Tuesday, November 30, 2010

november goals

On the last day of November, I am home sick with a cold. I dragged myself up this morning, all set to rally and go to work, but I failed the 3 step test to see if I am really sick or just tired:

1) Take a shower. I must admit, I could breathe better after the shower, but I still felt like crap.
2) Drink a cup of tea. My throat felt better and my voice was a bit better, but I still felt like crap.
3) Eat something. My headache was slightly better, but I still felt like crap.

And there you have it. If those three things still don't make me feel better, it's time to call in. That, and my forward thinking that tomorrow I absolutely cannot miss work. So given the choice of today or tomorrow I chose today to sleep, drink tea, and putter around working on all my projects and piles.

On the last day of November, its also time to look back at the goals:

November Goals:

1) Lose 5#: 1/2 credit. Lost 3
2) Get 2011 race schedule set: Pretty much done. Assuming I get that coveted Boston number, the biggies in 2011 will be: April = Boston Marathon
May = Run to Remember 1/2 Marathon
June = Patriot 1/2 Ironman
July = Old Colony Olympic Distance Tri
August = Sharon Sprint Distance Tri
September = Plymouth Rock Sprint Tri and Hyannis Sprint Tri
October = Ruckus (and maybe Newport 1/2 Marathon)
We'll see how my body holds out. But with the exception of yesterday and today, I've been turning up the heat in the off season training, so I'm optimistic.
3) Get apartment into winter configuration. Done. And I'm much warmer for it!
4) Finish work presentation: yep.
5) Do certification exam: finishing touches tonite and mailing it off tomorrow! (how's that for down to the wire?)
6) Get Xmas shopping 1/2 done: sure did! And didn't go NEAR a store on Black Friday. I'm not that crazy!
7) Finish 4 books. Done under the wire on that, too. Probably couldn't have done it without the sick day, today. (no...that's not WHY I stayed home. I'm miss mucous!) And I'm pretty proud of myself. One of the books was 1100 pages long. Stupid Stephen King!
8) Post every day this month: almost. 24 posts in 30 days.
9) Get started on photo book from trip: This I haven't started. And its totally not my fault! My two friends and I decided to share all our photos and then I was going to choose from all our 3 sets. I uploaded all my prints to snapfish and sent them to my buddies. I have yet to convince them that opening snapfish will not crash their computers or invite cyber preditors into their lives. (But storing every single photo you have ever taken on your hard drive will dramatically slow down your computer!) I may just have to do this solo!
10) Get rid of 30 things this month: success. This week, I got rid of a pair of slippers and two books. (into the donation bag)

Not bad for November! But before I move on to December, one last

Today I am grateful for:
1) humidifiers
2) ginger ale
3) tea
4) naps
5) crossing everything off the to-do list.

Monday, November 29, 2010


50 Questions to Free Your Mind:

Week 6: If Happiness was the natural currency, what would you do that would make you rich?

I would travel. By foot. With a backpack on my back. There is nothing that makes me happier than being out in nature with nothing but me and a long stretch of road or trail in front of me. I have that kind of personality, too: that I could just drop out of society and wander around as a hippie-chick wanderer for a few years. I probably would have done it, too, if that wouldn't cause my mother to have a heart attack and pace relentlessly night after night, worried I was dead in a ditch somewhere. (She just doesn't get it man! She is just not hip to the bohemian vibe!) My dad would be cool with it, though.

Anyway, if happiness were the national currency, I surely wouldn't have to worry about things like repaying student loans (or people lamenting my wasted college education as I wandered around with my backpack). And what's totally cool is...you can pretty much backpack anywhere! The US, Canada, all through Europe, Costa Rica, Chile, Hawaii (I know that's part of the US, but really, it's its own little entity, isn't it?) Yeah, I know there may be a few planes, boats, and trains involved, but that's ok. The feet are the primary source of locomotion.

As it is, I'm filling my adventurous appetite with races right now. But I rest assured knowing that wanderlust and itchy feet can't be quelled without taking to the open road eventually. Happiness may not be the national currency, it's how we pay ourselves, no?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving purge

In addition to eating lots of turkey, being thankful, and being active I also spent my long weekend doing a little purging. This week, I got rid of:

While switching out the warm weather PJs for the cold weather PJs I filled the donation bag with:
1) flannel pants
2) flannel boxers
3) 2 T shirts
4) a pillowcase
then, I went through the bookcase and pulled 5) a book that I was never going to read and put that in the donation bag, too.
Pulled a couple more 6) magazines from the basket to bring to the gym.
And finally, on the bathroom shelf, I have a nice little 7) basket of lotions and candles. Its really nice, but I have so many lotions and scrubs and candles and such, I can't possibly use them all. Its fairly new and has never been opened. So...I'm re-gifting it as a Secret Santa thing for work. (making totally sure that this did not come from a co-worker!)

