Friday, May 29, 2009

Hurray!

Remember those bounced paychecks?  Today I finally got a cashier's check that covers the two bounced checks and the fees that my bank charged me.  Yeah!

I've been having trouble finding the tortillas that I like.  Today I found them.  Now we'll have to have tacos soon.

One more thing I'm happy about: my mini garden.  All my plants seem to be doing well.  The eggplant bloomed and the flower has since fallen off.  I think there might be a tiny little fruit there. I'm making some baked ziti this weekend and I'll be able to use some of the basil and oregano to spice it up.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Recent Movies

We've seen quite a few movies recently.  The best one was Das Leben der Anderen (Lives of Others).  I don't think I can put into words how deeply this movie touched me. I guess it tapped into my darkest fears. 

We saw Wolverine and we were both a little disappointed.  Not enough action.  Too much cheese.

When Tejal was here we couldn't decide which movie to watch.  We ended up watching Happy Feet. It was terrible!  When that was over Ross started Zohan. Holy crap. When he caught a fish in his bare ass we just turned it off. I don't think we lasted 5 minutes.

On Monday we went and saw Terminator.  We really liked it.  Lots of action.  Blood and guts. Good fun.

Ross might go with Troy this weekend to see the Star Trek movie.

If you haven't seen Lives of Others, it is definitely worth the rental.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fun With Tejal

Tejal came to visit for the weekend and we had lots of fun.  On Friday we had yummy Greek food and went to the dairy for dessert. 
On Saturday we went hiking. The big tree looks totally different now that it has leaves. Tejal and I climbed up and Ross took photos. He kept teasing us because we were scooting along the lowest branch instead of standing up and walking. Ross jumped up onto the tree, stood up, took two steps, and ended up on the ground on his back. See kids, don't be a Ross.  
After our hike we took a break along the river's edge.  I even put my feet in for a while.  The water was cold, yet soothing.
Saturday night we went to Longwood Gardens and walked even more.
On Sunday we drove all the way to College Park for Boba.  It wasn't as good as it is at Bethany Boba back home. I was able to buy some of my favorite kind of oolong tea, so I'll be getting hyped up on Chinese Power Juice nearly every day. After dinner (I made enchiladas!) we ended up at the dairy for dessert.
On Monday before we took Tejal to the airport we went to the dairy one last time.  We really didn't want to let her go.

All New Record

I have a bunch of things that I'd like to blog about, but I will do them one at a time instead of having a long meandering stream of consciousness post.  First up--my work out minutes last week. I blew through my old record and set a new record of 640 minutes.  I didn't break 140, but I'm close. Maybe I'll get there by the end of the month. I'm going to rest a little now. I think my body really needs a break, so I'm only aiming for 300 minutes this week.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Longwood Excursion

Ross and I had heard and read about the du Pont gardens and decided to go check one out with Tejal yesterday. I was a little pooped from hiking and sleepy after eating, but I'm so glad that we went.

We left for Longwood gardens after dinner because they have a fountain show at night.  We arrived after only driving an hour.  Wow. The gardens display over 11,000 different kinds of plants. The outdoor gardens cover around 350 acres! The conservatory is expansive.  I've never seen anything quite like that.  It puts every other garden I've ever seen to shame.  

When we arrived there was a brass band playing in the outdoor theater.  It was nice to have music while walking through the gardens.  At 9:15 the fountain show started.  Tejal says the one at the Bellagio is better.  I agree, but the show was 30 minutes and had this misty effect that I liked.  With the changing colors and constant moving of the water the mist looked like the aurora borealis.

The conservatory alone was worth the trip.  One of the most surprising and best things about our visit is that there weren't many people.  I'm sure we will visit again, and we will definitely check out some of the other du Pont gardens.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Maus

I just finished reading Maus by Art Spiegelman.  I read Maus II a couple of weeks ago and wanted to read the first one.  After Maus II I was sad.  Now I'm terrified. Maus isn't apocalyptic science fiction, it is a true story.  It is history.   These horrible things really happened, and not just to Vladek Spiegelman, but to millions of other Jews. He survived.  Even worse things happened to other Jews (and homosexuals, and gypsies, and the handicapped, and the mentally ill, and all the other people that were deemed unfit for society).

Half way through the book I was actually thinking about where we could build a bunker in our house so that we could hide.  Would our neighbors turn us in?  Where could we, would we go? I'm overwhelmed by the thought of it all.  I'm scared.

Best I should not think about it too much.  Instead I eat cake.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Extended Hike

I was intending to hike for two hours yesterday, but I missed a fork in the trail and ended up hiking for more than two and a half hours! Thankfully I had the map with me, so I didn't panic when I realized I was no longer on the blue trail.

