Tag Archives: food

Food

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I’d be so skinny if it weren’t for all the food.

I’m an active person. I work out five days a week, six during the school year and I need to unwind a bit on Saturdays.  Running and weightlifting and stretching. Intervals. Bodyweight stuff. Yoga. I’m like a cat in a puddle of sunshine in terms of activity for all the hours of the day spent not in a gym, but for that one hour I am in the gym, I’m a machine. I’m on fire. I’ve shaved about five minutes off of my average 5k time in the last three months. I run about 10 miles a week. I can hammer curl 15 pounds and do 20 full-body pushups in a row without collapsing. I am a firm believer in a daily minute-long plank. I limp after leg day.

Yet, in spite of my herculean efforts in the gym, I’m encased in a lingering layer of comfortable fluff. Mostly in the sitting region. And, as I age, more around my waistley region. There’s a roll or two (or three) present when I sit down. I’ve got my fair share of cellulite and stretchmarks. There’s nothing remotely fitness modelish about me, and there never will be.

For the most part, I enjoy being stronger and faster than I’ve ever been so much that I don’t notice the persistent fluffiness, and even if I do, I don’t let it annoy me. After all, my diet is more conducive to weight maintenance than loss.

I eat healthy, too. I make everything myself. I eat mostly veggies and fruit with some meat and grains. I drink water, coffee, and fruit juice in moderation.

Mostly.

People keep giving me dessert.

Okay, there keeps being dessert available and I keep eating it.

Because dessert is delicious.

Because whoever came up with the phrase “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” clearly has never had my mother’s homemade chocolate cake. Or my peach pie, for that matter. Or, well, food.

But all things should be consumed in moderation.  Including dessert. Especially dessert.

I keep telling myself I’m going to go off dessert for a while. No sweets but dark chocolate (because it’s good for me). I feel much better, have more energy, and run faster when I cut back on the sweets.

The trouble with this plan is that all seasons are eating seasons. Let me explain. All seasons have some sort of treat that I absolutely must have (or absolutely will encounter and be unable to resist) at least once while that season lasts.

Spring: chocolate cake (for my birthday), cake at all the graduation parties and weddings, Easter candy.

Summer: peach pie, peach ice cream, ice cream in general.

Fall: pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice lattes, Dunkin Donuts’ pumpkin cake doughnuts, pumpkin everything, if there’s pumpkin in it I want it, also apple pie. And Halloween candy.

Winter: baked chocolate pudding, Christmas cookies and other miscellaneous goodies.

My fitness life is a cycle of nibbling away at treats I love every season and not being given adequate time to detox before another season of deliciousness strikes me in the core (and the thighs and the tush and, well, you get the picture).

To make matter worse, I work an office job. There is always baked stuff. Our department has a doughnut fund. I have a hard time saying no to doughnuts.

Life is too short not to enjoy the sweet things. Even if it’s not very dietarily responsible.

So as long as there are seasons, there will be sweets, and as long as there are sweets, I’m going to be fluffy.

Oh, well. Pass the cookies. I’ll run an extra mile.

Baking

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There’s nothing better than baking.

Well, there’s nothing better than baking if you’re the sort of person who likes to bake.

I love to bake.

Baking has always been an important part of my life. Mother and I would bake together through the fall and winter, making pies for Thanksgiving and more pies for Christmas, as well as the usual batches of ten cookie varieties.

Most of what I do in life is academic or cerebral. I don’t mean to say that I’m a very cerebral person. I’m no genius by any standard. I can think and I can write, and I have good ideas occasionally. Most of my work has been recording those ideas and submitting them to be graded. Most of my college career and now my actual career is spent in front of a computer screen, processing ideas.

That’s great and all, but every once in a while I’ve got to make something.

It’s not a practical use of time to sit and draw, which is what I used to do in high school if I needed a break. It’s more practical to knit, but I’m so out of practice that it would take a concentrated effort to remember the craft, and I don’t have that kind of time.

Since I have to feed myself, my creative spurts turn into food. I’ve invented chicken dishes and noodle dishes and hundreds of quinoa dishes, but rarely to I have the time to make dessert. I do my best to keep desserts out of my apartment because the spirit is willing, but the flesh is week. Can I get an “amen”?

But every once in a while, I have to bake something. Anything. even if it’s mug cake.

