Tofu, Ghost’s, and Camping! What’s Not to Love About That??


Three of the past 5 days have been spent traveling, so my meals have been mostly salads, coffee, and the like.  I made a big batch of my spicy tofu soup, so that was good.  It’s been awhile since I’ve been in a soup mood!

I attempted my first camping-related dehydrator experiment.  I had read that you can dehydrate pretty much anything and be good to go.  Can of peas?  No problem.  Cooked rice?  Absolutely (and brilliant I think – making my own Minute Rice!). Bread?  Why not (though I picture the Lord of the Rings final movie where Sam whines about the elven bread…thinking it’ll be something like that).

I had made a big crock pot of my red beans and rice last week, and froze half of it.  After reading the camping books, I thought it would be PERFECT for a camp recipe.    Beans are tricky though.  Over dehydrate, and you end up with powder.  So I set the timer for 12 hrs (based on the books as a guesstimate), and left from there.  After 8 hours, the beans and sauce were perfect.  Unfortunately…there was sausage in there (added for D), and they didn’t dehydrate fully, which could go rancid (another reason why meat is gross).  If I dehydrated it enough to dry the sausage, the beans would be powder.  The key is to dehydrate each ingredient separately, and then combine them after the fact for reconstitution.  I even have a (very old) food saver I’m going to use.  Alas.  I’ll try something else soon.

I also made a batch of pinto beans in my rice cooker ala JL Goes Vegan.  I used pinto beans, onion, garlic, Sirach, and veggie broth, but followed the same concept.  They turned out well enough to use in burritos and the like, so I packed them up and put them in the fridge.

Yesterday was both a good and bad food day.  I woke up WAY earlier than the rest of the family (as usual), and made a cup of coffee in the hotel and read while waiting for everyone else.  Of course D and the kids wanted to go out for breakfast, and I was saving myself for the Whole Foods buffet bar.  So here I am – up at 630 am, and it’s after 11 before we’re finally sitting down to eat.  At Ihop.  I’m cranky and feeling sorry for myself because I was up the longest, I’m starving, and I have to wait for them to eat their omelets and such before I can finally eat (no WAY I was wasting myself on stinking oatmeal when that buffet was awaiting me).  So I pouted for a bit that my family couldn’t just be happy eating like me for once – and that I’m always the one sacrifice any variety in my diet for them when it comes to dining out.  I got over it after having a glass of tomato juice and a side salad, which took the edge off my starvation and annoyance.

Anyway, by the time I got my buffet, it was almost 2.  I ate several yummy things while they watched.  I was too hungry to take a picture, sorry!

When I got home from the weekend trip, I found several big bags of bounty from AT’s garden on my porch!  She had texted me earlier in the day that she dropped some off.  “Some” is an understatement!  I’ve already decided that I’m going to grate the monster zucchini in my kitchen aid attachment, use some to make bread, and freeze the rest for later use.

The only thing not shown here is the HUGE bag of tomatoes she left too.

This morning was a veggie V7 juice (tomato, kale, onion, carrot, cucumber, bell pepper, hot pepper).  It was all fresh from AT’s garden except the kale, which was a gift from one of D’s co-workers.  So woo hoo!

Lunch today was some macro Hunan dumplings I picked up at Whole Foods.  They were awesome.  I munched on a banana during my afternoon meeting, and then had a salad and quesadilla (Daiya cheddar cheese, my rice-cooker pinto beans, and onion) for dinner.  A very tasty food day!


My highlight is definitely Friday.  During my lunch time (between meetings), I went to the Y and swam.  First workout since I hurt my back!  I took it easy – doing 15 total laps for a total of 750 yds.  I took my time and didn’t push it, but it felt good.  I could feel the tension in my back most of the time, but it wasn’t painful really, just present.  I promised D that if I started to hurt, I’d stop.

The swim took about 25 minutes total, and then I sat it the hot tub for 10 minutes before taking a quick shower and leaving.  I think I was giddy all day because of it.

I did a lot of walking this weekend, and some of it got to me, but I hung in there.  Saturday night we did a guided walk for an hour and a half.  We hoofed it all over Richmond.  I figure that had to count for something.

I was hoping to run today, but my long afternoon meeting left my back really sore from sitting.  I have a chiropractor appt tomorrow, so I decided it would be prudent to wait until after that. 


The past few days have been a blur…but a happy blur.

I worked Thursday and Friday, though I don’t recall much about it now.  I finished the wash and was excited to put the drying rack out on the back deck.  For once, we had gorgeous weather – low 80’s, no humidity, and wonderful!

