2011 Blogging as Therapy

2011 was a crappy year. I am not one to shed all my personal details on the internet but 2011 has been one hell of a roller-coaster for me . I am starting to realize this silly little blog that has little content and very little direction has been very therapeutic for me. While I don’t feel comfortable pouring my heart out to everyone on a day to day basis, it is very uplifting to blog about positive aspects of life; to concentrate on things that make me happy and make a permanent memoir of those moments. Looking back hopefully there will be a catalog of good times and positive memories. All the negativity will be in the distant past.
I used to have a reoccurring dream that I had moved into an apartment in New York City. Typically a girlfriend of mine would be my roommate. Always at some point in the dream I would walk home and realize my apartment was in a bad neighborhood (sometimes I would get lost on the way home). Inevitably I would come home to an apartment that has been broken into and all my crap was stolen.
People who know me know that I am not materialistic. I will buy a few nice things here and there but for the most part material things are low on my list. So what does this reoccurring dream mean? It probably means that deep down I have a fear of losing something. Most appropriate in my case it probably means losing people you care about, people you love, and people who love you. Recognizing this fear, and after the extremely tough year that is behind me, I hope to make 2012 a year where I foster better relationships with my husband, family, and friends. People are very important and are essential in helping you pull your head above the water when you feel weights are pulling you down. This also means that I will cut people out of my life who choose to bring me down rather than lift me up. I am not one for making resolutions. Resolutions seem to be a setup for failure. Didn’t Yoda say “Do… or do not. There is no try.” ? I feel resolutions are all try. In 2012 I will continue to exercise. In 2012 I will be more compassionate; but only in such a way where my energy is not being sucked dry.
Luckily 2011 is ending on a high note. I have had lots of good vibes lately from friends and family and running is making me regain some self-confidence. I am not expecting 2012 to be this miraculous year. I hope it will be ordinary. Why do you ask? Because my ordinary life is in fact, fine. Let us raise our glasses to another ordinary year!

Happy New Year!!!

All By Myself

From Photo Challenge

Today I am alone. My husband is off visiting his best friend. My dog is staying with her grandparents. All that is left is me, one cool cat, and one cat that insists on waking me up each morning (each day earlier and earlier: 6:30, 6:00, 5:30, 4:30 and now 3:30 am!!!). I managed to do the dishes, take out the trash and make my own dinner.
Tonight is Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Basil Soup. For this simple recipe I cooked one spaghetti squash and warmed up some tomato basil soup. I cut the squash in half and scooped the seeds out (I may save the seeds and try to kill grow them in the yard some time later). I baked the squash in the convection toaster oven at 350 around 70 minutes or until it is easy to tear apart. I warmed up the soup according to the  instructions on the can and topped it off with some shredded hard cheddar cheese.
If you leave the cheese off, it is a vegan recipe. Isn’t that fun!

From Photo Challenge
From Photo Challenge

Hello December

From Photo Challenge

Hello December. So far we haven’t had a major chill. The garden seems to be doing well. Tomatoes are very slow to ripen because the winter sun doesn’t warm the tomatoes enough during the day. Just this week we are finally seeing some tomato ripen action.

From Photo Challenge

Those tomatoes will be great on all the lettuce we still have growing. I need to start more seeds of this so I can continue the crop.

From Photo Challenge

One of the figs became ripe this week.

From Photo Challenge

The blueberry bushes are beginning to bloom for some early spring blueberries.

From Photo Challenge

Finally, as you see in the picture at the top, the muscadine grape is dormant for the winter. See you in the spring!

Running with Bricks

Today is one of those days. A day when you want to call it quits.
After a two full day break from Saturday long run I ran this morning. As soon as I got out there I wanted to quit. I felt like I was carrying a ton of bricks with me the entire run. I pushed through as my mind raced through negative thoughts. Why the hell did I sign up for a half marathon when I have never even completed a 5k entirely by running? Defeat and quit were all that were on my mind this morning. The run was completed and I am dealing with all that is left of my motivation. “It does get easier each time. Be patient, you have a long journey ahead of you. You can accomplish it.”

Winter Sangria

From Food

It is that time of year again, time for me to make a red sangria – one of my favorite drinks to make. It is so simple. This time I halved the recipe. Double everything below for more (I like to mix half Beaujolais and pinot noir together).
1 cup grapes
1 cup apple juice
1/3 cup Grand Marnier
1 tbsp sugar
2 cloves
1 orange (blood or navel)
1 bottle fruity wine (I like Beaujolais)
1 cinnamon stick
1 lemon
1 apple

Cut up fruit and mix it all in an attractive pitcher. Cover and chill over night in the refrigerator. Serve chilled or on ice.

Warning: This is not fruit juice, it is really strong….don’t make the mistake one of my family members did and pour yourself too much at once.

From Food

My recipe is inspired by a similar recipe from Cooking Light (December 2004). For a similar recipe, see here.