Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day 29

So after yesterday's post I started thinking.  I did what I always do when I need to make a decision: I googled it, and I talked to John (yeah, I google things when I'm faced with a decision).

The only real thing I could find on google was from Day Zero Project, which just said the goal was to complete 101 preset tasks in 1001 days.  Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).  Changing wasn't addressed.

So I talked to John, who felt that I should be able to change things.  So I'm setting up a list of rules for changing my goals.

1. The new goal must always be in the spirit of the old goal.  Example: Wedding Wire goes under, so I can't be one of their bride's choice vendors.  I can't change my goal to "Swim with the dolphins" but I could change it to "Become a little black book vendor for Style Me Pretty."

2. For one reason or another, the old goal must now be irrelevant.  Ok, maybe irrelevant is a slightly strong term, but it must be clear that the old goal no longer accomplishes the ends I wanted.  Using the last example, Wedding Wire isn't the goal, achieving recognition is.  But as long as Wedding Wire is around, that's the goal.  A caveat: If being on Wedding Wire was the point of the goal, as opposed to being recognized, then Wedding Wire going under prior to me appearing would be a failure in the goal.

3. Goals can never be removed because they're too hard.  Self-explanatory.

4. I have to explain exactly why this change is being made.

So with that, I'd like to fully explain why Goal 101, Get three professional massages in one month is changing to Receive chiropractic treatment that creates a noticeable and lasting effect on my well-being.  Yesterday I said "When I wrote that goal, it wasn't a luxury, it was a plea to fix myself in the best way I could think of."  This is entirely true.  For one reason or another, I hadn't thought of chiropractics as a way to fix the pain in my neck and back.  I defaulted to the method that made the most sense to me.

Now that I've found a way to treat the cause of my pain instead of the symptoms, my goal as written no longer meshes with my goal as intended.  It's gone from a plan to help to an over-the-top luxury.  Changing my goal allows me to keep the spirit of the goal without adding anything unneccessary.  I'm now in the active process of completing goal 101, and I hope that my doctor will tell me soon that I can move to well-patient adjustments because I'm in shape again.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day 28

Or what I said vs. what I meant.  I've already had to clarify a few times, like on Number 59, Number 57, and Number 70.  Each time, I said one thing but meant something slightly different.  In all these cases, the goal itself was shortened for clarity ("Trevor and Darcy master beginner training" sounds better than "Trevor and Darcy are encouraged to move on to intermediate obedience training").

But what happens when what I said and what I meant don't really line up at all?  Specifically, I'm thinking of goal 101: Get 3 professional massages in a month.  What I meant was: fix my back, neck, and shoulders.

For about 5 years now I've been dealing with some nasty muscle knots.  They don't massage out and they hurt like the dickens.  One time I actually did get a massage, and the masseuse just looks at me and goes: "The tension in your back is amazing.  It normally takes people 60 years to amass the tension you have at age 20."  Ouch.

I thought if I made it a goal to get 3 massages, I might actually fix the knots.  But then a few weeks back, plans got tweaked.  I went to the Washington Bridal Showcase, and one of the exhibitors was a local chiropractor.  They did a nerve scan on my neck, and EVERY SINGLE VERTEBRA was out of alignment.  They encouraged me to come in.  I agreed.

Last week I had a preliminary appointment where they watched how I stood and how I walked, took x-rays, and did a full nerve scan on my spine.  Last night was my follow up.  Long story made short, I'm a bit of a mess but I'm fixable.  My one hip is 13 millimeters higher than the other, my neck is like, 16 degrees less arched than it should be, and my muscles are all sore and knotted because my spine isn't aligned.  However, there's no permanent damage done to my nerves, ligaments or bones yet.

I also had my first adjustment while I was there.  It felt weird, but I'd had this headache that felt like a pinched nerve at the base of my skull, and it immediately went away.  My muscles loosened instantly... seriously, the muscles at the base of my neck/shoulders are constantly tense, and the knot went away for the first time in over a year.  It was incredible.

