Going to Ghana (someday…I hope)

FOOD

Okay, so I got to meet up with some awesome Seattle vegans for brunch at Chaco's in the U District yesterday morning! AC and I met up with DQ and MC for some yummy grub and conversation.

I had tofu scramble with tempeh bacon and potato pancakes! Oh, and their fresh 'detox juice' with golden beets.

Lunch primarily consisted of bloody mary's at Finn MacCools, also in the U District. Dinner was snacks while watching a movie (edamame, hummus, guacamole, veggies, and kale chips! – yes, CT knows how to feed us well!).

FITNESS

None. I was planning on yoga yesterday, but was out too late tooling around town. LC and CT went though, so that was cool.

LIFE

Saturday night was the Water to Wine benefit at SkyLine winery in WA. It was for an amazing group called Water Access Now that raises money to drill wells in Ghana. They partner with Catholic Relief Services to build community based committees (always comprised of men and women) as the Water and Sanitation Committee, to ensure appropriate maintenance and use of their new resource. As a side note, 100% of the funds raised by this group goes to WAN, as all members are volunteers who pay their own way to West Africa.

I was extremely moved and inspired by the presentations. In the past year or so, this group has brought water to over 33,000 villagers. The speakers told amazing (and sometimes sad) stories of how life in Ghana can be, and how difficult it is to find water. Not to mention the percentages of death from drinking contaminated water, WAN and CRS have done amazing work to truly improve the quality of life of tens of thousands of people.

I hope I have the ability someday to become involved in a group like Water Access Now, and to make a difference in someone's life.

Sunday was a low-key day for everyone. We all pretty much did our own thing. That's one of the things I love about this group – no one is clingy. No one is offended if one or two people peel off and do their own thing.

HF met up with her Aunt and Uncle for breakfast and church, LC met up with her cousin and actually met her cousins children for the first time! CT took her kids out for some family time, while AC and I had brunch.

BT dropped AC and I off for brunch on his way to play rugby, so afterwards, he met up with us at Finn's for a beer and hung out a bit. Then it was back to the house, and AC was able to meet up with her maid of honor from her wedding! It was really awesome that everyone was able to have a special last day.

The evening ended with a movie and packing!

My flight home was drama free, though the same can't be said for everyone in our group! Even though LC, AC, and I booked our flights at the same time, LC and I had major flight changes – but AC didn't. We all sort of assumed we all had the changes to the schedule, so when we got to the airport, AC had actually missed her flight. Good news is she was booked on one later in the morning, and will be landing about an hour or so after the rest of us. HF had a different flight since she had a different destination, but all told, we managed to get home fine.

Last year we went to Vegas for a birthday celebration, and this year Seattle. Since none of us have a major milestone birthday coming up for several years yet, we all pretty much decided we need to do this yearly for no other reason than we're friends and it's cool. Top of the list for next year is Maine. Stay tuned 🙂

I had an absolutely perfect trip, and am so grateful for good friends who made it happen. I'm happy to be home, but looking forward to when we can do this again!

 

Time Flies and The Dinner That Wasn’t

FOOD

It’s been a fairly typical food scene around here the last two days, with the exception of dinners.

Dinner yesterday didn’t happen, and I ended up going to bed with a wicked headache.   Dinner today was supposed to be grilled fun – tofu, broccoli, and a salad…but my kids decided to sprout social lives, so it ended up being a quesadilla, baked spud, and a sunflower butter/banana sammich.  I feel a bit cheated!

Juice ingredients!  Romaine, apple, lemon, cuc, ginger.
Juice ingredients! Romaine, apple, lemon, cuc, ginger.
green juice for breakfast Thursday morning
green juice for breakfast Thursday morning
watermelon snack because...well because I had it and I love watermelon.
watermelon snack because…well because I had it and I love watermelon.
mac n peas for lunch!  Quinoa shell noodles with Teeze (GF, vegan, nut free).
mac n peas for lunch! Quinoa shell noodles with Teeze (GF, vegan, nut free).
breakfast this morning.  Because I really, really love watermelon. To which my sister commented that it's really just water and she'd still be hungry!
breakfast this morning. Because I really, really love watermelon. To which my sister commented that it’s really just water and she’d still be hungry!
quick snack when I got home tonight and realized I wasn't having grilled tofu for dinner!  Corn tortillas with a little Daiya.
quick snack when I got home tonight and realized I wasn’t having grilled tofu for dinner! Corn tortillas with a little Daiya.
a GF flatbread topped with sunflower butter and sliced bananas.  Not a glorious and creative dinner, but it'll do on a Friday night.
a GF flatbread topped with sunflower butter and sliced bananas. Not a glorious and creative dinner, but it’ll do on a Friday night.

