Tuesday, November 30, 2010
For me, it is not truly Christmastime until after Thanksgiving. Lights hung up and lit, Christmas items in the stores, and misc other thing pre-turkey day result in TOO EARLY! I don't care if it is the week of Thanksgiving. It's too early to me.
Now the day after Thanksgiving equals CUE THE SILVER BELLS! FIND THE SINGING ANGELS AND MAKE SURE THEY ARE READY FOR THE HARK! SANTA BE READY TO ROCK AND ROLL! RUDOPLH ARE YOUR RUN RUN-ING SHOES READY? It is like a switch goes off and all the lights are oooh inducing as that holiday warm and fuzziness hits me.
True there will be times of Christmas related arg-ing like burnt cookies and paper cuts from wrapping but it's hard to focus just on the negative. I try to be a positive person as much as possible. It is not realistic to say that I am always positive but I can't let the bad moments and the emotional vampires win out.
I have Christmas music on right now and I'm sitting here with my foot tapping. I have even added New Kids on the Block (holiday) to my station after Erin's mention of their themed release. I actually still have my cassette tape of that. I also have The Happy Hamsters Christmas tape. It is basically a Chipmunks rip off that my Great-Aunt found years ago. It has the same elements but the names are different and the voices are obviously not the same. It's still cute.
I think I'm going to have to drag out the old radio with the tape player now.
Monday, November 29, 2010
So sans my umbrella and sans a replacement in my bag, of course it rains today. Luckily it was on the way home and so if I got wet it wasn't a huge deal. I get off the bus and it's coming down a little but just enough to be annoying so I decided to run home - or rather run/jog/slow to a walk to readjust messenger bag/RUN. That's when Mother Nature decided to mock me.
I am completely serious.
I would speed up and it would start coming down harder. I'd slow back to a walk and the drops would magically shrink. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me so I kept focused on the sidewalk. Yup. It was true. Half dollar sized drops that I was anticipating becoming hail made me finally give up. I didn't want hail.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
It was a pretty basic combo of ground beef, beans - black, chili and kidney, canned tomatoes, frozen sweet corn, and a mix of spices including cumin, chili powder, onion salt, red/black pepper shot, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes and paprika. It ended up a nice heat that didn't hit right away rather than other times when it is super spicy the moment you taste it.
Today was a total lazy day especially after a busy long weekend. I managed to catch up on some recorded TV and knit. Frankie wasn't happy that he couldn't sit on my lap/chest like he does all the time. Luckily I stopped him before he plopped down on my circulars. True, they would have probably scared him more than actually hurt him since these knitting needles aren't very sharp but I still would have felt bad.
The Family Stone is on right now and even though I own the movie and have seen it numerous times, I am watching it again. My knitting project is garter stitch based so it will result in that zone out to both mode.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
We ran out of pumpkin pie this morning. I should say I did rather than we since there is still a slice of my grandmother's pumpkin pie in the fridge. It is for Hubs and I won't eat it since I know he loves pumpkin pie. I actually considered making a pumpkin pie this morning until I realized we didn't have any condensed milk. I normally don't keep a can in the pantry but we had discussed it before while thinking holiday related food shopping. Safe to say it will be on the next shopping list!
Since the baking fairy was buzzing around my head (like a G6 - yes I know I'm corny but that song has been stuck in my head all day!), something was going to be made. I remembered seeing a bread recipe Jenna has posted awhile back that included walnuts and cranberries. It technically is Cranberry Walnut Orange Bread. I only had walnuts and so modified it a bit. A tiny jar of maraschino cherries and a bit of the juice replaced the cranberries and I omitted the orange all together. It turned out extremely tasty even with it being a bit burnt on the edges. A mix of my wacky oven and the added sugar from the cherries I think were the main reasons since I did watch the time. I will definitely be making this recipe again be it the modified version with a bit more baking time watching or the original if I can remember to pick up fresh cranberries. Hopefully it will be a bit more photogenic too since right now it sort of looks like a less dense fruitcake.
The remainder of the loaf will not be the base of a doorstop joke though. I had to put it away in the microwave before I ate the entire thing. The microwave keeps ity bity kitty teeth from attacking baked goods. They will gnaw through plastic wrap AND tinfoil if they are that determined. Frankie was head butting me earlier after getting a few crumbs. This bread is now on the "Annoying Cat Wants to Eat..." list.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Hubs and I decided to start a new tradition last night. Perhaps it won't be a new tradition but early morning shopping on Black Friday wasn't something we normally do. If someone wants to stand in line outside of a not yet store in the cold, more power to them. I like my warm bed. Now getting breakfast in bed pre-going to the stores that have already been open for a short time super early works perfectly to get me moving.
