Why Halloween Is Bad

Hi folks. Things have been totally nuts here this week. I’ve had guest lecturers coming in and tests to write, nevermind the fact that I’ll be in Philadelphia for most of next week. Whew! It looks like I’m going to try to stay just one step ahead of every deadline for the rest of the semester. Kind of like Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom when the boulder is chasing him and he keeps peeking over his shoulder. I haven’t been flattened by my work yet, but it’s getting a little too close for comfort these days. Perhaps I should start bringing a whip with me to work.

Anyway, I’ve missed a lot of Parker’s holiday activities this week, but fortunately, his Nana (my mother-in-law) has been here and has been taking pictures to help me stay on top of what I’ve missed. Well, yesterday was the Halloween party at his pre-school. Two sets of parents were in charge of “snacks” for the event. They translated “snacks” to mean “treats” and brought sugar. Lots of sugar. Here’s the Irishman helping Parker decorating his sugar cookie with icing and sprinkles.

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Parker is fortunate that he had his father with him there because the second that I saw the mounds of icing and marshmellows and cookies and chocolate, I would have faked an illness, snatched up Parker and made a run for it. There’s good reason for my fear of sugar if you’ll recall his second birthday party.

Parker was very proud of his decorated cookie.

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And then. And then. Well, just look.

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Oh dear. Parker, mind yourself, you’re in public. As I was scrolling through the pictures, I was afraid of what came next.

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This, ladies and gentlemen, does not look like my child. These are the eyes of an addict. He’s on his high and he’s looking for another fix. It’s a frightening look to see on your child’s face. Come back to us Parker. Move away from temptation.

After they left the party, they took Parker to the playground to get it all out of his system. When I got home yesterday at 6pm, Nana and the Irishman looked like they were about to fall over and Parker was jumping on the couch.

I’ve come to a conclusion and it is this. Sugar is evil. Particularly in a concentrated form and in high doses.

Off To The Races

Well, it’s that time of year again. After taking about 6 months off from racing, I’ve added two half marathons to my schedule to get me back in gear. Oh and by racing, all I mean is that I have an event to attend. There will be no “racing” in these events, only finishing. I didn’t want you to think that I actually had a chance to finish in the top 25% or anything like that. Nope, I’m like the turtle – slow and steady.

The first event is the OUC half marathon, which takes place in Orlando. I’m attending this one with brother Dean, who will smoke me (as usual). But, it will be a chance for me to visit him in Orlando and enjoy a run in relative warmth at a time when the average temperature in North Carolina is hovering in the 40s.

The second half marathon will be the Disney Princess Half at Walt Disney World in March. I’m running this one with my running confessional buddy Kasey. It will be so great to revisit our marathon stomping ground, but to actually have fun and not be in anguishing pain at the end.

The half marathon is kind of like a summer fling. You get all of the benefits of falling in love without all of the baggage that comes with actually seeing the relationship through. Youth (and summer flings) are definitely wasted on the young, but fortunately, we can run half marathons forever. Or something. Nevermind.

The best part of having races planned is that all of a sudden, your workouts have a purpose. Fortunately, I’ve stayed on top of my middle distance runs, so jumping right back into 8 miles this weekend won’t be that big of a deal. Sure, I’ll have ridiculously tight calves and some foot and hip pain, but that just comes with the territory. I didn’t really start getting significant ankle pain until we had hit 16 miles so hopefully, I won’t have to revisit that anytime soon.

Yup, there are new races on the horizon and I’ve gone back to my favorite slogan: Just do it, baby! Come rain or shine, sleet or snow, get out there and pound the pavement…or the treadmill for wimps like me.

Egg And Cheese Bagel

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When we were in Tallahassee last weekend, there was a single, simple breakfast item on my list of must-haves. An egg and cheese bagel from Breugger’s. More specifically, I order a salt bagel with egg and American cheese, with a little butter on one side. I have ordered that exact breakfast sandwich for 13 years and now, it’s time to start making it at home. Which, of course, means that I have to pass on my obsession to you. I’m so giving.