Feeling significantly lighter (despite all the food I ate on Thursday!)

Thankful Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving, we are all thankful for the BIG things: family, friends, our health. But I've always thought it was the LITTLE things that make the greatest difference. (Of course, that may be due in part to my own stature. But whatever.)


1) I'm thankful for the state of California. No offense to the other 49 states. I just had a good time there this year.
2) I'm thankful for the Olympics. I just think there is no better sporting event to watch
3) I'm thankful for the Paralympics (and for the fact that they'll actually be televised in the US next time!)
4) I'm thankful for the excellent display of athleticism, sportsmanship, and all-around grooviness by my celebrity boyfriend, Apolo Ohno at the Olympics.
5) I'm thankful for the concept of celebrity boyfriends!
6) I'm thankful for pillows.
7) And pilates circles.
8) And yoga blocks.
9) And SI support belts.
10) I'm thankful for physical therapy. Not only because that's how I make my living, but because that shit works!
11) I'm thankful I can again run and bike without excruciating pain.
12) I'm thankful for the excellent display of slowness, humility, and all-around goofiness by ME during this year's tri-season.
13) I'm thankful I don't make my living by my athletic prowess. ('Cause I'd be broke and homeless!)
14) I'm thankful for the wonderful weather we had this summer.
15) And the beach. I love you, beach!
16) I'm thankful to the concept of the tankini
17) I'm thankful I don't make my living based on how flat my abs are. ('Cause I'm be broke, homeless, and possibly a heroin addict)
18) I'm thankful for ibuprofen (I may be a recovering ibuprofen addict)
20) I'm thankful for the continent of Europe. It sits there across the ocean and beacons me
21) I'm thankful for the opportunity to travel there this year
22) I'm thankful for indian summer
23) And the colorful leaves in the fall
24) And how warm fleece is.
25) I'm thankful I don't make my living based on how well I adapt to cold temperatures ('Cause I'd be broke, homeless, and frozen to death)
26) I'm thankful I'm not frozen to death
27) I'm thankful for the farmer's market
28) I'm thankful for live music. Anywhere and anytime. Of any kind.
29) I'm thankful for online shopping. It makes my life so much easier.
30) I"m thankful that I did not watch "Food Inc" before Thanksgiving dinner.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

sexiest man alive

At work today, somebody brought in the People "Sexiest Man Alive" magazine. So, of course, lunchtime in the staff room sounded something like this:

Oh, yeah, he's hot.
Ryan Reynolds.
Who is he?
This guy.
Who else is in there?
He's cute. He's cute. He's hot. Michael Bolton? Are they on crack?
Leonardo Di Caprio never did it for me.
He's a good actor though. He was good in Gilbert Grape.
Yeah, he was. And Johnny Depp was in that.
Is he in the magazine?
Of course! I think EVERYONE can agree that he's hot, hottie, hot.
I'm on the fence about Jake Gyllenhaal.
Oh, really? I think he's pretty cute.
He's in a new movie. With Anne Hathaway.
Yeah, I heard they are half naked throughout the whole movie.

at this point, the ONE male in the staff room perks up:
Ann Hathaway is naked in the movie?

Half naked. I said half naked. I don't think Anne Hathaway does completely nude scenes.
She did in Brokeback Mountain.....WITH Jake Gyllenhaal, actually!
Maybe she has it in her contract: will only do nude scenes with Jake Gyllenhaal!
Man. I really went into the wrong profession!

Today I am grateful for:
1) the gym
2) having the grocery store and liquor store across the street from the gym
3) the promise of a long weekend
4) my co-workers
5) getting to see my nieces tomorrow

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thank goodness Thursday is a holiday. I'm beat!

TOday I'm grateful for:

1) ball point pens
2) chocolate
3) short work weeks
4) caffeine
5) mindless magazines

Monday, November 22, 2010

50 questions to free your mind

It's Monday again. And a hard Monday to get out of bed, I must say. I would have liked nothing better than to roll over, snuggle back down in the blanket, and sleep the day away. Alas, life calls.

