Saturday, July 20, 2019

grilled vegetables

I've been extremely lazy and completely unmotivated the last few months, which is part of why my blog posts are getting further apart. Hopefully my issues will be resolved in the next couple months, though.  In the meantime, a short post about my first-ever experience making grilled vegetables.

Recently I had some store-bought grilled veggies and they were delicious. The best part was I didn't have to make them myself--a definite plus these days. I had them as a side dish with some fish for lunch at work. Unfortunately, the store where I got the veggies is 20 minutes away and not cheap--Whole Paycheck...I mean Foods. There's no way it makes sense to spend that much on grilled veggies when I can easily make them myself. Did I actually feel like it? No. But did I do it anyway? Yes.

I made a marinade using some garlic balsamic vinegar I had in the cabinet. My husband got it for me a while back and I just haven't made an effort to use it. He got it from Beekman 1802 Mercantile and it's called Roasted Garlic Drizzle.  (If anyone watches the Amazing Race, the owners won the 2012 season. We visited their farm in 2014 and I got to hold the baby goats. 😊)  I also used olive oil, lemon juice and some salt and pepper.  For vegetables I used vidalia onions, cremini mushrooms, red peppers, zucchini, yellow squash and roma tomatoes. I chopped all the vegetables into either strips or chunks. The onions were cut into quarters from top to bottom, leaving the root end intact so they didn't fall apart when grilled. I then put them all in a two-gallon plastic bag to marinate for the day.  Once that was done, I grilled them until charred and soft. I left the red peppers a bit crunchy for texture. I then cut the bigger vegetables into smaller pieces. And that's it!


I have to say, they tasted delicious. I really enjoyed the flavor of the vinegar.  The veggies were a little crunchy, a bit sweet, and had a nice charred flavor from the grill. And I'm happy to report that not one vegetable fell through the grates!

Marinade for Grilled Vegetables
(You could use this for chicken, too.)

1/4 cup olive oil
3 TB garlic balsamic vinegar (use whatever balsamic you like)
Juice of one lemon
1/2 tsp salt (add more if you like)
1/2 tsp pepper

Mix well and pour into a dish or plastic bag along with the vegetables.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

to catch a chipmunk


I'm trying to get better about posting here; however, I don't have much motivation lately.  I figured I would tell a funny story--something that happened this week--and make it easy on myself.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a lot of cats. Like, A LOT--11 at the moment. Yes, 11. Double digits. Having 11 cats means my house is sometimes a circus. The cats chase each other, play together (usually), sometimes fight, crowd us out in bed and hog the covers, step on my boob, cry for their dinner two hours early, and do various other cat things. (One of my favorites is when they sit and stare at the ceiling for no apparent reason. I know they probably hear a critter in the attic; however, my house was built in 1735 so I tend to wonder if they're seeing a ghost. Freaks me out.)  Sometimes they leave me all-natural, homemade "gifts" that I sometimes don't see until I've stepped in them, which is always fun. And occasionally the one indoor/outdoor cat I have, Lou (above), brings me outside "gifts." These "gifts" are typically dead mice, dead birds, and once a dead chipmunk. Key word here is "dead." He leaves them on the door step to show me what a good hunter he is and how proud he is of his kill.

Earlier this week I was getting ready for work–getting ready to step into the shower, actually–and Lou was crying to come in the house. He was using his weird cry, which means, “Ma! I caught this cute, fuzzy animal and killed it for you! Come look!!” When I hear that cry, I know to check and make sure it’s dead and laying on the patio, and not in his mouth and alive. That was followed by normal cries, so I didn’t check like I usually do. Well, I let him in and he’s got a live chipmunk in his mouth. He trotted in like he’s all that and a bag of chips. The other cats were VERY interested. 

(Now, before I go on, keep in mind that I was just getting into the shower, which means I was naked. Seeing what was about to happen, I panicked for a second and then threw on a sweatshirt and underwear. For some reason, I couldn't find my pajama pants.)


