Need for freeze dried produce

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I should be working on the thesis. I should always be working on the thesis.

But how can I possibly devote hours to thesis writing when THE WORLD IS COMING TO AN END????

1) I woke up this morning to a big bonkin’ NO SERVICE alert on my iPhone. What??? WHATTTT??? My first assumption was that my nanny baby lifestyle had somehow killed another phone. I checked the phone for inserted crackers. I sniffed the phone, checking for playdough that could’ve somehow gotten inside the phone, leaving no external evidence. I analyzed the texture of the phone, checking for any curious stickiness. We were painting with jello this week.

But no sign of nanny (or otherwise) injury to phone. Then I went online and found this

It seems fishy. At&t doesn’t just lose service in 3 states. Doesn’t just shut off.

Then Chris met me for lunch. And yes, he met me at the coffee shop inside of the grocery store where I am writing. Yes, I do my writing inside of a grocery store. Why? Because the world is more clear when I am near 8 varieties of lettuce.

Anyways….when he met me for lunch, he gave me a news update that it seems I had missed. An update that leads me to the second reason why the world as we know it is coming to an end


I don’t care if the AOL expert is denying that there are little (or actually very large) beady creatures flying above china. THAT STATEMENT is as fake as the corn industry’s claim that high fructose corn syrup is fine in small doses. I’m not buyin’ it. In other words, BULL-KA-KA.

Because I really do need to get back to work, especially if it is crunch time due to the fact that the world is clearly coming to an end, my third example will be brief.

I am still haunted by


It is only in a world that is about to go ka-put where a man decked out like this could casually order a latte. Our CODE RED alerts are down.  I am sure that this man, his large (inappropriate inside of a coffee shop) knife, his boots, especially his hat (which, I am sure, is carting several more weapons) is working with the China UFOs to shut down our communication one phone service at a time. Then he is going to hand his blade to the China UFOs , and they will turn it into a human race destroying light beam.

Don’t say I didn’t warn ya.

Work out for the end of the world: Because you can’t workout when the world ends. And if the world doesn’t end, you’re going to want to live in it looking good.

3 sets of 15 jumping lunges.

4 sets of 50 sit-ups

3 minutes of mountain climbers

5 minutes on plank

45 minutes running at 7.2 on the treadmill.

Solution for the marriage crisis.


I’m not supposed to be blogging today. Today is dedicated to chapter writing and thesis development. But I have to tell you, really it is my responsibility to share, what Carmen just said to her cat:

Scene: Carmen and Amy are working/life organizing/girlishly chatting/trying on new dresses in the upstairs loft of Kiki’s house. Rosco, the cat, climbs up onto Carmen’s lap and loudly meows. Carmen organically replies ” Oh, I love you. When you talk to me, it makes me happy.

Now, I don’t like cats. Not in the slightest. I am a bona fide dog person. But I do believe that Carmen and Rosco should share this moment with married couples everywhere. What would happen if wives said to husbands….or vise versa…”Oh, I love you. When you talk to me, it makes me happy.” What would happen?

In her life Carmen has accomplished many things; I think she can now add solving the marriage crisis to her list.

Let’s all say it together now:

Oh, I love you. When you talk to me, it makes me happy.

And repeat.


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Help us pick a name by voting…

And thank you,  Erica @, (and Erica, you’ve got to show me how to just make it your name because i am a technically un-evolved fool) for inspiring blog polls!

Now, isn’t this guy just begging to go for a run. A short run for his short little legs, but a run at that. And…good news, my mom and sister would love to have those little beady eyes provide run/trot/walk inspiration. Right guys?

So here is my dramatic statement. A puppy is good for your cardiovascular system.  Adding exercise, as a new puppy requires a new puppy owner to get out there and do some moving, will improve your cardiovascular system up to 75% in one month. 75%!!!!! That improvement is equal to the discount we scored in buying this puppy….(Don’t worry that you were over 75% of, ole buddy ole pal, we Rishers…we’ll take anybody!)

Okay….confession. Remember in my last post when I suggested that one should consult an owner’s manual before taking anything I say with %100 accuracy…? This applies to my dramatic statement about the 75% improvement to your cardiovascular system.. Really, I have no idea. Actually, I’m going to go look it up now. I do know that it is a lot. TONS. In fact, last time I was at the doctor the nurse, while she was still holding the stethoscope to my chest, commented that she could tell that I am a runner…awkward. Anyways, walking/running with a puppy will improve you cardiovascular system and, for the time being, let’s just say a lot. And a lot = 75%, right?

