Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The mountains of home

Here is a picture I took this morning. The snow is melting fast, tomorrow I'll put a new picture up from on the way home and I'll be it's almost all gone. It was much needed moisture, now it gets to melt into the soil and make the tree's smile.
Using the magic of paint and my mad computer skills, I added an arrow showing the general vicinity of where we live. You can't get much more on the edge of town unless you have a ton of money, or are actually out of town by miles.

The mountain to the left of the arrow is Cheyenne mountain, home of NORAD. The mountain behind the arrow is Mount Baldy, the stuff to the right I have no idea what it's called but that's where I trail run. Out the door and 1/4 mile later I have 100+ miles of trails and dirt roads.
This area has a lot of water sources, 2 water reservoirs (spring fed) and 3 creek's, all within .75 miles of the front door. Back in the hills there are a lot more creeks and reservoirs.

Later, at the home, I took these:
Pitbat? Gremlin?
Luke crossed his path and snow playing ensued. Even with a bear bell, Luke still gets startled, but for being blind he is a trooper. He gets disoriented and I have to rescue him from some bush or corner of the yard once a day, especially when he gets excited or thinks it's food time. He gets SO happy when I come out and help him, the tail wags like a blur and I set him on the path to the door.

The gym was kind to me last night and I actually had a spotter for chest night. I was able to hit a new record on bench, a month ahead of schedule, so now I need to set a new goal. But it's still awesome to hit them.

A response, amazingly enough!

Thank you for contacting me about proposed gun regulations. I appreciate hearing from you.

First and foremost, no words can adequately describe the tragedy that occurred in Connecticut. With the loss of so many innocent lives, especially the young children, our prayers should continue to go out to the families and the community around them. While a political discussion of what we in Congress can do to prevent future tragedies is inevitable, I hope these discussions will not overshadow the memory of those who lost their life that day.

As a Member of Congress I will honor my oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States." Since being ratified on December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights has been one of the core pillars of our Constitution. The rights enshrined to the people there have been a beacon to the world. The 2nd Amendment states, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." In 2008 the historic Supreme Court case of D.C. vs Heller reaffirmed this amendment as a protection for individuals of the right to bear arms. There is no clause in the Second Amendment qualifying or limiting this right.

As the 113th Congress begins there will be extensive discussion in the months ahead concerning what, if any, changes to our gun laws or other laws are needed following the tragic events in Connecticut. I take seriously the need to safeguard the Constitutional right to bear arms. I believe that responsible gun owners should not be punished for the actions of one deranged person. I am concerned that in a rush to do something, there may be an overreaction. I think we need to take a thoughtful approach and look at all of the facts in order to avoid any unintended consequences.

As we review the facts and study this issue I hope we also review the effectiveness of current efforts to control gun use. The shooter in Connecticut, a state with some of the most stringent gun control laws in the nation, stole the guns from his mother after brutally murdering her. He illegally carried the guns into a "gun-free" zone because he knew there would be no one to stop him. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, a majority of guns used by criminals are stolen, bought on the black market, or obtained in other illegal ways. Most, if not all, of the laws being proposed by gun control advocates would not have made any difference in Connecticut.

Lastly, President Obama and Vice President Biden have both indicted they will be using executive orders to pursue gun control. Unfortunately too often this administration has used this tactic to go around Congress to achieve its agenda. This flies in the face of the design of our Founding Fathers when they established the Constitution with three co-equal branches with checks and balances. Although the President can direct various executive agencies how to do their business, the Constitution does not allow the President to make law through executive order. If President Obama wants changes to our gun laws he must bring these changes to Congress so we can have an open, honest, and transparent debate. Anything other than this is totally unacceptable.

