27.11.09

Thanksgiving: Status Update

Liz: Lying in bed
Number of people snoring: One in my room with me, one next door (actually louder than the roommate), and at least one dog down the hall
Nose: Still plugged up. I see Afirin in my future.
Contacts: Much better. (Amanda, no worries because I do have a new pair with me.)
Sleepy: Me, not so much. But the dull glow from the computer doesn't seem to bother my roommate (who opted for the 12:01am shopping start time last night with no naps today and is now sacked out).
Food I ate today: Surprisingly little. Snack mix (and not a lot) for breakfast, lasagna for lunch and a left-over sandwich and creamed corn for dinner, plus two cups of coffee, three twizzlers and many pistachios. Sadly, no more turkey for Liz.
Shopping left to do: Mom and Dad (duh, they're here, I can't do it all now), my mentee, and one thing for a colleague.

I was also thinking of Thank-You/Christmas cards to all the Bolder Options donors. I guess I should get on that one.

My Thanksgiving: Just, wow

Wednesday:
O'dark-thirty: Wake up. I have a sinus infection. My whole face feels like it's about to cave in. Pack food. Go.
Can't remember what time: Keep driving. I was given advice to avoid Chicago entirely. I did.
Been-on-the-road-too-long o'clock: Gary, IN is my least favorite city to drive through. The only traffic I hit all day.
Oh-crap-I-gotta-pee: I remember Amanda told me a human bladder can hold 200 CCs. I can tell you, an entirely full bladder is a painful experience.

Thanksgiving-Thursday:
No one wears a watch 'cause it's vacation.
Morning: Wake up. Have the cereal my mommy brought me. Later morning, RUN! It was a cold day when I started and ended up cold and rainy so I cut it short (sort of) at around 40:00. A nice and slow run because I haven't run since my trot around the lake a few weeks ago with Jenna.
Lunch: What's the point in eating right now?
Immediately after we don't really eat: All the cousins/aunts/uncles/kids (wow! there are a lot of people) showed up. I sat back and watched the mayhem. It's fun to watch my cousins suddenly act like adults because they have kids.
4:00pm This is the only exact time I know because it's time to EAT! We had my favorites including creamed corn, sweet potatoes, mash potatoes, stuffing (there were even more kinds of starch but I lost track) ten different kinds of pies, lasagna, and eggplant parmesean. (Did I mention there's this weird Italian contingent in my extended family?)
Later: Wow! There are a lot of people in this house.
In the evening: I had some coffee and was doing one of my favorite things: checking my newsreader. I read this article about Thanksgiving Turkeys and now cannot eat turkey. Ever. It's not a gross thing, just an ethical thing. (I wonder if my turkey bacon comes from the same turkeys that we use of Thanksgiving. That would be a big problem.)
Late: Tried to sleep. I didn't sleep so good (see the above mentioned sinus infection)

Friday:
Omyguswhutimeizit?: I'm up. I'm up. We went to Macy's where I got my first Christmas present: a wool coat. Charcoal, with a hood and a zipper. (Kelly: Is this like the coat it took you a year to find?) This eye-issue started at Macy's. I thought it was crap in my contacts.
1030 or 1100: Get back to the house. It's not crap in my contacts. It's my eye. Wow, does it hurt. BTW, I don't know what happened to my glasses but they're not in my suitcase. Liz walks around with no contacts and no glasses. Liz cant see the big-screen TV.
I ate lasagna in my semi-blind state.
1:30pm-ish: Back to shopping. I helped Mom pick out several items and Barnes 'N Noble (if you're reading this, they're not for you). The contacts were back in my this time and my eye hurt less but still noticeable.
Did I mention all the football we watched all day? Go Bearcats!
Then we went to Bath & Body and I got my soap for the year. No, seriously. We also shopped in Bed Bath & Beyond where I did not buy anything.
Dinner-time: I did beg Mom to come down to the basement and talk to me while I spent quality time on the elliptical. Then we ate again.
More shopping: This time on the internet. I bought my gift for Dad (Eating Well Magazine), the Melcher Christmas steal-a-thon Christmas Passing Party (a gift certificate to Kiva - hmm, I hope my family doesn't read this blog), and gifts for Amanda and Kelly (I do know better than to tell that one).
My eye is still bothering me, this time it is the contact. You know when you get that weird halo/blurry/funky thing lenses can do? That's what I've got going on. I'm not sure what the issue is but the pain's basically gone. I'll take the blurry vision.

