91!! ….91 years and still going…

Russell’s Grandfather, Julius Gainspoletti turned 91 this past weekend.  I couldn’t help but reflect on age. He is very proud to be an American and is a veteran fighting in World War II. He is Italian. His family came from Italy docking of course at Ellis Island. They came to the Mississippi Delta to do what everyone was doing at that time – working on farms. Gainspoletti is not our real name. It was “I believe Gaimpoletti”? I always forget, lol. Papaw’s father couldn’t write so a man next to him signed his name in the books at Ellis Island and from then on the name was Gainspoletti. 

Papaw has always been a hard worker and loves telling us stories of the past. He struggled growing up poor and raised 4 children as well with little money.  He lost his wife Mary in 2002 and has a “shrine” to her – he lights candles and has pictures of her. He misses her so much that every day is a battle for him. Love like that is lost in today’s world. Few of us has that kind of love. That REAL love. That love when you can barely breath without the person. Movie kind of love. Love that you hope one day will find you. I am lucky. I found that. I found my “love story”. True or Real love is when you love somebody so much that you stop doing things for yourself and do for them. Real love is putting their needs above yours. Real love is loving someone so much that it hurts AND they have that same love for you right back.  Love stories have arguments, fights, tears but in the end you always come back to each other. 

I think back on papaws life. 91 years…91! FULL. He has had such a full life. He is content and has loved his life. I look at him and see how life really does fly by. Beck is now 4 when it seems like he was just a baby crying 24/7, ha! I think back to my life now and just how quickly the past 10-12 years have flown by. Life is short. It doesn’t seem it when your little. In elementary and high school life went by so slooooww! I look at my parents aging and I realize just how precious our time on earth is. 91 years seems like a very long time and a very long life but really it isn’t. I will turn around one day and be “hopefully” celebrating my 91st birthday and think where did the years go?

I look at people older than me and remind myself to be grateful for every single day – every day! Even the hard ones when I think I can’t wait for the next day so hopefully it can be a better day. Enjoy this life God has given us. It is short and we don’t have as much time as we think we do.

Go out today and celebrate! Celebrate your life! Whether it is good or bad! That bad will eventually turn into good and then you can celebrate even more!

*I couldn’t get my photo added of him today! I will have to later this week!

Chicken Caesar Pitas

YUMMY! Even better it is on a paper plate so no dishes to wash!

YUMMY! Even better it is on a paper plate so no dishes to wash!

 

This recipe is so quick and yummy! Perfect for a week night meal!

  • 3-4 skinless chicken breast
  • Italian dressing
  • pita bread
  • light Caesar salad kit
  • shredded Parmesan cheese

Get 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breast and soak them in Italian dressing for 4 hours. Place chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and beat the meat with a meat mallet until thin. Grill chicken for 4/5 minutes on each side. (we usually let our food sit for a few minutes off the grill so it cooks a touch longer) then slice into thin pieces. Grill the pita bread. ( I grilled mine on the George Foreman) throw a dash of water on it to keep it soft.

Toss the salad and place salad, chicken and Parmesan cheese into pitas!

 

Joseph's Pita Bread is what I used and only 60 calories per pita!

Joseph’s Pita Bread is what I used and only 60 calories! Found mine at Wal-Mart – my mom is actually the one who turned me on to Joseph’s bread – she gave me the lavish bread and I LOVED it!

Memorial Day

Today is Memorial day and we should remember those military men and women who have lost their lives. They all have served to give us freedom and a great life. Most of us are going to at barb-b-q’s, pool, lake, or beach parties. Today is pretty much the first day of swimming suit season! Think about how you feel today. Do you feel confident in your suit? Will you even put a suit on? If you don’t feel confident or you won’t even put a suit on then that is a sign. TODAY MEMORIAL DAY YOU NEED TO MAKE A CHANGE!!! You feel like crap so why keep at it?? Start today so that even just 4 weeks from now you will feel better and that 8 weeks from now you will see a huge difference in your personality and your body! THIS TIME NEXT YEAR YOU WILL BE HEALTHY AND FIT and when I ask the question will you put on a suit and feel confident you will say HELL YES I WILL! Don’t feel the same way you feel today this time next year! Start working your butt off so you can be the best you!!!

