Death to Death Lettuce

FOOD

So I may actually be done with any romaine lettuce bought at a regular grocery store. May have to stick to any I grow myself or get from a local farm. My daughter has called it “death lettuce” since last years outbreak, and with another one again, it is apparent that it is simply too easy for animal waste to contaminate on a commercial farm.

So Sunday I made salads with spring mix. I’m just going to say it – I don’t like it as much. I like crunchy lettuce damnit! I also made tortilla soup. These two were my lunch.

I also made a homemade BBQ sauce and then decided to mix it with some pasta, corn, and black beans. It was good. A little odd, but good.

Yesterday morning was a quick smoothie (though saying “smoothie” is a stretch – it was just Garden of Life powder in water in my blender ball after a workout). Lunch was a Thai food lunch date with my guy. Dinner I skipped.

This morning was sunflower butter and banana on toasted Ezekiel bread. Lunch was a Moe’s salad on the way to my Dr appt. Dinner has yet to happen (this is a bad trend this week).

Nutritionally devoid iceberg lettuce, but hey, at least it is not trying to kill me

FITNESS

It was raining yesterday morning, so I was bummed I couldn’t go for a run. I did an upper body workout in the garage instead.

Today it was NOT raining, so after a 25 minute core workout, I went for that run!

Runs are definitely my fav workouts, but even more so when I’m feeling stressed or worried or worked up about something. So – glad to lace up and get out there this morning.

LIFE

Pretty typical early work week. Working from home, though this will be the last week of that. The bruising on my face is at a tolerable level, and I’m cleared to wear makeup, so I can largely cover it. My idea of makeup is usually tinted moisturizer, so it doesn’t fully cover it, but it dulls it enough. The scar will take much longer to heal, but even that is looking good. Hard to believe that 2 weeks ago my face was sliced into. I do believe I have magical healing powers! (Or a damned good plastic surgeon….my money is on that one).

I had a fair number of meetings yesterday and today. Not so many that I couldn’t get anything else done, but enough to keep me busy. I made a bit of a dent in my to do list this week. Not as much as I’d like – I’d really like it clear before the end of Thursday.

Today I also had my yearly mammogram. I normally do that in October (birthday month – old habit from military days where we did all our health screenings in our birth month). I had it scheduled in October, but ended up having a personal conflict and needing to reschedule it.

On my way there, I went shopping for the holiday gift exchange for the party my boyfriend and I are heading to this weekend. We’re DC bound for the yearly party with friends, and we do a white elephant gift exchange. I stopped at the ABC store, and while the pickings were slim gift-wise, I did find one thing. It was a little sad – the man in front of me was checking out with just the little airplane bottle of vodka.

So the Nextdoor app – basically Facebook for neighborhoods. Typically it’s posts about lost pets, people complaining about those “darned kids”, and other annoying things (like my neighborhood wanting to have our city declared a 2nd Amendment sanctuary city…ffs. That’s just crazy). I do appreciate some of the recommendations for things when I’m looking for home services, like a lawn service and pressure washing. But today – today warranted sharing the stupidity of others. You see, this coming Saturday – the 7th – is the Christmas parade where I live. To be honest – I’ve never actually been because I dislike crowds, but that’s not the point. The point is this man left came chairs….monogrammed camp chairs….out on the public street….15 FULL DAYS BEFORE THE PARADE to “hold their spot”. And then is outraged that the chairs have thusly been stolen! Seriously? What happened to just showing up a few hours early to snag your spot? It’s not like I live if NYC or Chicago or something. Yikes. People are dumb.

The rest of the day has been working and school work. I got feedback from one of the 2 primary reviewers/approvers of my research, and I have a lot of work to do to incorporate that.

Celebrating that I’m doing qualitative research and not quantitative!

I’m really looking forward to that weekend getaway. It is much needed.

Kumaventure this eve to pick the wee one up from robotics

Thanksgiving, Lazy Days, and Chess Wars

FOOD

The food highlight of the week has certainly been Thanksgiving. I made a Celebration Roast (I couldn’t find Tofurky anywhere this year, so when with the Field Roast brand – I didn’t like it nearly as much), green bean casserole with a homemade creamy mushroom soup, stuffing, mashers, mushroom gravy, tofu pot pie, fresh bread, cranberry/orange/cinnamon sauce, and pumpkin pie.

