Friday, June 22, 2012

is it just me?

Several years ago I got a notice from my principal that I would be going to a meeting in the next week or so. He didn't know much about it when I asked him, but he passed on all of the information he had received. Turns out it was a committee of teachers from across the state - around 10 of us - and a representative from the state department and the testing company that handles our state testing. And I have gone to these meetings a few times each year since that first meeting.

It is always a two day event held in Little Rock. For those of us who live several miles away, rooms are provided at the hotel where we meet. It's a nice hotel. The beds are very comfortable. The rooms are a nice size. And it's so convenient to get up the second morning and just walk downstairs for the day's meeting. And I usually have a chance to do a bit of shopping.

I get the invitation for the meeting a few months in advance. I've known for quite some now that I would be going to a meeting this week. And I had a plan. On my reading list for the summer was the Fifty Shades series. Of course, there is nowhere around here to get the books, so I planned to go to the bookstore on the first day of my overnight stay in Little Rock. I have the Kindle app and could have downloaded the book - but I wanted to have the actual book in my hand.

My Wednesday started out great. I met friends and did our morning running. I finished week 5. It was humid, even at 5:15. And already hot. I was a sweaty, stinky mess when I finished my run. I returned home, enjoyed coffee, wrote a post, took my shower, packed my bag, and headed to Little Rock. After that drive my legs were a bit sore when I walked into the hotel. I grabbed some lunch at the restaurant and went in for the meeting. For the next several hours, I sat. The longer I sat, the more sore my calves got. When the meeting was over and I went to check-in, I felt a few cramps in my now very sore calves. I decided to just take my things to my room, go to the bookstore, get my books, and come back to the hotel. On my way back to the truck, I made a detour just to check - I thought a soak in a hot tub would feel great. Unfortunately, there was no hot tub, and now I had a few more steps to make to get to my truck.

After driving across town to the bookstore, my legs were really starting to cramp. It was painful. But I wanted those books and would probably buy more. I had been waiting for a chance to go to the book store for several weeks. I found the second and third books near the door. I also found two other books that I wanted. Now I just needed that first Shades books.But it was nowhere to be found, and neither was a store employee. My sore, cramping calves and I hobbled around the store for almost 45 minutes before I found an employee. It seems that the computer near the front of the store can't be trusted to know what is in the store and what is not. The guy asked if I wanted him to order the book. Seriously? If I wanted to order it, I wouldn't have waited for several weeks and driven all the way across purchase the book. I put down the books in my hands and huffed out of the store.

I honestly thought about just going back to the hotel. My calves were hurting that bad. But I decided that I had to go to Target and get some IcyHot or something. So drive to Target, hobble to the back of the store, and guess what? There's that first book, and the third book, but no second book. Uugghhh! I had just put that back at the bookstore. But I was so mad. But I was so ticked about having to walk around for that long with no help, and my calves were cramping so bad, that I just wanted to go back to the hotel. I went looking for IcyHot. Found it near the Epsom salts. A soak sounded so comforting at that time.

I got back to the hotel and again hobbled to my room. I went down to get ice so that I could take some Ibuprofen. Came back and realized that that bathroom floor was covered in water. I grabbed a towel and threw it to the floor. Put there was quiet a lot of water. On previous visits, I once had to move rooms because the lock wouldnt' work and once my air conditioner  didn't cool. I knew the routine. A call to the front desk. They assured me that maintenance would be right up. Just when I thought my door should be rattling, the phone rang. Turns out the maintenance man was also the van driver and had gone to the airport. So I waited. I couldn't fill the tub to soak my calves because I didn't know where the water was coming from, and I didn't want to flood the entire room. So I grabbed my book and turn on the lamp nearest the chair.

Of course just as soon as I got comfortable, the phone rang - the maintenance man would be knocking soon. But he didn't come so I sat back down. Then the knock came. I hobbled over and let him in. he checked the bathroom and told me that me would be right back. Back to the chair for reading, but wait - where did my light go. The bulb had burned out. I decided that I could read from the bed. I moved my things and reached to turn the lamp on. There was no button. And then another knock at the door. The maintenance guy brought my clean towels to replace the ones I had used to soak up the water. And he told me that he had to go to his workshop and would be back. I asked him for the second time if it would just be better for me to move to another room. He assured me that I would be fine. I just wanted to take a bath and read my book, with a lamp that worked. And not have to get up to answer the door another time.

