Happy, Healthy, and Sad, all at the same time….

FOOD

Hey kids!  I’m excited that I’m consistently every two weeks of blogging at this point 🙂  I swear – I graduate in spring, and blogging will be more regular!  Excited about the next evolution I have in mind.  Stay tuned!  You’ll learn more about that in June!!!

For now, my eats have been largely homemade and quick.  Yes, I do bulk cooking on Sunday’s, but I also have learned the value of quick eats when time gets away from you.  So baked spuds with some beans and cabbage is as good for me as anything else!

Here are quick shots of smoothies, salads, baked spuds, and various other whole food fun!

FITNESS

Okay, I’ve got to admit that I’m fully into Beach Body right now.  Yes, I like my runs, but seriously.  Kickboxing.  No equipment needed, but I get to beat the crap out of whatever my mind dreams up.  And I’m pretty imaginative 🙂

They have a program called Core de Force which is basically MMA, and I really dig it.

LIFE

Hmm.  2 weeks of updates, huh?  So – biggest news is I’ve actually been home!  🙂

As far as I can tell, that’ll be the case until mid-May (ish).  Then again, I always say that, and I’m usually full of you-know-what.  But, for what it’s worth, I don’t plan to travel anywhere until May 19th when I head into graduation weekend!

I’ve been home about 3 weeks, and it’s been awesome.   All my time has been spent at work, studying, or hanging out with my family.  We’ve done some movie marathons and have had overall good times.

My oldest (who seriously is almost 22) had the flu last week.  I’ve never seen someone so sick (and that’s saying a lot because I work in healthcare).  After 2 trips to the ER and a confirmed influenza diagnosis, she actually let us take her home to take care of her.

not quite fun in the ER! D and A waiting to be seen…

Not to intentionally rain on any parade, but…

A friend of my family passed away Sunday evening.  Her name was D, and she fought a valiant fight against breast cancer for 10 years.  Beautiful, fun, sweet, and incredibly kind, my whole family will miss her.  She kept her husband (and our friend) D grounded, and as much as we will miss her, all our energy is for him right now. She is at peace and an amazing spirit, and the rest of us will go on because if we didn’t, she’d find a way to come kick our butts!

So with that, I’m going to leave you with pics of my family (furry, and other), and all I can wish is you tell the people who mean the most to you that you love them.  Because – no matter our differences, I love you all.

 

~Crissie

so – the fun thing of regular morning pictures is having YEARS of them! On top, 5 yrs ago. Bottom, this week 🙂

These were the morning pictures.  Of course…there is more 🙂

I was trying to study and Kuma would have NOTHING to do with that…

seriously. How can you not love them?

she likes it when I workout – especially push-ups

long walk in the rain!

me and Bumble chilling out!

no amount of blankets is enough for Kuma bear

Friday was Kuma’s birthday!!! Birthday Bear!

Ginny not caring that I’m trying to study…while sleeping on my breakfast!

taking mama to work…

fireplace puppy

And whatever else was in my feed!

made me giggle

went to the Chrysler Art Museum on Sunday and saw this. As a big fan of the movie El Dorado, I was excited to know the movie scene was based on something from history (no matter how horrible).

one of the exhibits – and looking at Alexander Platz…I was there in September. I saw 3 exhibits that were in places I’ve physically been (Paris, Berlin, and China), and it mean so much more to me than I thought it would

 

Managing A Few Days Without Total Chaos!

FOOD

It’s been all homemade eats the past few days since getting home from FL.

coconut water, chocolate Vega powder, mango, and banana smoothie!  Was my first of the week, and was out of decent greens

coconut water, chocolate Vega powder, mango, and banana smoothie! Was my first of the week, and was out of decent greens

that was rectified on Sunday when D went grocery shopping, so Monday's smoothie was vanilla Vega powder, 2 clementine's, water, and spinach.

that was rectified on Sunday when D went grocery shopping, so Monday’s smoothie was vanilla Vega powder, 2 clementine’s, water, and spinach.

I know the bottle says Shakeology, but I don’t use it.  Not that I don’t think it’s packed full of nutrients, but I had an allergic reaction to their vegan vanilla a few months ago.  So, I still to Vega most of the time and Sunwarrior on occasion too.  To be honest, I don’t use protein powders all the time, but when I’m making my smoothie as a meal replacement or I know it needs staying power (or when I know I’m a bit lacking in some vital nutrients), I’ll toss it in.  After a week of travel and mostly eating out, I tend to add them to my smoothies.

I also did a lot of batch prep on Sunday’s.  That included some of the Happy Herbivore meals and salads.  I have to admit, I’ve become addicted to the Fitpacker container system the past few weeks.  It makes storage a breeze and takes up less space.

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D grilled Saturday night, and I begged for a repeat of the awesome portabello burger I blogged about last time!  With some grilled squash and mushrooms and air fried french fries, it was a fun and tasty dinner (that I didn't have to cook!)

D grilled Saturday night, and I begged for a repeat of the awesome portabella burger I blogged about last time! With some grilled squash and mushrooms and air fried French fries, it was a fun and tasty dinner (that I didn’t have to cook!)

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part of Sunday's dinner was some zucchini and yellow squash noodles pan sauteed with garlic and Italian seasoning.

part of Sunday’s dinner was some zucchini and yellow squash noodles pan sautéed with garlic and Italian seasoning.

I also dig my baked spuds!  This is some maple baked beans with cruncy cabbage

I also dig my baked spuds! This is some maple baked beans with cruncy cabbage

oh look, another baker!  This one has steamed green beans mixed with hummus on top with some hot sauce.

oh look, another baker! This one has steamed green beans mixed with hummus on top with some hot sauce.

big bowl of yummy vegan Pho!

big bowl of yummy vegan Pho!

