Where are we now?

6 months ago I wrote this new years journal entry. At the time of the posting I had five what seemed like very large reasons why my life was terrible. As of today, I can only recall two of those reasons. Of those two reasons, one of those reasons has had a recent change for the better. A change happened that I never thought would happen. I need to remind myself that  I must remain positive that this change will stay in the positive direction. The second of the “terrible” things still exists and still hurts my heart. Fortunately it has gotten to a place where I am not reminded of the pain on a daily basis.
The only demons I am currently facing are my own.

As far as what I planned to do in 2012, I have sort of been off track or changed my course on some of those plans.  

“I hope to make 2012 a year where I foster better relationships with my husband, family, and friends.”I still recognize this as an issue. I find it hard to pick up the phone to call a friend, mostly because I feel like I have nothing to say. A good friend of mine recently told me (not to hurt me by any means) that I am the type friend that she needs to reach out to in order to stay in touch and she was fine with it. It made me realize that I am incredibly luckily that I have friends such as these that put up with my shenanigans. I think of how much I am missing out on because I don’t reach out to people anymore. This is something I still need to work on.

 I will cut people out of my life who choose to bring me down rather than lift me up.I have changed direction on this item. I am now leaning toward repair rather than quitting. I don’t know if I will be fighting a lost cause but I would like to see where I can go with this. Perhaps a relationship that has evolved in nature?  

In 2012 I will continue to exercise.I finished my first half-marathon this year. Then I took a running break. I am now back at it again training for another half-marathon – this time faster I hope. I continue to play volleyball once a week and I am biking much more lately. I love what biking is doing for my arms.
  
In 2012 I will be more compassionate; but only in such a way where my energy is not being sucked dry.I made no progress on this one until recently. I have a person I see almost every day who is a constant challenge for me. This person frequently harasses me, spreads rumors about me, and is overall someone who gives me the heebie-jeebies every time I have to talk to them. This person also has a terrible personal life that is full of strife and a lot of self-inflicted anxiety related issues. Upon some advice from others, I have decided to just hear this person out when they speak to me instead of immediately dismissing them (so I can rid of them). I have listened to them many times in the last few weeks and while the person hasn’t necessarily become any less annoying to me, this person seems to have halted all the bad speak about me behind my back. Additionally the person is becoming less and less confrontational with me. I am coming to the conclusion that many of the problems from this person comes from the fact that they feel like I do not see their worth and they are seeking my approval. By acknowledging this person’s thoughts and ideas, I am giving them the needed validation so they can stop being obsessed with me.

Next up is the update on My Happiness Project.

Watermelon Summer Cocktail

While in Miami last month I was craving a light summer cocktail. In a great cafe on Lincoln Road I ordered this delicious and refreshing cocktail.

I have had the urge to try to reproduce this cocktail at home. Today I had the opportunity. I am attending a BBQ this evening and this drink would be great to drink in the heat.
The drink menu at the restaurant only lists ingredients but no amounts. After some web searching I came up with my own recipe and I have to say it seems pretty darn close to what I experienced in Miami.
And if someone asks me, I will deny that I sampled this cocktail at 8:30 am on a Sunday morning.

For 1 serving:
1/2 ounce of Aperol
1 ounce of St. Germain
1 ounce sparkling water (or club soda)
2 ounce Prosecco
1/4 cup pureed watermelon (seeds removed)

As a little side story, the bottle of Aperol is not the first one I purchased for this drink concoction. The first bottle was purchased at a large Florida liquor chain store. Most times when you buy more than one bottle, they place one in a paper bag so they will separated from each other. This is so the bottles do not hit each other. The brilliant guy at this store did not do this time and I heard my bottles go “clang clang” as I walked to the car. I started my car, blasted the air conditioner and started to drive home. I soon began to smell a musty bar. I dismissed this smell; the bottles probably just had an odor from the liquor store. Then I heard liquid running; I dismissed this to be the sound of the liquid moving within the bottles. When I arrived home I found a bottle, empty of liquor, and the bottom had fallen completely off. Red-ish orange booze spread from the plastic bags all onto my car mats. My car now smells like a boozer car. Lesson learned kiddos, make sure your liquor is paper bagged and if you suspect it has leaked, it probably has.

What the h^@% is this pink stuff?

