Monday, August 25, 2014

But Wait...It Has Only Been A Week!

Not even...and here I am again!?  A new recent record.

I am aiming for 500 words a day.  I have joined a 31-day writing challenge to write 500 words a day for 31 days.  I  hope to improve and develop my writing skills and the way to do it is to, well, write!

So today's Challenge Guide is to set my goals.  What do I want to write? What is the ultimate outcome that I am looking for?  How often will I write?  And how much?

Well the last questions are the easiest to answer so I will attack them first.  I will write 500 words a day, every day, for 31 days.  A month.  A long month.  You know, the months that have more than 29 or 30 days.  Some of this will be with blogging.  Some of this will be by doing Morning Pages which I try to do daily anyway.  I always get my 500 words in the Morning Pages but I am challenging myself to write an additional 500 words with blogging.  I am finding the weekends when everybody is around to be a challenge.  This weekend I managed the Morning Pages, but not necessarily in the morning.  Saturday night they ended up being Late Night Pages.  But at least I wrote!  Blow the trumpets...the goal achieved.

What do I want to write?  I want to write a blog.  Consistently.  Without letting it die like I let this one die.  The goal floating around my head right now is to not add my writings to this blog like I have been doing, but to start a new blog dedicated to growing my artistic talent (which is pretty miniscule to begin with) and my creativity, and following  my progress and growth as I take various courses in drawing and painting and Zentangling and writing in pursuit of digging out whatever talent might lie within me that is trying to come out.  That was a mouthful!  I will soon be starting that blog but time has been limited the last few days and I didn't want to procrastinate at least starting on my goals any longer.

What is the Ultimate Outcome that I am looking for?  I want to be a writer.  And to be an artist.  I want a positive creative outlet where my soul can spread itself out and express itself instead of being cramped up and stuffed down inside me as it has been for 50 years.  I want to be free...and right now I feel the way to free myself is to express myself.  It may not be so great right now but I hope practice will make perfect and if not perfect it will at least make progress.  I don't know if I can but I am hopeful and that is all I have to go on for now.  I have journaled and written my Morning Pages on and off for years.  It is time to open up and take all of that to a new level.

I have struggled and stammered and stumbled like crazy the last ten or more years.  I am tired of all of that and I am so excited about the freedom of creativity, even if I am not such a creative person yet.  Just writing about it and doing the little things I do towards those goals open up a heart which has felt dead and lifeless for a while now.  I am ready to feel and express and live again.  And find myself along the way.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Time For The Two-Year Update

That is how often it seems I am posting these days! My life now is so different than it was two years ago...and even more different than when I started this blog.

I started this blog to document my journey towards the magnificent milestone of my 50th birthday...and to find health and fitness along the way. The biggest think I think I found was the age of 50! Yes I reached that with no problem whatsoever. Didn't even have to think much about it. It stood blatantly in my path and I ran head on into it. There was certainly no avoiding it. Well I guess there was one alternative to not reaching 50 but that was not the preferred option.

So here I am. In April I celebrated my 50th birthday. The last four years or so have been a wild ride. I am tired. In some ways I am defeated. But at this point in my life I am like the Phoenix and am rising from the ashes, reinventing, and moving forward.

I guess the blog needs to be redirected to document my journey towards 60! I still want to be fit and I still want to be fabulous. Oh wait, in many ways I am already Fabulous! But I am polishing up some of the rougher areas to put the finishing touches on.

So what has changed since my first blog post and where do I want to go?

BIG CHANGE: I no longer eat meat or dairy. We have become a predominantly plant-based household. My husband and I will be celebrating our 4th year of eating no animal products this coming Labor Day. I only say predominantly because while my husband and I do not eat animal products whatsoever, the two kids left in the household are not quite plant-based when they are not in the house. This blog really helped direct my path towards this lifestyle and in many ways documents much of that journey.

BIG CHANGE: My oldest son (who DOES remain plant-based!) graduated high school, then college (GO NOLES!), and is now engaged and getting married next April. I have renewed my relationship with our oldest daughter and spent much of 2013 taking care of my beautiful grandson while my daughter went off to work.

My son and daughter left in the house are now almost 18 and that leaves me a lot of time for ME! And I while I suffered greatly through the transitioning from my beloved job of "Mom who lives for her kids and does everything with them" to the dreaded "Mom whose kids want some independence and/or are moving out," I have finally learned to roll with the punches (and some of them were emotionally violent and brutal punches that brought me to my knees) and adopt mantras of "Acceptance and Let it Go."

