Sunday, November 29, 2009

Decking the Halls

Christmas decorations went up today! I love this time of year.

Thanksgiving kicks off a season of love, giving, sharing, family and of course, over-the-top holiday cheer. Our house welcomes decorations from all walks of life.

From a church garage sale Minnie Mouse...

to stockings made with tender loving care.

From candy bowls filled with the gummy, the chocolaty and the old timey...

to a beautiful Czech Nativity scene given as a wedding gift.

(I love the three kings!)

This is our eighth Christmas together (our third as an old married couple) and I love that our collection of holiday decorations grows along with our memories.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Saturday night Mr. Z and I enjoyed the local art scene. We went to a play downtown called "The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940." It was a really funny murder mystery set (obviously) in the 40s. My good friend Jake's boyfriend stole the show as an uptight, mustachioed music director named Roger Hopewell. Seriously, take a look at that stache!

Live theatre is such a basic, yet magical form of entertainment. We enjoyed ourselves so much, I wonder why we don't make a point of getting out and seeing local productions more often. It's not like Madison is lacking options. Perhaps I'm making my way to a New Year's resolution!

In other, less interesting news, I had an egg white omelette sandwich for breakfast. It was pretty tasty!

I'm still tracking my units and trying to exercise. I'm down five pounds from when I began this adventure at the start of the month. As we all know, this week is a beast. Unfortunately Thanksgiving usually markes the begining of a one month eating binge. So, I'm going to try really hard to keep things under control... ugh, why is it so hard?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Giving Thanks

Turkey Day is my dad's favorite holiday. That's my dad in the picture above, with my great-grandmother at her 104th birthday party. She's in heaven now, but my dad is in Green Bay...probably defrosting a turkey. So anyway, each year Mr. Z and I head to Titletown for a day of fun, family and of This year is no different and in anticipation of this wonderful feast, I thought I would start a list of things I am thankful for.
  • A wonderful husband who transfers the butterscotch candies and hair bands from the passenger door pocket of his trade in to his brand new car just for me.
  • A wonderful, loud, crazy family that loves and supports each other very much.
  • Pixie, Ted, Paulette, the poodles and all of the other creatures at Harmony Horsemanship.
  • Amazing, smart, witty friends from all different times and places of my life.
  • Good health.
  • Health insurance.
  • Food in the pantry and fridge.
  • A stable job.
  • A cozy home filled with warmth and nice things.
This is a good start. What are you thankful for this year?

Oh yeah, I'm also thankful for the "New Moon" date the H ladies have planned for the day after Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Life Goal: Canter Bareback

CHECK! I can't believe it! Today I cantered bareback on Drifter, one of the lesson horses at Harmony Horsemanship. Not only was I bareback, but I was riding with a one reign rope hackamore (no bit). It was the sweetest feeling.

I'm not a huge goal setter, but I've had a goal of cantering bareback for over a year. And I did it! Now, granted, I cantered on Drifter, a lovable quarter horse (quarter horse = Oldsmobile). And my ultimate goal is to canter bareback on Pixie, who is half arabian (arabian = Ferrari). This is a great start though!

Here is a two-minute video (my first video in iMovie nothing fancy!) that documents today's progress from walk to trot to canter. Wooohooo!

Have a good night!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Biggest Fan Friday is back!

This little lover just learned to blow kisses to herself in the mirror. Her sweet momma is teaching her to love herself and respect herself. She is becoming her own BIGGEST FAN (even though she has lots of other fans out there)!

Take an extra minute or two (or ten) today to think about what makes you so fantastic. Because you are, you know. You are the only you. And you are strong and beautiful and smart. And you owe it to yourself to recognize your greatness. And guess what... as soon as you start paying attention to how awesome you are, everyone else will too.

Now lets be clear. I'm not talking about walking around thinking you are better/hotter/funnier than everyone else. I'm not talking about dominating a conversation about how silky and shiny your hair is. Because that's not fantastic and great and awesome.

