Why I will never be a seamstress

This is part of the Halloween costume I sewed, in which I made every possible mistake one could make whilst sewing. I know I need to do it more often to be better at it, but my impatience always seems to get the best of my perfectionism when I’m trying to sew and I end up very angry. Any other crafty ladies have this problem?

Deep breath, I’m gonna go there: body image

Sunday was nasty cold and windy (so typical of fall – it’s warm! it’s cold! it’s warm! it’s cold again!), so I decided to make the best of it and pop in my Nia DVD for some exercise.

I got about 35 minutes through it. I was dancing around, sweating pretty good, feeling good that I wasn’t sitting on my ass on the couch.

And then, the power went out.

No more DVD, no lights, no internet. Just me, standing in my living room, exasperated.

And that’s pretty much how exercise has gone for me. I do something for a while, until something happens to alter my routine, and then I’m back to my fat pants, feeling like crap. It’s a great source of instability, both mentally and physically.

And so, how I feel about how I look? Well, it’s not good. It never really has been good, except for a few years when I was in fantastic shape. I’m sure you know how that goes — you spend the rest of your time wondering why you can’t be like that again. It’s soooo pointless. But we all do it.

This whole thing with my back has really thrown me for a loop, too. Things I used to be sure about, I’m not sure about anymore. I don’t want to hurt myself more than I already have. Even though I had surgery, I never really changed the lifestyle (doing major desktime on the job, bad posture, not enough stretching) that got me the problem in the first place. So I have lingering pain. I’m already a pretty low-energy person. When my back aches, I just want to crawl under the covers.

But I’m getting seriously plumpy lately, so I’ve got to figure something out. I figure I probably weigh what a woman my height should weigh…if she were 9 months pregnant. It’s just not good.

In some ways I think my body image is okay in the sense that what bothers me is not so much the number on the scale, but just the visible body fat. I know it’s not healthy, and I don’t want to make myself sick.

As a lot of people who’ve struggled with their weight would probably tell you, I know more about what a person should do in terms of diet/exercise than just about anyone. That’s not the point. Your motivation not to rock the shelf butt in your pants? Not really the point either. I think, after all this time, and all my ups and downs in sizes, the point is simply whether you can find something you love to do. If I truly loved anything I’ve done before, I’d be doing it now. I wouldn’t be able to stop. That’s how I am! I will knit until my knuckles ache and I can hardly see through dried out contacts. But I’m sure as hell not getting up at 5 a.m. to lift weights. I just don’t care about the gym. It might as well be filing TPS reports for me. There’s no passion there.

So what I’m trying to do, is find the passion, so to speak. I truly believe that health is a cycle — start exercising, start craving healthy foods, start seeing results, keep going back for more exercise. How I eat is a whole other blog, but what I’m saying is that at least for me, without the exercise part, the rest falls apart.

I have high hopes for Nia. It’s sort of holistic dance and martial arts, a cardio version of yoga. It’s hippie dippy for sure, but I can’t pretend I don’t like that stuff. The bottom line is that it’s meant to be exercise that doesn’t injure. And when I do it, I want to do it more. Tonight, after work, I restarted that DVD where I left off and I finished it. I felt much better after that.

Happy news/sad news

Well, I’ll give you the good news first. I’ve just gotten two opportunities to sell my candles at local events. More information to come on those (in November and December), but I hope to have my logo done and big batches ready just in time for the holiday season. I will also let you know how you can buy them online. Soon. I promise. These things take time (so much more than you realize).

The sad news is that my great aunt Dorothy passed away at the age of 94. She was the sweetest lady, and I’ll never forget the vacations we spent at her house in the Ozarks, collecting snails in the woods and catching a glimpse at wildlife through the giant windows. Apparently when I was a little girl, I was enamored with these cats.

The vegetarian shit list

So Mike and I finally got our butts to a meeting of a group of local vegetarians for dinner on Friday. We had a great time, including great Indian food. But I think the best part is finally being surrounded by people who get you — the people who have also been the weird ones at every table. Of course, even within that group there are a lot of differences in diet and differences in opinion of just how serious a thing this is. But overall it was a very welcoming thing, and a nice change of pace to be the majority in the room.

After 3 1/2 years sans meat (wow!) there are a few things that are always the same and always irritating about being veg (or pescetarian in our case). And I will preface this by saying that I love love love and appreciate the efforts by my friends and family to accomodate my diet. It wasn’t their decision to cut the bacon out of their baked beans but they do it anyway, and for that they are supa-awesome.

