24 March 2012

Bring out yer dead.

Guess where I am!?

Quarantined in bed for the rest of the day! :(

Remember my allergies? Yeah, pretty sure I'm actually sick. And seeing as how I went to see Hunger Games (yeah!) with Hillary this morning, I may have infected half of St. Joe (queue visions of Contagion....). I've progressively felt worse and worse every day, but since I was sure it was allergies, I've tried to go about my regular business. Exercising, going out, blah blah. I guess I maybe made it worse.

And it's funny. I can do nothing like nobody's business. But if I'm actually sick and really need to just sit my butt down and take a nap? So hard! But at least I'm in bed, right...?

So last night, you know, when I should have been staying in, Brad and I went to one of our favorite places for dinner, Ideal Place in Benton Harbor. I've written about it a few times in the past, and, chances are, if you've visited, we've taken you there. It is consistently delicious, which makes it... ideal! ;)

Because I am bored, but also because I am sleepy, a quickie review! For the past while, they've offered fresh made (hot right from the oven) pretzel rolls to start - yum! Always a great way to start a meal. From there on, it just went up. I was smart and just got hot tea (orange, yum!) rather than a martini - I'm not all silly! Then a small salad (get-well nutrients!). It's funny because I'm not a big salad person. They never taste very exciting at home, but I am a sucker for a fancy side salad with fancy greens and fancily sliced veggies - weird, right? Dinner for me was actually an appetizer, but it was the perfect meal size for sick me. Shrimp and crab mac and cheese. It was perfect. Cheesy, shrimpy and crabby, and nice and crunchy on top (I've had several seafood-themed macs and have never been a big fan so this was a very pleasant surprise). Brad got a pork chop, which came with red beans and rice, asparagus, and a side of "grandma's homemade applesauce." He said this was probably the best thing he's ever gotten there, and, based on my taste of the applesauce alone (apples + juniper berries, I asked), I believe him! I kind of wish I had a big bowl of it right now! And a big bowl of that mac and cheese, too...

Sigh. Not even the plague can curb my appetite!

22 March 2012

And the fish were jumpin jumpin.

I'm pretty sure I have the plague or TB (insert Moulin Rouge soundtrack here). If by chance it is not TB, these beautiful beauties are likely to blame -

Because as everyone reading this likely knows, we are experiencing some sort of freak Indian Winter - I believe it was at least mid-'80s today - and there is no shortage of pollen floating around. I don't typically have allergy issues, but I am coughing and wheezing like an 80-year-old man. That being said, there was no way I was staying inside today. So off I trekked, into town to drop a book off at the library, through town, and over to Biggby for my first iced latte of the year. Then I walked down the hill to the riverwalk, along the train tracks, and over to Silver Beach. At this point, my throat hurt, I was fuzzy headed, and I just wanted to go home. But I made myself turn right instead of left and I headed over to the pier.

Side note: Dumbasses abound in St. Joseph

The water was crazy calm today. Not a ripple. Totally silent. So incredibly rare on our crazy lake - I've never seen anything like it. There was also somewhat of a haze so you could hardly tell where the water ended and the sky started.

Note the Caribbean blue water.

As I'm walking along the pier, I hear a splash. Ok, a fish. Big deal. But then I hear another splash. And another. I look around, and there are enormous fish hopping everywhere! At one point, it sounded like fish were falling from the sky (I wouldn't have been entirely surprised - this freaky weather is surely an indication of some sort of apocalyptic event, right?). I love sealife (from afar) so I couldn't stop giggling (yes, other pier goers called me out. "You worried they're gonna come getchoo?") - it felt like a Gordy and the deer Stand By Me moment. And my TB was feeling totally under control! So glad I detoured.

Of course, they weren't cooperating for photos, but these two left a pretty good splash.

Working on my March sunburn at pier's end.
Yes, I was texting.
No, I did not fall in.

Post-pier, I hopped down and walked along the beach toward home. And I wasn't alone. The beach parking lot was packed, there were a handful of families picnicking, and there were more than a few sunbathers - and a couple of kids in the water! I wasn't quite that brave, but I did splash around a little.

