Thursday, October 29, 2009
It was a time of my life that I wasn't thinking to clearly, obviously...as if you were to ask me before then if I ran I would always respond with - only if someone was chasing me.
However, I must have taken my decision seriously because on April 24th 2009 I ran my first 10k. I trained by running a couple of miles in the gym and gradually working up to running 6 miles outside. I now can no longer run on the treadmill...it bores me to tears. There is only so much of watching sweaty guys lift weights or infomercials with no sound before you want to stop running and go have a Starbucks. So if I want to keep running, doing it outside has been my only option. Because when you run outside you cannot stop until you get home...I ain't no dumb guy.
Before school started and I was running this summer...in daylight...here were my tools. An i-pod, my heart rate monitor, a cellphone, and my pepper spray...mostly because of my fear of crazy animals.After school started when I was forced to get up at 4:00 am to get my run in before I needed to be at school...I added a flashing light to the back of my armband AND a small flashlight to strap to my hand as there are some very dark sections of my early morning run. The pepper spray expanded from keeping me safe from of crazy animals to keeping me safe from crazy people. (Have you ever been on the website that tells you what kind of crazy people live near your house??? Do yourself a favor...don't)
Yesterday predicted that today would be a colder California day...and when I say colder California day it means the morning temperature would be in the upper 40s...to me and my unfortunate acclamation to California temperatures...that is cold. So I decided I needed to go to Target to get some warmer pants and maybe a hat to run in...so GS tagged along and we went to Target. When I say tagged along I mean he offered to go with me. Believe it or not he likes to go to run errands with me...I know right??...he drives, pushes the cart, and holds my hand. Now you know why he got the tag GS (Godsend). I purchased Target Champion Running Pants.
I fully realize that these are tight fitting pants..
I fully realize that tight fitting pants are not flattering to my body...
I fully realize that my legs would be cold without them...
I bought them...
Here is my new cold weather running gear complete with a hat that has a hole for my pony tail...how cool is that!!! I realize that I must look like a commando with all this stuff attached to me...a commando that would wear pink and orange sparkly gloves that is.
So I got up this morning at the crack of dawn after a very scary dream about vampires...and no not the good-looking-I-want-to-love-you-not-eat-you vampires. I donned my new running pants and hat and went outside. Needless to say I was a little spooked going out for my run in the dark after this horrible dream. However, I was hopeful that if I just kept my mind busy that I would forget all about the bloodsuckers and get my run done.
Here are some of the things that went through my mind this morning:
I wonder if I fell this morning if my orange and pink sparkly gloves would protect me from a hand injury.
I wonder if I fell this morning if my new too tight running pants would protect me from skinning my knees.
Is The Stroke one of Billy Squires only hits.
Oh my gosh is The Stroke a song about what I think it is a song about???
How the heck did a Celine Dion song get put on my running mix???
I hope that guy who just ran by me wearing only a tank top and shorts doesn't think that I am a wimp for being WAY overdressed...
I really hope that no one notices my jiggly butt in these too tight pants...wait a minute...it is 4:30 in the morning no one is even looking at my jiggly butt in these too tight pants.
...unless its a vampire and he is thinking..."how juicy"...
so much for distracting thoughts...
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
1. Tell me something about your favorite teacher.
Well I am of course my favorite teacher...you know you gotta love yourself before anyone el...ah never mind.
My favorite teacher was my high school choir director, Mr. Charles Clark. He inspired me to not only be a better musician, but to be a better person and in turn a great teacher. He instilled in me the love and importance of music. It is truly the power of teaching because not only did he inspire his students, but through me he is inspiring my students, and hopefully one day my students will inspire others...such a wonderful loving chain.
2. Tell me about one pivotal moment in your life.
When I graduated from college I was encouraged to apply for a job at the local middle school near my home town. I was also offered a scholarship at a school in Arizona...yes 1000 miles from Iowa (where I lived my whole life)...to attend grad school. I decided to leave the nest, knowing no one, and travel 1000 miles to attend grad school at the University of Arizona. I am convinced that one decision changed who I am for the better. I am a better woman, mother, and teacher because I believed in myself enough to take that risk...Not to mention that I met my ex-husband there and would never had my kids had I not gone there...granted the husband thing didn't work out so well...but that's another Oprah...
