Monthly Archives: August 2011

Missing Luggage, Restocking, and Hot Shoes

Back to our regularly scheduled format!

FOOD

Can you believe that my first day home, I ate an Amy’s bean burrito for breakfast??  After a week of feasting on ridiculously cool vegan food, I made a microwave burrito.  I will say that not only was I ridiculously hungry when I woke up, but there was also nothing in the house for me to eat!  D doesn’t exactly do a stellar job of keeping fresh fruits and veggies in the house when I’m not home.

For lunch, I had a bowl of veggie Pho from my favorite little stand in Virginia Beach.  Tons of tofu, cabbage, broccoli, and rice noodles.  Add some siracha, and I was in heaven!

I munched on a banana while reading some new cookbooks I picked up today.  I had to or I’d have been baking (and eating) a ton of cookies, brownies, and cupcakes!

My dinner was a BAS full of lettuce, cabbage, avocado, tomatoes, and lemon juice.  Exactly what I needed and craved today!

After dinner, R and I got to making the brownies!  I let her use the KitchenAid.  Which is miraculous…it’s sort of like giving the keys to my BMW to a newly licensed teenager.  No I don’t actually have a BMW, but you get the idea…

FITNESS

I failed to mention on my last post that I hit up a local yoga studio when I was on the West Coast for a class on Monday.  It was a really nice class and I had fun telling the studio owner that I was visiting from the distant East Coast in order to attend the first ever vegan bloggers conference.  She gave me half off on the class. WOO HOO.

And speaking of fitness…I miss running.  I miss it so much it’s starting to piss me off.  I know I had sworn that I’d wait until after the holidays…when I can pretty much bet my back is fully healed…before I run again, but I think I spoke to soon when I said that.

I want to start running again, but I know I can’t push it too hard.  I also want to start running without headphones.  Aside from being a potentially dangerous distraction, I realized while I was hiking around on my own last week how much fun I was having just thinking and observing without an iPod, etc.  So I now have a NEW plan!  I’m going to re-do (yet again) the Couch to 5K program.  Sans headphones.  I figure it would be a good way to ease back into running without accidentally overdoing it and hurting my back, and it will build up my tolerance to running without audio books.  Sounds good in theory.  We’ll see.  I can’t swim for a few weeks until the new tattoo is healed, so that means back to running and Zumba sooner than I anticipated!

LIFE

I arrived finally last night…with half of my luggage.  The bag the TSA agent got crappy with me about ended up not making it.  Ugh.  I was annoyed since it was the bag with all of the conference swag and the gifts I had bought D and the kids while away.  At least they knew it was still in Atlanta and was delivering it to my house today.  Small favors.

Bumble missed my suitcase more than me! She has a bizarre obsession with lying on suitcases...a fair warning in case you ever come to my house.

We finally got home last night and after all 5 of us (and the cat) lying on my bed chatting, it was finally time for bed.  Which was a good thing because I was exhausted!  I fell asleep right away…and then sat bolt upright at 1230 am unable to sleep.  Ugh.  I tossed around the rest of the night getting increasingly annoyed that I was awake, checked my email, put in some earplugs (D was snoring), and fell asleep soundly in just enough time for my alarm to go off.  Joy.

Let me preface the next part of my story by mentioning how badly D injured his back while I was away.  He has two very big things wrong with his back – one is a birth defect (that I can’t come close to pronouncing) and one is the result of an injury when in the Navy.  Both cause him constant pain, and when he’s hurt…it’s bad.  Unfortunately while preparing for Hurricane Irene, he hurt himself to the point where he can barely move.  So while he was snoring away, I didn’t have the heart to push him over – hence the earplugs.

I knew I’d have to take him to either our doctor, the Urgent Care, or the ED this morning.  When I woke, I texted my boss (BBE) to ask if we could reschedule our meeting at 9.  She was awesome as always and said yes.  D had his appt at 11, was prescribed prednisone, vicodin, and a referral to see my chiropractor.  He can’t take motrin due to the Crohn’s and Tylenol just wasn’t cutting it.  And he’s not allowed to return to work or pretty much move until next Tuesday.  Poor thing.

Oh, and my suitcase was delivered this morning as promised.  Without A’s tube of henna paste (stupid TSA agent probably threw it away and didn’t tell me), and with one of my new bento boxes broken (I found a cool Japanese store while away that had an entire row of bento).  However, a very sweet snarkyvegan has some she doesn’t want, and is going to ship them to me!  In return, I’m thinking I need to send her vegan cookies.

Wall O Bento!

