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Showing posts from April, 2014

April 29 - Contrast

Past, present, future

It rained. My husband and I got soaked on our walk yesterday. We'd have been fine had we turned around at two miles, but instead went 2.5 to make it a five-miler. It started thundering and raining with 1.5 miles left to go. Oh, my. Cold, wet, miserable and did I say wet? Wow were we soaked.

It's raining. Because it's April and that's what happens in April. Showers. Today looks like an all-day event.

It will rain. Tomorrow and the next day and the next day, at least.
And because I was pruning a tree on Sunday and slaving over a still-not-finished annual report yesterday, I didn't get anything done in any of my gardens. (Denise, did you see my what-to-plant suggestions?)

So let's talk about something else. Like, oh, soup.

We have a freezer in our garage full of grass-fed beef. There's some shrimp in there, and a pork tenderloin, I think. The vegetables are stored in the refrigerator freezer. We mostly keep beef and chicken in the big freezer and we're lo…

April 28 - Chaotic

This does not bode well

The internets are acting up today, of all days, the day when that annual report I've been working on for the past couple weeks is due to go to the printer.


Here's what I get on some web pages:
In my email, instead of images, I see little blue question marks.

This has happened before, but I never know why it happens and I never know why or how it clears itself up. Today is not the day to deal with "issues," however.

I ended up logging 38 miles last week, and if I can get five a day for the next three days I can close out April at 162. That would break my record. My previous high month was last September, when I logged 155.

It's supposed to rain these last three days of April, but as I've said previously, it rarely rains constantly. There's usually a little window of walking opportunity where I can get one in.

I had to cut yesterday's effort down to four miles, due to time constraints. I'd thought I might be able to tack another mile on after …

April 27 - Beneath my feet

Plan the plans …

Well, replacing the pulley on the rowing machine proved to be more than I could handle. This old brain simply can't remember how I did it the last time. I have an instruction sheet, which assumes one has much more skill and intuition than I do. I've put a request in for a friend's husband to have a look at it. If he can't, I'll ask a neighbor who is handy with things like this.

I hate to admit defeat, but there you go.

Today's plan is to walk first, finish mowing next and then meet my husband at his mother's to prune her Chinese maple tree. The one that's never been properly pruned and is so overgrown it's blocking the sidewalk.

I've no idea how long that job will take.

While I was at the garden center getting pruning advice, I picked up a few herbs – rosemary, cilantro and parsley – hoping for a bit of gardening inspiration. The herb bed I so lovingly built a couple years ago is overgrown with weeds and the lemon balm has spread everywhere. It&…

April 26 - Enjoy the little things

A little tomato, garlic, onion and sweet peppers, with a lot of cilantro, makes pico de gallo ... a little of which is quite tasty with eggs.

We're in for it now

A great weekend on tap, weather wise, and not much in the way of commitments. My to-do list might actually get to-done.

One thing that got done last night was the endless garter-stitch cotton scarf I've been working of forever. Well, it seems like forever, as that's the nature of both garter stitch and scarves. But it's very cool and I'm glad it's done. I've never worn scarves as accessories, but these little floaty ones are fun and flattering, and I think I'll get a lot of use from this.

If I don't give it to my daughter for her birthday, which I'm seriously thinking of doing. I have a huge cone of this slubby cotton yarn and could make another one for me. Someday. Maybe.

I can't even remember when I started knitting this one. Seriously, though, if I don't have something compelling to watch on television, I don't knit. And I especially don't just sit and knit endless garter-stitch scarves.

It's good to have options, though.

I nee…

April 25 - Remember

Making progress …

at least with the mileage goal. Still no weight change.

Last Friday I calculated I'd need to walk 4.58 miles per day, every day, the rest of the year, to hit 1500 on New Year's Eve.

Today it's down to …
So there's that.

I've really been getting into the walking groove lately. Five miles has been the minimum for many, many days now. I skipped April 7, probably weather-related, and the last missed day was in March.
Time to step up the pace, I think, at least a couple times a week. Not hard to do … just need to make  it a priority. The little arrows above the 7-miler this past Monday indicates that was the longest and fastest workout in the previous 30 days. Even then, the average was just 4mph. I can do better.

Will it make a difference? Who knows? After three weeks of another strict Whole30 and no weight loss, I'm beginning to think I have the slowest metabolism on the planet. I feel great, though. Eating primally most definitely works for me. I don't feel de…

April 24 - A pop of color

April 23 - Entrance

All politics is local, Part 2

I filed the paperwork and paid my ten bucks back in January, but seeing my name on a ballot makes it really real. Yesterday was the last day to register to vote in the May primary, and the May primary is right around the corner, and the local weekly rag published sample ballots in yesterday's edition.

