Second week begins

No, this is not turning into a running blog. It's a funny scroll-down pic day.

Run one of week two today. Girlie opted out - preferred to stay home baking cookies. I said "You go, sugar. Or, I guess, stay."

Lots of exercisey-type people do things like post a picture of the sky during their run. I thought about doing that, but decided it would be more meaningful and a lot funnier if I posted pics of my hair after my run. That way, you can tell a lot of things about the run, such as what the weather was like, how sweaty I might have ended up, and even what kind of a mood I'm in.

Hair today ('scuse the blurry):
(Hat for warmth. Misshapen head? No, just my hair. What hair? THIS HAIR.)



A TUESDAY BALLAD

FUNNY STORY


Giant Goat Cheese Fire Shuts Down Norway Tunnel

SHUTTERSTOCK
“I didn’t know that brown cheese burns so well,” said Kjell Bjoern Vinje of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration. The inferno that occurred when close to 27 tons of caramelized goat cheese caught fire proves that, in fact, it does.
A truck carrying the Norwegian delicacy, known as brunost, was being transported through a tunnel near Tysfjord in northern Norway when the driver noticed that his cargo was on fire. According to the BBC, the driver abandoned the burning truck about 1,000 ft from the tunnel’s southern entrance, as the cheese burned on. The tunnel and two miles of road were shut down as firefighters attempted to battle the blaze.
But not only did the goat cheese burn, it proved extremely difficult to put out. The fire raged for five days and filled the tunnel with toxic gases that have hampered recovery operations, officials said. According to the website Nordic Nibblerbrunost is not technically a cheese in the traditional sense but boiled, carmelized goat’s milk whey — a sweet, salty brick of dairy product that can contain up to 30 percent fat.
That high concentration of fat and sugar made it burn “almost like petrol,” police officer Viggo Berg told the BBC.  The tunnel, which is reportedly badly damaged, is likely to remain closed for several weeks.
No one, apart from the brunost lovers waiting for their shipment, was hurt in the incident.

I LOVE OUR PRESIDENT!!!! (as well as i respect the heat)

A LITTLE MONDAY BALLAD

2 and 3

So, we completed Week One. Both day 2 and day 3 were, in their own way, challenging...day 2 was a raging, freezing wind- and rain-storm. I thought my daughter might decide to sit it out, but apparently all those hours on horseback in the freezing cold or pouring rain have inured her to climatic inconvenience...she was stoic. I don't like wet feet too much, but within seconds of stepping outside we were both soaked to the skin, all over.

We persevered, and triumphed. It took me 24 hours just to get warmed up after that, though.

And I was so busy cooking dinner immediately afterwards that I didn't have time to shower or even blowdry my hair. So, wringing wet with rainwater, it dried on its own. It's growing out, at an awkward length, and it's naturally curly. This is what I looked like.



But with an oversized NaNoWriMo sweatshirt, damp yoga capris and misty glasses. And alone. So, not as attractive.

***
Day 3 was yesterday. The challenges for that run were: not enough sleep (for me), not enough water (for both of us) and not enough food (for my daughter). Luckily it was only week 1, so we still only ran a total of 8 minutes. If it had been one of the later weeks, we'd have been exhausted.

She said to me, cautiously, as we rounded the corner of the field about midway through, "I don't feel like I can run 10K."
"Oh, I couldn't run 10K either," I said. "Not right now. Give me two months and we'll see."

So we had a little talk about the whole idea of training - you can't do X at the beginning, but you will be able to by the end - and I assured her again that she is in complete control of whether or not she participates in the race, and whether or not she continues the training schedule with me. She was so relieved - it tells me she has felt considerable anxiety about it. Not about the race, but about how excited I am about training with her. She worries that she can't drop out or she'll hurt my feelings. She is such a nice kid. "Heck," I told her, "on the day of the race you can decide you don't want to run it, and you'd rather go get an ice cream with Dad and cheer for us as we stagger over the finish line."

But, so far, all is in train and chugging along. Next time, we'll pay more attention to food and water in the preceding 24 hours, and it'll be better.

Super Exciting News!!

