For Want of Time

If you read yesterday’s post you’ll see that I started the10 Day Do Over challenge.  For my challenge I chose to learn more about the art of writing.  Something I’ve been meaning to do and something I wish I had spent more time doing in college.

This morning I grabbed the Do Over workbook and turned the page.. to discover that I hadn’t finished Day 1.  Apparently there were some questions I was supposed to answer that I didn’t.  So here they are.

1. What’s an activity you love doing that you have stopped for some reason?

I put down Acting/Theater.  Something I did through HS and a little in college, but put aside to be “practical” and because I didn’t have time with all the other stuff I was doing.  I haven’t done anything theatrical since my college interpretive reading course.  I miss it. A lot.  I have a FB friend that does Theater and every time he posts something I am so envious.  There is NOTHING like opening night.  That feeling, the excitement.  It is a serious high.  I miss it!

passing-time-2-51854c91a8333_hiresQuestion 2 tied into question 1 for me.  It asked -Have you ever been jealous when you’ve seen someone else doing something?  What was the activity they were doing that you wished you were?

Clearly I just spoke of being envious of a friend in the theater.  But that didn’t end up being what I wrote down.  What I wrote is that I was jealous of the people who seemed to have time.  Time to do anything.  Sitting and having a cup of coffee, getting groceries, writing at the library, anything.  I am jealous of people who have time.  I don’t think I’m alone, in fact I just saw a FB post today from a mom ranting about someone who seemed to have the time to get to the gym in time to get a good parking spot before a class in a very leisurely fashion.  She was lamenting that she couldn’t get in because she got there two minutes late.  But I saw the pain of having not enough time.  And really, I think her post was about time because being turned away from that workout when you aren’t able to make it to many, hurts.  To me it is Time that is the enemy and I completely understood that want need for more time to do what you’d like to do rather than having most of your time taken up with things that you have to do.  Or rather, I understood the part of her message that spoke to me.  I was feeling it.

Question 3. What’s something you’ve always wanted to try?  I said Yoga.  Again, something I haven’t really done because of time. When you don’t have a lot of time, you get very possessive of what time you do have and what you do with it.  Yoga is something I’d like to try, but if I’m working out with my limited time, it’ll be running or the boot camp class with the above mentioned FB friend.  Sadly, I have only gone running a handful of times since taking my new job.  Because, all in all, I am not the master of my own time.  Sure, there may be Free Time skulking around in a dirty back alley somewhere waiting for me to walk by and notice it.  But if I do find it, before I can dig out my $20 for a quickie, I am bombarded by everything else I wouldn’t be doing while having some fun with Free Time.  So really, is free time really free?  You go down that Free Time road and then you find yourself at the free clinic with a strange rash and a tattoo of a monkey on your ass.  Regrets.  Guilt.  Mommy guilt.  Guilt guilt guilt.  And now I’m downward spiraling into the whole Work vs Family vs Self Care balancing act.  I’m not going there.  I’m just saying Time is an elusive whore these days and even if I do have a twenty dollar bill to toss at it, I’ll be paying for it later.


Day 2

On day two, you find a person.  A person that will be your accountability buddy for the next ten days.  Someone to check in with each day.  I’m picking my husband since he is the one that introduced me to this.  And he’s cute.  And he’s nearby so that helps.

It then asked me who the smartest person I know is.  That was a real thought stopper.  I thought about saying my brother, but he’s from a differing political party than I so he doesn’t count.  HA HA!  Just kidding.  I actually put down a few people’s names. But I have no idea how to determine how smart a person is, especially since there are different kinds of smarts.  I feel like I’m people smart, but can’t do math to save my life.  Other’s can ace a calculous test but will back out of their driveway, across the street and into a ditch.  True story.  I know that person.  So I threw down a few names and wrote “SHRUG”.

