Plodding along

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It’s been a little while since I booked our upcoming vacation…only 3 weeks away!

I’ve surprised myself by actually sticking to my plan to workout daily. I think I’ve missed one day per week, totally acceptable.

Even my diet has improved…despite the Easter bunnies attempts to smother me with carmallow eggs this week…l persevered. And I bought inferior brand chocolate eggs so as not to tempt myself excessively.

Even today, I’m driving and start thinking about taco salads. There is no one to stop me…maybe I should just get one and scarf it down, as if eating it faster will somehow negate the fact that it happened.

But no. This guilt thing is really inconvenient. So instead of calorie laden goodness, I semi-enjoyed my salad. My regular salad.

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vegan cancer dilemma

vegan

courtesy of: mamamia.com.au

I have a friend with cancer. This really sucks and we all wish it wasn’t so…. but so far wishing hasn’t done much to change it, so she’s going to stick with chemo, radiation, and then surgery.

She’s got 2 little ones, the same age as my little ones. Right now, with daily treatments she’s pretty tired and wiped out. Can’t stay awake let alone manage the household the same as before.

On the positive side, people want to help. And why wouldn’t they? She’s wonderful, kind, helpful, and would do the same for them.

So what do most of us do when tragedy strikes someone close to us? When we don’t have any special ability to fix their problem, but still want to do something to help….

We bring food.

And here I am wanting to bring her comfort food…putting myself in her place, thinking of all the things I would want to eat to make up for the crap fact that I had cancer. Like anything chocolate, cookies, bread….comfort foods. Whatever really, but an alfredo sauce would probably help, right?

So she says “anything vegan and gluten free”

I’m horrified.

Why??!¬† is this something to do with the cancer? Thinking this is a crazy and barbaric treatment option…

NO… that’s just her diet.

OMG. and she has cancer on top of it.

that really sucks.

How am I going to comfort her with blueberries and bananas? What in gods name can she EAT?

Well, I’m figuring it out. It’s my mission to find something delicious and open my mind to the possibility of whole meals made without meat/dairy/gluten. I guess it’s possible to find comfort in a salad….with peanuts…..

In the meantime, I’m including a link to her Gofundme page. In case you are feeling charitable, or you think there is a chance donating to a worthy cause might improve your cosmic/karmic standing. I have it on good authority that every person who donates will find themselves richer for doing so… and prayers are definitely an acceptable donation as well ūüôā

A new destination awaits

We have toyed with the idea of vacationing somewhere besides Vegas….. then booked our trip to Vegas. This has happened several times as the husband and I both seem to be the “comfortable in our rut” kind of people. Nothing wrong with that!

But, for the sake of the children understanding there are more than 2 points on the map, we are embarking on a new journey.

After our last Vegas trip, in the ARCTIC cold….. we had one requirement, it had to be warm. A for sure kind of warm that won’t ever let you down.

New destination: Mexico.

A patient of my husbands actually brought him a travel guide full of destinations, and recommended a particular resort he’s been to over 20 times. Wow, it must be great.

It’s family friendly…… got tons of swimming things to do, including a big lazy river that goes for like, miles or something. Entertainment at all hours of the day and night, lots of activities inside and outside.

Now the good part. It’s all inclusive. ALL YOU CAN EAT. Even ROOM SERVICE. Yes, I’m yelling this. It’s an amazing and wonderful concept. Makes up for the stupid strawberries and grapes I ate today instead of the bucket of grease I wanted.

So the countdown begins…. and the frantic attempts to work out and get in fabulous shape are conflicting with the desire to find the best sweatsuit/bathing suit and just start training now for my food marathon.

 

I don’t want to succeed

junk

courtesy of superhealthykids.com

This week, I had a plan.

Eat healthy, get back to working out every day.

I’m sabotaging myself, and not feeling guilty enough about it yet.

