Living Life

Small town living is different than the city life I lived for more than 40 years. First, when you want to go “out” you should plan on 30-60 minutes just for driving. Everything is spread out in small towns around lakes.

I’m used to a lively night life and you can always find something to do. Here is takes more effort to find things and you have to plan ahead. That being said there are many upsides – like the food and entertainment in the summer. I had a local draft brew with my pail of steamed muscles and crusty bread (for dipping my in the garlic butter sauce). Now I’m sitting on a bench enjoying live music outside the brewery.

Because we have such a high influx of tourists in the summer there is a lot of randomness – dancing in the street, couples on park benches enjoying ice cream, classic cars in the streets, shops and boutiques that close whenever the last customer steps out and that might be an hour later than what the sign says.

Loving the new pace of life!

Service

My family has been customers of the same Ford dealership for more than 25 years. Additionally, we have referred many friends to that dealership during the same time.

I’ll start by saying that in general, I can’t stand sales people. Especially slimy, insincere ones. Fortunately for us, this dealership doesn’t have any. Over the years ownership has changed, their pricing model has changed and even the line up of vehicles has changed (they used to also have Dodge and Jeep). However, through it all one thing has remained constant – the service.

When we started working with this dealership we lived more than 4 hours away. There was nothing convenient about it. Most of the time I wasn’t getting my vehicles serviced there. Once I took a price quote to my local dealer and said that if he could match the price I would buy local – they wouldn’t do it. Now in my 40s I can proudly say I have owned 4 different vehicles from this dealership. Our family has built a relationship with the staff. The last two times I have had the same salesperson help me. I trust them. I know I’m getting the best deal. They do things right because it’s the right thing to do. The service you get there isn’t like most car dealers. They aren’t paid on commission. Their job is to make sure you are happy with your purchase and taken care of. Why would you shop anywhere else?

I had let them know I would be looking to make a vehicle change within the next five months. It was a timeline my husband and I set based on the fact we didn’t want to buy tires again before snowfall. The day I went to see them and test drive some vehicles they did not have what I wanted. I had given them a list of wants, don’t wants and don’t care options to work with…from that they located a vehicle from another dealer and made arrangements to bring it in for me. Before I could get back there to see it, they called and said that they found out the vehicle had 6,000 miles on it but they were able to locate the exact same vehicle at another location. The new one was made later that same year and had some newer technology, it was brand new, and they would honor the original price they quoted me. Wow. I didn’t even have to ask.

Yes, I bought it. The proof is in the purchase. Small town service still exists.

The Urge To Try

In my last post I talked about my new adventure into Cross Fit. I have five weeks behind me and I’m headed into week six. I am finding it enjoyable and challenging. This initial six weeks is part of a challenge group. After that I’m on my own. The challenge group comes with some extra support and guidance, particularly around nutrition.

Well, I got fearless on Friday night and decided to venture outside my routine. HUMMUS. I love hummus. For most people it’s things like French Fries or Doritos, or Fritos with Top The Tator. It’s hard to stop at just one bite or one serving (which happens to be 2T of hummus).

Most of my meals during the week are prepped but the weekends can be a little rogue. I got carried away and the next thing I knew I had consumed half the container.

To be honest I haven’t followed my plan to the letter. A few things have made it in to my meals or snacks that weren’t recommended. Raspberries for example. Eh, there are worse things I could eat. I have packed hummus with celery as a snack before but this was a wide open container on my counter. Not a good idea. Needless to say, I did not make it to the gym on Saturday morning. Tummy ache. I learned my lesson – enjoy in moderation. So I stopped at the grocery store on Saturday afternoon and bought three more containers. Hey, at least it wasn’t cookie dough!Snaccident:

1. n. Eating an entire box/bag of something by mistake.

(Credit: found on Facebook)

Motivation

I follow Simon Sinek and get a quote in my inbox daily. The one I received two days ago had great timing.

“The hardest part is starting. Once we get that out of the way, we’ll find the rest of the journey much easier.”

