Friday, December 14, 2012

News Flash

So today I'm not delivering a recipe (although I'm due for one). I'm not talking about running. I come to you with a rant. (Hence the name of my blog). I am not going to apologize in advance. However, I will place a warning. Some may find this a senstive subject. Some may think I'm being rude. I also want any people who know my on a person-basis to know I'm not directing this at any one person.

In fact, as I deliver my disclaimer, I pray that maybe this turns a light bulb on. I hope this knocks some common sense. I hope this teaches some God-forsaken common courtesy. You know, manners. (Here comes the sass)

I start by asking a simple question. Have you ever been sick? Have you ever felt so sick that all you yearn to do is lay your head down...be it a pillow, a germ-infested-stiff-moldy-airport chair, or a bathroom floor? You don't feel like talking about it, because all you want to do is lay down.

Now imagine feeling that way because you have the flu, you have a raging sinus infection, maybe you are coming down with acute appendicitis, or pancreatitis? Now imagine your response from those around you is a big cheesey smile, and "Uh-ohhhh!! Somebody's pregnant!!"

*Insert middle finger here*

NEWS FLASH TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. IT IS, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, POSSIBLE FOR A WOMAN OF THE CHILDBEARING AGE TO COME DOWN WITH THE COMMON COLD OR INFLUENZA OR OTHER ILLNESS AND NOT BE PREGNANT.

Initially it was funny. I would smile, and politely respond with "No, funny" (in my head I'd be saying *No, asshole*) But there's a point where it goes too far.

Me: "I had the flu that's going around this weekend, it was horrible."
Coworker: "Uh ohhh!! Somebody's pregnant!"

Yes, the contagious case of gastroenteritis that is rampantly spreading through the community hit me, but before it hit me -- it said "You won't get the flu, you will be pregnancy!"

Or
Coworker: "Abby, I brought donuts for everyone! They're in the breakroom. Why aren't you eating one?"
Me: "Actually, I'm not really hungry. But thank you, that was so sweet of you!"
Coworker: "Uh ohhhhh, you're not hungry?!?! You don't have an appetite?!?! Somebody's pregnant!!!"

Or I could just not like donuts. Or I could have eaten breakfast before coming to work. I could just not want to have a mid morning desert of a deep friend piece of bread coated in sugar and jelly.'

Angry, over-emotional, cynical may be words that could describe me right now. But it is really hard being a 20-something, married woman, who doesn't have children yet. I can't go to a family reunion without being repetitively asked about "Why don't you have babies?" I can't go to work without getting asked, "When are you going to have babies?". I can't meet new people, without getting asked "Do you have kids? Why not? When are you going to have them?"

DO PEOPLE HAVE THIS PICTURE IN THEIR MIND THAT ALL YOUNG MARRIED PEOPLE DO IS HAVE SEX AND MAKE BABIES?! What if I had cancer of my reproductive organs? What if we were experiencing infertility? What if life was just a little too crazy to start having children with us starting our careers, planning on applying for grad school soon, Ryan going to pilot school (and us being separated for essentially 2 years? Or what if we are in our 20's, and want to enjoy our youth a little before we drastically change our lives?

The point is, it's our business. It's our family. And it's not anyones place to judge or pressure. I don't mind being asked once. But repetitively being pressured is abusive. And rude.

People can just be sick. Young women can just get the flu. Did you know that? Did you know that non-child-bearing people get stomach aches, and colds, and decreased appetite, and urinary frequency because they drank too much coffee?

This is just an educational session, really. ;)

Before I sign out, I do have to share that as I read this to my husband before posting. His response was as follows:

"Haha! Wow, that's very emotional, Abby. Are you pregnant?!" (he knows me too well)

Have a ranty day! And I promise I'll be sweeter next time I grace this page with my presence.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Now and Then

One of the biggest struggles I've always faced is letting my concern and worry for what's to come, affect my current state of mind. I got in that run this week, and am giving myself an offical swift kick in the you-know-what to snap out of that!

I've been distracted lately. A lot of big changes face my future - and although they are exciting changes. All change comes with some form of compromise.

As some of you know....my husband got a pilot spot with the Air Force, and will be starting training in January. The 1st 5 months, he will cycle through being gone 6 weeks, home for a few, gone 6 weeks, home for a few. Then in June, he moves to Mississippi for 13 months for UPT school -- where he officially trains on the jets. (But will then return to Tucson :D)

Here are the options I have:

a) Stay in Tucson. Keep my job that I love. Man the house solo. Live on the completely other side of the country from my husband and best friend. Miss out on a huge part of his life. Every person we've talked to that has been through this urges the pilots to bring their spouses, as it's a very exciting (yet stressful) experience that you should live together. But keep the stability that I've found here in Tucson. It's just a year!

b) Move to Mississipppi for just 1 year. (It's only a year, and I love adventure -- and this would certainly be an adventure). Be with Ryan for that year supporting him, meet new people, really experience being an "Air Force Wife". Become a Southern Bell for 13 months.. Find a nursing job in whichever department will take me. Probably lose my ER position in Tucson. Have to lock up our house for a year, and find someone trustworthy to check up on it periodically. But won't have to spend $$$$$ on airline tickets out to Columbus, MS.