Letting Go has been the biggest change and has led me to a new me.

I have spent the last 23 years living and doing for others and now I am learning, as hard as it is, to start living for me.

I am starting a new business as a Professional Organizer.

I have always loved crafting. Sewing, cross-stitch, crocheting, but I was never artistic. But through this blog and my camping website I found I love to write and all of a sudden creativity is the new buzzword in my life and seems to be calling me. Something inside is screaming for me to break out and start creating. I have always been a logical analytical as opposed to a creative so this is an extremely new side of me and I am taking baby steps but I am honoring it and loving the process.

I have also found a deep desire to draw. I come from a family of painters and artists but I only inherited stick figure abilities. Or as everything I have been reading says I only LEARNED up to the point of stick figure abilities. But I have been working hard to develop my talents, dig them out and polish them up. I have been reading and taking basic drawing classes. Okay when I say my drawing is pathetic it is not like some of those people who say they can't draw and then they draw recognizable objects. Believe me you will not recognize what I draw. I was the team player nobody wanted when drawing for Pictionary. But I am loving the learning process. My kindergarten looking drawings have made a little progress and while I never expect to be Rembrandt, I will improve. The progress is inspiring to me.

So here I am taking baby steps to come back to life, to find myself, and to create a life I love. I am excited.

I have signed up for a 31-day challenge to write 500 words a day and I decided to do that here and revive my blog. This is my Commitment and Day One of the 31 days. It will be in a whole new direction, but still about finding my way to fabulous...and finding my way to me. And I am excited about that.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

When Did This Happen????

You know you are getting older when you go to the doctor and instead of asking you the date of your last period they ask you if you still get your period. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

What Do I Do Now?

Today...I am alone.  A rare moment that I am alone all day into the night while DH is away with my Stepson, Daughter is at her dad’s, and of course Son is away at school.  I have so much to do, I should be working but I haven't been. 

I did go on a nice ride.  My first ride out of the neighborhood and across the major, major intersection on the corner all my myself.   I have never crossed that one alone.  Either DH is with me or Son has been with me and they always look out for me.  This time it was just me.  And that big intersection is scary.  There is always somebody who pulls into the crosswalk, always somebody making a right on red into the lane as I am crossing.  I have learned to be so defensive and careful.  It is funny how much of my fear I have lost since I started riding again a year ago.  Now my only fear really is falling!

I rode down to the zoo, about 3.5 miles, and enjoyed an orange and Primal Strip vegan jerky on a bench under a tree.  I was just going to ride around and get some mileage in, but on the way into the zoo my stomach started to hurt and I suddenly realized I was starving!  It was nearly 1 o’clock by this time and I had only had fruit all day.  Glad I had grabbed the orange on my way out  just in case...and I always keep a couple of  Primal Strips in my bike bag.

After I finished snacking I rode around the zoo's large parking lot, then got bored just riding in big circles, so I rode back towards home, stopping at Publix to buy some organic tofu for my dinner tonight.  

The man in line in front of me was an enormous man, both in height and build with those extra, extra-large bodybuilder muscles.  He was buying orange juice and had another bag with a big tub of protein powder that bodybuilders use.  He looked over at me with my biking shorts and shirt, helmet in hand, and  backpack and then looked down and scanned my purchases of organic tofu, organic dried cranberry and nut mix, and tempeh.  He looked up and smiled.  It was so funny...we both had that awareness and acknowledgment of how into health and fitness we both were, yet in such different forms. 

Coming home to the empty house I parked the bike and set up my tofu on my repurposed George Foreman Tofu Press to press out.  Oddly, I am alone all the time during the week, but between the school runs, meetings, produce pickups and everybody coming home at dinner time I am not always so alone.  Or my alone time is broken up into small chunks punctuated by stuff I have to do, mostly for others in between periods of frantically working to catch up.

On this weekend  when there is a major scouting event and I didn't go, I am alone the weekend....into the night, with meals on my own and all my time my own.  I have mixed feelings about this.  Part of me feels so lonely.  Part of me is enjoying the rare taste of freedom with nobody to have to do things for except me.  Part of me wonders how the time is flying by so fast and I haven't accomplished much of what I set out to accomplish with all my alone time this weekend.