One good thing about Mondays -- it's time again for 50 Questions to Free Your Mind, courtesy of City Girl.

Week 5: What is the one thing you would like to change most about this world?

I'd like to have a job where I can get paid to roll over and sleep in every day!

No, not really.

I'd love to have less intolerance in the world. It seems that so many of our other problems stem from the very problem of intolerance. Wars are fought over it. Lives are lost over it. And really? What's the point?

One of the great things about the world is all the diversity. I think its fantastic that there can be as many ways of looking at a situation as there are eyes doing the looking. We can learn alot from one another if we listened to other opinions. We may end up learning things we would never have thought of on our own.

Instead, it seems that we are so quick to condemn other opinions that are not the same as ours. We are so quick to point fingers at those behind the opinions. And we are so quick to demand retaliation on those behind the opinions for... what? Not being us?

It saddens me that the media just eats this behavior up, sensationalizes it, and encourages more of the same behavior in the future.

I once read a funny little book by Fannie Flagg. I don't remember the name of it. But in the book, a woman who made her living doing interviews died and got to go up to heaven and interview God (this may have actually been a dream. I don't remember) What I do remember is her final question to God "If you could go back and do anything differently, what would it be?" And God said She (God was a she) would make everyone's skin the same color. She said that when She made people, She loved how many different shades of skin there were, like flowers in the field or leaves changing color in the fall. She thought that people would see the beauty in all the different colors of skin and appreciate one another for how unique each person was. Instead, people used the color of their skin to enslave one another and discriminate against one another and start wars with one another. God said that it made Her so sad that all Her beautiful colors caused so much distress. If She had to do it over, She just would have made one color.

Yeah, it's kind of a silly little scene in a silly little book, but one that really makes you thing, huh?

If I could change that one thing about the world, I'd make us all appreciate those colors.

And I'd make everyone refer to God as "She" :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Busy weekend, simplified

I had a fun, busy, exhausting weekend. It was really crazy busy in town! This should not surprise me. It's Plymouth, Massachusetts, the site of the original Thanksgiving Day celebration. And the weekend before is when the parade, festivals, concerts, etc, take place.

People come from all over. And yet, I'm still amazed. Really? You came all the way here to this little town on the water in the November cold for Thanksgiving? I live here and I almost skipped the parade!

Of course, not having the foresight to get there early, I had to park 2 1/2 miles away and had a nice little walk to and from the parade. Today, I did the Turkey Chase (freezing! I really should have worn more layers!), saw a bluegrass band, and went to the farmer's market. Overall, a good weekend. So why am I stuck in complaint mode, cursing the cold? Some people just can't be pleased, eh?

At home, I continued to purge. Its becoming a habit once, again; one I may continue through December. Just because I'm a typical American with way too many things and a preponderance to accumulate more.

So this week, I got rid of:

1) Two pairs of socks (donation)
2) A zip up hoodie I haven't worn in over a year (donation)
3) A bunch of sunglasses cases I don't even know how I got (donation bag)
4) A large storage tin with snowmen painted on it (donation)
5) Some holiday print cloth napkins -- don't know how I got those, either (donation)
6) Went through a few more magazines in the basket and brought those to the waiting area at work
7) Threw out a small bottle of lotion that looked a bit congealed.

At this rate, I should be ready for another trip to the thrift store next week!

Today I am grateful for:

1) warm clothes
2) comfort food
3) good books
4) good friends
5) the promise of a short work week ahead!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday's Wisdom

Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to what is present ---Albert Camus
Today I am grateful for:
1) clean drinking water
2) packages in the mail
3) yoga
4) progress towards goals
5) cleaning (yeah. I'm happy to be in a clean apartment today after a morning of scrubbing)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

carrot and ginger soup

Coming to the end of the wonderful bounty that's been living in my freezer after the last regular farmer's market of the season.
(Lucky for me, the special, before-Thanksgiving-Farmer's-Market is this weekend!)

I'll be branching out beyond soups, though. I got side dishes to prepare. Until then...

