Sunday, May 26, 2013

Unnatural Creatures

Odgen Nash once said "Where there is a monster, there is a miracle."

We love believing in the unbelievable.  Unnatural Creatures, a book of short stories collected by Neil Gaiman, is a lovely book I've recently read.  This book, in part, helps to fund the Museum of Unnatural History, a writing center for school-aged children in DC.  This just happens to be right around the corner from one of my favorite Vegan Bakeries, which is how I stumbled on it.

Neil Gaiman is one of the founders.  His introduction to the book was fantastic.  The collection of stories ranged from old to new, and featured some favorites (including Mr. Gaiman's Sunbird), and some new classics.

Other books recently read & currently reading:

Neil Gaiman's Instructions
Neil Gaiman's Make Good Art
Uwem Akpan's Say you're one of them (I'm hoping to finish this before this weekend, I think my Mom would really enjoy it.  If she's already read it, I'm going to pass it on to my daughter's boyfriend's mom.  That's a mouthful)
Tara French's Faithful Place (has a similar vibe to In the Woods.)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Streaking and other things to do.

Runners World periodically hosts a Running Streak, wherein those who are participating attempt to run every day for the duration of the streak.  The last one I tried was from Thanksgiving to New Years (2012).  It started off well, but then I went out to visit my folks in Nebraska and go skiing in Colorado, and it was bloody cold.  The next streak starts Monday (Memorial Day) and lasts through July 4 (Independence Day).

My Dad used to sing this song, and anytime I think of the word "Streak" it pops in my head.

Anyway, I'll be attempting this one, and I think I'll do better during this time frame than with the weather in December.  This is also a great way for me to jump start my new goal for 2014... I want to run a half marathon. Before I'm 40.  So that gives me about a year and a half to train for and do it.

I've ordered the training program from No Meat Athlete which I'm excited to take a crack at.  In addition to the running schedule, it also gives food recommendations specifically for vegan and vegetarian athletes.  Not meal plans (because really, who can follow those??) but suggestions.  Guidelines.

In preparation for that, I've been attempting a few longer runs each week.  Yesterday I ran 5 miles in 54 minutes, and felt STRONG.  (Today, on the other hand, I ran a little less than 2 miles, and felt yesterday's run!)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Vegan & Running weekend adventures in the DMV

Busy busy, this past weekend.  We had more on our schedule than was humanly possible, I think.

Saturday started off in Arlington, VA, at the 5k Turtle Trot.  This was a fun little trail run to benefit Long Branch Nature Center to rescue and rehabilitate turtles!  I just love turtles- I'm a turtle saver (one of those crazy people who stops their car to move turtles out of the roadway), and couldn't pass this one up.

My time wasn't great, but I think it was okay considering the terrain, and the fact that I had to tie shoes on the way.

It was cute- there were a number of elementary school aged children running this one.  I was just behind a group of three boys (age 8 or so) and one had two untied shoes with laces flopping all over.  He kept trying to stop to tie them, but his friends kept running, and I guess he was worried about being left behind.  Finally, I asked him to please tie his shoes before he fell and hurt himself (or the slow runner behind him- me!).  He stopped, and was really struggling, so I stopped, too, and tied both of his shoes. As I was tying the second one, one of his friends came over and asked me to tie his shoes as well.  I figure there went a minute or two.

After a race, I like to treat myself to good vegan food.  Rob and I went to Khepra's Raw Food Juice Bar in NE DC.  A tiny little room in the back of a wellness shop, this food looked and smelled delicious and was worth the trip.  Rob and I were each looking at the menu, when we realized that the girl in front of us in line was getting a little of everything.  So we did that, too!  A large (one entree, and a sample of each of ~10 sides) was $15, but fed each of us for 3 meals, so I think it was fairly priced.

Here's what all I got: Avacado Plantain Pie (my entree), spinach seaweed salad, garlic kale, creamy kale, wild rice, jerk eggplant, okra, plantains, cauliflower, broccoli.  I might be missing something.  Anyway, all very raw, very tasty.  The nice thing about eating raw foods like these is you don't worry about portion size.  This is all good stuff.

