Archive for August, 2010

The Engagement Episode

August 31, 2010

The Boy went away for ten days at the beginning of the summer and came back a new man.  Aside from the intangible changes that maybe only I would notice, he started doing the dishes.  He was doing dishes, cooking dinner (that I could eat!) walking the dog voluntarily, going out of his way to spend time with me, and trying his very hardest to clean the apartment in a meaningful way.  Not just the guy way, the ladies out there know what I mean.

Don’t get me wrong, he has always been an all-around wonderful guy, but it seemed like all of a sudden I had super boyfriend.  He also came home with a secret.  And although he was succeeding at being a really great raw cook (uncook?), he was FAILING at keeping a secret.  For the first two weeks after he came home I heard some variation of, “I know something you don’t know,” or, “I have a secret,” EVERY DAY.

My first though was that he was going to propose, but then after awhile, I thought, “There is no way he would hint at that secret quite so much.” So sometime in July, I convinced myself it was something else and I would just have to wait it out.  I mean, I had a clean house, a happy dog, and a full belly, if that was it, it was great.

Fast forward to last Wednesday.  We drove out to Provincetown, Cape Cod with intent to go on a whale watch and spend the day walking around town, window shopping and eating.  The only problem was that it was POURING!  It was so crummy out that they had canceled all whale watches for the day. Deflated, we walked down the street a little bit and ended up on the beach.  The rain let up a little so we watched the seagulls for a minute and talked about something, who knows what, and then Boy said, “You can have your surprise whenever you want.”

The new running joke was that the surprise was about the same as an Elusive Chocolate Moose, so I laughed and said, “I am so not in charge of this surprise,” and started to walk away.

He called me back, reached into his pocket and gave me this.

When I looked up, he was down on one knee and offering me a ring. To save the suspense, I said yes.

This is me shortly thereafter.  We went to really delicious South African restaurant for lunch to celebrate and beam in general.

We had peanut soup and champagne.

I of course ogled my new ring, which is perfect.  The rest of the day we wandered around P-town, celebrated, and talked.  I found out he bought the card on the way home from his trip in early July, had purchased the ring a full month before asking me, and he asked both my parents.  When the rain eased up enough to not ruin a camera, we went back to the beach and took this picture, for posterity.

The sum up is – we got engaged in the rain on a beach in P-town, and really, it couldn’t be any better than that.

Hardcore! (?)

August 28, 2010

The word on the block is that I am a bit of a wuss.  I remember when I was a kid my dad would sing the Hefty trash bag commercials to my brother and I.  Mat was “Hefty, Hefty, HEFTY!” and I was “Whimpy, Whimpy, WHIMPY!”  Mat was two years older than me and basically a boy, and I was despite my best efforts, very much a girl.  I was neither physically, nor emotionally brave as a kid.  I was sunshine, daises, kittens, puppies, and sugar wrapped up in a blonde, blue eyed package, but brave, no.

The banner issue, as anyone who knows me even a little, has always been spiders and creepy crawlies.  My dad can tell you several amusing stories that end with me in full freak out over something I outweigh by quite a lot.  Its not that I want them dead, I believe that all living creatures should get a chance to live, I just do not want them near me.  At all.  I have an Entomologist friend who knows that I can hardly stand to look at the pictures of bugs, that he enjoys browsing through in his spare time.

There is however one area in my life where I feel like a little bit of a bad ass.  A few years ago, I taught myself how to run.  I had always thought you were either born to run, or not.  I was not, until one day I decided I was going to give it a whirl.  Sometime in March, I ran around the park for the first time, and the following October, I ran a half marathon.  I am not that fast, but still, I think that is pretty tough.

Since that first trot around the park running has provided may opportunities to try out my toughness.  I have fallen and gotten back up bruised and scraped only to continue my run several times.  (In addition to always being a little wussy, I have also always been a little klutzy.)  And this year, the big moment of toughness was when I got stung by bee.  On my face. About a mile away from home.  What did this wuss do?  Well, in a moment of supreme bravery, I asked someone in a yard for some ice, and then RAN all the way home!  Thats right, I finished my run, with a handful of ice and not one tear.

But the one thing I do that always makes me feel really cool and tough, is running in the rain. I ran my second half marathon last fall, and it rained for each and every second of it.  And even last weekend, I ran 3.3 miles around a lake in a down pour.  Only really hardcore people run in the rain.  And it turns out I am one of them.

So to all you spiders, and creepy crawlies out there, stay out of my way.  I may jump a mile if you happen to drop down if front of me, but I will keep on running.  Because I am tough like that.

Impulsive?