But he came back. And I had to waddle to the door again. I stood at the bathroom door while he worked. I asked again about changing rooms. But again, he assured me that I would be okay. Little did he know that by telling me this and knock repeatedly on my door, he was the one that was taking risks. He tightened something on the toilet, placed a towel around it, and told me that it should be fine. When he left I no longer had any desire to take a bath - I didn't want to enter that bathroom.

I rubbed the IcyHot on my still cramping calves, crawled in the bed, and started my book. I was burning up. After several minutes, I got back up to check the thermostat. An hour or so later, I was checking it again. I decided that my air wasn't working properly. I was not happy - a flooded bathroom, lamps that didn't work, and now the room wouldn't cool down. Had my legs not been cramping so much, I would have stormed down to front desk and thrown a huge fit.

An hour or so later I was up messing with the thermostat again. The air was working. It just wouldn't cool down enough. My normal night time house temperature is 68 - the room was about 75. I can't sleep at 75. I went into the hallway; it was cooler out there. After a few minutes, I shuffled back to the bed, rubbed on more IcyHot, and kept reading. Finally a little after 2:00 the room was down to about 70, and I feel asleep. It was very difficult to pull myself out of bed when my alarm went off at 6:00.

Why me? The next morning, the committee members discussed their glorious rests the night before. Why is it that I get the room with a near dead A/C? When so many of those cold-natured people would have never noticed.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


A few years ago administrators everywhere learned this word, and now teachers hear it at every meeting. I, personally, get sick of it by about lunch of the second day back to school. However, there is something to be said about being held accountable. I have started this running app many, many times. Each time I would say this time I will finish it. But I never have. One time I hurt my knee. One time I got sick for a few days. And several times, I just got lazy or it rained or it was too hot or it was too cold or a million other excuses - but I didn't finish. I'm not sure I ever finished w4d1.

But this time I was determined to finish it. To not only get past week 4 but to finish the entire app and actually run. But hadn't I told myself that a million other times about one exercise plan or another. Haven't we all done that? But something is different this time. This morning I finished week 5. Can I get a Whoop-whoop! Yes, you heard me correctly. I finished week 5. This morning. As in I've already done it. This time I haven't let a million excuses stop me. It hasn't been easy. It ain't pretty! But I'm doing it. I've had this phobia about running in front of people. You know - I'm too sweaty. I'm too slow. I'm too jiggly. But this time, I kept my schedule. I ran at the lake. I ran past my neighbor's house while he was outside. And this week I started running with friends. Two mornings this week I have gotten up before 5a.m. and met friends for early morning running. The broken toe has slowed me down a bit. Sunday morning, I started running with Lovey and had to walk the second half because my toe hurt so bad (I had stumped it the night before). But the next morning I got up and reran that day - and finished it. This time, I started out running my three days a week and walking the other days. And I have only skipped a few walking mornings. I didn't walk or run or anything yesterday. And you know what? I just didn't feel good all day. About halfway through the afternoon, I thought to myself, If I would have gone running this morning, I would feel better. Seriously! I really thought that! And even more importantly, I believe it.

So what's so different this time? What's making me change the way I think. This time I find myself planning my day around my exercise. For years, I tried to fit exercise into my day - it rarely worked. Something almost always bumped it further and further down the list. I couldn't walk after school because I had afterschool tutoring. I would do morning walks all summer and then stop when school started, planning to do it later in the day. But the time was just never right later in the day. This time, I have caught myself saying, Can't do that, I have to run in the morning. or Well I'll have to run first. or even Want to run with me? Just the other day my momma asked me if I was dieting too. My answer to that was a big NO. I haven't let the scales deter me. In the past, I would set myself up for failure. I changed everything at once and then couldn't stick with it. Or I would get on the scales and not see much of a change and get discouraged and quit it all. Oh, I've gotten on the scales almost everyday - they just tell me the same thing over and over again. For the last few weeks, I've lost and gained back and lost again the same 3 or 4 pounds. And I'm sort of okay with that. Would I like the weight to be dropping off? Hell yeah. But I'm just not worrying about it. This is not about me losing weight - this is about me finishing the running app. I'll worry about the numbers on the scale when I can run 30 minutes without needing an oxygen tank. And to be honest, my clothes are fitting a little more loosely. Good enough for me.