Outweighing the positives and the negatives isn't really easy here. Because there are positives and negatives within each decision! What does my heart want to do? Go to Mississippi. What does my brain want to do? Stay grounded in Tucson. I'm scared of losing a job that I love. But I'm also scared of the toll it would take on our marriage to be living in different states (by choice) for 1 year.

Life is full of mysteries, that is for certain! I know that whichever decision I make....will work! I tend to strive to be "like a cat" in life, and no matter how tall the building is I'm thrown from, I tend to land on "all fours". (that's my little metaphor). Just wish I knew the right decision!

Send happy vibes my way! Have you ever had to make a decision like this? How did you come to making the choice? Did you follow your heart or your head?


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Comparing Dreams

Since June ( and since I've really decreased my frequency in blogging ) - I have made some changes in my life! #1 - I landed my dream nursing job and became an ER nurse. I have learned so much thus far, and absolutely LOVE the fast paced environment. Now it would really be my dream job if I didn't have the work all these weekends and Holidays. But, unfortunately illness has no concept of convenience and time.

In addition to moving to to the ER....I've also become certified as a fitness instructor! I'm actually certified in a specific classed called "Body Attack" -- which is a sports-inspired, agility & strength work out. In other words, no matter what fitness level a person is at -- this class is guarenteed to kick their a$$!! To learn more about it -- click here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSB8GOKVugE&feature=related -- and look for your nearest Les Mills Sponsored club to find more great classes! (there's my marketing spin for the day.)

So sometimes in my very strange brain, I find myself comparing these 2 "jobs" and it kind of funny. Sometimes a little "off". So I write a fun little blog today

While Teaching Body Attack.........
  • It is refreshing to know that all the class particpants are completely capable of using the restroom on their own. I don't have to help anyone walk to the bathroom, and I certainly don't have to worry about getting urinated on. Yes. I have had an old man pee on me before.
  • When I make eye contact with the class-members, I'm actually assessing their skin color and look for good venous access....just a habid of mine.
  • If anyone ever breaks an arm during my class -- I can make a bada$$ splint with a their towel and maybe some duct tape.
  • I don't have to document anything that occurs during the class, in case someone decides to file a lawsuit in 15 years. People don't file law suits for not giving them enough push-ups to do. Well, Yet.....
While Working the ER.......
  • I sometimes want to give my patients a "Body Attack" Class. "Okay sir, I'm just doing an neurological assessment on you - Touch your nose, now my finger, now your nose, now do 5 lungs and 10 jumping jacks! Let's get fit!!!!"
  • I don't have to worry about looking fit and in shape. I don't have to worry about vomiting my breakfast on the stage. I wear pajamas.
  • I no longer encourage my patient's to get their heart rate up, like I do class participants.
  • I sometimes leave work with more of a sore back than I do after my work outs.
  • I have to explain to people that blood is the nicest bodily fluid I deal with during a day.
  • My patients scream and moan much louder than anyone does in a fitness class.
So I refer to Body Attack as "fun job" and ER as "real job" -- but in reality, I adore both. Which is a place that I'm really happy to be at right now. If one is going to spend 40-50 hours/week in a place, thye should be happy doing it!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Preparations for the Woods

So this weekend is that time of the year where Ryan attempts to take me up the mountains and deep into the woods to see if I can be eaten by a bear......

I'm partially kidding. But seriously, we are going camping this weekend -- which is one of our most favorite things to do together as a couple!! So many amazing memories have been created on our camping trips. And so many interesting memories as well...(like our experiments with cheap row boats, nearly freezing to death, and meeting some true hill-billy fishermen). Remember those hill-billies, Lora (if you're reading this)?!


This camping trip we strategically planned it 3 miles away from "Oktoberfest" on the top of Mount Lemmon. Beer, German food, and German bands/polka dancing in 70 degree temps? It doesn't get much better than that! Now we don't have to drive the hour home, we will just ride our bikes back to our campsite.


Most people that enjoy camping during their adult life, enjoy it because they did it growing up. However, this was not the case for me. In fact, my first camping expedition occurred about 2 years ago! My "camping" experiences growing up involved a cabin. With Dish Network. And a shower. Etc. But shockingly, my late introduction to this phenomenon turned out great!

