Saturday, March 31, 2012

March goals progress

Back in January I set some goals. It's now the end of March and time to check in on my progress.

  1. My novel isn't finished. I didn't expect to be done in March, but I've slacked off. I still love my story, but I need a break. 
  2. Which leads to our screenplay. I am taking the month of April to participate in Script Frenzy and work on the screenplay. I probably won't reach the 100 page goal, but that's ok. I don't think this script is a feature length story. My personal goal is just to finish the script, however long it ends up. My guess is 20 or so pages. 
  3. For the Goodreads challenge, I have read 12 of the 40 books I am aiming to read this year. According to their statistics, I am 3 ahead of where I need to be. 
  4. By the end of today, we will have seen 2 shows at the IU Cinema this month. Earlier this month we saw The King's Speech (Chris's first time, my second) and today we will see Young Frankenstein (a classic!).
  5. While we didn't hike at a state park, we had a picnic at Paynetown SRA over spring break. It was a gorgeous day, with temperatures in the 80s.
  6. A new goal! I want to be able to run a mile again. Speed isn't important, which is good because I'm slow. But I am already up to .75 miles and it's getting easier. My breathing wasn't as labored on my 4th run as it was on my first. Plus I have now made it up the hill that my route takes me to ~.7 miles in. 
Overall, not a bad month. I need to get back in gear with my writing, but otherwise I'm pretty happy. I even added a new goal.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Question to ponder

Should a person be forced to donate an organ? For example, if person A were a perfect match for person B who needed a kidney, but person A absolutely did not want to donate a kidney, should person A be required to do so? Or do person A's individual rights and autonomy over his/her body take precedence?

Please ponder that question.

The reason I ask is because this analogy because it was mentioned in a discussion I read recently in regards to abortion rights and so-called personhood amendments. The point, of course, is do women have a right to have autonomy over their own bodies? Do they have the right to not donate the use of their bodies, to put it crudely, as incubators?

Just something to think about.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Running a mile

I've always been more of a mathlete than an athlete. I was a nerd, a band geek, and yes, I actually did do a mathathon to raise money for St. Jude's Children's Hospital once upon a time.

The last time I ran was 19 years ago... in high school... when we had to run a mile for the President's Physical Fitness Challenge.

But now I'm 37 and need to get in shape.

I started doing a 4-minute workout a couple of weeks ago. It kicked my butt when I started, but is getting easier.

Last week I started jogging. Yep, jogging.

I'm built for distance, not speed. I can walk for miles and often have. Jogging? Well, that's another story.

I've mapped out a route in our neighborhood that is 1 mile round trip back to my driveway. My first run I jogged .7 miles, walking the last .3 miles home. I was gasping for breath after 3 houses. My second run I jogged .72 miles, walking the rest. I even made it halfway up the hill (the one that I hit .7 miles in) before my legs and lungs gave out.

Today I took my third run. I made it up the hill, jogging .75 miles. I even managed the whole first block before I was breathing heavy.

It's small progress, but progress none-the-less. My goal is to be able to jog the whole 1 mile. Once I get there, well, then I can find a new goal. Like adding another loop of the neighborhood.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Where do we live again?

I don't know what country I am living in anymore. I mean, I know this is still the US, but it sure doesn't feel like it right now. Especially for women. It feels more like we're living in one of the oppressive regimes politicians are always denouncing.

But, no, this is the US.

And, frankly, I'm scared. I don't want to live in a theocracy, but that's what certain lawmakers and presidential candidates are trying to create.

Yes, there's a War on Women. That's pretty clear, considering recent pieces of legislation. Many of these have been the result of lawmakers trying to enforce their own religious beliefs of the population at large.

Arizona will allow employers to fire female employees who use birth control if they can't prove it isn't for a non-birth control reason. Tennessee wants to publish names of abortion providers and information that could identify their patients. A Georgia politician thinks women are equivalent to animals and should be required to carry dead fetuses until they naturally go into labor. Some states want to protect doctors who lie to patients to prevent abortions. Colorado is on the way to passing a bill that make abortion or use of the "morning after" pill murder.

And these are just the tip of the iceberg of recent legislation either passed or proposed that are chipping away at the rights of women. We've been seeing increasing restrictions on abortion, reduced access to birth control, interference in women's ability to make their own medical decisions and their doctors' ability to provide politics free health care.

There have been calls for doctors to stand up for their rights to care for their patients without interference, but the full-on assault from the right continues to heat up. Now a Republican from Arizona (remind me never to move there) has stated that women should have to watch an abortion before they can have one. Never mind that no other surgical procedure requires a patient to observe one first.

Frankly, if you are female, know anyone who is female, care about anyone who is female, or even just believe women are people, you need to pay attention and remember come November. We need to vote these people out of office or we will be living in conditions worse than our parents grew up in. We'll be living in a country where being female is a crime.

If you don't want to live in an oppressive regime, educate yourself and exercise your right to vote. Learn about the candidates. An excellent, non-partisan, resource is Project Vote Smart, which collects voting records, biographical information, issue positions, and more on all federal-level and many state-level candidates.

Consider running for office yourself. The 2012 Project is encouraging women, in particular, to run for office. Write your Senators and Representatives and let them know how you feel about invasive legislation.

DO something. Because this isn't the country I want my kids to grow up in.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Jumping into spring

We have certainly been taking advantage of the beautiful early spring weather - before spring is even officially here. The garbage haulers are probably thrilled with us - 2 weeks ago we had 9 bags or bins of yard waste. As of today, for Wednesday's pick-up, we have twelve. And there are a few more days until it gets picked up. Yep, we've been busy. It hasn't all been clearing leaves from beds and weeding, although there has been plenty of that (and plenty more to do). We've been removing grass to expand some of the beds and to clear around trees. The boys have planted spinach and carrot seeds (they love growing veggies). I planted a new rose (Mr. Lincoln) today. And we planted a second apple tree. Three years ago we planted a dwarf Liberty apple tree. We have a flowering crabapple, which will do in a pinch for pollination. Two years ago, we almost had our first apples, until the tree got damaged (I think the culprits may be of the 2-legged variety). It hasn't produced apples since. Today we bought a Honeycrisp apple tree. Hopefully it will survive and we'll get lots of yummy apples. (Honeycrisps are fantastic apples!) It did take trips to several places to find the tree. Mays Greenhouse only had Red Delicious and Golden Delicious (they don't have their full stock yet). Bloomington Valley Nursery only has Northstar and Sentinel. Ready to give up, figuring we would just have to try again in a few weeks, we stopped at Menards to buy a garden cart and a few other odds and ends. And we found several varieties of apple tree, including Honeycrisp, which was one of my top choices. Looking at blooming time, it is an acceptable pollinator for a Liberty (and vice versa). Plus, it's Honeycrisp! Seriously, have you eaten a Honeycrisp apple? The front and back yards are starting to take shape. There's still plenty to do, including a list of projects to work through this year. But I can see what they will look like in a few years. We don't need to be embarrassed by the disaster we had for a few years when we didn't have time to work on them. Plus, it's amazing what a little mulch (or a few yards) will do. Now to keep up this momentum!