Monday's lunch - a BAS and some spicy mac made with quinioa gluten free noodles

Monday’s lunch – a BAS and some spicy mac made with quinoa gluten free noodles

hot and sour tofu soup with onion, bell peps, and green beans.

hot and sour tofu soup with onion, bell peps, and green beans.

and another baker, but just with cabbage and hot sauce this time

and another baker, but just with cabbage and hot sauce this time

this is HH's Bayou Bowl!  Brown rice topped with a cajun style lentil and veg.  And cabbage for crunch because that's my thing

this is HH’s Bayou Bowl! Brown rice topped with a Cajun style lentil and veg. And cabbage for crunch because that’s my thing

and tonight's dinner of spicy tofu tacos on corn tortillas with veggies on top

and tonight’s dinner of spicy tofu tacos on corn tortillas with veggies on top

FITNESS

Still doing the Beach Body on Demand workouts.  I honestly do like them because there’s variety (my Achilles heel in DVD based workouts).  I’m in my final 7 days of the 21 Day Fix program workouts and I admit to feeling pretty darn good.  And much stronger.  And possibly constantly sore 🙂

I’ve also joined a really active challenge group with a coach who totally understands vegan nutritional needs, so I’m pretty stoked there.  Plan to start the kick boxing program on Monday, which aligns with completing the current program.

Of course I have my 3x per week runs too!

this is me and my helper Ginny doing Yoga fix on Sunday.  I have to say that working out at home thrills her in very odd ways.  She loves to either work out with me or be near me when I do.

this is me and my helper Ginny doing Yoga fix on Sunday. I have to say that working out at home thrills her in very odd ways. She loves to either work out with me or be near me when I do.

Last night was Cardio Fix.  I’m trying to work out more in the mornings, but it just wasn’t happening on Monday.  I had to be at the office before 7am, and that would involve getting up around 430, and that’s just silly.  So, evening working it was.  By the way, I’m not sure why I’m smiling.  There’s this exercise in this video called Surrender’s, and I’m pretty sure they’re evil.

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Today was a 3-fer workout.  Upper Body Fix first, and because that was challenging by didn’t wipe me, I followed it with a 4 mile run.  Then this evening, R and I went on a bike ride when she got home from school.   3 laps through the neighborhood for a total of about 30 minutes.

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LIFE

Well, it’s been a nice few days!  I’ve only been home for a few, but they’ve been pretty chill.  For the first time since grad school started, it felt like a normal weekend!  Saturday M had some friends over (that we’ve known since they were young) and D grilled.  It was hanging out and being silly mostly.  I also did the week’s meal planning and D did the grocery shopping while I studied.

Sunday was laundry, cleaning, batch cooking, a school team meeting, studying, and watching a movie!  We watched Moana, and I loved it.

M’s car is screwed up, so we’re currently sharing my ride.  So he’s been taking me to work so he can go to school and then picking me up in the evening.  While it’s a bit of a challenge, it’s not the end of the world.  Not sure his car is worth fixing yet, so we’ll see.

It’s been really nice out (80 over the weekend, chilly yesterday, but 70’s today and 80’s tomorrow before winter comes back and we’re in the 50’s).  We’re definitely taking advantage of THAT!  Kuma has been hard to keep inside, and Bumble has been joining her in the yard too.  Ginny sticks to her window watching and is just happy the house is opened up!

So, hope you’re having a good week so far!

D making a goofy grill face.  Since it's technically still winter, it's dark by dinner so he wears the head lamp when grilling!

D making a goofy grill face. Since it’s technically still winter, it’s dark by dinner so he wears the head lamp when grilling!

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Monday morning picture!

Monday morning picture!

 

The Happiest Place on Earth is Home!

FOOD

Still mostly eating in vs going out to eat (with the exception of the last week where I was traveling).  I’ve been largely batch cooking on the weekends and eating leftovers through the week.

I’m still doing a lot of the Happy Herbivore meals, but have had a few fun ones thrown in.  Like this one!

Crissie’s Kitchen Sink Red Thai Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 packaged extra firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cubed
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • 4 carrots, diced large
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced large
  • 1/2 onion, diced large
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. red Thai curry powder or paste (brand of your choosing, I order from The Spice House)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp minced ginger root

Directions

  • Line a large skillet with a small amount of water and heat on medium high
  • add onion, garlic, and ginger.  Sautee for 3-4 minutes, until soft
  • add carrots and bell pepper.  Sautee for 5 minutes, stirring often
  • Add can of coconut milk + 1/2 can of water, tofu, and broccoli, and peas
  • Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to low, and simmer for 10-15 minutes

Serve over rice, quinoa, or any other grain of choice (or plain, like I had it!  More soup than stir fry).

I used up all the veggies I had lying around (I was heading out on a week-long trip, so that was important), and the fun thing with curries, is you can use whatever you have.  Cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, corn, etc.  Doesn’t matter – it’s all yummy!

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I ate leftovers over quinoa I had batched cooked over the weekend

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Some other homemade eats

D is the total grill master!  He marinated portabellos and pineapple  in dark chocolate balsamic vinegar, grilled them, and used a hot pepper jelly as a spread on a burger bun.  OH MY GOSH.  So tasty!  And a side of grilled veggies.

D is the total grill master! He marinated portabellos and pineapple in dark chocolate balsamic vinegar, grilled them, and used a hot pepper jelly as a spread on a burger bun. OH MY GOSH. So tasty! And a side of grilled veggies.

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Tofurky night!

Tofurky night!

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batch cooking chowder

batch cooking chowder

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And my awesome eats from Ethos Vegan Kitchen in Orlando, Epcot, and Florida in general!

a cup of chikun noodle soup and sheep's pie!

a cup of chikun noodle soup and sheep’s pie!

potato broccoli soup

potato broccoli soup

BBQ Chikun Empanadas

BBQ Chikun Empanadas

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from a little place near my hotel where I'd stop for some fresh juice.  This was my favorite

from a little place near my hotel where I’d stop for some fresh juice. This was my favorite

smoothie selfie at Downtown Disney!

smoothie selfie at Downtown Disney!

of course I had to stop for tofu green curry at least once!  Wasn't as good as my place at home :)

of course I had to stop for tofu green curry at least once! Wasn’t as good as my place at home 🙂

FITNESS

Well, after finally reading about it for months, I broke down and bought Beach Body on Demand.  It’s honestly been awesome.  I’m working out every day either in my bedroom or my hotel.  Plus runs of course!

after a nice run outside in FL one morning

after a nice run outside in FL one morning

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after a long bike ride last weekend before I left - me and the wee one enjoying a gorgeous day

after a long bike ride last weekend before I left – me and the wee one enjoying a gorgeous day

looking sweaty and unamused.  5am is EARLY for exercise

looking sweaty and unamused. 5am is EARLY for exercise

lame attempt at a smile

lame attempt at a smile

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LIFE

Been a busy, but great two weeks.  New (and final) term for grad school started!  Lot’s of focus on entrepreneurial  processes, and it’s been really interesting so far.  As much an art as a business science.