At least I got out and got some exercise in.  I have been mourning the fact that all I do is sit and I was determined to get out riding this weekend and get over my fear of riding out in the community alone without the protection of somebody stronger.  I have an outing planned for tomorrow as well. 

The pictures have been scarce lately.  I had gotten a new camera last Mother’s Day but I unwisely chose a bigger bulkier one that doesn’t fit on my bike so easily!  I will have to borrow DD’s camera that she doesn’t use so I can get some good updates on here!

I do have a great dinner planned for tonight for me and me…a vegan version of Tom Kha, the Thai coconut soup.  So Yum!!!  Hopefully I will be motivated enough to share the pix…and the recipe.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

And Life Gets In The Way

One day I was blogging and the next I was not.  And the next, and the next, and the next, and then before long it was nearly two years before the next post popped up.

Sure, the blogging urge never went away and I thought about blogging, at least weekly, composing blogs in my head as I rushed through my days.  Still seeing life through my bloggie lenses…as life unfolds always thinking about how I would write that in a post. 

But between kids getting older and my now or never realization I needed to spend as much time as possible with them before they moved out, and work getting more demanding, and so many outside activities, and dealing with lots of life stuff…the actual time for sitting down to write never happened. 

And before I knew it nearly two years of unblogged, undocumented life had flown by.

So here I am, trying to get back, hoping this isn’t an isolated post that I manage to crank out in the midst of all my busy-ness. 

And nearly two years later life is so much different.  So much has happened.

My son has graduated and has gone off to college.  Big adventures for him, pride yet heartbreak for me.  I miss him a lot.

My daughter is in high school now, forging her independence fiercely, working at growing up and pushing away much harder than her brother did in a way that is common I guess for most teenage girls. 

Hard again for me as I reel from the one-two punch of my two kids stepping out on a ledge of their own at the same time.

And in another huge, life-altering event, in September 2010 we did an experimental 21-day challenge with the PCRM and tried going vegan for a three-week period.   That three-day challenge showed so much promise in how we felt that here in March 2010 we are still living a 100% plant-based lifestyle.  And feeling great.  A healthy lifestyle is now the theme of our lives, not only from the way we eat but extending to the smaller, greener footprint we have and very active lifestyle we have gravitated towards as we now lean towards being a car-lite cycling family.  Needless to say in many ways we are feeling and looking great.

And so that is where I am today.  A little update to let the world know I am older, but still finding my way to fit and fabulous and even closer than I was when I was last here.

Looking forward to getting back on the path.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Not Bad…I Can Live With This….

The phrase that was music to my ears tonight after I fed FabHubs this:DSCF4257THIS being a totally vegan, organic meal consisting of kale sauteed in EVOO with some garlic and sliced onions; baked sweet potato fries AND a portobello mushroom “burger” (portobello mushroom marinated in EVOO and balsamic, cooked on the Foreman grill).  Ole’ George was thrilled to be pulled out and put into use again!

The ‘shroom burger was topped with homemade guac (avocado, cilantro, onion, tomato, and lemon since I was out of lime juice) and a thick slice each of tomato and onion.  I  served it on one of FabHubs  homemade vegan English muffins!  (yes..he figured out how to make them vegan  and still quite delicious!

Truly I sure wasn’t expecting that…yes, I was expecting The Look!

Leftover guac…I found out that putting the pit in when you store it is not an old wives’ tale…IT REALLY WORKS!!!


FabHubs had two burgers, I had one…and I piled on the kale  and sweet potato fries for both of us.  He wasn’t thrilled with the kale but said (another happy dance from me!) “I will probably get used to it.”

OH YEAH!!!!!!!!!

This  follows up a pretty amazing weekend of fruits and veggies for us. 

FabHubs and I were all alone this holiday weekend…he worked on Friday but  was off Saturday and most  of the day today (all Fabkids are off with their other parents’ for the weekend).  So I  warned him that it was up to he and I to make sure the tons of organic produce from Monday’s box didn’t go bad and we would be spending the weekend pounding the produce!

Saturday FabHubs and I slept in until nearly noon….and then woke up to this yumminess as I strived to use up the berries in the fridge:



After breakfast I plopped him on the couch and popped the DVD Eating in so we could watch it together.  I have already seen it, but I wanted him to see it!

I expected a lot of skepticism from him….but he actually enjoyed it and learned from it, enough to even email his parents info about it!

After the DVD I made us both  Green Monsters to try and stave off the hunger monsters…but soon we were both FAMISHED!

