All of the things lately

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Upgrading my “everyday carry” - Wikipedia defines everyday carry as “a small collection of tools, equipment and supplies that are carried on a daily basis to assist in tackling situations ranging from the mundane to the disastrous.”  As an fully-functional (okay maybe semi-functional) adult, I’m not quite sure why its taken me so long to realize that there is no reason for me to lug around all the extra cards, coins, and four different types of lip balm.  Is it really necessary to carry enough painkillers to knock out a baby elephant?  I’ve never been a big purse girl and I’m going to challenge myself to see how much I can downsize in what I carry.  So far my list of essentials has been pared down to include some credit cards / ID / cash, phone, a journal, a pen, a stick of chapstick, and a knife.  What do y’all think?  Anything I’m leaving out?

The simple life - With what seemed like the first nice day of spring, I ditched work early-ish and walked around outdoors on Monday evening for around two hours before the sun went down.  It felt so good to be outside without layering up.  Of course, after a long, bright afternoon trail ride this weekend, I’m now baked in true lobster fashion with an awkward sunburn on my chest and face.  Par for the course for the summertime in Texas.  Ryon and I were surrounded by clouds of mosquitoes in the middle of the afternoon so there’s also that pleasant seasonal plague.  Can’t win them all..

Low carbing it - On week two, I’ve modified the cleanse somewhat because honestly, no one needs to deal with two weeks of unpleasant Rooth.  This past week, I added in complex carbs like sweet potatoes and oats with some cheat bittersweet chocolate thrown in the mix in the evenings.  I’ve also been surviving off of jars (upon jars) of almond butter.  Dipped in celery, I think I could subsist off of that alone.  Mid-week, I had a momentary lapse of judgment and ate a single slice of whole wheat bread which my stomach proceeded to thrash around violently for the next few hours.  It could have been the bread or perhaps the four cups of coffee I drank that morning, I mean who’s to say.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited about getting back to a more “normal” diet next week.  It’s been a fun experiment and made me more in tune with what my body tells me about what it wants.  I do need to add more protein to my diet and perhaps it isn’t the worst thing in the world to listen to my body when it asks for bread and fruit under stressful conditions.  

Permission to live life - And write about it later.  There’s a whole lot of life going on right now and my blog posting has petered down to one pitiful post per week.  I know I’m not the only blogger struggling with balancing “real life” with keeping this space updated and refreshed.  I also feel a twinge of guilt / regret when I receive emails from people who are checking in to see if I’m still in the land of the living.  Rest assured that I’m still here and I’ll be updating y’all as often as I can manage.  I’ll figure it all out eventually and it’ll be a work in progress until then.  Thank you for your patience and permission.

Spring cleaning

Friday, March 20, 2015

System purge and flush.  This week I have been participating in a metabolic/insulin cleanse, a kind of reset / spring cleaning for my body, particularly after the rough time it had in February.  The past few days (and next few days) are all about protein and green vegetables and no carbs or sugar.  Those of you who know me know that I don’t typically eat badly - my diet (I also hate the word “diet”) during the week is mainly vegan.  I can’t remember the last time I ate a hamburger or slice of pizza and I promise I’m not even sad about it (and the last time I had fully loaded nachos was only three weeks ago so there’s also that).  Since my parents have been vegetarian ever since we were young children, eating this much pure protein, with very little added fat in the rest of my diet, is a new experience for me and befuddling for my body.

The cleanse in and of itself is not a difficult one as there is no quantity limitation.  If one prepared all allowed food in advance, it could be very straight forward and easy to stick to.  The trick, as with it is in life, is to avoid opportunities for slipping up.  At home, I’m in a controlled environment.  There are no random French baguettes or almond croissants lying around, beckoning me with their flakiness.  All of the rogue Swedish fish have been disposed of properly.  However, in the office, temptation lies around every corner.  It’s painful to visit sites like or, which I usually frequent daily for recipe ideas.  Glass cut bowls of dark chocolate and clementines are perched on the admin’s desk.  Brownies and cookies and potato chips (let’s not even talk about the pasta) were catered in for lunch today.  I have even successfully avoided alcohol during a happy hour this week - it’s like I don’t even know myself anymore.

So far, the biggest surprise of this cleanse was how irrationally angry I felt, especially during the first few days.  Lack of carbs and fat made me extremely irritable and impatient with the entire world, whilst at work, driving, and even casual conversations with people.  Of course once you let people know that you’re on a cleanse, they understand the change in mood, nod their heads understandably, and give you their own rendition of a similar experience.  It’s as though the cleanse is of negative feelings instead of the toxins in your body - they all just need to get out.

I’ve been able to add fats to my diet and feel so much better about it.  And when you add in the eggs and bacon and turkey meatloaf that JR has cooked, I quite feel like I’m eating regularly again.  But if a stranger on the street offered me a loaf of bread right now, I think I would gladly jump into their unmarked, windowless van.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Whether it was racing down powdery slopes, face planting in a snow bank, or relaxing by a raging fireplace with an ice cold beer, I quickly realized that the recurring theme behind my ski vacation a few weeks ago was that I need to take more vacation.  The last (and only) trip I took in 2014 was to visit Siri in Portland, which also made me recognize how imbalanced my life had become in the past year.  Don't get me wrong, I had a blast visiting PDX and my sister.  It's just that last year, my life became much more defined by others as sister, daughter, caretaker, as it sometimes must.  Even the break from Ryon, which I'm always hesitant to take, was necessary as we were both starting to grate on each other, feeding off of one another's negative energy.

