Lazy

It’s been a quiet 3 days and I have been quite lazy! Literally spent most of yesterday on the couch either reading a book or looking at the internet… just because I could. I did get to the pool on Tuesday for a short swim, but that’s about it for productivity. I have to admit, I’m really looking forward getting back to routine… never thought I’d say that! Especially the exercise routine with the Team. I sleep better after a hard day’s work and some exercise. But a quiet three days is probably good for me in the long run. I head back to work today and this weekend we jump right back into our crazy busy schedule. With lots of fun planned!  Have a great day everyone!

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It was a merry Christmas

It was going to be a low key and boring Christmas. But Yancy’s dad (Gene) decided kind of last minute to visit us, and arrived Friday afternoon. We had fun watching movies and drinking wine on Christmas Eve. I made them suffer through a chick-flick movie and Yancy got his revenge by having us watch Zombieland. We opened the presents we had received and stayed up late just chatting. Christmas morning we slept in and then Yancy made coffee & breakfast (yup my “no-coffee” streak is broken again, but will start back up soon). We dropped off some tamales for Cathy (who had surgery for breast cancer last week). It was fantastic to see her moving around and chipper. She is one amazing woman!

Christmas day was just gorgeous! We enjoyed the drive up to Everette where we visited Yancy’s uncle (brother of Yancy’s mom). Gene and Jim had known each other from way back. Gene had even preformed Jim & Fawn’s marriage! All three of Yancy’s cousins were home visiting the fam too so we had a great time sitting around talking and drinking coffee… So after all my “I’m not celebrating Christmas this year” I ended up having a fantastic time with family. And it just felt right!

Today was pretty low key as well. We went out for breakfast, then braved the crowds around town for some shopping (I bought a vegetarian cook book). After Dad went home Yancy and I went to our new swim club/gym and signed up for a year. Can’t wait to go swim some laps in that outdoor pool! In the afternoon my friend Stephanie came over and we went for a nice long walk in the blustery cold. But had a great time. Too bad I didn’t put my gps watch on, but we were on the Sammamish trail so I calculate about 6 miles for today’s walk.  :O)   Great day.

I have some other things on my mind this weekend after chatting with Yancy’s dad, but I’m sure more will come of that later and of course I’ll post it here. Merry Christmas to all my readers! Much love from Seattle!  🙂

Resolutions?

Well, there’s only one week left of 2010. Are you the type to make “New Year’s Resolutions” every year? I sometimes do, and rarely accomplish them. My wants seem greater than my motivation to actually work towards them. I WANT to be thin, but then life happens and I continue to eat unhealthily and skip exercise. I want to be more artistic, but then I end up doing something like watching a movie instead of practicing art. Quiro aprendar Espanol, or Italian, but spend a few minutes studying and then get distracted. I want to cook at home more often but then end up going out to eat when I’m tired after a hard 10 hour shift at work. I want to pay off debt, but conveniently “forget” about that when I see something I desire and happen to have room on the credit card…

How can I truly pursue my dreams? Can I really change who I am? How do I stay focused? It’s easy to write a list of things I want. It’s even easy to write the list of HOW to achieve my desires. But there’s so often a disconnect between the want and the doing. My goal for this coming year is to study this concept more and try to spend more time DOING what I can to get what I WANT. If you have any words of wisdom for me, please do share!

My tamales

I took inspiration for my tamale recipe from the following three websites:

http://www.divinedinnerparty.com/authentic-mexican-tamale-recipe.html
http://www.cooking-mexican-recipes.com/tamales-recipe.html
http://www.deliciousdays.com/archives/2007/03/27/grandma-salazars-tamales/

Here’s how I made a huge load of tamales:  Last night I put a large pork shoulder in a crock-pot with one onion (quartered), several cloves of garlic, generous chili powder & johny’s salt, and filled the pot with water. I put a smaller beef roast in a small crock pot with the same ingredients and cooked both on low for ten hours. (Woke around 4am smelling meat!) When they were done, I took the meat roasts out and shredded them with forks and a big knife, separating most of the fat out. I covered the meat with juices from the crock-pot and put it in the fridge.  I strained the onion and garlic out and saved the liquid from both crock-pots. I pureed the onion and garlic to use in the meat sauce. For the sauce I put some of the meat juices in a large pot and brought to a boil, added some flour to thicken, then added the onion/garlic puree and then the meat and more seasonings (mostly chili powder, but also some oregano & thyme). I cooked it just enough to warm the meat and let it and soak up the sauce.  While heating up the meat I was also soaking corn husks in warm water.    Masa mix = 4 cups Masa Harina, 2-3 tsp johny’s salt, 1-2 tsp garlic powder (stir dry ingredients before adding liquid). I add 1 cup corn oil then the reserved liquid from crock-pots (maybe 2 cups), mix until masa looks like cookie dough and spreads easily.  I set up a little assembly line of corn husks, masa mix, and meat (see picture). I spread a small handful of masa on each husk, mashing it down flat by hand, then adding meat. This time I tied each tamale with a strip of corn husk after rolling it up. Once the steamer was full for the first batch, I steamed them for a little over 90 minutes. To test doneness I opened one tamale to make sure the masa didn’t stick to the husk… then I had to taste that one.. and it was good!  :O) I put the first batch of tamales on cooling racks, all 42 of them. The second load will probably be the same.   And now I’m tired! My back and feet are sore from several hours leaning over the counter. But I’m happy with my end product and will enjoy giving them away for Christmas gifts. :O)