Lou proceeds to drop the chipmunk on the floor in front of me. It promptly plays dead for a few seconds while the others look on--chipmunks are smart like that. Then it gets up and runs around the house, starting with the living room.  So there’s a chipmunk running around with no less than six cats chasing it. Bailey (above) catches it and runs off in another direction and the others follow. Bailey drops the chipmunk in the den and they all race to get it, but Bailey is too fast--there's no way he's giving up his prize. So Bailey gets it again and runs into the family room. Luckily the family room has a door and  I thought to close it so at least the situation is contained in one room. I then had to figure out how to get the chipmunk out of the house without getting bit (those things have jaws like a vise and very sharp teeth!). It then occurred to me to throw a towel over him and the chipmunk.  So I grabbed a bath towel and flung it over Bailey, who still has the chipmunk by the tail, then picked them both up and brought them outside on the back stair. (Yes, in nothing but a sweatshirt and underwear. Luckily it was the back stairs and the neighbors aren't too close.) Since Bailey is an indoor-only cat I couldn’t just put him outside. He wouldn’t let go of the chipmunk, so I did the only thing I could think of--I shook him until he dropped the chipmunk…and then the chipmunk grabbed on to the towel! Rather than put the towel on the ground like a normal person would have, I started shaking the towel until it let go and ran away. I tossed Bailey back in the house and I got on with taking a shower.

Took me just a few minutes to contain the situation. I got on with my shower and got to work on time. :)

Wondering what other live "gifts" I've received from various cats over the years, and which made it into the house?  Mice, birds, and a live snake. Yes, a snake! And now a live chipmunk. I'm not sure what was more fun, though:  the live bird that flew around the house while multiple cats chased it, jumped in the windows, trashing the blinds and knocking stuff over, eventually catching it and giving it a bath (nope, they didn't kill it!), or this chipmunk.

Best ever dead "gift"? A dead catfish from the pond behind my old house. It was delivered to my front door and was sitting on the Welcome mat.




Friday, June 14, 2019

Krave the Krunch Grainless Granola

I just realized that I had this post languishing in Drafts. For some reason I wrote it a couple months ago and then forgot to post it! Anyway...


I found this grainless granola when I went to the natural foods store on my way home from volunteering in my old hometown. I'm always looking to try something new and grainless granola seemed like a good idea. I won't lie--this was not cheap by any means.  I cost $8.29; however, there was no tag on the shelf or the bag, so I had no idea until the cashier rang it up. I wasn't thrilled, but I wanted to try it because chocolate!!

So, what's in it? According to the Just Real Foods website:  Walnut, Shredded Coconut, Dark Chocolate (Cacao Powder, Cocoa Butter, Wildflower Honey), Wildflower Honey, Almond, Pecan, Maple Syrup, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Coconut Oil, Golden Flaxseed, Cinnamon – Grain-Free/Grainless – Certified Paleo – Non-GMO Project Verified – Kosher Pareve – Certified Gluten Free – NO Processed/Refined Sugars.  So, basically it's granola made out of walnuts instead of rolled oats.


And how does it taste?  I thought it was good. It had a nice chocolate and coconut flavor; however, it had too much walnut flavor for my taste. It wasn't overwhelming, but I definitely knew it was made of walnuts. I'm not a fan of walnuts in general, so a product whose main ingredient is walnuts doesn't make for a great treat for me. If you like walnuts, though, you may like this product.


As I said, I like trying new foods, especially when it's low in carbs, sugar and calories. I usually don't eat granola, because it has a lot of sugar and I just don't want to spend that many calories on such a small, non-filling snack. This granola has only 116 calories, 6 grams of carbs (!!) and 4 grams of sugar. That's pretty good for something called "granola."

Would I buy this again? No. It was good, but it has too much walnut flavor for me. Plus, it was $8.29 and that's a bit expensive.


Sunday, May 19, 2019

beer, bacon and cheddar cornbread

Recently I made cornbread in my cast iron skillet. If you've never done that, try it. Assuming you have a cast iron skillet, of course. It makes a nice crust, and it's even better if you're making a recipe that uses bacon. You fry the bacon in the skillet, take out the bacon and pour off most of the bacon grease leaving only enough to coat the skillet. Then you put the corn bread batter in that same skillet and pop it in the oven to bake. Yum!


So, what did I change in the recipe? (You know I always change something.) I added scallions since I had some in the fridge to use up, and I doubled the cheese. That's it. Oh, and I greased the cast iron pan with bacon grease left over from frying the bacon. This particular recipe doesn't call for that; however, I like the crust it produces.