You can see, also, that – like Vivian in Pretty Woman – I'm a sure thing. Vote for two candidates, and you only have two from which to choose.

But still. Pretty fun!

I'm off to the not-so-local state capitol this morning to participate in a rally supporting my Congressman's re-election and denouncing the Ryan budget as bad for West Virginia. Stop by the statehouse if you happen to be in Charleston around 10:15! We'll be on the steps on the Boulevard side.

The things we do for politics.

April 22 - Four things

A spring in my step

I can't remember a nicer spring than this one. Frequently here in southern West Virginia we move straight from winter to summer, with maybe a week of moderate temperatures to mark the transition. We haven't had a truly hot day yet. It's cool enough in the evenings to need a jacket. We still keep a just-in-case blanket folded at the foot of the bed.

Yesterday might have been the warmest day – we noted it was 82 in town, but it's always a bit cooler on our little mountain. My husband and I walked together again yesterday, down by Indian Creek, and it was pretty warm there. I'd watched the Boston Marathon (congratulations, Meb and Rita and everyone who started!) while I finished up that design job and was inspired to do one of my Run Double interval trainings.

I chose the 60:30 one. I've been doing the 60:60 option (Run Double has lots of training routines), but I'm trying for a 30-minute 5K. I figured if I ran twice as much as I walked, I might be able to add…

April 21 - Close

Boston Strong. And other things.

I haven't participated in a large organized race in mumble-mumble years. I want to, again, sometime before my time is up, but I guess I don't want to enough, or I would already have registered for one, right? (I'm thinking about a fall race, but definitely still just in the thinking about stage.)

But just because I no longer participate doesn't mean I don't love race days, and the Boston Marathon is certainly one to watch. It will be on while I'm working upstairs.

We all remember last year's horrific ending. (And the Virginia Tech massacre happened on Boston Marathon day, as well.) The winners had crossed the finish line a couple hours prior to the blasts going off. The medal ceremony was canceled. Boston was mayhem.

And Boston Strong emerged from the chaos.

I remember watching the evening news right after the Oklahoma City bombing, and Peter Jennings (or maybe it was Tom Brokaw) said, "The worst in the least of us brings out the best in the rest of u…

April 20 - Egg

Happy Easter …

Today also would have been my dad's 84th birthday. He died in 2010, and I miss him still. I always will.

Interestingly, he was born on Easter Sunday. The last – and only other – time he celebrated his birthday on Easter was in 2003.

I hope you have a good day today. We'll be doing the church and dinner out thing, and then I'll … you guessed it … take a walk in the afternoon.

'Cause that's how I roll.

Oh, and it wouldn't be Easter if I didn't post my FAVORITE image, now, would it?

April 19 - Money

The coin jar, from above.

TIme flies

… when you're busy.

There've been days – I kind of remember them – that stretched endlessly ahead of me. No plans. No goals. No agenda. Days when I could watch trash tee-vee or read an entire book or lay in the sun. Remember tanning? I haven't "laid out" in years!

Which explains my v-neck, short-sleeved tan lines. Also known as a farmer's tan.

I used to have some tank tops, but I donated all of them to Goodwill a couple years ago, when I realized (at the time) I wasn't ever going to be in good enough shape to sport a tank again.

Fifty-ish pounds less now, and I should probably look for some tee-to-tank tutorials, 'cause I've got way too many tees.

Anyway. I've been pretty busy lately, even finding myself – at times – too busy to eat! That's a rare occurrence for a food addict, but I've actually missed a couple lunches lately. I'm finding I really need breakfast to get the day going. And, um, bacon. The husband really needs dinner, …

April 18 - Good

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 …

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).


Haven't heard from Joe. I guess he's not taking advice from …

April 17 - Something I learned

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 breaki…

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 bacon1 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…

April 16 - My 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?

I'd fixed a large pan of my favorite seasoned chicken tenders wrapped in bacon the night before, and there were se…

April 15 - I'm reading this

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 a…

April 14 - Dirty

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 futu…

April 13 - More please

How long does it take …

to shoot a 30-second television commercial?

Well, it took three hours for my part.

I'm not yet ready offer details. I'll fill you in after it airs.

Suffice it to say it was absolutely one of the most nerve-wracking and anxiety-producing things I've ever done.

But. It's done. And I'm glad I did it.