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Another day has passed and I’m feeling like it was wasted. Ah well, life goes on. You can’t be prefect every day! Yancy and I stayed up really late watching movies last night and enjoyed sleeping in this morning. We literally stayed in bed until 9am! I saw bits of the beautiful sunrise from bed and had fun spending quiet time with my best friend (& the silly cat). We spent the rest of the morning lazing around, talking, looking at things online. As usual, I was getting stir crazy by the afternoon. Instead of going outdoors for a bike ride or walk to enjoy the sunshine, we went out shopping. We wanted to look at and possibly purchase Kindles and accessories. Apparently all the Kindles in Redmond are sold out!

Yancy and I have been talking a lot about simplifying life and de-cluttering. It’s a difficult and slow process, but we’re taking it in baby steps. We’ve decided to get the Kindle books so we can get rid of the paper books cluttering the spare room and stop buying new ones. Plus I’m going to recycle all the old magazines that I tend to collect for no good reason. During my week off I’m going to devote extra time to getting rid of junk. Today I did make one purchase: a small purse… so I can put less crap in it. Now I just need to “let go” of my old worn out purses.   😛

We’re hoping to move to a smaller house in March and are already thinking of ways to reduce what we have to move and store. Here are two websites that have really inspired Yancy & I:

http://rowdykittens.com/2010/12/grandparents/

http://www.missminimalist.com/

Having less “stuff” may make us happier, and being out of debt will most definitely make us happier! Living more simply seems to be less stress. We’ll try and let you know how it goes!

Stupid weather

Made it out to practice today but ended up walking most of it. I got about 4 miles in though. Still feeling a little under the weather when I put effort into the exercise, but mostly feeling back to normal. The weather in Seattle is back to major crappiness. Windy, wet, and cold today. At least our TNT practice was only a run this morning, biking in that is no fun.

Yesterday was beautifully sunny, but very cold. Try as I might, I couldn’t convince myself to go out for a bike ride. I did go to the mall and get my hair colored dark brown again and I love it. I also took the Polar RS800CX that I won to REI and they let me trade it in for a Garmin Forerunner 310xT (same model Yancy bought for me after Thanksgiving). The Garmin is around $400 when not on sale. The Polar was worth $420, so REI even gave me money back for it which I used towards a much needed warm jacket that I can use for both cycling and running. YAY! I’m one lucky girl! 🙂 And since we now have the same fancy monitor (for less than the price of one I might add), Yancy can help me learn how to use mine better.

Some of Yancy’s coworkers went out to a bar after work last night and I went to join them. It was actually a lot of fun…. except the half hour conversation about sound systems that nearly put me to sleep. Yancy didn’t actually know all the people there, but two were his bosses. They were really nice and we even got invited to a New Years party.

Now if this weather would give us a break, we could get on with a fun weekend!   😛

Mixed feelings

I’ve come down with a little chest cold or something. Woke yesterday morning drenched with sweat. Went to work and was feeling nauseated and quite shaky. I was radiating heat and just sure that I was running a fever. I would have sucked it up and worked through the day, but then something else happened… Pretty early in the workday I had a confrontation with the doctor I work for. I wasn’t trying to argue, I was just defending the way I had been doing something for over a year because it was on the protocol I was told to follow and no one has said anything about it before. She asserted her authority over me and pretty much said that I am not allowed to state my side of things because it’s arguing and not my place. Since I wasn’t feeling well to start with, and the confrontation only made me feel worse, I decided to go home sick at lunchtime. Oh, and I also have a mysterious pain in my left heel that hurts when I put any pressure on it. That started as soon as I woke up and I can’t figure out what I may have done. There is a little red spot, so maybe it’s just a bruise that I can’t remember giving myself. I’ve been known to do that before. 😛

Yancy suggested that I still go to run practice with the Team and just walk. It was raining lightly, but not too cold. I bundled up and went walking, but then Coach Cathy announces that it’s our first 1 mile time trial run. I really wanted to see where I’m at, so decided to just give it a go…. it’s only 4 laps around the track afterall. I felt ok for the first 2.5 laps, heel really started hurting and I was breathing a little too hard by the end. But I ran that mile in 10 minutes and a few seconds! I’m really proud of that time, especially on a day when I’m feeling poorly! Except I felt even worse after. Nose wouldn’t stop running (which isn’t too unusual for me) and I was coughing a lot. I walked pretty slow for the rest of the cool down and was eager to get home to take a shower and get dry.

Once again I am reminded that even though I may have a few things to whine about, my life is actually really fantastic. My coach, personal trainer, friend, and source of inspiration, Cathy is fighting her second round of breast cancer. She has kept such a positive attitude through this whole thing and I can’t say how much I admire this woman’s attitude and strength. She is undergoing surgery TODAY for a bilateral mastectomy. I’m thinking of her all the time. If you pray, please send a few out for her. She is strong and healthy, I’m sure she’ll come through this on top, but it’s still a hard road to walk both physically and emotionally.

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