Life Lately, Weird Edition

Hi friends!

Please ignore the fact that I’m behind on my blogging. To be completely honest, I have no excuse other than I’ve been struggling with some nasty headaches and their side effects. They leave me feeling drained and with little to no motivation. I’ll discuss them more in another post.

In the moments I’m not dealing with said migraines/side effects, I’ve been juggling race planning, helping with Bistro to-do items, running, catching up with friends, cooking and squeezing in moments of quality time with Farmer Ben…and you know, regular life and work stuff.

As a result, I just haven’t had the urge to sit down and blog. And I haven’t felt that I’ve had much to say.

Life is kind of weird right now…and I’m trying to wrap my head around it.

Here is some of what is happening:

For a long time, I’ve worked my regular job and then worked job number 2 at least three nights a week…typically more. I’ve had a routine that required a lot of planning and remembering, keeping my work clothes and shoes in the car and trying to keep a somewhat set schedule… but a few weeks ago my time at job number 2 ended.

I knew it would happen sooner or later…but…The circumstances were bizarre and although issues were resolved I can’t really explain how or why. I will say that my tenure was up at least a month before I was planning on it. In the end, I left on a good a note, so it worked out.

As a result, I have some unexpected free time…kind of.

I’m NOT used to just going home after work, to having a somewhat flexible schedule in the evening.  I am not a schedule oriented person, but I also don’t do well if I have a lot of free time. Needless to say, it feels weird to be finished work at 5 PM.

Granted, this will be short-lived once the bistro opens, but its been a period of adjustment. It feels a bit like… limbo.

I’m savouring this time, however, because I know in a few short weeks, the nights where Ben and I can sit down to dinner together will be few and far between.

I’ve enjoyed being able to come home and cook something delicious for the two of us. Or being able to rent a terrible movie and hang out with a glass of wine…and being able to go to bed before 10pm if the mood strikes.

I’ve also used the free hours I have to get some race details taken care of and to get out and connect with some sponsors. I’m constantly amazed at how generous people are. Have I mentioned this before?!

In addition, because spring is finally here, I’ve been able to squeeze in some runs after work.

This week, Farmer Ben used my car to run errands and such. This forced me to either run to his workplace (~4 miles) to catch a ride home or to stay cooped up in my office to catch up on little things for a couple of hours until he picked me up.

As it is finally above freezing, I’ve chosen to run more often than not. Whether it’s a long run or run/walk to catch up with a friend, I am enjoying the time outside…especially because I stare at a computer for most of the day.

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Yup, the lake is still frozen.

I’m happy that my running mojo is coming back.

Sometimes I forget why I run… I forget that I enjoy that time of tuning out the world and just being. And that time is exactly what I’ve needed the last few weeks.

Not gonna lie, I haven’t been running every day, but I am savoring the days I do get out the door.

So, that’s where I’ve been/where I am at this moment.

What have you been up to? How do you deal with times of transition? Favorite terrible movie?

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Something to Think About…

I gave blood today.

I love working in an office that hosts regularly scheduled blood drives. But that’s a different post….

After giving blood, I was instructed to grab a cookie and juice… so I did.

Because I am a compulsive label reader (thanks Farmer Ben), I flipped the bottle over to check it out.

Here is what I saw:

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What the heck are these “natural flavors not found in regular orange juice?!”

I am going to lose sleep over this tonight.

Have you come across any weird ingredients lately? What were they? 

Happy Thursday!

PS. The hubby and I did our first night run of the spring a few nights ago. It was short, but amazing. Don’t mind my super sexy appearance.

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Of Lunch and Lettuce

Something amazing happened on Monday.

Ben and I harvested lettuce from our garden. It was the first time this season and I couldn’t have been more excited. We had red oak and pirate’s butter lettuce-both were delicious (especially when mixed with spinach and sunflower seeds, topped with maple mustard, tarragon vinegar and olive oil).

Our lettuce patch as of Memorial Day… it’s since doubled in size!

It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to use fresh ingredients, especially when grown by your own hand. I admit that in this case, it’s mostly Ben… but I get such pride when I see baby basil plants poking through the dirt or beans popping up and knowing that I helped the growing process and I love learning more each and every day.

The greens were a perfect addition to my favorite kind of lunch. It consisted of salad, salmon, dilly scrambled eggs, grilled scallions(also from the garden) and green olives. Ben and I picked off of one plate. and just enjoyed the different flavor combinations and the first tastes of the season… all these things that don’t necessarily go together, but combined..they just work.

I’m loving all those greens!

This was perfect. I’m so looking forward to more salads and more fresh ingredients that we grow in our garden. I can’t think of a better way to nourish both body and soul.


Lookin’ Out My Back Door!

It is an absolutely beautiful day today. The sun is shining, there’s a nice breeze and I had a lunchdate with the hubby. I’m working at the restaurant this evening and I brought my running gear for a night run.  How lucky am I?

Ben also informed me that we have beets, beans, lettuce,  mint and corn popping up! Hooray!

Of course, whenever I talk about spring or summer weather in the North Country, no one ever believes me. But I’ve got proof! These photos were taken this morning by Farmer Ben… enjoy!

 

We now have cows in our backyard, no big deal.

The cows belong to our landlord…

Near the garden…

 I secretly love dandelions.

Potatoes. Who knew?

Biggest spring onions ever.

Seriously, these suckers are huge!

Ben called this last one “The Yellow Brick Road.”

Have a beautiful rest of the day!