The walk was breathtaking. I kept stopping to take pics. And text my mom and taunt her. It's funny how every spring feels like the first spring you've ever experienced. Winter sure does a number on your memory.

No jumping fish on this side of the beach, but I did discover where all the minnows live:

I was fascinated and lingered here for a while. Then back to the walk - past the beach and up to the trail home. Here I spied more exciting nature -

A teeny woodpecker woodpeckering! I don't know that I've ever seen one in person. I giggled to myself here, too.

Unfortunately at this point, away from the beach and back to the trees, the TB kicked back into high gear. Luckily, at this point I'm almost home. I hauled ass across the bridge, past Rooster's, pausing momentarily to take the above pics of the evil trees, then finally spilling back into the house to pass out on the couch with Heidi.

Nothing heals quite like a Heidi snuggle.

As Brad reminded me when he got home, THIS is why I let a grumpy old man bitch at me (and tolerate a moldy bathroom and mice in our desks and ammonia fumes and soul-crushing boredom and demeaning, mind-numbing projects). Summer (spring and fall, and winter, too, really, but it's harder to appreciate up close) here is amazing. And right now we have the best of both worlds - full-on summer weather, and a beach all to ourselves.

Even if (when) it gets cold(er) again, these two weeks should keep me going until spring comes for real.

21 March 2012

Couch potato.

Today a co-worker and I had to drive to her house to use the bathroom. Over the weekend, my boss had planted a mature, dying tree in the front yard that he dug out of some property he owns somewhere. (Right in front of my window, of course.) To "save" it, he's been running the hose into ground for three days. This caused the water to back up. And then the water shut off.

And then I got bitched out because my boss can't figure out how to access someone else's files when they're not in. There are so many levels of nonsense to this that I can't even bring myself to go into detail about, it would make your head spin.

I'm slowly losing it. My brain, that is. I've toyed with writing about the day-in-day-out ridiculousness ("Why don't you go out to the vending machine [that someone else owns and we don't have access to] and just make up some new prices [!!!] for stuff?"), but when I come home, I don't want to think about it. I have a four-day weekend every week and that is admittedly pretty sweet, so rather than stew, I do my best to disconnect.

BUT... Brain. Going. Mushy.* I feel uncreative and uninspired. And the one constant in my life has always been writing. Even if it's just mostly pictures. Or mostly text. Or just randomness. (Or, apparently, lots of incomplete sentences!) I think I'll try this again for me. And thanks to those of you that have reminded me that this space exists.

AND, of course, I still REALLY like talking about food.

A lot's certainly changed in the past year, most importantly our attempts to focus on living healthier lifestyles. The first step in that was picking up running.

I've NEVER been a runner. In  high school gym class, my girlfriends and I would do a slow jog around the parts of the track where the teacher could see us. When we were out of sight? Walk. Eventually the fast kids would lap us and we could cheat and finish a lap or so short. I've pretty consistently used my treadmill since college ended but always for walking. I'm pretty sure the most I'd ever run was a mile, and that was MAYBE two or three times - ever. But seeing my dear friend Hillary run past my house every day - and then a pregnant Hillary still running past my house - finally shamed me into gave me the motivation to make a true effort to get my feet moving.

Based on a recommendation from Lisa (another kick ass runner), I started the Couch to 5K program and it seriously changed my life. The program was perfect for me, and, as of January 8, I can officially run three miles. In a ROW!

I still don't LOVE it. And I still don't run outside. And I don't run three miles very often. BUT I run every week. Since starting the program in November, and even after finishing in January, I've run at least three times every week (usually two miles) - and the past few months I've added other workouts in with the running (elliptical, bike). Still lots of work to do, but this has made it so much easier to work on our diets and general health. Why do all that hard work if you're going to ruin it, right (I'm not running enough for it to not matter)?

Stay tuned for more... I hate to do things half-assedly, so my intent is to be back often. Thanks for hanging in there with me!

*I rolled my own hand up in the car window tonight.