The Triathlon was this weekend, and while I wasn’t able to do it, we had already booked (and paid for via Hotwire) the hotel in Richmond, so we decided to go anyway.  At the last minute (Friday morning), we decided to add an additional night and leave Friday instead of Saturday, stay in Williamsburg, and really make a weekend out of it.

I took Sammie to the Pet Hotel for her weekend fun/spa treatments Friday afternoon before we left town.  She was all booked for doggie day camp, ice cream social, and grooming.

We hit the road around 530pm on Friday, checked into the hotel by 7 in Williamsburg, and went to Busch Gardens.  The reason we went was really to see their Illuminights display.  Since we missed fireworks on the 4th due to storms, we’d been wanting to hit Busch Gardens to make up for it. 

We had a blast.  Each country was decked out in lights, and at 930, we got to see an awesome fireworks display.  The D, the kids, and I had a great time (as usual) and we were back to the hotel by 1030.

The hotel wasn’t great – there are no really NICE hotels in Williamsburg (they’re serviceable…but not 4 star!).  Internet didn’t work, the beds were lumpy, and my husband snored like a freight train (allergies I think, since it’s not common), so it was a LONG night.

Saturday morning we went to breakfast and then to the Williamsburg outlet mall and spent way too much time and money there (though it was all things we needed to get).  D hasn’t really gotten new clothes in a long time, and the kids’ all seem to have outgrown all their clothes and shoes.  D got some hiking pants and socks too, which was quite a score with the discounts.

We left there around 1230 and went to Richmond – which is only about a half hour north of where we were.  We stayed at the Berkeley hotel in the downtown area.  I got a heck of a deal on hotwire ($92 for a normally $250 hotel room) and it was in a great location.  We walked around the cobblestone street area, going into a local bookstore where we picked up a few things and got to chat to the very nice and knowledgeable store clerk, a coffee shop, and just walking around and admiring the area.

That afternoon was a trip to Dave and Busters to let the kids play and use up the tickets they earned during M’s birthday dinner back in WI.

In the evening, it was off to the Eeerie Nights Ghost Tour!  We walked the half mile to the 17th St Farmer’s Market in Richmond where the tour starts.  It was a suprirsingly big group, and we spent an hour and a half walking through Richmond and listening to the stories of scary historic deeds long past, and the possible ghost sitings they caused.  It was campy, but fun.  It was a beautiful night, and while R may have really been taken by the stories (in a fun way), it was pretty cool to hear the actual stories.  I will say that a couple of the stories did not portray Virginia nicely – such as the slave trades, the Lumpkin Slave Prison (which is where the Amtrak station now is!), and other horrific things that were done.  But they were still good stories to hear since we really shouldn’t forget the mistakes of the past. 

The 17th St Farmer's Marker

our tour guide!

the canal area
the state capitol building
governor's mansion

Sunday was all about REI and Whole Foods.  After breakfast, we went straight to REI, where we spent about 2 hrs poking around.  D – newly on his hiking and camping kick – was talking to everyone who worked there to learn as much as he could.  I pretty much corralled the kids the entire time, which was still fun.  We picked up a few things, but mostly picked up information.  And now EVERYONE is excited to try camping!

R checking out a tent D was eyeing for his solo ventures

hiding in the sleeping bag

After REI was Whole Foods, which was then really my turn to get giddy and happy.  I picked up groceries I can only get there, and while we were walking around – saw a live beehive display.  I don’t eat honey, but D does, so we took some pictures of the beehive, and the beehive guy was there giving honey taste tests, which D partook of.  It was cute.

After that, we were going to hit Cary Town to shop, walk around, and so I could go to Penzy’s spices, but it was already after 2 and we wanted to head home.  It was a nice drive (D drove, I read mostly), and we were home by 5.  We emptied the van and spent the rest of the night relaxing.  It was a great weekend.  It toally made up for my lack of ability to do the Tri.

Today was back to normal for everyone, but it was still a good day.  I picked up Sammie, who had a great time, and was all bright and clean and happy.  Her “report card” indicated she did just fine, and all the staff came out to say goodbye and tell us what a sweetie she is.  She must have had fun, because she passed out as soon as we got into the van, and hasn’t moved much since!

tired puppy!

So there’s my recap of the past 5 days!  Sorry it’s so long…I just don’t seem capable of a short post! 


Can I Get a Do Over?

Okay, no fun titles today and distinctions between Food, Fitness, and Life.  With any luck, I’ll be able to do that in the next few days.

