Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter weekend.

Nice 3-day weekend for me. We got permission to start construction in our yard, so I spend Friday ripping out our old patio so that I could level it off and re-install it before we begin the rest of the construction. I didn't hit the gym at all because my work outs consisted of lugging around 75 lb bags of sand and gravel, running relays with them on my shoulder from the car and though the house to the yard. Nice, functional strength!

I was planning on drying a bunch of crispy almonds and a batch of jerky in my new L'Equip dehydrator....I soaked the nuts, I marinated 8 lbs of thinly sliced beef....I loaded the dehydrator with nuts, plugged it in and.....a few hours later the fan stopped working and part of the machine melted! whoa! Not fun. Still deciding what I should do. Return and refund or return and get a new one.....

Sunday's dinner was great. We went to a local Italian place where I usually just get a steak and veggies. Their calamari salad caught my eye so I got that as an appetizer. Yum - it's the best dish I've ever eaten in this restaurant! My main course was a green bean salad with sliced steak. This was the 2nd best thing I've ever had here. Winner! Enough left over to have again for tomorrow. Calamari for breakfast! I'm going to try to recreate this dish as I think it would be fantastic to have during the hotter months. Stand by for recipes....

L'Equip Dehydrator = epic FAIL.

I was planning on drying a bunch of crispy almonds and a batch of jerky
in my new L'Equip dehydrator....I soaked the nuts, I marinated 8 lbs of
thinly sliced beef....I loaded the dehydrator with nuts, plugged it in
and.....a few hours later the fan stopped working and part of the
machine melted! whoa!

Not cool. The scary thing is I usually run my dehydrators overnight. What if this thing had melted down while I was sleeping? Do I need to stand there watching it the whole time it's working? If I get a replacement, do I have to unplug the darn thing every time I leave the room to use the bathroom? I did a lot of research and this unit gets great reviews, I thought I was getting a good machine.

Now I've got a pile of soggy nuts and a bunch of marinated beef that needs to be dried pronto. I'll have to dig out my old dinosaur dehydrator and fire up my oven on low to get all of this done before it all spoils. I am pissed.

I hope the replacement that I ordered from Amazon works correctly but to be honest, I'm thinking of returning the replacement and getting something else because this experience left a really bad melted plastic taste in my mouth.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

grumbling and not grumbling

Well, apparently Windy has a defective front tire that won't stay inflated. Grumble.

On the non-grumbling side of life, I scored some large plant pots for cheap and I loaded up on a bunch of herb plants to fill them up with. Rosemary, Mexican Tarragon, Oregano, Lavender, and a couple of others. I also picked up a bunch of Swiss Chard plants. I love the way it looks and I so want to like it, since it's so darn good for you. But...I think it tastes like...dirt. I can't stand it. Actually, I had it once in a restaurant, cooked with bacon and it was delicious. I've tried to recreate the recipe and it still tastes like dirt. With bacon.  I'll keep trying though.

Fingers are crossed that the townhouse association will give us permission to re-do the backyard again. We've spent a ton of money trying to get grass to grow back there but it fails every year. Not one house on our side of the court has grass, they've all put in decks so I'm pretty sure that grass just won't grow there. We want to make it more of a stony patio situation which will enable us to use it more and give the dogs more space. (The mud pit has been fenced off from them in a pathetic attempt to spare the grass) I had to resubmit the plans with some spiffy CAD drawings. Hopefully this will pass muster with them.

If they give the go ahead, then I can also install a pull up bar - I mean a trellis, disguised as a pull up bar. Which will mean I can start working on my pull ups and using my set of rings. Like this:

Power Clean and Ring Pushups - CrossFit Oldtown


Monday, April 18, 2011


Introducing my brand new bike. Her name is Windy.

I was really doubtful that I'd still be able to ride. You know, the old adage "it's just like riding a bicycle!" I was sure it wouldn't apply to me, because I am a unique snowflake. :-) Well, a few minutes of floundering around in the parking lot and I was zipping around the neighborhood like an old pro, like a little kid. What a blast. I loved the feeling of freedom and wind in my face. I loved the feeling of my body moving - not effortlessly, but rather with a nice, sustained effort.

I did also pick up a helmet, never used one of those when I was a kid and I wasn't happy that my Big Guy was so insistent that I get one. I was sure I'd look and feel like a dork. I got over that pretty fast - after all, I'd look and feel like a dork if I cracked my skull open.

I picked up a bike rack, which totally didn't fit this style of bike., It was enough to get Windy home from the store but it was a scary ride. Apparently you need an adapter to fit this type of bike on a standard rack. I have one on order so I can use the car rack so I take her for rides along the Henry Hudson Trail.

I also got a bell for Windy. Why? Just because.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Quick update

Just a quick update -  the tonsillitis is clearing up. I'm actually happy that all I got was plain old penicillin, not some super antibiotic.  I'm still laying off they gym for now since my ear is still feeling funky from the tonsils being inflamed.
Tomorrow the Big Guy and I will be attending a local body building contest. Fun! I love taking photos at these shows.
Sunday I will hopefully be shopping for a bicycle! Hurray for me! I have my heart set of a cruiser type bike. Very retro looking, not to mention a nice (wide!!!) comfortable seat. If I'm lucky I'll be able to find one that meets my specs and my budget.

Huffy 26-Inch Ladies Cruiser Newport Bike (Blue)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Egg Coupon

One of those rare paleo foods coupons is available.

Last week was a rough one. This week I have tonsillitis! Oy, I am off to the Dr. this afternoon to get some antibiotics. I haven't needed any of them in over 2 years, so I am bummed out that I got sick. However, I am not at all surprised since there was such a large quantity of low spirits in the past 10 days.

Friday, April 8, 2011


We lost a friend and family member this week. One of the strongest and gentlest men I have ever known. Brave and so proud of who and what he was. A man I was proud to call a brother, or a sister, depending on what shoes he was wearing at any given moment. In boots or in heels, Spanky was the very definition of a beautiful spirit.

Obituary from the Asbury Park Press.
Mark F. Bialous

AGE: 44 • Neptune

Mark F. Bialous, 44, of Neptune, passed away Tuesday, April 5, 2011, at his home of complications due to esophageal cancer. He was surrounded by his family and friends. Affectionately known as "Spanky", Mark was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. and has resided in the Asbury Park area for many years. A licensed practical nurse, Mark had worked in the Monmouth County Correctional Facility and was Pharmaceutical Manager for the last three years. In 2008, he earned the title of Mr. NJ Leather. He was also a friend of Bill W.

Mark was predeceased by his mother, Viola; and his father, Henry. He is survived by his brother, Henry "Hank" Bialous of Lindenwold; his sister-in-law, Linda (Mini Mom) Bialous; and his external family of choice.

Visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 9 in Buckley Funeral Home, 509 Second Ave., Asbury Park. A Memorial Celebration will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in Mark's name may be made to the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties or a charity of your choice.