So today I'm here to talk about some of the preparation that goes into this trip -- and what makes our trip go well. If anyone out there is a "camper" themself - please feel free to share your tips and tricks with me! As I am kind of a "rookie"....

1) Know the climate. Seriously - this affects comfort (obviously), clothing, and even food storage! We have camped in pretty cool conditions and we have camped in fricking hot conditions. Must keep that beer cold, but don't let it freeze! Oh, and the meat and eggs ect...

2) If you are bringing meat -- when you pack it in the cooler, pack it frozen. That way it will thaw in the cooler so it's fresh/safe to cook! I put frozen chicken breasts and frozen ground beef in the cooler, so that by the time we want to cook it, it's thawed out. (Unless you are going to cook it the 1st night)

3) Prep as much as you can at home. I don't know about you, but I don't like to "work" when I'm camping. You usually don't have a nice countertop and sink to work with, so everything takes "extra energy". I will pre-cut my onions, bell peppers, jalepenos, and even my potatoes -- so when I want to use them, they can easily be thrown on the cast iron (or fire)! Don't want your potatoes to brown? Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice on them.

4) Bring a lot of water. Period. Hiking, being outdoors 24/7. Being around a smokey fire. You can never have "too much water".

5) If you don't have one, purchase a hand-hand vacuum. I realize I've been known for being a tad "narotic" about cleaning. But seriously - going in and out of the tent, being around a dirty muddy campsite, and packing up your tent at the end the weekend. Your hand-help vacuum will be your best friend!!

6) Pre-make what you can. In the past I have made Quinoa Salad. Easy side dish! Or great for a lunch. This year I'm going to pre-make a pasta salad. I'm also pre-making Chicken Tortilla Soup. That way, the spices will soak together to equal delicious AND we can just throw it in a big pot to enjoy!

7) Pack tupperware. You may have left overs. Or it's just nice to have a place to put "stuff" that doesn't neccessarily need to be thrown away.

8) And my last tip is more aimed at myself as a reminder. Eating a slice of bacon will not kill you. I absolutely loathe bacon. This is the only time of the year I let my husband eat this shit. Last year, he scrambled eggs, fried up bacon, and make these artery clogging delicious breakfast burritos -- and when I reached for apple, the heartbroken look on his face was not worth it. So this year, I will eat a damn piece of bacon. It won't kill me. I know. But gross. "Mmmmm....Pig trapezius....."

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pushing Fall

Have you noticed how fast we are to push that it's the fall season? Or is it perhaps heavier focused in a climate where the temps persist in the 90-100's throught October. Whatever it may be, I am so ready for fall and here are a few reason I know why.....

1) When I left the house last weekend to do some shopping it was 88 degrees out, and I said "Well, it's under 90. I guess that means jeans and fall clothes." Was I a hot sweaty mess while trumping through the beating hot parking lot of Target? Yes. But I had cute skinny jeans and a cute scarf to accompany.

2) I have actually found the website that tells you "When Pumpkin Spice Coffeemate Creamer is coming near you". You type in your zip code, and it tells you which grocery stores carries it. Unfortunately, it's still not at my local grocery markets. I started checking in August.

3) I have "Cinnamon Spice Pumpkin" hand soap in the bathrooms of my home from kitchen. And the Wall flowers. Our bedroom smells like Apple Crisp. Our Powder room smells like Pumpkin Pie. It's only September 14.

4) Last Monday I made chili in the crockpot. It was like 105 degrees. But it was September - great day for chili.

This is only the beginning of my deep love for fall. I associate so many great memories with this time of year. I remember raking leaves on crisp fall days back in North Dakota. That won't happen here in Tucson - unless I'm raking bogenvilla or cactus thorns?!

 I loved coming indoors from being out in the cool fall air to the smell of my Mom's Apple Crisp.....I believe that is what heaven smells like ;)

We moved into this house during the fall -- and I have so many fun memories of us painting and fixing up the house, and then enjoying the cool fall evenings with the windows open.

I love that first outdoor run, where one must put on a stocking cap and a long sleeve until the sun warms the world up. The air is so crisp and fresh in your lungs!

What is your favorite things about fall? Have you ever tried Pumpkin Spice Creamer -- if not, I highly suggest you try. I drink way more coffee during this time of the year because of that stuff.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Taking Care

Wow. It has been almost 3 months since I've shown my "face" here! Life has been kind of crazy lately. Instead of wasting your time and boring you by giving an update on "What I've been up to". I'm cutting straight to the chase!

Today we're talking about injuries! Last time you heard from me, I was preparing for a training weekend to become certified as a fitness instructor.

