Monday, December 5, 2011

a pleasant surprise.

Two great things today...well, two that are blog-worthy.

Firstly, I got on the scale first thing this morning.  150.2 :)
Down another pound...even with some splurging last week.  I would like to say that the re-introduction of cardio probably helped.  I'm happy that I'm finally feeling better and hope to increase the mileage this week.  With keeping to at least a mile a day until New Years.

Secondly, I realized today was the repeal of prohibition in 1933.   WXPN celebrated their top five at five with songs about tasty beverages....so I helped myself to a Naughty Nurse from City Steam Brewery.

Yum.  It was paired with a cookie from a swap this past weekend.  Chocolate base, topped with peanuts, bacon and caramel.  I heart being an adult.  Cookies & beer.

I also started a batch of rosemary olive oil bread tonight....I'll let you know how that turns out tomorrow. 

Until then . . .

Sunday, December 4, 2011

December cometh.

Well, December is here.  It was going to be a triple threat month...running, praying...and playing trumpet every day.

So far it's been two out of three each day.  I have run at least a mile each day since Thanksgiving.  The goal is to keep that up through New Year's Day.

I've also been taking time for morning and evening prayer.  As we enter into week two of Advent, my mantle is accumulating more stars each day...each star has the name of a person, people or a group of folks I'm praying for each day.  I love lighting the Advent wreath and taking time for devotions.
Last year during Advent things were much less steady than they are right now.

Although it was a year ago today that I was here...preaching a call sermon, helping out with confirmation and caroling with the youth group.  In a way it seems like I've been here much longer than a year...but I still haven't been here for the rest of Advent and Christmas.  So, the adventure continues.  I'm so happy to be here.  So many things just feel right.

The house is finally coming together, too!  The washer and dryer are in place in the new laundry room and the door should be in place soon.

In other news, I don't know whether it was good or bad that I left the house at 7am and got home when it was dark....or that I was carrying my travel mug that still had coffee from the Sunday School Hour. 

It was a long day, but a good one. 

 
And I think Marley is happy that I'm home :)

Until tomorrow . . . 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

advent fellowship night #1

Every Wednesday evening in Advent we have Fellowship nights at church. 
This evening the social hall was brimming with over a hundred people...we eat soup, bread and desserts.  Then we take part in some sort of a craft.  Tonight folks painted little ceramic Christmas bulbs. 

At the end of the evening, we gather in the sanctuary for Advent Vespers. 
What a wonderful evening.  So many people...relationships being built, meals being shared...and families taking time to be family together....and the church family coming together to eat, be together, and worship together. 

I'm thankful that the bread I made yesterday was enjoyed this evening...I had a slice myself and it was delish. 




There's more dough in the fridge so I sense another loaf in the future...not to mention a parishioner gave me a bottle of wine this evening...so fresh bread, red wine.....and something else will make for a tasty dinner on Friday. 

In the meantime, I enjoyed a bowl of sausage something soup with my bread this evening. 
Lunch was tasty venison pot roast & veggies :)
Mid-morning snack: sugar-free, fat free vanilla latte and some almonds
Breakfast: Fried egg w/2 turkey sausage links with 2 coffees.  Well, 1 1/2 cups....as I was getting ready to leave I put my coffee down somewhere...I found it this evening when I was putting away my coat.  (oops) Apparently I put it down when I took my coat out this morning. 

And now...some tea and an episode of Arrested Development. 

Until tomorrow . . . and a trip to Hershey for dinner & a show...and definitely some chocolate.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

crockpottin'

A day that started off sunny and in the mid 60's....and I walk home in the cold rain. 
A perfect day to walk in to a kitchen smelling of delicious roast which meant that dinner was ready. 

I started the day with a cup of coffee with fat free 1/2 & 1/2....followed by some oatmeal with 1/2 an apple and a handful of raisins.  (made with skim milk) 

I had a quick mile run on the treadmill...followed by that ever necessary 2nd cup of coffee.  (Perhaps that makes me an addict?) eh...two cups a day isn't that bad. 

Mid morning snack: a handful of peanuts.

Lunch: Ham and smoked gouda on a whole wheat wrap..with a touch of mustard. 

Afternoon snack: 1/2 apple with 1 TBS peanut butter.

and dinner.....a glass of red wine, alongside venison pot roast with sweet potatoes, onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms.  So yummy!  It makes lunch tomorrow and another meal to freeze...plus one meal for my boyfriend who gave me the venison and one for an older guy at church who after hearing about what I put in the crockpot this morning asked when the venison dinner would be. 


I'm finishing up that wine and watching West Side Story as I wait for bread dough to rise before it goes in the oven.  It's been a good day. 

I anticipate some popcorn shortly....and a cup of tea with honey and lemon later. 

Until tomorrow . . .


For those who are interested this is how I made the roast:

2 sweet potatoes in large cubes
3 carrot sticks (cut into thirds)
a handful of celery
one onion in large chunks
and some left over mushrooms

put all veggies in the crockpot.
drizzle with evoo and season with salt & pepper
add 1/2 cup wine (red or white should do)

put the roast on top.
spread one can of cream of mushroom soup on the roast (it's like frosting really)
sprinkle one packet of onion soup mix over the soup (sticking with the dessert illustration this would be your sprinkles)

I turned the crockpot on low at 8:45am.....and turned it off at 4:30pm.  If you're a crockpot cooker you know your crockpot and it's settings....don't quote me on these times, they worked for me today with this cut of meat.

Monday, November 28, 2011

monday, monday.

Just got home from a council meeting...somehow the budget conversation, even though there were periods of deafening silence....lasted for over an hour and a half. It's the same struggles that many churches face....concerns about giving....wanting to grow and expand in the future but the staff is already doing so much...we will push forward and see how things go with the congregation in two weeks.

I had the urge for a huge bowl of popcorn when I got home, not that I was even hungry, but I passed on a slice of birthday cake that others were having after the meeting and was just craving something.  That's when I realized that the evening snacking I've done in the past is a way to mellow out after a long day.  It's easy to grab a cookie or 5 .... or to open a bag of chips and consume way more than a single serving...I had the pot out to make the popcorn and had to say (out loud) you're not even hungry!  Geesh....I made a cup of tea w/honey and enjoyed 3 pieces of a dark chocolate with tiny toffee bits.  I'm thinking tomorrow night is movie night and that is when I'll have a popcorn snack.

Other than that, I had a great eating day.
It was off to a great start when the scale read: 151.2 and nope, that's not a typo....and I don't think my scale is broken...but that's the same as it was last week...and the week before. 
So, I'm holding steady.  Which is a good thing.  After a week of being sickly, then being even sicker and having some Thanksgiving splurges, I'm happy to be where I'm at. 


Breakfast was scrambled eggs and two slices of bacon at breakfast bible study.  With 2 1/2 cups of coffee with skim milk....I was at the end of the 1/2 and 1/2 :(

Mid-morning snack: mixed nuts

Lunch: open faced ham & cheese on homemade whole wheat w/mustard and a seltzer.

Mid-afternoon snack: 1/2 an apple with peanut butter

Dinner: leftover blackened salmon with green beans, craw fish tales and a baked sweet potato.  (still yum...even without the deep fried cornbread)

And that was the day.  I also did a much better job hydrating today....multiple nalgenes were consumed.  So the whole being hydrated thing also feels good.  I'm off to bed so I can get longer than a 1 mile run in before heading to the office.  Oh...and I'm excited for tomorrow night's dinner already.  The venison roast is thawing....the crock pot is already filled with sweet potatoes, carrots, celery and mushrooms....I add the roast in the morning and come home to dinner.  I heart easy dinners :)

Until tomorrow . . .

Sunday, November 27, 2011

3rd Thanksgiving and the day after.

At one point I felt like I feasted like a champ yesterday, but in retrospect....it doesn't look all that bad.

Breakfast was a large espresso with low fat 1/2 & 1/2.  It went very well with a 2 egg omelet with a Mexican blend of shredded cheese and 2 turkey sausage links.  (Thanks for making breakfast, Billy.)

A late lunch consisted of goat cheese, whole wheat crackers, baked brie with honey drizzled on it served with pear and apple slices.  I had three mini puff pasty apps....that's what I could have skipped...but oh well, it was Thanksgiving.  Oh, and several green olives stuffed with feta and blue cheese.  Two glasses of Shiraz were sipped throughout the afternoon.  I also enjoyed a small bowl of escarole soup.  (So delish!!!!)

