No matter where you go, there you are.

personallyIt’s been a heck of a year or so, and Little Red Riding Hood is now safe and sound in her new digs.  I am starting to breathe a little deeper, despite the periodic pangs of guilt that I work to suppress each time I drive away.

So when an opportunity to tag along with MacGyver on a work trip to Spain came along – during a favorite week of mine and for mere pennies at that – I took it as a sign.  A sign that it was time to shake off the worries of the last few years like a wet dog after a year-long bath.  And figure out how to jump on that plane.

As such, LifeonWry is Madrid-bound, as of this Saturday. I’m hoping to write while there and I’ll try to post on my blog.  I may even try to figure out how to pre-program some posts to appear while I am gone (no promises there).  So please standby if my little ol’ blog experiences any technical difficulties or extended pauses.spain

I am grateful to have such a wonderful travel opportunity present itself and to be able to take advantage of it.  Also grateful that my parents are willing to shake up their life for a week and watch our boys for most of the time while we are gone, while my dear friend, who is like a sister to me,  will stay for a few nights as well.  My friend’s mother, who is an extra mother to me (I’ve been blessed to have a few), will help out with my friend’s son while she is gone so that she can come to Colorado for a few days.

Having people like these in my life is yet another example of why my life is rich beyond measure.  All involved were on a mission to make it possible for me to go on this trip with MacGyver. And they jumped at the opportunity to spend quality time with my boys who are growing up so very quickly.post office

Traveling and experiencing new and different places is quite possibly as important as education.  I’m convinced that travel..and living in places different from what we are accustomed  to… broadens our minds by knocking down the boundaries set in place by our own experiences.

Too often our minds get boxed in by the familiar and only a change of scenery or culture can wedge them loose.  Perhaps that’s why my Grandmother called me her Gypsy granddaughter, God rest her leopard-shoed soul.

I am grateful that my parents taught me to appreciate travel and other cultures when I was young, and that I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to teach it to our sons.

There are so many quotes about travel that I love.  Twain’s view on travel is perfectly stated.  As is this one by Ralph Crawshaw:

“Travel has a way of stretching the mind. The stretch comes not from travel’s immediate rewards, the inevitable myriad new sights, smells and sounds, but with experiencing firsthand how others do differently what we believed to be the right and only way.” -Ralph Crawshaw

I will have a few days on my own in Madrid to get good and lost (for I am She-ra, Queen of the Compass-Challenged).  So I know that I’ll have some interesting stories to tell.  So stay tuned, my friends.  Stay tuned.

What are your thoughts on seeing new places?  What does travel mean to you?

Headline quoted from The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.

 

Sunset Reset.

sunsetFrom within or from behind, a light shines through us upon things, and makes us aware that we are nothing,  but the light is all.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

I took this photo last night from my friend’s back patio.  Just looking at it again – even as a photo – makes me breathe easier.

Just as the setting of the sun helps birds all over the world to find their way, that same sunset can clear the way for what the new day holds for each of us.

When was the last time you watched the sunset?

Driving through a postcard everyday. Caution: Cheese ahead.

4run front copycheese signAs cheesy as it sounds, and maybe it’s because I’m not a Colorado native, I must say that I appreciate this state’s absolute beauty and splendor every single day.

This state has placed nature squarely in front of my face, giving my soul a little jump start each time I stop to notice.

Here are a few shots over the last few weeks from my life as I drive through postcards.

And I don’t even live on the side of the town with the views…

 

morning1

Across from school drop-off yesterday.

Deer grazing in park on way to Mom’s house yesterday.

View as I cross over the dam to go to Mom's.

View as I cross over the dam to go to Mom’s.

On the long way home afteer school as sun is coming up. (previous post about Long Way Home: https://lifeonwry.com/2012/09/19/the-long-way-home-gratitude-experiment-day-35/)

On the long way home after school drop-off yesterday. (previous post about Long Way Home: https://lifeonwry.com/2012/09/19/the-long-way-home-gratitude-experiment-day-35/) I love the long way home.

On way to school a week or so ago.

On way to school a week or so ago.

In the mountains last week.

In the mountains last week.

One-year old babies at the ranch last week.

One-year old babies at the ranch last week.

View from my bathroom last week.  For real.

View from toilet last week in mountains. For real.

Out of car window last week.

Out of car window last week.

My co-pilot.

My photography co-pilot on a bad hair day.

