Monday, January 28, 2013


I'm relatively back on track after becoming unglued on Saturday as I last posted about. The day was capped off indeed by a pretty nice Italian dinner at ZaZa down on Sugarloaf.  I will never again underestimate the ability a couple glasses of Banfi can have on my attitude.

Chianti and I have reunited, at least briefly.

For now I'm again treading water, this is good news. We have an exceptionally busy week lined up, lots of extra curricular obligations are pending. I've been hard at work in the kitchen for various projects, and we came thisclose to turning the air conditioning back on today what with all my cooking and baking. I keep reminding myself this is JANUARY.

Often times I look around at my every day obligations, chores and commitments and really wonder what the heck is it I'm doing, and is this really the priorities in my life? I know better than to compare myself to other people, but sometimes it's difficult for me to figure out how is it that others have time for a social life, a fizzy drink at the tiki bar after work, or little getaways on weekends. I barely have time to scratch myself.

Tomorrow I'm heading up and back over the Seven Mile Bridge a few times for Pop. It's Tuesday, that is what I do. While I'm out doing errands, I plan to prepare a pre-emptive strike for my next unhinged moment.  Yeah, I'll be picking up a bottle of Banfi to keep in my private stash. Not that I'm exactly planning on any more meltdowns, but with what we've got percolating with certain agencies, it's possible at any given moment a meltdown might occur. As I just mentioned, I will never again underestimate the ability a couple glasses of Banfi can have on my attitude.

Those little red fire boxes are interesting. I'm required by law to have them here, and so I do. What they really should say is "in case of emergency, open Chianti."

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Danger, Will Robinson! Wear the Sparkles DAMMIT!

Someday I will share the story with you of what has been happening here behind the scenes with our business. So much time, money and effort has been expended on issues here that really didn't need to be done, yet we were forced into doing certain things by certain regulatory agencies... who then "changed their mind" about said certain things. Much to the dismay of our emotions and wallets.  A lot of that tomfoolery continues to drag on, and I must finally admit, I'm at my breaking point. Being a 60s-80's growing up kind of gal, I suppose the robot warning "danger Will Robinson!" from the voices in my head made perfectly good sense this morning.

Pity the poor other happy vegan at times when I break. Take today for example.

Today began as benign as could be, usual things going on. We already made our plans to go to the fabulous Annual Key West Art and Craft Show (yup, one of the only other shows I wait all year for besides Sugarloaf) and I had a few deliveries to make on the way down. I was well prepared with things wrapped, boxed and inventoried for said deliveries. Our timeline was pretty well set too. Things were going just swimmingly, until "it" happened. It matters not what the reality of "it" is.... "it" is what set me off on a tirade of epic proportions. No fault of anyone in particular, just an unfortunate set of circumstances. And, with that unfortunate set of circumstances piled upon months of other unfortunate circumstances, I melted down completely. It was absolutely epic. Again.

Pity the poor other happy vegan.

As this epic meltdown progressed, of course there was no consoling me. I began to become completely unhinged by every little thing, and every big thing, that was in my way. In the span of 5 minutes, I went through my entire living room and dining room, filled an entire box with paperwork, paints and other assorted crap from my dining room table (remember my half clean dining room table from just the other day.... when I finished organized my loose recipes? how did it become piled high yet again with mail and stuff so quickly? HOW?) I swept glassware, candles and other things off shelves, into trash, into giveaway boxes, and into the sinks.

Stuff was my mortal enemy at that moment, and I went at it with a vengeance. Stuff was the only thing I could do anything about, yet stuff wasn't really even the offender.

Pity the poor other happy vegan.

I no longer wanted to go to the art show. I no longer wanted to have lunch in Key West. I no longer wanted to do anything except complete the deliveries in my altered state, come home, then continue my epic battle with my mortal enemy of "stuff."  Oh sure, the other happy vegan did his best to console me. Big mistake. After all these years, he still hasn't figured out not to come between me and any meltdown.

