Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sushi making

At the end of this post I couldn't get the photo's and words in the right place for some unknown reason. Blogger is acting up or something, so excuse the messy look of this post, it was not my intention. After what seemed like forever trying to correct it, I gave up and let it be!

I really enjoy eating good sushi. It has become one of my favorite foods to eat, second only to seafood. Anyone who really knows me knows that seafood, most any type of seafood, is what I could live on...give me access to good seafood and a fresh garden and I would be other foods required. But I have to say that I have really acquired a taste for sushi. Sometimes to the extent of actually craving this little bit of seafood and some veggies with a little cream cheese all wrapped up neatly in a nori/rice roll. Mmm...good eats!

Just look at it, how could you not want to grab some chopsticks and dig in?

For several years, Andrew and I have discussed casually that we should roll our own sushi. In much the same way we have discussed one day taking a trip to Italy. We figured one day that we would actually take the time to do it, but never got down to actually making preparations to do it.

Two years ago at Christmas I bought Andrew a sushi kit which included a book with step by step instructions for making sushi, a rolling mat, two sets of chopsticks, and a small bowl for soy sauce and wasabi. All this time the only thing in the kit that has been used are the chopsticks. We use them for the take out sushi that we buy.

We have actually gone as far as purchasing nori, sushi rice and wasabi powder for this sushi making that we wanted to do. But it has been in the cabinet unused, until yesterday.

Andrew took the afternoon off from work to do a few things around the house which included putting soil into my second garden bed and seeding the back yard. We spent a wonderful afternoon working together in the yard. For the occasion I cooked oyster po' boys for lunch that we both love and when we started discussing what to have for supper, I casually said, "why don't we roll some sushi?" That was all it took...

Although the rice seemed a bit moist, it seemed to work and tasted great.

Andrew decided to go with the smoked salmon first.

Look at that, rolling it like a pro!

Works like it is suppose to work

Looks perfect to me
Ohhh! Can't wait to try it! Looks so pretty!
I got the first bite and I have to say, it was really good. The flavors were all there, the little crunch from the cucumber and the creamy texture from the cream cheese and avocado. They all blended together very nicely, with the wasabi sauce adding a little kick! The only thing we were missing was the sesame seeds on the top.
We had a wonderful evening rolling and eating sushi together. The day was almost perfect. So now that we have finally done something we have talked about for so long, who knows what we may try next. Actually honey, I was just looking at some travel sites, and it is a great time of the year to
travel to Italy....
We all ate until we were stuffed. Even Megan ate until she could eat no more. All but Noah...he's not into sushi. He didn't like the way it smelled, or the way it looked. He wouldn't even try it. He even asked me to move my plate so he didn't have to look at it! Oh well, he's only four years old, and Megan wouldn't eat sushi when she was his age either. So I am sure that with time, he will come around and decide he actually likes all of this disgusting looking stuff his parents try to feed him.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Just the day to day...

Yes, I have been very neglectful of this blog lately. I am sorry that I haven't made time for it in so long. I have been a bit busy but that isn't an excuse for not posting something.

At the moment Lauren is in Little Rock for a visit. She left last Monday to go back for Mid-America youth conference at FPC in North Little Rock. She is heading back starting today. She is leaving there going to her grandmother's in Tennessee, then will head back here tomorrow. She will then have to leave here on Sunday to go to Charlotte for two weeks for training for her new job. Her job will begin here on the 20th. I just hope that she won't get back here Friday so exhausted and tired from all the running she has been doing in Little Rock, that she ends up getting sick from it. That has been known to happen in the past.
Kids...What can you do? I suppose they have to learn from their own mistakes. I know that is how I learned most of the things I know today...because I was so hard-headed and didn't listen to the voices of wisdom. So I had to go through the school of hard knocks...I graduated with honors! I have tried to pass on the knowledge I gained from all of those mistakes to my children. Let's just hope that one of them didn't inherit the hard-head gene and actually will accept the advice I am offering.

