Sally’s 2012
January 1, 2013

I love reading everyone’s year-in-review.  But I never feel that I have anything particularly interesting to share myself.  However looking back at where I’ve come since January 1, 2012, my year reads like the elevation profile of the 11.2 mile run through Percy Warner Park.

January
On New Year’s day I wake up with pain in my left shoulder.  It becomes very severe over the next few days and I begin many painful and expensive tests to diagnose it.  I eventually lose most of the strength and mobility in the arm altogether.  It is not for several months (see below) before we are able to diagnose the mystery condition.  But I take my first Caribbean vacation to Jamaica with my good friend Sara.  It is fantastic and just what we needed to thaw the dreary winter grays.  I also start training to Hoop the Half Marathon again.

February
I take a trip to Chicago to visit the city and see friends.  I begin planning my race calendar for the year.  But 2/3 of the way through the month I became very ill and take a brief stay in the hospital.  This sets me back physically and race and training-wise.  I eventually end up having to miss out on 4 different races this month and the next month due to illness and recovery.  I also support a friend during a difficult trial and witness that sometimes the judicial system doesn’t always work out the way it’s supposed to.

March
I miss out on the Triple Crown races due to the previous month’s recovery and post my first DNS ever, unfortunately it’s a 3-for-1.  I come up with an Athletic Bucket List and start working towards a plan to check off the items.  I tour the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and hit 7 distilleries in 2 days.  I attend an Olympic soccer qualifying tournament game.

April
I apply for the Nuun Hood To Coast team, though I don’t get picked, I still make a funny video.  I post some really high mileage with our hoop walking.  And eventually complete the Hooping the Half Marathon.  Many thanks to everyone who donates to the cause.  I finally really start training again in all 3 sports.  I also have my first swim lesson and find out that my self-taught freestyle form really isn’t that bad.  I also meet my Coach for the first time in a different swim lesson.  I witness my amazing friend Kira become ordained as an Episcopal priest.

May
I do my first open water swim ever, which also happens to be my first wetsuit swim ever.  I manage to survive both.  I compete in my first triathlon of the season and learn an important lesson of mental tenacity.  I have another minor surgery unrelated to my two previous medical issues earlier in the year.  I get a new fitting on my tri bike.

June
I make another trip to Chicago for a wedding and to visit friends.  I begin training with my Coach.  I go through a little bit of heartbreak.  I revise my race schedule for the year and really buckle down and distract myself with training.  I compete in the Du Run Run duathlon again and walk away with my first podium finish!  I also finally get back to the doctor for my left arm, and get a diagnosis of Parsonage Turner Syndrome.  I compete in the Muddy Buddy with a friend and have a great time, and once again somehow manage to never really get muddy in a mud event.  It’s a special talent.  I witness more heartbreak at the loss of a friend.  I also go to see Tenacious D with Sara and we have a lot of rocking out silliness.

July
I do a LOT of running, biking, swimming during the hot month, and put down more mileage than I ever imagined.  I compete in my first Olympic distance triathlon.  And I go to the Forecastle Festival after my race and get to see my favorite band play.  I volunteer at a major triathlon in my city and really get a chance to give back for all the racing that I do.  I run in a cape for beer.

August
My Coach comes to town and I get in another swim session.  I work on riding the course for my next big race, but the course keeps changing and I learn my lesson on some hills.  I get up way too early (even for me) to watch the Olympics for marathon and triathlon.  I compete in a Women’s super sprint tri and get misdirected on the course by a volunteer.  They throw out the run times and I end up with a podium finish, but maybe not the one I planned.  I begin physical therapy for my arm and shoulder.

September
I compete in my second Olympic Triathlon, in a torrential downpour.  This is my last tri of the season, but I don’t let that stop me because I sign up for my first Half Ironman race for the next year.  I attend my first Nashville Rollergirls bout and love it.  I buckle down on my running to train for my next few running races of the season.  I run my first 5k in probably 5 or 6 years, and walk away with another podium finish, once again a second place in my age group, which makes for a hat trick of podium finishes for the year.  My best friend has another baby, once again with a dramatic entrance.