After my brain registered that it was in fact 3-something am, we were out of the house by a little after four and done by 7am. Kohls was packed but the lines were moving ok. Best Buy was a mad house and we stood in line for 40 minutes. On the bright side I now know which microwave, dishwasher, and oven/range I want if money was no option from inching our way through that line and the major appliance section.
The best part is we are mostly done with our holiday gifts and saved a good amount of money. Being able to stay within budget and get things for a good number of people is great. Now I have to wrap and keep the cats from lounging on the paper while I do so. Seriously they are little purring homing devices for anything paper. (As Frankie now scampers through the living room merrow singing.)
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
There is no video and there most likely will be no video. It was a cross between Cookie Monster and that moment when someone wants you to answer a question the moment after you popped a piece of taffy into your mouth. Hilarious and crumbly messy. Am I glad I tried? Sure. Why not. It was worth the laugh. Will I seriously try this again? Nope. I'll just stick to eating them.
Speaking of food challenges in the more large scale sense, I was happy to see Ree Drummond aka The Pioneer Woman challenging Bobby Flay. I've watched Throwdown with Bobby Flay before but this time was much more OOOH! inducing since this was a big deal to me. "BLOGGER! I read! TV!" is probably what Hubs heard when I had him set the recording for me. I loved watching the episode as well as seeing her get more recognition. C'mon she IS a big deal. If you don't agree with me, go read her stuff, look at her pictures, and then get back to me.
Watching the show and the traditional aspect of the meals hit home especially with the lasagna disaster that recently happened. Maybe disaster isn't the best word but when the majority of it isn't eaten because it really isn't that edible, it's not that great. Crunchy noodles are supposed to be in Chinese recipes not Italian ones. Hubs didn't realize that my plan was spinach with roasted red pepper. He was thinking a traditional meat based one. I like both and think both are very possible but it was interesting to see his thoughts. I ended up realizing that I was going about four steps beyond the norm with some things. Four steps might not be that far but when you are expecting classic stuff and get something wacky, it's a big jump.
I don't plan to stop being creative but I do want to step back and slightly go back to the basics. I found myself trying more and more and not getting the basic stuff down. I won't let the lasagna beat me but it won't just be noodles, meat, sauce and cheese either.
That would be boring.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Early Thanksgiving went really well. We had the early edition since my BiL and SiL were in town. (They are stationed overseas.) Turkey, ham, sweet potatoes with marshmallows and some sort of citrus perhaps orange juice, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole and rolls were the main course. I brought a peanut butter cup pie (one of those Jello No Bakes that everyone seemed to really enjoy.) There was pumpkin pie, apple pie, black & white cookies, and cheesecake. I ended up having a slice of apple pie. I hadn't had apple pie in ages so that made it especially good.
Just thinking about all that food makes me want to go take a nap!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
I know I can walk into her house, kick off my shoes, grab something to drink out of the fridge as I ask mid-walk what is in there to drink, and then curl up on the couch. It's the same here for her. She just has to deal with the dogs going bonkers because she is here and Frankie obsessing over her purse. (He insists on rubbing his head on it over and over again in random bouts of kitty weirdness.)
We had decided a while back that we were going to start doing potluck dinners, for lack of a better term with it only being two people. It technically works but I always think potluck as more so a group deal. Our work schedules mesh finally and we had been able to see each other more so on a regular basic.
I had recorded some specials on BIO for us Harry Potter geeks as well. There is a special on the characters, one on the creatures, and the actual bio show on the cast or kids as they call it. I will be speaking in a bad British accent at least twice tonight.
Tonight it is meatloaf w mashed potatoes and veggies with chocochip cookies for dessert. I'm in charge of the non-meatloaf parts. The meatloaf recipe is actually from a Disney cookbook that her mom found years back. I was really hoping it was this recipe though I didn't remember the Disney part. Her mom passed away less than a year ago so the recipe is even more special since it isn't just a recipe. It's a memory based in food. It still makes me teary eyed to think about her because I do still really miss her at times since she was my second mom but knowing we can keep her memory alive in numerous ways is important.
Do you have a recipe or food based tradition that is also based in the memory of a loved one who is no longer with us?
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
I'm not freaking out.
I'm totally honest.
Tonight was volleyball.
I played well and did not get hit.
I got some good hits.
Last night I destroyed lasagna.
Not in a good way.
It must be chopped up and mixed together when reheated.
