Hugs From a Skillet

This last week was a week I had to just put my head down and fight through it; good thing I am a fighter!  Okay, not a boxer or someone that actually punches a co-worker in the face, but mainly because I would end up in jail.  No one wants to go to jail, not really… Anyway, by the end of the day Friday, I was out of energy & out of fight. I needed a hug. OR Warm,  yummy, comfort food. I was late getting out of work, and after driving home I was in need of getting food into me fast. What sounded good was a BIG stack of fluffy pancakes.  In my opinion, pancakes are the perfect feel better food. But there was one minor problem, I have not been eating any flour lately, and did not want to start last night. Oh, but wait for it…

This week, while visiting my sister at college my mom (Banana Bev) learned a new recipe from one of my sister’s teammates. Mom got the nickname, Banana Bev one night when she made my sister and her teammates ice cream out of a frozen banana.  She was super excited over her new find. Somehow the name has stuck.  My sister’s friends love passing her banana recipes.  So thanks to my sister’s friend: A, Banana Bev and I now have an awesome, comfy banana pancake recipe.
“Banana Bev Pancakes” Ingredients: (Her version of the 2 ingredient pancakes)
  • 1 Banana
  • 2 Eggs
  • Vanilla Extract
Add on’s:

  • Cinnamon
  • Peanut Butter
  • Blue Berries
Smash your banana.  I did this on a plate.
Smashed Banana

 Crack 2 eggs & beat them.

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Mix in your banana
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Add a splash of vanilla and beat/mix it well
IMG_2249 This is your core batter.  I am sure you could add some cinnamon or mix in peanut butter to the batter, and it would be fantastic.  In fact, I may have to try that tomorrow when we get snowed in :o. If you want to make your batter a little smoother, you could toss it into a blender. Now grab your coconut oil (I used the coconut oil that had the coconut flavor still in it which gave a great tropical flavor. Once your oil and skillet are warm, drop a dollop of batter in. When I asked Banana Bev, when I should flip it, she responded with, “When it’s ready.”  That’s not super helpful!, but since this recipe is similar to a real pancake, you will know when it’s ready.
IMG_2250 My first flip was a little rough and my pancake separated, but we made it.  In fact, with each pancake I made they got a little better. By the end of the batch– I think I had it down. IMG_2251

Instead of using syrup or Agave, I grabbed a blueberry and date jam(ish) yumminess that was in the fridge and topped the pancake off.  I will have to get the recipe and post it for you.
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I am pretty sure that after my first bite I heard the angels break out in a chorus of Hallelujah– just for me 😉 This was the perfect comfort food, that gave me a hug at the end of a tough week. IMG_2253 I am sure this recipe has been around for a while and after running into it a couple of times, I am so glad I tried it.  I think my cleaned plate says it all! IMG_2254 So if you need a good, comfy food that willingly gives hugs and is healthy?  Just give this simple recipe a try! IMG_2255
Other places I found this recipe or similar versions:

http://ourbestbites.com/2014/02/2-ingredient-pancakes/
http://www.topwithcinnamon.com/2013/01/2-ingredient-healthy-pancakes-gluten-free-dairy-free.html http://www.recipegirl.com/2013/01/26/2-ingredient-pancakes/

Mud, Mayhem and Murder!

What?  You did not spend your weekend playing in mud and mayhem and maybe a little murder?

I did!

I have a pretty good, “honey do” list for the horses.  One of the items on my list was to run a water line and electric line to the barn.   After last year’s brutal winter I learned my lesson, water lines need to be buried going to the barn.  You see in Dec 2010, we added onto a lean-to for the horses making it into a barn.  Since it was so late into the season, we were not able to get a proper water line to the barn.

What’s a proper water line?  It’s when the pipes are buried under the ground, at a depth of at least 4 feet so it is less likely to freeze. It became apparent last winter when the windchill was  -45* degrees.  Our makeshift, above ground water line did not stand a chance at being helpful in the delivery of water to the barn in those temps.  After hauling water in 5 gallon buckets  or in 55 gallon barrels from the trough to the barn, I decided that I was not going to do that again… Well, I should probably not say never, because you never know when a water line will break. This coming winter… there would be a water line installed, even if I had to hand dig it.  That might be a slight exaggeration but you get the picture.