Finally it asks for a list of people you’d put on your board of directors for a fake company.  That was much easier in my opinion and I finished that up quickly.  I stacked it with people who are smart, honest with a mix of sugar coaters and blunt speakers.  Tell me the truth, I’ll cry, a sugar coater will come around and help me feel better about it and then I’ll watch them fight to the death.  Not really, no. I’d look away.  But seriously.  It’s like with picking Beta Readers.  My husband is always my first reader because he is mostly blind when it comes to me.  He thinks I’m amazingly talented, awesome, beautiful and a whole long list of other complimentary adjectives.  I just think he’s crazy.  So he pumps me up.  Then I pass it along to a few friends that read a lot and will give honest feedback, but tend to be gentle and love me so they are nice.  That helps me polish and fix things before I send it to my friends and acquaintances that write, read and will offer hard criticism.  I need all those people.

Pretend there is a nice transition sentence here… birds.. flowers.. rainbows. BAM!

After I finished Day Two of the Do Over I decided I needed to actually do something toward my chosen Do Over.  So I grabbed my book and spent time cringing through the tales of Stephen King getting his ears drained as a 6 year old…And then the screaming from the basement became too much and I had to stop.  I’ll leave that up to your imagination.

See ya tomorrow!

10 Day Do Over Challenge

My husband found this guy, Jon Acuff, on Twitter that he sort of loves.  Like, LOVES loves.  To the point that my husband got a little butt-hurt when Jon Acuff acknowledged me on Twitter, when my husband has been following him for years. YEARS!! (imagine fist shaking and teeth gnashing). Jon Acuff is a motivational sort of person, I mentioned him in my Fear No Monday post, and now my husband has me paying attention to his 10 Day Do Over Challenge.

In the pdf he sends you he explains you spend 10 days focusing on that one thing for at least 10 minutes each day.  Choose something big, choose something small.  Whatever you want. Check it out, join me- leave a comment on how you spent your ten minutes each day and we’ll see what we think after 10 days.  Click to sign up and then begin on day one.

For me today is day one.  It started simple.  He asks you to finish the following sentence.  “One thing I’d like to Do Over is_________________?”

I decided I would like to do over some of my education/college days and more specifically, focused more on learning more about writing.  I want to read more, ramp up my writing skills and put them to use.  Interestingly enough, today the UPS man brought me a book I’ve been wanting to read on the subject of writing.  It’s called On Writing by Stephen King and I’ve heard good things 🙂

So I plan to read it, think about writing, focus on being a better and more purposeful writer and blogging about it.  I’m hoping this will prime my brain to be focused more on working towards a dream and a passion for 2015 and less on the fact that I’m not writing full time 🙂

See you tomorrow!

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Low-carb HAZELNUT MOCHACCINO TORTE BIRTHDAY CAKE!

Yes, another food post.   I know, I know, this post should be about writing somehow.  But food has been somewhat interesting lately, or really, not that interesting.  It’s fairly restrictive, so I’m looking for ways to satisfy my chocolate carb cravings without going off protocol.  Janeva from my Ideal Protein board is constantly making wonderful concoctions in her kitchen and this lovely cake is one of them.  She wasn’t able to post the recipe on the board or on Pinterest because it was too long so I am posting it here for her.  That way it can be pinned and found by other dieters 🙂  and yes, I realize this has nothing to do with writing.  I promise I will start blogging about writing soon, tonight even!  But not right now because I have to wrestle my three little monkeys into cleaning up their Christmas mess and pretend I don’t see all the chocolate and cookies littering my house.  And perhaps people looking for a low-carb treat will happen across my post here then wander around to and see my book and become interested.  But until then- LET’S HAVE CAKE!