So, getting a puppy = get moving. And get moving = happy heart.

dreaming of the run

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The other night I was restless when I should have been exhausted. When I should have found slumber joy in the way my cheek indented the pillow, the way my toes curled in clean sheets, I twitched. My shoulders wouldn’t settle, they were rocking back in forth as if to keep me unstill. My ankles rolled in their joint bed and my legs became addicted to the feeling of swiping back and forth over the slick sheets. And then I realized: this is the same as a dog who is dreaming of running. Minus the whimper and the pursuit of the squirrel/chipmunk/cat, of course. My body wouldn’t still because it needed to run. It was feigning the movements, in awkward twitch-like fashion, but activating my running parts just the same.

It had only been two days since my last run, I thought.

TWO FULL DAYS, my body answered, mockingly elongating the sound of the word FULL.

Yes both my mental and physical selves turned on me, scolding me for not giving what is wanted: running every day.

So the next day, yesterday, I didn’t make any excuses. Didn’t pull the I worked 12 hours with a 2-year-old and even did some lunges while she ate her snack so that is a work out enough and I don’t need to run today.

No excuses, only this:My friend, the treadmill. I use the term friend loosely. It is a friend of many components.

See that string, that string that is hanging from the front of the treadmill…if the image was labeled, the string would be called FIGURE 1A. 1A t is used to shut off the treadmill, should there be an emergency. I don’t use that string. I don’t even like that string. It accidentally disconnects if I bump it, or step too hard and shake the treadmill, or when I’m reaching, well flailing, for my water and end up tangled in the string. And when it disconnects, everything shuts down. Not only does the treadmill stop moving, but worse, bye-bye running stats: how far I’ve run, how long, how many calories have been depleted. All turned off with the stopping of the treadmill. All systems gone.

Sometimes…and usually after mile 4 or so, I begin to think that maybe figure 1A has it out for me. That maybe, when the entire thing shuts down unexpectedly, that it isn’t my fault. That the string has a mind of it’s own and it disconnects itself just to farkle with me.  Mind you, this is after 4 miles of running in the same place, staring at the same wall and befriending the only other moving thing in the room, the treadmill.

Figure 1A is not the only active part of the treadmill.

The previous image does no justice to the face of the treadmill. Yes, the girl whose body and mind take over, commanding her to run, mocking the running movements if bedtime comes before the run is completed, just took it a step further. The personified treadmill. It has a face. IT DOES!

Notice the two fans, or eyes, that dare you to look deep into them as you run. They stare in a way that conveys a challenge: Amy, are you pushing yourself? Couldn’t you be running this fast, ANNNDD be on some kind of incline.

And the screen. It is like a hospital style heart rate monitor, rising and falling to demonstrate hard working, or failing. But I like to think of it as more of a robot. The screen being the part that lights up to signify emotion. Slow blink, the robot is sad. Blink Blink Blink, it is happy. The screen doesn’t lie. The stats read – SPEED: 7.2 TIME: 36.20 DISTANCE: 4.75 miles. And that is exactly correct.

Those stats are the communication of the treadmill. the truth speaking, excuses nixing, this is exactly what you are doing, summary of the run. It can be encouraging, especially when the treadmill comes with an extra feature.  On the screen of some treadmills there is a representation of a running track.  The track is formed by a line of little dots. The distance that has been run is demonstrated (depending on the model) by either one of the little dots blinking, or the line of dots completing a full circle. Ex. Image below.

If I look at the track I can tell, by the blinking light, how far I’ve run, should this be an actual running track. This is the cheerleading squad of the treadmill, the cheerleading squad whose members, in their spare time, volunteer for positive encouragement support groups.  It lets me know that I am almost there, have almost finished another time around the track (0.25) miles.  I can see this and I can see my stats, that I have been running for 36.20 minutes, and I can keep going, even if I want to stop. I can get there, and I can complete the lap faster, maybe even before the stats say 37.20, if I press the arrow next to SPEED: up a few times.  If I get it to say 8.0, then i feel like I’m flying. The screen represents my flying because that little blinking dot travels so fast around the track it looks to be sweating.

