Monday, October 31, 2011

Vegan Goodness in the Keys

Remember my post not too long ago about our tiny vacation in Key West, 2 nights, with a Gift Certificate we had?  That it rained, constantly.  That streets were flooded, and that I woke up our 1st morning to watch kayakers paddling down the street in front of my hotel?  Well, there was a bright spot (well, a few bright spots, but let's concentrate on one, shall we?)  Food.

Vegan food to be precise.

Ah, the joy of being vegan. Eating real food, with no death involved.  Its a wonderful thing, really it is.  Here, in photos, are some of the wonderful meals I had while in Key West.  I forgot to take pictures at some places, and other times I was sans camera.  But, for your viewing pleasure, here's a glimpse in photos:

Here's a picture of a lovely bibb lettuce salad I had our first night at Hot Tin Roof.  I'd never been there before, I'm more a creature of habit, going where I'm used to getting vegan food.  But, we had a gift certificate for Hot Tin too.  I'm so glad we went!  The salad was delicious, some type of light & creamy vinaigrette on there too.... but look at the entree' below!

Now you're talking!  The chef gave us choice of 2 completely vegan options, we chose this. Tofu over roasted potatoes, with balsamic reduction, onions and oh jeez, I don't know what else.  It was so fantastic, no room for dessert (indeed!)

This slightly out of focus picture shows my "to go" breakfast from Help Yourself, located on Fleming Street in Key West.  I do believe they are the ONLY place to get a true vegan breakfast in Key West, and never have I been disappointed.  Ever.  Here is my vegan french toast. Huge slabs of multi-grain mango bread, toasted a la french, with fresh organic fruit and an organic maple-y non-dairy butter of sorts (sunflower butter perhaps?) on the side.  Absolutely delicious (even eaten in the car ride back to Big Pine Key to check on the kitties....)

See!  I TOLD ya it was good even in the car!

Ok, I know this isn't food, but look at this beautiful archway.  We stopped at The Porch located in the Porter House Mansion during a break in the monsoon rains our 2nd night in Key West.  The Porch is a craft beer and wine bar offering organic root beer on tap. Although that night they were out of the root beer (insert big frown here) I managed to have some other fizzy drink while sitting on The Porch's porch.  And, I found myself wondering how many birds have built nests on the shelf of this very arch in the over 100 years the mansion has been there.  So, I took a picture and thought about baby birdies.

I never tire of Italian food, it's my favorite.  Our 2nd night we decided to eat at La Trattoria on Duval Street. I have never had a bad meal here, and the service is always attentive. This, coupled with a great wine list, I'm a happy vegan gal. Here's my salad, before the other happy vegan dumped all his hot peppers on my plate too.

Here's an example of me forgetting to take a picture before dinner. This was a plate of penne arrabiata. A really good plate of penne arrabiata. If the other happy vegan would have tried to sample my dinner, I think I would've forked him in the hand.  Just sayin'.

And, although I had no room for dessert, I always love a good espresso after a nice Italian meal. Tasty!

Ah.... back to Help Yourself for morning #2. Another plate of vegan french toast. This time with organic apples & organic grapes. The maple stuff was already added, since it wasn't "to go."  Yes, that's right, the morning we were leaving to go home, the sun came out. We ate outside on the picnic tables at Help Yourself.  When in Key West, if you want some straight up damn tasty ORGANIC food, this is THE place to go. Bliss once again.

Yay!  Lunchtime arrived, and we followed the painted bananas to The Sugar Apple's ALL VEGAN cafe!  That's my reusable grocery bag on the pavement, maybe I should've removed that for the photo?

Here's the Sugar Apple sign. I think the paint job on the building is cool!

Yay!  Here was my lunch on day #1 rainy day, from Sugar Apple.  Smokey tempeh on multi grain, with a beautiful salad.  Eaten back at the hotel, on my rain soaked balcony, overlooking the windswept Gulf, a beautiful pool (with nobody in it due to lightning) and their rain soaked outdoor bar. Still, lunch was tasty!

