Tuesday, January 15, 2013

things my mother taught me

Today is the 10th anniversary of my mother's death.  She survived my father by 5 years.  Although they're not here to guide me anymore, I'm forever indebted for the many life lessons they taught me.  I'm sure you can all remember the hints, tips, and warnings your parents gave you during childhood.  Here are a few from my mother.

Only wear white shoes between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  Sorry mom, my favorite cycling shoes are white and I wear them year-round.  In the winter, I wear white shoe covers for extra warmth.

You lose 80% of your heat through your head.  This piece of advice I follow.  I don't like hats -- they make my head feel itchy.  I was never that girl in the cute baseball cap.  But I do add a skullcap under my cycling helmet in winter months to help keep me warm.

Be prepared!  Growing up, I remember my school-bag with a sewing kit, extra pens and pencils, and everything but a swiss army knife.  Mom believed in being prepared for any situation, any emergency, any adventure.  I won't even tell you what's in my purse (or my bike bag) today!

Write it down.  My mom was a list-maker.  She had little notebooks organized for all the various tasks she was responsible for (grocery shopping, laundry, finance, honey-do lists).  In her later years, I found great humor in these lists (and the duplicates she created).  I'm clearly becoming my mother because I've been keeping lists (in notebooks) for years.  I somehow can't embrace electronic to-do lists and still keep my paper notebooks.

If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything.  I'm learning.  I've installed a filter.   I still slip sometimes but I've started thinking twice (or three times) before speaking or hitting "send" on email.

Always send hand-written thank you notes.  In our family, we wrote thank you notes for everything.  If someone did something nice for you, you wrote a thank you note.  If someone gave you a gift, you sent a thank you note.  If someone sent you a card, you sent a thank you note (which started a boomerang of thank you notes).  One of my personal goals for 2013 is to send timely thank you notes.  And other notes.  I'm going to do my best to keep the USPS in service by communicating in hand-written fashion.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  You know, basically be nice.  Treat others with respect.  Be generous.  Be kind.  Smile.  Listen intently.  Help others.  Let someone take your place in line.  Carry someone's bag.  Be giving.  Don't be self-centered.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  I hated breakfast as a kid.  Actually, I didn't really like to eat at all as a kid.  I was a picky eater and there wasn't much I actually liked.  I didn't like cereal and would only eat it without milk.  That's right, I ate dry breakfast cereal.  I've come a long way in my food preferences and now embrace the energy I get from my morning breakfast.  Here's my go-to for cycling days:

Lorri's Super-Yum Rice-Cooker Oats:

1/4 cup steel cut oats
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 apple chopped into hearty chunks
cinnamon to taste
1 1/4 cup water

Place it all in a rice cooker and let it work it's magic.  It takes about 20 minutes.  If you're all fancy, you can get a rice cooker with a timer and prepare it the night before.  I'm not fancy like that.

Once it's cooked I add:

vanilla almond milk (quantity depends on the consistency you prefer)
1 tablespoon shredded organic coconut
1 tablespoon chia seeds
a handful of nuts (walnuts and pecans are my favorite)



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