So yeah, I'll be going to the chiropractor for a while, but I'm on the road to being healthy again.  And this still doesn't deal with goal 101.  When I wrote that goal, it wasn't a luxury, it was a plea to fix myself in the best way I could think of.  Now it seems a little over the top, I think.

So what do you do when your circumstances change and a goal doesn't really fit anymore?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Day 27

Today is my beloved Trevor's 2nd birthday, so I thought it would be a good day to tell his story and make a small plug for a charity that is now very close to my heart.

Trevor's story starts in mid-June, 2009, as an unnamed dog in Charlottesville.  All of this story, as improbable as parts may seem, is true.

Amanda was a foster for the Internet Miniature Pinscher Service (IMPS) a nationwide miniature pinscher rescue.  One morning she heard scratching as she walked past her door.  She'd always joked that her home seemed to have a 'bacon signal' because random dogs would always show up at her house.  That morning, however, when she opened her door she found two miniature pinschers who weren't wearing collars.  She let them inside, called the local shelter to let them know that two untagged dogs had appeared at her house, and that she would foster them until someone came looking for them.  She then called IMPS to let them know she was now unexpectedly fostering two dogs.

After inspecting the dogs, she came to a few conclusions.  The dogs had been out for a while.  The male was a puppy.  The female had recently weaned a litter, and the male was most likely part of that litter.  She then gave them temporary names: the female was the mom, so she would be Mama.  The male... well, The Hangover had just come out, and Carlos was the first name that came to mind.

A week and a half went by, and Carlos and Mama were making themselves at home with the other dogs at Amanda's house.  Then she finally got a call from the local shelter.  A man had called asking if any min pins had shown up.  The shelter passed his phone number along, and Amanda quickly called.  A woman answered the phone.

Amanda: "Hi, I heard that you lost some min pins.  How many are you missing?"
Woman: "Oh, those must be my son's!  I don't know how many, he keeps them all out in a pen in the woods."

Amanda was horrified.  However, luck and the law were on Carlos and Mama's side.  It turns out that in Charlottesville you forfeit the rights to your pets if they go missing for 11 days and you don't look for them.  It also turns out that this was the owner's first attempt to find his dogs, and they had been with Amanda for 11 days already.  They were no longer his dogs, and were now up for adoption by IMPS.  As the end of June and the beginning of July rolled in, she began working on getting Carlos and Mama adopted.  Unfortunately, at least 1 adoption fell through.

Meanwhile, John and I had been having a whirlwind of a month.  At the end of June we had a successful home inspection, and IMPS approved us to adopt.  We decided we'd start looking for a dog when we came back from our honeymoon.  On Saturday, July 11, 2009, we came back from Jamaica, and on Sunday, July 12 I started emailing about dogs.  I saw an adorable black and tan female pup, about 9 months old, and asked if she was available.  Sadly for me, she had just been adopted.  However...

"Have you two looked at Carlos and Mama?"

We hadn't.  We took a look at their posting, and John thought that Carlos was the cutest thing.  We had a few questions though... well, one big one.  Were they a pair?  We were not prepared for 2 dogs.  It turned out that they were available to adopt separately, so we agreed to meet Carlos and Mama on Wednesday and find out who we connected with better.

On Tuesday Mama found her forever home, so it became clear that we would just be meeting Carlos, and if things worked out we'd be taking him home right away.  We got to the park where we were supposed to meet, and Amanda walked up with about 5 leashed dogs. 

And we saw those ears.

Game over.

We only had one question before we took him home: How attached is he to his name?  "Not at all.  He's had it for a month and hasn't responded once."

This was good, because we weren't a fan of 'Carlos.'  Our top choice was Gibbs (like this guy).  Carlos didn't want to be Gibbs.  It was alright though... we had a long, long list of potential names, and a long drive home.

