Monday, May 23, 2016

The One Where Blake Goes for a Walk

           (The Berthana and Old Standard Examiner building)

Lately it seems some well-intentioned family members suggest that I pick up and pack up and move on from Ogden. However after walking around downtown tonight I had to ask myself why?  I love my home town. So here's some pictures. 

(St. Joseph's Church) 

(The Well's Fargo Building and Spencer Eccles Hotel now Hampton Inn) 

(The New Ogden Temple) 

So for the moment I'm staying. 

Come visit. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The One Where Blake Bakes

(B for Blake. Buy one here)

I was invited to a party today. The chance for me to be social. Rare I know. We were requested to bring a desert as it was a birthday party. Since it was Sunday I couldn't do my usual trick of driving down to Farr Better Ice Cream picking up a pint of ice cream, driving to the Smith's Food King buying an Oreo crust slathering some ice cream in the crust some harden crust and voila! Ice cream pie via la Blake. 

Last weekend I had to go up Burley for work and drove over to Sun Valley to spend the weekend. After touring Cassia Regional and Burley's botanical gardens. FYI there is nothing botanical about them. It's a big ole plot of crab grass so you can cross that off your list of things to do in Burley. When I finally made it to the house I pulled out my red bike (with a basket! and a bell!) and rode into town to go to three of my favorite places. Despos (some of the best Mexican food I've ever had), the grocery store, and the book store. Or Food Food books. Is there nothing better? I promise this ties back into me going to a party. Iconoclast books sells both used and new books and lately I've been on cookbook kick. Don't ask me why but someone mentions the word bake, braise, glaze, grill, and my fat little heart beats a little faster. Would you believe my luck but they had a whole stack on sale? 

So I bought the Salmon Fourth Ward cook book (Ward cook books are amazing.Why did we stop making these?) for 1.98! Sister Mary Richmond not only had the ward recipes but many of her own. In the back of the book was this recipe for homemade brownies that I felt that heady feeling when you read amazing prose. After coming home I filed it with all the other cooking books and promptly forgot about it. Till I received a last minute invite to a party. 

With it being Sunday I was in panic. Then I remembered Sister Mary Richmond. Pulling out the cook book I found her recipe for homemade raspberry brownies and she saved me from social embarrassment. 

So here's Sister Mary Richmond's Homemade Brownie Recipe: 

3 oz unsweetened  chocolate coarsely chopped. 
1 1/2 C unsalted butter
1 1/3 sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla 
2/3 C. unbleached all purpose flour
3 C. raspberries rinsed, dried, divided. 
1 C. heavy cream. Whipped. 

350 degree oven. Lightly grease and flour ( I didn't have much flour so I just used coco powder) a 9" spring form pan. Melt chocolate on a VERY (this was underlined three times so it be very important) LOW heat till smooth, add butter stir till melted. Whisk sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk in flour till incorporated. Pour mixture into springform pan. Gently press berries in batter. Bake 35-40 min until the edges crack and feel firm to the touch. Cool completely and remove from the spring form pan. Serve in wedges with a dollop of cream and berries on top. 

No wonder I'm fat. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The One Where Blake Stays in Bed

(It says I am an imperfect mortal being and that is enough. Like it? Buy it here. They aren't sponsoring this post I just hate it when people have cool things and then don't share where they got it.)

I had several wonderfully witty post to write today. Deeply intellectually stimulating post that would be wonderful bon mots for you use in church tomorrow. 

Alas the best I can do is I want doughnuts. 

Warm fresh glazed doughnuts with sprinkles on top. Thank goodness Krispy Kremes is not close. It's too much of a hassle with the Layton exit turn right pray the light is on and then arrive and you can't just buy one and eat two or three in the car and then fat shame yourself all the way home. 

I'm having one of those weekends where I was going to pretend to be productive but after waking up early to drive some people to the airport in the pouring rain I came home and spend some lovely time in my bed. Is there nothing better than sleeping with a window opening listening to the rain wrapped up all warm and cozy in a down comforter like a big giant Blake burrito? No there is not. There are no demands on my time today. 

