Monday, May 31, 2010

oh, it's a sorry mess, but at least there's a happy ending

So, we had a hankering for blueberry pancakes, Hubby and I. So we figured we could just run to Target and buy that really good, vegan friendly, whole grain with flax seed blueberry pancake mix they have, and that would satisfy the craving.

Except that Target didn't have our pancake mix. They had about 120 apple strudel pancake mixes, but not one blueberry. Which figures, right?

But we wanted blueberry pancakes, not apple. This is when I remember my super awesome vegan cookbook that has yet to steer me wrong. Surely there is a pancake recipe in there.

And, yes, there is. Right on page 31. And we have every necessary ingredient. So we are making pancakes.

Now, let me say, I love this cookbook. I've loved everything I've made from it. But as I was making my pancake batter, I started to have my doubts. It was kind of, um, wet. Runny. Liquid-y. Not thick like every other pancake batter I've ever seen in my whole life.

But I'm going with it, because I've followed the recipe and all.

However, this was the first pancake that made it way to the griddle.

Yeah. That's not a pancake. That's what a wet mess with a touch of flour and some blueberries does when it gets hot. And poor Hubby had to deal with it, because I can not flip a pancake to save my life, so he is the Man with the Pancake Flipper, and there was just nothing he could do with this sad lump of wannabe pancake.

So I started just dumping in flour (like, a lot of flour), thinking that would thicken things up a bit. And the next attempt looked a whole lot more like a pancake.
At least it was flip-able. And as we went on, they got better. And better. And better.

Until we finally got our blueberry pancakes.

I love a story with a happy ending. Especially when it involves me eating pancakes.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

File under "things that freak me out"

Do you see these nuns?

These nuns once belonged to my grandma. They have a little knob on their back that can be wound, and they'll play music. They have been sitting in my kitchen for almost five years. I have never once wound that knob. They have been silent all that time.

Today Hubby and I were in the kitchen making dinner. He was by the stove. I was by the window. Neither of us were anywhere remotely near the nuns.

But they started to play music.

No one touched them. No one looked at them. No one was near them. Hubby didn't even know they had the ability to make music.

But for about 15 seconds, they played their song.

And freaked me out.

Then it was done. They were quiet again.

But the part where I'm freaked out? That's still going on.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

You Capture - Sky

I know a girl who's like the sea.

I watch her changing every day for me.

No Line on the Horizon - U2


See more at Beth's.

a question of like

It is possible to dislike a person and still be their friend.

Seriously. It is.

People are complicated messes, you know? There are so many nooks and crannies that make up an individual. And each nook and cranny has its own nooks and crannies.

And within each person there is good and there is bad and there is a whole bunch of in-between.

And people will view others' traits or quirks or characteristics differently. Perhaps something that you find to be a positive trait in yourself, others will see as negative. But that doesn't exactly mean they view you negatively.

Every person that you meet, you take them in. You see what they're about. You form opinions about them. And then you decide - Am I willing to accept this person, as they are, good and bad? If the answer is yes, then you move forward together. If the answer is no, then you part ways.

But everything that you think about other people is merely opinion. If you know someone who talks about themselves frequently, you might see that as bragging. Someone else might see it as self-confidence. The actual person might think they are just making conversation.

Because people are complex. They bring so much along with them everywhere they go. And there is so much you will never know about every person you meet.

But at the same time, everyone is fully entitled to their opinions. And if you don't like someones opinion of you, well, that's life. (No one likes to hear that someone thinks something unflattering about them but at the same time, it's unlikely that you have a fully positive opinion of everyone you meet.) You can look at yourself and try to see why they might have that opinion. You might think it's worth it to talk to the other person about it. Or maybe you don't. You might simply decide you don't agree and go on with your life.

But a disagreement, a difference of opinion, doesn't have to be a deal-breaker. It can just be a piece of you. Good, bad, or something in-between.

Because sometimes (lots of times) the sum of the whole is so much greater than the individual pieces themselves.

And it'd be a shame to miss it all because of one little nook.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

just saying

I believe there is a difference between having an opinion and making a judgment.

I have lots of opinions. Lots. But I am fully aware that they are just my personal thoughts and ideas. Just what I think. Just me.

But a judgment seems to come with the idea of being right. As in "my way is The Way." As in "I am Right."

And I know I'm not Right. Perhaps for me I'm right. But that's just me.

And if your opinions are different from my opinions, that doesn't make you Right either. It means you have a different thought. A different way of seeing.

