Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Your (You're) It

I run pretty hard during the week--up early and out fast--so that when a scheduled rest day rolls around, I do what I can to protect it. However, there are three exceptions, three occasions when rest is overruled.

Those three exceptions?

1. A new pair of sneakers
2. A inspirational running story
3. Watching someone else run

Even if running isn't your outlet of choice, I'm sure you can relate. Everyone has that one thing that belongs to them, that one thing that feels as familiar to them as their own two hands. Maybe it's cooking, maybe it's golf, maybe it's fencing. The great thing is, you don't have to be the best at it, heck, you don't even have to be good at it. But it should be three things:

  • Enjoyable: you look forward to it or you miss it when you don't do it for a while
  • Stress-relieving: it should settle you down, maybe relax you, breathing comes easily and naturally (well, maybe not easily, if it's athletically-induced, but you definitely be breathing)
  • Limit-testing: you might start out casually, running a half-mile or baking homemade brownies, but with small successes comes confidence, and with confidence comes risk-taking. Your thing pushes you to expand and to grow within it. Maybe a half-mile turns into a 5K, maybe a homemade brownie turns into a canned peaches or a contest entry at next year's bake off.
And eventually, you don't even mind those instances when you fall short, when you have a bad run or when you burn the biscotti. You accept yourself when you fall short and you accept others when they fall short, too. Because somewhere along the way, as you were working on improving your thing, your thing was improving you, too.

So, you're it. What's your thing?

Smores Splurge

With the left-over marshmallows from the rice krispie event (am I spelling that right?) and the found-chocolate in the cupboard (how does chocolate exist in my house without me knowing it) and the stale graham crackers in the pantry, we made smores yesterday at lunchtime. We even ate them before lunch. We're living on the wild side in this household. My excuse (and I've been using it a lot lately) is that, "It's summer. What the heck."

And with the 55 degree night we had and the low-humidity, low-80 degree days we're having, you bet it is.

Friday, August 8, 2008

a time for things

There was a time I could do a cartwheel without fearing what I might break...
A time I could eat pepperoni rolls without worrying what I might gain...
A time I could watch horror films without a pillow over my eyes...
and hands over my ears...
And there was a time when I could eat avocados without dying, nearly.

That's right, avocados nearly killed me.

It started about three years ago, right about the time I became pregnant with my little love. I was feasting on guacamole and extra salty tortilla chips and enjoying a perfectly perfect summer day.

In an hour, everything changed.

When I tell you I experienced the most violent stomach pain imaginable, believe me. There wasn't a single position that made it tolerable either...lying down, standing up, sitting down...all the same excruciating, stomach-on-fire pain. I had to talk myself out of dying, and thankfully, I was successful.

Of course, I didn't know it was the avocado right away. Afterall, who is allergic to avocado? After a few more experiences, it became evident that I was.

Well, I had another dance with death on Saturday. I had gotten a little arrogant and figured a bite or two of my husband's sushi was harmless, the avocado was no bigger than my pinky nail, how much harm could it do?

A lot. And it made up for lost time.

Turns out, the allergy isn't terribly common, but it isn't unheard of. Apparently, the oils from the avocado pit are the culprit...other people experience a similar sensation from onions and bananas, even.

Unfortunately, the latest experience did take causalities. Because the avocado was mixed with other foods, like sushi and vanilla flavored yogurt (formerly a staple in my diet), I will probably never ever be eating them again, either.

Tainted love.

How about you? Any foods you can't eat due to allergy or overdose or casualty of either?

Weekend Splurge
Still doing really great with the restricted spending. I've been able to cut my grocery bills pretty significantly by paying attention to sales and clipping coupons...and buying meat on sale and then freezing it. (I was never really good at that because the whole thawing thing never meshed with my planning or patience scale).

So the big splurge of the weekend will probably involve another shot at rice krispie treats that end up in our stomach and not underfoot...

Monday, August 4, 2008

sprinkles (on top)

Photo Courtesy of Rick Mandelson

I learned that there is a direct connection between your jaw and your hips.
To ease the tension from both, rest your tongue behind your two front teeth, soften your face.
Remember how that feels, and then try to do it often.

Or just look at this picture.

Splurgin' Sweet

Ava and I made Rice Krispie treats for my husband's work get-together. They had lots and lots of sprinkles ("there mommy, that's better" said Ava after emptying the entire jar into the crispy, marshmallowy, buttery mix).

We decided to go for a run while they cooled, because there's always room to fit in "one more thing." (I can hear my husband sighing).

That meant that we were running late, so after we got home everything was in rush-time. We cleaned up, cut them into squares, and arranged them on a Hello Kitty plate, which complemented the sprinkles nicely, I might add.

I quickly carried Ava, her shoes, her drinks, and who knows what else I grabbed along the way. Threw everything (except her) into the car, put the treats on top, and set Ava in her car seat. Watched her buckle herself in (because everything is, "I have to do it myself" these days). Shut the door, buckled in myself, thought for a second about where we were going, and left.

With the treats on top of the car.

When we got to the party, Ava said, "Mommy, forgot the treats!"

Oh yeah. The treats...

And then I remembered the last place I saw them. On top of the car.

When I went out to check, they were, of course, not there. No treats.

But when we drove home and turned onto our street, there they were, one with the pavement.

I spent the next 15 minutes scraping them up. Those darn sprinkles.