Last First Day of School

I finished my LAST first day of school yesterday!  It felt a little surreal to be back at the School of Public Health after my four-month summer break.  Yep, we do the summer break thing big here at SPH—it’s the Michigan difference. 🙂

I’m excited to get this year started.  To be honest, my experience at grad school last year wasn’t quite what I expected.  I barged into the school year wearing nutrition-colored rosy glasses and was pretty shocked that my pre-determined schedule for the year contained only 3 nutrition classes. Two semesters of biostatistics layered with epidemiology, exercise physiology, and biochemistry took over my life and nutrition seemed to be a hazy topic for the future.

Now, I see the light at the end of the tunnel! I’m ready to get my nutrition on, and I’m honestly excited for each of my classes this semester.  Here’s what I’m taking:

Nutrition Assessment
Clinical Nutrition
Pathophysiology of Obesity
Psychosocial Factors in Health-Related Behavior
Food Service Management
Professional Perspectives of Environmental Health Sciences

Right now, I’m most excited for Clinical Nutrition. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut of associating nutrition and dietetics strictly with weight loss, but nutrition has a large impact on disease state as well. I’m hoping this class will broaden my horizons and help me pinpoint my career interests. Plus, we are having a Celiac Disease Potluck. 🙂 Any good gluten-free recipe suggestions?

I have three classes back-to-back on Tuesday and Thursday without a lunch break, so I toted my handy lunch box around to each class.

I packed baby carrots, hummus chips made with chickpea flour, and Sabra original hummus.

The chips were a little funky—not quite my jam.  The hummus was out of this world, though, mainly because it was FREE. I spotted this truck a few weeks ago.

I hunted down ran into the sampling station on State Street, where I received a handful of Sabra hummus packs and Stacy’s Pita chips. Free is the best flavor. 🙂

I also enjoyed an unpictured almond butter and jam sandwich and this GoGo Squeez cinnamon applesauce.

I’m that girl eating yogurt with a plastic straw because I forgot to pack a spoon, so the squeezable packaging really sucked me in.  This was “clean eating” in its finest form—no mess, plus the applesauce contains just apples and cinnamon. Win.

After class, I manned a table at a student organization fair for first-year students.  I ate strawberry cheesecake (!!!) Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and invited people to join Student Advocates for Nutrition, an organization that I co-chair.

My friend Lindsay made this beautiful spinach bouquet from our community garden to entice first year students to join our group. Who doesn’t love free produce?

Great first day! In other news, I ran an errand downtown today and parked my car for about twenty minutes. When I returned, I thought it was weird that my lights were on and then realized that my car was unlocked and running. Apparently, I didn’t turn off the engine, take the keys out of the ignition, or park my car. What?! Who am I?? First day jitters? I’m so thankful that my car was still there and not 20 minutes away. I celebrated its safety with a cinnamon spice tea.

Enjoy your day and turn off your engine!

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Stress Eating

Hi guys!  Happy September!  Pumpkin season is quickly approaching…

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And the summer of Pretzel M&M’s is holding strong for a few more weeks!

I love pretzel M&M’s as a chocolatey after-dinner treat, and I enjoyed a handful after dinner last night.  Sweet and salty is where it’s at! Unfortunately, these guys also starred front and center in my stress eating episode last week.

I ran a bunch of back-to-school errands at Target last week and snatched a family-size bag of Pretzel M&M’s to replenish my chocolate stash.  As I was walking back to my car, I received a call about a project that needed to be done ASAP.  I hadn’t even hung up the phone before I ripped open the bag for a sample of the candy.  I ran into construction and the most lethargic drivers of all time on my drive home, and I pummeled back a few more fistfuls of M&M’s in the car.  The email alert on my phone beeped continuously throughout my drive, and I raced upstairs to my apartment and pounded around on my computer at lightning speed.  Apparently, I also pounded back a few more handfuls of M&M’s—I moved the bag off my desk and realized it was over half empty!  I didn’t make the mind-body connection that I had been shoveling mounds of candy in my mouth until just then, when I started to feel queasy and ashamed.

