Monday, April 30, 2012

I'm ba-ack!

Last week was certainly a busy week! Alex and Aly came home from Michigan with their Ella, the best  and most beautiful (living) golden retriever.


We put on many miles with that girl! We must have worn her out with all the walks, the cats to chase, and the big back yard to play in:


Alex was sleeping on the couch when Ella jumped up and crashed with him
The kids had appointments with several of their wedding people (caterer, florist, jeweler, and photographer), but got to top off the fun on Friday night with a couples' shower, complete with The Nearly Newlywed Game. It's been a long time since I laughed that hard! Dwight and I are so lucky to have such good friends! Erin and Tim were able to make it after school and their long drives from Bloomfield and Knoxville, so we were ALMOST all together. (Darn conference in LA that kept Emily from attending.) I THOUGHT I had taken some really good photos of the event, but alas. But look at how cute some of the decorations are:



Aly and Alex are two of the most fitness-minded people I know, and when I was discussing my workout plan with Aly, I included the pushups I was doing. She asked if I did girl pushups because boy pushups hurt my body, and I told her no, I did them because they were easier. Duh. Guess who will now be doing boy pushups?! She said to do as many as I can on my toes (which was ten before my form started suffering) and then to go to my knees and do as many as I can. Her personal trainer back from when she worked at the gym had told her that pushups are one of the very best exercises you can do, and I believe it.

Then we started talking about how I was keeping track of what I ate and the exercise I did on My Fitness Pal, and Alex said that those programs grossly over-estimate the calorie expenditure on some of the exercises, specifically long bike rides and golf rounds. (Dammit. Two things that I love to do.) He feels it's pretty accurate on walking and running though. He suggested NOT eating the extra calorie allotment for the exercise, but just to have a Gatorade and maybe a bar to replenish, keeping my other meals the same. That actually falls in line with articles I have read; people tend to over-estimate their calorie expenditure and when they try make it up, they actually eat more. So I guess that means no more having cupcakes because I rode for a long time.

And speaking of cupcakes, my favorite local shop won Cupcake Wars last night! Congrats to Jones Brothers!
But I digress. Aly thought that 1200 calories was way too low for my daily intake. She suggested upping it to 1400-1500. So starting today, that is my plan: eat a bit more of the good stuff, work out five times a week - including boy pushups, and don't eat my exercise calories back. I definitely need a change; I'm plateaued at fourteen pounds gone. I've lost some inches over the past month, but no more weight. Maybe this will start the scale going in the right direction.

To start, breakfast was Oats in a Jar, mainly because we had an empty jar of Jif. Instead of making it on the stove with milk, a banana, an egg, and other spices, I just made regular old rolled oats, mixed in a little big of the almond/coconut milk, and ate it out of the jar.

Looks disgusting, tastes great

And to leave you with a smile: Did you ever wonder how far you walk when you shop, and what the bird's-eye view of your route might be? I turned on MapMyFitness when I was out at Village Pointe the other day:

Friday, April 20, 2012

Not every day can be a 1200 calorie day

Thank you, Emily. I was visiting with her yesterday when Dwight clicked in and told me that there were two openings for a wine dinner last night. The spots were already paid for and we needed to be ready in a little over an hour. Of COURSE I said yes. Emmy said it would be so much fun, and I agreed, but was bemoaning the fact that it would put me over my calorie allotment for the day. Then she uttered the immortal words, "Not every day can be a 1200-calorie day, Mom." That put it all in perspective. (Side note: you should really check out her writing. In addition to her blog, she teaches high school English and is an award-winning writer for LivingSocial. She writes beautifully, and I'm not just saying that because I'm her mom.)

Not every day HAS been a 1200-calorie day, but about 95% of them have been NET 1200-calorie days. (Gotta love the exercise calories!) I have been eating really healthy and working out pretty regularly since I started this little endeavor the first of the year, so I need to not feel guilty if I indulge every now and then. I have all the eating and exercise parts down; now I just need to adopt a healthier attitude toward food. The mindset could be the most difficult part.

But on to the dinner:


And check out all the wine glasses! This was after our "quaffing", when we sat down to the table.


