finding my groove again

I heard a song that reminded me of Zumba class today. If you don’t know what Zumba is it’s a Latin dance inspired exercise program and for many years it was my only means of exercise (other than hiking). I love dancing but there aren’t really nightclubs around Monterey and let’s face it, I’m not a youngster anymore, and late night dancing would wreak havoc on my body. I have a 22 year old daughter that should be out experiencing late night dancing…not me. So Zumba filled something I felt was missing in my life. Between my foot, then my knee and now my other foot though I have only done it sporadically over the past 3 years and in that time both my favorite instructors left. Unlike other exercise programs…you want your Zumba instructor to be really good. I’ve had some horrible ones and it takes the fun out of the class.

Anyway, today I heard a song that reminded me of Zumba and I texted my husband to tell him I think I needed more Zumba in my life and then burst into tears. And I can’t stop crying. I guess I miss Zumba more than I thought. Although I suspect it goes deeper than that and now I just need to figure out what it is. Some plausible reasons:

  1. My body seems to face ailment after ailment these days and I never feel like I am 100% as I was just 5 years ago. Consistent exercise is hard. Maybe I just need to power through it all.
  2. My body desperately needs endorphins and I am actually experiencing a little bit of depression that I was completely unaware of.
  3. During my very active Zumba stage I was friends with a girl and that friendship has since fallen apart and I link Zumba with her often (even though she didn’t do Zumba with me) so maybe there are lingering feelings I’m experiencing still. We never had any closure so that may have cropped up just now.
  4. The simple answer may just be that I am PMS-ing hard. The more complicated answer may be linked with my feeling older.

Anyway, I scheduled a Zumba class this Friday on my day off and hopefully it’s just what I need. I’ll keep you posted.

Jennifer

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Failure at this NaBloPoMo thing…

well…I missed two days for a total of three for this month. i suck at this blogging every day thing! Right now I am suppose to be studying. I have three more papers due within the next 3.5 weeks. I have a 99% in my class right now and I don’t want to ruin it by dropping the ball this close to the end of the semester. But friends…I am tired. Of reading. Of writing. Of researching. I am looking forward to a few weeks break between next semester.

What I have been doing is binge watching a couple of shows. Luther and Jane the Virgin. I am obsessed about both.

If you haven’t watched either stop what your doing and watch them both!

Anything you are binge watching lately?

 

jen

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on the menu: 11/14/15-11/20/15

This week’s menu:

Mini Vegetarian Pot Pies (from last week…I didn’t get to them until tonight) + salad

One Pot Creamy Lentils (also from last week…Nate and I had lots of other leftovers so I didn’t cook a couple of nights) + green beans

Thai Chicken Zucchini Noodles with spicy peanut sauce (I’ll be substituting Tofu in Nate’s portion)

Pork Enchilada Lasagna-making us each one so that we have leftovers so I can not cook one evening (substituting a different protein for Nate’s lasagna)

Kale soyrizo tacos + cilantro lime rice + grilled zucchini

Quinoa Broccoli Slaw with honey mustard dressing (I’m actually going to be substituting rice since we both are sensitive to quinoa and it’s upsets both our stomachs)  + chicken(fake chicken for Nate)

I also got a few things for stir fry in case I don’t have time for something more complicated. I love how it gets lots of vegetables in us:)

Have a wonderful week!

Jennifer

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#prayforparis

I had another blog post planned today but then this devastating and heartbreaking event happened and I’ve been reading and watching the news and the blog post was forgotten. My thoughts are with everyone in Paris and the families of all the victims. It’s a sad world we all live in. 

Jennifer

 

 

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NaBloPoMo Prompt #10

It’s come to this. I have no time to work on my planned posts so I’m using a prompt. Sigh.  I can guarantee this won’t be the last time…

Tuesday, November 10

What is the hardest part of a big project: getting the energy to begin, finding the time to work on it, or feeling down that it’s over?

Based on the first part of this post I’m going to say that finding time to work on a big project is the hardest part. Like blogging every single day. That’s a big project because I don’t have that much to say on a daily basis.  But, this holds true for most of my big projects…the reason I don’t finish my list every year usually comes down to time. The reason I’m behind on Project Life, which again, is a big project is a lack of time. There just isn’t enough time in my day to get to everything. And usually it’s the fun personal projects that get shoved to the side. It’s unfortunate but true. I am, after 45 years, still trying to find the balance in my life to fit everything in.

