Busy Day Ahead

Good morning! I am sitting with the dogs enjoying my first cup of coffee and thinking about the long list of things I need to accomplish today. I have a busy week to prepare for – my wife returns from a business trip tomorrow (which means I need to get the house cleaned up and hide some new items I acquired from my mom’s house). My wife and I both have families who love to gift us with the items they no longer have room for, so we play this game of sneaking things into the house and integrating them into the decor with the hopes that the other person won’t notice. Lucky for me, my wife is much less observant than I am.

Another exciting event that is taking place this week is my mom’s move up to Vermont! I am really looking forward to her being close by so that we can explore our new area together. Working from home and not having many opportunities to meet people in our area often leads me to go stir crazy. The other perk is that her horse (formerly my horse) will live on the same property as my mom and I will be able to visit him easily. So anyway, I have a lot of things to do at my own house today to prepare for the busy week of moving my mom and her horse up to VT.

I started my spring cleaning yesterday with cleaning out some of the cabinets, flatware drawer, and refrigerator. My dogs and chickens enjoyed the literal fruits (from the fridge) of my labor. I love spring cleaning. Today I am organizing the basement, hiding more acquired possessions from my mom’s house, mopping floors, etc. Oh, I better pick of the branches I pruned off a bush yesterday too…another pastime I usually try to hide from my wife. She gets a little nervous when I pull out the pruning gear. ‘Tis the season for pruning though!

I hope you all have a productive day as well! I will be back soon with news of my soon-to-be-acquired ducks and duck house.


Whole30 and whatnot

Well- day 2 of Whole30 is complete and I would call it a success.  I decided to try drinking coffee black this morning and I survived the experience.  I drank two cups and felt much happier today than I did yesterday.  For me it’s not about the caffeine but rather the morning ritual of starting my day with a hot beverage.  So today I felt like I had an official start to my day and I was more productive and more satisfied.  I didn’t eat anymore today than I did yesterday (just fruit, vegetables, and a few nuts), but it was slightly easier to make it through the day.  I think that by the end of the first week I will be handling it much better.

My uncle arrived for a two night visit this evening and I immediately loaded him and Jenson (my dog) into the car and hiked with them at Mt. Philo.  I am so lucky to have Mt. Philo only a 5 minute drive away.  Jenson tried out the backpack for the first time today and handled it like a champ.  He was actually awesome in every way, he waited for me throughout the entire hike, didn’t pull on the leash at all, and did great when people and a dog passed by us.  He is also great in the car since I have been taking him and the other two dogs for frequent car rides since they were little puppies.  So, another great hike in the books!  I am loving Vermont!


Health, fitness, and dogs!

I am finally back to my blog! I have been super busy between house guests and traveling to CT for work, weddings showers, wedding, etc.. Although that is not slowing down I am trying to carve out a little time to focus on my health, my blog, and taking my dogs on mini adventures.  

Today my wife and I started doing Whole30.  My wife is always trying to get me to participate in whatever new, fad diet everyone is talking about but I resist and always say that if I want to be healthy I will just eat healthy and exercise and I don’t need to follow someone else’s plan.  However, I was recently inspired by a friend who has struggled with weight gain for the past couple of years despite eating healthy and exercising.  She just finished 30 days of Whole30 and is feeling and looking great.  The health improvements and weight loss are impressive.  So, I finally gave in and told Danielle that I would follow Whole30 with her.  Day 1 – horrible! I did not properly prepare for this transition at all.  Last night I did a very quick grocery shopping trip and just got some fruit and vegetables, but I didn’t do a thorough job of it.  The hardest part of my day was not having my morning coffee.  I am allowed to have coffee but no cream or honey/sugar so I figured it wasn’t worth it and just went cold turkey.  I not only missed the caffeine, but more importantly the morning ritual.  I feel like my day hasn’t really started until after I have relaxed with a nice, hot cup of coffee.  Very sad morning for me.  Then I did not feel like eating fruit so instead I just didn’t eat at all until noon, at which time I gave in and ate an apple (boring without peanut butter!).  Then I starved for a couple more hours before breaking down and eating a grapefruit.  Still was not even close to satisfied.  That is how my day continued until my benevolent wife came home and cooked me dinner which was super healthy but at least contained more than one ingredient and took away my hunger pangs. 

To continue my mission of health, I decided to actually stick with my plan to hike for once.  Despite having an unexplained back ache I put Esme’s backpack on her and put a water bottle for each of us as well as some treats for her in the pack.  She could not have been more excited to try out her new backpack again.  She wears it like a pro with no complaints.  I loaded her up in the car and went to Mt. Philo for a nice evening hike.  It was great because the mountain wasn’t as crowded as usual so Esme was able to take her time sniffing everything and I was more relaxed when working on training with her.  Although, she made it easy to be relaxed since her behavior was amazing.  I think the backpack really helped to slow her down a little bit and made her feel like she had a job to do.  She also enjoyed everyone we passed on the trail telling her how cute she was in her pack.

(Sorry for the terrible photo quality)

Overall it was a great day of multi-tasking and kicking off a new healthy lifestyle.  Tomorrow my uncle is coming to visit for a couple of days and I’ve already got him roped into hiking with me tomorrow.  Tomorrow is Ambrosia’s turn for a hike and then Thursday will be Jenson’s turn.  I am hoping that the next 30 days or so whip me into shape while at the same time fulfilling my dogs’ needs.  I wanted to move to Vermont to enjoy and active lifestyle and now I am finally making that happen.