I'm going to rant a little now.  Halfway through my hiking I stopped on a small bridge and looked down into the water. I saw some money floating in the water.  It didn't look quite right, but I climbed down and picked it up anyway (and some more that I found).  When I unfolded it I saw a fake five dollar bill drawn on 2/3 of it and the other third said: DISAPPOINTED? SATAN also Deceives, but JESUS SAVES!  Uh, yeah I'm disappointed. Someone freaking littered in the park! Purposely!  In the water!  I hate religious tracts. I often see them thrown on the ground, but this one is designed to be litter.  The back of the thing of course tells me how I can be saved.  I saved them for the recycling bin. That wasn't the only trash I saw. I also picked up a reflector from a bike, and well, I didn't pick up the diaper and toilet paper I saw.  The toilet paper was under a branch, but right in the middle of the trail!  The dirty nappy had been dropped right on the edge of the trail.  Gross.  People are nasty.

The rest of the hike was great. The smell of freshly 
mowed hay was nice. I mostly saw small things this week:
butterflies, lots of flying insects, beetles, a slug, a worm, caterpillars, 2 dead mice, a small squirrel, lots of flowers, different kind of mushrooms, bright red ticks and mites, and two horses.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

That's Cool Too!

Yesterday we finally managed to go to the library when it was open.  I picked up some graphic novels and more bed time books.  I used the awesome self check out machine, and Ross went through the line. Why?  Because our library has video games, including wii games! Ross had to go through the line to get the disc--he checked out wii SSX Blur (snowboarding game).  So cool.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

New Record

Hiking yesterday helped me break my previous weekly work out minutes record (just barely).  My new record is 525 minutes.  I'm planning on breaking that (and hopefully 140 lb) this week with lots of yoga and hiking.

Sugarloaf Mountain

We had to go to Leesburg, Virginia to pick up the plates for the Lexus yesterday.   Valerie's place is pretty close to Leesburg--as the crow flies, but not as the roads wind.  We thought it would be fun to take White's ferry across the Potomac to go see the Lusters.  We made it to Germantown, but we had to drive the long way around because the ferry was closed. Grrr! 
We joined the Luster clan for a hike up to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain. We took lots of photos and scrambled around the rocks.  Without Evelyn there I would have been a lot crazier (more reckless), but I wanted to set a good example, so I didn't go jumping from rock to rock or running off-trail (too much).
On the way down Ross and I helped Evelyn with her hiking skills. Ross always says you don't have hands on your butt, so if you want to grab onto rocks on a steep decent, then turn around. Evelyn did a great job. Check out Valerie's blog post for great photos.
It started to rain on the way down, but we were well protected by the forest canopy.  We had snack time at the head of the trail then headed back to the Lusters' house for dinner.
Ross looks so great with a baby.  We don't need a baby, just friends with a baby!  Hahahah.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Hot Yoga

I went to Towson yesterday for some hot yoga.  It was definitely hotter than yoga in my bathroom (85 degrees this week).   I really enjoyed the class.  We did a lot of things I hadn't done before.  I like doing new things in yoga.  The teacher was focusing on the third chakra and creating a fire.  Uh, after all the working out I have done this week I definitely felt the burn. When we did chair I just wanted to cry.

There are a couple of things that I don't like about the studio.  I don't know how I didn't notice this last time, but the floor is carpeted. Gross.  The second thing is that there are no mirrors.  I find it much harder to correct myself without a mirror.  We did a lot of work against the wall at the end of class.  So I was all sweaty and dripping on the wall.  Again, gross.

I managed one forearm stand, but it was very short because I was so fatigued.  When she said we were going to do peacock I laughed at her the way my students used to laugh at me.  I tried, but it didn't happen.  I was already worn out.  At least I had fun doing bujapidasana.  I tried to straighten my legs into dragonfly (as directed by the teacher), but fell back on my bum.

I have discovered that camel is the one pose that I am really not comfortable doing since I got pierced.  I can do it, but I feel as though I am choking.  There are other back bends, so I just shouldn't do it.  Speaking of my piercing, I have bruised my neck.  I'm not sure if it was me clowning around with deaf man's pose, doing a bunch of camels in class, or extreme twisting, but I have a couple of purple marks on either side of the bottom disc, and it hurts a bit.  I'll be giving it a good soak again today, and maybe even put some arnica on it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Funny Sign

This sign makes me laugh every time I see it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Back on Track

Even though I keep hearing that abs are made in the kitchen, and excess food consumption is more to blame for obesity than lack of exercise, I know I still need to work out.  I didn't exercise at all last week. I decided to get back on track this week.  Yesterday I did a 90 minute yoga podcast.  Other than 2 scoops of ice cream instead of one last night, I think I've been eating pretty well this week. 
Today I went for a hike.  I saw a few deer, and one of them didn't mind having a little photo shoot.  I ended up hiking for 2 hours!  I went off trail for a little while and ended up getting pick pocketed by a thorny bush.  Thank goodness I noticed my camera was missing just a few steps later (when I tried to take a photo of a grey squirrel) and I was able to go back and get it.
Up for tomorrow:  The Firm videos.

