Friday, January 29, 2010

weekend wrap up

Project 4: I'm starting to remember why I have so many unfinished projects lying around. I am approximately 3/4 thru this week's project; importing ALL my CD's to the computer and the ipod. The great thing about this is that it allows you to take all the filler songs out and you are left with only the songs you like in your music library. The bad thing is that going through and taking out all those filler songs is very time consuming. I'm going to keep working on this project through next week and just make sure that next week's project is a quick one.

Book 4: This week, I read "The Last Season" by Eric Blehm. So far, it is the best book this year, by far. I'll comment more on it during the week's book review. But if you are looking for a well written, engaging read, pick it up!

And the rest: Doing well with the no plates, no bags thing. It's still not automatic, though, as I often get down to the cafeteria and then have to go back to my desk to get my little plate, or have to run back to the car to get my bags. Not so great this week with the eating plan, water, or cutting down on diet coke, though. Got to work on this slip up next week.

And I'm going away for a girl's weekend this weekend! Yay!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

clueless crockpot cooking

I had such great success with my recipe two weeks ago from How It All Vegan that I decided to make another crock pot of soup from its pages.


1 medium onion, chopped
1 T olive oil
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced
2 cups sweet potatoes peeled and diced
3 medium apples, cored and diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Break out the crock pot and plug it in. Pour in the oil and onions and turn to high. Sit down and start reading a book. Ignore the crock pot until the entire apartment reeks of onions. Then go turn it down to low. Add the stock, squash, potatoes, apples, and spices. Simmer until its all soft and squishy and mixed together and smells delicious. In the cookbook, it recommends pureeing 3 ladles of soup in a blender and then pouring back in the pot. I didn't, though. I just mixed it all together and the veggies all kind of fell apart and became squishy yummy on their own.

Two weeks ago, I made a suggestion to die hard meat eaters if they wanted to add some to the soup. Not this week. Adding anything to this soup would be a sacrilege! It's perfect the way it is!

Go make some.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

this week's book

This week, I finished "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle. I hadn't read this book in the past simply because there was so much hype about it after Oprah picked it for her book club. But it was recommended to me by somebody whom I consider to be extremely intelligent and pragmatic with a healthy dose of skepticism thrown in. So I put my reservations aside and got the book from the library.

I am happy to say that this book was nothing like I had feared. I was under the impression that it was going to be one of those "think positively and the universe will realign itself to bring you everything you desire" books. I mean, I'm all about being positive and writing goals, but the idea that positive thinking and goal writing will guarantee success in whatever you do is just too simplistic.

I've worked in health care for 18 years...I can attest that sometimes the most wonderful, goal oriented, positive thinking individuals get the shit end of the stick while complete bad-asses who think and do really bad things recover completely. Randy Pausch, the author of "The Last Lecture"; well, he died in the end. As did Christopher Reeves and his wife. Gandhi was murdered. Yet meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh and Joe Francis are millionaires The bottom line is, shit happens. And a lot of times, there appears to be no rhyme nor reason.

This book didn't propose that all you need to do is think positively for everything to work out perfectly. On the contrary; it acknowledged that sometimes life doesn't work out the way we want it to. But we still need to live life, not mourn our lost dreams or drive ourselves crazy trying to figure out what we did wrong. Just live life with what we have in front of us.

This book wanders in the same general vicinity of Deepak Chopra, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and Harold Kushner -- everyday spirituality. Sometimes it does get a little psychology-heavy (breaking free of the ego and whatnot) but overall, I found it to be pretty down to earth and relatable.

The two greatest things I took away are (1) letting go of judgement and (2) focusing on the NOW. Which is a tough thing for a compulsive list maker, like myself. But there is a truth to the idea that the best you can do to reach your goals is not to have your mind always halfway focused on what you're eventually going to do, but fully focused on what you're doing now. (and doing it to the best of your ability)

Overall, I'd call it a good read. I got some good stuff out of it.

And it didn't piss me off. Which is always a good thing.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

a good day

Today was a fantastic day. I had my longest training run today and the weather cooperated nicely. What a difference 14 degrees can make!

2 weeks ago, it was 22 degrees and I wanted to kill myself after my 18 miler. (or at least soak my head, neck, and shoulders in a giant vat of warm water and drink 10 cups of tea) Today was 36 degrees. Sunny. Just a touch of wind along the water. And I was loving life.

