Not-so-Great Pond Mountain Wildlands Hike

spotYesterday, Lonnie and I, and the pooches of course, attempted a hike to one of our favorite secluded spots in the Great Pond Mountain Wildlands/Trust whateveritscalled, or as I now call it, the Tick Sanctuary. It’s a PERFECT spot where we can make a little fire, hang our hammocks for a nap, take a dip in the lake, and not see one single other human. There is even a picnic table! To get there you have to walk around a mile on a dirt road, then you take a left down a slightly groomed grassy trail.  We have been going to this spot for at least 4 years, maybe 5. Yesterday, when we turned onto the grassy trail portion of the trek, we were immediately inundated with ticks. We both ran back to the dirt road and had to strip off our socks, shoes, and pants to make sure we got them all off us. We quickly checked over the dogs and they seemed fine, we assumed their collars the vet recommended were doing their job. We turned back and decided on a Plan B adventure. Next time, we will kayak there like we did last year!

When we got home, we realized the dogs were not fine. They were very ticked up. We have spent last night and today thinking we got them all, and then finding another. We are all skeeved out and itchy and never wanting to go outdoors again. Fortunately, the collars actually DO do their job, and none of the ticks have been attached enough to feed.

IMG_3995
Throwback to Luna’s first visit to “the spot” in 2014. No ticks.

But WHY!? Why all of a sudden does it seem like ticks are taking over the world?? As I mentioned, we have been going there for years and have NEVER seen even ONE tick.

While driving to the grocery store, I theorized to Lonnie that I think it’s related to climate change. Maine’s shrimp industry is failing because of warmer water temps, wouldn’t it make sense that warmer temperatures would make ticks happy, happy, happy? Not completely sold on that theory, Lonnie theorized that ticks are becoming genetically heartier and more resistant to all climates. (Don’t you wish you could come grocery shopping with us zany kids!!?? LOL)

Well of course I had to do some research when we got home, mostly to prove my theory was right and his was wrong. #keepinitreal

Apparently the 2 largest factors in the tick increase are the mild winter, and acorns. Yup, acorns. Little did we all know…. in 2010 there was a bumper crop of acorns, resulting in an increase in the mice who eat them. And ticks love them some mice, so they increased too. Fast forward to 2107, shitty acorn crop, less mice, ticks still gotta eat.

So basically, I was right. Ok… not entirely right, but since my rightness occurs so rarely with him. I’m taking it.

Oh yeah… here are a couple of my sources because I am a grad student and that’s what we do 😉

http://www.pestworld.org/news-hub/pest-articles/the-year-of-the-tick/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/04/06/2017-may-very-bad-year-lyme-disease/100120496/

New trip…. New goal.

We have an exciting new trip on the very distant horizon.  We are all super excited about it!!  And then…..

WA
WA
WAAAAA

I start researching our little mini-trip adventures and one of the ones that I am most excited about has a weight limit.  And I am 50 pounds over.  That is a lot of weight to lose.  FORTUNATELY, I have eleven months to do it.  UNFORTUNATELY, based on past experience, I lack confidence that I can do this.

I took the weekend to wallow in self-pity.  Then we went for a walk in the city forest, and I realized just how out-of-shape I am, and so then I wallowed in self-pity some more.  Not quite done with the wallowing, but tomorrow I plan to SPRING out of bed and get a good walk in before work.  Putting couch25k on the back-burner for now and am just going to walk walk walk walk walk walk……..

50 pounds to go……

Spring Feels

I haz em.  Mother Nature does not.

I want to plant some herbs and stuff this year.  I say this every year, but this time I mean it, damnit. We don’t have a lot of space in the sunshine, but I think we have just enough to do one of those cute Pinterest-y container gardens.

I want to get outside and work towards running goals again. (Just not enough to bundle up and feel my snot freeze,)  It’s 32 freaking degrees out today.  And windy.  And blustery.  I HATE THAT!

I want to jump out of the bed on the weekends excited because Lonnie and I have adventures planned!  The kind of adventures that don’t involve mittens or frostbite.

I want to do a cool thing like take my schoolwork out to a park and study under a tree.  (LOL I  will NEVER do that!)  I guarantee if that happens I WILL find a way to selfie that shit 😉

Sleepytime

I love sleeping.  So.  So. Much.  However, this is the time of year every year (Which I didn’t even realize until a blog reader noticed a trend a few years ago in my posts as years went on!), I get a case of the winter blues…. cabin fever…. whatever you want to call it.

I usually combat my malaise with a vacation to someplace sunny and warm.  This year, I let Lonnie talk me into vacationing much earlier than usual, bringing us back to Maine with lots more winter left.  This has been a VERY mild, and non-snowy winter, but it’s still winter.  I still don’t want to go outside for a walk or a run, we aren’t going out hiking and fishing and stuff on the weekends, and there is not a lot else to do around here other than shopping and the movies.

So I have been sleeping.  A LOT.  My main excuse that I use is, “I sleep late because my job keeps me up late and messes up my sleep schedule.”   Which is true sometimes.  But not every day.  Honestly, I wake up naturally around 8-9ish, and then force myself to go back to sleep thinking, “Why get up?  To just go downstairs and watch TV or clean?  Fuck that.  I may as well go back to sleep.”

On Saturday I stayed in bed til noon-ish. I felt like crap when I finally dragged myself out of bed with that all-too-familiar “slept too much” feeling.  I decided that it was time to face that I had a problem, and even to say it out loud to Lonnie.  I even threw out the “D” word (DEPRESSION, silly, not divorce!).  We decided, based on all the other symptoms I would need to have,  that I am not having the D word, but that I am in a bad habit that needs to be broken. …and very possibly toeing the line of the D word.  So I made a “contract” with him to start getting up at 9 every day (well unless I have worked an overnight shift, of course).  Even if I was up too late, or don’t want to, I GET UP!  If I am that tired, I can take a nap in the afternoon.