I am just back from volleyball.
So my mind is still set in sets of three.
So I thought to be clever.
If its not, I apologize.
Tomorrow will be more rambling.
Maybe there will be a photo as well.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Plan completion = 100%
Tonight's plan: deserved reward = glass of wine and a Netflix movie. EDIT: Add choco chip cookies to the mix. Yay to baking!
Sometimes the best idea is just attacking part of the list rather than the entire giant list.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Usually I know it's if I eat too much sugar, salt, or caffeine. Survey says! All three! The reality check is that I know once I watch it again, the zipping about, at least mentally, will be gone. On a bright side though, I do get a lot done, or at least a good amount of my to-do list attacked.
With the crazy weather changes I haven't gotten my winter clothes settled which is starting to bug me. I know I have things to donate and I have things to keep as well as add to the decide later list. I just keep finding myself pushing one thing back to finish another or reordering my priority list for things around the house. The canned good might be migrating to the front of the pantry which leads to things getting lost in the back but I also have three pairs of matching clean socks. There are others that are clean but The Vortex (the thing that eats things in the house) has not released the matches yet. I have two stinky dogs that need baths (and hopefully a husband who will take care of at least the furrier of the two which is Cosmo) but I also have cook books ready to fall off a shelf and on to my head. Add the fact that I really want to sit and knit and not think of anything else at the same time. Yup. Not gonna happen any time soon but overall it's more of a grrrr than a whine I think. I know I will get to it all I just want it all POOF! done at once.
I tried to find Kermit freaking out but I found this which is much better to leave you with for tonight.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
It was just a sign that I needed to go home right then and there.
I went to volleyball in sort of a "ih" mood. Mentally I wasn't all there but I figured I'd be fine. I was even more frazzled by the guy on the bike that darted out in front of my truck. Luckily I had seen him even though he was in dark clothing with headphone and riding with one hand since the other held a cigarette. I hit the horn and he just waved me off like it was nothing. Wow. Luckily I know people cross the street in that area and always take extra effort to look or I would have been extremely close to have hitting him or scaring him pretty well.
So back to my athletic greatness... I was there but really not. I was playing but my head wasn't into it. I decided to step it up and try harder in an attempt to get my out of my funk. Well the funk turned into a THWUNK due to a really poorly executed bump. I managed to hit myself in edge of the left eye socket. OUCH! I saw stars, got all teary and had to go sit down.
I was totally not there after that and add the worry of hitting myself in the head again. I ended up not playing the last game which is technically not for rank and more so just for fun. I was out of it and obviously getting on others nerves. Since these are actual friends of mine and not random people I am playing with, I decided it was best to go home rather than in a stupid argument.
Was I happy I left? Of course not. I was in pain, frustrated, and a bit embarrassed. I just knew that for me it was best to get myself out of the situation and home. Home sweet home made even sweeter but Hubs bringing me home ice cream. He could tell I was upset when he called. He was getting groceries for dinner and asked what I wanted. Chocolate ice cream is what popped into my head and he ended up bringing me the Hot Cocoa flavor from Edy's Slow Churned. Yum. While I am not a frequent emotional eater, I am a true believer in the healing powers of chocolate. A small bowl later, I was in a better mood.
I was in an even better mood this morning when I didn't wake up with a black eye. I have a tiny bruise that I can see sans makeup but nothing that would worry anyone and not to cause my to have to wear a little sign saying "Guess who hit herself in the eye with a volleyball."
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
I look back at that, minus the Coke since while I have seriously cut down I won't cut it out, and wonder how I seriously didn't feel like crap every day. Perhaps I did but can't remember it now. Hubs and I do eat fast food/takeout but nowhere near that amount. Today I really wanted a cheeseburger, a salad and a walk (great combo right?) so I went to one of the local fast food places. I was happy until my stomach decided it was angry with me. NOT COOL!
I've found that the better we eat in general the more processed food doesn't like me. I don't know if it is becoming healthier means my body isn't tolerating the "nonsense" like it did before or I just am associating the ick result (which isn't always the result though) afterwards because of this.