Sunday I was signed up to run another race.  I know- it seems crazy to run two races in a weekend, but I didn't allow myself to run ANY races while I was writing my comps, and I went a little kooky signing up.  This one was the Capitol Hill Classic, and I ran the 3k.  This was a pretty exciting race for me, because I was able to RUN the whole thing.  Generally when I run longer distances, I run intervals of 8 minutes, with 1 minute walks.  Rob signed up to do it with me at the last minute, and although he hasn't been training, he kept pace with me the whole way- he was so supportive and great, I know part of the reason I was motivated to run the whole time is because he was with me.  Anyway, finished the 3k in 23:48.


After the race, we were walking to the metro, and I could hear music coming from an open window of a church.  I stopped and said to Rob, "That's Mozart! That's The Requiem!"  As I walked up the front steps of the church, another woman came from around the corner and said "Is that Requiem in D minor?  The three of us went inside to find that a college choir was visiting and giving a concert.  Sweaty and stinky, we stood just outside the nave doors and listened.  They were phenomenal.  Mozart's Requiem is one of my favorite pieces of music ever.  I feel it in my soul.

I actually missed going to some scheduled events on Sunday because of this impromptu concert.  I'm sorry- friends, but it was worth it!

After that unexpected surprise, Rob and I (now STARVING) hopped the Metro up to Sticky Fingers Bakery.  This is one of the best vegan establishments in the city, most people visit because Doran Peterson was a winner of one of those Food TV Cupcake competitions.  I love the sweets, but my favorite thing to order there is the Reuben.

To tell you how good it is, let me explain.  Generally when Rob and I go to a vegan restaurant, we always make sure to order different things, then we go "halvsies" and split our meals with eachother so we can taste more things.  But when we go to Sticky Fingers- we both order our own Reubens.  They are very tasty, marinated tempeh with sauerkraut and daiya on rye bread.  (At home, I use pumpernickel).  Yum.

I picked up a Margarita cupcake for later, and Rob got a chocolate chip cookie.  It ended up getting crumbly, so after getting off the Metro, we sat down and had a sidewalk picnic with the bits.

On Graduations and Accomplishments and the dreaded waiting process.

As a professor at a small college, I am required by my contract to attend each Spring's Commencement ceremonies (Winter Commencement is listed as optional, but recommended).

While in part I dread these ceremonies (the uncomfortable chairs, the keynote speeches that rarely vary on topic, the evening commitment), I do love seeing my students walk across that stage.

There were over 250 graduates in attendance, and while I had only taught a handful of them, seeing them reach their goals was fantastic.  I got to meet a few parents, girlfriends, and other family members, and it tickles me when students want to introduce me to people.

My daughter, Mia, will be graduating from High School in a few weeks.  She seemed surprised when family members wanted to come from out of town to attend- saying that it wasn't difficult to graduate from High School, so she didn't know why it was a big deal.  These types of ceremonies are a rite of passage, like senior prom (which I forgot to attend), or your first job, or your first kiss.  These are things you'll remember. For a long time.  These are stories you'll tell to your future partner and possibly your children.

Sometimes accomplishments are not recognized by ceremonies- sometimes we just need to take a moment and recognize ourselves or our loved ones.  Life goes pretty fast...

On the other hand, though, I submitted my comps last Monday, and was told it would take about a week to get my results.  Now, in my world, about a week is approximately 4-5 days.  If it were to be 7-8 days, I'd say "A little over a week" and if it were to be 10 days or so, I might call that a "week and a half."  I don't know what my advisor's definition of "about a week" is, but I am going crazy.  I keep checking my email (all of my emails, because what if they send word via the college email, and I thought it would go to my work/default email??).  I am not worried- I am 98% sure I passed, but I just want that validation so that I can stop, take a moment, and recognize my own accomplishments!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


3 years ago today, I married my Soul Mate, my Love, and my Best Friend.

I am the luckiest girl to have found someone so perfect for me.

He makes every day an adventure.

He's taught me to smell the flowers, and to savor each moment.

He makes me feel like I can do anything.

We have fun together, what ever we do.

Every moment since I met him has been better because he was in my life.

I love you, Lover!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Some pictures for a Tuesday afternoon

Thought I'd share a few pictures with you on this beautiful Tuesday!

