Infamous History and such

Took another shot at the downtown Farmer’s Market. It appears okra and squash are still growing strong. Get it, get it. Busy as ever (clearly I mean the market, not me), I knew exactly what I was looking for this time so no wine samples. Oh the travesty.

Courtesy of The Odd Duck Coffee Co. and BCocoa

Since it was a beautiful 80° out, coffee in hand, I walked around some in search for other treasures.

Chocolate shop silliness

Wichita Falls has much history and artifacts to be explored. Trains are fascinating to me because, much like ships, it’s hard to understand their magnitude until you get closer.

Unidentified tourists (with permission)

Unbeknownst to many, WF is home to the world’s littlest skyscraper. Could be worse, I guess. Standing an astounding 40 feet tall, built in 1919, the story behind this ‘skyscraper’ is quite fascinating. Knowing my own storytelling abilities, I’ve included a link so you can read for yourself: https://www.timesrecordnews.com/story/news/local/2018/06/19/wichita-falls-story-behind-worlds-littlest-skyscraper/715470002/

Officially on the map

I also stumbled upon not one but two local shops to return to with my mini love. Peddling their wares of cupcakes and gelato, respectively, October is sure to be an exciting month!

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I ask you –

Anyone else have a vested interest in downtown character?

Is your city/town known for such an obscure reason?

Name your favorite local coffee shop!

Feels Like the 6th Week of the Month

As expected, the first week back from paradise was a trying time. There’s some, but not a lot, of exaggeration here. On the drive home, I went ahead and put my healthier eating plan in motion so while everyone else ate hamburgers I chose the salad. I love salads so this wasn’t truly a hardship. My plan isn’t full on vegetarian. Let’s face it, I love seafood and chicken. And the occasional ribeye. However, adding loads of colorful fruits and veggies to my diet fits right into my heart.

Semi-keto (because I’m still marathon training and carbs are key) with the addition of mainly plant based lunches seems doable for me. I’m also trying to support and encourage my other half to be healthier. And overall I want to experience the energy I used to have.

Cilantro, not pictured

As for work, I’ll be sifting through 300 emails for a few days. Not to mention end of FY20 tasks I’ve never done before. No one answers anymore when I call. I also returned on time card week so that’s a real joy. How difficult can it really be to load your time into a system? Apparently it’s an undertaking unlike anything anyone has ever seen. You wish to be paid? Load your time!!

No drastic changes to my workout schedule. After fully taking off the week, I awoke Monday ready to return to my second happy place. Surprisingly the gym was empty and I took advantage of it! When my mini is home, it’s too easy to find a million reasons not to get up and workout or forgo the post-workday run but my pep talk includes the reminder she needs to see my dedication for my goals.

Running buddy

Besides, her joy comes from “running” with me once my miles are complete. This is a good indicator I’m doing something right.

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I ask you –

Is it just me or does the first week back feel like the longest?

How much anxiety do you get from seeing hundreds of unread emails? I think my heart stops beating just considering it.

Tell me about some activities you and your child(ren) do/did together!

Flora y Fauna y Comida

I considered writing this post in Spanish, but figured no one but me would appreciate the work. How ungrateful!

As threatened, this is the post of vacation food, flowers, and whatever other randomness I can find. Because if I don’t memorialize it here, what kind of blogger would I be? Don’t answer that.

All the flowers

The above are all phone photos – apologies on the quality. Below are from my camera. Keep scrolling, you’re not finished yet!

My dearest mother in law (affectionately referred to as Nanners) would have chopped off her right arm to be able to transplant these back to N. Texas. Fat chance. With nightly rainfall, 148% humidity, and sandy soil, these flowers are best suited to their current conditions. Besides, it’s less for me to kill.

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I ask you –

Do you speak other languages? Bonus points for pig latin and smartassery.

How many photos of flowers do you have on your phone?

Coffee v Alcohol. Pick your poison!

Grassy Colors

Just as often as I crave sweet treats, my body craves vegetables. Ok, maybe not “just” as often. I enjoy my workday lunch of grilled chicken salad. Really, I do! But as it continues to heat up outside, I find myself seeking out new recipes for Brussels sprouts, green peppers, and fresh corn. If I didn’t love meat and fish, I would find it easy to subscribe to a vegetarian way of life. The more colors the better! There’s very few I don’t enjoy; then again you can fry anything and I’ll most likely eat it.

Shades of green

Perhaps it’s way off, but I once had a headache for a month while on a long underway. 30. Straight. Days. Sure, the Navy isn’t known for being relaxing, but no amount of rest, ibuprofen, or caffeine helped. Eventually diagnosed with migraines, I thought for sure that was the end of it, but it took some time to realize my nutrition played a large role. Onboard the ship, the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables begins to lag as time goes on. Naturally things spoil. And no matter how much iceberg lettuce I would eat, the headaches would return. Much research has been done on the link between what we eat and migraine triggers, although I’ve heard more about chocolate and some “-hypnols” than anything else. Maybe I’m on to something.

