Monday, November 30, 2009

So long to November

November has been a bit of a blur. I’m sitting here trying to remember what I did this month…nothing too terribly exciting I guess!

But, it is time for my traditional recap. November’s workouts:

Nov 30: Treadmill walk/run[35 mins]
Nov 29: Workout A[30 mins]
Nov 26: Treadmill walk/run[35 mins]
Nov 25: Workout B[30 mins]
Nov 24: Treadmill walk/run[45m ins]
Nov 23: Workout A[30 mins]
Nov 21: Treadmill walk/run[35 mins]
Nov 19: Nov Workout B + Treadmill walk[50 mins]
Nov 18: Treadmill walk/run[45 mins]
Nov 17: Nov Workout A[30 mins]
Nov 16: Treadmill walk/run[45 mins]
Nov 15: Nov Workout B[25 mins]
Nov 14: Treadmill walk/jog[35 mins]
Nov 12: Nov Workout A[30 mins]
** Break for Flu **
Nov 05: Treadmill walk/jog[35 mins]
Nov 04: Nov Workout B + Treadmill walk/jog[45 mins]
Nov 03: Treadmill walk/jog[35 mins]
Nov 02: Nov Workout A[30 mins]

Sad looking little list this month, but I did lose a week to having the flu. Aside from that, I’m pretty happy with what I did.

My other goal this month was to start tracking calories again. It took me a while to settle in to that – I went back to a bunch of online programs that I’d used before and tried them out, plus a couple of new ones. They all seemed to have things that irritated me, and I had a hard time settling on one. However, I finally landed on which is one that I had used briefly a few years back. So far it has not irritated me too much, and I do feel like it has helped me to gain a bit of control. I’m going to stick with it for the next few weeks, but I suspect toward the end of the month it will be abandoned; at least for a while.

A Look At Today

My freezer is even more well stocked this week, thanks to some cooking on Saturday – 8 more containers of lunch (in addition to the 3 that were left) plus a container of soup that will be supper tomorrow night.


After selecting my lunch, I sat down to breakfast with one of my boys to keep me company.

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And, of course, a stop at Java Moose on the way to work.


Power Lunch

For lunch, I selected Sweet Potato & Black Bean Mole, which I made on Saturday in the Slow Cooker.

Take the Crock Pot Mole with Beef and Black Beans that I made earlier in the month; remove the beef and add: sweet potato, red bell pepper and spinach. I added in some Red Quinoa when I portioned it out.

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It may not look like much, but there is lots of good stuff in there! I have to say, it turned out pretty well. I also ate an apple as an afternoon snack.

Winding Down

It was dark and rainy driving home, and it made me sleepy. But, after feeding the felines, I changed and hit the treadmill. I was fully prepared to do 45 minutes of hard intervals, but…For some reason today I just wasn’t feeling it. I ended up taking it down a couple of notches and only going for 35 minutes and that wore me right out. Not sure what’s up with that. But I did get in a workout.

And fortunately supper was easy – staged to pretend we’re all classy around here…


Leftover Curried Cauliflower Soup and Grilled Cheese…Which you know I took to the couch after I finished with photos.

I think I could eat grilled cheese every day.


And as if that wasn’t enough, Pound Cake


Before I leave for today, a few more Fabulous Feline sightings…

Here is Frank checking out the newly polished kitchen table.


Wisely, he relocated to the comfy blanket on chair location.


Meanwhile, Zappa was guarding the cake.


I’m telling ya, that stuff is like gold. 

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Weekend Highlights


Saturday was a rainy day, but I’m not complaining about that – at least it is still warm enough to rain instead of snow. The Fabulous Felines and I spent some quality time on the couch.


Yes, I am underneath all that fur.


Normally I try to get out and get my weekend shopping done earlier rather than later, but yesterday I was in the mood to poke around the house.

As soon as I got home and we put the groceries away, we started making dinner. Thai Shrimp Soup from Eat Shrink & Be Merry, and Shrimp Wontons from Superstore.