Isn’t it crazy how fast stress-eating can strike?  No matter how far I’ve come with intuitive eating and respecting my body and hunger, I always need to be mindful of my tendency to stress-eat.  Instances like this are a good reminder for me as a dietetics student that it’s not all about science and metabolism and interactions—there is a huge emotional aspect to eating. When I’m feeling uneasy and anxious, I automatically equate chocolate and carbs to warmth and comfort. I’m a big believer that the best way to tackle this is to acknowledge what tips me over the edge. I’m especially susceptible to this form of mindless eating when I’m crunched for time, feeling unprepared for an academic or work situation, or facing conflict with others.  Since I can’t permanently avoid any of these stressors, I’m trying to be more diligent at acknowledging my stress and looking for other coping mechanisms.  Here’s my game plan for next time:

  1. Transition.  You know that phrase, “Take off your coat and stay a while.”? I’m starting to understand its importance! During my recent bout of M&M overdose, I didn’t allow myself to settle in before I launched in to my project.  I responded to emails in my apartment with my purse still slung over my shoulder while I clutched the bag of candy with one hand and typed with the other. Next time, I’m going to take off my shoes, hang up my purse, and put away anything that I brought home before settling in and sitting down at my computer.
  2.  Adopt a Relaxed Pace.  The more stressed out I am, the faster I try to go. Usually, that just makes me spin in circles around the task at hand. If I decrease my frantic pace and just take a few minutes longer to complete a task, I think my productivity and quality standards will be higher.
  3.  Make it Easier.  If I’m stressed out, it’s just not a smart idea to surround myself with bon bons and brownies. Or Pretzel M&M’s.  On the same token, I need to make sure I eat set meals when I’m under high levels of stress so I don’t turn to frantic snacks and open the door for stress eating.

The plus side to all of this?  I’m really happy that I’m at a place in my life where I can acknowledge my tendency to stress eat, make an action plan for next time, and move on to bigger and better things!

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Dirt Cake Makes My Heart Sing

My family and friends lovingly refer to me as a foodie.  I love exotic nut butters and would rather eat a serving of quinoa than rice.  Pine nut hummus is my dip of choice and I reach for Greek yogurt and almond milk in the dairy aisle.  I brake for nutritional yeast.

Yet my all-time favorite dessert is pudding based and fit for a toddler.

Dirt cake.

Dirt cake makes my heart sing.  My mom randomly made the dessert for her Bunco group when I was in high school, and I’ve been hooked ever since.  The trifecta of crushed Oreos, Cool Whip, and pudding swirl together to create happiness in a bowl.  I literally have to leave the house in order to allow it to chill for the required two hours.  I beg for a dirt cake at any type of celebration or event.  I’ll always remember the night I got my first job out of college—at a purse shop– and celebrated by wiping out the scraps of my checking account to purchase all the ingredients for an epic dirt cake.

I try to limit my dirt cake consumption to a few times a year since it is basically a monstrous bowl of sugar to keep it special. All foods fit—even dirt is okay in moderation. 🙂 Lucky for me, my 24th birthday celebration warranted a dirt cake party!  My birthday is actually tomorrow, but my parents visited me over the weekend and we made my favorite dessert!

Dirt Cake
Serves Colleen 8-10
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
*Must chill for at least 2 hours*

Ingredients

½ cup butter, softened
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
3 ½ cups milk
1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
32 ounces chocolate sandwich cookies with crème filling (read: bag of Oreos)
Small bag of gummy worms

Directions

  1. Chop cookies in food processor, or place in a large sealed plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin.
  2. Mix butter, cream cheese, and sugar in a large bowl.
  3. In another large bowl, mix milk, pudding, and whipped topping together.
  4. Combine pudding mixture and cream mixture together.
  5. Layer in serving bowl, starting with cookies, then cream mixture, then gummy worms.   Repeat layers.
  6. Chill at least 2 hours or until ready to serve.

The funny thing about dirt cake is that no one else seems to love it like I do.  Or to be honest, it’s rare that I meet anyone who even likes it a little bit except as a Halloween party novelty.  Thanks for choking a bite down, Dad, and Mom was a champ and made it through a whole bowl!

More for me.

Mickey can have the specialty peanut butter when dirt cake is in the house.

