Hello, I'm glad you're here, and hope you enjoy your visit. It has been said that "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." This blog is about me, my adventures, silly moments, and keeping in touch with you. Life is exciting and so full of possibilities, so let's enjoy the journey together.

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Whew! Life is getting busy!

I wore black today to mourn the further delay of summer.  It has rained all weekend long, how I long for the warmth of summer.

I've decided or rather determined that keeping up with da blog is going to be easier said than done this summer!  And they whole yard work thing. . .  hasn’t even begun yet!


The yard work thing is getting closer though, these are the beginnings of chives coming back! They are poking their little blades right up through the left over leaves from fall, you can just tell they are excited about summer too.
It gives hope that warmer days are ahead. . .  I CAN HARDLY WAIT, for me, summer is better than Christmas!
My training schedule is rapidly ramping up.  Although I’ve logged more time at this point this year than any previous year, okay, it’s not difficult to beat a training log of zero, but the point is still the same. . .  life is busier and the closer summer gets, the busier life will get.  

training week 4-11-1
(you can click on the image to make it a little bit bigger)
This is what I accomplished this week.  I managed to log 8 hours 44 minutes of workouts, and a total of 74.14 miles.  I know the colors are fun, but the big accomplishment is that I actually stuck to my training plan and did every scheduled workout, that’s HUGE!  (I won't tell you I missed twenty minutes of swim time on Friday, but it's not my fault, the sheets were very needy that morning and I was the only one that could console them!) 

Most everyone knows that I am NOT a runner, but the fact that I am working on this small little detail is a big deal for me.  notice that I actually ran 3 times last week for a total of 11.44 no;es, or what I really meant was miles.  I can actually run 1 1/2 miles at a time, albeit at a snails pace of 10.85 minute/mile.  meaning it takes me 10.8 minutes to run a full mile.  I am beginning to question my lofty goal of getting to a 9.30 min/mile by July 30th.  While this might sound impressive to some of my readers, many runners can maintain a 7-something min/mile for a 10K (in english, that means 6.2 miles) and for me a 9.30 seems lofty, that helps put it all in perspective. . . I’m slow. . .  there’s not a politically correct way to say that.

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I have also started making my own bread and quit coming home for lunch.  I calculated that by making these two simple changes in my life I will save over $500.00 a year, that’s huge too!  so about every two weeks I make bread for sandwiches, toast, grilled cheese, or just to eat.  There are few things that are better than fresh homemade bread.  


Before I could make bread a couple of things had to happen first.  Like de-crystalize all the honey.  I have this tendency to just buy fresh honey when the current honey jar turns to sticky, gooey, hard crystals and just seems gross, but with that comes the pack-rat tendency of knowing it’s still good, I just need to melt it down.  With my new "budget
conscious” brain, today was the day.  it's not hard, all you need is a rack of some kind, and water then put the honey bears/buckets/jars and let them gently simmer until all the sugar crystals are magically melted back into smooth sweet honey.

I’m not sure how this little guy missed the line-up of the honey bears, but I obviously tipped him upside down trying to get some honey out and ended up leaving him that way a titch too long.  as you can see crystallized honey just stay’s put!  As it begins it’s slow process of dissolving gravity takes over and it ends up in the bottom of the bear like it’s supposed to be.  The good news is, that now I have more space in the cupboard, and that is always a good thing!

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The next step was to get some wheat!  The lids are a new addition, if you have never tried to get into these buckets before you know what a work-out it is just getting the lid off.  These new lids solve everything!  I wish to thank the inventor of these little guys.  However, getting these lids ON is TWICE the work out of getting the original lids off, I should have put this event in my training log.  I am here to tell you, these lids are bomb proof, and they ARE NOT coming off!  Then they stack just the same as any bucket.

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Once you get the ring on the lid simply spins off with a little finger-tip pressure, and voilĂ  you have access to the contents of your bucket!  That’s cool!
Using a wheat grinder, grind the wheat into flour, but let me warn you, don’t grind while children are napping, or if you plan on being on the phone. . . it is a NOISY process! 

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mix, bake, cut and enjoy!


Sunday, April 3, 2011

What did I do this week?