As we as a nation continue to heal from this tragedy I hope we also look within our families, churches, and cultural institutions--for answers. Thank you once again for providing me with your concerns. For more information about my efforts on behalf of Colorado and to receive periodic congressional updates, please visit my website at

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

60's to 6 inches and something to bake

More like 8 inches by now, winter wonderland or something!
This picture isn't my house, but for opsec I wanted to take it 50 miles from home, aimed the other direction with GPS scrubbing filters.... ok, it's like 3 miles from home and there was a building in the way of the mountains you couldn't see anyhow.
I got up at my usual time, shoveled, swept, cleaned the car and still got to work early. This leads me to this sort of small snow-time-rant:
On the way to work there was a police car on the side of the road. It was obvious that the car accident was a hate crime. The black car got rear ended by a white car, the white car was covered in 6+ inches of snow and the racist driver only made 2 spook eye holes in the front windshield. Seriously, scream KKK more please with your spook hat looking car.
Why can't people be bothered to clean the windshield at a minimum? How can they not figure out the powdery snow on the hood will blow onto the glass? This then leads to the wipers being overworked and icing over. The horrible chain of event from someone being lazy leads us to a racism motivated hate crime on the side of the road with a grill all up into a bumper. I'm sure it had nothing to do with following too close on slick roads.

Yup, I'm in that kind of a mood. Check out this awesome thing I made last night slightly before midnight:

It turned out really good, but the inside was a little doughy. I'll get the new stove timing dialed in soon, it's spot on and I'm used to the old 1950's model. The above is a blackberry coffee cake thing, here is the evolution:
So nice not needing a pastry board to roll the dough out.
This is entirely from memory.... my brain works in odd ways.
1 C. flour, 1/3 C. Sugar, 2 1/4 tsp quick rise yeast, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp soda.
Heat this up: 1/2 C milk, 1/2 C water, 1/3 C butter (to about 125 degrees) and dump it in the dry mixture. Add more flour until it's dough (I used almost 2 more cups), knead it for 5 minutes or until it's smooth and elastic-like (hey, I never claimed to use real words). Cover and let it rise an hour,
Roll it out and add whatever filling you like. This filling is 3 C blackberries, 2 Tbs. lemon juice, 1/3 C sugar. I boiled the filling the day before for 10 minutes, then tossed it in the fridge so it wouldn't be too runny. Spoon the filling (cranberry would be good around the holidays), stay away from the edges, since when you roll it up it's going to smoosh out. I ended up taking a few spoonfuls out as I got to the end of the rolling process.
 Most normal people (yes, if you are reading this, you aren't normal) would put the seam down, but I like color in my final presentations.
Melt 2 Tbs. butter, brush the top of the snake. Add a crumble mix to this ( fork cut together the following: 2 Tbs flour and sugar, 1 Tbs cold butter) and let it rise another 40 minutes or so.

350 degrees for 45 minutes (or 40 if you like it a little doughy, you can see I'm used to being careful on my timing).
There you have it. If you look at the initial fresh out of the oven, it has some awesome color, it carries over well onto the plate. A spoonful of whipped cream wouldn't hurt but it was close to 0:00 and I needed some sleep.

Not that I got much rest, I was riding my bicycle around with a lever action rifle shooting people. When I ran out of ammo I pulled my pistol but the holster came with it (odd since it's a belt loop type holster). That's ok, the old west era I was in had thick wood on the walls to stop the incoming rounds and I finished people off with my M&P Shield.

Welcome to my head, it's a wreck up there.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The warm winter weekend

The weather was really nice this weekend, so nice I watered the yard both days. It felt like spring was here, a warm breeze in the air, the sprinkler rotating around and people everywhere.
There must be some exotic rare bird across the street, there are groups of 10-20 people with bino's wandering around across the road scanning the tree tops. I'm not paranoid much but it does bother me having a lot of strangers too close to home. Not one of them has waved or said hello, perhaps it's my pistol, angry face or (and?) demeanor.

The yard is cleaned of construction debris, just in time to get the garden going. Oh, wait... it's January still, I have a few months left of winter (and it's going to come eventually).

Here are some more pictures of the kitchen, now that it's organized. We realized there are some plates that have vanished and a few are cracked. Time for new dishes since the ones we have aren't made anymore. They make some that are close, but I'm going to let someone else make the decision on the dinnerware.

