Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Oregon Coast and Our Impending Bike Ride

The family and I just spent a few days in Newport which is located along the coast in the middle of the beautiful state of Oregon. I can honestly say the Oregon coast is much different from the Gulf coast. The major difference being in Oregon it’s freakin’ cold during the summer; the Gulf not so much.

Since we had two kids with us, Jessie and her visiting BFF from Austin, we had to eat more organized meals instead of the normal cereal I like to eat two or three times a day. Here are a couple of pretty good restaurants (and a candy store, of course) we found on our trip, in case you’re ever in the Newport area visiting.

Cosmic Soda Pop and Candy Shop – Okay, this one is actually in downtown Portland, where we made a pit stop on the way to Newport, but it’s worth a look if you’re anywhere near Portland and have a sweet tooth as big as my snarly toothed monster. This shop had a wonderful collection of old school candies and a large selection of soda for the kids and kids at heart.

My mom brought me back, from London, a candy bar I absolutely adored called Crunchie by Cadbury…or something along those lines, I’ve forgotten already, and Cosmic actually carried it! I’ve had a heck of a time trying to find my new favorite candy bar. Especially when I have such a hard time describing it: it’s chocolaty, with a honeycomb thing in the center…I can’t remember what it’s called though…it’s crunchy and airy and delicious…do you have that?

Mo’s – I try not to eat too much fish & chips, I know fish is brain food but I’m pretty sure the grease they fry it in isn’t, but sometimes I just have to have a little F&C. Even better: Mo’s serves their F&C in cahoots with a cup of their world famous clam chowder. Yum. Mo’s clam chowder was delicious: creamy, flavorful with just the right amount of small clam pieces. Just how I like it.

My favorite part of F&C, the fish, didn’t disappoint. It tasted like they had just caught the cod that morning and fried it up before the poor fish knew what hit him. I would have to say Mo’s F&C are my second all time favorite, a distant second to Spud fish & chips mind you, but Janet swears the F&C are better in New England. I’ll be the judge of that!

Savory Café & Pizzeria – I just love pizza. I love cheese, marinara and meats loaded on a giant piece of bread! Janet and I ordered the Mexican pizza and weren’t disappointed. It was just what we needed: pizza and Mexican food wrapped into one tasty, spicy package. The kids had spaghetti with meatballs and a giant chicken and rice burrito which reminded me of Chuy’s (an Austin Tex-mex favorite) big as yo face burritos.

Cystic Fibrosis Cycle for Life Ride

For those of you super fit people (you know who you are) 35 miles on a bike probably doesn’t concern you much. To an asthmatic 44 year old, fairly out of shape woman who prefers to lift weights than actually move around, it’s a terrifying thought. So, of course, my better half, in a Snapple and chocolate induced haze, signed us up for the “short” route. On the bright side: Janet could have signed us up for the 65 mile route!

She registered us several months ago and you might assume that gave us enough time to actually train for said ride. You would be mistaken. I’m pretty sure we’ll survive the event but just in case we both got all our finances in order. Just in case. I did forget to say a long and emotional goodbye to Jessie, before she left to go camping with her dad, but she knows I love her.

The CF ride sounds like a well run, pain free event, with mechanics, support vehicles and rest stops scattered along the route. To say I’m terrified would be slightly exaggerating my feelings. I’m just downright scared. I’m glad we’re arriving at seven in the morning, for the ride, so I can sleep through the first part. I might just make it that way.

jenn

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Filed under Food, Travels

Dear Jessie Follow the Golden Rule

Dear Jessie,

I wanted to start these letters off with themes I think are very important and the Golden Rule is probably the most important thing you can do in life. It seems, on occasion, some people either don’t know or don’t want to follow this rule.

The Golden Rule is simple: treat others the way you would like to be treated. Sounds simple right? I think this theme is a lot harder now, what with being able to hide behind a username, than it used to be when I was a kid. Being nice was easier in the good old days when you had to talk with people face to face and interact with a wide variety of people on a daily basis.

If you don’t like being called names, and I know you don’t, please don’t call other people names. Always think to yourself: how would I react or respond to this situation? Would I want to be yelled at by someone for a simple mistake I made? How do I feel when I go to the library/cafeteria/gym/anywhere and someone left all their used crap lying around? I know I don’t like picking up after other people.

Be careful of what you say and how you act. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Treat people with kindness and they will return the favor filling your world with love and joy. If you lie, cheat, steal and treat people badly, your life with be dark and filled with ugliness. We create the world we live in by our actions and words. Choose wisely.

