Saturday, May 31, 2008
Well, ONE of the best, anyway. I went running to do errands this morning. Had made muesli last night, so breakfast after running was just wonderful--oats & toasted nuts & cinnamon & a bit of brown sugar & banana & blueberries & milk. Then I made a yummy dessert for the baby shower I'd be helping to host in the afternoon. While it was baking I worked on my back-porch planters, which I had started the other day. All the remaining flowers got ensconced in windowboxes or pots, & the windowboxes are now mounted on porch railings & look lovely. Meanwhile green tea with jasmine was brewing in a big jug in the sun for the shower.
I got some real exercise before & after the shower too, since it was in my neighbor's backyard & (with help from friends) I carried outdoor chairs there & back, as well as the jug of tea & the dessert & paper goods & a number of other things. We had a fabulous time at the shower--which was coed, so even my husband was there. It may have been his first baby shower ever, I'm not sure. (He's a fairly recent immigrant.)
After the shower, while he went on a bike ride I put stuff away & then made a run to the grocery store (got nearly all fresh produce) & CVS (where I got one more potted plant to hang on the porch). Back home, I made salad, grilled chicken, & heated up beans. Supper was another of those "every bite is amazing" meals.
And I'm full of oxygen & SO happy it's finally warm here in Chicago (spring is so late that the lilacs on the north side of our building are just blooming now!) & looking forward to singing on worship team tomorrow at church & then taking a big bowl of bing cherries to the potluck at the lake afterward (a church tradition throughout the summer, since our building is just 6 blocks from a nice Lake Michigan beach).
Oh yes, & two of those extra pounds were off already this morning. And I'm planning to go running just as often as I can in the coming days, to enjoy this gorgeous weather.
Friday, May 30, 2008
The weight I've put on with recent festivities has NOT come off yet. So I have to get more serious about exercising & watching my eating. It's hard when I feel quite overwhelmed with responsibilities; eating something comforting (especially sweets) is easy to excuse when all my time is spoken for & there just seem to be no margins. I guess I unconsciously give myself margins through food--which actually doesn't make sense, since the resulting weight adds another (literal) burden to my stress.
I'm going to try saying to myself, "I am being good to myself," whenever I choose to pass up something yummy or to get to bed early so that I can exercise the next day. I need to feel taken care of, & in this realm I'm the only one who can do it.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Well, I'm going to be honest: I ate more than I needed to during my weekend with family. I wasn't pigging out, but there was a lot to enjoy, including cake & ice cream a couple of times. This week I'll try to eat with special care & keep up my exercising so that the extra doesn't stick.
I got in one exercise session: my sister & niece & I went out for a run/walk Saturday morning. Following sidewalks behind our hotel, we found a rushing river & a path through the woods alongside it! Really lovely.
On Saturday afternoon I got my dad to sit for a portrait in the hotel's large dining area (which is used only for breakfast). I set up my tabletop easel, spread out my various containers of chalk pastels, & went to it. Family members sat down to talk to Dad so he wouldn't get bored, & others watched as the portrait took shape. It came out amazingly well--especially given that it had been months since I had done any art. I am going to scan it & make prints for family members, then frame the original for Dad.
The weekend also included lots of conversations, catching up, reminiscing, singing (during the party for my dad's 80th--a sister had brought her guitar & some song sheets), & laughter! My brother, sisters, nieces, a nephew & I had several sessions of playing word & story games. Our favorite is "fold-down stories": each person writes 1-3 sentences to start a story on a clean sheet of paper, then passes it to the next person, who adds a sentence or two & then folds the paper so only her own section is visible. We kept passing our sheets along & adding to each other's stories till there was no more room on the pages. Then each of us had a page to open up & read to the others--they were all HILARIOUS.
In my day-to-day life I don't have many reasons to just roar with laughter. My husband & I laugh together fairly often, but nothing like this weekend, which reduced me to long, helpless laughter several times. So good for the soul.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
My busy week is going really well--& I am going to make this quick so I can put away clean clothes & get to bed on time.
Just wanted to blog about our supper. My husband got inspired to sprout mung beans here at home--something he had done regularly many years ago, but I had never done it. It took nearly a week & we've ended up with beautiful sprouts! Tonight for supper he assembled the stuff for make-at-the-table spring rolls: rice paper, warm water to soften it in, leaf lettuce, sprouts, cilantro, chopped basil & mint, thin Japanese noodles, bottled "sweet chili spring roll sauce" poured into a bowl for dipping. He also chilled & poured a good beer.
Meanwhile I made stir-fry with carrots, onion, celery, yellow pepper, mushrooms, sprouts, tofu, spinach, & chopped basil, with soy sauce, sesame seeds, balsamic vinegar poured over it toward the end--& finally cashews. We heated rice to serve with it.
I can't express how wonderful the tastes & textures were. And it is SO great to make these meals together! I am thrilled that my husband has become so interested in Asian cooking. The calories are few & the satisfaction is great.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Those who know me will say to themselves, "Well, duh--Ruth's ALWAYS busy." That's true--sigh. But the current busyness includes getting ready for travel, which I really don't do a lot of.
From Friday to Monday I'll be with my kids at a family gathering in the Kansas City area to celebrate my dad's 80th birthday. One of the preparations for this will involve wrapping some long boards in a tarp & strapping them onto the top of my daughter's SUV. C & G will help with this; they're coming together on Thurs. evening for the purpose, & so that we can leave together fairly early on Friday morning. The boards are from a great big wall-mounted set of bookshelves that my brother made for me at my old house. I'm very sentimental about things that family members make/give me, so when we moved out of the house we took the brackets out of the wall & saved them & the boards. They wouldn't work in my current home, so I'm giving them back to my brother, who is in the process of fixing up his own home in Texas. We'll transfer them from the SUV to his van when we meet up in KC.
I know, I'm kinda crazy.
Tonight I join my friends in the suburbs for dinner. Two of them offered to pick me up at the train station & then to drop me off again when it's time to catch the train home, so I've gratefully accepted one offer & am looking forward to seeing everyone.
Tomorrow night I have my regular poetry workshop.
So this is a very, very full week. I am still going to try to get up & exercise, but we'll see how it goes. At least I can take my running shoes & clothes to KC--one of my sisters is an avid exerciser & will be glad to go out with me.
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