Thursday, October 31, 2013

It's the Great Pumpkin, Penelope Rose

Penny helped carve her first pumpkins today.  Linda was totally lame and didn't take a picture of them when Sarah was done, but they both turned out great!  Sarah is going to send some photos of them all lit up with the candles. 
"Ewww.. I'm not touching those pumpkin guts"
Sarah took Penny's outfit off so it wouldn't get all messy, but it turns out she didn't want to get her hands dirty.  At her first birthday Penny wouldn't even smash her own special little cake. 
"I'll just dip my finger in the icing"
Linda had the scare of her life tonight.  It's a good thing she didn't go all Ninja because the law frowns on that kind of stuff.  She was at the gym during regular Trick or Treat hours, so she turned off the front outside light so kids wouldn't ring the bell and get Chimi and I riled up.  It was already dark when she got home.  Her arms were full of her gym bag, purse, the mail and a grocery bag.  She was struggling to keep the glass storm door from shutting on her and get her key in the front door and open it.  All of a sudden there were two big people behind her, one holding the storm door and one pushing on the regular door.  She turned around and it was two tall teenage boys wearing Obama masks!  She didn't hear them come up and she actually forgot it was Halloween for a second.  Turns out they just were trying to help her.  Maybe they shouldn't have picked such a scary mask!  

Rottotiller Puppy

Doesn't Chim look so sweet and innocent?  Most of the time he is a very good dog and Linda enjoys his company.  Then for no reason whatsoever, he'll do something whack.  There is a bed on the deck that he has been sleeping on for about 2 years.  He loves the deck, especially when the sun is out and he can bask.  When she got home today, she let us both outside to do our business.  After a few minutes, she came outside too.  What does she find? Chimi was in the process of totally destroying the bed!
She also had to take the bones away from us because he was being a bone hog.  I was having to complete sit on top of my chew bone so he wouldn't pull it away from me. 
"Stay away!"
This explains it! Chim must be from this litter of Rototiller puppies!!

The gym was empty this morning.  The Combat class that was going on the same time as Linda's Kid Fit class had less than 1/2 the normal members. That means there wasn't kids in the Kids Club either.  Instead of her normal 10-15 students, she only had 3.  It was hard to keep them engaged and entertained since they feed off of each others energy.  Linda made up games with long tied together ribbons that was fun for about 20 minutes.  Next they played red light-green light to music and then some pretend shark/puppy/snake/elephant/cheetah make believe (their ideas).

Penny went to her cousins house this morning, so Linda won't be seeing her for the normal Nana-Penny Thursday time until a little later.
"But I want my Nana NOW Daddy!"

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Candy Cane coffee and farro

Chimi and I do actually love each other and sometimes we share our stuff and prefer each other.
Waiting for our cookie treat

Last night, sharing MY hall bed (the one where he chewed the corner off the first hour I had it)
Then there are times like this afternoon.  While Linda was at Target buying a few things...
including this Candy Corn coffee flavor...

she picked us each up a deer antler bone.  Chimi had one a long time ago, but he sneaked (or is in snuck?) it outside and buried it.  Linda never found it.  There are two dogs and two bones.  Sounds pretty fair, right?? No, Chimi wants my bone and his bone.  He keeps bringing his bone to the bedroom and then runs out to take my bone too.  There have been almost dog fights a few times that Linda has had to break up.  Even though I am little, I am fierce when he tries to take my bone or bed and I don't want to share.  I let Linda take it and am a perfectly meek, obedient dog.. but I won't give it up to Chim.  I know Cesar would say to let us work it out; but the whole situation is annoying to Linda.  

As promised (because you keep checking the computer hourly for updates.. ha) here is a photo of her baked apples on her breakfast yogurt.
I know it looks more like dessert with the whip and almonds on top, but hey.. she needs the extra calories when she is teaching a lot of morning classes.  After 4 hours in the crock pot, the cherries made it really sweet.. so just a tablespoon does the trick.  You couldn't eat a whole piece of pie made with this filling (or maybe you could if you love really sweet pie!)

She also bought some farro today.  Linda never even heard of farro, but decided to give it a try since she has been making all sorts of new recipes and was looking for a fun new food.  Even Wiki is confused what farro really is.  It's not wheat, oats, rye, spelt or barley.  Farro is called different things in different countries.   It wasn't until Linda started googling recipes that she found out farro is the new trendy, quirky grain that everyone is eating.  She is always the last to know anything. Move over quinoa, make room for farro.