Well I did it, and it went great! I passed. Bad part? I got injured! Injured to the point where I limped for 3 weeks, couldn't run for 2 months, and couldn't even wakeboard when we visited the lakes with my family over the 4th of July. Very sad times.

But I learned something. Just because one is young. Just because one is in great shape. Just because one has never had a serious ache or pain in their life......Does not mean one cannot be injured.

How did it happen? I over pushed it. Too many plyometric lunges, too many jumps, too many sprints. Two 8 hour days of exercise without taking the time to stretch and take care of my body -- my feet got fatigued and I sprained my right foot, badly.

Since the time of the injury -- I've put great focus on "foot health". I'm on my feet for 3-4 12 hour days working in the ER.In between that I run, I teach body attack classes, and, well, I just don't like to sit down. So here are a few exercises I challenge you to start doing.

1) Toe Grip (this will strengthen your arches & toes) - Place a sock on the floor, using your toes, pick it up and hold for 10 seconds and set it down. Repeat 10 times.

2) Toe Extension (this is bone density for those small bones in your feet) - Open your toes outward, hold five seconds, relax. repeat 10 times.

3) Calf Raise (this gets your feet strong, your calves strong, and works balance) - Standing on one foot, raise onto your tippy toes, hold for 10 seconds, Relax. Do 5 on each leg.

4) Golf Ball massage - Roll your arches and balls our of feet out on a golf ball on the floor. It's like a foot massage!

Beyond healthy exercises, a few other things I've done to prevent injury and make my feet happy I have:

-Bought separate shoes for cross training from running. I only teach body attack in my body attack shoes, and I only run in my running shoes. Different shoes are designed for different exercises!

-Don't let shoes get too old.

-I bought some Dansko shoes for work. They look like orthopedic nun clogs. They are rubber, and have a cloggish looking heel. However, they support my back and feet for those 12 hour days!

-Only wear those stilletto high heels when absolutely neccessary. High heels are bad.Enough said.

- Calcium 500 + D with Magnesium is my daily dose. There are other health benefits I've found since I've added that to my diet, that showed me how depleted I was in calcium.


Remember...

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who'll decide where to go. - Dr Seuss
  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I'm still alive!

It has been a long time since I've blogged. I'd love to start this post by saying "I'm going to start blogging weekly, here!" But I'm not even going to go there. That's similar to my New Years Resolution of "I'm cutting all sugar out of my diet" (and was noshing on dark chocolate by January 2). Or when I said "I'm going to foam roll and do stretches EVERY morning immediately upon getting out of bed" -- Whereas I've found those 10 minutes much more useful spent with the covers over my head in bed....

But I'm going to try. There's nothing wrong with trying.

So since I've last really blogged, the following in my life has changed:

-Ryan is going to officer school and flight school soon to become a pilot for the Air Force (part time)
-I have obtained my dream job and landed a position in the ER
-This weekend I will go through 18 hours of training to become an ACE certified Fitness Instructor through Les Mills!
-I have given up on gardening. I did get 2 lucious little Roma Tomatoes, and some nice herbs. Otherwise, cacti is my new friend. My schedule is non-compatible with gardening.

So many changes all at once, but it's good. I was tired of saying "I wish I could be this" or "It would be so cool if I could do that" -- I finally stopped waiting for life & timing to be convenient, and just went for it!

So hopefully if I stick to my word and continue to blog, I can tell you about the craziness behind becoming a fitness instructor after this weekend's events. And If I have to hear the song "My Cherona" (techno version) or "Rock that Body" -- I am probably going to lose my mind. (these are 2 of the songs in my release for this class I'm learning to teach)

So if you hear on the news about fitness instructor gone mad. It's not Richard Simmons. It was probably me. ;)

Happy Friday to all!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mothers Day

I've been rather absent from here lately. Life has been busy! But I won't bore you with the details of my business now. However, I making sure I take the time to get on here and make an official shout out to my Mom.

My mom is most certainly my best friend, and I'm not sure what I'd do or who I'd be if she wasn't in my life. Growing up with her - she had a knack of healing any insecurities or hurts with her hugs. When I moved across the country, I worried I wouldn't have this luxury anymore. However, I learned that a good conversation with her does almost the same. 

Some people go through most of their adulthood without a Mom. Some only get their Mom a short period of time. Some have their Mom, but experience a tumultuous relationship which causes great obstacles in their relationship. I am glad that not one day of my adulthood have I had to experience any of those. I thank God every day that I still have her part of my life.

A phone call to Mom for cooking /baking/cleaning advice trumps any food network or HGTV website or Betty Crocker Cookbook.

I have a hard time approaching a problem in my life without thinking, What would my parents want me to do in this situation? I guess that's just the morals and values they put in me from the day I was born.

