Going at full speed

Hello wonderful blog followers!

The month of June is nearing the end.  Can you believe 2014 is already going to be half over?   Time goes by way too quickly and lately I have been finding it hard to do anything that includes sitting down. Unless it is when I am sitting in traffic during my new rush hour commute.

Summer camp is in full swing at the humane society I am now working at and so far,  this job is incredible.  My first two weeks of training brought me all types of new experiences with animals and filled my head with dancing bunnies, barking dogs, and climbing kittens. It has been AWESOME. This week we have our campers, all fifth and sixth graders full of questions, enthusiasm and opinions.  Today I was introduced to the wonderful large group game called “Kelp Help” (a revised version of “Elbow Tag”). Since I’m an awesome camp teacher, I played with the kids and ended up getting a quick workout that even got me sweating!  I had to sprint around a circle playing the role of a shark-dodging seal, as one of  the campers would try to tag me before I latched on to the “kelp” to be released from my role. It was nuts. But the kids were impressed with my short bursts of swiftness.


Last week marked the first week of the Susan G. Komen 24-week training guide.  I managed to walk eight miles last week and this week I have done five so far, thanks to the first official training walk I hosted on Monday. Another 3-day participant, her daughter, my mother, and my two friends joined me to walk through a five mile chunk of my town. I was grateful that the weather was gorgeous and not too hot as we spent our evening chatting about what fitness meant us, weight loss, the effects of cancer on the world, and other random conversation pieces. My feet were about ready to fall off by the end of it as I was still sore from three miles I had done the day before hiking around the Santa Cruz mountains.

All my mileage I have racked up so far has certainly been making me feel all sorts of soreness. However, I also have been quickly feeling much more in shape than even just a month ago. I was down another 3.6 pounds last Saturday at Weight Watchers and am (ideally) another weigh-in away from being down 10 pounds officially since I began the program. It has been a challenge to take off those ten pounds but some progress is better than none. I have a feeling with the walk training and my new lifestyle of change of working to eliminate all the foods I am allergic to, I have faith I’ll be able to continue to drop the pounds.

This week I have been surviving off of yogurt, quinoa mixed with salsa, lettuce, cheese sticks, and grapes.  Mmm, grapes.  ::moment of Napa Valley appreciation::  I am looking forward to finally getting my first pay check so I can grocery shop for more variety! I went to Whole Foods and was saddened by the lack of products that are gluten-free but not made with rice or oats instead.  I did see some corn bread mix that inspired me to research recipes so I have faith maybe I will be able to find some other variety of carbs. Coming up with quick breakfast foods has been my biggest challenge but after some facebook friends made some suggestions, I have some ideas I could do.

Do you have any breakfast ideas for me that don’t include wheat, oats, rice, apples, bananas or oranges?  Thank you 🙂

I hope everyone had a glorious  rest of their week and an even better weekend.  I’m aiming to walk another eight miles before next Monday, I’ll use this blog as a commitment to do it. 😉

Bye bye!






PS – I’m brewing up some great ideas for fundraising for my 3-day walk but once I hit 20% of my needed $2,300 – I’ll be working with my friend and stylist, Ashley Blanchard of Lauthr, to create a “pink hair color” fundraising meter – the more money I earn – the more pink my hair will become. So far I have 12% thanks to donations from lovely people (Tommy, my Mom, my sister, Shannon, Audra, and Linda!) and I am VERY EAGER to get that pink in my hair.  If you have it to spare, please consider even donating $5 to my fundraising!  Thank you so much!


Visit my personal page here:   http://www.the3day.org/goto/aprillofgren




Getting back into the school mode

August is nearly over which means students of all ages are adjusting their summer routines to Autumn awareness.   New books, new schedules, new hair cuts… Student brains everywhere are busy absorbing all the new information that their teachers give while trying to figure out exactly when their designated playtime will be.  While I was sitting in my ‘Wildland Trees and Shrubs” course at the Santa Rosa Junior College, my teacher pointed out to the class how organized I was for writing in all our due dates in my planner as she went over the syllabus.  Feeling no shame, I immediately responded back with “Actually, I’m just writing in all our days off for the semester.”  The whole class burst into laughter and I gave my teacher, whom I have had and LOVED in my previous Natural Resources course, a classic “April smile” and closed my planner.

