Go Pack Go!!! :-)

Before I can write my regular blog, I must apologize to my father.  He called me on Monday leaving a less than happy voicemail at my failure to acknowledge in my last blog entry the Packer’s win over Chicago on Sunday, ensuring their spot at this year’s Superbowl.  So for my Dad (and all Wisconsinites (former, current, and future) and Packer fans everywhere) 

GO PACKERS!!!

FOOD

The biggest food news this week is that I now have a working microwave.  I ate leftovers.  It was glorious!  It was drama getting it installed, but in the end, all that matters is I have a microwave again.

The biggest highlights of my week were leftover Red Thai Curry Soup I made on Sunday (courtesy of my microwave – I ate it on Monday!), baked kale chips (no clue how I spent this long not ever having them), Tofu Green Curry (courtesy of a Thai restaurant), and two meals at Whole Foods consisting of a combination of amazing things on their buffet line.  I’m not itemizing my week because I frankly can’t remember it all!  I really dislike it when I go several days between entries.  I feel incomplete somehow.

kale before they became chips.  Coated in olive oil and balsamic vinegar

AFTER they were baked at 350 for 12 minutes.  Salted (after they bake).  Awesome.  My oldest eventually tried them and declared that “the strange green crunchy leaves are really good”.

Fresh Thai tofu spring rolls

the buffet line at Whole Foods.  Really?  How many grocery stores have this?  And why isn’t there on in my region??

from the cold buffet line.  Tabbouleh, dumplings, rice, and hearts of palm salad

from the hot buffet line.  Red curry tofu and Jamaican cabbage

This morning I had a dish of brown rice pasta and sauteed bell peppers, onions, and garlic.  For lunch I had a salad from the Cheesecake Factory Express at one of our malls.  It’s one of my favorites; romaine lettuce, red onion, apple, walnuts, and balsamic vinaigrette over a big flat bread.  Once I eat enough of the salad part, I can curl it up into a taco/wrap thing. 

For dinner I made an entirely new creation.  It was a tofu and vegetable Thai curry with a Bangkok Thai Spice Blend that I picked up at Penzy’s in Richmond yesterday.  It was really good, and super easy.

1 container extra firm tofu, pressed and cubed
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp Bangkok Thai Spice Blend
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
1can light coconut milk
4 Roma tomatoes, diced

I coated the tofu cubes first in the lemon juice, and then in the spice blend.  I marinated that in the coconut milk for about 2 hours.  I poured it all into a sauce pan, added the veggies, brought to a boil, and then covered and simmered for about a half hour.  I served it over rice. 

FITNESS

I had some good workouts this week, but missed the Tri club.  Our coach was sick on Monday, so we didn’t have spinning.  I wasn’t able to go to Wednesday’s group run or Friday’s swim.  That is NOT to say I didn’t work out though 🙂

Today was my favorite.  I did my longest swim ever!  1200 yards.  I found a site called Swim Plan, and they have free workouts.  Here’s what I did:

Warm up:
*50 yd freestyle
*50 yd backstroke

Build Up (repeat 4 times):
*25 yd of alternating single arm strokes.  6 each side.  I’m really uncoordinated, so this one was hard for me.
*25 yd freestyle catch-up ( Freestyle drill where one arm catches up to the other between stokes. Both arms start stretched out. One arm completes full stoke (both arms return to a stretched out position) then the other arm completes a full stroke. Pull with one arm at a time and touch your hands between each alternating arm stroke). 

Core:
*12 x 25 yd freestyle
*12 x 50 yd freestyle with pull buoy.  I love these.  I find it easier than using my arms and legs at the same time!  See…uncoordinated…

Cool Down:
*8 x 25 any stroke (I did freestyle for all but 50, where I did backstroke)

I swam at a different Y than I normally do.  Usually I go to the one near my house, but today I went to the one downtown.  My eldest was volunteering at her school (new student auditions), so I went to the Y that was closest.  I have to say, it’s in a pretty part of town.

the area of Norfolk where I was today.  It’s very pretty, and I love the cobblestone street (though I HATE driving on it)

Norfolk has a whole bunch of Mermaid sculptures (all different) at various locations in the city.  I parked near this one.  I love them, and think it’s neat that we have these. 