The body of the treadmill is basically standard. There are bars on each side of the treadmill, giving the runner his or her own special treadmill space. It also might keep the runner from leaning too far to the left or right, or even from falling over.  And, of course, there is the part of the treadmill that you run on.  Depending on the price, the quality and smoothness of this differs. I am a treadmill snob. I can pick out a cheap treadmill and I’m not above saying that a lower quality treadmill might give me blisters. I’ll say this, but I admit…I am a rare breed.

Speaking of falling over (and let’s bring up the image again for reference) there is another part of the treadmill that might seem to be an aide in staying in the upward running position.

Those two bars, the black and silver ones that look like bicycle handlebars, appear to be placed there for the runner to hold on to while he or she goes. This is completely untrue. They are heart rate monitors. You  BRIEFLY hold your palm to the silver part and then it calculates your heart rate and displays your heart rate stats on the screen. Should you choose to do this, find your heart rate and let it go! Holding onto the bars as support is cheating. You don’t hold on to the side of buildings, when you walk, do you?  Let the handles go. Run with your own might, do not borrow the steadiness of the machine.

I really get worked up about the holding on thing.  In fact, when I am “helping” people on their first few treadmill uses. I lie a little bit. Before I start them on their run, I give a stern warning about the handles and why they should not hold on to them.  I call the handles the punishers, explaining that they are there to shock the runner into running in proper form. And i really mean shock. I tell runners that if you try to grab onto the handle, it will send an electric shock through your palms, all the way up your arms.  It won’t hurt you, I explain. It is similar to one of those invisible dog fences that shock the dog if it goes out of the yard.  It doesn’t hurt too bad, it just ensures you’ll never, ever, do it again. Thus, keeping you upright on the treadmill, always.  Yeah, after training with me, you might want to consult your owner’s manual.

Yesterday’s run = five treadmill miles. In my book, that’s okay. Later that night, I probably undid most of the good from my run when I came home and drank 3 beers while watching Kate plus 8 and Losing It With Jillian, showing that there is room for improvement, even from the girl who communicates with her treadmill.  Either way, I didn’t twitch last night and I immediately fell solidly asleep. Was it the satisfaction from the good run? Or was it from the beer, completely logging me out?  Or is it that I require a balanced combination of both? It is up for debate.

Bringin’ Back the Recipes

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Recipe for being content with who you are

1 very full, very happy belly

3 or more people who are dear to you

2 or more tablespoons of boyfriend’s ice cream

1 or more glasses of wine, even when you really shouldn’t

277 solid messages sent to the brain saying, “your jillian DVD and the 20 min jogging stroller walk (gulp, yes walk) is enough. It is enough.”

1 heaping promise that a 6 mile run will happen in the morning. But, if it does not…

1 reminder that you work hard. And though it is done to keep yourself in check, to stay fit and small, it also permits certain things. It permits embracing, being thankful for, being welcoming of the instances of more that are in your life. That more can also apply to you and it is allowed to taste and feel good. That more can add up to things other than pounds and inches. That sometimes good numbers on the special calorie intake/expenditure program thing aren’t the be all and end all. That those are just numbers and are very boring ones at that. How many times must you see 3 egg whites, 51 calories?

Because tomorrow the 51 calories of egg whites, the strict work out schedule, the many promises to Jillian and to the love/hate relationship you have with her ridiculous 30 day shred, the funny and far fetched rules about things like excess starch intake, limits of cheese consumption, any oil and butter, and any milk other than nonfat… will all be there tomorrow. They will be there and they will be in place because there is no changing this about yourself.

But here is what you can do tonight:

Take one heaping serving of tonight’s superb dining and the many sides of sumptuously delightful company and conversation.  Take it with a full heart.

Introducing the sweetest, most fantastic addition to N. 26th st.

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Tomatoes! Two almost red, beautiful, most perfect, blessed, barely ripe tomatoes. IN MY GARDEN!

You see, last year we tried and we failed. We had a still born garden. We had evil white cut worms and a few other problems that were taken care of this year.

