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caturday is here again!

caturday is here again!

stan NEVER wants to snuggle. he runs around the house like a crazy cat, and if you pet him, chances are he’ll try to attack you. but once in a while, he takes a time out and actually cozies up for a snuggle!

foodie friday hmmm

foodie friday hmmm

so you got a bonus last saturday when i made my millionaire shortbreads and yummy chicken wild rice hotdish. i’m not sure you deserve a foodie friday…

but! here’s what i will do! thanksgiving is coming up, and for the first time in a while, i am not making a turkey! i want this year to be easy. here’s my plan:

  • smoked turkey from famous daves (this will be interesting!)
  • mashed potatoes from the dairy case
  • perhaps gravy from a jar? lol
  • homemade cranberries
  • homemade pies (pumpkin and sweet potato!)
  • homemade dressing
  • sort of homemade rolls
  • squash (easy)
  • i don’t know if i’m going to do another veg or not. i was thinking broccolini and mushrooms. not sure
  • i’m also making another squash galette with bacon mmm mmmm

i signed up for the wishbone run (it was only $5) and told myself if it was 30º or more i would run it. i really wasn’t expecting the temp to be that warm, but turns out i might end up having to run it that morning! :/ who knew…

TBT: c2 5k edition

TBT: c2 5k edition

this month marks SEVEN YEARS (!!!) since i started running. barring some injuries and vacations to high altitudes, i’ve consistently run the past seven years.

let’s do a throwback to 2011’s trip to the black hills with the fam.

five months after this pic was taken, i started running regularly at the fieldhouse at st. ben’s.

and, as my dad said, i’ll never be a sprinter! but, starting running was hard. it was probably one of the harder things i’ve done in my life, especially since it was from scratch. i’d run off and on during the summer of 1998, but it never really got into a groove with the breathing.

breathing was the worst part, followed by the ambition to keep at it, then trailed by the fact that muscles started to hurt. oh god, the breathing. it took probably 2 months for my breathing to get into a groove. and once that breathing was under control, i knew it was time for easy street.

i will say this: the muscle part was never really a barrier; in fact, i think i got off pretty easy with how little my leg muscles hurt. i could have had shin splints, and i never did. i wrapped my knees for a while, and my hips hurt for a couple weeks, but overall, muscles were good. now i’ve got calves of steel. (that’s about the only steely muscles i have, unfortunately. wish i had buns of steel but the junky trunk is real).

i don’t know how i kept going. i could have easily quit and resumed my lifestyle of slothdom. but maybe it was a challenge – sort of like how i run long distances, not because i want to win a race, but because i want to prove i can do it. the first time i ran a mile non-stop was glorious. i stretched out on the wrestling mat in the corner and was just giddy with myself.

i’ve battled plantar fasciitis in my right heel, a bad cortisone shot in that heel, three rounds of PT on it. i severely sprained it at ragnar 2017 and screwed up the tendons, and now the top of that foot’s not doing great because i’ve been trying to correct my gait. i just have to be ok with the fact that that foot will never be like the left, unfortunately.

i’ve lost 75 pounds! and my triglycerides are fantastic, despite still eating a bunch of bad food. my cholesterol levels decreased into levels that my doc said they didn’t even register on the bottom of the scale. i can attest to running as a healthy alternative to sitting on the couch.

winter means treadmill running, which sucks, but it makes summertime outdoor running that much more enjoyable. there are days when i wonder why i even put on my shoes, then there are days when i would be fine with two miles, aim for three, and actually run four (those are few and far between). i just recently ran my fastest 5k, another exhilarating moment.

i’ve run three half marathons and two ragnars. a marathon will probably never be on my plate, as my joints and muscles just don’t like running more than 8 miles. and that’s quite all right! if you’d asked me 10 years ago if i’d ever run 13 miles, i’d’ve laughed in your face.

and i’m still slow. i mean, you’d think after 7 years, i’d be a little speedier, but it’s OKAY to run slow. i want to enjoy the run and not kill myself. i think that’s 90% of why people quit running after trying it out. you don’t have to run a 10-minute mile right out of the gate. you don’t even have to run it after 7 years. my fastest 5k time? it was an 11:34-minute mile. that was FANTASTIC. i normally run a 12-12:30-minute mile.

so here’s to another 7 years of running. i didn’t think i’d still be running after 7 years, but now i’m invested. i hope my knees hold up, my foot works itself out, and my bunion chills out (good grief my feet). in the grand scheme of things, i’d rather have some bad joints than a heart attack.

here’s 2015 with my green lady!

word wednesday: palimpsest

word wednesday: palimpsest

i was rereading a book (codex) a couple weeks ago and ran across this word with very little context, and i knew i’d run across it before (not in the initial read), so i looked it up.