Pity the poor other happy vegan.

At some point he was able to talk me off the figurative ledge. I took a few moments to think. In the last few weeks we have learned of the loss of several people who were important to us in their own way. In the last few weeks we have continued to fight with certain agencies for what is fair. In the last few weeks our wallets have been opening constantly to pay lawyers and other advisers for things that we have been forced into. In the last few weeks we have had virtually no quality time off, no recreation, nothing. In fact, that almost falls into the "months" category of recreation. I'm not counting the trip up north a few weeks ago either. There were good times on that trip, but trust me those trips are exceptionally stressful in their own way.

As thoughts flowed over, and I took stock what I was pitching out of frustration and anger. The great Eric Clapton sang the advice "well you're never gonna get it, if you don't get up and try." E.C. had reached his breaking point too.

Don't let the fools win.

I decided to stop everything, put on the giant sparkly earrings I bought at a consignment shop a while ago (but had yet to wear because we haven't been anywhere), and go to the art show with the other happy vegan.  Much to his relief by the way.

I put on the giant sparkles with a "dammit life is too short" attitude. I swiped on the brightest pink lipstick I own, brushed out my hair which is now 3 months late for a cut and color, grabbed a camera, and headed out to Key West.

We went to the art show. I bought a boa made out of cotton and hemp from a fabric artist who lives in North Carolina which will be just perfect for Midsummer, and then a garden ornament made from someone who collects junk and makes garden adornments.  Here they are:

This is the "something" made out of "nothing."
She had a ticket on her that said her name is Tina.
She's half a coffee pot, with other scraps attached.
Hi Tina. Welcome to Deer Run.

Ok, YOU try to take a picture of yourself, wearing a boa.
Might not look like much, but this is way awesome.
Tip to tip, it reaches all the way down to my knees!

I had a "chocolate buzz" smoothie at Help Yourself, sans sugar. At Sugar Apple, I had half of a tempeh reuben (best sandwich in the Universe) and a beautiful salad with key lime vinaigrette.

Life.  It really is too short to let the fools ruin it. Sometimes (but not always), the fool lies within. Other times, the fools are local officials or other buffoons in a position of quasi-authority seemingly hell bent on foolishness.

Today my inner fool warned me I was teetering a little too close to the edge. The other happy vegan's outer fool did it's best to reel me back in. Those two fools met somewhere in the middle, one of them wearing big sparkly earrings. Because life really is too short. What you work and plan years for might vanish in a flash, be it your life, your retirement, your business, your significant other, your home, your companion animals, or anything else you hold near and dear.  Poof, and gone.

Tonight my big sparkly earrings are going out to eat, and then maybe a quick cocktail at the local tiki bar.

I'm giving some unsolicited, yet excellent, advice to anyone reading this: Life is short, wear the sparkles. Dammit.

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Rambling We Will Go

As I begin this post, I must admit I'm not really sure what direction it will go, or what point (if any) I'll get to. My thoughts are quite scattered today, and I cannot really pinpoint a reason. I suspect it might have something to do with food though.

If you didn't already know, I make an effort every Monday to put a post up on the Deer Run Facebook page with a Meatless Monday recipe. Typically I choose a recipe the week before, and sometime over the weekend I take a crack at it, hoping it's good enough to share with photos. This weekend didn't go so well. I made several recipes, all of which disappointed in the final product. The exception was bread. I tested for the first time two separate focaccia recipes. Both were quite good, although the first recipe was better than the second. I ended up posting the second recipe (which was also very good), because the first recipe was ridiculous in steps and time. No average person usually has the luxury (in my opinion) of carving out 3-4 hours to craft a loaf of bread. When I started the recipe I somehow missed that part, despite reading through the recipe twice. Go figure.