But that also leads me to point one, which is that nothing makes me want to shrivel up and disappear than someone making a big fuss out of having a vegetarian at the table. “Oh yeah, I forgot, you’re a vegetarian!” Really, it’s fine. Even if I have to slap together a cheese sandwich I’ll be fine. I’ve done it before. In fact, I have no problem making something for myself if need be. I think sometimes people forget that many things in our diet are already vegetarian (ever had spaghetti with marinara sauce? A PBJ? Eggplant parm?) So it shouldn’t be any kind of crisis if you’re having a vegetarian over unless you were planning to roast a pig in the backyard and eat it with your hands. And then, okay, I’ll bring something for myself.

Point two is that the number one substitute for meat always seems to be mushrooms. I get it — they are meaty-ish tasting and also brown. But I have a real aversion to mushrooms because of the texture, so it really sucks that they’re everywhere among vegetarian options (which are already few on local menus). So I suppose it’s my fault for being extra picky, but seriously. There are plenty of other foods besides mushrooms people could cook with. Come on.

It also seems like chefs are on auto pilot when it comes to putting that token vegetarian dish on the menu. Let me guess – pasta with vegetables. Woo hoo! I think because I’ve chosen to make my diet more varied and I love to cook and try new recipes that I’ve discovered just how many zillion things you can make vegetarian. And if I had to choose out of all of them what I wanted for dinner, pasta with vegetables would be like number 126. Or, okay, now I’m on a roll — what’s up with the vegetarian sandwich or wrap that’s basically raw vegetables and a squirt of bland sauce? Did you even taste it? Because if you did you’d realize no one wants to eat that for lunch. Even a wacko vegetarian!

It was soooo nice when we were on vacation (or last weekend in Eureka Springs) when we would get to a restaurant and 2/3 of the menu was vegetarian friendly, including things like vegetarian biscuits and gravy, vegan hollandaise, tofu scrambles. I mean, I could just go back to the kitchen and kiss somebody for being both creative and considerate. I know every restaurant serves its community and this community just isn’t that vegetarian, but sometimes I miss that ease of ordering.

So what would make me happy? Just a diversity of options. There are so many in the world (and let’s face it, this is a world community of well traveled people now) so there’s no reason for chefs and home cooks not to take a chance on some different recipes. Let’s get some hummus and falafel, polenta cassrole, eggplant curry, peanut stew, sesame noodles, black bean chili, bean and kale soup… up in here. Would that be so bad?

If you want to take a chance on a new recipe, I really recommend the Moosewood cookbooks. And of course there are plenty of good recipes right here.

Reggie says…

I like the warm sun on my face.

I think I’ll curl up right here.

Take a little nap.


Huevos Rancheros

This has become a staple of our breakfast, well maybe lunch, repertoire.

Huevos Rancheros

from the Corey/Hall kitchen

Saute maybe a quarter of a chopped onion in a little oil. Dump in a can of beans, add some taco seasoning (I make my own with cumin, chili powder and sea salt). Simmer over medium for just a few minutes.

In another shallow pan, cover the bottom with oil and heat to medium. Crack in two eggs and let them fry, flipping once, until they’re as done as you like them. It only takes a few minutes to get them over hard.

Pile up on a wheat tortilla and top with salsa or fresh tomato sauce. Yum!


Over the weekend Mike and I traveled to Eureka Springs, Arkansas for my cousin Alana’s wedding. I haven’t been there for a long time, but I used to go there as a kid because my great aunt lived nearby. We’d hit the toy stores, and then head to Branson for a little Silver Dollar City action. I think this photo, circa 1987, is from there:

I remember it being a cute little town with trolleys and lots of shops with lacey dolls and fudge. I also remember the drive in being windey windey to the point of making us nauseous.

Well, some things have changed.

Thankfully, the roads have been updated so that only the last 20 minutes or so are windey. The town is still cute as ever, lots of stone buildings built right into hillsides and full of cute shops and restaurants.

This guy was just hanging out.

But now in addition to the townies they also have a good sized biker population alongside a good size gay population and a good sized hippie population. According to the groom, when they checked out the rehearsal dinner spot last year, a tranny convention was going on.

Oh yeah, and apparently pot is legal, too. We dubbed it the San Francisco of the south. You should go!

It worked out well for us because this eclectic crowd also digs the fair trade coffee and vegetarian food. We ate very well over the weekend.

But, what we were there for was a wedding, and it was just beautiful. They couldn’t have asked for better weather. Here’s where the ceremony took place (outside the supposedly haunted Crescent Hotel).

Isn’t this a lovely lady? My grandma Mason.

And how about this cute couple.

Only to be outdone by this even cuter couple.