Wednesday, December 31, 2014

End of the Season

Greetings from bitterly cold Colorado!  I thought I would end 2014 with a few gifts from Christmas and some dreams for the New Year.
 Calendar, my favorite tea, Caramel Sea Salt Macaroons, and Kale Chips (this flavor isn't their best, but I'll finish the bag!).
 Two different candles (one from Dad, one from my neighbor), the "Forget Me Not" angel in remembrance of my grandfather (my mother, grandmother, and I all received the same one from my aunt).
 The biggest surprise: from my brother, a Lululemon mat.  The only present I asked for: replacement ear buds for my phone (talking on the phone while I clean house is something I enjoy - strange, I'm sure! But my ear buds have been broken since late summer).
It's probably hard to see, but the cover says "2015" on the middle right corner.  I picked up this agenda for the New Year, and have been thinking about how my plans might need to change for the year.  I had hoped to jump the pond once again, this time to visit my friend in France and cousin in Germany.  However, my hospital bills have yet to arrive - and they will dictate everything.  I've come up with some back up plans, and am still planning on going to Florida to see my high school best friend (we haven't seen each other in a dozen years! We text, call, and email but have had plans fall through for visits on numerous occasions.  She is a mother of three young boys, with no spare bedrooms and no means to come visit me!).  Not mention, it's also time to get back to Virginia to see Grandma (my Dad's mother, not be confused with my Mother's family who all live in Kansas).

Outside of travel, I hope to do a little updating around the house (or not - see funding concerns mentioned above! Ha!), get back to embroidery and books I want to read, and continue on my path towards athleticism (tentative first spin class 1/11 - lungs willing).

I'm feeling stronger each day, and am able to sleep a little better each night. I am blessed and continually grateful for what I have, and I love being able to interact with all of you! I'm so excited for what is next! Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Surrender

Sometimes, you have to wave the white flag: "You win! I give up!".  As you know, I tried to salvage the holiday season by pushing myself into the holiday spirit and gearing up for the holidays.  The day after my last post, I was hit by the proverbial train: I got the flu.  Fever of 103, couldn't keep anything down, coughing uncontrollably.  I had to cancel everything on my social/life calendar. Two doctor visits later, I thought I had it figured out (it took four days to break my fever).

Hooray! Here was Christmas, and I wasn't quarantined at my house!  But, wait my lungs feel like they are filling up with fluid, and I can't breathe.  ER on Christmas night, anyone? My mother took me.  Chest x-ray, and one nebulizer treatment later - congratulations! You also have pneumonia!

I had to be put on oxygen and antiobiotics.  Remy and I stayed at my parents house (they waited on me - hand and foot - very, very kind of them), as the oxygen tanks had to be delivered somewhere - and that's where I was! This morning (after three full days of oxygen tubes up my nose, pain killers - for the coughing, and to let me sleep), I went to my follow up visit with my doctor. "Your lungs sound much better than I expected they would!"  And more importantly, I feel so much better.  I packed up everything, and returned to my house midday.  It's hard not to go as fast as I want/do as much as I can (I just tried to shovel two feet of snow, while the temperature hovers in the single digits. WTF am I trying to do? Die?).

Therefore, this illness - these past months - have been a lesson in surrender.  I am not in control.  I can't stop disease or death.  I'm not bitter, I'm grateful - and will continue to move forward.  Bring on 2015, I'm excited for the potential and newness of it all!!

(With this post, let us return to our regularly scheduled postings of eats and activities.  Although, when I return to working out is TBD.  Right now, grocery shopping makes me tired.)

Much love to you, friends! xoxo

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Continued Holiday Attempts

I purchased a gift for my brother today (an electric kettle - he doesn't read this, so it's okay to share!), and am narrowing down ideas for my parents and grandmothers.  One more work day till my holiday break officially begins!  I have winter-ish eats for your viewing:
 Vega Vanilla (added water) and clementines for breakfast.
 Tomato Coconut Curry Soup, dinner roll, Quinoa Almond Pilaf with cranberries for lunch.
I doubled last night's dinner so I could eat quickly after my spin class tonight: baked potato, steamed kale, Happy Herbivore Mushroom Gravy.

