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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year's Eve Day!

And Bah Humbug - spending a weeks budget of grocery money on one night of splurging really doesn't make sense when the next day one intends to begin eating in a more healthy manner and lose weight! But I did it anyway, and my lunch driving home was hard salami and a bakery baguette. Yum.

I will probably be spending the evening alone, but just in case there are snacks; wavy potato chips and caramelized onion dip, spinach dip, artichoke jalapeno spread and multi grain baguette. There are Aussie Bites and an apple pie from Sprouts. I've been wanting this last since the past summer so I am squeezing it into the end of 2014. Not rational thinking, but that is not my forte so I beg no forgiveness.

The light traffic to and from work has been splendid, the wind has been biting and at times ferocious, and I am glad to be home and ready to settle in for a long evening. I may even assemble firewood for later to add a little ambiance to celebrate the transition from old to new year.

Dr. Fuhrman, I am yours for the next six weeks! I have the books, but this link is to a favorite blog (fatfreevegan by Susan) who lists the basic elements of his program.

So sugar and processed foods are mostly out the window tomorrow. I will use oil to roast veggies and if there are any leftover new years spreads I can use them to top potatoes.And I am trying flax milk as an alternative to flax meal since I haven't been making smoothies and my attitude misses the omega 3's. I will also continue to use honey sparingly in my evening tea - I just love it too much and will not deprive myself of that pleasure. (I will buy local organic honey as the price for this indulgence.) But the rest of processed foods and unhealthy fats are out - for me this means no bread, butter, cheese or mayonnaise in the house. Those are my comfort foods that are killing me. Literally. How comforting is that!?

One pound each of cooked and raw veggies each day, 3oz of healthy fat (nuts, seeds, avocado) and at lease a cup of a bean or legume or wild rice.

There are several others in my office who will be losing weight beginning in January so there will be support in all quarters which is good.

Time to have A "do" my nails - Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 28, 2014


Drifting on the lasting effects of two tylenol pm I woke late and sleepy. Crawling back into bed after feeding the dogs and bemoaning the fact that I couldn't even move my right thumb or middle finger I watched the rest of Star Trek: Into Darkness. Bad move. In the movie Kirk hits Scotty and knocks him out and I couldn't help but wonder why the blow didn't kill him, as a similar blow had killed Joey. Not a good thought on a Sunday morning. Or any morning really but Sundays are the sacred day of rest for many of us for one reason or another and IMHO shouldn't be marred by dark thoughts. These spiraled down to even worse depths as the thought occurred to me that maybe it wasn't a clean head shot that happened first, that maybe to spare a mother's feelings they had tweaked the sequence of events leading up to his death so that I wouldn't have to live knowing he was beaten to death. Maybe I had suspected this all along because I intentionally missed the court date when they were going over the medical examiners results. Some part of me, the stronger part at that point, did not want to know the torrid details.

This dark  mood propelled me out of bed and into the arms of two fried eggs over toast. No butter. One slice of toast. I'll juice later. The hot chocolate and croissants (also filled with chocolate &  cinnamon) that were in the kitchen did not appeal to me. The sound of the girls racing on Mario Kart does, I love the sound of them playing together and hopefully I can use this to rebound out of the dark corner I'm apparently trying to paint myself into.

Thoughts are Things. Change your Thoughts and Change your Reality. "I'm right on top of that Rose."

Time for the mundane to erase the horrific. Laundry, shoes, room - lets get busy!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Into the Woods - a perspective

We had intended to go see the new version of 'Into The Woods' on Christmas, but as that plan didn't work out we are thinking about going this weekend. R has read some negative reviews, and I have friends who have commented on the singing ability (or lack thereof) of the actors and how the casting should perhaps have been done with that in mind.

I was doing the dishes (a common vehicle for insights and a drifting mind) when it occurred to me that I wanted to go to be entertained, not to examine it. I know, in some eyes an unexamined life is not worth living, but in the words of Liz Gilbert 'can't I have an unexamined lunch?" I just want to disappear into a good story, to see some favorite actors, to be entertained for a couple of hours and not think about the 2.6 pounds I have gained towards the holiday ten. Not think about refinancing the house to pay for a new roof. Not think about cleaning out my room and repainting. Not think about coworkers and what needs to happen in my (I don't think of it as ours anymore) department. Not think about my mental and physical injuries and just have an unexamined audio\visual experience that will transport me away. Sort of like what Calgon promised but never really delivered.

So in my humble opinion, it's not if we will go see the movie, but when, and I am looking forward to it. What food addict doesn't love a dark theatre and a bag (or bucket) of popcorn. I am grateful for the idea of a diversion, for the car that will get us there, and the family to share it with.

A has just informed me that her Mom is making the trifle we planned for but didn't make on Christmas once the Chocolate silk pie entered the picture. Gingerbread, vanilla pudding, freshly whipped cream, crumbled triple ginger cookies. Maybe there will be another point four pounds added to the damage before I hit the veggies. Maybe. I have cucumbers to juice for dinner.

Feels like another good day!

     The movie was enchanting. I loved it. Even the lesser of the voices were then supported by beautiful harmonies, and all had character. I heartily endorse this one, and I can tell it will eventually join our holiday classics. It is a story we should all take to heart and embrace.
     The trifle was also enchanting. This is what Gingerbread heaven strives to be like.
     Dinner was not juice, but veggie stew. I did use some beef fat to caramelize the onions and threw in a couple of ribs from the roast for flavour so not vegetarian. I have eaten more meat than usual this past couple of months and I must say I am about over it. A meatball here, a sausage muffin there, a slice of turkey and now one of prime rib. It does nothing for me. I will say the roast was tender and delicious, but I keep thinking of the cow and feeling slightly sick. Time to once again stay strictly vegetarian.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Me and Little Miss

Yesterday was full of fun, a little work, and some snuggling. A and I had the day together while her parents worked, and the day after Christmas looked something like this.

Snuggles in the morning
Streaked her hair with new pink, blue, and purple hair kit
Put away a load of her laundry from the dryer (mostly me, but she helped)
Made her eggs and toast for breakfast, I had a left over potato - YUM
Snuggled on the couch for a bit then I left her to watch Monsters U while I rotated dishes
Bribed her with gingerbread so she would drink some Shaklee Immunity (she was sniffling)
Sandwiches and cuties for lunch
Played Dress up with her new Elsa magnetic doll
More laundry (sigh, clean flannel sheets) and a freshly made bed for me
TJ's Mac n Cheese for her dinner and another (yes they were that good) potato for me

-break when her dad arrived home - watched most of Star Trek: Insurrection and snoozed

Dropped the dad off
Sang 12 days of Christmas (again) on the way home
Straightened up our mess of pillows and blankets
I ate and she tried to eat the last two tamales but even smothered in sr. cream they were too spicy for her. They were delicious. I ate them both.
Played Rummy Tile which with just the two of us took about an hour (there was lots of laughter)
Jammies, teeth and ready for bed

- the house was all of a sudden quiet - tea, the end of my movie, and a See's chocolate.

It was a really good Day :)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Christmas!

It's a mixed bag of feelings today. But first last night - everything was perfect from the crisp air outside alive with electricity to the cozy warmth of our home decorated for Christmas. I went to bed content, and even though I didn't sleep well or dream as I had hoped. I was ready to get up this morning once I heard A in the living room going through her stocking; she has enough energy and excitement to suck all of us into the vortex.

A beautiful breakfast, I think everyone was mostly  happy with their presents, and we are now all clean and playing and cooking. The roast beast is in the oven, the potatoes have been through their first baking and are stuffed and ready for their second, and the carrots and salad have yet to be considered. I accidentally brought home a huge roast (a story for another day) and we have hours to prepare the sides.

The freshly baked gingerbread is cooling to use later in the trifle, a chocolate silk pie is hiding somewhere, and the pudding is still an idea whose time has not come.

A is busy on the Wii, R is puttering in the kitchen, and I have just come in from a day that is both blustery and crisp but luckily not wet. I have to say I have seen enough rain for a bit.

There have been a few hard moments wishing for things I shouldn't; not making a call that I wanted to with all my heart but knew I shouldn't; missing what might have, could have, should have been and maybe is in a parallel universe.

There is a saying that everything that happens to you, happens for you. While the concept is a nice one, I can't seem to embrace it yet. Maybe it just needs more time to ferment. But I will say that I am enjoying my blessings today; the love in the house, the bit of security and bounty we enjoy. And as long as there are people filled with love and hope there will be dreams, and mine are not over yet. Maybe this will be the year I invite the world back in, or at least begin looking for my place in it again. I love being A's Grama, and having family close to hand, and working with beautiful and interesting people. but there is a part of me peeking out looking for more.

What did I say, a day of mixed feelings indeed!Oh, and it has not been a day without green juice! R picked up a couple of different blends to try and we have each had a glass. Go us! We are both on track to be healthier albeit in our different ways, and with sugar as a common enemy we should do fine. And more than fine - fun and nutritious!

There must be something I should be doing - time to go see.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

No Heels for me, please

Several years ago my sister introduced me to Katy Bowman and her Restorative Exercise Institute. She had been taking classes for a year and was out of pain. Everywhere.While I wasn't able to jump into the program as I wanted to, I have adopted many ideas from her blog and website. Losing the footwear with heels  I did latch onto right away, and I now have two grocery bags of shoes I couldn't throw away and yet also cannot\will not wear. And haven't for at least two years or longer.