Top oven at work, brownies after we made meatloaf.

That's a new pot, half of our old ones were too thin.

TEOTWAWKI dog bones on the fridge.

The faucet is touch on/off. We are enjoying it instead of manual on/off labor.

Deep sink, in case little people need a bath.

Blind dog Luke sharing with Rock this morning.
I didn't do much to 'prep' in the last week, besides the normal. No bulk food, no bulk ammo, no worrying about the world ending... just enjoyed ourselves and organized the kitchen. There are 2 boxes of stuff for goodwill, it's nice downsizing stuff you just don't use anymore, or things you haven't used in 10+ years.

I'm really working hard on getting stronger and a little leaner. It's sort of counter productive to get bigger but as long as it's muscle I'm happy. The more muscle I have, the harder it gets to run, I'm not tiny and lithe so it's a workout no matter what I do. Being healthy is important, being strong is important, having endurance is very important. The running is going well, a new style, new form, new shoes... I'm never really happy with anything I do, but it's a driving force to excel.

We are hosting a fight night and spaghetti dinner this weekend. Having someone over from work so they know how to get here if TSHTF. Our circle is growing, 3 families and the in-laws, I never would have thought we would have our own survival group. I'm turning into Rawles or something.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chemical high, yes please....

Whatever chemical they used in the kitchen yesterday to install the quartz... I hope to never smell it again. I figured it couldn't be too bad, they didn't use gloves or masks, so I didn't give it much thought and was in my office upstairs when I had the urge to vomit.
Light, noise, smell... I was sensitive to it all and just crawled under the covers trying not to throw up. About 2am I finally recovered and now I understand why people get addicted to the high... the low is something nobody appreciates. I didn't appreciate either but now all we need to do is the plumbing, some copper this evening and the sink/dishwasher stuff in the morning.
I shall have a kitchen this weekend!
It's almost done. window trim, junction box, pendant lights, painting and moving the breaker box. It will be functional at least.

I woke up to this, it's nice that Rock is starting to help Luke out as a guide dog, dogs are better than most people and faster learners.

In my high yesterday I never got a chance to do anything with my new toy I got in the AM. I picked up 2 more pmags, I don't want to pass on a good deal just in case. I've waited 12 days for my background to finally clear, the backlog is silly but worth it when you want something.
I'll change out the grip and eventually get more magazines. I have 3 on back order with no ETA, maybe I'll try and trade some pmags for a couple. Anyone up for that? 3 pmags (gen 3, no window) for 2 XDm 9mm 19 round magazines? Let me know.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Commander in Chief's ball

It was nice to see many wounded warriors and young enlisted members represented at the ball.  Many times events like this are filled with a who's-who of senior officers and staff members.

Even though I don't agree with many things the POTUS does/says, when he danced with his wife, they looked to be really, deeply, in love.

Say what you want of the politics and policies, America is still awesome, and at times very inspiring.

Friday, January 18, 2013

150 cough drops later

I suppose it can always be worse, but sometimes I think getting the flu for a couple of days would be better than a sore throat for 7. I wasn't feeling bad, just couldn't talk or breathe deep. Today I'm about 70% back to normal, I'll be able to order lunch without using pen and paper. I'm also down 2 bottles of cough syrup. A man has to sleep somehow.

My pay stub had my 2011 tax paperwork stapled to it. I'm fortunate and blessed with many things, including a great job that I love. The downside is seeing how much tax goes out, and having to pay a little more when April rolls around. I know how fortunate we are but it's still crappy when our household pays out over $70,000 in total taxes each year. I wish they would just let us put this money directly into the economy so it's not wasted building a well for some afghan warlord. Not complaining, just wish we had a say in how the money is spent.

The week has been good in other areas: I hit a new max for bench and dead lifts, another 30 days and I'll be able to hit my goals easily. I haven't had anyone to spot me on squats so I'm not sure how that will play out. After all these years of running it's nice to be big and muscular again and still be able to run well. I'm hopeful to hit the trails this weekend in some mid 50's weather and see how my strength training has changed my running. I'm hopeful it's going to be a big improvement, my core is at least 60% stronger than mid September, and my legs are probably 40% improved.

