Don't Make Change too Complicated: Just Begin!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Meal After a Day on the Bike!

Meal?  Snack?  You Decide! It's got everything...protein, carbs and fat as well as 333 calories!

Stephanie and Cece took a scenic bike route out Loma Largo to Corrales and up to what we cyclists call “The Bike Magnet.”
This is the stopping place for every cyclist that passes by and the gas station, convenient store and restroom is a nice stopping place after you get there uphill.
After that climb and then another, they stopped by the Flying Star for breakfast.  Cece knew just what she was going to have so she could stay on her meal plan: Their Breakfast Sundae! She has been making this for herself ever since.  Here is the recipe that can be easily adapted to suit your needs.
Large wine glass
1 cup fat free plain yogurt
1/2 banana cut length wise into quarters
Blueberries, strawberries, honey dew melon and kiwi.
2/3 c Kashi Go Lean Berry cereal.
Put yogurt into wine glass.  Sweeten if desired. Put bananas in  the 4 directions.Place kiwi inside the glass so it shows on the outside.  Add all fruit.  Push down into glass.  Add 2/3  cup granola.  Top with a marachino cherry if desired!  Enjoy!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Clam Shell and "Wrap Rage!"

Cece grew up on Long Island and as a girl learned the fine art of digging clams and mussels. If you have ever tired to pry open a clam shell, you will know that it takes patience and finesse…and a specific type of knife!  And so it was, that Cece discovered recently that the packaging that her GPS came in what is called “A Clam shell.”
Cece is not sure if you have read her previous  post on trying to get her new GPS out of its packaging. To summarize:
“Well. I got my GPS home and began to open the boxes and packaging. That took me almost 2 hours…yes, I did say 2 hours. Have you ever tried to open one of those theft resistant plastic packages?  I contemplated calling the bomb squad to blow it open…but I kept telling myself to be a big girl and struggle through it…and that this packaging would not get the best of me! I contemplated using my teeth, but my mother told me never to use my teeth as a tool! I tried knives,…both serrated and regular, a screw driver, scissors, a butter knife to try to pry it open and finally after several attempts with a serrated mega shear….I was able to almost sheer it open,…and glory be, I did not cut myself in the process!”
Sometimes when you spend hours being  frustrated by a plastic  box, you think that you are the only person with this problem…but Cece is finding out, as usual, that she is not unique!  Evidentely, many people need to resort to dastardly methods to get things out of those clam shells. And, there is even a word for this….”wrap rage!”
But thankfully, there is a solution on the horizon!  These clam shell packages are very expensive. They are petroleum based… so when the price of oil goes up, so do the prices of the clam shells! They are also not eco friendly and of course they provide the most calm person with “Wrap rage.” Many have complained and companies are now trying to develop a more environmental and soothing “green” wrapper to put these theft worthy products in. Some ideas include going back to paper and putting a laminate on top so that it is hard to tear and will deter shoplifters.
So, we can only hope that new products will continue to be developed that will make it much easier to unwrap that wonderful gift that you were given…and put a smile on your face instead of having hours of wrap rage!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Snow in June and Catching up with Baby Ducks

Cece met a new friend in the parking lot at the Alamdea Open Space and off they cycled!  They are still remodeling down there and Cece now sees what she thinks will be a beautiful pond and a walking and running track as well as enhanced parking!  Each time you are there, something else changes.  Today the entrance into the bosque was in an entirely different place!  Change occurs!

It was clear right away to Cece that her cleats had taken a beating yesterday given all that walking.  She kept popping out of her pedals!  Not Good! First thing on the agenda, new cleats. But the good news is that her back tire held and was fine for the entire ride of 21 miles! She had changed out her under seat bag and had gone to the bowels of her closet to find different she was good to go.   No holes, no problems! Maybe she should design a T-Shirt with that new slogan!

Anyway, what Cece calls " beloved"  is the Bosque. She just loves to be there.  Today Cece and her new friend saw  lizards and a very interested coyote standing on the side of the pavement sniffing the air.  She wonders who is the coyote in her life right now!  She has some ideas!  : ) 

But the real reason that she travelled the bosque this am  was to check on a family of baby ducks she has been keeping her eyes on!  She first saw them there when they were just learning to swim and  still had their downy feathers.  They were very funny because they were not quite sure how to paddle under water and frequently ran across the water and then kerplunk...back into the water, they flopped.

During this first glance, they were from beak to butt, as long as Cece's index finger.Very small.  The mother duck was teaching them to swim and she tutored them to swim a zig- zag across the back and forth they went.  When they  got a ways down,...the current became too strong for them and she honked and they swam back to her!
 Father was watching on this side in case of emergencies.
So today,  when the new friends were cycling south, they stopped and they did not see any baby ducks.  But when returning north (above) Cece asked if  she minded that they check again. The friend did not off they stopped.  Well, Cece looked south.  No birds... but when she looked north...she caught them swimming and shouted "Look!  There they are !" in evidently.... her New York Holler...because the ducks took cover!  At least some did!  LOL!
Can you see the baby ducks in the upper half of this  picture?  There are 2 visible, out of the 4.  Mother and the other 2 are hiding in the rushes on the right upper half of the picture.
It was a wonderful morning ride with "No Holes, No flats, No problems!"  You  might wonder about the snow in June?  Well, the old cottonwoods are releasing their pods and fur and all along the sides of the bosque, it looks like snow has piled up!  Quite an amazing site for New Mexico in June!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

There are No Donuts In Hell: Part 2

Cece has been climbing lately.  For a big girl on a bike , climbing is hard.  All the skinny girls pass her. She remembers  when Santa Clause , in female form., passed her singing jingle bells while going up hill in full suit and boots...and that really got her mad!

