Tag Archives: patio

I Miss Fried Chicken

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So the Thursday before last was September Birthday Cake Day at work, and by the Grace of God and the Sweet Baby Jesus, I was OFF yesterday. Nothing tastes better than buttercream frosting and publix bakery birthday cake. Except, maybe fried chicken.

I miss fried chicken.

Most importantly, I miss the smell. My schoolteacher friend Kevin told me the funniest story once about one of his kindergarteners: he was working with them to teach the 5 senses, and asked each kid to think of soemthing they really like and they would talk about how they experience it with all 5 senses. One little chubby 5 year old said “I love my mama’s fried chicken!” Here’s how she used the 5 senses to describe how much she loved it:

  1. The smell of it sizzling in the pan
  2. The taste of hot chicken on her tongue
  3. The sight of it getting rolled in flour, fried and puto n her plate
  4. The touch of it’s crispy skin
  5. The sound of it frying in oil

When he told me this story, I remember laughing my ass off and thinking “what a little fatty!!!” Now I am kinda reminiscing on chicken the same way.

Don’t get me wrong. During this challenge, I have discovered a lot of foods and recipes that taste sooo good and don’t make me feel bad for even wanting them. Yet nothing replaces the deliciousness of southern fried chicken, fresh out of my dad’s or Grandma Delores’s cast iron frying pan. My nutritionist says that there’s oven-fried chicken that you can make that will give you the same enjoyment of fried chicken without all the fat or calories. I don’t believe that for a second. That’s like trying to say that turkey burgers are just as good as a hamburger, or that turkey bacon tastes as good as bacon bacon. It doesn’t – while turkey bacon is perfectly fine, to say that in any way, shape or form can it can replace the delightfully savory and salty sensation of bacon is foolish and flat out mean.

Speaking of turkey bacon, the BBE (best boyfriend ever) and I had a pretty bad-assed breakfast sandwich yesterday involving turkey bacon. I’d sworn off the stuff after eating some at my parent’s house (neither of my sisters will eat pork now – I feel sad for them missing out) and later watching “Modern Marvels” on the History Channel where they show how they make turkey products. You DON’T even want to know how they make turkey bacon or ground turkey or turkey sausage. I mean seriously, I could have gone the rest of my life without seeing that.

Getting back to the sandwich: it consisted of 2 egg whites, a slice of provolone cheese, 2 slices of turkey bacon all on a cinnamon-raisin english muffin, toasted. It was EPIC and only 288 calories, NO trans fasts, less than 700 mg of sodium and only 8 g of sugar. We were both surprised at how good it tasted all together!! No butter, no jelly, honey or anything. I would eat it again, and definitely recommend it to anyone that is trying to eat healthier, still get in a hearty breakfast and remembers the big Southern-style breakfasts that started of eggs, sausage and toast.

 

On a completely un-related note, I WILLINGLY took a spinning class on Saturday. My butt bone is still bruised from taking the class, but honestly, while you’re huffing away on that biek so many other parts of you hurt and burn that you completely forget how miserable that seat is. Thankfully the room was darkened so no one was really focusing on anyone else, and no one saw my baldly pedalling my way through my pain. I was on the second row behind this little whippet of an older man that was HARD CORE about spinning – man had the shorts, the shirt and the special spinning shoes that lots of people wear. I made it my business to try and keep up with him, but finally fell behind on the 5th track which was the mountain track. My mountain number three, my legs were just DONE. The instructor said “add another turn!” and I said “No!”. I kept pedalling though, and did what I could.

 

I have to say, the difference in how I felt this time compared to the first time I took spinning is monumental. The first time, whenever they told us to stand and pedals, my legs were shaking so badly I simply couldn’t go it. This time, I grunted and growled and tore right through it. I followed that little old man all over my imaginary Appalachian mountains, pedaling hard, taking every turn of difficulty and working my slowly shrinking butt cheeks off. I felt like a rockstar!!! As much as I don’t like spinning I will be back… the rush after completing a serious tough class like that is becoming addictive.