Dinner was Turkey (at 6:30....and I was ready to eat!)  Some stuffing, mashed potatoes (which were to die for.... 1) because I was breaking a potato fast and 2) because they tasted like butter (another thing I haven't had in a while.) 1/2 a sweet potato, a spoonful of green bean casserole, Brussels sprouts with bacon and a bit of gravy.  And another glass of wine.  Followed by a glass of diet ginger ale. 

I enjoyed a slice of pumpkin pie with ready whip for dessert and bite of pecan pie.


So all in all...if you look at it from a south beach phase two perspective...the extras were: one glass of wine, pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy.  But it is what it is...and really, my plate didn't contain a mountain of mashed potatoes and stuffing...it was just a spoonful of each and I passed on the large white bakery rolls with butter.  I did feel really full at the end of dinner.

When I got home I had a cup of tea with lemon and a teaspoon of honey.

Today I had my regular 2 cups of coffee with fat free 1/2 & 1/2, and a fried egg with some ham.
Lunch was a bowl of beef vegetable soup at potluck.  I could strain out the potatoes but the corn was tricky....you sneaky kernels, you!  I also chomped on a cheese stick.

The real bites of bread at communion are still chewy delicious! 

After a sweet 2 mile run, I had half an apple with a TBS of peanut butter.

Dinner was leftovers from yesterday.....well, just some of the leftovers.  A bowl of soup, some turkey and a sweet potato.

After several days where dessert was just part of the meal, I was craving something sweet.  I had a few squares from an organic dark chocolate bar with toffee bits.  Just enough to curb the desire for pie....which, I'm glad I didn't take home with the leftovers because I totally would've eaten it today.

And now with a cup of tea (w/honey & lemon) in my belly, I'm ready for bed.

Tomorrow is a weigh-in day....and while I'm really curious about it, I know I'm already back to healthier eating after the weekend...so I'm ready for a good week.  And the other thing is that the Thanksgiving meals this week, were less about the food and more about the fellowship around that table and family....and those two things are far more important than whatever number shows up on the scale in the morning.

Until tomorrow . . .

Friday, November 25, 2011

deep. fried. cornbread.

So, I guess there comes a time, when after a while of changing your eating habits, that you fall off the wagon.

I'm proud to day that it wasn't yesterday.

I got up had a few cups of coffee w/ fat free 1/2 & 1/2 and an egg scramble loaded with turkey sausage, ham, green peppers, red onions and smoked gouda.  (It was with two eggs...and I ate half and expected to save the other half for breakfast today...well that didn't happen.

After a 2.1 mile run with a mile walk interspersed in throughout I snacked on an apple w/peanut butter and downed a nalgene of water.

I had the second half of breakfast with another cup of coffee with more 1/2 and 1/2....as I watched some Wallace and Gromit.

Then I headed across the street for a Thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat. And let me just say...it didn't feel like home away from home.  It felt like home.  Which is a really cool feeling.  It was like I was meant to be there.  I'm super thankful for the space I had at their family table, the feast they shared and the warm welcome.

I had some snacks of whole wheat crackers and celery sticks with cream cheese olive dip and some olives & pickles.
Alongside a glass of white wine I enjoyed some turkey, brussels sprouts, green bean casserole and a small scoop of stuffing with cranberries.  After a brief respite and some joke telling, I had a sliver of apple pie with freshly whipped cream and a sliver of key lime cheese cake :) yum...with a side of coffee....

And then: to the movies!  The Muppets was excellent! (I shied away from snacks there...because I was still super full from dinner.  I did have some sugar free candies to stifle the still lingering cough.

When I got home I popped in Chicken Run and had some sleepy time tea before passing out happy and full. :)

Today started off really well...oatmeal made with skim milk a sprinkle of splenda and a 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries.  It was breakfast, and if you haven't figured it out by now, there was coffee with fat free 1/2 & 1/2. 

I then just snacked my way through the day.  A south beach protein cereal bar, a cheese stick...another cup of coffee and ran some errands.  Later there was a snack of cheese and crackers and some diet ginger ale. 

And then came dinner....
At the French Quarter Bistro they have many tasty beers on tap.
We started with a Three Philosophers Quadrupel :)
It helped keep the palate cool alongside the firecracker shrimp pictured below. 

We passed on the white rice, but enjoyed the last of that spicy sauce with some fresh baked cornbread.

When dinner came, we paired it with some sort of Noel brew....it was an 11% one...I should have written the name down, but I was completely distracted by my dinner. 

Blackened salmon, topped with craw fish tales in a bourbon sauce, over tasty green beans.  It was all on top of, get this, deep fried cornbread!  Holy yummyness. 


I saw it on the menu and thought...oh good gravy, that's a double no...a corn product....deep fried. 
But it was so good!  Well worth the splurge.  I mean if you're fall off the wagon...you might as well do it with a cannon ball...or a swan dive...I mean really go for it! 

If you're every around for a visit...let me know, this is a great place for a bite to eat. 

I'm just sipping some more sugar-free ginger ale before I go into sweet dreamland about this scrumptious dinner.

Until tomorrow . . .

Thursday, November 24, 2011

thankful.

One of the closing prayers from my morning devotions:

Almighty and gracious God, I give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them.  Make me, I pray, a faithful steward of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

As the year is soon to draw to a close, I've had the opportunity to reflect on all that this past year has offered.  It's been a zany years with super high highs...and ultra low lows.  I'm truly thankful this day for all the people that God has placed in my life this past year.  Both those who hugged me and laughed and saw me cry up close...and those who followed my journey via my blog, tweets and facebook posts. 

May we all see the presence of God in our lives and our world breaking through to us in the most obscure and unexpected moments.  As we look back and look forward, may we pause to give thanks for all the blessings bestowed on each of us...and may we be blessed with opportunities to share those blessings and grace with others.

Happy Thanksgiving.

gobble gobble.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hush.

Yesterday....another day home...with some laundry and cutting out stars.
It's for my advent practice of praying for someone different each day during my daily prayers.  Now that they are all painted and cut out, they just need names attached. 

I had 2 cups of coffee with fat-free 1/2 & 1/2 alongside an egg scrambled with smoked gouda, red peppers, and smoked turkey sausage. 

Mid-morning snack: and apple with 1 TBS of peanut butter.

Lunch was an open faced sandwich of lebanon bologna and mozzarella cheese and a bit of honey mustard on my homemade whole wheat. 

Dinner was chicken with pomegranate chipotle glaze and whole wheat orzo and wild rice with broccoli. 

I drank 4 pots of herbal tea throughout the day. 

And with my post dinner snack of popcorn lightly salted and dusted with parmesean cheese (homemade smartfood) I had a crystal light raspberry iced green tea.  I ate it as I watched my themed Buffy episode for the day: Hush.  (the one where they all loose their voices....totally appropriate for me.)


And this morning...I had a voice!

After two days off from a three day week...it was non stop officey things today. 
Luckily I had the support of the Muppet channel on Sirius radio. (Thanks, Billy).  I only chuckled out loud a dozen or so times. 

I did enjoy an egg scramble with smoked gouda, turkey sausage, and green peppers. With two cups of coffee with fat-free 1/2 and 1/2. 

My mid-morning snack was a handful of mixed nuts.  (tee hee)

Lunch was tasty chicken salad dressed in smoked paprika dip with celery and grapes :) on a bed of mixed greens.  And a cup of lemon tea. 

Dinner was some leftovers....chopped up chicken breast with pomegranate chipotle glaze mixed with broccoli and whole wheat orzo & wild rice and a raspberry seltzer.  

I'm sure I'll have  small snack after the Thanksgiving Eve service.  The trick will be staying away from the cookies at the reception. 

I have to admit, last night was the best night of sleep this week.  I think that the coughing is no longer waking me up....and hearing the alarm this morning woke me out of a deep sleep.  I have to admit, I'm looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow. 

I'm also tempted to take on the challenge of a mile a day until New Years.  Since I'm still in recovery mode, tomorrow may have to be a mile walking on the treadmill rather than running....but it's a mile none the less. 

Until turkey day . . .