So, there you have a bit of what we experienced eating our way through our rainy mini-vacation. Don't ever let anyone tell you vegans are pasty lentil eating freaks. We're foodies through and through!  Its a beautiful thing to know that no animals were harmed, tortured and killed merely to satisfy my desire for a sandwich. Not to mention the health benefits that go along with YOU think we were deprived of anything at all while eating?  Hardly!  And, we even had cookies.  Go veg, and no one gets hurt.  xo

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ready for the Crazy Train!

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care...     Forget that, rather "the costumes were hung in the closet with care!"  Yeah baby, we've finished our costumes for the big festivities tomorrow night in Key West's Fantasy Fest Aquatic A-frolic parade.

As I wrote earlier, the other happy vegan and I are "teaming" for a costume this year. Usually both he and I find "couples costumes" annoying, cloying with cuteness, and a bit juvenile (sorry to those who I've offended).  But, we've struck a happy medium this year on the "good cop/bad cop" theme.  He's going as Capt. Paul Watson.  I'm going as the evil do-er... a whaler/poacher who has been arrested by Capt. Watson on behalf of Sea Shepherd.

We had a few loose ends to tie up for the costumes today, and a need for some other supplies down in Key West. Neither of us had the desire to go into the city, so we were keeping fingers crossed we could get what we needed on the fringes of town, and we did.  I managed to score the last vials of fake blood probably in the whole City, and he managed to get his "theatrical hair" needed to channel Capt. Watson.

We came home, and immediately set out to finishing our costumes.  Admittedly there was a little blip when I discovered he had removed a piece of plastic I put inside my whaler's pantsuit to stop the paint from bleeding through... he was "helping" and I didn't realize it. So, the red paint bled through to the front. All I can say is there will be a little extra blood on the front of my poacher's jumpsuit. Such is life.  While in Key West, we even managed to find an inflatable whale (yes, seriously, an inflatable whale) for my harpoon.

My costume is not nice; I'm the REALLY bad cop on this tag team. But, the illegal hunting of whales being done by a certain country in the name of "research"  is not nice either.  As the REALLY bad guy on this couples costume, I shall be dressed in a poacher's fishing jumpsuit which has the words "under arrest!" and "crimes against aquatic a-frolic sea creatures" painted in red & black across the back. I'll have my whaler's ship ID tag on the front, and be covered in the blood of poached sea creatures, carrying a harpoon covered in blood, with that inflatable whale attached.  And, through all that, I'll be wrapped in chains, under arrest, since Capt. Watson was able to catch me and stop any more evil deeds I might contemplate.
My costume is shameful.  I wish there wasn't so much truth in what I'll be representing.  A saving grace of this whole costume in my eyes is that we are spreading the word about the horrible deeds being done, which are of course illegal and disgusting.

We support Sea Shepherd and all their efforts.  Our costume, which keeps in theme of the festivals "Aquatic A-frolic" tag line, might not be what most people would think of for a sea party. And, that's the point.

There's a great saying I like to use every now and then on my "quote of the day" part of the daily breakfast menu that goes "think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight."

The other saving grace is that I've got a mask, a hood, and a head band. No one will know who I am (unless you read this, haha) while I'm walking the streets in shame as a whale killer.

So, there it is. Our costumes are hung in the closet with care. We're going down with a group of people on a bus chartered by our friends who own another business on the island.  I'm not sure what to expect when we get on the bus, but I have a very good idea of what to expect in Key West.  Maybe it's more appropriate than ever that all I can hear is Ozzy Osborne's "Crazy Train" as I picture the bus pulling into Key West. Hm, maybe I'm just thinking of Ozzy because he says he's gone vegan after watching Forks Over Knives.  Either way, he got inside my head today.

"All aboard, ay ay ay ay.... we're going off the rails on a crazy train."

Wish us luck!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

An Homage to Sea Shepherd during Fantasty Fest!

Hi everyone!  How are you?  I'm just fine and dandy.  If you didn't know it, Fantasy Fest has arrived in Key West.

