Wednesday, February 18, 2009

On a roll

Last September I started taking bass guitar lessons. I have been taking them ever since (with a brief holiday related hiatus in December). My teacher is super fun and basically makes it what ever I want it to be. We have worked on technique, scales, jamming, and learning other people's songs. She definitely keeps things interesting. In November my homework was to go write a song. I basically went home, asked my daughter what to write about (mermaids) and wrote out the lyrics. Soon after I had a bass line and started to sing along with it. At Thanksgiving this year I made all our guests listen to it. :)

Since then, I have been inspired to work on more songs. I completed another song (which I am still not perfectly happy with), and have started working on 3 more. Today on the way to work, I wrote some more lyrics and am eager to put them to music.

I am not sure what is inspiring me. It could be longer days and more sun. It could be that I have started drinking honey ginseng tea again (seriously). It could be that I am working out way more than I have in a long time. Whatever it is, I am happy to have that inspiration right now.

Maybe you'll get to hear one of my songs one day?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Try a Tri(athlon)

In an effort to help create a new habit and lifestyle, I am planning to participate in a novice triathlon. In support of this, I have started a new blog where I will be posting daily progress. You can check it out here: Triathlete or Mathlete.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

5 Things I Am Grateful For

A few years ago I read a book which instructed the reader to write down 5 things a day that you are grateful for. I am totally blanking on the name of the book. Does anyone know? If so, leave it in the comments.

Anyway, I feel like we are living in a time both scary and hopeful. In order to keep the scary at bay, I think it is important to acknowledge the things you are grateful for in your life. We can get very caught up in the "what if?" game and miss the beauty of our lives now.

I am not saying to be Pollyanna and ignore the real issues in our lives. But sometimes you need to recognize the great stuff, too. So here is today's list:
  1. My wonderful family (both my own and my extended).
  2. My fantastic job.
  3. My strong, active body.
  4. Music, musicians, musical instruments, etc.
  5. Snow (especially on Mt. Hood on a day when I am snowboarding).

What things are you grateful for? How often do you remember them?

Cleaning Out The Pantry

W always tries to get me to cook from the pantry. I always respond that there is nothing in the pantry to eat. W challenged me to only purchase essentials from the grocery store but I kept saying we had nothing to eat. So this morning, I suggested we clean the pantry out and take an inventory.

HOLY SMOKES! We have a lot of food in there!!!

I filled an entire 8.5"x11" sheet of paper with the inventory. Then, we challenged each other to come up with 8 meals. The more things we used, the better. Here are our lists (which will also give you an idea of what is in our pantry):

W's list:
  1. Lentils, onions, tomato sauce and spices over rice.
  2. Steak with veggies in green simmer sauce over brown rice. *
  3. Scones with scrambled eggs. *
  4. Meat/rice loaf (like meatloaf but with rice). *
  5. Salmon rolls w/sushi rice and seaweed. (We eat this a lot).
  6. Tofu with veggies in green simmer sauce over rice.
  7. Pasta with tomato sauce.
  8. Lasagna w/tomato sauce and faux cheese. **
  9. Tacos w/refried beans and / or burritos with scrambled eggs and beans.

My list:

  1. Pasta Puttanesca. **
  2. Rice and mung bean casserole. **
  3. Cuban style black beans (from dried beans) and rice.
  4. Linguine w/ pesto. *
  5. Risotto with some frozen veggie.
  6. Spring rolls (like the ones we get at our favorite Thai food restaurant) with water chestnuts. *
  7. Three course meal: butternut squash soup, smoked oysters w/faux cream cheese on crackers, pasta with mushroom & truffle pate.
  8. Miso soup with rice, seaweed and tofu.

Notes: Not everything on our lists is in the pantry but every meal on our lists uses at least one thing from the pantry. One star (*) was for using more than one thing in the pantry. Two stars (**) was for using a few things in the pantry and for creating something that sounded really good at that moment.

It was a really fun exercise and now we are challenged to eat out of the pantry. There is nothing wrong with having a pantry full of food unless you don't eat any of it because you don't know what is in there. That mystery is solved. For now.