Around the house:
I have one raised bed nearly full of plants. I am going to put in the last of them this week. The second raised bed is getting soil today and I will be planting in it this week also. There may be call for a third bed, but we will see after I get the others filled. I also have some gourd plants coming up from the seeds Noah and I planted. I have always loved growing gourds. I have been growing them off and on, depending upon if I have had the space, since the 1990's. I have grown them in Louisiana, Kentucky, Arkansas and now in North Carolina. I still have some dried ones that I grew back in Louisiana years ago and some from Arkansas. I tried a couple of new varieties this year, so we will see how they turn out.

Megan is working on school work and working on a website for her website building. She had taken a break from art class beginning the first part of the year until spring. We are now trying to decided when she will start back. She is really wanting to take piano lessons, so I am searching for someone that can teach her. I am so very surprised that there are no more people in the churches we have attended that teach lessons. There are so many talented people, but no one seems to be interested in teaching. I will have to keep asking around.

Noah is growing like a weed. He is so active. He has been spending most of his days outside playing in the backyard. He loves to swing and play in his sandbox. But a lot of the time he is walking around in the "forest" exploring his world. We have a grove of trees on one side of the backyard that he calls the forest, and he loves to play in there. He has also been helping me plant the garden. He is such a little worker. He loves to do anything like that to help. He is strong too, he doesn't get tired and give up very easily. He just keeps right on going. It sure does help him sleep good at night also. So I suppose that is a good thing.

The job is coming along according to plan. We probably won't know anything on the next job until July or August. So for now, we are here and I plan to continue to be here until they tell us otherwise. I am just praying that wherever we move that there will be a great church and we will really like the area. I am also praying it isn't Mississippi. I really don't want to live there. No offense to anyone that does. It just isn't a place I would care to live. For that matter, I don't care to go back to Louisiana to live either, and I am from there.

It is a cool morning this morning. We had a little rain and a front come through yesterday and it brought the sunshine and cool winds today. As I sit here in the kitchen I can see the shadows of the trees swaying on the wall beside me. I think the high temps today aren't even going to reach 70 degrees.

I have been making a real push to up my exercise routine and watching everything I eat. Trying to get the scale to move again. I am down a pound or two now. So I hope that it is going to continue to move downward. The only problem is last Tuesday evening while running, I twisted my ankle and fell. I heard a loud pop sound and it really scared me. I thought sure I had broken my ankle. But I got in and took my shoe off and there was no swelling. It did hurt pretty bad, but no outward signs of anything. I had the kids pray for me and we prayed that it wouldn't be broken and would heal quickly. So that put my exercise off at least the running part. I did manage to do some light cardio and strength training during the week. So my ankle was better, and I assumed was okay, and I did some heavy cardio and strength training Monday evening and yesterday I got out and dug up the dirt and cleared out the grass and debris in the new garden bed. Last night my ankle really started hurting again and I noticed some swelling. So I think I may have re-injured it. I will continue the exercise that I can do, but will really have to be careful what goes in my mouth. I will reach my one year membership at Curves in June and I haven't officially weighed in or measured since I joined. So I am making a big push to be at or near my original goal when I reach the one year mark. I have about six weeks or so before that time and I am hoping for good results. I just don't want this ankle injury to interfere with my progress.

The little dogs are barking wanting to go outside this morning, so I guess I need to let them out and get Megan up to start school. I have some household chores to get done today and I want to work on a couple of projects I have going in my craft area. So until next time I will leave you with a couple of quotes.