3. About favorite colors--a lot of people will ask you what it is, but I want to know why it is. What feeling or memory does it evoke?
My favorite color is purple. When I look at a rich, dark, vibrant, color of purple it makes me feel mesmerized...either that or I'm crazy...it's a toss up at this point.
4. What's a sure sign that you're getting older?
I can no longer sit criss cross applesauce. Thankfully my job no longer requires me to do that.
5. Please don't sermonize, but Halloween--is it a yes or no for you?
YES, YES, YES Heaven's to Betsy and for the love of all humanity YES!!!
Was that too preachy??
6. What's your favorite musical?
Well since I am the vocal director for my school's high school and middle school musicals you'd think this would be easy...but truthfully the genre of musical is new to me...I was an opera singer and now am having to learn all about this genre. OK so that was my disclaimer...here's my answer...I think West Side Story is my favorite musical. The music, the story, and the message is just so powerful!!!
Was that too preachy??
7. Are you more of a city mouse or country mouse?
I am a country mouse stuck in the city...sad but true. My favorite time is visiting my parents acreage in Iowa and sitting on the porch watching fireflies. Oh Give Me a Home Where the Buffalo Roam...she sings in her purtiest twangy voice.
8. Did you know that it is possible, for a small fee, to name a real star after someone? (It's true! Google it!) If someone were to name a star for you, would you appreciate it for its whimsy and romance, or would you say, "Are you kidding me? For $19.95 we could have gone to the movie and actually bought popcorn."This question comes from Paula at His Ways Are Not Our Ways.
I am afraid that I am a practical gal when it comes to gifts. Some of my favorite gifts from GS were a good cutting knife, a nice big skillet, and my new tongs...see practical. I don't even like to get flowers 'cause I think that $50 could be put towards my dream of owning a Cuisinart mixer...shiny and stainless steel with all the attachments...ahhhh...
But somethings are just ridiculous buying a STAR...who is the smart rich guy who thought of this...next someone will try to sell me some swampland in Florida...
9. What's the craziest thing you've ever been doing and texted during it? I only thought of this b/c I was about to try to text during my walking video but I didn't.Paula, you do know that this blog is rated G, right?
I am not really a texter...and quite frankly I know my multi tasking limitations...so its one thing at a time for this gal...
10. "It's not a party unless _______."
I laugh so hard I snort...usually this involves both my brothers, my sister and stories from our childhood.
11. When you're stuck in traffic or a waiting room, what do you do to pass the time? PS: There are no magazines available.
Well I do like to people watch, but I can't let anyone KNOW that I am people watching. So I'll usually pull out my planner or phone and PRETEND to mess around but secretly I am people watching. If I am stuck in my car in traffic I sing...I sing at the top of my lungs like no body's business...I don't do that in the waiting room, however...
12. If you weren't yourself, would you be friends with you?
Well my answers to this Random Dozen are coming across like I am such a diva...
...oh wait I AM such a diva...
anyhoo...I am a very kind, generous, and loving person who would sacrifice anything for anybody almost to a fault. I am a darn good friend.
In summary: dress me in purple, buy me a Cuisinart mixer, sit me on a porch in Iowa (just as long as it's not criss cross applesauce), and you'll know I am havin' a good time by my snort...but most importantly...
...be my friend.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Our primary and lower school chorus perform before the game.
Some of my seniors who sang the national anthem with the choruses.
My good friend and her daughter
GS and I at the game.
I had a winning football team in high school. When I dated GS in high school he was on the football team and I got to wear his away jersey to all the home games. I was so proud of him and loved being the girlfriend of a football player. Our games were every Friday and I don't think I missed one. Football games were such a big event for my school. Then everyone went to Pizza Hut for pizza and more socializing...it is wonder I learned anything in high school except who was dating who...
My son loves to go to socialize, and this year my daughter did a whole lot of socializing too...I guess she is growing up into a pre-teen.
I am in such trouble...
Again where is that baby who wouldn't sleep...
Oh the good old days!!
Monday, October 26, 2009
I know this isn't the sort of "recipe" that Lid over at 2nd Cup is looking for for her Fall Into Flavor meme, but this is definitely comfort food, not low in calories, and is a BIG part of our Fall baking schedule.
A cute munchable pumpkin...