I look forward to catching up with my Mom and sisters and all my family face-to-face this July when we make a trip home! As I miss them so! Haven't seen them since December. Life is ever-changing these days, and 6 months feels like 6 years! So I look forward to spending time with them.

Happy Mothers Day to my Mom, my Grandma, my sister & sister-in-laws, and all my family & friends who bend over backwards to make life safe & happy for their children! Mom's rock! 


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Currently

Yes, I am an extraordinarily creative blogger (Ha!). I am so very talented @ stealing "borrowing" post-ideas from others. So here I go! What I'm currently up to, what currently is populating my mind.

  • Working, working, and Trying so very hard to be away from work when I'm away from work. Lately it's just been hard for me to "leave it at the door".
  • Running! I finished my half marathon - so my plan was to STOP running. But that race got me so jazzed about running, and it's such a great release!! I've done some gorgeous trail runs lately! Need to get me some "trail running shoes".
  • Landscaping. Well, we will be. The next 2 days, I will be spending most of my time using a shovel digging in the dirt. Ryan and I are going to dig up the dead grass, and lay rocks & flagstone. Should be interesting!
  • Wondering. It's so weird that I have no idea what life will be like in 4 months. My husband will be leaving for pilot training for an unknown amount of time. We have no clue when he's going. We have no clue where he's going. We have no clue for how long. This drives my "scheduled obsessed mind" crazy, my friends!!  But, I do know this will bring some amazing experiences and life changes. I'm ready for us to take on the exciting journey!
  • Dreaming of camping. I can't wait for Ryan and I both to have a free weekend together, where we can pack up, and resort to the wild for a few days! How I adore camping. I love sleeping on an uncomfortable, awkward mattress listening to odd critters of the wild. I love the constant smell of campfire. Love the fishing. Love exploring trails. Love cook food over a fire.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chicken Kabobs with Thai Peanut Sauce

It is time for a recipe post! On Saint Patricks' Day, I made corned beef & cabbage, paired up with Irish Soda bread, and I made a promise (on facebook) that I would do a post on that...

But I just couldn't. I'm going to be honest & say I'm not a big "corned beef fan". The recipe turned out well, but I just don't love it.

So I decided to throw this one at you all, instead! I highly recommend, as it is amazing. It was my "pre-race fuel" on Saturday night. I paired this with a whole-wheat pasta salad to get my carbs!


  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper sauce
  • 1 thai pepper (or jalepeno), finely chopped
  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper (I used 1/2 green & 1/2 red to add some color), chopped into squares
  • pineapple chunk
  • Red onion, chopped into squares
  1. Chop all ingredients & place into containers or piles for kabob building
  2. In a 2 quart saucepan, mix P.B., soy sauce, vinegar, & chopped jalepeno until smooth. Stir in sugar & pepper sauce. Cook over med-high heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Reserve a small amount for a "dipping sauce"
  4. Pour the remaining sauce over your chicken. Allow to marinate for about 10 minutes.
  5. Build skewers, alternating the chicken, onions, peppers, & pineapple. (***If using wooden skewers, remember to soak in warm water prior to building)
  6. Start gas or charcoal grill. And grill until chicken is cooked through.
  7. Serve with the dipping sauce.



The finshed product. I definitely recommend. I wasn't so sure about cooking with peanut butter -- but it had a very interesting rich taste. Adding a kick of hot-peppers/spice is essential, I believe!

Enjoy!

I've got the fever

I've got the fever to do another race! Running is truely an addiction. The more events you partake in, the more you want to do. This weekend I did the Arizona Distance Classic Half Marathon. One of the fun parts of this race, is my I won the raffle for free registration! My hospital happened to sponsor this race.

It was kind of funny, actually. I know I'd be seeing people I know at one of the water stations. Of course, they were stationed @ mile 12. This entire race was hills, so by mile 12 I was a breathless, sweaty mess. :-) So when they greeted me and cheered "Go Abby!" -- I was so hypoxic, I couldn't even find it in me to say "hi" or "Thank you". I was just making a whimpery moaning noise.....and nodded my head.

The AZ Distance Classic was the most challenging race I've done. I'm not sure it was something I did nutritionally, training-wise, or hydration-wise? It could be that I hung out with the 1 hr 40 min pace team for the 1st 7 miles. So my pace was really fast. So when I hit the big hills at mile 8, I wanted to die? But I hit a wall.

Not the wall. But a wall.

However, I finished in 1 hour 49 minutes! So I was pleased. That's an average pace of 8:21 minutes/mile. This is close to a PR for me. My PR is 1 hour 48. My new goal is 1:45, I've decided.

Despite how physically challenged I was, I am really craving to do a full marathon, now! My plan all week last week was, "When this half is done, I'm taking a break from running & focusing on weight training and biking"...