The festival kicked off last Friday with Goombay Fest, a nice 2 day street fair celebrating Caribbean heritage. Actually, we love Goombay, and planned on going.  I lost track of days (happens all the time to me!) and thought Sunday was really Saturday, thus when we arrived in Bahama Village for Goombay all we found were street sweepers and the regular stuff, since the fair was Fri/Sat. NOT Sunday when I arrived (thinking it was Saturday). Of course in the Keys, if you want to be happy, you go with the flow, make lemonade out of lemons so to speak.  As long as we were in Bahama Village, we stopped in a few of the shops, then popped into Blue Heaven's bar (an extra "thank you" to our bartender Jen for the great conversation, and as well as an extra "thank you" to Chef Dave for bringing us a taste of his fabulous VEGAN home made nut cheese, seriously, that was fantastic!)

While in Key West, we also stopped to see a friend, who happened to mention he was riding in that evening's "Zombie Bike Ride" through town.  He invited us to participate, we had to decline because of dinner plans.  But... on the way out of the city, we were treated to the sight of hundreds of bike riding zombies. The event was sponsored by Re-Cycle Bicycles on Stock Island.  All the cyclists dressed up like zombies, we saw bride & groom zombies, princess zombies, and so much more. I swear, I love it here in the Keys.

But, I'm getting off track.  Sorry....

This year's Fantasy Fest theme is "Aquatic A-Frolic."  You don't have to stay in theme, but its a nice idea, don't you think?  We're going to the parade this year. Not IN the parade, but as spectators. We received a really nice invitation to watch the parade from a spot upstairs on Duval Street, prime viewing.  I simply wouldn't turn this amazing invitation down.  And, I feel obligated to dress up, initially much to the dismay of the other happy vegan. But.... I began thinking.... and thinking.... and thinking.

Mr. Happy Vegan is dressing up as Capt. Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd. I am dressing up as a poacher.  I've illegally poached whales and then been arrested by Capt. Watson! This keeps in theme of the whole event, pays homage to Sea Shepherd, and spreads our own message of conversation, preservation, and compassion to animals.  Now Mr. Happy Vegan is delighted to be dressing up, considering he gets to pay tribute to a true environmental warrior.

I happened to be in Marathon late this morning, so I stopped at West Marine. Its so awesome that I live in a place like the Keys where I shop for my Halloween costume at a boat store!  I popped in for a captain's hat for the Mr. and a jumpsuit for my costume. As I was paying, I began chatting with the gal at the register.  We began talking about the pet parade in Key West tomorrow (another of the daily festival events) and she said she was going to enter with her dog, but needed some Mardi Gras beads (here, they are just "beads").  I laughed, and pulled out several strands of beads from my handbag and handed them over.  She laughed as she said THANK YOU!!! and we both just laughed really hard because where else but here in the beautiful Florida Keys would someone just happen to have beads in their handbag, and be able to share them with a stranger.  Nowhere... which is why this really is paradise.  And, besides, none of us are really strangers here in Paradise.  Strange maybe... but not strangers.

So, everyday there's some fun things planned for Fantasy Fest in Key West, and we're making a point to get down there a few times to have some fun and participate. We don't do this every year, work gets in the way.  But, we decided "work be darned, we're having fun!" and so we are.

Shopping at the boat store for costumes, beads in handbags for dogs, Sea Shepherd tribute, and fun in  Bahama Village.  Fantasy Fest has only just begun, and look at all the fun!  Hope you'll join the party (parties!!!)   See you there, for sure!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sun! Glorious Sun!

The sun is back! We're basking in some of the best weather we have had since last spring (by traditional standards).  I say "by traditional standards" because as you well know, for me the hotter the weather, the better the weather.  Here its not too hot right now.  Its not too cold. It is as Goldilocks would say "just right."  The humidity is gone, just gone.

You'll have to excuse my jubilant behavior right now over this seemingly benign event.  We had a string of rainy days.  Even on wet season, we don't see weather like that for days on end, its unheard of.