While the panicky side of my brain is freaking out about the massive loads of wash that need to be done, the fridge that is in desperate need of cleaning out, the bills that need to be reviewed and checks to be written, I'm sitting here wrapped up in cocoon of happiness. Usually my Saturday mornings begin early for I live next door to a car wash and people start early cleaning their cars. Which is fine till  the mariachi music cranked up so high with the base bouncing I usually wake up to my stain glassed stars bouncing in the windows in a state of panic. 

I have the James Taylor and Joni Mitchell Live album playing and I'm just grateful to have a day where I can read a good book and just enjoy being with myself. The phone is too far away and I have an app blocking the facebook and instagram apps on my computer. So I am writing this because I am trying to focus on being present in the moment. Not focusing on what has happened in the past nor what I can't control in the future. Because that's what life is truly made of the little moments. Sometimes covered in glaze and fresh from the oven and if you have truly been a good person in the past life covered with sprinkles. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The One Where Blake Comes Back

(Like this star? Buy it here

He hem.
Well hello!  Wasn't that a lovely little year long break. Did you miss me?

Why am I coming back to what seems to be out dated way of communicating with people? Well to put it bluntly I love to take pictures but I hate hate hate having my picture taken. Someone mentions the word group photo or "family" picture and I'm like the road runner poof! Gone in a flume of smoke. So how could I snap chat or vine? Also let's be honest no one likes to hear their voice recorded.  Plus to be truthful when ever I ran into one of you who used to read this would ask when are you going to blog again?  So the question would haunt my conscious  mind when would I come back?  Would anyone still read this? Would I still read this? 

The answer isn't a magical one. 

Rather it's a truthful one.

I'm blogging again because I've finally been able to make peace with some of the demons (see depression) that made me go  full on Howard  Hughes just short of wearing Kleenex boxes for shoes. While I wanted to share with you some aspects of the journey I didn't want to rip all my stitches a part in a public forum. Cause like a sex tape the internet is forever and I didn't want to have explain why or where I was coming from nor did I want people to call my mother and say "I'm worried about Blake". 

So now that we have that out of the way let's focus on the real reason why you are here. The question that y'all have been wondering for the last six years. Am I still fat? 


Am I working on it? 


My poor trainer. I'm sorry Ryan if  you are reading this.  

So what makes this attempt different than all my other ones? Cause this is the middle of my story. No one loves the middle of  a weight loss story. We want the infomercial version. Give me the dramatic fat sad picture. Insert a few minute of dramatic monologue music and then segue into the after picture of the smiley fit picture. Fast quick and easy (Three words that describe me best). To be truthful  this is my Empire Strikes Back, the the Half Blood Prince, Catching Fire and I could go on but I won't. However what's wonderful about the middle is this is where the magic happens.  The point in which hooks you in and makes you feel for the characters. 

See I had been wrapped up in so many excuses,so so so much blame, and to be truthful fear I was always afraid that I wasn't good enough nor that I was worthy enough to try. That I am better to be known by my failures instead of successes. Till I read this book. (Daring Greatly by Brene Brown I promise I'll stop with the hyper links) and saw this quote 

The Man in the Arena by Theodore Roosevelt. Simply one of the best quote to learn by heart.:

and it changed my life. Truly and utterly changed my life. Because if you aren't in the arena and let's be honest the weight loss arena is huge and all I was doing was looking out at the critic section trying to win over approval for my excuses. Then I realized that if I was looking at those sitting in the critic seats they weren't getting their faces and asses marred then I had no interest in their feed back. Don't get me wrong I still hear them but instead of a loud roar (in the first draft there was a very long Katy Perry moment but I felt it was reaching just a bit) they are becoming more of whisper. 

Lastly why the picture of the Bee Star for this post? Because my name is Blake it starts with a B and stars are my favorite shape. Plus bees represent industry and hard work. I come from the land of industry and hard work but more on that later. 

So in a very long and dramatic way I guess I'm asking for you to once again join me on this journey, 

Let's have some fun shall we? 

An Important Announcement

I'm coming back to you live May 20th.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The one where Blake has another existential crisis.

They say that when the seasons change you as a person change as well. I believe this statement to be generally true however I would apply it to the decades you go through as your age. First comes the rough and tumble teenage years where you hide away all those essential parts of your personality that makes you an individual in order to “fit in”. After being thrust forward in life to your twenties where you will spend the first half exploring who you are in the world, releasing those hidden traits and finding that it is exhausting trying to fit in to such a little square peg. So you make yourself a posse of friends from various backgrounds, and you start staying up late, making adventures, falling in deep love for the first time, and then the late part of your twenties hit. The holy shit where am I going with my life, this is what I got my degree in but I’m not happy, where do I want to work? Suddenly people are getting married because they want to not cause they have to. All the sudden the wild child is married and has two kids and no one freaks out.

