Tuesday, September 9, 2014

new directions

I love how life changes and evolves.
I have been and continue to be many things.
I am now a provisional Bradley Childbirth educator.
It has been a long last 6 months of work and I still have a ways to go in order to be fully affiliated.
Homeschooling is back into full swing and I have also been making jewelry and art.
Life is good here along the Puget Sound.
I am still barefoot daily and am not looking forward to the colder weather when I have to wear shoes.
Today I wore some minimally soled high tops and I couldn't wait to kick them off.
Family, service to others, art, music, friends, food, tea, music.  This is life and it is good.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

5 things I learned from 365 days of handstands

  In the beginning of this one year handstand challenge, I was excited to be done and feel what I would feel at the end.   I would revel in the accomplishment  I would be a different person.  I would be able to do an effortless handstand.......  

  Well of course I am a different person but that would have happened whether I did handstands or not.   Honestly, this year has taught me many things but unfortunately for you,  I don't have any magic answers.
 I know I am kind of bummer out about it too.

  Maybe I am taking what I know for granted...  I can say for certain that the biggest obstacle that stands in my way is fear.  Fear of failure, fear of falling, fear of looking like a dumb ass, you know the basic fear and anxiety sort of stuff.  If you can get past that fear then you will have fun and it won't matter so much if you can hold a handstand like you belong in the circus.



   In this case the idea that the good stuff is in the journey absolutely applies.  I figured it would be the case since most of life is like that  but was hoping for some big fanfare and confetti or something at the end.
  It turned out to be just another day.  A happy day.  We did go to a beautiful park surrounded by trees and it was a lovely warm day but really that could have been interchanged with any day.  



  After having decided that I wasn't done and would go ahead and start over,   I started thinking about what you might want to know about this journey so far.   Here is a list of Five things that I can tell you about my year of handstands. 

  Number ONE~  Handstands take work every day.   Yes I technically did a handstand daily but I didn't work on it all that hard.   Not every day was there "work".   In order to get BETTER, I have to work at it.     I read this article  and realized that it takes 5 minutes a day.   I get tired.  I am not recovered yet.  I am a million times better but I still suffer from exhaustion and 5 minutes of handstand practice is kind of a lot.  So many days are just little pop ups to be able to say I stuck with it.  I also had to learn to be ok with that.   I have to be ok with a lot of things in the name of getting better.

Number TWO~  Gaining weight made it harder.  There isn't a while lot of explanation to go along with that.  BUT, its ok.  I'm loosing the weight and regardless, my body is pretty awesome in general added pounds or not.   I started doing handstands about 15 pounds lighter.    As the weight was put on, it seemed to get harder.  meh.   Regardless of weight,  I think everyone can handstand and can love it!

Number THREE~  A year is a really long time!  Not to say that its not perfectly do able to do a handstand every day.  But when you get to day 250 and kind of wish you were done because you feel no better at hand standing, even though you are,  you realize how long a year is AND how much time there is to life.   Choose wisely and make each day count! 

Number FOUR~  Do not compare yourself to others and pictures are static.  This is a tough one.  There is a fine line between being inspired and jealous.  Some people will make it look really easy.  If I am that for you, I apologize.   It is not easy and most of my pictures are really well timed pop ups and NOT handstands held forever.  I'm not there yet. 

Number FIVE~  Mundane can be magnificent and magnificent can be mundane.  This sums it up nicely.   I thought it would be HUGE at the end but it turned into something I just do.  It's no less magnificent but I'm not done.  I started over and am day 7 of year two now.    I still can only hold a handstand for a couple few seconds.  Thats not enough.  I am working on practicing longer each day and still focusing on being joyful and letting my shift in physical perspective help me in changing  my mental perspectives too.   


    Want to try a handstand challenge?  Just get upside-down.  There is nothing fancy about the challenge and anyone and everyone is encouraged to play along. The link I posted above is fabulous and will get you started.  Post your pictures anywhere on social media and use hashtag #handstand365 and if you are on year 2 then I put #handstand365x2 .  Have fun above all!! xoxo


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Angie Bee

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Lems Boulder Boot review


Every single Lems (formerly Stems, Lemmings) pair I have, I adore.  
Its actually hard to write a review of shoes that I can't find anything about that I, 
or in this case the husband and oldest spawn,  don't love.   
For this review I could literally say, "I heart these shoes really hard and I think you would lurv them too and so you should get a pair."  the end.   That would be an accurate review!
There is no break in period and they feel great right out of the box. 


The Boulder boots are worn daily by my fellas and are worn for everything.   The Superhero and the teen spawn have the pleasure of testing out the Boulder Boots and they have tested them in all environments.  The teen especially!  From long boarding to hiking to urban adventures and scrambling along the coast, the Boulder Boots were perfect. 
The Superhero has the brown and the teen has the black.


