Friday, April 30, 2010

heather, lately

Well, we made it through the 30 day Shred. I'll be honest. We didn't work out everyday... and I think Jillian took it out on us when we didn't. However, that said, we both look better. My clothes are a little too big right now. I need two new belts and I am actually exciting about the prospect of bathing suit season. Couple that with the possibility of us buying a boat, and I'd say we are pretty happy campers.

I'm not sure if I can continue on with Jillian exclusively, though. I like challenges and tend to get a little bored. Wednesday night, we went and played softball as part of our workout. It was awesome, but man, my shoulder was sore the next day. I think trying new things will help us find our niche.

It feel like it's been forever since I posted anything of real substance, so, while I'm on that kick, what about Grey's Anatomy? I'm thinking this new chick who's in love with Derek is going to become something from fatal attraction. Just a thought. Also, I miss Lexie and McSteamy.

I watched several good movies recently- The Young Victoria was AMAZING, and Law Abiding Citizen was good too, but a bit graphic in the beginning.

On the remodeling front, we finally got moved downstairs. I absolutely love my new bedroom. It's so much roomier, and I am having a blast adding to the decor down there. As a matter of fact, most of the things I got to decorate came from yard sales, which has become a near every weekend occurrence for Mark and I. Today we found a beefeater's lemonade jar (for the kitchen, obviously) and he got some great, brand new broiler pans.

I rode with Bill the other night up to Maryville College to see Kyle at the leadership awards ceremony. I'm so proud of him! He was elected most Outstanding Junior in his class. Of, like, the whole college. No small feat!

In sad news, I lost my cousin, Pat, to Picks disease this week. It was a long terrible battle, but I am happy she isn't suffering anymore. Our family is having her memorial service next weekend, on account for people coming from out of town (and country) to be here for it. She will be surely missed, but our loss is certainly heaven's gain.

To end on a higher note, softball season has started here in Kingston, and the fields are bursting with children. Mark's cousin Taylor is playing and we were able to catch her first scrimmage. Hoo, boy, she's got an arm! We're so proud of her, and I can't wait to see her in action again soon. It brought back so many fond memories of myself playing on that same field, in days that were a lot less encumbered by life's hurdles.

Ah.... to be young and free again.

*Slip Slidin' Away- Paul Simon


I want a new camera. It's not to say that I don't love my handy digital one, because I do. I just waaaaaaant a new camera. A fancy one. You know, one I can adjust by hand and not push buttons. I want one to play with. I an very open to suggestions. And, if you'd like to buy me one, I'd be verrrry open to that as well.

Happy weekend!

*For Every Evening- Jackson Browne

Thursday, April 22, 2010


My good friend got her hoo-hoo pierced today. On the side, not on the top. She asked me to come along for moral support. I was glad to accompany her, but now I have the bug. I have wanted a tattoo for sometime and being in Bryan's made me really get back on that bandwagon. Do you have a tattoo? Regrets? I'm all ears.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April's Loves

10. Greenery. You can really see the rolling hills right now. It's spectacular!
9.  remodeling my bedroom: pictures soon.
8.  Tofu Spaghetti: don't knock it 'till you try it.
7.  Bonfire season is upon us
6.  The love of my BFF COCO.
5.  Yard Sale-ing. I love to repurpose.
4.  Who's Line is it Anyway? Holla!!
3.  Strawberry Popsicle Daiquiri's
2.  New laptop
1.  spending warm afternoons with the nephew.

Honorable mention: The 30 Day Shred: I hate to workout, but as it turns out, I have abs, and bathing suit season is upon is. This is GOOD.

*The Allman Brothers Band- Ramblin' Man

less than perfect

This day has been one I am still trying to shake off. I work with a woman who is so fake that I literally have to take a deep breath before I speak to her, just so I won't yell at her. Most kinds of fake I can stomach. The fake voice of lady customers who pretend to be nice to you, when they really think you are beneath them. Fake compliments on your hair, when you know it looks like crap. Fake promises for that lunch date you know is never going to happen. Yes. I, like most people, I think, can handle those kinds of fake. The kind of fake I can't handle is the one where you know that everything that comes out of someones mouth is either a lie, a huge exaggeration or something they are making up as they follow other peoples conversations.

Honestly, that kind of fake is exhausting to listen to and watch. And really annoying. How do people like this survive? Do they continually have to get a new job so that when the other folk they work with have finally had enough and tell them to hit the road? Do they watch TV at night to arm themselves with new stories? or worst of all, do they not realize what they are doing? Unfortunately, I tend to think it's the latter of the bunch. This is so sad, but mostly annoying.

Does anyone bug you where you work? How do you deal with it?

*The White Stripes- Seven Nation Army

Sunday, April 18, 2010

new uses for old things

Yard Sales. My new favorite thing to do on Saturday morning. Last week, I found two srtange looking metal stands that I am going to be turing into flower pots. This week, I found a dress- (very 50's house wife) and a set of sheets that I used to turn an old coffee table into a bench at the foot of our bed.