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Full Circle WIAW

Good morning!  I’m excited that I managed to photograph all my eats yesterday so I can participate in What I Ate Wednesday. 🙂

I love the concept of What I Ate Wednesday because it’s fun and helpful to complete a little visual self-audit of my eating habits.  I no longer keep track of my daily calories or points, but I do like to check in with my daily intake from time to time. I think that food logs are incredibly helpful for people who are actively trying to make specific dietary changes or lose weight, but as I’ve maintained my weight, constantly tracking my intake can get tedious and overwhelming.  However, I’m a firm believer that you have to do what works for YOU.  I’d just rather take pictures for now. 🙂

I started the day with a standard cereal bowl—I kept it simple with a serving of Kashi Cinnamon Harvest and ½ cup of strawberries.

Never. Gets. Old.

I flipped through a few restaurant menus to gather meal suggestions for a client in the morning and I was ravenous at 11:30.  Menu reading always makes me hungry, but it’s pretty fabulous as far as hazards of the job go.  I ate an early lunch of Un-toppable Black Bean Soup, topped  with chopped tomato and a dollop of non-fat plain yogurt.

I made this pureed black bean soup from Mama Pea’s Peas and Thank You cookbook, and it was tasty—I really enjoyed the pureed texture rather than whole black beans that star in most black bean soups, and the addition of carrots was a major win.  I highly recommend this cookbook if you are trying to add more plant-based meals (and desserts) to your diet.  I actually snagged the book on mega sale over the weekend at Borders—bless its heart.

I also enjoyed a slice of whole wheat toast from Angelos, one of my favorite breakfast spots in Ann Arbor.  My parents treated me to breakfast AND a loaf of their freshly baked wheat bread over the weekend.  I added about a tablespoon of Sunbutter to the toast.

Around 2:00, I ate a serving of watermelon and pineapple.

I also drank a Cran-Raspberry La Croix later in the afternoon.

Have you tried La Croix sparkling water?  It rhymes with “enjoy” and has no calories or sweeteners, and I love the bubbles.  I often turn to La Croix when my mouth is just bored and I’m not really hungry.  According to their website, they have a new coconut flavor out that I need to try ASAP!

Dinner was simple, but just what I wanted.  I sautéed half a zucchini, half a summer squash, and a quarter of a red onion seasoned with salt and pepper in olive oil spray, drenched the mixture in marinara sauce and topped everything with a liberal scoop of crumbled goat cheese.

Perfection.  I used about half a cup of Whole Foods 365 brand marinara sauce, and added a splash of shiraz and a few chopped leaves of fresh basil to make it taste more homemade.  Plus, I can always count on goat cheese to take a dish to the next level.

I ate a handful of chocolate-covered raisins before running out the door to Body Pump.

And finally, my day came full circle as I enjoyed another bowl of Cinnamon Harvest and strawberries, with a side of Esther.

I’m wishing you a wonderful Wednesday!!

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Grilled Romaine Salad

Salads bore me lately.  I’m just not feeling the overflowing bowls of greens and veggies like I used to—I think a whole summer’s worth of average salads for lunch are starting to catch up with me, and I’d rather leave the greens in the produce drawer.

This romaine put me back in the game.

Excuse the poor lighting, but can you tell what’s up with that glorious stalk?

Grilled romaine, folks.  I first tried this at Jolly Pumpkin on Friday night.  Something about the concept of a whole stalk of romaine on a plate just for me was intriguing—I guess it’s just chopped lettuce that I’m over?  It was one of the best things I’ve eaten in a while!  The stalk was slightly charred and wilted, giving the stalk that “grilly” flavor that I love, but retaining the crunch that I expect from romaine.

The salad was served with walnuts, dried figs (!) and chicken, and the stalk was accompanied by a creamy garlic dressing that was absolutely perfect for the fork-dip dressing conservation method.  Loved it.

I tried grilled romaine for the second time at Jolly Pumpkin on Saturday night with my parents.  What can I say, I know what I like. 🙂  We also shared an order of amazing French fries seasoned with truffle salt and rosemary—so delicious!  Everything tastes better when served in a paper cone.

I tried grilled romaine for the third time at home today for lunch.  And you can, too!