Other eats this week included smoothies, oatmeal, a bizarre meal with two of my kids, an Impossible Whopper, and plenty of leftovers.

I very much appreciate BK having these. But tbh, it just sits SO heavy. I think my stomach hurt until the next day…

Eggplant and as a side I picked asparagus. Not realizing it didn’t automatically come with pasta. I choose poorly – it was a strange combo of flavors that was not awesome

FITNESS

I was cleared on Monday at a post-op appt to work out again. I ran Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and just finished a cardio spin workout in my garage. Feels good to move.

LIFE

Well the week started with me getting my stitches removed. Doc came into my room 50 minutes after my appt time and asked how I was. “Annoyed” was my response. He was taken aback a bit, but just because he’s a doctor, doesn’t mean my time is less valuable. It really did screw up some of my schedule, but is what it is. But it is annoying. Anyway, stitches are out and the bruising is really fading. I have some gel I need to use for the next 3 months that will hopefully minimize scarring and help it heal normally. If not, then laser treatment, but so far I think it’s looking pretty good.

I worked from home and, admittedly, didn’t do a whole lot school wise. Guess I just needed a mental break.

Tuesday everyone played chess. M and I played an online Game Pigeon version. That evening, R played M and beat him. A played the winner (R) and beat her. Then A wanted to play M. While that happened the next day…this thread ensued first. This is how my children fight….

Wednesday R, M, and I went out for a very late lunch (around 230). After cleaning much of the day, really didn’t want to cook!

Thursday was Thanksgiving, so I spent the day cooking (R had done the cleaning the day before). It was my kids, a couple of M’s friends, my boyfriend, and his boys. It was a nice time – I do enjoy having a full house.

Friday was literally the laziest day I may have ever had. Ever. Kuma and I sat on the sofa and watched two episodes of Mandalorian. Then R and I (and a lazy Kuma) watched Finding Dory. I folded some wash, and then watched several NCIS episodes upstairs with Kuma and Luna. I can’t remember the last time I watched that much TV in a month, much less a day! It was kind of nice, though I did feel like a bum.

Yesterday and today the plans I had fell through, so it’s been fairly low key. Went to see Knives Out with two of the munchkins yesterday – it was SO good. Did a bit of school work and finished a really good audiobook. Today has so far been a workout and starting on school stuff. Imagine I’ll do my weekly meal plan, shop if I need to, and do some bulk cooking for the week.

Book I’m currently reading

Got this for my bday from my boyfriend. It’s cute – he said he liked to get silly things that make me think of him. And I do – every time I use this cup. It’s normally just black, until I pour tea or coffee into it and the album cover comes up. I love it.

Oh Honey, Who Hurt You?

FOOD

Been nice being home for the past week! Eats have been pretty typical while home. Salads, stir fry, rice and veggies, oatmeal, soup, and smoothies.

My fav red Thai curry soup with white sweet potato

I also made three batches of homemade soymilk. One is a soy/oat/date blend which came out way thicker than I wanted. Will play with that and reduce the amount of oats next time. One super thick batch (double the soybeans) in order to make homemade yogurt (my first time making it from homemade milk), and a batch of normal everyday soymilk. Really happy all around.

A few meals out with my guy too. One was a Tex-Mex place we’ve liked, though it appears the quality (both of service and food) have been declining. Sad since they’ve only been open a year or so.

Fajita bowl with Impossible burger chopped into it

One of our fav brunch spots where I get the hummus lettuce wraps and sorbet mimosa!

And grilled cheese (vegan for me of course!) and fried pickles after a movie date.

FITNESS

A run and some kickboxing when I got home from Chicago. I’m banned from working out now until cleared by my doctor. More on that later.

LIFE

So I got home late Friday evening and immediately went to bed. The rest of the week has been pretty darned eventful.

A brunch date, a wine bar date, two movies, and lunch date were definitely the highlights. Included a total of three coffee shop stops as well as a wander through the Old Beach farmers market (very bougie). All packed into about 3 days!