So, we had a gift certificate we were high bidders on at a fundraising event for our local animal shelter.  The certificate was for a 2 night stay at a hotel in Key West, and dinner at a pretty nice restaurant also in Key West.  Due to our own scheduling limitations, we decided to book the trip now, because we were worried we wouldn't get to use it later since we're now moving back into "season" down here.  Translation: very VERY little time off for the happy vegans.  We booked the trip before the forecasters revised their predictions for mushroom-ville.  We ended up going on our "vacation" at probably one of the worst weather times we could have chosen. Sadly, it reminded me of a trip we took many years ago to the Bahamas.  On that 8 day trip, it rained literally for 7 days. On the last day, the sun came out as we were driving back to the airport.  It was not the fault of the Bahamas, but I have never been back, and probably never will.  I was so desperate for beach I actually found myself wrapped in a blanket on the beach in the pouring rain for an entire morning, sogged through to my bones practically. It was miserable.

So, there we were on our vacation in Key West.  Really nice hotel, overlooking the open water of the Gulf, their pool & spa, bar and so forth. Staring at the pouring rain, watching the lightning bolts fly through the sky.  Ugh.  We made the best of it, for the most part.  We ate like royalty for the time we were there.  In fact, I took photos of almost all our meals, and plan to post them on the next entry.  Our second day at the hotel, the water was so high, we watched kayakers paddling down the street. I did not take a picture of that, you'll just have to use your imagination.

So, imagine my glee when yesterday dawned as a sunny, bright day.  The same day I'm leaving to come back home. To get ready for season, to get ready for no time off.  Sigh.

It IS a beautiful day here. We have a forecast that indicates a stretch of amazing dry weather, a bit unusual for this time of year. Its warm, we will touch 80 today.  There are puffy clouds in the perfect blue sky, little birds are singing, big birds are soaring, and I have a feeling today is going to be a really good day.

I know you're all heading back to the Keys, its that time of year. We are  looking forward to seeing old friends who come year after year now.  We'll take good care of all guests, new and returning, that's a given.  I'm here to tell ya'..... the weather is here, and our idea of fall folliage involves rustling palm fronds. Stop by.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Into Each Life, a Little Rain Must Fall

It's raining.

Something nasty stalled over the Yucatan Peninsula.  When I look at my radar, I see giant blobs of red and yellow covering from Cuba to somewhere I'd say near West Palm Beach.  Smack dab in the middle of all that nastiness are the Lower Keys.  My home.  My super-saturated home.

We've been getting more rain the last couple weeks or so than I think we've had for this entire wet season.  This year, the wet season has been drier than I'm accustomed to.  Eventually things picked up a bit rain wise. Then, this past Friday night it began in earnest.  Rain.  Pounding rain.  On my metal roof.  The last 2 places I've lived, they've been homes with metal roofs. If you've never lived in a home with a metal roof, its something to experience at least once.  The first drops of rain typically hit like bullets. When a storm really opens up, the noise can be so loud, you simply cannot hear much else.  I suppose some people would veto a metal roof for that reason alone.  Let me tell you though, if you live in a hurricane prone area, you really should re-think that philosophy.... I practically worship my metal roof.

So, Friday night I woke up (yes, I was finally sleeping!) to the sound of rain pounding on the roof.  It was so loud it overpowered the TV, and finally I lost my satellite connection thanks to the rain. No TV= no possibility of sleep.  Boo his.  I got up, patrolled the living room, had some water, checked what was in the fridge (nothing of interest, sadly) and then played with the cats.  Eventually the satellite TV came back on, so I was able to toss & turn for a couple more hours of semi-sleep.

Saturday came.  It rained all day.  It rained so hard, I didn't run. The water began creeping up the garden, up the driveway, and even the pool overflowed.  My road had flooded in places too.  Winds were whipping hard, and whiteout conditions came and went the entire day.  Night began to fall.  The rain did not let up.

When Sunday morning broke, it was still raining, but not as hard as Saturday.  My friend "J" and I had tentatively made plans to go to Miami (I know, I know... how can that be?  I was literally just there on Friday.  Its a long, boring story).  We decided to give it a go, and if the rain got too bad, we'd turn around and make our way home.  We picked our way up the Keys, stopping a couple places to eat and shop. Each time we stopped, we evaluated the situation; "keep going" or "go home" was the topic of discussion.  It wasn't so horrible, we kept plugging on, and eventually found ourselves smack dab in the middle of mega-mall hell in Miami.  We concluded the entire city was at the mall. Not any mall... the mall we were at too.