A year ago this past April I injured my left achilles while helping H move and it has never healed. Largely, I am sure, due to the weight I am carrying around. When at a consult in Kaiser's physical therapy department they wanted me to put a wedge under my heel to relieve the pain and to start wearing shoes with heels. She suggested Dansko shoes as a healthy choice. Not wanting to wear heels I did buy some inserts to help relieve the pain, but can't talk myself into wearing a shoe that has a positive heel. Looking around my room for something earlier this week I found my bags of shoes and there on top were my expensive and neglected Danskos. Why not, I decided, and tried to slip them on. I felt like an ugly stepsister trying on a glass slipper. The shoe was unyielding in it's frame (can you say cast) and I couldn't stand up straight and I immediately kicked it off. No way, never again. I'll stick with my moccasins and crocs. I know the crocs aren't the best choice either, and eventually my heel will be better and I can wear the negative heeled boots I splurged on. But it was an eye opening moment realizing how much I had changed in the past couple of years just by making a couple of small changes.

The other message was  not using my trapezoid muscles for everything and I often ask myself, "Do I need traps for this?" The answer is usually no. As with most of her blog the entry is a fun and informative read and I encourage you to check out the link.

So chin pulled in, shoulders down and back without thrusting my ribs, and using the whole of my foot to walk are now more natural movements for me. I will add another good habit or two this year, or maybe take an online course. But something good is going to happen in the coming year, I can feel it.

So sidetracked! Back to the shoes, I came into my room for a little 'me' time before spending the afternoon with A and there all over my floor are the aforementioned shoes I had dumped out and have been ignoring for the past couple of days. With the exception of  my flat Vans they are all going to the garage for a brief respite before heading to the thrift store. Hopefully whomever buys them will be wearing them sparingly for special occasions only. I know, a future reality, but one worth dreaming about.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Busy as a Bee

The past couple of days have been good movement wise, but here it is 8 o'clock and I am dying to hit the sheets. In an effort to remain upright for a few minutes longer here I am blathering to the universe.

We made the last batch of treats yesterday after work. Earlier in the day I had an ocular migraine and knew from the start it might be worse than usual. Typically I get a crescent of fractured glass in the middle of one eye that expands until it outreaches my peripheral vision which takes about 15 minutes. Then I'm okay for a couple of hours and then the fatigue hits hard. But yesterday the fatigue hit before the crescent disappeared and afterwards I had congestion on one side of my head and painful pressure. Not of the intensity I associate with previous migraine experience, but bad for this type. So home to bed and rest and hydrate.

Then up to make the peanut brittle and cook the veggies for today's pot luck casserole. I need to write up the recipe because it came out nicely and I need to share it, but not tonight. Later. Today began early putting the casserole components together, then stopping on the way home to pick up the roast beast from Sprouts for our Christmas dinner, and finally home. The kids were going out to dinner and I intended to crash on the couch and finish watching a Chris Pine movie - Shadow Recruit? - but going into the kitchen to grab a ginger beer I couldn't leave without cleaning up. An hour later (peanut brittle and enchilada casserole; argh!) I did crash on the couch and when they returned finished up A's mac and cheese left over from the Rock House for my dinner.

All I want to do now is curl up in my PJ's and sleep. And why not? It's really only a half an hour or so earlier than usual. Well I've talked myself into it. Sweet Dreams.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Game, Juice & Cookies

First came the sleeping in and then came the traveling. When I woke for the second time this morning after the obligatory Sunday sleep in the girls were playing Monopoly Jr. Turns out this is a wonderful first board game for Miss A. After paying rent on her Burger joint, Museum, Zoo(?) and a couple of other properties I was flat broke and she had won the game. Very fun.

This morning I juiced, putting through the kale leaves first so we had some natural green colour for the Royal Icing that is going on the sugar cookies we are baking today. I hope it works, and if it does I will come back and post a picture later. It was fun listening to R & A prepare the cookie dough and it is now resting in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Juice Breakfast: kale stems, cucumber, bok choy, lemon, ginger, green apple, red beet and a cut of coconut water to wash the beet juice through - don't want to miss a drop! I also made a carafe of ginger water, and after pouring a cup added some freshly squeezed lemon. No, I did not add sugar or honey, I was good and really want the anti-inflammatory affects; my left hand was complaining all day yesterday and I need to FIX THIS now.

Yesterday was productive, getting all the presents wrapped that I had stashed away, but not a very good day food wise. After our home made breakfast sandwiches I had a large chopped salad for lunch followed by a graham cracker topped with a thin slice of cheddar and preceded by a deviled egg. A large potato was for dinner and I admit there was butter and sour cream involved. But not too much! In between there was some Zebra Popcorn (a measured cup) and afterwards about half a large pomegranate which I opened like this. I couldn't find the link to the young man sitting by the side of the road whose video went crazy on facebook but the method is the same. I love how easy it is without losing juice, and I can sit cross legged with a bowl and a knife while watching tv.

Today there will be more cleaning up - I absotively have to wake up Christmas morning to a clean house - and more baking and decorating and feeling Christmassy.

Between the beginning and end of this post I googled the time of the Winter Solstice today (3pm), when the coldest days of the year are historically for our region (12/21 - 12/31) and put in a DVD for the munchkin to watch. I also looked up Absotively (Urban Dictionary, not Websters) and posted it to a friends time line as we use the word at work.

Back to Work!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Saturday Morning snuggles and screams

Being Saturday I climbed back into bed after visiting the Loo. It was cold and wet outside and I decided to snuggle in and watch Interview with the Vampire; even if the casting was all wrong Anne Rice did the screenplay and I hadn't seen it in years. BUT as plans often go this one was foiled by teh six year old climbing in to snuggle. "Grama, I love snuggling with you" she whispers as her arms go around me and my arm snakes out to change the channel. After some snuggly good mornings had passed between us we settled on watching the finale of Master Chef Junior that we had taped earlier in the week as it runs past her bedtime. She was very excited about the winner, but not so enthralled that she didn't jump up in the middle of it to show off Elfie who was zip lining it from the antlers to the Christmas tree in the living room by hanging on to a candy cane hooked over some red ribbon. That Elf gets into more mischief!

R went grocery shopping last night and picked up the ingredients to make breakfast sandwiches this morning. What a difference from what one can buy driving through for fast food. Freshly prepared sausage patties, muffins toasted in the oven with cheese, baked eggs - this is what a breakfast sandwich should be, not some bit of fluff that can be wolfed down in a minute but a sturdy meal that you have to actually chew and therefore savour and that actually fills you up and leaves you satisfied. I could go one step further and do the food costing, but we can't compete price-wise with the largest purchaser of sausage in the world. Besides, you can't put a price on a lovingly prepared breakfast at home.

While R was cooking A and I went through her flash cards; the goal is for her to be able to read and write the numbers one through twenty before she goes back to school next year. Winter break is upon us, and I have two days to be available for her daycare.

Yikes! Screams of blood from the hallway had me rushing out to investigate. "Daddy broke me!" is the summary she declares in the aftermath of losing her second front tooth. Mom is patiently scooping cold water into her mouth to rinse the blood away, and Dad gets a thumbs up for a job well done. Apparently she had been biting him on his arm when the tooth broke free. Almost. Mom finished up the job by pulling  out the precariously hanging tooth the rest of the way. I have visions of tooth fairies in the near future; I wonder if I can set a trap in her room tonight, or if  Elfie will somehow help with the exchange of tooth for silver. Ah, the exciting details of life!

My original thought when signing on to write was that I really needed to be alone after having spent the whole of my morning with A. In between everything we did she was either hanging or pulling or elsewise attaching herself to me like glue and I was in need of a break. At the last I grabbed her in a bear hug and swung her around singing, "I'm an old old woman, and I need to rest!" She was laughing as I put her down and guided her out my bedroom door, only showing me a brief frown as she turned to aim her abundance of energy elsewhere. But now I find myself simply grateful for the reminder that I love being with her, being part of her growing up, and should enjoy every bit of attention she is willing to give me. Because it goes by so fast, and there is no way to guess how much longer I have with her and the 'Rents. I love them all and don't begrudge a single crazy moment of us all living together.

See, a very short step from exhaustion to gratitude, it's all about the mindset. I will remember that as we go through the day together.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A good Day

As is my wont lately, I awoke late and rushed through getting ready for work. This meant that A and I were both in the bathroom brushing our teeth together and it was fun in a comradely sort of way. Just being girls getting ready together.

The first stop was her school where we sat in the front row to enjoy the Kindergarten Christmas recital. Four different religions were represented, and the children were fun and bright. A was center stage, standing by herself with a microphone, and led the first song acapella with the confidence tempered by shyness that made for a wonderful performance. She rocks. It's looking good that she might have a voice; lord knows she has genes from many lines, maternal and paternal going back generations, that may stand her in good stead when it comes to singing on key. Unlike me whose generation was skipped in this particular department. But still lots of creative energy and it was a fun way to begin the day.

On to work with a quick stop for Decaf and a biscuit, and a short day punctuated by a quick shopping trip to order the Roast Beast for Christmas dinner. While at Sprouts I picked up an avocado, a kale salad mix, and some coconut water. I was determined to eat a healthy lunch and I did.

My one piece of chocolate at work was dark, covering an orange marzipan center. Rich enough to last the day, I thought at the time.