Use today MEMORIAL DAY as not only a day to remember those military men and women who died for us but a day to start a new life for you. 

da-mo-5

da mo 146 Daily motivation (25 photos)

Light Wheat Bread that is OHHH SO YUMMY!

 

Here it is!!

Here it is!!

I made this Light Wheat Bread by smittenkitchen.com a few weeks ago and it was quiet tasty! I wanted a light wheat bread to make when I needed to stay on track but wanted a nice thick homemade bread! This was it!! We had barb-b-q shrimp -NOLA style- and I made this to sop up the juice with. PERFECT! Also makes good sandwich bread – easy to make and very yummy! hard to find a good wheat bread recipe but this is it!! I didn’t use honey but next time I will!

http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2009/01/light-wheat-bread/

Click on link above to go to her site!

Light Wheat Bread
The Bread Baker’s Apprentice

Makes one two-pound loaf

2 1/2 cups (11.25 oz) unbleached high-gluten or bread flour
1 1/2 cups (6.75 oz.) whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 tablespoons (.75 oz.) granulated sugar or honey
1 1/2 teaspoons (.38 oz.) salt
3 tablespoons (1 oz.) powdered milk
1 1/2 teaspoons (.17 oz.) instant yeast
2 tablespoons (1 oz.) shortening or unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups (10 oz.) water, at room temperature

1. Stir together the high-gluten flour, whole-wheat flour, sugar (if using), salt, powdered milk, and yeast in a 4-quart mixing bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). Add the shortening, honey (if using), and water. Stir (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) until the ingredients form a ball. If there is still flour in the bottom of the bowl, dribble in additional water. The dough should feel soft and supple. It is better for it to be a little too soft that to be too stiff and tough.

2. Sprinkle high-gluten or whole-wheat flour on the counter, and transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mix on medium speed with the dough hook). Add more flour if needed to make a firm, supple dough that is slightly tacky but not sticky. Kneading should take about 10 minutes (6 minutes by machine). The dough should pass the windowpane test and registers 77 to 81 degrees F. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

3. Ferment at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

4. Remove the dough from the bowl and press it by hand into a rectangle about 3/4 inch thick, 6 inches wide, and 8 to 10 inches long. Form it into a loaf by working from the short side of the dough, rolling up the length of the dough one section at a time, pinching the crease with each rotation to strengthen the surface tension. It will spread wider as you roll it. Pinch the final seam closed with the back edge of your hand or with your thumbs. Place the loaf in a lightly oiled 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch bread pan; the ends of the loaf should touch the ends of the pan to ensure an even rise. Mist the top with spray oil and loosely cover with plastic wrap.

5. Proof at room temperature for approximately 60 to 90 minutes (as in, original recipe says 90 minutes, I walked into the kitchen at 60 and said “whoa!” as it had almost risen too much; clearly final rising times vary), or until the dough crests above the lip of the pan.

6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with the oven rack on the middle shelf.

7. Place the bread pan on a sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue baking for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the oven. The finished loaf should register 190 degrees F in the center, be golden brown on the top and the sides, and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.

8. When the bread is finished baking, remove it immediately from the loaf pan and cool it on a rack for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 hours, before slicing or serving.

It is a lifestyle change – NOT A DIET!

da mo 72 Daily motivation (25 photos)

DIETS END – LIFESTYLE CHANGES DO NOT!

Eat/drink healthy, exercise, laugh and enjoy life, meditate/pray  and you will live a long joyful life! Eating/drinking crap, not exercising, being depressed/mad/sad/, not being thankful for what you have, constantly being stressed out, taking pills for the stress, smoking, and so on are MAKING YOU HAVE A SUCK LIFE! CHANGE YOUR LIFE NOW! Make it today! Stop smoking, stop drinking every night, stop eating crap food and start changing the way you live!!! ONCE you get hooked you won’t ever go back! TRUST ME you will feel so much better!!

HOW did it go? FREAKING AWESOME IS HOW IT WENT!!!!!

Well most of my followers know I had a triathlon Saturday – MY FIRST! So here is the update on how it all went down and of course it wouldn’t be a race especially a first time race without something happening! 