Postcards can be found wherever we live, if we keep our eyes open. Ever stop and notice?

What I learned from Babe.

Babe

I knew I was beyond “rusty” with my horsemanship skills. I had a horse when I was young for a few years, but I had only taken a few lessons here and there over the last few years. Horses had remained a staple in my dreams but not realistic for my life.

So I knew when I signed up for an intensive horsemanship clinic in the mountains led by a well-known trainer / “horse whisperer” that I would be learning a lot.

But I had no idea what I would learn about myself in the process.

Babe was my horse for the week, as she was when I came to this same ranch a few weeks ago. I remembered that she was hard-headed and we struggled a bit, and that I had much to learn with her.

As the trainer introduced the horses who the twelve of us students would be riding for the week, he mentioned that Babe was one of the most sensitive horses in the arena. A great horse, but very sensitive. I took a nervous gulp. I wondered why the trainers wouldn’t think a more easy-going gelding instead of a quirky and sometimes hormonal mare wouldn’t be a better fit for someone like me?  But I soon realized there was a reason Babe and I were together again.

All of the other eleven riders had more experience than me. Many of them had their own horses and were simply here to fine-tune their skills. I was intimidated from the start as I tried to rein in my self-doubt which began to run wild at the start of each new exercise.

But in the end, as I released Babe from her halter that last day and the snow was falling all around us and she nuzzled her head into my chest, I realized that I had learned much more than horsemanship that week. And that Babe and I had truly bonded and learned from each other. I smiled as I gave her a kiss on the cheek and remembered that I too have been called hard-headed and sensitive on more than one occasion.  It had all been part of the plan.

What I learned from Babe choice

– Sometimes it takes a while to connect.  Babe seemed irritated as we groomed our horses that first morning and would hardly engage or acknowledge me while all of the other horses seemed to be loving the attention. (We’re not all hard-wired the same and some things take time.)

– If you’re having trouble, it’s a good idea to look inside yourself before you blame anyone else. (It’s hardly ever the horse’s fault.)

– Positive energy is key to everything. (I knew this stuff, why had I forgotten that like attracts like, negative thoughts attract the same, positive attracts positive?)

– Horses are smarter than people, and way more perceptive. (It’s always beneficial to leave your ego at the barn door and be truly open to learning.)

– Overanalysis can lead to paralysis. (The brain simply can’t be open to learning new things when it’s bogged down and you’re not breathing and giving it fuel.)

– Everything is relative. (Comparing yourself to anyone is never a good idea.)

– Expectations have got to make sense. (Appreciate a little bit of  improvement so you can be thrilled when you experience more.)

– Know the direction you’re wanting to go and make it happen, even if you’re told otherwise. (As a quote I saw recently says: You have the power at any given moment to say “This is not how the story is going to end.”)  Babe just wanted to make sure I was serious first.

– Visualizing success before you begin calms your soul and primes the pump. (Wow does this ever apply to everything.)

– When you’re leading anyone, they must know you are in charge to feel secure. (They need your guidance and confidence. And it can be given with love and appreciation at the same time.  Balance is a beautiful thing.)

– Never end a day on a negative. Figure out a way to make sure of this with kids, spouses, employees, friends, and yes, animals. (The way we end a day has a lot to do with the way we start the next.)

– Relax.  (When you’re tense others can sense it …  and it affects everything.)

– When things come easily we don’t appreciate them near as much. (The strongest love is born from struggle and sweat.)  Ain’t that the truth.

– Sometimes we’re presented with just the exact challenge that the universe knows we need. (You just have to be open to seeing it.)

Have you ever learned about yourself in a most unexpected place?

E=mc2 Or better yet, a theory on miracles.

car view steamboat

There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle.

The other is as though everything is a miracle.

–Albert Einstein

What miracles have you noticed — or forgotten to notice — around you lately?  I took this photo from my car window on the way home from Steamboat. The whitest mountains follow the Continental Divide, which separates the water that drains into the Pacific and the waters that drain into the Atlantic oceans.  Call me a nerd (which I’m okay with), but that’s just cool.  Never-mind the fact that I can snap a photo that cool with my phone which is not much bigger than a deck of cards.Divide sign

Random fact: Albert didn’t like to wear socks.  This went with his overall disheveled look and uncombed hair. He thought socks were a hassle since shoes already seemed to serve the same purpose. Whether at the White House or out sailing, he went sockless.