So yeah, I could definitely use more time to finish big projects. Maybe when school is out in December.

Jennifer

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Mondays…

I had a whole plan to post the first part of our anniversary trip story to the blog today but Monday got in the way.

The day started out with me struggling to get a sock on my foot correctly (took me 3 tries) and went steadily downhill from there. It wasn’t a bad day but just one fraught with annoyances and a busy-ness that didn’t lend well to me being able to get much personal stuff accomplished. I spent most of tonight over-thinking the essay I have due on Friday. And the more I researched it the more lost I began to feel about it. I have 4 more papers due, including this one and then class is done. I just need to try to find the strength to write 4 more papers.

So today’s post is really about nothing. Except me feeling overwhelmed.

Here is a mantra that got me through today:

 :

Hope your Monday was better than mine!

Jennifer

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Currently: December 2014

readingEleanor and Park. And this website. I’ve been reading all her archives. Beautiful love story.

drinking: water, water and more water. I gave up all sugar, natural and artificial, in October and while it’s been life changing on most levels it’s also very boring.

listening to : Christmas music (obviously) but also Elliott Smith (who I’ve always loved but never just sat and listened to track after track) and Taylor Swift (no judgement!)

feeling: a little overwhelmed about the holidays. Always have such good intentions for activities and crafts and such but they never come to fruition. I didn’t even attempt December Daily this year.

watching: Re-watching Inspector Lewis on Amazon streaming. Nate and I are also watching Broadchurch (so we can watch the American version afterwards)

enjoying: the much needed rain of the past few days.

coveting: a GoPro camera. For a big anniversary trip we’re planning for July. And this Wes Anderson book (swoon)

making: a baby book for my sister-in-law (it’s her Christmas gift) of my niece’s first year.

planning: a couple of vacations. a couple of blog entries, a couple of days at the cabin at Christmas time. I am always planning, you guys;)

jen

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What I read: October 2014

16045144A Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny. I have read almost all the books in this series. I love them. I love the characters and the main police inspector. I dare to say these are almost as good as Martha Grimes’s books featuring Richard Jury. A few years ago I plowed through those at neck-breaking speed too, much like I am with these. Unfortunately this author has only written 9 books and I am on the 9th at this point (well when it gets returned to the library I will). This one though was my least favorite of all the books. It took me weeks to plow through it and I think this was 50% my lack of interest in reading and 50% that I didn’t like what was going on in the book. I tend to get attached to characters in series and when stories start  moving in directions that I don’t like I get upset. That’s what happened with this one. I didn’t like where she was taking the story and I just wanted the book to end and for the story line to go back a different direction. I kept hoping  that the ending would have some kind of redemption and make sense of the chaos she was bringing to the story & characters but that was not to be. I was left with “what the fuck just happened?”.

 

 

17167084How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny. Redemption! I loved this one as much as I disliked the other book. I just had to have faith in the author that everything was happening for a reason.

If you like mysteries where the violence and details are not gross with details (my mother-in-law hated the Kathy Reichs books for their very detailed description of wounds and such) then I would recommend these books. I became really attached to the characters in the first Book “Still Life” and they are a well written mystery series.

 

 

 

 

13538873Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore I had so many friends on Goodreads that loved this book that I was anticipating loving it also. I wanted to love it and there were aspect that I did really love (like the message of the book) but for most of it I was pretty much “eh” about it. Which is weird because I love mystery/adventure/secret society books a whole lot. Maybe I just didn’t click with any of the characters. Maybe I just don’t love Google enough. ( Or Amazon…and I love me some Amazon). I guess part of it is that I couldn’t shake the feeling that this book was meant for a much younger audience than me. It would do well with the YA age group and even though I’ve loved tons of YA books this one wasn’t one of them. My husband, who is a bit of a computer nerd, might appreciate this story much more than I did. I have recommended it to him but I definitely don’t think this is a book for everyone.

