About today…

I’m heading off to a funeral in a little bit, so my post will appear tomorrow.

“I’ll be back!”




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Well, it was the first of the year and all

You know how at the beginning of the new year, everyone makes resolutions, if not out loud, but perhaps to their inner self?  I did that this year with a little goading from some people here.

In January, Fannie and Farie invited me to come to their hometown and run in one of those 5K fun runs where the spectators throw colored dye on the runners?  You end up looking like something from the early Laugh In show, all tie-dyed with a multitude of colors dripping from you.


I seriously have never once considered running one of those things, because?  Well, dripping powered dye on top of sweaty runners?  Yech.  Not my idea of a summer afternoon visiting with friends, no?  But, as you know, friends can be persuasive and I signed up for it.

I knew that any training for this would be by myself alone and so the running app on my phone was being used.  Again.  ‘Couch to 5K’ in 9 weeks coaches a person to start with three runs per week and advancing in distance each week until at the end of that eight week, you are running a very comfortable 3 miles.  Or to be quite European about it, 5K.  It doesn’t matter to me if you call it 3 miles or 5 kilometers…that’s quite a distance for a non-runner such as myself.


In addition to this madness, I let Mr. Fae talk me back into doing CrossFit again as well.  I lapsed during last spring and summer with back issues and frankly, didn’t want to hurt myself again.  There is absolutely no logic in my thinking because if I strengthened my back with exercise, I wouldn’t have the back problems.  So, he started my conditioning…again.  My schedule was to Crossfit 4 days a week with running 3 times a week.  It sounds like a lot but I only double up on one day a week with the two workouts.  And my crossfit workout on my double up day isn’t anything but a mobility time with just stretching (also good for my back).

But last week, week 6 of running, I noticed that my heels and achiles were killing me during my running.  Off to buy new running shoes and a visit to my chiropractor fixed that up in no time.   But then?  My lower discs in my back started singing a song of ‘you better watch out’……

Off again to the chiropractor, no running, and absolutely no compression exercises in crossfit.  So, for the last week, my exercise has almost come to a standstill.  I’m hoping to gear it up again starting today.

And with all this sweat and time put into my training, what has happened?  Well, according to Mr. Fae, there is some definition where cellulite used to take up space.  My arm strength has improved so much with the pull ups and push ups I’ve been doing that, I’m very close to achieving what is called a butterfly pull up…however, before you start clapping away madly (and I know you want to) is that my pull ups are also achieved by using a thick green band that I stand on.  It’s like a rubber band on steroids and it helps me get my chin above the bar.  So, no, I can’t do several pull ups without the band but it is my goal to do so.

And one of the nicest things to happen in these 6 weeks of insanity, is that my scale now shows a weight that I haven’t seen since before my children were born.

Yesterday, the announcement for the 2014 Crossfit Games movements for week one appeared.  Two members of my family will be competing to be invited (oh, good Lord, what are you thinking?  I am NOT one of those members!)  But we are all excited about this time period.  At the end of each of the six weeks, people will be able to see how they rank over all IN THE WORLD with their fellow Crossfitters.


Game on….



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Matt Damon!

I just came across a picture of Matt Damon on Facebook, and I just started smiling.  You see, Matt Damon makes me happy.

Even Biff agrees with my love of Matt Damon! He is our favorite actor, hands down.  If he is in the movie, we will watch it.  Don’t get me wrong: Biff prefers movies with Kat Dennings or Zoe Deschanel, but he loves Matt, just like I do.

Matt (yes, we are on a first name basis) was even in Boise on the day that my sister got married!  The first Bourne Identity premiered in Boise on the same day, and during the reception, which was around the corner from the movie theater, some of the guests went over and met him.  I missed out on this, but I wish I hadn’t because I was looking GOOOOOOOOD that day.

But here is the story I want to share with you today.  A few years back, my friends and I were playing Taboo.  We had two teams: girls and boys.  The boys, of course, thought they for sure had the game in the bag, because, I don’t know, they are dudes? However, Taboo is a game of communication, and what do girls excel at? That’s right.

So, it is our turn. If you don’t know how to play Taboo, here is the gist: there is a timer, a person who tells clues about a word without saying the “taboo” words listed on the card, and people who guess the answer.  The group with the most correct guessed answers wins. So, a friend is giving us clues.

Friend: OK, he’s really hot.


Friend: Yes! (She flips over the card and goes onto the next.)

Boys:  NOOOOO!  Come on!  That’s not fair!

So, you see, Matt Damon makes me smile every single time I see him, because he reminds me of that day.


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It’s almost that time again.

What time is that, you ask?

Well, it happens in the spring time…no snow for us!

It combines friendship, alcohol, scrapbooking, and eating way too much food.  Delicious food.

It’s almost SPRING FLING time!

This is our spring time croptoberfest that you’ve heard of here before.  The group of scrapbookers that I know and love all gather at my house and for 36 hours we don’t get enough sleep, we turn out page after page of memories for our scrapbooks, and we laugh until we cry.

This year will be no different.

I thought that I would show you some past years we gathered together.