Tomorrow: Who knows? I'm thinking about running but also thinking about going on the elliptical instead. I've got to get back into training for my winter 5k.

16.11.09

The ER: The Sweetest Thing I Heard After...

I did have to go to work today for a little while despite my adventure last night. While there, many of my colleagues told me to go back home. (Thanks.) I did have one thing I had to do and couldn't re-schedule, but I only stayed a few hours.

While I was explaining what happened, a colleague said the sweetest thing I heard today (besides Amanda taking me to the ER and staying up all night): "Do you want me to come and clean up the blood in your house?"

I made the comment that my bathroom looked like a crime scene. The colleague noted that some people just don't like cleaning that stuff up, and a problem of living alone is that any mess is my own. Luckily, while other people's blood makes me want to pass out, the site of my own doesn't bother me at all (unless it's gooooshing out of my face).

Still, I feel like one friend who will get out of bed and haul @ss across town in the middle of the night and another who will clean my house for me is a sign that I'm making a family here. Sweet.

my latest trip to the ER

Sunday night around 11:30pm: I went to sleep. All was normal.

Sunday night/Monday morning 1:30am: I woke up. At first I thought I had a runny nose but quickly figured out it was a bloody nose. Which would not stop. Applying pressure made it worse. A Google search (rarely a good idea in this situation) did yield some helpful information. The most consistent information was: if the bleeding doesn't stop in ten minutes, go to the ER.

1:40am: Still on the fence about the ER, but still bleeding.

1:41am: The biggest blood clot ever came out of my body. (Ewww.) At that point I was really scared. I called Amanda and begged for help.

2:00am (Thank goodness Amanda got her car fixed.) The bleeding slowed to a dull trickle. The magic words at the ER seemed to be, "I can't stop bleeding" because I got right in.

The timeline in the ER is a little blurry (Amanda could tell you better). But the doctor came in, looked at me, left, came back, left again, and then came back to actually work on my nose. It had basically stopped bleeding by then and I was feeling pretty guilty about dragging Amanda out of bed and across town for something that basically stopped on it's own.

And then the doc touched me. Gooosh. And we were back in bloody nose business. So she cauterized the area. Holy mother of Wow! did that hurt.

The doc came back to check on me and found that I'd sprung a leak so she cauterized more. This one didn't hurt so bad, but it still did not tickle.

4:07am: "We'll give that ten minutes to make sure it stops" says the doc.

5:00am: Still no doc to do one last check (thanks Abbott Northwestern) but the RN sent me home with follow up instructions. I called in sick/late to work and went to bed thankful for health, health insurance, and a friend I can wake up in the middle of the night from a dead sleep to sit with me in the ER so I won't be scared.

12.11.09

Running a marathon taught me to have faith...

Amanda and I were talking about a circumstance unrelated to running. I was enumerating the values of taking one particular action and Amanda was noting the possible risks and negative outcomes associated with said action. In response, I was encouraging faith in a positive outcome. I was trying to explain why I'm so sure the positive outcome is the one that will actually be created out of the circumstance. In explaining my point, I made a statement Amanda really liked:
Something about running a marathon taught me to have faith
I was saying that I had faith in my ability to create the experience I wanted out of running the marathon. Not the experience of running 26.2 miles in a certain time, or running a certain speed, but all the experiences that went along with it that were so positive like raising a whole bunch of money (there's still time to donate) for a great mentoring program and having people make a 26-mile-long line and cheer for me as I ran by (something you should all try at least once). The experience I meant was just knowing that the marathon was going to be a wonderful experience. I didn't know if I was going to finish or live to tell the tale. But even a few days before I ran I knew it was going to be great.