Dinner was a potato covered in left over roasted veggies; who knew white beets and potatoes would be so good together! And as always the roasted carrots were sweet and carmelly. I did sit a bit while watching an old movie, The voyage of the Unicorn or something, but was up as often as I was down and accomplished enough to feel good about it. I am sure I am only one of billions who are tired of doing laundry - I mean really, enough is enough already.

Off to check how the daughter's caramel is coming along that she is making to take to her co-workers\friends at work. She is like her maternal grandfather in that way, and has passed the gift of making friends on to her daughter which makes me very glad since that talent also skipped right over me

One small bite of the homemade peanut butter cup still hanging out in the kitchen and I am done for the day with the exception of my night time tea. Tomorrow is my christmas party at work, lunch and bowling, then finally home to rest before the craziness of the weekend. Wrapping, cleaning, baking - it all needs to be done this Sat and Sun - good times when you have the help and company of a six year old. One, I might add, who is about to lose the second of her two front teeth; it is barely hanging in there and we expect it to fall out tomorrow.  Such exciting times!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mush for lunch

Ugh. While the flavour is still wonderful, the left over rice and asparagus dish has congealed into an unappealing mass of green and white mush. That's what I get for using a packet of commercially prepared rice from the freezer instead of home made wild rice.  At the time it was the healthiest option for the time I was willing to spend in preparing dinner. This weekend I will be sure to make a batch of wild rice and freeze it in packets for similar situations in the future.

BTW - did you know wild rice is a seed, not a grain?

It's interesting that I don't feel very creative when blogging at lunch from my desk at work. It just feels like more work somehow, so while convenient to spend this time writing, instead I will get up off my ohwahzoo during lunch and save the writing for mornings or evenings at home. After all, the point of writing is to spend some quiet time with myself and reflect on the day and encourage myself to be accountable and present; I can't do that here.

Not to mention that the point of lunch is not just to eat but to add some movement, and get out of the 90 degree position of the workplace.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Rain and more Rain

Arriving home only faintly damp I have the kettle on for tea and I am enjoying the sudden quiet of three dogs who have ended their caterwauling by  plunging their snouts into their dishes of kibble.

Here is the weather forecast, which I felt compelled to share because it is the new state of affairs around here. Wet. I love the cool nights - they make for better sleeping conditions - but against all common sense I wish the rain would hold off for a day while I find and install the rubber rails that are missing from my car. Driving with a pool of water at my feet is neither fun nor conducive to a good mood! And apparently the packing tape with which I effected temporary repairs is not as waterproof as I had hoped.
The sad part is that we did have a day this weekend past that was dry, but one look into the garage and a quick hunt for the bag in which I know the rails to be left me discouraged and I simply added another layer of tape to the offending gaps along the roofline of my car. I was hoping it would hold me until the storms had blown through and I was in a better frame of mind to tackle the garage, but no.

Instead I will claim credit for the massive amounts of water falling from the sky since obviously the constant rain is intended as a personal inconvenience to me. Because yes, I am that much the center of the universe and all things of importance pertain specifically to me. Now I just have to figure out the lesson behind rain in my car.  Harrumph!

The locking of the keys in the car

I feel like I am having an affair with the little old man who comes to break into my car each time I lock my keys inside. He has been to my office, a friends home and now twice to my home. But he doesn't remember so it doesn't count. Finally on my way to work this morning I stopped in at Lowes and had three keys made; one to hang up at home, one for the bottom of my lunch purse, and one for the hide-a-key box that sticks to the bottom of my car but was mysteriously empty this morning when I needed an extra key. Let's see how long it takes me to contrive a situation where none of my preemptive precautions are useful.

Eating delicious left over Brussels Sprouts and Potatoes in vegan gravy for lunch; warm, filling, nutritious. Win, win, win. And I guess the deliciousness part makes for a  fourth win! The lack of colour in my bowl makes me think I should roast some reds and oranges for dinner tonight; maybe onion, red peppers and carrots and have it over a potato (R brought home a 10# bag since it was the same price as a 5# bag). But as always it will depend on how busy the house is, how long it takes me to arrive home (another long hour last night with the rain and a big rig on fire) and how much attention A needs. After all, Christmas is coming you know!

This is where I stop and remind myself it's okay to spend time on myself, and throwing some veggies in to roast is only a matter of minutes. I hate to think of myself as lazy but all evidence seems to be to the contrary. I will make dinner tonight. Last night dinner was an orange, most of a bag of popcorn, a large jalapeno stuffed green olive and a piece of homemade peanut butter cup. Then  in bed and hungry at ten I finished off the last of the strawberry ice cream no one was eating. What was it I wanted to do? Eat for nutrition? Ha!!

Lost for a minute staring out my office window (a blessing that window) at the bright bits of blue sky between the white and greys of the clouds and not really thinking of anything at all. Was that meditating? God knows where I just was.  But now I am back and thinking that  we have had more rain in a week than we have had for probably the last two years combined. Or at least it seems that way. And let me say it is hard to become used to the change. Not enough sidewalk drawing and too much tv for sure. I would make an excellent bear when it comes to eating and hibernating.

Lunch is over, back to work. Set in place are my good intentions for another four-win meal at dinner.

I am worthy!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Baby it's cold outside

No, we cannot throw a glass of hot water up into the air and have it come down snow; this is not Minnesota thank heavens. It's only in the 50's but there is a freezing breeze that cuts like a knife and we are inside today. Mostly. There was a brief excursion out to watch the roof getting a patch of tar to hold us over until I can have the roof repaired, but it was very short.

We made macaroni and cheese yesterday using the organic quinoa and corn noodles, some freshly grated sharp white cheddar & parmesan off the block, and the last of the pre-shredded Mexican blend that was in the fridge drawer.  The last of the half & half plus a little organic milk  provided the moisture and a couple of handfuls of crispy onions from TJ's topped the casserole dish.  Different but delicious and I finished the left overs for breakfast and lunch today.

Dinner is sizzling away on the stove; a large saute' pan of Brussels Sprouts that I first toasted in a little left over bacon grease and are now braising in the last of the chicken stock and some magic mushroom salt.

A and I got about half of the christmas tree forest up before my back started screaming last night, and my hope is to finish it this evening. There are some presents wrapped and under the tree, and the mantles are done except for the hooks we need to hand the stockings. I miss my traditional hats, but I gladly give way to my daughter's traditions - they are the ones with the six year old that is so excited about christmas coming she is constantly making presents and can't sit still for more than a minute at a time.

The box of Sees Chocolates we brought home from the party on Friday is about half gone, and the box of goodies from our neighbors is almost finished. It's sort of a mixed blessing having a couple of sugar junkies in the house to keep me from hogging everything!

One holiday of the three down and so far no weight gain. I can and will get through this season without adding the holiday ten to my girth.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

I believe in Christmas

Last night R and I went shopping and then to a Christmas party thrown by one of the clients I have at work. It was nice pairing up faces to phone and email contacts and spending some down time with co-workers and even the boss. The catered dinner was nice and it felt good to have a glass of wine and chat and laugh. There were a couple of discussions I ignored because that is the polite thing to do when you are at a festive occasion and someone is spouting their particular opinion assuming everyone else must feel the same when in fact that is rarely true.

So let me just say now that I am not a Christian, I do not believe that there is only one path to God, and my definition of God is probably not very close to what other's believe. That being said,I do believe in Christmas and the power we have given to the day December 25th. For me there will always be love and presents and a christmas tree and family and candy and eggnog. There will always be a christmas eve where I can stand outside with my eyes closed and tap into the energy of billions of people feeding the global connection we share with peace and love and sadness and frustration. It is a night of potent feelings and the electrical storm is fierce. I love this night, it has always been more than special, it is a wondrous yearly bookmark that shows the potential we all have to be our best while hoping for the unattainable. Other times of the year I have my doubts that the human race can ever overcome the violence we continue to display, but this one night I am able to believe that every single one of us has a spark of goodness no matter how deeply buried  it may be. On this night hope is paramount and any traces of lingering despair are swept away by grace from the heavens.

I am so grateful for this world; for the beauty, for the love. And while I could do without the pain, it is a separate entity living inside of me just now, alongside but not diminishing my gratitude.

Time to putter; the dogs need food, A needs to go shopping, and R needs to take me to where I left my car last night - too tired and tipsy to drive myself home from the party.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Almost two hours to get home from work today; bad accident and the freeway was a parking lot all the way home. Luckily I had thrown my audio book in the car so that when my shuffle ran out of tracks I had the next disc with me. 'M' showed me a picture of the accident once I was home; a tossed and crumpled car upside down in the middle of the FWY; so much for getting home safe for that poor soul.

We all forget to count our blessings as often as we maybe should, and instead of being mad because I was stiff and tired on arriving at home from being stuck in a tin box in one position for so long, I made a cup of calming tea and lay down to stretch and watch an episode of Forever. Once my appetite returned I opened a can of Amy's organic lentil soup for dinner; a must have mainstay in the cupboard even for someone who doesn't want to eat processed foods on a regular  basis, and now I am full and ready for bed. My mission - to stay up until at least 9pm so I am not up at o'dark thirty again tomorrow.

Busy day at work; lots of old year end & new year beginning prep to do for those of us who crunch numbers for a living. Better busy than unemployed and broke. Better to sit for hours in traffic than to sit for hours wishing I had a job. It's all about perspective, and for small mundane things like traffic I don't do badly.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Forging Ahead

Well I avoided mirrors most of the day, and kept busy at work in my office trying not to make too many treks down the hallways and keeping out of sight. They're a good bunch, it was more for me than fear of anything someone might say about my hair or lack thereof.

