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.

Sour Beers and Birthday Fun!

FOOD

I made a big batch of my spicy tofu soup that I ate several times during the week. My eldest loves it too, so I was forced to share.

Other eats included Thai green curry on a lunch date. I’m wondering if the quality of our normal spot is going down, or just a new chef maybe. It was honestly too thick and a bit too sweet for my liking, and his wasn’t as awesome as usual either.

I still had leftover Ethiopian stew, so I had that a few times too. Breakfasts were often oatmeal.

Friday was Indian lunch date and then an after work cocktail (lemon basil-tini for me) and for dinner was vegan pizza on a cauliflower crust.

Saturday was the most fun (of course) because it was birthday brunch at our fav spot with all but one of our munchkins (he had to work). The Bee and Biscuit is awesome not just for it’s food, but for the outdoor oasis you wait in before your table is ready. Jay is the best bartender, and we had some delicious drinks. Vegan Bloody Mary to start, a manmosa, and their summer solstice. That meant more coffee with my hippie wrap and fruit meal.

For dinner we checked a new spot off the list – Oiishi Burger in Virginia Beach. It was only ok, and not likely we’ll go back. Miso soup was bland, edamame was good, and the veggie curry was only ok. His meal was only mediocre too.

FITNESS

Started the week at the gym for some strength training and treadmill/dreadmill fun. Rest of the week was workouts at home, namely runs, walks, spin, and yoga.

LIFE

Sunday started with what should have been a quick drive to the gym. Alas, major car fire had the highway near me completely shut down for about an hour. Good news is it doesn’t appear anyone was hurt and that’s all that matters. Me sitting in traffic just means I’m lucky that I wasn’t the cause of it.

Always that guy who has to get out of his car to try and see the scene 🙄

After the gym, it was grocery shopping, meal prep, cooking, laundry, and homework. Typical Sunday!

It was a pretty busy week on the work and school front. Couple of coffee and lunch dates with my boyfriend as we could squeeze them in, but otherwise a really normal week (meaning I was actually at home!).

Thursday night R (who is a junior in HS this year) had a 2 hr event at one of the primary schools in our city called STEM&M (which I think that name is totally adorable). Her robotics team went to the event with last years bot and talked to the 3-5th graders about robotics. She had a blast. And I had 2 hrs to kill. I was going to hit up a Starbucks or something and study, but one really wasn’t close. BUT, a newly opened brewery was – so of course I had to hit that up! Texted a girlfriend of mine, and she met me there briefly. Really love their sour beers!

Saturday was my birthday and it was really awesome. It began with brunch with my 3, my boyfriend, and his oldest. That was several hours. After brunch, the kids and I headed to Ikea because R needed a new desk and M also got a new shelf. We had some fun karaoke on the way. After getting home, I packed up a bag and headed to my guys house. We hung out there for a bit until his youngest got home and got ready for a night out. Then we also headed out to our fav Cape Charles for some cider. Then off for dinner and back to his place. This morning was a lot of snuggling and then going grocery shopping on my way home. All told, about 70 people – friends and family all around the world – wished my a happy birthday and my heart is warmed knowing I have so many wonderful people in my life.

Necklace from my sister. When I thanked her (because it’s awesome!), she wrote that “the message is so you. You’re one of the strongest people I know and can do anything.” I cannot express what that means to me coming from my older sister – someone I’ve always admired and wanted to be like!

And of course, other random pics of the week, mainly of the floofs!

This week should fly by. I’m in the office only Monday, with offsite meetings and responsibilities Tues-Thurs and then a flight to Vegas Friday morning which kicks off a marathon trip of conference and residency!

Road Trip and an Alt Animal Creation Story

FOOD

Been on the road most of this week, so the eats were as well.

Monday I had a banana and then picked up this oat milk latte on the drive to Baltimore. To be honest – didn’t love it and didn’t finish it. Not the oat milk’ s fault since I typically enjoy an oat milk latte. Think I just didn’t like the coffee they used. Cute place though in Salisbury, MD.

Rolled into Baltimore around 230 or so. Spent some time at the hotel then walked into Little Italy where we stopped for a happy hour drink and hummus appetizer and then moved on to a different place for dinner. Where we initially stopped told us in no uncertain terms that we were to be out by 5 since they were hosting a Dancing with the Stars watch party. Um. Ok.