I'm not shy about my opinions. That doesn't mean I'm just going to walk up to a person and start spouting off my opinions about life or people or turnips (which are gross, but I digress), but I'm also not going to lie about what I think. I will give my honest opinion, whether is casts a favorable light or not.

And in this space, in this blog, I will absolutely give my honest opinions. No one else has to agree with them. But they are my opinions. My truths. What I see. Just me.

And sometimes, I write just to get the thoughts out of my head (like, um, now). Because sometimes I just want to say things, because that is how I'm feeling, what I'm thinking, in that moment. And sometimes that moment passes and my feelings or opinions will change. And sometimes not.

But they're still mine. And they're still true for me.

And I'm not saying that I'm Right.

I'm just saying.

don't quote me, quote him.

It is no secret that I am in love with Henry David Thoreau.

If it were 1847, I'd be living with him in a one room cabin on the banks of Walden Pond.

But it's not, so instead I just read and re-read and re-read his words.

And fall in love all over again.

Here are four reasons:

"As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness."

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. "

"If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen. "

"I have learned, that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. "


tell it to me tuesdays

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I am, apparently, a versatile blogger.

So, Terry Elisabeth has awarded me The Versatile Blogger Award. She is lovely, and she loves cupcakes, and I thank her very much!

I believe the rules are to 1) thank the person who gave you the award 2) tell seven thing about yourself and 3) pass the award on to other bloggers whom you love, and, I suppose, find to be versatile.


1. My first pet was terrier mix puppy whom I named Freddy (after Freddy "Boom Boom" Washington on Welcome Back, Kotter). My parents took me to the local animal shelter (which rocks that they did that) and let me choose the dog I wanted. I knew right away that I wanted Freddy. He was just a little guy (and I was just a little girl, after all), and was sharing a pen with a much bigger dog who seemed to be taking up most of the room. I felt so bad that was getting squashed by this big dog, I wanted to just scoop him up and take him home. So that's what we did.

2. Today I bought umeboshi plums for the first time. They look like they are going to be absolutely disgusting. But they're supposed to be very good for you. So, yeah. I'm going to give it a try. I figure they won't be the most vile thing I've ever eaten. (I'm pretty sure the tuna loaf my mom made when I was about 6 or 7 years old will hold that title forever.)

3. I might be the only person who does not care at all that Lost is going to be over. But I really don't. I'm just not a tv person, I guess. But I completely loved Rick Riordan new book The Red Pyramid (first book of The Kane Chronicles), and I can not wait for the next book in the Nicholas Flamel series by Michael Scott, The Necromancer, to be released this Tuesday.

4. There are only eight days of school left, and there are not words to explain to you just how ready I am for this school year to be over.

5. When I heard that Bono had emergency back surgery in Munich, I became worried in the same way I would be worried about a family member or other loved one.

6. Last week I took my niece to a local bakery for cupcakes to celebrate her 4th birthday. She insisted she wanted the carrot cake cupcake. She ate the frosting off the top, took one bite of the actual cake, then asked if she could have a cookie instead. After she ate the frosting off of my cookies and cream cupcake, that is. But she loved it there, and the next day told everyone that we went to "the cupcake makery." Which is what I will most likely call it forever now.

7. Once at work, an adult walked in to my classroom, walked right up to me, and asked if I knew where the teacher was. I waved at them, smiled, and said "Hi."


I am to pass this on to other versatile bloggers. So I'll send the love to Jade, Lyndsay, and my mom (you have to send the love to your mom, don't you?). (I hope they'll play along.)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

You Capture - Depth of Field

I had kind of forgotten about this beach.

Hubby and I used to go here a lot. Before things got crazy, and the earth tilted on its axis.

I hadn't even thought of it in ages. But I thought of it Friday night.

Thought of how we used to go there with a picnic basket of sandwiches and cookies and bottles of water and a blanket, and just sit there and eat and talk and sit and walk.

It was nice, when we did that. Really nice.

And I thought it might be nice to try it again, now that the the earth is back on track and things are slightly less crazy.

And it was. It really was.


See more at Beth's.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

list time - fashion edition

1. I envy everyone who ever owned a Swatch Watch. Especially the ones with the yellow band and the plaid face. I soooo wanted that one.

2. I miss my Tretorn sneakers. Sigh.

3. There will never be a time that I don't wear overalls. I don't care if they're in fashion or not, or if certain people who shall remain nameless tell me I look "frumpy." They're comfortable. (And, just by the way, Gap is currently selling them. So I guess the Gap models look frumpy, too.)