If you don't currently stalk me on Twitter or Facebook, you may not have heard that I was one of the INKnBURN ambassadors chosen on Friday. WHAT. I feel like I won the lottery!!!

I'm so incredibly honored and excited to be part of the INKnBURN team. I can't wait to see what is in store for me this year! If you aren't already familiar with them - check out their website!! There is so much awesome there, and it is all made right here in the USA!!


INKnBURN ambassadors
With that said... being accepted as an ambassador finally seemed to "mentally" get the motivation going. I'm part of a pretty amazing group of people! And then... I came down with YET ANOTHER cold over the weekend. So instead of getting out of my lull I've been in, I was coughing and sneezing and in bed pretty much the whole weekend. Is it my imagination or does it seem like there are WAY MORE SICK PEOPLE this year??

In other random:
  • I had another massage yesterday. Again, I was told I'm incredibly tight and that I should foam roll more often. WHY AM I SO LAZY ABOUT THIS?
  • I'm supposed to be running a 1/2 on Sunday. I guess I'm glad it was not this weekend, since I can't even breathe right now.
  • I registered for the Colfax half marathon. It is one of the bigger half marathons in Colorado, and I've never run it, so I'm pretty excited to be in town to run it this year (at the expense of NOT doing something elaborate for my birthday this year).
  • Remember all the Disney madness with the Dumbo challenge selling out in less than an hour? I'll be posting my fundraising link on a pretty regular basis. This time, I'm raising money for Lazarex - you can read more about what they do on my donation page - HERE.

Perfect Moment Monday: A Porch Swing, and Mulligatawny

On the last Monday of each month, my lovely friend Lavender Luz at Write Mind Open Heart sponsors Perfect Moment Monday, a blog hop/writing prompt that offers an opportunity to notice and reflect on the "perfect moments" in our lives, rather than create them.  These moments can be ordinary, momentous, or somewhere in between.  Everyone is welcome to join.  

***

Though the days have been colder lately, sometimes bitterly so, I still try to get outside in the afternoons with N.  We haven't been to the park much lately, though, and I suspect that she misses the swing, which she tells me, jubilantly, is "like flying."

On a particularly raw day, we'd just gotten back from the grocery store, and I was going to head inside for the few minutes before I's bus made its appearance down the street, when to my surprise, N. stopped on the porch, demanding, "swing, mama": which meant, "come, sit on the porch swing."

"Really?" I said.  "Now?  N., you haven't wanted to sit on that swing in months."  I had some mulligatawny cooking inside, and I wanted to go check on it, really, to inhale the fragrant smell of curry and apple and leeks and coconut and feel warm again.

"Yes, yes ... SWING."

It was too cold to swing, really.  The thought of more cold air on my face made my body temperature drop another five degrees.  But she was adamant.  So I perched her on one end and sat down next to her gingerly, waiting for the creak and snap of the cold teak, bracing myself for the chill that would begin to seep through my seat.

We started slowly, and as she giggled, the swinging got a little more raucous.  My nose felt frosty.  I giggled, and she laughed, and I pushed the swing a little higher.  She laughed, and I laughed more.  Eventually, we were laughing at the laughing.  Has this ever happened to you?  The laughter spirals out of control, and soon you don't even know what's funny and what's not.  Because it's all funny.


And you know what?  The mulligatawny waited until we were done.

Mulligatawny with Chicken (or Chickpeas) and Apples
adapted from Arctic Garden Studio and The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook
Perfect for frosty February days.  You can veganize it if you like by simply substituting chick peas for the chicken.  I love the addition of the banana, which gives this version a different flavor dimension, unlike the version I've made before.


1 lb. boneless chicken, cut into bite-sized chunks (or 1-2 cans chick peas)
2 T. olive oil
2 carrots, diced small
2 celery stalks, diced small
1 medium onion, diced small
2 leeks, sliced thin, white and light green parts only
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
1 T. curry powder
1  t. cumin
1/2 t. cinnamon
6 cloves
1 t. salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
8 c. chicken (or vegetable) stock
1 1/2 medium banana, very ripe and mashed well
1 c. long grain white or brown rice
1/4 c. unsweetened coconut
2 granny smith or other tart apple, diced medium
2 T. lemon juice
1 can coconut milk (I used light)

Toppings (optional)
chopped cilantro or parsley
1 cup yogurt
slivered almonds, toasted

Heat 1 T. oil over medium-high heat in a saute pan.  Add chicken and saute quickly until browned on the outside but not necessarily cooked on the inside. (If using chick peas, skip this step.)