The chilled cucumber soup was probably my favorite food course of the evening. It was topped with varieties of chopped pear, varieties of chopped apple, and chopped jicama. And there was a little kick to it. I would serve it at home for dinner with a few shrimp on top and some crusty bread. I can think of no more refreshing summer dinner. The wine was very good; I liked it better the more I drank it. Dwight loved it from the start; I am not much of a chardonnay fan, and this was a little chardonnay-ey. The quaffing wine, however, was delicious - it was lighter, crisper, and more acidic. We may have purchased two bottles of each.

ate it all

The salad course was my second-favorite food and my first favorite wine. We bought a case to split with friends. And the price was right for it to be patio-drinking wine.

ate it all

The main course was rack of lamb. I do like lamb quite a bit, but rack of lamb is just too much work to eat. Kinda like Cornish game hens. But it was delicious. Good wine also, but I only had a few sips. After the first three glasses, I was feeling the effects!

ate one piece of lamb and a few of the fingerling potatoes

The shiraz we had with our dessert was the most expensive and absolutely delicious, but again - I just had a sip or two. My tolerance just isn't what it used to be! I could drink way more back in high school, but then it WAS 3.2 beer or Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill. (And kids, the drinking age was lower back then!)

had just a few bites

I felt pretty good about how I managed last night. I wasn't full (albeit a little tipsy.) It was a FUN, spur of the moment dinner with friends and laughter. Life is good.

To back up a few days, I never told you how I fared during our opening meeting dinner. I stuck to club soda (for some reason I was SO THIRSTY), ate the salad, half a piece of bread, the chicken jerusalem, the steamed broccolini, and even though I said I'd skip the starch, I ate the angel hair pasta. I did however, skip the chocolate mousse. And I didn't even feel deprived.

I haven't tried any new recipes; just re-made one of my faves; the Superfood Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette. I've made it a few times before, and since I actually measured the red onion this time, it was fabulous! And good for lunch leftovers.

Wednesday was a huge workout day, starting with a long walk in the morning. While I do not like the latest revision of the MapMyFitness app, I do like the new display of elevation. Doesn't it look like I climbed Mt. Everest?! Several times?!

I worked in the gardens for almost two hours, and then I mowed. I was one sweaty, tired, hungry girl. I thought that a Green Monster would be the perfect pick-me-up. And it was. Plus, it gave me several handfuls of spinach along with a banana, some of that delicious almond-coconut milk I told you about, and some protein powder. (Speaking of the almond-coconut milk, I decided it tastes a little like a piƱa colada, minus the rum and the little umbrella. But I can remedy that....)


I am using my massage gift certificate that Dwight gave me for Valentine's Day in a few hours. Hot stone massage, here I come. And then maybe a nap; Ernie woke me up at 3 a.m. and I couldn't get back to sleep. It sure is quiet around here from 3:30-4:30 in the morning. We had a kitty-free zone when I finally went back to bed.

And then tonight - well, it maybe be another non-1200 calorie day. We're having dinner with some friends. We're taking wine and dark chocolate sea salt caramels.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

OMG OMG OMG!!!!

Guess what I just registered for?


Oh yeah.

I figured that since Emily is running the full marathon, and I am a pretty fast walker, I can finish walking the half before some of the (slower) runners finish the full so I won't be the last one across the finish line. Erin said she'd do it with me, and Jeanie and Dwight said "maybe". If anyone is interested, it could be fun. Probably in the same way that having a root canal without anesthesia is fun, but you get a free t-shirt when you race.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Under the sea

For quite some time I hated salmon, but I kept ordering it because I knew it was good for me. Mostly the taste just reminded me of cat food. Or of what I think cat food would taste like. And you know what? I started liking it! I made it fairly regularly over the past few years, most often blackening it and serving on romaine with shaved parmesan and a light caesar dressing. Well, it turns out I only like salmon when it is heavily seasoned enough to hide the cat food flavor.

This guy thought it was fabulous:

my cat's breath smells like cat food. or salmon

Last night I made a new recipe from Self magazine that looked wonderful: salmon florentine with quinoa pilaf with pine nuts as a side dish. Well, the quinoa pilaf was fabulous, but the salmon florentine tasted like, you guessed it, cat food. Dwight loved it and wants it again, but I'm not so sure.


I DID substitute cottage cheese for ricotta, but I don't think that affected the flavor. The lemon on the plate was to disguise the taste, but it really didn't.

