The job search has not treated me well, and I can feel my brain rotting from lack of productivity. I’m reading a bajillion books at once to help keep me busy. (I don’t know if that’s good or bad but it has worked out so far!) My introverted nature revels in the solitude of this middle-of-nowhere place. Austin no longer has its magnetism because of rising gas prices, but being away from everything has its drawbacks. High speed internet is lacking so I have no motivation to get anything done. I have to drive at least 20 minutes to get anywhere useful, and television does most of the talking inside of the house. Being back in a small town atmosphere has inspired me to get more involved though. The Elgin Public Library has a book club and shows classic movies on some Fridays. Taylor has a YMCA boot camp, an animal shelter, Folklorico classes, Czech classes, a tennis association, and a few other things that sound interesting. These are good socialization opportunities. Who knows, maybe I’ll meet some fascinating old folks or a country boy who wants to take me line dancing 😉 I feel like I’m getting a little more country myself. I’m now certified to trap cowbirds; I’m going to attempt a bird count this weekend; and I’m hoping to plant agave and grass seed soon. Maybe I’ll have a hand in chopping down some mesquite. This land will be mine eventually. I should take advantage of being involved in every facet of it!
Social media is an expanding job market and I’m trying to improve my social media profile. The first step is definitely using it more.
I think I’ve discovered that my body can’t tolerate lactose, which is certainly disagreeable to my dairy-loving nature. Most dairy at least. I stopped drinking milk regularly years ago and I no longer have a taste for it, although I do enjoy the occasional chocolate milk. I much prefer milk alternatives like soy, almond, and rice milk. (Eventually I’ll decrease my soy intake due to the prevalence of GMOs). I’ve always been a huge fan of cheeses of all kinds. Blue makes me a little wary, but feta, pepperjack, cream,and cottage are definitely favorites. Yogurt will be sorely missed but I have high hopes for it. I’ve heard that making my own in a certain way can break down more lactose making it tolerable. But what about ice cream!? Yes, non-dairy ice creams exist but there is less variety and I’ve only seen them in pints. Plus it is not available everywhere. (An excuse to make my own!) Chocolate is similar to ice cream-carob is agreeable but not available everywhere. And then then there’s butter. I think butter is in everything! Because it is so delicious I suppose…
I’m used to scanning labels for that evil High Fructose Corn Syrup, so scanning for dairy ingredients won’t exactly be a change of habit. Hopefully fortified milk alternative and a multi-vitamin will provide an appropriate amount of calcium.
I’ve already cut out most if not all dairy for several days at a time and when I return to dairy, it does not taste as good. It’s one of those things where if you do it all of the time, you like it but once you take a break, it doesn’t taste as good as before. I’m surprised it only took a few days for that to happen…
So after I indulge on my favorite Girl Scout cookies today (Caramel deLites-formerly known as Samoas and Thin Mints), I will cut out dairy. I may put a little butter in a recipe but I will drastically reduce my previous intake. I’ve read that I may be able to slowly reincorporate it back into my diet, but who knows what will happen. I’m not even sure how long I will try this.
P.S. Some Girl Scout cookies have HFCS
I did my first Wherigo cache a few weeks back in Government Canyon State Natural Area. I’ll do my best to explain it since I’ve only done one. It took forever to figure out how to get the cartridge on my phone, which is the best platform I have for this sort of cache. Basically once you get close enough to a particular coordinate, the device being used issues a sound and gives you the next command. At the end of this particular Wherigo, “The Legend of Helga”, there is an actual container.
This is not the case for all Wherigos. In “The Legend of Helga”, I was the hero, the person who was supposed to save Princess Helga. First I had to retrieve my weapons which I lost several times after getting beat up by bandits. It took me awhile to find the invisibility cloak I needed. In fact, I died twice before finding that dumb cloak, which really did not make me completely invisible to either the witch or the dragon. Anyways, this mediocre hero eventually defeated the dragon and saved the princess, earning the adoration of all of the townspeople, and I received a dragon-slayer medal out of it! It took me awhile to complete this cache but it was worth it! I much prefer the ones with physical containers at the end.
I love to travel, especially to places with mountains. I hope to eventually visit every corner of the earth. Nowhere is off-limits to my adventurous spirit. It took a trip to Seattle to remind me of this. The trip also helped me realize that I need to make real money for this dream to come true. (Sure boats are probably cheaper than planes but it also takes forever to cross an ocean). This will surely be a factor in my future decisions.