Here are the cast of characters:
box of cake mix
tub of frosting
Wilson's candy melts
candy food coloring
edible writing pens
There you have it...a cute chocolate edible pumpkin cake pop.
Dip the ghosts into white...let dry...
Friday, October 23, 2009
I went to my son's band concert last night. I know it is kind of crazy to say that because my son plays the cello...but he plays the cello and bass in the jazz band. We are a small private school so they need all the instrumentalists they can get. It is pretty cool to see my son playing cello in the jazz band.
Anyway...my colleague the band director took the new approach to his wind ensemble (band). He decided that the kids needed more creative control and well he basically went out of the box in the name of good music education. He took a big risk for what he thought was right and I feel it really paid off. I am so happy to have these kinds of people working around me...it gives me a live bubbling brook to work in...instead of a stagnant mosquito ridden pond...
During the concert one of the pieces was an entirely percussion piece. Every one in the band regardless of what instrument they usually play picked up a percussion instrument for this one piece. They had two kids playing the xylophone each kids was supposed to have two mallets. Well one young man came out on stage without his mallets. He couldn't find them. He looked and looked and looked and looked...almost making me laugh. He even walked up to other members as if to ask if he could borrow theirs...even though they were using them. It was so over the top it almost seemed as if losing his mallets was part of the show.
Anyway it reminded me of one of my MOST favorite holiday specials as a young lady. My dad and my brothers and I loved Claymation Christmas. We especially love this one particular segment...Carol of the Bells. It tells of a not very smart bell in a bell choir in Paris. The members of the bell choir are the bells themselves and they hit themselves on the head with a mallet to play the song Carol of the Bells. Our not so smart bell has the last note of the entire song. He gets into mischief waiting for his turn. The director of the choir is Quasi-Moto himself. Well our not very smart bell seems to lose his mallet and he does everything he can to play his one note...even trying to borrow his fellow choir member's mallet.
Our favorite line...and the one we still quote to this day is towards the end and kind of hard to hear...he looks at one of the members and says "I lost mine"...it is really the only words spoken in the entire video and we just laughed and laughed. Such good memories...
Enjoy Claymation Christmas' Carol of the Bells....and to my brothers...I miss those times.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I am sure it is hooked with some deep psychosis, but that is OK...I just love it.
However, I am not into dressing up at ALL. I know that sounds crazy me not liking such a integral part of Halloween but I just don't. I know that my previous life as a performer forced me to don some pretty crazy costumes, but dressing up as an opera character is way different than driving up to Burger King dressed up as a baby complete with diaper and Binky...I just think those people are so silly...not for me.
My kids like Halloween too, but I think the reason they like it is because they get to torture their mother with their crazy Halloween costume ideas. OK I'll admit that I kinda get into it, but 9 years into Isabella's life and 14 years into Andrew's life I am a little tired of trying to be creative to match their crazy ideas.
My daughter is especially demanding...and Andrew WAS but now he really hates to dress up...I guess a lot like me. He would rather stay at home and hand out the candy than actually trick or treat. Plus both of my kids would come home with such a big stash of candy and it would sit in my pantry until the next Halloween hardly touched...I guess that is a good thing.
Andrew started his Halloween costume career as a clown...however he was only 2 months old. I would venture to say that most babies start their costume career as clowns...really easy.
His first real Halloween at a year he was the cutest cow. This was the beginning of mom making crazy costumes...this started it all.
wasn't he just ADORABLE!!!
...California Roll Sushi...yes once again created by moi. I have no oil on my fingers and thumbs due to the duct tape seaweed on the outside...and since hot glue just melts Styrofoam I had to use good old Elmer's...wow that is a lot of Styrofoam peanuts...If you are a big wig from the Environment Protection Agency and would like to come do a protest at my house due to all the Styrofoam I used please keep in mind...that Styrofoam is now sitting in my garage and not in some landfill...however if you could distract my daughter long enough that is exactly where I would put it....
1. Candy corn: Your thoughts?
It is candy from the gods...I can't buy it or I will eat the entire bag and throw up...kind of like a goldfish with food. No self control when it comes to that little bit of candy heaven...Is that clear enough for you that I like it...ha ha.
2. Briefly, what was the first conversation you ever had with your spouse? (or best friend, if you're not married.) (Or someone significant, like your librarian.)
