Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sweet Sweet Sweet Potatoes

I love the courtship that comes with seasonal change. It reminds me of seeing someone for the first time and thinking, "I'd like to know more, see more, experience more." I find autumn to be the most expert when it comes to flirting. It knows exactly when to laugh, wink, and pause so that the only thing you think while in its presence is when you'll make your next date, where it will be, and what you will do.
Lately I've been consumed by sweet potato soup and the myriad ways it can be presented and served. I think it's the perfect embellishment to autumn: a vintage cashmere scarf loosely knotted and dripping with charm.

I found this recipe, of all places, on the aluminum foil sealant of a big tub of Dannon yogurt, and am going to make for the weekend.

2 tbsp. canola oil
1 large sweet onion, sliced
2 tsp. ground cumin
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 1/2 qt. chicken broth (and of course I'm using vegetable)
1 3/4 cup Dannon All Natural Plain Yogurt
2 tbsp. chopped parsley or cilantro
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

1. In a large soup pot heat oil. Add onions and cumin and saute 3-4 minutes. Add potatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer soup 20-25 minutes.
2. Puree soup with 1 1/2 cup yogurt and parsley or cilantro.

Serve each portion of soup with a dollop of remaining yogurt and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds.

Disclaimer: If you're reading this as a Note on Facebook, it's because my blog - located at www.robbyjohnson.com - feeds directly into my Facebook account. Majikal, right? Point being, if I link a YouTube video or other graphics it may not show up. For your fully-integrated Robby Johnson user experience, visit www.robbyjohnson.com. Let the beat hit 'em, y'all!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mother Plant

The weekend has come and gone (Roll Tide!), and while it was fun at an epic level and included special guest appearances from some of my favorite people, I am quite content to look to this week, in which I am eager to accomplish much.

I love reading Heidi Swanson's blog and have it marked in my Google Reader. She presents these really amazing recipes, managing to balance both simple and decadent, and that makes me want to cook!

I think I will try the roasted corn pudding in acorn squash this weekend for a special visiting guest, and embellish with other celebratory notes: birthdays don't happen ever day do they?

Earlier this summer my amazing purple petunias gave up the ghost, victims of our record-high June heat wave. I pulled up their withered remains and left the coconut fiber hanging pots in place, anticipating the addition of another summer annual. The reemergence of the petunias a month or so later was fascinating, as the leaves had a succulent quality, and I decided to see what would transpire in this incarnation. A much different appearance altogether, they bloom in the day and tend to close at night. I'm not sure how long they will last, but I'm willing to let them go on as long as they choose.  

Disclaimer: If you're reading this as a Note on Facebook, it's because my blog - located at www.robbyjohnson.com - feeds directly into my Facebook account. Majikal, right? Point being, if I link a YouTube video or other graphics it may not show up. For your fully-integrated Robby Johnson user experience, visit www.robbyjohnson.com. Let the beat hit 'em, y'all!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I Could Burn With The Splendor Of The Brightest Fire

I played around with the night setting on my camera yesterday and captured this amazing sunrise outside my door. I don't know what it is about fire in the sky - whether it's dawn or dusk - that reduces me to purely unfiltered awe and wonder, but I'm grateful to have such an intense reaction to remind me I'm alive.

Disclaimer: If you're reading this as a Note on Facebook, it's because my blog - located at www.robbyjohnson.com - feeds directly into my Facebook account. Majikal, right? Point being, if I link a YouTube video or other graphics it may not show up. For your fully-integrated Robby Johnson user experience, visit www.robbyjohnson.com. Let the beat hit 'em, y'all!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Let There Be Light

This image of what I believe to be a coal elevator, taken yesterday morning as I walked my dog along the river trail, doesn't look the way I actually saw it. The humidity that crowded the air and brought sweat to the surface much sooner than usual met with low lying clouds of deep charcoal not in a suggestion, but a mandate, of rain and for a brief moment I thought the cover would choke out morning all together.

Thankfully this wasn't the case. And initially the light behind the elevator was the faintest shade of lavender and vowed to me that its power was unheeded and it would, indeed, make its regularly scheduled appearance. I live for silver linings and tend to root for underdogs, so felt inspired to capture the moment as a reminder.

This is where frustration found me. My camera, a replacement for the one which I lost in Spain last summer, has many bells and whistles apparently: none of which I've summoned to function in their intended purpose. In fact, the arrival of a new battery yesterday, at first, just disappointed me that the HD feature was such an incubus that a battery wouldn't even last a year.

Another silver lining emerged, however, upon its installation: the emergence of a menu, and the delivery of a tutorial. Far from Avedon, I at least have a better grasp of features and am eager to seek new subjects and opportunities.

Disclaimer: If you're reading this as a Note on Facebook, it's because my blog - located at www.robbyjohnson.com - feeds directly into my Facebook account. Majikal, right? Point being, if I link a YouTube video or other graphics it may not show up. For your fully-integrated Robby Johnson user experience, visit www.robbyjohnson.com. Let the beat hit 'em, y'all!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Playlist


Since I mentioned it on a recent status, I thought I'd share the new playlist that is inspiring my cardio.