We do love being regulars here. They know what we like. Saw us come in and the sommelier runs into the back to bring this out, having saved a bottle knowing we’d like it – and we did!

Charlie’s Angles and Joker were the movies. One was fun. One was disturbing. A coffee shop near me, one closer to his place, and one near the farmers market.

Between the rest rooms at our brunch spot

From Three Ships coffee spot

Monday night I met up with an old co-worker (he left the company 8 years ago!). He’s become involved in the start-up world and has recently joined our local angel investor group. I happen to know them, so it was fun to reconnect. We met for a glass of wine and just caught up and made some plans for future business collaboration. I’m going to be a guest on his podcast and he sent me a book, which is one of my favorite types of gifts!

Tuesday was not a fun day. So back in August I was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma on my left cheek. Small, but had to come off. Good news is it’s not the super scary type of skin cancer (that’s melanoma). This one is usually caused by some bad sun exposure from sometimes decades earlier. But it has scared me into being more diligent about sun screen than I really ever have been (here’s your PSA kids – WEAR SUNSCREEN EVEN IF YOU DON’T BURN EASILY). Due to my crazy travel schedule, I really needed to wait until I knew I could arrange being home for a few weeks to heal. Hence the surgeries (yes two) on Tuesday. My girlfriend AJ picked me up and was my chauffeur and friend for the day. Step one was to the dermatology surgery office. That involved torture by Christmas music, needles to the face, discussions of temporary blindness, and the eventually excising of the cancer. Then they patched me up and sent me to the waiting room with AJ to kill an hour while they went to verify they got it all. They did, so then we had a few hours to kill before going to the facial plastic surgeon to sew me up and minimize scaring. That one was low-key horrific. Much more painful and invasive and numbed half my face – including my teeth! But, he was great and from my hometown of Milwaukee, which was fun, even though I really couldn’t speak once they got going (he had a resident).

I was offered stronger meds than Motrin and Tylenol, but I refused. Didn’t end up needing them anyway. Sore, but tolerable. Can’t really get it wet, can’t workout, etc.

The rule was to keep the bandage on 24-48 hours. I made it 24 hours and 30 minutes. I sleep on my stomach and the bandage started bunching. Drove me crazy!

By Thursday, I was totally stir crazy and needed to get out of the house. I was out of tofu, so I figured a quick trip to the grocery was needed. So here I am wandering around the store, and a woman comes up to me, puts her hand on my shoulder, and says “oh honey, who hurt you?”. UM… CANCER HURT ME. At first I was a little taken aback by someone approaching me like that (I have a black eye and stitches going down my cheek – so I did look a hot mess), but since it’s really restored my faith in humanity. She cared enough to make sure I was okay, and if I wasn’t – not sure what she’d have done – but it still warms my heart. We chuckled when I explained it to her.

That was early. The black eye and swelling got MUCH more impressive…

Since I couldn’t take a shower and get my face wet, it was definitely bath fun. I’m a huge fan of bath bombs, and my youngest bought me a ton of great spooky ones for my birthday! Luna really enjoys bath time too.

So – that was my week – plus quite a bit of time on my doctoral research stuff. Great times and not so great times, but in the end, I can’t complain. No more cancer. Fun with my love. Caught up at work. Research humming along. Seriously no complaints.

New throw blanket is VERY much Luna approved

She enjoys when I change the sheets. Even though she gets in the way

Flight Club

FOOD

Mixed bag of home and road eats this past week. I was home for four days, and then back to Chicago for a few.

I made a butternut squash sauce for pasta.

I swear, there’s a baker under that mound of green beans and chickpeas!

Brunch Sunday with the boyfriend – my typical wrap.

Lunch on Monday was with a co-worker and I had a veggie burger

Tuesday late lunch/early dinner was with my sister and mom. My sister and I split an Impossible burger. She had never had one before, and hadn’t had a hamburger in 30 years, so it was a fun treat! They’re very filling, so splitting that an an app was just fine.

Chicago eats were a mixed bag this time. I was “captive” and the vegan eats were slim pickings, at least until the last day. So I picked up stuff at Starbucks or had oatmeal in my room. No lunch for 2 days, and I think I can’t look at another Clif Bar for awhile…

FITNESS

Spin class, runs, and yoga while I was home.