CARROT AND GINGER SOUP (Adapted from "The Garden of Vegan" by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer)

4 large carrots, chopped
1 leek, sliced
2 Tsp dark sesame oil
1 small yam, chopped
1 Tsp fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 cups vegetable stock

Throw oil, carrots and leeks in crock pot on high while you cut up everything else. Transfer to low and add the rest of the ingredients. Then throw in some cinnamon and allspice just for the heck of it. Leave on low and go work out. Shower at the gym so you can run the rest of your errands -- post office, bank, recycling, gassing up the jeep, and stocking up at Costco. Then come home. Test the carrots. Leave in for a while longer, until the carrots are fork-smushable. Blend half the soup with the immersion blender and leave the other half all chunky and stuff. Yummy!

Today I am grateful for
1) carrots
2) the gym
3) fleece jackets
4) tissues
5) foot powder!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Helpful Advice from My 12 Year Old Neice

"A boy on the bus asked me to be his girlfriend. I said yes, but the next day told him no. I told him we could sit next to each other on the bus, and text each other, and maybe go together to a dance at school, but that kissing is absolutely out. Yuck."

Today I am grateful for:

1) Foam rollers
2) caffeine
3) weighted balls
4) nutella
5) my bed

Monday, November 15, 2010

50 QUestions to Free Your Mind

It's time for this week's question, courtesy of CityGirl


Oh, Lord, no. I have a master plan to do it all. And though sometimes I wear myself down doing so much I have to sacrifice things like... sleep...I still feel so far behind!

That's what all my lists are for.

I do think it's ironic, though, that originally I wanted to be a writer. In which case, the whole point is to say more than you do, eh?

Well, gotta go. I got stuff to do.

Today I am grateful for:
1) spinach and strawberry salad
2) recovery workouts
3) email
4) my awesome new boots
5) pita chips

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Another Week Of Simplifying

One more week of purging down...
I have to admit, I've been a little laxidaisical about it this week. Could be I'm tired from the time change (whenever we change the clocks, I have like 10 days where I can't fall asleep at nite, even though in the fall, I should fall asleep easier!), could be I'm still pretty overwhelmed. But then again, that's why I started this purging thing in the first place!

1) Under the sink in the bathroom, I had a tube of Biofreeze that had kind of...solidified. No use to anyone now! In the trash

2) Went through the basket with magazines. I pulled out any articles or recipes that looked of interest to me, and put the rest in my gym back to give to the gym.

3) Went through the pile of catalogs I had put aside and did a little Xmas shopping online. Then put the catalogs in the recycling bin.

4) Pulled out a pair of socks to put in the donation bag.

5) Since I am mailing a bunch of Xmas gifts directly to the recipiants (wrapped and everything. Love online gift giving!) I went through the supply of boxes I had put aside for shipping purposes and put a bunch in the recycling pile

6) After the Ruckus, I threw out socks, underwear, and gloves. Not really sure if I should count this, but I am.

7) Pulled out a Tshirt I've had forever but never wear. But it reminded me of my neice. So I gave it to her today when I went over to visit.

And there we are. 7 things lighter this week, hopefully more energy next week.

Today I am grateful for:

1) Keeping in touch with friends who are far away
2) Xmas shopping early
3) I'm sore as heck today, but I'm grateful for the opportunity to feel that way!
4) That I get to visit my neices more easily now
5) And get to see my Dad. (and that my Dad is healthy enough to run in his own 10k while I'm Ruckusing away!)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I survived the Ruckus

ON a sunny, 60 degree day in November, this is what fun looks like:

Yes, that is mud all over my face! The Ruckus was much, much muddier than I anticipated.

I wasn't in the first heat (I was in the 5th! Long wait before running) so I got to check out what the course looked like from the stands (though I did not get to see what happened once everyone ran into the woods). I saw that the first obstacle was crawling under barbed wire. And that lots of people got stuck in the barbed wire, creating a back up for those at the back of the pack. Since I'm really short, I figured I'd blast out of the start, scuttle under the barbed wire, and then let all the fast people pass me later. It worked out great!

Then I entered the woods. And saw that the next two obstacles were water filled trenches with sand piles in between, and a 20 foot long water/mud pit. (which totally worked against shorties like me. The water pit was chest deep on me!) It also meant the entire rest of the 3 mile course was run in sopping wet in shoes that looked like this:

(and yes, those socks started out white)

But, oh! what fun. There were nets to crawl under, walls to jump over, crossed-4x4's called "Normandy walls" to step over, tires to run through, ropes to climb, monkey bars to cross, a horizontal pole and then a suspended rope to traverse, cargo nets to climb. The hardest for me was an 8 foot wall to jump over. I'm only 5 feet tall! Plus, I was wet and muddy and this was around 2.25 miles into the course. (I needed a boost). It ended with a crawl through the mud under a net and a run over a huge dirt mound.