Monday, May 11, 2009

There are Only Two of Us!

In Texas we don't have Chinese take out places everywhere like they do here.  A lot of the places are take-out only.  We went and got some Chinese take-out the other day.  When we got home Ross opened up the paper bag and took out a bunch of stuff.  The first thing he pulled out was 4 tea bags! The bags don't even say what kind of tea they are.  We also got 5 fortune cookies.  They look burnt. Ross tasted them and said they are gross.  The pile of packets at the bottom of the bag included 7 packets of mustard (that Ross wants to send to Debra), 4 packets of soy sauce, and 4 packets of duck sauce. There are only two of us.  Why would we need 7 packets of mustard? And tea? That's just odd.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Hiking, Biking, and Milling

Yesterday was a really nice day, especially after days and days of rain. Ross and his coworkers were going to meet at Susquehanna to go mountain biking.  I decided to go with so that I could hike along Rock Run River.  I didn't start off on a trail, I just wanted to stay as close to the water as possible.  One of the times I was crossing the river I slipped and fell in.  Well, I was just standing there, both feet in the water, with 3 folks on horseback staring at me.  The water actually wasn't very cold, and I managed to shrug off the whole thing and keep hiking.

Ross and his buddies had fun mountain biking. Of course Ross flipped over and got a little banged up.  His buddies were going to continue biking, but Ross said he'd had enough and we were going to leave until Ross noticed that he'd lost his headlight.  We hiked back up the trail to where he had wrecked and he found it.  All in all I got at least an hour and a half of hiking in.

Before we left we stopped at the mill, which was running, to check it out.  It was pretty neat. The mill was grinding corn, and they even gave us some as we were leaving.  I hope the mill is running if and when we go with the Lusters.  Evelyn would love it!
videoCritterspotting:  On the way to/from the park I saw horses, sheep, cows, and a donkey.  In the park I saw frogs, millipedes, dogs, horses, cardinals, spiders, iridescent green beetles, a large black beetle, a worm, a duck, a blue jay, other birds, some really large ants, and Ross saw a skink.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pineapple Waffles

When we moved I got rid of our old waffle maker.  I've been looking for a new one and ended up buying a Belgian flip waffle iron at Target.  I decided to surprise Ross yesterday with pineapple waffles for lunch.  He had butter and maple syrup on his.  I had Greek yoghurt, banana, and honey on mine.  The waffles were good and so far I like the waffle maker.  The recipe is from the 1943 edition of The Joy of Cooking.  I omitted any sugar per my dad's rule.  And of course, I added some things.

Pineapple Waffles

1 3/4 c cake flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
cinnamon
nutmeg

3 eggs, separated
6 Tbl. melted butter
1 1/2 c. milk
vanilla

1/2 c. drained, crushed pineapple

1.  Sift dry ingredients into a bowl.  Make well in center of dry ingredients
2.  Beat the egg yolks well and add to dry ingredients.
3.  Add butter, milk, and vanilla.
4.  Mix batter, leaving a few lumps.
5.  Fold in pineapple.
6.  Beat 3 eggs whites until stiff, but not dry.
7.  Fold in egg whites.
8.  Cook in waffle iron.

The pineapple texture was more obvious than the taste, but I liked them.

Friday, May 8, 2009

If someone got genital herpes, wht the chance its might gos awy?

It all started out innocently enough.  When I had that cold sore last month I found myself on Yahoo Answers reading about Abreva.  I wanted to vote down some of the answers, but I wasn't a member of Yahoo Answers.  I became a member, but you can only vote (thumbs up, thumbs down) on answers if you are level 2.  And so it began.  

I started answering questions to earn points toward becoming level 2. At first it was kind of fun, and I felt sort of useful.  The more I read, the more I wanted that level 2.  I wanted to be able to thumbs down those people that spread misinformation (i.e. you can not get pregnant until you have your period, the only way to get an STD is by having sex, being homosexual gives you HIV, eggs are dairy).  Uh, can you tell which sections I hang out in?

I became pretty obsessed, and the more I read, the more depressed. How many cups is 3/4 cups if I have to double it for a recipe? Am I fat? How do I become vegetarian?  Could I be pregnant? How can I lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks?  I'm scared I have HIV, should I get tested? 1,000 variations of: Do my homework for me? The texting abbreviations, bad spelling, bad grammar, and abundance of inane questions makes me sad, and a little angry too.