LIFE

By Monday evening, it had already felt like a long week.  Without going into a ton of detail, it was a really…really long week, though thankfully not all of it unpleasant. 

Did I mention I have a microwave now???  The appliance guy never did return any of D’s phone calls.  He eventually texted him on Monday to say he’d be by “after 5pm” on Tuesday.  Oy.  We should have dumped him, but his price was good, so we gave him another chance.  He showed at 505pm on Tuesday and told us it would be about an hour.  After an hour or so, D hears “Oh, s**t” come from the kitchen.  After a bit longer, D learns that this guy broke the new microwave as he was installing it.  He had to leave, go to Lowe’s, attempt to return a busted microwave, get a new one, and come back to put it in.  Sometime around 9pm, D called me to tell me we had finally – after nearly a month – gotten a new and functional microwave put in. 

Fast forward a few painful days.  Thursday night, it was time to go to Richmond with a friend for some much needed relaxation and girl time.  My friend’s husband is from Richmond, and she went to grad school there and lived there for years.  She was a bit mortified that the only part of Richmond I’d ever experienced was either the airport or my pilgrimages to Whole Foods, so she vowed to take me and show me around.

Of course, we had to get there first.  Darla did well until we got close, and then she advised I get off the freeway before A thought I should.  We listened to Darla and ended up in a relatively scary part of town.  Darla was yelling, A and I were nervous, so we drove around to where A thought we should go.  It took us an additional 45 minutes or so, but we got there!  It was a very nice hotel, and almost as soon as we checked in, we left to grab a drink at the Capital Ale House.  After perusing an impressive selection of beer, she got some dark chocolate number, and I had a pale Belgian beer.  We eventually went to bed around 230am – which is impressive that we were still awake!

Friday we did some touring in the daylight, saw some beautiful parts of town (the University area was particularly lovely), and did lots of shopping.   After Whole Foods, one of our first stops was a nice shopping center that has a Crate and Barrel.  I love that store, and we don’t have one by us.  I was wandering around and looking at things, when A noticed a little kitchen tool I’ve been looking for for years!  It’s a total throw back to 1970’s Tupperware; it’s a citrus peeler.  It’s a long stick of plastic with a hook end – almost like a crochet hook – and it does an incredible job of peeling oranges.  We used to have one and would put it in the kids’ lunches when they had oranges, and I’m pretty sure one of them accidentally threw it away.  I was so excited, I bought two (at only 75 cents each, I should have bought 5!).  We went to several other places and I picked up a few things.  One was a Fair Trade shop, and I bought something, but I can’t say what it is yet because it’s a gift and she reads this 🙂  My last stop before going home was REI.  I bought a cushy girly seat for my road bike.  No way I’m racing on what it has now.  I also picked up a commuter back pack for D.

a neat dress display made out of metal hangers.  It was in one of the shops we went into, and I had to take a picture of it.

I had a great time, and can’t wait to go back and see more of my state’s capitol.

Today I woke up insanely early (for a Saturday).  I was downstairs by 7am, drinking coffee, and finally catching up on my blog reading’s (I was 115 behind!).  I was tagged in one to do a Fun Things Friday, and I feel horrible that I missed blogging the last two Friday’s.  I promise, I will do it this coming week!!

I cleaned the kitchen, had two cups of espresso (yeah, I know.  That’s a lot, even for me.  I was tired).  One was a nice vanilla blend.  Yum.  D woke up around 830 and made breakfast for he and the kids while I puttered around.  He took R to swim lessons, and then I took A downtown to her art school for her volunteering.

I haven’t done a whole lot since other than cook and relax (and since cooking IS relaxing, it was a chill afternoon).  D ran errands, took A driving (she has her learners permit), and we all sat around and watched Chuck.  D rented The Social Network, and we just finished watching that.  I liked it very much, though it got a little long and drawn out at one point, but only a little.  It was an otherwise fascinating story – especially since I’m on Facebook all the time.

So now I’m finally caught up on blogging and can’t wait to get back into my rhythm of regular updates.  Tomorrow I’m going to run and go to some Eco thing with S at her friend’s place around 1.  I have no clue what to expect, but I imagine I’ll have pictures!

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