October
I run in the Boston Half Marathon.  I get to visit my old friends and meet new ones, and see my best friend in a play.  I tour the Sam Adams Brewery finally.  I try Eritrean food, and of course eat lots and lots of lobstah!  I walk the Goo Goos Jog N Hog due to a painful injury.  That injury turns out to be peroneal tendonitis, and I also find out (on my 3rd Xray and MRI of the year) that I have a cyst in my heel, but the doctor doesn’t think it is affecting me.  I attend a Vanderbilt football game and watch them actually win!  I take a Motorcyle class.  I watch the Kona Ironman championships online and am amazed by the athletes.  I do the Color Run with a couple friends.

November
I make a road trip to tour the Calfkiller brewery and fall more in love with their beer.  I try to talk them into selling me a bike jersey with no luck.  I run in the Ragnar Tennessee relay race and tick off another Athletic Bucket List item.  I volunteer at the Flying Monkey Marathon and witness some truly hardcore runners.  I run the Boulevard Bolt and get another PR.  Coach comes into town again and we have a little team dinner and recap of the year and discuss the next year.

December
I start the month off with my first 12k, the 12 South Winter Warm Up, and finish the day with the 12 South Winter Warmer, one of my favorite beer fests.  Running and beer, what a perfect day!  Then I announce I’m doing something really crazy for my birthday.  I document all of my runs here, and follow it up with beers with friends.  I do one more Yazoo Barely a 4k Beer Run and earn a Yazoo Santa hat.  I find out I qualified for the USAT national championships for Olympic distance triathlon based on that Women’s race in August, which redeems the unfortunate results of that race.  I bake a monstrous cake and swear off buttercream forever.  I take a little New Year’s vacation and got to see my alma mater play in a bowl game.

2013
And what does 2013 hold?  I’ve already started working on my race schedule for next year.  Who knows what else it holds?  I’m hoping for a happy, healthy, and injury-free year.  Looking forward to ticking off more Athletic Bucket List items and maybe clawing my way to more podium finishes?  I’d also like to start trying to race more duathlons.  What are your plans and goals?

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My love affair
February 14, 2012

Did you ever know someone who had an on-again, off-again relationship?  And on the surface it appeared that they had a dysfunctional relationship, but upon digging further, you realize that maybe it was always a case of the right person-wrong time?   They keep trying, but it never works…until that one day where the timing lines up and it finally develops in to the most beautiful love affair that you only now realize is how it was intended to be.

I am one of those people.  And I am finally ready to come out about my past dysfunctional relationship and current torrid love affair.  With Running.  Gotcha!  But I really am serious.  My love story goes like this.

In middle school (yes I started young), being the athletic figure skater I was then, I decided to join the track team.  Was I cheating on my current love, figure skating?  Yes certainly, but it was a polyamorous moonlighting type of situation.  Skating was always my first love, but I soon learned it was a fickle lover that realizes you’re too old and dumps you at the ripe old-maid age of 16, so it always had a short shelf-life.  Two years of middle school track and I was on fire, the fastest I’ve ever been.  (Though lack of puberty and hips and boobs make a huge difference).  So it started as a really beneficial union, but it began to develop into an abusive relationship.  Sport asthma reared its ugly head.  I was still winning my meets, but at my last few track meets the coach would have a teammate standing at the finish line to catch me in case of one of my running induced hyperventilation attacks.

Moving on to high school, I tried to get into cross country in the fall, but something always prevented me from joining the team.  Right person, wrong time?  So, I joined track in the spring for a couple years.  But we were continuing to drift apart.  I had less time for practice and for meets, with schoolwork, skating (though I had moved on to teaching at that point), and music (my new lover).  The sport asthma still abused me at meets.  And finally after a couple years, I realized I needed to break up with running.  Why was I doing this to my body?  Nobody was chasing me.  I’m not going anywhere (running around an oval is essentially running in circles).  Occasionally the track coach would talk me into showing up for a meet here and there for a little “for old times sake” date with running, but by the end of high school were were done.  Finito.