The other day we got some really discouraging news at work. That information highlighted a larger a concern we've all had about the something that's been going on (or not going on) at work for a long time. The news is discouraging on its face. But the circumstance actually creates an opportunity (finally) to address this larger issue. In the end, something really positive will come out of this, even though it didn't appear that way when it showed up on our doorstep. Why?
Because something about the experience helped me find my faith that I can create the reality I want.


Sidenote to my friend Amanda: I'll also refer you to what it says up top just below the title of the blog and tell you to Man Up.

10.11.09

I need to train for a new marathon, and I've found a miracle cure

I've had two unusually severe migraines this month. I'm not sure I got a migraine the entire time I trained for the marathon.

Ergo, I've decided I need something new to train for. I'm thinking not a marathon because I don't want to tear up my joints prematurely (I plan on using them for a long time to come) and I don't want to buy that many pairs of shoes again. I did hear tell of some Freeze-your-@ss-off-Half-Marathon in the middle of January that I will be, um, strongly encouraged to (read: if all else fails, shamed into) run with the St Paul runners so that may be my new goal. (For some reason, the 5k wasn't the correct motivation; something about the distance I think. But I can't wait to run it.)

I haven't run as much since the big day. For a while it was resting, then motivation, then the time changed and I have even more issues than normal about getting up because it's dark, plus add to that some days I should now be running at the Y and I have a whole separate mental block about that. I need some positive motivation to make me actually run at the Y. (I'm fine once I get started, but just the thought of it...) I'm open to any and all suggestions.

My new training plan, for now, is to train for the I-have-no-idea-why-I'm-running-when-it's-this-cold-Half-Marathon. All the running I did last year taught me I'm really happier going for a nice steady run for a couple of hours than hauling tail for a couple miles. And the Best 5k in Town will be a great speed training session for the longer race. (PS, you should list the Dreidel Dash over at RaceberryJam.)

In migraine related news, I found a freakin' miracle drug yesterday (as I lay in bed feeling like I was going to die). The migraine I had yesterday was the most severe one I've had in a long time and I was really desperate. I remembered an old (read: legal) prescription I had for some, um, really strong pain killers and I had some leftover pills.

Lord only knows why I didn't cut the tub in half, but I swallowed this entire horse pill (per the instructions on the bottle). I compare the strength of this medicine to using a power saw to cut a piece of paper in half.

Twenty minutes passed by and then: I didn't have a head ache, I wasn't in any pain, I couldn't remember pain, I swore my head and my entire body would never hurt again.

And then I slept for like five hours.

It's like a whole day of my life that I'll never get back. But those pills. Wow. What a relief to be pain free for all that time. I'm a little worried I'll get addicted (I haven't taken any more) but the sleeping part didn't feel right. Almost like a hangover without the sick, so I really don't want to take the pills ever again, despite their awesome pain relief.

8.11.09

the best dinner I've ever cooked

Yum!

I'm a little worried seriously concerned that I'll still be full tomorrow morning when I wake up to run. What'd I make?

Calamari with mushrooms and capers over greens in a goat cheese dressing. I'm calling it Liz's Awesome Dinner for short. I don't have a recipe that I can point you to, so let me tell you the story of how I made it up instead.

1.) I'd been seriously craving squid for a long time and my dinner at La Hacienda on Friday night merely held me over for a while but didn't fully satisfy the craving. (I was pretty careful this time about not letting Amanda steal my squid too.)

2.) Squid was on sale (I guess, what is a normal price for squid?) at the Co-op.

3.) I bought goat cheese yesterday. (Goat cheese should really become a staple of my diet.)

4.) I really wanted salad. I crave salad about as often as I crave seafood so I usually honor my desires.

5.) I had to go to the YWCA today which is only notable in that it got me out of the house and near the co-op to begin with.