 

 

 

81ZqOFyzSjLNot That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham. This book is definitely for the Millennials out there. That’s not to say i didn’t enjoy  it but she’s definitely part of the “share everything with the public” kind of girl,  like most of the younger generation that grew up with social media, in their faces, all the time. But, I really enjoy her show, and I already knew she was a woman that put herself and her awkward/uncomfortable experiences out there. She definitely captures that awkwardness, of being in your teens/ early twenties, in this book. Many of the stories made me cringe. Many made me laugh out loud. Most of us though… we’ve been in her place trying to learn how to deal with sex and changing bodies and crazy hormones so even though her experiences were vastly different from mine…I could still connect (or at least my young 20-ish self could) with the stories she was telling.

Started: Instruments of Darkness. I won’t be finished with it by the end of this week though so I’ll include it in my November book post.

xoxoxo

Jen

 

 

 

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List 44: Weekend trip to San Diego #9

My sister turned 40 this year and what she wanted was to NOT be in Arizona for it. After bouncing different ideas off each other over the past year we decided a 4  day weekend in San Diego was the plan. Kristy just started a new job with the State of Arizona last year and so her vacation hours were limited. No 2 week jaunt to Australia for us at this time.  This was the best option for us though because it would also allow my sister to bring her dog, Jax, with us. IMG_9378 I flew out to Arizona after work on Wednesday evening so we could leave early Thursday morning. San Diego is about 6 hours from Scottsdale and we wanted to be able to get as much time as possible in San Diego and also get out of the inferno that is Arizona in July. I was surprised, by my own realization, that I had not been to San Diego in over 20 years. I think it’s a misconception for a lot of people (me included)  that if you live in California its a short jump, skip, hop to all of California. But California…it’s a very large state. It’s 10-12 hours to San Diego. That is much farther than I want to go for a weekend. Therefore, I’ve not been to San Diego since I moved here. Let me tell you…it’s changed. A lot. It was almost like visiting a city I’ve never been to. I wasn’t familiar with anything on the drive over, the city, how close it actually gets to the border. Nothing seemed familiar. IMG_9406 Kristy and I rented a little bungalow from AirBNB and  this was the best idea ever. The place had a tiki theme and had a small yard for Jax. And the host, Mike was awesome. I’m definitely planning a trip back (if I can drag Nate down there) and hope to stay at this little rental again.

Some of my favorite highlights/memories from the trip:

1. The sunset cliffs at sunset. Spectacular.

2. Watching Jax, over the course of 3 days, go from hating the beach to loving it. He made some friends too!

3. Ranchos Cocina. At Point Loma. Seriously, Kristy and I would move to San Diego just to be near this little treasure. Love that we found a place with vegan and regular mexican food and a patio for Jax. Food highlight of our trip. We ate at the North Park one also but it lacked something and was a big disappointment. I can’t recommend the Point Loma one enough though.

4. Sitting on the patio, sharing a bottle of cold white wine , coming up with the idea of a sister adventure every year. (Next year: Austin!)

5. 70-75 degree weather. Arizona is too effing hot. Except in December. And Monterey is too freaking cold usually. I liked how mellow this weather was and how much better my joints felt in a slightly drier climate. I texted Nate mid trip and said I wasn’t coming home & that we were moving to San Diego. He wasn’t amused;)

6. Four days of uninterrupted time with my sister.

With regards to that last one. It’s hard living a state away from family. I was estranged from my family for years (still am from my mom) and now that we are sort of over the hump of bad feelings toward each other and like each other again it’s hard not to be around them all the time. My sister is one of my favorite people to hang out with. My favorite shopping buddy. I never feel like I get enough time with her. This trip, with 4 uninterrupted days together, was something I needed. When we visit Arizona there are just so many people to see, that I lose lots of time with her.

IMG_9394

Photo story: We decided to walk to the North Park area from where we were staying because it was just over 1.5 miles to the restaurant. That was the longest, hardest 1.5 miles I’ve ever walked. It took us so long and we were already tired. It felt more like 11 miles than just over 1 mile. My beer & burger never tasted so good. Even Jax looked worn out and tired. Suffice to say…we took a taxi home:)

IMG_9440IMG_9479IMG_9464IMG_9460IMG_2722The look on Jax’s face here says it all about the trip. Great trip. Can’t wait for our next sister adventure!

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