It was delicious, just like I knew it would be. It was salty and a little smokey because of the bacon, and tangy because of the sour cream and beer. I used Yuengling Premium since that's what was in my husband's camping cooler outside. He says he couldn't taste the beer, but what does he know?? I tasted it right away, because I don't actually like beer. It gave the cornbread a good flavor, though.


My only gripe is with the shredded cheese I used. Lately I've been shredding my own cheese from a bigger block; however, I had some packaged shredded cheese I needed to use up. What a difference! As you can see, it looks kind of dry on top and almost seems like it didn't melt. It didn't taste cheesy either. Considering I doubled the cheese on top and the amount I mixed in the batter, that's really disappointing. There's nothing wrong with packaged shredded cheese, it just doesn't really melt the same in some recipes.

Here's the recipe I used:  Beer, Bacon and Cheddar Cornbread

Saturday, April 27, 2019

peanut butter bites


I made some peanut butter bites this week. Recipe was courtesy of my trainer. I believe he got it from vshred.com.

I changed the recipe a little bit, but only because I thought coconut would be a good addition. Also, I didn't have unsalted natural peanut butter. I bought some previously, but it was incredibly difficult to stir so I ditched it.

This recipe is based on the one he sent to me, which I doubled. This makes 24 peanut butter bites. If you want only 12 bites, just cut this in half.

My calorie count came out to about 150 calories each, which I feel it quite high; however, they're very satisfying and fairly filling. These are great to have when you have a junk food craving and they keep very well in the fridge. Protein is 4 grams and sugar is 6 grams per bite.

4 TB honey
1 1/3 cup unsalted peanut butter (I used regular creamy peanut butter)
2 cups rolled oats (not instant or steel-cut oats)
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup coconut
1 cup ground flax seeds (flax meal)

Combine all the ingredients and then put in the fridge for 15 to 30 minutes. This makes it easier to roll them.

Roll them into 24 bites and then store in the fridge or freeze.



Sunday, April 21, 2019

Catsbury Park's Second Annual Cat Convention

Two crazy cat ladies. It runs in the family!


I recently went to the second annual Catsbury Park Cat Convention, which was held in Asbury Park, NJ and run by Catsbury Park Cat Cafe.

When I saw the advertisement last year I wasn't all that sure I wanted to go again.  I went to the first one they held last year and while I enjoyed it, it was absolutely packed and I think some things could have been done better. But it was their first convention and I don't think they expected the huge turnout they got. Ultimately I decided to go since it's was only $40.00 for both days and the proceeds go to charity.

The weather was warmer this time; however, it was very windy out by the water (the Asbury Park Convention Hall is on the boardwalk).  Unfortunately there was a fire at the Dunes Boardwalk Cafe while we were there. It started right before we arrived at the convention hall and burned all day. It was extinguished for a short time, but the high winds caused it to reignite. It was actually still smoldering the next morning. The Dunes is about a half mile or so away, but the air was pretty smokey both days. Luckily we didn't have to evacuate.

When we arrived on Friday we visited the Catsbury Park Cat Cafe on Friday afternoon. It's a vegan cafe. One side is the cafe and the other is the cat lounge where you can hang out with the cats, play with them, feed them treats, or eat your own vegan treats.  All the kitties are up for adoption. Last year I went on Saturday night after the convention and it was SO, so busy and the cats were either sleeping, hiding or cranky. This time they were mostly all awake, happy and ready to play. The added bonus was that my cousin and I were practically the only ones there so we got to hog the kitties.

Here's one of the Cafe residents. This was a playful Tuxedo kitty.
Actually, several of the cats were Tuxedos, some with white whiskers!
We then headed over to the convention hall for early wrist-banding and then off to dinner at the Americana Diner (great diner!). I’m so glad they did early wrist-banding this year. Last year was the first convention they held and I think the huge turnout was really unexpected and the lines were very long (it was actually at legal capacity a half hour after opening last year), so they wanted to streamline this year.