Do you get the feeling that I am getting ready to share my experience with adding in a water line to the horse pasture?

You’re right and so smart!

I am so thankful that this past weekend was so nice out because it made this project enjoyable.

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 Unloading the equipment… getting ready to break ground

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We broke ground just about 10:30 am.  The sun was shining, it was warm, and the farmers were just starting to harvest the field next to our property.    With the excavator chewing up the ground, leaving the first piles of MUD behind,  I started my first job for this, which was to breakdown the “shelter” that protected the hydrant next to the horse trough.   So now I have the mud starting to show, the mayhem will come later in the adventure.  I am sure you are wondering about the murder; hang on,  I am getting there.

I had just picked up on of the last five bricks that I needed to move, when a mouse mom with what seemed like 500 babies hanging on her back flew out at me.  Okay, it may have been 6-8 but when facing off with a flying mouse and her babies, they multiply.  I half dropped– half threw the brick at the mice, jumped, and screamed… Once I thought the coast was clear, I poked around the brick evaluating the damage.  I am sad to report that  I committed my first mouse murder.  I won’t lie, I did not shed any tears over the lives lost in that fateful moment, or as I tossed the baby mice bodies into the trench that was just dug.

The very beginning!

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As the day progressed, the project continued to run smoothly… that is until the trench was almost opened all the way.  Dad had about a 2 foot section of ground to remove, when the ditch collapsed on itself!  It happened in a slow motion and yet fast at the same time… the excavator tipped over and sank down.  For a brief moment, I was not sure if we would get dad out of the excavator before the door was pinned shut.

What was my first reaction?  Take a picture for the wall of shame? Cough, cough, cough… I mean wall of Fame.  You see my father is very capable of getting the farm equipment stuck.  Most of the time the adventure ends with multiple trucks hooked up to the “stuck” piece of equipment, pulling it out of whatever precarious situation he got it in!

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One time when I was 14ish, dad came running into the house looking for help.  When mom and I walked outside; we looked at each other; looked at dad and told him to call an employee to help.  Why?  Because he had one of the business John Deere tractors being picked up by a larger Kubota tractor and dangling over the bed of a truck… No big deal. But the John Deere flipped upside down and was leaking fuel.  Mom and I really like living, so we decided that dad needed to get a guys help to flip his tractor right side up.  Do you blame me?IMG_0900

Anyway, back to the Mayhem– we hooked chains up to excavator and I climbed into the bobcat to provide tension to help support the sinking excavator. We were able to get the excavator to stabilize a little bit, but it was still pretty well stuck in the trench.  We changed the angle of the chains, and we were able to walk the excavator out of the ditch!  THANK YOU GOD!  The mayhem of the project only lasted 45 minutes, no one was hurt, and nothing broke!

The project continued on!

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With the trench fully dug, it was on to gluing the pipe together and putting it into the trench.  The goal: glue the pipes and attach the facet before dark.

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Well, the Mayhem delayed the project, so new goal: get the pipe glued before heading into the house for the night.  This would prevent us from having to rework much in the morning if the trench collapsed.   Mom was a trouper, and she held flashlights while dad and I glued.  New goal met… now it was time to find food and warm up!

Setting pipes by phone flashlights!

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Sunday morning came way too fast! I really did not want get up, but daylight was burning, and we had an open trench, a field tile broken and a brother’s lacrosse game to get to if possible.   Nash came out to check on the progress with me first thing Sunday.

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We fixed the field tile and dad back filled the trench, while I cleaned up and started to fix the fence.  Soon, Mud and Mayhem struck again.  Dad pulled up next to me with the bobcat full of dirt in the cab.  For the first time in my life, I dug out the cab of the bobcat and then vacuumed it out.   I was amazed at the places that the dirt got into in that small cab.
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As the project was nearing an end, dad looked at me and said, “All this hard work, and all there is to show for it is a pile of dirt and a facet in the barn– that gives you lots of water.”  I am okay with that!

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By 6:30 pm, the fence was fixed, the water line was considered complete, all the tools and supplies were put away, and I was heading back to the house to clean up and get food. So there you have it… my weekend was spent playing in the mud, a little mayhem and a few mice murders… almost the perfect weekend, if you ask me!