Once home A and I headed out for a quick trip to the Library, then home to dinner and more decorating. We pulled more boxes from the garage and by bedtime Santa and his reindeer were on the mantle with pine cones, various porcelain and fir trees, and a couple of white birch. I love the mantle at Christmas. Tomorrow we will finally get the Christmas Tree forest up, tonight there was too much dusting and unpacking and it took it's toll. A is so anxious to have it all done, and it's a little infectious, but I know better than to do too much and deal with the back pinching consequences.

R brought home Greek food, a salad for me with Feta and olives - yum. I love to cook but lately I just can't \ won't be bothered. I mean, if you cook you have to clean, and I'm just not into that right now.

Tired and ready for my tea and bed. A good movement day for me, but I did eat a brownie. Shame. Or not.

Monday, December 8, 2014


I would scream except that I am so mad I can hardly breathe. When I say a trim I mean a trim. If I show you with my hands exactly where I would like my hair cut then that is where it should be cut. Not, 'Oh, let me blend it in a little here, you have so much hair' and then proceed to butcher me. ARGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!  (Too mad to find the exclamation mark on the keyboard I had to come back and add those.) I am so pissed off; I am not a boy, I am not a boy, I am not a boy. Just an ugly old woman with a man's haircut. OMG, I didn't know if I wanted to cry or punch her - maybe I do have too much testosterone. And when I said, 'Oh no, you cut it all off, I only asked for a trim' she tried to say she had cut it exactly like what I asked for. If by blend you mean several inches than I suppose it is partly my fault. Bitch.

Deep Breath. That was uncalled for - she did the best she could with a difficult customer. If at almost 60 I cannot explain what I want and get what I ask for then I deserve a bad haircut. The problem is that I have had a life time of bad haircuts. I feel exactly like I did at 12 when the neighbor cut my hair in almost exactly the same way and I did cry; she felt so bad which of course made it worse. Her and her sister added mascara to my lashes and told me how pretty and fashionable I was. While I loved the attention which was pretty much lacking elsewhere in my life it did nothing for my self esteem or boyish good looks.

God help me I am a mess. After a shower and putting away a counter full of clean dishes and trying to blow my hair into a semblance of femininity I am sinking quickly into despair and need a lifeboat. I should never have gone for a haircut today. I was too emotional this morning, had a hard day, and there is a holiday party coming up this Friday. Where I will look like a boy. Because I do not have a pretty face that can get away with a short short haircut, I am overweight and puffy around the cheeks and my eyes disappear when I smile.

It is time to dive under the covers with a movie, one that is an old friend that I can love and laugh and disappear into for a bit.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Oatmeal in my Blueberries

It was a foggy sunday morning and the oatmeal was calling. I know from experience exactly what to do when this happens. So I made one serving,  and \while it was cooking I heated up about 1.5 cups of frozen blueberries, chopped a handful of pecans, and got down the brown sugar. Once the oatmeal was done I stirred in the nuts, berries & sugar then added a scoop of ground flax meal. This combination will hold up better and I won't have the old energy crash straight oatmeal instigates. In my defense I added less sugar than I normally might have and no maple syrup.

My friend Cindy has a sugar free challenge going on out there, and I keep trying but it's hard when I forget more often than I try. On a positive note I naturally used less sugar so at some subconscious level I was aware of the sugar = poison equation that is floating around in my head.

After reading Sean's post this morning I am more determined than ever to quit the poison. I want to feel the difference, I want to expunge the cravings. He also mentioned in a response to my comment on his post yesterday that we each need to find the things that keep us accountable and stick to them. One of the things he does is post every day; like me he is a writer and this is a strong tool. But I need to be more consistent; no goals or demands, just doing what I love every single day in order to stay motivated. Sean and I are very different in our methods, but we share words, and I know I do better when blogging every day - which is why there were so many November posts - so for December I'll keep up with the trend. More writing and movement incorporated with less sugar and salt sounds like the ingredients for a successful recipe!

Today I am pulling all the lights out of the garage, and the kids will be bringing home the Christmas Tree. Maybe this evening we will put up our wall of trees too. Here is a sampling of the 2007 Christmas Tree forest.

And the tree that started it all is below in the middle behind a reindeer.

Yikes, time to get to work before the sad sets in!

Wrap up:
Lunch was the last of my homemade veggie stew and dinner a large chopped salad of romaine, kale, cauliflower, chick peas, raw sprouted pumpkin seeds, kalamata olives, parmesan and oil & vinegar dressing.  3/4 of a large honey crisp apple was an afternoon snack.

The Christmas Tree is up and bejeweled, there are outside lights burning bright and merry and adding to the neighborhood's cheer, and a filthy but good natured six year old soaking in a warm bath.  And Kaylee even got a bath this morning and the house got a good vacuuming. A good day.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Sage, Rosemary & Thyme - the trifecta of aroma therapy

For the Thanksgiving bird R made an herbal butter to season and baste him as he was roasting. She didn't use it all, and this morning as I began cleaning up the kitchen my eye spotted the small blue ramekin of left over butter we hadn't been able to toss out and I was inspired. Into the pot it went with cubed new potatoes, carrots, onion & bok choy (always a good go to if you're out of celery!) The veggies should sweat enough to keep it moist, or maybe I will add stock and turn it into a stoup or soup, but in any case I know it will be delicious.

Update: Added peas and a slurry of veggie stock and cornstarch to make gravy. YUM! Lunch it is.

The house now smells of holidays and comfort and security all going up my nose in cathartic aroma of peace. Someone should bottle this and put it in one of those small automatic air freshener canisters to use as a pick me up during the cold winter months.

I'm not sure if it will be lunch or dinner, not that it matters, and a wonderful treat on this day that I would like to accomplish much. Which was my reason for going to get a large decaf coffee earlier this morning. I never get a large, it's very intimidating. But I have much to do and can take a tylenol pm with my sleepy time tea this evening to be sure I sleep. I am once again feeling smothered by all that I have allowed to pile up in my room and it has to go. Today. After I clean the kitchen, which is just a matter of rotating the dishes and wiping down the counters; nothing major but I always feel better afterwards.  Then back to food, my other meal will be juice. I've noticed that my arthritic thumbs hurt less, and I'm moving a little bit better. My guess is that it's all the ginger I've been ingesting between the juicing and the ginger/lemon water I drink.

I am a hoot this morning with my leopard leggings and floppy white tea shirt, wool socks and crocks. I have turned into the older woman my younger self would have been embarrassed for; "hey, if you ever see me dressing like that just shoot me would you?" But comfort and size limitations combined this morning to create this caricature of myself, and i'm finding it rather funny and somehow liberating. Of course it helps that the Fam is out to breakfast and no one else is here to judge except the dogs.

I'm done cracking myself up --> back to work!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Worst. Nightmare. Ever.

My daughter had just given birth a few weeks earlier and I wanted to take the baby with me down to friends where I was going to spend the day and go to a soccer match or something with them. The friend's house was beautiful and a real friend from waking life. The details are already fading, but in the end I had to take the baby on an emergency trip to a Dr's office. After the exam the Dr. suggested 5mg of Methotrexate because the baby wasn't responding well. I said no, isn't that a chemotherapy drug?  Then I reached into the left ear of the baby (still don't remember if it's a he or a she) and pulled out an extra ear lobe with I gently pulled free. Blood streamed across the baby's face and head and the Dr. said that must have been what happened on the other side and why he was so concerned. He took the baby to 'take care of it' and after a bit I saw him in the Doctor's lounge cooking up lunch. When I went to ask about the baby he handed me a platter of cooked chicken. I spent the rest of the dream trying to demand answers because I was going to have to explain to my daughter what and why this had happened to her baby. Not that I felt it was unusual about being handed the platter, but that it had happened so soon and that my daughter had planned on nursing for six months. She was never going to trust me with the baby again! O.M.G.

What a fucking nightmare!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Extra Credit

A and I have been doing some extra credit in her weekly homework packet.  And I try to keep up on what flashcards she needs and making them available to her, though lord knows we aren't using them here at home as we should.  But her daycare giver, lets call her P, had suggested she have them available so there they are and hopefully they come in handy. I'll have to make a point of going through them with her on weekends when we are not all so burnt out.

So those things and reading and our library trips are my contribution towards her education, her imagination, and most importantly her self esteem. Because the best thing you can do for a child is to give them your undivided attention. Really look them in the eye and connect; a flashing of your first two fingers between your eyes and theirs is also very cool these days - a combination of Avatar's "I see you" and a way to make sure they know you are theirs and visa versa. Was it the critters in Ice Age that started that? Anyway, she loves it right now so we overuse it a bit. But it's still cute and funny and more to the point a way to seal the deal when making a connection.

Backing up a bit, my dream this morning was crazy and to the point of yesterday's rant. I had gained access to a set of dog tags that were absolutely vital to 'solving a case' and I had to keep them safe. I was running from my ex-hubby's old girlfriend, at the time a known manipulator as most addicts are, and I couldn't keep away from her. She was California Ninja Girl and I was scrambling fat old nobody. In the end I tried flushing them and she just laughed knowing she had won, and I woke up. There are feelings of frustration and inadequacy and a nod to how incapable I am of fantastic feats right now peppered all through the dream. There were of course lots more details but that is the jist of it. The universe is just screaming at me right now. Get your act together, you can be worthy, you can be so much more. Just screaming.

