Sunday, October 30, 2011

Whiz Wit'

Work has been insane of late, so I have neglected my poor little blog too much.  It isn't that I didn't want to post, but I have been so busy that I've hardly been able to pull together a smoothie, much less anything post-worthy.
Hopefully, now that the state make-up testing is over, things will simmer down.  While state testing is always stressful, the site where I was proctor was only blocks away from Loving Hut, a vegan restaurant I have been wanting to try for a good while (and wanted to even more after this post at Peas and Thank You).
It was so good that I went twice and was bummed out that I wasn't able to go a third day in a row.  I kind of wish a location would open on my side of the Valley, but part of me doesn't, as I may frequent it a bit too much.  There are two local places on my side of town that I need to try.  I kind of just need to find a friend (or coughhusbandcough) who might be willing to try a vegan BLT with me.
Anyway, the one real meal I was able to make last week was a black bean and butternut squash burrito from Oh She Glows, which I modified a bit to work with what we had in the pantry.  I had been wanting to make it since I saw this post roll across my Twitter feed, but I always remembered too late to make the brown rice.
Fortunately, Pinch My Salt has a lovely post that gets your real brown rice in a jiffy, and I was good to go!
(Both blogs have much nicer pictures than I do; I apologize for the chop job here)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - At Least I Beat This Guy...


(If you are looking to participate in a running/walking/hiking/biking event for a good cause, please check out Active.com® - you'll find what you're looking for and more)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Build Your Own Pizza (so you can just turn your nose up at it later) Bar

Studies are showing more and more that diet has a huge influence on one's risk of colon cancer.  Focusing on a more plant-based diet and cutting down on or eliminating meat is one of many modifications, so I have worked to eat less meat and obtain my proteins from other sources.  We're also trying to model good eating habits for HRH.
When I was pregnant, I could not even look at a piece of lettuce (or any proper veggie) without turning green myself.  Three days after I found out that I done got myself knocked up was Easter Sunday, and I had brought a lovely salad, replete with blueberries, corn, carrots, strawberries, and more (oh, it was a vision of loveliness, I tell you) as my part of the family pot luck.  When dinner came around, I took one look at that bowl of greens and veggies and fruit, all packed with nutrients, and had to back very quickly away in order to avoid 1) ruining Easter dinner for everyone and 2) prematurely announcing that we were expecting.
I honestly did try to eat well.  I knew that what I ate during pregnancy would inform what my child ate post-womb emergence.
Well, you know what they say.... the best laid plans o' mice and men.... blah, blah, blah.
My diet consisted mostly of chilled grapes, whole milk by the gallon, Nestle Drumsticks, and lots of buttery, cheesy pasta.  There were also about two weeks that I had to eat a salami sandwich with iceberg lettuce, provolone cheese, mustard, and a ton of pepperoncinis on a toasted white bun.
Hence giving birth to Picky Picky.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dear Little Red-Haired Girl

I'm writing this post on what would have been my father's 64th birthday (October 16), but I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to make it through without sobbing uncontrollably, so it's likely that by the time I finally hit "Publish Post," the new work week will have dawned.
My dad is a complete stranger to all but a handful of those who follow or happen upon this blog, a picture of a past life who doesn't necessarily have any real significance.  And while I'm sure I could regale you with stories of his antics (like the time he put plastic dog poop on my pillow and then put the cat right next to it... and my subsequent reaction), he's still an anonymous someone who happened to have colon cancer.
A great many people have had colon cancer, many of them in relative anonymity to the greater public.
But many famous people, names you may know and even adore, have also battled colon cancer, although some fought their battle with less fanfare and publicity than even my dad.  Some of this was their desire for privacy, but some, sadly, because of the lack of awareness at the time of their diagnosis and the taboo nature of talking publicly about "that" part of one's body.
Perhaps you've heard of these individuals.  They each shaped the world in their own way, some larger than others.  But they each fought colon cancer.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - ROAR!!!!!

