Friday, April 29, 2011

Back and better than ever (hopefully...)

Hello! Thanks to my husband, Jordan, for blogging for me last week. He has been wonderful and as you can see, he is quite the character. And don't worry, I'm not addicted to pain meds...

Having never had surgery before, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. To be honest, I was mainly focused on having time off from work and I thought this recovery would be more like a "stay-cation". In some respects it has been - watching movies, scrapbooking, reading, catching up with friends - but it's also been harder than I thought.

The pain was one thing. Even riding in a car those first couple days was miserable - getting in and out, feeling every speed bump. The pain medicine was another. It was very effective, but I felt so lightheaded and drowsy, and I couldn't even sleep well - I just kept dozing in and out of strange dreams (and yes, one did involve three eyes...)

But what has been hardest is having to keep my leg straight ALL the time and wearing this rigid and bulky brace to make sure it stays that way. All week, I haven't been able to find a comfortable position to rest. And even all the basics like showering and dressing are quite a bit harder when you can't bend your knee. Only 5 more weeks to go...

Considering my line of work as a physical therapist, this has all been very interesting to now be the patient and I must say I'm gaining quite a bit of empathy.

And just because...I feel I must give a shout out to Prince William and Princess Catherine on their special day. Luckily I had all this time off from work so that I could get up at 3:30am to watch (totally worth it). Congrats to the Royal newlyweds!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A lesson in meal planning...

I am not a weekly menu planner. When I go grocery shopping, I get the usual things (ham, bread, yogurt, eggs) but I don't really cook big meals for myself. A typical dinner for me may be a sandwich or an omelet. 

But, I am trying to be better. Yesterday I made a turkey meatloaf. It was delicious! And easy...

The best part about this recipe is that it includes mushrooms. Really, you can add just about any veggies (hidden or not) because the sauce that goes with the meatloaf is BBQ based. I imagine that carrots and zucchini would work really well in the recipe. 

So, here we go:
For the original recipe, click here (but for a quick view, read on...)

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms/carrots/zucchini (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
  • 2/3 cup ready-to-serve creamy tomato soup, divided
  • 1/4 cup ketchup, divided
  • 1/4 cup BBQ, divided
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, divided
  • chili powder to taste (I did not include the chili powder)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a bowl, mix the turkey, eggs, mushrooms/carrots/zucchini, bread crumbs, soup mix, 1/3 cup creamy tomato soup, 2 tablespoons ketchup, 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce, and 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce. Mold the mixture into a loaf shape, and place in a baking dish. Sprinkle with chili powder (optional).
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the remaining creamy tomato soup, remaining ketchup, remaining BBQ sauce, and remaining Worcestershire sauce. Set aside.
  4. Bake loaf 45 minutes in the preheated oven. Top with the sauce (I added a little more breadcrumbs for crunch), and continue baking 15 minutes, to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
 Sorry for the poor quality of photo, I used my phone....

Paired with green beans, this proved to be a healthy meal, with plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Saying hi for the high...


Hello bloggers, I am Alina's husband, (see picture) subbing for her this week. She wishes to say hello but will not be blogging as she is out of commission due to surgery yesterday. She may blog about that later.

Alina is taking pain meds and the results have been quite interesting. Other than helping her pain, there are many other effects, of which some are beneficial. Oddly, she has agreed to us purchasing new golf clubs and tickets to the next super bowl. Communication, however, has been slightly off for her. She seems to comprehend only in the 1st person and her grammar syntax is iffy. For example, if I want to know if she wants more pain meds, I have to ask her, "Do I want you to give me more pain pills?". It is quite weird but I am learning her ways for now. I suggested she not write her blog when I reviewed what she had this morning...
Surgery well went yesterday. Sooo much Jordan is nice, he laughed when I told him a 3 eyed monster about that dream with...

I cut her off at that point and have begun to selectively hear her continued request for her meds she's chomping like jelly beans. Then I looked up some interesting stuff about pain meds, reading that the US, though only '4.6 percent of the world's population, have been consuming 80 percent of the global opioid supply, and 99 percent of the global hydrocodone supply'. (Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/wchung/detail?entry_id=87401#ixzz1KGDZh3uQ)

I can't recall ever taking any of that stuff, even after my finger surgery... and am kinda curious, honestly. Well either way, I suppose I should start cutting back the medicine pain. Till time next.... :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Vacay

My dear readers,
 Do not think that I have forgotten you. I have not. But I am on Spring Break. In Miami. I will have lots to tell you next week. But I plan to spend all day at the pool tomorrow.

kthanksbye,
Adriana

Monday, April 18, 2011

Gardening. Squared. [Part II]

As you can see, I've been very busy since part I of this post. I planted just about one and a half of my new raised beds and everything is settling in nicely. With square foot gardening, instead of rows there are squares. Each square gets its own crop. It's pretty amazing how much you can fit into the box, and because of the box's dimensions (4' x 4' - the average person's reach is 2') there's no need for walking spaces, freeing up every inch for planting.

