Wowzer! I can’t believe it has been nearly a year since I last posted. Just popping in to say “Hello.” I often think about how much I miss this hobby, or no pay side job as it was extremely time consuming. Just a bit on the health front–this morning I worked out with my sister for the first time since August. And I’ve totally been slacking on any creativity and cooking in the kitchen. My husband is lucky to get one meal a week cooked by me. There has been a lot of craziness in my world this past year. I may share some over the next few months when I get inspired to write or talk or share. Bye for now; I’ll be back soon.
Lately, I find myself wondering.
Lately, it’s unveiled on blogs.
Lately, it’s filling the news feed of my facebook home page.
Lately, it’s talked about in the lunch room at work.
Lately, it’s bringing joy to friends and family around me.
Lately, it’s whispered in my prayers.
I say to myself, “Maybe it is not meant to be. If it is, then it will happen, right?”
So, I sit and I wonder.
Will I ever be a mother?
Needless to say, I’ve gotten a bit off track with healthy cooking and exercising. (I’ve only exercised 5 times in the past two weeks.) I’m not a complete loss though because my weekly breakfasts and lunches tend to be clean eating for the most part, aside from the day I had two slices of king cake along with my cafeteria made veggie soup/grilled cheese combo at work. It is mainly the dinners and weekends that cause me to go astray.
I put blame on the stress and exhaustion that comes with being a teacher and also these financially trying times that the country is facing, including myself. I guess charging fast food or take out was the easier route rather than charging an entire baskets worth of groceries. Or perhaps it is just laziness on my part.
Either way, it is no excuse for putting my health on the line…not to mention I can certainly feel and see the fat accumulating in my belly and thighs as I see my belly hanging over my pants and feel the snugness of my jeans surround my thighs.
So I want to get back on track today. It is the start of the lenten season, which to many means giving up something that you can’t generally resist. I guess in a sense that means giving up my unhealthy ways. But more so adding back healthy eating and exercising into my life.
On a final note, yesterday was Mardi Gras also known as Fat Tuesday. It is that day of celebration, to eat and drink and have a final shebang before the 40 Days of Lent. So I certainly got my fill of hot dogs and chili, hand rolled hot tamales, and spicy jambalaya.
So Happy Belated Mardi Gras! And can anyone answer that? I here it’s mostly diet and exercise.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 8,000 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.
Really, I do miss you. I suppose you may have missed me too. I do enjoy spending time with you though I am not quite sure where the time has gone.
Perhaps I took a break. Just a summer off to spend time with my sister and her children almost every week day allowed. Where I was allowed to learn who she is as a mommy, I was able to spend time watching as my nephew and niece grow into their own. It is amazing how fast they’ve grown into the three and one year olds that they are; I am not quite sure where the time has gone.
It was a relaxing summer, a needed break. No working; only doing what I wanted to do. I did boot camps or some form of activity nearly everyday. I cooked some days. I ate out most.
In truth, now that school (work) has started up, I still do not have much desire to cook dinner each night. My spark for combining ingredients in the kitchen has dwindled. On the other hand, I still feel passionate about health and nutrition, I still love reading healthy living blogs, and I still love the natural highs I get from exercising. But as I get older (I turned 29 on August 10th by the way–kind of a scary number), my days seem harried, hurried, rushed and routined. I cannot fit in all of life’s to-dos by each day’s end. I am not quite sure where the time goes.
A few weeks ago as I was settled in on my forty-five minute drive to work, a radio host made mention of the fact that people always throw out the phrase “I don’t have time for…” ”I don’t have time to cook.” ”I don’t have time to exercise.” ”I don’t have time to watch T.V.” ”I don’t have time to read.” ”I don’t have time to facebook.” Point being is that people do have time and they have time for what they set as priority and what they feel as important.
So as time is ticking, I am keeping my blog up and running for those of you who have made time to check it and were wondering. I will not be posting every single day nor will I be posting every single morsel of food I eat, but I may on occasion. I will continue to post about food, and recipes, and exercising, and anything else I feel in the moment. I am not sure if it will be weekly, monthly, maybe quarterly by the looks of it. But I do know one thing, only time will tell.
Summer, summer, summer time means it’s time for harvesting fruits and veggies and berries. Just a week ago, some of my coworkers and I went on a quick hour long road trip to a farm just across Lake Pontchartrain—Blue Harvest Farms, where we were able to pick and eat bucket loads of plump, sweet, juicy, ripe blueberries.