When I finished, my legs looked like this:

I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a challenge and some fun. (Just make sure not to make the big mistake I made: do not wear white, cotton underwear under your running tights. You'll regret it later)

Today I am grateful for:

1) running events

2) the chance to hang with people just as crazy as me

3) yummy soup for a recovery meal

4) warm showers

5) warm sweatshirts

oh...and Q-tips. I'm very, very grateful for Q-tips!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Wisdom

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. -- ee cummings
Today I am grateful for:
1) crisp sunny fall days
2) productive days off
3) an extra hour's sleep in the morning
4) curling up with a book
5) my health

Thursday, November 11, 2010

crockpot goodness

It's that time of the week again! Time to see what's been cooking in Heather's crockpot.

This week, I pulled a recipe from this book which turned out, I may say, absolutely fantastic. (that should come as no surprise, based on the name)


1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves (or more! Double the amount, I say)
1 large carrot, chopped
1 Tbsp dark sesame oil
31/2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas (I used canned, that's the way I roll)
1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
5-6 sun dried tomatoes, chopped (or more. they're good. more means better)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried mustard (or mustard seed. is there a difference?)
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp Braggs (I have no idea what this is. So I left it out. Soup turned out great)
2 cups vegetable stock
2 Tbsp tahini (I left this out, too. Though I do know what it is)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced (or a few shakes dried parsley)

Pop the onions, garlic, and oil in the crock pot on high. Chop the rest of the vegetables. Turn the crock pot down to low. Add everything else. Cook until the chickpeas are mushy enough to mash with a fork when you test it. Take your handy immersion blender and whip it around in the crock pot a few times. Clean up the mess of splattered soup all over the counter tops and walls. Eat with delicious white cheddar melba snacks.


Today I am grateful for:
1) the sun coming out!
2) and the rain stopping
3) the fact that I have access to a washer and drier and don't have to beat my clothes against a rock to get them clean
4) breath freshening gum
5) how much warmer my head is while I sleep when my apartment is in "winter configuration"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Marrying UP

Last week, I was standing in line at the grocery store and my eyes wandered on over to the gossip magazines. Since I don't watch reality TV or TMZ, I figured I had permission to look at the covers of the rag mags while standing in line. A little guilty pleasure in the grocery store, right?

Of course, since I don't watch reality TV or TMZ, I have absolutely no idea who any of the people on the covers of the rag mags are. My internal monologue goes something like this: "Who the heck are Ali and Ryan? Why doesn't that Justin Beaver kid own a hairbrush? There's a show about teenagers who have gotten pregnant? Why? What the hell is a Snooki? Should I be buying a bunch of those to compliment last year's Christmas snuggies?"

But last week was different. I actually saw people I know on the cover of the rag mags. Probably because they are over 35. And hey -- maybe it's not because of my TV watching habits (or lack thereof) that I don't know the rag mag subjects. Maybe its because of my age! If they made a special magazine of just people close to my age, I'd probably know everyone! The Jennifers (Anniston and Lopez), Brad and Angelina, Matthew Mc Conoughey, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck...I know all those people! They are all over 35! As are the people I recognized on an ACTUAL gossip magazine: Courtney Cox and David Arquette.

Once I got over my shock of actually knowing somebody on the cover, I read the headline: "Courtney and David Call It Quits" and immediately felt bad for these two people I've never met. "Oh, I'm so sad. They seemed happy. I was rooting for them. They seemed like such a mis-matched couple, but I thought they'd show everyone how opposites attract and they could stick it out if the just worked on it and blah, blah, blah." And I read: "David Admits to Cheating". And my ridiculous internal monologue came to a screeching halt. For at least 2 to 3 seconds.

And then: "What! HE cheated on HER?? Doesn't he KNOW that he was marrying UP while she was settling?" (It's amazing how justified I felt in passing judgement on these two people who I've never met). But I'm not the only one. 'Cause the next day, J told me that she had pretty much the same conversation with two people at work. One of her co-workers concluded: "Oh, you should never, ever settle. ALWAYS marry up."

Seems to make sense. Until I thought that marrying up really means different things to different people.

For some, marrying up means to somebody who is better looking. (In which case, anyone on my pretend gossip magazine would be the settler) I think of people going out to bars and night clubs, looking for people super cute and attractive so that they can marry up. But that's not what it means to me.