See you this weekend!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Getting in the Spirit




I'd say I'm on my way! I'd also say that I deleted my picture of lunch, so I will have tell you all about it (don't worry, I'm having it for lunch on Thursday as well - so there will be a picture!).

First, breakfast at work before administering my first final exam of the day:
 Lunch (while listening to the Classic Christmas station on Spotify, pictured above): Tomato Coconut Curry Soup and my homemade version of Quinoa Pilaf with Cranberries and Almonds, sourdough roll.

Green grapes and a 45 minute spin class.

Dinner involved the noodles from this:
 Trying out this sauce:
 Dry fried tofu, stir fry veggies... and mixed with the above items into this:
Here's the thing: I keep thinking I can make up recipes, and the truth is: I can't. Ha ha! It was alright, but I won't make it again. 

See you on Thursday!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Recently Eaten and Seen

It has been two weeks since the start of month, and with it two weekends in Kansas.  Week days I've tried to catch up, but seem to always be behind! Everything is well as can be expected.  It's sad that it hasn't felt like the holidays in the slightest, but I'm hoping to "join in" the holiday spirit this week. I have managed to snap some pics throughout these weeks, so here's what I have to share:
 Happy Herbivore Meatloaf Bites (made with mashed kidney beans), greens and pepitas.
 Fantastic cookies courtesy of Sarah!
 Lunches like these happened pretty frequently. The result of no weekend time for cooking!

For my dad's birthday, we went to Garbanzo where I made two meals out of this plate.

Terra, almost asleep at my grandmother's apartment.
 Remy, at home, expressing his exhaustion at hours in the car and many people petting him. It's a tough life.
 Yesterday, we were in Kansas for my cousin's wedding reception (and also, checking on grandma).  My aunt made homemade centerpieces using the greens from the trees behind the farmhouse.
 It was held at the local museum site, where they have moved many historic buildings you can wander around, including this early 19th century dance hall.  The screen you see below featured advertisers from the area, and behind this screen a young Lawrence Welk played with his band on stage.
 The original dance hall doors, still in use:
 Also on the property: one room school house, an old church, replica store buildings, and the original jailhouse:

The first week in December, I worked out twice.  Last week, three times.  This week - I plan for four. I am slowly moving towards normal, and the students are taking finals this week - which means all I have to do is grade exams.  And Christmas shop.  And laundry, and cook, and give Remy a bath.... Aaaah! See you on Tuesday.  

Saturday, November 29, 2014

At Peace


It has been a long week for our family.  On Monday, my grandfather fell at his home in Kansas, and needed to have his femur glued and pinned - he was sent to the hospital where they did just that.  What we didn't realize at the time, was that he hit his head on the way down.  Thanksgiving evening, we received the phone call: "it's a brain bleed, he only has a few hours."  We cried, we prayed, we spoke to him on the phone (my uncle held the phone up to his ear), and said our goodbyes.
 I am getting through the grieving process knowing that he is no longer hurting, and must be so happy to see all those that left before him, as they walk through endless fields of perfect wheat.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Blustery Eats

It's crazy windy outside, and has been all day.  I've combated the elements with filling and good for me (kinda!) food.
 Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal

A quick trip to Trader Joe's yielded a lunch...
 Which I took with me and ate in the car after Cycle/Yoga class.  
A friend had asked to meet up at Starbucks not far from where I had class, and wouldn't have enough time to run home between the two events. (Hot green tea, not pictured.)

I have been trying to maintain a lot of my habits from the cleanse, and that includes thinking of food as fuel and leaving out carbs from dinner when possible (as they give us energy, and if I'm not active in the evening, I shouldn't eat them).  However, the occasional exception included this evening and I don't regret it:

Tomorrow I will be extra good, considering that Thursday will be all carbs, all day, every meal. ;)  See you on Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Here Comes the Holiday

My Thanksgiving Break started a little early on Friday, as I ran out of the building after teaching my last class to scoop up my grandparents from the hospital (my mother had deposited Grandma there in the morning before she went to work).  Grandpa, although weak and still needing rehabilitation, was discharged that afternoon.
My brother came over to my parents house Friday evening, and we spent time enjoying each other's company outside of a hospital room.  Midday Saturday, my parents drove the grandparents halfway to Kansas, where they were met by my aunt and uncle who took them the rest of the way home.  