Tonight, it was pound cake. Rich, buttery, sugary pound cake. They say that pound cake got its name from its ingredients–a pound of sugar, a pound of flour, and a pound of butter, plus extras. I say it’s called pound cake because you gain a pound for every slice you eat.

I love the process of putting all the parts together. There’s something about adding the flour mixture to the sugar/butter/egg combo sloshing around in the mixing bowl that gives me the illusion of calm in the universe. As if, with every stir of my mixing spoon, I hear a whispered “be still,” and the seas obey.

But to tell the truth, my favorite part of baking is licking the mixing bowl.

And the spatula.

And the beaters on the mixer.

I told you, they call it pound cake for a reason.

How I Diet

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I’m a bit of a health nut. My attitude towards my own health has vacillated over the years. I remember a time when I didn’t care how much I ate, nor what I ate. My favorite food was Doritos.

I weighed as much as a grown woman by the time I was twelve.

Being the pudgy kid in junior high isn’t the slightest bit of fun. Granted, a lot of my own pudginess was the result of my ignorance about my own metabolism and how it related to my appetite. Which, as I recall, was voracious.

Of course, puberty being what puberty is, I started to realize that the boxy clothing marketed for teenage girls was completely unrealistic for my evolving (if oversized) shape. And, silly me, I thought that because I didn’t fit the mold, there must be something wrong with me.

So 15 came along, and I dieted.

I did Weight Watchers. I was a point-counting fiend. I ate all the little pre-wrapped Weight Watchers snacks and lived off of canned soup. And I ran. And lifted weights.

The pounds melted off (20 in one summer). I was scrawny, but still pudgy in places where my weight naturally settles (shopping for jeans was a demoralizing nightmare). Weight Watchers worked, but I developed muscle spasms from vitamin deficiency. Go figure.

That was the last summer I followed a strict diet plan…strictly. I tried Atkins for about a month and missed bread and fruit too much to continue.

I decided to focus more on exercise and less on the quantity of food I was eating. I cut back on snacks, of course, but made sure my meals were filling and vitamin dense. Over time, I learned to love vegetables for what they were without doctoring them too much. I learned about healthy fats and ate plenty. I limited, but did not completely eliminate, my consumption of desserts.

And I ran like crazy. The farthest I’ve managed to get my stubby little legs to go in one stretch was 3.1 miles. But I ran.

After second puberty (a little nightmare that slaps you in the face in your twenties but no one bothers to warn you about), I became very conscious of what I was eating. I discovered the connection between the kind of food I eat and my hormones, my digestion, my metabolism, my blood, my brain, and how they all work together to maintain a healthy system. Fad diets don’t cut it as far as nutritional needs are concerned. Food can be the best medicine. food was intended to be eaten, not avoided.

The girl who once wouldn’t touch anything not labeled “low fat” now reaches for the whole fat yogurt and milk at the grocery store. The girl who wouldn’t touch anything with starch now eats sweet potatoes by the pound (undoctored by brown sugar) because of their vitamin content. I discovered kale. I put spinach in just about everything. I buy flax seeds. I voluntarily eat oatmeal. I believe in eating steak and mashed potatoes. My taste for sweets has diminished with my increasing love of honey. I drink green tea instead of coffee. I use coconut oil for everything. I drink diluted apple cider vinegar. I believe in an apple a day. I dose dark chocolate as carefully as I might take ibuprofen. I eat scrambled eggs for dinner and bananas and peanut butter for dessert. I don’t count a single calorie or worry too much about the numbers on the scale. I’m done with feeling remorse when a certain size doesn’t fit.

My definition of a diet is going out and running 2.5 miles, doing a minute plank and 35 squats, stretching every muscle I can think of, then coming home, baking brownies made out of sweet potatoes, then eating half the pan without a lick of guilt.

I will never look like a supermodel, but I feel fantastic. If the jeans don’t fit now, it’s their own stupid fault, and that’s that.

The Hypocritical Hippie

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I eat clean, healthy, balanced meals consisting primarily of vegetables, occasionally eating whole grains and minimally processed meats.

I said nothing about how I snack.

I’ve tried to be good. I promise I have. I’ve tried to keep sugary, preservative-laden and heavily processed food out of my apartment. I refuse to buy prepackaged cookies, ice cream, dry cereal, crackers, potato chips, or anything too small or munchy. I’m a muncher, and those little calories count. And those little calories are always unnecessary.