R had her second peanut flour updose!  She’s now at 6% of 1 peanut.  Words cannot express how proud I am of her for doing this.  Her bravery shocks me – she knows how life threatening her peanut allergy is, yet this treatment protocol, if successful, will forever alter her life and take away that fear.  The process is a bit anxiety producing though.

before and during her does

before and during her does

and after as she has to wait 1-2 hours to monitor

and after as she has to wait 1-2 hours to monitor

I went to a conference for work in Orlando.  It was a really good show, but my favorite is always the volunteer work with military veterans who have recently or are soon to be transitioning.  It’s less about healthcare IT specifically and more about the culture shock.  For those in a long time, it’s learning to STOP using some language and terminology that doesn’t translate into the corporate world and to understand leadership nuance differences (such as people don’t do what you tell them just because you tell them!).  Nothing like that existed when I transitioned out of the Navy, so I love doing this for others.

I also took a side trip to Epcot and had a great time.  And while it was a great trip, the happiest place on earth is really just being back home!

they legit had a DJ!

they legit had a DJ!

how well they know us!

how well they know us!

Other than that, it’s been pretty typical.  Family, work, school, rinse, repeat.

And some extra pics of stuff, morning pictures, and fluffy buddies!

Ginny wrapped up in her toy

Ginny wrapped up in her toy

Bumble wrapped up in her blankets

Bumble wrapped up in her blankets

Kuma deciding Bumble's idea of hiding in blankets is brilliant

Kuma deciding Bumble’s idea of hiding in blankets is brilliant

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she just misses my suitcase...

she just misses my suitcase…

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I'm fairly obsessed with palm trees

I’m fairly obsessed with palm trees

Kuma put her toy against D's foot to use as a pillow

Kuma put her toy against D’s foot to use as a pillow

pure genius

pure genius

after a wet night out in Orlando

after a wet night out in Orlando

when you go to a Disney theme park by yourself and they're very curious as to why....they made me this button!

when you go to a Disney theme park by yourself and they’re very curious as to why….they made me this button!

what it looks like to hit up a theme park by yourself!  Glorious.

what it looks like to hit up a theme park by yourself! Glorious.

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cold morning walk

cold morning walk

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Have a great weekend!!

It’s Okay to be Obsessed with Cabbage

FOOD

I do have to say, it’s been non-stop eats of the whole non-processed variety!  Mostly gluten-free too (I have RA, and gluten makes it worse, so I try to avoid whenever possible).  I’m trying to be better about that!

Many of the dishes come from The Happy Herbivore, so I can’t take credit for the creation – just the eating!  As much as I like to design a great dish, I’m finding the demands on my time just don’t allow that as much as I’d like – and then I end up either skipping meals, or diving into wine, hummus, and crackers as an excuse for a meal.  So, largely letting someone else plan the dish, and all I have to do is cook and eat!

this is "chorizo" soup!  I made a huge batch on Sunday, and ate it 4 times through the week.  It's SO good.

this is “chorizo” soup! I made a huge batch on Sunday, and ate it 4 times through the week. It’s SO good.

Korean BBQ Lentils

Korean BBQ Lentils

Deep Dish Eggplant bake with tofu ricotta

Deep Dish Eggplant bake with tofu ricotta

a variation of a broccoli & hummus quesadilla.  Made the filling, but put it on a baked spud and topped with cabbage and hot sauce

a variation of a broccoli & hummus quesadilla. Made the filling, but put it on a baked spud and topped with cabbage and hot sauce

more soup, but loaded with cabbage.  Bit obsessed with that this week - digging the crunch

more soup, but loaded with cabbage. Bit obsessed with that this week – digging the crunch

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this is kale-fredo!  Made with quinoa noodles and thickened with chickpea flour to keep it gluten-free

this is kale-fredo! Made with quinoa noodles and thickened with chickpea flour to keep it gluten-free

Of course, still dig my smoothies!

I can't even recall what all was in this, but that it was super yummy and freakishly filling.

I can’t even recall what all was in this, but that it was super yummy and freakishly filling.

banana split!  I don't use protein powders often, but did yesterday.  Chocolate Vega powder, banana, strawberries, and spinach.

banana split! I don’t use protein powders often, but did yesterday. Chocolate Vega powder, banana, strawberries, and spinach.

And some quick miscellaneous eats too!

I keep a big bag of Bob's Red Mill rolled oats in my office for those days I'm REALLY rushed.  Tossed in some blueberries, and made breakfast at work.

I keep a big bag of Bob’s Red Mill rolled oats in my office for those days I’m REALLY rushed. Tossed in some blueberries, and made breakfast at work.

 

in a hurry due to exams and studying, so this is a simple baked potato topped with greens, hot sauce, and horseradish

in a hurry due to exams and studying, so this is a simple baked potato topped with greens, hot sauce, and horseradish

 

I discovered the joy of the "Steam" button on my Instant pot!  I actually had this unintentional mono-meal two days in a row!  I'm a sucker for a well done sweet potato and carrots :)

I discovered the joy of the “Steam” button on my Instant pot! I actually had this unintentional mono-meal two days in a row! I’m a sucker for a well done sweet potato and carrots 🙂

FITNESS

I pulled a muscle in my neck/shoulder, so I took it easy for a few days.  Once it felt mostly better, I added in some gentle yoga.  Eventually, it was back out for runs in the neighborhood!