I'm talking about self-reflection, walking tall, smiling at strangers and embracing your uniqueness. Being proud of who you are, while at the same time recognizing that each person deserves to feel that same way about themselves. Respecting yourself and others. That's what being your own biggest fan is all about.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gimme a "P!" Gimme an "O!" Gimme an "M!"

A couple of weeks ago Mr. Z and I were introduced to pomegranates by neighbor Molly. We had Molly over for dinner while her Mister was in Japan. We started talking about weird foods and pomegranates came up. Mr. Z and I both commented that we'd never had one so she dashed across the driveway and brought back one of her own to share with us. They are crazy fruits!

First she scored it into quarters.

Then she cracked it open.

It was so beautiful!

The arils are the little red fleshy guys that you eat. There is a tiny (edible) seed in each one. You have to dig through this funky skin to get them out.

The juice stains (and squirts) very easily so take care when fumbling around with them. They are kind of like popcorn, you can either eat them one at a time, or shove a handful into your mouth at once. I recommend the shoving method (with pomegranates and popcorn).

These little jewels are delicious. They taste like sweet, sweet cranberries. Yum! They are definitely worth the work. You can toss them on salads, throw into oatmeal, add them to cottage cheese. The opportunities are endless!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sweet Tater Love

I'm back! My aunt Anne inspired me to start writing again. Life has gotten pretty busy, and when it gets busy I get stressed, and when I get stressed I get lazy. But really blogging is something that relaxes me, so I should MAKE time for it , right?

I planned on visiting Pixie tonight and when I left work just after 4:00 it was already dark! It was so dark and drizzly I almost didn't go. But I hadn't seen Pixie for almost a week, so I hit the rush hour traffic and 20 minutes later I was pulling up to the barn. It was actually really pretty in the blue-gray mist.

Earlier this year Farmer Ted discovered MyMenu. He occasionally rants and raves about the various products he gets hooked on. Since I love to cook from scratch so much, I rarely tune in to these reviews. However, today he started talking about their sweet potato fries. And I LOVE sweet potato fries, they are probably in my top ten favorite foods of all time. I told him they sounded delicious and would check them out if I ever found myself in the store.

After working with Pixie indoors for a bit I took her out for a walk down the long, paved driveway. It actually turned out to be a beautiful night. I mean it's the middle of November and I wasn't wearing a winter coat! On our way back Ted met us by my car with a plate of piping hot sweet potato fries (he has a FlavorWave... I hadn't heard of it either... click on the link... seriously... Mr. T?!) Anyway, what a treat!

(yes that is his gum on my car and yes he put it back in his mouth)

Pixie of course, couldn't wait to get some of these tasties in her mouth. She eats anything. But as it turned out, she wasn't a huge fan. In fact, she passed after the first bite. Very surprising. She'll eat her own poop, but not sweet potato fries. Ain't she special?

I bet we cleared the plate in under a minute. They were SO GOOD! I guess I know what I'm going to buy if I ever find myself in a MyMenu.

So it turned out to be a great night: me and my gal, crisp autumn weather and sweet tater love.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tracking My "Units"

That's right "units." I'm definitely not pirating a well known weight loss program and bypassing the ridiculous membership fees to go it on my own. Nope. Not me. Today I started counting. You know what I mean... fat, calories, fiber... counting... units. I've successfully followed this program twice in the past. I've also successfully gained most of the weight back. There seems to be a magic number for me, a number I see on the scale that sends me running for the skinny cow ice cream snacks and no pudge brownies. And I've hit it. It actually might not be the number, it might be how I look in pictures, or how my clothes (don't really) fit. In any case, I'm there. So wish me luck!

In addition to tracking my calorie intake, I've started tracking my running routes and today I ran 2.28 miles! This is a huge accomplishment for me! I don't remember the last time I ran more than a mile. 

So overall today was a great day. That's all you can ask for right? Good night! 

(p.s. Happy fall!)