Monday, September 30, 2013

Who has two fins and her PADI OW certification?

It's official: I am now a certified PADI Open Water Diver

Unfortunately I have no pics of me in gear... although wetsuits aren't all that attractive, so maybe it's for the best. The quarry was the perfect temperature, about 72 degrees (although under the thermocline was a chilly 57) and with a 7mm wetsuit, we were comfy for most of our dives. Sadly, the visibility wasn't the best - only about 15'. John said that he's only seen it that bad after a hurricane. It seemed that there were a lot of students there to stir up the bottom. So I guess it was all my fault that the visibility was bad. :-P

We are debating whether we will do our Advanced Open Water course before going to the Dominican, while we're there, or some other time next year. Some students were doing their AOW checkout dives this weekend. Saturday night they were doing their night dives, so we went down to the dock to watch. 

Watching the lights underwater was neat, but also a bit eerie. It was funny to watch the navigation portion of their dives as the buddy teams strayed 90 degrees off their course, ending up on the other side of the dock somehow. We had our navigation skills to do the next day, so we probably shouldn't have had such a laugh at their expense. 

Nearly half of our OW class from AACC were there to do their checkout dives, so it was nice that we knew some of the people there. Oddly enough, we ran into two of our classmates at a rest stop on I-85 on the way down. We ended up camping next to them and hanging out with them for the weekend. We dubbed our group "Future Facebook Friends." Fortunately, the four of us ended up in a group together for our dives and we were all pretty comfortable with our skills (unlike a few of our classmates who failed their classroom test - yikes!!!).

The skills we performed over the weekend were: setting up gear, pre-dive safety check, regulator recovery & clearing, clearing a partially flooded mask, mask removal, replacement & clearing, alternate air source use, buddy breathing ascent, deep water entry, snorkel & regulator exchange, BCD oral inflation (at depth & at surface), cramp removal, tired diver tow, scuba unit removal & replacement at surface, controlled emergency swimming ascent, fin pivot, hover, and navigation at surface & underwater. I think that's it!

On Dive 4, our Divemaster dubbed us Team Awesome. Of course, that might be because the weekend before she had taken out a group of kids who weren't quite ready for their checkout dives. Apparently one of them spit out their reg and bolted for the surface. One of our members even had their mouthpiece break and then calmly switched to their alternate air source. I'd buddy with any member of Team Awesome any day.

And my favorite pics from the weekend:

The next time we dive at Lake Rawlings, we will leave early on Friday and arrive on Friday evening. Getting up at 4 a.m. on Saturday, driving four & a half hours (then after arrival, hiking down to the quarry from the campsite wearing 60+ pounds of gear) was a bit much.

So that's all for my weekend adventures! More adventures to come next weekend... I am headed to Lewes for the weekend with a bunch of awesome ladies. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Checkout Dives

This weekend I will knock another goal off of my 101 list.

Forget 6 feet under, I'll be more like 40 feet under. 

We're also camping for the first time in a few years. We set up the tent this week to make sure that we wouldn't look like complete fools in front of our new diving buddies. 

I'm hoping for no cell service this weekend. I need to get away and decompress. 

Life has been stressful this week and I think that the peace of nature will bring me back to where I need to be. Floating along weightless under water is calming as well.

My prescription for relaxation this weekend:  8 hours in the car with my hubby, The Hero of Ages, four trips underwater, campfire s'mores, and perfect fall weather. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

How I spent my Summer Vacation

Or rather, how I did with my summer bucket list. I’ll have to put up a fall list sometime soon. 

·  Go peach/apple/raspberry/blackberry picking

Never made it! Hoping to pick some apples this fall, but we’ll see.

·  Take an impromptu trip to the beach

Jay and I had a day at the beach in August that was more or less last minute.

·  Visit a farmers market

I picked up my book club noms last Friday at the Amish Farmers Market in Easton, so yeah, I can cross that one off.

·  Go crabbing

Never did go crabbing. If there was a free weekend, it was spent at home cleaning or vegging out.

·  Learn how to SCUBA dive

I learned! And this coming weekend we will be doing our checkout dives.

·  Send Aunt Nancy & Uncle Darryl a Thank You basket

I did this… they loved it!

·  Send Sally & Chris (our NZ people) a Thank You basket

We sent it, but I haven’t heard from them. I should probably send them an email.

·  Find frames for koala and lorikeet photos – then hang them

We have these framed and on display, but haven’t hung them yet. I would still call this a success.

