Friday, July 5, 2013

Hej, hej! Oh, crap.

Good god.  I swear I'm the only person I know who can lose a wallet in a foreign country.

Yup, that's me with no money.

Yup.  Yesterday when we were in the city in Luleå I dropped my damn wallet and couldn't find it.  I cancelled my debit and credit cards and my check card for my ING account.  I called the international collect call number for Wells Fargo and they are going to FedEx cards to me here in Sweden.  You have no idea how many times I had to spell the street name "Gnejsstigen" to the southerners on the phone.  Heh.  They kept adding all kinds of extra letters. 

Your word is "Gnejsstigen"
Our friend Joey (an American from Jersey who is the actual owner of Georgia & Per-Erik's dog, Bailey) left his wallet on the bus once and not only did someone turn it in to the police but all his cards and money were still in there.  So Monday morning we'll go to the police station in town and see if someone turned it in.  Otherwise I will have to get a new license when I get home (and gas rewards card for Cub!!).  They can have the $2USD and the 40SEK in the wallet, but it'd be nice not to have to replace everything else in there.  Cross your fingers someone turned it in, OK?

The good news is that I'm still healthy and alive and I had a place to stay and I'm with people who can spot me some cash if I need it before the cards get here.  So, ultimately, everything's going to be OK, I am just pissed off at myself for losing it. 

*Insert favorite curse words here*
Today we're headed to the Jokkmokk!  I get to see REINDEER and meet Sami people!  I'm so excited!  I will post pics here, later....

'Til next time,

Monday, July 1, 2013

Hej frå Sverige!!!

Hi everybody!!!

It's been a LONG time since my last post.  Currently I'm coming to you from
Luleå, Sweden. Approximately 62 miles south of the Arctic Circle.  I'm visiting my wonderful friends, Georgia and Per-Erik Mäkitalo.  

It took 3 planes to get me here.  Now let me interrupt myself and back up a little...

OK, so you know how we discussed me running un the first post of this blog??  Yeah, about that. As it turns out, I hate running even more than I thought I would but more on that later! So now if THIS buy is chasing me:
Remember me?  HUNGRY!!!

Well, he's probably going to grab me with those As Seen ON TV grabbers, roast me off a crackling fire and eat me with Heinz ketchup and some nice French's yellow mustard.  

Why is this relevant, you ask?  (You have to ask that a lot with me, don't you?)  Because today, whether I liked it or not, I HAD to run.  I got to the MSP airport in fine time to catch my first flight (thanks to my intrepid driver, Donna Schader).  I got on the plane, we backed away from the gate and began to taxi.  And we taxied.  And taxied.  And taxied.  And taxied.  At some point, I think it might have been about 10 minutes into a 15-minute taxi, I began to wonder if we were going to DRIVE to Chicago. 
"I think it's the next exit, Bob.  Use your turn signal, I SAID USE YOUR TURN SIGNAL!!"

We got into Chicago O'Hare about 25 minutes late and, after power walking from the gate to the train going to the other concourse I had to literally SPRINT to get my flight to Stockholm.  It's a good thing I lost a bunch of weight because I'd NEVER have made it to the gate which was, conveniently ALL THE DAMN WAY ACROSS THE TERMINAL FROM THAT FREAKIN' TRAIN.  

The nice thing was that I didn't have to sit next to any crazy people or people who talked to me incessantly.  The other lovely thing I noticed is that I don't take up as much room as I used to on planes!  I didn't feel like I was crammed in like a.....well, like a thing crammed into another thing with lots of other things.

"I don't know, Marty.  Do you ever just feel like there's somebody riiiiiiiight behind you?"  
 "Every day, Jerr, every damn day."

I wasn't all sweaty and stinky just sitting there, trying to make myself as small as possible.  I was sweaty and stinky all right, but it was from the 65-mile run from the train to my gate.  I got a few hours to rest in Stockholm and then got on what was probably the nicest puddle jumper I've ever been on.  This thing had leather seats! 