The other problem:

Benny and Sasha like to do this “you can’t catch me because i’m going to run 80 mph circles around the yard” game. Yeah, big X through that one this year, Ben. Ben, by the way, is benny’s nickname when he is acting emo. Like when he gets a stern kitchen-talkin’-to about how we will not be running through the garden. How the garden is a little ball of perfect beauty and his scruff pup paws better stay the hell out of it.

I hope he learned his lesson. He better have because I have some chain link left over from Ben’s fence jumping days and I’m not afraid to bring it out again. Hear that ben, the chain. No, I do not whip my dog. The worse punishment is being chained to the porch, watching Sasha run and dig and not jump over the fence while he can only circle and poop in a restricted area. Ben, this will happen again, should you trample my PERFECT BABY TOMATOES!

And we have peppers too! And the pepper plants are growing little budding peppers that I will not put in Loretta’s food because it will make her mouth turn to fire. But I will put the peppers in my mouth because my mouth is naturally made of 71% fire. So, all good.

Now, again, a problem:


My prize worthy, farmer’s market bought, spicy as your mother in a mini skirt peppers have been attacked by some sort of villain. Villain, I will find you. No matter if you are worm, bird, bee, beetle, slug, grub, godzilla, I will find where you live and I will pour kerosene on your babies. I will light fire to your nest/hub/burrow. I will pluck you from the ground and i will remove leg, antenna, leaf munching tooth, fire-breathing throat part, and each tentacle…one by one.

Okay. Some (bugs and ben) might agree that I am a little prone to violence and extreme measure (though note: i said i do not whip, just chain up, my dog) when it comes to protecting my garden. And if anyone has any other suggestions about how to eliminate fire-breathing, leaf munching fools from the garden, let’s talk.

This raised bed (because my carolina sand soil is not condusive with ideal vegetable growing. Note: last year.) garden is a 6 month anniversary gift from the Chris Cotton. ❤ And the tomatoes and basil…


are gifts from the lovely Cotton family. The Cotton family are garden extraordinaires. The Cotton family comes equipped with things like a banana tree and a garden of potatoes, clementines, wild growing strawberries and roses, and all the spices one could muster.  The Cotton family also comes with gifts of manicure and pedicures. Note: manicure above (thanks Deb!) The Cotton family is a God-send.

Anyways, Chris and I put together the garden this weekend (note: only two months after the initial 6 month anniversary gift was given, but who’s counting?) and we should all applaud him for being boyfriend of the lifetime. (gushy mushy, i know…but after the godzilla leaf eater rant, i need some love gush….as my life is a balance of bursts of fiery passion-ignited fury and gentle gardening love. Note: pictures below = example of amy nonsense fury (fake fist swinging, set attitudy-judy pout lip,) as seen this weekend)

note: gushy garden love

thank you Chris Cotton. So long as garden survives, you will get lots of tasty meals prepared for you by garden chef of the year. We make a good team, Chris Cotton. How are your slug slaying skills coming along?

If you plan to go to the beach, why not take the dog and the baby?

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Sometimes taking your dog and your 2 year old nanny baby for a morning at carolina beach is a good idea. Then sometimes it is the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend. Sometimes this is problematic.  Here is a how to guide (and you know me, complete with appropriate recipes and exercise) to surviving the trip.

What you will need:

one scruff pup:  preferably freshly groomed. Keep this in mind later when the dog desanding process is initiated.

One great, tough cookie 2 year old.

Note: some two year olds come complete with accessories, some do not. this two year old is accessory thriving…you must take all accessories to the beach, demands two year old. This two year old knows where to find her sunglasses and hat, knows that the leopard print mismatches the princess print in the most perfect manner. knows that the watering can from the garden would make the best sand shower tool.

Now begin the journey to the beach…only the equipped two year old needs to sit down for a rest (and a photo op) before leaving the house.

ky 2

QUICK. And before everything falls apart, scoop up two year old. Pick up dropped hat and watering can and book it to the car. Now, if you’re good. and I mean really good. You will have already loaded the sand toy beach bag and the princess stroller into the car. this was to be done while the two year old’s sunscreen was drying, while she was glued to curious george. that was your chance to load the car. Did you take it?

You buckle her in. You don’t know this yet but you forgot the important bag. The one with the dry diaper and the clean sundress and nonsandy towel that you keep in the car while you are at the beach. this comes to mind later, unfortunately the thought is lost for now.

Pick up benny. That is easy.