Anyway, after loading all my pics onto the main computer at home (while M sat in the room with me snuggling both Bumble and Sammie), and D was relaxing his back, A and I took off for a little shopping.  I had to replenish my supplies of fresh foods.

Bumble, Sammie, and M snuggling on the Green Room couch

We went first to the mall to pick up a new video game that D and M wanted – and a few new cookbooks for me!

very excited to finally get the Happy Herbivore's book...and to find a book specific to D's Crohn's. Never seen anything like that before.

Then it was off to the Asian grocery where we tried to figure out what we were looking at…since pretty much nothing was in English.

Afterwards, it was a trip to the sad little Virginia Beach farmers market.  Aside from growing up near a HUGE one and having just visited Pike’s Market in Seattle – arguably the coolest farmers market I’ve ever seen – due to Irene, many of the little stands were closed.  The little organic grocery was open though, and we stopped in there for a few items.

The following are all of Pike’s Market in Seattle:

LOVE this sign on the avocados!

At least we have a little local grocer trying to do the right thing and offer our community something!

When we got home, there was a box on the porch.  A new pair of shoes I ordered a little over a week ago arrived!  They are so cute…vegan…and TALL.  Can’t wait to wear them!

they're like extreme penny loafers!

I’m so happy to be home and life is starting to return to normal.  I made a ton of new friends, feel energized, and can’t wait to take what I’ve learned this past week at Vida Vegan Con and start applying it!

Hello From 30,000 Feet

I’m finally on my way home. It’s been a long week, but a great one. Waking at 430am was less than fun – especially since I slept so fitfully last night. But I had packed the night before and needed only to take a quick shower and head out the door.

Navigating the airport this morning was a complicated and time consuming mess. When I checked into my flight last night, I was asked if I would be willing to bump. Hell no. I miss my family and want to get home!

I had to stop at Target and buy another travel bag to get all my conference swag and gifts home. It’s carry on sized, so I figured I was all set to go!

Dropping the car off was easy. Then the fun started. I went to the Delta counter and then was told to get into the baggage line. That took about a half hour to get through. I checked my one bag, and then trudged off to security. What a mess! It took over 45 minutes to get through. I went…and got pulled aside for the full body scan. It went quickly thankfully. Unfortunately, my carry on did not fare so well.

The TSA agent was suspicious of a few items in my bag. The can of tomatoes, the jar of vegan queso, and the pepper mill from the conference swag bag, and a tube of henna paste I picked up for A. After some thinking, the TSA agent threw away my queso and tomatoes (jerk), put my henna back in the bag and re-scanned it.

I made it to my gate 20 minutes before boarding, bought a coffee and a bagel, and had just enough time to call my husband for a quick chat.

The plane asked for all volunteers with rolling carry ons to volunteer to have them checked through. Heck yeah! Less for me to drag around in Atlanta between flights.

So now I’m on the plane! Due to the length of the flight, they offer a wifi option, which I gladly took. So here I am, blogging at 30,000 ft!

I’ve caught up on blog reading, and have started brainstorming the layout and content for my new blog. It will NOT replace RunCrissieRun, but is something entirely new. I don’t want to spoil anything by giving away too much yet, but when it’s ready to go, I’ll talk about it first here!

What’s in a Name?

Okay, time to attempt to apply lesson #1 from Vida Vegan Con.

The first session I attended was the Build-a-Blog session, hosted by the geniuses behind Vegan Nosh, Vegan Eats & Treats, and Vegan Crunk.  It got me thinking about a ton of things, one of which is my blog name.  I started to worry that my blog name was a problem.  There’s no mention of Veg or Vegan in the name, and it clearly indicates “running”…which due to a back injury it pretty much on the back burner.

I started thinking there was something wrong with my blog name.  Clearly, I write a ton about vegan food and all of my adventures with it.  Am I doing a disservice with my current name?  Am I sacrificing readership because of it?  Are people coming to my blog because they think I write a ton about running (which I CLEARLY don’t at the moment (but hope to soon)? Are people NOT coming to me because there’s no ‘veg’ in my name? Should I hold a contest for ideas for a name change?

At the gala, I had the chance to have a conversation about it, and you know what?  I was encouraged to keep my name as it is.  And for now – that’s exactly what I’m going to do.  I may not run all the time, but RunCrissieRun is a blog about what I eat as a vegan, what attempt at athleticism I can manage, and updates about my frenetic life.  I rant about politics, people who eat crappy food, and how much I hated (or loved) my last yoga class.  It’s who I am, and while I have ideas for offshoot blogs…RunCrissieRun is still my home to babble about what I’ve always babbled about.