Wasn’t hungry for anything more substantial than a bruschetta app

Tuesday morning we stopped at Teavolve for breakfast and I had a really yummy marinated tofu wrap. Good thing too, since I really didn’t have lunch (my “vegan” plate at the conference was about 5 noodles and big chunks of charred bell peppers – I picked at it, but didn’t mind skipping since I had a good breakfast).

Dinner was divine though. Papi’s in Fell’s Point for Taco Tuesday! I had the street tacos, vegan style, with Beyond meat. We also had a plantain appetizer that was killer. Sangria was mediocre, but I forgive them due to taco yum mines.

Wednesday morning was coffee and a banana with Chinese for lunch in Richmond. And when in Richmond, Buskey’s is a necessity! They actually weren’t open for business, but the door was open and in we went. Chatted with the owners where we got a tour of their canning facilities and were then asked for recommendations on places to go on tap in our area. And a great discount on a 4 pack of Matcha cider for M (and he LOVES it).

This morning for breakfast was….coffee and a banana! Really wasn’t feeling anything else. Lunch was veggie sushi and dinner was leftover veggie sushi!

FITNESS

Other than walks around Baltimore, not much Mon-Wed. Went for a run today though!

LIFE

Monday was largely spent driving to Baltimore and then hanging out until going to bed pretty early.

When I was a kid, my family (mom, dad, sister) went on a road trip to Colorado. My father had this old memory or something about how awesome Stuckey’s was and insisted we stop at ever single one he saw. I think we all got food poisoning at LEAST once each on that trip after breakfasts at Stuckey’s. Every time I passed one since, I’d send a picture to my dad. He’d get a huge kick out of it. He passed away 3 years ago, so I had to send this one to my sister so we could reminisce about our dad and his poor dining suggestions on that road trip!

Monday Baltimore sights.

Tuesday was the conference. I was there because I was speaking and I dragged a couple of co-workers with me as governing board members. Each has a really unique perspective that I find is partly overlooked in our industry, but also two of the hottest and in demand skill sets. I was glad they could participate as both are really tops in their fields.

Then it was dinner, more walking around, and to bed early again.

Wednesday was up and immediately on the road with the pit stop in Richmond. Got home around 4 or so. We were apparently out of Luna food so I took Kuma to the petstore on a Kumaventure where she was loved on by many at the store.

And today was back to business as usual! Work, some school work, and a run.

Saw this thread of pics from my cousin – couldn’t help it. I have to share as an alternative animal creation story.

Beware Parallelogram Season

FOOD

It’s been a lazy week, to be honest. I had bulk cooked so much last weekend, that we ate a lot of leftovers.

Tuesday I made baked Mac no cheese, which is always a family fav.

Luna was a fan too

Also diced up the homemade andouille sausage and put it into lentil soup to make it even heartier.

Lunch one day MAY have been popcorn and a pina colada at the movies 🙂

And there was toast, and smoothies, and pasta, and soups, and salads.

Quinoa with fresh blueberries and cinnamon

Made a big batch of slow cooker minestrone with gluten free pasta

I used to love egg salad when I was a kid. I do love my tofu egg-less salad more tho! Especially topped on a BAS

I had one lunch date with the guy, but didn’t take a pic. We shared some edamame and I had tofu pad Thai. This was my fortune though!

FITNESS

A couple runs, weights in the garage, a spin class also in the garage, and I finally checked out the BodyPump class I’ve been meaning to try. I liked it – will let you know tomorrow how sore I may or may not be as a result!

LIFE

This has been much more low key than usual. And honestly, not sure how I feel about that.

I had the majority of last week off. I was supposed to go to DC for the DC United game with a girlfriend and a military vet related event, but life and Dorian got in the way, so I didn’t go. BUT, I kept the days off to focus on school stuff and general reading, so that was highly productive. I also went to the movies solo one day to see Angel Has Fallen. I love this series and enjoyed this most recent one too.

A gift from NS in Kenya! Adding it to my list of fun things to read

Back to school for the young one went off without a hitch. All going well so far, though it was only a 3 day week because schools were canceled in advance of Dorian on Friday.

