courtney foxsparrow

The quiz says I'm an Organized, Healthy Self-Improver. Nice!



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make a list of 100 things that make me happy. (read all 10 entries…)
This seems like a fun goal!

This should be fun. I like to be grateful for good things in my life. I’ll start with the first 10.

10.My kittens, the most love-buggy cats I’ve ever had.
9.Pregnant bellies.
8.When my blood sugar is good.
7.My greyhound.
6.The color Orange, any shade.
5.Waking up to the sun shining.
4.Sweetgrass.
3.A job well done.
2.Coming home to a clean house.
1.Mark—number 1, hands down.

Yes, that was fun! It put a smile on my face!



Use all of my "cheers" every day (read all 4 entries…)
Yay us!

I want to make sure people feel encouraged to complete their goals. I know it really helps me to see that people have seen my goals and that they are cheering for me. I want to do the same for the other people here. So, yay us! I used up yesterday’s, here I go to use today’s!



tell my fiance something great about himself every day (read all 15 entries…)
Yesterday and Today

Yesterday’s “great thing about Mark” is that he knows what he wants and he works hard to get it. He has two weeks until the physical and written tests for the Sheriff position. He’s already physically fit, but his endurance is down because of all the crazy hours he works. He’s been fitting little workouts in between everything. Last night, he jumped rope for 15 minutes before dinner, then before bed he did sets of push-ups and squats. He’s such a hard worker and he makes me proud.

I haven’t told him today’s yet, but the “great thing about Mark” is that he doesn’t care if I wake him up in the small hours of the morning. This time, it was for terrible cramps that woke me up. Last time, which was a few weeks ago, was for a terrible nightmare I had. He doesn’t get enough sleep as it is, but he’s always there to comfort me. It really helps that he sits up with me and holds me in his arms if I need it. I would never wake him intentionally, but he always wakes up when I stir to make sure I’m ok. He’s just so amazing.



Call my brother more often (read all 3 entries…)
Happy Day!

My brother came to see me today! He lives on the other side of the state-the state being Colorado, the other side being across the Rocky Mountains-so it was pretty far to come for just two and a half days. My dad brought him out and my grandma is taking him back, since she needed to go to Denver anyway. It was nice to see him. He’s finally taller than me, which doesn’t make him short…he’s only 15 and I’m 5’10” so he’s taller than average. I’d say he’s 5’11” or so now. The doctor said he’d hit 6’4”, but I’m betting on 6’2”. I was able to give him his Christmas present finally—he loves Tenacious D so I bought him their Masterworks DVD. I think he liked it. Anywho…I’ve written down in my calendar to call him this coming Sunday to see how he’s doing.



call my mother-in-law weekly (read all 5 entries…)
this one is hard

My future mother-in-law is very disabled and lives over 2000 miles away. She adores me and did not begrudge me for taking her eldest son away from her. I never call her because it’s hard to carry on a conversation just because she doesn’t have much going on in her life and sometimes she’s out of it, or assumes you already know part of the story. I need to get over my difficulties because I know it would mean so much to her to talk to me regularly. She’s very upset that she can’t come to the wedding, so I think I’ll start by calling and telling her about our plans.



Call my brother more often (read all 3 entries…)
He's a lot younger

My brother is 14 years younger than me. He’s going to be 16 this year and he’s having a rough time. He’s overweight, spends all his time in the basement, and seems depressed to me. I hardly ever check up on him…he never really has much to say. Our dad is pretty hard on him, but then everyone else is too easy on him. There’s no balance. I just want him to know that I love him and I’m there for him. I haven’t even seen him since before Christmas. We’re each other’s only siblings, so he doesn’t have anyone else in that role.



plan my wedding... (read all 9 entries…)
Less than 3 months!

Things have slowed a bit. Everything is picked, we’re just kind of waiting for the wedding now. We wanted to do our engagement photo session this weekend, but the photographers were sick with the flu. I felt so bad for them! We still need to get our invites out in the next couple weeks. The design is done, we just need the wording and to have them printed. I was hoping to send a picture out with them, but that might not happen now. We also need to pick out the rest of Mark’s outfit. Not too much left other than that. We’ve spent half of our $5000.00 budget so far. Most of the rest of it will be paid out in June on the wedding day. Not too bad, really.

Mini goal 1: decide on invite wording and email final layout to the printer.



take excellent care of my pets (read all 10 entries…)
*sigh*

I didn’t get any real time in with the critters this weekend just because we had so much going on. Today, the doggies get their nails clipped and their teeth checked. I’m hoping it isn’t going to be a ton of money to get their teeth cleaned. Tanner’s aren’t in terrible shape but Noroshi’s are a mess just from never having been taken care of (he’s a rescued greyhound.) I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the appointment goes well.