Instead – I’d like a do-over for the past week and a half.  I know this isn’t 3rd grade, but a do over would still be nice.

Back is still hurting, but on the mend I think.  I can sit and stand now without wanting to cry.  I have a follow-up appointment today with my real doctor (vs. the Urgent Care doctor from last weekend).  

Saturday night D and the kids had a blast on the night hike.  There were two other families, and apparently R babbled questions at the tour guide constantly.   Not surprising if you knew her, and I was assured by D that the questions were all because she was paying rapt attention and the tour guide loved every second of it.  I can see that.  Conversations with R are fun.

When they finally got home (after stopping at the Oceanfront area to bop around a bit), I was regaled with stories of frogs, night vision games they played, and why the swamp/bog water in Virginia Beach is actually safe to drink (something to do with the tannins in the leaves that fall into the water).  I’m really glad that they had so much fun, and it’s about time that we start taking advantage of the (free) fun to be had in VA.  Better late than never I suppose.

On Sunday, D went out to the Newport News City Park for a day of hiking and geocaching.  He’d call and text me occassionally throughout the day about the deer he saw and how much he was loving this park, and how he can’t wait to bring us all out there.  Unbelieveably cute.  He took 90 pictures!  One of the cache’s he found was a shrunken head.  Kinda funny.

Sunday evening D and I had planned to try and see a movie.  I was sitting a little better and figured I could handle it.  Right about 7pm (just before we were leaving), I was feeling a bit hungry, so I ate a peach that I had gotten the previous day at the farmer’s market.  It wasn’t very tasty (no flavor).  Anyway, 5 minutes later, I had hives all around my lips, my throat started swelling shut, and D and I were off for the Emergency Room.  It was scary, and all I kept thinking was “this is how my little girl felt when she had her peanut reaction”.  And she was 4 at the time!  Brave girl 🙂

I sincerely doubt I have a peach allergy.  I’ve been eating peaches most of my life.  Best guess at this point is either the farm workers wore latex gloves (and I’m severly allergic to latex), or I reacted to some chemical/pesticide.  We’ll probably never really know, so I am now the proud owner of my very own Epi Pen.  So now R and I match.  A new mother-daughter thing.

The neat thing is that my husband is seriously considering starting a blog/vlog and documenting his new and growing passion for geocaching, hiking, and whatever may be next.  We’ve been brainstorming a bit, and I think it’s cute as hell.

The camping books I ordered came in yesterday.  While I have been having tons of fun with my dehydrator, I never would have taken it to the level they do in these books had I not picked them up.  I’ll have lots of stories about that playtime I’m sure!

This weekend we’re still going to Richmond even though I can’t do the Tri.  I’d like to watch and still have fun.  Of course a big part of our plan is a trip to REI to check out the camping and hiking stuff for D.  And if my back is okay, we’re going to do a family hike somewhere near the James river.

And because I have no pictures of my own to share, here are some that D took on his Sunday adventure.


Hey Honey, Squish My Back


I’ve had more fun with my dehydrator this week!  I was worrying about the bounty that AT gave me going to waste, so I dried a big batch of zucchini for use in future stews, soups, and breads.  It looked so cool…

I also made a yummy sweet and sour lentil dish that went over very well with the family.  It was really simple, and for once, all the leftovers were eaten (and not just by me!). 

Sweet and Sour Lentils (very inspired by and only slightly modified from ( VegWeb)

2 1/2 cups vegetable broth (I used have veggie base and half chili base)

1 cup lentils

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp basil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 cup pineapple juice

1 medium onion, chopped

1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed

*Add rinsed lentils to the broth, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients, bring to another boil, and simmer for 45 minutes.  Be sure the potato stays covered in broth, and add additional if needed.

Serve over rice or grain of choice (we used basmati)

I liked this recipe because it lends itself to many possibilities.  The addition of bell pepper chunks or pineapple would be really tasty, and I would have if I had any on hand.  Even some pan fried tofu would be tasty.  Next time I think I’ll double the amount of fluid used, then add some cornstarch at the end to make it saucier

I packed it up, and took it to work with some leftover pesto ratatouille on the side!

It’s amazing how easy it is to take some foods for granted.  I am fortunate that my dietary “restriction” are of my own making.  I choose what I will and won’t eat, and the only thing driving that is me and my beliefs about food and veganism.  My youngest daughter has severe nut allergies, so her restrictions are based on what is safe for her.  I know I’ve talked about it multiple times before, but my husband has Crohn’s disease.  There are several foods on the banned list, including seeds, nuts, popcorn, and corn, and then foods on the rare list (and never duing a flare up), which is anything with high fiber, salads, broccoli, etc.