We spent way more time in Miami than either of us anticipated.  It was dark by the time we were ready to leave. Still raining as we made our way to the car, but not a whiteout. Yet.

"J" has a nice shiny iPhone thingamajig that people get all excited about.  She pulled up the radar just before I was ready to leave the parking lot.  The entire screen was a huge red & yellow blob, everywhere except for a pin size hole where we were. Within seconds the conditions went from not-too-bad to total whiteout.

I used to drive a lot, long distances, fast highways. It got me in trouble a few times, but never enough, thankfully, to cause bodily injury, or jail time. I no longer drive a lot nor do I drive long distances or fast highways.  I make it a point to not get on the Florida Turnpike, no longer do distance night driving, and I never drive freeways in the rain anymore. Never.  It was the trifecta of bad last night... whiteout raining conditions, freeway, and nighttime.

The entire drive home, from the Turnpike, through the Stretch, all down the Keys, and into my driveway, it rained. We went through a series of no less than four bands of whiteout rains, in between were "only" driving windswept rains.

We made it back home, and I was so emotionally spent that I ended up staying in bed until exactly 8:30am today (I wasn't late for breakfast, not at all... this was a day off for me, yay).  The sound that finally pulled me out of bed was the still pounding rain on my metal roof.

All day today it rained.  I went out and had lunch at Good Food in the pouring rain. I drove to get Pop some groceries through flooded streets, and a parking lot with water up way up past my ankles. I got home and continued to listen to the sound of the rain pounding on my metal roof. I went to boot camp tonight, there was a lull, finally, without much rain.  Just sprinkles.  The sky looked even bright.  I was optimistic, but was quickly informed by the other bootcampers it was just a space between rain bands.  "More to come" they all glumly said.

They were right.

Its raining now. Pouring.  My metal roof tells me so. I hear rain pouring through the gutters spilling into my already full rain barrels.  The tree frogs are singing so loud, I hear them over the rain on the roof, and over the sound of the clicking on my keyboard. My neighbor's yards are flooded, the lowlands near me are spilling forth with brackish water, and I haven't seen a Key deer in 2 days at my house.  Unheard of.

Rain Rain Go Away
Come Again Another Day
Little Vegan Wants to Play
Rain, Rain Go To Spain
Never Show Your Face Again.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sweet Smell of Success

Do you smell something?  I do... it's the sweet smell of success. I have found a dress.

The cost of this dress cannot be calculated in the price tag (well, ok, part of it can be). Instead, I calculate it in hours of my life, and then use my own multiplier. When I roughly calculated the hours I spent searching for this dress, and inserted the hourly rate multiplier of how much my time is worth, I have come up with a number that shocked even me.

I have this thing I do, the other happy vegan here does the same. Whenever either one of us has something we are contemplating getting involved in, we estimate how much time it will take, and place an hourly rate on our time. I'm not going to say what ours is, his rate is different than mine.  We don't sell ourselves cheap, we're each in triple digits.  Did I just hear someone out there gasp?  You shouldn't, unless you are gasping because you think we under calculate.  Don't undervalue your time and yourself.  This is an important lesson, I learned it well and quite a while ago (thanks again Dad!)

Just because the working world assess wages in trade for work does not mean we are to value our time at the same rate, not at all.  Fact is, our time is priceless.  Its the one thing we really own. When it is traded for something, that investment should be carefully considered.  The true value of you should be placed on those hours.  This is how I approach a lot of things, and is a great help also when deciding to hire out for a job too.  Can I get it done at a better value than if I did it myself?  Will the quality be just as good, or better, than if I did it myself?  All things to be considered.

I placed an hourly rate on my dress shopping just for purposes of  proving my point.  If I was in a different location where there were different shopping options, things may have been different.  I tried for months to go the vintage route for this dress I need for an upcoming important event.  Its been 8 months of shopping, as I said from Key West to Ft. Lauderdale.  I ended up with things I didn't need, weren't quite right.  Finally that last road trip to the mainland to a mega-mall did the trick.