I trawled around the web for some good calamari/squid/whatever-you-call-it recipes. Fried didn't sound good to me (read: frying food at home didn't sound good to me) and I don't own a grill. So I was left with broil/bake/roasting or the pan-seared/saute option. I found some recipe for baked squid with potatoes and olives and I thought I'd try that.

When I got to the co-op though, they had these local greens that I bought for my salad craving, and then I noticed the local mushrooms (which I supplemented with shitake mushrooms that are decidedly not local). At that point, I remembered I had capers at home and decided to do a piccata-like thing instead of the recipe I'd found.

I got home with my squids (frozen of course) and first had to learn how to thaw them properly. I did the bowl/change-the-water method which worked well and didn't waste a ton of water.

I sauteed my mushrooms and carefully added the capers right at the end.

I chopped the squid into rings (in a big WIN for me, the tentacles had been pre-separated and the eyes were already gone) and marinated the rings and tentacles for a while. I had to sear the squid pieces a few at a time so they could all make contact with the bottom of the pan. (This is the one part of this entire blog post it's ok for Mark, my cousin the chef, to read. He'd probably cringe at the rest of it.)

After all the saute magic, I added the "piccata" mix into the squid.

Then I created my own salad dressing or olive oil, red wine vinegar and goat cheese and added it to my yummy locally grown greens. I added the seafood mix and sprinkled with Parmesan. It was so good. Sorry to my friends reading this who don't eat squid for religious reasons. Not sorry to anyone reading this who just thinks squid is gross. You don't know what you're missing. Besides being yummy, my squids were a good source of important nutrients like copper and selenium (I'm sure I'll need those for something).

A good way to start a Sunday morning

This morning, I'd planned to wake up and run with the St Paul girls (whom Amanda refers to as my "running mates"). I woke up and checked Facebook (standard procedure in case anyone can't come) and got some good news on another front (more on that in a minute). I got to Lake Nokomis and met Jenna (the other St Paul girls dumped us). We had a great run. Lake Nokomis at sunrise is just about gorgeous. Plus the sun rise today was all purple and red and even more dramatic than usual.

After completing my exercise, I came home to verify and get more information on what I learned from Keith Ellison's facebook feed. We are one step closer to having an actual health care system. Although, as noted it aint a law yet. Find out all 39 democrats who voted against the bill. (Dennis Kucinich?!?) And, in other good news Gov. Pawlenty is clearly gearing up for a run for president in 2012. I'd just like to point out that health care in Minnesota is cost effective and provides excellent coverage despite the governor's many many attempts to eviscerate the very programs meant to keep costs down.

How does the US stack up against other nations in health care spending? It's what everyone has been saying. We spend more to cover fewer people and tend to score lower than other industrialized nations on public health indicators. (We can talk about abortion but the same people opposed to health care covering abortion have opposed expanding the health care that would reduce our ridiculously high infant mortality rates.)

Note: Apparently this post will be about politics.

Next up in health care: Legalize pot. I learned recently that many other industries are opposed to this because hemp is a better fiber for clothing, rope, and pulp for paper and can be produced with less stress on the environment. Also, in the Netherlands (where pot is basically legal) there's actually a smaller percent of the population actually using it than places where it's illegal.

And I think this is just cool. What a great idea, to take apart HIV and make it carry something that makes us better rather than sick.

Now, H1N1 is all over the news and I'm sure everyone reading this knows someone who's had it already. (Do those people need the shots then?) Here's the treatment method I'm sure we all want our kids to learn. And the tragic real life example of isolation and H1N1. (Although, honestly, how many of you, when you read that story thought "I can see Russia from my house".) And, yet another reason I don't shop at Wal-Mart. (And another reason employers should be required to provide health insurance.)

Hopefully stepping away from topics that can piss people off, I recently discovered I love this show.

I've always wondered what Hydroponic gardening means, especially since last week when I dropped a ton of money on tomatoes grown in a hydroponic garden in Minnesota instead of tomatoes grown some other (less expensive?) way in some far away state. I think I could totally do that in my windows.