Grilled Romaine Salad

Serves 1
Preparation and Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 romaine stalk, washed and dried
Olive oil spray spray
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon dried cherries
Simple Salad Dressing:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
Freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a jar.  Screw on the lid tightly and shake to combine.  Dressing serves 2-3; store leftovers in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat George Foreman Grill (or a real grill)
  2. Lightly spray the top and bottom of romaine stalk with olive oil spray.
  3. Place stalk on George and grill for 3 minutes (do not close top of grill or stalk will be crushed).
  4. Flip stalk and grill other side for 3 minutes , or until leaves are charred and wilted.
  5. Remove stalk and lightly season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Drizzle with Simple Salad Dressing and garnish with walnuts and dried cherries.
I wasn’t sure how this would turn out on a plain old George Foreman instead of a fancy pants restaurant grill, but it was fabulous!  The dried cherries brought the simple lettuce to another level—chances are good that I will be trying grilled romaine for the fourth time very soon.
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A Better Bowl of Cereal

As a native of Cereal City USA, I’d like to think I know my breakfast flakes pretty well.  I grew up thinking everyone received a plethora of Rice Krispies treats and mini boxes of Frosted Flakes while trick-or-treating.  The sweet scent of Fruity Pebbles near the Post factory downtown was a regular occurrence during my childhood in Battle Creek, which is home to both Kellogg’s headquarters and a large Post factory.

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In the last few years, I’ve come to see cereal as a double-edged sword.  I love the convenience and taste of a quick bowl of whole grain cereal in the morning, but it never seems to fill me up unless I add several toppings.  On the flip side, these mix-ins can add in several hundred additional calories that I don’t need.  I’ve learned to choose my toppings with intention and purpose to create a better bowl of cereal.

Three distinct components exist in the creation of a perfect layered cereal bowl—the base, filler, and garnish.

THE BASE

The base refers to the basic cereal that fills the bottom layer of the bowl.  As with most projects, it’s important to build a strong base!  In cereal land, this means adhering to a few standard guidelines:

  • Choose a whole grain cereal (look for the words “whole grain” in the label) below 200 calories per serving.
  • Limit sugar (I try to keep my selection below 9 grams of sugar per serving)
  • Increase fiber (A good rule of thumb is to look for at least 3 grams of fiber per serving)
  • A few of my favorite base cereals are Kashi Heart to Heart Honey Toasted Oats, Multigrain Cheerios, Grape-nuts, and Kashi Cinnamon Harvest.
  • Be aware that most cereals are inherently low in fat and protein (cereal=carbohydrate)
  • Nix the granola.  Granola is generally higher in calories and fat due to added butter and oil, and while it has its place as a treat, it doesn’t necessarily belong in a multi-component cereal bowl.
  • Stick to the serving size!  This is key when creating a layered cereal bowl because you will be relying on other additions to increase the staying power of your breakfast—don’t make the base too large!  Serving sizes for cereal generally range from ½ cup to 1 cup.
  • “Cut” your favorite cereal with All-Bran.  If you absolutely love a cereal that is higher in sugar and calories and lower in fiber, no worries.  Halve the serving size of your favorite flakes and add ¼ cup of All Bran, which contains just 40 calories, 3 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of fiber for a ¼ cup serving.

Here, I started with 1 serving of my beloved Kashi Cinnamon Harvest.

THE FILLER

The filler is key in a layered cereal bowl, and it involves nuts or nut butter.  This component adds healthy fat and protein to keep you full all morning and power you through to lunch.  It’s also tricky territory for me because it’s incredibly easy to just keep on dipping into the nut jar.  A few key tips:

  • Keep your serving size to around 1 tablespoon of nut butter of nuts.  One tablespoon of walnuts, my current nut of choice, contains 100 calories, 10 grams of fat (heart healthy, omega-3 fat), and 2.4 grams of protein.
  • If you use nut butter, try all-natural peanut butter or almond butter—look for just peanuts or almonds and salt on the ingredients panel.  Standard nut butters add extra sugar and other sweeteners (plus hydrogenated fats) that you just won’t miss in a layered cereal bowl!
  • Keep your peanut butter on the spoon throughout your cereal-eating experience.  This allows you to slowly savor a taste of nut butter during each bite of cereal!
  • Another filler option is a scoop of protein powder.  Simply sprinkle the powder over your cereal instead of adding nuts or nut butter.  I like Vanilla Vega Protein powder—1 scoop will add 120 calories, 3 grams of fat, 7.5 grams of fiber and a whopping 13 grams of protein to your bowl.