Fall Back with the time is taunting me now. After Saturday's 5k, the "I wanna go run!" for after work is there but it is too dark for me to feel safe. It's not that we live in a bad neighborhood but general safety especially with cars seeing me (Note: I need reflectors or tape or something) or me tripping on something (Note: This is very possible.) makes me wary. Plus I want to take Molly out with me. She is a good dog and does listen but if she somehow gets away from me, it would be even more nerve wracking if it is in the dark. The dogs both have gotten out of the yard before and it is quite terrifying when I can't find one of them. Luckily they have never gotten far but it is still so not fun.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Today we finally got to the grocery store. I wanted apples and bananas. Hubs wanted a ham. I'm not joking, a ham. He had a taste for one and until we got one home and in the oven it would keep bugging him. I've had that happen to me before including a time in college that I really wanted a sugar butter w M & Ms cookie from the place in the mall. After three days, I drove just for the cookie to the mall. I laughed the entire way home.
With all the sweets due to Halloween, I was just wanting fruit. I splurge on holidays and celebrations especially since I know after awhile I'll get sick of it. For me if someone bakes, cooks, spends time making something, I'm going to have some if I can (excluding anything with peanuts due to my allergy or something that I know I will get sick from having.) Eat a cookie, not the entire package/tray/etc. I know this doesn't work for others but it does for me.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
This was a run/walk combo and so I am happy. My goal for the next 5k is to beat it by at least a minute which is realistic even if it is a baby step. EDIT: I meant my pace to be at least one minute faster, not the entire time.
Pace: 13 min 53 sec
Total time: 43 min 07 sec
Another runner is sending me a large women's jacket after I responded to her post. I am super happy because now I can wear it out more. The only deal was that I pass mine along to someone else who got stuck with one that didn't fit right. I plan to do this once the one from her arrives.
Today was the Hot Chocolate 5k (also the 15k but I stuck with 5 for now.) I am officially done with my first 5k EVER.
I ended up being totally wired last night which in a way was not a good thing. I ended up getting to Target a bit later than planned in an attempt to beat the crowds. No deal and I got the poor girl at the register who had tons of technical problems with the two groups ahead of me. That pushed me home a bit later than planned which pushed bedtime a bit later. Realistically it didn't matter because I kept waking up rethinking if I needed anything else, which I didn't, and doing the "OMG I'm running tomorrow!!!!"
I got up earlier than planned which resulted in me getting downtown about 30 minutes earlier than I needed. After an extra Orange line trip around the Loop, I was off and meeting up with Stina and Sarah. We got to the park and got everything settled before making out way to the corrals. I had anticipated actual corrals like horse corrals but my bib ended up saying 5k open even though I had registered as a 12 min mile. I had no actual estimate and so this was the best option. We ended up climbing over a railing - yes literally climbing over though I was pulled over a bit -- SCARY!!! -- to get to a large in the crowd in the 11 min mile pace. Three others actually followed us over with people around helping and not complaining. It was actually pretty funny/amusing. Then we realized there was an opening maybe 20 feet ahead of us.
There was a bit of a wait but it worked so that I could finish pinning my bib on. Wait wait. Walk more. Wait. Waaaaaaaaait. The speakers were pumping music. Oh look the START! Black Eyed Peas - Got a Feeling started and we did too!
There were a lot of people running. A LOT. The totals were 30k people, 15k in each race. I saw parents with their kids, adults, young adults, teens, the whole gamut. There were people who looked like they had done this before and there were walkers who kept just below a jog. The wide range made me feel good.
Having Stina and Sarah with me really helped to keep going especially with it being colder than I was used to. I did have to slow down as well as go to a power walk at times but my goal was to keep them where I could see them and catch up to them with a minor amount of effort. That worked, for awhile.
The course wasn't too great from what people were saying. This being my first run made me not have anything to compare it to but at times it was a bit tough. If I was set on running the entire thing at a semi fast pace then I probably be a bit annoyed. About a mile in I was slowing down, even slower than before too because of a bottleneck with the hydration tables and an underpass that forced even the faster runners to slow down. I hit the tables to get a Gatorade which I didn't realize I had needed, downed a shot blok from my hip bag (yes a fanny pack but black and not bright pink and teal like the one back in the day) and felt better. With the slow down of everyone, I had lost Stina and Sarah. I knew I'd find them later though.
The second half of the run snaked around the museum campus at the lakefront. For those at HLS, this was where lots of people ended up for the Sunday run/walks. It wasn't the one right at the waterline but one above. It got narrow at points where people slowed to a fast walk minus those who were running up on the grass - on an angle at times plus jumping down to climb down and then back up across the stairways. I stuck to the right side and tried to keep my elbows in so that faster people could pass me more easily.
The last leg actually seemed the easiest for me. I think it was the realization that I was almost done plus we could see the 15k people who started after us. I ended up running faster and with less slow down points for that. The speakers were close enough to hear the music and I could hear the announcers calling out random people's names as they crossed the finish line.