After a week of abstaining I drove through for decaf and a biscuit this morning. I did finish up yesterday's juice for lunch and plan on drinking lots of water and tea this evening. I know I'm writing a lot of nonsense etcetera lately, but I need to stay on top of myself, keep my head out of the water, and bolster up my good intentions so that they lead somewhere other than hell.

So how does this all tie together? Well, I do more than I give myself credit for, even in dreams, and I need to hang my star on those good deeds and not dwell on past failures. As do we all, I know I know, nothing special or unique here, but some of us need reminding more often. Crazy to see what I think of as normal just heading around the corner in front of me and not being able to quite grasp the trailing edge of it's sleeve and hang on. One day I will, this is my journey towards that end.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

More early morning thoughts on how to live a life

Shane McConkey - I watched this movie yesterday afternoon and was just glued to the tv. That's me, living vicariously through another's adventure. This is one human who really had a bead on living. Elizabeth Gilbert once wrote something like, our human experience is how god lives through our hands ... okay had to google and find it - here it is, Anyway,  my point is that the universe should be filled with more like Shane who really connect with the environment on a personal level, who really live their mortal life with such joy. It seems that he got it, got that we are here to live and not just exist. He is my balance in life, I have become a sitter. I would rather be a doer.

I was pulled out of bed this morning needing to see his memorial eagle up in Squaw Valley. Needing to stay with the energy and idea of who he was and what his daughter is doing and how his wife is faring. I love her bravery and how she loves and supports him even though he has moved on to 'the next beautiful place'. And I can't help but compare him to Joey, and wish that same drive and sense of adventure could have steered him away from his untimely end. But Shane had it in his blood from his parents. And here I am back at square one blaming myself for something that was not mine to control. But I could have been a better influence, I could have lived as a better example. Damn I hate the truth. Damn damn damn and damn.

And not a better example for him, but a better example of me. I was always so sure growing up that I was a 'good' person. There is still a kernel of that in me - I think that is what I refer to when I mention getting my 'muchness' back - like Alice did in Wonderland. But I have never had a dream to follow; well, my writing, but you can hardly call this writing. Maybe that is still to come and this is the work. I could deal with that.

Yes, I have a rich fantasy life.

So riding the edge of guilt this morning, and yearning for that perfect wave to take me forward to find myself. To make choices that will lead me to that inner kernel of perfection that I know I am, that I know each of us can be in our own way. I had an interesting conversation with J last week about loving things. That when you love something you don't have to work at it, you just do it because you love it and it doesn't matter if it happens to be hard work. It would just pull you along begging for your time and attention and then you would become great at it and the universe would find a way to reward you for it.

Sherry McConkey (his wife) said in an interview that Shane would prepare for hours before each jump, that the camera never caught how much he put into research but only filmed the actual event. I think she wanted us to know how hard he worked at gaining his joy. But I still envy him, that he knew what he wanted and went after it. Because when you love something that much it isn't work, it's living, and we should all do more of that.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Raining cats & dogs

This morning I woke to rain pounding down outside, it was early enough and cold enough to snuggle in and finish watching the movie I had fallen asleep to the night before. Then up and dressed and juicing; cucumber, lemon ginger, bok choy, carrot & green apple. And a small handful of blackberries rinsed out of the juicer with some coconut water. I do like bok choy much better than celery in my juices, I must say.

At well yesterday, even if dinner was left over sweet potato casserole after a handful of chips dipped in half an avocado that I had smashed with garlic and salt. No pie, no gravy, no dressing - all of the leftovers are now gone.

So out in the rain with my lunch bag full of juice, a towel in case the car was wet inside (a rain story for another day) and a mug of pear ginger white tea. Driving to work was nerve wracking, we have been in drought conditions so long we have forgotten what it is to drive in a downpour. An hour to get to work, which is much better than wrecked, then dark and chilly arriving at work first. 8:30 and it's foggy and grey and wet outside. Oh for a fire and a book - but thoughts are real too, no? So really working is the dream and I'm really basking in the warmth of a fire readying of some new far away adventure.  Really :)

Back to work for the wicked! So grateful for my work, my car, my warm clothes and dry boots I cannot regret this one bit.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Leftovers - or - the beginning of the ten pound holiday gain

Thanksgiving was Thursday, and for two days we ate what we wanted when we wanted. Bowls of mashed potatoes and stuffing with gravy on top. Turkey sandwiches, scoops of casseroles, bean and sweet potatoe, and of course pie. Today is the last day of the holiday vacation, the last day of November, and the last day of splurging. We will NOT be gaining ten pounds this year between Thanksgiving and New Years.

Yesterday R made turkey stock and they had a wholesome turkey soup for dinner.  A nice way to transition back to more normal healthier eating while still enjoying the flavours of the feast; how we relished the aroma all day - so delightful. I still have some dressing to finish up, and there may be a piece of cherry pie with my name on it, but I'll go back to having meals today instead of indulging in an all day buffet.

My morning begins with the last of the kale juice, with coconut water added to curb the bitterness. Then tomorrow begins three weeks of better choices. I have a holiday party to attend on the 12th and while I won't lose fifty pounds before then, I can definitely feel better and lose the bloat by then. I imagine juicing each day, and supplementing with plants. No refined sugar, grains or oils; those are the challenges to meet. And this morning I feel up to it.

But today there are still movies to watch on a rainy day, and a few leftovers to finish up. God forbid we throw anything away. And as I said, meals, not endless snacking will be the order of the day; referencing the meal habits of Hobbits, I am off for 'second breakfast'!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Day of Rest

Sometimes I suffer from a common malady known as SMUG. Sometimes this is a front for insecurities, but mostly it's just an awful way to express how much better you are than someone else when in actuality there is no such thing. Seriously, we are each what we are and that's the end of it. I have been known to beat myself up because I...
      didn't join the peace corps
      didn't become a teacher
      don't volunteer as I should
      haven't lived up to my potential.

But I am still walking and breathing, have a home in which I can curl up fed and in warmth, and family to love. That being said, the ego is a horrible beast that can take over at a moments notice if one's integrity is threatened even the tiniest little bit, even if only by one's own stray thought.

Which is a long and round about way of noting I have done absolutely nothing today so some part of me needs to feel smug that I am not one of those out about on Black Friday. I don't need to feel that way, I worked fairly hard on and off for days getting ready for the holiday, and I shouldn't have to justify or explain away a day of rest.

A big part of me doesn't, it's the small little voice telling me how lazy I am that stirs up trouble. Now that it's down in writing I can smother that little beastie with a pillow and go back to left overs and movies - everything that today should be just now.

And I think I hear a turkey sandwich calling my name.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Giving Thanks

I am so grateful to have had a day filled with hard work, that I am able to do this at my daughter's side in harmony, and that our efforts resulted in a table full of thanksgiving fare that was truly a wonderful feast. My sister and a friend of M's joined us for the festivities and the boys have just put a huge dent in the pecan pie.

They had disappeared while we put together a puzzle, played a game of bananas, and watched Maleficent.

Time for tea, feet up, and starting the dishwasher. I do wish Mom could have been here, but we all do what we can. Better go cover the pies....

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Wednesday before a feast

This morning A and I left the house early to find eggs, potatoe chips, and even a new sweater for me to wear to an upcoming holiday dinner that I was invited to by one of my clients at work. We also picked up a new play hoodie for A since she is growing by leaps and bounds. Bringing home Croods as incentive for her to curl up warm and rest, we spent a lovely time together snuggling and nibbling on our breakfast while we watched as they discovered the world outside their cave. I did not expect to like this, and I did not - I loved it!

Now it is time for her Dad to take over and I hear the beginnings of Star Wars as I mentally prepare to clean the bathroom and finish up the laundry. I have been putting this off for days; lord above I hate cleaning the bathroom floor, I always have, and I guess it goes without says, who doesn't? And we found a a new pumpkin spice candle to light and clear out the smell of cleansers once I am done in there. It will also stay lit tomorrow for festive purposes.

It will be time for a break - I will not overtax my back and hands but be sensible and rest them between endeavors.

Then I'll purge the kitchen of anything extraneous to the upcoming feast; I will make disappear all the bits and pieces that collect on the raised counter between kitchen and dining room: bottle caps, hair clips, coins, glue etc etc etc. Just baskets and bowls of fruit, a small jar of ginger candy, and a bowl of mixed nuts to graze on will be left by the time I am done.

I may bake off the sweet potatoes and brown up the rosemary sausage in preparation of two of  tomorrow's dishes depending on how the day goes.

We have another guest for tomorrow and everyone is looking forward to the holiday. I wish R could be home today too, but at least she will be off early and I believe we both have Friday off.

Full of decaf and ready to rock n roll with book on and socks off I am ready for my slaying of the jabberwocky - er - bathroom. Whatever. I'm ready.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Day Closer

Thanksgiving looms and I will not think about it. I will concentrate on what will make me feel good today. A cleaner room, counter space in the  kitchen for all of the cooking that is about to take place, pretty flowers outside the dining room window. Let me digress here and visit a memory.