From Plants, Photos, Fitness and Food

A couple of weeks ago I found this pinkish orange stuff hanging out in one of my whiskey barrel planters (see Whiskey Good). I snapped a couple of quick photos and then went along my business. I have been so backed up on my photo editing that the photos went into the phantom zone (the zone where the photos are uploaded to my computer but never added to my Lightroom library – I really should have set it up to auto-add stuff). Anyhoo, I did some file organization and came across this photo again. After some quick research on garden forums I discovered it is Lycogala epidendrum. Wikipedia doesn’t say much about it but after reading some comments on forums I have come to the conclusion that it is harmless (They said it was ok). Soon after the pic was taken the balls turned brownish and now have disappeared. Well that was interesting. Do you have any crazy stuff going on in your garden?

Mothers Day Beef

For mother’s day this year, I gathered with my mom, two of my aunts, and my cousin. We had a pot luck lunch. For the lunch I made a Zinfandel-Braised Beef Brisket with Onions and Potatoes. I followed the recipe for the most part but I ended up cooking with both beef brisket and stewed beef (I wanted to make sure there was enough meat for all). The beef brisket was a bit overcooked for my taste but the stewed beef melted away in my mouth. I also substituted the Walla Walla onions and used Sweet Cipolline Onions.

 

Another song another memory

Taken from a Jun 18, 2008 myspace blog…..

Another song, another memory

Driving into work this afternoon, I heard a song on the radio that brought back a memory of a wonderful time. I started thinking to myself that I really need to document a list of particular songs and the memories they bring. Below is the list of the songs I hear and the memories they trigger when I hear them.

I Can See Clearly Now by Johnny Nash – Jazz Fest 2008. It was a rained out weekend in New Orleans but my friends and I did not give up.We had rain all day but suddenly the sun came out right before the next performer was to appear on at the Acura stage. They played this song. The whole crowd sang along.

Hold on by Wilson Phillips – Heavenly, Lake Tahoe 2005. After a day of skiing we had a drunken hot tub night with a couple bottles of Dom Perigon. Only get a few stations on the radio were able to be accessed from our condo. Wilson Phillip’s Hold on comes on and we sing/scream in unison. It was one of the best drunken nights ever (that I can remember).

With a Little Luck by Paul McCartney and Wings – Sometime in the late 70’s – Sitting in the back of my mom’s big ol car at night while we were driving around the greater Cincinnati area. I remember I was eating a ding dong or a ho ho when this song came on.

These are the Days by 10,000 maniacs – High school graduation 1993 – They played the song after we all received our diplomas. I specificially remember this because that same year, the kids on the show Beverly Hills 90210 graduated and they also had the song play at their graduation. One of many similarities between that show and my high school Dr. Phillips, 32819.

New Age Girl by Dead Eye Dick – Lucy Bluz in Kissimee sometime 1993-1995 – I snuck into Lucy Bluz underage and filled my mug with crap beer for $1.50 (no matter how big the mug was). I remember singing the chorus “She don’t eat meat but she sure like the bone” with my friends there.

Elvira by Oak Ridge Boys & Working My Way Back To You by Four Seasons – My pre-school had a record player that played these two songs repeatedly. I will forever associate them with pre-school.


Jeremy by Pearl Jam – High school prom 1993 – The dance floor was packed. It was the height of the grunge era.

I will add more as I remember more……

Guaco de Mayo


I spent most of my childhood as a picky eater. I would throw temper tantrums when faced with something I thought was disgusting. I distinctly remembering passing broccoli under the table to my friend at dinner who enjoyed eating broccoli.
I have no idea where all my food aversions came from; but I am still amazed when my friend’s kids will eat anything put in front of them.
Today my food aversions are limited, only celery and anise seasoned items are still on the permanent list.
One may think that I regret spending many years missing out on so many good foods but it is quite the opposite.
I was enriched by my experience of having a colorful beet salad for the first time years ago. I was delighted that I discovered that not only did I like pineapple, but that I loved it. Most recently I discovered that I love guacamole, even I after refusing it for so many years because I thought it was “disgusting”.
Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo, the US marketing party “holiday”. At our local grocery store, I was able to sample their guacamole. I loved it. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. But for some reason I wanted to spend the day at home, relaxing, instead of partying with the masses. I almost gave up that idea at the thought that I could get some more guacamole.  Haas avocados were in stock at home and my husband suggested we try to make our own. And I did. I didn’t have to leave the house!

1 ripe Haas avocado
4 cloves garlic minced (use fresh garlic)
1/2 teaspoon each cumin, onion powder, cilantro (add more spices to taste)
1/2 key lime juice (juice it well, include some pulp in there)
1 tomato chopped
1/2 orange bell pepper chopped in small pieces (red bell will work as well)
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Mix it up and enjoy.

Note: I would have used fresh onion instead of powder but we had none in the house. I would have used fresh cilantro as well but cilantro is all dead in the garden