So for those who know me…RunCrissieRun stays.  For those who are new…buckle up.  It’s more than just a vegan blog…it’s sort of the World of Crissie…and all that it entails.  Happy reading 🙂

Watch Out World…I Have IDEAS!!!!

Have you ever been part of something that made you feel like you were dreaming? If not – I feel sympathy for you. Because I have – and I can’t imagine ever letting go of this feeling. I’ve rarely in life felt more inspired and motivated than I have in the past few days. And watch out…I have so many ideas and plans floating around in my noggin that you’re all going to freak out. Only because I’m freaking out…but in a good and energetic way.

I’m going to try to NOT write a novel (heard that MANY times over the weekend at Vida Vegan Con….people veg out and will stop reading if it’s too long).

The fundraising gala last night for Woodstock Farm Sanctuary. SO much fun. I sat at a table with a bunch of wonderful people. I met an idol of mine – Susan from Fat Free Vegan. She was the first ever vegan recipe site I followed back in 1999 when it was a list of recipes that both she had created and other’s had contributed. She’s also the one responsible for me using only initials when talking about other people in my blog. It’s not my place to use names, and if someone googled one of my children, they won’t see my plethora of posts and stories about them. Though that would almost be funny for their dating life. Alas – I never use a name other than my own. And she’s the reason why.

Susan, Sally, and I at the gala. A great table with amazing conversations. (oh, and I

And I danced! Oh lord, I love to dance. We had a circle of fun going, and I notice I’m the only one who wasn’t smart enough to put my glass of wine down. I remedied that shortly.

picture courtesy of Choosing Raw

Fast forward to this morning (trust me…you want me to fast forward). I woke, I packed, and I headed to the conference for the last day. Breakfast was the same spread as yesterday, but no less amazing.

Lunch was again at Homegrown Smokers. Holy crap…the brilliance behind putting mac and cheese in a wrap. With roasted mushrooms and other amazing things. I ate about 2/3 of it before I couldn’t eat anymore. I had the cornbread side and at least ate a bite so I could say I had it. I want them to move to my area so I can eat them all the time.

before I started eating it...

after I bit in. Can you just LOOK at that?!?! It tastes as amazing as it looks. I

I went to awesome sessions today, but my favorite was on specialty diets. It was a panel of 4 amazing women. Raw, Gluten Free, Fat Free/Low, and Baking/Whole Foods. They were awesome, and I posed the question for any advice they may have for people who can’t eat nuts (and if you read me, you know….we’re a nut free family due to R’s allergies). The entire room was amazingly supportive, and I had the chance to educate some on what it’s like to live with or be someone with a severe nut allergy. And guess what…a new blog idea formed. Stay tuned!

The farewell at the end of the day was bittersweet. I had long time heros give the closing farewell address. They were great, and the room gave a standing ovation to the amazing ladies who managed to organize this amazing event. We made them cry, and it was adorable.

I will admit here (sorry Dad)….I did decide to stop at Skelton Key vegan tattoo shop and get a new tattoo! Before I show it, I have to admit that I didn’t know that several shades of black contain animal products, and this shop doesn’t use that. So….here it is. It’s on the right side of my belly/side (mostly belly). I forgot how a new tat feels like sunburn. Ugh…in my waistband area…and it’s going to be intermittently sore and itchy for a while now. Oh well…totally worth it.

So in closing…I have two new blog ideas, joined some Meet Up groups in my area to get the ball rolling on being involved in my community, got a new tat, ate a ton of amazing food, met some ridiculously awesome people, and in general had one of the most amazing weekends of my life, still wrote a novel (sorry), and LIFE IS GOOD.

Food, Activism, and Hurricanes. WHAT A DAY!

FOOD

How can you come to a vegan bloggers conference and food not be an absolute focal point?  You can’t.  And believe me, you wouldn’t want to.  We’re all obsessed with it.  Pictures, cooking, creating recipes, writing and talking about it, and (of course) eating.

Today’s breakfast buffet started at 8am, and the offerings were certainly plentiful.  Biscuits and gravy, gluten-free pancakes, coconut milk yogurt, tofu scramble with mushrooms, chia pudding, fruit cobbler, fresh fruit, and plenty of soy and coconut milk options.

I piled up my plate (woo hoo, appetite is back!), and headed to a table.  I sat with Christa from Veggin’ Out with Christa and her mom (so sweet, her mom came just to see her speak at the conference), Andrea and her husband from Andrea’s Easy Vegan Cooking, and several other wonderful people.  We all had great discussions about what drove us to veganism, what we’ve learned over the years, and just told stories (many very funny, all very inspiring) and enjoyed each other’s company.