Linda will be dressing in some kind of outfit tomorrow for her classes.  Nothing fancy, maybe just her Superman shirt and red tights that she wore for other classes.  There are prizes for the top dressed instructors, but Linda won't even be trying for that. Tierney has some Batman things so she might wear those instead.  The little Kid Fit tykes are all dressing up.  She can't wait to see the Thomas the Trains, Princesses, Kittens, and Fireman that they picked for their costumes. 
She has no idea where the cape is though.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Almost Pie

Apples, dried cherries, apple pie spices... so good!
Sarah is the Queen of apple pie baking.  Her pies are so good and she doesn't even need a recipe.  The crusts are a work of art.  In her whole life Linda has never once made a pie.  Well, she did bake a Mrs. Smith frozen pie, but it boiled over and burnt in the oven.  Since then, she just eats pie if someone else makes it.  This afternoon she was really craving apple pie.  Making a crust sounded to hard, so she just made the apple pie filling in the crock pot.  This is the before picture. 

There isn't an after picture because she had to leave for classes in a hurry so she just put it in the fridge. Tomorrow she is going to put some on top of her vanilla yogurt, so you have to check back to see the finished product.  OMGosh, the whole house smelled amazing and she thought it tasted even better.  Her next crock pot creation is going to be pumpkin butter.  Maybe she'll need to create a food blog after all!
My first Halloween

The second worst holiday of the year is fast approaching.  The first is the 4th of July because fireworks=sad dogs.  Not far behind is Halloween.  We go C R A Z Y when the doorbell rings or someone knocks.  All the trick or treat kids will be ring-ringing and knock-knocking like crazy all night.  I get asthma attacks that causes choking and wheezing when the doorbell rings.   Linda won't even be home since she'll be at the gym until late. 
 Celebrating my roots!

Monday, October 28, 2013

1,645 remaining

Linda has been using My Fitness Pal since earlier this summer.  She hasn't missed a day writing down what she ate or adding her exercise.  Tonight before dinner, she still had 1,645 calories to eat since she taught so many classes and then ran this afternoon.  She decided to go crazy and make her favorite meal.

First she sauteed quinoa with shrimp, kale, tomatoes, peppers and fresh basil.  She baked some salmon and roasted Brussels sprouts to go with it. 
It was delicious!  She said it was like going to a fancy restaurant except she ate it in the den wearing her pj's and furry slippers and didn't take it off the aluminum foil. 
Dessert was vanilla yogurt, strawberries, a Fiber One 90 calorie brownie, whip and sprinkles.  YUM! She is actually so full she can't eat any more right now. 

She ran today (alone, no Chimi) on the historic W&OD Trail.  It's 45 mile long and ties in with other trails.  She saw so many bikers, runners, walkers, dogs, a uni-cyclist and a wheel-chair racer man.  Honestly, she prefers the quite trail right by our house.  Some times she doesn't see another person during the entire run.  The W&OD was crowded since it was a beautiful afternoon and everyone was out enjoying the nicer weather.  The name of the trail is taken from the railroad where trains ran from 1859 until 1968.  The trail has a lot of Civil War history, cool old houses and even  part of a building from one of the old-timey train stations (which she ran past!) 

"What, you went on a new trail without me?"

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Best Run Ever

That would be Linda's best run ever, not Chimi's.  After yesterdays frustrating experience, she is going to probably go back to just fast walking and not try to make him be a runner.  The two best running dogs she ever had were Sheba (pure Siberian Husky) and good-boy Snickers.  They just were not good running at the same time dogs.  If she tried to take them together, she would risk having her shoulders dislocated when Sheba saw a squirrel, deer or got distracted.  Back in those days Linda would take them both out separately.  That's a good way to ensure you are going to get a lot of exercise!   She had a certain part of the wooded trail she would run with them.  Snickers always got to go first since he was The Big Dog, then while he napped she would take Sheba on the same exact route.  She can still remember her best time.  Today she ran the exact same paths (including the detour deer trails through the woods) and beat her best time by 8 minutes! 
Linda was looking through her photos for a picture to go with this post and instead discovered this old picture of our one and only Christmas tree.  Linda doesn't usually do Christmas trees, but Tierney actually cut this down  herself and bought it over to our house with some lights as a surprise.  We didn't have decorations, so she stuck all her Starbucks Christmas bears (and one cute pooch!) in the branches.  