Three layers, gloves, a baseball hat, my ipod, and the entire afternoon to watch the sun reflecting off the water. Lots of people out walking dogs. Lots of young couples pushing bundled up strollers. And lots of couples walking hand in hand. Are people starting to pair off frantically, with Feb 14 a mere 3 weeks away?

Anyway, when I finished today's 20 miler (3 hours 23 minutes) I felt pretty good. Tired, of course. A bit stiff and sore, sure. A mystery pain right at L5/S1 on the right side, ok. But I didn't want to shoot myself in the head. (which is a good thing)

And...NO CHAFING! The complete absence of chafing kind of took some of the sting out of the $38.00 price tag for the new sports bra. (not to mention the post workout shower)

And tonight? I'm flopping on the sofa and watching movies.

Friday, January 22, 2010

weekend wrap up

Project 3: With the cutting down on garbage and increasing recycling, the recycling pile was gitting out of control in here. So I got a three drawer plastic container thingie and I've organized the recycling into paper, glass, and plastic. Its a lot neater, though I may have to spice it up and decorate it in the future.

Book 3: I just finished "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle. I was quite opposed to this book for a while for reasons I don't even know. But it was recommeded to me by somebody so I finally read it and now wonder why I was so opposed to it in the first place.

This week is my heaviset week milage-wise; I start tapering next week. Runs have been uneventful. I did change one of my short runs to a bike ride, as my gastrocs were a littel sore. Got my 20 mile run tomorrow and the weather looks like it's going to cooperate.

Still good with the recycling, the green lunch thing and the water. Diet coke, you are my nemesis!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I'm so clueless, I don't even need to cook

I got this week's recipe at the winter farmer's market a while ago. I looked in the fridge and noticed some cranberries that really needed to be used before they became unusable. What's more, I didn't need to use a crock pot OR a toaster oven! Just a blender.


2 cups cranberries
1 cup orange segments

Put in a blender or food processor and mix on the "chop" setting.

Mix in 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup.

That's it! And let me tell you..I have been eating this all week. It's YUMMY!
I ate it at work as an afternoon snack. I spread it on a wrap with turkey and avocado. I mixed it with plain yogurt. I spread it on graham crackers.

I think I'm going to get some more cranberries and make up another batch!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

putting things in perspective

After my little mini rant yesterday, something rather serendipitous happened.

I have a book of inspirational/ spiritual quotes that I keep in my bedside table. I read the quotes before I go to bed not every night, but frequently. Yesterday, after writing about being disillusioned about encountering so many angry people, I opened the book to find this:

"But I have peeled away your anger
down to its core of love
and look,
I am
a dark temple where your true spirit rises
beautiful and tough as a chestnut...."

It then goes on to describe how anger is really just a habitual or conditioned response. And trying to figure out the CAUSE of the anger by intellectualizing, but this won't really get rid of anger.
Instead, just be aware that you have become angry and don't judge. THAT's how we get rid of the anger.

schwierd, eh?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

another rant from a crotchety old chick

Ah, back to work after a long, productive weekend. Sometimes you just need those weekends to clean and organize, do laundry, make returns, and more or less get on top of the to-do list. Thankfully, I was also able to take advantage of the warmer weather and hang out with friends, as well.

However, one thing DID sort of bother me this weekend. Everywhere I went, it seems like I encountered angry people! Where is all this anger coming from? And where do folks get the idea that they should be incensed about anything and everything?

It all started Friday when I was talking to a friend of mine. She was extremely upset. Bordering on furious. "What are you so upset about?" I asked. "Talk to me."

It seems that one of her friends had gone to lunch with another, mutual friend. "It's too bad you couldn't meet us for lunch last Saturday" the mutual friend told her later, on the phone.

"What are you talking about?" she asked.

"Oh, friend said she asked you but you said you couldn't come to lunch with us."

"Friend never asked me." she said, "I wonder why she would lie like that?"

Later, when she asked friend about it, friend replied that earlier, she had asked what she was doing on Saturday, and she said that she was working Saturday. "So I knew that you couldn't go to lunch. Otherwise, I would have asked you."

Seems simple enough to me. But, apparently, it wasn't. My friend spent the better part of an hour fuming on the phone with me, debating whether she should just terminate the friendship.

"Sleep on it." I finally said. "It seems like a little misunderstanding. Certainly not something to end a friendship over."

On Saturday, I had dinner with a couple local friends and their husbands. Their husbands had taken advantage of the nice weather to go dirt bike riding in the afternoon. We were all sitting down to some pizza when the topic of the earthquake in Haiti came up.

