Wednesday, May 21, 2014

first-world problems

So I'm sitting on the porch on a beautiful May evening writing this on my (new-to-me) laptop. That's right, I have my very own laptop - the last person in my family to own one. (Also the last person in my family to be vaccinated for Hepatitis B, so I guess no sharing dirty needles for me. But I digress). Dwight had not one but two MacBook Pros, one that he loves and uses all the time, and a secondhand one that he was using for movies - all the ones we had taped from years and years and years of old movies on TV. He's editing them all to remove commercials and making them so we can play them on our Apple TV. I know - it's all magic to me too. So guess which computer I got? Yup, the second-hand one. But seriously, what do I really need? It's fine for blogging on the front porch and syncing my phone.

We actually had to get me one because since I upgraded the iOS on my phone, it wouldn't sync with the version of iTunes that we had on our desktop Mac. So rather than upgrade iTunes, which Dwight for some reason did not want to do (he told me why but I wasn't really listening), we had to get me a computer. That's right - so I could sync my phone. #firstworldproblem. Sometimes I wonder about that guy, but not for long. After all, I got a computer!!! It was tough for a few weeks being unable to switch up my playlists on my phone, but I'm back in business. So send any good running tunes my way!

And speaking of technology, we have a few other firsts. I swear that we are the last family in America, but for Christmas, Dwight gave me - are you ready for this - a cordless phone!!! Really. We were attached to the wall by a 10-foot cord whenever we used our land line. And yes, we still have a land line. I didn't even know how to use a cordless phone - if I was at someone's house and the phone rang, I couldn't answer it because I didn't know what to do. When I started at Hot Mama, I needed a lesson on how to use the phone. I'm sure my poor manager was wondering about this Luddite that was her new inventory specialist. I was okay with the computer, but the phone?!?!?

Now don't be jealous, but we got ourselves a refrigerator with an icemaker last week. That's right, no more twisting cubes out of the trays for us. Movin' on up, I tell you. Actually, the reason we had to get a new fridge after only six years is because our GE Profile-stainless french doors-bottom freezer-everything-I-wanted broke.

look closely at the freezer temp. not even close to zero. and the fridge was gasping for breath

While of course the 25-year-old POS sitting in our garage is working just fine. We went with a Samsung that has the same features (plus the aforementioned icemaker!) and actually has a bit more space. Because, you know, two people need so much fridge space. #firstworldproblem

We sound like we live in the Stone Age, but we don't really. We have had a home computer (what they were called!) since 1985, and we got one of the first CD players. I remember going to work and telling people we had gotten one, and when one of the guys asked what it was, I said "Well, it's something to play music on. The CD is like a little record album, and I'm pretty sure it involves a laser". My kids don't call me TechnoCathy for nothin'.

And how about the laser disc player? You remember those. Oh, you don't? Didn't think so. They were going to be the next big thing after VCRs - until DVDs came along. Oops. Missed on that one. Having to get up in the middle of the movie and turn the disc over was a pain. #firstworldproblem. But our kids could help their teachers work the classroom laser disc players since they were the only ones who knew what one was. Sorry, guys. But is has given you ammunition to use for years to come.

Just another day in the 'burbs. TTFN
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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

do they know their mama or what?!

Even though all the kids (minus Tim) were home a weekend ago, I was feeling a tiny bit sorry for myself on Mother's Day because not only did I have no kids, but Dwight was in Bismarck visiting his mom. Until I opened my gift, that is, and actually said out loud, "Oh no they didn't!" And at that very moment (6:45 am) Alex called to wish me a HMD and emphasized that the gift was from all five of them. So thank you to Emmy, Alex, Aly, Erin, and Tim!

And what, might you ask, did they give me? Only something I've been wanting for over a year but just couldn't justify in my head buying for myself. I've done research, read reviews, and asked friends who had different versions of the same toy. When I was showing the girls at work, one of them was surprised that I didn't have one already - that's how well my kids know me.

It looks like a nice black bracelet, doesn't it? You know, something unobtrusive that will go with anything?

I don't know whose arm and hand they used to model it - some old lady,  apparently

But no - it's EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED!!!

a Jawbone UP24!!!!

