Sunday, January 31, 2010

Lick My Boots!

Back in the day when I lived in Baltimore City Bailey started this thing where she would lick my toes when I came out of the shower. When we moved back to Texas she didn't do it anymore. Well, recently she has started it back up again. When I put my foot up onto the edge of the bathtub to dry off she licks the water from the underside of my toes. (I will admit, it took a lot of coaxing to actually get her to do it this morning so that I could take this photo.)

Last night when we came in from dinner my wellies were all wet and Bailey started licking my boots. It was funny, and in no way a sign of subservience.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

This Week and a Rant on Discrimination

Wow, this week has just flown by. I've been super busy at work and haven't been able to post about all the things I want to post about. I'll try and catch up today or tomorrow. I managed to go to yoga twice this week, and got a lot of walking in at work. I checked Google Maps and I walked about 2.7 miles on Thursday!
Right now it is snowing and Ross is snowboarding with his work buddies. I'm glad I stayed home to catch up on some much needed sleep. If it stops snowing I will run some errands. I'm not afraid of the snow, but I'd much rather drive around the Subaru in it than the Lexus.
My boss noticed my piercing for the first time yesterday. It must have been super sparkly because I noticed lots of people staring. I got into a discussion recently about discrimination of people with tattoos and/or piercings. People seem to think that discriminating against us acceptable because it is a visible, personal choice--unlike race, religion (ha!), sexuality, nationality, etc. If a professional treats me differently it is supposedly my fault; I should have known I'd be treated differently. Well, yeah, I know some people are going to make assumptions about me just cause I'm pierced (but they make no assumptions about females who have their ear lobes pierced). Still, I think it is unacceptable to be treated differently. I'm not saying it has happened to me. I don't think it has, but I know people with tattoos and piercings are treated differently, even by medical professionals. I think it stems from fear of Hepatitis. Well, get your vaccines and take standard precautions!
The next time I get into that discussion someone is going to get an earful. Isn't that how it always is? You think of great things to say and great ways to say them after the discussion? If someone treats me differently just because of a piece of jewelry that says something about them, not something about me.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Yoga Week

I went to Yoga 4 times this week. I had classes with 3 new teachers. One of the teachers was downright crazy. I loved him. He was mumbling in Sanskrit and teasing us that we were going to have to stand in Tadasana with our arms over our heads for the rest of the class. The music at the beginning of class was all calm flute music and in the middle of class Bohemian Rhapsody came on. I was smiling throughout the whole class. New teacher, new poses, new fun. The teacher suggested a full bind for Ardha Matsyendrasana (half lord of the fishes). I don't know why I'd never thought of it before. I always did the half bind. I enjoyed all the twists and binds, but sat out the inversions. I think he thought I was copping out. Especially with camel, but since I got pierced camel makes me feel as though I'm choking. I think by the end of class he might have realized why I was doing Viparita Karani instead of the inversions. I was so exhausted on Friday that I didn't go to yoga. I came home and was a total couch potato. I slept a lot yesterday and didn't work out at all. I think I may go to yoga tonight. I'm hoping to go to that crazy guy's yoga class again next week. Then I can show him how much I love inversions. As a reward for all that yoga I feel better and the scale has come down. I think yoga is helping with some much needed detox.

I Love Country Streusel Cake

Valerie had a small cook book with mostly assemble-it-type recipes, but I found a couple that were completely from scratch and I tried them out. The streusel cake is awesome. Of course I changed up the recipe a little. Last night I added some sour creme. It was great this morning with chai. In the past I have had bad luck with streusel topping. I had no problems with this one.

Country Apple Streusel Cake

3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. cold butter

1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/4 c. milk
3/4 c. softened butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
4 c. very thinly sliced apples (I used pears last night).

