new posts and thanks for your support!

8. Take a photo for every day of the year

RECAP: Seriously?  What was I thinking?  Well in my defense since Scott travels so much I was thinking that I could include him in the things that happen in my life while he is away.  Nice thought but way more difficult in practice.  I will leave the photos for others and take 'em when I can.

Of course, 2011 was more than just my collections on intentions.  It was a big year for Scott and I.  The year of change is what I like to call it.  In fair disclosure I included this summary in my holiday cards but decided there was no reason I needed to re-invent the wheel.

This past year can only be characterized as the year of changes for us.  February found Scott with a job offer and even though we were in Tucson he sped off to training with Chautauqua Airlines in St. Louis for the next couple of months. Finally, a commercial First Officer!  

Next, it was Nicole’s turn to make some big changes of her own.  She had been doing some serious soul searching for the last year and knew she needed to make a change.  She met with a librarian by recommendation of a friend.  She was floored by the meeting and by March knew she had to become a librarian.  In April, she made the decision to leave her job with the Center for Biological Diversity.  By the summer, Nicole was applying to universities while Scott jetted around the country.  Nicole officially left her position by the end of August.  

The biggest surprise was waiting for us in September as we found out we were pregnant!
We are due May 28th so be ready to welcome Baby Silvester.  October brought acceptances to all the colleges that Nicole had applied and she chose Texas Woman’s University (it’s an online program if you are wondering).  Come January 2012, she will be a graduate student in the Library Science program.  It has been a year of incredible challenges, big sacrifices but unbelievable joys. 

Thank you 2011 for the ride, but I am looking forward to the surprises in store in 2012.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Tomorrow is a big day.  Its my very last day at my job.  A job that I have loved (and on some days hated) but nonetheless has made me grow as a person.  I have always thought about going to graduate school but suddenly I am on the cusp of actually making that change.  Like all change, its a bittersweet mix of excitement and sadness.

I am getting little butterflies fluttering around in my tummy as I think of my new journey.  I had a very productive and exciting meeting with one of the schools I am applying to this past weekend.  I feel really good about this new venture into the world of books, databases and people.  I am headed to the place where I belong, the library.

My life continues to be one surprise after another.  Never in a million years would I have guessed where I am now in my life.  Its a sweet spot being on the precipice of this new adventure.  It makes me wonder what could possibly be around the corner for me!

Here's to making things complicated and wonderful all at the same time!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Maybe Simplicity Just Is'nt my Gig

I have been doing a lot of thinking about my motto, "I am a complicated person in constant pursuit of simplicity"  Often I feel this line is a bit of a joke.  I am indeed a complicated person but rarely do I find myself in constant pursuit of simplicity.  Quite honestly, its seems, I do the exact opposite.

Case in point.  I just quit (well my last day is August 31) my full time job (working in the environmental movement which I had dreamed of doing for a long time) in the middle of the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression.  I decided to go back to graduate school to become a librarian (because deep in my soul that is what I am).  I still have all my real-life responsibilities like mortgage payments, electric bills and groceries.  Not to mention the 12 pets (3 dogs, 3 parrots, 5 chickens and a canary) that I am responsible for and the burgeoning homestead I am trying to create in my backyard.  Oh, I almost forgot, I also want (well I constantly flip flop on this one because I am scared and thrilled by the idea all at the same time) to have a baby during all of this hullabaloo.  And, AND...my dear sweet husband (who supports and at times even encourages this lunacy) is gone about half the time since he is an airline pilot so all of this craziness is mostly left for me to coordinate.

Does that sound simple to you?

Yeah, me neither and hence why I feel my motto is being a bit hypocritical.  Maybe, just maybe the simple life is overrated?  I suppose by saying I was in constant pursuit of simplicity I meant that I was looking for balance in my complicated life not necessarily a simple life.  I have to be honest, I gravitate to the complicated (and more importantly I need to admit to myself that I like it).  My complicated life makes me feel that I am living my life to the fullest.  I am not sitting around waiting for life to happen to me, I am going out there and grabbing it by the bull horns (and on some especially cantankerous days grabbing it by the balls!)!

Now don't get the idea that I want to be some kind of super woman.  I definitely do not want to be nor claim to be one of those.  I just see super women as jamming their every day lives to the brim with stuff (important and maybe not so important stuff).  I don't advocate jamming.  I like to casually fill my days and weeks.  Sort of how you casually fill you glass with vodka.  You just pour until it looks right.  ;)

My complicated life is about feeding my soul.  Its the constant pursuit of the sweet raw nectar of the human experience.  Its about deep, committed, unconditional relationships with pure souls be those of a bird, dog, or human.   I want to leave a mark on this world, even if its small and inconsequential.  More importantly, I want to make sure the world leaves a mark on me.

I think this revelation probably deserves a revamp of my blog.  Can I really still be Plain-Simple-True?  I am not sure. I am going to be thinking about what motto better reflects my constant pursuit of complication (with a little balance mixed in) and just might have to give my blog a makeover.  Get ready, because the future is going to be a wild ride!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Wish'n to Walk in Someone Else's Shoes?

One of my favorite blogs is An Apple a Day by Amy Merrick.  I don't even remember how I stumbled upon her blog but I am thankful I did.  There is an ethereal simplicity to her blog which is full of artfully  taken photos and little interesting snippets about Amy's life on the east coast.