What if you married your librarian...oh never mind. The first conversation I had with my significant other was when I was sixteen and it went something like this "Like Hi". I am pretty sure that was the extent of it.
The first conversation I had with him 20 years later when we reconnected went a lot like this "Oh my gosh it's really you" "I can't believe you live in California" "Our brothers ran into each other in Iowa" "This is so crazy"
3. Could you ever become a vegetarian?
I was a vegan vegetarian (I just wrote veterinarian) for 2 years. I thought it was the most healthy way to live. It was SO hard...about as hard as giving up caffeine which I just recently had to do. I don't think the health benefits are worth it.
4. Have you ever dressed up your pet in a costume?
Nope...my current dog would TOTALLY be up for it as she is so tolerable. My daughter puts all kinds of stuff on her, but no "official" costume.
5. Name something about childhood that you miss (like Clark Bars, Teaberry Gum, Malibu Barbie, cracking fake eggs on people's heads with your fist and "It's the Great Pumpkin" airing only once a year).
I miss Saturday morning cartoons. Getting up early going down on the couch with a blanket and watching Grape Ape, Scooby Doo, Captain Caveman and ESPECIALLY Laugh Olympics.
tap tap tap is this mic on???
Did I lose you with those references??
6. Have you ever won a trophy? If not, what do you deserve a trophy for?
Can't say I ever won a trophy...I have won many singing competitions but all they gave me a certificate and probably misspelled my name...
7. When do you think is the appropriate time to begin playing Christmas music each year?
The day after Thanksgiving...along with the Christmas Starbucks cups...I am in full holiday mode!!
8. What's your favorite board game?
Balderdash. I love it so much because we used to play it with my late dad...well now he is my late dad...back then he was my now dad...anyway. He could sling the bologna (just had to sing the Oscar Meyer song to figure out how to spell bologna...ha ha). He was SO funny with all the silly but believable answers.
Do you know what Balderdash is? If not it is WAY past time to take a trip to Target and pick yourself up one....no I mean seriously...go now.
9. How do you feel about surprises (receiving, not giving)?
Love surprises...hate being startled.
10. Is it easy for you to say, "I'm sorry?"
I am a diva so really not so easy...but I will do it...especially to my kids. They need to know it is OK to make mistakes and be forgiven.
11. What is your favorite candle scent?
Yankee Candle Buttercream Frosting...oh heaven to Betsy it smells good.
12. October is traditionally "open house" time in public schools. If you had a literal open house in your home (like a reception) what light snacks would you serve visitors and what would you show them (as in art projects, graded papers) that would uniquely represent you?
I would serve very homey things..no she-she-foo-foo food...no escargot, no caviar, and the like. Lots of warm dips and chips. Homemade cookies. M&M's. Comfort food. I would show them scrapbooks and pictures. That is what I am all about, family.
Well there you have it.
In summary: I need to work on the "I'm sorries", find my Buttercream Yankee Candle, eat some candy corn, while finishing my scrapbooks...
That would be a good plan if I wasn't 4 years behind on my scrapbooks...
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
You know how much I love Linda over at 2nd Cup of Coffee. She always has these fun memes. This time it is your favorite fall recipe. Now what most of you don't realize is that I LOVE FALL!!! I love the leaves changing, I love the crisp fall weather, I love sweaters, I love jeans, I love hats, I love sweatshirts, I love hearty soups and baking...
...I, however, am an Iowa girl transplanted into California. It is sunny and 90 degrees today and will be this whole week. Not the kind of fall I want or am used to. I can't bring myself to bake or to partake of the hearty soups and stews I long for.
That won't stop me from participating in 2nd cups Fall Into Flavor. In fact my first recipe was one of the first recipes I blogged about when I started this ole thing back in January. It was my dad's recipe for Chili. It is the best thing to have on a cold evening...sitting by the fireplace. I am hopeful that at least once this fall California will have weather that will allow me to pull out the crock pot and cook up some Chili. It makes me think of my late dad and of home.
I hope you like it. Here is the link as I cannot figure out how to cut and paste this recipe into this post...I hope that doesn't break the meme rules somehow...I think Linda will forgive me!!
Monday, October 19, 2009
It was a fast moving weekend for us A-Ro's. Even though I didn't have my kidlets as they were with their dad, their many many events kept me quite busy. Although I did have a fun night out with GS and some friends on Friday night.