Anyway, the weekend focaccia trials brought more sugar than I'm accustomed to these days. I'm pretty far entrenched in my latest round of reducing my consumption of sugar. This is hard enough for anyone who lives in the "modern world" but toss in the fact that I bake every day as part of my job, well then really things begin to get dicey. So, bread has been most off my list lately since I made the tempeh reubens. In fact, before the reubens, I cannot remember the last time I ate bread, most likely it was on our trip up north. It's really no big deal for me, this omission of bread, because for the most part there is no bread worth eating in the lower Keys EXCEPT for Cole's Peace bread which is baked in Key West. Since my trips to Key West are infrequent this time of year, and the deliveries of the Cole's Peace bread limited to weekly in my area, I don't miss bread. I completely detoxed off bread when I moved here from the northeast.  Up there bread, good bread, REALLY good bread, is everywhere. Soft breads, crispy breads, salted breads, round breads, pretzel breads, you name it breads, they got it breads. Some people down here blame the water, others the humidity in the air. I'm not sure what the issue is, I do know I've made my own bread in the past down here, but no longer do so.  Until this weekend.  Focaccia.

I had to sample the final product in order to evaluate it. It smelled good, it looked good, but taste? To be determined. So, I tasted it. It was like the devil himself was unleashed at that moment. I ate it, and loved it. And, somehow with that my entire evening of eating was derailed, culminating in pieces of (vegan! organic!) chocolate which I also haven't had in close to two months.

When I woke up today, I simply felt "off." I went through my day doing everything necessary, but struggled. This included a 4 mile run, which took me close to 8 minutes longer than usual--that's 2 full minutes per MILE longer than normal.

And, even this blog post, well I admit, it's rambling, no? Wanting to fill the page, but not quite sure what to say, or how. I think food doesn't get enough credit for what it can do for us, for good or for bad. I truly believe the explosion of disease and ailments that we've seen in the last decade or so is directly connected to the foods most available to us. We like to think we are choosing what we want to eat, but the fact of the matter much of this is being done by giant corporations and our government through subsidies, food manipulation and such. I have to put a lot of effort into sourcing good food for my personal consumption and for that which I serve to guests; A LOT of effort.  It is worth it to me. I come from an area rife with massive Superfund sites, massive amounts of cancer and other horrible diseases, and generally speaking I think genetics are also not in my favor. Despite this, I think I can enhance my future to a certain degree by eating a plant based diet, sourced with mostly organic foods.

So, today I went back on schedule with my food. I think I'll be back to my regular old self tomorrow, or at least I hope so. The other happy vegan devoured the rest of the focaccia (he's definitely not concerned with his sugar intake), and I've got a fresh new bag of organic apples sitting in the fridge. And, of course, if all else fails, there's still one more piece of chocolate stashed in my pantry. I think I'm good for another couple months.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I Stopped Counting at 75

I've been working on a few very long overdue projects here of various subject matter. One that's been a real sticking point is my cookbook and recipe collection. My kitchen isn't very big (you already know that), so I cannot keep my cookbooks and recipes in my actual kitchen. Instead, I keep them in my office, which is adjacent to the kitchen. Our office is also too small, and the cabinetry was a "temporary" fix about 7 years ago, until we could have time to remodel (not even started yet). But, I do have 1 cabinet which is dedicated to cookbooks and recipes.

Overall I am a very organized person. You might not know that by looking at my day to day lifestyle, but I do have some issues that require me to deal with systems constantly. If I do not have a "system" for everything, things become chaotic. This is especially true for paperwork, including recipes.

I'm a fiend for recipes. I am constantly trolling the internet, print media, books, television, anything for recipes. Part of this is because through the years we have had so many people come through here with special dietary needs, and part of this simply because I'm so about food, especially baking.

