Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thank*full Thursday

It's been awhile since I've done one of these, but they're good for me.  They're good for us all, right?

1.  My pink and brown camp chair, which is getting a lot of use these days, considering the number of practices and games I've been attending.

2.  Meditation.  Apparently the equanimity I've gained from my daily practice is helping me weather the storm of my daughter's moods.  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  She has become the mercurial little thing.

3.  Private Selection's Salted Caramel Truffle ice cream from Kroger.  Heaven in a half-gallon.  Actually, it's more of a love-hate thing - so very good, I can't stop eating it.  I literally hissed at my son last night when he asked for some.  He found something else.

4.  An adventurous spirit


5.  My spiritual openness.  Tomorrow evening I will be attending a women's spirtual retreat for the Unitarian Universalist church I've been attending, and I am so looking forward to it.  I will write more on that when I come back. 

What are you thankful for these days?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day!

This is pretty cool:

You may or may not believe that evolution occurred, but we are reminded that all life is connected - from the tiniest cells to the most brilliant humans, from amoeba to elephant.  We must take care of the only home we have.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Deliciousness with black beans

My life has gotten rather hectic lately; my Girl is playing baseball and soccer and my Boy is doing track and baseball.  A lot of driving, a lot of waiting around, a lot of "where are your cleats" "is your gear in my car or your father's" "crap, I forgot to wash your purple socks" yelling going on between 4PM and 9PM, Monday through Friday.  Games on weekends.  I generally don't allow more than one sport at a time - I relaxed my rule for this season.  It won't happen again.

Anyway, so last night's Mom's Night Out was a welcome diversion.  We went to the Bead Boutique to make beaded jewelry and socialize, and it was lovely.  I made a ring version of my nest necklace from a previous post, and it's adorbs.  We're kind of bummed, though, the Bead Boutique is closing the end of this month.  They will be missed.

I have to admit, I generally pick up some chips or cheese and crackers on my way to these things, but yesterday I was feeling inspired by a recipe I found on one of my favorite health and fitness websites, Fit Bottomed Girls: Black Bean Hummus.  I had all the ingredients on hand and I love black beans, so I gave it a try.  I even made the chips, from high fiber tortillas I had on hand.  They were not so good - I think I needed to bake them just a little longer, they were kind of chewy.  But the creamy and lovely.   

Black Bean Hummus from Fit Bottomed Girls
I highly recommend, if you like hummus.  Which you do, of course.  It tastes particularly good on pretzel chips, but everything tastes good on pretzel chips, as far as I'm concerned. 

This recipe was super healthy, which segues well to my next topic:  I had a little meeting with my kiddles today to discuss our healthy family challenge (I think I mentioned that in a previous post?  If not, it's exactly what it sounds like, and I found it on SparkPeople.)  Our challenges for the first week include reducing screen time, having a meeting to explain the program and ask for input, and prepare by making meal plans and lists, checking activities, etc.  My kids actually are not too crazy with the screen time - neither kid has a tv or computer in their rooms.  But I did suggest that we could all benefit from slowly reducing the tv time, and when summer comes I don't want them zoning in front of one screen or another, so this will be good preparation.  Wish me luck with that. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Book post

I'm having a little trouble getting my brain to settle down tonight. I'm not thinking anything deep, heavens no, nothing like that. Just lots of little tidbits - I feel like making something but I can't settle on a crafty pursuit; Girl has pictures at soccer tomorrow - don't forget the jersey and form; I need to get to the library; I went to read at baseball practice tonight but my Kindle's battery was low (I love my Kindle, but books don't have batteries) which reminds me, my favorite watch's battery died; the kind of stuff that makes your brain say, "blah, blah, blah."
So, books. I've mentioned before I'm in three separate book clubs. People always freak out when I mention that, "that's crazy, three book clubs? How do you find the time?" Dude, I'm always reading or talking. My two favorite things in the world to do. This way I get to talk books with three different groups of people, and read books I probably wouldn't pick up on my own. All three met within one week:
1. Classics book club: We have decided to allow the term "classics" to be a little subjective - the books is chosen by the next host, and they are allowed to choose books they always felt they should have read. This is a relatively new group; we're still making up the rules. Anyway, we meet every other month, giving ourselves a little extra time to finish. This past selection was "Madame Bovary" by Gustave Flaubert, the story of a dissatisfied housewife. Seriously, that was pretty much it. She was whiny and annoying, and while I realize women were not given many choices at the time, I wanted to slap her. Repeatedly.
2. Mom's Club book club: the book selection is completely the choice of the next month's host, although we try to only choose books for which the library has book kits. Our local library is awesome in that they will try to put together book kits if they have enough books, even if they don't currently have a kit for it. Anyway, this past selection was "Welcome to the World, Baby Girl" by Fannie Flagg, and it is probably one of my favorite book club reads so far. The story of a young woman trying to find fame while keeping her integrity, the peripheral characters are colorful and hilarious.
3. Happy Housewives Drinking Wine: so named because many of the participants don't necessarily read the books, but do enjoy the wine. Our most recent read was "The Bad Seed" by William March. Most people are familiar with the story - little girl has secret identity as psychotic murderer - but what I found fascinating was the author's obvious disdain, and possibly fear, of women. All of his female characters were very flawed, title character aside. He also very obviously read a lot of Freud - the whole story was exploring the concept of murder as an inherited trait. It was an interesting story, although Rhoda Penmark, the main character, was disturbingly close to my Girl's age. I'm keeping an eye out...
Since finishing these tomes, the most notable book I've read was "Tuesdays With Morrie" by Mitch Albom. Have I ever talked about Albom here? He is a sportswriter, a very well known sportswriter, actually. The kind of guy who spent a lot of time kissing up to spoiled rotten athletes for a living. In "Tuesdays With Morrie", Albom documents the time he spends with his old professor, Morrie Schwartz, who is dying a very long and painful death from ALS. He shares his insights on life, love, and death. I may have cried at the end, but as a whole, it was an inspirational story. Albom is still a sportswriter, but I like to think he has a lot more perspective since his time with Morrie. He also sort of looks like a hobbit, which amuses me to no end when I watch him on "The Sports Reporters" on ESPN on Sunday mornings.
So those are the more thoughtful books I've read over the past few weeks. If you're on GoodReads, friend me, and we'll share all things books. Have you read anything good lately?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I'm a nut but you know you love me...