Drive to carolina beach. This is not easy. It is 6 miles away and suddenly you realize how close to a holiday weekend it is. Why don’t these thoughts come before you leave the house? There is a line of tourists in station wagons and decked out mini vans that span for a mile behind the bridge, the only bridge into carolina beach. Realize: you are officially not a tourist. This is your second summer living here and this gives you certain rights…..Curse the tourists. Remember there is a two year old in the car—or have benny remind you of this when someone cuts you off and you scream asshole and benny gives you those puppy eyes that say “watch it.” Swear at the tourists again, this time call them silly-ninny-muggins. The two year old won’t notice. She is counting the cars in line. 2…9…10…GO. And she is naming the colors…all yellow, her favorite.

You arrive at the beach but there are many choices. The part of the beach that allows dogs can only be accessed by driving and parking on the beach. You will consider this. Can the little CRV make it? Ask the nice man who is collecting the $20 dollar bills it takes to be granted driving access onto the beach. You have to flirt, a little bit. He is old and has good advice. He tells you that you’d probably make it but it would be at least $125 tow you out if he is wrong. That is a dangerous number for your depleted bank account. But worse, it has taken over an hour just to get to the beach and it is too dangerously close to nap time for any risks of wheels stuck and tow trucks.

Realize: you have fully become a person who makes decisions based around how close nap time falls.

So you park and walk. You will load the beach bag over your shoulder and hold the leash with one hand and push the princess stroller with the other hand. And you decide that you will walk down the driving access because, darn it, you will make it to the beach in the near future, even if you have to drag kid and dog and supplies behind you.  You smile at the nice old man, thankful that he might not think you are such a mess because you did flirt with him after all. And you push the stroller forward while benny pulls left toward the high ocean weeds so he can pee. You push the stroller with it tilted back because rock and sand gets caught in the wheels. You get a rash on your bare shoulder where the sandy bag strap rubs into your skin. You realize you have to pee too, but that has to wait.  Think of how many calories you are burning and keep truckin’ onward.

Now, the stroller can only make it so far. Eventually the sand that the cars have packed up loosens to regular sand, sand that isn’t able to hold a princess stroller. You push and push but really you just dig the wheels down into the sand. Unstrap that toddler, let her free to run down to the beach while you add the stroller to the carrying things. But then the two year old no longer wants to walk, of course.

Now, this is important. You can’t carry all 4 things. 1) large beach bag 2) pulling dog 3) stroller 4) two year old. Not all by yourself. One thing has to go. Since the beach bag is necessary for entertaining the two year old, you ditch the stroller. Into the weeds. And as you walk towards the ocean, the two year old (who is too fond of her belongings) cries out for the discarded stroller, and you tell her “if it is there when we get back, great. If not, it is what it is.”

Find a soft spot in the sand, toss any sharp looking shells fall from where you sit. And relax. You have a little more than an hour before two year old wears out, before you truck it back to the car. For now, dog reluctantly follows you and two year old into the shallow part of the water, where the waves fizzle.

You dig approxamatly 24 sandcastles

You pull up saggy bottoms at least 14 times

You delight in the two year old’s giggling, her cheeks red from smiling in the sun, in the dog’s long content sighs from the beach blanket, and the fact that this is all good, and that you might even get some sun.

Then it is time to go home. The princess stroller is still there, slanted sideways in the weeds, and the two year old is used to the sand on her feet by now and doesn’t mind walking where the stroller can’t stroll. When you find the road, you put the two year old into the stroller and walk by old man gate keeper, raise your fists triumphantly and say “we did it! we made it!”

Then you get to the car. Remember the important bag? The one that had the stuff needed for after you rinse the two year old under the outdoor shower? Yeah, it isn’t there. What you do have is a no longer sandy, but soaking wet and naked 2 year old with no towel, diaper, or change of clothes. It is okay. You always miss something. accept. accept. accept. Then take the emergency diaper out of the glove compartment and call it a gift. Roll the windows down so the dog and child will dry during drive home.

And, for good measure and just because it is easier, there is no need to change the two year old out of her post-beach look. She can eat lunch like a real carolina girl with a real resourceful carolina nanny.

ky 3Recipe for post beach lunch? An easy fare of baby carrots, apple, banana, bread and (of course) cheese please cheese.

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