To figure out how many plants per individual square, just read your seed packet or plant tag. If it says it needs to be spaced 6" apart, you can fit 4 in your 12"x12" square (like strawberries); 4" apart, 9 (like bush beans); 3" apart, 16 (like carrots).

The amount of harvest you can reap from one 4'x4' square foot garden is incredible. From one box, one season can yield (from the book All New Square Foot Gardening):
  • One head of cabbage
  • One head of broccoli
  • One head of cauliflower
  • Four heads of romaine lettuce
  • Four heads of red lettuce
  • Four heads of leaf lettuce, followed by sixteen scallions
  • Four heads of salad lettuce
  • Five pounds of sugar peas
  • Eight bunches of Swiss chard
  • Nine bunches of spinach, then nine turnips
  • Sixteen small, ball carrots
  • Sixteen beets, plus four bunches of beet greens
  • Sixteen long carrots
  • Thirty two radishes
To plant seeds, divide the square into however many parts you need by tracing lines with your fingers. Then use a pen (or your finger) to poke holes about an inch deep in each section. Drop two seeds in each hole, cover with soil, and water. Once your seeds sprout, use scissors to cut off the weakest of the two (sad, I know), leaving one in each space.

To transplant, carefully remove the plant from its container and use scissors to trim off all the excess roots. Use a trowel (small hand shovel) to move a little soil and set plant in. Water well.

So far I've planted marigolds, onion chives, sweet basil, tomatoes, nasturtiums, dwarf sunflowers, jalapenos, bush beans, lemon basil, chili peppers, sugar snap peas, and pineapple sage. That's all in one box. I still have two more boxes to fill and I think we might be doing one completely with strawberries... mmm.

My row garden is also doing well. I have ten heads of romaine lettuce, eight tomatoes, three rows of carrots, two rows of Lincoln peas, three summer squash, about ten sunflowers (I think I might be the most excited about these), and a few rows of corn. I'm interested to see which method works best for my family- row or SFG. Either way, it's my first year of both... so wish me luck!

Next week I'll show you how to build protection for your gardens. That is if I can get my husband to build them for me... haha!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wildflower Bike Ride Review


Well, the bike ride was a hit (for those of you who were wondering)! Cuero is the epitome of a small town and it was nice to have a change from the city. The weather was awesome and so my husband and I set up camp in the city park Friday night. We were told there would be "camping" and that we could do this, but no one else did and I don't think people have ever really camped there. People arrived to the park early the next morning for the ride and there we were in our little tent on the lawn. I'm sure we looked kind of ridiculous but no one seemed to care :).

The wild flowers were ok, this year - pale in comparison to last year, actually (see pic from last post) - but it was still beautiful to be in the hill-country of Texas. The 19 mile ride was full of small inclines and declines so there was variety, but it was quite challenging at times! We by far had the WORST bikes there which made it a little more difficult, but all in all it was enjoyable. With a couple of stops it took us about 2 1/2 hours and I thought my quads and butt would be killing me the next morning but surprisingly they didn't - go figure!

Here's our pic - we had fun - thanks for reading!!


Tips to Live By




I read something cool online the other day that I thought I would share. It certainly seems like the kinds of things my mother would tell me and it’s definitely stuff that I need to be reminded repeatedly. Particularly 20, 22, 26, 28, 30…actually, a lot of them.  

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3.. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument.  Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone.  It's more healing than crying alone.

8.  It's OK to get angry with God.  He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

18.  Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie.  Don't save it for a special occasion.  Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything.  Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously.  No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34.  God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35.  Don't audit life.  Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day.  Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41.  Envy is a waste of time.  You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come...

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44.  Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.


Links to Health:







Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Springtime and a Wordle...

I have a couple things I want to write about today...