I have been intrigued with fitness trackers for a while now. I even wore a pedometer when I started working at the museum since I was on my feet all the time - I figured I'd be w-a-y over the recommended daily 10,000 steps. Well, no. Unless I was playing golf (I walk when I play instead of riding a cart), I didn't come close.

I thought it might be different now since I'm putting in more pavement miles, and my job is still anything but sedentary. Yesterday was my first full day of wearing it. I ran 1.8 miles before work (our neighborhood perimeter), worked all day, and when I was leaving Hot Mama I was only a little over 5000 steps. Srsly.

I ended up with a total of 6,463 steps yesterday. It would have been more because by god give me a goal and I will reach it, but Dwight got home from NoDak and we needed to have a cocktail (or two) and sit and visit and catch up on the past five days. That really cut into my activity. Too bad it doesn't track how many times I lift my hand to take a drink!

So today I figured I'd get a 3-mile run in before work, which really upped my number of steps. By the time I left work today, I was around 8,000. So I came home and mowed (double-cut!), and look where I was when I finished:

go me!!!

One of the reasons I resisted buying myself one was because I knew it would tell me to get off my ass and get moving and I knew that I needed to do that. Maybe it's my science background, but seeing those numbers is a real motivator! But for someone who is fairly active, like I am most days, it's a real eye-opener to see how I really need to make a conscious effort to get those steps in. I can't imagine if I was a sedentary person. Get up and move, people!

Another thing this little toy does is track how I sleep, which is pretty crappy most of the time, I think. It goes by movement, with the more movement being the lighter sleep and the less movement being the deeper, with deeper being the most restful. Duh. It turns out I am in sound sleep and light sleep almost the same amount of time, with longer stretches of deep sleep earlier in the night. I'll have to track this for awhile and report back. Just something else to think about for now.

Okay, enough with the "fitness", let's move onto food:

A favorite new snack:

you can get these guys at Target

just like licorice! only they're made of fruit!

A favorite old snack:

I used to like Sabra hummus best until my friend Kathy turned me on to Trader Joe's, but we were out so I had to settle

My Mother's Day breakfast (that I had to cook myself, wah-wah):

sauteed mushroom omelet, berries, bacon


reuben made betta from the Abs Diet cookbook, and a salad of cukes and grape tomatoes tossed with really good balsamic vinegar and drizzled with olive oil

Dinner tonight was so random. I was hungry for steak and we just happened to have some in our freezer (that I had thawed in anticipation). I was going to bake sweet potatoes and roast some cauliflower, but ended up roasting sweet potato rounds and making Indian cauliflower. Random, but delicious!

And that's it for now - have a good night!

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Saturday, May 10, 2014

showing up

I ran into my friend MaryLu at Costco the other day and she asked how my race went. I told her slow and ugly, but she said, "You showed up". Which I guess emphasizes the subtitle of this little blog, paraphrasing Woody Allen: 80% of life (success) is just showing up. So once again, here I am, just showing up.

And yes, she is THE MaryLu of MaryLu's protein pancakes/waffles:

I made the waffle this morning because I knew I'd be working in the gardens all day and would need to be sustained for awhile. And then it started raining. Dammit. It's supposed to clear up later so keep your fingers crossed. I have TONS of stuff to do before I even think of planting this year's annuals - dividing, transplanting, moving pots, putting up my bottle tree. I'm just really glad I mowed and dug up some dead bushes yesterday. At least I feel somewhat productive, especially if it doesn't dry up and I'm forced to take a nap!

We took our fence down earlier this spring. Or rather, Dwight took it down after his hand was forced by a huge windstorm that knocked down a section due to rotting posts. I guess 25 years was pretty good to get from the fence. I hated it at first since I'm so used to being out back and feeling somewhat secluded and now I feel everyone can watch this sweaty woman working in the yard. Dwight really likes the way it looks, and - now don't tell him - I might be getting used to it and yes, it looks nice. Or will when our next-door-neighbor kid gets home from college to dig out the remaining fence posts for us. I have no danger of Dwight actually reading this since as I've mentioned before, he has never read my blog. I'm not even sure he knows the URL.