I’ll catch you soon.

H.C._J.

Hello… old friend glad to see you again!

It’s been a long time since I have seen you.  I am so glad you decided to come back.

To be honest, I have REALLY missed you.

It feels like forever since you have been around.

If you have been stopping by to visit, I have shared some of my journey with Lymes Disease this summer. It’s been a tough summer.  I had plans…

Big plans.

Plans that I had to set aside, so I could get my life back.

Old Plans:
1. I was going to swim several more open water races.
2. Take the horses to shows.
3. Play in a couple of tennis tournaments.
4. Workout daily  okay almost daily.
5. Visit friends.
6. Visit family.
7.Maybe buy a road bike so I could ride with my co-workers at lunchtime.
8. Travel

Instead, this summer, I slept.  I took naps at lunch just to get through the work day.  I spent lots of time taking care of my body so it could heal. I did hot and cold therapy. I took my supplements.  I was beyond strict with what I ate– all to make it easier on my body to heal. I thought about working out, but most days I did not have the energy. That is until now.

So, I am beyond excited! Like jump up and down-dance down the hallway; not caring that I really can’t dance so it’s more of a bounce around; attempt a back flip!

I have worked out 7 out of the last 9 days AND I still feel good… Wait, I feel great!298

I have done Jillian Michaels videos, completed 3 pool workouts, Foundation Training, and even played tennis last night!
I am really starting to feel like the old me.  I still have areas that I want to improve, but I am excited to finally hit this milestone!  Next goal, do a better job of writing and working out!

What in your life has had you down lately? What’s a break through that you have seen with it, even a small victory!

Until the next post,

H.C._J                                  

Why must you judged… me?

Why must you judged me? I don’t judge you…  I am a little confused why you feel the need to make faces at me, the comments behind my back,  or even to my face?  I choose to live my lifestyle, just like you choose to live yours.  Don’t you know that your snide comments and dirty looks can hurt even a tough professional?  Because, deep down,  I am just like every other human… I am vulnerable too!

Insert disclaimer here: Do me a favor and hang with me for this post… I just need to get this off my chest.

jar

I carry my water in glass jars.  Okay, I carry lots of water in my glass jars.  I tend to take about 100 ounces with me to work everyday. Believe me, people have noticed my glass jars that go everywhere with me.  They may be kind of hard to hide–because, let’s be real, a  34 ounce jar is enormous and not easily hidden in a meeting room.   Sometimes they are even filled with a green smoothie, then they are really hard to miss. I have been told that my green smoothies are great for keeping  my team from munching at work.   I guess not everyone thinks it’s normal to drink a green or sometimes deep purple drink.  I am so glad to help my team stay away from sugar filled snacks while I enjoy a super nutrition-packed smoothie.
The looks and comments that were made when I brought in a real knife to cut my apples… I remember them every time you ask to borrow it to cut your apples. Amazing how handy that real knife really is, huh?  (I hope I am not coming off too sassy.)   appleI find it very ironic how you tend to pick apart my life and my efforts to live healthy; while I don’t say a word to you about your choices.  Do you need to make the comments about my food  because I don’t go running to the vending machines for a snack? Instead, daily I bring my fruit, veggies, and my beloved peanut butter hummus. (If you are looking for the recipe… Click: HERE!)  Don’t get me wrong, there are days that I desperately want to break down and buy one of everything in the machine, but I don’t!  It’s my choice. It’s my life… my beliefs, and I want to live a healthy life. Don’t you realize that my healthy lifestyle has helped me fight Lyme’s Disease quickly this summer?  I have only missed a few days of work, like 4 full days and a couple of halves since being diagnosed. Most would have ended up on short term disability…  Instead, I am almost all the way back! Considering it affected my liver and heart functionality, I am feeling pretty blessed!  Seeing the fast results from the Lyme’s recovery only makes me want to continue my healthy lifestyle and improve it even more.