I pretty much ate it all!

I will admit that I snuck off to the Homegrown Smoker All Vegan BBQ food cart for lunch.  There was a very nice buffet lunch offered, but the line was SO long, and I had heard such amazing things about this food cart, that I had to check it out for myself.  I am SO glad I did.  I ordered the special, which was a vegan Reuben and a side of mac and no-cheese.  The cart guys were open special hours this weekend just because of the conference (which is right across the street).

it looks so naughty, doesn't it?? Ben & Ben..whipping up awesome vegan food with a smile and a nice conversationa whole block of food carts. So cool...

Dinner at the fundraising gala this evening sounds amazing, and I’m sure I’ll have plenty of pictures and descriptions on my next post!

CONFERENCE

Wow, where to start??  I want to complete a thought I started up above.  Vegans are obsessed with food, but that’s certainly not the complete picture.  For whatever reason someone makes the decision to become vegan (health, animal activism, environmentalism, how they were raised, etc), you can’t help but learn and become consciously aware of the impact that the lifestyle in general brings.  And among things other than food obsession, I am meeting a whole slew of people who are as passionate about that side as well, and I can’t help but rekindle that in myself – and see it growing stronger in the future.  I’ve never been overly vocal about all of my reasons for being vegan, and I’m certainly not going to become militant now (I do believe in to each his/her own and having the right to choose), but that does not mean I can’t become more involved in my own community activism…or start an outreach program.  And those are some of the ideas swimming around my melon today.

I went to several very cool sessions today led by some amazing bloggers and authors.  Some highlights…

The morning Build-a-Blog session really got my brain going.  I have so many questions and ideas, and these ladies put on one heck of a panel – chock full of resources and advice.  It got me thinking a LOT about my own blog, my blog name (I will admit…it’s weird being one of the few people here without the word Vegan or Veg in my name), how it’s set up, it’s content, and what I can do to really ratchet things up.  More on that to come.

The podcasting workshop!  I got to see and listen to the cookbook author who is single-handedly responsible for re-introducing baking into my life as a vegan.  Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, the über vegan author, writer, podcaster, and the brains behind the Joy of Vegan Baking.  I got some great advice on podcasting in general, and best reason ever for starting a podcast…talking shit and drinking beer.  I’m totally going to listen to the Cosmopolitan Hour now!

A good session on community blogging really got my head spinning.  It’s something I am very interested in, but no idea how to go about doing it.  Being the only vegan I know in my community, how the heck to I start?  This panel offered lots of advice, and when I asked my question, really responded with some great comments and ideas.  Look for a whole new post (and blog) in the future…backed by a whole community of writers.  How cool is THAT?  Thanks to Vegansaurus, Super Vegan, and Vegan Score for that one – not to mention the VegNews author/moderator who directed the panel with very good questions that I’m sure made us all think.

There’s so much more to say, but the details will all come later.  I have too much to process first!

IRENE

For those that know me or have read me for a while, you know that I live in the Norfolk/Virginia Beach/Chesapeake, VA area.  And that I’m married and have three kids, a dog, a cat, and a turtle.

If you read – anything – (and chances are if you’re reading this blog at the very least, you’ve demonstrated that you do, indeed, read), then you know that we currently have a Hurricane crawling up the east coast.

I fretted about leaving home and coming to the conference because of the potential impact to my area.  The afternoon I left, the projection was that she’d turn right and have little impact on my area.  By the time I landed in Seattle, slept, and woke up, she had gone left – a sure bet she’d smack right into Hampton Roads.  And she did.  This morning.

My husband made the last-minute decision to stay home.  He spoke to neighbors who’d been through this before (this is our first hurricane), and felt that the orignal plan to leave for Richmond wasn’t going to be necessary.  They’re stocked up on a weeks worth of bottled water, food, flashlights, and board games.  Besides, with Sammie, Bumble, and Kiko, (the aforementioned animal members of the clan), finding a safe haven we could bring them to would prove to be a bit difficult.

His decision ended up being a sound one.  While we’ve lost a section of fence, the power has stayed on and we haven’t had any flooding or other damage.  It’s not quite past yet, but the worst is over, and they weathered it just fine.  It’s been pretty wicked, several people I know have lost power, and I’m sure the damage reports will be coming, but over all, things have been okay.  Thankfully.  Now it’s time to concentrate on New England and hope they escape Irene with little effect.