We decided to use Uber for the convention Saturday morning so we wouldn’t have to get there super early in order to get good parking. Knowing that it’s not a huge convention, and that there isn’t much on the boardwalk to do this time of year, I didn’t want to be hanging around for over two hours before the presentation at noon I wanted to attend. It worked out well. We got there around 11:30 am, the Uber was half price so it only cost about $5.00 (cheaper than parking!), and we didn't have to deal with parking. It was awesome being able to walk right in and not have to wait in line. We walked around the convention floor for a bit, then headed over to the Paramount Theater to see “From Stray to Space: How Klaus became an Astrocat,” which was presented by Klaus’s dad, Mick. I was hoping Klaus would be there like he was last year, but he was hanging out at the hotel; he’s now 19 and Mick didn’t want to stress him out. (If you want to check out their Facebook page, click here:  https://www.facebook.com/TheKlausCat/. There are also some super cute videos here: You tube) I really enjoyed the presentation. Mick talked a lot about Oskar (now deceased) and Klaus's lives, as well as their efforts in helping bring books and resources to blind children. I teared up when he talked about Oskar's passing, which happened last year two months before the last convention.

The next presentation I wanted to see–Hannah Shaw, the Kitten Lady–wasn’t until 5:00 pm so we had quite a bit of time to kill. We shopped the convention hall, went up to the adoption lounge to look at the kitties (no, I didn’t adopt one!!), had appetizers at the Robinson Ale House, and shopped around the little mall that houses the convention hall. I ALMOST got a tattoo (Neptune Tattoo was there), but I chickened out at the last minute. I’ve never wanted a tattoo or even cared for them, but they had some really minimalist designs and I was thinking I’d be OK with one on my ankle or maybe my shoulder. (Plus I’m a crazy cat lady so why not advertise it and be proud of it?) I was thinking of this one below, but just a black outline with no coloring. Maybe next time!
I really enjoyed Hannah Shaw’s presentation, "All Things Kitten and Community Cats."  She showed some really cute videos of her neonatal kittens, a TNR (trap-neuter-return) project she worked on, as well as some other videos. She talked a lot about neonatal kittens and community cats (ferals) and how they’re the most at-risk cat population and how people can help. Lots of useful information. (Here's a link to her website, which has links to her different social media pages: http://www.kittenlady.org/follow.)


Sunday we did two celebrity cat meet and greets: Lil Bub, and Stache and Teddy (yes, I’m a geek and a crazy cat lady!). Most of the meet and greets were held at the Asbury Hotel. We made sure to get there at least 30-45 minutes before the meet and greets started since lines form early. I also wanted to try and get towards the front of the line so the cats wouldn't be cranky or tired. We got right into see Stache and Teddy due to the way they divided up the waiting area. We just happened to be on the side where people weren’t waiting and they told the Stache and Teddy attendees to wait there. Lil Bub, on the other hand, we waited about an hour, maybe a little more, since it started at the same time as Stache and Teddy, which meant we were nearly at the end of the line. But it was worth it. She’s adorable! Tiny and so mellow. (There was a young woman in front of us and she was saying that she was so excited to meet Lil Bub that she felt like she was going to faint! Mike, Lil Bub's owner, told her to calm herself since Bub was starting to pick up on her excitement. The woman ahead of her was talking about how she balled her eyes out last year when she met Bub for the first time, and that they had to tell her to calm down and get hold of herself before approaching Bub. I mean, I love cats and wanted to meet Bub, but I don’t put it quite on the same level as meeting Def Leppard. Although it was close!)

Me and Lil Bub.

Me with Bub and her "dude", Mike, as he's called. LOL
Me with Teddy (left) and Stache (right). Unfortunately I didn't get to sit with them this year.
Teddy and Stache. They're so cute, soft and well-behaved!
Before heading home I made my obligatory trip to Wegman’s to get some goodies (there’s no Wegman’s in my state so I go when I’m near one) and then we were on the road.

It was a good convention. I was so happy it wasn’t jam-packed like last year; however, there was the fire at the Dunes Boardwalk Cafe a half mile away, so perhaps the combo of the smokey air and the fact that the huge turnout last year soured some people (and that people didn’t actually read the website last year to know that it’s not a cat SHOW, it’s a CONVENTION) is what kept attendance down a bit. There were lots of great vendors. I got some artwork, cat toys, a door stop, and Lil Bub leggings and a mug (courtesy of my cousin). Got some yummy vegan treats, too. My only complaint this time around is that they seemed to go the opposite direction in terms of the presentations they had this year. Last year they had lots of them on both days, with generally two or three running concurrently. This year it seemed there weren’t many at all on Saturday, which is when most people attend the convention. Most were on Sunday when people would typically head home, as well as all the meet and greets being on Sunday, too. Although they added I think one or two on Saturday because Sunday sold out. And since the convention hall isn’t huge, and neither is the mall outside, it was hard to fill four hours in between the two presentations.

