Thursday, September 29, 2011

The 5 best.

I am a huge fan of Karen Walrond at Chookooloonks.  Huge.  She's warm, intelligent, creative and inspiring.   I'm pretty sure that if I ever met her in person (or even better, together with The Bloggess), I'd probably drool all over myself and do something stupid like just stand there grinning and going "uh huh uh huh."

On her blog today, she discusses the top 5 best decisions of her adult life.  In addition to her own list, she publishes the lists of others, solicited on Twitter.  Everyone's top 5's are different and amazing and interesting. 

And truly, what a fantastic list to sit and think about and make.  (You know I LOVE lists!)  Personally, I feel like I spend a sizable amount of energy (and I'm probably not alone in this) bemoaning decisions I think I made in error.  The stupid shit.  Shit I regret, wish I'd done differently, etc., etc.  It's rarely, if ever, that I reflect on what I've done right in my life.

So here it is, my 5:

1.  Spend the pivotal summer of my 22nd year in the Tetons,
2.  Get back together with the Mister and get married,
3.  Move to my current town,
4.  Have my little boy,
5.  Take care of my body and mind by running and eating well.

What are the top 5 best decisions of your adult life?  Leave a comment or go to Karen's blog and chime in!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Book Report

Every month, there's a balancing act between books that are in my private "to read" stack and the book that we've picked for book club.  I always have the best of intentions towards the book club pick.  They are usually intellectual!  interesting! well reviewed!  But secretly, I really want to be reading the stuff in my private stash- which usually consists of guilty pleasure type reading- (think Sookie Stackhouse novels, etc...)

This month has been hard.  For book club, we picked The Brothers K.  Looks great, right?  A sweeping narrative, etc. etc.  I should really want to read this book.  Book club is next week.  I am currently 15% into the book (in Kindle speak).  This is not good.

Instead, I've been deeply mired in the world created by George R. R. Martin who I'm fairly sure spent a good portion of time in his parents' basement reading comics and thinking of "cool stuff"* like a young, hot teenage girl breastfeeding a pair of newborn dragons.

I know!  Its ridiculous.  And I've read 3 of the books in the series.

I need help.

*Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Friday, September 23, 2011

4 years

Hello, world!-Age 1 Day
Age 1 year...loving those blueberries.
2 year old goofball
3 years old and very grown up
almost 4 and um, what?  when did this happen?

As of 11:30 or so tomorrow night, my kid will be 4 years old.  Four.

This blows my mind.

He took treats to daycare today and we're planning a friendly little BBQ with close friends for tomorrow.  He's requested a skeleton cake (whatever that is) so the Mister will be baking a yellow cake with chocolate frosting and then drawing a white skeleton on it.

All wrapped up for him are a Darth Vader costume and a play cash register with fake money and EVERYTHING just like he asked for.  He will also be receiving some new sweatpants, a sweatshirt and new shoes for the fall.  The Mister has also picked out some sort of (supposedly) amazing Star Wars spaceship of some kind.

And, in not unrelated news, we discussed maybe trying to get pregnant a year from now.  I will officially be of "advanced maternal age" but its what feels right for us.  Let the money savings begin!

Friday, September 16, 2011


This picture makes my heart feel like its going to bust right out of my chest.

"You think dogs will not be in heaven?  I tell you, they will be there long before any of us."  ~Robert Louis Stevenson

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Moooove over

Bits and Pieces;

Image Source

- I ran 18 miles this weekend.  Farthest. Run. Ever.  Pretty proud of myself.  On this same run, however, my friend Beth and I were CHASED BY A HUGE, BELLOWING COW at about mile 9.  We sprinted, our heart rates soaring, with the huge black mama gaining on us until I turned around, grabbed some rocks, and started throwing them at her feet.  She bellowed once and then turned around.  We felt stupid for being so scared was scary!  I'm not sure if she was mad (there were a couple calves there...maybe she felt threatened?), curious, or thought we were going to feed her...?

-A couple weekends ago, we went on a trip to South Dakota....Spearfish, specifically.  We had an amazing time!  The Mister KILLED it in a 50 mile mountain bike race, and Otto had a blast in the Strider World Cup.

"They're gonna put my face up there too, Mom."