HAZELNUT MOCHACCINO TORTE BIRTHDAY CAKE

CAKE:
1 – IP Cappuccino Drink Mix (dry)
1 – IP Dark Chocolate Pudding Mix (dry)
2 – IP Crispy Cereal (dry)
1 T. Baking powder
2 Packets Stevia (approx. 1 tsp.)
Pinch of IP Salt
2/3 C. Egg Beaters
2 T. Skim Milk
1 T. + 1 tsp. Extra Light Olive oil
1 T. Sugar Free Hazelnut Coffee Syrup (ie- Torani’s or DaVinci’s)
2 T. IP Cappuccino Premade Drink (the liquid kind)
1 tsp. Almond Extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Blend DRY ingredients in a bullet/blender/ninja to pulverize (or pre-crush cereal with a rolling pin and mix all dry ingredients well.) Place in a med to large mixing bowl.
3. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix with a spatula till combined.
4. Generously spray two oven-proof 5” glass Pyrex bowls with Pam (I use Coconut Pam but any should do.)
5. Divide batter in half and place each ½ in the bowls. Generously spray the back of a large spoon to pat down evenly. (I spray the back of the spoon with every single pat or the batter will stick to the spoon.)
6. Bake @ 350 for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes clean. Do not over bake or it will be dry.
7. When cake is finished baking, immediately run a knife around the bowl to loosen – it should come out easily if you sprayed the bowls well – take out of bowls and put on a cooling rack. Cool completely.

HAZELNUT MOCHACCINO FROSTING

2 oz. Tofutti (this is a soy imitation cream cheese)
2 T. WF Marshmallow Dip
1 T. WF Chocolate Syrup
1 T. IP Cappuccino Drink Mix (dry) – (if you don’t want to open a packet you can use cocoa powder. I have open packets to use for flavoring in other IP recipes and frostings.)
1 IP Chocolate Soy Puffs
1 IP Peanut Butter Soy Puffs

1. In a small/medium bowl, stir together the Tofutti, marshmallow dip, chocolate syrup and dry cappuccino mix just until blended.
2. With an electric hand beater, beat 1 minute (to fluff.)
3. Store in refrigerator until cake is completely cooled.

CAKE/FROSTING ASSEMBLY

1. Place cooled cake rounds on work surface.
2. While still in their bags, lightly tap a meat cleaver onto both soy puff packages to break apart. (Doing this lightly will keep some whole and some crushed.) Open packets and put in a bowl, mix.
3. Divide frosting mix evenly in half. Frost one cake round with ½ the frosting mixture. Sprinkle ½ the Soy Puff mixture on top.
4. Mix together the remaining frosting with the Soy puff mixture and frost the other cake round. This one will be the bottom half.
5. Place the other half on top.

Enjoy! ~ janeva eickhoff

TIPS:
There are 2 Unrestricted and 1 Restricted in HALF the cake. So on your birthday you could cut the cake in half and have 1/3 of that for breakfast with a coffee, 1/3 for lunch with a big mixed salad, 1/3 for dessert after dinner. Then do it again the next day with the other half of the cake .
Since we can have 5 extras per day on Phase One protocol (sweeteners, WF, sf gum, etc), you will have to count those into this and if you want to do protocol to a ‘T’ I wouldn’t have any extras this day. Having said that, there is Tofutti in the frosting, it is a soy based cream cheese. There are 2 carbs in ½ the entire frosting, 5 grams of fat. I see a birthday as a special day and I don’t believe this will throw you out of ketosis, it will just add a few more fat grams and a few more calories. One special day hasn’t affected my weight loss. If you should decide to forgo the Tofutti in the frosting, just use some extra WF Marshmallow Dip in place of it. It will NOT be as good though!

This is not a recipe blog-blog post!

I started a very, very restrictive diet and it’s been working great. My new job doesn’t afford me much time to think about food, so Ideal Protein is the perfect answer.

A creative lady who must be related to Gordon Ramsey for some of the ideas she comes up with, posted this recipe and I can’t wait to try it. Likely it will turn out to be foam mattress consistency like my other disasters- I know I’m doing it wrong. But I’ll keep trying!!
Let’s say it together- mmmm… Diet Cake. To be more exact- Ideal Protein Black Forest Poke Cake.