As we drove, we tried names.  Constant, Julian, Henry Jordan Wintringham IV (he actually cried when we tried that name, sorry J).  Then I remembered the song that had been stuck in my head recently: Magical Trevor.

"Trevor?"  He looked up.  This had happened before, but he'd quickly lost interest.
"Trevor?" He twisted.  This was the first time he'd responded more than once!
"Trevor?" He got up in John's lap and...
"Trevor?" ...jumped into mine.  This was bad because I was driving.  We pulled over so I could give him back to John, but after four responses it was pretty clear that we had a name.

Once we got Trevor home, we set up a vet visit to get him up to date on any shots he didn't have, and found out from the vet that the age estimation IMPS had given us was correct.  Trevor was between 9 and 10 months old.  We chose a date about 9.5 months prior to be his birthday.  September 27, 2008.

So now we've had our sweet little guy for a little over a year.  He's the best dog I ever could have asked for, despite his early chewing/housetraining issues.  He's sweet and funny, cuddly, and oh-so-loving.  He's an awesome footwarmer at the end of the bed on cold nights and the best walking partner a girl could ask for.

Now my charity plug:  IMPS is a fantastic organization.  I know a lot of people want to adopt a pure-bred puppy and think that this is impossible through a rescue.  This is untrue: Trevor is pure min pin, and we adopted him as a puppy.  (Darcy's a mutt, but we adopted her as a puppy too).  They aren't that uncommon either... I've seen a lot of dogs under a year old on the IMPS webpage.  The rescue fee helps allay not only the cost of your dog (remember, this dog has been living in someone's home at their expense for a while) but other dogs that have health issues in foster care.

So please help this fantastic organization: Go to The Animal Rescue Site, enter shelter name: IMPS, and state KY.  The votes will help bring valuable funds to IMPS, which will not only help dogs like Trevor, who was picked up off the street by IMPS, and Darcy, who was taken from a shelter, but dogs like Prince, who has been in IMPS care for almost year and suffers from chronic dry eye.  He will need eye drops for the rest of his life, and IMPS has been funding his care for a while now.

Anyway, all of that to say: Happy 2nd birthday to my sweet little boy.  I couldn't have asked for a better dog.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day 23

Goal 59: It happened!  Trevor and Darcy have been deemed ready to move on to intermediate education!

59. Trevor and Darcy master beginner obedience training.

Well, as far as actual mastery is concerned technically it's just Trevor, but Darcy's greatly improved since we started.  Our trainer said that Trevor was completely done with beginner education, and we did not want to put him back into this class again.  If we wanted to keep them together, she recommended moving Darcy up with the understanding that she'd be a little behind the curve.  But it was still a recommendation to move on, ergo, mastery!  They also ran the agility course, and did really well!  I tried to upload videos, but it didn't work :(  If you're facebook friends with me, the videos are up there!

I am one proud doggie mama today.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Day 18

More mini-updates!

I complimented another stranger today (goal 8).  While at Swedenburg Estates Winery (btw, wasn't impressed) a man came in with his Golden Retriever.  The dog was being so good.  Very quiet, sat when told, etc.  I told the man that his dog was really well behaved, and that I was impressed.  So 2/10.

I also made an advance on goal 37 (finish furnishing the apartment).  Our outdoor rug came in! 

I told you we had a really ugly patio.  That stain pre-dates us.  Let's take a closer look:


Then we added the rug and we went to this:
So much better!

A close up!

It actually makes our patio seem larger.  It now looks like an extra room as opposed to dead space.  I love it, and I'm really excited to finish the apartment!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Day 17

Goal updates!  I'm now at 1/10 in goal 8 (compliment 10 strangers).  I saw a guy on the elevator this morning wearing a Redskins shirt, and I told him I liked it.  So one stranger down, 9 to go!  Incidentally, I'm really hoping we can pull victory off two weeks in a row, as my mother-in-law is taking me to the game Sunday!  INCREDIBLE seats, too.

