Monday, April 25, 2011

Blog updates for you

Well I got one answer about how to handle plateaus. Read my friend Ruth's blog at where she gives her take on this particular question. I thought her insights were spot on. (That is a phrase that Australians use a lot, and I think Americans should use it more often, too.)

I also wanted to update you on my eye area injury. Today one of my coworkers saw it and said she couldn't even see it. I've still got a slightly red mark, but it is amazing to see the change in a week. I'm also a great believer in Mederma, which is a scar reducing cream. I'm not normally one to recommend a pharmacuetical, but this one deserves a shout out. It is made from onion skins and it truly does it's job. So next time you need to prevent a scar, run don't walk to pick up this cream.

My next update is that my trainer sent me a workout that I am responsible for doing on my own at least one other night per week. I'm planning to do my workout assignment tonight. I need to work out after enjoying last night's closing day celebration at Aspen Highlands a little too much. Last ski run of the season was good. The snow wasn't great, but I couldn't help smiling as I went down the hill for the last time of the 2010-2011 season. It was good, and now on to spring, which is taking its time getting here. I mean I want to wear open-toe shoes. Is that so much to ask?

Friday, April 22, 2011

How do you stay motivated when you hit a plateau?

Well last night I worked out with a personal trainer for the first time. This is my first time actually working out with a trainer, and it was great to have someone else directing me to workout for an hour. (No slacking off is allowed). If only I could work out with a trainer five days a week. No really just this weekly meeting sets a tone for the rest of the week's activities.

Last week my personal trainer asked me to keep a food journal. It wasn't my best week with two birthdays and my friend Ruth in town. I had more cake and wine than I normally do. But even so writing your food choices down makes you think about what you are eating and why. You have to look at both your food choices and your level of activity.

For me, I am consistent in that I do exercise each week, but it varies how much, I average about two to four times per week. I would like to get to five to six times per week. The reason is that with two to three times per week I just maintain. Since I'm trying to lose weight I know I need to up the activity levels. (And continue to focus on what I'm eating).

I started this health focus in January, and I've done well, albeit the process has been slow. Now I'm trying to speed it up by working with a trainer, varying my workouts, getting outside, and paying better attention to my food choices.

Writing down what you eat and what exercise you complete does make a difference. Then you can see on paper how the week went. You can then gauge your results with that formula and adjust accordingly. I actually know a lot about health and fitness, but applying it is another thing. Also, you have to figure out what works for you.

Sometimes I wish there was a quick fix. (Obviously, I'm not the only one or the weight-loss industry wouldn't be making billions). But I know that a quick fix isn't the answer, and it has to be a lifestyle change. Now if only I can get a personal chef.

I would love to hear how you get past the plateau and stay motivated. We can help each other.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

What does gas cost in your area?

My friend James posted a picture of the gas price he paid ($4.199) at a pump in California yesterday and it prompted a lot of comments. It got me thinking about the cost of gasoline.

Yesterday I paid $3.79 for gas, and that was at one of the cheapest places in the Roaring Fork Valley. It could be worse as you see what it's costing in California. In the European Union the average gas price runs about $8.70, so we do have less to complain about than the Europeans.

But even so knowing that in 2007, oil and gas companies made $1,601,524 in millions. ExxonMobil alone made $404,552 in millions. Meanwhile the gas stations only made a few cents per gallon. And consumer spending is up, but guess why, it's due to increasing gas costs. Does this seem unfair to anyone else? There must be a more equitable way.

All I know is that while oil and gas companies get richer, average Americans are losing money. I can take responsibility and limit my gas usage, but it shouldn't just be up to personal responsibility. Somehow the oil and gas companies should bear some of the brunt of increasing prices, too. That's my two cents. These prices affect the quality of life of Americans.

What are gas prices in your area?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Music of Our Lives

I don't know about you, but my life has a soundtrack. It's often changing, but we all have those favorite songs, those songs that bring us back to a moment in time, and those songs that define an era in our lives.

Music brings people together. I love it when I see someone jamming along to a song in their car. (Probably, because that's usually me). I also love it when you're at a concert, and you can feel the energy in the room as you listen to someone playing live. I will never forget being in Central Park hearing Billy Joel sing, "New York State of Mind," not long after 9/11.

Tonight I'm going to start to take guitar lessons again. I've taken them before. I took them in New York right after I bought my first guitar. My friend Amy and I visited a lot of music stores to find our guitars. It was a quest.

Then I took lessons in Glenwood for awhile. Now I'm starting up again so I can learn to play more. I think my nephews inspired me to get back at it when we were making up songs on the spot. Talent runs in the family.

Tell me your music stories. I'm listening.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Be careful

My mom is known to utter this phrase. My brother and I are actually going to write a book a book called, "Be careful or you might...". The thing is that this time she was right.

I was just going on a hike with my friend Ruth. My mom's worry was that I would slip on the ice from the remaining snow. Oh it was slippery but that wasn't why I needed to be careful. Instead I ran smack into a branch. Thank goodness for sunglasses my eye is okay, but the area around my eye is swollen and cut up. I look like I was in a fight or that I was abused.

Even so I toughed it out and completed the hike up to Hanging Lake. On the way down the sun was completely gone so I didn't wear my sunglasses. You should have seen some of the looks I got. No one said anything until this guy just said simply, "are you okay?" It was a nice way to ask, and it was a welcome change to the looks I was receiving.

It seems most people don't want to get involved. Instead they want to look away. I had all these great stories to share: I was in a bar fight, I saved someone. You name it. Anyway, truthfully I'm clutzy, and I didn't see the branch at eye level. I'm okay, but bruised, and I'm hoping it doesn't leave a scar. The good news is the hikers ahead of us had a first aid kit. I guarantee that they were the only ones on the entire trail with a first aid kit. Go figure.