I am not the kind of person who is always on a diet. I stopped counting calories ages ago. But I do gain weight very easily, and staying healthy is a part of good stewardship. The junk in snack foods will do long-term damage that I may not notice now, but I will notice later.

Also, I’m trying to make sure that I will still fit into my wedding dress, which fits like a glove.

But after Easter, a lot of chocolate snuck through the door. And pastries. And very, very carby food.

In theory, I could throw it away. But I have this deeply rooted moral opposition to throwing away any kind of food unless it’s gone bad. I offer treats to anyone who walks in the door–even strangers–but not everything is finding a happy home in someone else’s stomach.

All that to say, I just ate a slice of pound cake after offering it to every house guest I’ve had in the last two weeks. It wasn’t stale. It was really good. I couldn’t let it go to waste.

So now it’s going to my waist.

Munchies

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This has got to stop.

I’m a good girl all day. I start the morning with oatmeal. I go snackless until lunchtime, and lunch is almost always a salad with a glass of water and some kind of protein. I have an afternoon snack, go running, and then come back to the apartment for dinner, which is usually a fried egg and a smoothie.

Then, later that night, i eat the whole house.

I’m not hungry, per se. I just want to eat.

You see, I like food. I like wholesome food. I like organic produce and vegetable chips and salad. I like to eat. I exercise regularly not to lose weight, but to eat whatever I want within reason and with minimal guilt.

But I munch from 9 to midnight. Cereal here. Almonds there. Fruit over there. A little bit more and a little bit more.

I have a wedding dress to fit into.

This must stop.

Turmeric: the Wonder Spice

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In my neverending quest to find natural solutions to a pesky and unsettling hormonal imbalance (the details of which I will not here divulge), I have researched the medicinal capacities of hundreds of plants. Plants are powerful things, man. God knew we wouldn’t have conventional medicine for a long time, so He made plants to take care of us while we waited for things like penicillin.

The most recent one to come to my attention is turmeric root. Turmeric roots are ground into powder and are most commonly used in curries and other spicy Indian foods. The powder is orange, but has a distinctive yellow color when cooked.

Turmeric is a potent antifungal agent. It prevents bad bacteria and intestinal funguses (yes, you read that right, intestinal funguses) from latching on and taking root inside your system. It’s a potent natural painkiller when combined with ginger root. Made into a paste with whole milk (or coconut milk, for the lactose intolerant), it can be used a as a face mask that removes dark circles and sucks toxins from your pores. Some really…enterprising people use it to battle cancer sans chemo. (I will not go that far. If I get cancer, that sucker is getting pummeled by chemo, end of story.)

Turmeric has traditionally been used as a clothing dye. Its golden-yellow color found itself splashed over garments in India and other places where turmeric is grown. Once applied to fabric, that vibrant color would be irrevocably stained into its fibers.

And, thanks to an unfortunate cooking incident, the same will be true of the front of my favorite linen dress.

Bachelorette Life

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It really doesn’t get more bachelorette than this.

I spent the afternoon alone, passed out on the couch after watching two old episodes of Doctor Who. A cat curled up behind my knees and slept with me.

I went to church. I came back and put groceries in the refrigerator. Two bags. I cleaned cat boxes, then changed into slouchy clothing.

I scooped out a serving of chocolate coconut ice cream, which was promptly consumed. Followed by chips.

I’ve been watching Netflix for the last several hours.

Summer. Enjoy it while it lasts.

These Days, Saturdays

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I vaguely remember sleeping in. 

Now Saturdays are errand days. Thankfully, Saturdays also mean I get to wake up slowly and read a book while sipping coffee and eating breakfast in bed. Adulthood Saturdays don’t involve as much sleep as they have in my past. 

But Saturdays still mean fun. I get to play the grocery game. The goal is to buy enough food for the week for under fifty dollars. So far I’ve won every week. I have also lost weight. The two events are not necessarily connected. 

I also clean. Last week I cleaned the apartment from top to bottom, including dusting baseboards and scrubbing in dark and mysterious corners. I was done in 45 minutes. Small apartment, fewer mysterious corners. 

It’s not exactly relaxing. But I’m not in an office and I’m doing something physical for several hours. There’s lots of walking and kneeling and squatting and lifting. Saturdays are one long aerobics class that i don’t have to pay for. 