Now I'm all amped up about running! But "race season" is kind of coming to an end here in Tucson. So I think it's time for to throw in the towel for a while here. But come January...I will be doing that Phoenix Rock N Roll Marathon! The full!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Attack of the Cacti: On Running in the darkness

Do you ever run in the dark? How do you do with it? Are you comfortable, and just enjoy the peacefulness & anonymity? Or are you scared of the dark?

I try to be badass.

I try to be fearless.

I tell my husband "Pepper spray - schmepper spray" "alarm system? Sch-larm system" when he tells me to be aware of my surroundings.

But really? Let's be honest. This lady is scared of the dark.


Today I went for a run in my neighborhood for the 1st time ever in the dark. Usually when I work out before I go to work, it's still dark out. Therefore, I light weights in our "home gym" or I use a tredmill @ my gym.

(may I add we live in a ridiculously safe, mostly retired, community...)

But today I decided it's time to wear some reflective gear, wear my head-light, and carry some pepper spray & a cell phone.

Sounds like I was armed, right?

Didn't feel so. I was a nervous wreck. My first encounter was when I heard footsteps, and I started saying OUT LOUD "Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God!!" (I thought for sure it was an attacker)

No, it was just a fellow runner.

Then I saw an tall being standing in the desert off my running trail. I got my pepper spray cap off, ready to aim in case he attacked me. I thought to my self, "WITHOUT DOUBT this is either a sex offender or a javelina"

A javelina is a wild pig which habitate in the Sonoran Desert. I don't know which is worse to get attacked by....

Then as I got close and ready to attack, I realized it was a cactus. And this is where I realized I'm hypervigilant and need to take a "chill pill"

I think the root of this issues is my community's lack of street lights. My community doesn't allow street lights so the citizens to see the beautiful stars and save on energy. Great concept....pain in the ass.

So how do you protect yourself while running, walking, biking, exploring out in the wild? Really, we should have ourselves "armed" in some manner. You never know what/who's out there!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Basil Chicken in Coconut-Curry Sauce

I've started to get better about blogging on more of a regular basis (for the past week). And lately I've done a rant.....

I've done a blog on running (my Garmin)....

Now I think I'm due for a recipe, right?

(Hence the name of this blog)

So part of my New Year's Resolutions was to "Try a new recipe weekly".. I've done okay at sticking to this. Well, initially I started out by cooking a "step-by-step" legitamate recipe. But for the past few weeks it's been more of Abby's traditional "a little this", " a little that". "whalla!!"

However, this recipe I did a few weeks ago turned out delicious. It made our house smell like we were from India. It made me feel ethnic and cool.

I wish I had a different ethnicity, that I could cook foods of my culture. Being German is great. The beer is great. The sauerkraut is fabulous. Other than that? I'm not really crazy about German food. No Sauerbraten for me.

Anyways...so this was my 1st Indian recipe. And, holy cow, it was amazing and has me hooked on all curries. I could live off this food, I'm pretty sure. The funny part is after cooking this meal...our house smelled like Curry for 2 days. I would wake up in the middle of the night, take a deep breath, and say "Hm...curry."

Here it goes! I seriously recommend this one to any foodies out there!

Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce:
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • (I thew in some cayenne here too..but it's not in the recipe)
  • 2-3 chicken breasts, sliced into chunks
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 large red onion, cut into thin slices
  • 2 fresh jalepeno chile peppers, seeded & finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk (the low fat version worked well. I love this ingred.)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 Tbsp fresh snipped basil
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 3 cups hot cooked rice (I used jasmine rice)
  1. In a bowl combine curry powder, black pepper, 1/4 tsp salt, & chili powder. Cut chicken into 1-inch pices and add to spice mixture. Toss to coat. Cover & chill for 1-2 hours to allow spices to penetrate the meat.
  2. Pour olive oil into a wok (or large skillet). Heat over med-heat. Add onion, jalapeno, & garlic. Cook for a few minutes until tender. Remove from wok and place in separte dish.
  3.  Add 1/2 of the chicken to the wok. Cook for 4-6 minutes. Remove and place in separate dish. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  4. Stir together coconut mlik, cornstarch, & 1/4 tsp salt until smooth in a separate bowl. Carefully add to the Wok. Cook & stir until thickened & bubbly.
  5. Return chickn & onion/pepper mixture to the wok. Stir in basil & ginger. Cook for about 2 minutes. Serve over hot rice.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Things you didn't know

Good morning, all! I stole this one from my sister Lisa. I like these kind of posts! Hope you all have a great weekend. I actually get a weekend finally, so I'm a very happy camper!

