Monday, September 30, 2013

End of September Randoms

1) So it's been raining/storming in Oregon for days now...days I tell ya! Weather report is saying RAIN til Thursday. It's also been in the 50s, with some nights of lows in the high 40s. I already turned the heat on some to keep my housemates...and the flannel sheets on my bed....and a second down comforter...and it's September y'all!

2) I'm ready for October. Period.

3) Due to said rain, Major the cat wants to sleep inside at night. Major is not allowed to sleep anywhere except my bed or the garage cause he's a lazy feline who will pee (and not use the liter box). (And when he pees, it creates a puddle as if a grown man peed.) Major knows which sliding glass door is for my bedroom. At least 2x a night Major shows up and if I let him in, then he also 2x a night meows later to go out. I feel like the mom of a newborn....and we have some major "go in the dry garage where there is food and warmth" routine to instill.

4) I slept for 11 hours Saturday night. Don't hate me. You don't want to be around me when I'm sleep deprived...and various things have been pushing my late night hours even later. Those 11 hours were needed...and glorious.

5) I finished the book Beautiful Ruins. I didn't want to, but I made myself to do it. Verdict: not my fave.

6) Teaching started last week---first week went alright. I have smaller in person classes than normal and it's usually about week three when you really get a feel for your students. I had my orientation and first class for my own program on Saturday. Ironically the first class I had was pretty much the lecture I gave to my own students this week. Eventually I kept my mouth shut and let other students talk instead of supplying answers, and I talked to the instructor after class. The other two courses start tomorrow and will getting up three times a week at 6am--oh man. :) Tuesdays will be my long day with attending class from 8am-230pm and then teaching my class from 6-9pm.

7) In looking at the schedule for the courses I'm taking, the vacation/breaks from my program never line up with the academic calendar from work, so except for the two weeks at Christmas, there will always be work or studying until next October.

8) My parents are en route to Portland to pick up Granny for the rest of the week. They're also bringing me the hand-me-down treadmill via Mom via my aunt. Refer to the rain in #1. Three times this week I wished I had a treadmill. I feel like a kid on Christmas right now waiting for it to arrive. (And in true form of my mother's parenting from throughout my life...she's already informed me that the treadmill that she got for free is now my Christmas gift....gotta love them....and anyway, I'll take it because it feels like Christmas today anyway...and we all know I'm not a big fan of actual gifts at Christmas....) I'm already planning on my final Sept exercise be running on that treadmill!

9) Although regardless of the treadmill, I'm still going to have to get Roxi out on the streets at least a couple days a week....or else my bathroom trash will continue to be emptied all around my she gets bored and a lil destructive when she's not exercised or loved on to fill her quotas.

10) Since it's fall I've been in mad soup making routine. There was a vegetarian chili that was a mix of two pinterest recipes...and then a improv root vegetable soup. The crock pot is one of my favorite cooking devices in fall. Each go provides enough for two bowls for me, bowls for the housemates, and two servings for freezing. I also made a rhubarb blueberry crisp the other day too.

11) Housemates are going alright. Granted it's only been a couple weeks but I'm hopeful we'll keep trucking along for the next two months. One gal is a huge animal lover who doesn't agree with how I discipline/interact with my animals and she started to try to change their routines. We had a LONG heart to heart and she's finally backed off some and I've relaxed some. Other gal has a LOT of stuff going and....I'm not so sure she actually will be adhering to the usual routines I put out in my ads (ie she goes out and come home late multiple nights a week, stays up super late, apparently talks loudly on her phone during the night while the other gal is (trying to be) sleeping, and apparently already brought a guy home the other we might need a conversation too). Whoo, but two months ain't too long, right?! :) Oh man. Oh and in usual housemate M he's saying he might be back as soon as Dec 1st....go figure.

12) Have I mentioned that I'm glad tomorrow's October?

13) I didn't get the job. I'm glad. After the interview..I didn't want it for multiple reasons. I'm trying to have faith that finances will all work out. Keeping positive as I can.

14) Last week included a day trip up to Tacoma to go check in on my baby cousin who has been having a rough time...and to also pick up some text books from her. It was nice to be able to spend the afternoon helping her out...and to just get out of Portland for a bit.

15) There are all sorts of other family things...and a million other details flying around my brain. Like: needing to finish the garden, getting everything I need for school, redoing my taxes from last year, etc etc. I'm ready for routine...and checking things off lists....and well, again, October :)

Happy October to y'all!