To quote a good friend of mine who lost power today…”alright…. who gave Momma Nat Jaegerbombs? Easy girl… we know Hampton Roads is the place to party, but take it easy!”

Let’s hope her hangover sets in quickly and she decides to go sleep it off.

Today….I Am a Pioneer

I am a pioneer. Today was the start of something very magical, and I’m excited to be a part of it. History in the making, and some day I will look back on this and tell the stories to my kids of how their mother was part of the first group of vegan bloggers to ever come together to learn from each other. An inspired group of men and women of all ages and backgrounds who work towards having a healthier life and a healthier planet.

I’m a very “young” vegan blogger, and really more of an accidental blogger. I started in an effort to keep accountable to my athletic training and healthy lifestyle. Over the weeks and months, it evolved into so much more for me (yes, vegan food and fitness are still a major component), and I feel I’m finding a voice that loves to write. I started reading and being inspired by other people’s blogs and stories, and I inadvertently stumbled upon a large group of people unlike any I’ve ever met before. People a little like me. I have to say – it’s a first. I do not know any other vegan’s in my community, and while I have an amazing family and great friends (many who happily eat vegan food with me from time to time), I do not have anyone in my daily life to share that with. In person anyway. I do have a whole universe of people to share that with through blogging though, and that is why I’m in Portland right now.

This evening’s adventure started with me arriving at the conference right around 515pm to check in, pick up the Swag Bag of Wonder (see pics!), and to mingle until the doors opened at 6pm to the Ballroom for the VegNews sponsored Champagne and Cupcake reception.

the contents of the Swag Bag of Wonder! Books, flyers, cups, FOOD, bags, pepper mill, and too much to even list. Coolest conference gear EVER

a couple new shirts and a tank top too!all stuffed into this cool grocery bag

a few more things picked up this evening too. The mushroom is for A and the green monster is for R

The doors opened and we all flooded in. And not a SINGLE person touched anything on the tables. Why?? Because we all had to take pictures for our blogs first! And it was the most normal thing in the world! In my early blogging days, I felt like I needed to explain to people around my why I was snapping shots of my meals, and while I’m more comfortable with it now, I still can feel a little self consious about it.

part of the group in the ballroomcheese and crackers

After the pictures, it was time to dive into some vegan cheese and crackers from Heidi Ho Organics, the amazing cupcakes, and either some champagne or sparkling cider. Guess which I had 🙂

my plate...I opted for the gluten free coconut cream cupcake. SO good...

While snacking and chatting, we had a wonderful welcome message from the organizers/creators/brilliant brain children of this conference, as well as from VegNews magazine.
I talked to many people, most new to me, but some not. I will say I think the highlight was the amazing hugs and conversations with JLGoesVegan and Sweet On! Both absolutely sweet and amazing and inspiring and silly as hell women. I saw beautiful vegan shoes and handbags from Lulu’s, talked to Natalia about raw food, and cheered on Almost Vegan as she was selling out of a homemade batch of white chocolate peanut butter.
And there was a lot of swapping blogger business cards, emails, and just chatting up about anything and everything. I opted out of the bar/restaurant hopping after. My body is still on East Coast time and recovering from the sinus/ear infections….and I want to save myself for the gala and after parties tomorrow…not to mention all the cool seminars and classes I’m going to…and will be writing about tomorrow!
I got back to my hotel and finally unpacked my bag – something I didn’t do in Seattle. I also hadn’t used my laptop until now (using my iPad for everything), and I found this note from D….and one from R too!

and the inside!and the inside!

And it was the perfect ending to a very nice evening. And now, I better get my butt to sleep so I’m ready to roll for an adventurous day tomorrow!

It's here!

Car Clerk Zombies In Seattle

What a few days!! This will be a quick post as I sit in Chaco Canyon Organic cafe in Seattle’s University District drinking my Green Goddess juice and noshing on my green lentil grain bowl. Both very delicious and the perfect meal after some crazy days this week.

D took me to the airport around 530 pm to begin my journey to Seattle. I was feeling a lot better and packed plenty of tissue and sanitary wipes!

My plane boarded and took off on time and was actually a really nice flight. I landed in Minneapolis around 9pm central time. I chatted with D and the kids for a few, and said goodnight.

I had an hour before my next flight, so I took a seat at the bar, ordered a glass of wine, and had a nice conversation with a lady who was also traveling to Seattle. We eventually boarded our flight and took off on time once again.

