"I am alive and kicking"

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Freezing for fun and energy

Today, I tried something insane.
As if we don't complain enough about the freezing winter temperatures, I went and froze myself on purpose.
Mitchell has another new business.
Awaken Cryotherapy Spa is set to open at 302 N. Main St., and, believe me, experiencing the octagon is totally worth it!
For three minutes, you stand in an octagon-shaped chamber and make a quarter turn every 7-10 seconds to avoid frostbite.
The temperature drops as low as 230 degrees below zero. And it is invigorating!
Visit their Facebook page.
According to the business's flyer, here are few benefits:
  • increased recovery time from injuries;
  • reduction of pain and swelling;
  • reduction of post traumatic treatment
  • benefits those who have joint disorders, stress and anxiety, tendinitis, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and arthritis;
  • tightens skin, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, reduces cellulite, improves sleep, increases metabolism.
Here's a video of my ridiculousness. Beware, I sound like an idiot.

Now, a little insight: You go in naked. Well, almost naked. I kept my underpants on. Freezing my boobs was enough, thanks.
But, you are required to wear socks, rubber shoes and a pair of gloves they give you.
You also sign an agreement prior to entering the dressing room. You cannot have certain conditions if you plan to try cryotherapy, including being pregnant.
You change in a little room into a bathrobe they give you and step into the chamber with the robe on. They close the door and then you take your robe off.
It is very discreet and I felt totally comfortable the entire time.
I feel quite energized after my time in the octagon. And honestly, I don't have a headache like I normally would this time of day and my back feels pretty darn good. Usually, my lower back hurts.
Make fun of me all you want (particularly for the video), but that was one of the most entertaining three minutes of my life.

The inside of the cryotherapy chamber.
(Photo by Anna Jauhola)
The chamber with nitrogen tanks.
(Photo by Anna Jauhola)

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Snapchat: A fun way to keep in touch

I have joined the Snapchat revolution.        
Well, maybe revolution is a strong word.
A fun way to keep in touch,
without the drama of
Facebook. (Photo by
Anna Jauhola)
I've joined the Snapchat ... uh, gang. Yeah, gang. Or something.
My story isn't long yet, and the front camera on my phone doesn't work, but it's fun.
I mostly Snapchat with my friend Jen, who sent me a picture today (April 28) of snow in the Black Hills. How lovely for her.
I sent her a picture of a muffin.
She then sent me a picture of her looking stern, as in, "Don't tempt me with food, woman."
Really, so far, Snapchat has proven itself to be an extremely abbreviated version of Facebook. But you only see the pictures once or twice, and with perhaps much less drama.
So, it's a win, really.
Unless they get hacked again and my number is leaked.
Hmmm ...
It's been raining for the last two days, at least, and I'm ready for some sunshine and warmth.
My rose bushes need some sun to really get growing. AND, I'm hoping for some dry days so I can begin planting my flower garden. :)
Have a great week and enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

An outdoor sort of day

Today will be a day of outdoor things like:

  • drying laundry on the line.
  • mowing the lawn.
  • picking up crap (literally).
  • taking a walk.
  • going to the park.
  • taking the dog for a walk to crap elsewhere. 
  • picking up that crap. 
  • drying more laundry on the line. 
  • admiring our growing rose bush, raspberry bush and grape vine. 
  • picking up other things, like garbage that was blown out of the trash can by the 30 mph winds.
  • sweeping the sidewalk. 
  • corralling the cat and dog back inside.
  • waving politely to the neighbors.
  • watching Jacob ride his bicycle while he screams, "Whooooooooo HOOOOOOOO!!!" 
  • perhaps planting vegetable seeds to start before we plant the garden. 
  • Finding a safe place to put those seeds so the damn cat doesn't eat them when they sprout. 
What will you be doing on this lovely day? 
Hope you enjoy it. It's going to be damn cold and rainy again next week! Which my rose bush, raspberry bush and grape vine should like very much. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Plotting to create better characters

No lies here, plotting and character development are not my strong suits.
I'm constantly reading about both subjects, trying to plot out better stories and create better characters, but to no avail.
None of my attempts have satisfied my high standards.
In the last several weeks, I've been working my way through an e-course on mystery writing.
Life has gotten in the way of a few weeks of homework and research, and in between that, my lack of discipline has also caused bumps in the road. I'm about three weeks behind.