Monday, September 23, 2013

My Fall Off the No-Buy Wagon

Okay, okay, so I said I fell off the no-buy closet challenge sort of with the gift card and the black skinnies....

Well, then I had the unfortunate choice of spending an extra 15 minutes when I was early meeting a friend with a quick stop to check out the new city Target......which then made me fall in love with a certain shirt...and after thinking about it continuously for two days, I then went back to purchase it (and some needed file boxes)....only to walk out with it and another 75 dollars worth of new clothes all because my staples were on sale....and there was the cutest gray jacket for sale. I'm not going to lie, there MIGHT be one more new purchase of work pants (I looked at Goodwill but no go) but other than than, I'm considering September my slip up month and plan to make it full steam ahead the rest of the year....Sigh, I was doing so well!

But anyway, new and old, here's what I've been wearing lately:


Work Mtgs:
Probably the only time all year, I'll wear skinnies to work.

Fall afternoon at home & out with Tall D: 
Old jeans that make me realize I must have been much thinner than I realized 5 years ago!

Community Health Lecture:

Social Saturday: Coffee, Lunch, BBQ
New scarf, new yellow shirt, & new gray leather coat

If you didn't notice, I'm loving the scarf look (have I mentioned I'm a late adopter?) and still rocking those black skinnies probably a lil too much :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Life Highs As of Late

So thought I'd share a few of the things that have been brightening my days as of late:

1) The dogs are SO loving these days and freely give much attention and kisses. Not that they weren't excitable two years ago, but it's amazing to see how much more happy and settled even they are...

2) I'm still in love with those black skinnies and I've worn them at least 7x since I've bought them.

3) The corner fence was rebuilt this weekend and it's TALL. Anyone who has seen my backyard knows that my back neighbors frequently are in my business (and we battle with dog issues) cause the back fence is 4.5ft tall in some places. This new corner fence is 6ft probably and with a new functioning gate. It makes my heart swoon.

4) The two guys who built the fence were highly entertaining. One was an older veteran (think 50-60 yo), who ended up leaving me a note with his number. Ballsy, but uh, I don't think I'll be calling him up. Even if he probably would build me the most awesome pallet furniture and new compost! :) Flattering all the same, and he was fun to talk to at least.

5) That day I had my car fixed....well I had to have my brakes replaced. The service guy found me enough discounts that I walked away paying only the price he'd quoted me for the brakes. In a sense, I got my seats detailed, new wipers for winter, an oil change, my tires rotated, and the car washed for the first time in months....for free. That's happiness right there. And with the pre-service vacuum job I did, my car feels like luxury.

6) My gal N and I met for dinner a couple weeks ago for the first time in months since I took my step away from socializing. She's been incredibly patient with me and it was great to catch up. Then to top it off, she sent me in the mail the new India.Arie CD. I've been listening to it for days when I drive...and it speaks straight to my heart too....

7) Both new housemates are in the house now and I think the two will balance each other out. The newest gal is also early 30s, just getting divorced after three years of marriage, traveled, originally from a small town, very involved with her family, and a runner....similarities much? I get nervous about living with women, but I'm incredibly hopeful that the next three months are going to fall into a great routine and go smoothly.

8) Last weekend my cousin hosted a movie night and BBQ in her backyard. It'd be a rough few days, but it was so good to sit among family and their friends and just soak up one of the last really nice days of summer. I also was able to contribute a delish blueberry & rhubarb crisp.

9) Got most my copies for the term made yesterday and was able to prep the courses as much as possible. I'll still have to look over notes etc prior to lecture, but at least exams, study guides, lecture slides, assignments, calendars....all are ready to go. Inservice is today and I'm excited.

10) Somehow upping my mileage has made my jogs turn back into runs and my body feel great while it's moving. The other evening I went out for a jog and it ended up being one of the best runs I've had in months. I must have been close to a 8min pace if not under. The jog I'd done the day before I wore my watch and in so doing realized that even when I feel like I'm moving slow, a lot of those days I'm still moving at under 9mins. Happiness!

11) Crisp mornings and gray days have arrived. Leaves are changing on campus. The down comforter is back on my bed. And we've had some of our rain return. (Including unusual Southern like thunderstorms!) Six months of this non-stop might be tiring, but in the beginning it always feels great. I'm already day dreaming about soups to make in the crock pot, roasted fall veggies, and....Thanksgiving :)

12) A new ethnic cuisine was had the other night (Venezuelan arepas). One of my colleagues has transitioned to the same position at another campus that my good buddy has at our campus, so I arranged an outing for them to meet. It was fun sitting with the three of them (buddy's lady joined too), chatting, and trying out new food.