  Now go find some miracles…

Facial Fuzz Friday

See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

My friend who I have known since grade school called me in horror yesterday, laughing and shrieking at the same time as I picked up the phone.

She had just been to her regular aesthetician for a quick eye brow shaping when the woman explained to her that it was time for a chin wax.  She was horrified.

After our call, I opened the community paper to a lengthy article by a regular humor columnist about midlife facial hair and her disastrous experiences with facial microplaning after her daughter told her that her face was furry like their puppy.

And then there’s Little Red Riding Hood’s  “fu manchu”  beard, as  I call it.  Mom’s Alzheimer’s is in full-on fast forward motion (so much so that it’s been hard for me to even think about writing about it lately) and I can hardly bear the frightened look she gives me when I come at her with the scissors to trim her little grouping of silver chin hair.  She would be mortified if she realized, but I’m not sure terrified is much better at this point.  Trust me, I question this judgement call for reasons I’ll explain later.

At my request, MacGyver installed a lovely 5000- power lighted magnification (I’m exaggerating a bit) cosmetic mirror in my bathroom.  And I’m telling you, if I catch my reflection too early in the morning at that strength, I’m convinced Sasquatch is in my bathroom.  I’m tempted to rip that puppy back off the wall, but it might hurt MacGyver’s feelings.

This midlife physical change thing baffles me.  And to be coincidentally timed right as we lose our near vision … so that we can’t even notice our facial fuzz and fur?  Now that’s just cruel.

I’ll add this post to my vanity diaries. I know I’m lucky to even have hair and to be alive to notice.

But I’m even luckier to have close friends who have sworn to me in blood that if I end up not realizing that I have fu manchu facial hair at some point one day, they will chase me down with tweezers in hand, no matter what.

Twilight zone turned school zone.

irony

As I say often, “You learn something new everyday…” (And as many who know me hear me say even more often, “Every day’s a damn school day.”)

I now better understand the impact that certain infections can have on the elderly and on those with dementia.  They can actually cause delirium.

And I now know that 30% to 40% of elderly patients with serious infection don’t exhibit the usual signs of fever due the inability of the immune system to mount a response to infection due to the effects of aging (or in Little Red Riding Hood’s case – Alzheimer’s).  (I felt like Velma in a Scooby Doo mystery trying to figure out what was causing her further and furious decline.)  If you already have Alzheimer’s, infections can put you into a mental tailspin.  This was our week.

Fortunately, after copious amounts of heavy duty antibiotics and eye rolling, Mom was actually able to come back home this afternoon.  She smiled at me more today and said many more words to me today than she has in the last few weeks.  I even got some bona-fide Mom to daughter smiles which tickled me with delight.

We still will assess where we are with her doctor, but it appears that we have bought a little time for her, avoided the cuckoo’s nest/twilight zone for a bit longer and become better educated in the process.

I also had the privilege of doing a Yoga class today (hallelujah) geared toward technique and theory, which was fabulous.  I also got to wear my awesome new yoga pants. And I got to take a lot of deep breaths, which were welcomed.yoga pants

Oh, and MacGyver discovered a new Chardonnay for me named Irony which seems quite fitting. And it is quite good.  MacGyver makes a damn fine Sommelier.  Which makes me a damn lucky sidekick.

Overall it was a day of education and progress which is ALWAYS a good thing.

Thanks so much for your support on this journey!

What’s the most ironic wine you’ve ever enjoyed?

Flying over the nest.

cuckoo

“I mean—hell, I been surprised how sane you guys all are. As near as I can tell you’re not any crazier than the average asshole on the street…”  

(from Nicholson’s character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest)

I think the universe intended for me to go to that intense yoga class that resulted in a huge release early in the week to prepare me for what was coming.  I honestly do.

Little Red Riding Hood (my Mom with Alzheimer’s) had to go to the hospital yesterday via ambulance because we couldn’t get her to walk or get up and because she doesn’t really communicate, we couldn’t figure out what was wrong.

She is still in the hospital and depending on how she recovers (apparently certain infections can make dementia worse.  Who knew?), she may or may not be able to go home since she seems to have advanced to the next stage.  Either way, the next shoe is starting to drop and I have been in full gear researching facilities and options. (These are times when I miss my sister the most.)

Hospital visits were beyond bizarre for various reasons, but mainly because 1) hospitals in Denver were full due to the flu and we were diverted to a less full hospital which was still quite full and 2) she is in a room where they put 4 people who need 24/7 “sitters” (for people who don’t understand what is going on and might try to get up and then fall).

