Sunday, April 19, 2015

Beat the Blerch

You guys. I did something crazy. I signed up for a marathon even though I haven't run in months. I went on my first training run yesterday (a long run - 3 miles!) and I didn't die. I think I'm going to have to run for time or map out my routes ahead of time for a while, because if I run with my GPS watch I'll be too embarrassed of how slow I am.

I'm very excited about this race though, because my friend Claire whom I've been friends with since 6th grade and her baby boy are coming! She's going to run the 10k. And it's the Beat the Blerch run, which should be a blast! The whole event started with the of a Seattle based blogger, The Oatmeal, who wrote comics about running and life that eventually became a book and everyone loves him. He writes about the blerch instead of the wall distance runners talk about.

I highly suggest you read the rest here

They have cake and nutella sandwiches and grape drink (from another one of his comics about running) and blerches that chase you and tell you to slow down and quit and couches along the way for you to rest, and it's on a trail along the Snoqualmie River so you get all the fun of a trail race without having to run up a friggin mountain. It should be fun!!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Banana Bread Cake

I made some fancy banana bread today. It's vegan, gluten free, oil free, and most importantly contains chocolate chips, which are the only source of added sugar. I didn't really measure anything, and I haven't actually tasted it yet but the batter was delicious. I loosely based it on this recipe and this one.

I used 3 bananas,
~1/3c almond milk,
1t vanilla,
1T nut butter,
1 1/2 - 2c oats (1c I ground to oat flour)
~3/4c hazelnut/almond meal I made once from the leftovers when I made nut milk,
1T baking powder,
Cinnamon and baking spice,
A pinch of salt
A small handful chocolate chips

I also made a glaze out of banana and peanut butter.

Happy Saturday!

Monday, April 6, 2015

On Death and Dying

Usually with Easter comes thoughts of rebirth, new life, springtime, and beginnings, but my grandmother on my mom's side passed away early this morning at a hospice center in Austin, TX. They moved her from the hospital yesterday, and she got to see all her children and their spouses, her husband, and her dog one last time. My uncle and the dog were there overnight when it happened. She's been sick for a couple weeks, and we were lucky that she came to a couple times and was actually able to talk to people. I talked to her on Saturday, and she couldn't respond, but my mom said she was listening. She was a very special person in my life and I have so many good memories with her! She touched so many people and was such a kind and thoughtful person. She was an avid reader of my blog and I will miss her but I know she lived a good life and I am grateful to have known her. 

This is from an e-mail my mom sent me yesterday:
"Last year when Carolyn was taking her freshmen seminar on Death and dying, she had an assignment and interviewed Grandmother.  This is what she said:

How has religion shaped your view of death?  

I think it definitely has shaped my view of death.  I feel there is a purpose in life and
 that someday I will be with God in his loving care.  I don’t fear death for this reason.  Maybe it is separation that I fear.  I feel thankful for each day of my life, even with 
pain of arthritis or allergies or back pain or neuropathy, or whatever.  I am lucky to
 have lived as long as I have and have been been fairly productive with my life.  Unlike some people, I have been fortunate to be able to watch children grow up, followed by grandchildren.

Do I have fears of the future?

Sometimes I worry about getting a horrible illness or that I won’t get good care when
 I am unable to care for myself.  I sometimes worry it will it will be too sad to leave my home someday.  I think of possible difficulties in transitioning into an assisted living situation:  What if I am not content with my choice of living quarters?  What then?
I don’t wish to have a long painful death: sometimes I worry about that.  I often think
 how nice it would be to just fall asleep and not wake up when I die.  True peace.

Have you experienced the death of anyone else that particularly struck you or made you think?

I can think of several newborn babies or classmates or relatives (8, 12, 15, 16 21 years)
 or young people in the prime of their life, not having the chances I have had or the 
joys or adventures, die too young.  This makes me appreciate my own extended lifetime, and also appreciate more each day that I can enjoy the lives of those I love and each 
day I have had them in my life."

Friday, April 3, 2015

Better Than Before

On this vacation I actually had time to read a whole book! - Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin. I like her books because none of what she writes about is revolutionary stuff, but she reads all the books I would want to about happiness, or in this case habits, and talks about them all in one place while trying to put them into practice and recruiting people around her to see what works for them too. One of the main ideas of this book is that everyone fits into one of four categories that describes how they respond to both over and outer expectations. From her website, in a nutshell:
  • Upholders respond readily to outer and inner expectations (I’m an Upholder, 100%)
  • Questioners question all expectations; they’ll meet an expectation if they think it makes sense (myhusband is a Questioner)
  • Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike
  • Obligers meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves

To take the quiz to see which you are, go here (I'm an Obliger. Explains a lot). Now I just have to put it into practice! I would highly recommend this book for anyone who's alive!