Over the past 4 years, popcorn and corn have been the most challenging for D.  He’s behaved and not had any, but misses it terribly.  He had a dr’s appt last week where they talked about this, and his GI specialist cleared him to have cooked corn on occassion.  So for dinner last night, I made him corn!  I went to the farmer’s market and bought 6 ears of fresh picked white sweet corn.

It was such a monumental occasion, that I had to take pictures of course!  He was so cute as he ate it, and as he mentioned repeatedly after that it was the best thing he’d ever eaten. 

I made a batch of one of my favorite summer meals this afternoon.  Simple Italian Tomatoes and Onion.  I served it over a Greek-style rice, and had an awesome lunch.

Italian Roasted Tomatoes and Onions

4 tomatoes, halved and seeded

4 onions, peeled

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

5-6 cloves of garlic peeled and cut in quarters

About 2 tablespoons any blend of Italian spices you want!  I used  a blend of oregano, basil, and rosemary this time.

Sea salt to taste

*This dish is super simple.  Place the onions and tomatoes in a dish and coat well with the olive oil.  Sprinkle everything else on top.  Roast in a 450 oven (I used my toaster oven) for an hour and 15 minutes. 

Basmati rice is the favored rice in our house.  It’s tasty, and has little to no fiber, which is important for D.  Even the brown basmati rice is easier for him to digest.  After making rice with the lentils earlier in the week, I ran out.  Rather than going to the grocery and buying yet another tiny bag, I decided to order some from  I have to say, I’m finding that some groceries are MUCH cheaper there than at the store (like Agave necter, coconut oil, rice…).  Anyway, I ended up with two huge bags of himalayan basmati rice delivered to my home the next day.

This morning, I wanted to have some rice with my tomatoes and onions, so I opened up one of these burlap bags.  I can tell you with absolutely sincerety – this rice is like no basmati I’ve ever made before.  The aroma while it was cooking was amazing, and the flavor even better.  I suppose that’s the difference between the small plastic tubs in the grocery store vs buying the authentic product.  And it was cheaper!  Woo hoo!

Since I was on a Meditteranean kick, I went with Greek flavors.  Here’s what I did:

Crissie’s Greek Style Rice

1 1/2 cups basmati rice, rinsed

2 cups vegetable broth

1/4 chopped red onion

1/2 tsp dried mint

1 tsp dried dill

1/4 cup lemon juice

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

*I put the rice and the broth in the rice cooker, and turned it on regular/white cycle.

Meanwhile, sautee the onion in the olive oil until starting to brown.

When the rice cycle is completed, add the onion, mint, dill, and lemon juice.  Stir to fluff it.  Wait 10 minutes and serve!

So this has been my week of food.  A few fun dishes, a lot of leftovers, and my typical juices, smoothies, and fresh fruit.


Alas, I have nothing to report.  I woke up Sunday morning barely able to move.  I don’t know why, and I have no memory of doing anything to hurt myself.  I didn’t hurt myself working out in the days preceeding Sunday, I don’t recall lifting anything and wrenching my back, nothing.  I literally woke up and hurt like crazy.

I’ve spent the week moving as little as possible, and it’s absolutely killing me.  I want to run, and swim, and zumba, and bike, and go to a yoga class with more passion than ever; probably because I can’t. 

I’m miserable being a couch potato.  I spent YEARS of my life being inactive.  Now that I am an active person, being forced to the sidelines isn’t something I’m dealing well with.

I think part of the hardest thing is that I have never had anything wrong with me.  I was lazy because I was lazy – not because I have back, knee, shoulder, or ankle problems.  Nothing.  I’m a perfectly healthy person who’s natural instinct is to sit on the couch and eat onion rings.  So having a mysterious injury for no reason when I’m typically healthy as a horse really just angers me.

So after 6 days of it not getting any better, I finally went to the doctor.  He presribed a bunch of things and told me that 1 – if I’m not better in a week, I’ll need physical therapy, and 2 – no way in hell can I do my Triathlon next weekend.

I wanted to cry.  I sort of did and he looked at me funny.  

I know that in the scheme of things, it’s just one race.  I know that I’m going to eventually get better, and be able to start training again.  I’m still sort of feeling sorry for myself.  Hopefully this will all go away soon, and I can lace up and hit the road again in a couple of days.