Today is day 3 of this, and not-gonna-lie, it’s been tough.  BUT it has also been extremely rewarding!  I don’t feel like a sloth.  Once I am up, and have dragged myself out of bed, I feel ENERGIZED!  Yesterday I had SO much time, even BEFORE I started my work shift at noon!!  I have FELT like cleaning!  I have FELT like organizing!  It honestly FEELS LIKE SPRING, even though the weather has not changed.

They say “walk the walk.”
They say “fake it til you make it.”
THEY ARE RIGHT!

Hello? Anyone there?

Remember when I said that when coming back from vacation it would be hard to get back “on it.”  Holy Shit– has is ever!??

I’m a mess.

I can blame that I just started grad school.
I can blame that my work schedule has just changed.
I can blame… well… it’s winter…. it’s this… it’s that….. blah blah blah

None of those excuses are actual things that have prevented me from eating well.  None of them.  What HAS prevented me from eating well.  I don’t want to.  I don’t feel like it. I don’t want to plan.  I don’t want o grocery shop

I feel gross.  I feel bloaty and fat and my clothes feel tight.  Lonnie has gained weight too, and because he only gains weight in his belly, it shows quickly and makes him feel gross.  We need to get our shit together.  ASAP.

How do you get that driven feeling back once it disappears!!??  I don’t even want to grocery shop for the “good healthy foods” because well…. probably because part of me knows that I am just going to waste it and part of me knows that if I buy it, then I should get back on it and I DON’T WANNA!!

HOME!

Today as I slid on my jeans for work…  I was actually planning on probably having to slide them back off again because they were too tight.   NOPE!  If anything,  they were looser!  As planned,  while in Mexico,  I ate and drank everything I wanted to.  Fortunately,  that is a LOT of great fresh Mexican food!  I never really eat junk food in Mexico because it’s all just weird stuff.   Even if I am feeling snacky,  and go into a corner store,  I almost always come out empty handed because 1. I don’t know what anything is and 2. None of it looks appetizing to me. 
My downfall was traveling home.  I am VERY CAREFUL about what I eat around plane trips for fear of a repeat of the puking incident,  but once we got back in Boston …and ended up stranded there for 2 days (thank you American Airlines for losing the one bag with our car keys in it).  I must admit,  all bets were off. A combo of emotions and “let’s eat all the bad stuff before getting back on it Monday, ” led to a weekend of debauchery. 
  • There was Pirate’s Booty
  • There was a mini Ben and Jerry’s cookie dough cup
  • There were cheez its
  • There was chinese take-out
  • There was Carrabas bread and lobster ravioli (with the insides squished out because it was nasty)
  • There were egg Mcmuffins
  • And last night when we got home…  I had a “last meal” of pancakes.

My only saving grace was that it was all vending machine food,  so all small bags 😉
Back to it today.   Fought a lot of urges to make cupcakes and eat bad food because I have a nasty cold and feel like shit.   But I didn’t.  I made  delicious salad (I actually missed salad and craved it in Mexico!),  and Lonnie made a wonderful Pezole soup that was JUST what the doctor ordered for my cold.
I did have an egg Mcmuffin for breakfast because I overslept and then had to rush off to work.   But there are certainly worse things,  and I didn’t let it make me think the whole day was ruined.

Day 30!

Luna looks on in the kitchen as the crazy lady takes a yoga selfie

I can’t believe that I am on day 30 and still going strong!  I guess since it’s been a month now, I should do a little run-down of changes that I have or have not noticed.

Things that have not changed….

  • I am still fat.  (I shouldn’t say things like that, I know…. positive self talk… blah blah blah….)
  • I still have a LOT of bags of clothes that are waiting for me to be smaller so that I can wear them.
  • I cannot run 3 miles without walking at all.
  • I still do not go to the gym or exercise as much as I would like to
  • I still love Justin Bieber
  • And One Direction.

Things that HAVE changed….

  • I have LESS fat on my body.
  • The button on my jeans is not standing on the ledge threatening to of jump from the pressure it’s under.
  • I can wear some of the clothes that I had not been wearing because they didn’t fit properply.
  • I can run/walk in 1 minute intervals easily for 15 minutes (and surely more than that, but that is all I have done so far)
  • I feel confident in the weight room at the gym, even when Lonnie is not there with me
  • I LOOK FORWARD to Sunday yoga
  • I don’t crave McDonald’s anymore. Or cheez its.  Or sour patch kids.
  • We have saved probably around $200-400 dollars this month because there is no more nightlt convenience store snack run.  When I think of the shitty food and wasted money…. I almost didn’t even want to type that one out because it’s embarrassing.
  • Much less alcohol is being consumed.  We used to have a tradition of finding new wines to pair with our dinner on Wednesdays, and on weekends would have a couple drinks in the evening.  BUT, even if I have one glass of alcohol, I feel like a zombie in the morning and have to drag my ass out of bed, and I don’t need excuses to not get up and going!!  ESPECIALLY on Sunday mornings because I want to feel good for yoga!
  • My skin is better, breakouts and blemishes are basically non-existent!
  • I never have “stomach issues” anymore or wake up feeling gross
  • There have also been some weird changes that may or may not be related….
    • I get up earlier every day
    • I make my bed every day
    • I have started to enjoy folding and putting away laundry and it doesn’t just live in baskets anymore

WOW that is a big list of reasons to never stop living this way, and right now I honestly don’t even want to stop!  I feel awesome, happy, energized, and confident!!  GO ME!!