The counter top will be installed on Wednesday, 2 weeks ahead of schedule. I'm looking forward to a full kitchen, back to normal, for next weekend. I'll celebrate and make some bread and other yummies.

I had 2 pmags show up in the mail, an order I placed was partially filled, better than nothing. A coworker just picked up a couple of pistols and can't find any ammo locally. I suggested he just buy some .40 in bulk but he doesn't want to spend the money. At least he can use them as clubs.
There have been a lot of home invasions and break ins, a young couple was killed when they walked into their home on Monday and interrupted a burglary. The suspect is 17 and hopefully will get the death penalty once they catch him. A young soldier, his wife and unborn baby... all for what, a tv, some crack money....? The grocery store the in-laws like got robbed yesterday morning, someone looking for pain killers.

I know it won't get better, the pacification and reliance of the Government in America is in full swing. The good news is people are arming themselves, I'm still waiting for my background check to clear from Saturday.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sick people should stay home

Like I am doing.

The tile in the kitchen is done, replacing what was pulled up to make room for the bigger cabinets. I've never tiled before but it went smooth and I had someone here helping to make sure I got it right on my first effort.
That person wasn't feeling well and today I'm home with the *whatever it's being called*. The counter top is being produced, hopefully installed in about 15 days from now. The sink arrived so it's slowly coming together but not fast enough for me.
It's only 6 degrees so I'm not missing any outdoors activity. The weather is going to turn warm once again on Wednesday, just in time for me to be back to normal.

I've read 4 books in the last few days (lights out, collision course, books 1 and 2 of the 299 days series) and I'm bored out of my mind, reminding myself to drink a lot of water. I'll be back to work tomorrow just in time to plan a trip to Orlando for a convention next month.

I've been torn between getting more supplies but I really need to wait until the kitchen is done so I can organize it. Having your kitchen spread out in the dining room and basement does get in the way of doing just about anything. I started listing out things I need to get once everything is organized and back to normal inside the house:
black beans
kidney bean
powdered milk
macaroni noodles
spaghetti noodles
150 lbs dog food
100 gallons water

I'm going to the store in a bit to restock my cough drops, I'll be using them for the next week. I'm glad I only had one day of sore throat, most people aren't so lucky. I'm also super thankful I have supplies to raid, needing some cough syrup at 4am meant I didn't need to drive anywhere. Just another reminder to stock up on things and stay in good shape.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday blows on in

From the 50's to the negatives, those are the grand temperature swings this week. Today the wind roared into town, not so much in the canyon but everywhere else it was cutting in like a knife. It's only going to get worse this weekend and the cold brings no snow. Pikes Peak doesn't have much snow on it at all, it's pretty sad looking.

As far as looks go, I'm building a head halo for Luke so he won't run into things and I can take him on walks. We took him out on Sunday and he ran head first into the rim on the car, so I am going to make a head halo out of (not sure). I ordered in a vest for him, and in the spirit of things it's a top of the line working dog vest. We didn't spring for dog body armor but I wanted something with Molle loops so I can rivet straps onto the halo material and then strap it on the vest.
Here he is, being a gracious model:

I need to tighten the straps up some and shorten the front but otherwise I'm happy with it. I love the 2 grab handles on the top, makes it easier to lift him in and out of the vehicles. The leash points are metal and well as the buckles. I picked it up from Elitek9 and as with all quality things that are good in life, it wasn't cheap. It doesn't bother him (yet) and once I get the halo made this weekend he will enjoy running into things with something other than his face.

Here is another picture I took at Sportsmans Warehouese.
I don't wait in lines and was looking for a spousal unit birthday gift. I decided to hit the big gun store and it looked like last time, empty of most of the good stuff. I walked by the AR section and the guy behind the counter asked me if I wanted 2 pmags, last 2 out of the 8 he just got in this morning. I love stumbling onto deals like this. They were $20 each instead of the usual $14 but I wasn't going to argue. Someone at work offered me $60 each but I declined. I don't think they will become less valuable anytime soon.