LIFE

It’s been a pretty typical week, with an added level of stress due to exams.  I have one more that I hope to have mostly done today.  This one is a paper vs a sit-down timed exam.  But due Saturday, and I’d like to just get it over with!  That means Sunday marks the beginning of my last term before graduation in May!!!  And yes – I’m counting down the time.

Lot’s going on at work and on the professional front as well!

The weekend was really chill – mostly just me an R hanging out.  M worked and D was out having a spa evening on Friday, at a piano bar working on his book on Saturday, and doing all the grocery shopping and errand running on Sunday so I could focus on school stuff.

When R does her peanut flour dose, she has to be totally chill for 2 hours.  She can’t do anything that could elevate her heart rate because that can trigger a reaction.  Her chill of choice is to binge watch Hell’s Kitchen, so that’s what we do!  She totally loves Gordon Ramsey and her goal is to travel and eat at one of his restaurants.

I have the day off today because D has a colonoscopy this afternoon and I’m his designated driver.  Most readers know he has Crohn’s Disease, and this is just a check-up to see how he’s doing.  He has no symptoms of a flare or anything (which is fantastic), but it’s important to monitor every few years.

So, it’s time for me to get back to my paper before heading out to take D to his appointment!

Kuma keeping R company during a Hell's Kitchen episode

Kuma keeping R company during a Hell’s Kitchen episode

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the many naps of Kuma

the many naps of Kuma

Ginny demanding I take a break from my studies

Ginny demanding I take a break from my studies

Gin curled up on R's chair!  This is her special chair for her bass practice, but I think Ginny uses it more

Gin curled up on R’s chair! This is her special chair for her bass practice, but I think Ginny uses it more

bundled up for a cold morning walk!

bundled up for a cold morning walk!

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I got to do the #morningpicture today!!!  Of course that meant brining Kuma too :)

I got to do the #morningpicture today!!! Of course that meant brining Kuma too 🙂

 

Smooth(ie) Operator

FOOD

The best thing about being home is smoothies!  It’s also cool that my study buddy group in class is also hitting the smoothies hard core.

My smoothies!!  (including when I was rushed and picked up a green smoothie at a smoothie shop!)

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I am fully functional again, and all signs of nausea and no appetite have passed!  It did take much longer than I anticipated, but all’s well that end’s well.  Had some good solid food eats too as a result!

broccoli and sweet potato sushi & edamame

broccoli and sweet potato sushi & edamame

grapes!

grapes!

out w D on Friday night.  Sweet potato fries and an amazing veggie burger

out w D on Friday night. Sweet potato fries and an amazing veggie burger

beet & fennel soup

beet & fennel soup

Whole Foods salad bar

Whole Foods salad bar

grape tomatoes is one of my fav snacks

grape tomatoes is one of my fav snacks

sweet and sour tofu stir fry

sweet and sour tofu stir fry

FITNESS

I went to my first hot yoga class in MONTHS this weekend.  It was so perfect.  It was tough, and I may still be a bit sore between the shoulder blades, but I totally needed it.  I love doing yoga at home, but there’s something about the challenge and comradery of a group class with a great instructor!

post class shot!

post class shot!

LIFE

So the big accomplishment of the last week appears to be getting over jet lag!  SO YAY.

Actually, the best part of the past week has been spending time with family.  It’s hard to be motivated to do much else!

The other big news is R starting OIT (oral immuno-therapy) for her peanut allergy.  For those that don’t know, my youngest (13 years old) has a life threatening peanut allergy.  She can’t travel on a plane, can’t eat from a bakery, can’t step foot in many restaurants (like Thai & Chinese), and has to sit at a special “food allergy” table during her lunch breaks at school.

She’s started the OIT treatment program last Thursday – which is essentially eating a very small dose of peanut protein and slowly increasing that dose until you can actually eat the offending food.  To give an idea, 1 small peanut has 250 mg of peanut protein.  R’s current dose is 3mg.  The first 2 days the dosing was done at the doctors office to watch for reactions – and she did have a minor one of a sore throat (it’s how we knew to stop with 3mg.  We had started with 0.1mg).  Since then, it’s at-home dosing for two weeks, then back to the doctor to “updose” and monitor.

day 1!

day 1!

1st dose at home

1st dose at home

All told, the program takes around 8-12 months to reach a point of immunity.  The “medicine” is to eat peanuts (or peanut-containing candy, etc) every day for life to keep that immunity.  It’s a long road, but if successful, will let her lead a normal life where food is no longer something to be afraid of!  I’m so proud of her.  It’s scary as can be to purposefully eat the one thing you know can harm you.  It’s scary as hell to FEED your child something you’ve had her avoid her entire life just to keep her safe.

Aside from that, it’s been all about school since we’re in our exam period!  In fact, I have off today to study with a buddy and knock out the rest of my work by Sunday!

So, here’s some pics to leave you with!

D doing some home repairs in one of our bathrooms!

D doing some home repairs in one of our bathrooms!

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the 90's called.  They want their soda back.

the 90’s called. They want their soda back.

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took Kuma with me to run errands.  A bunch of people came out from the bank drive thru to play with her!

took Kuma with me to run errands. A bunch of people came out from the bank drive thru to play with her!

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right after getting my hair cut, and waiting for D for our massages last weekend!

right after getting my hair cut, and waiting for D for our massages last weekend!

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Misadventures of a Delhi Market Trip

FOOD

I admit to not having many more food pics to share from India.  My second week there I got quite sick with “Delhi Belly”.  To be honest, it may be a very long time before I want to eat Indian food again!  More than a week later, and I’m still not 100%.  Since getting home it’s been super small meals – usually a smoothie for breakfast and a salad for lunch.  Haven’t been eating dinner.  Partly I think because my sleep is so off and I’m jet lagging hardcore.

there were a few days where I couldn't eat anything at all.  On the 4th day - I had some tomato/veg broth and plain rice.

there were a few days where I couldn’t eat anything at all. On the 4th day – I had some tomato/veg broth and plain rice.

I arrived home Sunday evening, and we were out of some of our basic groceries – and my creamy base for smoothies – bananas.  So on my way to work Monday morning, I picked up an acai green smoothie!