G & PE took me around and showed me just some of the sights in the town, we had a DELICIOUS dinner and now we're watching the "24/7 Rangers v Philadelphia" a documentary made about their road to the 2012 Winter Classic.  There are so many F-Bombs being tossed about I think sailors would blush!!  Ah, hockey players.  Gotta love 'em!  Now we're going to make popcorn and then I'll be off to bed!

'Til next time,

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Back to School

Back to school!  What do I mean by that?  Am I going back to college?  Or have I been watching Rodney Dangerfield movies??

This is a movie that is so bad, it's good!

No, I went to the doc for my annual physical today and when I stepped on the scale I weighed in at a svelte 169.4lbs!  This means that, since they weighed me before surgery, I have lost 64.2lbs!!  I was thinking about it and the last time I was this weight I was wearing a plaid uniform--culottes, a white blouse and a vest with a Crosier cross patch on it!  We've already discussed that I have always been a big girls, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that I was this heavy in the 8th grade. 

But now it's time to kick it into high gear and get some more of that exercise crap--stuff.  I am still one week one of Robert Ullrey's Couch to 5K podcast but it's getting a little easier so I might move on to week 2 next week.  I figure it's my workout routine so I can take it slowly if I like.

Darcy and I went to water aerobics last night and we've decided that we really miss Lacey--she was the only instructor we've had who really knew how to kick some butt in the pool!  So if you know any sadistic people who are certified to teach water aerobics who also need a job, send them on over to apply at the New Hope Y!  Heh.  Wednesday we'll go to the Y in Coon Rapids and THAT lady knows how to kick butt in the pool.  Now if we could only keep the kids out of our panes of the darn pool while we have class, that would make it perfect!!

I think I hear dinosaur feet so I'm off downstairs to do a little running!!

Oh, and check out the OM NOM NOM section of the blog as I've posted a few new recipes on there!

'Til next time!

YUM YUM YUM!  Yeah, it sucks that it's still frickin' cold here in the Great White North, but that just means that we can still do some warm and hearty crock pot cookin'!! 

I know there was something in that old Boston Catechism about not coveting junk other people have, but I truly covet Darcy's crock pot!!  Hers has a TIMER and you can set it to actual temperatures in addition to the traditional war, low and high settings.  I don't know what they cost because I'm afraid to look, but man do I want one!!
It's no golden calf, but I certainly worship this thing!!!!
I've become addicted to Pinterest and for the recipes they have on there!  You don't get fatter by collecting the recipes.  hehe. It's like watching the food channel--it's pretty much porn.  I haven't tried these yet, but they're on the bench just waiting to be called in for a shift.  We'll see if they score any goals!

Naan breakfast pizza!  Bread is still pretty tough for me unless it's pretty crunchy, like toast or a baguette.  But Naan, if you're not familiar with it, is Indian flat bread that is totally delicious!!  And I LOVE breakfast!!!

Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnn............. (say this like braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiins)

Let's stick with that pizza and "bread is too heavy" theme, shall we?  This is a REALLY intriguing idea.  I don't know how you feel about cauliflower but I see it as broccoli's colorless, nasty-tasting cousin.  I'm not going to be eating it by itself.  This recipe for a pizza crust made from cauliflower is VERY intriguing!  I've had pizza since surgery and, while it still tasted fine, the crust was a bit too much for me--even the thin crust. The link has pictures that show you how to do each step.  So I'm going to try this and see how my pizzas come out!

Looks exactly like a thin crust pizza, doesn't it??

And last but not least, a nice, hearty soup that is quite healthy when you get down to it!  This recipe calls for chicken apple sausages and if you want to use those I suggest going to Cub, by the hot dogs, and getting the Johnsonville brand.  They're HALF the price of the fancier ones which taste no better.  Being a frugal German, I can't see paying more for something if it's truly the same but with a brand name.  Heh.  I, however, will be using a "lite" turkey kielbasa because I like the taste of that better.  And don't freak out when you hear Lima bean.  They're better than they sound and when they're in a soup they'll be just as delish as any navy bean or kidney bean you would otherwise use.

crockpot lima bean soup

So that's it for today!  I'll update the main page of the blog and then I'm going to go down and get on my treadmill!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Crock of Dawn

Hey folks!