This time my travel neighbors were a little irritating. I was next to a woman and her 20 yr old daughter who chewed her gum so loudly I wanted to make her spit it out! I eventually popped on my headphones and watched the rest of the Game of Throne episodes that I had. I LOVE that show! Then I stared watching a movie until it was time to land. Even though we didn’t land until 1139pm PST (230am for my Eastern blood), I still was feeling pretty good.

I got my bag with no problems, and than meandered to the late our rental car counter. That took me forever and the line was wicked long. I waited about 45 min, and then they claimed they couldn’t find a car for me (tho I had a reservation). Of course they were attempting to upsell, and when I said I didn’t want the VW convertible unless they were throwing it in for free, they remarkably found my little compact car.

While I was waiting, the clerk kept trying to radio one of the car people on the back to identify which car would be mine. For several attempts, no one answered. I’m in a relatively snarky mood at this point, so I say to the clerk, “I saw this movie….no one answers and you go to check on them to find them all turned to zombies and you become their latest snack. Whatever you do, DON’T go looking for your lost co workers lest you become either dinner or the undead.”. This brought about a 10 min discussion with the clerk about zombies and zombie movies. But I did get my car 🙂

I got to my hotel/compound around 1am local time. I was so over tired, that it was after 230 PST when I fell asleep. My phone started going off way too early…but ended up working all morning helping manage the Irene crisis preparations back home.

I spent the rest of the day and evening with an old friend and got to do some brief site seeing. I was back to my hotel by 1130pm and went promptly to bed. I was anticipating sleeping late, but was up by 6. I suppose my body felt like it was 9 am and I HAD slept in! So I called D to see how the hurricane prep was going. Originally he was planning on leaving town this afternoon and taking the kids to Richmond. He’s apparently changed his mind. No one we know is evacuating except friends and colleagues in North Carolina. Even one of our nursing homes is being evacuated today. And that’s only 30 min from where I live. While I’m not happy, I do trust him and his ability to keep the kids safe. I’m just scared. So please…take a minute to say a quick prayer/blessing/positive thought for the people in Irene’s wake for safety.

After waking early, I decided to hit up a vegan cafe, where I am now, and enjoy some great local fare. And now that I’m done eating, I’m going to explore for another hour or so, and then head to Portland to get Vida VeganCon rolling!

20110826-092421.jpg

Fever Delirium, Earthquakes, and Hurricanes

Not doing the FOOD & FITNESS thing today…I’m sick, haven’t eaten much, and have not worked out.  So there’s THAT brief summary!  😉

LIFE

Dear Lord, my life is never dull.  Not that I’m complaining too much – but sometimes…dull would be nice.  Not often, but one or two days a year.  That’s really all I’m asking for.

It has been an interesting couple of days.  I knew I was feeling a little off on Sunday, but I figured it was either my new multi-vitamin making me dizzy (it’s happened before), or my swim was a little too hard and I didn’t properly re-fuel after.  By Monday evening though, I knew something else was cooking.  I felt more or less okay, just stuffy.  I did my neti pot thing and hoped I nipped that.

Oh boy, it’s amazing what can happen overnight when one sleeps.  I woke up yesterday morning felling like someone filled my head with cotton.  Heavy, wet, and dark green cotton.  It’s funny how you just know when something has progressed past your ability to fix it.  I knew that I had a sinus infection.  Quite probably an ear infection too, considering how much my right ear hurt.  My head was throbbing, my throat was sore, and I was more than a little pissed off about it.

This happens to me like clockwork once a year – usually when the weather changes.  And each year I am forced to wait the prescribed 7-10 days to be sure it isn’t a viral thing (doctors appropriately are reluctant to prescribe antibiotics), and then once that time has passed and I’m now sicker than crap, I get the antibiotics and feel better 3-5 days later.  So each year I get a royally bad sinus and ear infection that lasts about 2 weeks.  With my trip starting tonight, there was absolutely no way I was going to do that.

So I called my Dr office and found she couldn’t get me in.  I went into Urgent Care prepared to explain my long history of sinus infections and battle the doctor for antibiotics.  Protest with a sit-in in the exam room if necessary.  But no need!  The doctor was great.  She looked in my ear and nose, knew right away it was an infection, and prescribed me a 3-day antibiotic that I took as soon as I could, about an hour later.  Woo hoo…here’s hoping I’m ALL better before the conference starts on Friday.

On a side note, I was downtown when the earth started to move under my feet.  Literally!  VA had an earthquake centered about 38 miles outside of Richmond.  We certainly felt it here in the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area, and in much further reaches of the country.  I read that the earth’s crust in this coast is pretty smooth (all things considering), so the waves can travel happily over hundreds of miles, explaining why all along the eastern seaboard it was felt.  The worse part was the cell service being offline for about a half hour afterwards.  We all recovered just fine and are now talking about the great quake of 2011.