A few weeks ago, D was massaging R’s foot.  When he stopped, she looked at him and said “please Daddy, squish my other foot too”.  So for the past few weeks whenever I want a shoulder rub (which D does for me often), I ask him to please squish my shoulders.  This past week??  It’s been a lot of “Honey, please squish my back”.

This has been a pretty normal week I suppose.  Monday was a holiday, so that was good.  I spent most of it lying down and watching movies with D.  Tuesday and Wednesday – while NOT holidays – were me working from home so I could continue to lie down (sitting hurts the most, followed by standing, and then lying down).  I was able to get quite a lot done, but it was frustrating anyway.

Thursday and Friday I went back to the office.  I couldn’t take it anymore, and I had too much to do.  By Friday, however, I could no longer sit.  I spent most of the day conducting a long team meeting in my office – with me lying on the floor and my feet on my chair.  I felt silly at first, but it was better than sitting at my desk and wanting to cry.

R’s gymnastics studio is closed this week for holiday vacations, so there was really no running around needed.  D took the kids’ out to dinner on Thursday, which was really sweet.  He even brought me back some vegan strawberries and cream soycream. 

Yesterday evening we had plans for a guided night time family hike at First Landing State Park.  I couldn’t go because of my back, but D took the kids, which was awesome.  They had a great time being guided for 2 hrs learning all about the nocturnal animals and sounds.  Apparently R chatted up the tour guide the entire time asking questions about the frogs, etc.  They all want to do more things like this, and I think it’s awesome that we’re finally starting to take advantage of living is such an amazing state with tons to offer.

D is currently out geocaching and hiking at the Newport News city park.  It’s amazing to me how much he’s getting into this.  He wants to start doing overnight hikes, with his one man tent and GPS unit.  We’ve started looking into that this past week.  We’re even talking about finally doing some family camping – though we’re doing to start small.  My birthday weekend (which is in October), we’re going to rent one of the rustic cabins at a local state park.  They have a Halloween festival that weekend with hay rides and pumpkin carving, and I think the kids will have fun.  I don’t want to camp for the first time in the VA heat nor in a tent.  I may get there eventually, but certainly not yet! 

I’ve picked up a few new books on how to use my dehydrator to make gourmet camping meals!  I’m pretty excited about that too.

So…as soon as my back gets better, D wants me to start going on hikes with him, and then eventually do big hiking/camping trips with the kids.  I think that has the potential to be quite fun, and I’m looking forward to it.  For now, I’m just happy that D has found an activity (other than the Xbox) that he’s becoming very passionate about.

Super Brief Post Until Tomorrow…

Okay, been too heartbroken to post this week.  I’ve been flat (literally) on my back since Sunday morning.  I even spent yesterday on my back in my office conducting meetings.  Pretty sad.  After 6 days of it not getting any better, I went to the doctor.

My back is screwed, not sure why, and I can’t do my Tri next weekend.

Other things have happened this week, but since it’s 1134 pm and I really need to get to bed, I promise a detailed post tomorrow with pictures as usual.  And it will be while I’m lying in bed with my heating pad and feeling sorry for myself while I do it I’m sure.

Sorry – I’m upset I can’t race next weekend.  Life will go on, I will race another day, but for now, I’m pouting.

A Lazier Than Normal Weekend


I was right to be totally excited about the kale salad from Oh She Glows.  I made it in the morning, and by evening, it was wonderful.  I did add twice the amount of kale only because I skipped the walnuts (we’re a nut free house), hemp seeds (didn’t have any), and carrot.  I put it onto a Lavash bread, wrapped it up, and it was just amazing.

Saturday morning was a cup of coffee and a banana on the way out the door.  After getting home, I made another kale wrap.  According to Angela’s site, the salad will keep for about a day in the fridge.  I didn’t want to run the risk of not getting to eat it all, so it made for a nice and quick lunch as well.

Saturday afternoon was mostly snacky food at our friend’s house.  And by snacky food, I really mean beer.  And maybe a few tortilla chips too, but mainly beer.  Saturday night was mainly leftovers, and I had a bowl of split pea soup that I canned last winter over some leftover grains I had in the fridge.  Good stuff!

I finally have apples, and Sunday morning was coffee and my green juice again.  Woo hoo, I’ve missed that!.  Since the older kids were out and about doing things with friends, D picked up take out for R, himself, and me.  I had Thai food, which I’d been craving for days.  Fresh spring rolls and tofu green curry.  It’s the first time I’ve brought Thai food into the house.  I’m always so worried about cross contamination with nuts, but after talking to the kitchen when I called in the order, they assured me that my food would be made away from any nuts.  After eating (in a different room than R was in), I brushed my teeth and took a quick shower.  Paranoia at it’s finest I suppose.