Is all of this change because of accountability? I've been posting about finishing the app. A few weeks ago, I committed to #4realfitnesschallenge. My New Year's resolution included fitness - I think I've started the c25k app three times since then. I resolved to lose 5 pounds a month and try a new recipe each week, but neither of those are happening. Running with friends has helped me this week. I really didn't want to get up this morning, but I knew they would be running so I did. They would have gone on without me and not even been upset that I didn't show up, but I wanted to run with them. The broken toe could have been a legitimate excuse to back out of the fitness challenge - but I refused to let that stop me. My little excursions this summer have been reasons to not run, but I've packed my shoes and my headphones and done it. I honestly believe that this time I have forgotten all about being accountable to the other stuff - like diets and scales, and I've been accountable to me. I don't want to fail me. I refuse to let myself down again. I've been asked several times if I plan to run a 5k when I finish the app, and honestly, I don't see that happening - but I just might.

I've got the first 20 minute run coming up soon. I'm debating whether I want to run that on my own or with the group. What would be the easiest? Running with the group increases my pace - not that my pace keeps up with theirs at all. What if I want to quit? Running with someone might push me to keep going. But running with someone might make me want to give up when my running pace slows down to not even someone else's walking pace. (It could happen, believe me.) See. These are the things that go through my mind now. I'm making decisions for me. Not for the scales. Not for the someone's challenge. Not for the blog. For me. What will work for me? I think accountability must come from within. It helps to have encouragement along the way. It helps to be challenged. It helps that someone will suffer with me. But until I want it for myself, none of the technology, none of the cheering, none of the questioning, none of the rewards in the world is going to make me do it. I'm doing it now because I finally decided that I would. I want to finish it more than I want to give in to the excuses. That's what is keeping me accountable right now.  

I'm thinking that I will start my school year by having my students discuss "accountability" and have them write about what is keeping them accountable. Do they know? Have they thought about it before? It could set a great pace for the year.

Monday, June 18, 2012

slow your roll

It's hard to imagine that some people are just now, today, having their last day of school. But it's true - it was tweeted! It just makes me sad; they now have their entire summer just waiting to be enjoyed. And mine is close to being half over. I just can't stand it. Someone stop the clock!

I've seen so many summer bucket lists. And I said several weeks ago that I would write one, but the sangria was so tasty that I finished it instead. I have been formulating plans in my head - they've just never made it to paper. But today I think I will begin my list.

1. Finish C25K app. Definitely at the top of my list. And I'm getting close. Almost. I did w5d2 this morning. It was hard. My pace is slow. My toe hurts. I have found my hip flexors, and we don't get along. My toe hurts. My arm band irritates the underside of my arm. My toe hurts. But I'm on week 5. And today I ran with friends. It was still dark, and we ran down a little side road, but they saw me running. And we have plans to run again tomorrow morning. Never thought I'd be making running dates - and getting up at to run at 5:15.

2. Revamp dining room table. I ordered new chairs a week or so ago. I have half of them put together. I want to paint and distress my table. But it's not going to happen until after my next lake trip.

3. Go zip lining. We have plans to do this while we are at the lake. I. Can't. Wait. I'm terribly, terribly afraid of heights. But I have to do this.

4. Finish organizing my craft room. I started on it way back in the winter. I want it done. Soon.

5. Lake it up. I've been camping twice already but still have the longest trip to go. I leave in just a few days. Got to get busy packing.

6. Finish some "honey-do" projects around the house. There are two holes in the sheet rock that Gingy the boxer chewed the last time she was here for recovery. And it's been a while since they have had to recover here at the house. The back door in the kitchen was blown open in a storm two or three summers ago. The door facing was damaged. Lovey started working on the knob and lost an important part; it was never found. I bought a new knob, but it can't be installed until the facing is repaired. Several rooms need some painting updates. Whew, I'm getting tired just thinking of all that needs done.

7. Make "sisters day" at The Country Store.  Every Wednesday my momma and several of her siblings meet for lunch. We call it "sisters day" even though a brother or two shows up each week. There are aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends each week, and I usually let the summer sneak by without making many visits.

8. Do some canning. I've made pickles, jam, and marmalade so far. I still want to can some jalapeno peppers. And maybe some tomato juice. Maybe.

9. Sew. I've got several projects planned. Just have to get that craft room organized so that I can get in there and sew. My niece asked about a project that I promised her but haven't finished yet. - and I hate to disappoint the nieces.