For 13 years, I had nothing to do with my old lover.  We didn’t speak.  We avoided each other at parties.  I mean, heaven forbid I should ever run for anything.  It was a dumb sport and a bad old boyfriend that was bad for me.

Then, in law school I decided to try running again.  To try to encourage a former runner to get back into it for his health’s sake.  And it was a very time effective way to exercise and burn calories, which was important for a busy law student and future lawyer.  It was a very, VERY slow rocky start getting back together with running.  Battling my need for speed with my underworked, asthmatic lungs; eventually settling on slow, but able to breathe.  But it remained a casual relationship.  Taking it slow to 1 mile.  Then a 5k or two.  And eventually jumping off the deep end and getting hot and heavy training for a half marathon.  Never in  my life had I run that much.  It was exciting.  And something I said I only wanted to do once.  After that I fell back into a casual relationship.  Running off and on to stay in shape.  Kinda loving it, kinda hating it all at the same time.  But never really giving it my full attention.

A couple years later, a friend wanted to run her first half marathon.  She had started her own love affair with running, and I wanted to be supportive of her relationship, so I trained to run it with her.  That race was one of the best runs of my life.  I fell in love with running all over again.  But this time, everything was perfect.  I didn’t have any other distractions or lovers in my life to compete for my attention.  I was able to give my all to running.  And it gave right back to me.  I was in great shape.  I rarely had any trouble breathing or with distance.  And I actually enjoyed spending time with running.  And sorely missed it when we were separated.  It had become just as important in my life as breathing or sleeping or eating.  It made my life better and made me a better person in so many ways.

Last year I discovered triathlon.  And as I can assume that maybe marriage or having children enriches your relationship, that is what happened with my running with triathlon.  I have an even deeper love for my running.  We share a bond that others cannot  understand, and triathlon has strengthened that bond even more.  So, yes, I have a red hot torrid love affair with running, and I would inflict serious harm on someone who would try to come between us.  And I always encourage people in their own relationships with running.  So no matter where you are in your own relationship, embrace it.  We all have our own path, and it’s not for everyone.  But for me, I have found my own little love affair.
Happy Valentine’s Day!

My Search Continues…
September 2, 2011

…The Ongoing Saga of the Dinos.

If I were to write a book of the past couple years, I think I’d make that the title.  But for now, I’ll just chronicle my findings here.  So, without further ado, I have new Dinos to share with you!

The first one is on the side of a local paper stand just outside one of my favorite local coffee shops.  Turn your head to the side, and there he is, in the freestyle hand drawn flavor.

The second is in a funky little neighborhood situated between the hood, the fancy pants neighborhood, the colleges, and the music industry.  On a little pole just next to the sidewalk sits one of the elusive Dino stickers.  (What I wouldn’t do to get my hands one of those myself!)  Thanks to a friend for telling me about this one.

 

I think I have another one stored on an old phone.  If I can figure out how to get that one off of the phone, I’ll post it soon too.  Enjoy your holiday weekend!

Final Challenge
April 29, 2011

Well, I made it through this year’s 46 Day Challenge.  There’s a reason it is called a challenge.  It’s a challenge to keep up with the exercise on a daily basis, even when you’re sick, busy, or out of town.  It’s a challenge to “make” time rather than “find” time.  You challenge yourself to new physical and mental limits.  Or you just challenge yourself to try something crazy, like a triathlon.

For the last weekend of the Challenge, I was out of town for the holiday.  While travel usually makes it difficult to exercise, I still found time to run on one day and because of where we went for vacation (more on that in an upcoming post, here’s a hint…the happiest place) there was a LOT of walking involved.  I mean a lot.  I almost regretted going for that run on Saturday morning.  I have some well-worn sneakers now!

Also, remember how I hooped the half marathon last year?  Well, I wasn’t able to participate in the training this year, but tomorrow is the half marathon.  I will be on bike support with the hoopers!  Getting in my biking training for the triathlon and supporting a great cause and group of women at the same time!

