And then desert.

The best of my two favorite things: A brownie-cookie recipe at epicurious.

It is recommended to freeze these cookies and make strawberry ice cream sandwiches with them. Can't wait to try.

Quickie Fajita Burritos

10 minutes start to finish.
ingredients are approximate per burrito

1/8 c instant refried/black beans (Mexicali Rose is a good, no-lard brand)
2-3 strips Tyson pre-cooked frozen fajita chicken strips
handful of shredded lettuce (you can buy it shredded, or shred it yourself)
1 tortilla (look for low fat or lard-free)
2 dollops fat free or reduced fat sour cream
Salsa/hot sauce to taste - I use a little El Yucatan Chiptole Hot (very hot but flavory) and some taco bell packets.

It helps if you have two microwaves, like I do. Rehydrate the beans with water for 2-3 minutes until desired texture while you get out and prep the rest of the ingredients. Set them aside and pop in the fajita strips for 2 minutes. (You can start the strips first and do them stove side, but it takes more than 10 minutes start to finish to prep.) Chop the strips into smaller portions and nuke for another minute or so. Heat the tortilla for 30 seconds. Then layer beans, chicken, lettuce, sour cream and salsa, roll and enjoy.

330 total calories / 80 Calories from Fat.

The chicken has so much flavor that it is not necessary to add a bunch of other things... especially the high calorie or high fat choices like cheese and guacamole would be wasted on such a simple thing. This is perfect for days that you don't feel like cooking, but want something with all the food groups and not totally unhealthy (although not exactly good for you either.)

The fajita chicken does not make financial sense as the center of a meal. However, it is ideal if you cook for only one or two and can use it sparingly as a condiment, it goes a very long way. For example, I chop one strip up and put it on my salad sometimes for variety. It helps me eat salad every day for lunch, which would be tiresome otherwise. (That and the million other little tricks I have to spice up an ordinary salad.)


I win.

I worked very hard to earn this massage. I was going to buy it if I didn't win it, but luckily no one broke my two pound lead.

i love lisa. Posted by Picasa

My second accomplishment of the week is that my house is nearly spotless in every room. (Mark - where is my certificate?)


I like to sketch little doodles. The one below I made for Brittany. Little girls like to pretend they have magic. Stephanie and Kayla were mermaids in the pool yesterday.

I don't know why we stop pretending... I am transported to wonderful, play-filled times with Cindy or Jae or Eva.

faerie brittany Posted by Picasa


Ready, Get Sweaty, Go

I taught my cycling class today. It was awesome! There was a mixup with our sub, and some of the ladies were just sitting there depressed, so I ran off and got a mix CD, popped it in, and started teaching... I think I did o.k. Everyone was really exhausted at the end, so maybe I made it too hard. One of them said I was "killing them softly" and another one asked me to go on the sub-list so that she could take me again. I guess that makes up for the lady who walked out. Hey... you can't please everyone.

Still... I had a lot of fun. I am thinking about getting certified to teach. I'm taking the class anyway. I might as well get paid for it.



I spent all the freetime I had (very little) today dreaming about our next trip to Europe. We're shooting for a longer than usual trip in 2008. I was looking at pictures, bed & breakfasts, countryscape pictures, and fantasizing.

In other news, my face looks so different. As I continually gloat about, I've lost some weight on these challenges... and the structure of my face is showing more. (So are my little baby wrinkles.) The combination is the beginnings of a disguise. People that haven't seen me in a while are actually not recognizing me and doing double takes (particularly when I put on make up - the finishing touches of my secret identity.) This may be why all three credit bureaus put a mysterious ID Theft risk watch on me and sent me a letter.


Dad's Day

Every day is my dad's day since he died. But, I have been thinking about him a lot lately since I finally got my voice to break well on command for yodeling. I've been yodeling my little heart out, and as unhip a a talent as it may be, it is so him.

I remember him easily in so many incarnations... the inventor jack-of-all-trades, the simple farmer, the honest patriarch. But the man I recently recalled was the most overt, but slow to be remembered: the singing cowboy with the charismatic stage presense of someone who loved to perform. This is what drew people to him. Someone asked me to yodel (in public) for them the other day and I couldn't do it. It carries so loud and I'm not that terrific yet... and I felt like I had betrayed myself.

should have just yodeled right there. That's sort of the lesson I remembered from my dad this week. Just yodel like you're alone in the shower whenever the urge strikes you. (i.e. be yourself and don't worry about whether or not you are tragically unhip.)

miss moroni pageant 1980. Posted by Picasa


Thoughts On Turning 30

OK. This has been the best birthday of all time.

Philosophically thinking, it caused me to take in a huge retrospective of my life and I saw it in a new and unexpected way. I really had a neat childhood. I had some amazing experiences that most kids never get. I had the right amount of challenges and got some terrific coping skills and life skills.

I also feel like I spent the last 10 years really getting comfortable in my skin, living as full and satisfying a life as possible, and pursuing my dreams. I really feel like I have been tackling things that once seemed impossible, and now, everything seems possible and nothing is out of reach.

This has been a very good life, and I am so glad to have lived this long. I hope the next thirty are as filled with unexpected adventure as the last.

I am sharing the pictures of the money I got from Eva and mom, because I think foreign T currency just looks so cool. I am not sharing pictures of me in my awesome new pajamas. (Thank me next time you see me.) They look like something modest enough to answer the door in until you put them on, then they are pretty scandalous. Let's just say, I won't be answering the door.

If I died tomorrow, I could say, "I had a really great life." It's pretty striking to realize that. It isn't often that I take such a sweeping look at my life in order to know. On a daily basis, it is usually so full of responsibilities, tasks, and energy-sucking that it is hard to tell. But, wow. Life doesn't suck at all. The best moments were the most difficult ones. Weird how that works.

gift currency. Posted by Picasa


mom and i Posted by Picasa



Happy Big Birthday Jared. I pulled out some cute photos of us together. Check out Mrs. Flack's hair!

Me and Jared Posted by Picasa

Me and Jared Posted by Picasa


Feed Me

I want to figure out one of those feed-things that tells you which sites you visit has been updated. I noticed that Stephanie has been updating. I love to read the new stuff.

I went to bed at a crazy time to go in early and after I made my coffee and got mostly ready for work, I noticed the VM that said that I don't have to go in early after all. I don't know what to do with myself, because it isn't dark outside.

It was, however 108 yesterday. I haven't checked, but it was supposed to be 110 today. This is just crazy. What is particularly crazy is that I'm thinking of getting a bike and cycling outdoors in this mess. It can't be as bad at 5am on my days off. Mark's talking about riding with me. That would be awesome. I am getting some weird looking leg muscles.

I am just studying my little heart out for that test. My flashcard pile now exceeds three inches thick. I have no idea how to shove all that in my brain. Particularly since it is all review stuff that my brain has obviously rejected in the past. Keep on flashing. Progress is being made.

Richard and I are having a pizza party at work for my birthday. I was looking at baby pictures yesterday and found some really cute ones. What struck me is that at a certain age, I look like Aubri. And how pretty Eva was at every age. And how unfair to my natural beauty it was that my hair was in the eighties for over 17 years. I either have a mullet, half my hair drawn into a side pony, or what I call perm-fluff. What were we thinking?

I was also surprised at how many pictures I have doing music: sitting on dad's lap on stage with a microphone, sitting on a chair in a saggy cloth diaper with big old earphones on that are bigger than my head, sitting at the piano at age 2, and so on. It makes me realize that music was always there for me.