Despite the mishap it was a beautiful hike and a great way to celebrate Ruth's birthday. Just remember to be careful or you might...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tourist in your own city

One of the most fun ways to celebrate where you live is to be a tourist in your own city. Of course, it helps when you have a friend coming in town. My friend Ruth will be arriving in Glenwood on Friday. We've been friends since the 5th grade.

So my thoughts if Ruth's up for it is to enjoy the tourist happenings in Glenwood. There's swimming and soaking in the hot springs pool, riding up the tram, hiking Hanging Lake, going out to dinner at the Pullman, and more. It makes you realize why people come to these resort towns.

Ruth will be celebrating her birthday on Sunday. I've got some fun plans in mind, but again its her day so she gets the final say. It's funny when you know someone for as long as Ruth and I have known each other. It is quite a marvel. What are you doing this weekend?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Quote of the Day

Here's the Quote of the Day. Make it a wonderful one!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The neighborhood is waking up

Last night I went for a walk in the neighborhood. Sometimes it seems like I don't have any neighbors, during the winter everyone goes directly in the garage, and they're in for the night.

I have to admit in the winter once I get home I'm usually home. On nice days I might venture out for a walk, but it's much less often. Instead the treadmill seems like a better choice.

In the spring and summer, walking is a social activity. People are outside walking, riding their bikes or skateboards, and there are kids playing baseball and soccer.

I don't know about you but the sound of a bat hitting a ball is really comforting. It is a signal that you've made it through the long winter, and it means barbeques, time spent on the deck, and lots of smiles. That's the difference everyone seems to be smiling.

What are you smiling about?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spring fever

Spring fever. I got a definite case of it. The warm weather is making me so happy. Right now I'm reading a book called, "The Emotional Calendar" by Dr. John Sharp. It seems that seasons, emotional highspots and lowspots on your own personal calendar, as well as seasons such as sports, TV series, school year starting and ending, and holidays, can all affect your mood. It's really about being aware of your own reactions and figuring out how to deal with them.
For some it isn't that simple, but it does bring to mind the mood that certain seasons bring. I truly love all four seasons, but I admit living in the Rockies I think winter is too long. I'm here for the summers. The spring and summer and the resulting sunshine really make me feel good. It just lightens my mood, and I can look forward to the lazy days of summer. And this year I will take even better advantage of summer. (I say that every year).

The spring also inspires me to do more. For example, even though I've had the card of a personal trainer who was recommended to me for awhile I hadn't called. This week I did, and I have a session scheduled on Thursday. I can finally move forward with the next phase of my path to better health. I just needed the spring to remind me of the impending swimsuit season.

And I scheduled my first guitar lesson for next week. I am finally going to start playing again. It's another spring thing, because it helps with readiness. When it's dark when you get home and when you leave it is more difficult to get motivated.

I've already started going to Hot Yoga, again, too. So though it's not just spring it seems that I'm embracing some new beginnings. Happy spring to you!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

My Painting in the Women's History Art Show

So I'm debuting my painting on this blog. So my painting grew from thinking about women and the layers that each women possesses. Here's my statement: "Women are layered, complex, and vibrant. This painting represents the texture and depth of women and all they offer to the world. It also represents embracing and honoring my own layers."
I hope that you enjoy the show. Don't forget, tomorrow, 5 to 7 pm, Basalt Library.

Also, read about the show in the Aspen Business Journal:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Is our dependence on technology good or bad?

I don't know about you, but for me sitting in one room listening and learning is actually tougher than before. Why? Well one of my theories is that with technology and our need to multi-task constantly it is actually difficult to just sit and listen.

Yesterday I was in a eight-hour training. I am now a certified QPR Suicide Prevention trainer. Yeah! (Even so just sitting there I realized college would be tougher now, as I'm so used to constant tech access). I mean I had my phone on vibrate. When I got out I have 50 emails, three voicemails, and a couple texts, and don't forget a Facebook request from someone I don't know. Ignore.

There is a book out called, "The Winter of Our Disconnect," by Susan Maushart. Disclaimer: I haven't read the book, but I've seen a few articles about the experiment. Basically, this women and her three teenagers took off six months from technology at home. Her kids could use the computers at the library or at friend's houses for homework, but otherwise at home it was a no tech zone. Did I mention the mom said that she slept with her iphone. (What's wrong with that?) Anyway, the result was a happier more connected family.

One daughter now prefers the library to get things done in a quiet space. Before she thought her mom was crazy for needing quiet to get things done. Her son gave up his souped up gaming computer to get a saxophone. It does make you wonder about our dependency on technology. Meanwhile I'm writing in a blog. Yes, I see the irony.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Women's Art History Show, Opening Reception Friday, April 8, 5 to 7pm

Kathy Stover's Art Piece (I'll feature mine later. I need to download the photo.

Yesterday Carrie, Bill, and I put up the Women's History Art Show at Basalt Library. The show looks great, and it offers a lot of diversity from 12 local artists. Even with the variety of pieces somehow it fits together. It is really satisfying now that the show is up and on display. Creating art for the show was great, but so is the curating, as you feel like you're helping to promote art in your community.

An artist is a dreamer consenting to dream of the actual world.
--George Santayana

And now since taking on this art show it seems like I'm noticing art more. For example, I went to lunch, and the art on the walls was jumping out at me. So now I'm taking a moment to read about the artist. Have you seen any good art lately?

A great opportunity is this Friday, April 8th, from 5 to 7pm at the Basalt Library. Come enjoy appetizers, wine, and art. Hope to see you there!