As a kid, I always thought my grandpa owned his own farm and I knew what it was like to be on a farm, to pick fruits and vegetables, to husk corn and snap peas. Little as I was, those rows and rows of vegetables in the garden of his front yard hold no comparison to the rows and rows of blueberries at Blue Harvest.
Upon entering the farm, we were each given a one gallon bucket lined with a plastic bag and also offered a blue strap to clasp around the bucket handle. What a clever idea?!? As you can see, I opted for the strap; it was a great help to not have to hold the bucketful of berries and have two hands free for pickin’ and eatin’. There were also some signs showing a level $10 dollar gallon or a heaping $15 gallon.
I picked my $10 gallon but probably munched on the $5 heap as I walked the three designated rows tasting in search of that perfect tree that taste as sweet as honey. Once I found that tree I went to town loading my bucket then moving on in search of the next.
Along the way I happened to lose my $20 bill—perhaps pulling my iphone in and out of my pocket taking pictures. I began thinking to myself, “Now, I’m on a farm. Surely these are good, honest, hardworking people.” And lucky for me, they were. An unidentified lady, who I would’ve loved to thank and hug for that matter, turned my twenty into Mr. Farmer Man. I was so grateful.
After an hour or two of eating, sweating, and picking the girls and I finished filling up our buckets and headed to check out. I paid my $10.00 in exchange for my 8 pints of very selective, most plump, most sweet, blue berries.
To reach maximum ripeness, we were informed to spread the berries out on baking sheets and let them sit out 36 to 48 hours. So I did just that.
And ever since there has been much blueberry consumption on my part as evidenced in my—-well, let’s just be reminded that what goes in must come out (without being too graphic).
On bread with peanut butter.
In an oven baked blueberry crisp.
Mixed in with greek yogurt, granola, and milk.
And in dessert–A blueberry cream cheese with pecan crust. I completely forgot to take the final picture with a cool whip and pecan topping. Nor did I take a picture on Father’s Day when the family cut into it. Woopsy.
I still have about 8 or 9 cups of berries left in my freezer. Don’t worry, they will be consumed.
And a couple tips that I learned on the farm—
1. If you want to grow your own blueberries, you must plant at least two species of blueberries next to each other so they can cross-pollinate in order to grow. My husband planted one species in spring which sprouted slightly, but it has yet to produce anything. So take that as you wish.
2. If freezing the blueberries, do not rinse them until you are ready to use them. If you rinse prior to freezing they will become a mass of ice and you will not be able to use them.
If you are interested in picking your own blueberries, click here to find a farm near you. I had a great day doing something I’ve never done before. Do it if you get the chance, but only if you are not afraid of bugs or sweating.
As I live a life aspiring to be healthified, I sometimes encounter some setbacks. In know way am I the perfect picture of healthy. Though I do try. Lately, I’ve fallen off the bandwagon eating out far too much and exercising far too less. Perhaps that may be why I’ve been putting blogging on the back burner. Oh, well it may also have to do with my current addiction to couponing and finding a deal. Or maybe I’m just burned out with work and want to just take it easy in the evenings. I’m hoping once summer gets here in about 2 and a 1/2 weeks I’ll get back into the swing of things.
On a positive note, I never knew how much wearing a dress to work would make people notice me. I generally wear capris, jeans, or dress pants. Nope, not today. I went with a dress. And got literally about 20 compliments. One of my students even asked, “Mrs. Lay, do you exercise?” “Yes,” I responded." He sated, “Oh, cause I can tell.”
When I was a young adult, I didn’t want to be noticed. I would often wear big, baggy clothes to hide my body. I would stand in the corner against the wall at “boy-girl” parties in middle school; I certainly was not the one in the middle of the dance floor shaking it. Had I wanted to be that girl? Maybe.
As I’ve gotten older I am not as self conscious as I used to be, but there are still some things that bother me. I’m working on loving ME for ME more each day.
Often times, I think my attitude is dependent on how much effort I put into being my best me. I know when I take some extra time on my appearance I feel better all around. I encourage YOU to do something out of the ordinary this week with your appearance.* Stand out and let YOU shine.
*Please don’t take this post the wrong way. I am not Shallow Hal.