Friday, April 18, 2014

April 18 - Good

Seeing the phlox begin to creep = good! I love spring. 

Reassessing the walking goal

So Tuesday I calculated I'd have to walk 4.59 miles/day, every day, the rest of this year to hit 1500 miles. Three days later …
MAKING PROGRESS!

Yesterday was hard, though. I totally could have bagged it. I wasn't feeling well and didn't even want to go. But you know what? Having that goal made the difference.

I have to think that reaching it will make a difference in my health. And whether I do or not, walking as much as I do sure can't hurt. Usually I feel great about it. Yesterday was an exception, and I'll have days like that.

I hope I remember how glad I was to have done yesterday's walk the next time I don't feel like heading out.

I have some design work to do this morning. The plan is to work for a few hours, grab some lunch (the last of the turkey salad) and walk five more. I'm already dressed for it (yoga pants and walking shoes instead of jeans and Chuck Taylors).

NO EXCUSES.

Haven't heard from Joe. I guess he's not taking advice from political underlings like me. But he totally should. Heh.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

April 17 - Something I learned

I actually like canning my own food. Yes, it's a lot of work. But seeing
a pantry full of my own jars is extremely satisfying. A skill worth learning.

Dear Joe

Here's a little political advice from the bottom of the ticket, not that you care or ever would follow it.
You don't have to answer reporters' questions.
Just because someone puts a microphone in front of you doesn't mean you have to provide a quote.

You could be "running late for an appointment." You could be "heading for the airport." You could even offer to "give it a little thought" before you put your foot in your mouth again.

Last week you defended the Koch Brothers. You know, the guys who are singlehandedly destroying our democracy.

Then, the day after the Center for Public Integrity wins a freakin' PULITZER for an investigative piece on a West Virginia law firm withholding evidence in black lung cases, you hand them an attaboy. Of course, they'd already handed you $50K.

You've been quoted many times (too many) as saying you're a "West Virginia Democrat, not a Washington Democrat."

Here's a little breaking news: No West Virginia Democrat I know would defend a law firm that withheld critical evidence in order to deny black-lung benefits to sick miners.

Here's a little more breaking news: I'm a West Virginia Democrat. And I vote. And I usually vote a straight ticket, being the good little Democrat I am.

Next time you're on the ballot, though, I think I'll have to pass. You're hurting Democrats who are trying to get elected. And you're hurting West Virginia. Your predecessor must surely be spinning in his grave.

By request

I thought for sure I'd shared my recipe for bacon-wrapped chicken tenders, but I can't ever find where I did. And it's not in the recipe tab. But it will be, today.

I first ate these at my daughter's home, probably more than a year ago. She's a busy working mom who's also going to law school and low-carbs, so easy-peasy high-protein dinners and snacks are high on her priority list. She had a full container of these tasty morsels chilling in the fridge and said, "Help yourself."

I had a hard time staying out of them!

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Tenders (2 servings)

  • Six chicken tenderloins (or 2 large chicken breasts, cut lengthwise in thirds)
  • Six slices uncooked sugar-free bacon
  • 1 Tblsp. chili powder (or to taste)
  • 1 Tblsp. garlic powder (or to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°. Coat casserole dish with cooking spray (to keep it paleo I use coconut oil spray). Place chicken in large zip-lock bag and sprinkle with chili powder and garlic powder. Close the bag and shake it to coat each piece. Wrap each piece of chicken with a piece of bacon and place in baking dish. Grind pepper over all piece. Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes.

You can also grill these, but mine get too dried out on the grill. Adjust the seasoning to your taste, or try a marinade instead of dry seasonings. You can get very creative with this dish and you almost can't ruin it. Because … bacon!

For yesterday's salad, I simply sliced four or five leftover pieces (because I nearly always double or triple this recipe) crosswise and warmed them in a skillet, then threw them on top of a bowl of mixed greens + black olives + pico de gallo. Serious yum.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April 16 - My vice

Devices in general, especially my phone. And Instagram is an especially delicious vice.

The best dinner salad EVER

Yesterday was a busy, busy day. I walked in the morning while it was still warmish, even thought it was spitting rain. The freezing rain, sleet and snow came later, as I was driving to and from the hairdresser's.

I got a call a couple miles into the walk from our Amish neighbor, Simon, who said he had visitors from Pennsylvania – the family I stayed with when I drove Simon and his wife there in 2012! So I kept walking another half-mile and stopped to visit for a bit.

That put me a bit off schedule, but I made it work. Got home and showered, then headed back out to pick up a few groceries and mail the Easter cards before my hair appointment.

