Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pleasant heat.

 Have you tried this?  You should.  Just one teensy square....I may regret letting this bar come over to my house to play, but Oh my gosh.  Yum.  Not a real strong taste of pepper, just a warmth in the back of your mouth to go with the warm fuzzys chocolate always gives you.  Speaking of Chocolate (yes it IS capitalized in my world), I'm trying to round up some of the usual suspects to go to a chocolate tasting class at Tony Caputo's in Salt Lake.  Here's the schedule. So it would have to be a way out at the end of November --the 29th, or October 11th.  25 bucks.  But have you ever tried the chocolate they've got up there? Holy spumoni. I'll drive.

OK, here's the picture I should be sharing with you.  This is my last week of the CSA produce thing.  It didn't turn out at all how I planned, their produce overlapped all of my own garden's bounty, producing some waste --like I made spaghetti sauce out of heirlooms for crying out loud.  They should each and every one be eaten sliced on olive oil toast with fresh basil chiffonade, but there's only so many I can eat myself!  Anyway, look at the colors there: red orange yellow, green and purple.  No blue food.  Didn't I have a conversation about that with someone recently?  Have you read the Lightening theif? Have you ever tried Coldstone's cotton candy ice cream?  Blue food is sometimes amazing --but not as amazing as that chocolate.  Takers on the class?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Personal Trainer

Just thought I'd give an update on the personal trainer thing. I passed (yay!), and now I'm trying to get the business thing up and going. I've got some forms I need to get copied, but at least I found them all, and I'm ordering some equipment, but I've got one (count 'em one!) official client (my sister-in-law), and one other potential client (my OTHER sister-in-law).

It's a little hard to give Training the time it needs because I'm teaching 6 classes a week, and I take a lot of time preparing them (this last week I taught 7 classes). Tia and Ari are doing classes after school, and once again we have speech twice a week up at BYU.

I gotta tell you though, I REALLY like it. I've put together a few programs for people so far and I'm loving it. I do the same kind of thing for 4 of my classes, looking for new ways to work your muscles, and researching safety and things, and I just love it.

Also, after that comment from my brother "you're crazy", I realized I was. I stopped being so strict and regimented with my diet, and went back to tracking calories online. It is sooo working for me. OK, I'm not losing 10 pounds a week, but I'm able to control my eating a lot better with a little more leeway in my choices. I am glad I did the other diets just to help train me to make better choices, but now if there is a fun-size butterfinger offered to me in my YW class, and I'm starving, I eat the dang thing and just enter it in when I get home. My only guidelines are that I try to get in at least 100 grams of protein a day, avoid junk food for the most part, and I try to get in a lot of vegetables at every meal. If I do those three things, I usually do pretty great in my eating. No comments from girls on my bowling team!! :0 We had some treats there at our Friday tournament, and I swear --I had close to 900 calories of stuff that left me hungry in a half an hour!! That's rotten. I did some extra exercise, but then didn't beat myself up when I didn't make my calorie goal. I just tried to go a little lighter the next day, and I was OK.

I plan on counseling clients to use the free calorie counter I'm using, but if they want a nutrition plan, will work with a dietitian from the Utah clinic to develop one for them. I know it was helpful in training me to figure out good choices . It's just that when my diet's too restrictive, I binge. I guess that's a common problem with restrictive diets. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Do you let people make mistakes?

Made a mistake last night. Kinda a biggie. I had 4-5 of my young women in the car, and went to change lanes to the left, and someone was in my blind spot. To say I didn't see him is putting it mildly. I checked my mirror more than once, and was focused on the car behind him. I must not have turned my head at all. The sun was going down on that side, so maybe that was why? Sun in my eyes? The poor guy moved into the turning lane and stopped completely, while I moved into a construction zone, and was trapped between cones for a mile. I must have RUINED his day. I didn't hit him --no thanks to me. My young women were a little traumatized, but bowling at BYU for an hour or two and they seemed fine. So, here's my question: we all screw up right? How do we move past it?