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Penny has fun

"My Aunt Tierney is so tan"

Taylor, Penny needs a dog like this

Riding the train!
Tierney took Penelope on a fun Auntie outing today.  They went to the mall to ride the train, merry-go-round and window shop.  Of course Tierney took her to the pet store too. The Pet store was one of Tier's favorite things to do when she was little (and not so little.) She said Penny loved this big dog.  Someday, Linda is going to get another big dog.  She loves Chimi and I, but she sure misses having big dogs. 

Tonight Chimi made her extra frustrated during their run.  It was his first time out with his coat this season, so she kind of knew ahead of time that it wouldn't be great.  He didn't last 5 minutes. He was petrified of the coat touching his skin.  She marched him back home and went back out without him.  She felt really strong but didn't run as long as she wanted because she overdressed.  A tee, long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt and a hoodie was perfect for the first few miles. Halfway into the third mile, she was sweating so hard that her tee shirt was soaked and sticking to her. Instead of looping home and changing to go back out, she just stayed in.

Aunt Tier, Minnie, Penny, Mickey and Nana at dinner

Friday, October 25, 2013

Baby, It's Cold Outside

We might have to break-down and turn the heat on tonight.  It's going to only be 30 degrees.  This morning Linda was warm under the covers, but Chimi was cold in his bed and I was bundled up in Linda's sweatshirt when she woke up.  She was aiming to hold off until Nov. 1 before she turned it on.
She loves this warm scarf and is going to be wearing it lots!
Linda met the family for her birthday dinner tonight.  The food was very good and Linda has her leftovers and Tierney's leftovers to eat for the next few meals.  Tier gave her a beautiful sweater and shirt from Nordstrom's and Sarah and Taylor gave her an amazing gigantic plant for the living room.  It's been such a nice birthday few days. Penny even said "Happy Birthday Nana!"  She loves to suck the lemons from the water glasses, check out her sour face.
Aunt Tier got her this bib and a Mickey and Minnie stuffed toy from Disney.  It was so cute watching her cuddle them.  It so reminded Linda of Taylor with his Blue Bear and Tierney with her Big Bird when they were babies.   Before long she'll have another grand baby to spoil!!  Penelope will be such a great big sister.
Linda never watches regular TV.  If she does turn it on, she watches a show on Netflix or Hulu. For the first time in weeks, she turned on the regular cable and discovered its broken.  She has no idea how long shes been paying for cable channels and not been getting reception.  The worker man is coming tomorrow to fix it.  She didn't ask the online chat help person if there will be a charge.  If there is, she is going to decline the service call and just cancel the cable all together.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Even more photos

Check out my very own Tierney hanging out at Gaston's Tavern at Disney.  Little kids really thought she was Belle and lined up to talk to her.  She just dressed up for the character night, but she looks so much like the movie Belle that children were fooled.

Tonight after class Linda and Tier went to the Burger Joint for dinner.  Linda had the black bean fiery Mexican burger.  There were whole raw jalapenos on the burger, complete with seeds.  Yeah, Linda loves spicy food, but biting into a giant raw jalapeno that is topped with jalapeno cheese is even hot for her.  She loved it though and can't wait for tomorrows lunch to eat the left-overs. 

One of the students in her Pump class gave her flowers and a balloon tonight before Body Pump class.  How thoughtful and kind.  They smell amazing and are making Linda smile every time she goes in the kitchen.  Notice the fruit and painting in the background? Kind of like a still-life study.

She also got this beautiful scarf from a good friend
 Linda had planned to take Penny on a trail hike today, but the wind was so cold they decided to go to the mall.  Penelope loves the train ride and this time she picked the first car behind the engine instead of the caboose.
Every time she heard the Toot-Toot and Clang-Clang she would giggle
Part of the mall tradition is to go to Nordstrom's Kids shoe department to see the tropical fish tank and get a balloon. 

Penny wanted to try on all the shoes today.  If Linda had boo-koo bucks, she would have gotten her a pair of Ugg boots and a the cutest pink furry moccasins. 

