Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Faux Healthy

This product is on my SHIT LIST.

Mostly because they (the company) have TRICKED me into thinking they are HEALTHY when they are NOT.

I like to call this the beginning of my FAUX-HEALTHY list of f*ckers.

Odwalla Chewy Nut Bar White Chocolate Macadamia

Packaging says "crunchy nuts & hearty oats" and "Good Source of Five Essential Vitamins & Minerals including Antioxidant Vitamins A, C, & E.

Guess what folks.  TWO HUNDRED AND TEN CALORIES.  That sucks

Guess what else.  TEN GRAMS OF FAT.  That sucks even more.

And - only 3 grams of Protein and 2 grams of Fiber. 

Here is what I should have had instead: Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pie.

Why?  Because it's delicious.  And incredibly indulgent.  And I am making a CHOICE to be unhealty (not a sneak attack of unhealthy)...and even still, it's 170 calories and 7 grams of fat...BOTH LESS than the Odwalla bar.

Consider me smarter than yesterday.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

We Played Too Hard.

This weekend's report:
Friday night - worked late, then Domino's, then John Carter of Mars
-- We stayed up way past our bedtime.  Not a great way to start a busy weekend, being tired, but awesome to relax for a night!

Saturday morning - not an early morning as planned (got up at 8:30), then left for the Delta Block Party
-- The Block Party is really like Delta's "Company Picnic"...if you were to have a picnic for 10,000 people.  It's really more like a fair - bands playing on the center stage, Chick-Fil-A / BBQ / Hot Dogs / Ice Cream / Mini-Donuts / Veggie Trays / Apple and Pineapple on a Stick...and on and on.

-- It is usually incredibly hot.  It's held in our giant parking lot.  On asphalt.  Next to the tarmac.  And it's HOT.  This year not as much as other years but...still sunburn worthy (Jeff, not me, because I put on SPF 100). 

-- The Block Party is also known as "The Easy-Bake Oven Party" and also "The Delta Stand-In-Line Party".  Everything is free - food, swag, entertainnent, beer, whatever.  As long as you will stand in line for it.

-- It was super awesome to meet a lot of my coworkers families...and I still would never miss it!

Saturday afternoon - COOL OFF, rehydrate, recoup, nap

Saturday evening - Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean concert at Lakewood Amphitheater
-- Dude.  Two Georgia boys playing for the hometown crowd plus an outdoor venue that's a freaking free-for-all of lawn seating (ie, no chairs)?  Wow. 

-- Dude part 2.  Can we say D-R-U-N-K????  Not me of course.  I held it down to a respectable 2 cans of beer (seen below).

--  Yes, they were 24 ounces each.  No, I am not drinking Bud Heavy on purpose.  It was either lukewarm Bud Light (because they ran out!?!?) or cold Bud Heavy.

--  Also, I am wearing my new outfit for summer.  Aren't I CUTE (and 50 lbs smaller)????

Sunday morning - holy crap, exhausted and slept till 9:30, then mowing, weed-eating, fertilizing, tending vegetable garden
-- One, yard work after a late night kind of really sucks. 

-- And two, I'm glad Jeff and I were both doing it together.

Sunday afternoon - neighborly chat, Mexican fiesta lunch, and a few errands

Sunday night - pet the kitty and Game of Thrones
--  I'm spent!!!  I need a vacation from my weekend.  Bring on the work week.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Something like sickness

Bleh.  Caught a cold.  And it's moved into my chest.


2 and a half days of missed work - it's sacrilege.  And there was even an overnight work trip to Chicago I had to miss (sorry Amy).

Here's what I have learned in my delirium:

1) Life at work will go on without me (although it may be painful for those still at work, picking up my slack).

2) Slurping NyQuil and DayQuil to make symptoms go away does not actually mean you are getting better.

3) Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup are NOT overrated, AND can be made points-friendly.

4) Tazo Green Tea is not real green tea.  Do not be tricked.  (My quest for real Japanese green tea continues.)

5) Spouses still love each other when they're sick, but much slack must be given to the non-sick one...they are, after all, trying NOT to catch whatever you have.

Points-Friendly Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Cold Cure
3 points - 1/2 can Progresso Vegetable Classics Hearty Tomato Soup
2 points - 2 slices Sara Light Delightful Wheat Bread
2 points - 2 slices Kraft Free American cheese (sliced)
1 point  - 1 tbsp Country Crock margarine spread

Total Lunch: 8 points...full tummy + DayQuil = NAP TIME

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Hike Inn

Did I mention hiking is our new "Thing"?  We got last-minute reservations last weekend at the Hike Inn outside Dawsonville, GA.  I have been wanting to go for over a year, but never though I was in good enough shape to do it.  After losing almost 50 lbs, we decided to try it!

After starting at the top of Amicalola Falls, we split off for a moderate 5.5-mile hike with 1000 feet of elevation change.  Our destination was the Hike Inn, a Gold LEED facility (think composting toilets, solar panels, and worms that eat kitchen scraps). 

And here is what greeted us at the end:

This wonderful little gem had hot showers and yummy meals waiting for us after a fun day outdoors...much better than sleeping in a tent in the backcountry!

The meals were AWESOME - roast beef, mashed potatoes, buns, salad, roasted veggies, cherry cobbler at dinner.  Then scrambled eggs, bacon, peach bread, grits, OJ, and coffee for breakfast.  WAY better than what we can do while camping.