My formal culinary training began close to 10 years ago when we began to prepare for this place, and has moved forward through the years piecemeal. Some formal school, some chefs come here to train me privately, and sometimes I've gone to chef's homes/businesses for more private training. I always return with more recipes, either purchased or developed in the training.  My first culinary arts teacher set me up perfectly with a sectioned notebook with laminated pages of recipes, as well as a DVD of all the recipes. Perfect!  Things have not gone that way for the rest of my training and culinary career. Admittedly if I do not do something immediately when I'm thinking of it, often it will go by the boards. When I find a recipe on line, in a magazine, or wherever else, it should go in a special spot.  Key word... "should."

One day a few weeks ago I opened my cookbook cabinet and was horrified to look at it with a fresh eye.  Complete and utter chaos. I began counting cookbooks.  I stopped counting at 75.  In addition to greater than 75 cookbooks, I was dumbstruck by the loose recipe chaos I had created, and realized it was time to really put a new system into place.

It has taken me weeks, but I have organized my recipe collection. I have color coded notebooks for categories, and then within each color coded notebook I sub-categorized the collection.  I also now have an entire notebook of recipes that I have clipped, printed or written to test.  An ENTIRE notebook to test. I shudder to think I'd ever have to admit how many notebooks full of recipes I have in addition to the actual cookbooks now that I have completely revamped my collection.

My next task is to organize the actual books. This will be an issue because other than alphabetical, how do you organize well over 75 books, most of which are about the same thing (baking).  Funny thing with this collection of over 75 books, I use about 6 of them routinely, and then another 4 beyond that semi-routinely (and those 4 are special needs books dealing with allergies or illness for example). I suppose I should have a wee bit of shame with the excess in my cookbook collection, but I essentially do not. Although I've gone on a couple self-imposed cookbook interventions in the past, I've got 2 books on pre-order now, and a list of about 6 more I'm so wanting. Time for another cookbook intervention I wonder?

All that is left to do is label my notebooks. They are stacked shiny, full and new with beautiful sheet protectors over each recipe, scrawled with notes all over most pages (yeah, I have to change a lot of recipes here due to weather conditions... I write a lot of crap directly onto every printed page). It's been a long haul of papers, books, clippings, and clutter on my dining room table what with this project. Today I'll be sweeping clean at least half of the dining room table, and placing them upright in my cookbook cabinet.

Some people are proud because they get a promotion, receive an award, or achieve a major milestone.  Here, I'm just proud to have an organized cabinet. Some will understand, others not. For those that understand, there's hope for your cabinet too.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Gratitude and Keeping On

Can I say thank  you enough? Perhaps not.

I got the loveliest comment on my "Drowning..." and "I Said Goodbye" posts.  Additionally, I got a few emails and messages from people who just wanted to offer support. I am immensely grateful. I wrote the quote down from you Laloofah, it is next to my computer so I do not forget something so important.

I'm working through so much angst lately, every time I take a step forward, seems like there's two steps backwards. But, I keep moving forward, and then eventually I can see real progress.

The other happy vegan has been very patient with me lately, even though he felt a little under the weather. He took my advice and mega-dosed on Vitamin C's, then added some zinc to the regimen, and he's feeling much better. He doesn't do sick very well.

Our weather here in the Keys has been stellar. We're in the middle of January, yet it's been weeks since I could shut down my air conditioning thanks to my constant cooking and baking. It's simply far too hot to let the windows and doors open while I'm working in the kitchen, not to mention it will completely ruin any cakes, cookies or other goodies I'm working on.  Through the heat I've been sticking with the increased running. I don't know what it will take to get through to the next time barrier, so instead I've shifted to a long term goal with distance. Usually I do better in the winter with running, but being that I still typically run in the middle of the day, the heat makes it difficult. Yes I get it done, but there's no improvement on times, and adding distance has been enough of a challenge. I was out there today and I think the temperature was about 84. When I left the house, the report was that it was 81, but on the asphalt it felt a lot hotter. I slogged through it all.