Veggie Scramble

Call it what you will: placebo effect, wishful thinking, whatever you like. However, intuitive eating is possibly more important than anything else. When my body has had enough cookies, I know. And when it says hold up lady it’s time for greenery, again, I listen. Thankfully I was raised with a deep appreciation for fresh-from-the-garden wares (although I suck at gardening). My parents would spend weeks cooking and canning fresh salsa, okra, and pickled everything. Oddly enough to me, many children aren’t exposed to this natural, live off the land upbringing now. Even then it was becoming obvious this way of life was falling by the wayside. Long gone times.

On a lighter note, my strengths include shelling purple hulled peas and endlessly complaining about ants. But…if you need some help pulling weeds or over-watering your plants, I’m your girl. Pay no attention to me stealing your vegetables.

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I ask you –

On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you love vegetables?

Name your favorite veggies!

Did you have a childhood garden or know someone who did?

Making Changes

A game changer for sure. This short documentary shocked my whole system. I know I’ve previously mentioned intuitive eating, but making the switch to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle is something I’ve never considered. Until now.

Remember the post a few weeks ago (or was it just last week?) where I mentioned craving vegetables? It’s gotten worse. If you can even imagine. I literally can’t get enough. Bizarre at best. And it’s been surprisingly easy to not eat meat. My usual post-run veggie scramble was a little tricky though. The urge to add eggs almost derailed me, but with a quick reminder all the protein I truly need is found in the vegetables I added.

Bell pepper, spinach, cilantro, and tomatoes. And a peach

I ordered a salad and felt no desire to add chicken. During a chili dog dinner, at the request of mini me, I made a Frito chili pie instead. Yes, chili is often made of meat, but baby steps. Not sure where this journey is taking me – I’m just along for the ride. The strange looks among a family of carnivores is slightly unnerving. They’ll get over it. Can you imagine my first Thanksgiving as vegetarian?! Oh the mutiny. Although why it’s anyone else’s business I’ll never know. Moving on…

Clearly I have no timeline for this rather large change. The best information I’ve read is to start slow: substituting meatless meals or meatless days, then gradually crossing over to entirely no meat. To be frank, I have no problem with animals and my basis is not about animal rights (if this is your viewpoint, great!). I’m most interested in the physical and performance variations of those who consume animal proteins and those who do not. My research has taken me down some winding roads concerning blood quality, inflammation, and arterial dilation post-animal protein consumption. It does make sense most animals eat plants; therefore, a plant-based diet is the foundation for all creatures. Why should my body not thrive in this same environment providing I ingest enough proteins, carbs, and other essential elements from plants? And even if I don’t see a measurable difference, what have I wasted except my own time? But what if I learn to fly?!?!

I’m soliciting advice from other non-meat-eating peoples. Send them my way!

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I ask you –

Have you watched the documentary? What was your take on it?

Is this a crazy idea? Can’t be any worse than my others.

Share your thoughts on vegetarians because we all know the stereotypes exist.

Local Event and Saturday Morning Wine

Do not ride

After some deep thinking (and a radio bit I caught on the way to the gym), it rings true those without a sense of community have a harder time coping with life in general. By community I mean feeling included in what’s going on your local area, as well as the ability to impact any decisions made within. Feeling a little like being on the fence, a community event I’ve been wanting to explore is the market of farmers!

Tables of wares

There’s something innocent yet thrilling about waking up early to ditch your run until later in the day in order to peruse fruits and vegetables. Not everyone feels this way? Why not? I also heard there would be jam, jelly, and fruit pops. Count me in! P.S. I did not forgo the run. It was a very long day. More on that later.

My loot included a huge basket of juicy peaches from a local orchard (Morath Orchards) and 3 small, round lemon cucumbers. The lovely woman whose parents own the farm from which they were picked said the rind does have a lemony taste, the seeds are delicious, and they’re much better than any “normal” cucumber she’s ever tasted. I’ve always been on the fence about cucumbers, but I do enjoy English cucumbers so I decided to try something new.

Mr. Scott Poenitzsch of Horseshoe Bend Cellars Vineyard and Winery

What community doesn’t include wine?! I knew this was a great idea! The real beauty is the fact Horseshoe Bend Cellars is less than 5 miles from my home. Yes, I knew they were close but I hadn’t yet made it a priority to visit and now with the strange times we live in I’ve only prolonged my ability to frequently visit. From what I was told, the owners regularly host murder mystery events which include wine and dinner and all the mayhem one can expect at a winery. I can’t wait to attend!

You can find me here every Saturday for the foreseeable future. I’ll be the one stumbling about – wine glass in one hand and peach pops in the other. I’m kind of hard to miss.

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I ask you –

When was the last time you visited the Farmers Market?

Name your preference: fruits or vegetables?

Tell me what community means to you.

Eat, Sleep, Run

“…I don’t like training. I love competing.”

Usain Bolt, Olympic Gold Medalist
Available on Netflix

It can be a struggle to find a show both inspiring and fast paced to get me through a run. I Am Bolt did it for me. Highly recommend!

On another note, can it just be winter now? Between the heat and the occasional rain which makes it unbearably humid, Texas is shaping up to be exactly how I remembered it. Think showering outside with all your clothes on. In the desert. That’s my take on it.