HERE GOES NOTHING!!!

HERE GOES NOTHING!!!       Number 1347  age – 31

Well lets start on Friday! My 4 year-old, Beck had his little Pre-K graduation and it was mad chaos after that.

He as a monkey for the play before his graduation! Yes, that is a banana on his head,  he picked it out! LOL

He as a monkey for the play before his graduation! Yes, that is a banana on his head, he picked it out! LOL

Trying to get ready for the race didn’t happen until everyone was in bed (9:00 pm) So I am racing around trying to make sure I have everything – I can’t find my ipod (just in case I decide last-minute I wanted it- I hate running without it) Then I couldn’t find my goggles…So I throw everything together and jump in bed. I forgot to tell my mom instead of leaving at 4:30 I would be leaving at 5:00 am, sorry mom! I woke up at 4:20 to a flashlight on a phone and big hand on my back (definitely not beck) so I have a mini heart attack and so does Russell. I got up got everything together and was out the door by 5:00 am. We got to the Memphis in May site (it is actually held at the casinos in Robinsonville/(Tunica, MS) around 6:30 just enough time to wait in line for my packet, get marked, set up, and use the port a potty. On the way down I ate a wheat thin bagel with peanut butter/ banana and a thing of fruit. Now my mom told me it was sprinkling on the way from Clarksdale and I was like crap…didn’t dawn on me to grab Russell a rain jacket. It was raining all the way down there. When we get out I realize it has actually gotten colder it was now 52 degrees outside and raining/wind. Russell is in shorts and a t-shirt poor thing. I grabbed a long sleeve shirt on the way out so I wore it until the race and gave it to him when I was headed off to keep him somewhat warm OH and he had my pink towel to stay warm in (lol – should’ve have taken a photo) I get my packet and meet back up with Russell and my bike so I can get marked for the race and place my number on everything. I ran to the port a potty one last time before the race – which is always a pleasant experience and then on top of it my monthly girlfriend was visiting (TMI?? ha) Then I head over to the transition area and start getting set up. I heard the serious people saying they put their bikes at the front of the bike area so I stayed at the back of my line to make sure I didn’t get run over. I set everything up and had great advice from a friend. I put a hot pink towel on top of my bike so I could spot it from far away. I got my transition area set up my gum, energy gel, helmet, headband, shoes/socks, water bottle set! It was raining and I realized I had left my flip flops in the car so I had to walk barefoot for 30 minutes before the race. It was crazy muddy in the transition area. The announcer was saying wet suits were legal since it was so cold and they had them for rent. I didn’t rent one, I just swam in my borrowed triathlon suit.The water was 68 degrees. I hung out with Russ for a few minutes and walked over to the start area. The race started and so I walked over to get in my group of the 1300’s. They feed you in the open water every 3 seconds by your race number. While I was waiting I was chatting with a few girls beside me. One of the girls had participated in a good amount of triathlons and was about to start training for an Ironman and there were two other newbies. They were asking what a good time was for a first timer and she said anywhere from 2 to 2 1/2 hours most likely around 2 1/2 hours. I was like OH YESSS! I got this I knew I would finish in two hours because of the practice day I had about 3/4 weeks before. So that made me feel better. Then she told me to put my race chip on my left ankle instead of my right so my chain didn’t hit in the race. GOOD IDEA!!!  My goggles were foggy and wet when I put them on, I couldn’t see and needed them wiped. Russell’s goggles fog and mine do not so it drove me INSANE!! I couldn’t see the entire time. So I would have to stop and pull up on my goggles to make sure where I was going and of course you couldn’t see in the water since we were swimming in a pond – they say it’s a lake, I say it’s a pond!