-My little boy turns 4 in two weeks.  How have I been a mother for 4 years?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fall Cooking-Minestrone Time!

Image source here

Aaaaaaaaaand......just like that, Fall is here.  It's like the occurence of Labor Day signaled some shift and what was warm and summery is now cool, crisp and swathed in morning fog.

This slight nip in the air, accompanied by a steady, cold drizzle yesterday drove us indoors and into the kitchen.

Otto and I decided to make Minestrone- a great soup to make with kids and, let's face it, fucking delicious to boot. 

Minestrone (Adapted and changed a little from Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook)

2 tbs Olive Oil
A big onion, chopped
Lots of garlic (5 cloves or so), minced
Some sea salt...maybe 1 1/2 tsp.
One or two celery stalks, diced
One or two carrots, diced
One chopped bell pepper, any color (we chose orange, but red and green are great too)
One zucchini squash, diced
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
A well rinsed and drained can of Garbanzo Beans
Some dry pasta- (any shape-we like penne) , 3/4 to 1 cup, give or take
15 oz. can of tomato puree or sauce
3 tbs. or so of dry, drinkable red wine (optional)
4 cups of organic chicken broth (or water or veggie stock, if you wanna go vegetarian like Mollie)
2 ripe, fresh tomatoes, diced
Parmesan cheese
Fresh parsley, chopped

First,  chop all the choppables and set them aside, ready to be dumped in the soup pot when the time comes.  Then heat the oil in a big ol' soup pot, and add the onion, garlic and salt.  Stir and cook and smell for about 5 minutes.  Next, add the carrots, celery, oregano, basil, and black pepper.  Stir and cook and smell again until it's all mixed up.  Put a lid on it, reduce heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes.

"Onions hurt my eyes but they smell good, Mom."

Pop the lid off, throw in your bell pepper, your zucchini, the chicken stock (or water) and tomato puree and wine if you've got it.  Stir it up, bring to a simmer and cover and cook for about 15 minutes.  Throw in the chick peas.  Cook another 5 minutes.

Bring the soup to a gentle boil, throw in your pasta and cook until its done.

Don't you feel comforted and warmed just looking at that?

Inhale deeply.

At the last minute, once your pasta is nice and edible, toss in the diced tomato and stir.  Serve with parsley and Parmesan and maybe some crusty bread and butter on the side.

Oh, and pour yourself a glass of that wine.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

And stuff.

What's up with me:

For obvious reasons, I don't want to say much about my job here.  There are folks out there who get canned for writing about their jobs on their blogs and NO THANKS.  However,  work is presenting some challenges lately that are not entirely pleasant.  Ugh.  Its nothing big or earth shattering, rather a thousand tiny little annoyances that add up to one unhappy, bored, listless me.  I'm SO MUCH MORE fulfilled by my home life and volunteer work that it leaves me wondering if there truly is something wrong with my current situation or if I'm just the personality type that will never be content.

Home is OK... not getting enough time with the Mister (if you know what I mean, wink, wink) but having been married 11+ years, I know that these things ebb and flow.   We're both training for endurance events, working full-time and being parents.  So yeah, nookie will take a back seat from time to time.  But still...I'm starting to look forward to curling up on winter nights and canoodling while the snow falls.

In a similar vein, I'm looking forward to cooler weather and the domesticity that tends to come with it.  I'm itching for minestrone, green chili, and other cool weather comfort foods that just don't seem right when temps are 80+ degrees.   And hot drinks.  And wearing scarves. 

The little guy is in a new classroom at preschool and seems to be thriving, even with the reduction of nap time down from 2 hours a day to 1 hour a day.  I've noticed a little grumpiness in the evenings but overall he's handling the transition much better than I'd anticipated.  And HOLY SHIT he's going to be 4 this month.

...And I'm thinking about having another one more and more.  Eeeep.  The Mister is on board, I think, with considering attempting a pregnancy a year from now.  I'll be 35, officially "advanced maternal age."  Not sure how I feel about that...

Anyway.  The end of summer is clipping right along and this long season of intense training has an end in sight.  (I'm going to wait and see how I feel after before saying if I'll attempt a marathon again, heh.)  I love it that we have such beautiful late summer here.  The weather is pitch perfect and you can see folks visably trying to soak it up, because in a month and a half there will be snow.  Probably.