It was like I was in a strange movie that was so awful it was almost funny.  I kept waiting to hear Jack Nicholson’s voice.

Here are some highlights:

-One of Mom’s roommates had his own sitter right by his bed at all times which made me uneasy.  He was listening to Jimmy Hendrix music and blurting out aggressive sounding phrases.  I swear to you I thought he was going to pull out a shank from under his mattress.   And he sort of had the Jack Nicholson look going on.

-Another roommate kept asking for a beer and pointing to what he thought was a beer Stein hanging up on the wall (it was actually a piece of medical equipment that did look like a Stein) and wanted us all to see it. He was the cutest and sweetest little man I’ve ever seen.  I wanted to go buy him a six pack and make his day.

-Two of the Certified Nurse Assistants (the sitters) were absolutely darling.  They have hearts of gold and I wanted to adopt them. One named Flora from the Philippines told me all about her family’s plantation in the Philippines where they grow rice.  She said if someone made $750 a month in the Philippines they would be so rich they could have five maids.

-Another of the sitters I’m guessing was from South America and was determined to find something that my Mother would eat.  We finally landed on chocolate cake and Pepsi once I got there today and shared my mother’s strange eating preferences. Worked like a charm.  Some things are never forgotten.  She also told me I have my mother’s nose and she bet my Mom was quite pretty when she was younger.  She was right.  I told her she was a beauty queen in high school.

-The unfriendly nurse (who was clearly put-out with any question I asked) was seriously channeling Nurse Ratched.

-Another one of Little Red Riding Hood’s roommates kept asking for cottage cheese over and over and seemed sad. He had a huge scar across his head.  I wanted to give him a hug but he was on the side of the room by the guy I was worried had a shank under the mattress.  This roommate’s mother came and visited him and my heart ached for her.

-There were four TVs going at the same time, plus the Jimmy Hendrix music, plus the beer and cottage cheese requests and medical chatter.  Enough uncoordinated noise to make an undiagnosed ADD person with sensitive hearing lose it. but I didn’t.

-Little Red Riding Hood has not lost her ability to sarcastically roll her eyes and did so every time a room mate blurted something out. This cracked me up.  Apparently she thought the rest of the group was crazy, not her.  Again, some things never change.

-She petted and squeezed the cute little beanie baby dog nonstop from the second I brought it in from the gift shop.  This made me happy because it made her happy.dog

-I’m damn sure figuring out a way to go to yoga tomorrow.

Thanks as always for reading…  Hug or call whatever family you have this weekend and tell them you love or appreciate them — even if they drive  you nuts.

How To Write a Thank-You Note – too funny.

WordPress-Donations-thank-you-note-in-every-language-flickr-creative-commons-440x300

This is a favorite blogger of mine, I miss you when I blink, who cracks me up.

Had to share this class how-to on thank you notes… Guaranteed to make you laugh.

Enjoy:

How To Write a Thank-You Note.]

Have you written your thank you notes yet?  

Flipping the bird. A Different Take on New Year’s Resolutions.

shoot the bird

Are you tired of hearing about New Year’s resolutions yet?

As cliché as it sounds, I love New Year’s resolutions.  It’s quite liberating to step back and assess which of my thought patterns and habits need to be tweaked or ‘given the finger.’  Kind of like cleaning out the fridge after the holidays.

Especially right after I take down all of my Christmas decorations and re-box them in the basement.  This cleansing ritual helps me settle my thoughts and reach inward to my control panel to adjust whatever habits need some fine-tuning and determine which thinking patterns need to be given ‘the bird.’ (My son has never heard of these ‘bird’ references related to the middle finger gesture.  I know this because he was the co-director in my middle finger photo shoot. My e-book on parenting will be out soon.)

So, let’s get on with it. To which thought patterns and habits shall I flip the bird to this coming year?

In 2013, I am going to give the one finger salute to the following:

1.My inner gremlins.  (Translation:  I will throw negative self talk out the window at every possible turn.) This is particularly important as the new year begins, because this whole resolution thing can often turn into a time when we beat ourselves up about what we didn’t accomplish last year.  I’ve been a lot better about this, which I’m proud of, but I am a work in progress.  My inner gremlins still mess with me.