"Well, I think it's ridiculous that we have to send money to those people when we are all struggling so much here" one of the husbands said and then started to rant.

"Wait a minute" his wife retorted. "You just spent money on gas to go on a completely unnecessary (fun, but unnecessary) ride on a motorcycle. Now, we are eating food that was prepared by somebody else and delivered -- piping hot -- to our door so we don't have to lift a finger. And later, we are all going to sit down on the sofa and watch a movie that also was delivered right to our door from netflix. So tell me exactly how we are struggling like the people in Haiti?"

I, of course, tend to agree with that point of view. But this erupted in a lively, almost heated debate about whether or not we are somehow unfortunate living the way we do.

Finally, on Sunday, I mentioned in an off hand way "Oh, I gotta set my alarm early tomorrow so I can vote before work"

Another friend proceeded to tell me that I was stupid to vote and did I think I could really make any kind of difference and how all elections are fixed anyway and how just stupid and disillusioned I was to vote.

"Ok" I said. "I'm gonna go vote before work anyway."

It just made me wonder: are we SO fortunate here that we actually have to invent things to complain about? Have we become SO accustomed to getting everything we want that if something doesn't go exactly the way we want it, we get angry enough to end a friendship? Or we feel inconvenienced enough to compare ourselves to people who have just lived through a natural disaster? Do we have SO much that we have to belittle the our own privileges to somehow feel victimized?

I admit that sometimes I do go down the melodramatic road in my own head, as well. But after last weekend, I'm starting to think about it a little more. I'm trying to be a little more grateful and a little less angry. Maybe we all need to be.

Friday, January 15, 2010

weekend wrap up

Project Two: I got a little index card book and pulled transferred all the recipes on scraps of paper and magazine pages into the book. Put all the papers into the recycling pile.

Book Two: I read The Running Foot Doctor by Stephen Subotnick. It was in the reference list for a class I want to take but don't have time for this year.

Bests and Worsts: Workouts-- Yoga was spectacular this week and I'm feeling really flexible and good. My 18 mile long run was miserable this week! It was okay at first, but it was 20 degrees or so and I was alternately too hot and then freezing. I had a sort of bronco spasm half way through the run because the air was so cold. And when I was done, my entire head felt like it was going to crack open and fall off. It certainly better warm up a little before Feb or I might just go to Myrtle Beach and drink instead.

And in other news: The whole green thing is going swimmingly! No plates at work, no bags at the grocery store. Made some yummy soup this week so that cut down on microwave dinner packaging. The diet coke thing, however, wasn't so great this week. The thing I've noticed is that when things get really chaotic or stressful at work and I feel like I have no control over my day, I go right for the diet coke. And this week, I had people who had cancelled appointments for 3 weeks suddenly show up, angry that they weren't any better. I had people showing up 25 minutes late for 30 minute appointments and then other patients screaming that I was 10 minutes late, trying to accommodate the latecomers. And I had people show up WITHOUT appointments demanding to be seen. Chug, chug, chug the diet coke.

I think I need to sit down and come up with some kind of action plan for dealing with folks like this and also for this to be dealt with at the front desk, rather than just shuttling them on back to me, all angry and frustrated. So that's my goal for this (happily long) weekend.

That, as make another crock pot of yummy soup!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cooking for the Clueless

When you are as culinarily challenged as me, any new recipe has to fulfill three important requirements:
1) It has to be so easy, even an idiot can make it
2) It has to be healthy
3) You have to be able to make it in a crock pot or toaster oven

This week, I pulled out a recipe I've been eyeing for a while because check, check, and check.

Adapted from How It All Vegan, Ginger Peanut Soup

1 1/2 cups broccoli, chopped
1 1/2 cups cauliflower, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tsp fresh ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tsp olive oil
3 cups vegetable stock or water
1 28 can diced tomatoes
5 Tsp natural peanut butter

Pour olive oil in crock pot. Add broccoli, cauliflower, onions, ginger, garlic, cayenne, salt and pepper. Cover and set crock pot on high. Then go get involved in some other project. Completely forget about the soup until your entire apartment is overpowered by the smell of onions and garlic. Then look up from your piles of stuff with a deer in the headlights look upon your face.

Go back to the crockpot. Turn it to low. Add stock, tomatoes, and nut butter. Open a window and light a scented candle. Close the window 5 minutes later because its 22 degrees outside and you are about to freeze your sweet tuckas off. Let the entire thing simmer for a few hours, until the vegetables are soft.