I chopped all the veggies while the sprinkler guy was here to turn on our system for the year, but he ended up being here for several hours and several hundred dollars of repairs. Ah, the joys of home ownership. Beats dragging hoses around, though.


After all the prep work, this is what it looked like going into the oven


Don't get me wrong: I love fish - as long as it doesn't taste like fish. Tilapia, halibut, sea bass - I'll order every time. And shellfish? Love it. And until last night, I would have said I liked salmon. Maybe it was just BAD salmon? I think I'll stop buying it at Costco and pay the big bucks at Whole Foods the next time I make anything requiring it that isn't heavily seasoned.

One thing I did make the other night that is a repeat is Chili Lime Chicken Burgers from Iowa Girl Eats. I told you about them awhile ago, and they were every bit as delicious as the first time. Dwight said it would be okay with him if we'd have them every week. And trust me, her photographs were NOT taken with an iPhone.


I hadn't made MaryLu's protein pancakes/waffles in awhile, and since I had a fresh container of cottage cheese and some eggs courtesy of my Sunday shopping excursion, it was time. OMG. These are so good. I just spritzed them with butter spray and sprinkled a package of Truvia on top.


Today's breakfast was equally as delish (but not nearly as filling): Chobani blood orange yogurt with granola. I know granola isn't the healthiest, but it sure is good. And as long as it's portion-controlled, it's okay for me. I've tried several brands, but Kind is by far my favorite.



I saw this new-to-me milk at Baker's on Sunday and thought it might be interesting. Vanilla soy milk or almond milk on my cereal tastes better than just plain cow's milk, so when I saw this, I thought almond? And coconut? What's not to love? I was right. I'm already planning oatmeal for breakfast tomorrow so I can have it on my cereal. And do you notice that it's only 60 calories for eight ounces?


After a successful Costco run this morning, I made a quick and tasty lunch. I bought some of those baby cucumbers that if you don't eat fast enough they get slimy, and made a salad of those, some grape tomatoes, a splash of balsamic vinegar, and some sea salt and pepper. You will be seeing this quite often; we have it all summer long, especially when the garden starts producing. I also bought a three-pack of Flat Out wraps. Inside is two tablespoons of horseradish hummus, two ounces of roast beef, and some spinach. And on the side, some almond coconut milk. SO GOOD!!!


And not to bore you any more, but I also found this today:


That's right! Ella is accompanying Aly and Alex when they visit next week! I will have a walking buddy!

The opening WGA meeting is tonight at our club, preceded by cocktails and dinner. Here is what I'm planning: I'll order a club soda with a lime so it looks like a gin and tonic and I won't be peer-pressured into getting one. I'm hoping dinner will involve stations, in which case I'll hit the salad station extra hard. If it's plated, there will be veggies, a starch, and a protein. (I know this kitchen.) I'll have the veggies and protein and let the starch be. And no dessert. I'll let you know how I fare.

Have a good night!


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Back in the saddle

this clock is in the middle of the village shopping area

We just spent a week in Pinehurst, doing what we do best - golfing, eating, drinking, and laughing with good friends. Well, I wouldn't say golfing is what I do best, but I'm pretty good at the others. There was a great sale in one of the pro shops, so of course we had to shop during the short frost delay. Dwight now has two new golf shirts from the course where he played his worst round ever. Oh well. It was my best round of the week, and I have a cute windshirt to remember it by.

I'll tell you what is difficult: trying to be healthy while on vacation. I really did try to stick to a somewhat sane eating plan, but it was hard, even with advance planning. I limited myself to two drinks a night, got plenty of veggies, and tried to go easy on the snacks after golf and before dinner. I even took workout clothes, but I didn't plan on the cool weather in North Carolina after it had been so warm here. My running capris and sleeveless tank just weren't going to cut it, even with my cute new windshirt. So I settled for some pushups and crunches.

Let me give tell you about my dinners:

Tuesday was a travel day, and we got to our condos in time for the guys to go grocery shopping while we freshened up a bit. Of course we had to start with some cheese, crackers, and vodka tonics. We then went to our favorite place in the area: Ironwood Cafe. I split a wedge salad with Dwight and then had the pasta special; something involving angel hair pasta and lots of vegetables in a really light olive oil sauce. I would have taken a picture, but the lighting was bad. Oh, and martinis were involved.