Dorian wasn’t a major event. Some power flickers and unreliable internet, and some yard and pool clean up, but we were lucky. There was flooding and downed trees all over – just not in my neighborhood!

The weekend I stayed home and did housework and school work and grocery shopping and other fun prepping for the week.

I decided yesterday that I wanted to learn more to do with Alexa than play music, the news, and check the weather (oh, and how many days until Halloween!). So I started playing with Drop In, and my sister “called” on it! It was fun. R and I chatted with her and my niece and nephew. Totally cool. She and I also spent significant time sending each other Trump related memes this weekend. All told, good times.

Yesterday was a mini spa day for me and the wee one. She got a haircut, and I got a facial. Fun stuff.

Post haircut R!

We have a family group chat with me and my kids and my guy and BS. Silly stuff ensues. This was my recent contribution.

This week should be busy, but not horrible. It’s the last week of the term, so I have ten tons of writing to do. But can’t complain. I’m getting closer and closer to being done!

Studying outside the day before Dorian visited

Post shower snuggles

My cousin in Scotland posted. Love it.
Too early in the morning for her to get up

Sent this to the eldest last night during her ED shift. She claims she will actually say this…

Can I Get a Hell Yeah?

FOOD

So awesome having my kitchen again. I feel like I neglect her some when I’m home, but when I’m away, I miss her dearly!

I know it’s only been two days, but I’ve been a busy bee in the kitchen

Breakfast yesterday was some overnight oats made with coconut, cinnamon, and mango.

Lunch was a simple quinoa and black bean salad, and for dinner I made Kung Pao tofu with orange sauce.

This morning I had a qunioa dish with coconut milk, blueberries, banana, and sunflower seed butter that was really delicious.

Lunch I made a chickpea “not-tuna” salad wrap. Dinner was a lentil and kale soup that was not soupy at all and more of a stew.

FITNESS

Still just yoga but I was literally twitching to go on a run. Good think I have my Dr appt tomorrow because I’m going bananas.

When all better though, the young one and I are going to do some Muay Thai kickboxing! I used to do it ages ago, but it is really pricey. Single mom, I try to cut down on things like that, but got a great groupon deal, so we’re both really stoked!

LIFE

I had a really great and chill weekend. Will be the last one of those for a bit! Saturday I did the meal planning and grocery shopping and stopped at my boyfriends house for a little bit to visit. M had some friends over and they and R played in the pool while A looked on and I grilled dinner.

Hoping I’d drop something. It’s possible I gave her a baby potato or two after they cooled down…

Sunday was also low key. Another quick morning visit at my guys house (to deliver dessert I made), but didn’t stay but a few minutes. I honestly spent much of the day either in or next to the pool reading (yay, Kindle Oasis!). Ran a few errands, finished laundry, and cleaned and meal prepped for the next couple of days.

I went to bed early because I needed to leave to take A to the airport at 6. Unfortunately getting into bed early does not = sleep. It was midnight before I fell asleep. 5 hours is usually plenty and I’ve been fine, but it’s still annoying.

Then I picked up java and had that with my boyfriend before getting to the office by 730. Busy day, but great. Flew by. Totally awesome and random though was my VP of strategy asking if I want to accompany him on a site visit – to the hospital system where one of my very best friends works! Um. Can I get a hell yeah? Excited for the reason to go, but not gonna lie – more excited that I get to visit her and her fam.

And I had better appreciate the last of the chill days for awhile since school starts up again next week and the following weekend tons of friends from all over are converging here to celebrate the naval retirement of one of our friends. But, there are worse problems to have then a bunch of really great friends getting together to celebrate!

Okay, so I’m not sure Luna always knows how to be a cat. Like I put an open box on the floor and she looks at it, sniffs, and walks away. I chalk this up to her spending her first year of life living in a cage at the shelter, and now that it’s been 6 months here (as of Saturday), she did her first real cat thing! SITTING ON MY KEYBOARD. In a strange way, I was proud.

Business humor, but I did sent this to my guy who thought it was funny.

ME EVERY DAY. FYI, I’ll ignore vendors who persistently spell it wrong.

A