 It’s been a busy week, filled with many different and unrelated activities.

To start the week off with a running start, I mailed a box to our missionary and seems how it’s girl scout cookie season the daughter and I decided to add in a variety of girl scout cookies, one of which were these Peanut Butter (PB) variety.  They offered two different PB styles and true to my nature couldn’t decide which ones would be better, the “Nutter-Butter” kind or the PB dipped in chocolate kind.  To help the decision process I purchased one of each.

 the intent was to taste one of each and be done.  however, on my way to work I consumed about 3 of each flavor, by the time I got home for lunch, boxed up the final additions to the care package (forgot the camera, so no more pics, sorry) , but there were all kinds of great stuff in the box in addition to the PB cookies, including a box of Samoas, and a box of thin mints.  well It would look kind of bad if I sent a box with three missing cookies, so I split the difference and added half of the chocolate covered ones and one full sleeve of the Nutter-Butter cookies, sealed it up and off I went in a rush to drop it off on my way back to work.  by the time I got back to work I had eaten an entire package of Girl Scout PB cookies IN ADDITION to the 4 chocolate covered cookies from the other box.  I thought I was going to be ill! . . . actually I was kind of ill. . .

I have, however, determined that I like the "Nutter-Butter" cookies best- - -
Whew, I'm glad I finally got that one figured out!


Then the daughter came up on Thursday for her 3rd knee surgery, yes, all of them have been the left knee.  We are now on the “Friends & Family discount list”, (or at least we think it ought to be that way), our Orthopedic Surgeon has performed a total of 8 surgeries all on the left knee for our family. . .  thanks to my dad for great left knees!  I mean seriously, I need to blame it on someone don’t I?  Most people have a Primary care physician, not good enough for us, we have our personal Orthopedic Physician!  

We transform the livingroom couch into recovery bed.  This is simply normal procedure for us 
then we stock the freezer full of ice.


This is the “Ice-Man”  after surgery the ice-man is one of your best friends!  It runs continuously for hours, days, weeks while your knee slowly heals.


This little gizmo is new to the surgery scene.  The little ball is filled with drugs to keep things numb for a couple of days.  The daughter said it was like going to the dentist except it was the top half of her leg that was numb not her cheek.  it was actually threaded into her leg and emptied itself automatically.


the leg is all bandaged up which makes it 3X bigger than normal, the white/blue thing sticking out of the bottom is the hose to mr. ice-man, her new best friend for a while.


One of the worst parts about recovering from knee surgery is getting up off the bed, or in our case the couch!  It’s not too bad until the afflicted leg is pointed down.  Then showering is another story. . . . you get to wrap your entire leg in a garbage bag and seal it with packing tape so the stitches don’t get wet. . . . a major pain!


On Thursday, I taught a class at Kitchen Kneads.  I’m always relieved when they are over!


Setting up 
For me, preparations are essential to success, and it helps the class move along much smoother and faster.  Most people get bored watching you measure out a cup of this and a half teaspoon of salt, they already know how to do that stuff, so I get all that measuring done before class begins.  Besides then I don’t have to remember as much stuff all at once!


Everything is ready to go, just like on TV

Strawberry Freezer Jam:  Using fresh strawberries!
The process of preparing for this topic of class, was by far was the most stressful for me
I don't want to even guess how many strawberries I used, testing and experimenting with recipes and thickeners. Figuring out the jam, using LOW volumes of sugar was in the end a great adventure, fortunately for me, I like Strawberries AND they have been on sale.


Fruit syrups: Raspberry and Apricot, maple syrup, and buttermilk syrup

These are the tender, fluffy, magnificent "Cloud Nine Biscuits"


On Friday the sun came out and was absolutely beautiful!  Oscar dog loved it.   The daughter had the door open and the hubby put the dog on a leash so he wouldn’t chase anything he wasn’t supposed to, getting himself into trouble, or disappearing altogether, and Oscar, he just laid in the doorway happily and contentedly basking in the warmth of the sun. . . .

I’m jealous, I had to work :-{
It would have been a perfect day for a ride. . . OUTSIDE!

That was the happenings of the week, I’ll post the weekend events tomorrow!

Have a great week!