A Spring Morning

This morning, I woke up to sunshine. Golden rays streamed through our lace curtains and gently danced across our comforter. It’s been some time since I’ve been able to appreciate the wonder of waking up a few minutes before the alarm and basking in the quiet peace of dawn. Let me tell you, it was wonderful. Our room was full of that rejuvinating and quiet light that you can only find in the early morning, a perfect contrast to the coolness of the air on a spring day before the world awakens.

When I finally made it  into the shower, I could hear Ben in the kitchen grinding coffee beans for our morning brew.

Brushing my teeth, I heard him watering our little sprouts that are perched on the dining room window sill, waiting to be planted in the garden.

As I drove to work, the sun was shining and one of my favorite songs was on the radio.

With all of these little blessings, I feel ready to take on the world.


What the What?!

Have you ever had one of those weeks months where you have absolutely no idea what will happen next? Or, for that matter, you’re not sure how you got to where you are? I am currently there.

I don’t know if it’s daylight savings time, being super busy or…something else, but I feel like I just got off the zipper and am waiting for my head to stop spinning.

The past few weeks have been a blur…consisting of getting up, rushing to work and then rushing to job number two…followed by driving home, cooking random foods and entertaining my husband with my ability to make a giant mess in less than 5 minutes…with a little life organizing, mini trips,  connexion groups, date nights, church, sporadically exercising, pretending to get enough sleep and trying to keep in touch with family and friends mixed in….topped off with some total randomness.

Like I said, not sure how it is already March 14. There is so much going on.

First, some good news! After being married for almost seven months, Ben and I FINALLY mailed out the very last of our long overdue thank you notes. Better late than never I suppose. I am embarrassed to admit this, but we wrote and mailed out the first half about two months ago… and then just never found a spare moment to finish the other half…until a few nights ago…so if you were included in this second batch, I’m really sorry for the hubs and I dropping the ball.

Second, Ben finally let me try the pickles he made this summer-both varieties! AMAZING. I ate so many that I gave myself a stomach-ache. Typical.

Third, we have a mini vacation planned for next week and it cannot come soon enough! Granted, we are only driving six hours south…but it will be a nice escape… and five days off. I love road trips..even if they are short. I also love days off…especially when they are consecutive.  I am so excited to see my family and to get out of town…and to spend an entire five days with my hubby!

The hubs and I may have some changes on the horizon, so keep us in your prayers! Nothing serious, just some things to take care of/decide on.

It’s been beautiful in the North Country as of late, temperatures have been in the 50’s and the sun has been shining. Not too shabby for March. If I could change the fact that my driveway is a giant mud pit then all would be perfect. Some day it will dry… sigh…

The weather has really helped my running…meaning that I’ve actually been running. I’m still not too great at the whole getting out of bed early thing..but I’m trying!  Mondays and Wednesday are the glorious days when I can run after work and thanks to daylight savings time,  I can now finish before dark! I’m looking forward to hitting the pavement tonight. This is my latest motivation: Ragnar Relay … This race looks AMAZING!

We’ve been experimenting with some new recipes, including some homemade energy/granola bars. This means glorious bulk items from our co-op including nuts and coconut. I love it.

It’s almost garden season. Ben is already making big plans for our yard. I cannot wait. I also cannot wait to break in our solar food dehydrator. Hello sun-dried tomatoes!

Jalapeno of Yesteryear...

Green Tomatoes of the past...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you can’t tell from the pictures, I am ready for garden fresh veggies!

In other news, I have a couple of restaurant reviews to post…along with a recipe or two. There is even talk of that Ben guy doing a guest post!

Stay tuned and have a great rest of the day!


Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut!

Wow! What a gorgeous day! It was 48 degrees when I got up to run this morning. 48 degrees! The sun was shining and there was a light breeze. Perfect running weather. Unfortunately, I only had time for a short run, but every little bit helps! That’s what I keep telling myself.

So in short, I am feeling pretty charged and pumped to take on the rest of the day!

Another awesome thing about this week; Chocolate Hazelnut Spread! Holy cow is it good. And soooooooooo easy to make! Seriously, if you can work a blender, you’ve got it in the bag. This would be a great spread for a fancy party or a brunch with your family and friends-the hit of the party. OR you can hide it in your fridge and eat it by the spoonful… whichever you prefer.

I used this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Per usual, Deb did not disappoint. I’ll let you visit her post because she explains it so well.

A couple of notes:

I ended up using just under a cup of powdered sugar and 2 tbsp. of oil instead of 3. I also added a splash of vanilla… this is just personal preference on sweetness and texture. Tweak to your taste. It would still be amazing with more sugar and oil.

The SK recipe called for peanuts and peanut oil…I happened to have hazelnuts and walnut oil on hand, so that’s what I used. Still delish. You could probably also use Tahini if you don’t have some sort of nut oil.

It may seem that you are running your food processor forever… don’t worry, the nuts will liquefy. It takes patience and scraping down the sides of the processor. Just when I was about to give up, I had liquid! So just…keep blending. Also, don’t make this past 9 pm…unless you want to tick off your neighbors.

The finished product!

Spread lasts in a sealed container in the fridge for about a week. Makes about 1 3/4 cups. Serve on toast, with fruit, in oatmeal..or by the spoonful. The options are endless.

According to my ingredients, a serving (1 tbsp.) has the following: 92 calories, 7 g of fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 65.6 mg potassium,  6.2 g Carbohydrates, 4.7 g sugar and 2 g of protein.

Enjoy!