For some, marrying up means to somebody who has more money. (In which case, Bill Gates would be the jackpot, huh?) Somebody who has the means to fund endless shopping sprees, new cars, trips around the world. And while all that sounds pretty fun, that's still not what marrying up means to me.

For some, it's marrying somebody in a higher social circle. Yeah, I know this is America, not India with its caste system, but let's face it; there still are higher and lower social circles. There are those proud to shop at Wal-Mart and those who run in and out as fast as possible, hoping nobody sees them while looking around and saying "Where did all these mutants come from?" Know what I'm saying? Though I guess it really doesn't matter, 'cause that's not what marrying up means to me.

For some marrying up means to somebody who's more successful. In which case, I'll say Matt Groening is the jackpot. Who ever would have though so much would come of Bart Simpson? Or, you know, Oprah. Because she's, you know, Oprah. Or anyone else in the world who doesn't quite measure up to those two but have carved out their own little niche of respect. But, alas, that's not what marrying up means to me.

To me, marrying up would be to somebody smarter than me. And funnier.

But then I really thought about that. It seems I'm not looking for somebody who's attractive or successful or financially stable with any sort of social standing. Just somebody with a brain and a sense of humor. And I got a frightening picture of my future.

Picture Kevin Smith if he had never made any movies. And still lived in his parents basement.

Oh crap. Now I'm depressed. I think I may have to go back to the grocery store, buy a bunch of ice cream and sit on the sofa watching TMZ.

Today I am grateful for:

1) umbrellas
2) sweet potatoes and cranberries
3) moisturizer
4) ipods
5) diet coke...it's my heroin

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Check out this crazy event I'm doing this Saturday!
I'm either really really awesome....or really really dumb.

Or maybe both!

Monday, November 8, 2010

50 questions to free your mind

Week Three:

If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don't like and like so many things we don't do?

Interesting. I think it's a misconception that life is all about doing things we like. That the ultimate purpose in life is gratification for gratification's sake. If that were the case, we would all be hailing Paris Hilton as the wisest person on earth and remembering Mother Theresa as a misguided no-nothing.

In everything we do in life, there are enjoyable and un-enjoyable aspects. We all have great days at work. We all have crappy days on the slopes or the golf course or fishing or have days where we are sand blasted or stung by jelly fish on the beach. Focusing solely on activities we view as things we like won't necessarily bring us happiness.

Since life is so short, maybe we should be focusing on being in the moment and finding both the purpose in and the likable aspects of everything we have to do, no matter what that may be.

Today I am grateful for:

1) changing seasons (though not necessarily the SNOW on the ground this morning!)
2) my all terrain tires that do so well in slippery conditions
3) yummy salads
4) fleece socks
5) online Xmas shopping

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A week's worth of simplifying

I am a firm believer in the idea that your external environment has a direct relationship on your internal frame of mind. Since I have been feeling so out of control, overwhelmed, and overextended lately, I took a look around the Garaje Mahal and decided that it was time for some purging.

It's funny: I actively try to downsize and purge on a regular basis, as well as limiting the amount of new stuff that I bring into the house. Yet I still somehow end up drowning in stuff. What's up with that?

So this week, I went through the kitchen and found
1) a mini blender that I had gotten as a secret Santa gift from work. It's nice for making smoothies and protein shakes, but really? I have a full size blender and a shaker cup that I use more often. Into the bag for the second hand store.

2) Four plastic tumblers that came as part of a set for freezer containers. The containers I use for all the crock pot soups I've been making. The cups? Not so much.

3) A glass goblet I'm ashamed to admit that I swiped from a restaurant. It's been sitting on my counter filled with potpourri. That went into the second hand bag, as well.

4) While paying bills, I noticed I had two calculators. Plus, calculator functions on my computer and my phone. (Plus, the ability to do basic math skills in my head or with a pen and paper. That's a skill I really should use more often lest I lose it completely) So one of the calculators went.

5) Went through the bookshelf and pulled down two books. Another of my goals this year has been to systematically READ all the books on the bookshelf. But let's face it. Some books were just a bad decision and I'll never read them. So I'll pass those along at the second hand store, too)

6) I have a music CD that somebody gave me for meditation or yoga or tai chi or whatever. I've never listened to it. So into the bag that goes.

7) While changing the summer clothes for the winter clothes, I managed to pull out two bags of clothes that I don't need anymore.