13) Life isn't perfect. It's never going to be perfect. It was a year of struggle...but I'm hopeful, very hopeful that I'm headed into a year of renewal...still learning, still evolving, but going somewhere forward. Having that general returned hope....well that in itself is pretty rewarding. And in some ways, I feel like I'm ready to start "passing it on".....

Hope y'all are enjoying the transition into fall. Sending happiness and love to each of you.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Black Skinnies & Chambray Tops

Okay I know I'm a total Pinterest copy cat, but pretty much my thrifted chambray top and my new black skinnies have me in love. Don't be surprised if you see me in only combinations of these all fall...

(Ps that elephant (aka Africa to me) Starbucks coffee cup also still makes me swoon a year later...)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Down Range to Iraq and Back

So this post won't say everything that I want to say. Sometimes there's much that I want to write about regarding the experience of being a military spouse, but I don't because I still believe in protecting the privacy of my ex-husband. Regardless of the struggles of our marriage and the growth that both of us still need to achieve as individuals, I still (or maybe re-)love the crap out of that man for the parts of him that he gave to our nation (and for a variety of other reasons too....)

So I'll just say this to summarize: somehow I can make a positive impact on veterans when it's my job and I'm an outside participant who they want to entrust with their stories and have help them. Being that same level-headed, easy-to-turn-to-person doesn't always apply when you are the spouse of the soldier or veteran however, especially if that individual is not willing to admit to anyone that anything might be troubling him or her. For years I convinced myself and believed that any relationship issues surfacing or changes with my spouse were due to the chaos of his upbringing....and once I finally realized that his deployment probably had incredibly difficult effects for him, many of my friends were shocked that I hadn't seen the signs in my own marriage. We see what we want to see.... And for every veteran and/or soldier I HAVE helped, I also have routinely failed to be able to be to understand and support my own spouse when we were in the thick of it. Granted the veteran or soldier has to be willing to share and/or try, but I think I was naive on how to do so in my own marriage....(and even today as his friend, I still fail to know just how to "get in there.")

A year ago this week while at the funeral of our friend who we lost in action, the CO (company commander...think big, big boss but not executive boss) and his wife pulled me aside wanting to know what had happened between my ex and I (who were separated at the time). The CO's wife is an amazing, yet stubborn woman who had seen her own husband through some hard times (both of my exes CO's and their wives were great supports during this time) and she had suggested the above pictured book to help me with the experience. Through the chaos of the funeral and return events that ensued, I completely forgot about it....but this week, that book randomly arrived in the mail. Even though I'm in the midst of several other books and have become a less-than dedicated reader, I easily devoured it in two short sittings....and I really, really, really wish that I would have known of this book's existence two to three years ago. In fact, in all honesty, I sort of wish that someone would have just sent it to me as a wedding gift....

Do I think this book will change my life? Nope. Do I think I can make my ex read it and actually do something with it? Nope. But so much of what was included in it, explains so much and solidifies so much of what I've worried about and felt in my heart. Some of the info in it I learned in the course of our marriage (for example: you don't wake a combat soldier up from a dead sleep......I was incredibly lucky he recognized my face prior to making contact with me....), but much of it was stuff that I really just needed to read and see in writing while stocking it up in my heart. 

Some of the passages that stuck out to me on today's reading:

And over time I hope to check out some of these other resources:

I'm someone who needs to make sense of things in order to move on, and although aspects of this book absolutely didn't describe our situation or him, there was so much in it that did offer explanations. And as much as we're "divorced," I don't know that I'll ever really be able to turn my back on this man. Everyone deserves to be loved....and maybe our veterans and our soldiers just need continual patience, respect, and some more of that unconditional love.....

If you know a spouse of a military member or a family member who is trying to understand why their soldier/veteran isn't the same way that once were, I'd highly encourage you to suggest this title. As I for one, am incredibly thankful for it randomly arriving in my mailbox this week.....and I intend to pass my copy on to a family member who is married to her own deployed soldier.... 

Exercise Wrap-Up & Fit Fall

So if you follow me on Instagram then you've already seen these stats and pictures. On my blog under the Exercise Accountable tab, I document each day what I've done exercise wise or if I have done anything. I'm not going to lie, posting my exercise routines (or lack there of) over the last year has done wonders to keep me motivated and sweating. I'm not trying to be a role model. I'm trying to keep myself active, sane, and to be true to my job as a health educator.