Wednesday was still good: we went to a new restaurant that will be added to our regular rotation, Southern Prime Steakhouse. I ordered a shrimp cocktail, a house salad, and some Brussels sprouts that I split with Dwight. The room where we were seated was the "wine tower", where all the walls were FULL bottles of wine in glass, temperature-controlled cases. It was so cool!

four floor-to-ceiling walls of this!

Thursday: well, I started to slide. We went to Ashton's and darn near all of us ordered Stilton Burgers, another tradition. And sweet potato fries. And martinis.


Friday was the first day I had lunch on the course and I just said the hell with it. And the hot dog and sea salt/vinegar chips were delicious. We went back to Ironwood again for dinner, and I had a strawberry salad and grilled steak kabobs. I had two glasses of wine over a period of several hours; thought I'd let Dwight cut loose and I'd be the DD. Such a good wife.

deja vu

I made a trip to the grocery store today so there is no excuse for poor eating. Today has been a good day so far (cereal for breakfast, PBJ and apple for lunch, and string cheese for an afternoon snack.) Don't worry, I'll keep you posted!

TTFN



Friday, April 6, 2012

First road ride of the season

Today was the first time on the road this spring. I've had several rides on the trails, but it was time to hit the highway today. My group of riding friends has been out several times, so I had to make sure of the length of today's ride (20-25 miles) before I said yes. I also had to make sure they were still a no-drop group! At least this year I have GPS on my phone; one year we had to call one of the husbands and describe what the scenery looked like (corn) so he could tell us where we were. True story.

So this is what I think I look like when I'm riding:

oh wait, that's Gina Kerr, pro triathlete

But this is closer to what I actually look like, only sweatier:

Pee Wee's makeup is so much better than mine

We rode 22.2 miles today, with the temps in the mid-high 50's and the wind at around 18 mph. It was unusual, in that we had a tail wind for a time; it's almost a rule that when you turn around and head for home, expecting the wind at your back, the wind switches also. And we had some hills in there just for fun.

from Pinterest, my favorite source for motivational quotes

I woke up at 6:00, when we were meeting at 9:00 for the ride. Granted, it's a 35 minute drive to our rendezvous spot in Waterloo, but there were a few issues I had to take care of ahead of time. Namely, factoring in time for a substantial breakfast, and then to poop. Not delicate, but if you've ever been on a long bike ride, you know there is nothing worse than being out in the middle of nowhere when nature calls. And there is no tall corn to hide in this time of year!

(And speaking of indelicate, I forgot the butt paste. A nicer term is "chamois cream", but it's basically water-repellent ointment that is spread on your area that most comes in contact with your saddle to prevent saddle sores. After my first long day on the road several years ago, I knew EXACTLY where to spread it!)

I ate a PB bagel thin, glass of milk, a banana, and a cup of coffee. I felt perfectly fueled for my ride except at the very end. We were about a mile from where we had parked and I felt like I was almost out of glycogen. I could have reached for the GU in my jersey pocket, but I knew I was minutes away from real food.

We ate at a little sports bar that had a great lunch menu. I had THE BEST grilled chicken salad for $5. The entire table (8 of us) quieted immediately when the food was set in front of us! For dessert, I had a mini Luna bar stashed in the car that totally hit the spot.

After the drive home and a heavenly shower, I needed a little nap. I woke up RAVENOUS, so had a string cheese and some Triscuits. And I still have 1000 calories left for today.

I'm planning on spending most of it for dinner; we're ordering in pizza and watching the Master's. Beer may be involved. Just another exciting Friday evening in the 402.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

My tummy is happy

Three wonderful meals today!

I tried a wonderful new breakfast recipe this morning. I was actually looking forward so much to trying it that I was thinking about it as I was falling asleep. I made the Pumpkin Protein Pancakes from Carrots-n-Cake, with a slight modification.

The recipe as written calls for:

2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
1/2 banana
1 egg
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Mix all in a food processor until well-blended. Preheat skillet over medium-high, spray with cooking spray, then add batter. Cook 2-3 minutes on the first side, flip, then cook 1 minute more. Makes 2-3 pancakes. (2 regular-sized ones, which I did, or 3 small ones.)