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BLACK FOREST TRUFFLE POKE CAKE – 3 IP Unrestricted servings
(1/3 Cake = 1 IP serving)
CAKE:
1 IP Dark Choc Pudding, 1 IP Crispy Cereal (crushed), 1/2 IP Cherry Jelly Mix, 2 tsp. Baking Powder, ¼ tsp. Stevia, pinch IP Salt – Mix. Add 1/3 C. Liquid egg whites, 1 T. WF Choc Syrup, ¼ C. IP Vanilla Premade Drink – Mix batter. Spray mini loaf pan, add batter. Bake 22-25” (or until inserted toothpick comes clean) @ 350. Cool.
While cake is baking, boil (in microwave) 1.5 oz water in a bowl. Add other ½ Cherry Jelly mix to water – stir until dissolved, set aside. To make cherries: Remove 3 tsp. of made jelly into 3 separate teaspoons (the measuring kind, this makes them round) and place in fridge till firm. If you want to skip making the cherries, make sure to take out the 3 tsp anyways and discard (or eat?)
Poke about 8 holes in
cooled cake with a straw or round handle of a wooden spoon. Pour remaining prepared Cherry Jelly over top of cake so it seeps into holes. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
WHIPPED VANILLA FROSTING:
Mix 4 heaping Tablespoons
WF Marshmallow Dip, 2 tsp. IP Vanilla
Pudding Mix (dry), 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. Stir vigorously till well blended.
Refrigerate covered.
ASSEMBLY:
Frost cooled/refrigerated cake with Whipped Vanilla Frosting, cut into 3 even pieces. Remove ‘cherries’ from teaspoons by dipping
bottom side of teaspoon in hot water briefly. They should come right out using the tip of a sharp knife to coax them out, top each cake piece with one cherry – flat side down. For the shaved chocolate I used 1 piece IP Chocolate Soy Puff and shaved it over the cake pieces with a microplaner. Keep finished cake refrigerated until ready to eat. Enjoy! ~ janeva caroline

This is not a Pipe

 

20140921-023656-9416608This is not a pipe dream. I was told a story about this painting, one that has always stuck with me. The story told of how Rene Magritte’s father didn’t believe he could ever make it as a painter.  René painted this as a response to his father’s insistence that Reneé’s dream was a pipe dream.

I don’t know if this story is like the “George Washington cherry tree story” -if it is made up or not, but I don’t care. The story matters to me. I tell myself “Ceci n’est une pipe” sometimes in regards to my writing. My writing is not a pipe dream.

I don’t care if I ever become “Successful” because success is in the eye of the beholder. If I can do what I love, then that is all the success I need. Don’t be practical. Follow your dreams.

Ceci n’est pas une pipe. This is not a pipe.

Science of Happiness- Session one

I’m taking this class on The Science of Happiness through EdX..because I am stupid, I guess.  And I need one more thing I have to do besides work, mother, wife, write and photograph people.  Did I also mention I’m the new Municipal Liaison for NaNoWriMo’s newly created Grand Traverse Region?  More evidence that not only am I a glutton for cookies, but I am also one for punishment.  But I digress.

I’m taking this course for a few reasons.  First, I love social science, I love research, I love learning and I love to be happy!  But, I also have a friend who noticed the fact I like others to be happy too and asked me to help them be happy.  Not being exactly sure how to do this in a non-arm chair sort of way, I decided to look around and found the course.   It’s free, its taught by some cool people at Berkley and I could get CE credits if I felt like paying.  Which I don’t.

I haven’t had time this week until now to go through the materials. I worked 3 nights along with my regular days, plus my husband has been gone for three weeks.  Therefore my time and energy have been lacking.  But tonight I sat down and began.

I’m really excited and I think this 10 week class is going to be great!  These are the few things I wrote down and I’ve only just begun week 1.  I will hopefully finish before week two is posted on Tuesday.