(For more examples of how colon cancer has affected families, please check out the Colon Cancer Alliance's Personal Stories page)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Getting My Panties in a Bunch

It was just over a year ago that I began running, at the urging of my friend Veronica.  She has been running for some time, so when she learned that I had signed up for a 5K that I fully intended to walk, she made it some sort of personal mission to beat that idea out of me.
The 5K in question was the Colon Cancer Alliance's annual Undy 5000 5K Run, a fundraiser that helps raise money to find a cure for colorectal cancer, the cancer that took my dad from me in October 1999, when he was 15 days shy of his 52nd birthday (and I was a few months shy of graduating from ASU).
Twelve years later, I still have those "moments" when I get absolutely lost in the tears and grief.  Recently, my cousin sent me a gigantic box that she put together while cleaning out her mom's (my dad's sister) house after she passed as well.  There were photos from when my dad was a baby all the way up to his obituary.  There were even his military records of promotion and letters he had written to various relatives.  I spent a week crying over that box, thinking about all the baby pictures of my own daughter that my dad will never see.
But the important thing is that I do something to direct that grief or else I might still be curled in a ball, crying myself to sleep the same way that I did the day I got off the plane in Seattle to find out that I was too late to tell my dad goodbye.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Bless You

I am always looking for new and exciting local events to attend with the family.  Mid-September, I saw this post come through my Facebook feed:

Tibetan monks visiting SuperFarm Oct 9th. Animal blessings/Tibetan Chants, and more going on

Ummmm, can you say excited?  Tibetan monks were coming to town and would be doing an animal blessing at one of my local favorites, Superstition Farm!  This was something that Zooey the Devil Dog and I had to experience.
Now, Zooey is a wonderful, loving dog and a great running buddy, but she is... um... well... a little excitable, so I was a touch worried about taking her out in public (running along the canal doesn't count).  But this was truly a once-in-a-lifetime type of experiences, and I had hoped that this could be a fantastic family outing.
However, our lawn sprinklers decided that today was a fantastic day to crap out, so Scott and HRH stayed home to fix them (well, Scott did that, not HRH; she has to wait until she's 4 for that) while I threw Zooey in the truck and headed out to Mesa (I know - I took my dog and not my daughter.  But it was an animal blessing, and since HRH is almost 3, I knew that I wouldn't be able to wrangle both of them at the same time) after going for an almost 7 kilometer run along to burn off as much of that crazy coonhound energy as possible.  I am bummed that this wasn't that family experience, but I am determined that we will make others.
When we got there, everyone was still setting up, as apparently there had been a bee incident earlier in the day that caused things to go a little off schedule, but you know what was great about it?  NO ONE CARED.  There was not a single person there (no one asked the dogs) who was upset that things didn't start "on time."  Everyone was just enjoying the fabulous fall-ish weather, the sunny day, and the positive atmosphere that overflowed.  I'm pretty sure the SuperFarmTruck that was serving its ever-tasty fare helped, too.  While the monks and volunteers worked to make everything ready, Zooey and I checked out the sights (and for her, the smells) at the farm.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thai One On

This post has been waiting for me to write it for about two weeks, but when you have a full time job and just dream of blogging full time, well....
Anyway, a few Fridays ago, HRH went off to Nana's to spend the night, so Scott and I were left to our own devices for the evening.  We did what other couples whose two-year-old is packed away at the grandparents' - we went car shopping.
(For the record, I want the Subaru Forester)
Driving in circles for several hours is surprisingly hungry work, so Scott suggested we make an actual date of our free evening and go to dinner.
I know - weird, huh?
Since we are, like, five seconds from Historic Downtown Chandler, we headed to Latitude Eight, a Thai restaurant that until that evening I thought held the Chik-Fil-A® Curse.
What's that?  You don't know what the Chik-Fil-A® curse is?  Well, as you may know, Chick-Fil-A® is closed on Sundays, and it seems that whenever I have a hankering for a peach milkshake, it's ALWAYS on a Sunday.  Likewise, it seems that whenever one of us thinks of going out for Thai food and suggest Latitude Eight, it's a Sunday, and they are closed, too (This same seems to also hold true for my attempts to go to Hobby Lobby, although I think Scott is really happy I rarely get to cut loose in a ginormous craft store with no chaperone).
Fortunately, it was Friday, so it was open.