I you are one of those people who cannot stand even the word "vegan" and need meat with every meal, the flavor of this soup would lend itself well to sausage. You may want to add that.

Of course, I thought it was delicious the way it was. Except that it was freezing cold this week and I felt like the soup needed to be a bit heartier. So I added some brown rice and it was quite tasty.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Return of Tuesday's Bad Dates

Ok, today isn't Tuesday. And I'm not actually writing about a date. But I was really really tired and brain dead yesterday. And in my mind, (and blog) I'm totally categorizing this in the Tuesday's Bad Date file. 'Cause that's the way I roll!

On Jan 3rd, I boarded a plane for a 6 hour cross country journey home. Looking like I always do on a mid-winter cross country plane ride: hair in a ponytail through the back of a Red Sox cap, wearing one of those velour track suits that were popular with soccer moms about 7 years ago that I snatched up on sale after they went out of style and now referred to as my "flying attire", glasses (since I'm not wearing contacts in that dry environment), and every exposed inch of skin slathered in lotion. Makes me look rather shiny. I always pray its not windy and dusty on the way to the airport or it'll stick to me and I'll spend the entire plane ride looking like Pig Pen. In other words, I'm even HOTTER and SEXIER than my usual makeup-less, jeans and chuck-taylors self!

So I got all settled in my seat and busted out my book and my ipod. And I noticed that the guy in the row in front of me kept looking back across the aisle at me. Yeah, yeah. I know I look like somebody who lives in a house with TV dinner trays piled to the ceiling and 57 cats. I get it. You can stop staring at me.

Then I realized that he was looking at me a lot more than the usual "Wow, what a sad creature that is" glance or two. Hmm. Maybe I knew him.

The next time he looked back, I looked -- really looked -- at him. Dark hair, dark eyes, dark skin. Looked like he could be Indian. Or Lebanese. Come to think of it, he looked Iranian. Kind of cute, too. Early to mid 30's. Very computer nerd or scientist looking; black jeans, black T-shirt, Banana Republic-y suede jacket, looks like he hits the gym 3-4 times a week with a routine ripped out of Men's Fitness magazine.

You know, until this plane trip, I never realized how interchangeable Boston and the Silicon Valley are! You could take the entire clientele from Red Bones in Somerville and just exchange them for the clientele from Nola's in Palo Alto. Nobody would even notice. Unfortunately, I soon figured out that I did not know this plane guy from either of those establishments. He was, in fact, a plane stranger.

Alright, if he doesn't know me, why the heck does he keep looking back at me? What is his problem? Oh. Hey. Maybe he thinks I'm cute. And, you know, from the looks of his geeky appearance, he may think that I'm on the cutting edge of fashion in my plane attire!

The next time he looked back and made eye contact, I smiled a little. No response. That's ok, though. Everyone knows that nerds and geeks tend to be a bit socially awkward and sometimes take a few reps. Maybe this plane ride would be a turning point in my life. Maybe years from now we'd be telling stories about how we met on a plane when he kept turning back to look at me and I finally smiled at him. Except that after I smiled a few more times, I still got no response. In fact, he started kind of looking not at me, but at my carry-on under the seat. At me, then my ipod, then my carry-on. And now at me again. Ok, what is going on here?

Maybe he's planning to kill me! Maybe he's been looking back to see if he can find out information about me to follow me home and attack me. Or maybe he won't even wait that long! Maybe he's going to take that electronic device in his hand and blow us all up right now. Oh, wait. He's just playing a video game. My bad.

What the hell is wrong with me? Some guy looks at me a few times and I go from "He thinks I'm a freak" to "He wants to date me" to "He wants to kill me" in a matter of 45 minutes? Is this why I'm still single? Seriously, I think I'm going to have to sit down and do some hard-core self reflection and...wait. Is he playing some kind of single player Everquest game on his cell phone?

Never mind. Even if he was interested, it wouldn't have worked anyway. I'm going back to my book.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My old training partner paid me a visit today, and I have to say, I am NOT happy about it!

Damn Mr. Chafing! He does not help or motivate at all.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

This week's book

Book of the Week: The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood

One of my patients gave me this book before I went away. Said it was a good book for a plane. And so it was; this book is perfect fare for a plane ride, train ride, afternoon on the beach, or for frazzled mothers who miss reading but those brains are too fried to tackle anything too difficult during nap time. It's mildly entertaining, entirely predictable, and doesn't take much brain power. I fell asleep on the plane reading it and was able to pick right up where I left off without back tracking to figure out where I was in the plot. I cared just enough about the characters to continue reading but not so much that if I lost the book half way through I would've gone half mad because I wanted to know what happened to them.