First things first, get your bagel in the toaster. If you can get your hands on a salt bagel, I highly recommend it (but only if you’re a salt fiend like myself), otherwise any bagel of your choice will do.

Next, beat one egg in a bowl. You want to give it a good scramble now so that once it’s in the pan, we can just slightly nudge it around and flip it instead of breaking it entirely apart.

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Next, pour your egg into your pan over medium heat. After letting it set up for a couple of minutes, gently fold it and flip it until it’s cooked through and roughly in one round-ish piece.

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Once the egg is done, turn the heat off and lay your slice of cheese on top so it gets a little melty. While that’s happening, I usually take my bagel out of the toaster and put butter on one side of it.

Now, pick up your egg/cheese with a spatula and slide it onto the bottom of your bagel.

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You can see that I’ve liberally sprinkled it with salt since I had a plain bagel instead of a salt bagel. (I put the pepper in with the egg). Just put the top half on and slice it down the middle with a serrated knife.

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Man, this is so good! It’s so simple, but so satisfying. If you’ve never had one of these guys, you must make it the first chance you get.

PS – I apologize in advance to my Tallahassee friends who must now go out and make a Bruegger’s run immediately upon finishing this post.

Keg-O-Rator

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Well, I think we’ve officially crossed over into being an exclusively beer-drinking house since we now have this thing in my kitchen and there isn’t a single bottle of wine to be found.

This, my dears, is a Keg-O-Rator. The Irishman bought it from the couple that runs the boarding facility where we kept our dogs last weekend. That sounds completely random, but apparently in small towns, this is just how things happen.

Anyway, our Keg-O-Rator can hold either one 15 gallon keg or two 5 gallon kegs. These kegs of micro-brewed beer are kept ice cold and carbonated 24/7 (which is the true benefit of having it since one you open a growler, it has to be consumed in 5 days). I have to say that it’s been a bizarre experience to just walk into the kitchen and pour a beer from the tap instead of grabbing a bottle from the fridge.

At the rate we’re going, we are one or two novelties away from being able to operate a cool bed and breakfast.

Deep Thoughts

Last weekend, we went to one of our favorite brunch places in Tallahassee – Another Broken Egg. They’re situated on a lovely lake.

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On this particular day, it was cold outside, so all of the waiting patrons were huddled in the front room. Well, since we’re stoic North Carolinians now (and since there simply isn’t a way to contain a 2 year old in a 3″ by 3″ space), we headed outside to stand in the sun.

Parker decided that he wanted to enjoy the view. Of course, this was after he was running around like a maniac trying to go “swimming in the pool” in 40 degree weather, but I digress. Parker dragged a chair over from the table, settled in and proceed with his introspection…

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…until he realized that I was taking pictures of him…

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so I stopped and left him to his deep thoughts.

Pumpkin Patch

When we had Parker, it was important to me that I document as much of his life as I could. I wanted to be able to see the progression of my peanut growing into himself. So, we decided that we would go to the same pumpkin patch every year so that we could compare the photos. This past weekend was year three. Since Parker is a November baby, all three years are just before his annual birthday.

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Here’s one more comparison for you.

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I really wish Parker would stop making that face. Freaky.

CrockPot Sirloin Tips

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Because it’s cold out and because I don’t feel like slaving away all day long in front of the stove, I’ve been making this wonderful CrockPot recipe for the boys quite frequently. Oh and that “don’t feel like slaving away” part is a total lie. I’d love to be in the kitchen all day, I just wanted to sound normal and these days, I don’t have the time to slave over anything but my classes.

Anyway, Here’s another passed from one mother to another recipe that has been quite the hit around here. It’s easy. It’s tasty. It’s warm. It only has 5 ingredients. Yup, definitely a keeper.

What you’ll need:

2 lbs. sirloin tips
1 package beefy onion soup mix
1 cup Ginger Ale or 7-Up
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small can mushrooms (or a package of fresh sliced mushrooms)
(and egg noodles to serve it with)

How you make it:
Throw all ingredients in your CrockPot, mix together and cook on low for 8 hours.

How you serve it:
On top of egg noodles

What you get:
Yummy food. A good smelling house. Happy people.

Enjoy!