Sunday, May 24, 2009

Welcome, Spring!

Say hello to our newest family member, christened Eugene by Daughter #2.  Mr. Fix built him out of scraps in the classroom/shop and brought him home just in time for the long holiday weekend.  Close up? Sure:

I think he needs a propeller on top of his hat, and perhaps even a bowl filled with birdseed on his tray.  Mr. Fix isn't keen on that, as he thinks the birdseed would spray all over the actual garden and sprout unwanted plants.  I think we'll add the propeller, at least.

May is almost over, and somehow I got talked into running another marathon- Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, MN.  I've run it once before, and I remember it was hot and humid, and I had to endure a tour of an ore boat in Duluth's harbor with my family.  I hate boats.  

Yesterday, however, brought another sure sign of Spring in these parts:  my Run & Brunch event.  Me and my running pals ran a local 5K/10K race (PR day for me- 26:21! Woo hoo!), then headed over to my home for a delicious (if I do say so myself) spread that included Mom's Famous Italian Beef, Jet Potatoes, and a Sausage & Apple Frittata.  It was really a lovely way to kick off a holiday weekend. I have the coolest friends.

And so, in the spirit of generosity, I will post the recipe for Mom's Famous Italian Beef.  Enjoy!

Mom's Famous Italian Beef

You need a crock pot that can hold a rolled beef roast, about 4-5 pounds.  I used a roast plus some boneless "country style" beef ribs.  Put the meat in the crock pot.  Add to this:  1-1/2 tsp. oregano, 1 tsp. basil, about 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, some fresh ground black pepper (maybe 1 tsp. or so), 2 cloves crushed garlic, 1 package Italian Dressing Mix (the dry stuff), 1 package onion soup mix (again, the dry stuff), 1/4 c. vinegar, and 3/4 c. water.  I also added a package of fresh sliced mushrooms, just to be different.  Put the crock pot on "high" and leave it alone for 6 hours.  Turn it to "low" and leave it alone for another 2 hours.  Take the roast out of the crock pot and shred it up with a fork.  This will be supremely easy to do, as the meat will literally fall apart as you try to take it out of the pot.  Put the shredded meat back in the crock pot with the juicy goodness and serve warm on rolls (I used mini kaiser rolls) with an assortment of condiments, like dijon mustard, horseradish, and good ol' ketchup.

Yes, you only add one cup of liquid total.  Trust me, it works.  Have a great weekend!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Another Medal for the Collection

Now, that's what I call room service!  That's the stash of food stuffs we had in our hotel room last weekend in Cincinnati.  Ah, yes, the Flying Pig Marathon 2009 edition is now history.  It was incredibly challenging and not at all for beginners.  I was slowed by about one minute per mile, finishing in 4:52 (11:10/mile).  I trained for 10 min./mile.  Did you know about all the hills in southern Ohio? Me, neither.  

When stuff like this happens- when I'm prepared for things to go one way, and they end up going another- I try to focus on the positive.  Its difficult sometimes, especially when so much work has been invested.  So my goal is always to remember that you cannot change the past; you cannot change what has already happened.  All you can do is learn something from it, and move on.  Evolve.  

Mantra:  Any day I can run 26.2 miles is a Good Day.

Mantra:  This is what we do.

Mantra:  It can't be changed; move on.

I guess these mantras are my own little prayers, in a way.  Meditations, affirmations, whatever.  They make me regain my focus and answer the questions:  What do I want? How will I get it? Who else is involved? They work for me.  

This past week has been one of not running (weird), but running assessments of elementary students at work.  May is such a jam-packed month in the education world, and seeing how I'm in that world (and my husband, too), May is one of my least favorite months.  I really cannot wait until its over.  Three weeks until school is done ( but my daughters are in until the second week of June), and then about a one-week reprieve until my summer programming begins.  Ah, summer! Maybe we'll see warm temperatures soon?  I can only hope.

One last mantra:  The miracle isn't that I finished; the miracle is that I had the courage to start. (John "The Penguin" Bingham)

Have a great week!