They told me to go so I jumped in and started swimming. Water which I though would be FREEZING was actually  WARM because it was soo cold outside. I start swimming and  I can’t see crap and I am terrified I am going to swim over somebody. I pass two people and then I feel somebody basically swimming on top of my leg. SO I think he is going to move over but he doesn’t he just swims up and right over the side of my back. I stop and look at him to make sure I am not about to get hit in the face. This kid is serious! He isn’t even slowing up so I let him get pass me and I go back to business. I have to pee the whole time and I am thinking crap I have like another 1 1/2 hrs to go! So I am trying to pee while I am swimming (hey its a lake! no judgement haha) AND I CAN’T. So I start swimming with just my arms and keep my legs still so I can pee. I get to pee just enough so that I can make it the rest of the race. I start swimming full on again and get to the end. A few minutes slower than I usually make it but it is a totally different feeling racing in open water than in a pool. I tried to prepare myself for it but without actually swimming in it is difficult. I was going to do a race lap before but it was just to damn cold to do a swim then wait 30 minutes in the cold to race. 

swimming in the pond!

swimming in the pond!

I get out and start running over to the transition area to find my bike -the hot pink towel def. helped me out!!! I wiped my face throw on my headband and helmet, put my gum and energy gel in my bra and throw on my soaking wet socks and tennis shoes. Note to self- be smart like some other people and bring a grocery bag or trash bag to place over your stuff it is raining so everything isn’t wet! I pick my bike up (because it is so muddy) get out of the muddy area and head over to  the area where we mount. I jumped on and started off!

Thanks goodness Russell told me what the people say because I would’ve been wondering the entire time what the hell they were saying. Coming up on your left, going right, coming behind…they do this so you don’t make any sudden movements. Though the serious people I could hear a mile away – they have those tires that are sooo thin – it would take probably 5 of their bike tires to make up one of mine! ha So I am going strong feeling good only the serious cyclist are passing me and only two girls (serious) passed me. I was kicking butt then I realized when we took a left and back down and different way THE WIND!! OH my gosh we had major head wind. I felt like I was not moving at all. I felt better when people would come up and say something about the wind and how horrible it was. I had a lot of encouragement… about 5 people passed me and said keep it up or good job! Guess they saw me on my mamaw bike struggling LOL! We were in open field on top of it! By this point it had stopped raining (thank you lord for helping me out) and I got passed a lot in this area. The wind was just killing me. While riding I pulled the energy gel out 3 different time and sucked on it and grabbed my water to fuel me for the run. On the last mile we had a little climb, wind, and pushing it so my legs were exhausted, I grabbed the gum out of my bra to chew and when I went to dismount I could barely walk (BAD brick legs) I held on to my bike to keep me up right without falling over – Russell is there encouraging me and I told him  “My legs are JELLO”. I picked up my bike to get through the mud and took off my helmet, grabbed a sip of water, and started running in my wet muddy shoes.

JELLLOOOO LEGS!

JELLLOOOO LEGS!

The run was hard my legs were tired and I had mud all over my feet not to mention my wet socks and shoes. Everyone had been complaining of numb toes/feet on the bike and I was one of them. The run was up and down on a few slopes. We ran around the casinos and then hit a muddy trail back to pavement back to gravel and then back to pavement. Along the way I stopped for a sip of water or Gatorade. I was pushing myself but I so I was proud. I had to pee again, pretty bad but I wouldn’t let myself stop. Then I saw a young girl who passed me and she only had one arm. I looked at her and thought YOU GO GIRL!! WOW, WHAT AN INSPIRATION! I told myself if she can bike, swim and hell even run with just one arm then you can kick it in gear. That woman (even though she has no clue) pushed me harder. She was such an inspiration to me! So I kicked in and pushed through. When I crossed the finish line I was so proud and so happy I wanted to at least make it in 2 hours, really I wanted to be right under 2 hours.  I saw Russell and he said you finished like in 1:40ish minutes. What no I didn’t. It said 2 hours on the clock when I ran under it. “NO, they start that clock when the first person hits the water you weren’t in the water until like 15 minutes or so into the race clock. So we head over to get my official time. I DID!!! I FINISHED IN 1 hour and 48 minutes!!!!!!!!!!!! I can not describe how great I felt! I beat my goal and was so happy I had just done what I had done! 

close to the finish line!

close to the finish line!