A yummy breakfast from yesterday was two eggs scrambled with a link of chicken Italian sausage, topped with salsa and half an avocado, and some berries on the side. That also kept me full for quite awhile - there is something to that whole protein-is-filling thing, I guess.

Oooh, nice depth of field. Did you get a new camera?! Or take a class?!

I saw this recipe on a page I follow on Facebook, MindBodyGreen, for a filling (is there a theme here?) and energizing drink. Or as the post is titled, The Perfect Tonic to Manage Weight and Boost Energy. (Author: Nathalie Chantal de Ahna)
The ingredients:

The recipe:
1/2 cup purified water (I just used Brita-filtered water)
1/2 cup coconut water
1 T chia seeds
2 T fruit juice (I used pineapple)
juice of half a lime

In a blender, soak the chia seeds in coconut water and water for 15 minutes. Add the fruit juice and lime juice and blend briefly. Drink immediately.

I made it and it was pretty tasty. I would for sure use COLD ingredients or blend it with ice next time. My liquids were out of the pantry, but they will be refrigerated in the future. At least the coconut water, which tastes vaguely like coconut-flavored sweat to me, tasted better. If you've ever used chia seeds, you know they expand and get slimy when mixed with liquid, so be prepared for that adventure. It's also probably why this drink is filling. I'll have to keep you posed on the energy benefits. But in the meantime, I may have to go take that nap.

Have a great weekend!

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Monday, May 5, 2014

oh god, she's going to tell us about her race...

So. Half-marathon #3 is in the record book. It was slow (although a PR) and ugly, kinda like this:

The weekend started with us driving down to Lincoln to pick up our packets and check out the expo. Emily treated us to some entertainment along the way. I can't even remember which song she was acting out, but Erin and I were cracking up.

One thing is for sure, road trips with my girls are never dull - even if it's only an hour. Doesn't matter if it's 10 hours to Michigan or an hour down the road; still fun!

After the expo, where Emmy bought a shirt, Erin some shoe charms (thank you, Honey), and me a foam roller, we headed to the Haymarket area and had some lunch at Old Chicago:

chicken pesto panini (ate half) and veggies with dip

my two favorite daughters

We drove back to Omaha and had (what else) pasta for dinner, then all went to bed really early. I'm pretty sure Dwight loved having the quiet house to himself after 9 pm!

The 4am wake-up call came pretty early, but I wanted to make sure I had breakfast and then (TMI alert!) had time to poop before the race. If you run or bike long distances, you know what I'm talking about!

breakfast of champions finishers: pbj toast, banana, OJ, coffee

I need to say a HUGE thank-you to Dwight (who has never read my blog ever) but who got up early and drove us down to Lincoln at 5 am. We got there at 6:00 for a 7:00 gun time, which was more than enough time to allow us to stand in the bathroom line several times - and even used the porta-potties while waiting for our corral to go. Emmy stared earlier than us, but Erin and I didn't cross the start line for 49 minutes after the first wave went, so there was plenty of time to get nervous.

staying warm inside the fieldhouse while waiting to go line up. photo courtesy of Emmy

We knew we'd have some fans along the way, and we knew about where they'd be. The first sighting was at about 5 miles. I am stealing all of Aly's photos since I was working way too hard to take any of my own. She actually wrote about the race on her blog, Here Comes Happiness, so if you want to read about it from a spectator's viewpoint - and see some of the same photos! - head on over there.

my three favorite guys! Brody is hiding

feeling pretty good here!

The second time was just past 10 miles, when we had less than a 5K left:

a little more tired here, but guess who I saw?!

seriously - how cute is this little guy? and Aly too?!

cute enough to make me stop and say hi!

The last time I saw them was right outside Memorial Stadium when I had less than half a mile to go, and I'm pretty sure I just whimpered, "I hurt." But then I turned into the stadium, and as is every Nebraskan's dream, sprinted (for me) to the 50-yard line while on Husker Vision to get my medal. 

Afterwards we all piled into Aly's and Alex's SUV and went to Aly's house where her parents made us the best brunch: bagels, smoked salmon, fruit, veggies, hummus, egg salad, tuna salad, and for dessert, little caramel rolls. So good!!! Thank you Lucy and Kirk! (Oh, and the shower felt amazing!)

And now I am announcing my retirement from distance running because ow.


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