Life of Megan

Monday, December 28, 2009

Makeshift Dinner

This morning, as I was making our coffee (which takes a while, since we use a Chemex), it occurred to me that we didn't really have any food in the house, and that planning for dinner in the evening, when it was snowy, might be a problem.

So I took a quick survey and discovered we had some dried beans. I got out our crockpot and poured in the beans. Then I chopped an onion and added it. I added two bacon ends, retrieved from our precious supply in the freezer (no Piggery until the spring market!). I added a little bacon grease and some salt. Then I turned the crockpot to low, put the coffee in thermoses, and went about my way.

Judson noticed the beans cooking this morning and offered to pick up anything I'd need for the rest of dinner. I asked him to get a vegetable and some garlic. He picked kale.

Tonight, I finished up dinner in around half an hour. I chopped some garlic and onion and a chipotle in adobo sauce. I boiled the kale until it was just tender in salted water in one pan. In another, I sweated some garlic and onion and then added rice, cooking over medium heat while stirring until the rice had turned a milky white. I then added water and salt, brought it to a boil, covered, and reduced the heat to low to finish cooking the rice.

After the kale was tender, I drained it and rinsed it in cold water to stop the cooking. Then I ran it through our salad spinner. I melted about 2 tsp of bacon grease in the pan I'd used to cook the kale, then sweated the remaining garlic and onion. I added the chipotle, and then the beans and some of their cooking liquid. When the rice was finished cooking and resting, I added the kale to the beans and added some lime juice and some epazote (not really necessary, just interesting).

I served the rice and beans with some flour tortillas we had left from early last week (they seemed fine). Good dinner, cheap, and easy!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Last Year's Resolutions

Last year, on Dec. 28, I posted a bunch of resolutions for the year. Here's a review and how I did.

Greater than 75% Probability of Success

  • Lose 5-10 more pounds and keep the weight off
    Done! My weight has fluctuated a bit since the fall began, but I have consistently kept off a total of 45-50 lb since I began my weight-loss journey, May 2008.

  • Write back to people who send me letters and things
    Sadly, I was not nearly as good with this resolution as I'd hoped. I'll be trying again this year!

  • Continue to learn and to keep a great attitude at work
    Despite adding a bunch of responsibilities to my job, I think I've been quite successful with this one.

  • Advance my running to the next level
    Victory again! I built up to nearly 45 miles per week while training for the marathon and have stayed injury free. After the marathon, I cranked it back a bit. I'm currently revving back up to 30-35 mpw. I think 45 is probably a bit much for me.

Greater than 50% Probability of Success

  • Incorporate strength training into my exercise routine
    I was successful at first but then stopped trying. Better luck next year.

  • Train for and run a fall marathon
    Yes! I ran the Wineglass Marathon in October, finishing in 4:23.

  • Dress myself more professionally
    I have my moments, but I still dress like a casual engineer.

Less than 25% Probability of Success

  • Leave my fingernails alone
    I currently have white showing on all ten nails. Does that count? I'm going to try much harder this year. I need a plan.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice Run

Today is, I believe, the first day of winter. It was also the first time in months that I went running when the windchill was under 20 F.

Actually, the windchill was about 11 F when I headed out. There was a constant wind, and, to make matters worse, it was quite gusty!

To ward off the cold, I donned my fleece-lined tights, two long-sleeved technical t-shirts (one of which had a half-turtleneck), light-weight convertible glove mittens (in mitten mode), and a hat. I covered my face, neck, and the bottoms of my ears in Vaseline.

I felt pretty comfortable, but I wish I had chosen a lighter weight t-shirt for the second shirt.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Airport Hijinks

I spent the last few days in SC with my family, celebrating my brother's graduation and having a grand old time. Today, it was time to return to the cold North. Never have I been so grateful I booked my flight with a connection through Atlanta.

At any rate, yesterday, I failed to consider what might happen as a result of the Nor'easter that shut down the mid-Mid Atlantic region. I just checked to make sure *my* plane had made it to Charlotte. I checked in online, printed my boarding passes, and checked my bag (thus saving $5). Then, at half-past hatey o'clock, my dad and I departed for CLT.

Things looked pretty bad when I arrived about 55 minutes before my flight. The baggage drop-off line, reserved for folks who have boarding passes and checked-luggage receipts, had a long line. After about five minutes, it became clear the line wasn't moving. After about 10 minutes, I figured out why: all the weather snafus had led to hundreds of people waiting in line since 5:00 am or earlier, trying to get rebooked and to make their 7:00 am flights. Most of them appeared to be missing those flights.

It took me 30 minutes to drop off my checked bag. Things were starting to look pretty dismal for catching my flight. My flight was to leave from the A concourse, but that line looked at least 40 minutes long. I walked to the B-concourse line. Also bad. C? Abysmal. I finally found myself in the D/E-concourse line. By this time, I knew I'd need to be lucky and to run to make the flight, so I started asking people in front of me what time their flight was set to depart. This, smiling, and someone who happened to be able to translate to a Russian group got me ahead of about 12 people.

Fortunately, I decided to bring only my purse for carry-on, so I sailed through security, picking up my shoes at 7:06 or so. This was a problem: my flight's departure time was ostensibly 7:15.

Still, I hadn't heard any final boarding calls, and my name hadn't been called, so I decided there was hope. I slid on my sneakers but didn't tie them. I grabbed my baggie of hand sanitizer and lotion. I threw my purse over my shoulder, and I ran.

Incidentally, even though the A-concourse line is fairly close to the D/E-concourse line on the check-in side of security, they are much farther apart on the other side. I didn't let that bother me. I just ran. I even ran down the people mover, which earned me a number of very dirty looks from various airport employees.

But it paid off. I arrived at the gate just as they were checking in the last of the stand-by passengers.

Forty-five minutes or an hour later, we actually took off. I'd be annoyed about the running (and subsequent asthma attack--I should have used my inhaler while waiting in line but didn't), but I know that they wouldn't have let me on if I had arrived much later than I did. And anyhow, I didn't hold anyone up.

We arrived in Atlanta about 20 minutes late, which meant that I got to hurry again just to make the connection to Syracuse. This time, though, I had enough breathing room to use the restroom.

In Syracuse, my luggage was second off the conveyor belt. I'd say it was a pretty good travel day for me.