·  Clean up front garden and plant perennials

The front garden has been cleaned up, but I never got around to planting. Hopefully I can do that in early spring.

·  Re-upholster dining room chairs

We still haven’t done this. At this point I think we’re going to need new padding for the chairs too.

·  Have a picnic at Martinak

Never got around to doing this.

·  Make marshmallows from scratch (stole this from TTG – been wanting to do this for awhile)

This was a fun project! If I didn’t have such a busy week planned, I would make another batch for next weekend.

·  Have rooster for dinner

We haven’t eaten our roos yet, but Jay and MacGuyver dealt with the messy part on Friday while I was at Book Club. Laura and I do Book Club, the boys do Fight Club. It was pretty traumatic for poor Jay. And me. And I wasn’t even there. Also, my darling husband killed one of the wrong roosters. So that was sad. We had too many and something needed to be done. Our hens were starting to get pretty banged up from having too many roos. There were missing and broken feathers, raw skin and even some wounds. 

We will probably take care of the last rooster at some point this winter and take an Easter Egger or Marans roo that someone is getting rid of.

·  Do the adult ropes challenge course at Tuckahoe

Did this!

·  Go kayaking

Did this before the ropes course.

·  Climb the rock wall at the Y

Never got a chance to do this.

·  Swim 1000 yards

I came so close to completing this. I made it to 900 yards. One time I was at 800 yards when I ran out of time and would have been late to an appointment. The other time, I was unnerved by an overzealous lifeguard. I was the only person in the pool and the guy looked like he was going to jump in and save me at any moment. It was disconcerting and it made me nervous.

·  Host a dinner party

I had my girlfriend Tiffany over for dinner last Thursday… so yeah, it was a dinner party. Sure.

·  Come up with a date, menu & budget for yearly fall party

We’ve settled on a date. Except that it’s the same weekend as Punkin Chunkin. We’ll see, I guess. This year we’re going to scale it back a bit, including picking an ending time (hopefully people will be a little more responsible with an end time). Last year things got a little out of hand when one jackass brought fireworks and then another one decided that it would be fun to throw the fireworks into the fire. Ugh. We are also scaling back on the food this year… there is always too much and having such a large variety cuts into the budget.

·  Make a plan for the backyard

We have a tentative plan, but every time we go to Home Depot or Lowes, we’re hoping to run into Ahmed from Yard CrashersMainly, the plans include a deck off the back of the house, a shop/woodworking studio for Jay (with an attached entertaining area in the front), plus a patio surrounding a fire pit.

·  Build a new fire pit

We need to have a finalized plan on where it will go before we build it!

·  Finish fencing backyard

Pretty close to this. There are two more panels of privacy fence that need to go up and we need to attach one last section of picket fence.

·  Go fishing

I never got to do this.

·  Design egg cartons to sell/giveaway eggs

Completed! And I’ve even sold some eggs. 

·  Complete two weeks of Couch25K (I’m aiming low)  

Completed and ran my first 5k.

I would say that I was pretty successful overall. Now I need to plan my Fall Bucket List. I’m thinking that it should have fewer items on the list!

How did you do on your Summer Bucket List?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Update to my 101 list

I ran my first 5k over the weekend!

I've also checked a few other things off of my 101 list. Check out the details here.

On a side note, I have been watching Fringe on Netflix. I am HOOKED. I just started the 3rd season and I don't know how I survived without it for so long. Because of the show, I have developed an insane crush on Peter Bishop. No, not Joshua Jackson. The actual character Peter Bishop. I'm sure that Joshua Jackson is a great guy, but unless he has all the geeky adorableness of Peter Bishop, I don't want him. 

That's all for now. Lots of busy happenings.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Out of sorts

Hello fellow readers. All five of you! 

I’ve been sick, out of sorts, and pulled in many directions. I also had an overwhelming amount of fun (including a random meeting of Kelly's sister) over the weekend. So I'm still a little tired from last weekend's shenanigans. I hope to post about my crazy fun weekend, but alas I have no photos! That may be for the best, as it involved swimwear and a floating cooler. 

But I digress.

Lately I’ve found my life defined by quotes from the Lord of the Rings. I make no apologies for my use of LOTR references in this post. Consider yourself warned!

“They’re scattered, divided, leaderless.”

My thoughts are scattered. There has been a lot to think about lately. Just a few weeks ago, I thought that I had it all figured out 

Shortly after writing about my deep thoughts, I sent my application and transcripts to Chesapeake College to start the process of getting my BA in social work.