I added 1 tablespoon of chopped walnuts to my cereal bowl.

THE GARNISH

The garnish layer is fruit, and it provides additional fiber and natural sweetness.  Again, portion control is key here.  Fruit should complement your layered cereal bowl, not overpower it.

  • Keep your serving size to between ¼ and ½ cup of fruit, depending on your caloric needs.
  • My favorite cereal fruits are blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries.
  • Try frozen fruit.  When combined with milk, frozen fruit adds an icy texture for your cereal-eating pleasure.  Be certain to buy unsweetened frozen fruit—check the label to ensure the product contains just fruit, no added sweeteners.
  • Get creative.  One of my all-time favorite cereal bowls contained frozen mango chunks and pitted sweet cherries!
I sprinkled ¼ cup of fresh blueberries on my cereal.
That’s all there is to it!  Add ½ cup of low-fat or skim milk (unsweetened almond or soy milk are also good choices), sprinkle your bowl with cinnamon if desired, and sit down to fully enjoy your breakfast.With ½ cup of skim milk, my morning meal contained about 400 calories, 11 grams of fat, 12 grams of protein, and 7 grams of fiber.  This is the perfect nutritional mixture for my breakfast—enough toppings to keep me full without accidentally creating an 800 calorie monster bowl.

What’s in your ideal layered cereal bowl?  

 

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Romaine Lettuce Wraps

Hi!  I hope you are having a great weekend!  I’m up north enjoying a few days of relaxation, and I’m also dogsitting my main man Mickey while my parents gallivant around with their friends.  Mickey is a very popular guy—one of our neighbors stopped by to visit him this morning and brought him us cookies.

 I think they are for us and not Mickey?  Either way, I ate one and it was very tasty—kind of shortbread-like with the requisite buttery crumbles!

Have you ever tried a Jimmy John’s Unwich?  Basically, they serve your sandwich fillings wrapped in romaine leaves instead of tucked between slices of bread.  This is a great option for a lighter lunch, and as much as I love French baguette bread, it’s usually a healthier option to get my carbs in a whole grain version elsewhere. 🙂 I recreated something similar today.

Romaine Lettuce Wraps

Makes 2 wraps

Ingredients:

  • 2 Romaine Lettuce Leaves, washed and dried
  • 4 slices deli-style low-sodium turkey breast
  • 1 slice cheddar cheese
  • 1 half Roma tomato, sliced into half moons
  • 1 teaspoon spicy mustard
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Spread ½ teaspoon of spicy mustard on one romaine leaf.
  2. Arrange 2 slices of turkey breast, ½ slice of cheddar cheese, and ½ of the tomato slices on leaf.
  3. Garnish with ground black pepper.
  4. Start with one end of the leaf and roll.  Secure with a toothpick or eat immediately.
  5. Repeat process with second romaine leaf.
Delicious!  Mickey approved too, and he was particularly fond of the meat and cheese components. That’s a wrap–have a fun Saturday!
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Why Hasn’t Anyone Invented Something Better Than an Oar?

Hi! How are you today? I’m back after my “staycation” week at home with my parents and sister.  I love that relaxation induced, post-vacation high!  We packed a lot into a week…

I traded in my laptop for a lap cookie.

And coveted Monica’s fedora.  So beachy! 

We rented a tandem bike for fun on Mackinac Island–those double bicycles are tough to manuever!  We had a few close calls on the path, but made it out alive.  I sat in the back seat and coasted while Monica pedaled definitely got the better end of the deal.

Monica brought her dog Logan to play with Uncle Mickey, my parents’ youngest child dog.  Fun fact: Mickey bit me in the face last Christmas in a rage of jealousy and my dad shouted “What did you do to him?!”  Such a diva.

 

Do you see the resemblance between Logan and this stuffed opossum we saw at an ice cream shop?!  Distant cousins?

We visited Chateau Chantel, a local winery, and I enjoyed a glass of Nice Red while overlooking the bay.

 

Such a gorgeous view.

My mom and I both rocked our Lily Pultizer outfits.  Her skirt may find its way into my suitcase during my next trip home!