My friend AT has an awesome garden going this year.  She’s out of town, but left a huge bag of goodies for me on her front porch (she lives just up the street).  So yesterday morning M walked Sammie and went and picked it up.  I was so excited!  There were monster zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, and pickling cucumbers.  I knew I had to get busy.

First the cucs.  I sliced them thin on the mandolin along with some onion, and then put them into several mason jars.  I followed this recipe pretty closely, just skipping the cloves and using celery salt instead of celery seed since it’s what I had.  I ate one this morning, and they came out great!  I’m so excited.

I also made a batch of slow cooker ratatouille from Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker.  Frankly, it’s the addition of the pesto right before serving that makes this ratatouille special in my opinion.  I used my own version rather than the one in the book so I could make it nut free, but it still made the meal.

R really wanted to help make dinner, so she did a lot of the work.  She sautéed the eggplant, and then the onion and garlic, as well as opening the cans of diced tomatoes.  We had a great time together in the kitchen.  I also believe that it will help with her extreme pickiness if she has a hand in making the foods I’d like her to eat.

I still have a ton of veggies left, and I’m toying around with different ideas.  There are a few Mediterranean dishes I love with zucchini and eggplant, so I’ll likely make one of those.  Plus spiralizing the squash always makes me happy too.  I’m also thinking of dehydrating whatever I don’t cook up to store for later.  There’s so many possibilities with using dehydrated vegetables in soups, stews, and things like that, that there’s no reason to let anything go to waste.

Breakfast this morning was coffee initially.  Then I made up a batch of quinoa in vegetable broth, and served leftover ratatouille over it.  Even D liked it.

We’re going to Busch Gardens this evening to celebrate the 4th and see fireworks, so I imagine my dinner will be a salad from there and a Clif bar in my purse!


Friday night I went for a long run.  That kale salad wrap was turbo charged I think!  I almost didn’t go for a run because my Garmin battery was dead (it’s totally acting up), and my back up is to use the Nike+ on my iPhone, but since I think I left my running belt in Richmond last weekend and none of my running shorts had pockets, that wasn’t an option either.

I have become totally addicted to the data with running – I like knowing exactly how far I went, how fast, the elevation, etc – broken down by minute on my monitor so I can see every single shred of information.  When I don’t have that, I start to feel like going for a run is a waste if I can’t know that info.  I was almost aghast when D suggested I just go run wearing my regular Timex.  WHAT?!?!  How am I supposed to know my distance??  Sure, I’ll know how long I was pounding pavement, but it’s important to me to know how far too.  His answer to me was that if I wanted to know THAT badly, to go drive the route when I got home.  Huh.  Guess I was out of excuses.

Out the door I went.  I timed my warm up, and then started to run.  It was great!  I just kept going, and about an hour later ended up back home.  The kale wrap gave me perfect energy so I felt powerful the whole time, and the lack of GPS captured data gave me a sense of freedom that my run wasn’t about a distance or speed goal, but just because I love to run.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not making a habit of running gadget free….but it seemed less important on this run.  I know I probably went about 6 miles, but I think the big thing for me was that I enjoyed myself.

Saturday didn’t leave much time to workout.  I did a quick 20 minute yoga routine at home, and that was it!  D went on a 6 mile geocaching hike though, so I’m totally proud of him for getting out there!

Sunday was terrible.  I woke up with the worst back pain I think I’ve ever had.  Sitting hurt, lying down hurt, standing up hurt, and walking hurt.  Unfortunately, D pushed it a bit too hard on his hike, and his back was hurting too.  At least he has a reason – I can’t figure out what the heck caused mine.  I didn’t pull anything doing yoga, I don’t recall getting a twinge picking anything up, and I certainly wasn’t moving heavy furniture.  It sort of came out of nowhere, and that’s not like me.  I don’t have back or knee problems, so this has got me boggled.

My back is still a little sore, but not nearly like yesterday.  I’m going to attempt a Zumba DVD here in a little bit.  I’ll take it easy if I need to!


Friday evening was pretty low-key.  D was tired, so he went to bed the earliest.  I have to say that it was strange – he’s not supposed to fall asleep before me.  Sort of screws up the natural order of things.  Alas, I had gone on my run so late, that there was no way I’d be in bed as early as he wanted to be.