I grabbed some Gatorade and headed to the transition area to get my bike. When I was walking over the girl from the beginning of the race said HEY, you finished in under 2 hours didn’t you? I said “yea, 1 hour and 48 minutes” She said wow, that’s great for your first time! “awe thanks” and I walked over to my bike feeling really good and so proud that I thought I might have a tear or two sneak out. I met up with Russ and we got on the road. They had a great party planned for after but we needed to get back to the boys because we had a wedding that night – we would only see them for a few hours that day. PLUS I wanted to stop and eat at ABE’S on the way home. So we stopped in my hometown of Clarksdale, MS and got a coke, a big abes, and fries!! AGHHHH I NEVER do this! A BIG ABES!!! NEVER!! But I did – I burned around 1,000 calories so I let myself do it! We drove to Cleveland and played with the boys then got dressed and headed to a wedding in town. I didn’t eat huge proportions at the wedding but I did eat cakes and nachos and drank some beer/wine. Yesterday I left myself eat a little of whatever I wanted and today I am back on it! Eating super and clean/healthy again! HEY it’s bikini season so the next two to three weeks I will really be on it! Plus I just realized how crappy I feel when I eat junk now. I actually got sick after a few bites of cake. I gave Russell the rest, it was just too much. Was even my favorite Alice Chow Cake – it is just too much now..I can only handle a bite or two – any more than that and I am sick. It has been happening with anything to rich – I hate 4 squares of dark chocolate the other day and got sick afterwards. I guess my body loves the clean lifestyle as much as possible – I hate it but I like it! It makes me not want to eat chocolate because of how bad I feel afterwards – nauseous.

Me Saturday night after the wedding in the dress I made! I painted, dyed, and sewed it!

Me Saturday night after the wedding in the dress I made! I painted, dyed, and sewed it!

So will I compete in another triathlon. HELL YES! I AM HOOKED!! SOO much fun! I felt so empowered and like I can do anything now!! If you are scared to try it don’t be!! I did it not knowing anyone in the race and had a blast! I feel switching from one thing to the next is so much fun that you don’t even realize the time that has passed unlike running for 13 miles. I felt like time wise it had only been an hour when I got done. I am so glad I did it by myself with no music- I knew I wouldn’t use the music just  because of time getting the ipod on etc.. it would waste but I just didn’t know if I could push through without it. YES you can! The BIKE scares you – join the club..ha! get a mamaw bike like me!! I felt so comfortable on it!! Hey I saw a 66-year-old women doing it when I was leaving..if she can do it then you can do it!! Russell had a 70-year-old man do it with him the year before and kept up with him the whole time! I dedicated that race to all of you that are trying! Trying to be healthy, trying to be fit, trying to be just plain AWESOME! I wanted you to know that if I can do it, then YOU CAN DO IT!!

OH and how did my outfit do! WONDERFUL, the two piece triathlon suit was perfect! THANKS LISA! AND MY Juno Sports Bra did perfect – no chaffing at all!! So all you large chest people out there try this! You can thank me later! 😉

Thanks to my sweet hubby who stayed in the freezing cold and rain to cheer me on at each transition! He is also the one who pushes me physically and lets me know even before I realize it that I can do it. He is always coming up with new stuff for us to do! So what’s next that he wants us to do together a spartan race, ha! Think we may do that in the fall and I will compete in Delta State’s Triathlon in the Fall as well. Then I hope to run the half-marathon again in February. Maybe one day I will run a marathon – just ONE! Just to know I can do it! Maybe Russell and I will do that together for our 10 year anniversary 😉

Russell and I before the race!

Russell and I before the race!

I would like to thank all of you because you all have been supportive! My stats shot up a crazy percentage on Saturday – haha I think everybody was waiting to see what was going to happen with the race! I was having an average of 51 views an hour!!  Thank you so much for caring enough to even think about me once! Also, thanks to my mom for getting up at 3:00 am, driving to Cleveland, and keeping the boys for me!

Total Time: 1:48   hour/minutes

Swim – 12:46  minutes/seconds

Transition:  1:53  minutes/seconds

Bike- 1:00 hour

Transition: 1:40 minutes/seconds

Run- 30:55  minutes/seconds

I did a sprint triathlon: Swim was 400 meters, bike was 12 miles, and run was 3.1 miles

WOOHOO! I MADE IT!

WOOHOO! I MADE IT!