GS and I went to one of my favorite restaurant's Friday night...BJ's. I am not sure if they have them all over the country, but they have a few of them in So. Cal. I do like baseball and the Yankees were playing the Angels that night so we wanted to go somewhere to eat AND watch the game. As you know I am trying to watch my weight...and BJ's does have some menu items I thought were somewhat healthy...somewhat "good for you", my bubble was quickly burst when I stumbled across the nutritional information printed in the back of the menu. Slap me naked and call me Wanda...I couldn't find ONE thing that I would consider "healthy". Their salads were outrageous, even their turkey and veggie burgers were over the top. I finally settled on some shrimp tacos that weren't TOO bad. It is hard to be watching what you eat when you dine out...it takes a strong willed person to be able to do that. However, if you were in Maggianos on Friday night and you happened to be sitting in the bar area after...say...8:00 pm and you happened to notice how that Warm Caramel Apple Tort with Vanilla Ice Cream on top was quickly disappearing into my mouth...well just forget you ever saw it.
I had a nice time with my friends and of course the best date EVER...GS.
The Pink Fuchsia Firecrackers won another game on Saturday!! They are now 4-2!! We clobbered the other team and I don't think they even got a shot on goal. That was good because my daughter...the girl who has never played soccer until this season...was put into the goalie box during the 2nd quarter. She had no idea what to do...she kept telling me how nervous she was. She even had to ask the coach how far she could come out and still use her hands...thankfully her brother took her to the backside of the park and practiced her drop kicks with her....and even more thankfully...she didn't see any action!! PHEW
My son had a double header baseball day on Sunday. He played with his normal team...and was amazing. He went 3-3 and made two outstanding catches in left field. He was en fuego. Then he joined his high school team for an exhibition game. He didn't see much playing time, but it was good for him to be on the bench and get a couple of at bats!!
Great sports day for both my kids!!
Woman Out Exercising Gets Attacked By Large Unknown Animal Locals Terrified
OK maybe I didn't get "attacked" per say...maybe the animal just ran through my backyard while I was jumping rope at 4:30 am...AND maybe it wasn't a large unknown animal...maybe just a large cat...AND maybe the locals were only terrified because of the blood curdling scream that escaped my mouth at 4:30 am. It certainly got the attention of GS and our dog Maggie. However, I did expect the police to show up at our doorstep to make sure that the lady of the house was still alive. You know after that OJ Simpson trial...we all look at our clocks when we hear a dog barking or people screaming...you never know when you will be asked EXACTLY what time some odd thing occurred...OK maybe most people equates to ME, but darn it I am ready.
Now maybe if I could only be a little less skiddish...
- A Ro
Friday, October 16, 2009
But goat cheese...it has stuck.
I love it. I put it in my salads, my eggs, my sandwiches, just everything. In fact I think that one of my Fit Fare Fridays was a goat cheese omelet.
If I were in 3rd grade and one of my friends would say to me "why don't you marry it" I might have to say OK...
Anyhoo...these two (yes I said TWO...bonus!!) recipes are two of my goat cheese favorites.
Warm Potato and Goat Cheese Salad AND Grilled Turkey Burgers with Goat Cheese Spread
Here are the cast of characters...and no I don't have a cast of characters picture...sorry geez...
For the Potato Salad:
1/4 c. white wine (I left this out)
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/3 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. parsley (I left this out too)
3 oz. goat cheese
1/2 c. goats milk
(I wouldn't pay $3.00 for goats milk when I would only use 1/2 c. and throw the rest away...I like to think that I am a good citizen not to waste, however it is just me being cheap. So I used 1/4 c. Greek style yogurt and 1/4 c. regular milk)
1/4 c. lite sour cream
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
2 T. tarragon (didn't have any of this either)
2 T. olive oil
1 t. Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove
2. Combine warm potatoes wine, salt, pepper in large bowl and toss gently. Add onion parsley and goat cheese.
3. Combine remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth and add to potato mixture.
2. Divide turkey mix into 6 equal portions shaping into 1/4 in. thick patties. Heat grill pan over med high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray, and add patties to pan, cook 8 minutes on each side.
3. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir well.
4. Spread 1 1/2 t. yogurt mixture on bun top with lettuce, onion and patty. (and if you aren't a burger snob a few pickles...or a lot of pickles)