The trip to Utah served as a mental reset.  It wasn't a family trip based on someone's health condition.  It wasn't a work trip that had me running here and there and suiting up to meet with Tom, Dick, and Harry.  It was quiet and cold and snowing and all those zen-like feelings you get from being perched atop a mountain.  And speaking of the mountains, they will always remind me of how minuscule I really am, how we only try to survive and thrive at the whims of nature, and how eons will pass and those snow peaked mammoths will endure, cold and silent.  As an added bonus, laughter, shenanigans, and hot and cold alcoholic beverages served slope-side accompanied by the warmth of friends served as a balm to my soul that I didn't even know I needed up to that point.

I will endeavor to remember this lesson better in 2015 (y'all hold me to it) and recognize when I need to take a deep breath and a step back, to enjoy myself and the ride, and to reset.

Ides of March

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

And straight away into March we gallop.  Which I still can’t believe, particularly when it’s in the mid-30s and we have freezing rain / sleet tonight and tomorrow morning.  Winter is hitting Texas (and the rest of the country, I’m sure) with a POW and doesn’t show signs of letting up.  Last week, while I was frolicking on the ski slopes in Utah, Dallas had its own freak snowstorm that snarled up the highways and made the overpasses and bridges into gigantic slip and slides.  I’ll admit, I didn’t regret missing the Texas snowstorm in lieu of a roaring fire and a warm hand to hold after a long day on skis in Park City.

With all the travel that I’ve been doing in February, I’ve had less time to spend at the barn this month, which is probably a good thing as the horses have been acting up with the extended cold spell.  They’re growing tired of being cooped up in their stalls and their blankets rubbing on their shoulders and backs - who can blame them as we feel the same with our bulky puffy jackets and scarves that have long outgrown their novelty.  This past weekend, Ryon nailed our groom on the thigh with a well-aimed kick whilst heading back to his stall for dinnertime and will now be led everywhere with a chain over his nose, as one does with young racehorses.  He’s always been so food motivated that his eagerness to get to his food bowl does not surprise me much but his aggression toward people does, particularly those who he is familiar and accustomed to.  Ryon’s never acted aggressive or mean toward me, but I’ve heard multiple stories about how he’s kicked out at others in the barn.  Luckily, no one has gotten seriously injured but the possibility is there especially as large as he is, hence the chain on the nose.

For now, we’re all just focused on staying warm and dry and staying away from Ryon’s hind end.  If we can manage to do those two things, I think we’ll hit springtime just fine.

Snow Days

Monday, February 23, 2015

As the rest of the northeast was wrapped up by Snowmaggedon, I won't lie that I was sitting here in Dallas a little bit jealous of the winter wonderland that everyone has been posting to Instagram and their respective blogs (yes, even the shoveling part).  Turns out, the snow gods have been listening to my silly prayers because we were glazed over by a layer of ice last night and today is officially a snow day!  Not only do I get to stay snuggled up and cozy today but I'll be traveling to the mountains and more snow later this week.  Winter was a little late in getting to me but now that it's here, it's peaceful, calm, and beautiful.  I hope everyone is staying warm and safe - I'll check in again soon!

All you need is love

Thursday, February 12, 2015


We ended up getting a ton of submissions for the Valentine's Day haiku contest (thank you!) and I hope you all had fun flexing your creative muscles.  As all of the entries were so brilliantly penned, Amy and I found it impossible to make the final decision on the winner of the contest.  So, we're asking for your help.  Please pick your favourite haiku out of the four listed before midnight on Valentine's Day to be the GRAND PRIZE WINNER.


Oh Valentine's Day
What am I going to do?
Netflix or Hulu?


Later he called back
Trepidation audible
Why even bother?


Just suck it, you sheep
yes, I’m 30 and single
she wolf, howling free


Celebrating love...
So here is a teddy bear
Purchased from Rite-Aid.

Museum night

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

British Museum
The blazing braziers flank the museum’s wide open doors and light up the nighttime gala at the British Museum.  Walking up those steps and between the massive entrance columns, our girl is dwarfed by the literal weight of centuries, the legacy that overshadows the tiny individual climbing the stairs.  Inside, the hall is cool and dark and dramatically lit with purple and orange spotlights highlighting the Great Court, rising up majestic and all white stone in the center.  Waiters whisk past with tall champagne flutes, colourful herby cocktails, and hors d'oeuvres - a choreographed dance of food and drink.  Her heels click as she winds her way through the mass of people, tiptoeing carefully around the crowd to find a familiar face.  They’re French, so bisous all around and our girl is slightly uncomfortable and out of her element, awkwardly offering her hand first like a cash register drawer shooting out of its slot with a brrrriinnggg.

Her mobile buzzes again, just once, but her heart is already smiling before she even pops open the message.  Then everything stops in its tracks.  Suddenly the room is too hot, the people are mists, and the magical environment of the evening lifts her up like the champagne bubbles she’s sipping.  She finds a bench on the periphery of the crowd to sit down on and reread.  And then she can’t stop smiling and laughing.  Or covering her mouth with her hand, a face that turns wry and then almost looks like it will burst into tears.  The crowds are forgotten, the food is forgotten, and even the French men are forgotten.  The only thing that exists is the girl on the bench with her phone and someone, a very someone someone, tethered to the other end.

How people could continue to mill about as though nothing has happened puzzles her.  Don’t they see her now, walking on air at least five inches off the ground?  She doesn’t feel the chill from doors of the grand hall, left open.  She’s forgotten her objective for the night - meeting someone in the hall somewhere to talk about something.  It’s all so vague.  The only thing she feels is the tug from her hand to her mobile to the someone, someone far away.

Last day of the haiku contest!  Please don't forget to enter your submissions

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