Thursday, July 28, 2016

It's All Coming Back To Me

Thought you were history with the slamming of the was so long ago but it's all coming back to me...NOW.....

Cause who doesn't need some Celine Dion in their life?  

5 things:

1. I love to travel. Seriously if I stay in town too long I get rude. Ask my co-workers.
2. People magazine was one of my life goals growing up. Meaning I've always wanted a subscription.
3. I need a book to read at night even if it's just an instruction manual (the numbers on a toaster are the minutes to toast not levels of crispy) to put me to sleep.
4. I have a serious stained glass star hoarder problem. 
5. I lost five pounds.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Your So Vain

I'm afraid my trainer is going to fire me. 

It's  a legitimate concern.

 My prior performance has been really spotty at best. When it came to holding up my end of the bargain I was promising him I was brand new Mercedes when in reality I was acting like a 15 year old Hyundai with muffler problems.  

Every time I would go in to see him I would give reasons why I could't follow my workouts, why I wasn't dedicating time to cook, and mainly how I just couldn't cause I had a reason not to

Reasons I found out are nothing more glorified excuses we give ourselves for not doing something we don't or are afraid of. Oh my reasons were good. No not good they were golden. I mean they were truly some of the best fiction I've ever told myself. Example " The reason why I couldn't work out today was because I had to work, I tried to eat healthy but it was double stamp day at Waffle LUV and it would have been rude to say no, I ate my feelings cause the reason why is because I felt like I deserved it.." and it goes on and on. 

Let me just be honest and say one thing that puts more of this story into context without me having to go deep and have you feel something and then call my mother and then I have to explain to her what I was trying to explain and then I'll just embarrass myself and then my therapist will finally be able to make another payment on their summer to put it plainly... 

Depression is jerk. 

However I do have to thank him for the year in which I've been working deeper into learning about myself. Mainly looking into my reasons of my bad habits and the fear of change. 

More on that later. 

I have performance review on Monday with my trainer. Wish me luck.

Monday, July 25, 2016

They Can't Take Away My Dignity

I'm so proud of myself. I celebrated pioneer day the way my ancestors intended me to by floating in a giant doughnut float in a pool. 

I would have posted a picture but who wants to see a big fat white kid floating in a pool wearing a yellow suit? Well you will just have to picture it because I don't  have a selfie stick and when I was trying to take the picture my chins got in the way so it didn't happen. 

Lately I've been feeling like Marla Hooch. Every one it seems is having miracle weight loss and I'm the one they  take a picture in a wide angle lense. So instead of feeling all down on myself I've put myself back into school of studying habits and myself. Sometimes all the pieces are there in the puzzle but the motivation, the drive isn't there. In times past this would be a self pitting ice cream confession and a pitiful vow to do better. 

Well I'm done with the vows, the excuses, and the feeling I HAVE to.  Have you noticed that whenever you say I HAVE to you don't do it? I've been saying that for the last month about cleaning my kitchen floor. Everyday and to every person I've talked to I've said oh I can't tonight I HAVE to clean my kitchen floor. Well it's been a month and my floor hasn't been cleaned. I finally had to to change my perspective and say I WANT to. Finally tonight I wanted to clean my floor and it got done. 

In a broader self example I've been working on WANTING to go to the gym. Once I'm there stuff gets done but getting there is always the biggest struggle. So I've been saying to myself I want to do this instead of I HAVE to do this. It hasn't been miraculous but I've been making it there so let's go with that shall we? 

So here's to hoping I can fix into my not so fat pants. 



Sunday, July 24, 2016

Who Lives Who Dies Who Tells Your Story?

I wonder sometimes what my ancestors thought when they rolled into this valley. Did they see this desolate landscape and just go let's just keep going? Or did they just lay back and look at the sky and mountains and go Okay I'm alive for one more day. Let's see what we can create? 

I'll never know because no one thought to write it down. So I can only guess and put my perspective on it. However isn't that what history is? Someone's perspective? 

Today in Church we had a high counsel man humble brag about his long and stoic pioneer ancestors and while he read from his great great great grandfather's journals I found myself drifting off. Perhaps it was the heat (the A/C comped out) or was it just the same story I've heard all my life? 

As we peeled ourselves off the pews and headed towards Sunday school (unfortunately taught by the same thrilling speaker)he began again talking about his family heritage when a hand shot up and the oldest ward member raised herself up and said "You focus so much on the male side of the story but what about your great grandmothers? Their daughters? Without them you wouldn't be standing here telling this story. I'm sick of hearing about the men. Tell me boy what did your great great grandmother do for you?" I have to admit my first thought went to oh snap! The look on his face was priceless. While I don't love to see people squirm in public it raised a fair question. What have your great grandmothers done to your family narrative? 
I took out my notebook and wrote "Without the example of my Grandma Dar I would not be the person I am today. Grandma taught me to use your creativity in order to enrich your life." 

What I've learned the most from my grandmothers and my great mothers is to make time for things that explore your creativity and allows you to create something that is just for you. I have at this moment in my apartment pieces of art created by my grandmother, great grandmother, and my great great grandmothers. All were great accomplished needleworkers, quilters, and cooks. One might argue that all of those skills were necessary in order to survive in reality it those pieces that have been passed on to generation to generation. My grandma Dar once told me that she would lock herself in the bathroom late at night to finish a piece of needlework because she had to see it in the physical state. Or my Great Grandma Esther learning to tat by the older girls on the play ground and taking pieces of string she found and constantly worked on it till she had it right. My great great grandmother quilting late at night during the depression using bits of flour sacks and left over pieces fabric to make quilts in order to keep her family warm during the cold Utah winters. 

Creativity may not be as braggable as the aspects of the high counsel man's great great great grandfather's journal but in reality it is the thing that gets passed on to each generation. It allows us to have original thoughts and say I'm doing this for me. I see it in my sister who works hard in being the best Ironman (woman) she can be. I see it in my Grandpa who took a risk and started a very successful jewelry store. I guess what I'm trying to say is that of all of the traits my pioneer ancestors gave me I'm grateful for the gift of not seeing things for what they are but the way things can be. 

Perhaps that's better than saying my ancestors sang as they walked and walked. 

But that just me. 


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.