The story revolves around Charlie St. Cloud, an entirely likable leading man-type guy in his early 20s. He had a near death experience in his teens which left him with the ability to see people after they had died but before they had transitioned over to the other side. Which complicated things with his love interest. Kind of like "The Sixth Sense" as a romantic comedy. But not a romantic comedy with Isla Fisher or Vince Vaughn. It wasn't that funny. Maybe a Jennifer Anniston and Ryan Reynolds kind of romantic comedy. Or Scarlett Johansson. She's not actually all that funny, but she looks good and she's a bit intimidating and almost snooty. She'd be perfect for the love interest in this book.

Anyway, without getting into all the subtleties of the plot -- it ends exactly the way you'd think it would. Which is why you'd read a book like this to begin with. It's kind of reassuring in a totally unrealistic way. Nicholas Sparks could have written it. Although if Nicholas Sparks had written it, it would have already been made into a movie by now. Maybe starring Rachel Mc Adams.

Overall, it was a fairly pleasant way to spend the time at 30,000 feet. I'd recommend it for that purpose.

Though in general, I 'm not a big fan of those Nicholas Sparks-y kind of books. My life never works out that way. It's always a bit more messy and non-sensical. For instance, I've gone into the grocery store and knocked over a display. This did not result in the meeting of a grocery clerk-who-is-actually-a-divorced-but-wildly-successful-architect-but-due-to-the-stress-of-the-divorce --no! TRAGIC DEATH of his wife! -- had-to-return-to-his-hometown-and-work-in-a-grocery-store. Usually they just page a sullen teenager for cleanup on aisle 5.

But every now and then, it's ok to indulge in a fairy tale for grown ups. You come away with exactly what you had hoped for.

Friday, January 8, 2010

weekend wrap up

Weekend Wrap Up:

Do you ever watch "The best week ever" on VH1? Where a bunch of comedians rehash what happened in pop culture over the past week and make jokes? I love that show. I don't watch it much, because I don't really know what time it's on. I don't really know what channel VH1 is on my cable, but every now and then if I have some time and I'm channel surfing, I'll catch it.

I was thinking that maybe I could hire myself some comedians to rehash what happened in Heather's life over the past week and make jokes. But then again, how many jokes can there be about: "went to work, worked out, showered, ate, went to bed. repeat."

SO instead, I decided I would just do a straightforward rehashing of progress on the goals for 2010.

2010 Week One, 51 weeks left ;

Project One: I put up the curtain rod and hung up the curtain over my kitchen window. There's been a draft coming in and the curtain and rod have been sitting there for I don't know how long, waiting to be put up. CHECK!

Book One: The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood (more on that later)

Bests: Best quote I saw this week: on bottle of Poland Spring --"Water -- the ultimate hydrator" I can't argue with that logic!

Best news of the week: I got the advanced position I applied for at work. Yay me!

And in other news...totally on track with water, cutting down diet coke, and recycling goals. Things got super hectic before Xmas and I found myself mindlessly just chugging down diet coke whenever I was thirsty. Now I've broken out my water bottles and I'm drinking nice, cold, clean water when I'm thirsty. I'm still doing a diet coke here and there...the first week back at work after a vacation is nearly impossible without a caffeine boost every now and then...but I have cut down significantly. Next week, cutting down even more!

I've been using my cute little plastic plate and bowl for lunch every day instead of getting a disposable plate. In addition from earning the nickname "Little Miss Green" at work, I've gotten a few others talking about bringing in their own plates, too.

I've been more conscious of what goes in the trash and what goes in recycling; can the plastic film from the top of a microwave dinner be recycled? Can my energy bar wrapper? And then...I gotta cook a crock pot of soup and make some homemade granola ...they don't have any wrappers!

So anyway...there ya have it! How are the rest of y'all doing?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

January Goals

December was...busy. Very, very busy. Work was so overwhelmingly busy, I worked 46 hours the week of Xmas! Plus, one entire weekend was taken up with a class and another weekend day spent waiting to get new tires on the jeep. In other words, December goals had to take a backseat. But as I look back, I did surprisingly -- ok.

December Goals:

1) Holiday Booty Buster: success. Did well with the marathon training and other exercising. Even on vacation.