Even so, Cece has been climbing again.....and doing some difficult ones at that...but today she ventured forth with one of those skinny climbing girls and climbed hell's hill.  Why does she call it that? 
Well, there comes a time on the bike when  you meet the devil.  In any sport there is that moment.  In yoga it is when  your teacher tells you, ":Well go ahead and die then...."  in cycling it is when you are going uphill and you wonder if you go much slower whether you will just fall right over.  There is no song in your mind, only the burning of your in breath and the heaviness of your legs trying to turn over the peddles.  This is when you know you have met the devil.  You are tempted to give up...who cares...and you tell yourself many just want the pain to what are you going to do?  Will you quit or push through?
 And so Cece organized a ride through what she calls Hells Hill.She rode with her friend Stephanie who when she saw the hill said, AH!! My beloved hill."  See the difference?   It is the hill that approaches the Star Center in Rio Rancho entering  from Paseo Vulcan.  In the pic above she was the she devil a top that hill one year  and encouraged people upward...even one man wanted donuts and she growled,. "There are no donuts in hell!"

Well, just as they made it to the top of Hell's hill and began to come down, Cece started to have a series of difficulties that were almost beyond her control.  First her under seat bag tore a hole in her shorts and skin was exposed. and  each time she pedaled  her inner thigh skin pinched and she yelled,  "OWWWW!"  She quickly discovered that if she did not pedal she would not get pinched...but that only took her so she yelled to Stephanie to pull over.  Cece thought she could take her socks off and put them in her upper inner thigh..,.here forth to be called the crotch area..... but when she discussed this  with  Stephanie, Stephanie suggested she use one of her arm warmers instead,.  Cece said,"You don't want your arm warmer in my crotch do you?"  Stephanie said "Well I do have a washing machine you know!"  What a friend! 

So, in the middle of the highway with all kinds of trucks and equipment drivers going by, Cece stuck her hand down her pants and adjusted the arm warmer into her crotch.  She adjusted and  adjusted it to get it just so...and commented that many passers by were looking....but what can you do ?  Just say "Oh Well."

Off they went..none the worse for wear.  The arm warmer was working perfectly!    Down a nice hill and then up a tricky one....and as Cece arrived on a flat section at last, she realized she had a back flat.  She yelled ahead to Stephanie and she came rolling back.  They tried various cartridges they had to pump the tire up and it carried them a bit farther, but suffice it to say that  the tire would  not hold air.

Stephanie rode ahead to get the car.  Cece asked if she wanted her keys so she could drive her SUV back (Steph has a little Audi) but Stephanie said no and took off.   Cece started walking up the last long hill...with her bike and in her cleats.  There is nothing quite like walking uphill in are walking on your heels like a duck.  The sun was hot and the hill was long and Cece walked on! All of a sudden back came Stephanie asking for Cece's keys!  She had forgotten she had her mountain bike in the car too!  So off she went again.  Cece walked on. 

Just as Cece reached the top of the last long hill, Stephanie arrived in Cece's car.  They loaded up , and off they went back to the aquatic center in Rio Rancho, their home base for this ride.

Well, all was well in the long run and the two friends laughed at their unpredictable adventure  in the early morning!  They are already planning their next ride!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Love Garden

 Today was the big event we have been cooking for!  Yun's dad's 80th birthday party!  Even though we have the big Wallow fire still burning strongly, the air quality today seemed surprisingly good although you can see the lingering smoke in the air in the picture below.

Yun's idea about the love garden was an idea that people did love and her dad was gifted with lavender, rosemary, a beautiful spreading poppy and some chocolate daisies, and many others. This picture is very early on at the party.
 Yun's dad cooked up some delicious eggs rolls and Chinese noodles and people brought in lots of food.
 Everyone agreed that Jamey's lasagne rocked the house!
At high noon, Yun toasted her dad with her friends and wished  him happy birthday in Chinese!  Everyone was happy!

It was a wonderful day with friend's sharing food and love!  What could be better?

Oddles of Noodles.... or ....Cooking with a Friend!

Cece and Yun met cycling.  Cece and Jamey met on the yoga mat and then discovered they both it seemed good that Jamey and Cece should cook together for Yun's Dad's party even though  Yun and Jamey had not met yet.  Yun and Cece already knew that Jamey would be an instant friend!

So, the new friends  planned to make homemade sauce, a cranberry apple pie and then some lasagne.  But when Jamey arrived, she had on a beautiful white skirt.  Cece thought…,”hugh!  This is not going to go well while making sauce.”   She envisioned the beautiful skirt spattered with bubbling spots of sauce.  NOT.  Cece had a remedy!  She dug into her pot holder drawer…way down at the bottom and pulled out her ex-ex boyfriend’s apron that he had left behind.  Jamey put in on and was ready to roll!
Jamey flirted with the idea of writing a food blog called “Learning to cook at 45″ but Cece thinks, that Jamey may be underestimating her cooking skills.  She seemed to do very well in the kitchen!  It was Cece who made the errors…forgetting this, and forgetting that….all the while saying  “Don’t worry, it will not make much difference!”
Anyway…..they got the sauce a cookin’ and then made the pie….then they started cooking the lasagne noodles and Oh MY!  There were oodles of noodles!    They had noodles coming out of their  ears.  They looked at each other …and tried to figure out what to do with all these noodles….hmmmm….neither could think of a thing…except to take a picture!
They had a happy day cooking up a storm and they will have even a better day eating all the goodies they made.  Here is a pic of the apple cranberry pie that they made!
Apples and cranberries in!
Finished pie.