Swimming, no swimming, cookies, goats and RAPID!

Well, it’s November now. Mid-November. On October 1st, my gym reopened for swimming and I’ve been swimming my brains out (social distanced, reservations required, one person per lane, masks when not in the pool, etc.). Seriously, I’ve been swimming six times per week and this morning, my mile time is finally back to where it was in March.

And now, on November 18th, Portland is shutting down again for a month. There will be no swimming for me. This was announced on Friday and once I heard, I made swimming reservations for Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. As sad as I am about not being able to swim, I’m happy things are closing down again. The COVID numbers are f*cking crazy and something has to be done. #wearamask #stayhome

And we will be doing nothing for Thanksgiving, which I kind of like, but then again, we haven’t done anything in months. J is usually out of town for Thanksgiving so it’s also weird that he’ll be home. We’re planning to have a special Thanksgiving dinner get takeout, but I am also planning to do a bit a baking! #carbsarelife #onlybreadformeplease

And speaking of baking, I baked some cookies last week! It’s been a while, but J needed some holiday cookies for work (a Zoom thing). He was supposed to bake the cookies himself, but we decided that it was in the best interest of humanity that I bake them. They’re called Cherry Winks:

I guess J’s grandmother made them when he was a kid. She got the recipe off the back of a box of cornflakes.

J couldn’t find golden raisins and he forgot to pick up eggs so these actually turned out to be vegan (I used Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer instead of the eggs and almond milk)! They were good and I ate about 10, but I think they would be better if you swapped out the vanilla and used almond extract instead. I love that stuff.

I also saw some goats last week! I love goats. They are so weird, especially their eyes. I started walking with a friend again a few weeks ago and our route takes us by these hilarious goats, Bill and Ted!

Bill is the white one and Ted is the brown one. And no, we don’t walk in the country. This is in Portland, in just a regular neighborhood. #keepportlandweird

Bill isn’t as friendly as Ted. Ted always wants to be petted so he comes right up the fence and then stands on it so he can be extra close.

OMG, look at his eyes? Why are his pupils like that? It is so creepy…but I love it. If you stop petting him, he does this:

Ted is great.

Finally, I have a super important announcement and it’s about this lady:

My sister, not me. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before, but she started a nonprofit last year. It’s called RAPID and its mission is help Veterans and people with disabilities accept, embrace and thrive. Emily does a lot of public speaking and training about inclusion, equity and diversity and how that intersects with people with disabilities and she’s incredibly good at it. She recently spoke to over 1,700 people as part of a state-wide diversity conference. Pretty awesome.

Anyway, this Friday, RAPID is celebrating its first birthday! Virtually, of course. And you’re all invited!

It should be about an hour long, it’s free and you’re welcome to join if you want to find out what RAPID is all about. You can register and/or donate here! Full disclosure – I’m on the RAPID board of directors and I will also be speaking that night. I know, my sister is pretty brave to give me the mic. I will be doing my best to NOT be a total sh*tshow. No promises, though. Maybe I’ll wear my hot pink swimsuit…

Enjoy your Sunday!

Posted in Baking, COVID-19, Creatures, Eating, Family, Weirdness, Workout | 3 Comments

School, Meditation, a Walk, and a Film Festival!

After doing a lot of nothing for many months, this last week has been pretty dang busy! First, on Monday, Kennedy came over for the day and I monitored all the school stuff.

I don’t know how you parents and teachers are doing this every day because it was exhausting. I thought I’d be able to get my own stuff done while she was in “class” but that didn’t happen either because by the time I was settled in, she was done with class and asking me to review her assignments. Whoa. I think it was a good break for Kennedy and her parents so we’ll definitely do it again. This also means that Kennedy is now in our quarantine bubble, which is so nice because I finally got to hug her again!!!

Then on Friday, Ken came over again to spend the night when her parents went out of town! We went down the Portland Film Festival to check out the step-and-repeat and to visit J and George (both volunteers).

George gave her a little boost for the photos!

While we were there, Ken ate a Voodoo donut and saw a protest! She really had a true Portland experience. Oops.

The next morning, it looked like we’d been out partying all night! My hair is a disaster.

I’m trying to grow it out and it’s taking most of my willpower not to just shave it all off every day. I’ve really loved my short hair, but it’s been like this for more than a year and it’s time to change it…again. Anyway, we’ll see if I can get it passed the mullet stage and into the “bob” stage. Ugh.