Adding up all the numbers was fun and it was interesting to see the various activities I've been involved with (mainly this summer). Although my stats are much less than many of the other physical activity bloggers I've enjoyed following this year, I'm still happy and proud of the mileage I've made and the new hobbies I've engaged in. This is way more than I've ever consistently done. And my monthly goal of achieving at least 60 miles has kept me at it as well.

Routine exercise & my dogs (usually together) have made me a much happier version of myself. I've pushed myself farther this last year than I've ever been able to go before and I've enjoyed covering so many miles watching my dogs break out in jolly smiles. (Although so many miles has also worn them down and I'm going to need to do a better job of monitoring their mileage/overuse in the coming year....)

I'm also in better physical shape than I've been in a long, long time which in turn makes me feel better about myself. Running/exercise has been the best and probably cheapest therapy throughout this last year. I've ran away tears, anger, and thought through frustrations. I've hit runners highs and used exercise as a mood lifter and way to wake myself up in the afternoon. 

I've also come to have a better overall awareness about my body. I realize I have the capacity to do more than I thought but I can tell when my body needs a break. I feel my muscles, bones, ligaments, joints in ways I haven't before and I've learned of the benefit of cross training, eating, and stretching. In fact, I had to relearn how to eat in order to work out as much as I have been doing. 

Counting up my days and stats, I also realized that 1/3 of the last year I did nothing at all either due to vacation, lack of time, injuries, or just plain wanting to recoup. So to start this next tracking year cycle, I decided to challenge myself in a different way for September. I decided that every single day this month I would do something physically active...even if I'm tired, even if I'm feeling broken, even if it's the last thing I have time to do...because at the very least I can stretch for 30 minutes and that's more than nothing...and because I know that physical activity does more than just benefit my physical body. I've also been trying out some youtube yoga videos (why is real yoga so expensive?!) and am going to try to integrate more of those into my regular rotation. We're halfway through the month and so far so good in terms of adhering to moving!

I'm a little nervous about the upcoming busyness that this fall will bring but am hopeful that the more organized I am that I can continue to schedule regular time for routine physical activity. Plus I'm hopeful that I'll continue to keep garage Insanity work-outs, youtube yoga work-outs, and stretching as easy ways to get at least 30 mins in routinely. Additionally Mom inherited a treadmill from my aunt's move and I've already warned that if it doesn't get used, Dad will be transporting that sucker to my garage for winter (rain-free) mileage, which will also cut down on worrying about outside light available hours. So here's hoping that even with the increased busyness, this year of tracking will be even more successful than the year prior! 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Mid-September Happenings

Thought after yesterday's rant it might be a good idea to also post a quick update on life:

1) New term starts on the 23rd. I'll be teaching 14 credits. Two sections of our basic intro health course (2 evenings a week) and two of the stress course (both sections online). There is a new book for one class so that requires edits to lecture slides, planning, and exam questions. This next week I have to finalize the syllabus and edits to that course while the online courses are ready to go. Tuesday is all day inservice. While I'm happy to be "overloading" this term, there's going to be quite a bit of prepping/grading this term compared to others.

2) For the first time this year I broke my no new clothes challenge. I used a gift card to buy black skinny jeans...and I'm in love with them. Nine months and one new purchase still feels okay. Obviously I've purchased some thrifted wear and actually a few needed new items for running, but I think I should make it fine through the rest of the year keeping the no new purchase challenge back in tact.

3) I'm registered for massage school. I'll be in class Tuesday, Thursday, Friday days. It's a one year program. I have my financial aid set-up and with both rooms rented and my student loans deferred I should be able to make my payments and be okay. Again, I'm actually excited to be headed back into the learning environment and am hopeful for how this option will mesh well with the health instruction piece that I already do. Additionally I was told that after I practice for two years, I will be eligible to teach at the massage school cool would that be? My idea would be to continue to instruct "part-time" and also massage part-time--both options together would get me squarely back on my feet as long as my course loads remain fairly secure....

4)  T returned to California and the dogs were sad to see him go. M is back in Taiwan. My other male housemate moves out on Sunday and the new gal taking his place arrives on Monday (and starts school on the 23rd), so the rest of Sunday will be spent flipping the room. The other new gal arrived on the 7th and she starts her internship on Monday. Again, I'm crossing fingers that the three of us females mesh well and are busy yet patient enough to live well together until mid-December. At the very least, it's nice to know that I (hopefully) shouldn't have to worry about searching for another housemate until after M is back. While M was here, we discussed potentially renting the middle room out to short-term renters when he returns, although it also dawned on me that he's a lil noisier than some so we'll see. ;) If all goes according to plan (cough, cough...when does the plan actually work out?! :)), then M should be here as a renter until next summer so we'll see....