I am rather pithy at times.
I think often about the future.
I know life is full of endless blessings.
I have lots of painting to do, even though I've done hours of painting already..... The projects never end when buying a new home!
I wish crystal balls were real - and they could tell me if my decisions would be failures or successes.
I hate disappointing people.
I miss my family.
I fear that someday the US will be a 3rd world country.
I hear birds singing outside.
I smell coffee.
I crave a day out on the lake.
I search for a place to get my hair done. It's been 2 years since I've been in a hair salon.
I wonder what I will be doing 10 years from now.
I regret not paying attention to the "formal meetings" when I was in a sorority in college. I went to my 1st "real" meeting Thursday, and that was all I could think about when people were seconding motions, etc.....
I love trail running.
I ache in my upper back and shoulders from lifting yesterday. My upper back is also bruised from my deep tissue massage on Thursday.
I am not a "people person" as much as some think I am. Sometimes I just want to have silence. I love the quiet (at times).
I believe in God.
I dance in my kitchen while I'm cooking.
I sing Stevie Nicks while I'm cleaning house. I will never sound like Stevie Nicks. Who the hell am I fooling.
I cry rarely. And don't cry about real issues. I wait for frustration and stress to build up -- and will find myself crying because I can't open the pickle jar.
I fight not enough. I'm really good at turning my head and pretending things don't phase me. 
I win Scrabble against my husband when he's distracted by a football game or the history channel.
I lose Scrabble against my husband when he's actually paying attention.
I never EVER will eat a "Sonoran Dog". If you haven't heard of this - it's like "The thing" to eat in SW AZ. It's a deep fried hot dog served with chili, jalepenos, cheese, salsa, etc. I will never try this. Ever.
I always feel better once I've worked out, ran, or gone hiking.
I confuse my score in golf because I have to hit the ball so many times. I can hit straight, but not far.
I listen to the world around me. Never get caught up and forget to listen to the birds, and the wind.
I can usually be found at work, on a running trail, or in my kitchen baking or cooking.
I am scared of mice, cockroaches, scorpions, the dark, and gas stoves & grills..
I need for time to slooooowwww down.
I am happy about the way life is right now.
I imagine all the time. I'm quite the day dreamer.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Garmin Grief

The time has come for a new Garmin. I am reaching out to anyone out there for suggestions....Here's what happened.

(For anyone who doesn't know what a Garmin is, it's a running watch with GPS letting you know how far you've run, your splits, your elevation, etc)

Marc Antony is the name of my current Garmin. He is the second Garmin I've ran with. (I have a habit of naming my Garmin's Roman leaders & Gods. I don't know why. My 1st Garmin was named Julius. My next Garmin will either be named Spartacus or Pheidippides (the 1st marathon runner in history). Your vote?

Anyways...last Friday I was doing a nice 10 mile run (I have a half marathon in 3 weeks). And Sir Antony backed down on me. Luckily, I was doing an "out & back". I ran out 5 miles, and come 6.78 miles - he got "stuck".

I assume it's early stage dementia. For after running about 300 more feet, he attempted to kick back in & act as though nothing happened. But I caught the lapse in memory.

And therefore, it is time to move on.

When it dawned on me during my run, that I'd have to purchase a new one - I got upset for several reasons:

1) I don't really feel like spending $150+ dollars on a new GPS. I'd rather spend that money on other things like clothes, a trip haircut (it's been almost 2 years), or home decor
2) This Garmin has taken me through some incredible memories. I'm sentimental to let go. Runners tend to get superstitious and habitual about running attire.

Marc Antony has:
  • Trained me for 2 marathons
  • Trained me for 4 half marathons, and 3 10 mile races
  • Joined me on several 30+ mile bike rides
  • Trekked mountains on many long & entertaining hikes with my dear husband
  • Came along on my 2nd date with Ryan (which was a 6 mile run...which he was totally unprepared for)
  • Been on my wrist while I've cried
  • Been on my wrist while I've felt unexplainable joy
  • Joined me on runs on the beaches of Cancun during our honeymoon
  • Joined me on runs on the boardwalk of San Diego
  • Joined me on runs through the country roads of North Dakota

We've had some good times! But now...it's time to move on. Any suggestions, my friends??

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Things we think & Do not say....

I'm doing it. You haven't heard from me in a while. It's been rather busy lately and when I'm not working, I'd much rather be outside playing, gardening, running, or in the kitchen cooking than anything else.

But it's time for a rant. But 1st I must state my *disclaimer*

*This is only humor. Please don't take this offensively and send me a personalized hate mail message or an angry annonymous comment saying I'm a cold, heartless, b*****. This is just a rant!*

-Really?!, lady in the grocery store parking lot who is trying to desperately to Puuuuuush & LOB that grocery cart up on the crub. This is painful. You are expending so much energy. With ALL that energy you are expending...you could easily just walk those lazy little legs over to the cart rack and put the damn thing away. Thank you.