Here is my final progress.

3/29 Walk 2.6 miles
3/30 Run 5.5 miles
3/31 Walk 1 mile
4/1 Walk 1.7 miles
4/2 Walk 0.25 miles plus some light bike riding
4/3 Walk 0.25 miles plus some heavy house cleaning
4/4 Foam Roller 20 min
4/5 Walk 1 mile
4/6 Run 2.4 miles
4/7 Swim 300 meters, walk 1 mile
4/8 Bike 4.34 miles
4/9 Swim 300 meters
4/10 Bike 5.73 miles
4/11 Run 4.2 miles
4/12 Run 3 miles
4/13 Swim 300 meters
4/14 Bike 9.26 miles
4/15 Walk 1/2 mile
4/16 Swim 750 meters
4/17 Run 4 miles
4/18 Bike 8 miles + Run 2 miles (practicing the transition for the triathlon!)
4/19 Walk 1 mile
4/20 Walk 1 mile
4/21 Swim 400 meters
4/22 Walking minimum 2 miles
4/23 Run 2.4 miles, plus walking minimum 2 miles
4/24 Walking minimum 2 miles, hooping 10 minutes

So, how did you do?  What has been your biggest challenge?

Holiday Helpful Hints
December 23, 2010

Sally is back from a brief hiatus, following Turkey day and a fun-filled birthday trip to Boston.  Happy belated birthday Sally!

In the midst of the holiday season, I thought a few helpful hints might be in order, whether it’s with your decorating, holiday baking, or preparing for and fixing emergencies at a party.  Enjoy, and Happy Holidays!

Pets & Holiday Decorations
Do you have trouble keeping your pets out of the Christmas tree?  If you have a live tree, make sure you completely cover the tree water, it’s very bad for animals to drink.  I know it may seem like common sense, but do not put any tempting or breakable ornaments on the bottom branches within reach of the furry destroyers loved ones. (e.g., anything glass, shiny, dangly, feathery…yeah just don’t put anything on the bottom branches at all)  But you still want to keep them out?  You can keep them away with your own anti-pet ornaments.  Take OLD PANTYHOSE and fill with crushed red pepper flakes or anything that has a unpleasant taste or smell and hang it on the bottom branches of the tree.  I find that most cats and dogs don’t like strong mint smells, like toothpaste.  It’s usually the alcohol in minty things that they don’t like, but unfortunately alcohol burns off in the air.  It may work initially to keep them out the first couple nights.  But as any pet owner knows, if a cat or puppy is determined enough, they are going to get around any kind of pet-proofing you do.  Instead just get a Festivus Pole and be done with it.

Candle Wax
Those holiday scented candles can be wonderful…evergreens, apple cinnamon, sugar cookies.  But what happens when the candle burns out and you’re stuck with wax at the bottom of your votive holder?  Don’t throw it out, FREEZE it!  Turn the votive holder upside down in the freezer overnight.  Then take it out and gently bang it on the counter while upside down and eventually the wax will pop out in one piece, and the votive is ready for a new candle!  Sometimes the wax will fall out on its own after freezing.  Please be careful when banging on the counter or other hard surface, if you hit hard enough or the glass is weak enough, it will break.   I have only had one glass holder break on me in all the times I’ve done this.  This trick works about 99% of the time, and only rarely will you get a really stubborn type of wax that won’t pop out.

Scuff Marks On The Floor
Company is coming over in a couple minutes and those lovely boots you got for winter have left scuffs all over your linoleum floor.  Quick, what do you do?  Take an PENCIL ERASER and erase away those ugly black scuff marks.  It’s really that easy!

Dipping Candy in Chocolate
Ah the holidays, a time to gain 10 pounds on homemade candies and treats.  Get revenge by Making your own chocolate dipped treats for others?  Give yourself a couple extra days to make the treats, by FREEZING the holiday goodness first before dipping it in the chocolate.  This retains any moisture in the treat and keeps it from going stale, but it also keeps the goody from melting or leaching into the chocolate.  This will keep the chocolate from taking on additional unintended flavors, but will also prevent extra moisture from getting into the chocolate and causing it to streak.  (Stay tuned for Sally’s recipes for her chocolate dipped treats in an upcoming post!)