I just pay for the groceries. 

Seven Minute Wonder Chicken

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One of my goals for the summer is to learn how to cook healthy and cook fast. The cook healthy part is fairly easy–stick to simple, pronounceable ingredients and don’t use too much of them. The fast part–now that’s tricky.

Especially protein. I haven’t had much experience cooking meat until now. When I cooked at home, I made pies. Cookies. Occasionally tuna salad. But I didn’t cook meat. Mostly because I was afraid of doing it wrong and wasting good food, but now I figure if I don’t try, I’ll never learn. If it’s not bleeding or blackened, it’s edible.

But I don’t have much time for slow cookers. First off, I don’t own a slow cooker. I have two frying pans, two saucepans, two pots, two skillets, a lot of little baking dishes, and a muffin tin. Everything I cook needs to be cooked on the stove. And quickly. Once school starts, time will be of the essence. Sure, I’ll be able to do a lot of meals in the dining common, but for the meals I won’t get to stick around campus for, I’ll still want to eat good food.

So I figured out a formula for fast and tasty chicken that you can stick anywhere–on top of salad, rice, next to a baked potato, mixed in with noodles–anywhere at all. Notice I did not say “recipe.” Recipes involve precise measurements. Measurements work very well for architects and seamstresses, but this is food we’re talking about, here. I am not an architect or a seamstress. I am a starving artist graduate student who prefers things…”to taste.”

Also, I am my mother’s daughter and my grandmother’s granddaughter. They never measure anything, and their food is amazing.

For my fellow wanderers, here is my flexible formula for yummy and hasty chicken:

You’ll need a…

  • Non-stick frying pan
  • A non-metal spatula
  • Thawed chicken cut into strips (or chunks or cubes or whatever you have the patience for)
    • (As far as quantity goes, don’t heap the pan full of chicken. There should be enough to have all the pieces spread out in one layer in the pan and not stacked on top of each other.)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of an oil or oils of your choice. For example, you could use a tablespoon of olive oil, combine vegetable oil and sesame oil, have or a tablespoon of olive oil plus a tablespoon of coconut oil (tried that tonight–it was delish).
  • 2 powdered seasonings. For example, onion and garlic powder. A teaspoon-ish each. Again, to taste.
  • 1 ground leaf seasoning, about a teaspoon. For example, basil leaves or oregano.
  • Optional: chopped vegetable. Half an onion. A bell pepper. Zucchini. Whatever your soul desireth.

Heat the oils in the pan (on the stovetop–don’t stick the thing in the oven, boys) at maximum heat until they bubble or ripple. You do not, repeat NOT, want to see smoke. If you do, find the fire extinguisher, follow the instructions, then start over.

 Add the chicken. Take the spatula and push it around. Listen to that satisfying popping sound as the heated oils do their thing. Turn on the overhead oven fan. Just do.

You’ll notice the chicken starts to turn a frothy white. Add the spices. I just sort of sprinkle them generously. I like to keep my measuring spoons clean. If you wanted vegetables, toss those in now, too.

Continue pushing the chicken around, flipping it over occasionally to make sure the pieces get brown on all sides. You should notice less and less pink and more and more white and brown. The goal is to get rid of all the pink. Pink means food poisoning and a trip to the ER. No pink.

Toss on that leafy seasoning. Pretend you’re Julia Child. Or Emeril. Whoever you prefer.

When all the pink is gone (7-8 minutes of pushing around later), the chicken is done, and you have made yummy food. Hooray!

Now you can eat the chicken. Or put it in plastic wrap and a freezer bag and freeze it for later. Or stick it in Tupperware and refrigerate for tomorrow’s lunch.

It’s your chicken. You can fry if you want to.

8

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I can cook.

If you had asked me three years ago if I could cook, my answer would be a resounding “no.” I can bake. I make a mean peanut butter and jelly sandwich. My guacamole is pretty awesome. But I would have told you that no, under no circumstances can I cook. I will burn things. I will break things. I will create a royal and unspeakable mess. But produce something edible? Nope.

But after the first year, I thought, hey, this writing a post every day thing seems to be working out. I wonder what else I can do?

Once upon a time, I knitted things constantly. I had time. I was in high school. College destroyed my creativity. That’s just the name of the game. I still have drawers full of yarn waiting to be knit together with love, and I mean to pick it up and maybe get one project done before September.