LIFE

Well, been busy for sure. Last weekend was fairly low key. Spent most of it at home with the kids and doing all the home front fun stuff like cleaning and grocery shopping.

Sunday was brunch with my boyfriend and hanging out at his place a bit.

Love the fire pits at our fav brunch spot

Monday was work and then shopping the veteran’s day sales! Then packing for a morning flight to Chicago.

Tuesday morning I hopped a flight to Chicago and then headed up to Milwaukee, where I picked my sister up from work. We then went to her house and then to pick up our mom for lunch. All told it was nice.

Though – on Monday Wisconsin got a ton of snow and I may have been a bit worried about the roads. Texted C from the airport to validate the roads were ok. She then went to social media to publicly shame me. Brat sister.

Picked up C, after some directionally challenged moments, and were on our way!

After lunch, spent some time at her house visiting my niece, nephew, and brother in law. Then it was back to Chicago.

View from my room did not suck

By the way, if you don’t have WTForecast, you’re missing out. It makes crap weather at least funny.

Lots of very informative meetings and presentations for 3 days I have been in Chicago. Got to meet up with several people I’ve met over the years in the innovation space, and met a few cool new ones. One of the new people I met actually used to work with one of my girlfriends back in DC. We took a selfie and sent it to her. Small world.

Wednesday night I couldn’t join the party because I had class, but that was ok. I joined it last night at a place called Flight Club. NOT Fight Club, which made me completely reevaluate my expectations of the night! It’s a nightclub with darts. I played. I largely sucked. But had a great time.

And now, I’m airport bound and ready to be home with NO work travels for about a month! I’m quite excited 🙂

Until then, random pics for your enjoyment.

M and I made Vesper’s to celebrate watching Casino Royale. They were WAY too boozy, so basically turned them into Cosmos

Totally forgot about this building in Milwaukee that has ladybugs on the side.

My munchkins went out to dinner together last night.

Fireplace Season Has Begun!

FOOD

I was only home for a few days before another brief work trip.

While home had tofu green curry, a breakfast salad from Whole Foods, baked a loaf of bread, and made a rice and broccoli casserole.

Then it was off to Chicago for a quick overnight trip. Stopped for java at Stumptown Coffee before my meetings, and then had lunch at Sunda after, which consisted of sake, spicy edamame and vegan ramen.

Dinner that night was a group affair at the Little Goat Diner. They did make me vegan eats – I just wish they were good. I feel badly, because I could tell they really tried, but I just didn’t enjoy the meal. The company, however, was amazing, so that more than made up for it. And I was still full enough from lunch that it wasn’t a big deal to largely skip dinner.

Just shredded Brussels with lime juice. And a bit too much lime juice unfortunately. One bite, and I was done
Chickpea fritter was okay, but the red cabbage it sat on was amazing!
Mushroom pasta. Didn’t like the flavor combinations that included raisins and cinnamon.
Again with the raisins? Roasted Brussels with raisins and almonds. Didn’t take more than a bite.
Chocolate sorbet paired well with the red wine 😉🍷

The event had no vegan breakfast mains, which isn’t surprising. I had fruit and cashews, which was totally fine. Munched part of a Clif Bar too.

Lunch was a taco bar, which I really liked. Easy enough to make up something tasty.

Then it was back home! I grabbed Thai, but not at my usual place and got Tom ka and pad Thai, both with tofu. And since R and I were the only one’s home for dinner last night, so we went to YNot for some Italian yumminess.

FITNESS

Nothing in Chicago, but runs and a trip to the gym while home.

LIFE

I got home from Atlanta fairly late last Sunday night. Monday I spent some time with my guy before taking Luna to the vet. We’re trying probiotics, thinking the antibiotics killed off all the good bacteria in her belly, causing her poop issues. Fortunately, she’s still eating, drinking, playing, and stealing my spot in bed!

I worked from home on Tuesday. R didn’t have school, so it was nice to spend the day, even though most of mine was at my desk, with the exception of going to vote! Then it was cooking, martini’s, packing and heading to bed for a morning flight.