Sunday the weather was cooler, but the sun was shining which was nice.

While making the soup on Saturday, I noticed my ginger was sprouting. Of course, I want to try planting it to see if I can grow a ginger plant.



I just can’t help myself – that would be why I have a lemon tree and a key lime tree growing in pots in my kitchen; I wanted to know if I could grow them from seeds.


First thing this morning, I got Curried Cauliflower Soup going in the slow cooker.

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I found a new low sodium vegetable broth at the store yesterday which was nice. I try to watch the sodium because of Husband’s blood pressure, but most of the ‘low sodium’ broths are not really all that low; I was pretty impressed with this one.

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The kitties each got a short walk – despite the sun it was a little chilly out.



I spent the afternoon doing my usual rushing around the house, trying to get things done. Among other things, I baked another Pound Cake (recipe here) and polished my kitchen table…


We never eat at the table except when we have company, so it tends to serve as a collecting spot where we drip things (mail, etc) when we walk through the kitchen. Eventually it gets on my nerves enough that I have to clean it off and give it a good polish.

At the end of the table you can see Husband’s bag of Rockets from Halloween, he’s still working away at eating them.


I did laundry, and cleaned the bathroom and swept. I was going to vacuum, but it needed to be emptied and the filter needed to be cleaned (which husband did for me). It’s a bag-less vacuum, so Husband rinsed the filter and canister and the filter needs 24 hours to dry.

It was nice to have dinner ready and waiting in the slow cooker. We made sandwiches to go along with our soup – I had grilled cheese, Husband had Roast Beef & Ham. And of course Pound Cake for dessert.



Pound Cake


Preheat oven to 325.

Grease a 9x5 loaf pan and dust lightly with flour.

Cream thoroughly

1 cup butter

Gradually beat in

1 cup fruit sugar (superfine sugar)

Beat until very light and fluffy.

One at a time, beat in

4 eggs

Beat for 2 minutes after each egg.

Blend in

1 tsp vanilla

Blend or sift together

1 1/2 cups All-Purpose flour

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1/4 tsp salt

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, folding in well. Then beat for 2 minutes (at low speed with electric mixer).


Turn into prepared pan.

Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 60 to 70 minutes.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thinking Musical Thoughts - Part II

The I'm Thankful Edition

When I went searching for my first post about this, it was way further back than I thought. At the time, I intended to write a second post within a couple of days...But it didn't happen, and the more time went by, the more it seemed to make sense to wait for the idea that sparked the original post to come to fruition.

I'm not there yet, but thanks to my parents I'm a step closer.

The first post was a reminiscence about my growing up years, tinkering away on the family piano. I never had piano lessons, but I loved to play and managed to learn a bit on my own. It's something that I still miss doing.

What led me to post about it was receiving a letter in the mail from my Great Aunt; the letter included a cheque. My Great Aunt is in her late 80's, she is widowed and has no children. She had sold her house and sent a gift of money to each of her nieces and nephews. It came as quite a surprise, as I'm sure you can imagine. While I very much appreciated the thought behind it, it also made me sad; I guess because I saw it as a way of getting ready to say good-bye.

I was talking to my Mom about it, and she said I should use the money for something that I really wanted. Then she said I should use it to buy a piano. As soon as my Mom said that, I knew it was the right thing to do.

Of course, I have no idea how to go about buying a piano. I am easily daunted by this sort of thing. My usual solution is to say to Husband "I want to buy this" and he will get all research-y and tell me what my best options are. However, his reaction to "I want to buy a piano" was "We have nowhere to put a piano."

He did not know me in my piano playing days - once I moved away from home I didn't have access to one, and I'm sure I'm so rusty now I could barely pick out Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Still, this took a bit of the wind out of my sails. As far as I was concerned, I would find space. But I also a bit lost about the whole thing. I didn't have enough money for a full size piano, nor enough space. Apartment sized pianos can have less than impressive sound, and I wasn't even sure if I had enough money for one of those. I was aware that there are electric pianos that sound pretty good, but again, on my own I felt a bit overwhelmed.