I taught myself to knit. One lady showed me the two basic stiches that make knitting what it is. The rest of the stuff—color knitting, cables, knitting in the round, turning heels, gussets, intarsia, slip stitches, yarn overs—that I taught myself with the help of library books. I made fantastic things. Every summer I cranked out an absurd amount of knitwear. Socks were my favorite things to make.

So twenty-two-year-old me figured, hey, if I taught myself how to knit and if I can discipline myself to write a blog post every day, I can teach myself how to cook.

This time I had help. My mother’s a wizard in the kitchen. She comes from a long line of excellent cooks, cooks who didn’t bother with measuring cups or even recipes. A lot of my “teaching myself how to cook” is me hollering from the kitchen: “Mom, does this look done?” “Mom, does this taste right?” “Mom, how do you do so and so?”

And according to my dinner guests on Wednesday (parents and AB included), I finally know how to cook, cook wholesomely, and cook well.

I now can make a mean stir fry. 

And This Has Been “Cooking Adventures with Rizzy”

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Word to the wise: if you want to make an omelet, make sure that the hand-me-down cookware is actually still usable.

Of course, perhaps the only way to know if something is usable is to try using it. At least once.

My kitchen has an oven, complete with a four-range stovetop. So far I’ve only used it to boil water for tea, but that’s not nearly adventurous enough for me. No, sir.

Over vacation, I made my first omelet. I’d never tried before, although the theory was clear: an egg or two, a tablespoon of milk or half and half, combined and beaten with a fork and poured into non-stick pan with desired fillings. Create egg-pancake. Wait until the underside is cooked. Somehow flip it over. Cook other side. Eat.

With this in my head, I proceeded to grab the appropriate materials and create an omelet in the kitchen of my grandmother’s mountain cabin. The first try was a trifle messy, but good. The second was a picture-perfect, golden-yellow half-circle, a bit like the sun when it rises over the mountains. Tasted pretty good, too.

I thought about trying it again, only this time on the electric stove in my apartment. If you’re going to christen an oven, you might as well do it at breakfast.

I grabbed a pan. This pan was in my grandmother’s (the other grandmother—mother’s, not father’s side) kitchen for an undetermined length of time. I’m not sure how often it was used, but by the look of it I’d say that it received a fair amount of use in its heyday. A little dingy, but still a pan, and still omelet sized.

I got out a measuring cup and two eggs and proceeded with the whisking process while allowing a half cup of spinach to cook down in the aforementioned pan. I noticed that the spinach got a little browner than I was expecting quite a bit quicker than I was expecting.

(I will pause here to remind you that the only time I’ve ever made on omelet was on a gas stove in the mountains at an elevated altitude.)

Unperturbed (I am the kind to eat burnt popcorn, after all), I added the egg mixture, allowing it to pancake itself. I reached for a spatula. The only plastic one I own (I’m kitchen-savvy enough to know that metal spatulas on non-stick surfaces is a no-no) was too big to slip past the rim and under the omelet. I tried to flip the egg-pancake a la Julia Child, but I’m not her, nor will I ever be, and I’ve made peace with that. What I got was a wider egg-pancake that was quickly surrounding itself in a cloud of odd-smelling steam. We’ll call it steam.

I finally wedged the corner of the spatula under the omelet and flip part of it over. The underside was a lovely shade of charcoal. I got the rest of it flipped over, but the inside of my now egg-taco was still a bit runny and undone. I felt as if I had no choice but to press the charred hide of my omelet even closer to the floor of the pan in the hopes that it would squish its runny guts closer to the heat source.

Eventually I gave up and plopped the very black and firm Eggenstein onto my plate. Next to the burnt toast with peanut butter and sliced peaches. The toast burnt because I thought surely whole wheat will hold up to the same amount of heat as ciabatta, which I’d been toasting all this week. Apparently not.

Once I chewed past the burnt bits, the omelet was just fine. Ugly, but fine. I’m trying not to think about the amount of carcinogens I consumed. The highly suspect pan is being held for questioning. From now on the larger, newer non-stick pan will be doing the omleting in this household. The other might be good for sautéing vegetables. I’ll have to call in an expert to look at it, and by expert I mean my mother.   