Over the last week or so, I have experimented with no less than 8 new recipes. EIGHT!  That's a lot, of them almost all have been keepers. There were a couple compost walks of shame, but I took it in stride. I was out at the local stores recently and I took note of all the Valentines crap on the shelves, which brought me right back to my red velvet brownies. Organic red beets have been readily available lately. I'm not biting. Anyone who wants vegan red velvet brownies can look elsewhere, I'm not going there this year.

My moods have been up and down, yet life goes on. Somehow it's always a shock to me how busy this time of year is, seems like I always forget until high season is here, then I remember. I feel a bit bad for the other happy vegan lately, for I have decided to take Erma Bombeck's advice from so long ago, something along the lines of "the dusting can wait, it will still be there when you get back home." And, so with that sentiment whirling in my head, I tear through chores, then ditch the rest while instead I go running, play with Peri, sit under a palm tree, or sit and have an iced tea at the juice bar chatting about everything and nothing at all. I made a conscious effort to ditch some of my chores more often when I realized one day, if this were my last, would it have been good enough? My answer was that perhaps it would have been good enough for anyone who I worked to make their day better, but for me was it really? And, my answer came up a flat no. I didn't spent enough time observing, didn't spend enough time reflecting, didn't spend enough time appreciating, didn't spend enough time doing what I think is most important. So, that is changing within me and it's a good change.

That pretty much sums things up, boring as it is. That's life as I see it in the Keys in January. Pretty good, getting better.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Dining Out (at Kaya!)

Whenever I hit the wall, so to speak, emotionally, both of us happy vegans pretty much understand the role food can play in pulling me back to where I belong. I do my best not to turn to "comfort foods" (sugars, sweets), although I do tend to work through angst with batters, doughs and cake pans, while the other happy vegan knows it's time to pull me out of the kitchen for a meal out. And so it goes this weekend.

On Friday, the other happy vegan and I made plans to head down to Kaya Island Eats on Saddlebunch Keys. We were there perhaps about a month or so ago, before Christmas. This time of year it is exceptionally difficult for us to have any form of a social life, both of us are so very busy. But, with planning, the trip to Kaya was on.  As I've blogged about before, I resist the temptation to go to Kaya and make a request. The owner Scott, and his kitchen staff are so much a cut above what I'm accustomed to down here that I like to let their inspiration take over, and just make whatever they're "feeling" at that time. Last time we were there, I was served tempeh (!!!) which was so good I truly wanted it again. But, no, I knew just to let them do their thing.  I'm so glad I resisted that temptation! Here's the little story.

After a full day in my kitchen plus some experimenting with new recipes, then some serious time spent organizing my recipe collection into several notebooks, I went for a run. As soon as I got back, I got cleaned up and put on my best Marilyn Monroe hair (I wasn't feeling the magic purple hair last night), a pair of sparkly flip flops, a tiny bit of glitter (glitter fixes everything...), and something dragged out of the closet that didn't need to be ironed. Off we went to Kaya. Once we arrived, I studied the menu as usual; it's habit. There are some "accidentally vegan" things on the menu, but as I mentioned when we go there we pretty much just ask "do your thing" and this is also what we suggest to anyone else who is vegan headed there. We had the Kaya simple salad, an amazing blooming onion with smoky vegenaise dipping sauce (ok, seriously now what restaurant actually stocks Vegenaise in their kitchen?!!!! WHEEEEEE!) and then dinner. It was a feast. The dinners arrived, and I was absolutely taken with our plates. Scott had made us portobello mushrooms with a silken tofu ginger (I think ginger) almond sauce, en papillote. Yup, you read that right. Also on the plate was grilled bok choy, jasmine rice and a bowl of dipping sauce again made with silken tofu, ginger and garnished with black & white sesame seeds. Now, my description may be lacking an ingredient or two, so perhaps this isn't the exact terms Scott would use. He did (as always) explain everything on our plates. I have to say, this was one of the most creative meal I've had since moving here.  Since I have gone vegan, never has anyone or any restaurant, made an effort to serve me anything en papillote.  For me, that's close to TWENTY years. Funny thing is, I really like food cooked this way, especially on the grill. Plus, it was just so obvious that a lot of thought went into our meal preparation and presentation last night; it's nice to be cared about and valued as a patron especially since my current line of work is firmly entrenched within the lodging/service industry.