I feel lighter and less burdened already. (And after the purging of the As We Change catalog, I found that I am apparently quite fetching to guys 10 or so years younger than me while at the bar seeing my friend's band. Or maybe that was the beer. I'm going with me.)

Today I am grateful for:

1) an extra hour of sleep
2) Advil
3) movies that you watch over and over
4) environmentally friendly cleaners that smell good
5) seeing friends find their passion

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Rainy Saturday

Today was a rainy, dreary November Saturday. Perfect for working out and then plugging away at all the projects I have going on around here. Like putting away the summer clothes and taking out the winter stuff. And working on my presentation for work. Paying bills. Doing the work for my upcoming certification exam.

And tonite? I gotta rally to go into the city to see my friend's band. (I've been needing to rally to do just about anything these days) Should be fun.

Today I am grateful for:

1) productive Saturdays
2) Sleeping in
3) Purging clothes
4) flattering blouses
5) Good books

Friday, November 5, 2010

Feeling Old

I think today was custom designed just to make me feel old.

Today, I went to get a mammogram. I've never had one, but since I've turned 40, I figured I should go get one.

The ironic thing is: I was one of those people who was irate when insurance companies decided that the recommended 1st mammogram at 35 was unnecessary and they wouldn't pay for one until age 40. I was equally irate at that stupid panel this spring who concluded that women shouldn't do monthly breast exams or get mammograms until age 50 because the false positives caused more pain and anxiety than could be offset by the detection of true positives. You know, because the pain and anxiety of being asked to come back for more testing and then being told there is nothing wrong is right on par with dying! It ticks me right off that preventative diagnostic exams are valued so little by our insurance companies.

And then I go and conveniently "forget" to get a mammogram until I'm almost 41.

Of course, part of it was because I was petrified of the procedure. My friend, Isabella, told me in WAY too much detail why getting a mammogram was "the most painful thing she had ever experienced in her life."

For me, not so much. The entire procedure took ---I kid you not -- less than 5 minutes. I was like "That's it?" Then I looked at the rest of my afternoon, which I thought would be taken up by a long arduous procedure followed by curling up in fetal position in pain, and decided to go get a nice sandwich.

Maybe Isabella is just more sensitive than me. And I'll say it wasn't COMFORTABLE, but it was far from painful. I've had overzealous boyfriend inflict more pain on the girls. ( at which point I had to smack them upside the head and say "Hey buddy! Those are attached! Jerk.")

Anyway, I returned home, feeling pretty proud of my maturity for getting that old-lady medical test out of the way like a responsible adult. And found that an interesting catalog had arrived in the mail.

It was called: "As We Change." I repeat...the AS WE CHANGE catalog arrived in the mail today with my name on it! Chock full of lovely items like wrinkle cream, hair touch up cream, bunion pads, and glasses that flipped down one eye piece at a time so that you can apply eye make up whilst still seeing yourself in the mirror. There was a lovely 3 page spread of "resort wear": swim dresses, mu-mu's, wide brimmed hats, and sandals that look like they were custom made for the customers who buy the bunion pads. And my personal favorite item: arm girdles. Yes, indeedy, lycra sleeves to be worn under your clothing to tame the bat wings. Ever hear of a gym, ladies? Some nice tricep extensions twice a week may work nicely on those bat wings.

Exactly WHAT did I order in my life that put me on the list to get this catalog? And what kind of sick joke is the universe playing on me that it arrived on the very day that I got my old person diagnostic test on the ta-ta's?

I spent the evening drinking with my friends.

Today I am grateful for:

1) alcohol
2) good friends you can dissect the AS WE CHANGE catalog with and laugh
3) the lovely leaf colors in the fall
4) ice cream
5) the awesome new book I started today

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sweet potato/ squash bisque

After my trip to the last farmer's market where I bought way too many veggies to eat before they went bad, I busted open the crock pot for lots and lots of soup. I gotta say: I'm impressed at how good the soup turned out!