A friend of mine just retired from the sheriffs office in a neighboring state. He is all moved in across town and stopped by to say he will be working with me starting in March. He did tell me that the DHS has been tossing money at his department and training everyone up. In case there is some kind of disaster they want everyone trained so they can help escort civilians to one of 2 locations. 2 million people herded into 2 locations by highly trained and equipped law enforcement. He said the money literally just pours in.

There is a gun show again this weekend. While everyone is there I'm going to the gun store and buying a new pistol and maybe a 9mm AR pistol if they still have it in stock in the morning. If not that's ok too, wants and not needs.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Fuel fire starters, review.

A few weeks ago I had some fire starters come in. This isn't rubbing 2 sticks together, you need a flame (or perhaps they would light with a fire starter, will have to try next time).
We gathered at the in laws for a gift exchange since we couldn't all get together for the holidays. A fire wasn't needed but it's a nice atmosphere, and it gave me a chance to get some pictures of these in action.
I used 2 of the fuel packs since that's what I grabbed out of storage. The wood is equal on both sides, the kindling is equal on both sides, the right side was packed with paper. I held the lighter to the fuel pack for about 2 seconds to get it light.
You can see the paper is making an effort on the right side and he fuel packs are roaring away.
The paper failed to get the fire light, there wasn't enough kindling. The fuel packs did great and have been burning for 30 minutes in this picture above.
This last picture is 45 minutes later with fresh wood added. The packs are still burning, but to be fair I hit each one with the fire poker and they crumbled apart but still burned for 10 more minutes. Almost an hour of burn time for each pack, and using 2 packs was overkill.

It was nice not to chop kindling up in the backyard, in the snow. The packs can be reused if you just blow it out or stomp it (lightly). They are light and individually wrapped in plastic, about the size of a hockey puck. I could see using a puck to cook dinner (on it's own, no additional wood/fuel) or boil water. I can certainly use them to start a campfire without having to worry about how dry the wood is or how much kindling was available.

A good addition to a get home bag for the winter, or for year round if you don't have a water filter. The food in my get home bag doesn't need to be heated by a fire and I have a water filter, I would use them to stay warm.

They are available from shelf reliance or from costco. There are other options out there for less and some for more. I'm going to get some for the in laws so they can do exactly what I did for this post, start a fire in the fireplace without chopping anything up.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The great panic is full swing

I debated going to the gun show, I didn't need anything and didn't want anything. I'm sure there is always something to find that I would like but I decided to stay home. My friends sent a text early this morning and I met them at the gun show.
We were there 5 minutes after it opened up and exp ected to stand in line for a few minutes. Instead we got back in the cars and went to Costco. The parking lot was fuller that it has ever been, the line was 1/4 mile long, vehicles were circling like vultures. Costco was empty so we pushed out carts around tossing in stuff. I picked up a bunch of canned goods that I was low on, or had loaded the new pantry cabinets up with. I grabbed some eneloop batteries with a charger, and some other paper products that were on sale.

On the way home I drove by the gun show, foolishly thinking the line would be gone. The line was double in length, parking was overflowed about 1/2 mile away, people were still swarming with a anxious/panicked look on their faces. This is worse than 2008, a lot of people really missed the opportunity and are seriously panicked. Even if no legislation is passed (fat chance), it won't settle down for 6+ months. My magic 8 ball told me so.

Closer to home I admired why the road construction crew was in the road for the last 3 days.
The construction was to install the curve arrow signs. What... seriously... what you see in that picrure is the ENTIRE curve. I'm so tired of government wasteful spending. There were no accidents there, no issues, no skid marks... NOTHING for all the years we have lived here. This stupid spending was as bad as replacing ALL the road and attraction signs with larger ones. I would be pissed off bout this all, but it's what we have all come to expect and CANT do anything about. Letters, calls, votes... doesn't matter. The money might have been from the state or fed... but that's still my money going into the shitter again. Do you see anything dangerous about this corner?

