Category Archives: I Dare Me My Way

Days 253 – 258 Trader Joe’s Grilling Cheese, Getting Ready for Mexico

20140910_214413I’m so focused on getting ready for an extended stay in Mexico that I keep almost forgetting my One New Things. However I’m pleased to report I still haven’t missed a day. It was close on Wednesday (day 253), but at 10pm or so I suddenly jumped up from the computer with the realization that I hadn’t done anything new yet. Off to the kitchen in search of something – anything! – that would do (even though I hate eating so late). I ended up grilling some Halloumi Cheese – “A Grilling Cheese From Cyprus.” It is very delicious, and squeaky against the teeth, but like the other grilling cheese I tried, it is very salty, too salty for me. But if I put a big fat juicy slice of heirloom tomato on top, it would probably be perfect! Continue reading

Day 8: Herbivore, Albany Beach and GPS

Let me just start by saying: I am having so much fun! My niece Rowan is doing a grand job of supporting me in this endeavor, and I’m really enjoying our exploratory jaunts. (Btw, any and all ideas and invitations are welcome, and will be given serious consideration!) Rowan picked yesterday’s event: go to Albany Beach in Berkeley (yeah, we love a good beach!). Since it’s a beach in the city, we figured it’d be smallish and we wouldn’t want to spend a lot of time there, so we decided to stop for lunch first. 
Rowan pick: Herbivore, The Earthly Grill (100% vegan.)
I’m not a vegan. I’m not even a vegetarian. I tried it once; it didn’t take. And most of the vegan food I’ve tried, I have really not liked. Ever since I was a kid and my mom fed us canned soybeans, which I’m pretty sure is what Satan has for breakfast, I have hated soybeans with religious fervor. Nonetheless, I’m trying new things, right? I picked Spicy Rice Noodles, which had the advantages of being both spicy (LOVE!), and gluten free (sadly necessary).
As you can see from the picture below, it was horrible. Really. I could barely choke it down.
Lunch consumed, NT#1 accomplished, we were off to Albany Beach. We didn’t know where it was, but Rowan is an old hand at using her phone’s GPS. Oh, but wait, Rowan’s phone’s GPS didn’t want to be of service. No, um, problem, because I’m pretty sure I, er, yeah, I’ve got it on my phone. Huh? What? I have to turn it on? Oh, yeah, right. NT#2: I used my phone’s GPS! Figured it out all by myself and everything! (Of course, now Big Brother can track my every move… wait a minute, I can also turn it back off, right?)

Even so, finding Albany Beach was a bit of a challenge, mostly because, I don’t know, we’re spoiled and looking for something a little more remote and beachy? Though why we’d expect remote in a city beach, I’m not quite sure. Anyway, Minerva (my GPS already has a name) didn’t seem quite sure where it was either. However, we had a grand time looking.

Here’s another new thing: Feral Cat Condos. No joke.
This  is the view from the Feral Cat Condos. If you view the view closely (see below), you can see the view viewing you!
Need a little help?
How ’bout now?
We kept driving and getting out: Is this it? Is this it? Minerva wasn’t sure, so neither were we, but each place didn’t seem quite right, no matter how picturesque.
But we did, finally, find Albany Beach in Berkeley, California. Or maybe it’s in Albany, California? Whatever. Anyway, we found it. It was tiny. Even so, the view out onto the Bay was gorgeous.
And for such a small beach, it had some good points. It had a minuscule stand of giant Eucalyptus trees. 
We were fortunate to be there on a day when the atmospheric conditions enabled me to get a couple of pictures of truly Science Fiction quality.
People who go to this beach seem to like totem pole-type things.
And, lest we forget that it’s January in California, there were flowers blooming, and bees doin’ their thang.
Okay, maybe I should never be allowed out with a camera! But I hope you had fun with us. And this is what I learned on this excursion: Through one lens, you may be in a dirty city, in crowded spaces, with crummy litter, ratty buildings, nasty cats. But look through another lens; maybe you’re in beautiful places, with unlimited possibilities.

Days 6 and 7: Exercise Ball Bouncing

So, okay, today we’re going bass-ackwards and starting with day 7’s One New Thing, in which Sarah learns how to transport a video from her phone to her computer, and from her computer to her blog. She also learns that she may want to get her camera-person to hold the phone the other way in the future, but, oh well. Transporting video is a valuable skill, and one I will no doubt be using in the future. But it doesn’t seem all that interesting to write about.