So who here has kayaked?  Dang, it is hard!  My mom and I opted for a tandem kayak, which pretty much sealed our doom.  They are much harder to steer and we constantly ended up banked in the river grass and sandbar.  Kayaking just came naturally to my sister and Dad–why?!?!

The best quote from our kayaking trip came from my mom as we lagged behind the group.  She held up her oar and said, “Why hasn’t anyone invented something better than an oar?”  I totally agreed, and then Monica filled us in on the invention of the motor.  Right.

We laughed through our river adventure and then enjoyed a cherry pie from Grand Traverse Pie Company for my very early birthday celebration!  Love the little heart on this mini pie.

My birthday isn’t until the end of August, but who’s counting, really?  I still made a wish!

That’s a wrap!  Monica and Logan flew back to South Carolina yesterday, and I headed back to Ann Arbor.  I had such a great vacation, and I think Logan enjoyed the week, too.

How cute is he?!  I miss him already!

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Thursday Loves

Hi all!  Thursday is looking especially good this week because I’m only two days away from vacation.  I can’t wait to spend the week up north with my sister’s dog my sister and my parents.  Here are a few things that I’ve been loving this week:

1. Watermelon with Balsamic Vinegar

I first tried this delightful combination a few months ago at a “catering try-out event” at work when several catering companies shared their favorite dishes with the staff.  Yeah, that was a fun day in the office.  

I’ve been dumping balsamic vinegar all over my watermelon ever since!  My roommate recently introduced me to the wonder of baby seedless watermelons–they have a thinner rind and are so much easier to cut.  Our hand-me-down Ikea knives can only handle so much.

2. 40% Off Cooking Magazines

This love is a little bittersweet.  Have you heard that Borders Bookstore is closing?  The company actually began here in Ann Arbor, and I stopped by the main store downtown to check out the sales.  I’m still undecided on E-readers (every time you turn on your Kindle a book dies), but it hurt my heart to see the bookstore ransacked and ready to close.  BUT I managed to buy Clean Eating and Cuisine Tonight for Two for 40% off each!  Rest in peace, Borders.

3. Stir Fry

I’m a big fan of stir fries, and this batch that I made on Tuesday is truly the gift that keeps on giving.  I sauteed onion, red pepper, mushrooms, water chestnuts, and chicken breast, and added about 2 tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon each of ginger and pepper.  So far, I’ve enjoyed this dish for three meals, and I think I can make it work for dinner tonight, too!

4. Yogitoes Towel

I finally caved and purchased a Yogitoes towel from Lululemon’s “We Made Too Much” sale category.  I’ve had a few close calls in hot yoga–the downward dog slide is becoming my specialty pose–and decided it was time to invest in a sturdier slip-proof towel for my mat.  I can’t wait to use this in class!

5. Whole Foods Market in Detroit

Whole Foods Market announced today that they will be opening a store in Detroit in 2013! This is huge because there are currently no grocery stores within Detroit city limits.  Looks like the D is moving from a food desert to a food oasis.  I’m so excited for this news!

What are you loving this week?  Have a great day!

 

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Wide Open Spaces

If your driver’s side car window permanently falls down at the beginning of a four hour road trip to a wedding…

1.   Don’t cover the window with a tarp.

This seemed like such a genius idea—I already had duct tape and scissors in the car, so I quickly pulled over to Target and bought a huge green camping tarp.  I trimmed the covering to size in the parking lot and slapped it over the gaping hole with a very generous amount of duct tape.  This was absolutely perfect, until I sat back in the driver’s seat and realized I couldn’t see out the window to drive.  I abandoned the tarp.

2.   Don’t try to pull the window up from the depths of your car door with your bare hands, unless you are the Hulk.

It just won’t work, and your manicure will be a thing of the past.

3.   Focus on the positives. 

I discovered quite a few negatives while driving down the expressway in the middle of July with no driver’s side window, but there were some good things, too: 

  • Plenty of fresh air
  • Windblown hair is pretty in its own way
  • Perfect opportunity to get a little sun (on my left side only)
  • The window opening makes for a very comfortable arm rest

My prayers for no rain were answered, and I arrived safely in Columbus.  I had so much fun at the wedding, plus a fun story to tell at cocktail hour. 

Plus, the real troubles with my car didn’t start until I returned home the next day.  When will teleporting be perfected and in widespread use?

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