“a manuscript or piece of writing material on which the original writing has been effaced to make room for later writing but of which traces remain.”

i’d read it in ” a discovery of witches!” (which, i might add, i own a signed first copy of ….thanks liz! lol)

it’s greek in origin from the word palin for again and psestos for rubbed smooth.

i’m sure you could call other things palimpsets, but it made sense in pre-gutenburg times when paper was scarce and books were rare.

what are some modern day palimpsets? could old VHS tapes that you recorded TV shows on over and over work? there wasn’t much trace of the old shows, but it was again rubbed smooth.

maybe double-exposure photography would count. chalk or whiteboards definitely – when you can still make out words that have been erased. old hard drives that you think you’ve reformatted but someone steals and is able to pull all your old data from?

s. king’s latest

s. king’s latest

when i saw there was an additional book from stephen king out, i thought oh boy! he’s really on a roll now. i mean, we all know he writes monster books (heh could be a double meaning) and quite often. earlier this year i’d purchased “the outsider” and was amazed that a second one was already published.

i stopped at BN in the moa to pick it up and…

it’s so little!! of course i still picked it up. it’s fewer than 200 pages with large type, more of a novella than a novel. i finished it over the course of two days; it would have been one, but i started reading at 10:30 p.m. and had to go to sleep.

like all king books, it’s got a little weird element to it, but it’s an uplifting story (heh – again) with a lesson for readers.

i know i’ve said this before, but i’ll say it again. if you’re afraid to pick up one of his books because it’s attached to horror, just push that aside and dive in. most likely you’ve already watched a movie adaptation of one if his: shawshank, stand by me, green mile, etc. what i like about his writing is that he ties a lot of the stories together, a lot of times to the man in black.

if you are looking for a decent one to start with, pick up 11/22/63, my favorite. it’s got the right mix of weird (there’s always something weird in his books), sentimental, and thriller-esque.

do NOT pick up the tommyknockers. only book of his i was literally scared.

(or IT. read that one after you’ve read a few of his and start wondering what the heck is going on in derry, maine, and you’re fully acquainted with the king-style weird.)

non-meme monday

non-meme monday

since no one had any grand ideas for a monday replacement (none of you seem to have any ideas), here i am again with a meme monday.

sort of. it was going to be “winter is coming” but turns out winter is already here -_-

first our spring was non-existent. then our summer was instant. fall was mediocre. and now it’s january in november. i mean, come on.

in related news, i ordered some new mittens.

(lands end was having a 50% off sale. got these for $25!)

bonus: foodie saturday

bonus: foodie saturday

i had a very foodalicious saturday so i thought i’d share.

first i made a chicken wild rise hot dish that was at brewlash this year. it had 2 cups of gouda cheese in it – that was enough to make it worth making.

after eating that deliciousness, i attempted the … wait for it….


yes, this was the one recipe i saw on the great british bake off that i was just flabbergasted that i’d never made and that looked absolutely delicious.

i went to america’s test kitchen and found a recipe.

of course i had to make some adjustments. since i was out of flour, and it sounded like it would be delicious, i swapped out AP flour with almond flour for the shortbread. i made the caramel almost to the recipe. since i don’t eat devil’s syrup, i used lyle’s golden syrup instead. and then instead of dark chocolate on top, i used milk chocolate and added dark chocolate shavings and salt on the top.

these aren’t that difficult to make – the most tedious part is making sure the caramel doesn’t burn, but that just takes paying attention for 15 minutes.

as you can see, i wasn’t winning any presentation awards from paul hollywood, but i kid you not – one of the more delicious things i’ve eaten in my life. definitely will make again.

caturday 2

caturday 2

poor stan has a complex. he’s been licking his arms and a spot on his shoulder so much that he’s starting to go bald. i just plugged in some cat calming pheromone stuff, so hopefully he stops with the obsessive licking and his hair grows back.

foodie friday: GBBO edition

foodie friday: GBBO edition

oh yes, the time has come to review what i’ve made after drooling over the great british bake off.

ok, well, after doing a bit of research, it turns out i’ve only made ONE recipe so far, but in my head i’d counted an additional one because i got a paul hollywood handshake from jane.

