Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Strong Walker

The other morning, my friend and I were walking the hills of Cowan Heights and Peter's Canyon. As we were striding our way up a particularly steep hill we saw a woman out with her dog. Before we had a chance to acknowledge her, she remarked, "WOW, you are strong walkers." Between breaths we sputtered some form of response that made little or no sense. The type you wish you could go back and do again, but realize it really doesn't matter.

Her comment has continued to resonate in my head. I find it interesting that this woman had so quickly surmised what I was. I have walked and completed approximately 10 half-marathons in the last couple of years and have had difficulty defining my form of walking to those who’ve inquired. I know that I am a fast walker. I am possibly a power walker. I am NOT a race walker as indicated in the video below.

I like the term strong walker. I’d like to see myself defined that way not only physically, but spiritually. I have been a believer and follower of Christ for about 25 years. Trials come and go and at times it’s down right hard to persevere. Through it all, my faith remains strong. My desire is that the strength of my spiritual walk would be as apparent to others as my physical walk.

I LOVE my walking hobby. The opportunity to explore miles of God’s creation; the physical exhilaration, and sense of accomplishment when I’ve completed a race are phenomenal. However, the part I am most thankful for is sharing it with a group of women who are all strong walkers; physically and spiritually.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Jelly Fish!!!

My oldest son was meeting friends at Newport Beach today, so I decided to take the rest of the gang for lunch while we were down there. After scouring my Entertainment Book for a lunchtime deal, we ended up at Woody's Wharf.

We sat in the outside patio area which is actually kind of inside as it is covered with a tarp and has Plexiglas sides. Sitting dockside, we were loving our view of Newport Bay and enjoyed watching the boats go by. Almost simultaneously, Mack and I noticed that there were several jelly fish floating about in the waters below us. We couldn't believe it! I'm not kidding, if there was one, there were twenty. They were all different sizes, but looked just like the ones pictured above. I really wished that we'd had a camera with us, although I'm not sure they would've photographed well.

We were fascinated watching them and could have done so for hours. We realized that we'd seen plenty of jelly fish at aquariums or washed up on the shore, but never actually swimming in the ocean. Our vantage point was incredible and we continued to watch them throughout our entire lunch, which BTW was outstanding.

My kids and I were so thankful to have witnessed that part of God's creation. I mean, who would think that something that requires you to urinate on yourself when stung would be so amazingly beautiful and graceful!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Uncrustables and more

Smucker's really knew what they were doing when they decided to market pb&j without crusts. My kids LOVE Uncrustabales! However, I can't get over paying $3 a box for 6 frozen sandwiches. Especially since my teenage son could probably eat a box by himself. So, being the resourceful gal I am, I make my own.
I'm not sure where the fit of domesticity came from yesterday, but I decided to pull out a loaf of bread (purchased for $1 on the day old rack) and make a batch of my Uncrustables. As much as I don't get excited about these little morsels, I know that they are great to throw into the cooler bag and take to the beach which we do most Thursdays in the summer. The beauty of making my own is that I can even make a few jelly only sandwiches which satisfy my youngest who detests peanut butter. That's a feature that the folks at Smucker's don't offer.
Now that my 12 individually wrapped sandwiches were bagged and in the freezer I was faced with what to do with the remaining crusts. Personally, I don't much care for crust and have never understood why there is so much emphasis put on eating it. As a child I fell for the "it will give you curly hair" line. I obediently ate my crusts and my hair is still stick straight! Nonetheless, I couldn't just throw them away. So, I purposed them for Thursday's breakfast.
In the past, I have used them for an egg strada dish with sausage, mushrooms & cheese. However, I was feeling creative and thought I'd try something new. I had just introduced my children to the amazing Monte Cristo sandwich this past Sunday. Something I'd never actually made before, but would choose above anything else on a breakfast menu if it's there. So I proceeded to put together my own Monte Cristo casserole. Using the same technique for my original strada recipe; I layered the pieces of bread crusts sprinkled with cinnamon, slices of deli ham, strawberry jam, Swiss cheese & more bread crusts. I mixed up eggs, milk, vanilla & more cinnamon and poured it over the entire casserole.
Prior to walking this morning, I pulled it out of the fridge and put it in the oven on timed bake. It was ready to be sprinkled with powder sugar and served just after I'd gotten done showering. I have to say that my experiment turned out quite well. Even my non-breakfast eating teenage daughter went back for seconds!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

To blog, or not to blog...

That is the question! My apologies to Bill Shakespeare, if he could roll over in his grave right now I'm sure he would after that brutal misuse of classic literature.

Blogging has been a growing sport for a couple of years now. I remember when the high school group of our church announced their new blog and my then freshman son said, "Yeah, I don't get it." "Why would we blog if we can IM or text?" I've recently heard someone call it MySpace for grown-ups. I've perused a couple of friends' blogs over the last year, but never thought it was for me. After all, who has time for that? And even if I did, why would anybody be interested in my ramblings?

As of late, I've had a couple of my walking friends join the blogging world. They are completely hooked and certain that I need to join in. Couldn't we just go on a longer walk? For one of my friends I think blogging is the equivalent to scrap booking. She's able to show off the latest photos of her adorable new baby and keep everyone up to date on the happenings in their household. Four incomplete scrapbooks sit in a basket by my fireplace (where was blogging when my kids were infants?)

Due to their blogging and talks of blogging, my curiosity has been peaked and I've begun checking out theirs and others blogs pretty frequently. Each time I'm reading blogs my kids will say, "Mom, you should start a blog". Not convinced, I reply, "What would I blog about?" My oldest proclaims loudly, "Oh, I know what you'd blog about and I think you do too!" I might know what he's referring to, but I guess we'll just have to see.

So, all of that to say, that I guess I'm going to try this. Still don't know if I have the time, but since I've had to put a moratorium on my eBay shopping, maybe this will be a good replacement.