April 12 - On my left

Wow, way to drop the ball

So whoopsie, sorry for ignoring you this week. It was a combination of late mornings and too much to do. Something had to go, and blogging was it.

But I'm still here, alive and kicking, just too busy for words. LITERALLY! But the daily photo posts have continued, thus keeping the spirit of the daily post alive.

IF I'm going to publish a post every day, I have to be up and at 'em pretty early, in order to have some quiet time to spew reflect and record what's been happening in my head in my world. That's been impossible this week, as we had to be up early a couple of mornings to pick up our Amish neighbor, who painted our garage. He finished Thursday afternoon, I spent the rest of Thursday preparing for overnight guests and yesterday morning was fixing a big breakfast to send them on their way.

Don't get me wrong: I've had plenty of down time to cruise Facebook and Twitter and some down time to browse through Instagram and Pinterest. My email has piled up ag…

April 11 - Three of a kind

April 10 - Fave part of the day

April 9 - Dark

April 8 - Hobby

April 7 - Where I'd Rather Be

Spring health hazard

If you've had enough of winter, as I have, but spring weather has still not made it to your neck of the woods (I'm lookin' at YOU, northern Ohio and Canada and upstate New York and Minnesota and … well, you know who you are), may I offer a tip?

Do NOT be tempted – because the sun is shining, the temperature is moderate and the ground's not muddy – to spend an entire day DOING YARD WORK.

The yard's not going anywhere. I promise.

To be honest, I didn't weed and seed and mulch from sunup to sundown. I also took an hour-and-a-half walk, with a half hour of 60:60 intervals thrown in.

(Which, by the way, pushed the miles for the past week to more than 40. WOO HOO!)
By the end of the day I'd spread grass seed over half the former garden space, pulled a bunch of dead plants from the herb bed and completed weeding and mulching the asparagus.

I finished up my farmer chores at around 7 p.m. I am, possibly, too old to work outside from 9 in the morning until 7 in the e…

April 6 - A taste of spring

Getting sprung

I posted a photo yesterday on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter of a little white wildflower I've been seeing the last couple of days. I learned it's called bloodroot (because it has a red stem), Native Americans used it for dyeing purposes and according to one commenter bloodroot is a sure sign of spring.
There's no doubt in my mind, however, that spring has sprung here in southern West Virginia, but not because of the newly emerging bloodroot. It's because of ASPARAGUS!
Prior to the last snowfall (I pray it's the last, but one never knows), one little stalk had popped up in the asparagus bed. The cold nipped it quickly, sadly, but now that I've cut back the dead stalks and cleaned the bed up there's plenty of room for new growth. There will be enough to pick and add to an omelette by tomorrow, probably. Tuesday for sure.
Other signs of spring are showing up all over our property and neighborhood. The day lilies and lilacs are leafing out. The daffodils are puttin…

April 5 - Not mine

So much for writing every day in April

I've taken on some additional responsibilities this year for the state federation of Democratic women. And it's spring, so I'm pulling weeds and tidying up flower beds and picking up twigs.

And walking a lot more than I did in January, February or March.

I guess something had to give, and it looks like daily writing has (so far) been it. I hope to get back on track with it, but I won't make a promise I can't keep. And it's not like I'm going to get punished for skipping a day or two here and there.

I do, however, feel punished when I get off track with the food. Not just with an uptick in my weight, but with aches and pains. This time it's my left knee. And it would be so easy to blame the additional miles, but you know what? I'm not going there.

I've been eating grains. Specifically crackers and bread, and not the gluten-free kind. Fortunately the next Whole30 begins tomorrow and yes, I'm looking forward to jumping back on the bandwagon.


April 4 - Good together

April 3 - Shapes


I walked yesterday, a nice loooong walk in which I was not at all in a hurry to be done. I wasn't in a hurry while I was actually walking, either, as my pace ended up being just slightly faster than 3 mph. But the distance was seven miles. I would have been awfully tired on the way back had I been going much faster.

Or so I like to tell myself. Justification and rationalization can be very good buddies.

It was a perfect day for walking – upper 60s, breezy, sunny. Spring is here, finally.

It occurred to me as I was ambling along that the by-the-book Whole 30 I'm doing with Gingerzingi will begin a year and a day after the first one I did last spring. I might have to do a Whole 31, and begin anew on the same day as last year.

This week has been pretty good. It's easy to get off track, but knowing I've made this commitment makes me want to stay ON track. A few days of clean eating and several decent walks have made a weight-loss difference in the amount of two pounds this…

April 2 - In my hand

April 1 - Something purple