7.11.09

6.11.09

Just a little story from my day

The funniest part of my day:
After Amanda and I ate an awesome dinner at La Hacienda, we drove seperate to her house. She was in the lead and I got stopped by a few lights that she sped right through proceeded through safely. So I was shocked when I got to her apartment door and it was locked.

I'd already seen her car parked out on the street.

Did she come in the back door (which never happens)? I unlocked the apartment door (with the magical key I don't actually have because it would be against the rules). The apartment was dark.

Where is Amanda?

I called her. No answer. It went to voice mail after two rings. Now I'm starting to get nervous.

Go back downstairs. I verify that it is, in fact, Amanda's car parked outside and not some red-car-impostor. Where is she? Visions of calling the police and reporting my best friend abducted between her car door and apartment door are dancing through my head. I've had a rough enough day, I don't need this at the end of it.

I started to go back upstairs to think. And then I heard her voice. A neighbor had called her into his unit to "look at art". Ha, a likely story.

3.11.09

After all that...

After all that work I did figuring out how to vote, I almost forgot to actually do it.

Again, I took my mentee to the bus stop this morning. Early. And then I had to be in downtown St Paul at 8:15am. (Yeah, I laughed when I heard what time they wanted me too.) So I couldn't vote before work.

I didn't have breakfast either. Which pretty much set the tone for the day. I've been hungry ever since. Someone finally let me leave after 4:30p tonight. After trying to convince a someone from my office that netbooks are a waste of money for the way our staff use computers. (Sorry but the person they have picking out computers for us, it's like handing me some x-rays and asking me to diagnose a tumor.) I'm not sure it worked.

So I was exhausted when I got home, and even less likely to go out because it was raining. I made myself a pretty nice dinner (eggs, bacon, bagel, and roasted veggies) and was sitting enjoying it when I thought...

"Oh %#@&!"...I haven't voted yet. Which I left immediately to do.

The results of my first Ranked Choice Voting (also known as Instant Runoff Voting) experience: I'll tell you about it the week before Christmas when my vote is finally counted. The ballots were fine, easy to use, the same as the ones from the previous years. It was more the homework I had to do ahead of time picking who to vote, although I probably would have had to do a similar amount of homework because I was picking people I'd never heard of for offices I didn't even know existed (hello Board of Estimation and Taxation). And now I'm here typing and wearing my "I voted" sticker which is really the main reason I vote.

2.11.09

An interesting day, and it wont be the last one...

Today was a looong day.

RUN!!!
It started at 6am when my alarm went off. I had a little internal debate. I surprised myself even by actually getting out of bed to run. My new 5k race prep plan is called "run fast up hills". I only had a short time to run this morning, so I did just under 4 miles. Turning on the "elevation" feature will reveal, I was fairly serious about the "hills". None of them is too tall, but some are pretty long for being hills in my neighborhood. Side question: Why does GMaps have the bike paths but not the running paths on their maps?

School!
I took my mentee to her school but stop this morning. (Why does she need someone to drive her to her bus stop? It's not the teenager's fault but please don't get me started.) That's the reason I actually couldn't do a long(er) run. It's ok, it probably only cut off a couple miles.

Work, work, work
I was the second one in the office today, just after 8am. I pulled up and most of the lights were off but there was one car in the lot that I didn't recognize. One of my bosses got a new car it turns out. (Guess who was first at the office.) And I worked. And worked. And worked. My last home visit was at 5pm. And then I actually went back to the office for a little while.
One of the volunteers in our office (actually, our only office volunteer) had a death in the family so I left the office and went down the street to Sholom for the shiva. (Follow the link for an explanation if you don't know what I'm talking about.) It started at 7pm (that's right, I was working on hour 12 at that point...).