Happiness is found in actions that bring about the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people.

and

Compassion.  Practice compassion for others but also yourself.

So what are your thoughts on this?  Do you practice compassion for others and forget to give yourself the same courtesy?  Do you practice actions that can bring about happiness for others?

How do you define happiness and know that you are happy?

Lots to think about!  Good Night!

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Late Night Brain Gumbo

This is an amalgam of junk to let you know what I’m up to.


10462685_10204263285481276_1989088285275678597_nBrain Gumbo.  Let’s start with the fact that I am stupid?  I’m dumb because I try to do too much.  Like all the time.  My new job requires longer hours AND some nights too.  Like three nights last week.  But I also thought it was a good idea to take on a few photo shoots, because… well, I like to do it and I like the people so win win, right?  I guess I forgot my schedule changed so everything is taking me twice as long to turn in.  Good thing for me the clients like me and that them waiting one week versus a few days isn’t so bad.  I will keep doing photos periodically through the summer, but maybe next time I won’t schedule them back to back again.

Something weird has been happening too.  For the last three nights both my husband and I have woken up in the middle of the night.  And stayed awake.  For no good reason.  So I’m constantly tired through the day.  I had a goal of running every morning but what i’ve managed to do it whine and complain and roll over and actually fall asleep while talking to my husband- every morning.  This morning a lovely friend planned on meeting me for a run at 6:15.  I faithfully set my alarm for 5:50 and promptly slept through it.  Jim woke me up at 6:11 am and asked me what time I was supposed to get up.  I don’t think I ever got out the door so fast.  I got there in 10 minutes and was able to have a great run with a friend.  The photo of the sunrise at the beach was taken from my run this morning.

Sorry it’s disjointed, remember, this is a too spicy over-cooked gumbo of my life right now.

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Last weekend I did a few photo shoots.  I did a family shoot with four generations present, a little girl slumber party, a beach wedding and reception and a family session between the beach wedding and reception.  I am posting a photo from that shoot here, I like it.  It’s dreamy and whimsical.

I’ve started to read again.  It’s been so long since I’ve read anything that I can’t even remember the last book I read.  I do know that I’ve been trying to read Raven Boys for the last few months, I’ve renewed it like 3 times and never got past the first page.  However our family has decided that we need to make reading more important and I need to quiet my brain before bed.  So I’d like to happily report that I have finished chapter 1!  Yay!

What is everyone else reading?

Jim is reading something from the Mallorean series, an excellent series that takes place after the Belgariad and follows many of the same main characters.  What is the Belgariad you may ask?  This, my friend, is the series that originated the quote “I used to be an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow in the knee.” NOT Elder Scrolls or whatever.  The Belgariad was published in the early 80s so WAY before Elder Scrolls.  The book is a smarter sort of more grown up version of what Percy Jackson is… but that doesn’t even describe it.  You follow a young boy with a secret past and weird secret amazing band of friends as he pursues his destiny and fights a most horrible evil.  There is some romance, lots of magic, sword fighting, berserker viking and an evil God.  What more could you want?

Kindred is reading something new called Gods and Warriors, I’ll let you know how he likes it.

Sawyer is reading Sorcerers Stone, for those of you that have been living under a rock, and my sister Judi, this is the first Harry Potter book.

Eden is being read the book  Socks by Beverly Cleary.  So far she has found it amusing and it is time we get to have together before bed.  I realized however that our library has a very old copy with scratchy illustrations and there is an updated version with more fun and interesting drawings so I might see if I can get a newer copy.

And now it is past midnight and I’m sitting here waiting forever because Flickr keep boinking while I try to upload the photo sets from last weekend.  Clearly it hates me.  And to get back at it I’ve eaten exactly 6 cookies-the little ones you buy at the store, but still cookies all the same…. I think I just undid my entire run.

And there you have it.  Can you feel the brain cells leaving you while reading this junk?