My grocery bill skyrockets during a training cycle. All I do is meal prep, eat, think about what I’m eating next, and plan when to eat. A whole different type of cycle. And the sweets! Running makes my sweet tooth crowd out the boundaries.

A sleep schedule is the biggest joke though. Working from home means I’m not required to go to bed at any decent hour. So I don’t. Who am I? 10pm, 11pm, whatever time I finally feel like closing my eyes. Because it’s not like I’ve done much during the day so it’s no surprise I’m not tired. Repeat daily until bedtime is a thing of the past or we return to a “normal” world. Whichever comes first.

I watch a lot of cooking shows…while running…and find myself getting sleepy. If only these 3 things could fall in line.

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I ask you –

Name your top 3 daily activities.

What’s the average temperatures where you are?

Do you have a regular bedtime? What about the weekends?

All the Randomness

Anyone else have a deep love for burnt foods? I can already tell this is an unpopular opinion. Burnt tortillas, popcorn, bread. Maybe it’s just a carb preference? Burnt meat is no bueno though.

Cheese quesadilla

I like to play this little game where I stress out about future events. For example, I realized I will one day be responsible for teaching my child how to drive. I’m a great driver so that isn’t the problem. Don’t hold the totaled car against me; there were a lot of factors and not all of them were under my control. The concern is my need for perfectionism. And control. Let’s focus, shall we? To think I will have to calmly sit in the passenger seat while she drives is unnerving. Literally, I feel my heartbeat speeding up as I consider it. I’m sure it will be fine. Side note: Dear Mini’s Father, this is not an invitation for you to take the reigns. I’m perfectly capable to ensure my sweet love will be a conscientious, safe driver. Under no circumstances are you entitled to take this life lesson upon yourself. Don’t get it confused. I know where you live.

Lastly, unless allergic to the key ingredients, I can think of no reason why someone would not love banana pudding. It’s iconic! My Southern roots (Pause. Roots autocorrected to toots and if that doesn’t tell you who I spend most of my time thinking about, then I don’t know what will. Unpause.) demand I make this tasty dish at least twice a year. But why stop there?!

It’s work to make sure I keep the random posts to a minimum because I can’t count the number of times in a single day I consider sharing what pops up in my head. Trust me, I’m doing you a favor.

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I ask you –

What’s your take on burnt foods?

Bets on how many nights’ sleep I will lose and gray hairs I will earn when my mini is of age to start driving? The gray has already started and I don’t sleep the best anyway so please be lenient.

Name your favorite classic dessert! And share the recipe, too!

Some things

Reading of other great moms and parents who devote themselves to their children’s artistic and mind-blossoming activities, I decided to jump on the proverbial bandwagon. I promptly fell off. In January, we began asking my knowledge-thirsty, small human what her favorite part of the week was. Each Sunday, I pose the question, then draw her memory on a much-too-small piece of paper, date it, then drop it into the unicorn bucket. Mostly, she recalls whatever was done within the past 48 hours; occasionally she surprises me with something from earlier in the week. Let’s be real. It’s my job to remind her of the week’s highlights then she chooses.

I believe it’s going well! The plan is to read all 52 weeks sometime around New Years. Give or take. The joke has become “She tried her best!” I’m the ‘she’ and, yes, I do my try my best but clearly I’m no artist.

My animals look like their evil counterparts and even the stick figures are lacking in depth. I can draw a really great tree, though! Is there anyone who can’t? Nonetheless, maybe I’ll look back on this upon the great unveiling of each week and see how my skills have improved. Just in case, I’m not holding my breath. You shouldn’t either.

Bring on the tacos!

Anyone else have a love affair with cilantro? I absolutely understand it’s a love/hate relationship with this particular greenery. You either believe it is heaven sent or it is what one may envision Dawn dish soap tastes like. I’m of the former. Small favors. Interestingly enough, there was a short period in my life where I was an unwilling participant in cilantro’s soapy side effects.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved cilantro. Raw, in foods (hello, salsa!), I would eat it to my taste buds’ content. However, during pregnancy, and unbeknownst to me, something awful happened. As I sat down to eat one night, I placed a heavy dose of cilantro on my taco, took a bite, and probably made the worst face of my life. Hubby, who can’t stand cilantro in any form, looked appalled. As I stuttered and mumbled along the lines of “It tastes like soap”, I registered complete sadness. I wanted to cry. How could my beloved cilantro turn on me? And during my time of need!

For many months post-pregnancy, I recounted the terrible taste, afraid to try it again. What if it never returned to normal? As anticlimactic as this post is, it should be clear now that my love for cilantro returned. I’ve never had another soap experience. Hallelujah. But all this does lend itself to the fascinating way our bodies and hormones work together.

So what’s the moral of the story? Draw pictures, laugh at yourself, and, for the most daring, try cilantro again.

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I ask you –

Do you have any talents, hidden or otherwise?

Name your most/least favorite vegetable.

Thoughts on cilantro? Bonus points if you’ve been through a similar situation.