The trick to taming these gremlins (who like to sabotage us with negative self talk and excuses) is to become aware of them. And notice when they typically start yammering. As a great book for all ages, (Taming Your Gremlin), explains, gremlins hate to be noticed. It throws them off guard and weakens them.  This year I will recognize my gremlins and push them in the corner. (This is when I picture giving the gremlins the one finger salute as I walk away while tuning my self- talk to a more positive station.)

2. The barrage of marketing attempts raging around me at all times.  I will no  longer waste time thinking about buying things that marketers are quite good at making me think that I need. Or waste time thinking about how to redesign my perfectly functional kitchen or closets.  I will focus on what matters.  I will NOT get sucked in by direct mail catalogs, marketing emails, and ridiculous coupons (DAMN THOSE MACY’S SAVING PASS CARDS) that distract me from the more important things in life.  

For goodness sake, I have a marketing background, and I still get sucked in.  This year I will be more cognizant of how I spend my time. Maybe I will set-up an email rule to sort all of my advertising emails (many of them that I signed up for in order to receive discounts that just sucker me in) into a folder that I can open only if a need actually arises?  What a concept.

3. Small stuff that doesn’t matter.  I’m going to think less about what bothers me and instead strive to love more.   I’m going to make time to encourage others, to lift them up, to help others, and to make sure they know how much I care about them.  I will forget about the small, stupid stuff that irritates me. I won’t hold others to my standards, or expect them to behave as I would.  I will turn that little mirror inward  immediately when I start to complain or get irritated.

4. Worry. This year I will worry less and live in the moment more. I will worry less about what people think, about what kind of shape I’m in, about what I wished I had done before today, about my Mom, about whether I’m doing enough, about being far away from so much family, about my kids growing up too fast, about what could, might or will happen. I will live in the moment and do the best that I can as often as I can, and know that it’s enough.

5. The excuses that stunt my personal growth.  I will set aside routine time and plan deadlines for myself this year for writing, meditation, fine-tuning my body and taking better care of myself, learning new skills and taking time to do some things that fire-up my internal engines like painting or volunteering or riding horses.  As a result, I will grow more as a person this year.

6. Going through the motions.  Instead, I will be more awake this year.  I will ‘show-up’ for life.  I will not focus on what’s expected, but rather what feels right.  I will notice and listen and observe.  I won’t play it as safe.

I realize there will be hurdles along the way and that flipping-off all of these negative patterns 100% of the time will not be easy.  (I also realize that I shouldn’t start flipping anyone or anything off in public.) But I’m going to do my damnedest to make some changes and fully engage in this mental tune-up.

It’s going to be a fun year.  Thanks, as always, for being on this journey with me.

Any old thought patterns you’d like to ‘shoot the bird’ to this year?

Wrapping up 2012 with Eleven Random Facts.

barbie

I would like to thank my Canadian blogger friends Dennis at Weird Stuff Happens to Me and Fern at The Fur Files for nominating me for the Liebster award and the Lovely Blog award over these last few weeks. I am always truly honored to be called out by one of my fellow bloggers who entertain and educate me with their words each day.

So now, because I have received these awards, I am supposed to list seven or eleven random things about myself and nominate other bloggers for awards.

For past awards I have listed what I think are the main random things about myself (that I’m a germaphobic, martini-drinking, stubborn-as-hell Taurus who curses like a sailor and likes old cars and fart jokes as much as a third grade boy).  And if you read my blog you already know a heck of a lot about me, but here are a few more random facts you probably don’t know:liebsterlovely

1.  I like plain Folgers coffee better than Starbucks coffee — I can hear the gasps of astonishment and bewilderment now.  (Thank God there is something I don’t spend too much on).

2.  When I find something I like (as in clothes or gadgets), for some reason I think I need two or three of them, sometimes in different colors.  (Is that hoarding?)

3.  I am the all-time MASTER of procrastination. (So much so that I still haven’t read the How to Stop Procrastinating book I bought 20 years ago)

4. I have one friend who receives gifts from me each year that are either related to Jason of Friday the 13th movies or to Barbie arms (Long story on both.  Always on a quest for a better Barbie arm gadget – see pic of ring holder and earrings.)

5.  I have more half-read books than probably anyone on the planet. (Most likely another symptom of my undiagnosed ADD.)

6.  I really want to spring for an Elfa closet install/makeover through the Container Store. (I go through this every January during their big sale and I never pull the trigger.)