1. I took Alina's advice and spent some time outside. This weekend I had a chance to go to the White House Spring Garden Tour, which allows people to go on the White House grounds and check out the gardens. I think the most impressive of the gardens was the Kitchen Garden. They had quite the collection of food! The only problem is that the garden is a little walk from The White House (poor Michelle, who has to walk all the way down to the garden to get her veggies...).
 The day was originally a little cloudy and a bit chilly, but by the afternoon, the day turned out to be really nice. My friends and I walked down from The White House to the Capital to get some lunch and it was such a pleasant walk! It was only about 2.5 miles, but in good weather and great company, a very enjoyable experience.



2. Have you heard of Wordle? It is a great application that allows you to create word clouds out of text, and makes the words you use the most the biggest. I was interested to see what words I used the most when writing on this blog. I am very pleased that some of the biggest words were know, good, work, get, going, Weight Watchers, and healthy. It amazes me that we have been working on this blog for 10 months!


Monday, April 11, 2011

Gardening, Squared. [Part I]

Have you ever heard of Square Foot Gardening? It's a system of gardening invented by Mel Batholomew that promises to grow more veggies in less space with less work than traditional row gardens.

I recently bought his book on Amazon and am totally impressed. Each raised bed is either 2' wide or 4' wide, depending on its placement. If you were to grow something along a fence or wall, you would build a box 2' wide. 4' wide boxes are for those with space to walk around the entire box. The idea is that the average person has a reach of about 2'. The box is then divided into squares. Each square is for a different crop. The growing medium inside the box is a special mix of 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 compost, and 1/3 vermiculite. This mix is soft and friable and full of nutrients. Because of the high amount of compost, there is no need to fertilize. And because you're not using any of the existing soil, the weeds will be at a minimum (the verdict is still out on that... I'll let you know how it goes).

Here's how we got started:

1. First we picked the only spot in our backyard that gets 6-8 hours of sun a day. This spot is at the far back corner, not ideal. If you have a good, sunny spot closer to your back door, use it.

2. Boxes. We used 2"x6" untreated lumber to build our boxes. We built 3 4'x4' boxes, so I bought 6 2x6 boards and had them cut in half (at Home Depot they are 8' long), totaling 12 boards. I also bought some thin wood for the grid on top and had that cut as well. You need 6 4' pieces per box.

Each box is held together with 3 3" wood screws at each corner.

3. Placement. Find your best spot and move your boxes around until you're happy. Make sure to leave at least 3' in between each box for you to walk. After finding the right placement, remove all the existing weeds and grass (or have your husband do it for you). We used a hoe and metal garden rake for this task (yes, WE).

4. Weed cloth. Lay a piece or two of weed cloth under each box to guard off any invaders. This job is easier with a baby cooing in the background.

5. Mel's Mix. This is the name for the growing medium. 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 vermiculite. You can find this at just about any garden center, however you may need to go to a REAL garden center or nursery for the larger packages (this will save you a money).

When selecting your compost, try to get as many different ones you can. Don't get all Black Kow or all mushroom compost, date around.

Peat moss will come in 3.7 cu ft compressed bales, that's what you want. Not the smaller bags.

The vermiculite is sold in 4 cu ft bags. Don't buy the small bags, go big or go home.

For our 3 boxes, we needed a total of 24 cu ft of Mel's Mix. We bought 8 cu ft of compost (each bag will say how many cubic feet it is, if it doesn't, compare it to a bag that does), 7.5 cu ft of peat moss, and 8 cu ft of vermiculite.

We laid it all out on a tarp and mixed and mixed. This tarp thing was the method Mel Bartholomew recommended in his book, however, if I could do it all over, I would pour my components directly into the boxes and mix individually.

Once mixed, shovel a layer at the bottom of your box and use a hose with a soft spray nozzle to wet it down. Do this 3 more times, filling the box.

6. Once filled, build your grid by using a measuring tape or yard stick to mark off each foot and nail or screw in place.

Next week I'll show you how I planted my boxes and what we decided to grow.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Meet Teacherbaby

Teachergirl and her husband welcomed baby girl Margaret Joan (Maggie), 7lbs 5 ounces, on Wednesday, April 6, 2011, at 9:38pm. 





As you can tell, she is absolutely gorgeous. 

Mother and baby are both home, healthy, and resting. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wildflower Bike Ride


Wow! So much good news on this blog! Congrats to teachergirl on the baby and meghan on the new job!