I cannot help but think back to that horrible fancy restaurant we visited a few months ago where a "chef" served me cold, undrained, unseasoned, naked tofu, and considered that acceptable for a patron. With every trip we make to Kaya, I so want to take photos of my meals and send them over to that awful restaurant "chef" and just say "see, now THIS is how it's done!"  But, I don't (by the way, despite a non-attacking, thoughtful letter written to that other alleged fine dining restaurant about my awful experience with their food, I never got a response. I mention this because ironically the other happy vegan found the gift certificate from that place just yesterday...which still has well over $100 worth of dining on it.... we will not be going to that other horrible place ever again).  Ah..... our meals at Kaya were so good last night.

After all was said and done, a beautiful plate of fruit, crushed and slivered nuts, and candied ginger was before us to wind up the evening. Everything was perfection, and here are some photos:

Ok, aside from being blurry (why oh why does this always happen?!) ...
this is my simple salad; it has some type of hibiscus (I think) house made dressing.
I order this every time we go there, it's delicious.

Whee!!!!! Innovative! Delicious!
My beautiful dinner... en papillote!

Wonderful way to end a fine meal.... fresh fruit with macadamia nuts,
almonds and a hint of candied ginger.... all with a pretty banana leaf tucked under there.

And, here is the little girl kitty who is always there to meow her way
into my heart; doesn't she look a smidge like Peri?

We aren't sure when we'll have the good fortune (i.e.: time) to get back to Kaya, but the next time we do have that window of opportunity for dining out, we absolutely will be headed straight back there again, with great anticipation. Bon Appetit!

Friday, January 11, 2013


Drowning, that's how I feel right now.  I'm hanging on by a thread. Oh sure, this will pass, but for the moment, I'm drowning while wearing a lead vest.

Today has been fraught with bad news. No need to go into specifics. Some of it is people oriented, some of it is animal oriented, and some is environmental related.

Part of my path, I believe, is to work hard to consider things from other people's perspectives. If you can imagine any topic, then I think it's one I would give due consideration to both sides. There is one topic, however, that I cannot see a middle ground on, and that is violence and injustice towards animals, the elderly and children. And, some of what is mucking me down is exactly that; how some people feel it is their right to abuse others simply because they can. And, there is a segment of society in the world that will defend them. Well, I cannot ever see the middle ground there. I think anyone who victimizes is sick, and anyone who condones it, or tries to find reasons to justify it, are just as sick.

I'm having a rough patch right now with violence towards animals. This is my blog, and it's my opinion, so I can write mostly what I want. And, I want to say that there is so much filth, torture, violence, and injustice within the animals for food industry that part of me dies with every film I watch, book I read, or photo I see on this subject. I am not alone on this, I realize. Yet, there are people who sanction or condone this saying "this is the way of the world," that they are entitled to act in such a heinous manner.

No one should come to my vegan bed and breakfast and expect this writer, or the other happy vegan, to condone, even tolerate, the defense of torture, filth, abuse or any part of mass animal agribusiness, animal abuse, or any other inhumanity towards animals.  It will not happen. If you condone this, and want to take it to the mat with me on the subject, trust me this is not the place for you.

I internalize a lot of what I see, read and hear. I absorb it and work through things in my own way. Sometimes that frustration will come out in the form of a monster workout or a faster than usual run. Other times it will come out in the form of a feeling of me drowning, while wearing a lead vest.

It's January, I brushed the slate relatively clean just a few short days ago. In those few short days, world news remains terrible, animals continue to be tortured in the name of food, and yesterday another friend of Deer Run crossed over. It's a lot to take.