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

marathon post.

I had the most excellent weekend with my boyfriend, parents and sister. 

Friday, I had the chance to do some serious housecleaning.  It was way overdue.  The house is still in the process of renovations.  The drywall process left everything with a serious layer of dust.  I finally found the hardwood floors under all of that. 
I went out to breakfast with my boyfriend and enjoyed a western omelet with cheese, two coffees with skim milk and a fruit cup.  (I really like that phase 2 brings some fruit back into the ol' diet.) 

That was a pretty big breakfast for little ol' me.  So lunch was much later in the afternoon and consisted of whole wheat crackers, smoked gouda and pepperoni. 

Dinner was PIZZA! (It's been a while since I've had pizza, and boy have I missed it!)  I tried a new crust recipe made entirely with whole wheat flour.  It was quite tasty, even my dad liked it. 
Mom and I loaded up the crust with sweet turkey sausage, mushrooms, peppers, onions, black onions and mozzarella cheese.

I had three slices for dinner, with a side salad with vinaigrette dressing and 2 glasses of red wine. 

Saturday: I woke up realizing I was still battling a cold of sorts.  Yet, I did get out for a 2.2 mile run.  The first chunk was with my mom....and while it was tough, it felt good to shake all the gunk out of my system.  I refueled with 1/2 cup of oatmeal (made with skim milk) with 1/4 shredded apple, some raisins and a sprinkle of splenda. and 2 cups of coffee with fat free half and half. 

Lunch was at the Fairgrounds market.  Tasty pork w/refried beans, lettuce, tomato and sour cream with a Diet Dr. Pepper. 

Snack was at the Women's Ornament Exchange at church.  A few slices of colby jack cheese and some apples and grapes.  I sipped some orange tea with lemon as we politely snatched ornaments from one another until we were all swapped out. 

Dinner was fresh salmon from the market with a pomegranate chipotle glaze with baked yams, broccoli, and a wild rice pilaf (w/whole wheat orzo.) and 2 glasses of red wine.  (yum.)
It was early to bed that night with an early wake up scheduled for the next morning...but I sipped some herbal tea with lemon and honey before calling it a night. 

Marathon Sunday!
We were up at 3:30am!  Eep!  But we made it to Philly and into the parking garage before they closed the streets at 6am!  (Whew! Thanks to some motivational driving by Billy.) 
I sipped a few cups of coffee w/fat free 1/2 and 1/2 on the way. 

We met up with my sister pre-race and she looked ready to run! 
At some point while cheering folks on I sipped some water and snacked on a cheese stick. 

After seeing her at miles 9, 12 and 14....Billy and I took a brunch break.
We split a whole wheat wrap filled with apple chicken sausage, egg and cheddar cheese and an egg, swiss and bacon sammie on whole grain bread.  (yum times two.)

Dinner was much later....after the race...we had our family Thanksgiving dinner at Fado in Philly. 
I sipped on a Smithwicks and enjoyed some potato type pitas with spinach and cheese dip. 
I had a pear and blue cheese salad with walnuts, vinaigrette and grilled chicken. 

I tried to watch the Muppets Wizard of Oz, but fell asleep somewhere in the middle. 

Monday:
Weigh in day- 151.2 (exactly where I was last week) 

I had a cup of coffee w/ skim milk and splenda, 1/2 cup of oatmeal (made with skim milk) with 1/2 an apple shredded and a handful of raisins tossed in.  With the apple and raisins, I've decided that no splenda is needed.  It's sweet enough. 

Then I went to the doctor, because my voice wasn't at full force.  Got a prescription for antibiotics, went to CVS and loaded up on pain reliever, cough drops and syrup and headed home. 
I put in the Muppets Wizard of Oz...and this time slept through a different part of it.  (Maybe one day I'll see the whole thing....) 
I had a late lunch of an egg scrambled with red pepper, sweet turkey sausage and smoked gouda. 
I had multiple cups of tea throughout the day with lemon and honey. 
Snack was 1 1/2 apples with a TBS of peanut butter. 
Dinner was an open face sandwich on homemade honey whole wheat bread with mozzarella cheese and lebanon bologna.  I also sipped an entire can of beef broth...it was super soothing on the throat.  Although my voice, at that point, sounded like a cartoon character.  ;) 
I had a pot of sleepy time tea with lemon and honey before falling asleep during Despicable Me. 

And that brings us to today.  My voice is less cartooney, and more raspy...but hopefully I'm on the mend. 

We'll see what the rest of the day brings.

Until later . . . 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

chicken salad (first time I've made it....no really)

It was another day just slightly under the weather...so sleep trumped the elliptical.  But an early night tonight and a chance to sleep in tomorrow...are two great things that taste great together!

Breakfast: 2 coffees with skim milk, a fried egg and 2 turkey sausage links.

Mid-morning snack: apple w/1 TBS peanut butter (could be my new favorite snack!)

Lunch: chicken salad (the diced chicken and celery was coated in leftover tastefully simple spinach and dill dip which was a combo of mayo and greek yogurt.) It was delicious!  I can't wait to try it with the smoked paprika and garlic dip.  7 whole grain crackers and some strawberries.

Late-afternoon snack: South Beach protein cereal bar. 

Dinner: Leftover chicken sauteed with mushrooms...I wasn't too hungry because of the late afternoon snack. 

During choir I sipped some acai herbal tea....and now I'm curled up with some sugar free hot chocolate and an episode of Buffy.  A good way to bring this day to a close. 

Looking forward to a day off tomorrow and a chance to get some of this dust (from all the drywall work) off the floors! 


Until tomorrow . . .

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

ham :)

Sometimes a fire and George Winston is just a good way to end the day.  It's been a cold and rainy day...and I've had the song Like the Weather (10,000 Maniacs) in my head all day.  That could be because I heard it first thing this morning and it just fit the day.
I seem to have taken on another cold :(
A bit of a sore throat and congestion at the beginning of the day and at the end.  I was not up for a workout this morning but I'm hoping to feel a bit better in the morning.  My legs are still a bit achy from running two days in a row this week after not having run for 2 weeks.

I enjoyed two fried eggs this morning with 2 turkey sausage links and a cup of fresh strawberries.  Alongside my 2 cups of coffee with skim milk.  (I've decided I can do without the splenda in the coffee.  I'm not a big fan of artificial sweeteners.)

I had a peanuts as a mid morning snack.

Lunch was out at the local tavern for our ministerium meeting.  Today's lunch buffet was ham (my fave!!!) and a chopped veggie salad (cauliflower, broccoli, radishes, carrots, cukes all in a sweet n sour dressing.)  I passed on the au gratin potatoes, bread and dessert. 

Mid-afternoon snack: a cheese stick & diet crystal light green tea.

Got home from work and to combat the cold and rain I had a sugar free hot chocolate.  It helped keep my spirits up while I paid the bills.
 
Dinner was chicken & mushrooms in a splash of white wine, steamed broccoli and a glass of white wine. 
The picture doesn't really do it justice...but you can see that it was all dusted with some Parmesan cheese. 

Now for some catching up on facebook and bed....the sleepy time tea will help with the latter. 

Until tomorrow . . .

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

taking time to look back.

So, the cool thing I did this morning, after sleeping in a bit....but before going out for a 3.1 mile run (since it was 60 degrees out this morning!!!) was look at my food journal from over the summer.  Not just what I ate, but also to look at my weight fluctuation over the past several months. I lost a bit of weight as my biking & running intensified..but I could not seem to break below 156.  I hit 156 the week before VBS...and in those pictures I realized that I had lost some weight.  I seemed to hover mostly between 160 and 158 ish...give or take a few pounds depending on the week. 
The first time I weighed in was May 1st at 167. 
This weekend I was at 151.
That's a total of 16 pounds!  Now that feels awesome! 
Now that I've moved into phase 2 of South Beach, I know the weight won't come off as quickly as it did that during the 2 weeks of phase one, but I'm ready to slowly work in healthier carbs and keep the sugar intake low. 

Today I enjoyed 1/2 cup of oatmeal for breakfast with skim milk, 1/4 of shredded apple, a dash of cinnamon and 1/2  a splenda packet and 2 cups of coffee w/ skim milk. 

Mid-morning snack was a cheese stick as I ran errands before going into the office. 