What do burger king onion rings, chocolate peanut butter brownies, skittles, Starbucks beverages, peppermint patties, and lots of chocolate ice cream have in common???

Equal contribution to my failure and gluttonous satisfaction.

And so, tomorrow…. probably…. I will do better.

sick eggs and magical elixer

elixer

Magical elixir… cures all sickness….unfortunately does nothing for wrinkles…..

 

 

We are sick over here. Of COURSE we are, because children live here…and children are germy little creatures.

It starts with Sammy usually, coughing, mucous, sneezing, fever, red nose, misery….. all the usual symptoms.

Last night we went to bed with Jenna feeling fine, and she woke up a few hours later barking like a seal.

Honestly, there is no point in trying to separate them when one gets sick…. you just have to wait for the inevitable to happen.

When the sickness hits, there are things we do. Routines we have. Requirements for the very survival of the sick person. These things include a liberal rubbing of Vicks onto the chest and back of the victim. Big vaporizer going full blast near the bed. Pillow to prop the head so there is less gurgly breathing as mucous pools during the night. Puke bucket always handy. Of course the necessary sick couch time, spent lounging in glassy-eyed misery, huddled under the special green blanket, cold rag on the head, watching movies on demand all day long.

Sprite, a.k.a. “Magical Elixer” is called for in mass quantities. Sick eggs and toast, without which, survival would be impossible.

So this is what we are having for breakfast today. Sick eggs, toast, sprite. Taking bites between blowing noses and discussing our percentage of feeling better. (Sammy reports 65 percent today….)

elixer1

Sick eggs and toast. guaranteed to keep you alive another day.

 

Onion rings and the unfairness of life

Can you believe, I'm stalking this guy???

Can you believe, I’m stalking this guy???¬†¬† image from: nbcmiami.com

I would like to say that I am not a fast food nut. I know it’s bad for me. I don’t eat it regularly.

There are certain fast food places that I haven’t been to in many years. Burger King is one of those places. Well, it was one of those places.

Before this year, I couldn’t tell¬† you the last time I ate at a¬†burger king. I remember believing that everything there tasted the same…. and although we loved their onion rings as kids (when there was an actual solid piece of onion inside), I wasn’t too keen on them after they changed.

I really thought they were going to end up closing soon….who goes to burger king??!!

This was my perception.

Just so happens there is a Burger King really close to the school the 5 year old attends. One day, I was rushing to pick him up and hadn’t eaten yet. Got there about 15 minutes early so decided to just swing in and grab something. Prepared to be unimpressed.

A small onion ring later, I am stupefied. They were AMAZING. Really warm, and salty, and I just could not quite figure out what that amazing flavor was……why, I think it’s grease!!! Freshly dipped in hot grease, salted within in inch of their lives…. I downed them in record time.

hot, delicious, greasy, addictive.........

hot, delicious, greasy, addictive………

And so the downward spiral began….. suddenly, I was making sure I got to school early, swinging into BK and getting a cheeseburger kids meal with onion rings.

I don’t even eat burgers…. what’s happening to me??!¬† I loved that kids meal. I’m stuffing my face with questionable meat and salty onion rings, loving every second of it. Balling up the bag so I’m not found out when the kid gets out of school.

I have a problem. I need help.

I took my oldest in search of a burger king¬†a couple months ago, trying to explain to her why I can’t stay away from those stupid onion rings. Found the closest one to home, the onion rings were terrible. I was so happy, thinking I was finally over my addiction.

No. It just kept me away from that one.

Now that school is out for the summer, I’m thinking I can finally wean myself off the stuff. But isn’t it funny there is a burger king very conveniently placed on my usual route when I round at various facilities during the week??? I can’t get away from them.

How many calories in the small onion rings??? Only 320. Sodium? Just 840mg. Fat?? Ha, almost NO fat–at 16 grams.

It’s not fair for them to taste so good, when they are sooooo bad.

Tagalong scandal

They look innocent and delicious. Don't be deceived.