Thought for Today

Warning! Dates on calender are closer than they appear

Spend the afternoon, you can't take it with you
~annie dillard~

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the
friends I want to see
~john burroughs~

To changes ones life. Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly.
No exceptions.
~william james~

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Working out, feeling good

It has been a few really nice days lately. I have been getting outside more and really enjoying the weather. We got our raised garden bed built, but now I am waiting on the okay to go ahead and plant. I am listening to some of the older folks who have lived in this area for years. Being from further south, I would have probably put some things in the ground already, but they say wait, we could get another cold spell. So I wait. I did build a small bed along the fence and planted my gourd seeds already. I did that on Saturday. Gourds need more time to come to maturity and I figured it wouldn't hurt them as long as we don't get a frost.

I have been struggling with the bathroom scale! We are not friends right now. I haven't lost anything in weeks...I lost 25 pounds and then nothing...nothing for weeks now. In fact, I have put on a couple of pounds. I am sure that it is only the fact that muscle weighs more than fat...yadda yadda...because I am continuing to see a difference in my body and in the way the clothes are fitting. So I know all this work isn't in vain. But the numbers are discouraging. If I could just drop a pound every once in a while, as long as it was moving some...So the last couple of weeks I have upped the intensity levels on my workouts, pushed harder and I am shaking up my routine some. Instead of the same thing every day, I am changing it up some. I have been trying to do a morning workout and an afternoon workout.

Yesterday I went to Curves and had an awesome workout. I did three rounds, hitting them hard each round. Then yesterday afternoon. I did about 25 minutes of strength training in the garage and 30 minutes on the elliptical. I worked it hard. I could really feel it when I finished, completely worn out. But in a good way, an accomplished way. Today I am thinking of adding my Tae Bo back into the mix. I use to love doing Tae Bo. I also have a Beach Body Slim in 6 dvd that I bought way back when we lived in Corpus Christi, before I got pregnant with Noah. I only did it once and boy did it make me! I was so sore for days, but then I wasn't use to doing exercise regularly so thinking maybe I will pull it out and try to start it. There are a lot of squats and things like that in it. So I may do Tae Bo this morning and try that this afternoon.

I really like my Asics shoes. They fit great but now I am having an issue with ball-of-foot pain and my three middle toes go numb after walk/running for 20 minutes or so. It happens on the elliptical also. So I read that I need to get an insert for that. I have been trying to get out three
days a week for a two mile walk/run. I start out walking for a few minutes then I pick a point to run to, then I walk again and find another point to run to. I am trying run half of the time, broken up into short distances. I can feel I am getting stronger and my stamina is getting much better. I am still a little leery of my shins though. I am running on asphalt and after a bit I can feel it in my shins. So I ease off a bit. I have a fear of shin splints. I know they happen, but I don't want to get them right now at this point. It would sideline me at a point I need to be working up to more. So, slow and steady wins the race, is my motto for now.

I started on a six-week plan to try this working out twice each day and to pay close attention to what was going into my mouth. I started re-evaluating everything I am eating. A few things crept back into my diet that I really don't need, so I am cleaning my food intake up once again. I am cutting out the white chocolate mocha treat that I use to enjoy once or twice a week from Starbucks. I am cutting out the Stacy's pita chips and some of the mindless snacking that went along with having a bag of them in the house. After six weeks I am going to see what my efforts produce.

I feel good about where I am, and where I am heading physically. I would like to get off another ten pounds at least. But I know it takes time. I know that sometimes your body hits a plateau and you have to readjust to that level before you can move on. So that is where I am today. But I know that I have come a long way in the past eight months. I am looking forward to seeing where I can get to from here.

Most of my adult life I have wanted to be physically fit. I wanted to be a runner and I have never been willing to put in the work to accomplish that goal. Now I feel like I am on the right path. My head is in the right place and I feel like I know what it takes to get to the goal I have set. I really feel like I am on the edge...I feel like this is my opportunity to make this happen. I want to see just how far I can go with it. I want to spend the next 20 years and beyond of my life being active and healthy. Getting older isn't something I like to think about. But it is going to happen there is no denying it. I just hope by getting physically fit that I can avoid some of the medical issues that older people face.