Most people don't just give up an obsession/addiction.  People need a way to cope, so they trade in one obsession or addiction for another. I've always wished I could trade my obsession with food in for an obsession with exercise.  It never works.  Well, today I'm saying goodbye to Yahoo Answers.  I'm trading it in for needles.  I've taken out the shorts that I was knitting and I'm going to finish them--hopefully by the 4th of July.  At least I'll have something at the end of it instead of just useless points and a sense of disappointment in today's youth.


I was going to put a link to the title question so that you could vote on the best answer, but then I realized you have to be member of Yahoo Answers to vote, and I don't want get anyone else wrapped up the craziness.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

That's So Cool!

Yesterday we went to the library because I wanted more children's books, a new graphic novel, and maybe a cookbook or two.  I picked out some stories about chickens.  I seem to like those.  I picked up Maus II, which probably wasn't a good idea, but I've already finished it.  I also threw Nigella Bites onto my pile of books.  I've always been attracted to the book.  Maybe it is because Nigella Lawson is hot. Okay, now I'm getting off track.

When we went to check out the books they had a self-service check out that Ross wanted to try.  It looked like the self check out at a grocery store.  There was a bar code reader, a space that said read area, and a huge touch screen.  All fun stuff for my engineer husband.  We scanned our library card with the bar code reader, then the touch screen asked for how many books we had.  We had 8 and it only went up to 5.  I was confused (as usual).  Ross took three books off of the stack and then pressed 5.  The screen showed which books were left and that we had checked them out.  We put the last 3 books on the counter and then it checked those out.  Just like that!  We didn't scan each book individually.  I guess the books all have RFID tags, so it just read them and checked them out to us!  It was super cool!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Time to Recommit

I was really bummed last week that I didn't make my weight goal for the month.   I was so close earlier in the month that I thought for sure I'd make it.  Things just didn't work out that way.

I have three weeks until Memorial Day.  I can still make the weight goal that I originally set.  I just need to recommit to working out and eating right.  I'm seriously thinking about buying an unlimited monthly pass for yoga--just to help me make my goal.  My main concern is that the yoga studio is 26 miles away (and I'd have to pay for parking!!!!).  It's so much easier and cheaper just to do podcasts at home.  Maybe I'll put the space heater in the bathroom so it can be hot yoga instead of warm yoga!

Time to get started on my 80 ounces of water for the day and sort laundry.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Mini Garden

I miss my garden.  Last night I bought a bunch of plants and a tea cup shaped planter to put them in.  I bought Thai basil, Greek oregano, a Japanese eggplant, and two jalapeno plants.  They all came in biodegradable poop pots as Ross calls them.  We saw on Dirty Jobs how the pots are made out of cow manure.

I'm not sure how the plants are going to do, all stuffed in there together.  We'll see.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Babysitting the Little Lusters

Ross and I had a grand time babysitting the little Luster ladies last night while Valerie and Troy went to a baseball game. Before dinner we all went to the park and Evelyn ran back and forth across the park with the kite.
Valerie and Troy provided steaks and cupcakes for dinner (yum!) and we brought along some mashed potatoes and eggplant. After dinner (and a heated debate between Ross and Evelyn about whether Scaredy Squirrel's friend was a cat or a dog) we put the girls to bed and flopped onto the couch completely exhausted. Valerie and Troy came home just before midnight and told us they had a great time at the game. I saw Monty Eich's photo on Valerie's facebook page and Valerie and I ended up chatting about the good old days at Mission Junior High (and looking at photos of our old school chums on facebook) until almost 2am!
This morning I went with Valerie to Julia's swim lesson. It was so fun to be able to use the waterproof function of the camera. Julia is so laid back. The funniest part was when she put her face into the water, made a face, and then did it again and again!

Valerie, Evelyn, and I took a short drive in the Lexus with the top down to go get lunch. After a little more play time it was time for us to come home. The Lusters are some of the most reasonable people I know. I know I couldn't do such a wonderful job raising children. I applaud them. The girls are just wonderful. We had a great time, the only problem was that they wore us out! We had to have a nap before dinner! I can't wait to see them again.

Friday, May 1, 2009

More Stretches

Okay, this first one I want to call cliff hanger. With my elbows on the counter I'm just letting my body weight hang down. It feels as though my lats and rhomboids are tearing apart, especially on my right side. Ross was nice enough to put his foot on my back. Ouch! I felt like my right shoulder was ripping apart (and I was saying "Take it off! Take it off! No, I'm serious!").
I call this second one wall dolphin, and it definitely feels a little different. Maybe it would be more intense if I brought my feet closer to the wall. In any case, I can feel my shoulders stretching.
This third one is an easy position for a pec stretch. Sometimes I do this in side angle pose, but in this position I can just concentrate on the pec stretch. I move my arm around until I feel the most stretch in my pec and then just let my arm hang there. With my arm straight back behind me I feel more of a biceps stretch and if I move it more toward my feet I feel more of a shoulder stretch.