2) Get details of Feb and Mar trips finalized. Half credit. Feb done, still working on Mar.

3) Finish online class and turn in completed form. FAIL!

4) Finish and submit article to health times. FAIL!

5) Send out Xmas card and letter. Done and done.

6) 6-8 glasses of water a day. FAIL! Way too much diet coke in my life.

7) Four books from the bookshelf. Done

8) Try one more new recipe. Done.

9) Have a great Xmas. check

10) and an even better birthday. double check! I'm old and wise now!

ANd now, for January:

1) Continue marathon training and begin triathlon training.

2) Finalize March trip details and register for June Half Ironman

3) Finish online class

4) Article to Health Times

5) 6-8 glasses of water a day

6) Dramatically reduce Diet Coke consumption

7) Lose 2 pounds

8) Finish mock up for brochure for clinic at work

9) Get a new digital camera

10) Get my hair cut

Monday, January 4, 2010

From decluttering to projects

Though I was absent from Bloggie Land for the past week, I was continuing with the decluttering goal. And since I like to have everything all neat and tidy and tied up with a little red bow, here's the LAST of the decluttering posts from 2009:

December 22 thru December 31:

1 pair of socks and a sweatshirt to the clothing donation bag
2 books that were given to me that I just am not going to read to a bag to give to my sister in law (she is prego once again and will be on bedrest as she was with her previous 2 pregnancies. She needs lots of books to get her through)
One more book I had that I wanted to give to Slacker Boy. I read it on the plane and passed it on
Then, I read one more book and left it in the airport with a note that said "Free Book" nice surprise for a fellow traveler.
I planned the toiletries for the trip so that there was very little left of a tinted moiturizer with sunscreen and body lotion. Just tossed the rest rather than carry back on the plane
Cleaned up the miscellaneous papers on the desk and fridge and put the un-needed in the recycling pile
Lastly, the zipper on my carry on backpack broke on the trip. I guess I got a fair amount of use, since I've been using this thing since high school! It has become the next clothing donation bag.

And there we are: 365 things in 365 days.

As I come to an end, I've found that I can't stop. I've gotten rid of two things in the 2 days I've been home! So, it's become a habit and part of a lifestyle, just as I had hoped.

Frequently during 2009, I came across something that was less of a declutter and more of a project. Sometimes, I got around to the projects, but more often than not, they ended up in the project box, waiting for me to get around to it.

2010 is when I get around to it!

My simplifying goal for 2010 is to address all those projects that were unearthed in the decluttering. I'm aiming to complete 52 projects in 52 weeks.

Also, since I still feel like I'm drowning in books, I'm aiming to read 52 books in 52 weeks. (I reserve the right to keep the book when I'm done, though)

And also, just a a way to try to live with less impact, I'm aiming to aquire NO plastic bags from shopping (I still sometimes leave my reusable bags in the car, but this year I'll go back and get them before I reach check out) and use NO disposable plates at work (I bought a plate and bowl that I keep in my desk at work, but also sometimes forget to bring them to the cafeteria. 2010, I gotta turn around and go get them)

Lastly, in trying to recycle even more, I'm aiming to have no more than one bag of garbage per month. I'm sure I can do it.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year

Hello bloggie peeps! I missed y'all this past week, but I was having lots of fun. I'm freshly back from a whirlwind trip to San Francisco, Napa, and Yosemite with my most favorite people in the world.

I may have been one of the luckiest people in the world this past new year's eve, as I got to see Yosemite by the light of the blue moon. It was almost as bright as day and the moonlight reflecting off of the snow on top of the rock faces was breathtaking. You know when something is so beautiful that you get a hollow feeling in your chest and you feel like laughing and crying at the same time? That's what Yosemite on a full moon night is like. I only wish I had the foresight to plan a moonlight hike around midnight. That would have been something!

We also went on a hot air balloon ride over Napa Valley. J, in her infinite wisdom and generosity, surprised us all with a coupon for the balloon ride. It was a 40th birthday surprise for me, K, and Slacker boy, down from Washington. I have done a lot of things in my life -- drove cross country solo 4 times, dove with the mantarays in Kona, hiked Canyonlands, climbed Mt. Shasta, crawled through miles of caves in Pennsylvania -- the balloon ride may just have been the coolest thing I've ever done. It was spectacular!

So I enter 2010 full of optomism and excitement. I think it's going to be a good year. There are so many fun things to do. I can't wait to try them all!