Lunch was the last of the tasty venison chili.  You know, sometimes it's fun to cook without a recipe.  This awesome pot of chili came out without a recipe...but now I won't be able to replicate it exactly...oh well.  I'm sure the next pot will be just as tasty in it's own way. 

Mid-afternoon snack: South Beach cereal bar (packed with protein and a hint of cranberries & almonds).
Decaf chai tea w/ skim milk

Dinner: Spaghetti squash with that tasty, spicy venison sausage tomato sauce. 
Relaxing tonight with some sleepy time tea. 

Spaghetti squash could be my new favorite meal.  It's super delicious with zesty meat sauce....I see more of that on the menu next week. 
In the meantime I need to find some tasty marinades to dress up some chicken breasts for dinner tomorrow and Thursday. 


Until tomorrow . . .

Monday, November 14, 2011

3-fer

I need to blog daily...these catching up days are tricky....
Saturday:
Breakfast:  2 coffees with skim milk, scrambled egg w/mushrooms, peppers, onions and a bit o' bacon
lunch: left over (and just as tasty the next day) chicken capri
Snack: low fat sugar-free white chocolate latte and peanuts & cashews. (gesundheit)
Dinner: Club soda w/lime, salad with vinaigrette, filet Mignon, broccoli and ....  wait for it .... no really .... a slice cheesecake.  It came with dinner....and coffee w/cream.  I mean, I couldn't pass it up.  It was tasty. 

Sunday:
Breakfast: Hard boiled egg & cheese stick (2 coffees w/skim milk)

L: Pumpkin hummus w/ fresh veggies, chicken chili (w/pumpkin) and bean soup w/ pumpkin and some roast beef.  What can I say...I was at the Iron Chef Potluck at church.  Secret ingredient: Pumpkin. 

Afternoon sweet treat: Sugar-free hot chocolate.

D: Fresh cauliflower, pepper & cuke w/low fat dip.  (made w/ mayo & greek yogurt & spinach dill dip mix)
Spaghetti squash w/tasty red sauce w/ hot pepper flakes and venison sausage. :) 

And today.....I weighed in first thing this morning:  151.2
A few more pounds down and I'm definitely feeling a difference. 
I'm also super happy to be done with that terrible cold and ran 2.2 miles this morning.  It'll be nice to have regular workouts again.  :) 

I enjoyed 1/2 C of whole grain oatmeal w/skim milk, a bit of shredded apple, cinnamon, vanilla and splenda.  Yum.  2 cups of coffee with skim milk in the morning...and a third with a friend as we drove to a meeting. 

mid-morning snack: 1/4 cup peanuts & cashews

Lunch was turkey & swiss with lettuce & tomato and a bit of italian dressing...I passed on the bulky bun, oreos and chips.  I did have a diet ginger ale.

Afternoon snack another 1/4 cup of peanuts & cashews. 

Dinner: The last of the chicken capri...with the left over venison sausage pasta sauce :)  super yum...with some steamed broccoli.  



Until tomorrow....

Friday, November 11, 2011

a 2-fer

Thursday:
Breakfast: 2 coffees with skim milk, fried egg with two turkey sausages link
Lunch: large salad w/ cukes, peppers, sweet balogna, mozzarella and italian dressing
Snack: celery stalk with natural peanut butter
Dinner: This was the challenge...out to dinner with folks from church.  Dinner and a show is their thank you to the pastoral staff.  We headed out to an Italian Restaurant...and I had thought I would end up with a big salad of some sort, but instead had a side salad alongside grilled salmon topped with artichokes and spinach in garlic olive oil.....and the veggies of the day (cauliflower, broccoli and summer squash) definitely in butter...but that's okay.  I did pass on the slice of ice cream cake that everyone else enjoyed for an anniversary celebration within the group.  I had some coffee with splenda. 

In other news...A Christmas Story: The musical!  Is pretty good.  I enjoyed it more than the movie, actually.  It's a great adaptation from the book. 

I did treat myself to a sugar-free hot chocolate when I got home to meet the needs of my sweet truth. 

Today:
Fried egg and a turkey sausage link....and two cups of coffee with skim milk. 

After fighting this cold for way too long, I was truly thankful for the opportunity to walk with a dear friend of mine.  We were both in need of fresh air, a good walk and great conversation. 
Another highlight from today was a positive shopping experience.  A few new pairs of pants, tops and a new pair of shoes were in order.  The two scarves and earrings were a fun treat to myself...for working really hard with running and exercising over the summer and fall...and for sticking to phase one of south beach.  I should say that my sister recommended taking a trip to South Beach when I hit my goal....of eating healthy/weight loss.  I like that idea :)

Lunch was a tasty bowl of homemade chili and a diet snapple green tree.

After a new cut and color at the salon, I came home to make a new tasty dinner.
Chicken Capri: Chicken breasts....pan seared then put in a baking dish, topped with part-skim ricotta (seasoned with oregano & basil, salt & pepper) then covered in some crushed tomatoes and covered with a slice of mozzarella cheese. Then baked fro 20 minutes or so until the chicken is completely done and the cheese looks melty.  It was yummy with a side of steamed broccoli. 

I'm thinking there will be a cup of sugar free hot chocolate soon....

and perhaps some veggies and dip....

Until tomorrow . . .

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

today's eats

Breakfast: fried egg and two turkey sausages :)
2 cups of coffee with skim milk...and a successful walk to work with the new ceramic travel mug.

Mid-morning snack: cheese stick

Lunch: with colleagues at a local restaurant....I went with the large chopped salad with grilled chicken.  I picked off the potato sticks...but didn't weed out the shredded carrot bits....

Dinner: Leftover chicken mole w/refried beans :)  and a snapple peach diet iced tea.

I went snack free at the Hershey Bears Hockey Game.....the toughest thing to pass: dessert nachos.  (just have to wait until next time)

I should add that the past few days I've also been passing the time with sugar free halls vitamin C drops....to soothe the throat and get the extra C. 

And now a cup of sleepy time tea....like I even need it.

Until tomorrow . . .

yesterday's eats

Pre-breakfast coffee at home with skim milk & splenda
Breakfast: two fried eggs and a ham steak at the diner...with a black coffee.

Late morning: Sugar free hot chocolate. 

Worked through lunch...(I know...not good....should have brought a snack of a yogurt or cheese stick...)but downed a nalgene full of water :)

Dinner was a tasty homemade chicken mole.  (Straight out of the South Beach cookbook)  It will be made again....last night it was with a side of refried beans :) 

The company for breakfast & dinner couldn't be beat!

Until later . . .

Monday, November 7, 2011

sick day

So I've been battling a cold over the weekend and today it's gotten the better of me.

I did get on the scale first thing today: 153.8
So, I lost some weight last week.... :) 

The sad thing is that today was not a good eating day. 

I had a few cups of coffee with skim milk alongside two fried eggs and two pieces of bacon at breakfast bible study. 

Followed by a cup of herbal tea.  And a stellar 2 hour nap. 

In between episodes of Buffy I sipped on 16 oz of sugar free grape Kool-aid....the only thing that really tastes good right now. (How weird is that?) 

I my tummy has been growling, so I sauteed up a chicken breast (seasoned with Adobo) and some mushrooms....at the last minute I added a splash of water and some broccoli spears and to steam. 
I am proud to say I ate the whole thing with some mozzarella cheese melted over the top. 
Now with a full belly, and another tall glass of the grape stuff next to me I can take my night time meds.  (I didn't think taking them on an empty stomach would be a good thing.) 

I'll let you know tomorrow if I eat anything else.  I will have some tea and perhaps some sugar free hot chocolate if I need something sweet-ish. 

Until tomorrow . . .

ps.  Marley has been a great napping buddy today.  I just couldn't get her to make dinner....

Sunday, November 6, 2011

just a bit of bread...and a sip of wine

Today was a looooong day.
 
Breakfast: cup of coffee with skim milk and an egg scramble w/mushrooms, green peppers & mozzarella cheese. 
A second cup of coffee with some hazelnut splenda and some sugar free cocoa...a tasty mocha to get me ready for church :) 

The off the limit food for today was partaking of the bread and wine at communion.  But what a sacred moment it was...during both services as we remembered the saints who had gone before us and those still with us this day.  There were tears and smiles as we broke bread and sang hymns and prayed for one another. 