August 19, 2010

I can talk myself out of almost anything.  The main exception is of course snacks.  Several years ago I was on Weight Watchers, and while working at Duck’s Soup, this actual conversation took place between myself and I.

me: “Mmmm. . .I want one of those vegan cookies!”

self: “That’s not a very good idea. . .”

me:  “Mmmm. . .cookie. . .”

self: “You will feel sick to your stomach and guilty if you eat that cookie!”

me:  “Mmmm. . .cookie. . .”

self: (exasperated) “You can’t have the cookie if you want to be skinny!”

me:  “I don’t want to be skinny!!!!!”

The part of me that was observing this truly bizarre conversation was equally concerned and amused, at the end of the day I did in fact have the cookie.  So while the cookie often wins, the other stuff gets pushed to the side.

I drove 45 minutes this morning to take a yoga class at the studio where I did my 200 hour teacher training.  I really like it up there.  I usually see a few friendly faces and I always get the yoga class I am looking for.  I go maybe twice year.  Why?  Because I talk myself out if it.  It is a three to four hour time commitment, and I never feel like I should spend that much time just on myself.  It costs more than I like to spend on myself on any given day, and I mean the cost of class alone, never mind the expense of gas and whatever else comes up.

I have these little conversations with myself, to convince myself that my good impulses for self care are not worthwhile.  I don’t call the friend because I don’t want to be a bother.  I don’t ask for time alone because it might hurt somebody’s feelings.  I don’t take the class or go on the day trip because it costs too much money.  It seems like I might need to hire a second moose (as described in my last post).

When I talk myself out of these things I feel a little sadder and emptier than before.  When I manage to beat the Negative Nellie that usually wins the battle I feel so much happier than before, not only because I got to do what I really wanted to do, but my quieter true self gets a say for once. Where does it say we can’t be nice to ourselves?  Some where along the line I got the memo that I was supposed to suffer and have spent a lot of time trying to make that happen.  Maybe a third moose is in order.

On the theme of following joyful impulses, this is Boy getting high on a Mystic Mud ice cream cone. Happy impulse, leads to happy action, leads to happy boy.  Let’s see if I can get that habit going in my life, in the non-cookie sense of course

The Elusive Chocolate Moose

August 16, 2010

I have a confession.  I still believe in Santa Clause.  I have no cold hard facts disproving his existence.  I also still believe in the Tooth Fairy, especially since my very own brother saw her once (you will have to ask him for that story).  I also believe in Big Foot, and further more, I am certain we are related (size 11.  seriously.)

When I was a kid we used to go on hikes looking for the Elusive Chocolate Mousse.  We would tromp out into the the woods and wander around all day looking for the hard to find delicacy, chocolate moose droppings.  We knew what no one else knew, the best chocolate mousse came from the droppings of a woods dwelling creature.  This was serious business.  We would find clues all over, and sometimes even hoof prints.  We never really got close, but the idea of catching a glimpse (or getting some chocolate) kept us going all day.

So maybe, technically, I don’t really believe in Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, Big Foot, or the Elusive Chocolate Moose.  But I still like thinking about them.  They remind me that joy can lurk around every corner, if I choose to see it.  A bent twig can be a sign of a giant chocolate making creature.  Sometimes reality is harsh, but everyone was the ability to choose how they look at it.  Maybe they guy with road rage is out to get you, or maybe there is a bee in his car.  Perhaps the path you have to walked is long and scary, but maybe its lined with violets, and dandelions too.

We get to decided how we think. The world tells us to think things are hard and scary, and that we should be stressed and terrified all the time.  Media tells us we can’t ever be good enough for anyone, much less ourselves, and if we are not careful, we believe these things.  We go around scared,  trying to fix ourselves, so so maybe we won’t be so scared anymore, and by the end of the day thats all we have room in our minds to think about.

So here is my plan.  I’m going to go find me a giant Elusive Chocolate Mouse, and I am going to let him live in my brain, and remind me that I choose which thoughts stay, and which thoughts go, and if  I need him too, he will kick the thoughts that don’t serve me right out.

We all need reminders of who we are, especially when there is so much out there telling us who we should be.  I am a girl who likes to think there is magic in the world, and that I am a part of it.

(photo source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-541028/How-giant-amplifiers-help-Mr-Moose-hear-miles.html)

Sundae Dinner

August 13, 2010

This afternoon Boy and I decided to go berry picking.  We failed.  It seems that berry picking is over for the season, so we headed to the orchard store hoping to at least buy some local berries.  Fail.  The blueberries were from Michigan, the strawberries were from California, and the raspberries were no where in sight.  We settled for some apple cider, local corn, and one of us snagged and apple cider donut.

He might kill me for that picture, but only time will tell.  We headed off to another local orchard, fingers crossed, for the now elusive local blueberry.