The very first one, 2005:spring fling 2005 pg1spring fling 2005 pg 2

And to be totally honest here, there are some people in this photo that I haven’t a clue who they are now.  We have lost touch with some of them.

2007:spring fling 2008spring fling pg 2spring fling pd 3


spring fling pg1spring fling pg2

And 2013:

April Day in the month

Now, I know that in 2006, I did not hold a Spring Fling….but where are the photos from 2008- 2011?  I know we had Spring flings…but there isn’t any evidence of it on my computer…..

Dear Scrapbooking Pals…do you have photos from those years?



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Dear College Part 2: I Love You, Internet

PS: College?  I forgot to add to my letter last week how much I love that no one will ever have the some experience I had while in college, because of one thing: the Internet.

See, when I was in college, email was NEW!  When we registered (and paid) for college, we were issued an email address!  A shiny, new, personally designed email address! (Mine was malaxm@isu.edu or something totally lame like that.)

In order to check your email, you had to walk (WALK!) to the computer lab (computer lab!) and log in (LOG. IN.) to get to the very important messages. Just imagine.  Just think about that for a minute.  The following words actually came out of my mouth: “Oh, man, I don’t want to go downstairs to check my email.”  I couldn’t just pick up my phone to check it, and no bell sounded when I got mail.

What kind of cave were we living in?  I’ll tell you: it was called the computer lab.

Seriously though, I kind of miss it.  I miss the anticipation of checking my mail.  (I also still got a thrill from checking my snail box:Turner Hall, Room 513!) We had a tiny computer lab in the basement of our dorm. It was small, smelled of fresh paint and new electronics, and was one of my favorite places on campus. I miss sitting in a room humming with the sound of 20 computer fans and the blinking of the florescent lights.

I spent hours down there.  (Here is where I am going to let my nerd flag fly…..) I had a word processor in my room to write papers and stuff, but there weren’t any games on it, there was no Internet access, and there were no online chat rooms.

Yes, online chat rooms.  I know they are kind of creepy now, and have a totally different vibe in today’s society, what with the totally un-creepy same-as-a-chat-room Facebook, Twitter, and such, but back in 1996, chat rooms were NEW and all the nerds were in chat rooms. (I was a hipster in college.  I was involved in chat rooms before they were cool.) This is how I ended up spending hours in the computer lab.  I also spent a lot of time trading U2 bootlegs, which now looking back on, I am also surprised at.  Now I just go to a site, click download and it is on my hard drive.  Back then, I had to trade music ON TAPES. How fast technology creeps up on you and makes you feel old.

But back to online chat rooms.  I met people this way.  Now, looking back, I think this is how I broke out of my shell and found out who I really am.  I know that sounds lame, and distant and so completely NERDY but it is true.  I felt, at the time, that I had to pretend to “be” a certain person, but in the online chat rooms (Star Wars, nonetheless) I could BE ME.  I could love Star Wars and write fan fiction and read other peoples’ fan fiction, and no one would judge me. They accepted me for who I was. I totally wish I could remember my chat room name, but I KNOW it had “star” in it.  Starfire, I am pretty sure.  But I can’t remember what my first name was.  Maybe someone else can remember that for me?

Eventually I made friends with some of the people in these chat rooms, and this is when I realized that I was never going to meet men (boys) who appreciated me in Idaho.  I was too……much.  I was too loud, vibrant, crazy, high-strung, opinionated, and most of all, too ME.* Idaho men, no offense, appreciated a more low-key, mellow, down-to-earth kind of girl. And I am not that person. So I racked up some HUGE phone bills talking to the new people (OK, man) in my life.  (Because we had to pay for long distance phone calls. Even to someone in the SAME STATE.) He got me to realize that I was great just the way I was.  Something I still need to be told, and thank goodness, Biff does that on a daily basis now.  It is something that I forget. Often.

I got to see how people acted in other parts of the country. I got to see how other people thought. I showed them who I wanted to be, and they didn’t reject me.  Then I tried my new ME out on the people I came in contact with in real life, and although people thought I was crazy and weird and strange, I felt like I was being the real me.  For the most part, people accepted me (thanks, ladies, you know who you are)  and for that, I thank you.


Sybrina Starfire, Your Nerd Queen

(I am almost positive that was my name.  I know people called me Syb.  I remember that.)


* I had an English professor (I totally forgot his name, but shout out to him) who asked me if I was from Idaho.  I said, “Yes, from a little town outside of Boise.”  He looked dumbfounded and replied, “Oh, I just assumed you were from back East. You and your friends just seem so….open-minded.”  That is when I started to realize that maybe I was too much for Idaho.

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Roasted Butternut Squash with Pancetta

But it’s orange, you say.  It’s squash, you say.

Yes, yes.  You are correct on both accounts but you’re forgetting the absolute tastiness of it all…it has PORK in it!

I win.

You will, too, when you try and taste this most excellent of side dishes.  I have always loved squash.  All different kinds of squash my mom would make us as kids.  I just grew up eating them and loving them.  Now, Mr. Fae, on the other hand, not so much.  When we first got married and I was prepping some zucchini for dinner, he asked what I was doing.  I told him that we would be eating squash.  By the look in his face, I had to ask.