Mug Memoires

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Part of the moving-out process is getting rid of things. I’ve gotten rid of clothing, odds and ends, and reams and reams of paper. I’m trying to minimize. There’s not a ton of space in that little apartments, and besides, if I’m going to be mobile I need as little stuff as possible tying me down.

But I can’t bring myself to get rid of the mugs.

I’m a warm beverage person. I like hot tea and coffee. I drink both in abundance. And you can’t drink tea or coffee without a mug.

I have a medium-sized eclectic collection of mugs. Every time I pull one from the cabinet, the sight of it and the feel of it in my hand brings back a host of pleasant memories.

Tonight’s choice is a Kelly green Fiesta Ware soup mug, or, as I have affectionately dubbed it, The Hobbit Hole Mug. (If you turn it upside down, it looks like a hobbit hole.) My parents bought it for me at a Mast General Store in North Carolina many, many summer vacations ago. It’s the mug I use when I need to think happy thoughts in spired by its bright color and associated dreams of North Carolina mountain breezes.

The mug I keep at my desk is the most ornate piece of pottery I’ve ever owned. It has a flared base that tapers before widening into a fuller shape, like the base of a fancy candelabra. It’s a deep cherry brown, except for the scrolled handle and rim, which is glazed in a dark metallic color. My friend gave it to me at my sixteenth birthday party, which was by far one of the awesomest parties I’ve ever been to. I use this mug when I need to think of my four closest friends, my dear sisters, with whom I’ve built so many castles in the clouds.

The mug I used for my morning coffee every day in the dorm is a simple, rounded square-rimmed mug with sloping sides and a simple, earthy brown-on-brown geometric design. When I received it, it had a blue plush bunny sitting inside it—an allusion to an acting role turned inside joke. It’s stable, warm, attractive, and surprising, much like the person who gave it to me. I use it whenever it’s not in the dishwasher.

There are so many more mugs, each full to the brim with memories. The black mug with my society’s Greek letters printed on it in green that I got as a freshman. The hand-warmer mug that has a pocket for your fingers instead of a handle that I wanted so badly and finally got for Christmas one year. The graduation gift I received from my employer. The purple mug with the spoon slot in the handle that matches mugs given to three of my other sisters.

It’s possible to sip a memory. I’ve tried and succeeded. Beautiful memories, like sips from a good cup of coffee, should be taken slowly.

How to Earn Gypsy Credentials

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Being a gypsy should be considered a legitimate career choice. By “gypsy” I mean someone who lives minimally and maximally all at once–someone who wanders because the world can’t be left unexplored, but improvises to cover the costs of the road. I’m pursuing professional gypsying as a lifelong career, and I’m trying to get experience in the field however I can. Here are a few tricks I learned in my recent travels.

  1. Live out of a backpack for a day or two.
  2. Use your musical instrument case as a chair.
  3. Be conversant in a language other than your own. You make more friends this way.
  4. Forget to brush your hair. Remember that braids cover a multitude of hair sins.
  5. And forget about makeup. And washing your face. Basically just stop caring about what you look like and enjoy yourself.
  6. Do yoga in public places. Like a hotel hallway.
  7. Accept your BO. I mean, take measures to prevent it, but don’t be disgusted when it happens. We all sweat.   
  8. Read and sing by a river. Alone or in a group.
  9. Wash your clothes in a sink. Line dry.
  10. Sterilize water with a kettle.
  11. Eat what you’re served and be grateful. Even if it’s pickled beets.
  12. Use only one pair of shoes for two weeks.
  13. Sleep on the floor in an airport. Bonus points if you use a scarf as a blanket.
  14. Write. Everything. Down.

Adventures make you do all kinds of unexpected things. I can’t wait to learn more!

 

Hitting the Road

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Our week of teaching is over. I’m tempted to say that it’s all downhill from here, but this is Croatia, where surprises wait around every corner and occasionally point radar guns at you.

Tomorrow we go hiking. Transporting eleven people in a nine passenger van has proven an interesting juggling challenge, but we’ve thrown an extra van into the mix to carry the two extra. Now, if we can just keep from being pulled over to have our papers checked by the friendly neighborhood policija we’ll be in good shape.

I will be glad for the exercise. I’ve not had or made the time to go running or do yoga. I feel like a hippo with gland problems. But tomorrow we;ll be hiking for hours, so I’ve got a lot of exercise to look forward to.

On to sleep, and to peaceful dreams. So long as my alarm gets me up in the morning.