It's freezing tonight, in the low 40's.  Linda was brave and went out for her run anyway.  She wore lots of light layers.  A pair of gloves would have been smart and made it almost comfortable. Chim and I went with her for the first 15 minutes but she dropped us off so she could pick up the pace.  Even I ran!!  She has to break out our sweaters because its only going to get colder this weekend.
Chim was afraid of the furry surprise there

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Happy BD Linda

Hey Linda, it's your birthday!  She is a little (OK, a lot) older than Penny was at her last birthday, but she still feels so young!  This is Linda's first birthday in decades that she hasn't been in knee or back pain.  The last few weeks her body has felt like she is 20 years old... actually better than 20 because she already had 2 knee surgeries by then.  She was jump kicking last night in Combat right along with the super fit youngsters. 
1st Birthday for Penny
Noah's 1st birthday.  He loved his pony balloon. 
The ladies from class sang Happy Birthday to her and when she got home, she had lots of texts and calls wishing her a HB.  Yay!!

Linda has either been incredibly lucky with her cooking skills (not using recipes, just making it up as she goes) or she is a genius chef.  She found out today that she has just been lucky.  Some of her dishes look terrible, but still taste wonderful.  Lunch today looked terrible and tasted terrible.  Although not so terrible that she'll throw the rest out, but it was bland and tasteless.  
Black bean and spinach enchiladas
The guac and veggie chips were great, but the enchilada was blah.  Once again, she used fat free cheese since she keeps buying it and forgetting it doesn't work for cooking.  She also used a cheap Target brand enchilada sauce and only a mild salsa.  She'll need to do serious recipe make-over when she reheats it tomorrow for lunch.  There are 3 more pieces this size.  Ugh.  

Also, Linda is going off ice cream for a week.  She has had some kind of ice cream, gelato or frozen yogurt every single day for months.  The last 1/2 gallon didn't last a week.  Her daily sugar grams are 4 times what her Fitness Pal goal is.  You can run a report on how you are doing with each nutrient. In the last 90 days, she has eaten between 50 and even up to150 grams of sugar a day!  Since 98% of her diet is made up of veggies and lean protein, she knows the sugar is coming from ice cream.   

At the gym this morning, the director was setting up a new body fat analysis program.  Linda tried it and got a real laugh when she looked at the results.  Not only does it give you the body fat and BMI (both were in the lean/good range) but it breaks down where you carry the body fat on your body.  She can't remember all the numbers but she does remember her arms were 14% and her abs 19%.   One leg was a few percentage points higher than the other leg too! 
Chim is in the 1-2 range for pet body fat; I'm more in the 3-4 range.  I've been a little overweight my whole adult life. The vet said I should be 5.5 pounds, but I've been 6 or 6.5 for the last few years.  Linda has tried the no-cookie; less food more exercise program, but I stay the same weight.  I keep telling her I only look fat because I'm so furry.
See! I'm skinny as a rail.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Lots of Photos

The temperature is dropping fast.  So far we have been keeping some of the windows open a little bit, but Linda is thinking of closing them tonight.  A big frost is coming in the next few days.  This is perfect weather for dog walks though.  Jerry took us tonight while Linda worked. He sent her a text bragging how I ran 2/3 of the walk!  This boggles Linda's mind since I'm the pokiest slow dog when she walks me. 

This is my favorite speed
Tuesday is her heavy teaching day, but she still wanted to take some time to cook some good food.  Yesterday was hummus, veggies, yogurt, salad and fruit.  She wanted something substantial for lunch and dinner, so this is what she made from what was in the pantry and fridge.
Baked Portobello mushrooms.  The filling is spinach, kale, tomatoes, yellow peppers and then topped with feta.  She ate one for lunch and one for dinner.  At dinner, she added a salad and then peaches for dessert. (At the gym this afternoon she read a magazine that said 24% of people who read blogs don't like food photos. Oh well.) 

This past weekend Sarah and Taylor took Penelope on a little vacation.  They had a great time!  Linda felt like she was there because Sarah sent her so many wonderful pictures.
Tierney is on vacation too.  She is at Disney.  It looks like she got a job.  Meet the new Belle!
She is a Beauty, that is for sure.
Chimi has been in his "I need to bed glued to Linda's side" stage the last few days. Right now he is up under her arm plastered against her body.  It's making it difficult to type since her right arm is so much higher than her left.
This is his pensive look
Earlier today he was acting just adorable and doing funny poses.  There have been articles in the news lately that describe how emotionally in-tuned dogs can be.  When he can sense Linda's tired or not her happiest, he does what ever he can to make her smile.  How can you not be in a good mood looking at this face? 
or especially this face!