So, I stayed up a bit, caught up on my blog reading, had a glass of wine, and went to bed around 11.

M had a friend over, so when I went to bed, the boys were still up playing games.  Not sure what time they went to bed!

M’s friend was picked up at 10am, D left to go hiking (and he took my blogging business cards with him to leave in the caches!), and I left with R to her gymnastics class.  We went to the pet store after and then the grocery, and then home.  D got home around 1pm, and A went waterskiing with friends around 3. 

D had a pretty cool experience while at the state park.  He had just found a cache and was walking along the trail and crossed into a playground area.  There was a man there with his twin 7 year old daughters who asked D if he was using a compass (his GPS unit has a lanyard to wear around his neck).  So D explained what he was doing, and took this man and his girls to the cache.  He let the girls drive the GPS unit and took them to the “buried treasure” and had them sign and date the log book.  D gave him one of my cards, and a short time later, I received an email from this family.  Apparently the kids had so much fun, that when they got home they were telling their mom, and now the family wants to try it.  So yeah D for sharing a fun an active activity with another family!

D, M, R, and I went swimming down the street at our friends’ house, which was really nice.  We brought a cooler of beer and some snacks (yeah for walking distance – they live 2 blocks away), D had mango margaritas, and we all spent several hours in the pool and relaxing.

We had a really great time, and spent the rest of the night at home relaxing. 

Sunday we had a lot of intentions of things to do.  We were supposed to go to a friend’s pool party, but both D and I were too sore to move.  Instead, M spent then night at a friends house, A went to her boyfriends’ house for a bit, and D and I watched 2 movies on Netflix.  I then spent most of the day lying in bed catching up on TV shows from the past 3 months.  Talk about a lazy day. 

D picked M up at 10 this morning, we’re all being fairly lazy, and then will head up to Busch Gardens around 5.  Neither D nor I want to spend the day walking around in the crazy heat (not to mention the back things going on), so we’ll likely be in the park by 630 or so, which still gives the kids a good 3 hours to walk around and ride the rides before fireworks.

So hopefully you are all having a great 4th of July holiday weekend!  While I’m used to being busier than I have been, it’s still been wonderful to have 3 days off!

I’m Glowing, It’s NOT a Skin Disorder


Wednesday morning was pretty standard…coffee and juice. I munched on an ear of raw corn (can’t express how much I’m loving raw corn), and then fruit the rest of the morning in my various meetings. One of the VP’s I work with always gets curious about my food when I’m eating. It’s kind of funny.

For lunch, I made a batch of avocado soup, and had a bowl with some onion and broccoli sprinkled in. I really, really love this soup.

My dinner was started in the morning in my dehydrator. They were corn fritters from Ani’s Raw Food Asia. I honestly didn’t love them. They were okay, but it could have been my fault. I totally forgot the onion and a couple of the spices. They did LOOK cool though. The dipping sauce was fabulous. I made a double batch, and am glad I did.

I cut the kernels off 3 ears for the fritters and ate the other one.

My big container of flax meal – which I am now buying in major bulk because of all the raw fooding going on in my house

Finished meal! The sauce totally made this

Breakfast Thursday was coffee. And leftover risotto. Okay, the REST of the risotto. It was good, I was hungry, and out of apples and lemons, so no green juice. I was improvising.

For lunch, I met up with L at a Vietnamese place close between our offices. We both had the fried tofu with stir fry veggies and a steamed spring roll. I skipped the soup since there wasn’t a vegan option. The food was pretty good, but the company was better! We got to catch up, talk about our kids and jobs and husbands (always a fun girly activity).

Dinner was a banana and a bloody mary. Not exactly what I was hoping for, but that’s pretty much what I had available easily for me. I tried taking R out to dinner after her gymnastics, but when we showed up, the place was shut down with a large notice on the door instructing everyone to keep out. Bummer. Since it was already 815pm by this point, I wasn’t going to take her out that late to a different place, so it was something quick for her. There usually is no such thing as something quick for me, and I don’t like eating after 830 ish anyway (I never sleep well when I do), so after some serious pouting after I got home, I ate a banana to quell the complaints coming from my empty belly.

Breakfast this morning was coffee and leftover avocado soup. No juice – I’m out of apples. Lunch for me was a big salad. I took R out for lunch on the way to the doctor.

I’m pretty excited about dinner tonight. Before work, I made a kale salad from Oh She Glow’s. I’m going to put it into rice paper wraps and dip in the rest of the sauce from the other night. Yum!