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray 13x9 inch pan with Pam.
3. Mix topping ingredients with a pastry cutter.
4. Beat all cake ingredients except apples for 3 mins.
5. Spread cake batter into pan.
6. Arrange apple (or pear) slices over batter. --I think two layers of very thin slices works well.
7. Sprinkle topping over fruit.
8. Bake 55-60 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

This cake should be refrigerated because it is very moist and will spoil if left out.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day of Reckoning

I stepped on the scale this morning and the balance arm hit the top. Hard. I slid the weight to the right and I'm about 150. That's it. I quit the shred. I'm done with it. I've gained weight since I started doing the shred. It doesn't work for me. I need to do what I know works. Yoga works and the Firm dvds work. I haven't been feeling well at all lately. I decided that I really need to put yoga as a priority in my life again. I went to yoga today for the first time in about a month. I feel great. Because I'm so overweight I'm going to go to Yoga tomorrow through Friday. Then I'm going to hit the Firm hard. When it comes to diet I'm going low cal liquid for a couple of days and then I'm going to really try to avoid salt and butter for a bit.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Travel Month

Wallace is a professional photographer, so check out his blog for photos of NYC. Ross and I are even in a couple of the photos. Sad to say, but I didn't take even one photo on this last trip to NYC. I didn't take any in North Carolina either. Ross is in El Paso right now and I hope he takes some photos of our nieces. They seem to change so much so quickly. Ross is headed off to San Francisco right after he gets back from Texas. I'll encourage him to take photos there too. This month is just jam packed with travel and we are planning more. I want to go to Texas for Passover and we are looking at a trip to St. John in the Summer.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

One Dozen

I managed to do the shred twelve days in a row. Yesterday was the first day that I didn't do it. I did exercise yesterday though. I started the day with yoga, walked, and did cardio and ab exercises in the hotel gym, so I'm not very upset about missing a day of the shred.

I'm in North Carolina right now. I have had a great trip so far. I stayed in a really nice place called the Carolina Inn, which is on the UNC campus. There is a boba place right next to the the building where I'm having my training. I am DEFINITELY going there today. I'm not going to pass up a chance for nai cha. Speaking of cha, I had a lovely pot of green oolong tea at dinner last night. Oh, dinner was duck soup. It was very tasty.

Being here in the South makes me homesick. Ross suggested that we go home over my birthday, but I might want to wait until Passover. We'll see.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Balls Cold

We went to NYC this weekend. We didn't walk as much as we usually do because of the freezing cold temperatures. One of my beloved cashmere sweaters kept my upper body warm, but I didn't wear my cashmere socks, so my toes froze even under three layers of socks. Ross ended up buying a cheapo souvenir hoodie for twenty bucks to try and keep warm. The next day I found him a cashmere hoodie for 13.99! The souvenir hoodie is too small for him so we are going to give it away. We ate in Chinatown and had pastries in Little Italy. We also met up with Wallace, who was a foreign exchange student with Ross's family 26 years ago.

In Chinatown we met a couple of guys from London. They had ordered a ton of food at the New Green Bo, the restaurant we always go to. The hadn't realized how large the portions were going to be. I think they were also surprised by the low prices.

Wallace mentioned several times how large the food portions are here in the U.S. He laughed at the size of the medium soda. He also commented several times that he couldn't see evidence of the financial crisis. Wallace said he just kept seeing people spending money like crazy. Things are a lot cheaper here than they are in Brazil (or probably anywhere else). I have to agree though, I think many people haven't changed their spending habits at all.

I'm so lucky to live here. Food and petrol are cheap and plentiful. Ross and I both have jobs. We both have cars. We live in a nice place. I may want stuff, but there's nothing that I need.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Is There a Word for Them?

A few people have told me that they don't like anything different. They are not willing to try (taste, listen to, watch) anything foreign or that they deem as too different, exotic, or alien. Not only are they not open to new things, but they seemed repulsed by the idea. I think that it is sad. I think fear is at the root of all this. Is there a word for this type of person?
I'm so grateful that my parents are so open minded and exposed me to so many different kinds of foods, languages, cultures, and music.I enjoy trying new things and I like most of the things I try. I can't imagine my life without all the different things I enjoy.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