I'll be back on track soon, I promise. I just wanted you to know where I've been.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Glitter Fixes Everything

When I don't post on our Facebook page for a couple days, it means I'm way out of control busy. Such was the situation with yesterday and today.  The good news is that I've kept up blocking out time everyday, every single darn day, for working out. Sometimes twice in one day (boot camp and running). I've given myself what I call one "wild card" day every week where if I don't run, it's ok. I figured that day would be Sunday, but this past Sunday came and went, and with it a little longer run (New Year, New Me?) I had that wild card tucked in my back pocket and I pulled it out today. Boot camp, yes; running, no.

Part of my issues with time management are simply a lack of space here. My office is too small and improperly designed, and I won't even start on my tiny kitchen with the cracked tile floor again. Without the proper space and tools, any job can take longer, or become more complicated, to accomplish. I got very frustrated today because I was working on something, and it just wasn't going my way. I thought I had planned for pretty much everything with this little project, but speaking of wild cards, one came into play and it kind of started a series of downward spirals. When things like this happen, if I'm not under an imminent deadline, usually what I do is put the project aside for an hour or two and come back to it. This is what I did today, put it aside til after boot camp and then come home to tackle it for tomorrow's deadline.

As I was working, I consciously slowed down and did my best to relax. I stood back to look at my project, and as if someone turned on a switch I remembered something very important I learned a while ago.  Glitter fixes everything.

I didn't used to be too much of a glitter person beyond spangles and sparkles on my clothing. Not one much for putting it in my hair once I passed the age of 20 or so, didn't sprinkle it around my house, slather it on my body, or sprinkle it on my food (yes, there is edible vegan glitter for baking and decorating). I haven't reached for glitter in a while.  The last time I can really remember dire need for glitter was at the mud run last winter. Before our appointed wave, one of the other runners in our group came up to me and sprayed me down in glitter... "glitter makes you run faster." Yes, glitter makes you run faster, but it doesn't miraculously make you able to overcome the "must swim" obstacle. You remember that story, right? Maybe that happened because I didn't have ENOUGH glitter on? Sorry, I digress.

I use glitter for ceremonies, circles, and of course Midsummer. I've put it on cookies, cakes, cupcakes and yule logs. But for some reason, my glitter use has been far below where it belongs lately. Thankfully that switch was turned at some point tonight, and I pulled out my stash of glitter relevant for this project.

As I brushed the glitter on the nooks and crannies of my important project, it sprang to life. All perceived imperfections were washed away. It shimmered, it sparkled, it glowed.

I finished my project just a short time ago, and still have some cleanup to do.  My project is tucked safely away for the night until tomorrow when it will be delivered out my door to a very important occasion. I wish I could be there for the occasion, but I cannot. It's not a wild card day, and I've got to find some way to hit that goal of running AND boot camp. Perhaps with a little glitter, I can manifest an extra hour or two in the day tomorrow.  After all, glitter fixes everything.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Resolutions, Smesolutions

How many times do I have to hear or read the nonsense of "New Year, New You" before I go mad I wonder.  We're in the fresh New Year and so many of us feel compelled to make resolutions, to become better people.  As if flipping the page on a calendar can erase our bad habits, and magically make us instill better habits.

I used to buy into the rhetoric, to a certain degree. I'd make a resolution or two, fall off that wagon in a few days, and then feel terrible about myself. I don't go that route anymore. A while ago, I committed to simply doing the best I can do in any given moment, and live with what may come. This fully took hold when I committed to a vegan lifestyle, and honestly I've never looked back, this has been a good way for me to live. I do, however, find myself having to commit and re-commit to higher fitness goals constantly. Sometimes I slip up and feel like it's starting over, but the reality is that fitness has also become a lifestyle for me for decades. I used to teach and be a personal trainer, those days were great as far as being committed to working out. There was no falling off the wagon for me as long as I was a mentor of sorts for others. That's not my thing anymore, and as I'm getting older, it's a lot harder to achieve certain goals and to make progress. Running has been an issue for me off and on for a couple years now, some days I'm so on my game I think I could run a marathon no problem, other days by mile 2 I'm spent. After I went away for a couple weeks end of September/beginning of October, my running never got back to where I think it should be. So, now I have re-committed and upped the ante. And, this week also marked the first boot camp classes of 2013 as well. I never really slack on boot camp, but the way the holidays fell this year, a few classes were cancelled and missed. I would run (mostly) on missed class days, but it's just not the same.