And I'm resurrecting:

COOKING FOR THE CLUELESS (for the culinary challenged and/or those without a functional oven)

today's recipe was probably pulled out of a magazine or something. I wrote it in my recipe card file but have no idea where it came from.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium diced onion
1 minced shallot
2 diced granny smith apples
3 diced celery stalks
1 pound diced butternut squash
1 pound diced sweet potatoes
4 cups veggie stock
8 ounces silken tofu
1 dash cumin
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
salt and pepper to taste

Put the olive oil, onion, and shallots in the crock pot on high. While that is getting all nice and warm and smelly, dice the rest of the ingredients. Pop the rest of the veggies in one by one. Then the spices. Look in the fridge and decide to throw in some red peppers and a couple cloves of garlic as well. Add the veggie stock. Turn to low. Then go to bed and let it cook all night.
Wake up around 2 am inundated with the smell of garlic and onions and dreaming that you are trapped in an industrial kitchen with a serial killer after you like in a horror movie. Run around, opening windows and turn on the ceiling fan. Be eternally grateful that the weather warmed up so you can sleep with the windows open without freezing your tuckas off.
Get up in the morning, add the silken tofu. Let that cook for about 20 minutes. Scoop a couple ladles out into storage containers because it looks so good as is.
Then blend the rest with an immersion blender and put in storage containers.

It is super-duper yummy.

Today I am grateful for:

1) spinach pie
2) the gym
3) tea
4) hanging out with my buds
5) my kitty cat

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

50 questions to free your mind

This week's Question to Free Your Mind, borrowed from CityGirl is:

2) Which is worse: failing or not trying?

Ok, that's pretty much a no-brainer. Not trying is way worse! There is nothing worse than not trying! Failing doesn't even really exist, when you think about it. Because even if things didn't work out the way you wanted them to, you always end up learning something from the experience. Some of the best character building experiences of my life came from situations that ended the exact opposite of how I hoped. And though I wished those things had never happened while I was in the thick of it, later I appreciated how I grew and changed as a person because of it.

On the contrary: NOT trying? NOT TRYING? How is that even an option? Has anyone ever gotten to the end of their life and said "I'm so glad I spent all that time sitting on the sofa watching television instead of out in the real world." Well, maybe there are people who would say that. I'm happy I'm not one of them!

Today I'm grateful for:
1) cancellations on my schedule
2) salad
3) yoga
4) my new book
5) Lush's Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter (so effective and so fun to say)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

thinking of the past

Yesterday, I had to go to a wake. It was very unexpected and very sad. It was one of those things that really made me think about life and death and what it all means.

When I was little, I had this best friend. We were inseperable. We were both these tiny, skinny, really athletic little girls. We did gymnastics and played soccer and swam in her pool. We used to do crazy flips off the diving board and scare the be-jeezus out of our mothers. We climbed trees and built gigantic snow-jumps at the bottom of the sledding hill so that we could flyhigher than anyone else. (we were little and tiny so our sled didn't weigh much) We used to pretend that we were sisters. We pretty much were. Every weekend we slept over one another's houses. Every day we sat together on the bus.

Somewhere in junior high school, we started to grow apart. She was always a little braver than me. And wanted to grow up faster than I did. In junior high, that combination of bravery and a desire to grow up fast can put you into situations that I was afraid of. And we drifted.

It's not like we had a big falling out. It's not like we were ever angry with one another. It's not like there was a lot of drama. We just drifted apart. And I haven't seen her in I don't know how many years.

Until last night, at her mom's wake.

And it was so sad to know that the person who was like a second mom to me is gone. Sadder still that I hadn't seen her in so long. It's bewildering to think that a person who was one of the most important people in your world slips from your life and you don't have any contact until... a wake.

And even still....we talked and cried together and hugged and reminisced a bit. But I'm not even sure if we will be in contact from here on out except as facebook friends or something.

It has me thinking a lot. About things that may have no answers.

Today I am grateful for:

1) the right to vote
2) an end to negative campaign ads
3) old friends
4) kind words
5) second chances

Monday, November 1, 2010

November Goals

So I have to say: October kicked my ass. It really did. I had a great vaca with my buds and then spent the rest of the month paying for a week off. Seriously.

But now I'm ready to lose the October blues and jump head first into November for what I hope is a fantastical month!!

November Goals:

1) I've been ramping up the off-season training: Lose 5# in November.

2) Get 2011 Race Schedule set.

3) Get apartment into winter configuration

4) Finish work presentation

5) Do certification exam

6) Get Xmas shopping 1/2 done.

7) Finish 4 books

8) Post every day this month

9) Get started on photo book from trip

10) Get rid of 30 things this month!!

And since November is Thanksgiving month:

Today I am grateful for:

1) early morning workouts
2) a good night's sleep
3) football
4) fleece socks
5) keeping on track at work