Toilet Paper!
Sometimes, a Target run is just what's required and tonight was no exception. I got coupons (probably everyone in Minneapolis reading this got the same coupons) from Target for their brand of, like, everything including toilet paper. When I got to the store, the shelves were completely bare of the Target brand. (That's how I know you all got the coupons too.) No worries, I successfully picked a different brand to meet my needs.
Also, I was happily able to buy beer tonight, so I'm chillin' now. (The fact that I can still type coherently tells you not to worry.)

Rest
Am now drinking a beer. Will go to bed soon.

What tomorrow holds:
1. Pick up the mentee even earlier than today (7:30a) becuase...
2. My first home visit starts at 8:15a tomorrow. (Now seriously, why did I schedule that?)
3. Which means I probably won't be able to vote until after work. I will feel naked all day without my "I voted" sticker.

Another note about voting:
Both of my posts (I've only written two) mentioning instant run off voting, otherwise known as ranked choice voting seem to draw comments from people who can't possibly read my blog on a regular basis. (If you're reading this as a "note" in Facebook, you'll need to head over to the actual blog A4bats to see the comments.)

I'll let you know tomorrow what I think about ranked choice voting. Although, it's possibly I wont let you know for several months becuase the City of Minneapolis is not allowed to use electronic ballot counters that are not federally certified. And there are no federally certified machines that can handle instant run off voting. (Iam not making this up...) Here's one place I read it:
Since there is no federally- or state-certified voting equipment capable of counting a Ranked Choice Voting election, the election will be hand-counted to determine the winners. Minneapolis election judges will begin working on the hand-count Nov. 4, and winners in individual races will be known as the count proceeds in the coming weeks. The hand-counting is tentatively expected to be complete by Dec. 21.

My ward is the second to last to have our votes counted. My thing is, if this is in multiple states, how do we not have a federally certified machine that can count my vote. A hand count? To save money? Although apparently in the next few years there will be a federal machine that can count votes this way. All I can say is, don't laugh my St. Paul friends. This question is on your ballots this year.

1.11.09

Ranked choice voting: doing my homework

Election day is coming. This is the first year Minneapolis is doing the ranked choice thing. It's new and I want to be prepared, so I spent some time tonight thinking about my vote. First thing about "ranked choice": There was primary day last month when I felt naked without my "I Voted" sticker. (I didn't get one because ranked choice eliminates the primary.)

Here's the thing. I am a reasonably well educated adult, so this whole voting thing should be easy for me. Wow. Because it took me at least an hour to figure out who I wanted on the park board (where I pick 3 at large members and one from my park district), Board of Estimation and Taxation (who knows why I spent time on that because it may not even exist after this election) and what to do about the City Charter Amendment Question (to eliminate the Board of Estimation and Taxation). The charter amendment question was the hardest to decide. I had a hard time finding information from either side I thought I could trust. City council and the mayor is also up for election but I already knew basically who I want to vote for in those elections.

So, with everyone picked out, I had to actually make a list so I remember who I want. You'd think it'd be easy right? There are no less than 12 names on my list, plus instructions on how to vote on the amendment. (I've never heard of any of these people. I hope they're all real.) And I didn't even use up all three choices for the Mayor or City Council. (I know. The list could have been even longer.)

What I've learned from the process:
1. Ranked choice really requires some serious thought before election day. It's like homework.
2. I suddenly care about the park system. (Duh, given the insane amount of time I spent running through our parks this spring and summer.) I told my mom what was important to me about the park system (meaning for me to enjoy running around the lakes) is what time the bathrooms are unlocked in the winter (because they take away the biffies in the winter for some inexplicable reason) and how often the paths (lakes and parkways) are cleared. (Who can say single issue voter?)
3. When I think about the parks, I always consider the rec centers and sports teams as separate from the lakes, parkways, and the falls. That's a very inaccurate thought.
4. League of Women Voters of Minnesota is an excellent website that really helped me make decisions about my vote. They also endorsed a position on the City Charter Amendment, helpful since it's the only site other than the "yes" and "no" sites of any credibility. WIN. Second WIN for the league, their national chapter has an explanation of health care that doesn't make my head explode.