Party Makeup
When you’re getting all dolled up for a holiday party, the last thing you need is giant mascara clumps in your eyelashes right?  The next time you finish a tube of mascara, don’t throw it out.  Keep it in your makeup bag along with your new mascara.  You can use the OLD MASCARA BRUSH (or just buy a new replacement brush at the store) to brush out the clumps and separate your lashes immediately after your apply the new mascara.  I recommend applying mascara to one eye at a time so you can get out the clumps before it dries, then move on to the next eye.

Pantyhose
I hate pantyhose with a fury of seven hells.  But occasionally you have you to wear them, or at least you get to wear cute patterned tights.  One reason I hate pantyhose is because I grew up figure skating and I was used to the heavy duty tights we wore.  So, I’m pretty rough on pantyhose when trying to put them on; always one second away from poking a finger through and making a run in my stockings.  I have figured out an easy way to pull them up once I have them on.  WET HANDS applied to the tights will grab them just enough without having to use your fingers.  Put on the stockings, lightly wet your hands under a faucet, place your hands palm-side down on both sides of your leg, and move your hands up your leg bit by bit.  Don’t grab at the tights, just use your palms.   The water sticks to the tights and they travel up your leg with your hands.  This is also useful for pregnant women who may have trouble bending over and reaching their legs to pull up, or have trouble keeping their stockings from falling down.

Too Much Partying
Have one too many holiday cocktails at last night’s party?  Celebrating National Hangover Day on January 1st?  One way to fix that headache is to hydrate!  Drink a large bottle of Gatorade or other SPORTS DRINK to replace the electrolytes you’ve lost.  Another great hangover cure is drinking a glass of V-8.  It may sound gross, but I swear it works.  Sodium and Vitamin C are excellent hangover cures (and easily depleted from too much reveling) and V-8 kills those two birds with one swig!

Sally’s Helpful Hints – warm weather & cars
September 22, 2010

I haven’t posted a helpful hints post in a while, so I’m making up with this one.  Although today is the first day of fall, we are experiencing very summer-like temperatures here.  So, I find the following summer/warm weather tips still useful.  Also, as someone who has driven several old or crappy cars, I have gained some useful tips on car maintenance or work-arounds, so I am also including some car-related tips as well  Enjoy!

SUMMER TIPS

Sunburn
If you’ve spent a little too much time in the sun, your skin become becomes red, sore, and dehydrated.  You can easily treat those symptoms and keep a sunburn from getting worse if you accidentally worshiped the sun a little too long one day.  First, take an IBUPROFEN.  It is an anti-inflammatory, so taken right after coming out of the sun will help reduce the redness, plus it will relieve some of the pain of a burn.  Rehydrate with WATER; drink plenty to keep your body and your skin hydrated.  If your burn persists, take a cool bath with WHITE VINEGAR and water.  This is an old Southern trick, but it really helps relieve your burn!

Mosquitoes
If you’re like me, mosquitoes think you’re the yummiest treat in the entire world.  I can stand in a group of 10 people and be the only one who gets chewed up by the little critters.  In the South, they are abundant in both size and number, so it’s really hard to avoid them.  However, if you put a DRYER SHEET in your pocket, it helps keep them away.  Also, AVOID BANANAS in your diet.  As a runner and someone who loves bananas, this one has been the hardest for me, but this year I’ve noticed it’s been better once I avoided it in my diet during the summer.

Overheating
Ever spend just way too much time enjoying the outdoors and summer heat, but find that you’re just too hot and cannot cool down?  Perhaps your AC went out in your house or car?  The quickest way to cool down is to run cold water or place an ice cube on your WRIST.  The skin on your inner wrist is very thin and the veins you see there, go straight to main arteries in your heart, which then pumps blood to the rest of your body.  Cool the blood and you cool the rest of your as it circulates through your body!  When I’m running in the summer, I stop at water fountains and run cold water on my wrist for a few seconds and I’m able to run a few more miles!  This also works with a cold beer or soda bottle.