They have been wearing them for months now and I can't see any wear.   They have been muddy but I have let it dry and then just brushed the mud off.   They dry quickly as well if you do submerge your foot into a creek or puddles.    The upper is made of  water resistant nylon with a cotton lining.   They are treated with a water resistant coating and will need to be retreated over time with Scotchgaurd. 

The Boulder Boots are warm enough for winter here although here in Washington, at least western Washington, it is pretty mild.  It is however wet often so its awesome that they are water resistant. 

The roll-it-up-in-a-ball test is a reliable way to tell how flexible a shoe is.  It's a good way to see that the shoe will move with your foot and not dictate how your foot will move.   I don't like shoes that cram my feet into a particular shape.   These boots are nice and wide for your foot to naturally splay.  

You can take out the insert but with all of our Lems we have left the insert in.  It doesn't detract from the ground feel of the shoe and makes for longer times being on your feet a tad bit more comfortable. Lems are a bit wide for me and the insert makes them fit my foot better.   

The good news for the wide footed folks is that all Lems are nice and wide and you can make them even wider by taking the inserts out.   The width accommodates feet from average width to extra wide. 


The Boulder boots have great traction.  As you can see from the pictures, they do fine on the trails.   Also they are great shoes for long boarding.   The sole is 9mm and of course they are zero drop.  The boot is fully collapsable so great for travel. 

The sizes come in only full sizes so be sure to look at the sizing chart closely before ordering.   The Superhero has big feet and he was able wear the Boulder boots as they accommodate his size 14 dogs. 


The padding along the ankle is fabulous.   I am always surprised to pick up these boots as they are mush more substantial in photos than they are in person.   Theses are the lightest boots I have come across to date. 

The only real difference between the black and brown is that the black is all canvas and cotton where as the brown pair has leather accents.  The Black pair is vegan where as the brown has leather accents. 

 You can purchase them for $115 which is quite reasonable for a boot at Lemsshoes.com

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Beauty and brutality, the female condition, oh, and my uterus sucks.

  My uterus sucks!  

  I am hormonal and emotional.   I went to the doctor today and although I am not one to feel uncomfortable with a doctor seeing my lady bits, I am more comfortable seeing women, I still feel violated. 

Those tests today hurt.  I feel resentful towards my body and I don't like that.  I don't want to hate my body but I am absolutely frustrated beyond words with my stupid uterus.  I don't feel violated by the doctor per say but I feel angry that I have to go through all this pain and suffering because my stupid girl parts are whacked out.   Did I mention that the tests hurt....

  I want to contribute to the world and its difficult to do so when physically, emotionally, hormonally, mentally, compromised.  My capacity for complexity is so much lower and it needs to change....take a breath. 





  Biologically speaking, I have played the game and passed on my genetics.  Four times.  There should be a fucking switch I get to shut off when I have paid my dues, when I have done my biological duty for the species.  Blurg.   

  I am considering ablation to stop my periods.  I don't want to do hormonal birth control and the IUD is no longer working.   So, it's try the ablation and then if that doesn't work or if there is an issue with doing it, then the next option is a hysterectomy.   

  Tests need to be done in order to see if I am a good candidate for ablation, which in and of itself sounds brutal.  Beauty and brutality, the female condition.

Today, I had a biopsy of my uterine lining done, which HURT!  Enough to where even I, with a high pain threshold, felt woosy and needed juice and crackers. 

  Now, I don't take surgery lightly AT ALL.  It scares the hell out of me but having this stupid fucking period for 2+ weeks at a time and then getting maybe a weeks reprieve and then to do it all again.   No thanks.   I have had my four children and I don't want any more.  I don't want to be constantly battling anemia and having no sex life.  I deserve better. 

  The midlife crisis part......It's one thing to make a decision that can be reversed and another thing to make a decision that has finality.    It signifies a milestone of sorts.  It makes me wonder and question my purpose in life.  Who am I?   I am I really done having children?  How will this change how I see myself, how others see me?  Do I really have to accept that I am getting older?  It all seems silly but I suppose I have to do this crap and ponder these ideas.  Oh, and the hormonal and emotional part, yeah, that doesn't help.   It just makes me want to cuss. 

  Why am I writing about it?  Because I think that we as women should feel comfortable being open about our bodies.  So, I am being open about mine.  Being a woman can be fabulous.  We make life.  It was awesome and fascinating and I appreciated every bit of it and plan to help others with their child birthing milestones.  But, now I am done having my own babies.  I want to move on.   My body served me well and was strong and capable in the baby making, birthing and baby sustaining department but now I want my brain back.   I want to make fitness gains and progress.  I want to be better and I don't think accepting where I am right now is enough. 

Come on nature, work with me here and if you won't.... science, please don't fail me. 

Have you had ablation or a hysterectomy?  What are your thoughts and advice?