Heat oil over medium heat in a large stock pot or dutch oven (at least 5 1/2 quart).  Add carrots, celery, onion, and leek. Saute, stirring often until onions are soft and translucent.  Add garlic and ginger and stir for a minute or two until fragrant.  Add spices and stir for one minute. Add stock, add banana, chicken (or chick peas) and rice.

Bring to a simmer, then turn down heat to medium low and simmer for about 30 minutes.  Add apples and coconut; simmer another 15 minutes. Turn heat down to low. Gradually stir in lemon juice and coconut milk; do not boil! Top with cilantro, yogurt, and almonds.

A DECLARATION OF LOVE. FROM THE WEST COAST.



"Took a bus to China Town
I'd be standing on Canal

And Bowery
And she'd be standing next to me.

Was totally having a M weekend. On Canal. And Bowery. Having our favorite tiramissu. Heading to Chinatown. Walking down through scarves. And live chickens. And reminiscing. And wishing. And loving you more so."
my heart flipped. literally. thanks, a. love you too.  

HAPPY (belated) BIRTHDAY!!

the legend goes somewhat like this: 
- bunch of out of towners
- tons of booze
- tons of dancing
- just tons of everything
- a professional poker player (for reals)
- barely 3 hours of sleep
- fun rowdiness
- unbelievably amazing people
-  extraordinary speeches
- warm and tight hugs
- nothing like seeing things from fresh eyes
- ah, to be young again...
- many winters later love is still there
- someone did say "don't do anything before i get there"
- phrase of the weekend: "matthew, stay off my tapioca!!"
- i absolutely love my u
- the sin happened in the city
- "you like dirty martinis? come with the martini and i will show you the dirty"
- laughter is overrated
- so are french fries



let 2013 be the way is going, please!! after meeting gael and me saying who the heck could top that... well... a certain mr lewis, that's whom. 
yeap, i had another OMG moment.  believe me, i don't get start struck that easily, especially when you consider that i share yogurt tips with diane keaton, high-five cuba, crash timberlake's party, tell liam neeson that his wolves movie sucked, have lunch with bradley coops, drink with taylor kitsch, rub elbows with the rancics, play football with berg, get compliments from bob dylan, get steve martin to sing a cohen song to me. yeap, no star gaze at all. 

WAIT!!! IT'S THE END OF JANUARY???

because it was a free flow session.
because i love the names (and the drinks, let's be honest here)
because that's how we shop salami here.
the man and the dog. 
the man on an early cold am. 
because it is in me.  
because it was magnificent.
because it was an amazing moment in time.
because he amazed me. 
because this little guy was too funny!!!!
because it was a magical moment in time. 
because i believe in fun and easiness, and i don't believe in playing with people's feelings.  
because i love embracing the sun.  
because some corners are just that special.
because they heal.
because i am always surrounded by beauty. 
because it got to be the funniest thing this week.
and sometimes i run there too. 
ditto. 
there you go. 
in lieu of the book i'm about to read, this will be my year to say yes quite a lot. as ll says, "i don't think the world is ready for all your yes(es)". we shall see that my friend, we shall see.
because this is how we chop salami around here.
because i ran here too and it was freezing!!!
because there is always light and not just at the end of the tunnel.
because it was like this in a matter of hours. 
because one of my best friends are even on the coffee i love to drink!!!
because i love him even more so now.
because sometimes i experience things that are just too powerful to describe.
because we miss pluto.
no because needed. 

because it's where my heart has been. 
didn't i say i've been surrounded by beauty??

because once upon a time...
because it will always be. 
because it brightens my day.
because nutella is always necessary!!!
because i love randomness.
because it is who i thought it was and i LOVE it even more so now. 
because it's so darn true.
didn't i say it was snowing?
because he makes my heart melt. 
because i cherish the love that comes by mail... grazie!!!
because it became an awesome tradition and all my fav peeps will be there!!!