While the possible violence of mother nature is absolutely nothing to joke about, we are gearing up for another blow that will possibly hit us in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Hurricane Irene is plowing her way through the Bahamas today and is on track to hit the Carolinas on Saturday, and my area of Hampton Roads on Sunday.  We’re normally pretty secure as we’re a bit protected by being more inland than our North Carolina neighbors.  What we typically experience are the outer bands of major storms, lots of rain and some flooding, but nothing like a direct hit.  It’s said that we get hit maybe 1 in every 10 years.

The last hurricane to hit Hampton Roads was Hurricane Isabel in Sept. 2003.  That hit us as a Category 1, and caused $1.85 billion in damages.  People were without power, gas, and running water for days, not to mention the flooding of tunnels.  It happened 3 1/2 months before my family moved to the area, and I was hoping to never have to live through it.  It’s now 8 years later, and Irene is predicted to be a Cat 3 when/if it hits.  We’re doing the best we can to prepare, and I can say I’m honestly worried.  I’ll be honest too, that I’m not thrilled with the coincidence that both of these deadly ladies have names beginning with “I”.

Well enough of the doomsday talk!  Let’s just hope Irene decides to take a severe right turn soon, and putter out over the ocean without harming anyone.

I was supposed to get my nails done last evening.  I was downtown for work and ready to head to the spa when I really started not feeling well.  Thank goodness I work for a hospital, right?  103 fever.  Just lovely.  So, I called the spa to cancel (sorry for everyone that has to see me this weekend with chipped fingernails!  The toes still look good though).

I was freezing the entire drive home.  I rolled up the windows, no AC, and darned near turned the heat on.  I stumbled into the front door and I don’t really remember the drive home, and was on a mission to warm up.  Right after I went upstairs to put on fleece jammies and a sweatshirt, I grabbed my pillow and went outside into the warm VA sun to lie in my yard on a lawn chair in an effort to warm up.  Once my Tylenol kicked in, so did my common sense.  I imagine I made a heck of a sight for any neighbors who happened to look in my yard.  It’s nearly 90 degrees, and here I am in a hoodie and sweat pants curled up on a lawn chair with my dog’s head on my lap.

Most of the rest of the evening was spent in bed watching a TON of TV.  And on several conference calls dealing with a system crisis at work.  I kept the Tylenol and motrin onboard to keep any fevers down, so at least I’d be coherent to my co-workers.  I managed to sleep well both the last two nights.  I think my body knows it needs the rest.

Today has been a lot of work, scrambling to get our production issues under control as well as prepping for any IT system issues as a result of Irene.  And I stopped at the grocery to buy them out of bottled water….just in case!

I also finally finished (ish) packing this morning.  My suitcase is ready, and most of my carry on!  The trip is going to be a bit crazy – I’m not scheduled to land until midnight in Seattle – which is 3am my time.  Which means by the time I get my luggage, my car, and get to my hotel, I’ll have been up nearly 24 hours.  While being sick.  Should be an adventure!

my suitcase. with plenty of extra room to bring back fun things!

my awesome carry on bag!

key carry on items. My Kindle, my iPad, and my magazine. Magazine required for when I can't use electronics during take off and landing!

I will spend tomorrow and part of Friday in Seattle before heading down to the conference that afternoon!  There are a ton of amazing things scheduled, from cooking demos, round table discussions, podcasting workshop (I’m going to that one!  Watch out…may end up with a blog, a vlog, and a podcast by the time I leave!), and even a dressy fundraiser.  Little black dress and heels are packed!  I plan to do a lot of blogging while I’m gone as well as frequent Twitter updates during the con.  If you’re on Twitter, follow the trend #VidaVeganCon to catch everyone’s highlights!

It’s The Final Countdown!

only two more days and I’ll be on a plane to Seattle and then down to Portland for the Vida Vegan Con Conference!!!!  Woo hoo 🙂

FOOD

I eventually got hungry last night, so I made up some leftover lentil salad wraps.  I had a batch of leftover lentils, and yesterday morning I made a quick marinade of Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, and olive oil and poured it over the leftovers, and stuck it back in the fridge.

Normally, I just use romaine lettuce leaves as my wraps, but I was feeling inventive, so I added the rice paper.  The extra added bonus is that they went from messy to portable finger food!  I love rice paper….

how I normally eat this

enter the awesome rice paper....dampen to make soft....insert your ingredients...

and it's a wrap baby!

easy to make...easier to eat!