Boy nelly. Talk about foggy brain last night. Right after I finished writing that post my daughter, who was spending the night with Grandma, called to tell me her tummy hurt and she wanted to come home. This was a little surprising as she is 9, although not a particularly self-sufficient 9. I tried to talk her into staying, but alas, her crying won me over, and I brought her home. She spent the night sleeping in her own bed, and woke up feeling better. Now she's at my son's first baseball game of the season. Speaking of which she had her own first baseball game of the season yesterday, which her team won. So, you go Girl. Of course, she spends hours a week complaining about the fact that she is the only girl on her baseball team, but I told her if she wants to switch to softball next year, she has to finish out the season. So we'll both have to suck it up.
I seem to be developing my second case of bronchitis of the year, which kind of sucks. All of us in the household have been sick in some way quite a bit this year, which is an impetus for a renewal of commitment to healthy living. Last year at the time I was exercising a lot, eating better, sleeping well - and I didn't get sick all year. Over the past 4 months we've dealt with 2 cases of pneumonia, 2 cases of bronchitis, several colds, pink eye, back aches, foot'd think we were all unhealthy 90 year-olds. Add 3 separate instances of break-through anxiety attacks, and this year has kind of sucked, health-wise. We have to step up our healthy habits, and as I tend to be the primary example here, I will start with myself. This week I will drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, I will be in bed by 10 each night, I will move at least 10 minutes a day, and I will makes sure to get 5 servings of produce in, for all of us. Even with bronchitis I can handle moving for 10 minutes. I intend to make this the last case of bronchitis for the year. I will also find a new therapist this week.
Anyway, I'm in the midst of a massive laundry session and I need to change over the loads. Plus, today is our spiritual discussion group and my friend is picking me up in 20 minutes. Enjoy your day - I intend to.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Be afraid...

Today has lacked focus and direction. I'm not complaining, we need days like this. Days where we're only productive by accident, and we spend the rest of the day looking up random bits and vittles on the internet, watching reruns of Deep Space 9, and reading. Maybe taking the occasional break to stare into space. My unfocused mind has taken me on quite a tour of the interwebs over the past hour, and I thought I'd share...
We started over at one of my favorite blogs,, because I couldn't remember the name of the song for which she named her blog, and she links to a youtube video of Ani Difranco playing the song "Evolve," which I like a lot. Which leads me to thinking about other songs I want to download, which leads me to our public library site, where I can (legally) download 3 songs a week. I opened up as well, to see some of their posts on great workout songs. I'm always looking for new music for my workout playlist, and they post playlists all the time. I find "Let's Go Crazy" by Prince, which I've forgotten about, and go to download it, but the library site doesn't have it, which is annoying, of course. I hop between FBG and Amazon for awhile, looking for other songs, when I arrive at the brilliant idea of making a list, so I have songs to look up when I want to download - list is in progress. Probably should have figured that one out a long time ago. Figure out while looking for songs to download for workout list that I need new running shoes, hop over to Zappos site to look up sales. See ad for "Color Me Radd" 5K race, which sounds interesting, so I look up that. See under my most recent Amazon search Grand Funk Railroad's Greatest Hits, which reminds me of Parliament, so I start looking up their old stuff, which reminds me of that movie "PCU" with Jeremy Piven where George Clinton and Parliament come and play at a party on their college campus...of course I haven't seen that movie in ages, has anyone else seen that movie?

what do you have on your workout playlist?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Spring Breakin'

This has been the kid's spring break, and since I work for the school district, it was mine, as well. And Marc took the week off, so we all had a lovely spring break.

I finally made something I pinned - a nest necklace. So easy, so cute!
Played some disc golf this week - it was gorgeous, but the kids' allergies were terrible. In fact they were so bad, that I had them in the doctor's office by Friday. Yay for nasal steroids!

Took the twinlets to the park on Wednesday - they love the swings. They left that afternoon for Tennessee, and now I miss them terribly. Bring them back to me! I need snuggles!

Other fun-ness this week: classic book club, happy, fun visits with my little sister, and birthday celebration for one of my nephews.

Today was Easter, and family came over for treats, ham, and my attempt at a Peep cake! Hoorah for my attempt at a Peep cake. It wasn't perfect, but it featured a homemade marshmallow frosting, which was scrumptious. I had trouble not licking the cake.

Back to normal tomorrow. I'm working in the library most of the week, which is my favorite place to work, so that's excellent. I also have book club twice. I read some excellent books this month, but that is a topic for another post.