I did this catering job with my friend a few yeas ago, and screwed up the planning. We ran out of two side dishes and a salad. We blamed the hogging vegetarians, but I know it was my fault, because the numbers I gave to my friend to prepare were just plain wrong. I hadn't done anything but reception catering for years, and a dinner is a different animal. I swear I had post traumatic stress syndrome for a couple of weeks over that one. I kept looking in the oven that night, but there was just no more food in it. I ended up going to Macaroni Grill and buying some pilafs, and salads and serving those. I kept crying in church even, because it seemed like forgiveness from Heavenly Father wouldn't even help. At least when you sin, you can get forgiveness and be clean, but a screw-up?

One way that helps me to get past these times, is to let everyone else make mistakes. I had another catering job last summer, and wanted to use a local bakery for the pitas. They couldn't get them right, but I remembered my mistakes and kept giving them the chance to get it right. I kept bringing in examples, and asking them to try different things, and had high hopes, but have to admit, finally the day was upon us, and when I picked them up I was disappointed. they worked, but just barely. Still, it helps me feel better knowing I gave them the chance to make it right. I don't know if my client agrees....but I REALLY want people to succeed after they've made a mistake. I really want to believe it can make you better at what you do. I feel like I became a very careful caterer after my fiasco, and I hope I can become a much better driver after last night.

I read an article last year in Time about Hillary that profiled some huge mistakes she'd made as Secretary of State (I hope I finally got the right link) doing probably the hardest job in the world --negotiating middle east peace talks. They kinda jumped all over her and it made me sad. I didn't vote for her, but I've gotta say I've always admired her. Sue me. Anyway, the headlines this morning looked so good --she had a great sound bite: "This is the time, these are the leaders". Maybe she's pulling something off over there. I'm rooting for her.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Hugest Bestest Aquarium in the World.

Hey! What's that little swirly green thing to the left? Is it a piece of kelp? Is it an alien? No it's a SEA HORSE! Click on the picture to see up close. I know I say my favorite animal is the giraffe, but these little guys may be a close second. Sea horses have their own big room in the Monterey Bay Aquarium and no wonder, they are so fascinating. These "Leafy Sea Dragons" were the star of the show. With their tank in the very back, like a centerpiece for the exhibit, you really had to push a little to get space to see them. People would stand there forever watching. Did you know it's the boy sea horses who get pregnant? They had some pregnant males there. It made me really happy in a mean sort of way.
Here's feeding time in the kelp forest tank. The diver under water had a microphone inside his "helmet" to talk to the docent standing outside the tank, and a bone conduction listening device to hear the docent talk back. I'd heard of these bone conduction things before when we were fitting Ari with her hearing aids. Here's a link to the hearing aids, and I'd guess they'd work similarly to what he was using.
These are the same jellies we saw outside in the bay. The ones that hunted Jeff down.

Barnacles. They really do look like that with their little feelers poking out. We had a guy in college (I studied Marine biology) that could do a great barnacle imitation. Remind me to show you what it looked like sometime.

I had to include at least one blurry picture of this guy. He was bigger than Jeff. Bigger than I. Bigger than Jeff and I together. He also seemed to want to make friends since he kept coming over to the side of the tank to say Hi. That, or maybe he was hungry.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Road trip, a French Bakery, and The Marine Mammal Protection Act

Go ahead and laugh foodie friends. It's typical that the first highlight of my time in Monterey was a little French bakery where we went a couple of times for sandwiches, bread, and the finally for some amazing pastries. This was only about half of their selection. We got a nice healthy (healthy sized!) sampling our last day there.
One of the reasons I wanted to go back to Monterey (I lived there for a semester in college) was my memory of diving around the bay accompanied by seals and sea lions. They're just like dogs: friendly, playful and curious. Every time I talk about playing underwater hide-and-seek with them though, someone always brings up the scary "Marine Mammal Protection Act" and how you're not supposed to bother them etc. etc. We paid "Dave" to take us out in his little boat to go diving, and guess who followed us out there and swam around with us the whole time? I swear they LIKE to be around people.