7.  I’m eating nacho cheese Doritos right now instead of  one of the many healthy items I have in my kitchen so that I will eat healthier. (Like apples, oranges, carrots and healthy nuts – got tons of  all of these.  Wouldn’t pretty much anything be healthier than Doritos?  Even a bite of a tire…)

8. If doomsday had come on December 21st, there is enough food in my pantry to feed the neighborhood for a few months.  (Maybe I lived during the depression in a former life?)

9. I buy FAR TOO MANY throw pillows.  (It’s ridiculous. The ones on my sectional now still have tags on them until I can decide if they are keepers.) And why are they called “throw” pillows?  Are we supposed to throw them at each other?

10. I’m obsessed with 1980s era Porsche 911s.  (Particularly one named Lola.)

11. No matter what hotel, home or condo we ever visit, I always sleep on the side of the bed that’s not by the window. (I have no idea why on this one, but I am subconsciously consistent about it.)

Here are some bloggers I would like to give some shout-outs to (If you are one of them, please pick which award you would like and list 7 or 11 random facts about yourself and nominate seven fellow bloggers.  I think I’m supposed to pick blogs with fewer than 200 followers – I apologize if I goof since it’s hard to tell sometimes. Also hard to remember who already has what award. If you’re not listed, I may have already nominated you for something or will soon!

These bloggers make me laugh so hard that my family says “WHAT MOM?” or they make me think or cry or smile on a daily basis.  So many great ones that it’s hard to narrow some down.

Here goes: Free Penny Press, Emotional Fitness Training. Keeping the Glass Half Full, Life with the top down, Lorna’s voice, Ambling & Rambling, Writing Life Stories.

So there you have it.  Have a great New Year’s Eve celebration, whatever you do and wherever you do it!  Just BE SAFE.lifeonwrybumpersticker

What’s something random about you?

2012 in review – Life on Wry.

WordPress.com  prepared a 2012 annual report for lifeonwry.com, which I began actively attending to (making  myself write for!) in August. Pretty cool little report on this little ol’ blog.  (And pretty smart marketing technique on behalf of WordPress.) Thanks for following me on this journey of gratitude, of self discovery and growth and of the wryness of life.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 7,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 13 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

A different kind of holiday greenery – a salad made by yours truly that I actually like!

salad

Don’t get me wrong, I love salads.  But usually if they have blackened salmon or juicy sliced steak on them, along with walnuts and blue cheese crumbles and the like (far from low cal).  Especially if they are made by anyone other than me. So I have to share my gratitude for actually finding a salad that is easy, low cal and healthy, and that even I enjoy!

The holidays are here and this is when I find myself surrounded by food that I love to indulge in and that can make my clothes even tighter. So, if I can switch out a few meals a week to this tasty salad that isn’t wracked with fat and calories, hot damn and hallelujah!

I found the recipe in a magazine and modified it so that even I would not be able to find too many excuses for not throwing it together quickly in a time crunch.   Therefore it had to use ingredients that were easy to find, inexpensive and keep well in the fridge for a week or so.  And it has to be quick and easy, and yummy.

Check it out:

Let’s call it –  Life on Wry Salad

Ingredients – (now I keep this all on hand)

-Spinach or Arugula (or my favorite – a mix of both that comes prewashed and ready to eat in a container at the store. Yes, I go for easy)

-A sliced up apple (I like Fiji)

-Nuts (slivered almonds, walnuts or pine nuts or whatever you like.  I go for a bag of  presliced almonds so it’s ready to go.

-Quinoa – (This is new to me.  Pronounced Keen -wa.  It looks funky but it’s good.  Look for near couscous/rice in grocery store.  I cook a small saucepan full – about a cup of it according to directions – and I keep it in a small container in the fridge ready to go – that is key for me.)

-Blueberries (the trick for me is to keep any berries in the fridge prewashed from the moment I put them in the fridge – so I have no excuses not to eat them)

-Light Balsamic Vinaigrette (you can make your own or use Paul Newman’s like I do)

Directions – 

Get your quinoa boiling per box directions (or pull out what you’ve got ready in the fridge).  Then put as much spinach or arugula in bowl as you’d like, toss on some blueberries, a sliced apple, some nuts.  Add some quinoa – 4 tablespoons or so – just eyeball it – and throw on some light balsamic vinaigrette.  Voila!

End result – 

A salad that is easy, tasty and high in all kinds of nutrients and vitamins that are good for your brain and everything else.  And that I’m grateful I discovered!

Enjoy!

What are you grateful for today?