4. I wish I had been a grown-up in the 1940s. Those women had the most beautiful clothing ever. They are probably the reason I am so devoted to skirts and dresses.

5. I love those cotton skirts with the fold-over waist. I wear them from the moment it's warm enough until I'm freezing my knees off in them. But I don't love the "fold-over" part. Do I really need an extra layer there?

6. I refuse to wear shorts. They make me nervous and self-conscious.

7. I hope that empire waist dresses or baby doll dresses or potato sack dresses or something like those will always be in fashion so that I have something to wear on my "puffy" days.

8. I still wear my Benetton sweatshirt from 1988. (Inside out, of course.)

9. I secretly miss big hair.

10. The single greatest shoe ever invented? The Mary Jane.


tell it to me tuesdays

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Round and round and round we go. Except I've got to stop now.

So, I know this is a vicious circle.

I have digestive issues. They are made worse by stress. And certain foods. Like, um, sugar.

And when I'm under lots of stress, like, um, now, what do I do?


Eat sugar.

And not just one cookies or anything innocent like that. I eat sugar, in its many varied forms, like they're going to quit making it so I'd better eat as much as I can right now because I might never be able to have it again. (Which is a joke, because I'll have more in about an hour when the next stupidly stressful thing happens.)

So then I'm just a mess. I'm already stressed, and the digestive issues are flaring up because of that. And then I eat the sugar, which makes the digestive issues worse, which increases my stress, and you see how the cycle works. And I'm a mess because I made myself a mess. Because no one made me eat that sugar. I did it all by myself.

But, at the same time, it feels kind of uncontrollable. You know? Like it's some weird primal urge that must be satisfied.

And I don't buy it. Sugar that is. When I'm grocery shopping, I don't buy cookies or ice cream or candy or stuff like that. But somehow when the stress hits, I manage to find a sugar fix. (Okay, so it's usually by driving or walking to some kind of store and buying chocolate/ice cream/cookies. Or walking down to Work Friend's classroom and eating her chocolate. But still.)

How does this happen? Why do I let it? How do I make it stop?

Yes, technically I know the answers to those questions. This happens due to stress, and I've always been a big stress ball, like, my whole life. And I let the sugar thing happen because, um, I'm weak and think that the sugar will make it all better (even though I know that really it won't). And I stop by,um, not doing it anymore.

But it's so hard to not! I'm stressed! I need something to make it better!

If I was one of those people who could go for a run on their lunch hour, I don't think I'd have this problem. But I'm not. I don't have that kind of time.

But... I do have time for a walk. So that's what I'm going to try. Because the next three weeks? Oh, they will make the stress of the last month seem like sunshine and rainbows.

So I'm hoping that grabbing my ipod and walking out of work and down the sidewalk and breathing in some fresh air in the middle of the day will be the cure all that I need it to be.

Because, sugar, I love you. But, for awhile at least, we're on a break.

(Ohmygosh how can I break up with sugar right when I need it most! Oh, this could get interesting....)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

You Capture - Yellow

"Your skin, oh yeah, your skin and bones

turn in to something beautiful.

D'you know? You know I love you so.

You know I love you so."

- Yellow by Coldplay


see more at Beth's

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

10 reasons I love...

10 Reasons I Love Hubby (which is by no means the only 10. Just 10 of the many.)

1. To him, making macaroni and cheese out of a box is an art form.

2. He has a man crush on Sting (and has accepted the fact that I describe it that way to everyone).

3. He writes poems for me and emails them to me at work.

4. He looks really good in a gray t-shirt and jeans. Really good.

5. He does the dishes after I cook dinner. Every single time.

6. He carried me to the garage because there was a snake in the yard.

7. He cleans the bathroom every week. ( I think he actually likes it.)

8. He misread his electric beard trimmer and accidentally shaved off most of his eyebrows then took it like a man when I laughed at him for 5 minutes straight.

9. He's okay with the fact that I'm not actually listening to him when he starts talking about time signatures.

10. He's an old-school gentleman.


10 Reason Why I Love Best Friend (that only she will understand)

1. They neva give you a chance!

2. beans and spuds

3. pre-race cards

4. She made me learn how to read a map to avoid being killed (by her for my lack of map-reading skills).

5. fancy pants

6. wacky hat

7. Yak's on sale.

8. Pivot!

9. She understands why it's good to eat butter. And lots of it.

10. "I love a rainy night. I love a rainy night."
"Eddie Rabbit."
"Thank you!"

tell it to me tuesdays

Sunday, May 9, 2010

the post race post

So, the Big Race was yesterday. These are my thoughts about it today.