“Do you like squash?”


“Have you ever had squash?”


“You will love it.”  And he did and still does…just like me, all different kinds of squash.

This recipe is by far one of the most, if not the most tastiest butternut squash recipe I’ve run across.

Here we go:


It calls for cutting up the butternut squash but I HATE doing that.  I’ll wait until I see that the store I’m shopping in has some pre-cut squash for me to purchase.  See those two cartons?  That will feed only me and Mr. Fae.  If you are serving more folks, you’ll need to purchase more of these diced up goodies.

This is soooo easy to prepare if the squash is diced up for you.  Grab a large bowl and dump all the squash into it.  Melt the coconut oil in the microwave (15 secs), dice up the pancetta WITHOUT EATING ANY OF IT, AND I MEAN IT.  IMG_0299Slice up some garlic, chop up some fresh rosemary and if you’re really feeling the Julia Childs jive going on, use coriander seeds and grind those up.  If not, use already ground coriander like I did.IMG_0298

Dump all of this into the bowl with the squash and mix thoroughly.IMG_0301

Line a baking pan with foil and them dump everything in the bowl onto the baking pan.  Cook for 30 minutes at 375˚ watching so that the squash doesn’t burn if your oven tends to cook hotter than the register.


And that, my friends, is it.  Voila!

I tried to give some to my oldest grandson but he didn’t want to try it all.  My youngest grandson tried it, loved it, and kept yelling ‘Mo!’ which is he way of asking, ‘my I have some more of your delightful side dish of roasted butternut squash and pancetta, please?’

Gotta love him…he has great manners.  He would fit right at home in Downton Abbey.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Pancetta

  • 3 T coconut oil, melted
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T coriander seeds, ground or 1.5 t of ground coriander
  • 1 T fresh rosemary, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 oz pancetta, chopped (or you could substitute bacon)
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced.

Preheat oven to 375˚.  Combine oil, garlic, coriander, rosemary, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Add squash and toss well.  Place onto a foil lined baking sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes or until browned and tender.



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College: A Love Letter

Dear College:

For some reason, I have been thinking a lot about you.  Maybe it is because it is that time of year when the alumni association keeps calling me for donations.  Maybe I yearn for those winter days where I could go back to my dorm after class and snuggle in my bed while watching TV and not feel bad about it. Maybe I miss going to the scarf-n-barf (aka the cafeteria, which wasn’t that bad, really) and hanging out with my friends. Every damn meal. Maybe I am just getting old.  Whatever the case.  I miss you.

I am so glad my parents forced me to go to have a relationship with you. They probably wish I hadn’t drawn it out for five years like I did, but I wasn’t ready to let go.  I needed that extra year to make sure the break was a good one.  Don’t worry, I didn’t even apply to grad school until after I left you.  I didn’t cheat. I swear!

I never use my degree that you gave me.  I dreamt I would be the next Great American Writer, but then I realized that they said IOWA not IDAHO when they were talking about places to go to learn to write.  (Just an inside writer’s joke.  Move on if you don’t know what I am talking about.)

What I did learn in college has helped me through the years, though.  I just want to thank you for these things.

I learned to appreciate music more than I ever knew I could.  I listened to a lot of music back then. I listened to horrible, awful stuff, and I learned about new and incredible musicians. I learned to appreciate classical music and punk rock. I learned about Phish and Dave Matthews Band and Widespread Panic, Blues Travelers, and Ani DiFranco, and solidified my love for U2, Pearl Jam, and Tori Amos. I went through an Oasis phase, a Black Happy phase, a Moby phase, a Bush, Frente!, and The Verve phase.  So, thanks for that.

Classes that had nothing to do with my major were most undoubtedly my most memorable: yoga, ballroom dance, film studies and pottery.  I still think of these classes with fondness and regret that I am still not in them.  Why am I not still throwing pottery?  I loved that shit.  I love my professor, Tony, who studied at Kent State and who sliced his hand open in a slip can when someone left a knife in it, which is why we were never allowed to have knives in class. He couldn’t remember my name, so he sang Mambo Number 5 to me instead.

You also taught me how to appreciate off time. I will never forget laying in the sun outside of Turner Hall, making hemp bracelets and studying, listening to my new U2 bootlegs that I got off that new thing called the Internet. Man, how I miss spoofing time, and not feeling guilty about it.

Also, Doc Martens.  I learned about Doc Martens, and I even got myself a pair.  And all was right with the world, even though at the same time, I knew everything was really, truly, very wrong.

But most importantly, college, you taught me how to party. And by party, I mean drink, but more than that, to interact with people.  Trust me when I say that I was always the first person in the door when my friends and I went to a party. I was always the one who didn’t care, and the one who always found someone to talk to , even if it was the “nerdy” guy who turned out to be a hot tennis player from Canada.

I guess I just wanted to say I miss you, college.


A Girl Who Thought She Was Fat But Now Wishes She Was Her College Weight

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