So I'm back!  I spent the weekend being lazy and cooking.  I also went to see Gaelic Storm in concert at the Fitzgerald Theatre in St. Paul.  It was a GREAT show and--get this--I did not fill up the entire seat!  There was ROOM on either side of me when I sat down!  Darcy and Phil noticed that they were more comfortable, too!  Like I said, sometimes this massive weight loss thing feels kind of like being in someone else's body. 

If you've never heard of these guys, go on iTunes and GET SOME!

Last Thursday night I made a pork roast in the oven.  I put a mushroom gravy over it.  I had it for dinner and I brought some for myself and Louise on Friday.  Sunday I took the leftover mushroom gravy, added turkey meatballs, a splash of dry sherry, a pinch of nutmeg and some garlic powder and had Sort-of-Swedish-Meatballs. 

No horsemeat HERE!  Heh.

I had a bunch of leftover pork roast so I decided to make it into Carnitas.  Click the pic if you want the recipe.  The pork was so tender it fell apart.  We're making carnitas salads for dinner tomorrow!

Slow Cooker Carnitas Recipe
Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

So I'm all about crock pot stuff right now and if you have anything to share, please do so! 

Tonight I will run when I get home, then I will have delicious tuna fish for dinner.  I will watch yet ANOTHER evening of James Bond whilst I knit. 

'Til next time,

Thursday, March 7, 2013

What a Crock!!!

I have several coworkers who are foodies like I am.  We have come up with a great idea: Crock Pot Tuesdays.  Each Tuesday one person brings something in a crock pot to feed everybody else.  So you bring once and you get free lunch the next 5-7 Tuesdays!

Last Tuesday I made Lemon Honey and Dijon Chicken.  Ridiculously easy and REALLY tasty!  This Tuesday, Louise brought a Filipino version of Chicken Mechado.  Also delicious!!  I can't wait to see that the next person brings!  The whole idea is to try new recipes and guinea pig your coworkers!!

Tomorrow, my friend Bobbi and I are going to FISH FRY!!  Not sure if it'll be at our high school or at Holy Cross.  Holy Cross has mac & cheese though, and that may be the deciding factor.  Sure, they're going to make money on me because it's All You Can Eat and all I can eat is about one fish stick, but the profit goes to the school or charity so I'm cool.  After fish fry it's back to Bobbi's house for yet another James Bond movie!!  I can never get enough Bond. 

Just about the only time you'll find me willingly going into a church!

I just couldn't make it to the 3rd time running this week.  I'm exhausted.  But I'll get some exercise on Saturday and that will be 4 days this week--possibly a record for me!! 

Well, "Thunderball" is almost over.  So I think it's time for me to get my lunch ready for tomorrow.

'Til next time,

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Eight is Enough

Eight times.  I wish I hadn't heard that.  The first episode of the Couch to 5K podcast has eight running segments.  The first time I did episode 1 I didn't hear that part so I had no idea how many there were.  Yesterday I heard it and then (of course) I was counting.  Good grief but that made it drag!!  But I kicked it's butt and finished it.

Of course, when I say "eight times", the 80s kids out there will be reminded of the principal in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" when he says Ferris has been absent "nine....times..."

This guy's smarmier than the principal in "The Breakfast Club"!

Between that and swim class I'm SORE.  My coworker Louise asked, "But don't you LOVE that feeling?  I LOVE that feeling!!"  She also LOVES soup with tripe in it, and probably durian fruit, so I'm not taking her advice on things to love.  Heh.

Even Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods won't eat durian and THIS guy eats EYEBALLS!

Anybody have any suggestions on other fun things to do that are exercise but...aren't?  I'll take any ideas you have.....

Also, I'd like to use this blog to share recipes.  If you have any healthy recipes that still taste good (heh), pass them on!  High protein ones like fish, seafood and chicken are the best for me--with veggies as the co-stars.  I love to cook but old standbys like Velveeta mac & cheese aren't going to cut it in my new tummy for a bunch of reasons and I'm sure you intelligent people can figure out what they are.  :)


'Til next time,