I’m sore. My lower back and sides are really, really sore from the Zumba class. Sore in a good way though – in the “wow, I really got a good workout” way, and not the “got the crap beat out of me” way. I’m now hooked and want to do more! D’s got me a few DVD’s so I can do this at home too (no equipment required), but there’s no shortage of classes around town. The Y has them almost every night (and there are 5 Y’s in pretty close proximity to me), as well as many other places in the community. I started looking around, and now I want to check out The Mambo Room, which is a local dance studio that mostly has Latin dancing, but also Zumba and other fitness dance classes. I’m seriously thinking of taking the Salsa workshop in a few weeks.

Wednesday I went for a mid-day run. It was only in the mid 80’s, so it wasn’t going to be painful. I do, however, turn bright red and stay that way for HOURS. It’s always fun going to afternoon meetings on the rare days that I run in the middle of the day and explaining when looked at funny that I don’t either have a strange skin disorder (unless you count my pale skin refusing to return to normal in a timely manner) or a wicked sunburn – of just the face. One friend told me to think of it as a glow. That’s better than skin disorder.

A, S, and I were going to Zumba last night, but S’ husband was finally back to normal work shifts (he’d been on nights for a few), and they wanted some quality time, which I can’t argue with. D wasn’t feeling up to taking R to gymnastics, so I did. Which meant no Zumba. I felt badly disappointing A who’s really getting into this too.

Tonight I’m going to run, and possibly do some ab work and maybe even a Zumba DVD. No promises on anything other than the run. I’m hoping to do the group ride tomorrow morning at Fat Frogs. If not tomorrow, then possibly the Sunday afternoon ride.


It’s been a nice and quiet and productive week. I had a few early morning meetings, but that just meant more productive time during the day. I got tons done on budgets, project organization, and things like that. Really – some of the fun stuff J (you can decide my level of sarcasm on that).

A’s summer school is in full swing. Nothing like taking biology for 5 hrs a day, 4 days per week. I can’t say I’m sad that she’s in summer school – keeps her busy and out of trouble! M, on the other hand, has been one lazy bum. He rarely gets out of his pajamas nor wakes before 11am. D had a chat with him in the middle of the week, telling him it would be okay to be a total lazy bum for the first 2 weeks of summer break, but starting next week, he can’t be a total flake. I threatened to stick his butt in summer school too if he didn’t shower regularly and get dressed. 14 year old boys can be gross.

Most evenings have been quiet too, and I can’t complain. I’ve gotten a lot of reading done while D’s goofs off with his Xbox stuff. I’m trying to read Game of Thrones. Everyone keeps talking about it being the best show on cable, and S wants me to read it while she does. I think I’ll like it eventually, but the writing style is bugging me a bit. I’m also reading a fun vampire seriesabout a soccer mom who gets turned into a vampire and has to quit her job as a federal agent and become a private investigator who can work at night. Yep, totally fun and mindless to read.

I also cleaned out and organized the gym/play room and D put together a new addition to the shoe rack (or now, really, it’s a shoe tower) in our closet. I cleaned out the file cabinet in the green room, and started purging things I’ve held on to that I don’t need (like learning to read books that were R’s 2-3 years ago, and we’re giving to a friend’s 4 year old, who can get better use out of it than my book shelf does). I suppose my downsizing efforts have begun!

I also revisited my 2011 budget to see how we’re doing and where we need to pay better attention. That’s going to take a few days to finish though.

R had a doctor’s appointment today. Nothing wrong, just her yearly checkup. She passed with flying colors! She’s short like me (in the 18th percentile for height), skinny like D (12th percentile for weight), and the doc called her “perfect gymnast sized”. She’s smart, sweet, and pocket sized! We did talk about her nut allergies, and the Dr was very proud at how aware R is about them and what to do if she ever accidentally ate anything, started feeling funny, and basically how to avoid situations that could cause that. I’m very proud of R myself at how aware she is of her allergy, and knows that accepting treats from friends, switching lunch box items, and things like that can be very dangerous for her. I did ask about air travel and my concerns with that and the research I’ve done. Best we can hope for now is to do periodic testing to see if the severity of her allergy goes down over the years. In the mean time, she gave me the info for the best food allergy specialist in the region so I can make an appt with him.

I’m looking forward to the long holiday weekend. We have some loose plans – kids’ having friends over, pool party at a friend’s house, cooking, geocaching for D, and working out for me. At some point, we’ll probably even figure out what we’re doing on the 4th!

So with that – have a GREAT long weekend!