Here are some of the goodies I grabbed. I forgot to take pics of the cat toys and they're already scattered around the house. I got two catnip kickers and four wool mice. They didn't seem to have the free tote bags this time around; however, we didn't get there at opening time so they may have had them and run out by the time we got there.


Artwork is by Leeza Hernandez, http://www.leezaworks.com/

Artwork is by Leeza Hernandez, http://www.leezaworks.com/

My handmade door stop. Purple, of course!

I haven't decided if I'll put this on my desk at work or keep it at home.

My cousin got these for me. Crazy, aren't they?? This isn't me! It's from Lil Bub's online store. I actually had to send them back and get a bigger size since they run small. The store rep was very friendly and accommodating. I didn't even have to send the leggings or receipt back before they sent out a replacement pair! They just took my word for it! I also got a Lil Bub tea mug, but it's at work already.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

road trip!

I recently went to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which was in Brooklyn on March 29. And why did I go? To see my favorite band, Def Leppard, inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame! It was a once-in-a-lifetime event and there was no way I wasn't going to go. We got the cheap seats months ahead of time, my sister got a big discount on the hotel room (she works for the chain), and breakfast was complimentary. All we had to pay for was gas for the car and our food at the venue, so it was a pretty cheap trip overall.

My sister decided to drive to my house in the night before and then we drove to Brooklyn the next morning. I have to say, driving in Brooklyn was really tough. It's just so much more congested than any city in my area. I managed, though. When we pulled up to the hotel there was nowhere to park at all so I circled the block. When we came back around, there was a spot on the corner. I have no idea if it was really a parking spot, but I didn't care. I was just glad there was *somewhere* to pull over. My sister went into the hotel to find the valet while I sat in the car with the flashers on, hoping and praying no one would hit me as they came around the corner. We finally got the valet to come out so we grabbed our stuff and went inside. Check-in took forever! It turned out the person at the desk was new, so I couldn't get too upset, but those helping her were pretty slow, too. Very nice, but so slow. We finally got up to the room and just hung out until it was time to change clothes and leave.


We took an Uber to Barclay’s Center, which cost about $30 (it was peak time for an event); he was very friendly and a good driver thankfully! It was our first time taking Uber and even though it was more than I would have liked to spend, it was so, SO worth it to not have to drive in that traffic and then find parking. Getting to the hotel and figuring out where the valet was was enough for me! We were going to try taking the subway to Barclay’s; however, neither of us had been on one in about 20 years and we just didn’t want to deal with figuring out how it works, or risk getting lost and being late. (Yup, we chickened out.)

When we got to the venue we hung out outside for a few minutes in hopes of finding somewhere we wanted to eat. We ended up going inside and splitting an order of chicken tenders and fries. We each got a bottle of water at $7.00 a pop! Of course, they took the caps off so we had to be super careful we didn't spill it once we got to our seats. Guess who spilled 2/3 of hers?? Me. That sucked because I knew I'd be thirsty and I wasn't about to pay another $7.00 for another bottle. I sipped slowly!

The event itself was fun, but very long–over five hours! (I'll be interested to see how long it is when it airs on HBO in late April.) Our seats were on the second tier, which was very high and very steep and we both had a feeling of vertigo while trying to get to our seats. Stevie Nicks opened the show and she really was fantastic. She did a duet–Leather and Lace–with Don Henley, and Stop Dragging My Heart Around with Harry Styles. She also sang Edge of Seventeen and Stand Back. Radiohead and Janet Jackson didn’t perform. The Cure, The Zombies, and Roxy Music all performed. I didn't know any of their songs, so that made it seem much longer. It was enjoyable, but not my taste.



And then it was time for Def Leppard! They were inducted by Brian May of Queen. The acceptance speech was touching, as Rick Allen got really choked up when Joe Elliot talked about their tragedies and how Rick was able to come back from his accident, and had he not, there may not have been a Def Leppard. They performed their set, which was Hysteria, Photograph, Rock of Ages and Pour Some Sugar on Me. The all-star jam ended the night. Def Leppard brought out Brian May, Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone of The Zombies, Stevie Van Zandt of The E Street Band, Roxy Music’s Phil Manzanera and Susanna Hoffs of the Bangles. And.....the surprise of the night was Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople. They sang Mott the Hoople's All the Young Dudes, which is Joe's favorite song I believe. It was a great performance. 