Oh then you turn thirty and this is the age where you learn all the lessons from the mistakes and adventures you had in your twenties. I call it the Look at me I’ve reproduced, bought a house, ran a marathon, gotten divorced, and am fighting to get noticed in my job stage. Oh. Suddenly the I needs to show up in your dreams. I need to save for retirement, I need to travel, I need to spend more time with XYZ before they are gone, and I need to lose weight shows up. So the question lies when do you start feeling confident in your life?  Is this a product of the society that we are a part of?
Last week I was sitting in church having gotten a walk around from the single’s ward. Let me explain. When you turn thirty one they kick you out of the single’s ward sending you a letter stating basically you have two options. A. Go to the mid-level there’s a reason why you aren’t married single ward, or you can return back to the family ward where hopefully someone has a fat sister they can pawn off on you. All the sudden you’re married friends say this lovely sentence I have the perfect person for you to go out with BUT something. Usually the BUT is something that is something you can’t ignore. He has a great personality BUT he has constant gas and sounds like a car that backfires every five seconds. They mean well. Because your married friends don’t like being just the two of them since they have decided to swear lifelong fidelity to each other they need someone else to date. Otherwise they are forced to deal with each other. No they aren’t looking to add someone else this isn’t Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice. So you endure these blind dates, these I mean well set ups because well there’s only so many times you can flick through the Netflix queue and realize you are wearing the I give up sweats and eating a pint of ice cream. *I only know this for the sake of research or as I like to call it every Saturday night*

I’m trying to figure out how do you deal with the boredom of your thirties? You aren’t broke poor like your twenties, you are still saddled with a great load of debt from your free loving twenties (by free loving I mean those lovely student loans) and the idea of staying in hostel no longer sounds romantic but rather dirty and gross. You may be poor but you’ve upgraded to a better mattress and you clean your sheets every week now why would you want to sleep on sheets left on a bed from the Nixon administration? Plus staying up past ten at night deserves an award. Basically if you can get me out of my house past 9 there better be ice cream or fried foods available. 

So what I’m trying to ask is how do you capture the essence of your twenties in your thirties?  With earlier curfews of course.  Is your thirties your last shot on doing those dreams you told yourself that you would do in your twenties? 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The One Where Blake Goes to a Wedding

Whoo. Ever want to feel old? Watch the youngest sibling get married. It was a beautiful wedding, reception, dinner and such. Yet in my mind when I looked at my little brother I saw the little boy who wore camo everywhere and dressed as James Bond for Halloween. Every year was a different animal to hunt the cutest being two ducks. The hard moments of watching him navigate the tumultuous journey that is middle school and high school. Waiting each Monday for the weekly email to come while he was on his mission.

It goes so quickly how fast they grow up. One minute they are this thing that you can’t stand and the next moment they meet someone and you see them falling in free fall in love and suddenly they become like a MGM musical. Their feet don’t seem to touch the floor. At first when Hunter introduced Ashley to our family I realized from the moment that she was something special to Hunter. It doesn’t take long to you to realize how lucky you are to gain another sister.

So it’s wonderful.

It’s marvelous.

That they could find each other and found love and I wish nothing but the best for them.  Cause in this day and age we need more love stories and less stories of people falling apart. The moment I fell apart is when they were doing that little awkward first married dance as a couple and I hope that they will always look at each other the way they looked at each other in that moment.  How time seemed to speed up and slow down it’s a look I’ve seen in brief moments when my mother found my step father. The moment my sister married my brother in law. The moment I saw Thea. The last time I saw my Grandma look at my Grandpa before she cut the strings and freed herself from her physical body. It’s that look that says in the best way you will be the death and life of me.
It’s the look that says I’ll never let you go and that I’ll be right beside you. That feeling when you fall back and you let go and that person catches you. I’m grateful that in this moment there is a little bit more of love and joy than sadness and hatred in this world.

So to Hunter and Ashley on their wedding day I wish them nothing but love and joy.