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Angie Bee

Thursday, April 17, 2014

a quick core exercise video for handstands

  I don't have an exercise ball.  You know that big ball that you can use for just about everything, well, I haven't replaced the last one.   It is fabulous for working your core for handstands.

  So, I improvised and used the rolling office chair that I have.  

  I like to put my big ol' bun next to the wall and it makes me feel a bit more stable.  Eventually I won't need the wall at all for this especially since I am not afraid to fall otherwise.

  The goal is to get the hips to float over the shoulders and then lift the legs up the rest of the way up.   I WILL get there someday!!!

  Do you have any tips or tricks for working your core for handstand??
xoxo

 

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It's all falling into place

  We took a big risk moving to Washington.  It was a calculated, well thought out, and researched risk but a big leap of faith none the less.  All the pieces seemed to fit when we first moved here and landed in Port Angeles.   Even though we wanted to just stay put for a while, it wasn't quite right.  

  So we researched more and decided to move to Bremerton, about an hour and a half away from Port Angeles and closer to Seattle.  That again was another risk.  It all made sense logically and I covered all the bases in my research but you know, the universe does its own thing ultimately.  

  What can you do though besides believe that it will all work out and that if it doesn't you will be ok anyways?

  Today though, it all seems to be falling into place!   I love our house and our neighbors and the woman that will be working with Jupiter doing his ABA program came over today to meet us and meet Jupiter.  I have a good feeling about her!!   As soon as his program is put together she can start working with him.   

  AND  I just got off the phone with the people at the Bradley Childbirth education office and my application to become a teacher was accepted!   My class is in June but I can start on reviewing the reading material and outlining books.   
  
  This is something I have had on the back burner for years now.   The spawn are old enough to be ok with me being gone for 4 days to do the workshop and I will be teaching out of my home so I will still be to work from home.  The Superhero is excited for me too and he is so supportive. 

  Its all falling into place.   I believe in the good things comin' comin' comin'...  xoxo


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Angie Bee

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Happy video, birthday sandwiches, and Happy Birthday to me!

Today I turn 37.  I had a few moments in the bathroom looking at the grays at my temple and wondering what I would look like with just a bit of "work" on my face to make it look younger.  I don't indulge in those thoughts often but, you know,  its my birthday.  I don't look real tired today and I feel good so the thoughts didn't last long. 

   My lovely little spawn, Milo, turned 8 today!  I love sharing a birthday with that boy!

Today is the day to get all those fabulous Facebook birthday wishes on Facebook.   My favorites were one about all the adventure and growth over this last year and a friend also posted the Happy video.

  What have I done today?  I went to the store to get dorritos, birthday sandwich ingredients, and soda.  This is what Milo wanted for his birthday.  No cake.  Just a birthday sandwich and dorritos.   Other than the store.  Nothing.  Well, not nothing because I ate too much but I just don't feel like doing anything.  So, I'm not going to!   I might make some jewelry later.  My father sent a whole bunch of crystals for my birthday.  How cool is that!!  I might get creative, but for now, Im just chillin. 



  This year has been pretty spectacular and the coming year looks to be full of opportunity and new endeavors.   I just sent in my application to become a Bradley Childbirth educator.  My class is in Seattle this summer.  Im making art again and am relaxed and inspired. 

he won't eat his chips with is fingers  :)  Did I mention how much I love this boy!?!?

  This time last year I was searching and searching on Craigslist for a house in Washington. We made the decision to get the hell outta the midwest.   We just couldn't take another winter and after this last winter, we are entirely sure that we made the right choice.  We decided in April of last year to move  and were gone in just a couple of months.   We sold, threw away, and gave away all of our stuff except what we could fit in the van.    We didn't know anyone in Washington and slept in a tent for a few days until we found a house to rent in Port Angeles.

  Now we are in Bremerton and I am loving it here!  The people here are so friendly and easy going.  Jupiter will start his ABA program in a few weeks and we have wonderful neighbors AND we love our house.  

 On Sunday I spent the day at an arts and crafts fair.  I am making and selling seaglass jewelry to raise money for my childbirth educator training.  I had a blast!  I used to do art shows all the time when I blew glass and it was nice to be in that environment again.  It is fabulous to be making things again!!

  This time last year I was starting the #handstand365 challenge.   I am on day 344 today!  Im so close!  Someone said today that they expect great things for the last day....  Meh.  Its just going to be another day, much like today.  I plan to keep going anyways.  

  The thing is, is that I am content with days being just days.   It doesn't make them any less spectacular but I like being able to turn the intensity up or down depending on what the day calls for. I used to be way more wound up and intense.  Now I'm cool with just chillin out today.   Maybe its being in my 30s.  Maybe its being a mom.  I think its mainly that I have all that I need and feel happy.   Its taken a lot to get here and it will probably change tomorrow or at least one of these days.  Today though.......its a good day to have a good day. 

  Here's to another fabulous year of growth and exploration and being happy! 



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Angie Bee