Here are some of the pictures.  Almost all of the pictures I took were of the video screen because our seats were so high up.

Part of the video montage. Look how young they were!!





Brian May giving the induction speech.


Def Leppard on stage.










The all-star jam.


Joe Elliot with Ian Hunter singing All the Young Dudes.

And then it was all over! Time to head back to the hotel. This time we braved the subway since we didn't want to have to try and find the Uber driver in all the traffic. We had to really pay attention to the signage, but we made it to the right train and got back to the hotel in one piece.

I’m so happy to see Def Leppard get into the Hall of Fame finally, and I’m thrilled I was able to go. I got to see history in the making. It’s amazing that they’ve been making music for 42 years and they’re still going. It's going to be a sad, sad day when they finally stop touring. Hopefully that will be a long way off!

So what's my only regret?  I didn't have any pizza while I was in NY--NY style is my favorite! I did, however, have an authentic NY bagel so I can't be all that upset.


Sunday, March 24, 2019

ON Protein Cake Bites

I recently found two new Cake Bites flavors:  Fruity Cereal and Cookies & Cream.  I'm always up for trying a new protein product so I grabbed a couple.


Cookies & Cream are on the top of the picture and Fruity Cereal on the bottom.  I like the way they look. The Fruity Cereal ones look kind of fun and pretty, with sparkly sprinkles on top.


Below are the Fruity Cereal ones. Inside they're kind of a coral color. I was glad the inside coloring wasn't weird. I've bought other flavors in the past, like Chocolate Mint, and the inside color tends to be very different from what's shown on the package (Chocolate Mint seems to be either puke green/olive drab or neon green, with no in-between). I noticed, however, that they no longer show the inside of the cake bite on the wrapper. I'm thinking maybe they got a lot of complaints from people thinking they'd gone bad or something.


I really like the taste of these. They do, indeed, taste like fruity cereal! Fruity and sweet. They remind me a lot of Fruity Pebbles cereal from my childhood. This is one I'll buy again for sure. My husband seems to like them, too.

Here's the Cookies & Cream flavor.  The inside color looks the way it should, although they all seemed to have these big air bubbles. I noticed, too, that they are hard to break apart cleanly. They have what would appear to be a chewy texture, more so than Fruity Cereal. It was almost like pulling apart taffy. They don't have that same texture when eating them, though.


As for the taste, they're good. I didn't get much of a cookies and cream flavor, though, except for the cookie crumbles on the outside. I wasn't all that impressed. At least not enough to buy them again. I'd choose another flavor over this one.

Nutrition is pretty consistent across the flavors. Generally about 200 calories for the package of three bites, with 20 grams of protein. What I like about these is that there are three in a package, which means you can just have one if you're feeling like a snack, or have all three if you want to treat it as a meal. (Three of them together are filling!)

Pricing is pretty much the same everywhere from what I can tell. Single bars run about $2.49, while a whole box of 12 runs $24.99. Basically, buying them buy the box gives you two free packages. Considering how expensive some protein bars are, this isn't a bid deal at all. And these are actually the same price as the Quest bars I like. I used to be able to get the cake bites at Walmart; however, it seems as though they stopped selling them.


Friday, March 8, 2019

life lately


I haven't done one of these posts in a while, so I guess it's time. Actually, it's time for ANY post. I'm getting worse with posting. I often just don't feel like writing anymore.  Anyway...

Back Pain

This has improved. Last time I posted I had just had radio frequency ablation on the left side of my lumbar spine. I saw some good pain relief. I had the right side done a few weeks ago, and that went well, too. I haven't seen quite as much improvement on that side; however, I'm told that it can take up to six weeks to feel the full effects of the ablation.

I will say that other areas are bothering me at the moment, such as the sciatic nerves on both sides, as well as my elbows and one knee. That said, I'm in between jobs at the moment--even though I'm working out consistently, I'm doing WAY more sitting around than I did when I was working at a desk all day. I'm confident that once I go back to work next week, things will improve.