1. "Star," Floorphilla & Majuri: T.M. EvolutionEb Remix
2. "Sexy Bitch," David Guetta featuring Akon
3. "I Will Be Here," Tiesto and Sneaky Sound System
4. "Evacuate the Dancefloor," Cascada: Lockout Remix
5. "Fine Print," Nadia Ali: tyDi Remix
6. "Spotlight," Jennifer Hudson (designed as a mid-list slow-down)
7. "My Love," Airscape featuring Jes: Johan Gielen Remix
8. "Heartbreak (Make Me a Dancer)," Freemasons featuring Sophie Ellis-Bextor: Club Mix
9. "Your Lovin' Arms," Moor featuring Karen Overton: Club Mix
10. "Bruised Water," Chicane: Chicane Rework Mix

Get you some!


Disclaimer: If you're reading this as a Note on Facebook, it's because my blog - located at www.robbyjohnson.com - feeds directly into my Facebook account. Majikal, right? Point being, if I link a YouTube video or other graphics it may not show up. For your fully-integrated Robby Johnson user experience, visit www.robbyjohnson.com. Let the beat hit 'em, y'all!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Port de Bras II

Today is a day I've been anticipating for many months. I am off to Germantown for the final component of my Cadillac-Chair-Barrels (what's known in pilates as "CCB") training at Ballet Memphis. The CCB really brings the entire scope of the pilates method to a comprehensive level: while I am certified on the matwork and reformer, I feel, as an instructor, that my continued pursuit of the appartus training has only enhanced my teaching ability there.

For a long time the CCB training was offered as one educational module, and would span 5 weekends over the course of 2 months. With at least 55 hours of actual classroom and practical training, and a large subset of observation, physical review and practice teaching hours (and six different educational manuals), it was understandably off-putting for someone who already has a full-time job. Thankfully the program was restructured and each dimension separated into its own module, allowing the training to be taken in phases. It's the only way I've been able to tackle it, and I love the group with whom I train because it's smaller, more intimate, and the quality of the education and training is stellar.


Since March of 2007, when I began regularly visiting the studio in Alabama (after dabbling in pilates both at home and at a studio when I lived in Little Rock), I have seen a significant change in my body and my outlook on life. I move much more freely, I have a lot more baseline stamina and stability, and I'm just a heck of a lot happier. I highly encourage everyone I meet to "have a go" with pilates. Tackle it with an open mind and don't set too many expectations for unrealistic, immediate aesthetic results. Instead, give yourself a few months just to get to know the work and very quickly you'll enjoy results as a byproduct of the effort.

Disclaimer: If you're reading this as a Note on Facebook, it's because my blog - located at www.robbyjohnson.com - feeds directly into my Facebook account. Majikal, right? Point being, if I link a YouTube video or other graphics it may not show up. For your fully-integrated Robby Johnson user experience, visit www.robbyjohnson.com. Let the beat hit 'em, y'all!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Core (Re)Buff

My friend Denny had a stallion called Core Buff back in the day, and I was reminded of him when I read this very detailed, very accurate article about "the core." Denny is a very colorful life commentator, who has been a school principal and international equestrian - as well as other diverse occupations - for many years.

I constantly seek to develop the spinal erectors and abdominal wall since my pelvis has an anterior tilt: this puts the lumbar spine into extension, and almost always forces the thoracic spine into kyphosis. And who wants that? Have a read and find someone who can help you execute the three exercises mentioned. The planks, specifically, are fantastic as stabilized sequencing of the spine will help build the multifidus and spinal erectors.

Disclaimer: If you're reading this as a Note on Facebook, it's because my blog - located at www.robbyjohnson.com - feeds directly into my Facebook account. Majikal, right? Point being, if I link a YouTube video or other graphics it may not show up. For your fully-integrated Robby Johnson user experience, visit www.robbyjohnson.com. Let the beat hit 'em, y'all!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bring On The POM

Over the past 10 years I have begun to associate the onset of autumn not with foliage change, but with the appearance of pomegranate at the grocery.

I sucked it up last night and went grocery shopping because sadly, there's only so much you can do with extra virgin olive oil and a can of Eagle Brand condensed milk. After returning from my trip to England last week I was immediately besieged by seasonal allergies and have only begun to feel truly better in the past 48 hours. And so it is with great applaud that I welcome the transition from vacation-mode-dietary-indulgence-meets-me-sick-need-carbs and, for me, that means as much fresh fruit and vegetables as I can acquire and consume. Because I have the survival skills of a cockroach, that is essentially my approach to any food group, but I firmly believe we have choices to make each day and it's just as easy to make a good choice as it is a bad one.