I could write a whole post on my crazy brain and how it kept telling me a sudden storm was going to come up and swamp the boat (not a cloud in the sky), how a sneaky current was going to sweep me out to sea, or worst of all, I'd panic underwater ("am I panicking yet? am I panicking yet?") and accidentally kill myself with compressed air. But I won't. Suffice it to say, I did the dive, and I'm proud of myself. If only there were some sort of pill I could swallow to shut my brain up at those times. sister tells me they DO have pills to quiet voices in your head....I hope I'm not to that point yet.
Isn't she beautiful? This is a sea lion not a seal (sea lions have ears). They don't play as much, but they seem to be great at flopping all over docks. They had to put barriers in all over the dock so the sea lions wouldn't take them over.

If you look close, you'll see a bunch of jellyfish. These ones were brown and white, but we also saw light blue and clear ones. We weren't too worried about being stung, because the water was so cold we had on 7mm diving suits covering every square inch of skin except for maybe an inch around the mouth where your regulator goes in. So on our second dive, Jeff gets a killer attack jellyfish that goes right for his face, and he got stung above the lip. (not really --they randomly drift) What're the odds of that?

This is the other thing about Monterey: it's incredibly romantic. It's so beautiful and picturesque. It looked like Pirates of the Caribbean could come sailing right out of the harbor any minute. Cold and foggy in the mornings until the sun burned it off, the mist only made it more mysterious and endearing.

Jeff really wanted to see the Redwoods, so we took a day trip up through San Francisco to Muir woods. I REALLY wanted to see Chinatown though, so we drove around and around San Francisco for close to 2 hours looking for it. I saw some great views and learned how to run the GPS thing on Jeff's phone, but by the time we found Chinatown I just wanted to move on.

We got to the Redwoods so late, they let us in for free. That was cool, but it made the woods "lovely, dark, and deep". We didn't see the banana slugs either because it was pretty dry there by that time of the year.

Don't they look like flowers? Huge huge flowers.

I still have to tell you about the aquarium, so come back tomorrow (or maybe the next day if I don't pull it together in time).

Sunday, September 5, 2010

First day : Park City and the Hotel Monaco

Jeff and I have been saving up our sky miles for --forever and finally decided to cash in for our anniversary. First we were going to go to Costa Rica. Then we realized we had to set our sights a little bit lower, looked at swimming with the whale sharks in Cancun or Isla Holbox, then decided with hotel and everything, continental U.S. was going to have to do it for us.

I spent a spring semester in Monterey studying marine biology when I was about 20, and have wanted to go back ever since. It's been a long time! This was my opportunity. I planned our trip out with 4 nights in a hotel there, with a day in Park City and a night in Salt Lake right before we left.

Jeff and I got some deal off of KSL to try the two Park City ziplines, and the alpine slide. Soooo fun! here's a link showing some grandpa going down the zipline (it was drizzling a little so we didn't get pictures or video) and here's the info on all of the rides up there. Jeff wanted to race, but I knew (from my Jr. High physics class) that if he weighs more, the momentum is going to be on his side so I didn't agree. Yeah, then I beat him both times. No, I don't weigh more than him!
After Park City, we spent the night in the Hotel Monaco. What a beautiful building!! The top picture is from the foyer right where you walk in. These two are from the main lobby. Jeff said he didn't feel really comfortable there, and I think the decor was geared more towards women or gay men. Secretly I didn't feel hip enough for that place either but kept it to myself. Does it mean anything to anybody when I say it seemed like Rocky's (the old SLC mayor's) crowd there? Later we walked to the Gateway for dinner, and coming back, watched a drug deal in progress on the corner by the hotel. I think we're going back to the Hilton next time.

Remember Deja's post about matching? Here's a question for that crowd. How do these all prints match in one room?? But they did. This was our room and it was beautiful.

Two queens. No king rooms left. That was a bummer. I need to say how grateful I am that they upgraded us from the "two fulls" room we were first put in. We just messed one bed up, and then the other since we wanted our money's worth! I'll post about Monterey tomorrow, so come back.