I would also like to add my praises to Zumba! I actually did two classes this week and introduced two different friends to it - they loved it. It is just too dang fun! Try it - I bet you would like it too :)

Today my husband and I are taking a mini trip to Cuero, TX - a very small town about 2 hours outside of Houston. Cuero is famous for having captured the Chupacabra (this is true) and for AMAZING wildflowers (I took this pic when we were there this time last year). This weekend they are having a Wildflower Bike Ride - it's set up like a race, but it's not competitive. Proceeds go to a local high school service organization and you get a free t-shirt! You could sign up for a 10, 23, 32, 48, or 58 mile ride through country roads. We signed up for the 23 mile ride.

Now, we have REALLY crappy bikes that we bought off craigslist a few weeks ago and we haven't really been training for this, but it's supposed to be very relaxed and I honestly can't think of a better setting for a bike ride (at least here in Texas...). I'm looking forward to the exercise, time with my hubby, fresh air, and the beautiful flowers! Thanks for letting me share! Perhaps I will post pics of the adventure next week...

April Already?





A lot has been going on the last few weeks.

1.     However, the most important recent news at “So Maybe Mom Was Right:” Teachergirl welcomed a baby girl yesterday! Pictures and details will be posted as soon as we have them. I am sure that Teachergirl and her husband are busy fawning over their new bundle of joy. In the meantime, we are praying that mother and baby are happy and healthy!

2.     At the end of the last two weeks, I have been out of state interviewing with two different companies for summer positions.  It was my first time traveling (i.e. being flown and staying in hotels alone) for interviews. Both companies set up multiple interviews per day. Talk about stressful and exciting all bundled up in a neat package.

3.     After much though and consideration, I accepted a position with a well-known company in Louisville, Kentucky for the summer. I leave in six weeks. I plan to have a mild panic attack in 5.5 weeks.

4.     4. I started a strength training challenge created by Kyra of The Get in Shape Girl called the April Fool’s Challenge. Four days in and it is already kicking my butt. It’s amazing what a change in routine can do. I’m excited to see the results at the end of April (aka my 27th birthday).

5.     As a tribute to Ashlee and Adriana and to knock something off my 101 in 1001 list, I am going to try Zumba in the next week.



Links to Health:






           




Monday, April 4, 2011

What's Zumba?


Have you heard of Zumba? I would be surprised if anyone reading this has not. There is a class in just about every health club, Zumba video games, and even Zumba infomercials. But even with all that, I still didn't *get* Zumba.

"Zumba Fitness is the Latin-inspired dance-fitness program that blends red-hot international music and contagious steps to form a 'fitness-party' that is downright addictive." (Zumba-Fitness)

Okay, so when I first heard this, I was like, "Eh. Sounds like Jazzercise." But it's downright amazing (unlike Jazzercise). In a typical class, you'll dance to about 8 different songs. The moves aren't so much counted as they are just set to the music. When the beat changes, so does the move. And it's not leg lifts or punching the air kind of movies, it's real dance moves that can be modified to fit the person doing them.

Zumba at the YMCA here has a bit of a cult following. All the hardcore "Zumbaritas" where their Zumba outfits complete with Zumba shoes, Zumba bracelets, and even carry their water bottles in their Zumba purses. Then there's me, in my workout pants that are at least 5 years old and my husband's T-shirts. Those "Zumbaritas" are awesome. They know every step and do it perfectly. Then there's me... not so perfect. But you know, I still have fun and I still burn a ton of calories. I tell you all this to emphasis a point, and that is that ANYONE CAN DO ZUMBA. Don't be scared!

My Zumba class is taught by a guy named Kyle. He's the best. He's so good, people wait in line for over an hour to take his class. We start with a good warm-up dance and then progress into the harder stuff. But it's never impossible or dreadful, it's fun... while it's hard. The cool thing about changing your moves as the music changes is that music is ALWAYS changing, so if a move feels especially difficult, there's motivation in knowing that it will change soon. While we dance we sing along and hoot and holler at Kyle while he gets down in front. We end with a cool down and stretches, all set to a beat. The whole thing flows so well, you don't notice the clock. When it's over, you'll be dripping sweat, but I bet you'll be smiling.

Since starting Zumba in January, I've noticed a huge increase in my stamina and endurance. Running is now no where near as difficult as it once was. I've also noticed my own dancing ability getting a lot better... well... at least I'm enjoying dancing around the house with my toddler more than I used to. And the best thing that's happened since I started Zumba....

I've lost 22 pounds.

WOOOOHOOOOO!!!!!

Tell me about your Zumba experiences. Who's tried it?

--------------------------

I just wanted to say thanks for all the responses last week. I read them all and am actually trying a few. Things have been better this week, no crib incidences!