CAR TIPS

Car Battery
Have you ever popped your hood and noticed all the gunky, crusty stuff around your battery terminals?  That just a simple oxidation, and the best way to clear off the corrosion is COKE.  Yes, just get a can of Coke (or most any other soda will work if you don’t have Coke), and pour some on the corroded terminal.  It will eat away at it, keep pouring a little bit at a time on it until it is gone.  Then pour a little bit of water to wash away the sticky, sugary soda.  You should be good as new, you can now access the terminals to attach jumper cables, remove the connectors to replace the battery, or tighten the connectors if they loosened from the corrosion and weren’t making a connection.  You can solve a variety of battery issues with a can of Coke!

Car Overheating
Is the temperature gauge way over into the red zone?  This means the engine is running too hot.  All you have to do is turn on your HEATER.  The car’s heater pulls heat off of the engine and blows it into the vents.  You will eventually pull enough heat off of the engine to cool it down and you can continue on your way.

Check Engine Light
Oh no, that darn check engine light came on your dash.  Get yourself to a AutoZone (or most auto parts stores) and have them run the CODES.  If your car is not running at all, then you can “purchase” the codes machine from AutoZone, take it home, run the codes, look up the code, and return the machine for a refund.  If it is something that isn’t a major issue or you don’t have time to have it fixed before you have to have your emissions checked, you can ignore it.  However, if the light may be annoying and you will fail emissions if your light is on.  You can reset the light!  Just UNHOOK YOUR BATTERY (I usually just unhook the positive terminal) and hook it back up.  It will reset the computer (and your radio presets) and usually the light.  However, if your car is a 1996 or later model, you will have an OBD (on board diagnostics) check.  The OBD checks everything based on an average of trips.  So, if you unhook your battery, you will need to make several trips of varying lengths before you have the OBD check.  Otherwise there won’t be enough information to create a proper average and you will still fail your OBD check.

Lobster Pot Pie
August 15, 2010

Yes, you read that right.  I not only made pot pie, but Lobster Pot Pie!  Here is the special dinner I made for July 4th for Beloved, who loves lobster.  It was a big hit and actually not very difficult.  Well, it’s not too difficult as long as you have some experience with getting the meat out of a lobster.  Fortunately this Southern Girl was actually born a Yankee and I was cracking open my own lobsters before I could even sit in a full-sized adult chair at the dinner table.  However, if you do not possess this skill or don’t have the time or patience to learn, you can usually find cooked lobster meat at a seafood counter, but you’ll have to ask nicely and probably pay a little more for it.

Lobster Pot Pie
adapted from Cosmopolitan (don’t laugh, I came across the link from another unrelated online story)

2 – 2 cup (at least 12 oz.) individual ovenproof  ramekins (These were very hard to find. I finally found them very cheap at Big Lots, thank you Lesley!)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 onion, diced
1 carrot diced (I bought carrot sticks and just chopped into cubes)
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk (or soy milk)
1 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth, I prefer low sodium)
1/2 lb cooked lobster meat*
1/2 tsp dried thyme
salt
pepper
1/2 of 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed (keep refrigerated until ready to use and freeze the remaining)
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 375°.
Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add diced onion and carrot.  Cook, continuing to stir for around 5 minutes.  Add corn and peas.  Stir in flour.  Cook for 1 minute.

Add milk and broth, constantly stirring.  Cook until sauce thickens (approx. 5 min).  Remove from heat, add lobster meat*, thyme, then salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

* Cooking lobster: If you choose to cook your own lobster, here’s how.  I don’t recommend attempting a whole lobster on your first try, but you can easily master 2-3 lobster tails to serve your purpose here.  You need 1/2 lb of meat, keep in mind that if you buy the tails, the shells add weight, but the seafood counter can help you get approximately the right amount.
Usually the tails will be frozen.  You can leave them out in your refrigerator overnight to thaw, or you can set them in a bowl of water until thawed.  Set tails top side (the dark side) down (little legs poking up) on a roasting pan, making sure to tuck in any meat into the end.

