Jul 142014
 

I think it’s been like a month since I biked to work, or close to it! I was focusing more on running and then I had a knee flare-up that stopped a lot of activities for about a week and a half. Michael threw out his back last month and while he’s getting better it’s still not great. He hasn’t really biked much, either. He went from doing 100+ miles a week to none. He was starting small getting back into it and the other day we biked into work together.

We parked at the Park and Ride and rode in together. Even injured Michael is still faster than me. At one intersection Michael made it through the light before it changed but I didn’t. So I fell behind, party because I’m slow and partly because I was waiting for the light.

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We rode through Sellwood and caught the Springwater Trail. I caught up with Michael and was able to draft off him for a little bit, so that was nice! It was pretty warm out–I was wearing arm warmers but really didn’t need them. It was humid and kind of gross out, actually.  The closer we got to downtown the more the clouds burned off and there were blue skies.

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The Hawthorne Bridge was really crowded. I hate it when it’s that busy. At the end of the bridge Michael and I split off. He went to his office and I took the waterfront to mine. Here is the morning ride in:

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It was a gross, sweaty, muggy ride in but I’m glad I did it. I preemptively iced my knees just to be safe. I miss the old days when I was able to bike to work a few times a week and not have any issues. It was such a nice way to get to work and save some money on gas, stay fit, and free up my evenings…

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The day warmed up and the skies were clear. Sunscreen sunscreen sunscreen!! I set out after work, crossed the Morrison Bridge and met Michael at the entrance to the Springwater Trail so we could bike the rest of the way to the Park and Ride together. But that wasn’t before I had a very negative encounter with a car who almost hit me downtown. At first the guy was stopped at the light in the MAX lane (which clearly states NO CARS) and he was trying to turn right on a one-way street. Then he backed up and moved to the proper lane, behind me. The light changed and he sped up around me, cutting me off and almost hitting me. I yelled at him that we was an asshole and he pulled over aggressively and asked what he did wrong. I said, “You cut me off and almost ran me over” and he said he didn’t then responded with “I’m a tourist.” Um, what? Does that mean you can’t follow basic rules of the road and common courtesy?! What a jerk!

Anyways, I met up with Michael, a little shaky from the experience and we biked together on the Springwater. He ended up going ahead of me once we got to Sellwood. I tried to go faster to keep up but that ended up irritating my knee so I backed off. Oh well.

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Wow, my morning and afternoon calories were almost the same! Total Miles: 14.64 and Total Calories Burned: 709. After we got cleaned up we decided to go out for dinner. I had planned on being “good” and making something healthy for dinner but the prospect of cooking with a broken dishwasher and I was hungry and gave in easily…

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We went to Iron Horse in Sellwood, one of our favorites. The service is always great, the food is good and there are healthier options. It’s not your typical greasy Mexican restaurant with congealed cheese and super fatty foods. The portions are also fairly reasonable. I ordered a Boneyard IPA–my favorite beer!

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I ordered the special. It was some salmon encrusted with chile (so basically blackened salmon), saffron rice, a small salad and black beans. The salmon was topped with a chile sour cream sauce. Everything tasted so great! I ate half of my dinner and saved the rest for leftovers. When we got home Michael worked on removing our old dishwasher so they can take it away when the new one arrives.

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I played with Bella outside and then enjoyed a 100 calorie creamsicle. It was so good! It tasted just like those little dixie cups of orange and vanilla ice cream I used to get as a kid. I loved that it was only 100 calories, too. The next day my knee was “ok” but not 100%. I had an amazing massage to help work out the kinks and tightness.

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Jul 072014
 

I was a little apprehensive about the 4th of July this year. I was worried about how Bella would deal with the fireworks. Our street kind of shuts down and the neighbor puts on quite a show. We all get together, have a kind of impromptu potluck, Michael and I invite friends over…In the past when I just had the kitties, I’d check on them periodically throughout the evening when the fireworks started, they were clearly disturbed by the loud noises but didn’t seem too freaked out.

But Bella? I knew she’d be freaked out. She got pretty agitated in a thunder storm we had in the winter–not too bad but agitated enough. And the fireworks show was going to be right in front of our house essentially.