Chicago was cold. Like grossly cold, and for that reason, I’m not looking forward to heading back in a few days! Ugh. Otherwise the trip was great. Was part of an Innovation “bootcamp” with several other organizations for a day of sharing what we’re each going through in building innovation programs as well as sharing best practices. I really enjoyed it and met some very groovy people.

Walked past 2 of these. Can’t help but wonder how long they’ll actually be around considering the massive $ loss and issues they’re having

Getting as bundled as I could before heading to morning meetings!

Got home late on Thursday night, and then to the office for meetings on Friday. This weekend will be all about school and cleaning and kids before I had to Chicago again on Tuesday! At least this time I’ll get a chance to see family.

Kuma and me hanging by the fireplace this morning! Cold has come to VA. Ugh.

Gift from my boyfriend for my bday. I’m a big fan of this album
Drinking tea for the first time from the cup, and it did cool stuff when it got hot!
Just a silly exchange with my guy when I was coming home from Atlanta

Still a Whiskey Conspiracy and Doctoral Fun

FOOD

Still been on the road since my last post. I had another day in Vegas and the highlight for sure was dinner at the speakeasy Beauty & Essex.

My last morning I found a açaí bowl that I ate just before my last meeting of the conference! Though it was with DB, who is one of my favorites.

Then it was off to Atlanta until today (I’m sitting in the airport killing time and waiting to go home!). It was my doctoral residency so most food was in the hotel. Breakfast was oatmeal, lunch was whatever they had – typically a salad, though one day was much more dynamic. Dinner one day was with K and I had the vegan grit bowl. Second day was with K and our advisor Dr. J, and I had the red and white quinoa bowl with tofu.

Saturday I got out of the hotel and hit up ATL with my girlfriend E. Stopped at the Wrecking Bar first for some flights of in house brews, then The Porter for a Beyond burger and their signature salt and vinegar popcorn (which is totally worth the hype!).

FITNESS

In Vegas I walked. In ATL, I did yoga and my daily burn app. Nothing fancy, but hell, 10 days on the road and I’m thrilled with what I managed!

LIFE

Oh hell, where to start? Left the HLTH conference in Vegas energized and excited, but nervous too. Excited about all that’s going on in the space to truly disrupt my industry. Nervous because the disrupters are the outsiders – and that can be a problem for those entities that aren’t willing to adapt. The next 5-10 years will be really fun to watch.

I got to my Atlanta hotel around midnight on Wednesday night/Thursday morning. The trip is for my very final residency in my doctoral program. I will admit, the experienced was mixed. There are only 2 of us left from our initial cohort (me and K), and while we all keep in touch with the original crew, we are a bit on our own.

This trip was supposed to focus on specific skills to aid in the research process. K and I are both done with all coursework, etc, so what we really have coming up is IRB approval, research, writing, and (hopefully) graduate. So this trip was to focus on tactical skills to get to graduation – like interviewing, site permissions, and going over all the detailed elements we need to know. And while we got some of that, our professor (and there were only 5 of us in total, K and I in the lead cohort with Strategy & Innovation, and 3 others who are behind us in various areas of Leadership and HR), liked way too much to pontificate on things that were entirely irrelevant. All told, it was valuable, but not nearly as much as it could/should have been. I mean really….making us work on creating a mission statement on how we are the “leaders of our own dissertation project”? UGH. All that aside, I got enough to where I’m super jazzed to get going. I submit to IRB at the end of this month, which is totally insane. There is a distinct chance that I start my research before Christmas. It moves up my timetable somewhat, but I’m still so very excited!

Thursday night after class K and I grabbed drinks (SHE DRINKS WHISKEY AND I SWEAR IT’S A CONSPIRACY) and dinner, and it was to bed pretty early.

Friday night after class we had dinner (and a fair amount of very good wine) with our current mentor.

Saturday night after class was all about time with E (WHO ALSO LIKES WHISKEY). Also my youngest R did a cybersecurity scavenger hunt thing at a local community college and got second place!

And today was class and then off to the airport to wait relatively patiently for my flight. And people watch. And I desperately wanna give this woman a makeover…

And while this entire trip has been very productive, I am beyond ready to get home to the ones I love!

Other fun stuff for your viewing pleasure.

Getting prepped to hand out candy on halloween!