April's new haircut thanks to Ashley Blanchard at Lauthr Salon in Petaluma - Click this picture for her stylist profile!

April’s new haircut thanks to Ashley Blanchard at Lauthr Salon in Petaluma – Click this picture for her stylist profile!

That was my first official class of the new semester, I had one other scheduled before but as I drove around for forty minutes looking for a parking spot, I decided my bonus philosophy class towards a Humanities degree just wasn’t meant to be. So far, three class days into my next four months, I’m already eager for the semester to pass by quickly.  It’s not that I’m already irritated with school, I’m just eager to start getting things moving for my transfer to a university next Autumn.  I’m going through a battle with myself as I try to decide between pursuing a degree in something more international or sticking with Environmental Studies.  I randomly noticed that I am only one class away from an Associates Degree in Humanities though with this semester’s classes, my Natural Science AA is complete.

There’s a couple different things that are making me lean towards a Humanities or International Relations BA for my university transfer, one reason is that my grades for Humanities are straight A’s while the Natural Science consists of a C, an A, and the rest B’s.  Some of the schools I am looking at also have spiffy study abroad “Bilateral Programs” that will simply exchange my California tuition with the foreign school’s tuition.  I was looking at a school in Wales yesterday and noticed the tuition is almost $19,000 USD for a year compared to the $7000 I would be paying for my CSU (California State University) education.  That’s quite the savings to be had for going to school internationally!  Plus, I feel that I could potentially just major in both, since both fields are big interests of mine.  Perhaps I can end up doing something in the sustainability field at an international level!

Now I just need to decide on which schools to apply to!  My top choices are San Francisco State, San Jose State, Humboldt State, and UC San Diego.  I went to Humboldt this weekend and while I had a blast camping, visiting my favorite Lost Coast Brewery and seeing my buddies Amanda and Chris, I’m not sure if I was too fond of the campus.  Honestly, I just felt SO old as I walked through the student housing area that was covered in fresh eighteen year olds roaming  the courtyard in pajama pants and sweatshirts.   I just wasn’t feeling it.  I did think it was funny though as I heard one girl complaining to another about all the stairs on campus and how she hope she’ll get to used to them quickly.  She will.  😉

My month of recovering from whatever mystery ailment I have has left me into being quite lazy when it comes to climbing my own world’s stairs.  I’ve been too sore to work out but after a month, I think I’m finally ready to start working out again. My weight hasn’t changed due to my inabilities to work up a sweat, though I can tell I’ve already lost muscle definition.  I’m bummed at myself that I didn’t sign up for any more PE classes at the SRJC since they were SO great for me last semester, but with my health I didn’t want to take any risks of missing too much class.

As an update for my “tales of the uninsured”, after reading those amazingly helpful comment responses about gallstones, I had a feeling that my pain was not at all in the right place.  I went back for another appointment and signs are pointing more towards a ruptured ovarian cyst, like I first suspected.  The doctor also believes I may have poly-cystic ovary syndrome, like Alyssa, though nothing can be confirmed until I get my ultrasound.

I’m curious to hear what everyone else’s education paths were/are.  If you graduated from college, how did you decide what you wanted to get a degree in?  Did you ever change your majors?  Where did you go to school?  And how did you pick it?!!?

If you didn’t go to college, what are your reasons?  Did you ever do any classes before but couldn’t finish because of life getting in the way?

I never wanted to finish college because I have always planned on being self-employed but now that I have that sweet financial aide to motivate me, I’m super excited to finish an education in something I’m actually passionate about. It was barely a year ago that I decided I would even try to pursue more than an AA!  I think one of the best (and worst) parts of life is that things always change.  That’s why I didn’t finish eight years ago.

But now I’m a proud student, clearly shown in this picture I shall end this with.

Accepting part of my $1000 Osher-Lahm Scholarship I received!

Accepting part of my $1000 Osher-Lahm Scholarship I received!

Enjoy your Wednesday, everyone!

Lots of love,