Why do you make faces when I use my toaster oven instead of the microwave?  Thanks to my brother, J, who gave me the oven for my birthday this summer.IMG_7344

(I must be a super nerd if I get excited over a toaster oven!)  Now I can get a warm meal at work without using my little crockpot, or heating it on my running engine.  engineJust kidding about the engine.  I do warm my food in a toaster oven because when you use a microwave it changes your food on a molecular level.  I don’t look at you cross-eyed when you use the microwave so do you really need to make the comments about how I warm my food?

 

Recently, I changed how I carry everything into work. Because of the weight of the jars and the amount of food I take with me,  I bought a small hiking backpack. One with a waistband, to take the weight off my shoulders…so that my back can get some relief.  I will show it to you later this week.    I am super excited about it, and It’s a super cool blue color!  It also makes my eyes pop!  In all seriousness, my back is really grateful for the new bag.

Okay, every so often I will say something about a co-worker’s cologne or perfume…  I am not perfect, if I were I would be sitting at Jesus’ right hand… but I am not.  So, I guess for now, you will have to put up with me.   I probably should be better and not make a comment. Note to self, no more perfume comments, even when I turn green and want to throw up.  This might be hard, because I have lived fragrance free for over 2 years now and perfumes can make me turn really cool shares of greeeeeen. We can talk about that later. I do use essential oils, and they smell so amazing. They are a great alternative to the chemical filled fragrances common in society.

I am different from your average person…  I know it.  I accept it. In a weird way, I enjoy it!  I hope that by walking what I talk people will start to realize that living a healthy lifestyle is not hard. It’s completely obtainable. You can eat organically without breaking the bank.  It’s why I started this blog to share with you, as a young professional, how easy it is to live a healthy lifestyle.  I used to think that junior high girls were the worst when it came to judgment against each other, but I am beginning to think that professionals are worse.  Maybe I am over-reacting. Maybe I am completely wrong.  All I know is that the comments that others make to me based on my lifestyle is getting old and won’t change my mind. Instead, they strengthen my resolve to continue to live an organic lifestyle.

 Don’t judge me for doing… because I don’t judge you.

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One Day

One day: I will have a clean house… like you can eat off the bathroom floor

One day: my car will be beyond spotless

One day: laundry will be completely caught up & put away.

One day: Dinner will be served with candles on the table.

One day: The garden will not have any weeds.

One day: I will have a balanced schedule. Get the proper amount of sleep, exercise, and work time.

One day: I will read more non-fiction

One day: Someone will sweep me off my feet and I will say yes to giving him my heart.

One day: I will sit by the pond and read a book with coffee in hand before work… watching the sunrise.

One day: I will enjoy all parts of my day.

One day, I promise to grow up… Stop… WAIT…. Hold on a minute! No I won’t– sorry. I can be an adult kid right?

Guess what one day is here.  I am tired of telling myself, “One day I will_________” So today is one day!

today

Today: I will work harder.

Today: Pick up more.

Today: Weed more.

Today: I will Find a way to challenge myself.

Today: I decide to NEVER grow up because being a big kid in life will keep my young in body, mind, spirit and heart.

What is your one day?

Day 29… Fall… Fall… Fall into my arms!

plies of leavesCool crisp air, fierce red sunsets, combines in the field, the sounds of laughter at gatherings… one of the favorite things about the best season of all is sports! Football is on in the house or blasting out of a truck as I work outside; I get to watch my sister’s college volleyball team; and the US Open tennis tournament is on… Ahhhhh so many wonderful sports to catch.  I love that during the day I can be in a tank top and shorts; but in the evening, I can put on a cuddly sweatshirt and jeans, grab a glass of wine and chill by a fire. But I think my absolute favorite thing about this time of year after the fruits and veggies is LOVE… yes Love.  It seems like so many people talk about falling in love in the spring or summer romance, but I think fall is a better time to find love.  I mean seriously, what a better reason to snuggle with someone than a good bonfire?  For me it always seems that love or at least like waltzes into my life during the fall. It’s like a my fresh start point of the year. It makes me so happy 😉 Falling in love is like falling into a fresh pile of leaves! Have you ever watched a kid fall or get thrown into a pile of leaves?  They get the biggest smile, giggle and squeal.  Very similar, at the start of a new relationship one giggles, smiles and laughs a lot. So yes, I am excited for fall… and maybe because I have reasons to smile and giggle like a kid again.

What’s your favorite season?