Today’s mini goal: Let the bunnies play in the kitchen.



save $12,000 by the end of 2009 (read all 5 entries…)
not going as well as planned

So, our debt reduction plan is going great! However, the savings plan is not going as well as I would like. I should have $3000 in the bank by now, but we only have about $1000. It’s enough of a buffer for a medium emergency, but still not up to our budget plan. The more I get behind, the longer it will take me to recover. We’re pretty good about not spending, but it still seems like “extra” expenses are getting in the way. My goal for now is to work on eliminating spending wherever I can. I want to make sure to put the $1000 budgeted for April into the bank so that I only have $2000 to make up by the end of the year.



pay off consumer debt by the end of 2009 (read all 10 entries…)
Still doing well...

This is still going well. By the end of April, our remaining debt will be $15,465.01. It’s getting better, slowly but surely. Mark’s company took way too much for taxes, so we ended up netting $1700 in refunds. It would have been more, but we hadn’t done his 2007 taxes and he owed $600 for them. Not bad. We were going to put some of that into our dog’s teeth and the rest to pay off some extra debt, but work has been slow for him the past couple of weeks, so we’re going to hold on to it as a buffer. Still, we don’t have to slow down the debt reduction since we have the back-up of the tax refund. That’s a relief!

I’m still not sure how I’m going to earn the extra bucks. If I get my butt in gear with getting my unwanted stuff onto ebay, I can probably make a dent in that goal. :)



Get healthy (read all 12 entries…)
Small Changes

I’ve been working on making small changes. It’s not that I eat horrible food, it’s that I eat in the wrong order. Talking with the dietician, we discovered that I tended to eat mostly protein in the morning and midday, then a ton of carbs at night. She told me to eat 45 grams or so of carbohydrates at each meal, and if I eat a snack, to eat a carb and a protein together. I noticed a huge difference! I don’t want refined sugar at all now…candy and the like isn’t tempting to me any more. I’ve also been working to add more uncooked foods to my diet. She said I was doing well with my meats and veggies, but I could add another piece of fruit per day. I’ve been making sure to eat a fruit with breakfast and another with lunch. I have also been making sure to eat greens with lunch and dinner. I feel better and my blood sugar is much easier to control this way. There weren’t any huge changes, but these small ones really helped.



get the house really clean (read all 4 entries…)
What I got done

I wanted to strip the living room and kitchen but Mark was home this weekend and he wanted to reorganize his office/work out room, and he brought stuff out into the kitchen, preventing me from cleaning it. So instead, I took apart the living room and got it clean and then cleaned the bedroom. For the living room, I got the cobwebs out of the corners, washed the dog beds, vaccuumed the floor, moved the furniture and vaccuumed under it, and vaccuumed the curtains. I also had to scrub the front door because of all the dirt/mud that got on the bottom this winter. I hate doing windows and mirrors, but I did the three windows in the living room and the two in the bedroom as well as the mirror. I was proud of myself for doing my least favorite chore.

In the bedroom, I reorganized the closet, took down the curtains (they need a repair and to be washed) cleaned the windows, and vaccuumed. I put together the closet organizer I bought to put folded pants on. I still need to scrub the bathroom but I was keeping the kitties in there to keep them out of my way.

Mini goal 2: Scrub the bathrooms and the kitchen.



tell my fiance something great about himself every day (read all 15 entries…)
This is making me very thoughtful...

Maybe too thoughtful. I’m pretty good about telling Mark I appreciate him, but it’s a little harder to remember to point out something that’s personally great about him. It isn’t because he isn’t great, it’s just because I don’t want it to sound forced or too speechy. For exapmle, I always say things like “thanks so much for taking the trash out” especially because I hardly ever have to ask him to do stuff. So, the “great” thing about my fiance on the 28th was that he is so considerate and does things around the house without being asked.

Yesterday, we were driving back along the highway from eating an AMAZING (and expensive) Tibetan dinner when we saw a guy chuck his dog out of the back of his truck and drive off on the frontage road. We were like WTF?! and Mark drove up until he could get to the frontage road access and then whipped around to see what the deal was. The guy passed us on the road, and then a County Sherrif pulled onto the frontage road because he saw the dog. The guy turned around and came back when he saw the officer. We told the officer what we saw and he talked to the guy. The arsehole said that it was just his way of WALKING his dog. Yeah…anyway, we told the officer that we were just really concerned about the way the guy handled his dog and that we felt it was an inappropriate way to walk him. The officer was a really nice guy and said he felt the other guy was sketchy but wasn’t sure if they would persue him or not. He took our info and told us he might call for official statements. Anyway…the great thing about Mark that day (3/29/09) is that he doesn’t stand by and avoid getting involved when he sees something that doesn’t seem right. A lot of people would have just driven away.



fold 1000 paper cranes (read all 10 entries…)
A little bit of progress

I didn’t get many done this weekend, but I did fold some while i caught up with my HULU queue on Saturday while Mark worked out elsewhere. So, he didn’t help me with any, but I was still able to get another 30 or so done. We have almost hit 600! Yay!



tell my fiance something great about himself every day (read all 15 entries…)
Good for our relationship