This morning was a cup of coffee, a mini bagel with Tofutti cream cheese, and the other half of the banana from yesterday afternoon.  I wasn’t very hungry, but had to eat something before my marathon meeting day started.

I ate a Coconut milk yogurt for lunch.  And tea.

Dinner was a part of a Moe’s salad.  After running errands with the kids, we stopped at Moe’s to pick up dinner.  I wasn’t planning on getting anything, but when the manager saw me, he remembered me and exactly what I order every time I’m there (and I haven’t been there in months!).  I didn’t have to heart to say no, so I ended up ordering a salad.  I think I OD’d on Moe’s when I was training for the Chicago marathon.  After each of my Saturday long runs, I seemed to crave that exact salad – which would explain why he remembered me.  I was there at least once a week for 4 months.

LIFE

I was feeling a bit better last night, and ended up sleeping pretty well (even though it took me forever to FALL asleep…I actually STAYED asleep).

I woke up early this morning and took a shower before D was up.  I made breakfast for R and I, lunches for D, R, and I, and then got ready for work.  D has it easy in the mornings 🙂

I was feeling a little off today, but mostly seemed fine.  I notice that when I’m really focused on something (like work), I tend to ignore the aches, pains, and general icky feelings.

I went through my billion meetings and then got a call from R’s old grade school (she’s moving up to the next school for 3rd-5th graders), and they needed me to come in today to pick up her Epi-Pens and Benadryl, or they were going to throw them away.

So, in an hour between meetings, I left the office, got to her school, picked up her meds, and then went home to finish my meeting afternoon (they were all online meetings or conference calls).  Those lasted until 530.

After work, I took the kids to the art supply store so A could pick up materials for her summer project for art school.  I intended to hit up Target and the bank too, but was feeling really poopy, so we just stopped at Moe’s and went home.

Most of this evening has been spent working, playing with my iPad, and thinking about packing – and feeling sorry for myself that I seem to be getting sick.  I’m really upset, and hope this passes before Wednesday evening when my flight takes off!  I can’t have any ill moments at Vida Vegan Con!

I’m stuffy and my head is pounding.  I busted out the neti pot, had quite a bit of success, and have been drinking Emergen-C and tea all evening.  And now…I’m going to stop blogging so I can get another good night’s sleep and kick this bug in the butt!

I Feel Like a Swimming Beast!!

Okay, so I’m writing this on my iPad for practice, and I haven’t figured out how to format my type yet (like holding and italicizing)…Bear with me as I try to figure this out!

FOOD

I should have known something wasn’t right when I woke up this morning. I had my java first, as always, and then I just didn’t feel hungry. I knew I should eat though, so I heated up some leftover butternut squash soup with quinoa. I had about 6 bites and stopped.

Before my workout around noon, I had half of a banana. I wasn’t hungry then either, but knew I should have something before exercising.

About 20 min after my workout I was feeling a little hungry, but nothing sounded good and the hunger soon passed. An hour or so later I ate a quick Boca burger because I knew intellectually I needed to eat.

It’s not dinner time yet, but the way I’m feeling now, I may end up skipping that.

FITNESS

I knew I wanted to swim today. I was thinking of maybe going to another warm yoga class too. By the time I left for the Y I was feeling pretty bleh. I was hoping that a good swim would energize me, and it did…while I was in the pool.

I actually had a great swim. I swam 2100 yds over the course on 1 hr and 9 minutes. I did several drills with breast stroke (my weakest) and backstroke too. Now that swimming is one of the few workouts I can do without hurting my back, it needs to be more well rounded and not just going freestyle as fast as I can!

I enjoyed the swim a lot, which is just as important to me. I tend to avoid things I don’t like 🙂

LIFE

I actually slept quite well last night. I was grateful for that! I got up around 730, made coffee, and plopped in front of the TV. No one else stirred until after 10, the slackers!

Last night R broke my book light, so one item on my to do list today was to get another one! After my swim I went to Barnes and Noble to get a new light and a couple magazines for the flight (well….the portions of the flight where you can’t use electronics, so no iPad, iPod, iPhone, or Kindle…the horror!). Then a quick stop at the grocery, and then home.

I’ve been playing with my iPad since I got home, and finally admitting that I don’t feel well. I hope I’m not catching whatever D has because he’s been miserable since Friday night. I can’t afford to get sick right now, not with the big trip coming up this week!

So I’m going to go take a nap and hope I can shake off this icky feeling.

Going to try and insert a picture here too….just something goofy with R.

20110821-043752.jpg