Sunday, January 29, 2006

Must be Nut Season

A walk this morning from home to the Hollywood Farmer's Market for Kiwi and Mango turns up mostly greens and nuts.

We found one enchanting nut on the corner of Sunset Boulevard with a boombox and rudimentary wind-instrument doing a little jig. Today in a colorful Pirate ensemble.
I've seen him before but this morning as we apprached from down the block I readied my camera to get a photo. He was quite obliging and as we continued on our way he carried on with his jig.

We walked at about a 3 mph pace which took us around 1 hour and 30 minutes to get to the Farmer's Market. Alas, once there I found not a Kiwi or Mango in sight so we loaded up on sweet little Tangerines, fresh Romaine and other greens. Then hopped the #2 bus home.

With my Kiwi and Mango crave unfulfilled I make a trip to the A-Grocery Warehouse and take care of business, and drop a couple of young coconuts in the basket for Will.

Will had a monster drop in weight for his Sunday morning weigh-in. Me, not so much. But a half pound is still a half pound less than I weighed last Sunday. I know I'm on the right track and I'll try not to let it get to me. It's always been a battle and I shouldn't think it'll be any less a battle now. I'm not making excuses, I just have to keep at it. And I know exercise is a big part of the weight loss equation, but after my normal 10-hour work day is done I'm done in.

So until I can find the right balance between work and working out, I'm restricted to the weekends, and glad that there are places to walk to all around me, and my Husband to share the days with.

Friday, January 27, 2006

A Pioneer's Spirit

My Grandma is a woman with a pioneer'’s spirit, as is my Mom who took to the road with her husband, Lorne after retiring early, selling the house and trading in the whole kit and caboodle for a motor home and wide open spaces. My Grandma up and sold her house in Northern California where the conifers grow dense and tall, and moved to Northern Montana, up near Glacier National Park to the small town of Troy, where my Uncle lives close by.

Last week I received a parcel posted from Troy MT containing a wildlife photo book and a card from Grandma. Turns out the photographer is her neighbor there in Troy. Don, with his wife Tess, own the property next door.
The beautiful book she sent me is also autographed, a wonderful touch. I hope to say hey to the Jones' when we visit my Grandma and Uncle in July.

Along with my Grandma's adventurous nature she has a very engaging way about her. She shines and sparkles and cries joyfully. Leaving me a message on the answering machine when I married Will, she was laughing /crying as she spoke, letting me know she was thinking of me. I called her back and she said to me that she remembered the day she married Grandpa. My Grandpa is gone now. He rests along the shady path on the bank of the great Sacramento River where he loved to fish. Will and I went back there during our Thanksgiving trip in 2004 to tackle the Castle Craggs. We lost the daylight before reaching the summit, but I got to say a silent hello to Grandpa as we passed the river on our way to the Brown Trout Cafe.

I look forward to the trip to Montana in the summer. To hitting the road and seeing what there is beyond my borders. I don'’t know what we'’ll see, but I know it'’ll be great. I know I'’ll not have seen nearly enough of what there is to see. But there will be future travels beyond our borders.
Thankfully that pioneer spirit lies in me. And something along the way is bound to make my cry joyfully.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

A Trip to A-Grocery Warehouse

The morning started slow with the sun finding its way into the bedroom and the animals finding their way onto the bed. Cats are hissing and growling, well, not cats, just one cat. Bink. He sleeps in the bed with us, his cat head resting on the pillow. Motor going. Still isn't quite used to the other cats' need to get in his space. And the bed is his territory. His safe place. On it or under it. It's his.

Once up my husband and I talk over coffee about the plans for the day. We want to get a good walk in. I need to get to a book store (and I have a 15% off coupon for Border's). I'd like to go to A-Grocery Warehouse in Echo Park for some Snow Peas.

We decide to cover two-in-one and walk to the A-Grocery Warehouse. It's a good 2.5 mile loop. The winds are calm and the sun is warm. We come upon a man loaded down with balloons and cotton candy making his way on to Sunset from a side street about a mile from Echo Park, his destination.