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After stopping at the market on my way home Monday, I was able to whip up my own smoothie this morning!  Orange, banana, pineapple, strawberry, and spinach.

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Lunch was a BAS (Big Ass Salad for newbies).  Taco style!  Romaine, iceberg, onion, cilantro, tofu, black beans, cucumber, and salsa.  Thank you Moe’s!!!

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FITNESS

I went for a run before work this morning.  Actually – my sleep is all jacked up, so I was awake at 3:30am.  After spending 45 min trying to fall back asleep, I gave up and threw on my running clothes.  I put on a pot of java and took off.  I wasn’t sure how I’d feel after not running for a few weeks and not eating much, but it was honestly fantastic.  Not sure I can make this early morning thing a habit, but I dug it this morning.

LIFE

Other than getting sick as crazy, the rest of the week was good.  We have great speakers and classes as always, but mostly it was just amazing to be with my classmates.  We don’t physically see each other except during these residencies, and I truly dig them all.

The last day, however, saw some Delhi misadventures that are funny to think about now.  It goes like this…

6 people set off to walk to a market.  Success!  Those same 6 break up into 2 Uber’s to find their way to an Old Delhi Spice Market.  This is where our heroes take an interesting turn….

BF and I were wondering if seeing dogs in clothes was a way to mark them as belonging to someone vs strays!

BF and I were wondering if seeing dogs in clothes was a way to mark them as belonging to someone vs strays!

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In Uber 1 (my uber), driver turns the wrong way down an alley.  We’re blocked in (people and cows on all sides!) and some start banging on the car.  The driver gets out, and my anxiety level starts to notch up just a bit!  Eventually, he comes back, everyone rallies around to clear the way so our driver can back out of the alley.

We get close (ish) to the market (none of us in the car actually know where we are), and traffic is so crappy he kicks us out and tells us to walk.  We have a vague idea of direction (actually, BF seemed to have an innate sense of how to get there), and off we go.  We find it, and the “spice market” is actually blocks and blocks of small shops selling tubs/bins of spices, beans, and pastas.  Lot’s of street food vendors too, and it was fun to watch.

We actually manage to find our other 3 friends (thank goodness for WhatsApp and Google Maps!) and start walking together.  We got to stop and watch a shopkeeper toss bananas in the air just to be swooped up and eaten by the baboons!

We decide that it’s time to head back.  Based on craptastic traffic and our hotel checkout time – we needed to go.  Finding a way out (i.e. – cab, etc.) started to prove impossible.  So…NS (who speaks Hindi, thank goodness!) negotiates with a gentleman to carry the 6 of us in his electric scooter/cart thing.  We are quite the spectacle as we’re all piled in something made for 4, and start bouncing down the street.  About 6 blocks later – the front tire pops, and we’re on foot once more.

After a few blocks, NS negotiates with 2 tuk tuk (auto rickshaw) drivers to ferry us back to the hotel.  We’re back in groups of three, and I think our drivers believed they were in some kind of Nascar/Death Race/Bumper Car mash-up.   When not stuck in traffic, we’re literally flying down the roads.  Keep in mind that there are very few traffic lights or signs, and it’s a “first come gets the right of way” type of environment.  And lanes are optional.

Anyway…as we’re entering a round about, JC starts yelling at me “DON’T LOOK LEFT, DON’T LOOK LEFT, HOLY S&^$”.  Of course I’m sitting on the far left and anything coming at us (which was everything from busses, trucks, cars, rickshaws, and cows) would smash right into me.  Our little rickshaw would be toast!

As we were stuck in traffic, all manner of people walked up to ask for money.  One was a particularly tenacious and hilarious little girl who kept trying to reach into JC’s inner coat pocket.

We make it back to the hotel, and EA, JC, and I immediately burst into cheers and applause.  The driver seemed both surprised and pleased.  I guess he’s not usually celebrated for getting his passengers to their destination alive…

My flight left that night.  15 hours from Delhi to Jersey.  7 hour layover there.  Then home – just to be diverted during our decent due to a disabled plane on the ground blocking the runway.  We went to Richmond, refueled, then headed home.  Finally.

I was back to work immediately the next morning, and I admit that I’m struggling with jet lag for the first time.  I’m falling asleep between 5-8, and up around 3-4.  Then feel like a zombie (other than the whole brain eating thing) by 1.  Alas, it can’t last forever!

So, just a few other miscellaneous pictures before I try to stay awake another few hours before going to bed!

one of the days I couldn't get out of bed and sent D a "feel sorry for me" selfie

one of the days I couldn’t get out of bed and sent D a “feel sorry for me” selfie

watched several movies that day.  This popped up after every commercial.  It was spoken in a highly dramatic voice.

watched several movies that day. This popped up after every commercial. It was spoken in a highly dramatic voice.

last day of class!

last day of class!

hell no.  My cats love me.

hell no. My cats love me.

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scarf shop in the hotel where more than a few of us picked up some beautiful scarves.

scarf shop in the hotel where more than a few of us picked up some beautiful scarves.

in the Delhi airport

in the Delhi airport

in the Jersey airport

in the Jersey airport

missed these two so much

missed these two so much

 

Namaste from India!

FOOD

Just a few short days after my last post, I was on my way for a 2 week stay in India!  While I have managed to find plenty of eats, the “vegan” concept is still a bit foreign.  I usually get offers of boiled veggies, fish, and chicken.  Still – it hasn’t been all that challenging considering the plentiful vegetables and legumes!

congee with fresh ginger

congee with fresh ginger

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yes - nice hotel :)

yes – nice hotel 🙂

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LOVE the guava especially!

LOVE the guava especially!

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salad w/hummus as a dressing has become a total favorite

salad w/hummus as a dressing has become a total favorite

FITNESS

Yoga every day!  I certainly went for runs before heading to India, but haven’t since I’ve been here.  The air quality is such that I wouldn’t go outside anyway – even with a group, and our crazy long days in residency leave me little desire to do hard cardio.  So – every morning has been yoga and it’s been great.

LIFE

Well – I’m in India!  This is the last of my non-US residencies, and I have one more of those (in April) before graduating in May!