So, the money has been sitting in a savings account, waiting.

Saturday when I got home from shopping, Husband said my Mom had called. I wondered why she had called, since I knew she & my Dad were in Halifax for the weekend and she usually wouldn't call when they are away from home. She called back a short time later to tell me that they had seen a Digital Piano on sale at Costco and they thought I might be interested. By that time there were no longer at Costco, so she told me what she could remember about it and said I could think it over.

I got off the phone and told Husband and he said "Where are we going to put a piano?" Seriously, the man has got to get a new line.

I went to the computer and Googled the brand so I could check the dimensions. I then got the tape measure and measured the wall where I thought it would fit. Then I told Husband. "Well you're going to have to move stuff." Okay, he got a new line and it's not much better.

Yes, I will move stuff. It is worth it to me to rearrange things. Just like it was worth it to him to get a TV that I think is too big for our living room.

Anyway, that is not the point of this post. I am not here to grouse and complain about my husband's lack of enthusiasm. I am here because I am so thankful.

I talked to my Mom again and said to go for it. She said if it turns out I don't like it, we should be able to return it, so really we've got nothing to lose. Then she said she was excited. I was excited too.

I was going to wait until I actually got the piano, to post about this, just in case I end up not keeping it for some reason (I have this deeply ingrained tendency to expect things to go wrong). But I felt like this deserved a post of its own. Because I truly am so grateful for my family.

I am grateful to my Great Aunt for thinking of me, for making this possible.

I am grateful to my parents for thinking of me and knowing me so well - almost better than I know myself it would seem. I was almost in tears when I got off the phone, I think I just felt so overwhelmed. It's good to have people who will always take care of you - even when you don't realize you need taking care of.

I'll be paying my parents back, from the money sent to me by my Great Aunt, so technically I'm buying the piano for myself. But it feels like a gift.

Stuff I ate today


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Sorry for the dark – light bulb burned out in the kitchen and it wasn’t very light outside.

Lunch & Snacks

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Rockin’ Moroccan Stew for lunch. Apple and Kashi Granola bar for snacks.



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“What Can I Find in the Kitchen” Shrimp pasta.


Yogurt for dessert.

Workout of the Day

Intervals on the treadmill.

Dinner Entertainment

Episode of Glee – Imagine! Loved that number with the Deaf Glee Club. So beautiful!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

We saw the Olympic Torch!

So the Olympic Torch arrived in Saint John last night. They had a ceremony in town which we did not stick around for (though Husband got paged back to work last night and he saw some of the fireworks on his drive).

This morning they had the torch relay. There was a lot more traffic than usual headed into work this morning, but it was actually moving along fairly well (or we timed it just right) so it didn't hold us up. We parked and got out of the car, just as the relay was coming down the street so we were able to stop and watch it go by. I wished after that I had taken out my iPhone and snapped a photo or two; not that it was all that exciting - just a guy jogging slowly down the middle of the street with a torch - but how often do you get to see that?

After the [short]cavalcade went by, we crossed the street to Java Moose for our usual - coffee for me, tea & a muffin for Husband. I had a protein drink at home, so this was breakfast.



I felt kinda hungry this morning, so I ended up reaching into the snack drawer again, around 10:15. This time I came out with a LaraBar.

Lunch was Bean Balls & Brown Rice.


And I was out of apples today, so I walked up to the market to get some. While I was there I picked up a container of pomegranate arils for my afternoon snack. I also had a cup of coffee – it was just that kind of afternoon.


Today was circuit training day, and then I heated up leftover Tex-Mex Taco Soup for supper. There was a cauliflower in the fridge that I’ve been meaning to chop up, so I did that and had some with my soup. Doesn’t make of for the lack of Black Bean Quesadilla, but I was feeling like I could use a few more veggies in my day and it gave me something to munch on.

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And we finished off the Pound Cake for dessert.


Now I’m all sleepy and ready for bed.