Now, I know it's Tuesday, but in my head it's not.  It's Winesday.  Each week, my BFF Annie and I get together and drink a little wine and hang out.  Generally this happens on Wednesdays, but this week I have to attend Honors Convocation tomorrow night, so Winesday has been rescheduled.  Now, Annie and I take turns hosting Winesday, and this week it's my turn.  

Big Bowl of Chopped Veggies:

Very often we have hummus, carrots, and pita chips.  As a vegan, I'm required by law to love hummus, which I do, but I thought we'd try something different this week.

This is a veggie dip I made with soft tofu, veganaise, cilantro, parsley, chives, some black pepper, and lemon juice.

For dessert we'll have some fresh strawberries and a blueberry coconut yogurt dip (vegan) I made with some vanilla coconut yogurt, some blueberry preserves, and a little brown sugar.  Yum.

I'm ready!  We've been on a Cupcake Winery kick lately.  Annie prefers the Chianti, and I love the Malbec.

Annie (and her hubby, Bart) aren't here yet, so I took a step outside to admire my flowers.  These Irises are gorgeous!  

I love that different flowers grow at different times here, the colors are great.  I can take NO responsibility for these beauties, though.  The previous owner of the house planted bulbs all around the yard- it's obvious that they took a lot of care to plant things that would bloom at different times.  This little raised garden is pretty weedy, but it's still beautiful.  I keep telling Rob I'd like to dig up this entire yard and have a huge garden (I'd love to be self-sustaining!) but that would mean I had to dig up these pretty things.

This ivy growing up the side of the house is new this year.  Probably not good for the integrity of the house, but it sure is pretty.  This window is the one in my office that I am now sitting next to at my computer.  I love that hint of pink right outside the window.

The dogs were helping me look at the flowers.  Copper was interested in me being interested in the Irises.

Little Jack wasn't interested in the flowers at all.  He wanted to dig a hole.  He's got one that he and Lily have been working on all year.  Rob keeps telling them "China's a lot further than you think it is!"  Lily didn't come out to look at the flowers.  Our run this morning tired her out, and she is taking a nap on the bed.

Have a beautiful day, friends!

Monday, May 13, 2013

When you've already done the ONE thing on your to-do list you actually wanted to do...

Today is Monday, May 13.  The Spring Semester is over.  My grades are in.  Here is my to-do list:

Gah.  The one thing on it that I actually WANTED to do on it I've already done!

Do notice, though, the second item.  Yes, that's right.  I am done writing my comps.  I am ahead of schedule, and am submitting today.

That is, if this silly system lets me!

Sigh... Processing...

Ah-ha!  Submitted!  Now I can cross that off my list!

Oh, Goody.  Now I get to clean my house.  Hooray....

At least this is what I have to look forward to when I am done- I've been putting off reading this so that I could reward myself when I submitted my Comps.  

Sunday, May 12, 2013

May and toe-ing the line of pure geekdom.

There is one thing that happens each year at the beginning of May.  No, I'm not talking about Cinco de Mayo, which we do celebrate as the birthday of one of the best dogs I was ever privileged enough to know, Spuds (1990 ish-2010).

Anyway, I'm talking about the first Saturday in May, which this year fell on May 4th: FREE COMIC BOOK DAY!

The first Saturday in May each year, your local comic book shop gives away free comic books!  These are special edition comics released by publishers specifically for this occasion.  Everything from kitty-cats to zombies, there are a ton to pick from.  Go check it out next year.  Seriously.

So Mia and I went up to The House of Pop Culture, our local comic shop in Waldorf, where they were asking people to each only take 5 comics.  Mia and I each selected our own, and decided to share so we didn't get any repeats.  We ended up getting more than 5, because we couldn't decide between a few books- and the gentlemen there were very kind to let us get a few extra.  Here's our collection!

As a rule, I generally like female protagonists in comic books best, but as has happened in years past, my favorites in the collection were the gang from Riverdale High (Archie, Betty & Veronica).  Other good ones this year were The Steam Engines of Oz, and Endangered Weapon B.

We can't go to free comic book day and only take the freebies, so each year, Mia and I pick out a graphic novel to buy.  This year, she picked Dr. Horrible (based on the NPH youtoube character), and I selected a Tank Girl and  one by Neil Gaiman: The books of magic.  Thus far, I've only read the Dr. Horrible one.  It was cute.  Now that I'm done with Comps (Just have to hit that submit button) I should have serious reading time to finish out this month.