We've decided to move downstairs. We have a king size bed that just barely fits into our bedroom. The bedroom downstairs is HUGE. So, I'm redecorating. Again. It's great that Mark loves me, or I might be afraid that I am really pissing him off with all of the moving. : )

In other redecorating news, Mark refinished an old Barn Table. It's Beautiful. No really. I can't wait to post pictures of it. You will love it too.

We were actually supposed to work on our "new" bedroom again today, but it's too nice to stay inside, so we're making other plans.

Enjoy your week.

*Joe's Head- Kings of Leon

technological advances

We're so behind. We finally got cable, as I mentioned a few weeks back. About a week ago, we got a laptop. I think we've been so wrapped up in home improvement projects that we've let everything else slide.

As far as cable goes, our package only includes channels 1-99. So far, Whose Line is it Anyway is the only actual show I have found that I have really missed, and it doesn't air until midnight. Networks however, are a little bit different. I love Animal Planet and the Food Network, along with Spike and USA. Why can't we just choose the cannels we want and not have any of the rest? I think our perfect recipe would include the afore mentioned stations and add, Showtime, Sci-Fi (for Mark) and maybe even a little ESPN (for football season). Aside from that, I haven't stumbled across anything I can't live without.

The laptop, is a different story. As I write this, I am sitting out on my back porch. It's Sunday morning, the dogs are snoozing and I am enjoying the birds chirping and the crisp, cool air that's filtering through my screened in porch. It's LOVELY. That's putting it mildly. I love it. The only thing that would make it better, I think, would be if I liked coffee. (It's a little cool this morning!) The greatest part about the laptop, is I can be outside using it and not feel guilty. I used to try an imitate this weather inside by throwing the windows in the office open. It's not the same. I can smell the leftover smoke from last nights campfire and I can see the dogs baking themselves like lizards just outside the screen door.

happiness... is a laptop on the backporch.

Also, something I am going to try to start including in my posts: what I am listening to at the time... I leave you with:

*Little Boxes: Malvina Reynolds

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

here's what I'm thinkin'

Is there anything you realize you say too often? Mark and I were sitting in Subway tonight and I was explaining the finer points of the universe to him when the following conversation took place:

Me: "Here's what I'm thinking:  I'll use recipes from different websites and get really creative. It's too bad I don't like to cook, or I would probably be a good one."

Him: " what you need to do is get all zannied up and get in the kitchen."

Me: "yeah, I'll get all zannied up and make a grocery list for you..."

Him: " it would probably be just a big list of movies and you would be all crossed eyed trying to explain to me why you gave me a list of movies as a stand in for the grocery list."

Me: "here's what I'm thinking.."

Him: "you know you say that a lot"

Me: "What?"

Him: "you always say, 'here's what I'm thinking', you  know?"

Me: "I do?"

Him: "yeah."

Me: "remind me of that when I get home."

Him: Why?

Me: " 'cause I'm gonna blog it."

Him: "Why?"

Me: "Because this conversation is too damn random and funny not to."

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

on life being short

16 years ago, I was a freshman in high school. It's hard to believe that many years have gone by since my first day at Roane County High. One of the teachers that was most talked about before entering high school was Judy Wassom. In all honesty, most of what I heard about her were horror stories. I heard about how she screamed a lot. I heard her class would be one of the hardest I would sit through in all 4 years of high school. I heard I would love to hate her. Only part of these things were true. I believe I had Honors English with her 5th period. I spent the entire first day thinking, "how bad is it going to be?."

On the first day of class Mrs. Wassom told us these things: "I only have 5 rules:

1. Come in, sit down, shut up.

2. Be on time.
3. Do NOT click pens.
4. Failure to do so... Wassom War.
5. If you get caught cheating, you will get an F for the semester."

The woman meant buisness and I was terrified of her. At this point in my life, I was only just beginning to become more of an individual. I had started painting my fingernails strange colors, wearing bell bottoms and shopping vintage. Mrs Wassom took note of my greenish yellow nail polish one day, telling me that it looked like my fingernails were oozing pus. Oddly, that strange statement linked us and after that I wasn't as scared of her. She moved me to "Siberia" after that for talking. I only wish I could remember who I was talking to that whole time! (My memory has failed me on this account!) Prehaps it was Dylan. Shortly thereafter, I was moved again to Mongolia, which was closer to her desk where I could be kept a careful watch over. Mongolia was the most delightful place ever. I guess a lot of people would say being moved there was a bad thing, but it enabled me to special perks. I got to untangle a ball of Christmas lights that looked like the ones from Christmas vacation, and I also got to leave class and get things for her a lot.

There was also the dreaded literary test at the end of the year. Mrs. Wassom's claim to fame. I thought about this 3 days ago when I heard of her passing. I still remember so many, and it's all thanks to her. Mrs. Wassom was the kind of educator who was HARD on students. She made it tough on purpose, telling us "life is hard, so why should we make anything easy?"

My tribute to Mrs. Wassom: The novels and their authors: the ones I still know by heart.