Broil on high for 6 minutes.  Remove tails and allow to cool.  Using kitchen shears, cut down the bottom side of the tail.  Remove the tail meat.  Here’s the gross part, you will need to devein and wash off the meat.  If you are ambitious you can attempt to remove the meat from the rest of the lobster.  Waste not, want not.  Cut or tear the meat into smaller bite-sized pieces.  Then add the meat to the mixture above.


Remove the pastry from the refrigerator.  Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8″ thick.  (I just love my pastry rolling pin, it also works great for the pizza rolls recipe!  If you find one of these, I highly recommend them!)

Use the top of the ramekin as a guide to cut 2 circles for the top of the pot pies, cutting a little larger than the bowl.  Spray the ramekins with baking spray and place on a baking sheet or roasting pan to catch any runoff during baking.  Spoon filling into the ramekins.


Place one circle of the puff pastry on the top of each ramekin.  Press the edges of the pastry into the ramekin to seal.

Cut a vent or two in the center of the pastry to vent air and moisture during cooking, then brush the entire surface of the pie with the egg.


Bake about 35 min. until the pastry is puffed and turns dark golden brown.  Remove from oven, allow to cool, and wow your dinner partner with this special flare on a comfort food.

Holiday Salad
July 4, 2010

Happy Fireworks Day!!

This is the easiest salad you’ll ever make for a party!! Got a last minute invite for a summer party and need to bring something?  This will solve your problem fast!  And everyone loves it!

Holiday Salad

At least 3 peppers of different colors  (the more the better!)
1 can of corn
1 can of kidney beans

Dice all peppers (I prefer green, orange, yellow, red, purple)
Drain can of corn, save juice.  Drain can of beans, save juice.
Add corn and and beans to peppers in a bowl.  Add some corn and bean “juice” to mixture. I prefer more bean juice to corn as it’s thicker and holds it together better.

Then tell everyone the “sauce” on the salad is a “special ingredient.”  They will ask, but they won’t believe there isn’t anything extra.   I learned this salad from one of my host families in Germany.  And I’ll admit these pictures are from my desk at work.  I literally made this salad about 1/2 hour before our office July 4th potluck party.  Perfect summer salad!

46 Day Challenge & Cheap Candy
April 5, 2010

My 46 Day Challenge has ended.  And just in time for one of my favorite three times of year, Cheap Candy Day.  The day after Easter all of the good candy goes on sale and there aren’t any more good candy holidays until Halloween.

My 46 Day Challenge actually became a 47 Day Challenge on accident, because I had my regular hoop walk training on Sunday, so I did not get to rest, but I plan to rest a good bit today.  Then back at it tomorrow!! (after ingesting vast quantities of sugar from sale candy!)  Here is how the rest of my challenge shaped up:

3/18 – Walk 1 mile
3/19 – Run 3.1 miles
3/20 – Hoop walk 9 miles
3/21 – Hooping 35 min.
3/22 – Walk 1 mile
3/23 – Walk 3.75 miles
3/24 – Elliptical 10 min.
3/25 – Elliptical 10 min.
3/26 – Run 2.4 miles
3/27 – Walk/Hike 2 hours
3/28 – Hoop walk 10 miles!
3/29 – Run 2.1 miles
3/30 – Yoga 1 hour
3/31 – Run 2.1 miles
4/1 – Walk 2 miles
4/2 – Run 2 miles
4/3 – Hooping 10 min.
4/4 – Hoop walk 8 miles

How did you do?

April Fool’s
April 1, 2010

No, I don’t have any grand prank to play on you.  And as far as I know, I don’t have any master plans up my sleeve for the rest of the day either.  (though that could change)  Just wanted to wish everyone a fun, happy April 1st!