My modification is that I only used 1/2 scoop protein powder, mainly because I had figured out the nutritional stats and entered it into My Fitness Pal before I realized my mistake and just didn't feel like correcting it. I may have lost a few grams of protein, but I saved some calories. (stats using 1/2 scoop protein powder: 228 calories, 8.5 g fat, 20.2 g carb, 20.1 g protein.)

Since I get up earlier than Dwight and I like to eat right when I wake up, I made mine first using my Magic Bullet. The batter is really very thick, and while it worked just fine, I pulled out my mini food processor for Dwight's and it worked way better.


I ate mine topped with a tablespoon of peanut butter and the other half of the banana. Just. So. Good!


But what to do with the leftover canned pumpkin, you ask? Well, I scooped it into a quart-sized ziploc, flattened it out, then scored it into fourths using a wooden spoon and stuck it in the freezer. Now when I go to make the pancakes again, I can just break off one of the 2 tablespoon sections.



This is my helpful hint for the day: I do this with my leftover tomato paste too, and when I saw someone write about it on a blog, I realized that maybe everyone DIDN'T do it that way.

Lunch was at Jam's with my friend Genola. Both the fish tacos and the conversation were wonderful!


And they gave me enough energy to mow the lawn. It has cooled down a bit, but the grass is growing like crazy. It looks like it will be a twice a week job for the next few weeks. Good thing I like doing it.

I found a recipe the other day on Iowa Girl Eats that is a copycat of the Chili Lime Chicken Burgers from Trader Joe's. I've never had the TJ burgers, but these sounded incredible so I decided to make them for dinner tonight. I rounded up the usual suspects:


I chopped all the veggies up, mixed them with the chicken, and formed four patties. After preheating the skillet on medium-high, I cooked them for four minutes on each side. At the end I put a slice of cheese on each burger and covered the pan for about half a minute to steam and melt the cheese. The "guacamole" was just a mashed up avocado with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a little lime juice. And how great are those sandwich thins? They are a wonderful substitute for a bun. And for 100 calories!


I decided to make some shredded Brussels sprouts for our side. We had them at Thanksgiving and everyone loved them. I used a pound of sprouts, trimmed and cleaned. They need to be shredded fairly uniformly; I thought I could do it by hand last fall but I couldn't get them thin enough so I had to pull out the mandoline. I also shredded two shallots.


In a large skillet, melt a little bit of butter with some olive oil (maybe a teaspoon of each) and add the shredded veggies. It took about eight minutes to cook - just make sure they don't get too wilty and overdone. I think it would be delicious to brown some pancetta before adding the veggies - maybe next time.


I also had some red bell pepper left over, so sliced it to add some color to dinner. I can't even tell you how good this meal was, but there was moaning .


The recipe is printed out and will go in the "Will Definitely Make Again" file.

So what a happy day - gorgeous weather, three great meals, and wonderful company. Life is good!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The hills are alive...

And so are my buns! I just finished another good neighborhood walk, and do we ever have hills.

It took forever for Dwight to convince me that in our neighborhood there are the same number of uphills as downhills, and while I believe it, it sure feels like there are more uphills when I go clockwise around the 'hood. Which I did today. (The counterclockwise route seems way easier for some reason.)

I haven't posted for awhile, but things have been blessedly dull in our lives. My breakfasts have been either oatmeal or a PB bagel thin and fruit - you've seen enough pictures of both. Lunches are the hardest meals for me. I should really start planning ahead instead of rummaging when I'm starving. Here are a few things I came up with:

As a variation on the Breakfast As Lunch theme, yesterday I made scrambled eggs with mushrooms, low fat shredded cheese, and nutritional yeast.


I had some that I had bought from the bins at Whole Foods for a baked tofu recipe (that I have yet to make.) Nutritional yeast is a complete protein and a good source of vitamins, especially the B-complex. Its flavor has been described as nutty or cheesy (I think cheesy), and it goes well with eggs. So I gave it a shot. It was fine - and for 30 calories per rounded tablespoon and nutritional benefits, why not. Of course, that is what women who eat their placentas say....