The rest of the weekend has consisted of workouts, holiday prep, and relaxing.  First, the workouts: 45 minute spin classes both yesterday and today.  Prep: braving Whole Foods and all things pumpkin.
 My mother and I planned the Thanksgiving menu, and I thought I'd try the Gardein version this year.

Since I had strong armed a parking spot, I picked up lunch as well:
 I've already had pie: 
 Per Shen's recommendation: I made pumpkin pancakes this morning for breakfast.
 And the theme continued this evening, as I just finished sipping on a pumpkin pie smoothie.
Tomorrow, I plan to sleep in and have pumpkin pie baked oatmeal, followed by an hour long Cycle & HIIT class.  And more relaxing.  I've thought about grading/planning lessons... but no. None of that.  ;)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

On the Move

On days that I am running behind (ahem, like today), I have a stash of oatmeal hiding in my cabinet.
 Breakfast solved:
 I did it! I finished off the soup I made weeks ago. 
I don't want to see another lentil for at least a month.

Picked up dinner from Whole Foods after another tough 45 minute spin class.
Mexican Food: red chile, yellow rice, green chile, black beans, and a flour tortilla.  

Grandpa is being released tomorrow morning, and they want to go home on Saturday (someone will drive them halfway, and my uncle who lives in their small town will meet them).  My mother has really bore the burden of taking care of my Grandmother during these last weeks, so hopefully she can relax next week as we have a quiet Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Repeats

Vega French Vanilla and water, editorial cartoon example in the background (for American Lit classes - they are writing an editorial and creating a correlating cartoon).
 I'll be eating this two more times:
 Sunday's Aloo Matar.

Finally finishing off my bell pepper, onion, and fajita seasoning.  I still have corn tortillas (why did I buy a bag of 36? I am but one woman!)
Grandpa is doing well, and should be out by the end of the week! I didn't see him today, but will tomorrow.  I'm hoping they will be willing to stay in town through Thanksgiving, but they might ask to go home when he is released. *sigh*

Also, my friend was able to secure an affordable(ish) monthly rate at the new studio! I've already signed up for a bunch of classes! (Work/trade is always an option should it get unaffordable, but I just can't commit myself to anything right now.  But perhaps in the future, so I can save $$$).

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Get Warm

Still hanging out in the snow and cold:
 Enjoying hot food:


 I used the coconut curry sauce to make Aloo Matar (potato and peas, and added lentils, too!).
See you on Tuesday!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Waiting

Eleven relatives in the waiting room.  Seven hours of surgery.  The mood was generally positive, with a little anxiety (read: everyone kept it together except for Grandma, whose nervous energy caused her to demand walks to the gift shop and non-stop chatter.).

The surgeon reported that he was able to remove all of the brain tumor.  He cautioned that he would be very tired and weak for a while, so it would be best for not everyone to see him tonight.  We sent in Grandma and two uncles, and he was awake and talking! I will head over to the hospital tomorrow after work, but for now - Remy gets all of my attention!

Thank you for all your positive thoughts and prayers!! <3

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Weekend Half #2

Both yesterday and today were generally lazy.  I worked on my embroidery project, and listened to PBS programs (I am apparently 72 years old on the inside).

Yesterday evening, my neighbor and Frankie came over for chatting and hot tea.

Like most of the nation, I spent as much time as possible hiding from the cold today (a friend stopped by, and I Skyped with my friend in France.  Both great indoor activities!)  I only left the house for a 90 minute class (Cycle/HIIT/Yoga) midday.

Back at home, more general laziness.  Or awkward sleeping, as it was in Remy's case:
I guess I feel rejuvenated enough to go back to work. ;)

My next post will be an important one - Grandpa's surgery is Thursday. They arrive tomorrow.