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Update on My Life
I've been trying to write this post for a week now. The 28th of September was the one year anniversary of our arrival on St. Croix and I thought you'd all like an update. But I was so busy getting things ready for the RH Downloadable Patterns launch that I never found the time.

Truth is, this kind of situation has been very rare on St. Croix. Usually we have plenty of time! It's a small community and things happen in a very laid-back way here. So the whole concept of not having enough time to do things is kind of foreign here. There's always time. But that "time" might not come until tomorrow or next week. Yeah, we're a "mañana" culture.

But Sunday is my birthday, so I kinda wanted to do a bit of "The Year in Review". And I also wanted to revive this journal and commit myself to using it more often.

Hounds: Everyone is healthy and happy. Melody gets her stitches out (minor benign tumor removal) on Saturday. Last week at the vet, all her bloodwork came back clean, so she appears to be cancer-free. It's been four and a half months since her leg amputation and she's actually MORE active than she'd been for the past two years. She quite literally runs around the house and harasses the boy dogs every morning and night. And of course, they just answer "Yes ma'am!" to the 60-lb fireball.

The Business (RH): Despite rumours that we were going out of business (just because Bob isn't going to be flying up to Pennsic or Gulf Wars), RH is healthy and strong. As you know, we just launched our Downloadable Patterns, but we're still selling paper copies as well. If you're not on our mailing list, you can get there by emailing Bob at info@reconstructinghistory.com or joining through the "Join My List" button on the Reconstructing History Facebook page.

We're also going to start podcasting again. The first podcast will go live on Monday the 14th. You can always checkout the podcasts here: http://www.reconstructinghistory.com/blog I will also try to figure out how to make them available on iTunes.

My Health: Living in a different climate has been a challenge. There is simply no cool time of the day here. And the return of the hot days in May really blindsided me. BUT... I have no allergies nor arthritis here and I am living a much more outdoor life. It's true that if you don't get your outside workout done first thing in the morning, it becomes difficult if not dangerous to exercise in the heat of the day. But there's also that big old Caribbean Sea sitting not 20 feet from where I'm typing this.

I looked at my blog posts from last year and... I've lost 5 pounds and my measurements are slightly smaller. That's not a lot to lose in a year, and I probably lost it all in the past month. But I've taken a new tack on fitness and body size. If I do what I'm doing now and lose five pounds per month, I'll be down 30 lbs by the middle of March. And that would bring me back to a weight that wouldn't hurt my joints anymore. So the occasional treat of Aztec chocolate gelato (sweetened with low-glycemic index blue agave syrup!) from Jaccar Organic and Natural Sorbet is allowed and it benefits my neighbours too!  I'm also eating more healthfully and buying a majority of my food from local farmers.  So that's a VERY good thing.

I took a Capoeria class the other week and loved it, but it is far too difficult for me at my current weight and fitness level. So rather than tearing another hamstring by pushing myself too hard (a frequent problem of mine that long-time kass-rants' readers will remember), I'm keeping it as a "carrot" -- my goal for when my weight gets back in the 150s.

Fitness-wise, I am swimming and doing TRX and walking a little over two miles in the mornings and I started going to yoga again once a week. I can't, however, seem to do them in the same week! If you look at my calendar, I'm either walking or doing TRX or swimming, but not all three although I certainly could walk in the morning, do TRX at noon, and swim during the hot part of the day (2pm-4pm). But somehow, I never do. I'm going to work on changing that. But doing something is better than doing nothing, and I'm not pressuring myself.

My Writing: Many of you know I've been writing. I am trying to write a novel. I actually have four ideas percolating and I add to them as the words come. I blow hot and cold depending on what else is going on in my life. If you want to follow this part of my journey, please follow Kass McGann, proto-Novelist and my Facebook page Kass Mc Gann proto Novelist (I would appreciate a like there even if you don't follow the page). You can also follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/KassMcGann

I'm also writing about a few other things on blogs. The biggest one right now is my language learning journey on Serial Polyglot. I tend to post links to new posts on Facebook, but if you're interested in language learning, I'd love if you'd follow me at http://serialpolyglot.com. Currently, I am actively pursuing Irish. I took two semesters of Irish back at University of Pennsylvania when I lived outside Philly, but we were never encouraged to speak in class. Then I spent four weeks at Oideas Gael, a language school in the Donegal Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking area). But... unlike Japan where most people can't speak English well, in Ireland, everyone who speaks Irish also speaks English (most even better). So not speaking Irish was WAY too easy. And because I had 0 Irish speaking practice in Irish class at U Penn, I found myself very shy to speak the language.

I know. Me =/= shy. But sounding like an idiot in the language does strange things to a person.

So now I'm following the advice found in this little dream of a language learning system by Benny Lewis of Fluent in Three Months. If you have always wanted to learn a language but don't have time to spend a year with the natives, Benny is your man. His method is extremely sound and I endorse it highly. Basically, the difference between why I went to Japan and became fluent but I went to Ireland and did not is summed up in his system. And truly, there's no one who can't learn a language no matter where you live if you want to put in the time.

So after about 15 years of ignoring my first favourite language, I'm back at it.  And hopefully I will be able to put enough money in my savings so Bob and I can go to Oideas Gael next summer and spend two weeks immersed in Irish.  =)

Beside that, I am working on a couple of other blogs, but neither of them are live yet. I'll announce the URLs when they are, but for now, know that one is about paring down your worldly goods -- whether for an international move or retirement to a smaller place or if you've decided to live in an RV or on a boat or become a traveling vagabond. That one will be called everythinginasuitcase.com. I think all that's there right now is a skeleton, but you can bookmark it.

The other is about how to leave the job you hate and pursue the work you love. I've been doing it for ten years now, and it's time I helped other people do it too. That one will be at createyourdreamjob.com. I don't think there's anything at that address yet at all. But you can save it if you like.

I'm going to make a concerted effort to post here as my personal blog. But please don't ask me costuming questions or about my writing. This blog will be about me and Bob and the hounds and St. Croix and my fitness journey and stuff like that. I'm trying to keep the streams uncrossed. So your help would be appreciated. And your comments are always a bright spot in my day. =)

Other than that, the weather here has been a little yucky.  At this time of year the Trade Winds die off, and 90F temperatures start feeling like 105F.  And that's not nice.  Many people leave the island during September and October, but we don't have that kind of dosh.  So we're sweating it out.  Like most residents, we're waiting for the Christmas WInds (the return of the Trade Winds in Nov/Dec).  Last night, the winds picked up and I didn't have to turn on the AC.  And today has been a little more breezy than it has been.  Still... waiting on November.

Well, that's all I can think to say.  I think it's probably plenty.  Good to talk to you all and I hope to see you around more!
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