-Hi new neighbor! Your chihuahua's constant barking needs to stop...or your dog is going to be fed chocolate by your new neighbor. Chihuahua's are meant to live in purses and Coach hand bags...not in back yards.

-Dear Patient's Son, I am your father's nurse. I am here to provide nursing care and be an advocate for your father. I am not here to be asked if I'm married. Even if I wasn't married...I would not be interested in meeting a member of the opposite sex. I don't work on a cardiac floor with primarily geriatric patients to meet men.

-There are 50 tredmills and cardio machines in the entire gym. 35 of which are empty. Why must you pick the machine RIGHT next to me. I'm isolated for a reason. Please don't join me.

-Dear New Moms, I do not log onto facebook to read about your newborns dirty diaper. Please refrain from sharing this information.

Well, Have a happy Tuesday, everyone! I can't believe it's already March. That means summer has arrived in Tucson!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Let's try this again...

Last year we purchased soil, mulch, and all these plants that grow great in well-watered, rich-soiled areas. Then we went away for a weekend, and everything dried up like a prune.

I was a bit disappointmented, as gardening is a hobby & passion of mine. In fact, I became quite frustrated with our hot climate.

But we did some research on desert plants, and I found a new love! Desert plants are quite fascinating, actually. Their tough outer skin & small leaves result in maximum absorbtion of our spare water -- allowing them to thrive on little.

They are also extremely regenerative. You can cut a branch or an arm off a cactus, and plant it in the ground somewhere else to create a new plant.

So we found a very local cactus nursery last weekend, and got to work! Here are a few of the gems we planted. (These are pictures I've found offline, as I haven't taken proper pictures of our front yard yet due to the immaturity of our plants at this point)

The Desert Barrel - I found these to be kind of interesting as they grow these beautiful flowers a few times/year. Also, no matter what orientation you transplant these in the ground......they will ALSO lean to the south.

Ocotillo - These are just a fun plant that get a lot of height. One of my favorite uses of these plants, is that when they die they make for a really neat fence or gate. It definitely is for the southwestern/desert feel, however.


Agave Americana - I'm sure you've heard of agave, as the blue agave plays a part in what makes a margarita so delicious (tequila!!). Well, there are a wide variety of agave plants. We planted 4 smaller agave americano's in our yard. These are such healthy & vibrant looking plants.

Yellow Barrel Cacti - These are very similar to the previous barrel cacti I spoke about. However, they are smaller, and are planted in groups. 


Prickly Pear - These cacti put off some gorgeous flowers and fruits. The fruits have a very refreshing and sweet flavor. They make an excellent margarita, too! The picture below is an extreme version..I would never let ours get this big! You NEVER want to allow these to get too large, as large prickly pears are great "houses" for packrats! No thank you!

We learned this while house hunting, and the older homes with these plants had big pack rat holes.

And finally....

Saguaro - We don't have any saguaro's in our yard. These come with a hefty price actually, since they are so sacred to the Sonoran desert. But they are quite fascinating. Once they start growing arms, that means they are about 100 years old. So it's amazing when you see the trees with multiple arms - that means they've been in the soil for hundreds of years! How cool!


These last 2 photos were taken by yours truly! Well..not the one of me running. Ryan took that, obviously! But these were taken at our own Saguaro National Park this fall!


I hope I haven't totally bored you. I've just become mildy fascinated with this new genre of planting! When my cacti mature a little, I will post some photos!

Next post up....Chicken Curry recipe...so stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I'm still alive!

Good morning! I just realized that I have been incredibly non-existent with blogging lately!

My excuse? 2012 has been off to kind of a blah start. I've had a lot of career changes over the past few months. Working 14 hour days 4-5 days/week has gotten the best of me. And when I'm not at work, I'm stressing out about it and replaying the events from my day in my head.

But things are bound to get better! I shouldn't be working this many hours. I'm not a doctor. Those kind of hours are for physicans..not nurses! ;)

Besides spending countless hours in a hospital....my precious days off have been spent cleaning, cooking, gardening, and running! Weather has been amazing in SW Arizona. In fact, on Sunday I spend an hour laying by the pool, reading a book, drinking Sangria in 77 degree weather!

In the kitchen.....I've been on a thai-food/Indian food kick lately. I've whipped up some delicious curries, and other good stuff!

Ryan & I have also gotten an interest in desert plants. After our struggle with drought last summer with my pentunias and daisies -- I said "to hell" with traditional plants...

A blog post soon to come on what I've learned about the peculiarity of desert plants & cacti!

I hope all is well with my few readers! Also hoping to be more present here in the next few months!