So back to day 6! I will let the aforementioned videos tell the bulk of the story, but the quick gist is that, in lieu of a mini-tramp that I could bounce on to stimulate my lymphatic system, I bounced on my exercise ball, non-stop, for fifteen minutes. 

Naturally, as soon as I was ready to start bouncing, our house-mate came in to fix his dinner. He is very efficient and cleans as he goes, so that background noise is cooking and cleaning and water running.

Beth’s ONT was learning how to video, in this case with my phone. We did not agree on signals or method first, we just flew by the seat of our sweatpants, so if these aren’t the smoothest videos ever, that might be why. But all-in-all, I think she did a fabulous job, considering what she had to work with.

I didn’t know if this was going to be a good idea or a bad one for my healing leg. I still don’t know. But it sure hurt more after the big filming event than it did before. My knee is pretty tender still today, but I choose to believe that all these little steps forward and steps backward are part of the natural healing process. After all, the Golden Gate Bridge walk started out rough and by the time that was done, I could barely hobble, but the next day I was all good. And I’m only limping the tiniest bit today. 

Three things stand out for me as I watch these videos. The first is that I am a total goofball. The second is that I derive great amusement, even pleasure, from my own goofballishness. Which brings me to the third thing: throwing myself into my inner goofball is so much fun for me! And that’s a good thing to know.

Day 5: New Leaf and Kombucha

If you know me at all, you know I am both passionate and investigative about health, healing, wholeness – the whole gamut. So this One New Thing experience is a great way to grant myself carte blanche to check out anything I can get my hands on that sounds like it might make my health and life – or the health and life of anyone I may ever encounter anywhere at anytime – better.

Enter this fantastic new store in town: New Leaf. Oh. My. Gosh! Beth, her daughter (my niece, the lovely lavender-haired Rowan) and I headed over there yesterday. Wow. Just: wow. They must’ve had twelve feet just of kombuchas! Being an impatient sort, I couldn’t wait till this year and ONT to start making my own kefir (I’ve been doing that for about three weeks now), but I have yet to get my very own kombucha starter, otherwise known as a scoby. So I was very excited! Oh, wait, what? What’s kombucha?

Kombucha is fermented tea. It’s alive, at least it should be, alive with probiotics, which are microscopic bacteria that inhabit our guts and make our intestines healthy, which makes our whole body healthy. Yogurt is full of the stuff, as is kefir (a yogurt-like drink), as is sour kraut, as is kombucha. And since I’ve had gut trouble since I was a teenager, I’m ready to ingest a whole lot more of them. Like a sourdough starter, it can reproduce indefinitely, as long as it gets food.

Anyway, enough about the details. The thing is, I want to make my own. And in theory, if you buy raw kombucha, you can use the booger-looking stuff floating in it – the scoby – to do it.

Another thing you may or may not know about me: pretty much my favorite taste-treat in the world is ginger. I can’t get enough of the stuff. I love that sometimes when you nibble it, it nibbles back, like an affectionate lover. And sometimes, when you take a bite of it, it BITES you back … and then you have to run for the tissues. I love eating it, I love drinking it. So when I saw all the stuff at New Leaf with ginger in it, I was in heaven! And so of course, I got ginger kombucha. Now I’m not sure if you can see it in the picture, but that stuff I’m holding? It’s called Ginger Fire. That’s what you call a warning.
I did proceed with caution. But Holy Kamoley! That stuff was HOT!!! And not the smooth burn of ginger. No! The second major ingredient was some kinda chili pepper! Youch! And flavor? Not really. I thought maybe it might be good if I added some nice, raw local honey. So I put a little on a spoon and drizzled it into the bottle, and whatever was in there went crazy! That whole blistering mess came bubbling out all over my hand and the bottle and into the sink, and it kept at it for a while while I laughed and hooted my astonishment. 
 There was no way I was gonna use THAT for my starter! But I could at least drink the stuff, right? I didn’t want to waste all those lovely little probiotics. It was still hotter than Mars, but if I sipped carefully. . . . And oddly, the longer it sat there (no doubt voraciously eating that good, raw honey I’d just given it), the better it tasted. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it ever tasted good. But I could at least drink it. Well, most of it.
I like the new store. I’ll be going back. But I’ve got enough ginger drinks and kombuchas in the fridge to last for a little while, and maybe one of the others will give me my starter. Or, maybe I’ll just wait for the one the guy from Trader Joe’s promised me. . . .