Work

I mentioned in my last post that I'm starting a new job soon. That's because the bank I worked for was sold to another bank and I didn't get a job offer from the acquiring bank. No big deal. I really didn't want to work for that bank, or commute that far, anyway. I do have another job lined up at another bank, which starts next week.

Everyone asks me, "Are you excited about the new job?" Hmm. I'm not sure, really. I wouldn't really say I'm "excited" the way I would be if I was willingly leaving my last job for greener pastures. I mean, I'm glad I got another job quickly so I won't have to worry about being able to pay my bills; however, I didn't move on to another job by choice. Also, I didn't really want to go back into a bank. Instead, I wanted to work for a vendor that has banks as its clients, but that didn't pan out. I guess I could say the part I'm "excited" about is that one of my responsibilities is to affect change within the department. Not in terms of people, but in terms of policy and procedure. I like trying to figure out those types of things. I think it will be challenging, which is something I can be excited about.

Oh, and I took and passed a certification exam for my area of expertise. The picture up top is of Tiffany. She was "helping" me study, as were these clowns, Arlo and Emily.



Diet and Exercise

This is a mixed bag, as always. While my workouts are on point--five days a week without fail--my eating is...not.  Still. My last job ended very recently and I told myself I'd use the little time I have in between jobs to get my diet straightened out. Guess what?  I didn't. I've probably been eating worse than usual since my days now have no routine at all, other than going to the gym or the occasional errand. I'm looking forward to going back to work next week, if only to get myself back into a routine and away from the kitchen.

During my time off I've been using the gym in town, which is only $10.00 per month--can't beat that! I could do most of my workout at home and improvise the exercises that require a machine, but I chose to go to the gym so I at least get myself out of the house for a couple hours each day. Plus I have a membership so I might as well use it!

My trainer uses the same gym and I've run into him several times. We talk for a few minutes and then go our separate ways usually. A couple times, though, he used it as an opportunity to say, "Here, let's try this machine!" Which is fine because it gave me another thing to incorporate when I get bored of doing the same thing. But it's a new exercise I haven't done before, which means I'm SORE the next two days and that runs right into my next session with him and he decides to work those same muscles. Of course he does! Very sore!!  I have to say, though, I really enjoyed seeing him work as hard as he makes me work. He was sweating and sometimes struggling just as much, which was really satisfying!

One thing I'm not thrilled about at the new job is that they don't have an in-house gym. I know I was quite lucky that my last company had one and it was literally about 20 feet from my office, but it still stinks. I used that gym four days per week. I would go in there at 4 pm, do my workout, and then go home for the day. And it had all the equipment I needed. I know I could just go to the regular gym, but I really hate having to go after work when there's four times as many people and they all want the same machines. There's a gym down the road from work, but I'd have the same issue there. For the time being I plan to do my workout in the house. Once it warms up, I can go outside on the patio.

Wrap-Up

I'll wrap this post up by saying that I'm really disappointed in myself that I didn't do more with my time off. I thought that having free time would make me want to do All The Things, including writing more blog posts and just doing some writing in general. Nope. It made me not want to do Any Of The Things. Well, I accomplished a few things, but definitely not as much as I'd hoped. But I think things will get back to normal once I'm back at work. Let's hope!


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

small victory: no chocolate today!

I admit, I mostly posted this because I haven't posted in several weeks. I've been really bad about that and I'm trying to get better. I guess I just don't have too much to say at the moment.

But, yes, my small victory for today is I had NO CHOCOLATE! That might not seem like a big deal, but it is for me. It's the first time in days that I haven't eaten any.

I've continued the trend--from last year!!--of eating a crappy diet. I just keep eating stuff I shouldn't eat, like Chex Mix, or treats from the freezer, like chocolate chip cookies and brownies I made for the family holiday dinner. Rather that toss them or give them away, I froze them. I really shouldn't have done that. It has enabled me to keep eating junk.

Since I'm still eating junk, my weight isn't budging even though I still work out five days a week. I could work out hard seven days a week, but if I eat more than I burn off, my weight isn't going to budge. Actually, I'd probably gain weight.

I'm hoping that I can get back on track before I start my new job, which is on March 11. (I'll write more about that later.) I plan to spend some time going through my freezer and cabinets to see what I can come up with. I'm not all that creative, so I may need to do some Googling!