After hitting up the Comics, we headed south to the Toys R Us, because not only was it free comic book day, it was also May 4th, a day that many geeks celebrate as in "May the Fourth (Force) be with you!"
I'm not a huge Star Wars fan- I've seen the old movies, and I think Episode 1, but I AM a LEGO fan, and Toys R Us was hosting an event where you could build a LEGO starship.  We walked in, and spotted the table.  The young man working it said "Well, you guys are a little older than you're supposed to be, but I'll let you play, anyway."  Mia and I immediately proceeded to begin building- and racing (as we are apt to do with LEGOs), which the employee though was great- he asked Mia, "Is that your mom?  That's the coolest thing ever!"  

Mia beat me- but only because I had to deal with interference.

What do you know- we got a comic book here, too!

Yesterday, Rob and I went to the ANS Comic-con in La Plata, which was a hoot-  There were two reasons I wanted to go.  First of all, Frank Cho was going to be signing, and he and I went to UMD at the same time in the mid-90's.  I met him once, then, when he did a signing there, and wanted to see him again.  Notice below that the original signature from 1999 is much more personable than the top signature from yesterday.

A nice bonus, we also got to meet Bill Mickay, who also signed some covers of Zombies vs. Cheerleaders for me!

The second reason we went to the Comic-con was that they were screening some DAVE school shorts, one of which was Tofu: The Vegan Zombie.  Unfortunately, they were running short on time, and stopped this one before it was over.  Luckily, I was able to come home and find it on Youtube.

So, speaking of Zombies, Rob and I started watching The Walking Dead recently.  Shhhh- don't tell me what happens.  I don't want to know.  We are almost done with Season 2, and then we'll have to hunt down someone who has them on DVD, because Netflix doesn't have Season 3 yet.  Anyway, it's a fantastic, yet really frightening show.  It's got me thinking about what we would do during the zombie apocolypse.  I've done my reading- I've read Max Brooks' Zombie Survival Guide, as well as World War Z (a FANTASTIC book- highly recommended for zombie fans).  But I think that the best course of action would be to head west to Nebraska.  My folks have a well, they have a garden, and my brother is armed.  I think that will be the best place to go.

Enjoying the AMC series so much,  I started reading the graphic novels (Each volume is approximately 6 comic book issues).  I started reading them on my kindle.  I hate to say this, because I feel like a traitor to the local comic book stores, but I really like reading them on the kindle.  It shows each page, then zooms in on each panel.  I'm on Volume 4 now.  That being said, however, had I known I would enjoy them so much, I would have purchased them in Compendium version- much cheaper that way.  Each volume is $8-9 on the Kindle.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Homage to postcards and forgotten bookmarks.

In high school, and college, my friend Tracy and I would exchange silly things in the mail: she had/has a creative flair I so admire. In 2009, she and I reconnected, and I am pleased to say she still is a genius.  Back then, she was blogging and I sent her pictures of all of the things I'd kept over the years.  (You can read her review of these items here).  I found another one today in my copy of The Vegetarian Epicure. Appropriate, no?  It's a George Bernard Shaw quote:
"When we ourselves are the graves of murdered beasts, how can we expect any ideal conditions on this earth?"
Speaking of The Vegetarian Epicure, that was one of the first veg cookbooks I owned and loved.  I know someone gave it to me, used, and I wish I could remember who.  But it had this fantastic quote at the beginning that I referred to a lot when I was a young vegetarian trying to explain myself to other people who questioned my eating habits.  Anna Thomas said:
"Good food is a celebration of life, and it seems absurd to me that in celebrating life we should take life.  That's why I don't eat flesh..."
I recently read Forgotten Bookmarks by Michael Popek, a used bookseller who documents his finds on his blog:   As someone who also uses odd found items to mark my place in books (although I do admit I sometimes commit the sin of folding down a corner of a paperback) I loved the fact that Popek included pictures of not only the bookmarks, but also the books wherein they were found.

I just realized that the deceased mother in Beautiful Creatures (Lila Evers Wate) also used odd found items to mark her place in books.  At one point, Ethan finds a sock in a book, and knows his mother has been there.  Maybe there's a club for us all to join.

