A Challenge, A Recipe, and A Bit of News

Harro everbody.   Well, I started a new challenge this morning.  I’m not big on taking on the challenges, but this one was only 10 days and it fit it with something that might possibly improve my life.  And it was a challenge by good blogbuddy Jill.  The main point being it was only 10 days.  You  100 day challenge people GO!  Good for you!  Ra Ra Shish Boom Ba!  (picture me sitting on the sidelines cheering you on.)

So the challenge was simply to get up and do your exercise first thing in the morning.  BEFORE COFFEE. I am a person who likes routine.  And I really like my morning routine.  Get out of bed, put the dogs out, and head to the kitchen to fix my coffee and breakfast.   Over to my chair, either to have a quiet time and read, or check out a couple of blogs and my email.  My morning routine can take quite a while.  And now I have a big white dog who finds my morning routine quite boring.

So we will try this for 10 days and see if walking Noah first will allow me to have some nice peaceful morning time AFTER the walk.  Boy, was it hard this morning.  I don’t like to get dressed when its cold.  Anyway, out we headed for a morning trudge.  And Noah did oblige and let me sit and read for a bit after we got home.  I have to admit, the coffee really tasted good after having to wait for it.

I tried a recipe I had wanted to try for a long time. Its protein bars from the book The Healthy Hedonist. Last time I tried to make this recipe, I made one too many substitutions, and it turned out more like a fruit dip than ‘bars.’  Weird.  Some people said it was substituting whey powder for the soy powder that was listed in the recipe.  Anyway, I FINALLY had all the ingredients gathered, and I made these bars today.  VERY INTERESTING.  And VERY different.  I think some of you might like them (Lori, check out the coffee coating, and Pubsgal, minimal sugar/sweetener, but sadly, no nuts.)  The author says that three of them (150 calories total) keep her satisfied until late morning.  They are a nice consistency to grab and go, will be pretty easy to eat in the car.  And pretty darn nice alongside a good cup of coffee.  I think this one is a keeper.  Here are way too many pictures of these bars, and the recipe is over there on my side bar.  Which,  BTW, I KNOW is very messy, and hard to read, and eventually I will clean that up.

inside view

This morning I finally got around to cleaning out my most used cupboard.  It was just a jumble of bags of nuts and other ‘healthy stuff’ that I buy out of the bins, and my bars and all that stuff.  I should have taken a before picture so you could appreciate this more.  It sure feels good to get things organized.

This is also a very good example of how we can share little snippets of our lives, and still not allow people to see the  whole picture.  This is pretty much the only place in my house that is this organized at present.  But I will say that I am working regularly on organizing, cleaning up clutter, and simplifying (not bringing more clutter in.)

I had a very pretty little salad for lunch, along with two of those little bars.

Pear, goat cheese, and walnuts on a bed of romaine lettuce. Dressing was a mix of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and maple syrup.

Today, as always, I am tired and a little discouraged after one day of work.  I was reading an article in a quilt magazine about Kaffe Fassett, one of the most famous fiber artists in the world.  He was a major influence in my knitting ‘career, ‘ and now he is big in the quilting world.  Not so much an influence on my quilting, but I still have a great admiration for his body of work.  And the article said that at one point early in his career he made the decision to NOT have a car, because the artists he knew who had cars had to hold other jobs to be able to afford them, and he wanted to be able to concentrate on his art.  I really love hearing stuff like that from people who have been successful over the long term.

So, I’m not sure why I haven’t been shouting this from my blog on a daily basis, but guess what?  41 WEEKS!!!  That is how long it will be until I retire! Wheeeee!!!

I went to see the retirement specialist at work, and she encouraged me to wait until June 30 to retire.   Because of some weird rules, it is a much better deal financially.  At first, I was, no way.  I have to retire NOW.  But by the time our appointment was over, I had decided that it would be a good way to end my career.  To spend the next 10 months trying to do the very best job I could do every day.  To have a positive influence on the young nurses coming up.  To be a good example.

And in the meantime, I will have plenty of fun activities to look forward to.  Africa is coming up soon.  I am planning a trip to Whidbey Island to learn from that quilt artist I am so crazy about!  And I think I will go to rug camp next year.   The guy who did ‘Fowl Mood’ is teaching, and I love his work as well.  I’m planning to start a small group for women on discipleship–might start another blog to go alongside this.  41 weeks will be gone before I know it!