I'm not trying to defy age, just trying to get my body in it's best shape in order to meet old age with a better attitude and more physically fit. Maybe this is my last ditch effort to try to stave off old age a bit more. I have a "now or never" kind of feeling about this whole thing. I see that if I wait any longer, it might be to late to reach the place where I would like to be physically. So yes, maybe in some way this is an attempt on my part to defy age, to trick it into staying away from least the effects of age. By working out and getting into better physical shape I can feel younger and more energetic.
Although forty-three isn't considered old in our culture, I do think there is a mentality in some places that you are moving into a different part of your life and that you should act or behave in a certain way. I know some forty + year old people that are old, because they have an old mind set. They think they are old, so they are. Their minds tell their bodies that they are old so the body begins to be old. I think that is a generational thing. I think they saw their parents at that age being old, so they just assumed that they would be old by forty also. On the other hand, I know some ninety year old people that seem very young. They are active, alert and energetic. They move like someone half their age and they are cheerful and happy in their lives. They have a young mentality. So it shows you that your mental attitude makes the difference.
As I work on the physical me, I am also working on my mind. Reshape my thinking about life and the expectations I have about where my life is and where it is heading. I have heard people say for many years that their 40's and 50's were their best times in life. I can see how that would be. I think as you reach your 40's, you have learned a thing or two about the world. Some people spent their 20's and 30's trying to obtain, build, and create a life or a living. Then when you reach your 40's and 50's you realize that some of the truths about life you always held weren't really true after all. And you also reach a place where you no longer try to please other people or impress other people with your accomplishments and what you have amassed in life.
Maybe you see that what you thought was important at twenty, isn't really that important in the whole scheme of life after all. Maybe you realize that the people you were trying so hard to impress, weren't worth the effort.
I have always been a late bloomer. But I find that after reaching forty I begin to fit more comfortably in my own skin. I finally fit me and accepted me for who I was, not for what I was trying to be or what I thought I should be at forty. I let go of the expectations I had about what my life was suppose to be, and how it was "suppose to" become, and I just learned to enjoy where I was and what was happening, even if it wasn't a comfortable, pleasant place. Like the bible says, finding contentment in whatever state you are in. I have found an inner contentment in so many areas of my life. I have lived long enough that I know there will be times of joy, times of sorrow, times of plenty, and times of want. I know that whatever I am facing that with time the situation will change. The old saying, "This too shall pass." I have lived long enough to see that and understand that time passes quickly. What today feels like an impossible task or hard time, soon will be only a memory. Another time that God shows Himself true in my life. I know the things God has brought me through and I can look back now and know His hand was on me. So in faith, I understand that His hand will continue to guide me and bring me to new places and new understandings.
For this truly is journey that we are on...we are all trying to find our way. I think by accepting where I am, I am better able to understand that there is a reason for it, there is a purpose that is higher than my own and the desires that God places in my life are also there for a purpose. But I need to learn to put aside my thoughts and desires or my expectations and allow Him to show me the real purpose and lead me to His desired outcome.

Friday, April 9, 2010


I am desperately searching for some inspiration! I have been in a creative slump for much to long and really need to find my muse once again...

Use to be that exercise would wake up my creative juices and get them flowing again. But I have been exercising religiously for months but it hasn't helped.

Can't seem to figure out what is going on in my head...I am preoccupied by something, some things...I feel distracted and unable to concentrate for to long on one thing. I feel scattered and a bit thinking is a jumble at times, and my thoughts are racing around from one thing to another. I haven't done anything creative in a while. No crocheting, no sewing, no drawing, no writing, no painting, no cooking...well cooking, but only out of necessity, not of inspiration.

I feel like a dead tree, all of the sap has been drained from my branches and slowing being drained from my trunk...I must find something to inspire me and get some life back.

I have always had to create in order to feel truly alive...and now I am struggling to find that spark...desperately seeking...gasping, grasping, groping, searching...needing something that will resuscitate that part of me, some thing that will reawaken desire and inspiration...


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