I am standing in my grandmother's living room, two chairs bookend the fireplace, angled in for visiting, The wall to the left behind the furthest chair has a window looking out onto the lanai - the enclosed back porch- and a table that is filled with plants, artifacts from Mexico, small treasures, rocks & shells. My grandfather was somewhat of a rock hound, and both A and I have inherited his inclinations towards this hobby. So I grew up next door, and was often at my grandparents, making it a second home and much beloved. When I first set the big wooden table outside my dining room window here at the first and only home of my own, I didn't realize that I was replicating a childhood familiarity. There was no place else to put it, and gradually it was covered with plants, rocks, shells, pine-cones, and eventually a small statue that had once been my grandfathers. I did realize along the way what I was doing, and it didn't hurt that it made our small dining room seem larger - bringing the outside in so to say. So the table is actually a bridge to my childhood and memories of love & warmth.

Back to the pretty flowers; the table needs to be swept clean and new flowers potted where the summer's fare has died away from lack of attention. The remaining live plants are a cactus brought home from mothers that may or may not have originated from LA and my grandparents, and a small marguerite daisy that is apparently a bit more hardy than I am neglectful.

Before heading out for Decaf and flowers I need to measure the lights in the kitchen that need replacing so we have  bright workspace on Weds. & Thurs. That will be the fun part. Not so fun will be wiping down the pool toys out back that are residing on the hot tub cover and then finding a place in the garage to house them for the winter. I am therefore understandably grateful for the sun streaming through my southern facing bedroom; this will make the outside chores not only bearable, but even enjoyable. I am hoping for a crisp sunny fall day for my chores, I need the air and movement and feeling of accomplishment today will bring.

Because - damn here is the pity party - Joey is missing another holiday, another chance to inhale a mound of buttery mashed potatoes, another chance to have his family love him and hug him and cherish him. Okay, I can do a minute of sad, but then I am going to go do the flower thing.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Ginger Cookies

I did not need to know that Trader Joe's makes triple ginger cookies that are amazingly wonderful. Now all I want is to light the fire and cozy in with a book and the whole tub of cookies. While I did pick up an eco friendly fire log and have a bookshelf of friends I could visit, I know that if I do my back will be worthless later and I have a bathroom to clean. But having a few for a snack was awesome.

I was at the store with a fresh decaf gingerbread latte in hand at 5am this morning; I would rather play obstacle course with those wonderful people stocking shelves and their pallets of goodies than with a hundred other shopping carts. No bueno. Home by 6am and groceries put away, then back to bed and another episode of The Red Band Society.  R was ready to go and out the door at 8 for her trip across town to TJ's (hence the presence of the aforementioned ginger snaps) while A and I tore apart the beautiful lego set that we had just finished last night. AND I ruined one of my nails doing it. I don't often splurge but it is relaxing to have a manicure and while running errands yesterday I stopped and indulged myself. A turned down both breakfast options of pumpkin pancakes and egg on toast and instead requested a cinnamon apple. Good Girl. So I chopped a honey crisp apple, sprinkled cinnamon over the top, and nuked it covered in the microwave for a couple of minutes. She ate every piece. No I did not use plastic in the microwave.

So the brined turkey is in the fridge surrounded by lots of awesome ingredients and there is just the Costco run to make tomorrow at lunch. I love that they won't be opened on Thanksgiving - no one should have to work that day. Hmmm. Could we function if that happened? Lets see, we have self serve gas stations for those in need; dinner might not be perfect if someone forgot to pick up rolls or flowers or wine but it would still be wonderful - it's about the people remember - and everyone would be well rested for the craziness called Black Friday. While at Lowe's yesterday I noticed there was a small section largely labeled as Black Friday specials; marketing strikes again. I will admit to having browsed through their Christmas section, and was able to resist everything with the exception of one beautiful pink poinsettia. $7, couldn't pass it up.

Time to plug in my audio book and rotate another's day worth of dishes. I won't be cooking for the next four days, I picked up a jug of Kale Blazer by Naked to sip on throughout the day and there are veggies in the fridge to make fresh juice if I feel so inclined. After take out last night I am swollen and grumpy about it.

One last thought; we are excited about the sweet potatoes this year. Organic Garnet yams roasted and then blended with butter and a little brown sugar, then topped with a crumble of diced pecans, cranberries and TRIPLE GINGER COOKIES, then covered with mini marshmallows. Who needs pie after that? Well, we do and the pumpkin is already in the freezer.

Maybe one more cookie before doing the dishes...after all, I did not drive through to get breakfast this morning. Another Good Girl - Me this time!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

So much to do, so little motivation

I guess it's Saturday and I can take a nap if I want. Maybe when I get back up I'll feel like working around the house. It's been raining on and off for days, which no one in California is used to anymore, and it's put a damper on my enthusiasm. And of course no decaf this morning; I shouldn't have had any this week so my energy would be back, but no, I indulged.

I did make it to Lowes this morning for a lightbulb, a poinsettia and other odds and ends so I did accomplish a little bit. Oh, and loaded up the dishwasher and put away the dishes I had set to drain yesterday, putting the juicer back together so it's ready for the next go around. And I made more ginger water and infused some honey with cinnamon.

I suppose that if I feel the same way tomorrow I can have a cup just to make sure I get things done. Thanksgiving is just days away and there is so much to do. But no matter how much gets done, there will be a wonderful meal, a visit from my sister, and much to be thankful for, even if one of those things isn't a totally clean house. (Love & Light up to you Erma Bombeck for your words of wisdom.)

Later: After my nap the kids left for the movies and A and I worked on a new lego kit. Not a bad way  at all to spend a lazy afternoon. Now R is off picking up asian food for dinner; while chow mein is not necessarily my friend it is easy. I could do worse.

I almost forgot we threw together the grocery lists for Thanksgiving. Well, R did it while I threw out ingredients here and there. Tomorrow at o'dark thirty I'll hit Safeway for a Claim Jumper pumpkin pie, dressing mix (celery, onions & herbs) and herb packets. And potatoes and heavy cream. Oh, and gingersnaps for the sweet potato casserole. The brined turkey will come from Trader Joes along with sweet potatoes and I'll grab the cabbage\brussels sprouts salad mix from Costco on Monday.

Roast Turkey and homemade gravy
Sweet Potato Casserole
Mashed Potatoes
Boudin Sourdough dressing \ half with artichokes and sausage
Hawaiian Rolls
Cabbage salad w\ poppy dressing

Then homemade whipped cream on two kinds of pie, one homemade and purchased from Windmill Farms - probably boysenberry, maybe apple.

Dinner's here and now I'm hungry! Who says Thanksgiving isn't about the food. Okay okay. I know.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I got nothin'

Up this morning picking up where I left off last night; bed made, then stacked with everything I wanted up off the floor. Amazing how much stuff I have in here with me! Well, Kaylee's crate is part of it so I can  partially blame her too. One more thorough vacuum job, get the dogs settled out back, and greet the cleaners. Oh, and get ready for work.

Then off to work a half day. Home to check things out, then off to buy accent carpets and a new welcome mat so I can recycle the old one to outside the back slider. Hopefully the carpet will finish drying overnight and when I get home tomorrow I can begin re-assembling the house. Without the extraneous stuff.

I rotated the dishes in the kitchen and I'll prep veggies tonight for tomorrow's juice. We have some tart kiwi's that I need to use so that will change up the flavour a bit, and I'm out of lemon. I think I'll go out back in the morning and snag an orange off the tree for another splash of citrus.

Rented Begin Again from Demand to put my feet up and relax which is hard to do in a house that currently has wall to wall damp carpet. But I made do with my office chair and one clear corner of my bed. And the movie was a nice diversion on a rainy prevening.

Tomorrow is another half day at work, the morning this time, and my hope is to clean off the back patio when I get home. Which works out well for the drought because murphy's law being what it is the forecast is for rain the rest of the week - don't cha know.

Dinner was Panda Express. Out of the blue. Don't even know how I ended up inside ordering food. One of those auto-movements that catch me by surprise. The minty taste of my tums a reminder of why chow mein is NOT a good choice despite my love of noodles. A serving would have been okay, but a whole bowl full is a bit  more than a serving. Sigh. But stayed busy most of the day and not beating myself up too bad.

One more rotation of letting the dogs out then washing & drying their paws one at a time as I let them back in. PITA!!! I just want the carpet to stay clean through the holidays. I don't want to have to do this again in December. Oh to have the funds to replace the flooring...and the roof...and the landscaping in the back yard...

I am looking forward to settling into bed, turning off the light once the window is open wide, and just listening to the rain while I dream and plan.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A clean house, stage one

Last night I prepped my produce for juicing and this morning I filled almost three 16.5 oz bottles. I still have half a bottle left for a snack later if I feel like it. But at the moment I am hot & sweaty and craving water. This is the first step in getting ready for the holidays. Tomorrow the carpet cleaner comes and there are then two days for it to dry before the house if full of people again.

I hope we can keep filling up the recycling bin each week and thinning out the house. A did a great job starting to go through art and homework from T-K and I finished up this evening. As we find odds and ends we can add them to the marked box that is now in the garage. I saved out my most favorite piece of art and eventually will add it to a book; a page for each school year.

God I'm tired. But not done yet for the evening. The kids are safe and have already purchased A her pink mickey mouse ears with her name stitched on it. I'm so happy for them, I hope it's as wonderful a trip as they anticipate.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Liquid Gold

I woke at 4am to Kaylee puking in her crate. Ugh. I let her out for water, stripped her bed, and let her cuddle under my covers when she came in cold and seeking warmth. I briefly woke sometime later but I just turned over and nestled back in. It was Monday, nothing urgent was on deck at work, and given the hours I put in no one was going to say anything if I was late for once in a blue moon.