10. Float my day away. I plan on doing this at the lake. A full day of just floating. No boat rides. No projects. No school stuff. Just me and my floatie.

11. Pull an all nighter. Not the kind that yo may be thinking. A reading all nighter. I usually have several during the summer, but the running thing is messing that up. I'd rather run in the mornings - be done before 8:30, 9 at the latest - so I haven't let myself stay up past midnight too many times.

The list isn't too long yet. I'll add to it as the summer goes by. Honestly, this pretty much fills up my summer. I have to allow room for last minute activities. And things that can't be changed like VBS and professional development days. And pool days - gotta have some pool days.

I have a few days of PD this week. I'm helping my sister with a school project today. But hopefully I can get at least a small project finished before going back to the lake next week. After this trip the time just flies and the first day of work will sneak up on me. I think the planets line up in some strange formation and cause a time warp or something. July just goes by so fast. How will I have time to get it all in?

So what's on your summer bucket list?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

just peachy

To plan or not to plan?

I know some people who don't do anything without planning. And sometimes I do plan things. But not planning can work. Several years ago, I was at my sister's classroom as she finished up her last few days of her contract. After lunch we were discussing our plans for the summer. And then we decided we wanted to take the kids to the beach - right away. We made a few calls, ran home and threw a few things into a suitcase, and were on our way by 7:30. We reached the beach just after sunrise the next morning. It was one of our best beach trips ever. Around here we often fly by the seat of our pants. So when my niece called and asked, "I know this is spur of the moment, but we are going to pick peaches. Do you want to go?" Of course I said yes.

We grabbed all of our buckets and baskets, drove to the orchards, and started picking. The trees were loaded. And the smell was heavenly. We did have to watch for the honey bees. But picking was easy.

Sometimes the best ones were just out of reach, so we made Laynie climb the tree. That helped to reach some but not all. It was so hard to leave peaches on the tree.

The ground under the trees was covered with peaches that had already fallen. Sometimes when I tried to pick one peach, two more would fall to the ground. Occasionally we squished one while trying to reach a perfect peach. Everyone was glad that we had worn tennis shoes instead of flip flops.

Some limbs were just filled with perfect peaches, and I couldn't stop picking even when my hands got full.

Our buckets filled quickly. Sister had such a hard time not picking every single peach. She didn't want to leave any to waste.

But soon every bucket, basket, and tub was full. We loaded the truck and drove to the front of the orchard.

We had lots of peaches but couldn't leave without a few blueberries. Eli didn't really care what we were picking - it all looked like balls to him. And he just loves having all of his people in one spot.

Maybe we should have picked blueberries first because it didn't take me long to figure out that my bucket wasn't filling up nearly as fast. And it was much hotter without the shade of the trees. I gave up first. Laynie loves blueberries and was determined to keep picking, but she gave up soon after me. We had to drag Momma out of her row.

When I got home, I washed all of my fruit and left them on the table until the next morning. I've made peach jam, peach marmalade, and canned peaches. Friday night we ate with friends. I made pound cake with peaches and rum sauce. We also had frozen peach drinks. And I still have some peaches left.

It wasn't a planned trip. I had to do some extra work the next few days, but I'll have yummy peach jam and marmalade to eat all winter long. And we had a great afternoon.And those peach drinks were perfect for a hot afternoon swim.  Doing things spur of the moment can make some of the best memories.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

it's done - and i'm alive to tell about

If I die this week, make sure that my tombstone reads she finally finished week 4 of her c25k app and I want it in really fancy font! And go ahead and hang my running shoes on the corner - just for good measure.

I have really been ignoring the blog lately. I just realized that my last post was from the lake. I've been home since Friday afternoon. Well, I did leave again on Sunday but it was just an overnight trip. I'm going to blame it all on the toe.

After I posted last Tuesday, I was on a runner's high that lasted for the next 24 or so hours - until I broke my toe. It's all fun and games until someone breaks a toe. My exercise plans were to walk each of the remaining mornings at the lake and then run on Saturday. But Wednesday I just barely bumped my toe on a rock while getting in the water. Without even looking, I knew it was probably broken. The water was cold, so I just dangled my foot in it for the rest of the afternooon and tried not to think about it. But when the time came to climb back to the camper - I was clearly reminded. After that I walked to the bath house a few times, but no real walking. I tried to put my shoes on for walking Thursday morning but QUICKLY changed my mind. But Saturday morning I knew I had to get back on track. I put the shoe on and finished w4d2. The toe hurt. I've been only wearing flip flops - real shoes hurt. But after a while, the toe goes numb - or I just hurt everywhere else so much that I forget about the toe - or there's not enough oxygen getting to the brain to know just where I'm really hurting.