Bark & Brew HSCC

Hello! Back after a few days off from blogging.  We took Ambrosia to Bark & Brew tonight at the Humane Society of Chittenden County.  It was great!  We are sad that we just found out about it and there is only one week left.  It was a seven week event.  $20 per person gets you dinner (tonight was a taco and chips from Moe’s) and 2 beers (the breweries tonight were Fiddlehead, Danielle’s favorite brewery, and Stowe Cider.  The dogs get to play in the fenced in area.  There were a lot of dogs and people in attendance.

Ambrosia is always our test dog for activities like this, she is always up for anything and gets along with all types of people and dogs.  She is great about adjusting her energy level to match the crowd.  We started out slow letting her meet a few dogs outside the fence, Ambrosia is little and young so sometimes she can be a little bit shy.  Once inside the fence she quickly warmed up to the crowd and riled everyone up.  She had to split her time between all her new dog friends and all of the people wanting to pet her.  She enjoyed every bit of the attention and came home covered in slobber.

It was a nice opportunity to meet other people who are as obsessed with their dogs as I am with mine.  As usual Ambrosia fulfilled her role as the laid back puppy of the family who can go anywhere at anytime.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures at the event.


Meet the puppies

Woo hoo – day 3 of blogging and it’s time for my favorite topic – my dogs!  When my wife and I were house shopping in Vermont, my main priority was finding several acres for my three dogs to romp around on.   Somehow I ended up with three very high energy rescue dogs who seem to have endless energy.  We were lucky enough to find ten acres and had a hidden fence installed.  The dogs are living the good life with all the freedom they have now.

Below is my youngest child, Ambrosia.  Ambrosia is by far my easiest and most laid back puppy.  I finally caught a break on number 3.  She can go anywhere with me, she is angelic most of the time and gets along great with all types of dogs and people.

Below is my middle child, Jenson.  He is beautiful, extremely loyal, and playful.  He LOVES to challenge me.  Jenson is constantly on the move and often looking for some trouble to get into.  He teaches me a lot about myself.

And last but definitely not least – my eldest, Esme.  Esme was a wild child as a puppy.  She was incredibly smart and always about ten steps ahead of me.  I adopted Esme on a whim because she was in transit from Texas and her adoptive family backed out at the last minute.  I am a huge sucker for a homeless puppy.  I caught my wife in a weak moment and two days later I picked up Esme.  I had no idea what I was getting into.  Luckily I was up for the challenge and when I get into something new I go all in.  I put ALL of my energy into training Esme.  I drove Esme from playgroup to obedience class to dog park and then back around to another playgroup.  Most of the time I felt like I was failing Esme, such as at 6am when I would roll out of bed and Esme would be bouncing up and down and barking in my face.  Thank goodness all that training paid off!  Now Esme is my best trained dog and although she is still very energetic as she approaches her 2nd birthday, she has learned the art of relaxation.  She lays next to me as I work from home all day.  Esme has also helped me train Jenson and Ambrosia.  It’s hard to remember her as the puppy who would chew on me and bark at me for attention.

The dogs have appointed themselves guardian and pest control for the wood pile.  This has become one of their favorite activities.

Thank you for humoring me as I show off my best buddies:)

Fall is in the air

Hi Everyone, I am back for day 2 of blogging!  Not only is today day 2 of my blog, but it is also day 2 of my workout plan.  I know that doesn’t seem impressive, but for me it’s a challenge since I have been saying for months that I am going to get back in shape and also that I would start a blog…and it has finally happened.  I am an all or nothing kind of girl, so it is not surprising that both of these projects (fitness & blogging) have commenced on the same day.  I have to make a really conscious effort to change my status quo and get moving- the great thing about that is that I will probably get moving in multiple areas of my life all at once.  I am optimistic that this fall will be an energetic time of growth for me.

Fall is one of my favorite times of year (even though I am not excited for winter in Vermont).  I absolutely love summer with all its heat, long days, and gardening.  But then fall comes around and woos me with its cool, refreshing air, apple cider donuts, and pumpkins – it’s a cozy time of year that makes me want to grab my wife and do things like hike and wind our way through corn mazes.  Fall also inspires me to start preparing to hunker down for the winter (I like to pretend I am a survivalist even though this is far from reality).  This includes pruning my plants and bushes, putting the patio furniture away, draining the lawn mower (and heaving a sigh of relief that I get a break from mowing the lawn for a few months), and making homemade soups and baked goods.  I look forward to gathering up my friends and having game nights with a fire burning and the wind whipping outside while we are warm and cozy inside.

Getting back to my original thought…fall is here and I am gearing up for fall cleaning, organizing, indoor projects, pruning, and exercising before the winter comes with its short days and call to cuddle up with a good book.  I know myself well, and I need to strike while the iron is hot when it comes to increased productivity.  Don’t get me wrong, I am an ambitious and productive person…but when it comes to exercise and organization I can really use an extra push.  Thank you fall!  Anyhow, I am committed to keep coming back here to share my progress with all of my fall endeavors.

Day 1 – My First Blog Post

Happy Labor Day!  As the title states, this is my first ever blog post.  I thought this day would never come being that I am a top ranking procrastinator with lots of good ideas and not a whole lot of follow through. And that brings me to why I am here, making a blog – there are a lot of things that I have wanted to do/try for years, and most recently since my wife and I moved to Vermont, but I never seem to find the time or energy to make them happen.  Now that we have a house in the country and I work from home, I am determined to make these things a priority and aim for self-improvement while having fun.  I hope to be inspired by this blog and the accountability it will hopefully provide, as well as to inspire others.