My fiance is very self-assured and secure. However, I like to let him know that I think he’s great on a regular basis. He recently applied for a job with our local County Sheriff’s Department and got invited to take the physical and written exams in two weeks. He has a great job right now, but he wants to do something more fulfilling and that we can take anywhere. I told him tonight that I thought he’d be great because he knows how to balance firmness with gentleness and diffuse tension in people quickly, without raising his voice or resorting to physical action. He can take someone down in a second if he has to, but he never has to. I’m very proud of him and I like to let him know that as often as I can. I tell him a lot, but I want to make sure I get something in everyday, especially because I can be impatient and unappreciative on occasion.



get the house really clean (read all 4 entries…)
Not enough time

I just don’t have time right now, but the house is bugging me. We are not in anyway filthy people, but the house isn’t up to my standards, which are probably unreasonable. I’m very much the take-it-all-apart-clean-it-put-it-back-together-sort and I haven’t been able to do it in months. So, the house isn’t filthy or cluttered, but I know there’s dog fur in the corners and dust on top of the door frames and cobwebs in the window wells. I really want to get a good spring cleaning done well before the wedding so that all I have to do is tidy up before the family gets into town. I just have to buckle down this week.

Mini goal 1: Strip the living room and kitchen this weekend.



make time to make art (read all 2 entries…)
Oh, how I used to be an artist

I used to do something artistic every day and now I don’t even go into my office/craft/art room. About three months ago I started a painting and haven’t gone back to finish it. It’s always been a big part of me and I haven’t worked on anything lately. I really want to get back into it. Even if I just doodle once a day, that would be a great start.

1st mini-goal: Draw the picture in my head for Mark with the haiku I wrote for him as a love gift.



take excellent care of my pets (read all 10 entries…)
I love my babies and I need to spend more time with them.

I love by babies so much, but with work and wedding planning and trying to get the house organized, I feel like I’ve been neglecting them. One thing about our pets is that they all have a companion. We have two dogs, two cats, two bunnies, two chinchillas, two rats, two doves, and two turtles. We also have a bunch of invertebrates that are happy just to hang out in their little habitats, so I don’t really worry about them.

Right now, everyone is fed, watered, living in clean cages and/or have clean litter boxes. I just haven’t spent any quality time with them lately. Like I said, they all have companions, but I want to cuddle and kiss and give them treats as much as possible.

Also, I’ve been neglecting their vet check-ups. I finally got the kitties fixed and vaccinated and they are in great health. On Monday, I’m taking the dogs to get their nails clipped and their teeth checked. Fortunately, their vaccinations are up-to-date. Noroshi, our greyhound, is likely going to need some teeth pulled and have a scaling. We’ve been feeding them raw bones and their teeth have imporved, but years of neglect to our greyhound’s teeth (not our neglect but neglect from before we adopted him)are catching up with him.

Next, I need to take the bunnies for a check up. I usually take them once a year, but now that they’re 7, my goal is to take them twice a year. Bunny’s back teeth have overgrown in the past and I’m concerned that they might be doing it again, but I can’t take them for a couple more months. She’s eating well and pooping well, so I’ve got to remember not to stress. I always keep an eye on her, so she will be fine.

Everyone else is in very good health…they just need more loves! Here are my to-dos.

Dogs-Teeth and nails. (Monday 3/30/09)
Cats-Spay/Neuter and Vaccines. (Done at the end of February)
Bunnies-Check ups, nail trim, more time out of their pen
Chinchillas-Buy more dust bath, more time out of their cage
Rats-find a way to trim their nails, more time out of their cage, more toys to stimulate their tiny minds
Turtles-need a new uv lamp
Doves-new cage

Everyone, more treats and one-on-one attention.



start an etsy store (read all 3 entries…)
Where to start?

I’ve always been very creative and talented, but I have a bad habit of going all directions. One day I paint, one day I sculpt, another I make little people out of foam clay and colorful paper clips…I’ve always had a problem of focus, even when I was in art school. I’ve had success selling my art in the past, but I want to focus on one type of thing, or maybe two for my etsy store. So, I have to figure out what I can commit to and enjoy doing on a regular basis.

My second problem is that many of the thigns I do already have twenty sellers on etsy. Once I decide what I want to do, I need to make it better than everyone else…competition is ok, but it’s hard to stand out on a website like etsy.

Mini-goal 1: Find a marketable product.



Get a tattoo (read all 4 entries…)
Something special

Tattoos are so common these days, I’ve been holding out to make sure I get something really special. My fiance and I are getting tattoos for our wedding—my first and his third. He’s getting his wedding band tattood (his idea, but not my name, because he doesn’t like jewelry). We’re still working on what I’m going to get. Our wedding will have a Japanese theme and for a Valentine present, I got Mark a book of Japanese family crests. They are so graphic, symbolic and beautiful. I thought it would be cool to make our own family crest. I’m planning to incorporate a lotus blossom and two birds.

My next mini-goal will be to get the drawing ready. So exciting!



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