This past month, I haven't been reading as much, nor as often as I would like.  One book I picked up and read was a re-read, The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde.  Imagine my nice surprise when I found this- a left behind bookmark from the last time I'd read the book- presumably on a trip to see my good friend, Kim, in NYC.

 And lastly, I've given my daughter my Jetta.  She and her boyfriend cleaned it out, and found these, some eagle feathers I've collected on my hikes in the woods nearby.  I ended up sticking them in a copy of Steinbeck's East of Eden, and was tickled to find that the page I opened to included the sentence:
 "A hawk driving down on a chicken with doubled fists did not make him turn his head."

Perfect.  Just Perfect.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Wordle: reading, eating, running Welcome to Reading, Eating, Running.

I am taking a moment today to start this off with a little intro, even though I've been posting to this blog for a week or so.  I think it's time.

My name is Stephanie.  In the last few years, I have found myself trying to write multiple blogs.

The first was Quest for the Great American Novel, which I started in 2010.  On that blog, I read, a lot, and blogged about each book I read.  It initially began because my brother compiled multiple "must read" lists, and I decided to tackle it (a list of over 2000 books) to find the Greatest 20th Century American Novel.  And even though that page still gets a lot of visits (it's been viewed 230+ times today, and I've only posted 3 times in 2013!) it has become something I don't want it to be.  Firstly, because I found myself reading books that weren't on the list, as many of the "Great" novels weren't all they were cracked up to be!  Secondly, I found myself almost dreading the posts.  It seemed like every time I read something, I had to write a book report about it.  Gah.  Sometimes I just want to read for fun, ok?  I even tried consolidating all the books I read in a month, but by the time I got to that post, it was just a collection of pictures and titles and who all else knows...

"And anyway, reading for enjoyment is what we should all be doing. I don't mean we should all be reading chick lit or thrillers (although if that's what you want to read, it's fine by me, because here's something no one else will tell you: if you don't read the classics, or the novel that won this year's Booker Prize,then...then nothing bad will happen to you; more importantly,nothing good will happen to you if you do); I simply mean that turning pages should not be like walking through thick mud. The whole purpose of books is that we read them, and if you find you can't, it might not be your inadequacy that's to blame. "Good" books can be pretty awful sometimes." Nick Hornby - The Polysyllabic Spree

The second blog that I started was started here on blogger, but became a facebook page: New Adventures in Veganism.  I have been a vegetarian since the age of 10, so that means that I've not eaten meat in almost 30 years.  I toyed with veganism in high school and college, and off and on in my 20s, but wasn't successful with that until 2010 when I successfully made the decision to cut all animal products out of my life.  I've never felt better!  Now, don't get me wrong, I think that what you eat is equivalent to who you want to love, and how you want to find happiness.  I would like it if people agreed with me, but I'm not pressed about it.  My daughter is a lacto-ovo vegetarian, and that works for her.  My husband is a part-time vegan, part-time carnivore.  It's an individual decision.  That being said, however, I do most of the shopping and cooking in the house, so I keep a vegan kitchen.  I love to try new recipes  and love to cook & eat.

Then, in the last year, I took up running.  I've never been a runner, and always thought that I could never be a runner.  But I've been trying to live the good life- good food, exercise, etc.  and I already loved to walk, so  it seemed natural to make that switch.  It was a long slow process, and I am still not fast, but each day I get better at it.  I haven't been blogging about it, but I have been posting about it in online forums and with Dailymile.

Hence the title of the new blog: Reading, Eating, Running!

Makes sense now, doesn't it?

So, in an effort to minimalize, I will be maintaining only one blog.  This one.  And I'll talk about all three things, and maybe some other stuff too.  Who knows what will tickle my fancy?