Had some tasty chili with cheddar cheese for lunch with the confirmation youth. 

A quick break between fundocy and contemporary worship meant some diet iced tea and some string cheese. 

And a quick dinner of cauliflower soup and pepper sticks with hummus between contemporary worship and the Simpsons youth event.

And now a mug of sleepy time tea, an episode of Buffy and off to bed.  I'm completely sucked into season 7... I forgot how much the episodes tied into each other...and also how randomly goofy a few of them have been. 

Until tomorrow . . .

Saturday, November 5, 2011

got my fill of veggies today :)

A good night's sleep makes a world of difference. 
That and a day off (well most of a day) also does a body good. 
Okay, a good night's sleep, a chunk of a day off....and some mucinex and cough syrup...makes for a me that's starting to feel better. 

I enjoyed a breakfast of french press coffee with skim milk and an egg scramble with green peppers, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese :)...and a double batch means I can just microwave breakfast before church. 
Lunch was the last of the tasty falafels with some peppers and hummus....and a side of crystal light raspberry green tea.
Dinner. was. awesome.  Tasty cauliflower soup and a big salad with cukes, green pepper, broccoli, and a slice of turkey, mozz and sweet bologna with some vinaigrette dressing.

In other news...how lucky am I to have such a great vocation that supporting youth in sports meets and drama shows is part of what I get to do.  (I love it!) I enjoyed the high school drama show tonight...and sat with fun folks from church....good times. 
Now bring on some hot chocolate (sugar free) (another bonus find at BB's) and an episode of Buffy and my day is done.

Until tomorrow . . .

Friday, November 4, 2011

late night snack.

A long day....
A quick hospital visit meant breakfast on the run. Luckily I had a hard-boiled egg....and I grabbed it, not one of the 8 raw ones (phew) and a cup of coffee with skim milk.  Had I been really thinking I would have grabbed a cheese stick, too, for the walking woman's omelette.

Lunch was at church for the funeral dinner.  Woah...Berks County does carbs and does carbs really well.  So, I had ham....and......green beans.  And a hot tea with Splenda.  (No potatoes with cheese, pasta with cheese or corn.  And absolutely no desserts.) 

A snack of a cheese stick later followed by some freshly made cauliflower soup.  Super simple and quite tasty. 

Dinner was some leftover falafels with greek yogurt.  I had just a pepper slice at a party this evening, because I ate first and passed on the snackables. 

At the end of 5th Quarter I came home for some sugar-free hot chocolate and some string cheese.
And now for bed...

Until tomorrow. . .

Thursday, November 3, 2011

loved dinner, then read the ingredients...

Breakfast: Earl Grey tea with skim milk and Splenda
A tasty egg scramble with pork, green peppers, and mozzarella cheese :)

Lunch was more tasty chili and crystal light raspberry iced tea.

An afternoon snack of some string cheese. (i love me some string cheese)

I enjoyed an outing to the local farm stand...they still have cauliflower bigger than my head...so there will be soup tomorrow.  Then to the local bargain grocery and picked up some tasty stuff.  I do have to admit that I bought a peppermint stick log thing from Friendlys :) It'll be a special treat for the holidays.  I should admit here and now that I love peppermint stick ice cream.  It's a new found favorite of mine...and I have a tendency to forget about it come December...being busy with Advent and all....so when I found the peppermint stick log I picked it right up.  It's in the downstairs freezer with another gallon of peppermint stick that I found a while back at the same discount store.  I tried to hide it under the fat free greek yogurt.  ;)

Dinner tonight was super delicious.  I got whole foods hummus, and had some celery and peppers with hummus as an app....while the falafel mix began to set (no sugar in the mix, I might add.)
I was so excited for the falafels....so I started making them...then diced up some cucumber & mixed it into the plain greek yogurt, put it all on some lettuce and topped with with some hummus. 
(the picture doesn't capture the flavor)

I was enjoying this tasty dinner as I read the ingredients to the falafel mix.  Right after garbanzo beans came whole wheat flour.  (Oops!) I completely didn't see that as I picked up two packets of this stuff at the store.  I wonder if that's why they tasted so good...the flour.  Oh well, for a cheat day that was pretty lame.  I didn't have one cookie after tonight's meeting.  I am looking forward to leftovers tomorrow. 

And I'm getting used to herbal tea as I blog.  A fine way to end the day.

Until tomorrow . . .

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

the first of two house parties...

Breakfast: egg scramble with green pepper, diced pork chop and mozzarella cheese :)
2 coffees with skim milk & splenda

Morning snack: cashews and peanuts

Lunch: Eggplant lasagna & radishes (A strange combo, I know...but I'm working on getting more veggies in daily...and the radishes were still tasty from the market a few weeks ago) crystal light green raspberry tea

Afternoon snack 1/2 cuke with hummus

Dinner (this is where is doesn't go so well...as I was at a jewelry party....well the jewelry went very well..the eating...eh...) I had several stuffed olives....like at least 5 or 6 and they were jumbo! More cashews :)  A taste of two different cheese dips and lots and lots of water.  (& a crystal light candy)
On the way home I had a cheese stick and the other 1/2 of the cuke. 

This did not make for a great end to the day. 

I'm headed to a pampered chef party on Friday that also happens around dinner time.  I need to make sure I eat a good meal first and am not dependent on the snacks to carry me through.  On the other hand, it was easy to tell folks that I was on Phase one of South Beach, so I could not have any carbs or sweets...I was okay walking by the dessert table.  I only did a double take on the chocolate covered pretzels. 

Until tomorrow . . .

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

chocolate chip cookies.

Day two and all is well.

An early cup of coffee with some skim milk & splenda.

A tasty breakfast out with my boyfriend. 
I enjoyed a 3 egg omelette with tomato and feta cheese....and a slice of canadian bacon.  (yum)
And a black coffee...not my fave, but 1/2 & 1/2 was not an option. 

A mid-morning snack of peanuts & cashews and some herbal tea with splenda. 

Lunch was that tasty chili I made over the weekend.  Super delicious. 

A late afternoon snack of peanuts & cashews with a glass of V-8. 

Oh, I also made a batch of chocolate chip cookies for an event on Thursday.  So inhaling the smell of the dough was intoxicating...but I passed on tasting it. 

And dinner was the tasty lasagna again... :)  That may make an appearance at lunch tomorrow. 
I'm also looking forward to hummus & veggies! 

Until tomorrow  . . .

Monday, October 31, 2011

darn you gummy worm!

Hopped on the scale first thing this morning: 160.4

Even in the cold I got a short run in before breakfast Bible study. 
Food intake for the day:
coffee w/splenda & skim milk
2 dippy eggs & 2 sausage links
& coffee w/ 2% milk

I popped into the office of my awesome friend and saw the container of gummy worms left over from the reformation festival yesterday.  (Guess how many gummy worms are in the container as we learn about the Diet of Worms.)  I asked for one, picked out a tasty red and clear one (I had many of them yesterday!) I walked out the of the office...took a bite and then remembered South Beach and spit it out. 
Phew...I feel sorry for the gummy bear left behind but happy I remembered not to eat it. 

staff appreciation lunch !!!
I passed on the tuna noodle casserole & piles of fresh baked bread and went with the large chef salad, lots of veggies, ham, turkey and just a little of the cheddar cheese (I'm sure it wasn't of the low fat variety.) and a hot tea with lemon.

A snack of some peanuts and cashews and another cup of herbal tea as the trick or treaters came and went.

Dinner was the eggplant lasagna I made over the weekend.  Basically it's tomato sauce, fat free ricotta, low fat mozzarella, and mushrooms layered between the eggplant (that serves as the noodles.) and a glass of skim milk.

Happy Halloween!

We'll see how tomorrow goes...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

the last cookie (or three)

Let me start off by saying that I'm learning a bit about myself. 
I need a specific goal or target to stick to something.  The Hartford 1/2 Marathon got me back into running.  Playing trumpet at worship today...helped me at least pick up my trumpet a few times this past week. 

So the next 30 days (plus) is back to eating. Well, not eating more, but firstly, getting back on track with healthy eating.  So tomorrow I begin the South Beach diet.  As I looked at my intake over the summer months, it's not that I don't eat well...it's that I think I could shift my eating away from not healthy carbs, to ones that are better for me. 
So, by sticking to a change in diet, logging my eats and workouts, and being held accountable by my boyfriend who is doing it as well, I'm more apt to stick to it. 