So that’s the news from here.  Another day of work tomorrow, and then off for the weekend.  Habanada!

17 thoughts on “A Challenge, A Recipe, and A Bit of News

  1. Wow! There’s light at the end of the retirement tunnel!! Yeehaw! That’s really exciting news. I can’t wait until I can retire…in 25 years. 😦

    Good for you for getting Noah’s walk done early! It’s hard I know, but I feel so much better knowing that it’s done and out of the way. Only 7 more days to go!!

    I’m drooling over your salad a little bit. Yum!!

  2. The bars kind of look like meatloaf. Seriously – squint your eyes, especially in the first and third pictures! Or maybe I am just hungry for some winter food? LOL – they sound good. And your pear salad is gorgeous! I will have to buy some pears and copy that.

    I love a good organized cabinet. Most of mine are in good shape except for one…I should get on that, now that I see yours.

    So retirement – you know I’m so happy for you! And you do have a lot of things coming up that will make the weeks fly by – you lead a pretty exciting life, my friend!

    • Eek. Fingers in ears. lalalalala. Pretending I didn’t hear the meatloaf comment. I HATE meatloaf. Must not associate meatloaf with my new healthy bars! I know what you mean, though. The coffee looks like a healthy dose of pepper! Actually they are more like a three musketeers bar, well, without the sweetness and the chocolate coating…

  3. Not sure what was in your cupboard – but just in case –

    all flour is supposed to be kept in the freezer. it turns rancid in regular room temps (don’t know the time line, but I am here to attest to the fact that YES, it definitely turns).

    I also keep my ground flax seed in freezer. Not sure if that is a must. I do it simply because it makes sense to have it with the flours.

    Nuts are to be stored in refrigerator for the same reason – increases their shelf life dramatically.

    • You know, I hear this all the time. My question is always, this stuff is on the shelves for who knows how long in the store and in the warehouse. How come, as soon as it gets to my house, it has to go into the freezer or the refrigerator? I actually have not experienced rancid flour or nuts. But I also try not to get more than I need for long periods of time. If I buy quantity, like at Costco, I will sometimes keep that in my freezer. Otherwise, I have had good luck all my life keeping it on the shelf. I wonder if it has to do with the relative dryness and the relative coolness in California?

      • I think it must be our climate. I’ve never had nuts or flour go bad, and I keep them in a regular cupboard. (Of course, nuts don’t tend to last very long in my house. 😉

        I do store *ground* flax seed in the fridge, though, because I have read that can go rancid really quickly once the package is opened. I’ve read that regular flax seed keeps okay, though.

  4. congrats on having your retirement goal all set. I am sure it feels very good to have a plan.

    my niece (turns 18 in December) goal is to never own a car. she plans to live her life around that end – choosing college and then careers and cities based on quality public transportation and walkability of communities.

    • That is really cool to hear that a young person has such a goal. Kaffe Fassett lived in London where they have a very good public transportation system.

  5. I don’t buy in small quantity (there are 4-5 of us). but I can see you would with one. And you cook that type of stuff a lot. And I do not. And I hadn’t thought about that either.

    BUT stuff is not in manufacturing/warehouse/store for very long. Out of the whole ‘shelf’ life of a product, it with us much longer (in general) than it was before us.

    When we can TASTE the difference, it is totally gone. but even before it is gone, it is breaking down/decomposing and part of the nutritional value is decreasing. Plus, waste of $$$ to not have the freshest possible. Nuts do get stale, fast.

  6. I thought it was meatloaf, too! LOL

    I love your attitude about work. My daughter is an LPN and she is always “nourished” by the experienced RNs. You’re not only a great influence at work, but here, too. I’m so glad you’re here writing.

    You know I’m crazy about your quilting, but I’m even crazier about your organized cupboard 🙂

  7. Those bars look yummy! And congrats on retirement!!! yippee!!! And an organized pantry! yippee! I get such a kick out of decluttering and reorganizing (when I finally get around to it).

  8. Yeay, retirement! Glad you’re not waiting until then, though, to have great adventures!

    Those protein bars look good! I might have to give them a try. They look like an especially great post-workout recovery food.

    Like Lynn, I’m glad you’re here and writing, too. I learn so much from you and your approach to life and maintenance.

  9. Pingback: Challenge and Food Update « debby weighs in

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