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Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Favorite Things II

First some housekeeping

Part 2 of the camping series is in the works – I have a lot to post about lately, and I tend to do series when things get slow. I won’t forget about it, but I also want to use material that is time sensitive as it comes.

The naming game – I thought of a name that I really like last night that actually isn’t on the list. Yes it’s horsey and literary. So those of you who got into the game late and are looking at the list in despair – there IS still a name out there I’m seriously considering that’s not on the list, so keep submitting! If I do pick a name that isn’t on the list, everyone who entered names will be put into a random drawing to determine a winner.

Comment response – Lyme Beast – I wish I would have seen your comment earlier when I was at the coffee shop! I would have liked to have actually put a comment…but as I’m at work (shhhhh…don’t tell) I wanted to respond briefly. First off – I’ve personally known people with Lyme and vet school + lyme has got to be tough. I’m sure I will be even more in awe once I start (fingers crossed) vet school. Since I’m not IN vet school, I can’t comment on what will and wont’ work for me once I’m in school, however the commitments I shared at the end of the post have been one of the most successful techniques I’ve used so far to manage stress in my life so it will be interesting to see how they change and evolve as I deal with vet school. I’ve made a note to return to the post after spending 1-2 semesters in vet school and evaluate/discuss what is and is not working for me as stress-coping techniques (assuming my brain isn’t completely fried from the stress and I’m able to string words together for the blog still!). Even if this DOESN’T work in vet school, hopefully readers of the blog (the majority who are not going to vet school) find something useful there. Good luck on your test! (and no worries about being grumpy – have you seem some of my posts over the last year?????)

Vet school update – official notifications start Monday, although last year I hear they started finding out a couple of days early. Trying not to think about that, as I will be helplessly, compulsively checking my e-mail and getting even less done than usual.

Now onto my favorite things! (II)

Hummus – I used to think I didn’t like hummus. One evening, thinking I was getting a spoonful of peanut butter at my parents, I accidentally scooped into the hummus. It was awful. That taste of hummus, when I was expecting peanut butter stuck with me for a long time. Recently at a friend’s house I tried some and voila! I love it. I’ve stuck to that brand (original flavor) since I’m not sure I would like the rest of it, but I’ll be experimenting soon with homemade hummus as soon as I find tahini paste in the grocery store. My favorite uses are to use it in place of other condiments, such as mayo. For the 20 MT lunch check, my lunch was cheddar cheese, ham, and hummus wrapped in a tortilla. Yum!

Continuing with the food theme, I thought I would share one of my favorite, recently discovered, breakfast dishes! It’s a heavier breakfast, so I usually save it on the mornings I run, for a post run meal. It’s satisfying, without being overly heavy, and sneaks an extra serving of veggies into my day. First I make a bed of baby arugula. You can use spinach, but I find the texture and flavor of arugula tends to go down better in the mornings. I sprinkle hand crushed walnuts over the top, and then a sprinkling of cheese (usually jack, mozzarella, or parmesan). On top of that goes 1-2 sunny side eggs, and bacon. Then a splash of vinegar (I’ve been using a lot of a local balsamic lately), and a dusting of black pepper.

Evernote – I downloaded “Evernote” onto my itouch last weekend and was immediately intrigued. I lost my thumb drive a few months back and haven’t gotten around to replacing it. Without internet at home it’s a pain to try and get files from my work computer to my home computer to Matt’s computer, and have them on my ipod when I want to view them. In addition to files and pictures people send me that I want to keep, there’s the notes I constantly write to myself regarding the blog, the website, or upcoming trips. One feature I really like the ability to clip web pages into evernote. Thus, I can find a cool website on agility training or endurance and “clip” it to evernote, instead of bookmarking it on THAT computer, writing down the URL, or e-mailing it to myself, where it will sit in my inbox annoying me forever. There’s a couple of glitches so far – my Mac OS X system is too old to download it to the computer. So I must use the internet program. There’s a lot my itouch CAN’T do with the files in Evernote, such as take photos I’ve saved in Evernote and transfer them to the ipod picture folder to make them available for wall papers etc. (although this could be my ignorance as well). Another annoying thing is not being able to view my notes off line. I can add notes that will be viewable and any edits I make to exisiting notes will be viewable, but after they synchronize on a wifi connection, you can’t view the note unless you have a wifi connection. Apparently this feature (being able to view notes while not on line from the itouch or computer) is available if you use their subscription service. I might consider that, but because I can’t install evernote on my ancient tiger OSX system, the usefulness of this feature greatly diminishes until I get my new computer. Also, with the free version you are limited to the types of files that you can upload to evernote – again, something that goes away with the paid version. Pics upload no problem, any finished docs I import as pdf, and anything in progress I copy and paste as text, so for now it works. Bottom line – if you employ multiple devices and computers across several locations, consider looking into the program and seeing if it’s something that might work for you.