I feel like tonight is 'fat Tuesday' as I chowed down on good eats for lunch and dinner and several homemade cookies.  :)  No more sticky baked goods for a while..and the next two weeks will be alcohol free. 

Starting tomorrow morning, I'll log my weight weekly. 
I'll be keeping a journal of what I eat.  In a dream world, I'd like to post that daily, too, but we'll see how the timing works out.  I am excited for some good eats this week.  I made some tasty chili yesterday...and eggplant lasagna (using eggplant as the noodles for the layers). 

I'll keep you 'posted' (no pun intended) on how things go. 

Thanks for joining me on the adventure. 

Until tomorrow . . .

Thursday, October 6, 2011

something to sing about...and more.

So yesterday I had begun the thought process of sermonating...but was not coming to any conclusions.
The thought/quote in my head was, "God's joy wins."  It's something we talked about in pericope yesterday, and it is either C. S. Lewis, or a paraphrase of his.  Because looking at the text for this week that ends with the wedding guest being bound and sent out where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth...and many are called but few are chosen. I was struggling to find the joy and the good news in this passage. 

As I was making dinner last night "Something to sing about" played on the iPod.  Nothing like a bit of Buffy the Vampire Slayer to give some food for thought for the sermon.  It didn't make the sermon this week, but it helped me think more and more about how we share the good news of the gospel message.  What gives you joy? 
How does God's joy shine in your life...in your words...in your actions....every day? 

I was thankful to do a few hospital visits this week.  I visited a fellow who celebrated his birthday yesterday, and being on a liquid diet, couldn't even have the hospital birthday cupcake :(  In addition to that, he had planned on going to a local Smorgasbord where you get to eat for free on your birthday.  Well, it became quite the topic of conversation when the aides and nurses came in to take an x-ray.   They were a happy staff, clearly finding joy in their job, chatting with not only the patient, but his wife and myself as well.  As I left I thanked the staff for showing their love for their vocation. 
Today at my visit the patient's wife told me that one of the nurses called the Smorgasbord place to see if the patient could get a Dr.'s note that would allow him a free meal after he has been discharged from the hospital.  The restaurant said no....they used to, but they were taken advantage of...but here's the thing.  The nurse took the time to contact the restaurant on behalf of her patient.  How cool is that? 
That's something to sing about.  She went above and beyond her call of duty to provide extra care for her patient.  She has been called to this vocation, clearly. 

Today, as I went to and from the hospital...I started by listening to Annie Gallup.  I am always intrigued by her music/poetry....the way a lyric is a story turned into song...or it's a story that is recited, that stands as spoken word along with an accompaniment.  I listened intently to her intonation, her repetition, her style of delivery.  I'm trying to write more at least in a journal to put my words to paper more than just on the Sundays that I preach.  I'm hoping that practice will also help my newsletter articles and other writings. 

After Annie Gallup, Shawn Colvin made the playlist.  I couldn't help but be comforted by the lyrics to Steady On....as things at work are a bit challenging...and the future is uncertain (as it usually is).  But I belted out Diamond in the Rough.  Fond memories of singing at camp...

Until the next tune . . .

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

shuffle.

Tonight I finished unpacking...to the soothing sounds of shuffling tunes on my iPod. 


I sang along with Nanci Griffith, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Dierks Bentley.  It was a good evening of singing.  My favorite is still harmonizing when the Indigo Girls randomly pop up. 

In other news, I love my kitchen.

It was great to reheat dinner from last night, sit at the island and enjoy the sounds of George Winston. 
Sometimes listening to the music and letting it surround you is soothing in itself. 

Until the next tune . . .

Monday, October 3, 2011

welcome to october

Well, to be honest, 30 days of biking faded mid month.  I'm sure I could come up with a million reasons why I didn't stick to it this past month, but that's not the point.  I'm okay that it wasn't a full 30 days of biking.  I realized that I needed to focus more on my 1/2 marathon training....and that's okay. 

3 days into October and I can say that 30 days of Music will be very interesting. 
I have to admit that it was highly suggested that I make it 30 days of trumpet...but on October 1st, I was at home and my trumpet was at church.  I said, we'll I sang in worship today, my boyfriend said that was work and it didn't count.  So I buzzed for a little while....just to get my lips in shape for trumpeting the next day. 

You can imagine my dismay, at the end of an epic-ly long Sunday when I realized that yes, my trumpet was still in my office at church.  So I buzzed some more.....and said repeatedly, 'must remember trumpet tomorrow, must remember trumpet tomorrow.'

I got home from the office mid afternoon to talk with a parishioner about window treatments for the house...and you guessed it....the trumpet was still at church when I got home.  Can I change this to 30 days of untrumpet?  I figured I would bring it home after my meetings tonight, but after the last meeting ended close to 9pm, that was the farthest thing from my mind. 

As I debated buzzing when I got home, and looking forward to a little more nesting in my kitchen, I turned on the iPod, clicked on Indigo Girls, and began to harmonize with Emily and Amy.  From Closer to Fine to History of Us....I was belting out verses and choruses like I was the only person in the world. 

Let me just tell you...I love to sing.  I wasn't singing for work.  I wasn't singing in a performance.  I was just singing and singing to my hearts content.  The words of some of these songs have carried me through joyful times as well as ones when I felt like I had hit rock bottom.  Tonight, was a joyful one.  A feeling of getting settled, a feeling of freedom to just be me...a feeling that maybe my cat doesn't like it when I sing at the top of my lungs....but she'll get used to it. 

While the first two days were buzzing about....day three was all about belting it out. 
I wonder how the voice will react tomorrow....but who cares?

I look forward to another time surrounded by and or creating music, just for the pure pleasure of it. 

Until the next tune . . .

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The last few days . . .

Day 13:
I was checking this out in Lititz....I didn't buy it, but was tempted to...


I did ride that afternoon before a tasty dinner of apps with good friends :)


Days 14 & 15 were indoor rides.  The indoor laps have still been injury free. 

While Day 14 wasn't photo documented...the next day was. 


Who doesn't love biking indoors in their gnome pajamas? 

Day 16:  I planned on a tail ride, but the trails by the river are still closed due to the floods from last week.  I did do a short road ride near the path. 


Day 17:
Last night I went for a quick night ride in the church parking lot.  (no pics, just a quick ride)

Day 18:  I paid tribute to #30daysofbiking as well as National Cheeseburger Day. 


A quick ride to the local burger joint on the corner.  A California cheeseburger with a side of onion rings :) 

It's been a few easy days of rides.  The running has been much better this week, so I've taken it easier on the non-running days.  

Until the next ride . . .

Monday, September 12, 2011

biking an errand.

I rode over to the library today. 



Not a long ride, but a fun way to return the Glee CD and a book that I didn't get around to finish reading.  I will get back to Swamplandia! soon, but this Saturday we have our first Women's Ministry event at church...an afternoon of Southern Comfort.  We will have a book study on The Help, which I finally got around to starting this week.  It's a good read, which will absorb most of my free time this week.  I'm looking forward to discussing the book with a bunch of women from different walks of life. 

And now...to bed.

Until the next ride . . .

Sunday, September 11, 2011

eat. church. eat. nap. ride.

Pretty emotional worship today dealing with forgiveness. 

It was a joy to follow worship with a tasty brunch buffet at a local eatery. 
A family and I did some serious damage...from waffles to wings to eggs benedict to made to order omelets to salad and seconds on waffles.  :) 

After that it was time for a nap.
I had the chance to get started on The Help for a Women's Southern Comfort event at church this weekend.  So far it's a good read and I'm looking forward to the discussion this weekend. 

Needless to say I read through the sunny part of the afternoon and then read through the rain before hopping on my bike. 






I stopped at a local stream to take a shot of the waters that are still flowing pretty quickly. 


I wonder what the weather will bring for the rest of the week.

Until the next ride . . .

Saturday, September 10, 2011

catching up

Day 8: injury free

The last time I rode indoors I bruised my knuckles....I'm proud to say this day's ride did not leave me with any bumps or bruises. 

Here was my track:

 Gotta love the smooth terrain of a hardwood floor. 