I did try two new Cooking Light recipes for dinner, one of which I will be making again. The one that I will NOT be making again is Chicken Enchiladas. It was w-a-y labor-intensive for the results. It tasted good, but it took over two hours and the sauce still hadn't reduced down to what it should have. If you want to try it, I would suggest using canned green enchilada sauce for an easier and just as tasty meal. (Not to mention, the recipe called for 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream; I just threw the rest away. I hate to waste.)


A recipe that we did like a lot is Szechuan Chicken Stir-Fry. As with all stir-fries, it came together in a matter of minutes after some prep time spent chopping and slicing. There was a nice little kick to this; I should have had milk to drink instead of cinnamon iced tea.

this is what a 35-year-old wok looks like

I have been cooking lately; just not posting. So sorry about the abundance of recipes today. I've made this before when Erin was home, and it was just as delicious this time: Grilled Balsamic Chicken with Mozzarella and Pesto from Jenna at Eat, Live, Run. (The link will take you to her blog.) I made it in a skillet, but with all the caramelizing happening, it will be better on the grill next time. (Says my kitchen helper - I cook and Dwight cleans. Pretty equitable, I'd say.) The flavors are just so wonderful; the balsamic vinegar, the balsamic reduction, and the pesto all mixed with the chicken and fresh mozzarella. What's not to love?!

sorry about the horrible picture; it really is a full chicken breast half

I made one of our family standbys last night: White Chili. It's so easy even Dwight can make it. While he's a good griller, he will freely admit that his expertise in the kitchen is limited to microwave popcorn and toast. That's not totally fair; he can make a pretty good Egg McMuffin. But anyway, back to the white chili. It's not only easy, but you can make it in quantity as it freezes well. It's my go-to for Meals on Wheels. You know, when you need to take something to a friend who just had surgery or a death in the family. The same friend just had BOTH, so I was cooking for her and her husband as well as for us.

So, first of all, cook some chicken breasts however you want, then cut them into bite-sized pieces. (You can even use the pre-cooked chicken strips or rotisserie chicken from the store.) Next, chop up and brown one onion and some garlic.

use a Dutch oven or large saucepan

Then, add the chopped chicken to the onions


Now for the hard part. You need to be skilled with this:


as these are the rest of the ingredients:

remember, I am doubling the recipe

Seriously. Don't even drain 'em. Just dump the beans and the diced green chilies into the pot, add some cumin and about 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper or to your liking. I find that I need to add some water to get it to chili consistency. Let it all simmer for awhile, and if desired, serve topped with crushed Doritos, chopped cilantro, and some shredded Mexican cheese. I have been making this for DECADES, and I STILL like it. (Although there was a time in the mid-90's where we OD'd on it so I took it out of the rotation for about six months.)

I can't believe I didn't take a picture of that Dutch oven full, full, full of chicken and beans. You have a good imagination, though, don't you? A single recipe makes about six cups, so you know how the pot was with twelve cups. I figured out the nutritional data for one cup: 217 calories, 7 g fat, 23.8 g carbs, and 22.4 g protein.

Okay, on to exercise. I've been walking and riding my bike, but the bulk of exercise has come from yard work. I'm talking HOURS spent mowing, tilling the gardens, and digging up, splitting, and transplanting daylilies and hostas. On Sunday, we had an abbreviated round of golf - since it was so slow we just walked in after five holes and had lunch on the pub patio:

I know. Fries TWICE in one week after not having them for months. I wasn't worried about the calories since I knew we'd be working hard. I did learn a valuable lesson, though - the KIND of calories is as important as the AMOUNT. I felt not-so-great all afternoon working in the 90+ degree heat. (We have had the warmest spring following the warmest winter. I'm not complaining, but my body needs some time to adjust! I've been wearing shorts and sandals for the last few weeks, and our crabapple tree - which usually is in full bloom in time for prom pictures - is at its peak right now.)

That is a turkey burger under the onion rings. So it's healthy.

But I'll tell you what DID taste good after all our work outside on Sunday:

from Peace Tree, our favorite little Knoxville, IA brewery

Tonight it's dinner at the club (large house salad with grilled chicken and balsamic vinaigrette, hold the croutons and bread; 278 calories - not that I order it often or anything) with our friends to plan our upcoming annual trip to Pinehurst. I don't know what we're planning; I'm thinking it's an excuse to get together and drink some wine.

TTFN!