My mood was brighter when I met the UPS truck outside the fence, perfect timing.
 Finally, part of my order showed up that I places weeks ago. I could sell these for $45-$80 each. The cost me $12.
Lucky gunner has these cases of 1,000 for $725, I picked them up for less than $500 each. I could sell each box for $1000 if I was patient.
Don't think I'm not pondering going to t he gun show tomorrow to sell in the parking lot. The problem is if I do sell, it's hard or more expensive to replace.

I also tested out my load out to see how if I liked my new rifle/pistol magazine pouch combination.
Turns out I don't like it. Even strapped down, the pistol mag ends stick out enough to catch on my arm or sleeve. The edges are a little sharp and pointy and I don't want anything getting in the way or causing a hang up. It's also a little thick so I need to swap it out for another 45 degree triple pouch (like the one above it). I really like the 45 degree system, it's a lot more natural of a pull that the standard vertical design.

To top off my awesome day I need to go pick up frozen dog poop. What could be better?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Medical supplies check reminder

It might seem like a first aid kit will last forever, but that's not the case. Just like anything you stock up on, medical preps deserve to be inspected and checked at least once a year. If you use things from your medic kit, then you should give it a once over twice a year at minimum.

My first aid kit is a self named trauma kit. This way if I say 'go get the trauma kit', we know what bag will show up. I don't need a first aid kit that fits in a glove box unless I need a bandage for a splinter.

The IV solution in my trauma kit expired in November. It's a standard saline solution so I'm not worried about what the bag says (as long as the fluid looks clear and everything is sealed), but since the entire kit often rides around in one of the vehicles I replaced both of them. Extreme vehicle temperatures can degrade packaging and I can't guarantee the kits would continue to be sterile.
This is what an IV kit looks like outside of the sealed bag. Typical things like hand cleaner, tubing, absorb pad, 3 catheter sizes, alcohol wipes, etc. When the kit is all sealed up in the sterile bag it takes up around 7x7x3 inches worth of space. I keep a detailed 'how to give an IV' instruction book in the trauma bag in case I'm the one needing it and can't give it to myself. It's not that hard (bevel up!) and there are good video's around and instructions so you can learn. Practice makes perfect, and since I just swapped out the old stuff, we shall use it to practice with. The tubing from one of the old packs makes a great 'vein', but it's really about going through the motions.

Bandages like smaller bandaids that aren't packaged well will often separate and the bandage is no longer sterile. Packing your bandages in zip locks is a good idea, a vacuum sealer is a better solution. We have bandages ranging from 8x8 to small butterfly closures. I checked each bandage pack or baggie to make sure everything looked good and nothing appeared dried out.

Makeshift splints should be in your bag should you need to immobilize an arm, finger, elbow or knee. The free paint stirring sticks at Home Depot or Lowes work great for this. If you need a larger splint just find a large tree branch. Broken bones do not normally cause infection, but foreign material (bacteria) entering an external break wound site can easily cause an infection. Infections will cause recovery (and proper treatment) to be prolonged. If there is an open fracture, antibiotics should be started right away, general antibiotics since in a SHTF scenario you wont be able to know what kind of bacteria is causing the infection. Open fractures in a long term shtf situation will have a very high mortality rate as they need surgery to be aligned properly. An internal break can often be pressed back into position (as close as possible anyhow) so it can heal (it will never be the same but hopefully better than useless).

Need to clean a wound out? Make a small hole in the cap of a plastic water bottle and you have a pressure wash. Before you make a hole you should use sterilize the knife, bottle top and your hands as best as you are able to.

Suture kits are often packaged similar to single bandaids so we check to make sure they are intact. Don't now how to suture? Easy, practice on some chicken breast, pig leg, vinyl scrap, etc. The average suture is 1/2 in apart to allow the wound to drain. The suture doesn't need to be one long strip like you would use sewing, each 1/2 inch stitch can be an individual stitch, just make sure you have a good knot (doesn't even need to be pretty as long as it holds). Dissolvable stitches are a great way to stitch and forget, but if the wound is deep it will often take longer to heal and normal sutures are the best bet.