I should also note the pomegranate I bought last night looks like the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree pomegranate, but I'm off to Memphis this weekend to complete my STOTT PILATES Barrels training and thankfully that means a trip to Whole Foods. Regardless, I like to peel them and put the arils in a bowl, then keep in the fridge for use in oatmeal, salads, or just as a stand-alone snack. The health benefits are significant (lots of antioxidants) so, really, it's a win-win.

Bring on the fall, y'all!

Disclaimer: If you're reading this as a Note on Facebook, it's because my blog - located at www.robbyjohnson.com - feeds directly into my Facebook account. Majikal, right? Point being, if I link a YouTube video or other graphics it may not show up. For your fully-integrated Robby Johnson user experience, visit www.robbyjohnson.com. Let the beat hit 'em, y'all!

Friday, September 11, 2009

I have been AWOL since returning from England on Monday. That's mostly due to symptoms of a sinus infection beginning Tuesday afternoon. 'Tis the season, I'm afraid, and am sure the extreme ranges of climate and environment over the course of a week only added to the culminating reaction. I think I'm off to the Doc-In-Box for a shot of Rocephin.

Disclaimer: If you're reading this as a Note on Facebook, it's because my blog - located at www.robbyjohnson.com - feeds directly into my Facebook account. Majikal, right? Point being, if I link a YouTube video or other graphics it may not show up. For your fully-integrated Robby Johnson user experience, visit www.robbyjohnson.com. Let the beat hit 'em, y'all!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

And ...

He won!

Carousel Quest

In the ring!

Phillip

No rails but 4 time penalties.

Reasons Why I Love AS

She is amazing ringside! I love her. I am going to find her a man
worthy of her significant worthiness. If that doesn't work, we are
getting hitched!

Zara

This is surreal!

Showjumping

I am watching the showjumping at Burghley on a front row seat. It is
like being in a dream. I will never forget this amazing trip and am
already looking ahead to Badminton.

I had a great visit with Allison this morning - so lovely and so
inspiring - and our "crew" has been spectacular. I will miss England
very much.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Burghley in Action

Not sure if you can see Kyle Carter and Madison Park over this "let
up" fence. Kyle just fell a few fences later but all is well;
eliminated anyway. Course eating lots of lunches ... amazing to watch!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Things I Never Want To Jump

A corner on course which makes me hyperventilate. I am not even sure
with 100K on the other side I could attempt it. Dressage was good to
watch though it was REALLY blustery. I was thrilled Allison did so
well and am really excited to watch tomorrow. I have run into a few
folks I know from the States and that has been great. The trade fair
is ridiculous; I don't even know where to begin! We have lots to do
tomorrow, and I am glad we walked today. So neat to get close to the
jumps.

Life at Burghley

Allie and I have connected. Life is complete! We are about to watch
Allison's dressage and are super excited for her.

It is amazing weather but really windy. Apparently it's the aftermath
of a hurricane. We will be walking the course a little later. We miss
our Kentucky regulars but hope we have opened a door for Badminton in
May, 2010.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Cotswolds

We are en route to Burghley from Bath and have just driven through
Gloucestershire. It is positively stunning in the Cotswolds and,
surprise of surprises, the air reeks of cow manure! Things they don't
tell you on websites! Oh well, one thing is certain, cow manure smells
the same in England as it does in Alabama. We had dinner last night at
a pub out in the country called The George Inn. It has been licensed
since 1397. Fantastic food and the bar wench was gorgeous. I attempted
playing model scout. Pfeff, I have found your next It Girl. Holla!

I am also dressed in my "country attire" and am making quite a scene
here at the roadside car stop. I think they're mistaking me for Guy
Ritchie but Rob assures me it's because I am transparently American.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Inside The Abbey

We spent some time inside the abbey today. The first king of England
was crowned on the site in 100 A.D. (or thereabouts). It was really
grand and special. A chaplain offered 3 prayers which I greatly
appreciated. Feeling small and insignificant can be a good thing, when
the scale is accurate.

Euro Cheating

I feel like I am Euro Cheating on so many people; primarily my Travel
Homeys and Shann-a-na-na-na. I am sorry. It's not you. It's me. I
cannot look at my Burghley tickets without seeing your face, hearing
your laugh, imagining your observations of how cold it is ... Even
though I have never had an affair I can only imagine this is what it
feels like. For this I shall lay alms on the grassy parking area.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Bath Abbey

Two pints of Butcombe ale and the abbey right outside. We are touring
Bath tomorrow and I can't wait. It is beautiful!

Schiphol Safely

It is the middle of the night in America but 7:22 a.m. here in
Holland. The KLM flight was fantastic and definitely made right the
hideous clusterfark at Delta in Atlanta. Yes Michael, bitch tried to
buck up and I gave her an authentic RBJ, and told her if I wasn't in
such a rush I would snatch that fedora off her College Park stayin'
self and beat her down with it. More details later. Right now it feels
like morning and of course I haven't slept. How can you when there's a
free Clive Owen flick on your personal screen?