SO. first, i made the apricot couronne, which is really tasty.

(photo not mine)

i made this over easter or something a year or so ago, and it was actually pretty easy to make (when you know what you’re doing). while i’m not a huge fan of working with yeast (it never seems to cooperate), the apricot filling in this along with the almonds and icing on top really made it worth worrying about yeast.

the second recipe i was thinking of was actually recommended by lynn from the splendid table: the squash galette. man, it’s delicious!

the crust is flaky and made with whole wheat flour. the filling has squash, sour cream, cheese, spinach, and while the recipe is for vegetarians, i like to add bacon for a little bit of bacon-y goodness. i’ve already made one this fall and i definitely plan to make at least one more. hmmm… maybe i’ll make another tomorrow!

all this to say, sunday i will be making the MILLIONAIRE SHORTBREAD. this was made during caramel week on  GBBO, and i could NOT believe that i had never had it or made it. it looks absolutely delicious: shortbread crust, caramel, and then a layer of chocolate. of course they have to be perfect on GBBO, but i don’t even care if they’re a mess because i will EAT THEM WITH A SPOON. i am so excited to make these and even more excited to eat them on monday after my stupid dietbet is over!

(this pic not mine either)

i’m going to use some almond flour in the crust, and i’m trying to figure out a good way to add some peanut butter. we’ll see what happens.

as an aside, i’m also making chicken wild rice hotdish this weekend, so if anyone wants to visit me, i am open to that 🙂

TBT: se minn style

TBT: se minn style

on my calendar for today, i have “remember when i lived in rochester LOL”

haha i think that’s appropriate! as much as i rag on rochester as a whole, i’m glad i made that move.

it was a lot of work. between having to sell a house, buy a house, sell a house, buy a house and one rental, the housing situation wasn’t great. plus there were 6 months of commuting from st. cloud to austin on the weekends and then austin to roch every workday at the beginning, then from st. charles up to st. cloud for four months on the way back. the thing i had to keep telling myself was that this was temporary and it would be done eventually, and at the end it would be worth it.

now southeastern minnesota is a perfectly lovely place. it’s got great bluff country, and the rivers are great. winona is a fantastic little college town. rochester, despite its weird hoity toity worker vs. mayo class system, is a nice looking town (much prettier than metro st. cloud looks).

some things i liked about rochester: it had a trader joe’s. and a costco (altho we are CLOSE here in st. cloud. the building is being erected). sushi tokyo is delicious. i like that it’s in a valley, and there’s a lot of historical buildings. i like JENEE and she’s in rochester. i liked my job! it was a great school.

some things like liked about living in st. charles: i like that lanesboro was close. i liked that i could go to winona instead of rochester to get my groceries and do my shopping. i liked that right past lewiston, you drove into the bluffs down to the river. i liked that whitewater was 9 miles from my house. the running situation was pretty darn good! the good sport was yummy, and i ate way too much a&w. i peaked at kitchen owning. i will never get better than that kitchen at my house in st charles. oh, and that deck we built was pretty darn good!

but dang it i do like lakes and trees and the hills of central mn. i think it’s the way the trees crowd in the more north part of minnesota. i like driving 5 miles to st. john’s and getting on the water. i really like running in the woods. i like the yellow of autumn (well except this fall. good grief. what a bad fall we had). i like not having to drive 15 miles to get from target to a walmart to a barnes and noble (st cloud’s retail is pretty centralized; rochester’s is not).

i guess yeah, i lived in rochester for four years. i kind of wonder about it – a weird blip. but if i hadn’t taken that job, i wouldn’t be where i am today, and i wouldn’t have met jenee. and i’m pretty happy about that.