I arrived in Mumbai in New Year’s Eve.  Despite being awake for about 38 hours, I still hit up the NYE bash at the Opium Den bar in the hotel with several of my classmates.  Many others went to Dubai to stay with a classmate and ring in the new year.

I spent a week in Mumbai and, like much of what I’m seeing of India, it’s a study in contrasts.  There are those who are very well off (2-3% of Indian’s are wealthy by international standards – and that’s a LOT of people, considering there are 1.2 billion people.  That means there are more wealthy in India than the total population of Australia!), a rising middle class, and some abjectly poor.  And you can see it all in a very short radius.

Mumbai has heavy British influences, though with an Indian spice.  I found much of it quite pretty.

view from my room - the Arabian Sea and the Mumbai skyline

view from my room – the Arabian Sea and the Mumbai skyline

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my class in front of the Gateway to India

my class in front of the Gateway to India

beautiful train station

beautiful train station

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yep - that's a guy with a really big gun....

yep – that’s a guy with a really big gun….

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a women's co-op we visited.  founded more than 50 yrs ago, the goal is to employ women to help them provide for their families while still getting to stay home.

a women’s co-op we visited. founded more than 50 yrs ago, the goal is to employ women to help them provide for their families while still getting to stay home.

one of the Mumbai slums

one of the Mumbai slums

a gift from the co-op

a gift from the co-op

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We left Mumbai after a week, flew to Delhi, and then took a 6 hour bus ride to Agra.  It took 3 hours to get from the airport to the highway because traffic is so horrible – and it’s always this bad.

view from the front of the bus :(

view from the front of the bus 😦

We rolled into Agra quite late, checked into our rooms, and went to bed.  We had to be in the lobby by 6am to get to the Taj Mahal before it opened – hoping to see a sunrise, but it was foggy (or smoggy).

in my Agra hotel room.  Do not distrub me!!!

in my Agra hotel room. Do not distrub me!!!

tried to call the front desk to ask about my Wi-Fi - but didn't know how!  Tried 0, but no answer.  Oh well.  Just went to sleep instead.

tried to call the front desk to ask about my Wi-Fi – but didn’t know how! Tried 0, but no answer. Oh well. Just went to sleep instead.

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lots of baboons!  They like to steal things from people - especially food.

lots of baboons! They like to steal things from people – especially food.

this one won a little battle with a friend over the ownership of this bottle

this one won a little battle with a friend over the ownership of this bottle

From there we went back to the hotel for breakfast, then off to the Agra fort.  That was amazing!

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built to protect a palace, it was a total maze.  Designed that way in part to confuse incoming troops, but mostly to stop stampeding elephants

built to protect a palace, it was a total maze. Designed that way in part to confuse incoming troops, but mostly to stop stampeding elephants

Then it was lunch, and finally to a market and temple.  That particular trip was completely chaotic, but like nothing else I’ve seen.

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Then it was to the train station, back to Delhi, into a new hotel, a reception (which I admit I skipped so I could shower!), and then back to business today.

While here, I’m definitely embracing a different wardrobe!

on the way down to class this morning

on the way down to class this morning

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Tonight I’m off to have dinner with a co-worker’s family!  He’s from Delhi, and his mom and sister are making me dinner.  SO excited!

On the non-India front, I promised pics of the finish painted guest room.  Plus I can’t leave you without a few fluff balls and morning pictures!

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she loves laundry day

she loves laundry day

seeing Rogue One the night before I left for India

seeing Rogue One the night before I left for India

M and Kuma passed out on the sofa!

M and Kuma passed out on the sofa!

me as I landed in Mumbai

me as I landed in Mumbai

me and two of my awesome classmates

me and two of my awesome classmates

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Still Here – Promise!

Okay, last post was about Halloween.  I swear, I’m still kicking.  Just been – uncontrolled chaos!  I normally refer to my life as barely controlled chaos, but even I can admit it’s gone overboard!

Not going to try and do a 2 month update.  Many trips have ensued, family, school, work, friends, fun, tears, frustration, and an appreciation for life.

FOOD

I haven’t spent nearly enough time in my kitchen, and not making nearly enough of my super healthy eats!  Too much eating out or no eating at all, and I’m certainly feeling it.

But there were a few highlights!  One of them, is I got a new appliance!  An Air Fryer.  I picked up the GoWise on sale on Amazon, and it’s been a lot of fun to play with.  Kids love it, and it’s fun to have that fried food without added fats – which just end up hurting my stomach.

red lentil soup

red lentil soup

green curry.  of course!

green curry. of course!

tuna-less chickpea salad

tuna-less chickpea salad

butternut squash soup

butternut squash soup

a BAS with roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa, and tons of raw veg underneath - topped with a yummy lemon/maple/tahini dressing

a BAS with roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa, and tons of raw veg underneath – topped with a yummy lemon/maple/tahini dressing

air fried tofu, roasted maple carrots, and air fried french fries.

air fried tofu, roasted maple carrots, and air fried French fries.

Dijon tofu alfredo with veggies

Dijon tofu alfredo with veggies

air fried falafel

air fried falafel

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cream of broccoli soup

cream of broccoli soup

tempeh taco salad with pickled radish and onion

tempeh taco salad with pickled radish and onion

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air fried tofu stir fry

air fried tofu stir fry

ranch kale chips from the air fryer!

ranch kale chips from the air fryer!

 

FITNESS

A few runs per week is about what I’ve been able to sustain.  One kickboxing session too.  Longest one was an 8 miler when I was staying with my sister on Thanksgiving weekend.

apparently this run was a little more difficult

post kickboxing – which kicked my butt

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a lovely Christmas morning run!  It was 50 and sunny and perfect

a lovely Christmas morning run! It was 50 and sunny and perfect

LIFE

I spent the Thanksgiving holiday with my sister and her family and seeing my mom.  She’s now out of the hospital and hopefully on her way to a long, strong, and healthy life.

The week after Thanksgiving I was in Chicago for a week for a conference.  It was a great show, but the best part was staying with my best friend – who moved to New Orleans nearly a year ago!

