Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Holy Crap!

I just looked at the date of my last post. Dang, seriously, where DOES time go?  I set goals for keeping the posts current on this blog, and then other obligations get the better of me.

Lately I've been playing tourist. It's a good thing trust me. When family is in town, we go to great lengths to get things organized behind the scenes so we can hang out and relax. Unfortunately there are still some things we cannot control, like meetings, phone calls, and such. Yet, for the most part we've been able to contain most of the static, and get down to the nitty gritty of doing nothing. Well, not really doing nothing, but like I said, playing tourist.

We went to the monthly Save-A-Turtle of the Florida Keys meeting at the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, where Dr. Doug Mader was the guest speaker. He brought a tegu (see photo) and a Burmese python named Pink. Pink was rescued from a hoarding situation in Key West... she was captive with far too many other animals and snakes living in a station wagon. She now resides at the Sheriff's Animal Farm on Stock Island, and is a "teaching snake" which essentially means she's an ambassador for her species. For me, this was a very eye-opening presentation. We went with visiting family, which includes my young nephew. He was a brave little dude.... jumped right in and helped hold Pink!

Meet Pink. Here she is being held by some of the doctors & techs from Marathon Veterinary Hospital.
Taken at the monthly SAT meeting this Monday past.
(check out Pink wrapping her tail around Dr. Cathy's right arm!!!)

This is a tegu, an invasive species here in Florida.
This tegu was most likely an escaped pet from someone, I do not know the circumstances
of how she came to live at the Sheriff's Animal Farm and become a teaching tegu.
Look! I got an "action" shot, her tongue is out!
We went out on the boat, not too far, but it was so beautiful. The water was clear, so clear. I finally got to play with one of our Zyaks (I hope I spelled that right) which we have been testing here since the tornado took out our glass bottom kayak. I floated in the ocean for over an hour on one of the Zyaks, and I was rewarded with sunburn. Yes, the other happy vegan has the responsibility of coating my back anytime we're out in the sun, but with all the action going on (including young nephew finally loving jumping off the boat over and over and over!) my back was neglected.  Boot camp was interesting tonight to say the least, ow ow ow. Anyway, the Zyak is like a boogie board with a polycarbonate viewing lens. You lie face down on the board, stick your face into the face hole, and paddle around. I really hoped to see some stuff swimming around, but I think my paddling scared any life away. Instead, I was treated to many types of sea grasses in the pristine water. It was so soothing.

The scene of the sunburn crime.
Who could possibly blame me for floating around on that darn Zyak for so long!

There was an inordinate amount of cooking and baking going on this passed weekend to get ready for the visit. I made a sworn promise to myself that I would not cook or bake while company was in town. Come on, anyone who hosts company knows there's always one person who gets stuck in the kitchen preparing the meals, clearing the dishes, etc. That of course falls to me here, so to counter-attack, I spent the entire day in my kitchen on Saturday. This included calling ahead early last week to take orders for my business accounts and have them ready for pick up or delivery ahead of time. There was complete and total success on the cooking & baking goals. I made black bean soup, roasted butternut squash soup, Italian "sausage", "pepperoni", "egg salad," potato salad, olive tapenade, black bean hummus, regular hummus, veggie burgers, cakes, many kinds of cookies, and more. 

Perfection. A supersized pan of vegan organic fair trade
chocolate ganache begins to set up!
(you can see a photo of the actual finished cake on our Facebook page)

Organic, vegan black & whites, made with fair trade ingredients.
Anytime I meet someone who knows what a black & white is,
well I know where they're from, and they know where I'm from!
We have plans to actually go out to the reef (weather permitting) before the troops head back out of town. My fingers are crossed that the stars align for this. You know me.... I'm a bit of a wuss when it comes to water (understatement of the year), so we need pretty much perfect conditions to get me out there. This time of year, storms pop up out of nowhere... not a fun thing for this really wanting to stay happy vegan but not willing to sacrifice her sanity in a storm at sea.  Keep good thoughts on that one, ok?

I'm celebrating my 1 month anniversary with painfully little sugar in my life. I say painfully because until literally this last Sunday, I allegedly was the most miserable person on the planet without my sugar. If you asked the other happy vegan, he might allude to the fact he is of the opinion that I may have been a bit moody as I detoxed off the sweet stuff. I stuck with it for the most part (not gonna bore you with specifics). Last Sunday was the first day in all that time that I felt really great, and I mean absolutely fantastic. I felt happy. I felt energized. I ran, and turned in an incredible time for someone like me so uninspired regarding running. I cleaned the house from ceiling to floors. I played with the cats, and walked outside with Peri on his leash.  Things really fell into place. I'm still WANTING sugar, and I mean the hardcore sugar stuff... sweets, chips out of a 50 pound bag smothered in peanut butter, and blah blah blah. But, I'm not going there for a little while longer. My reward for hitting goal was to push the goal for a little longer. That's it. No food rewards. No shoe or clothing rewards. Just the fact that I made it, and so why not go for a little longer. I've also mostly eliminated gluten. I have nothing against gluten, and no scientific reasons to eliminate it, I just wanted to not have to worry about those extra sugars as well.

A couple weeks ago, I would've stabbed the other happy vegan for a piece of spaghetti or a crumble of cookie, but relax, he's safe now.... I'm no longer inclined to stab him, besides he hid the forks.

Tonight when I pulled in from the gym, I was just about to walk up the stairs when I saw this little lovely bedded down next to our stairs. She looked so comfy, I made sure to be extra quiet and not startle her. She let me take her picture, and I went on my way upstairs. She stayed. In fact, she's still there now, I think she's going to sleep there tonight. So, on that note, I say sweet dreams little one.

Sweet Dreams Sweet One!
Oh, ok, here's one more bonus picture for you. Earlier today when I was getting dressed for a run, I noticed Aggie rolling in the sun. She's a little on the chunky side still, despite our measured and timed feedings. She's such a beautiful and photogenic feline. She always finds a little patch of sun and basks. She pretty much has her priorities figured out.

All Aggie, all the time!

Please continue to follow us on Facebook, while I do my best to post entries on a more regular basis. Hope springs eternal!

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