Day 9: oh...the sun....

I got a quick lap in around the parking lot before getting ready for a wedding rehearsal and dinner.


A big thank you to my personal photographer.  (He is amazing!)

And today....day 10: 

The sun is out again. I got a good run in this morning.  It took it slow and steady for 5.6 miles and will increase mileage next week, but it felt good to get out. 



(I think the shadow shots are still my fave.)

The waters are receding, but streams are still high.  I marvel at the patterns in the grass, and the dirt on the roads from the flood water levels.  I hope the sun continues to sun continues to dry things out. 

I hope tomorrow's ride is on the trail, but that depends on the amount of recent water. 

Until the next ride . .

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

in a funk...

So the rain continues...
In the midst of riding my bike every day this month, I'm also training for the Hartford 1/2 Marathon in October.  I'll be running with my mom and it's her first 1/2.  I'm so excited and proud of her.

So I've been training for about a month now and I think I've hit a funk.  The two runs I've done this week have been rough.  Today was a run/walk.  It was horrible.  While there is part of me that is tempted to give it a go tomorrow, I think a day of rest is in my best interest.  My legs have felt like lead this week.  Ugh.  Okay, just needed to get that out of my system, because my training up to this point has been pretty awesome.  Great times and I've felt great on the distance runs...so I guess a down week is all a part of running.

In other news, I made a delicious soup this evening. 
Butternut squash and black bean = Super delicious.  

After my run/walk today I did take the mountain bike out for a short spin.

Day 7: Same weather, different bike and shoes.



Until the next ride . . .

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Here comes the rain again...

With a week's worth of rain in the future I laughed out loud when I heard Anne Lennox belting out 'Here comes the rain again...'  I'm sure rain songs will wear out their welcome shortly, but it was uplifting today. 

Today's ride was in some serious rain...and it's in the 60s.  So I layered up and hit the road.  I enjoyed being on the back roads and only hearing the rain on the roads and on my helmet.

I still can't believe that in a steady rain that I passed on the elliptical and went for a ride.  I guess that's what 30 Days of Biking will do to you....I mean it's not like it cleared up at all during the day.
Tomorrow doesn't look so good either, unless it's a good sign that chance of precip drops from 100% to 80%. 

I think I need some sassy rubber boots. 

Here's a shot taken after this morning's ride:


Bonus to a ride in the rain: Katarina looked super shiny after a nice wipe down :)

Until the next ride . . .

Monday, September 5, 2011

a month in pictures...

It's 30 Days of Biking Round 4!

Day One: A nice 8 mile ride around town. 


Day two: not pictured.
It was a short ride around a few blocks in the neighborhood after an 8.3 mile run.

Day 3: Vespers on Wheels
An evening ride, with some prayers and a quick chat with a parishioner out for an evening stroll.

Day 4: Bike ride to the Jigger Shop.  A snack of fries with cheese, bacon & onions and sharing a cheesebruger and a crab cake sandwich :) 
Just outside of Mt. Gretna is the old fountain.  



Day 5: a rainy ride....and a serious face. 

There's rain in the forecast for the next few days, so my bright green top will be paired with all sorts of sassy bottoms :) 

Until the next ride...

Monday, August 1, 2011

August is here.

Okay...so this past week I had a blast sending letters from camp. 
When I got home, there were three pieces of 'real' mail in my pile of mail from the post office.  So exciting! :) 

Now that August is here, I'm planning on running 31 miles in the next 31 days. 

I've also been drawn back into praying the hours. 
It was such a calming and focusing practice during Advent.  During the time of serious transition and discernment, goodbyes and last times....it was such an important part of my journey. 

Now that I'm getting settled and finding a groove in the new call and new home, I think re-entering into this practice will be a good thing. 


In other news, I met with the senior pastor today.  And I shared that one of my highlights from yesterday's trip to the local theme park was when I was hanging out with 4 high school boys...and we we just walked around the park shooting the breeze.  I said I love that this is who I'm called to be.  He's ecstatic that I'm building relationships with the youth...I'm loving it, too! 

Until next time . . .

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

ministry moment of the day.

Okay, so we're in day three of Trinity's All Star Sports Camp - VBS 2011.  :) 
We have an opening in the morning, with a bible story, songs, introducing the theme of the day and a prayer. 
Then the kiddos divide up and go to the sport they signed up for (basketball, baseball, cheerleading, football, soccer or sports media) and practice.  After snack they switch to music and crafts. 

Each day we have a theme:
Day one: Confidence & Faith
Day two: Teamwork
Day three: Perseverance

Let me just say that it felt like Wednesday.  By the end of the day...time for the closing and the energy level may have been a bit low. 
We ask, what's the theme of the day?
perseverance....they say. 
We ask again...(a little louder) What's the theme of the day?
PERSeverance they reply (a bit louder...but still lacking.)
We ask one more time...this time shouting....WHAT'S THE THEME OF THE DAY?
And this time, from the back row, the soccer coach stands up raises his arms and in the loudest deepest voice yells, "PERSEVERANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Then he shouts, soccer players, "what's the theme?" 
The shout, "perseverance!"
So the baseball coach stands up and says, baseball players, "What's the theme of the day?"
They shout back, "Perseverance!!!" 

This went on through the sports, until the cheerleaders.  The cheer coach stood up and said, the cheerleaders say it a bit differently and they all stand up and start their cheer, "DON'T GIVE UP! DON'T GIVE UP! DON'T GIVE UP!"

It was so amazing.  So powerful.  To see the youth inspired by their coaches and by each other to shout and share. 

Both the senior pastor and I wanted to hug the soccer coach.  It was awesome. 

I'm so thankful for all the volunteers who are helping this week.  We have 7 coaches with youth assistants, kitchen helpers, registration helpers, leaders for the 4-yr-old mini camp, musicians and craft leaders all making it possible for nearly 100 kids to experience the love and grace of God.
Bring on day 4....because the Spirit is blowing!

I took some down time to myself this evening for some homemade pizza, buffy and a letter to a good friend in 08052. 
I'm thankful for the air conditioning as the excessive heat warning is now on until Saturday evening.  eep. 

Stay cool friends.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

and some more catch up . . .

The past few days (no wait.....) nearly a week has been zany.  Full of ministry excitement..ups and downs...day camp and lock-ins and worship (oh my) VBS and visits and pool time and dinners and swim meets....you name it. It's come this way. 

So to catch up I wrote several letters in the past few days....by the end of the month I will have sent 30, just maybe not sticking to my one a day plan.  It's interesting how some 30 days are easy to do a 'thing' a day and others are easy to procrastinate....thanks to the blog, and some readers out there...I feel as if I should keep up. 

Granted all of these have been written in the past few days, but I'll give them each a day of their own:
7/13 - 01845
7/14 - 46060
7/15 - 69061
7/16 - 92111
7/17 - 06066
7/18 - 03304
7/19 - 06066

But that's the latest set sent out...off to the post office tomorrow for more fun stamps, which may I say, are much more fun to put on letters than on bills.

Until the next letter or several . . . 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

96822

I'm blessed to breathe for a moment in the midst of a zany week.

Tuesday is the day where I often come into the office at 11.  not a bad thing.

It means I sleep in.... until 6:50.
Eat a hearty breakfast: this morning oatmeal made with skim milk, a touch of brown sugar, a teaspoon of peanut butter....and fresh blueberries stirred in at the end.  Oh, and a cup of coffee. 
I headed out for a nice and hilly 18 mile ride.
Had the rest of the french press coffee as iced coffee to help me cool down. 
Posted my workout on daily mile.
Wrote a letter to a friend.
Got myself cleaned up & ironed the skirt and top for today. 
Fixed an easy lunch of leftover pizza from last night. 
Everything but the kitchen sink pizza: pepperoni, green peppers, mushrooms, caramelized onions and bacon.  All on a whole wheatish (not all whole wheat or crust is weird) crust. 

Yeah...and the day at the office has been much less scatterbrained than yesterday. Phew.

Here's hoping the dinner meeting goes well.

Until tomorrow . . .

Monday, July 11, 2011

92123

I've been to this zip before...but it's been a while.  I'd like to go back and have a few people I could visit if I make it there. 