Last April I was told to quit running long distances. Because of my knees; they can't handle it anymore. And last May I went (one week after this decree) and ran the Big Race. And then did not run a step for a month because of the Great Knee Rebellion of 2009. The rebellion where I could not bend or straighten my leg, or put weight on it, and my knee was the size of a cantaloupe. For about a month. And I was sad and weepy. And then I spend the rest of 2009 learning how to run again.

This year, I'm still supposed to not be running long distances. And this year I know what happens when I try to run like I used to run. And this year I re-learned how to run. And now I'm learning how to train again. And so, I went and ran the Big Race.

I knew what I was getting in to. I knew what could potentially happen. I trained and mentally prepared to run a slow race, and to back off if anything (a.k.a knee) started to hurt or do weird things. The spoken goal was just simply to run. (There were unspoken goals, too. There always are.)

Maybe it was the freakishly cold and windy weather. Maybe is was the fact that, as I crossed over the starting line, Bono's voice rang out over the PA system (Desiiiiiiiiiiiire!) (And I am so not making that up). Maybe it's that Erin was sending me good vibes. I don't know. But it was something.

I ran. I kept the pace comfortable. I backed off when it hurt or got weird (which was only twice and very, very, very briefly). I blew kisses to The Bricks (because if I'd gotten down to kiss them, I would not have gotten back up again). I looked around and saw 30,000 other runners of all shapes, sizes and paces, smiling and laughing and running.

I finished 10 minutes slower than last year (which was already slower than I cared for). But when I finished, I was walking (mostly) normally. I was happy. I was smiling. I was proud.

Today, my knee is functioning relatively well. It's the size of a relatively normal knee. I still ache and creak, but I'm not going to be incapacitated for a month. I'll be running again by mid-week.

Because that's what I do. For the fun and the challenge and the peace and the blessing and the joy. And for me.

I run.

(stride on!)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

here I go again (just like whitesnake)

Tonight I'm packing my bags. I have a list of things to not forget to pack. Things like ibuprofen, Vaseline, and a knee brace.

Big Race weekend is here.

There's a whole mess of emotions filling me today. And I can't stop thinking; can't stop jumping from one extreme to the other. Like, my training has gone well, but this week has been a disaster. Or, I'm so sad that I can't race this, but I'm so happy to be running. I keep flip-flopping back and forth.

Part of my big, huge mental block about all of this probably lies in my deep seeded feeling of inadequacy. I've always tended to think (worry? fear?) that people will look at me and say "she's not good enough to be here." Or now, "she used to be good." And I feel this awful, compelling need to explain my life history; why I'm here, why I'm not so good anymore. Even though I'm pretty sure the reality of it all is that no one notices/cares what I'm doing (and I mean that in a good way).

So I'm working on not caring about them, either (and I mean that in a good way, too). Because I've spent far too long caring far too much.

Instead, I'm working to focus on the important part (important to me, at least). For me, the days of the "preferred start corral" are over. That's just how it is. Regardless of how willing my mind is, there are now physical limitations on what I can do. If I try to do more, it will cause me harm. I know this.

But I can run. That is the important part.

And this weekend, I get to run a Big Race. I get to kiss some bricks (The Bricks!).

I think, maybe, I've proven what I can do. Now this is what I get to do.

Indy, here I come.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

You Capture - Spring (part 2)

Every spring, every May, every time I smile at the thought of "tranquil bovine picnics" and I cry when Tuck takes Winnie out on to the pond to talk to her about why the spring needs to remain a secret.

And every spring, every May, every time a new group of children falls in love with the story of Winnie Foster and the Tuck family (who've looked exactly the same for the last 87 years).

See more at Beth's.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

list time (in pictures)

1. I found the perfect hiking hat. Finally.

2. This leaf made me smile. Because it has a heart in it. Do you see it?

3. Coffee Friend got married last weekend. She was stunning. As always.

4. I actually spent time today doing this. Yes. There was a reason.

5. This face was cracking us up yesterday.

6. When you have the flu and Hubby brings in random flowers he found while mowing the grass, it does make you feel better.

7. Running Friend got engaged and asked me to take some engagement photos for her (and her fiance). I was honored to do so.

8. Vegan Success Story: Chai Latte Cupcakes