I admit I bought a new dress.  At that mega-mall I was overwhelmed.  There were too many stores than I had time to even think about going into. I chose an old faithful from days past, went to the evening attire, and pulled every single dress in my size which even remotely appealed to me.  In that first store, the store of my days past, I found a dress I love. It is well made, and it fits almost perfectly (eh,what's a tiny bit of alterations, right?)  It does not have feathers, cut outs, plunging fronts or back, or any other quality I have deemed inappropriate.  At that mega-mall, I walked into a store, tried on almost the entire dress stock, and walked out with something as close to perfect as could be (not perfect because its not vintage).  I didn't have to go to any more stores, thus the clock was shut down on how much it really cost me, in time, to find that dress.

It would have been great if I would've found something vintage, I would've felt better about making such an important purchase. I tried, honestly I did.  But, I think my carbon footprint was becoming one to cloud the entire planet by my frequent trips to the local shops, and increasing trips to the mainland (this vegan rocks a Prius, but still it does need fuel!)

So, there it is.  Somehow, the House of Fashion has redeemed itself at the last minute.  I saw many things I didn't like, would never wear, and think shouldn't have even been manufactured, but swimming in that sea of fabric I found the one dress made for me.  I'm going to keep it for a long time.  And, you know what.... I've got the perfect tiara to go with it.

I finally will be funky funky, but chic.  At least for a few hours.  Ah, the sweet smell of success... and good fashion sense.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Funky But Chic

"Let's get on down to the boutique
Let's bring back something that's funky but chic."

Today's post is dedicated to the death of good sense in the fashion industry.

Have you heard the screams, but not known the source?  Don't worry, it was only me in various fitting rooms from the mainland to Key West.

Forget all the skills I have, all the schooling I've had, and all the jobs/careers I've had so far.  I should've just gone to design school. What passes for fashion today is pathetic.

I've looked for months, from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West.  Malls, thrift shops, designer boutiques, internet shopping.  I need a dress for an event next month, I've blogged about it before. Flip flops and shorts won't do.  This is something where I'll get hair and make up done, and pull on "real world" clothing.  The waters are rough, yet strangely familiar.  All those years anguishing over perfect outfits; lusting for certain shoes, boots, clothing or jewelry seem to have involved someone else, not me. Yet, I look at old photos and I'm proven wrong... it was me.  How did I end up where I am and how I am, I'm not so sure.  But, the me of today is at odds over the fashion of today.  Not good.

I've come up with one dress I bought as a back up, now at the seamstress, and another thing that the other Happy Vegan told me not to buy, but I did anyway.  When I ran it past 2 friends in the fashion world, essentially they affirmed the "what were you thinking" thought bubble that Mr. Happy Vegan wouldn't say, but I knew was there.

The dresses I've found have feathers, cut outs, plunging fronts, plunging backs, nasty colors, too big, too small, too this, too that.  Nothing fits, nothing is nice, nothing is appropriate.

"You funky but, funky but, alright, alright, alright."


Another road trip is percolating.  I'm cringing at the thought. My friend J says she'll go anywhere with me to find a dress, now THAT'S friendship.   But, I'm not sure time is on my side anymore. Its not working out.  Eight months searching for the dress. I gave it a good shot, I really did, but its down to the wire, and its only a back up dress.  I still don't have shoes, and ugh, jewelry is a whole other issue.

"My momma thinks I look pretty fruity but in jeans I feel rockin’"

If only it were that easy.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Rainy Day Ramblings

It rained all last night, and all morning today.  We got a break for about 1 hour or so, then it started again and has not let up once.  I cannot recall the last time I've seen rain like this down here.

I'll agree that we need the rain. This has been a very "dry" wet season down here this year.  But today was supposed to be my "fun" day.  A day that the other happy vegan and I planned to spend outside. I was supposed to run, then we were heading out on the boat.  Neither has happened.  There's been too much lightning to run, and too much rain to boat.  Boo hiss.

So, what's a happy vegan to do? I cleaned out the fridge, reorganized a few cabinets, and poured through some recipes.  I've got some new baking plans, and new baking items to experiment with... things I've never done before. I'm on a cake pop kick, so I've been planning my pops.  I've got some good ones planned, but no sticks, so maybe next week.  Another boo hiss.