And while I'm not ready to cross this goal off my list yet, number 59 has been accomplished!  Beginner obedience training through PetSmart goes for 8 weeks, and week 8 is largely just graduation and agility course fun.  Last night, we finished week 7.  Trevor and Darcy worked on a few intermediate level training areas, and did pretty well, actually.  I've seen such a huge difference since we started.  Darcy ignored the dog coming out of PetSmart when we went in for class, both dogs lay quietly on their blanket while the instructor was showing us how to groom our dogs, and they've stopped pulling on their leashes during walks.  I'm really proud of them, and I'm really proud of John and myself for being more vigilant in their training.

I'll actually be crossing goal 59 off the list after next week's class.  I want to have graduation pictures, and actually have the instructor tell me that my dogs are ready to move on.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 13

A bit disappointed right now, as I can't cross another one off my list.  My bestie rushed this weekend, and got to preference with two chapters (go Nikki!).  One of them was my sorority, but that didn't work out.  Sigh.  So goal 78 (refer a PNM who becomes a ZTA) waits for another day.

That said, I'm really happy for Nikki and GPhi, and I hope my bestie has as wonderful a Greek experience as I did.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day 12

As far as I know, I have no new goals accomplished (we'll talk about that cryptic phrase later!) but John started a blog on his 101 in 1001, so I thought I'd share!

You should check it out.  He's pretty cool.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Day 10

Random things you remember from high school: in Journalism 1, we were told that when writing an article, for the most part (I can't remember specific rules) you wrote out one through nine, and then did digits for 10 on.  I know there were cases to use digits for 1-9, listing was one of them, but I can't remember the rest.  Anyway, all that randomness to say I've hit day 10.

Last night I accomplished another goal.

58. Trevor and Darcy go on a walk and bark at no one, even though they see people.

58. Trevor and Darcy go on a walk and bark at no one, even though they see people.

Words cannot describe how happy I was about that one.  It's progress!  On our evening walk we saw:

1. A guy loading stuff into his car
2. A lady getting her mail
3. Someone riding a bike
4 & 5. A couple going to their car
6 & 7. Friends waiting near their car
8. Someone dumping their trash at the dumpster
9, 10, 11. People playing basketball on the basketball court
12. A guy walking to his car.

Twelve people, zero barks!  Not even a growl!  Throw in the fact that a neighbor's dog was barking at them from the window when we passed and they ignored it... I was one proud doggie mama last night.

We also moved ahead with decorating the apartment (goal 37), and bought this rug:

Only $65 from Costco (down from $80!), but the sale only goes until Sunday.  I'll be thrilled when it comes in and covers our ugly patio!

And after looking through this post, I've determined that I don't think ANY of the numbers rules stuck with me after I graduated from high school.  Sad times.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Day Nine

Or, as I like to call this post, why goal 38 is impossible.

Do you read Hyperbole and a Half?  If not, you should.  Because it's completely hilarious.  I frequently see posts there that make me go "OMG Allie is living inside my head."  Especially this one.  Now, I don't think John and I have had that oatmeal disaster, but the "HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN??" thing is my life.  I started on goal 57 on Saturday (Clean the kitchen without John mentioning anything).  After noticing that I was cleaning, John offered to do the dishes*, which was really kind of him, so I let him.  I scrubbed surfaces, put stuff away, organized... basically I lived the "maniacal cleaning" phase.

Before everything was finished, I wanted some water.  And John and I drank some wine and had dinner.  And oh hey look at that... dishes.  But it was late, and we spent all day cleaning, and we were tired so... they got left to soak.  The downhill cycle begins.  Goal 57 was never officially finished.

John went on another cleaning binge last night, so our apartment is starting to actually look pretty good.  But we operate exactly like Allie and boyfriend... we decide to clean, the place looks great, then we get a little lazy, and the next thing we know, our place is a disaster zone again.