I coughed myself awake last night, and as I did I realized I had pain all through my body. With every cough, my ribs felt like someone was stabbing from the inside out. As I realized this was only the beginning from class after-effects, I looked at the clock thinking heck it's time to get up anyway, but no, it was barely 1am. I took full assessment of my pains, and realized they were in my quads, my low back, my shoulders and of course my ribs. And, with that I sneezed and practically saw stars it hurt so much. It was enough to get me out of bed, stumbling into the kitchen for some anti-inflammatories. I never reach for medication unless its headache related, but this was far too much for me at this point.

Of course the moment I stumbled back into bed, it was an all-around cat party on me.

I have been working out off and on since I was 17 years old (so.... that makes a total of 10 years I'd say---what you fail to see the humor in that statement?) I have to wonder when, after so many decades of working out, oh when will that day come that I do not feel like I've been run over by a truck. Today is not that day.  Nope. But, I've got that issue of recommitting to running, and today is a 4 mile day for me. It's 81 degrees right now and it's time to walk the walk so to speak. I only hope there's no sneezing involved, or else I may need an ambulance.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

I Said Goodbye

You say goodbye, and I say hello, hello, hello
You say why, and I say I don't know...
I said goodbye today to someone who was a very special person.  At the appointed time for the funeral to begin, which was over 1000 very cold miles away, I went out on my beach to the special place and began a small ritual, alone. It included special rocks and crystals, sage, incense, flags and candles. After everything was said and done, I sat in a nearby chair under the shade of some palms and stared at the ocean.  It was not completely still; there was a slight breeze and my chimes were tolling softly, but the day seemed frozen in in the moment. I noticed how the sun was shimmering on the water so that it looked like thousands of flashbulbs all at once scattered over the surface. I stared at the boats so far out, and watched all the wildlife go about their business.  So many birds, fish splashing, and even some Key deer wandered by.  I heard Peri's little bell in the distance, and within moments he was upon my lap, making kitty pizza, and settling in for a long hour's nap.

I have no answers for anything why things happen the way they do, or for what happens next after our time here on Earth. I have lost too many family and friends, and attended too many services in the bitter cold under gray skies, sometimes in the snow. When I think back to those services, everything seemed so bleak, so desperate. Living here where I do, it's a weird kind of thing, because I understand whenever I need to talk with someone who has crossed over, I simply go out my back door and look at the sky, the stars or the ocean and then I can see them everywhere. And, so it was today with this very special person who has left this life and all that it offers for whatever comes next. In every wave that sparkled, every breeze I felt, every bird that flew by, that very special person was right here.

I said goodbye today, but tomorrow it will be hello.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013. Bring It.

First sunrise of 2013 over our slice of Paradise
Last night I kicked 2012 to the curb with not much fanfare. We happy vegans sat by the fire pit with a couple of sparklers and some wine. It started out breezy, then ended up downright windy. Palm tree girl no likey.... off I slunk to the warmth of my house.

That was enough revelry for me.  2012 is gone, and I'm not looking back.

Today dawned with a breeze and some light clouds. The clouds have mostly burned off, and it is absolutely glorious outside. I've already acquired a light sunburn from today's longer run. January in the Keys.

Ready or not, 2013 is here. I'm here too.  Hello 2013. Bring it.