Backpacking Pooches!

I can’t wait, according to the tracking our goodies arrive from Amazon tomorrow!  Pooch will soon have her own saddlebag backpack for our hikes!  Tomorrow’s weather is supposed to be nice (it’s a chilly 31* currently) and I’m chomping at the bit to get pupster out and on the trails with her diva pink backpack and a training clicker.

So now I get to figure out what to pack for pooch, which of course means I’ve got to go through my own pack as well.  I love to be prepared and I love to have everything organized and at the ready.  Yes, I’m the guy with a first aid kit in every room, a can of spam in the trunk, rehydration salts in the glove box.  Every so often while hiking I come across people in need of first aid.  I’ve once wrapped a gal’s knee after she fell down some stone stairs at the will rogers shrine.  For some reason every time I hike I come across someone hah.

So we wait impatiently for our backpack and other goodies and have big weekend plans to hit the trails!  She and I both need the exercise and some good walking meditation is in order.  I’ve been refreshing myself with some SMART recovery tools and just finished re-working a tool called the lifestyle balance pie, meant to identify areas of my life that need improvement.  This took me several days of self examination and a good amount of self acceptance and a little bit of time on the trails would do me good.

It’s been a long while since I’ve hit the trails in a serious fashion and I definitely need the exercise.  It’ll be nice to get the camera out and get some good photo’s, photos of my pooch and the woods and the turning leaves.  Nice thing about Colorado is our fall season, the crisp air and scenery, the colors, the breeze, I love it here.  Pup loves it here too 🙂  I’m glad.  So today we will hike, tomorrow we will backpack, and Sunday… well, maybe we’ll go for a drive!  Pupster does love her car rides.

Hike on!

~J

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Healthy Eating, Healthy Brain 

I find myself unusually calm lately, things don’t seem to bother me so much anymore which is a good thing.  I’m not exactly sure what all has changed but I do know that I have been eating much healthier the past two weeks.
A very dear friend brought me some venison the other month and I have been pulling it from the freezer as of late.  The meat is very lean and takes seasoning with my various curries incredibly well.  I have been cooking up the ground deer pork with various veggie mixes and divvying up the batches into Tupperware for lunches.

I start each morning with homemade hash browns and sometimes two eggs over medium.  Later in the morning I usually do a bowl of pasta with red sauce and I do the same after returning home from work.  I also always have a batch of rice to reheat as a quick snack.  I’ve also been doing a lot of beans, this morning I actually did homemade refried beans from dried pintos I soaked overnight.

And while my kitchen is getting a little bare by my standards this week I have plenty of these healthy items to eat.  I get paid Friday and have taken the time to work up a shopping list of healthy items and not a bunch of quick microwave garbage.

As I’ve been working a lot of hours I plan to treat myself this weekend with a junk food meal of pizza from fat boys pizza but aside from that I’m consciously choosing to continue eating healthy.

My body feels better, I’m starting to actually sleep better, and my thoughts don’t seem to run away as much.  I’ve become more thoughtful and direct with my interactions around others.  

Next steps?  Go back into tech, slay this smoking dragon, and give a pooch a forever home with belly rubs and hikes and luvs.

~J

The Morning “Me”

I’ve found over the past few years that I have in fact become a “morning person”, often awake around 4:30-5AM shuffling to the kitchen to start coffee and checking the doorstep for my paper (which sadly has been showing up a bit later the last two days).  I’ve begun to love these times as a chance to practice some self care through a healthy breakfast (often two breakfasts over a few hours) and while I do live alone and in theory have plenty of “me” time to think and self reflect for some reason the mornings are the times that I seem to naturally do this.

Of course seeing Pikes Peak change colors from a dark ominous mountain to an amazing purple then slowly hues of oranges, reds, and yellows through my kitchen window as the sun rises provides an amazing sense of awe and a sense of peace as well.  I start up one of my many favorite podcasts or streams for background noise and pick through my paper as I wait for breakfast to cook sipping ample amounts of coffee and water, I do the dishes and return to my paper which is at least “skimmed” cover to cover and sometimes journal in my notebook or as is the case this morning I’ll blog some random thoughts.

