Saturday, February 16, 2013

Miniature Train

Today we went down to Pittsburgh to visit the Carnegie Science Center.  It was great for Eli, and for me as well, because we got to see the miniature railroad.  I used to visit it when I was little, and I always loved it.  I used to think the little people came to life once all the workers were done and went home for the evening.  The room the train is in is three times the size it used to be, allowing them to expand, and I just love it.

I think someday, I might get into building pastoral train scenes like the ones they've created there.

Friday, February 15, 2013

More Soup

I made another batch of vegetable soup today. It turned out really yummy. I chopped up some onion and carrots, sautéed them in a little oil and butter, added some ground pepper, a little thyme and some sage, and a little bit of minced garlic, then added vegetable broth. It was Trader Joe's organic vegetable broth, and it was ok, though there's a bit of an aftertaste.

I also added a little salt, then a half bag of frozen peas and frozen corn, then fried up a couple skinless chicken breasts and diced them and put those in. It came out as a very hearty soup. The broth was pretty strong, and I wanted a full pot of soup, so I added about 3 cups of water to probably the 2 cups of broth I had started with. Jason claimed the soup was salty, but it tasted really good to me. Went nicely with one of my rolls with a little butter on it for lunch.

I need to write down the amount of spices I put in next time... i usually just toss some in though, and it seems to work fine. Next week, I think I'll do potato soup in bread bowls again.... Mmm... better get the soup craving over before warm weather gets here... not that I'm holding my breath...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hill Work

Ran hills today to strengthen my run. I felt like I was slow, but it was a workout.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Trying again

Adjusting what foods I eat to see what I keep having reactions to. Giving up dairy for a little while. I hope it helps

Monday, February 11, 2013


Bleh. Having heck of heartburn tonight and feel awful. Hope pepto helps, and I need to figure out this food issue.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Twelve Miles

Did a 12 mile run today, mostly on roads. I feel like I'm getting back to where I was fitness wise. Have a lot more miles to run before I hit a peak, but I feel good about today's run.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Winter pruning

I pruned back some shrubs drastically today. I hope they'll thrive when spring comes, but it's much easier to see their shape in the winter to prune. I also cleared the dead wood from the black raspberries to give the new canes room to grow. It's nice to get some tasks done before anything actually starts growing. In a couple weeks I'll prune the apple trees and the peach, and hope for no late frosts this year.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Purge

Today I evaluated my basement again. It's unfinished, and kind of a mess. I dusted the rafters a bit, and washed a load of rags. Tomorrow I will get down there and begin sorting. Let the purge continue.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


So on Monday, I started a new fitness schedule that includes weights twice a week.  Today was the second day I did it, and I'm really hoping the core strengthening will make some improvement in my back.  I'm going to give the new routine a solid month or two and then see if my pain improves, if my running changes and if  I lose those last few pounds.

Overall, I want to improve my fitness.  New goals to try for, and being in better overall condition will only help that.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sunny Snowy Days

I went outside this afternoon, after the snow had stopped again and the clouds had broken up, and was nearly snow-blind. I thought about grabbing my sunglasses, but decided to just squint and enjoy the sun.  I took Zoe up to the cemetery again, just to enjoy the (relative) warmth and the sunshine.

The sky was so impossibly blue today.  I had a really productive day, but now I'm ready to hit bed.  And start the next book, now that I finished Little Women.  Onward to Dune and try to get through it again.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Seed starting

Letting the seed mix absorb water overnight, then tomorrow I'll plant tomatoes. In a couple weeks I'll start some annual and perennial seeds. I love this time of year!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Justifying myself... to myself.

This is something that I think we all do, but lately, after doing the mile-a-day thing last year,  I've had some trouble "relaxing."  I had an emotionally and physically draining year last year, and this year has already been better.  I've been working towards different goals slowly, but I'm having a problem.

See, I like relaxing.  I like reading a book, or watching a movie, or snacking on stuff that might not be wonderful for me in moderation, or playing video games.  And I think, in moderation, this stuff is fine.  But right now, it's niggling at me.  I worry that I'm being lazy, that I'm falling back into a way of life that isn't good for me.  I stress out about this enough that I have to shake myself, tell myself it's ok to relax and enjoy, and that I am still being productive and useful to myself and those around me.

It's just that my little person in my head that wants me to do more is so noisy at this time of the year.  It's snowy, it's cold, I'm getting things done.  I'm OK!  Just because I've slowed down and mellowed from the angst ridden running machine I was last summer and fall, doesn't mean I have to keep that trend going to be successful in my goals.

Slow down, deep breath.  Look at the trees, watch the birds.  The days go fast.  I will breath and enjoy.

"Learn to like what doesn't cost much.
Learn to like reading, conversation, music.
Learn to like plain food, plain service, plain cooking.
Learn to like fields, trees, brooks, hiking, rowing, climbing hills.
Learn to like people, even though some of them may be different...different from you.
Learn to like to work and enjoy the satisfaction doing your job as well as it can be done.
Learn to like the song of birds, the companionship of dogs.
Learn to like gardening, puttering around the house, and fixing things.
Learn to like the sunrise and sunset, the beating of rain on the roof and windows, and the gentle fall of snow on a winter day.
Learn to keep your wants simple and refuse to be controlled by the likes and dislikes of others.”

― Lowell C. Bennion

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Snowy skiing

Finally got out to cross country ski today, and what a great day for it.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Tracking time

Jason showed me this neat app he downloaded while he was away at his conference this week to help him keep track of what he was doing with his time. I was intrigued. I don't worry too much about how I spend my time - I feel I do pretty well balancing out work/family/rest/play/brain activity. But this little app is easy to set up and customize, and has little pie charts! I'm a sucker for a pie chart. Mmmm... pie...

Anyway - I'm going to play around with it for a little while, just to see if any pattern emerges, or if it at least makes me more conscious of "I spent how much time playing games when i could have been doing X!" And maybe make me use my time to spend doing more quality things that I enjoy more, and that are better for me.

Friday, February 1, 2013


I always miss things from my childhood that were mostly made by my grandmas and other relatives. I mostly miss Aunt Avis's sugar cookies and Grandma Hrach's lasagna. I don't have her recipe, but I'm trying to create my own recipes that maybe Eli will request later, or even for his kids.

Tonight's result was a good base. I'll keep experimenting from there.