When I read Amy's blog, it reminds me of the life that I pictured in my head for myself.  Living in a dynamic city, doing something interesting (maybe even creative) while wearing a beautiful vintage dress and taking drives out into the country.  Did I mention she rides (or at least did) a motorcycle, too? It just seems so wild and free and somehow perfect.  I am surprisingly at a loss of words trying to describe just the right images and feelings her blog conjures for me.

I am sure Amy doesn't see her life as romantic.  She's just living life the only way she knows how.  But here I sit romanticizing what her days must be like.  It's not that I don't like my life because I do, but sometimes I sincerely feel that there is something missing or lacking and when I read Amy's blog I know what I am looking for is somewhere in there.

Its a little hard to feel interesting and creative wearing workout wear from JC Penny's while staring at my weed filled back yard about to jump into my car to head to the gym.  My life seems a little predictable.  Sometimes I feel like a suburban soccer mom, just without the kids.  And that is the kicker.  I am sure that I find Amy's life so attractive because above all the vintage goodness, she expresses a happiness and acceptance of exactly where she is in her life.  She is at peace with herself.  And boy do I want a piece of that pie!

At the crux of it, Amy also appears to live a simple life and I somehow gravitate to the complicated.  So maybe my problem isn't lack of a vintage dress (although that might help) but my inability to find a peace within myself because of the complications I allow in my way.  I am on the cusp of some major changes in my life which I think will get me a little closer to the peace and simplicity I seek.  I have been on a long search for it (although I think I will always be to some extent) and am getting closer to my slice of pie.  I am scared and excited about how this will change my life.  Who will I be after all this is said and done?  Perhaps a woman wearing a vintage dress doing something creative with her life? Or more importantly, a woman who knows how to sit back and enjoy the simple life?

Maybe...just maybe.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Let Sleeping Dogs.....

One of the sweet pleasures of working from home is being able to spend all day with my dogs.  I could also equally say one of my great head aches working from home is spending all day with my dogs.

I can't help but stare at this pile of fur sleeping and feel a sense of peace wash over me.  Everything must be right in the world to sleep that soundly?

I have to confess that right after I snapped this pic the sound from my camera made Luna wake up.  She was so thrilled that I was staring at her that she jumped up and ran over to me, jumped up into my lap and pressed her head into my chest.  There wasn't time to snap of pic of that moment...it was meant just for us.  I love you too Luna!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Farm Tour Part 1: Morning Owl Farms

I promised a post on the farm tour I took on August 17th.  Before I delve into the supremely wonderful day I have to apologize.  I got so carried away with the farm that I forgot to take pictures!  Its a travesty I know but Morning Owl Farms isn't going anywhere. I will be sure to stop by and snap pics of ducks and veggies and smiling farmer faces sometime soon.

Without further ado, here is the farm tour...

I was off by 7:30 am driving through the quiet streets of Boise listening to the powerful voice of Brandi Carlile singing along and hoping no one would notice.  I fondly thought of how nice it would be to be on my bike but that farm tours were definitely more exciting than bike rides.  I arrived at Morning Owl Farm a little early but sat and listened to the birds and then Mary popped around the corner with her easy grin and I was taken up in hugs and conversation.  Not long after, all the other Next Level eaters arrived and the tour was on.

Mary shared with us her new cool room that she built this past year.  It looks much like a walk in freezer just not as cold.  We had a chance to check out the egg room where they are carefully inspected and washed before they end up on my doorstep.  We moved on to the duck coop to watch the running of the ducks.  No small feat considering there are about 250 ducks!  You could hear the quacking even before we had finished with our egg room tour.  The doors were opened and ducks exploded out, racing to see who could get to the pasture first.  There were white, brown and black blurs of flapping of wings and a cacophony of sounds.  It was a sight!  And then suddenly they reversed course and came flooding back towards us.  A coyote was in the pasture and the ducks were just not going to mess with that.  Not that I blame them.  Although I wonder what the coyote would think if all the ducks came running at him all at once.  Mutiny against the laws of nature....now that would have been something to see.  Unfortunately, Mary's ducks seem to be pacifist. :)

After the duck parade, we collected back near Mary's house to share some quiche, fruit and much needed chicory coffee.  It was great to get to know the other Next Levelers that clearly looked like people I would want to know.  Everyone was full of passion and conviction and was supporting Mary's farm not just solely for food.  We were a group of people very much ready to declare mutiny on our messed up food system.  We had all seen the movies and read the books, but had decided to take action.  Many people had their own gardens at home and even chickens.  It was a great sight to see and of course, Mary was in the center talking about farming and what she wants it to be and how the country needs it to be making me get fired up all over again and it was only 10 am!  This day was going to be great.

After breakfast we headed down the hill to check out some vegetable beds and the green house.  There were beds of beets, carrots and cauliflower all looking amazing and would soon enough be in my kitchen.  Mary talked about how they plant and irrigate and how they start plants.  As she talks, I am amazed at all the work this must take and its just Mary and her two farm interns Dan and Celicia.  How do 3 people feed over 60?  Its amazing and just goes to show what can be accomplished by a few.  In my book, Mary, Dan and Celicia are rock stars!

After touring the green house, we headed back up the hill to check out even more farm goodness.  There were rows and rows of peppers, tomatoes, basil and squash.  Oh and even some flowers to boot!  It was gorgeous and completely put my backyard garden to shame as it rightly should.  How did we all get so lucky!

After lots of conversation about all things food, farm and the change needed to our food system it was time for us to pack up and head to Wilsey Ranch to check out where we get our beef and pork.  I will share that adventure in part two and thankfully, I finally remembered to pull out my camera!