Spending a dreary afternoon with a sweet tea at McDonald's and
catching up on my mystery writing class. (photo by Anna Jauhola)

Today, however, I've found a couple inspirations on the interwebs and shall share them with you.

I often struggle with fully fleshing out characters. Most lack depth on the page because I can't seem to fully express their personalities on paper.
Today I discovered shesnovel.com. Author Kristen Kieffer lays out the groundwork for creating truly amazing main characters that hold readers' attentions.
I'm excited to use these tips to further develop the characters I've created for my mystery writing class. Thank you Ms. Kieffer!

For all you writers out there, check out Ms. Kieffer's page.
She is full of useful tips and information! (screenshot)

I also struggle with plot.
Often, stories pop into my head, but it's only a portion of the story and I fail to go very far with it. In the end, I often give up on the story and move on, feeling depressed and like an epic failure.
In today's search to curb my failures, I found (on handy-dandy Pinterest) a post on Hubpages.com called "How to Write a Novel in 30 Days."
This looks like a pretty comprehensive, self-explanitory and interactive tutorial that could give me a great poke in the right direction.

Writers who struggle with plot -- this page could be for you.
Check out the blog here. (screenshot)
As the rain continues to pour in South Dakota, I'm looking forward to having the next few afternoons and evenings filled with writing, and plot and character development. After all, I need to catch up on that mystery writing class.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Our Spit is in the Mail

Many people ask me what I do at The Framer.
Typically, I'll tell them I use a vinyl cutter to create different designs and lettering for custom projects.
Today, I can tell them my boss and I enjoy doing the same crazy things.
On Tuesday, Connie and I spit into tubes.
You read that right. We spit into tubes.
You see, Connie and I discussed that we don't know exactly what nationalities comprise our backgrounds. As Connie has more TV channels at home than I do, she mentioned the AncestryDNA.com commercial that advertises a DNA test kit. So we ordered two kits and received them Monday.

This is what all comes in the AncestryDNA kit. Super easy!
(Photo by Anna Jauhola)
So we laughed and hee-hawed while we produced enough spit to for a quarter teaspoon into these little tubes. Then we struggled to put the cap on that would release a stabilizing liquid, laughing the whole time.
Then we chuckled some more about how we were doing such a strange thing.
Then we took a selfie (albeit a blurry one).

Here we are with our tubes of spit! (Photo by Anna Jauhola)
Then we took another one with the tubes in the pre-paid mailers.

Ready to be mailed! (Photo by Anna Jauhola)
And finally, I walked out the door at the end of my day and took the mailers with our spit to the post office to drop in the outdoor mailbox.


So. Now in six to eight weeks we'll find out what we're made of. 
We anxiously await our results as we discuss what other things we can do to cause our families to shake their heads. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Can our DNA unlock hidden secrets?

Cross my heart, I'm really not dead. Just went on hiatus for the last week or more.

I love my job. My boss is the best!
We have some of the strangest conversations, Connie and I.
One day we were talking about our heritages. According to a few family records she has, she believes she may have some America Indian blood in her. However, she isn't sure.
As for me, I don't know a lick about my mother's side of the family, including where in the world they came from.
SO. The other week, Connie asked me to look up the Ancestry DNA tests.
"We should do that! Just to see what we get."
So, we each ordered a test and they finally came today. (I was dumb and accidentally put the wrong building number on the address line.)
AncestryDNA tests awaiting my and Connie's samples.
(photo by Anna Jauhola)
Now, this week, we will take our DNA, send it off and wait for another two months to see what we are made of!
It'll be exciting for me, as I've always wanted to know my mom's side. It's been a complete mystery and I've often wondered if I may be part British or something totally strange.
Instead, all these years, I've simply embraced the Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish heritage with which I grew up.
Now I'll at least be able to have a small understanding of  where my mother's ancestors emigrated from.