Books Read: 2013 (a work in progress)


  1. Push- Sapphire
  2. The Kid- Sapphire
  3. Last Words- George Carlin
  4. Beautiful Creatures- Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
  5. Beautiful Darkness- Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
  6. Beautiful Chaos- Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
  7. Beautiful Redemption- Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
  8. The Calligrapher's Daughter- Eugenia Kim
  9. Old Man's War- John Scalzi
  10. The Ghost Brigades- John Scalzi
  11. Vegan Eats World- Terry Hope Romero
  12. Vegan Food Gifts- Joni Marie Newman
  13. Veganize This- Jenn Shagrin
  14. 101 Best Vegan Foods- Editors of Publications International
  15. The Mystery of Edwin Drood- Charles Dickens
  16. Your Best Body Now- Tosca Reno
  17. Paper Towns- John Green


  1. The Last Colony-John Scalzi
  2. Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos- R.L. LaFevers
  3. The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe- C. S. Lewis
  4. Prince Caspian- C. S. Lewis
  5. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader- C. S. Lewis
  6. The Silver Chair- C. S. Lewis
  7. The Horse and His Boy- C. S. Lewis
  8. The Magician's Nephew- C. S. Lewis
  9. The Last Battle- C. S. Lewis
  10. The Fault in our Stars- John Green
  11. Earth- Jon Stewart
  12. The Imaginary Girlfriend- John Irving
  13. Lottery- Patricia Wood
  14. Guns- Stephen King
  15. A Wrinkle in Time- Madeline L'Engle
  16. Native Son- Richard Wright

March & April (it gets foggy a bit here):

  1. Salad Meals! Vegan Salad Recipes- Christopher Morro
  2. The Phantom Tollbooth- Norton Juster
  3. The Tin Drum (Danzig Trilogy)- Gunter Grass
  4. Breakfast at Tiffany's- Truman Capote
  5. Something from the Nightside- Simon R. Green
  6. Power Foods for the Brain- Neal Barnard
  7. The Fifth Assassin- Brad Meltzer
  8. Phoenix- Chuck Palahniuk
  9. The Cider House Rules- John Irving
  10. Faith: A Novel- Jennifer Haigh
  11. Slapstick- Kurt Vonnegut
  12. Human Learning- Jeanne Ellis Ormrod
  13. Qualitative Research Design- Joseph A. Maxwell
  14. Qualitative Research- Sharan B. Merriam
  15. Qualitative Research in Practice- Sharan B. Merriam and Associates
  16. Forgotten Bookmarks- Michael Popek

May (working on my comps, so not much reading):

  1. The Eyre Affair- Jasper Fforde
  2. Cases in Qualitative Research- Andrea Milinki
  3. Conducting Research- Lawrence T. Orcher
  4. Learning to think- Janet Donald
  5. Knowing and Reasoning in College- Marcia B. Baxter Magolda
  6. Lost in a Good Book- Jasper Fforde
  7. The Walking Dead Vol.1- Tony Moore& Robert Kirkman
  8. The Walking Dead Vol. 2- Tony Moore & Robert Kirkman
  9. The Walking Dead Vol. 3- Tony Moore & Robert Kirkman
  10. Dr. Horrible and Other Stories- Zach Whedon
  11. Oz: Reimagined- Off to see the Emperor- Orson Scott Card
  12. House of Secrets- Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini
  13. Make good art- Neil Gaiman
  14. Instructions- Neil Gaiman
  15. Say you're one of them- Uwem Akpan
  16. Tank Girl Three- Jamie Hewlett & Alan Martin
  1. How to talk to girls at parties- Neil Gaiman
  2. Faithful Place- Tana French
  3. Click-Clack the Rattlebag- Neil Gaiman
  4. Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician- Daniel Wallace
  5. The 13 Clocks- James Thurber
  6. The Magicians- Lev Grossman
  7. The Ocean at the End of the Lane- Neil Gaiman
  8. The Wonderful O- James Thurber
  9. The Neverending Story- Michael Ende
  10. Big Fish- Daniel Wallace
  11. Joy land -Stephen King
  12. The watermelon king -Daniel Wallace
  13. Thrive- Brendan Brazier
  14. Ray in reverse- Daniel Wallace
  15. No-Meat Athlete Half Marathon Training- Charlie Pabst

  1. Kings and Queens of Roam- Daniel Wallace
  2. Desperation- Stephen King
  3. My Beef with meat- Rip Esselstyn
  4. The Dreams of my Father- Barack Obama
  5. Fragile Things- Neil Gaiman
  6. The Regulators- Stephen King
  7. The breif wonderous life of Oscar Wao- Junot Diaz
  8. Three Bags Full- Leonie Swann
  9. Broken Harbor- Tana French
  10. The confessions of Max Tivoli- Andrew Seth Greer
  11. The Weird Sisters- Elanor Brown
  12. Cell- Stephen King
  13. The Map of Time- Felix J Palma