I’ve been back home for about 3 weeks, and it’s been quite hectic between work, school, and prepping for the Christmas holiday.

Last weekend D took Kuma to the mountains for a long weekend, so it was mostly just R and me (M worked all weekend).  We watched movies, painted (pics of that later) and I studied.  All of us were sick for a few days this past week too, which sucked.  D had it the longest – pretty much a full week – and he’s still stuffy.

But last night for Christmas Eve A and her boyfriend came over and we had a blast.  Red beans and rice for dinner, movies, jammies, and board games!  I went to bed just after midnight, and left the rest of them playing card games!

And as she’s done since she was little – A woke us up stupid early for presents.  From there, it was our big breakfast tradition, cleaning, and lazing about.  I actually started packing for my India trip!  I NEVER pack early, so this is a major thing 🙂

Anyway, will leave you with a few fun pics!  Hope you’re all having a wonderful family if you celebrate, and if not – just an all around fantastic weekend.

~Crissie

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that look when you pick up all the cat toys so you can vacuum

that look when you pick up all the cat toys so you can vacuum

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road trip Kuma!

road trip Kuma!

hide and seek Kuma!

hide and seek Kuma!

R out on M and R's boat in early November (it was a really nice day)

R out on M and R’s boat in early November (it was a really nice day)

at an artisan fair in Chicago

at an artisan fair in Chicago

saw this in a European lotion store.  Made me giggle.

saw this in a European lotion store. Made me giggle.

a lovely gift from a friend/classmate.

a lovely gift from a friend/classmate.

almost snuggling!

almost snuggling!

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3000 Miles Later…

This is going to be a quick preamble because I don’t know how to actually write about things like this.  On October 16th, my father passed away very suddenly.  With my mom in the hospital for several months, it hit my family even harder than anticipated.  I don’t really have a lot to say other than my sister and I (and our extended family) are reeling right now, but still trying to keep life and the future in the most positive light we can.  Rest well Dad.  Love you.  Miss you.

this is a little over a year old - last time he came to visit me in VA.

this is a little over a year old – last time he came to visit me in VA

FOOD

So it may seem silly to continue with my “regular scheduled blog programming” in light of the bombshell above.  But….my Dad would likely be really pissed if any of us stopped our lives because he decided it was time to go.  So…here I go.  Onward the way I think he’d want me to.

I was only home for a week from my work trip before heading back home to WI from VA, so food pics were a little limited.  Also – not doing much cooking (nor eating) the past week+, so this will be a little lack luster.

last night in WI - out to dinner with my sister, niece, and nephew.

last night in WI – out to dinner with my sister, niece, and nephew.

tofu and veg curry at Beans & Barley in WI.

tofu and veg curry at Beans & Barley in WI.

our black bean dip app

our black bean dip app

a road trip dish in Toledo.  Bleh, but I needed to eat

a road trip dish in Toledo. Bleh, but I needed to eat

road trip salad

road trip salad

Tofu and veggie tacos with my cousin

Tofu and veggie tacos with my cousin

baked a pumpkin pie this eve

baked a pumpkin pie this eve

Tofurky, roasted maple sweet potatoes, and balsamic brussels.  Glad to be home.

Tofurky, roasted maple sweet potatoes, and balsamic brussels. Glad to be home.

FITNESS

Ha.  Sorry – nothing to report here.  Lot’s of cleaning, packing, moving and things like that.  No runs.  No yoga.  No bike rides.  No time.

LIFE

The past week and a half has been all about my mom and my sister.  D held down the fort (like he always does) back home in VA.

My bday was the 19th, and that’s the morning I packed up my mini-van (hello…I have 3 kids.  What did you think I drive?!) and started the long drive to WI.  Not the best birthday ever, but not too terrible either.  I spent it with myself, my thoughts, and the occasional blasting stereo (hey, no judging.  My mini-van can totally rock out).  I think I really needed it – to get through all the sad/angry thoughts before I was actually around other people.  I stopped in Toledo, had a drink, dinner, and watched the debates.

Some of my travel tunes!  As a bday present, D got me Sirius radio so I didn’t get stuck with crap tunes on the drive!

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I stayed in WI a little over a week, and left on Friday mid-morning.  I stopped in Cleveland with enough time to study (I had class Sat morning) before going to sleep.  I hit the road in the morning and stopped at a travel plaza with free Wi-Fi to connect to class.  It was touch and go, and I kept losing connection.  I eventually gave up and hit the road again.  As usual, DC traffic sucked, but I made it home by 730 last night.  3000 miles later and with a heavy heart, but also positive experiences with my sister and her kids, my mom, my cousin SP (who’s an incredibly special woman), and the love of family, I came back to my home in VA and the amazing love and support of my family and friends here.

I spent it snuggled on the couch with D.  Then slept in today, grocery shopped, and told stories about my Dad.

Good night everyone.  Be back soon.

Much love,

Crissie

Misc pics of the week…

borrowed a pair of my sister's socks.  Didn't know they had instructions until about 12 hrs later!  Ooops....

borrowed a pair of my sister’s socks. Didn’t know they had instructions until about 12 hrs later! Ooops….

study spot in Cleveland

study spot in Cleveland

the boys decorating the front yard for my fav holiday!

the boys decorating the front yard for my fav holiday!

skyline in Chicago as I headed out Friday afternoon

skyline in Chicago as I headed out Friday afternoon

me in Cleveland after a day of driving

me in Cleveland after a day of driving

D looking incredibly gorgeous that week!

D looking incredibly gorgeous that week!

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my baby got glasses!

my baby got glasses!

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Bumble in a box!

Bumble in a box!

Kuma busted digging in the back yard

Kuma busted digging in the back yard

bday flowers from AC

bday flowers from AC

condolence flowers from JG

condolence flowers from JG

my and my big sis

my and my big sis

Atomic records in Milwaukee!  SO many memories of this place

Atomic records in Milwaukee! SO many memories of this place

my mom when she was 19.

my mom when she was 19.

R all grown up last weekend!

R looking all grown up last weekend!