Last Wednesday, I talked to someone about a job opportunity in the financial services industry. It would be similar to the work I did at my last job with Wilmington Trust.  It wasn’t an interview - just a chat to learn about the position and the person’s vision going forward. Aforementioned person heard that I’m an ideal candidate for the position. It was a nice ego boost for someone to approach me about a job when I’m not even looking.

Like I said in an earlier post, I like my current job. I don’t love it because I feel like I’m not making much of a difference. This particular opportunity would in some ways let me make a difference. Helping people achieve their financial goals makes a difference. I can get behind that.

However, I’m not the kind of person who would leave their employer after such a short period. I also don’t know if this opportunity is the right fit. There is definitely a lot of risk involved. My current position is stable and has awesome benefits. There is also a new regional director coming onboard next month who I think is going to be great to work with. But I have been leaderless since July, and I’ve felt a bit afloat here despite the local directors calling me  “Boss.”

"I'm old, Gandalf. I know I don't look it, but I'm beginning to feel it in my heart. I feel thin, sort of stretched. Like butter scraped over too much bread."
Then there’s that 4 year degree on my bucket list.  If I ultimately decide to pursue the financial services position, do I get my business admin degree, which I’m not all that excited about… or do I proceed with my BA in social work?  Ultimately I can go on to get my MSW. Maybe I could even knock out my MSW before 40 if I work really hard. It’s only 7 years away, I have to be realistic.

Perhaps I have career ADHD. Or regular ADHD. Or maybe it’s just my personality: 

What ENFP’s are actually searching for, however, is more mental in nature, such as words, ideas, or possibilities (i.e., Ne). ENFPs are constantly generating new ideas, associations, and quips. They can often seem random, scattered, distracted, and flighty and, rightly or not, are commonly diagnosed with ADD or ADHD.

Like other NP types, ENFPs place high value on their personal experiences when it comes to discerning truth. Though not to the same extent as ESFPs, for ENFPs, “experiencing is believing.” Because of the high value they place on their personal experiences, ENFPs may feel they cannot fully know themselves until they have tried just about everything (contrast this with INJs, who feel they know whether they will like something without needing to experience it). For this reason, ENFPs are quintessential seekers and dilettantes, wanting to experience as much of life and the world as is humanly possible. In many regards, the interests and aspirations of ENFPs are infinite. This can be nothing less than exhausting for those trying to stay apace with them.

I think that’s enough seriousness for now. 

“We dwarves are natural sprinters! Very dangerous over short distances!” 

This weekend I’m running my first 5k. I slowed my progress a few weeks ago, thinking that I would still be finished the program in plenty of time. Then I got sick and missed a week and a half of runs. Then I hurt my knee. Then I read an article that said to avoid injuries, run faster. Of course I couldn’t keep up with my fast pace and had to walk a lot. Like Gimli, I’m a natural sprinter.

And you know what? I am way faster doing a walking/running combination than I am running at a sustainable pace. So I’ll be walk-running this 5k. I have one run left before Saturday and I’m going to try to get my endurance up. That means running the entire 25 minutes of my Week 7 Day 2, but at a slower pace. I’m not sure what I’ll do on Saturday, but my main goal is to finish in 45 minutes or under. I think that is more than doable.

I’m not sure that running will be my main exercise after I complete the C25k program (on pace to finish on or around September 22nd) but I will probably try to run once or twice a week in addition to other exercise. In a perfect world, I’d like to do a combination of yoga, pilates, running, swimming and elliptical each week. With some ballroom dancing thrown in. Jay and I were talking about taking lessons again since we had such fun learning scuba together. Of course he’s all into MMA at the moment. So perhaps the ballroom dancing will have to wait.

Oh, and look at the message that my tea gave me today:

I feel like I'm a little too much into experiencing myself lately. I think that I need to get out of my own head a bit. 

Well said, Bilbo. Some time off would be swell. Who wants to tell my boss that I need a mental health week?


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

An Almost Wordless Wednesday... Labor Day weekend in photos

The eggs are getting a little out of control around here

Weekend supplies... as of Monday night, all of the Blue Moon was gone and there were about 6 Magic Hats left... Jay also made me drink a Tripel that knocked me on my ass

A goat friend at Adkins Arboretum  during my run (well, cool down) on Sunday

I spent Monday making French Meat pies

These are by far the best ones that I've made... not sure what I did differently, but this batch is even more awesome than usual