Her week of vegetarianism

My daughter is a lifelong carnivore. Recently, she’s shown an interest in going vegetarian for a week. She wants to see if she can do it.

Of course she can do it.

Especially since I was a vegetarian for eight years before she was born.

We started with lunch today.

I made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with carrots. Not only vegetarian but vegan, too.

Dinner was a stir-fry. I made a sauce of Chinese cooking wine, low sodium soy sauce, extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, fresh lemon juice and tahini.

I toasted some sesame seeds in my cast iron skillet.

Cooked some potatoes and Brussel sprouts in the sauce and then added grated radish, carrot and cabbage.

Served with saffron rice.

It was tasty. She enjoyed it.

So we’ll see how the week goes.

I’m already meal planning in my head:

  1. Ravioli
  2. Baked beans and corn muffins
  3. Vegetarian burgers
  4. Breakfast for dinner
  5. Scalloped potatoes and vegetable casserole
  6. Falafel
  7. Homemade pizza
  8. Zucchini cakes
  9. Mexican
  10. African chick pea stew
  11. Salad

Better honed ideas when I get to the kitchen.

Screech… boom

I bought myself a 2015 Volkswagen Jetta with 21,000 miles on it a few days before Thanksgiving. I’ve worked really hard at keeping it clean and in perfect condition.

Last weekend my dad even commented that he was impressed.

It’s the first car I ever picked, purchased and registered all on my own. My dad bought me a few cars from junk yards and pieced them together. My husband and I bought two cars together during our 20-year marriage.

But this is mine.

And today while I was at work someone hit it. Of course, it was a hit and run.

The part that hurts was that I work for a non-profit and I park in a church parking lot. I wasn’t parked on street or in a public garage or in a busy place. It wasn’t a day when our food pantry was distributing food or when AA had a meeting at the church.

I was the first person in the parking lot at 8:15 and my boss parked next to me around 2. I discovered it when I left the office with my colleagues at 4:30. I’d been in and out of the office, but traveled between our locations on foot.

The CEO and my boss stayed with me while I waited for police. You can see our CEO in my car window. I think they were more upset than I was.

The pastor of the church said she would check the surveillance cameras.

I’ve had the car almost 8 months. And I hate to part with the $500.

This is really a story for my journal, but I’ve had a lot of flux in my life lately so I just thought I’d quasi-whine to you.

Maybe they’ll give me a sexy little rental car.

My compost heap makes me happy

When my teen daughter still attended elementary school, I liked to garden. I have a small yard in an urban setting but it was enough to hold some herbs & a few vegetables.

I noticed quickly that my soil was mostly clay. To rectify this, I started composting.

I turned the area under my deck into my pile of decomposing refuse. I took a plastic coffee can with a lid and collected the compostables from our kitchen.

Now that plastic bucket gets stinky. But nothing a session with the hose can’t rectify.

The soil that this makes is so rich and dark.

It’s satisfying.

But it’s the “turning” that makes me happy. That’s when you periodically dig holes and bury your freshest fruit-and-vegetable bits to the bottom of the pile.

I have my own shovel and I love to dig and rearrange and mix all the different stages of compost.

It makes me happy.

Easton’s Heritage Day 2019

My daughter and the Weiner-mobile

I normally don’t enjoy street fairs and community celebrations unless they have a theme that interests me. Carnivals and municipal anniversaries don’t do it for me.

I love the history of Easton’s Heritage Day, especially since I am a history nerd.

When the “founding fathers” signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, it took several days for the messenger to arrive in Easton. He got to town on a Sunday and read the Declaration of Independence on the town circle. Now, for 200 plus years, the town officials plan a community fair downtown and re-enactors read the Declaration of Independence on the circle on the first Sunday after July 4.

My daughter works downtown for Book and Puppet Company, a fun bookstore and let’s just say she helps with “character visits.”

Like when Paddington Bear visited today:

Naughty Paddington

I had also heard that the Grave Cellar at Saint John’s Lutheran Church would be open, so that was enough to entice me out of my anti-Street fair attitude.

Parking at meters would be free for the day or $5 (cash only) at the garage. I found a spot very close to the book store.

And my daughter mocked me for asking the police officer if there was a geographic boundary on the free parking. My use of geographic apparently highlights my nerdness.