  1. Dress your family in denim and cordoury- David Sedaris
  2. Just Kids - Patti Smith
  3. The Curiosity - Stephen Kiernan.
  4. Failing at fairness- Myra and David Sadker
  5. Rocky Hill fireman Books #1,2&3- Jim Brewster
  6. Finding Ultra- Rich Roll
  7. Stink, the incredible shrinking boy- Megan McDonald
  8. Orange is the new black- Piper Kerman
  9. Steal like an artist- Austin Kleon
  1. The world according to Garp- John Irving
  2. The haunting of Hill house- Shirley Jackson
  3. The Vegan Stoner cookbook- 
  4. Sarah Conrique, 
  5. Graham I. Haynes
  6. The Likeness- Tana French
  7. Fortunately, the milk- Neil Gaiman
  8. Full Dark, no stars- Stephen King
  9. The newcomer's guide to the afterlife- Daniel Quinn
  10. The illustrated man- Ray Bradbury
  11. The long walk- Stephen King
  1. Carrie- Stephen King
  2. The golem and the jinni- Helen Wecker
  3. Koko- Peter Straub
  4. Still failing at fairness- David Sadker
  5. Howl's moving castle- Diana Wynne Jones
  6. Apocalypse Cow- Michael Logan
  7. The collected Rolling Stone works- Hunter S. Thompson


1. The Shining- Tephen King
2. Wilderness- Dean Koontz
3. Appetite for reduction- Isa Chandra Moscovitz
4. Running for Mortals- 
5. Inter world- Neil Gaiman
6. Hyperbole and a half- Allie Brosh
7. No meat athlete- Matt Frazier
8. Poe- 
9.  The dogs of Babel- Carolyn Parkhurst


1. Unholy night - Seth Grahm Smith
2. Thank you for your service David Finckle
3. Gentlemen Practice Buddy Wakefield
4. Live for a living Buddy Wakefield
5. Wonder Boys
6. Oryx and Crake- Margaret Atwood

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What Vegans Eat 5/7/13

Have I mentioned that I really like Mia working @ MOM's and getting a discount?

Tonight's dinner is some vegan mushroom ravioli tossed in with organic broccoli, crimini mushrooms, garlic, red onions, and green bell pepper.  Yummm.

Monday, May 6, 2013

What Vegans Eat 5/6/13

Since Mia started working at Mom's Organic Market, she has been doing a lot of our shopping!
Anyway, tonight I thought the three of us would have this tasty frozen VEGAN pizza, some roasted garlic asparagus from my friend, Sue's farm, and this delightful creamy kale salad recipe by the Vegan Zombie!

While I was looking at recipes today, I found this bit of info:
Refrigerate fresh asparagus upright in a glass of water, covered loosely with a cotton towel. This prevents the ends from drying out.

I have never heard this before, but it makes sense!

Addendum, the dinner came out SO GOOD!  Here's what it looked like!
And people asked me for the recipe of the salad:
This is a variation of a The Vegan Zombierecipe. I mixed raw organic tahini (approx .5 c), amber agave (approx .3 c), .5tsp kosher salt, 3 large cloves minced garlic, and squeezed 1/2 a large lemon over it. Then I mixed the whole mess together really well with the kale- kindof mushing the dressing into the kale leaves. The original recipe also calls for green onions, red peppers, and carrot, but I was out of carrots, and Mia's not a fan of onions or peppers, so I left those out. I think next time I might add some red onions into my portion.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Page 43

I'm so tired of sitting at my desk, writing, writing, writing....
It seems like I'm so close, but I'll never finish.
Like my pup, Copper, I'd much rather be outside.

Sigh, back to work.  I'm on page 43...

Friday, May 3, 2013

Races Run: 2013

My goal this year is to run 13 races.  Many are 5k's, but I am working in some longer distances. I am signed up next March for the Rock and Roll Half marathon. I thought I'd keep a running track of races run and planned for here, and update throughout the year.  