5) Ironically I'm also sort-of being considered for a full-time position at my college. Second responses ended Friday. The job sounds fun and like a good fit. I'm not anticipating getting it but how ironic would it be if I suddenly did when I already have the massage school option lined up? I'm seriously, seriously crossing my fingers that any decisions will be made prior to school starting on the 28th, otherwise I'm up a creek without a paddle (ie out a chunk of change if I take the job....). Even if I did get the job and with a full teaching load, I think I'd still try to take one massage class at a time. Now that I'm registered, I truly do feel like I should do the massage option regardless. It'd make for an incredibly busy fall (and massively neglected dogs...) but it's a HUGE IF anyway and it'd pay off big time in the long run.

6) That vet trip took care of lots of birds with one stone. I also had Roxi tested again for heart worms since it'd been four years since her last positive test (she contracted them while at the humane society aka puppy seeming mill where we adopted her....) and we've been "treating" her with the backwoods method offered in Louisiana. (The actual heartworm treatment is incredibly expensive, hard to come by at times, and requires keeping an animal less active for 30 days. If you've met this dog, keeping her less active would not happen...and she's happy go lucky and healthy seeming even with the dreadful worms.) Both dogs had their nails trimmed and a general once over. I also have realized in the last two days that all four animals are dealing with fleas (most months they don't have them) so a Costco trip for flea treatment for all of them is happening.

7) Car is also getting overhauled as it was due for an oil change and I needed new wipers as we head into the rainy season. Seats are getting cleaned as they were N A S T Y from all the outdoor pursuits: dirt, sweat, water stains. (All human related as the dogs are relegated to the back.) Also discovered I needed new brakes so they're taking care of all of that at once. This summer saw more off-road type terrain for the Sorento and I continue to be happy for the AWD capabilities and separate space for the dirty dogs (even if I still miss my Civic gas mileage). Hopefully all this car servicing will get me through until at least mid-winter.

8) Which as horrible of a financial choice as this is, I've basically started just putting stuff on credit again for now. I know that I should be living within my means but with things like the vet trip and needed brakes etc (and the reality that my credit card balance really is going no where right now), it makes the credit card seem like a viable option. It's always still my goal to get myself into a much better financial situation and I have to believe that in a year or two that situation will truly arrive. I just need to keep working ahead to get there...and as weird as it sounds somehow I have to trust that getting myself a lil more in a hole might actually pay out in the end. (I know, I know....)

9) I have this goal to come up with a better composting situation and to convert one of my raised beds to try my hand at winter gardening this year. We'll see if it all happens. I also need to get my hands on some apples for sauce, apple butter, etc. Canned 7 quarts of tomato sauce from my tomatoes and tomatoes from my aunts.

10) And that's about life in a nutshell. Some of the other stuff I'm hoping to post separately...maybe pre-scheduled :)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Lava Hell Backpack Trip

Well to put it mildly, this last backpacking trip didn't go that well. In fact, I pretty much lost my sh*t headed back on the trail and am still trying to decide if I will return to overnight trips at some point or not. Most the backpacking individuals I've talked to can't believe we started our trek where we did but I'm still frustrated that the experience broke me as much as it did. 

So in a nut's the latest trip:

One day delay and instead of starting at the picturesque Crater Lake PCT entrance, it was decided to start outside Sisters. I didn't realize that my traveling companions hadn't researched this part of the trail....and soon discovered that there was no knowledge of near water sources nor what the terrain was to be like. Needless to say, I should have put my foot down and assured that we started at Crater Lake, because the first four miles of where we started looked like this:
Solid lava rocks. Halfway through I realized it wasn't a good idea to have the dogs on this stuff but I kept hoping that part of the trail would end sooner rather than later. It kept on. I also kept contemplating how in the world I was going to travel back over that section with the dogs (since we were scheduled to do two days hike north with the guys and then hike back out to the trailhead returning the same way).

After the four miles of solid lava rocks, there was 2.5 miles of sand mixed with some rocks on a decline, before going up through fern growth/burnt forest for three miles. 

