Monday, September 9, 2013

September Brings New Beginnings
Here it is September and at Skidmore College where I work, the second week of classes has started. My daughter Tricia has happily enrolled in an art class here in pursuit of personal fulfillment and developing her incredible artistic talent (says her mother!). In the College's museum, where my day job (and sometimes nights and weekends!) is Events Manager, we've opened a wonderful new exhibition, Classless Society.

September is that month of new beginnings for almost everyone associated with the academic world, whether you're a student, a teacher, an administrator, or know someone who is. Those of us who are not currently affected by an academic calendar can recall that time in our lives when September meant a big transition. In the movie "You've Got Mail," Meg Ryan's character speaks fondly of this time of year, imagining "bouquets of sharpened pencils" along with other hallmarks of a brand new season.

The biggest new beginning in this house is that my grandson Henry started kindergarten last week. It's a huge deal for all of us as we witness his excitement and the newness of this next phase in his young life. Little brother Peter starts nursery school this week, and he can't wait.  Here's a photo of "my boys" anticipating Henry's school bus that first day...

This September is a month of birthdays for good friends, a wonderful sister-in-law, and the very first birthday for the just-born grandson of my very good friend Sue. She's spending this week in Boston bonding with her daughter and brand-new family. Sue retired from Skidmore a few years ago, and we still get together once a week to have lunch. This past Friday, my friend Kim and I had planned a very small (just the three of us!) surprise Grandma shower for Sue to celebrate baby Louis's birth, but since it was a surprise Sue wasn't aware what we were up to and had to cancel to get some things done before leaving for Boston to meet the baby. So, Kim and I had our shower-less lunch and I brought our new-grandma gifts and lemon confetti cupcakes to Sue later that day.

My own new beginning commences tomorrow night at 8 pm when I begin a 12-hour fast prior to medical testing for a 10-week food study with Skidmore's Exercise Science program. It's a big commitment and a big change, one that I'm very excited about. It'll be days of supplements in the form of bars and shakes, with my own snack and dinner. I'll be cooking up lean-and-green meals over the next 10 weeks, inspired by a number of resources including a few really interesting boards on Pinterest.  It's not going to be Caesar salad and grilled chicken every night of the week, that's for sure. I need more excitement than that! It's good to know that I can eat out and choose from a variety of protein and veggies. The fact that there is little room for decision making is actually a benefit to me. I've done a number of Skidmore studies in the past (guess I enjoy being a Guinea pig), and I am never so compliant as when the results are important to a larger purpose. It's a privilege to help with this study, especially since my daughter Katie is participating as well. Instant support and team work. It'll be great doing this with her.

So, tonight, in my own last big meal before the big commitment, I made linguini with homemade tomato sauce, and enjoyed a big chunk of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. No salad. No veggies. Just a carb-laden meal of my favorite things. Henry and Peter helped me make this double chocolate cake that is launching me into the cake-less 10 weeks ahead!

Here's a photo of that chocolate cake!

Hope you're all doing very well, and that September brings exciting new beginnings to you, too.

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  1. Sounds like great way to begin a new season! BUT NO CAKE???CKJ

  2. Here's hoping that the next 10 weeks fly by and that you come up with all kinds of new ideas and recipes for healthier eating. I know I can always use them!

    1. I do hope you're right, Di, and that the next 10 weeks go quickly. I am looking forward to posting great recipes that we can all enjoy. Thanks so much!

  3. Nice post to kick off the school year. Thank you for the link to Classless Society, I am going to make it point to visit the exhibition. Good luck with the food study. That sounds challenging. You will do well!

    1. Appreciate that, R.I. Thanks for the encouragement, and I do hope you visit the exhibition. The Tang is a great museum and I am so fortunate to work there. I hope more and more people discover what a treasure they have right here in Saratoga Springs!