They look innocent and delicious. Don’t be deceived.

I sit here, just seething.

There is a box of tagalongs right behind me on the counter. An OPEN box. The fact that I am even able to write this without chomping on one, and then another, and then another….. means there is something seriously wrong.

Like, the world might be ending kind of wrong.

If there is one thing I can always count on to illustrate my complete lack of self control with regard to junk food… it’s girl scout cookies, right?? Well, apparently the girl scouts must think they are doing me some kind of favor, but I don’t see it that way. It feels more like mutiny to me. And I don’t even know if I’m using that word properly, not being a¬†sailor and all…but it feels like the best word to capture my feelings of betrayal.

Let me tell you a little story. A story of dreams being shattered.

I am, like many of you, a very, very strong supporter of the girl scouts. I donate to them without fail every year, buying boxes and boxes of cookies. Because it’s a good cause. Now, I’ve gotten into the habit of eating these cookies, sometimes even eating most of the cookies before anyone else in the house can find them. This is how I keep obesity from claiming more victims. It’s selfless, really.

My favorites are always the same. Tagalongs. Samoas. Thin mints. And a few other boxes just for variety. But those three, those are the staples. Thoughts of those cookies are what keeps me going during the rest of the year, and able to turn up my nose at the Keebler elves shoddy imitations sitting on the grocery store shelves. I’ve never cheated.

My internal cookie clock started going off around January. I called my cookie contact. Not time to order yet. After much impatient waiting, I got my order in. Extra boxes of everything. Then more impatient waiting. Why do they make you order so early and then wait, and wait before those cookies come in??

I would call up my cookie friend, listen half-heartedly to some blah-blah-blah about her life…then cut her off. “Where are the cookies??” GEEEZ, not in yet??!!

By the time they came, I was practically twitching in anticipation.

There they were, boxes and boxes of those coveted cookies. Sitting on my counter. Waiting for me. I grabbed the tagalongs, my absolute FAVORITE. Took one. Decided to take 4 instead. Headed up to fold laundry, giving myself about 10 minutes before I had to come down for more.

so far, so good.

so far, so good.

I ate the first cookie. Hmmmm, didn’t feel anything close to orgasmic. Tried another. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!

They don’t taste the same! They are missing something critical. Something that would guarantee my self loathing after inhaling a good half box in one sitting. I nibbled on the third cookie, trying to figure out the difference. It just…. didn’t have it. That special something was gone. I eyed the last cookie. For the first time in my life, not wanting it. I ate it, just in case. But still disappointed.

Where are you hiding?? I need you-secret amazing ingredient!!!

Where are you hiding?? I need you-secret amazing ingredient!!!

I called my friend and cookie supplier. Trying to be calm. “What in gods name happened to the tagalongs!!??? I can’t even eat anymore! What did they do!!??”¬† She wasn’t sure. But did mention that some cookies are made at different bakeries and so will taste different from bakery to bakery. She’s right. But I’m still thinking corners are being cut. Someone found cheaper ingredients. Someone decided to sneak a smidge less peanut butter in each cookie. Whatever the case, I am suffering.

One might think I would be grateful for the removal of such an obvious object of weakness for me. No thanks. I would rather be the one to overcome my cookie addiction on my own terms. I don’t WANT help!!

I don’t know what this means for the future, my future with the girl scouts. Thank god, the samoas are still as addictive as they can possibly be. I just try to ignore the label as it keeps trying to remind me each cookie is 70 calories. I imagine it’s better to get all those calories in during one sitting and just be done with it, rather than spread them over any reasonable amount of time.

Consider this your public service announcement. Lest you too find yourself with far too much self control around cookies that have always been able bend you to their will in the past. It’s scary.

Sick day Creme Brulee

my little caregiver <3

my little caregiver ‚̧

I’ve been sick. Again. Like we’ve ALL been sick this whole stupid winter.