Our bunkhouse room had single bunk beds, hooks, a fan, and a little stool - that's it.  Oh, and you re-use your mug and cup the entire time (see, it's labeled with your name!).

There is a Sunrise Room, a common room with games, books, guitars, cards, etc.  Jeff and I tried to play checkers.  We couldn't remember the rules though - and since it's a no cell phone facility, we had to give up (normally you would just Google the rules, right?).

 Star Base was constructed so the spring and fall equinox shine directly through that little hole into the back of the cave.  Very cool.

All the buildings - bunkhouse, bathhouse, mess hall, sunrise room, and check-in area - are all connected by covered walkways.

Which was a good thing - because although you can't see it here, we are getting ready to take off on Sunday morning for the 5.5-mile hike back.  In the absolutely POURING rain.  And 55 degrees.

Thus, this was our last photo of the trip as we didn't want to get the camera out in the rain!!!  We set a personal best time to hike 5.5 miles - 2 hours and 45 minutes...guess a little rain incentivized us.

We've already booked some rooms for the fall colors in mid-October.  Lois, and a few of her friends will be joining us...let us know if you would like to do it too and we'll add you to the block!!!

Hey, Heyyy, Boo-Boo!

Happy Birthday to meeeee!!!  I decided I wanted to camp and hike for my 31st birthday this year.  We went to one of our old favorites - Black Rock Mountain State Park. 

It's the highest park in Georgia, so temps are typically cooler, and it was still definitely in springtime bloom! 

I picked this campsite specifically because we had beautiful pink flowers surrounding us (see the bush behind the tent?).  (Jeff said it would attract bees, but we were ok.)

For my actual birthday, climbed the Tennessee Rock Trail to the peak of Black Rock Mountain - what a view!

Jeff made me Cinco de Mayo / Birthday tacos, and of course - popped up some Jiffy Pop in front of the campfire on Saturday night.

On Saturday night, we were super lazy after our day of hiking and enjoyed the fire all night.

However, our laziness had a price...we didn't put our cooler or food tub back in the car (first time in over 30 trips and we TOTALLY KNOW BETTER)...and because of that, at 4am a black bear decided to visit our campsite, steal our bread, and in general cause chaos less than 4 feet from our tent.  We were terrified!  But he lumbered off - no harm, no foul...except to our poor little pitter-pattering souls who might never be the same.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Charlotte's Web

Anyone who knew me when I was younger will know that I was an AVID reader.

Do you remember Pizza Hut's program, "Book It"?  In third grade, on the board posted in the classroom, I had an obscene amount of little stickers next to my name (the stickers represented number books read). Like, it was a ridiculous amount.

At recess, I would read. While teachers were trying to teach math, I would read. When the kids had to read aloud in class, I read a bunch of pages ahead because I was annoyed at how slow it was going.


And now, as an adult, I still love to read. And I am considering re-reading - for maybe the thousandth time - one of my favorites, Charlotte's Web. All thanks to the reminder of the 60th Birthday from the New York Times.

I received a 3-pack of books around the 3rd grade time frame by E.B. White (maybe from Aunt Deb? can't remember for sure). Anyway, Charlotte's Web was one. Stuart Little was another. And I can't even remember the third book.

I don't think I understood as a child all the themes in the book. But I do remember this lesson sticking with me - everything has a purpose, a reason, a season in life (even if it just to be a friend to others). Even in death, life goes on through memories and those we leave behind.  Thank you to all of you who have been my friend.  And been in a memory of mine.

Aww, how CUTE!

Day 1 (no photos) I had so much fun just running errands with my mom and dad the afternoon of their arrival. Just like when I was a kid. Except this time I was in charge! Errands: Chiropractor (Dad and I both got seen on the way home from the airport); fueled up my car; dropped off dry cleaning; stopped for sunglasses; had a pizza lunch buffet; got allergy shots; went to Weight Watchers; went out for BBQ at Shane's Rib Shack! Day 2 Atlanta Motor Speedway tour! Yep, the same one where we whizzed around the track at 95 MPH...and got to see the suites, walk the infield, and stand in winner's circle!
We went out to lunch at Frank's Mill, on the river outside Fayetteville and had some delicious salmon, fish, and most importantly - BAKLAVA!!!!!!!!!!!!! OOOOH. I'm craving it right now. Then off to pick up Amy at the airport in our NEWLY RENTED GMC YUKON!!!!!!!! That sucker was huge - but we needed it to be able to road trip with the 5 of us the rest of the weekend. It's not fair to Amy to always have to be scrunched between Mom and me. :/ Here you can see the Yukon in the driveway of our house, behind the crazy old farmer taking a '67 GTO out for a spin...
Day 3 - Georgia Wine Country! We drove up into the mountains and hit up Wolf Mountain Vineyards at their tasting room and then enjoyed the weather
and then enjoyed the weather
My family is awesome...awesomely hilarious...can you tell we're having fun?
After a long day of driving and drinking (ok, the driver wasn't drinking), we got Oysters in Dahlonega (of course) and then headed to Amicolola Falls State Park to stay at the lodge for the night. (Sleeping arrangements are as they always are on Kienow vacations: Mom & Dad in one room, Jeff and Amy & Jessica in the other.) After Easter brunch, we walked to the falls for some prime photos and breathtaking views...which my computer is not working so I can't post. We had such a ball!