Today was a wild day.  I had a totally craptastic run.  It was hot and humid....I was tired and probably dehydrated...and feeling the late-night nachos from the night before...and I knew there was a zany week coming with a lock-in at the end where we're going to fast...so I was hoping for 5 days of solid workouts so I wouldn't have to squeeze in a run pre-fasting.  Alas...an unpleasant workout. 

Ready-ish for work, I headed over to begin a day and week with a lot of running back and forth.  As I was ready for my first trip, I was stopped in the parking lot by a parishioner, who let me know she was going in for surgery this week, but didn't need anyone to visit.  She wanted me to hear it from her, instead of seeing her name on the hospital board.  I said, oh, then let's pray now. 

What a holy moment in the parking lot this morning, which got my day off to an amazing start. 

Until next time . . .

Sunday, July 10, 2011

03431

Today's letter went to a zip code where much fun was had for over 4 years....I connected with old friends, made new ones, and got my first job at the YMCA.  I was connected to people and to the community.

They saw me through some great times and through some some challenging and growing times for me. 

Thanks to all who were around me in college....oh if the halls of Randall Hall could speak....or the walls at proctor house.....or either of the two fun off campus apartments...even if the landlord didn't believe us when the toilet overflowed and the plumber found a root growing through the pipes.  Good times....and friendships that are still there. 

Until next time . . .

Saturday, July 9, 2011

06066

what. a. day. 

A wonderful 40 mile ride on a local rails-to-trails path.  I took 10 minutes off the same ride earlier this week.  :)

I came home, ready to relax, but I had an invite to my neighbor's pool! 
I was still ready to just chill, but we ended up playing most afternoon. 

So I'm exhausted and it's from a day of playing too much.  (not a bad thing)

In other news, the letter of the day went to 06066....I grew up there, so there may be more heading in that direction, too.  Who knows? 

Until next time . . .

Friday, July 8, 2011

catching up.

Well, after buying stamps at the post office today these finally went in the mail. 
I don't want to give any surprises away...but I also want to keep track of the month. 
I guess you'll have a good idea if something is coming your way:

July 1 - 19565
July 2 - 19551
July 3 - 99577
July 4 - 47558 
July 5 - 11801 
July 6 - 46280 
July 7 - 19551 (I know...same zip as day 2, but I did get a new green stole for which a note was in order)

And today: July 8 - 22039

If you check out this blog regularly and don't yet see your address...you may want to email it to me :)

Friday, July 1, 2011

It's July!

Welcome to July.

It's National Ice Cream Month!
I've signed up on Daily Mile to ride 201 Miles on my bike in July.
Oh yeah, and I'm still keeping track of my weight...which has been pretty steady this month....I'm looking to drop a few more pounds.


Um...I think that's about it...but here's the tricky part, I spend a week at camp, so I'm not sure if the bike will go...and not sure about what I'll be eating while I'm there.  So, I'll have to eat as much ice cream as I can before camp.  I started today with a strawberry lime float.


The Jones flavor is Xander's Strawberry Lime Elixir.  (Thanks, LK)


But the one thing I will be able to do (especially from camp) is to send letters.  So, here's to a month of letter writing.  Watch your mailboxes....well, if I have your address...

Until next time . . .

Monday, June 27, 2011

another three days . . .

Saturday: Not really sure what batty thing happened this day.  There was sermonating, bike riding, preaching while fireworks were being tested, sharing multiple funnel cakes with great neighbors and watching the local fireworks :)  I guess you could say that I debated the words for my sermon for quite some time...luckily the words finally came to me. 

Sunday: Made a to-do list way too long for the time that I had. 
But still managed to make it through 5 episodes of buffy...not really sure how that happened, but I did it.  The last episode I saw was the Halloween one in season 4.  The best part was the scene when bats descend upon the scooby gang in the haunted frat house :)

Monday: chocolate cake batter ice cream with mini marshmallows


Until next time . . .

Friday, June 24, 2011

battles & sabbath

Yesterday I battled the prickers in a wonderfully full black raspberry patch.  I spent over an hour and a half in this:

I could hear the sound of farm equipment in the distance, some rustling noises and some clucking:


In the midst of the brush and the thorns, I saw many daddy long legs, a praying mantis, tiny spiders, Japanese beetles, and was chased out once by a bumble bee.  Apparently I was in it's spot.  Later when I saw this, I kept my distance:



Everywhere I turned I was surrounded by berries. 


I had been invited by a member of my church to come and pick whatever I wanted.  Her husband already picked all that he wanted for jam and she and her daughters were eating all that they could, but there were so many....
This is what I gleaned whilst in the patch:


I shared some with neighbors and friends and enjoyed purple oatmeal this morning... :)
Today was a sabbath day.
I slept in.
Went for a run.
Ate some scrumptious oatmeal. 
Met up with a good friend for a bike ride around Harrisburg followed by tasty eats and cold beers.  
Now that I'm home I'm mustering up the energy to make a milkshake for my evening snack, but I'm beat.  That must be the sign of a busy few weeks followed by an actual day to just be me.  

There is laundry to be done, a sermon to write and a whole house to clean...but that can wait to be tackled tomorrow....today is a non-work day.  Is it too early to go to bed?

Until next time , , , 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Three days of catching up

Here's a brief recap of the last few days:

Monday: after cutting myself shaving...and covering the tiny wound with a BATman bandaid...I was off to the beach for a few days.  The weather was beautiful and with a a good group of senior high youth, we hit the boardwalk.  I loved all the food options :)  (Especially the fried ones)


That night I went with the BATter dipped deep fried pickles....very tasty. 

Tuesday, following some service projects around the church and Inn, we enjoyed some crazy waves at the beach...eventually the sun came out, so sunBAThing was definitely in order.  (With repeated applications of sunblock.)


We frolicked in the waves and the dolphins did as well :) 
 The snacks on the boardwalk that night were chocolate covered bacon and a funnel cake.

After riding back from the beach today, a great bubble BATh was just what I needed before a pre-marital meeting this evening.  It was great to just stop and breathe and be alone for a bit. 

The pleasant surprise, though, came at the end of the day.  I was at church after the meeting and the phone rang...and against my better judgment, I did answer the phone.  My next door neighbor was calling to see if my meeting was over, because they were hanging out in the pool on this warm evening. 

A fine end to the day.

Until tomorrow . . .

Sunday, June 19, 2011

mmm.....bacon.

So yesterday I baked a batch of bacon chocolate chip cookies.

Today I shared that BATch with the cast and crew of Godspell.  Not surprisingly, they were a hit! 

Godspell was a great experience.  Great feedback from both the cast and the audience.  Everyone was surprised that this was my first show.  Granted I did a short play just after I graduated from college...but this was my first musical.  Apparently I can sing AND dance (at the same time!) 
It was fun to be on stage!  I am definitely interested in another production at some point. 

But for now, I'm trying to muster up the energy to get off the sofa and get some tasty smackerels. 

Until next time . . .

Saturday, June 18, 2011

snack break!!

So after a great ride and some Chinese food, I enjoyed dessert.  I mean, why not?  I heart dessert! 


Believe it or not there is cake BATter ice cream under that mound of strawberries.  The strawberries were picked locally by a friend :) They are super delieicous...especially with a bit o ice cream. 

Until next time . . .

Friday, June 17, 2011

BAThing suit shopping: take one.

Okay, so maybe Target wasn't the best place to look for a bathing suit....or at least one that is appropriate for a church trip to the beach.  I tried on a few...but no go. 

I almost got a one piece from Dick's....but didn't want to spend an arm and a leg. 

The sad news is that I will have to do this again...the good news is because my old suit is loosey-goosey around the middle :) 

You take the bad with the good...

Until next time . . .

Thursday, June 16, 2011

gone batty....

In the past week alone the following things have happened:

lost my cell phone case (Monday) ... (found at the end of the day)

lost (since Monday) my Godspell script (good thing I have my lines memorized)

left my cell phone at home (today)

completely lost my keys (today) well, when I say completely, I removed my car keys before going on an errand with a friend.  so those were safe and sound, locked in the house upon my return.

so, I'm hoping they fell out of the car during the errand....but I have yet to hear back from her. 

I bet there are other things I've forgotten, but you know how that goes I can't remember them. 
Oh well....

I'd like to blame the state of my desk...


But on my desk, I could actually find my keys when they were there....