Fresh herbs – I’ve been considering seriously my food choices. I’ve been doing a good job with my “food as fuel” commitment – meaning that I recognize on a daily basis that how I FEEL is directly correlated into what EXACTLY goes into my body. I’m toying with the idea of going organic in several areas of my diet where I feel I could get the most bang for my buck and health – namely animal protein and fruits/vegetables. Since I’m moving into a HOUSE, I can also consider raising some of my own fruits and veggies and have taken the first step in potting some fresh herbs in my apartment. I must say I am LOVING having access to fresh herbs. It’s amazing the subtlety in flavor that is missed when using dried herbs. I’ve been making little pseudo pizzas (made on a corn tortilla) that are olive oil, garlic, plops of ricotta, with a liberal sprinkling of fresh rosemary, and I’m in LOVE. (and yes I fully recognize that I just described a junk food).

Coffee cup – A couple years ago on a road trip I bought a coffee cup at starbucks that I really liked. It lasted all of 2 weeks before it broke. I exchanged it for another, identical one. It broke again within a month. I decided it was a piece of crap and I wouldn’t replace it. Here’s the problem though – almost every week over the past 2 years, I find myself wishing I had that cup. One thing I like about it was it was clear. I LIKE clear mugs, because I drink a lot of tea and I like looking at the unique color each one have. It was 16 oz as opposed to my other covered coffee mug that is 12oz. It had a close/open top that was easy to use with one hand while biking, and it fits into the cup holder on the bike. “So what’s the issue?” you say, “go buy another one! Obviously you really liked it” Here’s the issue: all of starbucks cups are made in china. So every time I found one and flipped it over, there were the words “china” and I had to think. Did I like it well enough to buy it anyways? How committed was I to try and not make unnecessary purchases outside of US manufacture? I couldn’t even use the argument that it was superior quality as I knew darn well my last two were broke within 2 months. Finally yesterday, I found one at a local starbucks and I bought it. Made in China and all. And it was on sale. And they are discontinuing it. I’m planning on being really careful with it, and maybe it will last. And with every sip, I appreciate it more, because I waited for it. I can’t in good conscious recommend a Starbucks cup because of manufacture origin, but I CAN recommend that if you find something that you really like, you think about it and you wait on it – and still decide you want it, it feels glorious to indulge – even if it’s just a $7 coffee cup.


  1. I think I just need to read blogs during my brain-melt time on pre-exam night instead of trying to formulate a response...because I just sound like a big fat meanie! Honestly, I know I was trying to say something about YOUR priorities being the absolute most important, and how only you can decide what is most important. Did it come out that way?! So I am glad that you were able to take my caffeine riddled, 15 hours of non stop GI phys influenced comment in a humorous way, rather than reading too much into it.

    Since I'm just now able to read again after Friday's brain melt, I am:
    a. super glad you got accepted, because there is NOT BETTER FEELING, ZOMG!
    b. sure that you will get what I am trying so hard to say and am desperately failing at sometime during first year, lol

    Aaaand, I think that is about all my brain is capable of at this point, as I keep going YAY ACCEPTANCE and am getting tired of deleting that! :D

  2. Lyme Beast - no worries. :) I'm sure I will get experience EXACTLY what you are are in a year! LOL. I'm glad you clarified because what you are saying now makes a ton of sense!

    The internet is a tricky thing, and I usually assume that people have the best of intentions when they post, even if it doesn't come out exactly they way they probably meant it to. I figure there's no harm is assuming the best *shrug*. it's less energy and much more fun to find something funny than to be offended :)


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