Here the guys and the dogs are stopped at our first real rest about 8 miles in. Soon after this I started getting dizzy if we stopped. Due to the delay in days, I didn't fuel well to start the day off and probably was dehyrdrated, undernourished, and with low iron levels after having a heavy period that same week.

A quick view from the trail on our three mile gradual decline toward camp. We lucked out and the camp that night had actual bunks, showers, a kitchen, etc since it was an out-of-season youth camp. We chatted with a couple other PCT thru and section hikers and it was neat getting to meet some of the people on the trail. However it was also at the camp that Anna stopped wanting to walk and I was able to take a look at her paws. Every single one of her paws had been torn up with some of top layers of her pads almost having been torn completely off. Needless to say she wasn't in good shape. We were 100% incredibly fortunate that this location had cell service and we were able to find map the roads into the camp. Since Anna wasn't in any shape to get back out of there, it was decided that I would travel the 13.5 miles back to the car the next morning while the guys waited with the dogs before continuing up the PCT. 

Although this view looks pretty, this was at mile 4 or 5 on the return trip and I was already tired. Without a pack I should have been able to make better time. I had fueled well that morning, I had 20 oz of water with me, but out of the 13.5 miles I was only really able to force myself to jog about 4 of them. 

This is right after I finished the 2.5 mile incline back up to the lava section. I met 3 sets of thru hikers in this section, all of which looked as defeated as I already felt and I still had the four miles back across Lava Hell to go. Needless to say most the 13.5 miles had me cursing myself for not ensuring the trip was planned better, for allowing my dogs to go across that nasty stuff, and thinking about whether or not I ever wanted to backpack again. PLUS thinking of how much of a lame ass I felt for letting ONE section of the PCT break me so much when so many other people hike the entire thing...

By the time I made it back to the car, I'd been out of water for at least an hour, I'd sweated through every inch of my clothing and had salt crusted on my legs, arms, and face....and I had an hour drive back to the camp.

I stopped at McDonald's to get an iced tea, have them refill my water, and to get four hamburgers (one for each of the dudes and one for each dog).

I still wasn't in a great place as I picked up the dogs, changed clothes, and dropped the guys off at the nearest trailhead. My ranting left them more than happy to be back on their way.... 

After a fretful FB post and a call to my vet, I scheduled an appt for Anna for Thursday (this was Tuesday) and headed on to visit a buddy of mine and his wife (this is another post in itself....). He was sweet enough to pick up first aid supplies and the advice of a few friends helped know what to do to treat her wounds.

Here's the lady all bandaged up: 

Headed home on Wednesday. Anna was able to hobble around some but still needed to be carried across rough surfaces. I rescheduled the appt on Thursday for both of them after I found a nasty rash again on Roxi's stomach. Verdict was that Anna's off physical activity for one to two months to ensure her pads harden. She's allowed to walk in grass and carpet. They cut the skin flaps off her paws and I'm to keep monitoring for infection. Roxi has the start of a staph infection on her stomach so she's on antibiotics. Either a reaction to fleas or grass or both. 

The whole experience smashed a little bit of the outside joy that I've been having for the last year. I'm still excited for snowshoeing and the idea of being active outside for the most part. But I just can't put my finger on what exactly broke inside of me.... was it the realization that the dog could have been seriously injured? is it the worry of what if i couldn't have driven/carried her out? is it residual issues of disappointment in myself or the guys?  is it the fact that i know that we just happened to be very lucky? was it that i was mentally unprepared for that type of a trip? (i knew it would be hard...but usually i'm fairly why did that hardness break me down?) is it that same notion of feeling defeated/failed/mortal? 

Last night I made myself get out for a jog just to see how my body was doing. I managed the 3.5 mile jog just fine and made myself run the return stretch that I most hate and mentally struggle with completing. I ran the whole thing and sprinted the last half a mile home. Somehow doing so helped--made me feel not as mentally weak.

But I'm not going to lie, I also returned my faulty jetboil to REI yesterday. The salesperson took one look at me and said "the trail defeated you." I've interacted with the salesperson a few times and he's thru hiked the PCT. We talked about the section we started on, the dog's injuries, and he just shook his head at our starting there of all places. His final words as I left the store "Don't sell all your stuff... we'll get you back out on the trail...eventually...."

But I don't know. I stopped here at Odell Lake on the drive back to Portland. It looks like the perfect spot for a little paddle boarding, kayaking, resting, day hiking, and what could be a future of lazy car camping.......

Only time will tell, but my days of backpacking could potentially be over....
....I always knew I wasn't really a thru hiker or made of the mettle of marathoners anyway :)