Déjà Vu

Imagine my surprise when, after waking up Sunday morning thinking about the Mother’s Day church practice of wearing a white or a red rose, depending on whether one’s mom is alive or has passed, and then later that day following a facebook conversation that landed me on a tribute and photo of my mom — on the site of someone I did not know.

Mother

How strange, thought I. And who is this person who knows so much about my mom?

Turned out to be a long-lost relative. A relative I’d not seen or heard from or about in decades. A relative who’d not only changed his name, but had drastically changed his appearance as well.

There are no coincidences. So first the thought and then being led to the photo gives me something to ponder – or prepare for, not yet sure which.

On another note, my resolve to “never again” was tested today — and it was yet another situation with eggs.

The Community Breakfast is scheduled for Thursday morning. I always sign up to bring eggs and, in this case, I had two cartons of eggs from last week when I had to not use the “fresh” ones, run out and purchase “less fresh” eggs, so I was all set. Except, a notice was posted to the door this morning that, instead of “bringing” items to the Community Kitchen to be prepared by the organizers, all items are to be “precooked” or cooked in the community kitchen by the bringer or arrangements must be made to have someone cook for you.

Inasmuch as I am the world’s worse cook, no way was I going to attempt to fry or scramble eggs to be served to others, and finding someone to cook for me is way too much trouble. Since I’d already signed up, I toyed with the idea of checking Pinterest for a way to cook servable eggs — like muffin tin scrambled eggs, but remembering all the hours and energy expended on last week’s deviled eggs, and knowing I’d have to spend that much time and more testing out Pinterest ideas, I went down and crossed my name off the list of participants.

I feel somewhat that I’m letting the organizers down, and I hope someone else signs up for eggs but, actually, it was the organizers who changed the rules … two-days prior to the event, rather than at the time of sign-up.

On tap for the remainder of the week is …. nothing. I’ve got a free week to catch up on all the DVR taped TV shows and to walk off any Easter Holiday weight gain.

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Happy Easter

Bitstrips Easter Cartoon

Even though Easter has not yet passed, I woke up this morning thinking about Mother’s Day and the old tradition from when I was a kid of wearing a white rose to church if one’s mother was no longer living and a red rose if still alive.

Being a contemplative – one who lives and moves and has her being in a meditative state, I’ve not been to an actual church in eons. It’s not that I can’t go to church, it’s simply that I don’t need that level of spiritual support and consequently choose not to go, so I don’t know if that tradition still exists.

And, actually, though I’ve not been TO church in eons, I was ON church property just yesterday attending a friend’s Easter Event.

Easter Event

The friend is a former coworker at the place referred to in this blog as The Plantation. She’s very active in her church – even taking instructions with the goal of entering the ministry, I believe, and had posted the happening on facebook.

Yesterday’s walk was on the Pacific Electric Trail at the Central Park Senior Citizen Center trailhead — 15 minutes away from the event. So I popped in, after the walk, to surprise her.

Easter Event

What good wholesome fun the event was. Other than the look of surprise and joy on my homie’s face, I particularly enjoyed the water balloon toss.

Easter Event

Easter Event

Easter Event

The water-filled balloons, being tossed in the air and into the audience, are not easily identifiable in the above photos, but a prize was won if one was caught. Some prizes were given out but, mostly, the balloons burst, spewing water over everyone in the vicinity.

There was a host of activities and everything was 100% free – including three or four brand new bike giveaways to a few lucky kids who arm wrestled a big muscular guy for the opportunity.

Easter Event

Mr. Muscles, who in fact is a movie star I did not recognize and whose name I failed to remember (Game of Arms, Real Husbands of Hollywood) put on a good show of not being able to out arm wrestle the kids, thus allowing them to win the bikes.

The kids totally bought it – that they’d out arm wrestled him.

You never saw such happy faces.

Easter Event

My face was pretty happy too in this photo op. Not really my type, but he felt warm and comfortable
so who needs a type.

There was also free food, but I abstained — not because I’m watching my weight, but because 1) I don’t eat hot dogs or cotton candy and wasn’t tempted by the chips and whatnots, and 2) I was also in the area of my old stomping grounds, which included the parlor from where I use to order my no cheese pizzas.

If I was going to blow my diet it was going to be well worth it, so pizza it later was – for lunch, for dinner, with leftovers for breakfast and lunch today.

Despite the Weight Watcher leader’s edict to not use Easter as an excuse to go completely off plan for an extended period – “Remember, it’s Easter holiday not Easter holiweek”, looks like I’m in-between, having Easter Holi-threedays what with Friday’s Easter Potluck, yesterday’s pizza, this morning’s pizza breakfast and, later today, Easter dinner with daughter, her significant other, and granddaughter with whom I’ve somewhat reconnected.

No one ever said eating healthy 24/7 was going to be without pitfalls.

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Easter Potluck

Never ever again!

The deviled eggs, though not exactly perfect or uniform, turned out really cute.

Deviled Chicks

I’d seen the idea of turning deviled eggs into little chicks on
Pinterest and thought to give it a try.

Though relatively happy with the results, I’ll never ever again sign up to bring anything other than a deli dish as the DIY process of boiling eggs, cooling, peeling, cutting, scooping out yoke, mashing and mixing with mayo, relish and curry seasoning, piping mixture and decorating with olive eyes and carrot beaks was exhausting and took ALL afternoon.

I’d originally planned to start the process at 9:00 this morning. However, if I’d not thought better of that plan — because it allowed no room for error and instead followed my gut instinct and prepared the eggs yesterday afternoon, I’d never have finished in time for today’s 1:00 potluck as I did run into errors.