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I looked online to find some tips on how to take care of pets during the fireworks show and I also talked to our dog walker. She had some great tips. She suggested Rescue Remedy, to put a few drops in Bella’s water, as it’s a natural relaxer. She said to turn on all the TVs and radios to try and drown out the noise. She said Benadryl can be good too. Bella already takes Benadryl on occasion when her allergies start flaring up (per her vet) so I planned on doing that too.

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My poor baby. :( I guess it’s pretty common for pets to run away on the 4th of July because they are scared and somehow get outside and run off. We were having friends over for a BBQ and the fireworks so I put the cats in a room with the litterbox, food and water and shut the door just to be sure they couldn’t get out.

We had 7 people over for a BBQ. Bella was outside with us all working on her social skills! There were a lot of people over and that made Bella a little freaked out but once she got treats and pets and they threw the ball for her she was good. Michael grilled up hot dogs and one friend brought a delicious baked bean dish, another brought a Moroccan sweet potato salad and there was also an amazing potato salad (it was so good!). Everything tasted great. I made a quinoa salad that turned out well, too:

Red Quinoa and Carrot Salad with Currants, Chickpeas and Cashews

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Calories per serving: 321

From: http://www.floatingkitchen.net/red-quinoa-and-carrot-salad-with-currants-chickpeas-and-cashews/

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup red quinoa
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (from 1-2 carrots)
  • 1 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 1/2 cup cashews (I used roasted and salted cashews)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (use the REAL stuff, Grade B if you have it)
  • 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Cook the quinoa. Combine the quinoa and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce the temperature to maintain a simmer. Simmer for 15-18 minutes, covered, until all the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let the quinoa stand covered for 5 minutes. Then fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
  2. Transfer the cooled quinoa to a medium bowl. Add the shredded carrots, chickpeas and currants. Toss gently to combine.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the quinoa salad, tossing gently to combine and tasting as you go. Stir in the cashews. Top with the chopped parsley and serve. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 1-2 days.

Notes

Notes: If you don't have red quinoa, any color will do! The leftovers are delicious, but the cashews do lose their crunch. If you want to maintain that crunch, divide the cashews and stir them into individual servings as you eat your way through the salad. If you don't have currants, raisins or dried cranberries would be a great here. And agave could be used in place of the maple syrup.

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I didn’t have parsley so added some chopped green onion and I really liked that addition. I think chopped celery would be really nice in this salad, too. When I make it again I’d probably skip making the carrots into ribbons and just chop them into small pieces. That would be easier to eat. (The quinoa salad was even better the next day for lunch.)

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Michael got these ridiculously large hot dogs from Costco–like bigger than the actual hot dog buns–but they were a hit and tasted great after being grilled. I’m not a huge hot dog fan but there is something tasty about a grilled hot dog that has a little crisp to it.

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We hung out for a bit drinking beer and finishing up dinner and then the fireworks started. I gave Bella a little Peanut-Butter-Benadryl treat and put her in her crate in the bedroom with her blanket. I turned on the TV and the radio and shut the door. I checked on her a few times during the evening and unfortunately the Benadryl didn’t put her to sleep. She was kind of wired and her eyes were really big but she didn’t seem too scared, so that was good. Our poor neighbor’s dog was another story. He was shivering and crying in their house. :(

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We set up our camping chairs in the neighbor’s driveway and they started the show. I’m not really sure what was happening here–it was kind of like the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. One of the neighbor’s friends did laps around the island holding a lit sparkler, running while everyone encouraged him, until it fizzled out. It was pretty hilarious. The kids did their fireworks first.

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The neighbor turned on properly patriotic hair metal and then the teenagers did their fireworks. The neighbor stepped in a few times to do some REAL fireworks and then we all called it good a little earlier this year. The fireworks were gone by 10:30 and while there were still some going off in other neighborhoods nearby, it was mostly done. It was more low-key this year, which was fine because I had been worried about Bella and I was also getting sleepy from the 2 beers I’d had that night. God when did we get so old?

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After everyone left I took Bella outside to do her business and Michael sat with her for a bit outside. She was overly excited and kind of spazzy but didn’t seem scared so that’s good! All in all she did great on the holiday. I slept like a rock and thankfully wasn’t hungover for Boot Camp the next morning. :)

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