Some things I did for the first time today.

1. Went to the community center in my town. It’s nice.

2. Joined the community center in my town, which would also be the first time I’ve ever paid for a gym. I am going to try to go a few times a week and use the treadmill.

3. Got hit on at the gym/community center. And then rejected. It went something like this:

Guy gets on the third treadmill down from Kari. No one is in between them. Kari’s television is set to the Florida State/Miami slaughter. His had . . . something else. He changes it to a different basketball game.

KARI: Is that the Duke/State game?

GUY: Yeah. Do you want the remote, to watch it on yours?

KARI: Oh, I’m almost done. But thanks!

Two minutes pass. Kari finishes her workout. As she gets the spray to clean off her machine, she notices that Guy has on what look like Duke basketball shorts.

GUY, SUAVELY, CLEARLY TRYING TO START A CONVERSATION: So, who are you pulling for?

KARI: Oh, State.

GUY, SHOCKED: Really?

KARI: I’m a Carolina fan.

GUY: Oh.

KARI: Bye!

So, he wanted to talk to me until he found out I was a Carolina fan. Hee. Good times.

4. Got my hand scanned to be a member of the community center. I should have put this one earlier, but I’m not going back to change the numbers now. It was so fun pretending I was on Star Trek when they did it. hee hee. And that’s how I sign in every time. It’s like going to the gym in the future! (When I told Mike that, he said, “Did you eat dipping dots there, in the future?” Double hee hee.)

5. Made chicken chili. You guys, it was so good. Here is the recipe I used, from Cooking Light.

Chicken Chili

2 cups cooked chicken thighs, boneless and skinless; cut into bite sized pieces (about a pound)
2 cups cooked chicken breast, boneless and skinless; cut into bite sized pieces (about a pound)
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
2-3 jalapenos (we used 2 and took out most of the seeds)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T chili powder
2 t cumin
1/2 t oregano
1/2 t black pepper
1/4 t red pepper
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T dijon mustard
1 14.5 oz can chicken broth
1 14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans (I used pinto beans instead because we don’t like kidney beans)
1 jar chili sauce (and its equivalent in water or broth)

Cook up your chicken–you can undercook it and finish it in the stew, once it’s put together. Keep that aside in a separate pan.

Sautee peppers, onion, and garlic five minutes. Add all the spices and coat them. After adding the spices, add the tomatoes and chicken. If you like, use the chicken juice from your cooked chicken as part of the 14.5 oz of broth. Add the Worcestershire and mustard and chili sauce. Fill the chili sauce bottle with water or broth and toss that into the pot as well. Rinse the kidney beans before you add them, and they go in last (I did not rinse the pintos, because I felt I could use the extra liquid in the chili). After you’ve compiled all the ingredients, you have to let it simmer for about twenty minutes (especially important if you undercook the chicken). Serve over rice and with cheese or sour cream.

So, the big changes I made were that we used pintos instead and I didn’t serve it over rice. I think some people like rice and chili together, but I am not one of those people. We used more than a pound of chicken breasts, just because that’s what we had, and I was afraid we were going to have to add more broth or something, but it seemed fine. It had this great mixture of being spicy and just a little sweet, like the flavor filled my whole mouth. I really enjoyed it. It was pretty easy – the thing that took the longest was cutting up the chicken and dicing the peppers and onions. Definitely a keeper for us.

I think that’s all the new stuff I did today. I did get to watch youth basketball at the community center while I was on the treadmill. That was fun. Now I am going to go work on my book some more: Labyrinth by Kate Mosse. I was NOT enjoying it yesterday, but today I have knocked out a big chunk of it, so I’m feeling a lot better about it. Will someone build me a labyrinth in my backyard?

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