Keeping the apartment clean for an entire month was actually the only goal that John just looked at me and said "Are you serious??" when he saw it.  Yeah, we're that bad.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that maybe we'll actually finish cleaning this weekend, then I'll be able to post pictures and keep myself accountable.


*Quick note on this goal: When I say clean the kitchen without John mentioning anything, I mean starting the cleaning of my own initiative, not cleaning without him noticing/offering to help.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day Seven... I'm tagged!

Nothing new to report on the goal front (though I'm hoping that the clean kitchen post will be coming soon!) but I got tagged by my sorority sister Lauren to answer these questions!

1. If you could have any superpower, what would you have? Why?

Hmmm... probably the ability to fly.  I mean, who doesn't want to be able to fly?

2. Who is your style icon?

Good question (and now I'm hearing John's response whenever I say that: "Bad answer!")  I love Reese Witherspoon's style... I kind of have a girl crush on her.
3. What is your favorite quote?

Ok, here's where I get all talky.  Because I have 2, and one is really long. 

"If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together.. there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart.. I’ll always be with you."  (Christopher Robin always knew the right thing to say)

And one that I feel really sums up love:

"Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling. Now no feeling can be relied on to last in its full intensity, or even to last at all. Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last; but feelings come and go. And in fact, whatever people say, the state called “being in love” usually does not last. If the old fairy-tale ending “They lived happily ever after” is taken to mean “They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married,” then it says what probably never was nor ever could be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships?
But, of course, ceasing to be “in love” need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense–love as distinct from “being in love”–is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by the grace which both ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be “in love” with someone else.

“Being in love” first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise.

It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it."


4. What is the best compliment you've ever received?

Recently?  Probably being told by our obedience trainer that while we'd taken on a lot with our dogs, we were making a lot of progress with them and we should be proud of ourselves.

5. What playlist/cd is in your CD player/iPod right now?

Whatever John's listening to!

6. Are you a night owl or a morning person?

I'm a night person.  I try and try and try to get to sleep earlier knowing that I get up at 6, and I still can't get myself to bed before 11!

7. Do you prefer dogs or cats?

I love dogs.  Love them.  When I was younger, I always wanted a dog.  Within a year of being married, I had two.  Cats are ok but... dogs.

8. What is the meaning behind your blog name?

Well, my blog is Catherine's 101... so a blog about my 101 goals!

And now I don't have enough readers to tag lol.  Thanks for thinking of me, Lauren! :)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Day Four: An Update!

63. Darcy doesn’t bark at a stranger.

63. Darcy doesn’t bark at a stranger.


In my last post I mentioned that Darcy growls at everything.  You might have thought I was exaggerating when I said she growls at logs and car batteries.  I wasn't.  Little girl is a creature of habit.  One time we were walking the nature trail around our apartment complex and some trees had been cut down and taken apart.  She barked at the logs.  Another time a neighbor had been working on his car, and left the battery out.  She barked at the battery.  The neighbor was gone, it was just the battery.  She growls and barks at everything she doesn't expect.  Not fun.

Back to now.  I was taking Trevor and Darcy on a long walk since John was cleaning the carpets.  We went down to a large koi pond about a block from our neighborhood.  By the time we got there, Darcy had already barked at one stranger.  Sigh.  We started rounding a corner, and I heard voices.  Then I saw them... a small family.  A couple and a baby.  Oh no.

I put both pups on a short leash, and told Darcy "no."  As we got closer, she started breathing harder and the fur on her back went up... uh oh.  I stroked the fur down and told her "no" again.  We walked past the family... not a peep!  Back to the long leash, praise like she cured cancer.

She then proceeded to not bark at a jogger with a stroller, and three people going to get their mail!  Good girl, Darcy!

Now to make this a habit.

Day Four

Nothing to cross off the list yet, but I feel like I'm making some progress with two areas: My wedding planning business and Trevor and Darcy mastering beginner obedience.