I started doing guided meditations (on the Calm app) a few months ago and I’m really enjoying it! I thought it would be good for Kennedy to do one with me. I normally just do the daily meditation that’s about 10 minutes long and has a different focus each day. The subject yesterday was “Unstuck.” I didn’t think anything of it and just started it with Ken. When the guide started talking about getting “unstuck” it was in reference to relationships and work. I’m sure seven year old Kennedy found it very helpful. Regardless, she sat through the entire session, with her eyes closed, just breathing. I was impressed and it was pretty cool.

After re-centering ourselves for the day, we headed out for a walk. I have a new walk now that I’m living in the city and I really like it. More importantly, Ken made it the entire 5.3 miles complaining most of the way with enthusiasm!

We played a game where we got points for finding “Black Lives Matter” signs – she loves to see them – and that helped keep her going. #blacklivesmatter She also enjoying pointing out apartments where she thought we could live as neighbors and where we could have 100 dogs. #welovedogs

When we got home, we gave my dad a call and he asked Kennedy to write a Christmas list for him. I’ve never seen her so focused and excited.

She insisted on typing it out so that it was neat and she asked for things like a virtual reality headset and a phone. Seriously?! She’s seven. I’m surprised she didn’t ask for a car.

After being greedy and pretty much asking for the moon, I thought it was time for Kennedy to see me do one of the most important things in life – VOTE!

She even read through the voting pamphlet while I completed my ballot. She’s getting to be such a great reader, I really love it! Needless to say, I had a great time with my little niece and I can’t wait for her to come over again.

Posted in Family, Hair, Trophy Husband, Workout | 4 Comments

Another Birthday!

And today, it’s my birthday! And what a weird one, right? As many of you who’ve had birthdays in the last eight months know, birthdays aren’t the same. But before I get to my birthday I have to share a couple of pics from the weekend. I went for a walk with one of my best friends and I’m totally in love with her dog, Pippa.

OMG, she is such a pretty girl. Lazy, but pretty. She doesn’t go on walks with us because she doesn’t like to walk very far and will just lie down and refuse to move. And it’s pretty impossible to get her 120 pound body up once she’s down. #quarantine15

On our walk we saw this beautiful mural on the street:

It was huge (and difficult to get a picture of) and so impressive! When we walked by someone else had a ladder with them so they could get a better picture from higher off the ground. It was really incredible.

Oh and one more thing before I talk about today – my gym opened its pools last week! We have to reserve a lane and we can’t take showers (well, we can, but only to rinse) so I go home in my wet bathing suit every time, but it was magical. I was the first one in the pool on opening day and the gym posted a story of me (and the other swimmers) swimming on Instagram.

While it felt like I was swimming through cement and my arms were tired after about four lengths, it was so good to be back in the pool. And masters synchro started back again too (I felt like I was drowning), and it was awesome. We all have to wear masks on deck and social distance in the water, but it’s really not too bad and it was so fun to be back.

As you probably guessed, I started my birthday off by swimming so f*cking early this morning. I thought I’d swim early so I wouldn’t feel bad about lying around all day eating cake. Which is exactly what I’ve done! Last week, I decided that I wanted to bake a cake for my birthday. A layer cake, which, for whatever reason, I’ve never done. I found a recipe for a Vegan Biscoff Cake that looked great so I thought I’d give it a try. And it was a success!

It wasn’t the most neat or perfect cake, but I think it was pretty good for a first try! And I ate about a million pounds of frosting and felt like I was going to die sick. I watched all of the episodes of The Vow and started watching Love Life (both on HBOMax), took two or three naps, ate a cupcake that J got for me and then contemplated throwing all the cake away. Instead I had a great idea and sent a text to one of my best friends and eating partners, George! I told him I had leftover cake and he drove right over to pick it up! LOL.

Old habits die hard, right? Well, G was thrilled to take 3/4 of a cake home with him and I’m so happy J and I won’t eat the rest of it tonight/tomorrow.

Needless to say, I had a great day, didn’t do anything but bake and eat and I loved it! Happy Birthday to me!

Posted in Baking, Eating, Family, Trophy Husband, Workout | 4 Comments