Tomorrow I'm walking with "Team Cupcake" for breast cancer awareness, I'll be up and out the door just after 7am.  I've got my pink outfit planned, but haven't seen my decorated pink bra yet.  I won't see that til I get on site tomorrow.  I couldn't make it to the bra bedazzle party, so I left my pink bra in the capable hands of other Team Cupcake members. I said "no feathers" (you know they're not vegan... RIGHT?) but other than that left it all up to them.  I've got pink hair, pink socks, pink jewelry, pink lipstick, and that super secret (as of now) pink bra on the attire list.  I'm walking for 3 friends who all are cancer survivors, 2 actually are undergoing active treatment.  Insert biggest boo hiss here, but with a "YAY" for what I know will be great outcomes.

Rain makes me crazy when there's no end in sight.  The walk tomorrow is rain or shine.  The forecast is not good.  Matters not, we'll be out there in our best pinky pink.  I think I'll bring a camera.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Ow, Ow, Ow

I told you I was going to be "back on the beam" so to speak. After a couple weeks off the wagon of running and working out, I went back to it this week. My prediction was pain.  I was right.

I woke up last night with a sneezing fit, no reason why.  The sneezes weren't the problem.  It was the after effect of each sneeze.  The way it felt, I would've thought I've got several broken ribs or something. But no, it's just aftermath of working out after not working out.

I've been running, I've been back in boot camp, and I've been doing strength training.  All this "good for me" stuff is probably going to kill me. Presently, at the very least its interfering with my already less than satisfactory quality of sleep.

Years ago, one of my workout buddies and I would have frequent conversations about exercise. We pondered together the pre-eminent question on our own minds about exercise; that being if exercise prolongs your life, what if it only prolongs it for the exact amount of time we spent in the gym.  Hey, I didn't say we were GREAT thinkers, just thinkers.

In another day or two my pain will be a faded memory. Its hard to believe that my brief hiatus has this much impact on my aging body. I can only say that the proof is in the sneezes... that and "ow, ow, ow."

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sugar Kisses Aren't So Sweet

Incredibly we're already two days into October.  Its still hot here, but all around I'm reminded its fall.  Even the local supermarket down here is selling cinnamon brooms. Its all you can smell when you walk into the store, and I don't like it.  Not at all.

Pumpkins, spices, foliage, and sweaters are the order of the day in many parts.  Not here, no way.  Ok, I've succumbed just a wee bit to the pumpkin & spice thing as far as baking, but as for anything else, not a chance.

It has been 2 weeks since my last run or work out. Instead, I have been tethered to the kitchen for a monster volume of baking. There's more to come on that, but suffice to say, today was another day with hours in the kitchen.... cupcakes, cookies, donuts (yes, donuts, VEGAN donuts; baked not fried!) and more.  I think sugar now courses through my veins instead of blood.  I'm feeling it, boy am I feeling it. My body is craving salad and vegetables, but I haven't heeded the call quite enough just yet.

There's been a couple mini-road trips over the last 2 weeks too, one of which resulted in a pit-stop at a Starbucks (ugh) for a pumpkin soy latte (double ugh).  I'm just not a fan of Starbucks, the coffee never agrees with me. The latte tasted delicious, but I shouldn't have had it, I felt sluggish immediately after. Caffeine, sugar, flour, chocolate. All these things have been lobbed at me lately, even though they're organic, I've had more than enough... these too many sugar kisses are no longer sweet.  I had intentions of starting a cleanse yesterday, it didn't work out.  I knew this weekend would pass by in a blur with hours in the kitchen, and I was correct. No running.  No cleanse.  Shame on me.

Tomorrow is Monday. My baking is done (for the moment) and I've got a bit of help for some chores tomorrow.  There is no way I'm not getting out on the street for a run... sadly with every fiber of my being I'm dreading it.  Maybe not the actual running, but more what I know I'm about to go through for the next few days as I get myself back in order with nutrition and exercise.

As pain, no gain.  See you on the asphalt!