This mornings thought is kind of funny and perhaps I’ll do some research on the subject.  Here in Colorado Springs our garbage services are privatized and all of them charge for recycling services.  I know people living in many other states get encouraged to recycle and are provided free recycling services and I wonder one big thing:

If Colorado is supposed to be so “green” why is it like this?

Now, I don’t drink much anything from a can or a plastic bottle (I use my water bottle, my camel back, or my coffee cup) so I do not really have much in the way of aluminum but with the paper and my cooking I generate plenty of tin cans and paper waste.  Our complex has a nifty dumpster right there but nothing in the way of recycling sadly and I’ve begun bagging my cans and papers with the intention of either plopping them in my aunts recycle container when I visit next or just taking it all to a recycling center about 3 miles away.

I begin to ask myself this morning what I am going to do when due to work schedule these bags of recyclables start piling up?  Do I stop recycling temporarily or get tired of tripping over the stuff and inevitably trash it?  And then there is the thought of whether or not recycling glass has much purpose sometimes?  An interesting factoid is that there are not too many uses for recycled glass, the primary being asphalt.  When road construction is on a down turn centers end up with surplus glass somewhat defeating the purpose.

Yesterday I wrote about a fertilizer made from food waste, the primary subject was more along the lines of simply cleaning my fridge and using the fertilizer to hopefully grow a garlic that was sprouting but now I wonder what ideas might be out there for glass recycling?  I often re-use my sauce jars for other things but on a larger scale I’m curious if anyone else out there has ideas and uses for these harder to recycle items?

Let me know your thoughts

~J

Some Thoughts on Healthy Living

And So I Decided to Quit Smoking….

I woke up this morning after getting what I consider to be a good nights sleep (more than 4 hours uninterrupted) and for the better part of this morning found myself in a severe funk.  Not so much angry but full of anxiety and maybe a touch of depression and a whoooole lot of that frustration thing.  It seemed like everything just frustrated me, for the first morning in a while I even slacked on making breakfast which is just not like me.

Granted, I have a lot to have anxiety about with the recent job applications / interviews and everything else going on with my life and add into that PAWS (post acute withdrawal syndrome) and I’m already a ball of stress.  So like an idiot a few days ago I decided to  quit smoking….. I’ve got lozenges (almost out) and a stack of patches (never really worked) along with tins of flavored toothpicks (probably going to be crapping splinters for a while) but the edge still comes and goes.  What the hell was I thinking?

I’ve got a good support system in place but it’s still difficult and so now I suppose I’ll rant about it.  Just after noonish I decided to indulge in one of my favorite dishes to eat as well as cook (and don’t laugh, it’s a big deal) a big bowl of Ramen (Or in the Hawaiian culture “Saimen”).  Just the time it took me to prepare it, my focus on chopping the vegetables, frying the perfect egg, simmering the pork to make the perfect broth, mixing my own seasoning blend, and putting it all together made me feel better.

Eating it in traditional style (quickly, slurping as to cool the noodles and unlock the broth flavor) gave me a sense of calm and happiness that I have been missing the last few days.  Now some might think “healthy living is in the title, isn’t Ramen horrible for you?” NO!  If done right it’s a very nutritious dish not to mention a very fulfilling one to explore.  A quick google search on traditional Ramen houses will yield a very interesting culture and a whole new world built around this wonderful part of my life.

Unfortunately throughout the rest of the day I lapsed in and out of the anxiety over and over, at the beginning of this post I was feeling it with a heavy edge to my demeanor overall.  By the time of this paragraph I am finding myself a touch less on edge and feeling better overall.  I know the nicotine and the overall habit will pass with time and I just need to hang in there.  I know my health will only get better and I will be able to extend my hiking enjoyment by sacrificing my smoking habit.  And then there’s that whole money thing, I sat down on day one and started calculating the cost of my smoking over a years time ($2445.00 a year on average).

Just uhm, wow!  So $203 a month on the low side that’s insanity considering all it does is appease a self imposed edginess from starting up in the first place.  So, wish me luck and I hope I can keep this up!  I’ll keep everyone updated!

~J