Weeks 9 and 10: A Pleasure to Burn

Land SAKES, y’all, I have fallen behind and it isn’t even tax day yet.

So, this will be a long post, since I’m covering two weeks (and a bridal shower and a trip to the psychic! – scroll down to Week 10 for details).

I’ll cut right to the chase:

WEEK #9

The Recipe

The first week after Poisonwood Bible, I decided to try these cute little pancake pockets.  I found them appealing because, I thought to myself, “you could take them anywhere and fill them with anything!”

I would only too soon find out how wrong I was.

The recipe essentially called for me to make a really thin pancake, put some filling stuff on top while it’s cooking, and top with another thin pancake and flip.  Easy, right? I decided to try three different types of pockets:

Mixed berries (As pictured)

Banana and peanut butter

Broccoli and cheddar

The berries came out a little sour, but totally edible.  The banana peanut butter…well, to quote my husband: “I choose YOU.”  They were scrumptious, will try those again sometime.  But…what was I thinking with broccoli and cheese?

Oh, I know what I was thinking.  I was thinking, “this will be a great way to get some fiber in our diets!  Broccoli and cheddar can be stuffed into any kind of carb, right?”  WRONG.

Broccoli and pancakes: not good bedfellows.  Lesson learned.

  The Workout

I have done yoga before.  Not really in a class, I’m not fully prepared to look like the Aflac duck squirming around awkwardly on a mat.  But I’ve done yoga-at-home dvd workouts to not much biting and gnashing of teeth.

Something about this one was different, though.

I’m accustomed to downward dog into cobra, but she added a little twist.  About 45 times in the twenty five minutes I lasted on this 50 minute workout, she went from downward dog, down to cobra, then back up in that awful crawl-your-feet-forward-with-your-hands-on-the-ground-and-your-face-turning-red transition.  I began to feel like I was in the army doing the dreaded Up-Downs.  The palms of my hands were screaming.  It was already a hell of a week.

I quit.

The Book

Perhaps a good reason I had very little will to go on with the yoga was the fact that I was reading this miserable book at the same time.

Before I get flooded with hate-mail (I mean, let’s be real: only six of you are reading this), let me say I maybe shouldn’t have read this book after seeing the splashy Broadway musical that is derived from it.  It set up a certain expectation for me: that certain characters would fall (and remain) in love, certain characters would give other characters makeovers, certain characters would…actually live to see the end of the book.

  

And to that end, while I would call Wicked a good book, it was not particularly my cup of tea.  It was dark.  It was funny in parts, but mostly depressing and by the time I reached the end I was just so happy it was over.  I know some of you (read: my sister Jen) think I enjoy things that are depressing, but I say nay nay.  Do I think there are excellent stories out there that end on a sour note?  For sure!  Blindness is a supreme example (even though the ending isn’t terribly sour, the whole thing is pretty melancholy).  But those people were struggling to an end that enriched them.  With Wicked…well, maybe I’ve just got too many dark books on my list.

I mean…I did spend what felt like a month slogging through books that were set in Japanese internment camps.  And 75% of the books on my list so far have had characters who were starving in some way, scrounging for food.

Maybe I need to take a romance novel break?  Cleanse the palate a little?  Meh.

WEEK #10

This week, though busy, was the tits.  On Wednesday, I helped throw a casual little bridal shower for one of my Playhouse coworkers, Gina.  Doesn’t she look lovely?

Excuse the poor lighting

The Recipe

For the shower, I made these darling little Paula Deen heart-attack-machines at the behest of my co-planner, Tara.

I nearly gave up before I even got started, because the pecan crust was NOT easy to fit to the pan.  In general, I’ve noticed…crusts are kind of a problem for me.  But I persevered and they were a smashing success with the small, but lively crowd.  (Jason liked them, too)

I also baked approximately 3,000 cupcakes in order to shape them into a wedding gown (inspired, of course, by Pinterest.  As were most things at the shower).  Look at our spread!

From Pinterest

Tara and Sarah

                                  

The very next day, I was even able to hand some treats off to a dear friend while we went on an excursion to Camp Chesterfield.

“What the hell is Camp Chesterfield?” you ask.  I answer:

I discovered this Spiritual Center of Light when I attended Ball State.  Every once in a purple moon, they had a “psychic fair” on Ball State’s campus where you could pay $10 and see a psychic for 10-15 minutes.  The first time I went, I was hooked.

I’ve been to the camp itself just outside of Anderson, Indiana a handful of times and seen a different spiritualist every time I’ve come.  This week was no exception.  The woman who read me claims that this will be a very big year for me (duh!  It’s the Year of Growing Personally!) and that next year will be even bigger. In fact, she told me (after I told her I was working on many writing projects) that next year I’ll be “published.”

I’ll be honest, this was not my best reading.  I’m not sure I gelled with the spiritualist the way I did the last time I went to Camp; I found her outlook for me was pretty vague, Magic 8 Ball type stuff.  But I love everything about Chesterfield and, while my friend was in session with her, I took the liberty of wandering the grounds and taking some snapshots.

“Toad Stools” were old tables where the mediums would meet with clients

They’re kind of eery now

A labyrinth recreated with stones. I got really excited about the prospect of walking a “labyrinth” when I saw it listed on the map…only to find that this was all there was to it.  Oh, well.

The “Trail of Religions” I think they called it. My FAVORITE part of the grounds.

Jesus is in the center, all other religious figures in the circle behind him point his way.

  

If you live nearby and are curious about Chesterfield, I am always down for a visit.

The Workout

I, once again, had very little time this week to complete a full satisfactory workout due to the above Major Social Events happening in my life.  But I still wanted to squeeze something in, so I decided to take the Uptown Abs challenge.

I’ve referenced this before in a previous post, or you may have seen it on social media, since it has gone Super Crazy Viral.

The video is 4 minutes, 31 seconds long.  On my first attempt, I made it a minute fifteen.

Fifteen minutes later, I tried again.  A minute thirty.  It’s brutal.  But I shall try again.  Fail again.  And fail better.  To be continued.

The Book

I read Fahrenheit 451 last week.  For those of you that are wondering about the headline of this post, the opening line of the book is “It was a pleasure to burn.” Yes, that expression is not just an ad for camel cigarettes.

Fahrenheit 451 was a quick, relatively painless read that reminded me a lot of the Will Smith movie Enemy of the State.  It takes place in a dystopian future where all books are burned (and, incidentally, tv sets take up entire walls and show characters are called “family”‘s).  For those that have not partaken, I won’t tell you how it ends, but there’s a whole lotta burning going on.

Speaking of books on the bleak side…yeah.  There’s death and mayhem and not much faith in humankind in this novel as well.  Fortunately, this week I’m reading The Shining, so…

Oh, wait.  Nevermind.

Next week:

Book: The Shining

Workout: Hip Hop Cardio

Recipe: Chicken vegetable tostadas

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