If you are going to suture, you should have some sort of topical like lidocaine. You can use ice from the freezer to numb an area (snow or cold stream water will also work), be sure to sterilize and dry the wound again. You might have to buy it from an online Canadian pharmacy, but I get mine from the states without a license as they say is required, most places just ship. Once again, antibiotics are a good idea if you need to stitch someone up.

Rubbing alcohol, peroxide, sterile wipes, hand cleaner, bar/liquid soap, wraps, pads, tweezers, scalpel, iodine, bandaids, quick clot, tourniquet, eye wash, rubber gloves, antibiotics, etc. There are a lot of things you could/should have. I bet I get into my trauma bag 8 times a year, mainly for tweezers or nail clippers while we are out in the woods doing whatever.

I've been unlucky and broke my leg and foot. The positive side to this is we have aluminum crutches and a walking boot at home.

Check dates, conditions, quantities and make sure you know how to use it. As with all things, now is the time to check/stock, it sucks to need something as small as a finger bandaid and you don't have anything.

Cheerful subject, I know.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A night/day of reflection

6 years ago on this exact day I was driving across country having some one way, angry conversations with God, wondering my father had to die. At the age of 62 he was healthy, living life on his own terms, and was my best friend. As parents get older you start to think about them not being around and you can sort of set yourself up for it, but nothing could have prepared me for the out of the blue phone call from my Brother.
My life was so upside down for the next 6 months, it was all I could manage just  to keep my job, everything else was in shambles. Giving up was constantly in my mind, I had my pistol in my hand on more than one occasion. One morning I realized how selfish I was being and that my father would want me to carry on and be a great person. I took all the anger and hatred and turned it around. We truly are blessed.

New years is now about reflection and setting goals so I continue down a path that will still make my Dad proud. It's how I keep on track and keep persevering.
Here is how I spent my night/day so far:

With the help of my personal trainer I convinced the manager at 24 Hour Fitness to let me workout while he was finishing up paperwork, the gym was already closed last night when we showed up. That picture is an overhead press after a front squat. Front squats are brutal and I can only do 50% of my normal squat weight. Notice there isn't anyone else in the gym... how cool is that? I'm going to get the manager and my trainer a nice thank you gift.
This picture is me completely exhausted after squats, deadlifts, burpees, kettle/barbell swings, lunges, jumps, etc. There was more than one occasion that I had to remind myself to keep going, to never give up no matter what. I was too exhausted to cry, or perhaps the river of sweat washed them away. This workout was exactly what I needed to keep myself from thinking back on how things used to be, and focusing on the right now.
This morning was a run to benefit the county search and rescue. My friend joined me, she was just diagnosed with some form of lady part cancer and I'm doing my best to keep her spirits up and maintaining her fitness while she still has energy. It was a gorgeous 12 degrees out and the course was covered with snow and ice, We had a blast, she even managed to make me smile in a picture... that's a miracle in itself.
I don't know why, but I was a little chilly above the knees.

Moving forward and looking back, I'm so glad that everything has worked out. My family is healthy, safe and prepared. My few friends are there for me when I need to lean on them, and I'm always there for them at a moments notice. While I wish every single day that New Years would go back to being a party night/day, I am very glad it's a time for reflection. All too often life is a blur and we don't stop and look around enough. I couldn't do all of this stuff without a wonderful family, home, job and friends. 2013 brings our 18th anniversary and my 16th anniversary at work, amazing feats for anyone under 50 in today's world.

There are a few things on my long term list I want to hammer out. I need some more backup heating sources for the house, more water stored up, another years worth of food set aside, more water filters, a garden that's twice as big, etc. Good things to tackle and plenty to keep my mind occupied.

Happy New Year, may 2013 be the year of the citizen for once, we certainly need it.