Did you know there’s a whole science and art to boiling eggs?

Instead of boiling eggs until done, as I have in the past when I wanted a boiled egg, the best method is to bring the eggs in cold water to a rolling boil, cover the pot, remove from heat, let sit in the hot water for 10-14 minutes, transfer to an ice water bath and let cool for 5 minutes.

So, after making a special run to Costco, because they have the nicest freshest eggs @ 18 eggs per container, I went to work – 12 eggs at a time, only to find them impossible to peel.

Looking for a fix on the internet, I learned “fresh” eggs are not conducive to boiling. The freshness works against you and turns peeling into the nightmare I was experiencing.

Did I mention I’d purchased 2 containers – 36 fresh eggs, 12 of which had taken so much time to peel and peeled so badly I’d given up and tossed them in the disposal?

So off I run to the store to buy 36 slightly older eggs – an April expiration date rather than May, and started the boiling process all over again.

It’s a good thing I enjoy eggs, because I’m going to be eating what’s left of the 36 fresh eggs for weeks.

At any rate, the peeling process was a breeze with the slightly older eggs, but the process on a whole was a lot of work. I ended up with a backache from so much stooping over the sink and cramps in both hands from so much cutting, scooping, mashing, piping, decorating.

And speaking of piping – even though I’d purchased a proper piping tool, it took a skill I did not possess. I still had mixture stuck to the inside of the bag and seeping out both ends.

Cooking is just not my thing. So even though I learned a lot about the science of eggs, never ever again.

At any rate, the old folks, and management personnel, went nuts over the eggs.

Deviled Chicks

They gathered around the counter, oohing and aahing, taking and texting photos, even later squirreling some away to show relatives.

Deviled Chicks

Deviled Chicks

Because management has put their foot down about moochers attending events, without signing up to bring anything, attendance was at about 25. It was a good lively group with a lot of food.

As planned, I only ate ham, my own deviled eggs, and deli items – potato salad, lettuce salad, and fruit.

Deviled Chicks

So I didn’t stray too far off the Weight Watcher plan, except I did eat a nice hunk of cake. Our WW leader cautioned we not use Easter as an excuse to go completely off plan for an extended period, saying, “Remember, it’s Easter holiday not Easter holiweek”.

All in all, today was another fun event. But never ever again.

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Living Strong

There being no residual aches and pains from Saturday’s Peter Cottontail 5K when I got up Sunday morning, I was able to put in some additional walking time yesterday. Except … instead of driving to the area of the golf course, problems with the car kept the car parked in the carport until I could get to the dealer today. So, instead of the golf course, I did my walking in the scenic area of the neighborhood.

Scenic Route

I even decided to tackle my fear of inclines.

Scenic Route

Halfway up is the “no parking” sign (red arrow). That’s the spot I was aiming for.

Scenic Route

Almost There

Surprising myself, I passed the sign and made it all the way to the top.

Scenic Route

View from the Top

Scenic Route

Further view from the top, looking down.

Scenic Route

Nice Pool

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this good, physically speaking. Thanks in part to the acupuncturist — the knees and the hips are pain free, and thanks in part to getting off an excess of sugar products, I’d swear that instead of getting older, I’m getting stronger.

Speaking of which, the Peter Cottontail 5K result are in: At 70 years of age, I was the 2nd oldest participate. Official time 55:44, Placing 62 out of 83. And though I’m proud of coming in ahead of people in their 30’s 40’s 50’s, 60’s, the oldest participant blew it out of the water, Placing 32, with a time of 42:01, at Age 72!!!

Also on Sunday, the deviled egg experimentation came to an end. Disturbing to my sensibilities as using mayo was – even the lite brand I compromised with, the relish, curry powder recipe was a winner.

Relish and Curry Deviled Eggs

Even though piping came out looking better than spooning the ingredients in, the DIY piping bag was a total failure. I lost more filling inside the bag and outside the back end than went out through the piping end. I guess it takes practice, and I don’t have the patience for that so, after leaving the dealer today, I stopped by Hobby Lobby and purchased a proper piping instrument.

Piping Equipment

At least I hope, it’s a proper piping instrument. It says “for cupcakes”, but I’m assuming it will work for filling deviled eggs.

Good news/bad news at the dealer this morning.

Good news — Problem was a simple coolant bottle replacement.

Bad news — $300 bill.

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Peter Cottontail

Weather for this morning’s Peter Cottontail Run/Walk was perfect. Instead of the expected scorching sun, it was a cool 55°. The sun didn’t warm things up until mid afternoon so, since I didn’t need to wear the sun visor after all, I opted for bunny ears instead.

Peter Cottontail 5K

Determined to finish in under an hour, I pushed the pace like crazy. Unfortunately, I forgot to save the runkeeper app stats, so I don’t know what pace I achieved. But, I did come in at 56:01, which translates to clipping along at 18/19 minutes per mile – an all time best.

I’d set the alarm to wake me at 5:00 a.m., but wouldn’t you know I’d wake up at 3:00 and be unable to fall back to sleep. Consequently, the remainder of today was spent doing absolutely nothing but recovering from the early morning wakeup and subsequent pavement pounding.

Bitstrip Resting Cartoon

Zombie Run/Walk is in 21 days. Thank goodness it’s not a timed race. Objective is just to find your way out of the botanic garden maze as leisurely as you like, while being harassed by zombies.

Claremont Zombie Run

Tomorrow, depending on the weather, will be a slow walk around the golf course and more deviled egg experimentation – with an egg, sweet relish, curry powder, light mayo combination.

I’ve got a good feeling this recipe might be it, so I’m also going to try piping the filling with a DIY pastry bag – to make them look pretty.

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