I knew I had to make something really satisfying for him if I am going to keep him close to this healthy pathway…so I whipped out all the salad type veggies I could manage to find in the fridge and made this:




Both had organic romaine, carrots, daikon, tomatoes, cukes, and scallions.  I made these salads HUGE!  (FabHubs commented that we weren’t eating from bowls, they were troughs, and indeed I served these in huge tupperware-like containers!)  To add a filling factor, I opened a can of kidney beans and put at least a cup on his…only about one-third cup on mine!  I was determined that there was no way he was going to walk away from this salad complaining he was still hungry!

I topped both with nutritional yeast…and gave him hummus on the side.  We used my lemon/garlic dressing on top. I also added some cilantro dressing and crumbled some Mary’s Gone Crackers on top of mine.

It really did the trick and he was satisfied for hours!  We ended up actually just snacking through the night, never being hungry enough to eat the grilled mushrooms, which were originally planned for dinner last night!


After dinner we watched Morgan Spurlock’s SuperSize Me, which further added fuel to our Eat Healthy fires!

I am so glad to see FabHubs alongside me on this!

Today we continued on the fruit theme, eating unpictured mango, crenshaw melon, and other fruits all from the box, all day until dinner time when we had the kale/potatoe/portobello dinner.

Now I am sad because FabHubs has to go off and work at a fireworks shoot and I can’t be with him! 

I will be off in the audience with some friends though, watching.



Saturday, July 3, 2010

No Lights, No Phone, No Motorcar…Not A Single Luxury!!!!!!

For those of you too young to recognize it…that would be from the theme from Gilligan’s Island…and except for the island surrounded by water part, that is exactly how I lived for a few weeks while I was off in Virginia with FabTeen, being mountain men!

We lived in a camp, learned 17th century crafts and even had to dress the part or we were considered “naked” and couldn’t participate!

DSCF4013 This was my home away from home:DSCF4143

My cot is the one on the right without the mosquito netting!



See how the walls of the tent don’t go all the way to the floor…and the slats in my wooden pallet floor?  These were welcoming open doors for my multiple roommates!

DSCF4161 DSCF4156  DSCF4158 DSCF4049 DSCF4047YES!   They are as big and scary as they look!  I HATED them!!!  and I HATED going to bed! 

Susanna (my human roommate and much preferred to the spidery ones) and I had a nightly bedtime ritual that sadly did not include hot cocoa and bedtime stories.  Instead we would call in one of the nonspider fearing men to remove by hand a dozen or so spiders from our tent….no matter…every single night, by the middle of the night, new ones had moved in! 

The closeup is the back of my tent…the little structure up hill is the bathroom!  No running water…and I always did spider and snake checks before I sat down!DSCF4146

This was our little “village” in the woods, with the fire in the center and the tents all around it:DSCF4142DSCF4141

We built fires and cooked all of our meals over it…DSCF4012

DSCF4015 DSCF4008DSCF4001 DSCF4002 DSCF4003Showers were also very primitive…and were a 25 minute hike there and back into “town” which translates to base camp (where FabHubs and FabStepson were!)DSCF4060 I even had company in the shower!DSCF4061Sounds like a lot of work and struggles…but still I had a lot of fun and did a lot of firsts…I learned how to blacksmith! DSCF4029 DSCF4030  Like Mother, Like Son… DSCF4023  I learned how to start a fire without matches…using flint and steel!DSCF4038DSCF4042 DSCF4043 DSCF4044 DSCF4045 I filled my water bottle from this pump….I was surprised the water tasted really good..I am very picky about my water too!DSCF4046Learned some old-fashioned games:DSCF4074Learned to weave…and I am much better at weaving than blacksmithing!   DSCF4078 DSCF4079  Made a sheath, and then made a knife to put in the sheath: DSCF4056DSCF4133 DSCF4130   Learned how to load and shoot a black powder rifle (and it turns out I am a pretty good shot too!)

DSCF4087 DSCF4088 DSCF4089 DSCF4090 DSCF4091DSCF4082  DSCF4084 DSCF4085 DSCF4086

DSCF4096        DSCF4094While I did dread the nights, in spite of the spiders I had such a great time! 

There is so much more that I did…but this post is getting long!  And since this is a food blog I know you are curious how I handled the food part!

So  I will be writing another post about how I managed too eat while I was in totally meat-based environment with no access to my yummy organics or grocery!