Great success.  We didn’t even look to see if anything was picking, we just headed straight to the market.  We picked up blueberries and raspberries and then seriously loaded the basket up with treats.  I think the Boy and I are already mentally on vacation.  He found veggie chips, and wassabi peas, local milk, and some local raw cheese.  I found some raw kale chips and some raw granola.  He grabbed a Foxen Park soda for the road, and I snagged some puppy dog treats for the critters at home.

I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of raw vegan items they had, aside from the produce of course.  It was a nice trip that made up for the not so great visit to the other orchard.

For dinner I decided I had to do something with the raw granola I found.It being chocolate, my mind went towards dessert.  And Sundae Dinner was born.  I made some Banana Soft Serve Ice cream,  which really, everyone should try, topped it with a quarter cup of the granola, some of our berries and a little drizzle of agave.  Oh my.

I know you can’t really see the banana ice cream, but its in there, I swear.

How to Make Banana Soft Serve Ice Cream

Freeze a banana (I ALWAYS have frozen bananas)

Chop frozen banana in to chunks and throw into food processor

Add just a little bit of “milk” today I used coconut milk

Process until smooth and ice cream-y

Today since it was for dinner I added a scoop of brown rice protein.  Sometimes I add berries, the Boy likes to add cinnamon and nutmeg for a chai effect.  I highly recommend whipping some up as a dessert or a dinner or whenever you want a yummy, creamy, good for you treat.

Day Three

August 13, 2010

Today is day three of posting in a row, and my attempts at coming up with something to say have been rambling to say the least.  For now, I will leave you with a gratuitous  picture of a cat in a box.

This is Sprout in a box of bedding right after we moved in January.  She likes boxes.

Pink Juice and Pink (and Black) Piggies

August 12, 2010

No lie, about three hours after posting yesterday I looked in a place I had looked about a hundred times before and found my camera.  It was on top of the microwave, which is on top of the refrigerator, so I suppose that for anyone other than my brother, it is kind of hard to see up there.

On  said found camera, there are some pictures of a very pretty juice I made.  I juice fairly often.  Sometimes everyday, at the moment its more like three times a week.  I have very old juicer.  It is a Sunbeam from the mid ninety’s that I stole from my mother when I first started looking into raw foods.  It has been putting up with regular use for over a year and I pray that some day it forgives me for abruptly ending its decade long hibernation in a kitchen cabinet.

Homemade Sprouts, Two Apples, a Beet, Lemon, Nub of Ginger, Swiss Chard, Cucumber

This is a pretty standard pile of pre-juice produce.  There are always apples and cucumbers, the greens change depending on what is in the house, if there is ginger, it goes in,  if there is lemon it goes in.  When I first started juicing I was a little freaked out about the left-over pulp, it felt very wasteful. However, my mom has some very cute and deserving piggies who LOOOOOOVVEEE juice pulp. Problem solved.

The finished product of this particular pile was about of quart of juice that severed as a very yummy breakfast.

This maybe the prettiest  juice I have ever made, and it was delicious.  A day with a pink juice in it is a good day.  Which reminds me I am out of beets.  Perhaps I need a trip to the health food store, where someone else will make a red juice for me.  Now that is luxury.  After all its on the way to the farm, and I have some adoring fans there.

Great Expectations

August 11, 2010

It turns out I set very high standards for myself.  If you were to meet me on the street you would not think I was an all or nothing girl.  I come across as pretty well grounded, at least a little sensible, and definitely as someone who always tries to find balance.   If someone I care about is freaking out my advice is almost always to take it easy, don’t push so hard, look for middle ground.

When it comes to my own life however, the advice somehow does not turn the corner from my mouth to my ears.  Take blogging for example.  I read and admire tons of bloggers, and I started this blog because I was inspired by the way the writers in the blog community examine and share their lives.  Sometimes there is a discussion about body image and beauty standards, or how to raise vegan kids, or sometimes its just a really good cookie recipe.   I wanted to be apart of that, even just a little.

But then came the all or nothing bug.  If it wasn’t brilliant, its not worth posting.  And then I lost my camera (somewhere there are pictures of juice and cats in boxes to post) and no pictures means no post.  And then lots of time past, and no one likes to follow and inconsistent blog so why bother.  All or nothing.  Perfect or a big fat zipppo.

So here I am.  Posting after several months, with no pictures.  Two things are going to happen here.  I am going to post this with out having someone proof read it first.  This a blog not a dissertation, and it does not have to be pristine.  I am also going to link it on Facebook.  So everyone I know who cares to, can have the chance to read my ramblings as they are.  I don’t have to hide my imperfections.   Those who love me, love them too.  And maybe so should I.