I decided that I should make better use of my free time. Before I made my career change and moved I was working out with a trainer three days a week. I got to that point after working with a clinical nutritionist for almost two years. She said to me that my body has a “happy weight” and likes to stick within +/- 5 pounds of it no matter what I try. Even after months of working out with a trainer I gave in and said she was right, but I physically felt better.

Fast forward a year. I made the decision to challenge myself to 6 weeks of Cross Fit. What I chose came with nutritional instruction. The meal prep is very similar to what I’ve done before but with way more water. I am five days in and still motivated to continue. Thursday and a Friday I could barely walk my thighs burned so bad but I believe in the “no pain no gain” thing. After all, it’s been a year since I’ve been in a gym. The people there have been great, very encouraging. I understand why they call it a community. Nutrition and exercise have never been a problem for me. My issue is finding the right combination that works. I have hope that this is it.

Whomever said eating healthy can’t taste good hasn’t met me.

Winter Lazyland

So the cold is rolling in again. The last week has been balmy…40 to at time over 50 degrees. Tomorrow the forecasted high is 16 I think. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like winter. However, I don’t particularly like cold. I don’t snowmobile. I don’t ski. I have and I could but I choose not to. I don’t really ice fish. Again, I have and I could but that’s a weekend thing for me. It’s a weeknight.

I have a fire going in the fireplace. It will probably be a regular thing this week and likely for the rest of the winter. It’s cozy. Who wants to go outside in this weather? Well, that only lasts so long. I get bored. I can get stir crazy. I need activity. So tonight I started running up and down the stairs. I didn’t do it long. Just long enough to get the heart rate up and feel the burn in the thighs. I might have to make it part of my winter routine. Closest thing to a gym to me for 25 miles.

Lifetime Learner

This past week I volunteered as a course facilitator for those preparing for their professional certification exam. I was also there a few weeks ago for another class. I chose the topics of HR Strategic Planning and Organization Development and Effectiveness. As a lifetime learner I am very passionate about strategic planning and change management and you can’t have one without the other. 

When I spend time thinking about these topics I feel very proud of all I’ve done in my career up to this point. To make the content relatable and easier to remember, you tie it to stories. We had some really good discussions in the two sessions I facilitated. These are my peers albeit at various stages in their career. It is exciting to think about the impact our profession has in business and all the opportunities that still lie ahead for us. 

In my current employment I have education benefits. Thus, of course I’m thinking about “what else” I could take on…a new credential. Any additional expertise I can gain raises my value and gives me more knowledge to share. I haven’t found any adjunct teaching gigs since I moved but I’m hoping that is something I will have the opportunity to do again someday. For now I will continue to raise my level of knowledge and look for opportunities to share my skills with colleagues and industry peers.

 

Ahhh, Coffee.

So, I think it is fair to say that I have a small Caribou Coffee addiction. Not a bad one, I don’t go every day, but it’s enough that when I know there is one nearby I will stop. My former employer had more than a dozen locations and I knew the nearest Caribou for every one of them. There are 4 Caribou Coffee, 2 Starbucks and at least 3 independent coffee shops in the city where I currently live. I rarely go more than a few days without stopping at one of them.

The one downside to moving is the location of the nearest Caribou Coffee. I was going to be down to one location and it was on the complete opposite end of town from where I would work. Well, that is no longer an option Monday – Friday. As I mentioned in my last post, I took a new job and it’s 30 miles further away from that location. My office is in a town of about 3,000 (I think that is generous). There is one local coffee shop. It has an espresso machine. I stopped there once. Like most of my other small town experiences, they run at a little slower pace. For me to get there before going in to work I need to leave a little extra time in my morning. It’s nothing like the Caribou drive thru at home.

After work on Wednesday night, I stopped at a gas station to get a bottle of water before heading up to check on the progress of our house. I couldn’t believe my eyes…a self-service Caribou Coffee machine! I was in love! The locals probably thought I was nuts. I got out my phone immediately to take a picture of this majestic beauty. I had to send it back to all my peeps back home. I was so proud of my find! I am certain this will be a favorite hot spot for me. Because I have been so spoiled with the amenities of the city I didn’t even know something like this existed. Here’s hoping that there will be many more interesting things to find in all the small towns…only time will tell.

caribou