The Grave Cellar and Parsons-Taylor House

When St. John’s Church expanded quite some years ago, they moved the graveyard to another local cemetery but some of the graves still exist under the church. Not as creepy as the Paris Catacombs but pretty unusual.

From there we went to the tiny Parsons-Taylor house. George Taylor, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, lived and died there.

My daughter looked in great detail at the craftsmanship of the house and furniture.

And the grazing begins…

We started exploring nearby shops, and we felt a little hungry but didn’t want to eat until we’d seen all the offerings so we shared a slice of buffalo chicken pizza from a new restaurant in town. Then we shared a lavender lemonade from Green Marketplace.

Lavender lemonade

Then we looked at classic cars and city construction equipment and I got a hard hat.

We also saw how the wind twine into sisal braided rope.

Then we meandered down another street and watched some of the kiddie activities and I found the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile. I was very excited.

Donating Blood

And then I saw a sign that a local church was hosting a blood drive. So I registered. The last time I tried to donate blood was 25 years ago, and can you believe they had my address on file from that time period? I didn’t give then because my blood pressure was too high.

I haven’t given since then because tattoos, piercings, anemia and travels to exotic third world countries.

But I’m O-negative when it comes to blood type so I should give. And I did. For the first time.

Then we went to my daughter’s “office” and Paddington Bear came to visit.

Shopping and more food

After work, an artist drew her and she bought a vintage Monarch train case at Salvage Goods.

We also explored the dollar store on the circle. That might have been the only disappointment of the day.

And the teen had some bacon nachos from Porter’s Pub and I had one chicken and one steak taco from the restaurant at 645 Northampton Street that has really good food.

Our last stop was Easton Public Market again for a watermelon lime slush from Modern Crumb.

Stress eating… hello Dunkin’ and Starbucks and bakeries

I have always had a love of candy.

And when I started working at Target, the baristas there extended my love of sweets to include various fancy overpriced coffee drinks. (Yes, Starbucks, that salted caramel mocha latte and the caramel ribbon Frappuccino are delicious.)

But when I started focusing on eating for health and bodybuilding, the sugar had to go.

Historically, I’ve never been a coffee drinker. But a bout with severe anemia ten years ago had me relying on a five-year-old making coffee because the afternoon sun had stolen all my energy on the walk home from her kindergarten class.

I would literally rest on the living room rug and that coffee would give me the energy to climb my way to the table.

So when I needed to end my sugar habit, I replaced it with a plain cup of coffee with a touch of cream. If I were hungry, that would stave my hunger until I made a proper snack. If I were eating out of boredom or emotion, the coffee gave me something to do.

But now, almost five years later, I realize I have become a stress-coffee-drinker. That if I’m gloomy, or tired, or bored, or upset, I go get a cup of coffee.

I’m still disciplined about sugar, though I am slipping back into my old ways, but I notice now I want coffee AND pastry.

Relationships with food can be tricky.

Road trip to Washington DC

So, while my daughter was on Spring Break, I experienced something I hadn’t experienced in a long time.

A paid holiday.

A long weekend.

We spent Easter in Washington, DC, with my traveling companion, M. and his Indian housemates.

Washington, DC, is approximately 3.5 hours from my house by car. I say approximately because traffic can fluctuate.

We left at 8ish Friday morning, stopping at our local Target for band-aids, nail polish remover and bagels. We always run into people we know and give lots of hugs so we didn’t get going until 9.

We stopped around 11:30 in York, Pa., to use the gym. We certainly are getting our money’s worth from our Planet Fitness membership.

And then… after a hearty upper body workout and slaying the crunches… there was a Five Guys outside.

We had the man who waited on us cracking up.

Follow me on Instagram for more photos

We arrived in DC at 3.

We hung around the house and had some amazing paneer for dinner. Then we went to Harris Teeter for groceries. This jelly bean addict was offended to see that they only carried Brach’s or Starburst jelly beans. No Just Born?!?!

In the morning, I took our Indian host to the gym in Silver Springs.

In the afternoon, we visited the Frederick Douglass house. That Victorian home is in tact. His books. His desk. His ice box. His dumbbells. His chair. His trunks. His rug beater.

Took my breath away.

Then we went to National Harbor. To the Peep store. Where, even though I am from the Lehigh Valley where Just Born makes my jelly beans and Peeps, I purchased a big batch of candy.

And fed my Indian host his first Peep.

See that here:

https://youtu.be/TgBQ2T4j_Nw