Finally waking at 7 panic set in and I was up dressed and out of the house in 15 minutes flat. Yes I drove through for a Decaf and biscuit. Not having packed lunch I stopped by Sprouts for sourdough bread, hummus and cranberry sauce for an open faced vegan sandwich back at the office.

So far, no greens. My Bad. I stopped at Costco on the way home to grab a Mac N Cheese from the prepared foods cooler, plus a salad mix (with pecans, cranberries & feta) and a bag of baby romaine heads for the rest of the week's salads.

The Mac N Cheese was not as good as Trader Joes, plus once home with reading glasses in hand I read that they added artificial colour. Who knows what that means anymore, but at least there wasn't a number associated with the dreaded words; maybe it was red african beetles and not chemicals. One can only hope, but just in case A was not allowed any - she had the TJ's brand that we had in the freezer. Oh well, we won't be buying that from Costco again. But the kids are leaving for Disneyland tomorrow and a quick dinner was in order, so for tonight it was okay.

Interestingly enough, this evening I feel like I haven't really eaten any 'food'. Everything I had was processed or prepared by someone else. It's a strange feeling to have eaten three meals and not feel like any of it was really food. Live plants full of nutrients and energy from the sun; liquid gold. I really missed that today. Not just the vitality, but knowing I was doing something healthy for my body. So tonight I will have everything prepped and even if I oversleep again in the morning I will take the time to juice. At this point I am all about 'so what if I'm 20 minutes late', I need to do what I need to do, and juicing only takes ten minutes longer than driving through for fast food. Doh!

Tomorrow after work I will be getting ready for the carpet cleaners who are coming Weds. morning, and Thursday after work I will put the house back together. That will be my movement for those days! I am so looking forward to a clean house, a visit from my sister, and a thanksgiving feast. I am so grateful for those I love who love me back, for my warm bed and cuddly dog, for my job that keeps a roof over our heads. I have missed loving the holidays, and while I may stress next week about who is missing from the table, tonight I'm okay.

Off to prep veggies.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Most delicious Butternut Squash Soup ever!

Yesterday I made butternut squash soup.

First there must be a pot roast cooked with an abundance of onions so that there are leftovers. In my daughter's pot roast this meant pearl onions left in the bottom of the container of left overs swimming in beef broth. Also of importance is the mushroom salt that she used to season her dish.

Second you must roast cubed butternut squash that has been carefully coated with olive oil and a little mushroom salt because you didn't realize the onions had already been seasoned with the same mixture. I think I have posted it before, but just in case here it is again. Magic Mushroom Powder.

Thirdly combine the onions and squash in blender batches, adding organic veggie broth each time to facilitate the blending. Add each batch to a sauce pan as it is blended until all have been processed.

Finally bring the soup slowly to heat until just under a boil. (In this instance everything had been cooked the day before and was cold from the fridge.)

Way too much salt, which is probably why it was so good. And not vegan, there was most likely beef fat bringing it's contribution to the party. And I was definitely swollen the next morning, but as a once it a while treat well worth it.

So the plan is that when I hear my daughter planning a pot roast for dinner I will remind her to add extra onions and I will pick up a carton of cubed butternut squash so I can replicate the recipe.

As previously noted, Most Delicious!

This morning I finished the juice from yesterday: cucumber, lemon, ginger, apple, luscious blackberries, carrots and celery.

Lunch was leftover pumpkin pancakes from the freezer with PB &J on top. Decadence! This afternoon I've been keeping full of hot lemon & ginger water. Time to check the fridge and make a grocery list so I am prepared for the week ahead.

But first some reading with A - nice.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Better light than full

Years ago when I was focused on eating for nutrition and was steadily losing weight I discovered that I would much rather eat a large bowl of delicious homemade vegetable stoup and feel good than to eat badly and feel stuffed and miserable. I could eat vegetables until my urge to eat was satisfied without feeling like I had a rock in my stomach.

I also know the feeling of eating so badly that I enter a comatose state that lets me drift off into sleep to escape feeling anything at all. That moment of lethargy just before passing out was like a drug used to enter oblivion instead of bliss.

This past week I experienced something new and very likeable. To juice most of the day and eat a small meal or snack just to shut up my perverse nature to cheat left me feeling light and clean. This struck me most forcibly when I went to lunch with the office yesterday and ate a plate of Indian food. Yes it was good, but I hated the way I felt afterwards. Feeling a heaviness inside me that was irritating. I didn't want to go back to work, I wanted to go home and nap so I could wake up feeling better. And in that moment I remembered how I had felt all week and I missed it.

So this bright and lovely weekend morning I did not get up and cook pancakes, or make a bowl of oatmeal with nuts and fruit and maple syrup. Instead I juiced enough for breakfast and dinner, and plan on making something wonderful for lunch; stoup or chopped salad or a smoothie.

My salami sandwich the other evening reminded me that if I want my respiratory faculties to be free of phlegm I cannot indulge in sugar, wheat or dairy. It's no wonder I have had so many problems over the years. Why did no doctor every guide me away from those foods? Why is nutrition avoided as a valuable tool to use in gaining health?  There are many answers to that but the bottom line is the ever present Money is the root of all Evil. Here I will not rant about corporations, bottom lines and pharmaceutical companies fueled by the standard american diet that is killing us yet subsidized by we the people. Talk about a suicidal death dance - we take the cake. Literally.

Instead it's time to start cleaning up - we have a holiday to prepare for and the clutter has to go. Arrangements for cleaning the carpet must be made, and the dog messes disposed of before it rains. Sounds like a busy day, I wonder how my energy will hold up while juicing. I was tired often this week, but it was probably the lack of my decaf coffee combined with detoxing from my sausage biscuits. Hopefully I have once again kicked the fast food monkey from my back; it was starting to itch anyway.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Five Day Juice Fast: Results

Down almost four pounds this morning, which was nice to see. Especially after last night's cheat. When am I going to learn to put me first? It is not in my nature to do so, and if we all did that all the time we would be in an even worse mess than we are now. But on a personal level, I need to somehow embrace the notion that my needs are as important as anyone else s in the home.

I know, what am I blathering about. Some background. Most of the time one of these three scenarios plays out at the end of each work day.

1. On my way home from work I pick up A from daycare if it's raining, freezing or burning hot.
2. Her father walks over (just around the corner)(Ha!)(nod to Ryan & Hanks) and picks her up.
3. Her mother picks her up an hour later on her way home from work and
     a. brings her home
     b. takes her to run an errand before heading home
     c. has her father in tow, they grab some dinner & maybe run an errand before heading home

What does this mean for me and what I had for dinner? Well, let me elucidate. I arrived home at 4:30 and rushed about straightening up because a friend was stopping by on her way home from work to visit. We had hot gingerbread spice tea and each did a quick recap of our lives since it had been over a year since our last visit. She left about 5:30 at which point I decided to wait to do my juicing so I wouldn't be in the kitchen when the kids (yes they are in their 30's) arrived home to make dinner. But unbeknownst to me scenario b. from above was being enacted and when they did arrive home it was to put a pizza in the oven. So now I am hungry and smelling pepperoni pizza. If I had just started juicing when my friend left I would have had my juice and could have done the clean up later. But no, I had waited and there I was. At that point I was not interested in juicing, but neither did I want frozen pizza. So I popped a potato in the  microwave and after a sprinkling of salt and a grind of fresh pepper I drizzled a little organic ketchup (more salt & sugar to boot) over the fluffy steaming cubes of hot potato and headed to my room and away from the pizza that was about to come out of the oven.

I haven't gotten to the bad part yet.

Hours later I am watching TV in my room and my stomach grumbles. And I am thinking about the pepperoni. Luckily for me it was all gone, but not so lucky for me a fresh loaf of soft white bread (organic, not wonder) sitting on the counter and my brain immediately flashed on the salami I knew was in the fridge. So there I was at about 10:30pm making a salami sandwich. Only 4 slices of salami, and 2 slices of the thin sliced cheddar from Sargento and a light smear of mayo - but it felt like blasphemy! And tasted like heaven.

Here is the worst of it. I overslept this morning, forgot my hot cuppa tea on the kitchen counter and never juiced. I made it half way to work before giving in to the little devil that resides on my left shoulder and stopped for a small decaf (1 cream, 5 sugars) and a sausage biscuit.  I figure at this point I am having a reset day and will start juicing either tonight or tomorrow morning when I am not rushed.

All of this could have been avoided if I had juiced last night instead of giving up my kitchen time - which was ridiculous and only in my head. Thinking back I wonder if it was a subconscious sabotage. I have a nasty habit of undermining successful efforts. Feeling thinner = permission to eat. Why I don't know. I could make some therapeutic guesses, but it's all crap. It's just me being weak.

God I am rambling, and on company time too! I'll call it part of my lunch. But I am determined to go to Sprouts for some more Kale Naked juice blend and coconut water for lunch despite my perverse nature screaming for a Mr. Pickles BLT.

Heaven help me.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Five Day Juice Fast: Day Five

Rushed for time this morning I blended up a smoothie rather than juicing, and I will juice for dinner.

Smoothie: Coconut water, kale, pineapple, turmeric root

Not the luscious smoothie I had anticipated as I am picking up the coconut  milk at lunch and didn't have any this morning. I was also so rushed I didn't look up the recipe and just quickly threw it together from memory. The taste is nice with a pineapple finish, but my blender doesn't grind the kale enough so it's full of bits - which I don't enjoy so much.