Since the marathon, I haven't really been motivated to run... but I cooked a lot today

Today was actually one of the first day I was really motivated to do much of anything. I was going to do a long(ish) run, then have a beer and watch the game. Alas, it is not possible to buy alcohol in Minnesota on a Sunday. (I know. It is ridiculous.) So I had no need to run to burn of calories in anticipation of alcohol. I was additionally confused by this whole fall back an hour thing. I spent most of the morning laying on the couch instead. (Win.)

I got up long enough to go to the Co-op where I dropped over $60, mostly in produce. Among other things, I bought fresh tomatoes. What's that? Oh look, a pig flying by... I then spent an awesomely productive day cooking. I'm not going to document it here. (Although, if you like reading about those things and finding new recipes, may I suggest my friend Chris' blog.)

What did I make? I was jonesing for some soup. A lot of times at work, if I eat soup I don't eat anything else so I need a hearty soup with protein and carbs.

First, I made White Bean and Vegetable Soup. I made it basically as described there.I used the blender to puree about eight cups of the soup, as opposed to the two recommended in the recipe. That's more a texture than a taste thing. Also, I will reheat these in the microwave so it's better if the ingredients are a more uniform consistency and size.

Tomato Soup was a late addition to my menu but I badly wanted some. This recipe looked good as it included lentils, meeting my protein and carb requirements. Plus, cooked tomatoes are like the healthiest thing in the world. Obviously, this was the reason for the fresh tomatoes I bough. This one, well, you would recognize the ingredients from the recipe but not much else. I used big tomatoes (not cherry tomatoes) because they were the only ones I could buy that were grown locally. All I know is they were "from the vine" and they were the round red ones. (People tell me there's a difference between roma, heirloom, cherry, etc, but raw tomatoes make me shudder so I've never done a taste test.) I roasted the onion with the tomatoes. After the roasting, I pureed the tomatoes, onion and garlic, and then cooked them with the lentils. I don't know why I wasn't in the mood for pureed lentils. Perhaps it was all the pureeing with the other soup. I think I used way more lentils than were called for, but yum nonetheless. I confess, I did have to add a bit of sugar to the soup to cover the recognizable bitter tomato taste, but dude, I bought fresh tomatoes and actually turned them into something I will eat.

Last, I made roasted vegetables which is so much my specialty there's not even a recipe I can refer you to. Today, it was roasted broccoli, cauliflower and edamame. (Firefox doesn't think "edamame" is a word, but I am spelling it correctly.) I always toss the vegetables in olive oil, salt and pepper, and then pick any additional flavors. Today, I added sesame oil and lemon juice. Apparently, there's a roasted edamame recipe for every day of the year. I highly recommend them. They're yummy and have iron, which I always have trouble including in my diet. Next to Brussels sprouts, edamame is my favorite thing to roast.

I know. We should all send winter coats down to Hell and tell the air traffic controllers to look out for flocks of pigs when I willingly by Brussels sprouts and tomatoes. Also, seriously, I did not know "Brussels sprouts" was spelled with an "s" at the end of the first word. The co-op today did have Brussels Sprout stalks today, which I'd never seen before.

Last night, I cleaned out my freezer, which was pretty depressing. There was a whole bunch of food I cooked that I wound up not eating. Those included paad thai with the wrong (and consequently overcooked) noodles, an early attempt at roast vegetables which did not go so well, and some quinoa thing I should've made a lot less of to begin with.

Happily, the freezer is now full of stuff I am much more likely to eat. About eight single serve containers of my white bean soup, three of my tomato soup, and three of my roasted vegetables. Nom nom nom.

Now that I've got food for the entire month of November, I just need to run so I don't embarrass myself in the Dreidel Dash. By the way, Beth, on numerous occasions, has told me the course is totally flat. Here's the route. However, turning on the elevation feature of Gmap Pedometer reveals that Beth is smoking something good. It's ok, I need to learn to run UP hill in a 5k.