The mass exit was pretty crazy. I ended up cutting behind the tents and through some trees to avoid the crowds. About 10 mins later, I found Stina and Sarah and we headed to the chocolate tent. The lines were crazy but we found one that was moving along well. The fondue was a scoop of chocolate - YUM! - two marshmallows, a poundcake cube, a rice crispy treat cube, half a banana, two medium sized pretzels and some apple slices. I was hungry and it all tasted really good. I also managed to not get chocolate off my face when a photographer took a pic of us. I am looking forward to seeing that pic because I know I am going to laugh. We made it across Grant Park to the hot chocolate tent. It was good but by then I could only have about half of it. There was live music, misc tents including a Ghirardelli one that was handing out small squares of chocolate, and other fun stuff but we were all ready to head home.
Overall it was mixed for me. I am super proud of myself to completing this. I am a bit mad at myself because I know I could have trained better but overall knowing that the parts that I ran were run was important. Even a year ago, I wouldn't have had the focus and dedication to be up at 5am on a Saturday to get myself downtown to run in cold air. This was a big deal. With there being so many people I was glad I wasn't alone because I would have been confused on where exactly to go for some stuff. True there were signs and whatnot but being all wide eyed and newbie to this could have gotten me a bit mixed up. I really liked running on the lakefront but not in the places where it got so crowded. I think if we ran north rather than south to start it might have saved the crowding. There were people totally supportive of each other - smiling, being polite when people wanted to get around you, cheerleaders from a local high school yelling their support from the sidelines which almost made me teary eyed. There were also people yelling at each other because they weren't at the pace they wanted and complaining that the walkers were in the way. I guess this is just a sampling of people in real life. Some are just happier than others. Some were just frustrated due to the course or from the goose poop. EEWW!
Definites for my next 5k:
- Train better - be it strength training or actual running
- Beat my time from this run
- Bring my ipod - I was much better mentally and physically when there was music
- Bring the small Camelback rather than my bottle - even with the drink stations I brought my bottle since I knew if I needed a drink it was a better option to have a bottle with me
- Wear my compression shorts under my running pants - they have a mesh lining and at times were a bit too swishy and if I hadn't realized it beforehand could have led to some pretty painful chafing
I am looking forward to seeing the race photos. I tried to smile when I saw the cameras on the course but I know one spot I was cheering with others so I bet it will be amusing.
For the rest of the night I have a "date" with the TV, the couch, and a large mug of tea. I already managed to fall asleep - like totally zonked out - twice while watching TV with Hubs earlier. After my adventure today, I think I deserve a nice mellow night.
Friday, November 5, 2010
With tomorrow being my first "real" run, today is prep. That way I am not rushing tonight to get all my stuff settled and I didn't have to run out earlier in the week to get the Shot Bloks that I keep forgetting. While I do think there is one hiding somewhere in the pantry, I always like having at least one in the house or a pack of something similar.
I've recently tried to take more of a relax mode in the evening in the sense of dinner and some TV watching with Hubs. I can get into go go go mode too easily and then get crabby when I don't even realize I am doing so. Lately we've been watching Eureka on Netflix which both of us enjoy. While it is quite silly in terms of the reality aspect of some of the gadgets and whatnot, it is clearly sci-fi in more of a sitcom manner which I always enjoy.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
I have been excited, a bit nervous, and a bit guilty since I know I could have run/trained more/better. This is all super new to me - the jargon, the gear, et al.
I went to the expo today to get my bib and the swag bag (as well as stop at the Bondi Band booth.) I had heard that this was a great bag in terms of stuff so that was an extra perk. Plus I had registered early enough to make the group that got the technical zip-up runner jacket. SWEET! I have no real technical gear especially in the jacket sense since my running is more so warm/warm-ish weather.
While I am running this more so as something I want to do as a personal accomplishment as well as for charity, I can't help but think the jacket was a buzzkill. I was expecting technical jacket to be more synthetic based and not have a fuzzy sweatshirt interior and sizing way too small. My armpits are tight to the point where I worry about chafing and it is a medium, which is the size my runner - as in 1/2/full marathon serious runners - friends recommended. I didn't want to get something too oversized since I've read and been told that more fitted is better. This is just a bit ridic. I am hoping to stretch it out so I can actually wear it to run though I highly doubt it will be this weekend. I wanted to wear it as a badge of honor, a "look what I pushed myself to do" and now I don't even know how often I'd wear it zipped up. if I was large chested, I doubt I'd ever wear it zipped up.
On a much better note: I did make it to the Bondi Band booth and get two that I abso love.