 

These pats few weeks have been hard – I’m not losing weight as fast as the guys, and I just feel like I’m failing at this challenge.  I’ve let their weight loss accomplishments overshadow my own, and sow doubts into my head. My trainer, my family, friends and BBE keep constantly reminding me that losing the weight in a paced, healthy way is the past way to ensure that I will keep it off. Everybody loses weight at different rates. I haven’t been lost 20 or 30 pounds; I’ve only lost 10, but I’ve gained muscle, and endurance and the ability to finish a spinning class without fear that I’d collapse into a ridiculous tragic heap. Maybe I win the competition, maybe I don’t. I do know one thing: this doesn’t stop for me once the challenge it over. I want to keep doing this. It’s always seemed like it was too hard to do. Let me tell you something: keeping up with that little spinning man was HARD, but I did it. After walking out of that spanning class, I felt I put that stuff behind me and was ready to just focus on ME and getting fit.

Getting through something that hard got me motivated to take on other things I’ve always wanted to do, but just thought were beyond my abilities – like gardening. Weeding and mulching the front yard is a chore that’s been on my “I need to do this” list for months… literally months. When my mom visited a few months back, she suggested starting out gardening slowly, with plants I can handle and care for easily. She suggested the “Knock Out Rose” a hardy little rose plant. So… feeling all bad ass after taking on spinning and getting over my mountains, I bought my first Knock Out Rose and trowel:

Who says that working out only helps you lose weight? I feel like I can take on anything!!!! I still miss fried chicken, but I’m no longer missing out on life.

 

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Gahh!!! What the Hell!

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What in the world??!?? I was in this total like ZEN state and it just got ruined by a lizard. Again.

Let’s back track a bit.  So on Monday afternoon, in an attempt to get back on track with making exercise a regular part of my routine I decide to take a walk through my neighborhood after dinner.

Can I just say? I live in like, a fricking Stepford paradise sort of. I mean, our neighborhood’s really nice… mellow… pretty. Ok, maybe Stepford’s the wrong way to describe it, but when I walk down the streets listening to my iPod I’m struck with how lush and inviting everyone’s lawns are (except ours). The front porches have cute patio furniture (except ours) and plants (except ours). There are swaying palms and lovely magnolia trees. It’s pretty nice by any standard.

Ok, maybe I’m making our house sound like that trashy one on the corner that has weeds 8 feet high and indigenous vermin living in the bushes nesting in old tires with broken bottles and Four Loko cans littering the steps. That’s entirely untrue. We get the weeds cut at least twice a month and I removed the Four Loko cans after the HOA complained a few times.

The point of all this is, my neighborhood lulls you into this relaxing sense of calm and peacefulness, something I’ve come to appreciate. I’m walking around, down the garden paths, past cute little houses.

But speaking of vermin – I get home and run a nice bath, read a few chapters of “Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife” by Linda Berdoll (MUST READ IF YOU LOVED Pride & Prejudice and want it a little on the dirty side) and just as I’m slipping into my nightgown, I feel something SLITHER down my backside. It was the Christmas Lizard from over a month ago! He was chillaxing in the folds of my nightgown when I put it on. Eeeek!

 I jumped about 3 feet in the air, flapping my airs like a fool before I gained composure. By the time I pulled it together to grab a shoebox to catch him, he was gone, back into the depths of my closet.

FYI – Later that night I was startled from a deep sleep convinced that he was back in my pajamas again. I had to turn on the lights and peek under the bed and shake out the covers, like I was a kid scared after watching too many Freddy Kreuger movies.

Ok, so let’s fast forward to last night. I get home after an AWESOME date (and no, details will not be disclosed) feeling like, totally zen, and walk into my closet, only to see this:

 

WTH?!?! Am I like a lizard whisperer now? Am I running a reptilian nightclub? Disco? Cocktails? Happy Hour? I mean I appreciate them for keeping us bug-free, but seriously, give a gal a little space.