7 Days

There are so many things that I want to blog about. Today I'm going to talk about my exercise so for this year. I have done Jillian Michael's Shred DVD 7 days in a row. I really didn't want to do it today, but I did. I wasn't into it 100% like I was yesterday, but at least I did it.
My weight has gone up, rather than down, but I'm blaming that on salt. I'm trying not to obsess over the number, even though it is very distressing. Today is the first time I've done any other exercise in addition to the Shred. I manged to walk 45 minutes today. It was nice to get out into the fresh air and see the sun. I doubt I'll make my goal of 300 minutes of exercise this week--but you never know since we are headed to NYC this weekend--where I will surely do a lot of walking. Either way, I'm just proud that I've stuck with something for this long. Hopefully next week I will add some other exercise to the routine.
Oh, and Valerie is doing the Shred right along with me (and apparently Julia and Rosie are doing it right along with her). She's also stuck to it, and managed to work out at the gym and walk a bunch of miles this week. Yeah, Val!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


On Tuesday I signed up for the library's winter reading program. When I signed up I asked the lady if I had to read adult books. I don't think she knew what to say.
After reading so much for school, children's books are just right for me. They are uncomplicated, nontechnical, and short. I'm talking picture books here. No chapter books for me. Ross and I read the books as bedtime stories. My favorite is still Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner.
I did check out some adult books. Maybe I'll finish the Steven King book I started a few months ago. It was checked out when we were at the library. The reason I didn't finish it wasn't because it wasn't good--it was because I already read that part in the graphic novel series, so I already know what is going to happen--it kind of wrecks it. Five books in two months really isn't that much to read. We'll see.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Songs Stuck in My Head

I don't know why I'm so bad about updating the Songs Stuck in My Head section of the blog. This weekend I definitely had Manamana stuck in my head. Ross and I would just randomly turn to each other and say Manamana! So go ahead, click on the link to download the song and get it stuck in your head. You know you want to.


My coworker Buffy has gotten me back into coupon clipping. She actually paid me to clip and organize a huge pile of coupons she had. Now I'm hooked. I even bought myself a little organizer (just like the one I bought her). I fall out of the habit of using coupons because most of the things I buy don't have coupons. In the last week I have used some $1, $2, and $3 dollar coupons on things that I actually would have bought without the coupon. I need some vitamins and yesterday I noticed that Rite-aid has them on sale buy one get one free and I have a one dollar off coupon. Not bad. Saving money is a good thing. Right after I interviewed for my job I started spending money like a mad woman. Well, it is time to get back on track. I'm limiting my spending for the next two months and saving money when I buy things that we need makes me feel good.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Great Day

Today was a great day. Ross fixed mocha cappuccinos this morning and when I finished mine I got to drink the leftover steamed chocolate milk. Yummy. Then we headed to the Lexus dealership to take care of 3 things: 1--Get my electronic key fob (that is my Hannukah/anniversary present and I'm really happy to finally have it) 2--The brake light on the dash has been flashing on and off recently (it was an easy and free fix of topping off the brake fluid) and 3--Ask about an extended warranty (we got the information and still have a couple of months to decide which plan to buy). The dealership gave us a fancy push button start car as a loaner. It was a nice car, but I really like mine. The loaner had a lot more of an open feeling. I actually like the tight cocoon feeling of my car.

While my car was being keyed and programmed and all that jazz we drove to York to have some rolls and hamburgers at Logan's Roadhouse. Damn that was a good burger! We went to the Target nearby and I noticed that I was just in a really great mood (No, I did not have Roadhouse Tea).

Tonight (after I took a nap) I got some things done for work (we have a deadline coming up) and managed to do some things on my super long to do list. After all that I did the shred. Two days in a row. So far, so good. I can feel that my calves are tight. It's all that fake jumping rope!

Today = nice productive day.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Years Resolutions

Wow, looking back at last year's resolutions is kind of sad. I did well for about 6 months and then just got lazy. Again--I need to find a routine and stick to it. I did get down below 140, but I've gained weight since then. Since I started working I've been extra bad about putting things back where they belong. Lately I have gotten into a much better skin care routine. The thing I always struggle with is the eating and working out stuff. To get a jump start on that today I started the 30 day shred with Valerie. I really didn't want to work out, but I did it any way. I just keep telling myself that it is only 20 minutes. Planning out the week's meals like I used to will also help. So here it goes:

1. Put things away/back where they belong.
2. Eat well balanced meals.
3. Work out 300 minutes a week.
4. Lose weight.

Happy New Year Everyone!

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