Instead of walking before church Sunday morning, I made pickles. I went with my mom and sister-in-law to watch Caleb play at basketball camp later Sunday evening. After the game we went back to the hotel and paddled around in the pool for about 45 minutes. It wasn't a hard workout, but I had arms and/or legs moving the entire time. Then Monday morning I got up to hit the hotel gym. I wanted to do w4d3. But when I put those running shoes on, I knew that I would never finish on a treadmill. I don't like walking on a treadmill - I think my stride changes, and my shins always hurt. There was an elliptical machine in the gym, so I climbed on, stuck in my earbuds, and took off. At the end of 30 minutes I was a sweaty mess. And I never had to lift my poor little toe and slam it back down. Then yesterday morning I didn't run because it was raining. It started late Monday evening and rained most of the night. I knew the road would be so muddy. And I really wasn't sure about the rain and my phone. My running app is on my phone - I need that little man talking in my ear. I love to hear - you are half way there. I just can't make it without him yet. So how do you real runners do it? How do you run in the rain? What do you do differently? Even though I planned to run later in the day, I never got around to it. I'm just going to have to make time every morning - I never get back to it in the evening.

This morning I finished week 4. It was doable. I'm not ready to say that I felt GREAT, but I will commit to PRETTY GOOD. When I started, the toe was killing me! I wanted to take the easy way out and just go back to the house. But I wanted to run more. Yes, you read that correctly - I wanted to run more. Seriously? I don' know what is going on, but I just sucked it up and ran. And while I was pushing the envelope, I ran right on past not just one nieghbor's house, but two! I was running right out in the open! And to the neighbor who was working in his yard I have two things to say:

1. Why weren't you at work on a Wednesday morning?
2. I know that you were really confused. That wasn't a slow-motion replay - that was me running at full speed with all my jiggley stuff jiggling away. Sorry. I'm going to run every few days sometime between 6:30 and 9:00 - you may want to stay in the house with the blinds closed during those times.

As I ran past and flipped a quick wave in his general direction, I couldn't help but think of Heather's running-porn post.

I've completed my third week of #4realfitnesschallenge. Really? It's been three weeks already? Oh, this just makes me sad. Three weeks of my summer have flown by. I have so many projects to complete, so many books to read, so much fun to have. And three weeks have gone by in the blink of an eye. Someone please stop the clock! As much as I hate to say it, one of my to-do's is some deep cleaning this week. UGH! I have to say that I looked ahead to see what next week and the next would bring. A twenty minute run is just days away - days! I would rather suffer through the twenty minutes now than go clean. But...I'm gonna attempt the cleaning today. If you want to call with a better plan (better being ANYTHING else), I would probably join you.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Woohoo! W4D1 is done! I did it. It was slow going, and I may be worthless the rest of the day. But I finished it. I doubted myself all day yesterday an last night, even talked myself out of trying it a few times. Mainly because I knew that if I tried to run it and didn't finish then I would be so ready to just throw in the towel. And I want to finish this program. I worried about finishing for several reasons: First, it's week 4, and I've never done week 4. Six minutes of running is daunting when I still think of myself as not being able to run six seconds. This week o the program has been my brick wall several times. And my normal running is on a gravel road. A very flat gravel road. Today I ran on a paved road. I'm not a "real" runner, but I know that the running surface does affect my run. There's a huge difference in running on my hard dry rocky, dry road and in running on my road after a rain. And I'm camping at Greers Ferry. The hills here have me huffing and puffing when I walk to the bathhouse and back. Then I also had to take into consideration that I am on a girls trip. Lots of sun, late nights, and possibly more alcohol consumed than normal. Yesterday was our first full day at camp, and I woke up at 4:30. The weather was perfect for sitting around a fire last night, so we did. An I didn't go to bed until midnight. I've missed several hours of sleep. But I had planned to run this morning. When I got up I knew I had to try. So I left Carrie to make the coffee and Liz to cook breakfast, and I told Carrie that if I wasn't back after 30 minutes to come looking for me. I'll walk some today, tomorrow, and Friday. I'm planning to do W4D2 Saturday when I'm back at home on flat lands. That little hill I go up as I run from the bottoms towards the highway will seem like a bump in the road after running these REAL hills. I wish I could link to the #4realfitnesschallenge posts. But I'm doing this from my phone (please accept that as both an apology and an explanation for any spelling and/or mechanical errors) and I just don't think I can manage the links.