I grabbed him up into a shoebox and released his free-loading butt out onto the porch.

It has been suggested that Mr. Lizard (let’s call him Mr. Geico) has MATED in my closet and now has a little lizard family in there, from whom I have separated him. First of all THANKS for that alarming visual, and I want to know if anyone else would have done different?? Are yall gonna call DFACS on me??

It is a little ironic that I’m a Geico customer.

I’ve seen the same lizard two nights in one week… are we technically going steady now?

Patios and Meaningless Rantings

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Until I moved to Orlando, it was rare for me to get 8 whole hours of sleep every night. Why? When I lived in Atlanta i spent random nights having meaningless debates and conversations with friends, usually Delto or Jess. Sitting on the porch with a bottle of cheap wine(read: Arbor Mist over ice), feet propped on the balcony in spring, shivering under blankets next to the portable heater in winter.

Regardless of the season, the patio was our place: we’d discuss everything from religion to politics, history to television, music, random nonsense, whatever came to mind – farting, dating, my lactose intolerance, Delto’s obsession with… Well whatever his obsession at the time might be :). Our cats Milo and Jovi peering at our guests from under the safety of the couch, while Rex the dog flopped on our feet, determined to be a part of the conversation. We’d talk late into the night, talk about one subject then another until someone groaned that it was a “school night” and we’d inevitably shamble back inside.

The patio was like another room in the apartment. I’d wander around Target and Home Depot trying to find plants and Christmas lights and candles and rugs for the patio. How to find citronella candles that looked cute but still got the job done. Adorable green chairs I found on a random trip to Target to buy shampoo and I just had to have them so my friend Kevin shoved them in the backseat of his car and took them home for me. At one point I’d successfully kept a pot of Gerber daisies alive for several months. I added more plants, and my friend Casey installed a ceiling fan on the porch and expertly rigged it so I could turn the Christmas lights on through the same switch. Fancy!!! I swear, all we needed was a. mini fridge and we would have moved out there permanently. We’d wave at neighbors walking by and gossip 227-style and throw the french doors leading into the apartment open so we could hear the stereo. Like every good college student we all had a love for candles (candles, candles everywhere!) So we’d turn out the lights in the apartment and the pation would be lit with the soft glow of candlelight. It was paradise.

Ha! I remember one night staying up with Casey and Justin and Buddy, drinking Jagger bombs and playing Uno attack until 8am… Smoke breaks for the smokers brought us out to the patio at regular intervals. I’d curl up in the papasan chair (this was before the unfortunate Tony/Levi Papasan breaking of 2003) and laugh at the antics of my crazy fools friends… Then we’d shush each other because we didn’t want to wake the neighbors. It was 3 am after all.

I miss those times…the best was finding new things – articles, stories, etc. – and sharing them with my friends. Making fun of each other. Sitting on the porch thinking we knew shit, and we were the shit. Lol. It didn’t matter whether we really knew it all (we didn’t. We didn’t even have a clue) because at the end of the day we were together, you know?

Now that I live in Orlando, patio time is different. Less pine trees, more palm for one thing. The patio is screened in but I can still share it with friends. The green chairs I just had to have are on Kevin’s front porch in GA now and have been replaced on my porch by wooden rockers. I’ve got a new papasan thanks to Levi but it stays in my bedroom. No badass ceiling fan/ trashy Christmas light combo, but still a great corner view to wave at neighbors and talk about randomness. My kitty lives with Delto, and my puppy lives with Jess. I still try to grow plants though, and still get excited about fun things I want to share with my friends only I mostly have to call them on my cell instead of cracking open a bottle of Arbor Mist when they knock on my door. I miss my GA friends. A lot.

The patio at our house now is growing on me though. It just needs some candles… And maybe a mini fridge :).