But here I am in the  middle of day five with only a few minor slips - spectacular performance for me! My plan is to keep juicing for a couple of meals each day and having a smoothie, soup or salad for the third meal, keeping it flexible depending on my time, how tired my back is at that particular moment and what I have available to use.

Off to shop, I see a chocolate, mint & coconut shake in my future. The Shape Shake from Orenda's CBS plan will be an awesome addition to this plan. Pea protein rocks!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Five Day Juice Fast: Day Four

This morning I finished the last bottle of juice from the fridge on my way to work. Not juicing anything fresh meant I would have to figure out lunch. I was dreading spending $8 on a green juice from Jamba Juice, but that is what I thought would happen. Instead I stopped in Sprouts (local grocery store) to see what they had and viola! A new Kale blend from Naked  on sale for $2.99 so I bought two and then added two cans of their coconut water. The ingredients matched almost exactly what I would have juiced plus the kale, which was a puree so there was texture to the drink.

I finished the 2nd kale drink on the way home and half of the 2nd coconut water. Signing on to check the Fit For Life plan I saw that I could have soup for dinner so I opted for an easy dish and opened a can of Amy's organic vegan lentil soup for dinner.  And now I am sleepy! Must be the solid food.

Tomorrow I will juice enough in the morning for my first two meals, having picked up the cucumbers I lacked today at the produce market during lunch, and then for dinner it's finally time for the kale, coconut, turmeric, mango smoothie. I hope it's as good as it looked in the video!

I think my face looks a little different; not so puffy nor as full as usual. This is a good thing, right? It's so easy to avoid mirrors and pretend I don't care what I look like, but checking my blog pic against one taken last weekend, it's obvious I have aged greatly in the last 7 years. My Bad.

But I have been in a rare mood this past week, and part of me is beginning to believe that perhaps my psyche is finally on the mend.

Here's to another good day tomorrow, may the gods be with me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Five Day Juice Fast: Day Three

Today's juice: ginger, lemon, green apple, cucumbers, carrots, celery, a small beet & some black seedless grapes. So very delicious. The grapes added just a touch of depth and sweetness to balance the earthiness of the beet.

Busy day at work, home to clean the juicer that I only rinsed this morning before rushing out of the house, and later this evening after the kids are done in the kitchen I'll prep for tomorrow's juice. I need to go look, I think I get a smoothie tomorrow! Can hardly wait to try the turmeric root and mango together with the coconut. I have fresh alligator kale to blend with them too - hope it's as good as i anticipate.

This was my first day without taking any cold meds since becoming sick last week. My only lingering symptom a random rough cough. I am notorious for coughing for six weeks once I have a cold in allergy season so I am grateful for this. I'm using my daily standards from Orenda, the Immune and O'Tropin, and I've added the Alfalfa complex and Nutriferon from Shaklee since my daughter brings them home at her discount, plus their Defend and Resist Complex. What a handful twice a day! I know that as soon as I bring my weight under control the Orenda will once again be sufficient unto my needs. But an extra 80 pounds is tough on the immune system and I'm using all the help I can get my hands on right now.

I glanced at the two remaining glazed donuts as I grabbed my last bottle of juice to drink on the way home. They looked like they wanted to jump into my open arms so I left quickly!

R is in the kitchen brewing up some pot roast - ah the smells! I'm not interested in the roast, but potatoes and gravy...I imagine that I do not need to elaborate, who would not like to jump into a bowl of that particular heaven.

Time to rescue my Red Rooibos tea bag from drowning and finally sit for a short rest before the next part of my day begins.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Fit For Life Five Day Juice Fast: Day Two point two

And then our neighbor came over with a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. And not just any cookies, chocolate chip cookies made using her mother's special recipe. My neighbor and I sort of bonded over our loses; she had just lost her Mother and I was still raw from losing Joey when they moved in next door. How could I say no to one of her mother's cookies? I couldn't. But I did only eat half of one. Followed by a small handful of seedless black grapes that I had washed in preparation for tomorrow's juice. Wow they were sweet! Now I'm really looking forward to juicing some; not too many, just a handful to add all the wonderful micronutrients they offer. Click the link and scroll down past the macronutrients to the antioxidants, vitamins & minerals. And these are only the ones that have been identified.

To continue the Day Two saga, the kids went to pick up the items ordered through A's fundraising efforts a month or so ago and now the freezer is full of cookie dough. Adding insult to injury they stopped on the way home and picked up dinner from Der Wienerschnitzel - if you can call that food. I'm still in a good place, although I will confess my mouth is watering for a mini corn dog as I type. Rotten fast food! Or to be more precise, rotten fast food products! My brain is gagging as my mouth salivates for the crap.

After sorting the fundraising items between R and myself for transport to our respective places of work tomorrow, I headed here to my room - my current safe spot away from temptation. I am not hungry, I am working on the last cup of my juice for the day, and will have a final mug of ginger lemon tea before bed tonight. I am good.

I had a busy day at work, mindful of changing positions often, stopping to stretch when my reminder popped up, and doing some distance gazing out the window to flex my stagnant computer locked eye muscles. To quote Katy Bowman, we are not meant to be static.

I'm looking forward to making it through day two with minimal damage, and excited about heading into day three tomorrow.

Black Seedless Grapes. Yum.

Fit For Life Five Day Juice Fast: Day Two point one

I sniffed, I inhaled deeply, and I walked away. Awhile later I had to cruise past the kitchen again (I was at work) and this time took my phone to photograph the source of my temptation.

I lusted but did not succumb.  Hopefully posting this will reinforce my determination to stay clean this evening.

One more day of juicing and then I add a smoothie to my day. I will do this as we do everything else in life, one moment at a time. For this moment I am strong and dreaming of success.

And remembering I have beets, kale and apples in the car that need fetching.

Fit For Life: Five Day Juice Fast: Day Two

Day One recap:  a couple of small slips; six small pretzel sticks and a small side of rice and beans. Other than that, all juice, water and tea all day.

Today's Juice
Ginger, lemon, cucumber, apple, celery & carrots. No beets today, I need to pick some more up at lunch and see what else looks good for some variety tomorrow.

Last  night I prepped my veggies and apples and sealed them up in containers in the fridge. This morning it took me half an hour from start to finish to juice and clean up. I brought three 16oz bottles of juice with me to work, drinking one on the way. I also have a thermos of lemon, ginger water to drink during the day. Re-purposing the glass bottles from the Synergy my daughter buys works perfectly for this, and the bottles fit nicely into my insulated lunch bag. I'ts 1pm and I'm half way through the 2nd bottle.

Off to buy beets!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Fit For Life: Five Day Juice Fast: Day One

Really? Another attempt? Well, yes actually! I may go down more often than not but I will always come up fighting. Always.

I awoke sore and aching this morning, the aftermath from helping prep for what had to have been the best ever 6th birthday party. Frozen visited Livermore via the special efforts of my daughter, Tri Valley Ice Rink, and Pinterest. The cake even had a castle on it - need I say more? Yes. The sight of her classmates, friends and assorted extras all skating with blue flannel scarves and the help of buckets to lean on (it was the first time for many of them) was absolutely awesome. Especially "A" who was resplendent as Elsa; her gown was blue and flowing and sparkly, her blond hair in a braid, and her flashing blue eyes just brilliant in her happy flushed face. Yes daughter dear, it was a hit!

Back to me. Yesterday I joined Fit For Life and printed out the juice recipes. Not surprisingly, I found many of the ingredients I was already using to juice. Again, not surprising, few of them were to be found in the fridge this morning. So off to the market in stretchy pants to buy a basket of veggies and a bag of green apples. I was pleased to see they now have turmeric root in stock and picked up a root of that as well for day four when I get a smoothie.

So yes, I will be juicing for three days. Not as a supplement, but in totality. Plus water and herbal tea. When I mentioned to my daughter that "I don't know if I will be able to do it" she stopped me cold. "Yes you can! You have to go into it knowing you will do it!"  So she will be in charge of eating up the bags of salad I was worrying about going to waste, and will help me prep my bags of veggies and fruit so that juicing in the morning will go smoothly. She is awesome.

Why am I doing this? Um...for my health? For my waist? To be out of pain? Yes, for all of these reasons and more, but mostly for my mental sanity. I cannot go through this Autumn coughing from allergies, I will go crazy if that happens one more time in my lifetime. Juicing will load me up on anti inflammatories, antioxidants, micronutrients etc ad nauseum. So goodby Phlegm, and hello Hope.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Fit For Life

This morning's juice:
Beet, celery, ginger, lemon, cucumber, red grapes, pear, apple. The fruits were minimal; half an apple, one small old pear, a handful of grapes. This is a red juice, earthy and spicy - the ginger and beet are perfect partners dancing on my tongue.

Later today there will be pizza and cake at Alanna's ice skating birthday party (think Frozen) so the rest of the day needs to be stellar nutrition wise. I am sad that my achilles tendon is keeping me from skating, but it will be awesome to watch all the bucket skaters in their scarves and gloves.

Iminent juicing goal - shake the last of this cold, reduce inflammation, prep for blood work a week from Monday; or in other words, lets try to pretend my health is closer to life than death.

Towards that end I joined Fit For Life to see if I can't find some inspiration from a motivational coach!