The wedding planning business took a big step forward on Wednesday when I got photos back from the weddings I did in July.  (Self plugging: Check out my business! Infinite Joy Weddings)  Now that I have these, I feel like I'm ready to start advertising and building my webpage.  I'll probably start that after my internship is done.

As for Trevor and Darcy, here are my babies: First Trevor, then Darcy.

Sweet little things, but full of mischief.  They're also miniature pinschers, which according to the trainer we're working with is one of the hardest breeds to train.  Trevor's been through beginner training once, and while we made a whole lot of progress with him (our poor boy literally didn't know how to sit) when we asked if we should move him to intermediate, we were told "You can either have him be ahead of the game in beginner or catching up in intermediate, it's entirely up to you."  So when we got Darcy, we decided to put them both in beginner.

I feel like we're really making progress with them.  We were at class Thursday night and talking about Darcy's aggression (that girl growls at everything... people, dogs, car batteries, logs...) and our trainer told us that while we'd taken on a lot with them, we were really making a lot of progress.  We'd invested a lot of time in them, and not everyone would have done that. 

Incidentally, this is why I find the compliment 10 strangers part of my list to be so important.  Being told that you look good/you're doing a good job goes such a long way.

Anyway, all that to say that I really think that Trevor and Darcy will be ready to move on to intermediate after graduation.  And just to be cute: Trevor graduating last time.

And that's John up there.  He just finished his 101 things, and we appear to be pretty on target with each other on our goals.  Hooray!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day One.

It's on.

I think the easiest way to start this is look at the ones I'm already working on, and start from there.

{25.  Maintain a $500 bubble for 2 months.}  Well, we were doing ok there until we found out the repairs on John's old car (long story) would cost more than we budgeted for.  John, being awesome, got them to come down $90 on the price, but it's still higher than we thought.  Sigh.  I guess we'll start that next paycheck, and I guess this is why we keep that bubble, right?

{37. Finish furnishing the apartment.}  We're actually only like, 5 items away from that.  We still need an outdoor rug (we have a seriously ugly patio, the apartment complex powerwashed it before we moved in and apologized to us about the fact that there was nothing else they could do), 2 sets of curtains for our big windows, a bookcase, and a ladder.  Yes, a ladder.  IKEA had a room model up on their website with a ladder on it, saying it was the perfect place to hang clothes that had been worn but weren't ready for the wash yet.  I fell in love with the idea.  The ladder is $50 at IKEA, the curtains are $20-$30 per set at IKEA,  the bookcase we like is $25 at IKEA (BTW I love that place) and the rug is $65 at Costco.

{70. Book 7 weddings in a year.}  I know this isn't at all what I had in mind when I wrote this, but last week I got an internship with the woman who did day of coordination for my wedding.  I'll be assisting with 6 weddings this fall, which makes 8 on the year.  So I don't count this as making my goal, since Kristi booked 6 out of the 8, but it gives me a leg up in the business... experience counts for a lot.

{78. Recommend a PNM that becomes a Zeta.}  I sent in a recommendation for my BFF last month.  Recruitment is right around the corner... keep your fingers crossed for her!

{84. Go to Mexico.}  John and I booked a trip to Cancun in February.  Now we just need to find flights, since our airline went under!

So those are the 5 that I'm actively working on.

As I was writing about furnishing the apartment, I started wondering how open/honest I should be about all this.  I mean, not as in lying about things, but I have some goals that are on the embarrassing/private side.  Should I post pictures of my embarrassingly messy apartment as incentive to keep my place nice, since number 38 talks about keeping my apartment clean?  Should I actually talk about how much I have in my savings accounts, since 26, 27, 33 AND 34 are about savings?  Those types of questions.  I'm leaning towards taking before/after pictures of my apartment so I can be proud of myself when it's clean (as opposed to embarrassed when it's messy) and just being vague when it comes to financial numbers.