1. 2/10/13 Love the run you're with, 5k, VA- 40:05
2. 3/9/13 Four Courts Four Miler, 4m, VA- 51:52
3. 3/16/13 Patuxent Pi Mile Trail Run, 3.14159m, MD- 43:24
4. 4/7/13 Heroes Vs. Villians, 5k, VA- 41:00
5. 4/13/13 St. Charles Running Festival, 5k, MD- 38:52
6. 5/18/13 Turtle Trot, 5k, VA-38:12
7. 5/19/13 Capitol Hill Classic, 3k, DC- 23:48
8. 6/15/13 Loyola River Race, 5k, MD- 41:15
9. 6/23/13 Run for the Rainforest, 5k, MD- 39:44
10. 8/3/13 Dog Days of Summer, 5k, Virtual- 34:00
11. 8/10/13 Summertime & Sunshine, 10k, Virtual- 72:00
12. 9/1/13 Wonder Woman 5k, Virtual, actually ran the 10k. 72:00
13. 9/14/13 Navy/Air Force 5 miler, DC- 62:48
14. 10/4/13 Cheshire Cat Challenge 10k, Virtual 8.18 miles, 90:00
15. 10/5/13 Children's hospital 5k, DC- walked-55:30
16. 10/7/13 Howl-o-ween 5k, Virtual-3.19 miles, 36:00
17. 10/25/13 We can do it! Half Marathon- Virtual over 24 hours.  1st. leg- 9.27 miles, 104 min. 2nd. leg- 4.23 miles, 48 minutes. Total: 13.5 miles, 152 minutes
18. 11/9/13 "Off with their heads" Red Queen 10k, Virtual, 6.5 miles, 72 minutes
19. 11/13/13 Hope for the Phillippines 5k, virtual, 34 minutes
20.  11/15/13 Alice 10k, Virtual, 72 minutes
21.  11/24/13 CSM Turkey Trot, 5k, MD, 38:41

Upcoming races (Already signed up!):
21. 11/28/13 McCaslin first annual Thanksgiving fun run
22. 12/6/13 A very merry run-birthday 10k, Virtual
23. 12/8/13 Busch Gardens Christmas Town, 8k, VA
24. 12/14/13 Santa Paws 10k, Virtual

On the books for 2014:
1/3/14 Resolution Run 15k, Virtual
3/15/14 Rock and Roll Half Marathon, DC

100th Birthday of Leona McCaslin

100 years and no looking back!

This weekend, my Grandma, Leona McCaslin, turns 100 years old!

Grandma is such an amazing woman.  She is the cornerstone for her midwest family.  She's been a teacher, a farmer, a writer, and a poet.  She feeds the birds and plants flowers, and is everything a grandma should be and more.

I've always loved to go visit her, and see her smiling face at the kitchen window, waving when I arrive.  Grandma always has nice stories to tell, and gives great hugs- but if you get too close, her hearing aid squeaks and we all laugh!

I remember as a child, Grandma bouncing me on her knee, singing "this is the way the babies ride..."  the song would build up until we got to "this is the way that grandpas ride..." and she'd bounce me so hard I'd fall on the floor. What fun!

I became a vegetarian at age 10, and when I'd visit her, she would ask "Are you still a vegetarian?"  and when I'd say yes, she'd say "Well, you know where the peanut butter is!"  Later, though, when I was older, she told me that she liked lots of vegetarian foods, and didn't eat too much meat anymore.

Grandma is meticulous about feeding and watering her birds- such lucky sparrows and finches live on Weissert Rd.!

Grandma has an artists' eyes and soul.  Some of my favorite things are those that she made, including my purple quilt (with it's place of honor on the guest room bed when special guests visit!), and an awesome flower pot with grapes painted on it.  One summer, we dried gourds and painted them to be birdhouses together.

Grandma has always been such an inspiration to me- she fixes fences and paints flowers with passion.  I admire her life, her spirit, and her character.  In fact, my daughter's middle name (Lenore) was inspired by my Grandma's name (Leona) which I always thought was so pretty.

So, in honor of my Grandma's birthday, here's how we celebrate:

This is a song we sing to each other in our house on our birthdays, originally recorded by They Might Be Giants, it's a fun way to say that we love you!

And here are the birthday cards we made Grandma, and held up at the end of the video.  I think Grandmas should get homemade cards, they're the best kind....