As he turns off the boulevard we continue on to our destination, A-Grocery Warehouse. The last time I was there it was to find the Galangal root that is essential to making Tom Ka Gai soup, a Thai coconut milk and chicken soup

Today my desire was less exotic, Snow Peas. I've had a yen for them lately and wanted to stock up for the week. After wandering up and down the narrow isles for a bit, squeezing in between carts and people that just stay put when you say "excuse me", we then wound our way out to the produce section by way of the fish counter.

Will also picked up a nice young coconut that, when home and trying to penetrate its thick husk, he ended up resorting to power tools, drilling a straw sized hole into its top to get to the juice, then using a hammer and chisel to crack it open for the tender meat inside (they made it look so easy on the beach in Zanzibar, slicing the top off with a machete).

We did make it to borders and bagged us some books. Also stopped in at Bed, Bath and Beyond where I picked up a nifty new chef's knife, a skillet and a kitchen scale.

On that note, we have both been doing very well with our resolve to control our weight and lose some weight, and have both lost 4 pounds each. Yay!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Some Trick of Time and Memory

I'm deep into A Wedding in December by Anita Shreve. Although my husband read Shreve's Sea Glass, which he thoroughly hated, I am drawn to her writing and the fact that she weaves historical events into her work, either writing in the period or floating between the past and present.

Where as Sea Glass begins on the cusp of the Great Depression, A Wedding in December takes place in the present, and through one character's musings chronicles the events of another December morning in Halifax, Nova Scotia, when the WWI French munitions ship, Mont Blanc, collides with the Norwegian vessel, Imo. The result is the largest man made explosion in history, that is until the atomic bomb.

This story within the story is as richly populated with engaging characters as the main story. They take place in the same month, and when snow begins to fall in one, so it does in the other. So beautifully written and told. Ahh, I love a good book.

"Very weird." Harrison said. "There's some trick of time and memory at work here that I haven't quite figured out yet."

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Tree Ferries and Lemonade Elfs

Last week it rained buckets and the wind kicked up so we had to forgo our planned hike. Today we made up for it. But first Will scoured the block for abandoned Christmas trees as inevitably the less aware individuals on the planet think the tree ferrie must come along and magically their discarded trees disappear from our city's sidewalks. So he loaded up the truck with our tree, and 4 more collected from the street, and off we went to the Zoo parking lot to have them turned into mulch.Then it was off to Fern Dell for our hike up to the Observatory (which we also did last year at about this same time). A beautiful clear blue day, the sun warm on my skin and the scent of pine on the breeze, and my baby at my side. Fern Dell starts out sweet enough but as you come out of the meandering path along the stream and up onto the hillside it becomes a fairly quick but steep 500’ elevation gain. All told about a 2.5 miler (according to the Garmin Forerunner thingy that my husband has which reveals such things).At the end of our hike we took a drive up the road to see that the renovation is still underway and we can’t get anywhere near the observatory as of yet. We talked of coming back and doing the popular Mount Hollywood trail in the early early morning, catching the sunrise (and beating the crowds).Back at the bottom of the hill we made a stop at the Trail CafĂ© where we had fresh made lemonade, made by this adorably elf-ish young man, and a very tasty hummus wrap with feta, calamata olives and cucumber. And, although tasty, for as petite as the wraps were I think the $6 price tag was a little too much. But that won’t keep me from coming back the next time and giving one of their pies a try.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

On the Road to the Goal

Today is the first day of my resolve to gain control of my weight, beginning with food choices and portion size. For example, instead of a toasted bagel and cream cheese or an english muffin and butter for my morning snack at work, I had a small apple and some craisins.

Then, while doing some work online, I come across a site called that upon investigation looked like it would be a good tool to assist me in my endeavor. Plus, signing up for a web account is free. So once home from work I set about the set up of my account, including age, height, and weight (agh!). Then I entered my goal and the timeframe in which I want to reach my goal. So far it is all very doable. Based on the figures that I entered I need to lose about 1.17 pounds a week to reach my goal by 07/01/06.

I know I'll never be the shape I was in my 20's,
but I still have some curves, and besides that's not really the goal. The goal is to be healthy, and comfortable in my body. To get my body moving, which it longs to do, if my mind could only remember how good it feels when it does.