This time I’ve had a headache and raging sore throat, complete with hacking cough, chills, and sandpaper voice. It’s bad enough that I’ve been sleeping with cough drops under my pillow for emergency relief during the night-it’s only been that bad a couple times in my life.

Yesterday as I sat on the couch, shivering and feeling sorry for myself, my little ones did their best to take care of me. Sammy made me some delicious water. Jenna plied me with many pieces of plastic cake.

Somehow, this did not relieve the aching burn in my throat. For dinner, I had no desire for “real food”. As I rooted through the fridge, then freezer for something soothing…. I came across this.

One of the reasons I love Target. Like, really LOVE Target.

One of the reasons I love Target. Like, really LOVE Target.

I thought it was worth a shot, something smooth, warm, delicious…. and fast.

right out of the box.

right out of the box.

The box contains 2 little ceramic ramekins¬†and 2 little¬†packets of granulated sugar. I made one, and saved one for later. For myself. Because I’m sick.

Directions are super easy, move the oven¬†rack higher, and put the oven on broil. Spread the sugar evenly over the top of the cr√®me brulee and stick it¬†in the oven when it’s hot enough. Do yourself a favor and put it on a cookie sheet or something like I DIDN’T, so you don’t have to reach in and melt your hands as you try to pick up this little ceramic dish full of¬†hot liquid custard when it’s done.

Turn on the oven light, and watch in amazement and the sugar starts to melt and bubble. Keep in it for about 6 minutes. Take it out.

Oooh La-La

Oooh La-La

Now, you are supposed to let it set out for about 10 minutes, and then put it in the fridge for another 10 minutes. This allows the custard to firm up.

I didn’t wait.

I think I put it in the fridge for about 3 minutes so I wouldn’t completely scald myself, then got impatient.

creme2Mmmmmmmmmm. Words can’t describe the awesome relief. My throat maybe cried a little in gratitude.

It was a perfect coating of delicious, creamy goodness for my tortured esophagus. A little runny for some, easily remedied if anyone had the time or inclination to follow directions. I gave a spoon to my husband. Just one spoon. He pronounced it “eggy”.

Since he calls ALL cr√®me brulee we have ever tried “eggy”, I am going to assume he also feels it was restaurant quality.

And you get to keep the cute little dish!!!

I’m eating the 2nd serving tonight. All by myself. Not a bit guilty about that.

Date Night

txktoday.com

txktoday.com

Shhhhhhh, don’t tell him, but this weekend…. I’m taking the hubby on a date.

We don’t usually do this, hardly ever. I can count on one hand how many time we have gone anywhere alone in years.

Sometimes though, the stars align….

I thought about it today, a friend we wanted to take out for her birthday has other plans. I already thought about getting a sitter so we could spend time and enjoy her company, actually focus on her instead of the kids.

She’s busy. Ok, fine, some other time.

But wait…. WE could still go out. Alone!

I know the perfect place. We just talked about it this past week. It’s not a fancy place, it’s not even an especially good place. But we went there early in our dating history, and we both remember one night in particular when I got lost trying to walk out the door, ended up in¬†the downstairs bar while he waited behind for me to realize where I was, and watched as I tried to figure out how I got there. Silly thing, but he laughed at me and I felt kind of embarrassed. It became somehow cute to him, that I could lose my way so easily.

Probably now it’s not that funny to him, but at least back then it was endearing.

So I’m taking him there. And we can sit at the table, and we’ll hold hands and tell each other how much we love each other, and he’ll tease me about how lucky I am to have him, I’ll tell him how lucky HE is to have me. Then he’ll get serious and say I’m right, he IS the lucky one. And he’ll thank me for loving him, and for our beautiful children.

I know this because he does this all the time, we always have this little exchange, but it never gets old.

And then we can go home, and stay up late with the little ones, watching movies and eating popcorn.

At the end of the night, daddy and Sammy will be snoring together on his Cars couch, I’ll be on this computer, and all will be right with the world.