Monday, June 4, 2012

on the road again

#girlstrip! woohoo!

If just planning and anticipation are any indication, this year's annual girls only camping trip will be one for the record books. We were scheduled to leave tomorrow, but we decided to start the fun a day early and are pulling out in just a few hours. It's really cloudy here right now and may be raining at the lake, but we should meet the clouds heading south as we travel north.

When we decided yesterday that we would leave a day early, I had to kick it in gear. On my other camping trips I don't do too much at-home prep, but for the girls trip I do. We like to make the meals as delicious and as easy as possible. So I made chicken salad, washed and prepped all the vegetables for grilling and omelets, prepared the broccoli salad and dressing so that it just has to be tossed together, and packed the ice chest. Friday I did most of my clothes packing. Now I just have to load a few things in the truck, hook up to my little pop-up, and pull out.

We've left the husbands two fridges full of yummy food for grilling. They may eat better than us - but I doubt it.

I stumbled out of bed in a fog this morning. As I got ready for my run, my eyes weren't focusing correctly, and I didn't notice that my c25k was set for a repeat of w3d1 instead of w3d3. It's exactly the same run, so times don't matter - but I want it to say that I completed w3d3. I felt pretty good while running. And was even thinking bring on w4d1 (which is my nemesis). I guess I jinxed myself by being just a bit too cocky. Because believe me, w4d1 is going to kick my ass! But now I have a dilemma: re-run w3d3 with the app so that it is marked complete or skip it and go on to w4d1. I'm mentally ready for week 4, I've pumped myself up for week 4, I've planned to begin week 4 on Wednesday. But I think not having week 3 completed (even though I did run the three days) will possibly drive me nuts. I could do w3d3 tomorrow but then I'll need to not run s4d1 until Thursday. this is just throwing my entire schedule off.

I'm hoping that I have enough cell service to get in a post from my phone on Wednesday; otherwise it'll be the weekend before I'm back.

Friday, June 1, 2012

a few new recipes

This morning I crawled out of bed, slipped on my shoes, and went out to get in my exercise. I wasn't looking forward to the running that I was scheduled to complete, and then I opened the door. The weather was PERFECT. So cool and just a light breeze. The entire time I was thinking that it would be perfect weather for grilling tonight, so I started making plans. I had found some recipes in the June issue of Southern Living a few days earlier and had everything I needed on hand.

When Lovey came in for lunch, I asked him if he felt like grilling (he had not felt great the night before). As soon as I got the okay from him, I sent Carrie and Liz a text. Can't let this wonderful weather go to waste. Supper on the deck tonight. Around 6:30. Who's in? Liz had to go cheer on her boy in a double header, and Clay had previous plans. So it was to be a small group. When Carrie arrived, I put the finishing touches on the sangria.

We grabbed our glasses and went straight to the deck. We have had such a hot spring, and tonight's temperture was juuust right.

The view was great, the weather was perfect, and the sangria was tasty. Shortly, Lovey got the grill going.  Supper included Broccoli Slaw with Candied Pecans, Grilled Pineapple, and Porkchops with Basil-Garlic Rub. Early in the afternoon I had prepared the basil-garlic rub. About an hour before grilling time, I put the rub on the chops.

I had also prepared the salad dressing and had the broccoli slaw waiting. When Lovey put the pork chops on the grill I added the glazed pecans and mixed the slaw and dressing. The prep ahead made supper time easy.

The pork chop was amazing. And grilled pineapple is perfect with porkchops. But that broccoli slaw? It was goo-oo-ood. These two recipes will be repeated for sure.

Tomorrow we are trying the Buttermilk-brined Grilled Chicken from the same issue. I'll let you know how it turns out. Tonight, I've got one more glass of sangria to finish. Yum.

Sangria recipe
Grilled Porkchop with Basil-Garlic Rub
Broccoli Slaw with Candied Pecans