Kuma discovering the delight of the fireplace

Kuma discovering the delight of the fireplace

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passed out pups

passed out pups

me an R at dinner the night before my bday

me an R at dinner the night before my bday

Golf, School, and a Hurricane (and not the yummy NOLA drinks either!)

FOOD

Not as many pictures as normal, but there are a few!  I was out of town for work to support a project, so didn’t always get my green smoothies – but I did typically have a breakfast salad from the Whole Foods bar on my way into work in the mornings!

Green smoothie (of course!)  This was actually a lunchtime one.

Green smoothie (of course!) This was actually a lunchtime one.

my dinner with E on Saturday night

my dinner with E on Saturday night

my morning juice when traveling

my morning juice when traveling

breakfast BAS

breakfast BAS

and another

and another

white bean vegan chili from my hotel restaurant

white bean vegan chili from my hotel restaurant

Tofu green curry.  Not the best I've ever had...

Tofu green curry. Not the best I’ve ever had…

yummy java from Shenandoah Joe's!

yummy java from Shenandoah Joe’s!

a toasty tofurky sammich with a side of grilled broccoli and mushrooms

a toasty tofurky sammich with a side of grilled broccoli and mushrooms

last night's dinner!  RM made an amazing vegan chili (and had vegan sour cream too!).  Didn't take a pic of the mushroom appetizer because I ate them all...

last night’s dinner! RM made an amazing vegan chili (and had vegan sour cream too!). Didn’t take a pic of the mushroom appetizer because I ate them all…

roasted garlic!  Just because it's awesome in a lot of things (and this is destined for a winter squash alfredo)

roasted garlic! Just because it’s awesome in a lot of things (and this is destined for a winter squash alfredo)

One quick recipe for a simple mid-exam meal!  When I’m really low on free time, I have to admit that I get even more grateful for having pretty much every kitchen appliance out there.  This one was a simple rice cooker dish.  Throw it all in and then eat when it’s done!

  • 1 cup rice (doesn’t matter the type – I wanted brown, but am apparently out and used Arborio instead)
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp. ground ginger root
  • 2 tbsp. red Thai curry powder (here’s the one I use)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3-4 cups whatever frozen veg you have (today, I used peas and green beans)
  • 1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas
it's got kick from the Thai spice, and is creamy and filling and awesome

it’s got kick from the Thai spice, and is creamy and filling and awesome

FITNESS

I went for a few runs, a bike ride, an online yoga class in my hotel room, and golf!

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Yes – it was the once a year charity golf event!  Both D and I want to actually play regularly, but I need to graduate first.  There’s so little free time as it is, so starting something new just isn’t in the cards for me.  Still – we had a blast (playing with our usual couple!) and I was literally sore for days!

at least we can DRESS like golfers!

at least we can DRESS like golfers!

LIFE

Big surprise – it’s been a wild week and a half!

First off, it’s Term 4 (of 6) exam time from Oct 7-22, so if possible, I’m even more head down and buried in my studies.  This also means I only have 2 terms left!!  WOO.  I have 5 courses per term, and each course typically has a 5 hr. exam.  There was an exception with one being a bit shorter.

Last Friday was golf, so that was an all day event.  Saturday morning I hit the road for work.  I got to see JN twice and have dinner with EA the night I arrived!  They’re both classmates.

me an EA!

me an EA!

Work took up all day every day until I went home.

Oh – and there was that pesky hurricane.  D’s car got water in the engine and my entire neighborhood was flooded.  D and the kids handled it all very well while I was dry up in the mountains.

that's my driveway and front yard!

that’s my driveway and front yard!

dude kayaking through the street

dude kayaking through the street

view from my front yard

view from my front yard

blackmail photo for later.  The storm was so crazy on Saturday night and R was a bit freaked out by the trees blowing outside her window, that she crawled in with D on my side of the bed.

blackmail photo for later. The storm was so crazy on Saturday night and R was a bit freaked out by the trees blowing outside her window, that she crawled in with D on my side of the bed.

Friday night (last night) was working on a group submission for one final (which also incorporated a significant amount of French wine, puppies, and a fire pit).

Today I took 10 hours worth of exams.  I’m surprisingly NOT as brain dead as I thought I would – though I am going to head to bed soon!

Tomorrow I’m taking what I think may be my toughest exam.  I doubt I’ll sit for more than one, so I will take my remaining final Monday night.  It gets me done 5 days early (which is nice so I can start to prep for next term), but mainly my goal is to not have any exams hanging over my head come my birthday on Wednesday,

Other than that – typical pics of cats, Kuma, the Morning Pictures, and any other random pics snapped!

Ginny jumped in my briefcase

Ginny jumped in my briefcase

and then decided that sleeping on my study materials was more comfy.  Shocker.

and then decided that sleeping on my study materials was more comfy. Shocker.

I took Kuma shopping!  We needed cat and dog food.  And of course like any shopping trip with a toddler, we ended up in the toy section...

I took Kuma shopping! We needed cat and dog food. And of course like any shopping trip with a toddler, we ended up in the toy section…

Spooky Puppy Toy!  It lights up in the ball when thrown.

Spooky Puppy Toy! It lights up in the ball when thrown.

spooky bone.  New kong.  Spoiled pups.

spooky bone. New kong. Spoiled pups.

that tongue...

that tongue…

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Gin knocking over the basket of laundry

Gin knocking over the basket of laundry

the many shots of Kuma napping on or by me when studying yesterday

the many shots of Kuma napping on or by me when studying yesterday

no clue what was happening here, other than D was cleaning the garage once the water receded.

no clue what was happening here, other than D was cleaning the garage once the water receded.

hanging in a box of stuff I'm sending to my niece

hanging in a box of stuff I’m sending to my niece

Morning Pictures

with big bro!  D and I had to be to the golf course, so M took her :)

with big bro! D and I had to be to the golf course, so M took her 🙂

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Kuma tagging along

Kuma tagging along

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Random shots

picked up new shoes at the Converse store at the outlet mall!

picked up new shoes at the Converse store at the outlet mall!

silly good morning pic sent to D while I was away

silly good morning pic sent to D while I was away

me, JG and RM last night

me, JG and RM last night