There are lots of examples of people breaking the Rule but I don’t want to go into those things. If you look for them you’ll see them. I just want you to take the time and think about what you’re doing, preferably before you do it. Always ask yourself: am I treating this person the way I want them to treat me?

Love, Mom

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How I Find Training Motivation: Fear

I don’t know what I did to make Janet angry, but it must have been a doozy.  Janet signed us up for a 35 mile bike ride through the beautiful hills of Forest Grove, Oregon and I’m scared to death of how I will feel after: will I still be alive? Will every cell in my body scream out and do the hokey pokey? I don’t think the end result will be pretty…if we make it to the end.

Thirty five miles might not sound like a lot, to a select few of you, but I can tell you Janet and I are far from being in the kind of shape needed to pedal a bicycle. It must have sounded like a great idea to Janet, a couple of months ago when she signed us up, but now that it’s 2.5 weeks away I’m thinking of having her tested for the crazy bug.

One thing this impending doom of a race has done, besides scare me silly, is to realize how seriously I take exercising and eating for fuel now that a deadline is quickly approaching. I have exercised more (jogging, walking, biking), eaten better foods (superfoods, fruits, veggies, lean proteins), and drank more liquids (water, Gatorade, beer) in these last couple of weeks than I thought possible. I really don’t like any of these things…except for the beer, of course.

Janet and I must be delirious from the endorphins from working out because we’re talking about signing up for a series of three 5ks in Seattle starting in September. The goal of the timed 5ks, staggered four weeks apart, is to see yourself progressing in your endeavor to become fleet footed. That shouldn’t be hard for me: I’m currently jogging at about a 23 minute mile pace. That could be an exaggeration, but it might not be.

Did I ever write about the time I took up jogging in Fort Worth, TX? I’d been jogging for about a month, I felt pretty good about my progress, when I came upon a little old lady speed walking. I was jogging along at a nice pace when this speed walker blew by me. She was a little gray haired, cane using, hearing aid wearing octogenarian in a track suit who went by so fast I thought I was in reverse. True story. Needless to say, there’s room for improvement in my timed runs.

We must be drowning in too many vitamins and minerals, from those fruits and veggies, because we’re also talking about running a 10k in December to finish the year out. What is wrong with us? Have we finally turned the corner on our lazy habit of sitting around watching TV while eating cheeseburgers and milkshakes? That’s one possibility. I’m thinking it’s the beer buzz, though.

jenn

ps. Our Boston terrier, Roxy, is the funniest little creature. I’m pretty sure Boston’s were bred to be ratters but Roxy thinks she’s a herding dog. Whenever she wants me to go anywhere, she gets behind me and stares intently at my legs like she’s willing me to move with her intimidating stare. She lowers her head and goes into a trance like state. It’s the funniest thing. It never works, but she’s trying to perfect her awesome mind control over me. You must move this way, Momma!

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An Ode to My Fitbit

How did I love thee, oh great and powerful motion sensor?

Let me now count the steps.

I didn’t know how much I needed you, how much I relied on you.

Until I drowned you.

I will miss you, my dear Fitbit.

I never knew how little I moved until you showed me.

I never knew how big of a couch potato I was until you explained it to me in vivid graphs and diagrams.

I had no idea how important ten thousand steps were to me until you showed me the love.

I still reach for my waistband, hoping to move you closer to my hip, to record every step.

I come up empty now.

Because I took you with me into the ocean.

I believed you to be invincible, not realizing just how non-water-resistant you were.

I was selfish to want every last step, not heeding my beloved’s advice to leave you in the hotel room.

“But, what if you accidentally take her into the water with you?”

“Don’t worry. That won’t happen.”

Famous Last Words.

I walk alone now.

No one monitoring my every movement.

Unable to count my own steps.

I usually get to about ten and then lose my train of thought.

Look, squirrel!

I will miss you, my friend.

When I’m on a beach, I will think of you.

Because that is where I held you underwater until all your circuits fried.

You were my first and the best.

You made me accountable.

You made me move when I didn’t really want to, because I didn’t want to see such pathetically low numbers.

That’s what I loved about you: you were brutally honest and in my face about my movements (or lack thereof).

You made me yearn to help your plant grow.

I made it grow to eleven leaves once!

I’m sorry, my beautiful Fitbit, for my selfishness and lack of a perfect memory.

I will stride (sic) to remember you, my little friend.

Jenn

FYI – On a happier note: I’m getting a new Fitbit Flex! In the interim, I’m a serious couch potato now. I’m kinda glad my Fitbit isn’t around to see this shameful exhibit.

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