FITNESS

Yesterday I didn’t work out.  Way to busy, and didn’t get the chance after work – and frankly, after all the travel drama and little sleep, I sure as heck wasn’t going to get up early!

Today though, I was sure to pack a gym bag before leaving the house.  An after work jaunt to the gym was in order, and I did some HIIT on the elliptical and some full-body weight training.  One of these days I want to like going to the gym.  I dislike workout DVD’s though, and I’m back to pouting about just wanting to run and not being able to.  Driving to and from the gym and parking takes time I don’t have to waste if I could just lace up and walk out my front door.  So here I am, feeling whiny again, sorry.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll finally get the spiders off my bike and go for a ride.

LIFE

Last night my son had a play.  It was called Time Flies, and it’s about 2 mayflies who meet, flirt heavily (that was hard to watch as his mom while one may fly grabbed his butt), and then learn by watching a TV special that mayflies only live 24 hours.  It was pretty hilarious and he’s up for an award for his performance!

IMG_4331 (Small) IMG_4342 (Small) IMG_4348 (Small) IMG_4358 (Small)

The night went much later than planned, so we didn’t get home until late.

Today was all meetings, all day.  I do feel like a lot was accomplished regarding one of my projects, so I certainly am not complaining about meeting hell or anything 😉

My oldest child was called and offered a shift at work tonight, and my son was invited to an overnight bowling party-thing, so we ended up not doing the dinner we had planned.  We did all sit outside and goof off for a while (basketball, soccer, beer…well…beer for just D and I…but still).  I’ve been rejoicing in the ridiculously hot weather and spending as much time as possible sitting on the deck under the big umbrella.

my view from my chair
my view from my chair

Tomorrow I have two things planned, though one may not happen.  My daughter and I (the oldest daughter) signed up for a Chesapeake Clean the Bay Day – which is a VA and MD-wide effort to clean up the waterways.  I signed us up online and the local coordinator was supposed to email me with details on where to go (I have no idea where I’d been “assigned”, other than my city), so unless it comes by the morning, I may not be volunteering after all.  Which has me really bummed out…getting more involved in things that are important to me; animal rights, social justice issues, and environmental initiatives, is something that I took home with me from VVC (Vida Vegan Con in case you didn’t know).  I won’t let this keep me from becoming involved in (or starting) activism in my area, but it still bugs me.

Tomorrow evening I’m going to our Vegan Dinner Social and Pleasure Club meet-up group!  We’re doing a Wine and Cheeze Garden party.  Since most vegan cheezes are nut based, I’m bringing a fruit plate, flax crackers, and possibly a sunflower seed spread.

Sunday, if the weather holds, D and I are going golfing.  Real golfing – not lessons or driving range.  I’m hopeful that we go.

Until then, random pics of Sammie the happy pooch and Bumble, the Ruler of the House.

she may be Ruler of the House, but she's scared to death of the great outdoors.  Too fraidy-cat to leave the deck.
she may be Ruler of the House, but she’s scared to death of the great outdoors. Too fraidy-cat to leave the deck.
my sleepyheads
my sleepyheads

 

Impact from VVC #1 – I Emailed a Company About Their Product!

The following in an email I sent to www.simplescents.com today.  It is my first-ever email to a company regarding their products.  Feeling relatively proud of myself!
Good afternoon,
I wanted to share with you something I noticed when shopping yesterday at the Virginia Beach Farmer’s Market at a retailer that sells your soaps.  I was excited to see (and smell!) the handmade soaps and noticed the display materials clearly state that your soaps are made without animal products.  I picked out a lovely lemon verbena scent.  I was a little dismayed to read the ingredients, and see honey listed.  I am a vegan, and so do not use any products that contain any animal products.  I appreciate the natural soaps you manufacture (and purchased the animal-free grapefruit bar), but was hoping you could contact your sellers to notify them that the “no animal products” statement is false.  I noticed your website actually says “no animal fats” which is an absolutely correct statement, and I would encourage you to change your advertising materials at point of sale to reflect that as well.
Thank you so much for your consideration,
Crissie