The Great Gatsby:  F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Red Badge of Courage: Stephen Crane
Pride and Predjudice: Jane Austen
Dracula: Bram Stoker
Moby Dick: Herman Melville
Robinson Curusoe: Daniel Defoe
Call of the Wild: Jack London
The Jungle Book: Richard Kipling
Odyssey: Homer
The Scarlett Letter: Nathaniel Hawthorne
War and Peace: Tolstoy

I have run into Mrs. Wassom several times over the years since I left high school, and each time she was happy and pleasant and always interested in what I had been doing. The last time I saw her was Saturday for a baby shower. She looked fantastic and was kind as ever.

Small maybe, but I owe these to her. May you rest in peace Mrs. Wassom, and thank you for your undying devotion to Literature.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tuna Burgers and Avocado Fries

                                                                                                                                                                           In keeping with the effort we are making to eat healthier and to get into better shape, tonite, Mark I had a fantastic (yet healthy) meal. One more worthy of sharing than anything else I've cooked so far. I'm happy to report that avocado fries will be on the menu in our house forever more!

Tuna Burger and Avocado Fries with Wasabi Mustard

Tuna Burger: (we bought ours already marinated and put together at Earth Fare, but this recipe is great!)
Ingredients- serves 4

1 lb sushi grade Ahi Tuna
2 tbsp low-sodium tamari (soy sauce)
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp wasabi paste
1 lime – zested
squeeze of lime juice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro – chopped
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper


Chop the tuna into chunks and add to a food processor. Pulse a few times to break down tuna.
In a large mixing bowl add olive oil, tamari, lime juice and zest, cilantro, ginger, S&P. Mix and add to tuna. Blend until well combined, (1 minute approx) mimicking ground meat.
Form into 4 x 4oz burgers. Preheat large non-stick saute/grill pan on medium heat for 1 minute. Sear burgers for 2 minutes each side for rare or longer for more well done. Serve with fresh sprouts and avocado on a toasted whole wheat bun.

Avocado Fries: (We substituted Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Eggs)

Canola oil for frying (again we used EVO)
1/4 cup flour
About 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
1 1/4 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
2 firm-ripe medium avocados, pitted, peeled, and sliced into 1/2-in. wedges

1. Preheat oven to 200°. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 1/2 in. oil until it registers 375° on a deep-fry thermometer.
2. Meanwhile, mix flour with 1/4 tsp. salt in a shallow plate. Put eggs and panko in separate shallow plates. Dip avocado in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in egg, then panko to coat. Set on 2 plates in a single layer.
3. Fry a quarter of avocado slices at a time until deep golden, 30 to 60 seconds. Transfer slices to a plate lined with paper towels. Keep warm in oven while cooking remaining avocados. Sprinkle with salt to taste.

We also grilled Mushrooms to top our burgers with and as you can tell from the picture, I served it with the sprouts and some red onion as well. I left the tomato on the side and topped with the Wasabi Mustard. We used the mustard to dip our fries in, too.


Sunday, April 4, 2010


What should I try this month from my 100 things list?

1 through 99

that's right, folks. Tomorrow, we get cable. Are there any shows we need to know about? We haven't had real cable in like, 5 years.

It's like we've been living on a mountain for five years and Mark's got a beard as long as he is tall and I never cut my hair, so now I look like rapunzel.


2 days with my FAVORITE boy

Ryan spent two days with us because Holly had some minor surgery. Here's the highlight reel.

-Getting so big!

-On an adventure with Magoo...

-Having pizza with Olivia and Courtney

-Feeding the ducks

-Playing at the park

-Ice cold popcicles to cool off

-Having a cheeseburger with Uncle Mark

-A dynamic duo.. my sweet nephew...
love you, little man!

veggies aren't just for vegetarians

I believe Mark and I have really turned the corner on this diet thing. We threw our scale out, so I have no idea how much weight we've lost. At this point, I'm not sure I care.

Physically, I feel so much better. We've been eating really good food that's really good for you. We're still limiting our carb intake, but we're not sweating it.

Here's a "recipe" to share. It what we've been eating a lot of:

1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper, 1 green pepper, 1/4 an onion- sliced, 1 yellow squash, 1 Zuccinni.
Cut up ingredients and toss in olive oil, cilantro, salt and pepper. Grill or sautee.

This stuff goes with everything and tastes delicious. Eat it.

I like to add a little cayenne pepper to ours as well. With a meal like chicken and veggies, that really spices things up. These veggies also go great with mexican. Just use low carb tortillas and some jalapeno cheese, and presto.. you have chicken quesadillas with grilled veggies. Delish!

Week 1 Shred

We're still alive. We 'shredded' 6 out of 7 days this week. Not bad. We were both really sore for the first 4 days. By the fifth day we hit our stride. The 30 day Shred has 3 levels. We've decided we'll do each level for 10 days. So, on Thursday, we start level 2. I'm guessing Jillian is going to kick our asses once again.

I'll report back next Sunday again, hopefully.

That's assuming my arms are still working.  : )
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