In order to make it work, I had to skip a proper lunch and just grabbed a banana on my way out the door. Not a good plan, but I had no choice. And you know what? I haven't died of hunger yet!

What to have for dinner though?

Torn lettuce drizzled with a little olive oil, topped with black
olives, pico de gallo, sliced chicken tenders wrapped in bacon
and freshly ground pink sea salt. The best salad in a long time.
I'd fixed a large pan of my favorite seasoned chicken tenders wrapped in bacon the night before, and there were several pieces left over. So I made some pico de gallo with some need-to-use-or-throw-away tomatoes, peppers and cilantro, threw it on a bowl of torn lettuce and topped it with sliced leftover chicken tenders.

Oh. My. YUM!

We watched it snow as we ate our summer salads, but it didn't matter. The sun is back out today and even though it's going to be chilly, I think (hope!) that was winter's last last gasp.

I may have hoped that before.

And I tried to get a selfie of the new haircut but they all looked horrible and self-conscious, so it'll have to wait. I asked for a little bit of an Ellen look and she nailed it! I really like it – never could have pulled it off 50 pounds ago, though. Thanks, paleo!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April 15 - I'm reading this

Well, I'm trying anyway. My Feedly list keeps getting longer. If I've missed
reading your blog in the last week or so, I apologize!

See that?

Look! Over there! To the right!

There's a little bloggy badge that says "Featured on BlogHer." Meaning they highlighted one of my posts!

It was yesterday's, of course. Because if it had been an earlier one you would have heard about it by now. They edited it and added links to the offending comments, if you want to pop over and read it again. Heh.

And if you're a new reader who clicked through from BlogHer, welcome. Glad to have you.

Moving ON …

Last week I calculated that I had to walk/run 4.63 miles per day for the rest of the year to make the 1500-mile goal. Today it's down to 4.59. Last week's mileage was good at 30 miles, but the previous week's 44 was super! And look at the difference it made in what I have to accomplish.

Yes, I'm a little obsessed (and worried) about making that goal. WHAT WAS I THINKING?

The recently started Whole 30 is going well. I'm not missing almond-flour baked things nearly as much as I thought I might. I'm also not dropping any pounds, which is kind of surprising, but not alarming. It will happen when it happens, I'm quite confident of that.

The best part of eating this way is having enough energy to mow the entire three acres of grass in one session and having enough extra energy to walk five miles when I was finished. And that was after walking 1.4 miles in the morning (in those dirty boots) to read the electric meter at the water pump. (Yes, we're going through this again.)

Anyhoo … I don't have much more to report today. It's raining and supposed to get colder. Thanks, Obama Winter! Spring was great while it lasted.

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 14 - Dirty

Bought these the first year I planted a big vegetable garden. Great investment!

Who raises these people, anyway?

So if you haven't heard yet, our friend Sylvia Mathews Burwell was nominated for Secretary of Health and Human Services, replacing Kathleen Sebelius. It's a huge, demanding, pressure-filled responsibility, and Sylvia's experience and skills are a very good fit for the position.

It's a pretty big deal for West Virginia, and a HUGE deal for Hinton, to send a native daughter to a seat in the Cabinet. (She's actually been there for a while in a different capacity.)

At any rate … I've been reading published accounts of her achievements this week, including some of the comments posted with online stories. And I'm left wondering just who these people's mothers are? Where did they learn to be so rude? And – to quote another powerful woman – what difference does it make?

I'm referring to comments criticizing Sylvia's wardrobe and hairstyle.

Yes, there are people out there who accuse the current Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the future Secretary of Health of buying her suits at Goodwill. (And worse, but I had to stop reading.)

You can be anonymous online. You can create a persona to hide behind, and then toss insults like baseballs during the pre-game warm-up. You can be as mean as you like, because you're protected. It would take a lot of effort for Sylvia to track you down and show you her store receipts.

And then there's that pesky First Amendment.

I'm the first to defend your right to free speech. But I'm also the first to shake my head and wonder why you feel the need to attack someone's clothing, as if that will determine her capabilities. After all, how would you feel if I pointed out that your mother's sweatpants were a tad tight, as I stood behind her at the Dollar General?

Our words matter. Everywhere. All the time. Whether we're online or on camera makes no difference. What we say represents us. Women are finding it necessary to reclaim and redefine some words. I have no problem with this.

I have to wonder, though, why women are still fighting for equal rights and equal pay and equal respect in the 21st century. We've been working for equality for a hundred years.

The fight for equality needs to be over already. We need to end it. Claim it. BE IT.

Sunday, April 13, 2014