Monday, June 13, 2022

Weekly Round Up: Life in The Treehouse


A weekly round up: eats, workouts, watches, and reads.  This week we lived in a treehouse for a few days, I tried a few recipes from Cheap Lazy Vegan and learned a Game Changing Tofu Technique, became obsessed with a trashy reality show, and am raving about a good book.

The Treehouse

Spoiler: no injuries or serious damage occurred as the result of the following Dramatic Incident

The big exciting event of the week happened on Monday afternoon.  The boys had just gotten home from school and the hubs and I were both in our respective offices.  We heard a tremendous crack and felt the odd sensation that happens when something very large falls on your house.  I looked out the window and saw leaves and branches flying in every direction.

Stepson #2 "A tree fell on the house!"

Hubs (on a Zoom call in his most professional voice):  "I'll be right back.  I think a tree just fell on our house."

We all ran downstairs.  We looked out the front and saw nothing out of place.  We looked out the back and saw a bunch of branches on the ground.  Hubs and I darted out the back door, just as the Voice of Wisdom (stepson #2) said "Is it safe to go out there?"

Findings: a very large tree branch had come down on our roof.  When I say "very large" I mean that the tree is about 10 feet away from the house and our house is 50 feet wide and the branch spanned the entire width of the roof.  Several smaller branches were still coming down, confirming #2's observation that it was not the smartest move to have gone out on the side closest to the damage.  Hubs and I walked around to the front where all of our neighbors had gathered after hearing the noise.  Hubs called our insurance and then dialed tree services until he got someone to come out.  The first company said "yeah it's gonna take a crane to get that off" and left, and the second company said "yeah it's gonna take a crane to get that off, we'll be back on Thursday".  They came back the next day to do some preliminary cleanup work and told us that the branch appeared to be stable and was unlikely to fall off the house, so we got to kick back and enjoy a few days of treehouse like views from the upstairs windows of our house.

Anyways, that's all there is to the story.  The tree service came back with the crane and we no longer live in a treehouse.  We took some wear and tear to the roof and gutters, but nothing major.  We're waiting to see if our insurance will pay to have the rest of the tree cut down per the tree service's recommendation.  The presumed cause is the severe rainstorm that we had last week that did a lot of tree damage in our town.


I tried out a couple of things from Cheap Lazy Vegan last week with great success.  Just a reminder of where I'm coming from, I am not and do not plan to be vegan or any other style of eating that has a label BUT I do like good food, I'm not always the biggest fan of meat, and I am cheap and lazy.

Exhibit one: Caesar salad dressing.  I'm a sucker for a good Caesar salad and I love this.  It tastes incredible and it's not as heavy as regular Caesar dressing.  So far I've had a few salads and made myself a wrap with soy curls for a picnic over the weekend.

Exhibit two: Vegan California rolls from her e-book Everyday Asian Recipes.  I got all of her ebooks when they were on sale recently - there are some repeats from the blog but also a lot of original content as well so I feel that it was a good purchase.

The bad news about this one is that I've tried and failed to make sushi in the past and I got the same result this time.  I just couldn't get the roll to cut nicely so I ended up deconstructing it and making it into a sushi bowl.

But the good news about this one is that it was still delicious in bowl form and the tofu prep technique is life changing. OMG why has no one told me about grated tofu before???????????????  Seriously WHYYYYYYYYYYY??????????????????????? 

Simply put, I had never heard about grating tofu with a box grater before and as far as I can tell it's the internet's best kept secret.  Or maybe it's a conspiracy of Things That the Meat Industry Doesn't Want Us to Know.  There are so many more applications for this technique than sushi filling and you'll be hearing more about this as I use it more and more. 


I had a few good runs and a few bad runs this week, so same story different week.  

Monday: OK weather, set out to do an easy effort run because that's what runners are supposed to do and found it very difficult.

Tuesday: a bit on the warm side.  Speed work with 2 x 1200 fast, quarter mile recover.  I had planned to do 3 sets but wasn't feeling great in the first rep so I scaled down.  Overall this was a good workout.

Thursday: best weather day of the week, 6 x 0.10 mile fast/0.20 recover.  This workout always feels really good.

Friday: a bit warmer, did a "whatever" run but I did the polar opposite of Monday's run and pushed myself a bit and felt terrific.  I really do think that the "do your hard days hard and your easy days easy" approach is flawed for slower runners.

Saturday: dang it, I just do not learn.  The internet said it was too warm but poking my nose out the door said that the temperature was delightful.  And so it was for the first four miles and then everything train wrecked from there.  I did 6.25 miles in total and the last two miles were awful.  Note to self: I need to stick to the treadmill on days like these.  These runs are not doing anything for my fitness.  Psychologically I think that I am reinforcing my hot weather running phobia by continuing to expose myself to these conditions.  I would be far better off training in comfortable conditions and then sucking it up and dealing with whatever weather conditions race day throws at me.

Next week is going to be super hot, so my job is to embrace the treadmill.


I have gone to new levels of trash in my reality TV viewing and I love it.  What do you do when you want to get married and your partner doesn't?  You go on a reality show where you swap partners with other couples in the same situation of course. 

From the same folks who brought you Love is Blind we have The Ultimatum.


I'm about 60% into Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus aka the book that everyone is reading right now.  It's so good that I don't want to finish it.

What about you?  Ever had something fall on your house?  Any good new eats, vegan or otherwise?  Summer running stories?  Trashy reality TV reports?  Good books?


  1. Wow, that tree! When our derecho hit (August 2020), we were extremely lucky nothing fell on our house. We had numerous trees/branches/debris all over the place (front, back, and side yards), but the two BIG trees (in our front yard) remained tall and intact. Whew!

    1. During the storm there were a few incidents of trees crashing into houses and cars. We came out much better because we had a partial tree that did minimal damage. If it had happened during the storm it would have been very hard to get anyone out the next day because the city was swamped. Whew indeed!

  2. Haha, your husband on that Zoom call!! That was a delightful tree story, thanks for that, Birchie. I'm glad there were no serious damage to you or the house.
    Shame about the good old tree, though.
    Well done on ALL your workouts, especially on the ones where you didn't feel great. Suggestion: how about combining hot runs with part outside, part treadmill? You'd get the best of both worlds, but I'm not sure if that is practical for you.
    I hope werk is going well.

    1. Yes, I've seen people on Zoom get interrupted by someone at the door, pets, and kids, but this is the first "a tree fell on my house" interruption that I've seen;-)

      I have thought about combo-ing the treaddy and outside...I think it would work to do most of the run inside and then a mile or two outside. Stay tuned!

  3. OMG I am so glad the damage wasn't worse and no one was hurt! That's crazy!!! I love your husband's response. So calm.
    I got so excited to see that Caesar recipe because the author mentioned it was from a restaurant in Calgary - that's my city! Yay! It's different from my standard Caesar recipe - I use tofu in mine, whirred up in a blender - so I'm going to give it a try. Maybe this weekend! My kale needs to be harvested already so I might try it with kale.

    1. Excellent! You've got to love it when you see a salad dressing recipe that you want to try and bunch of kale to go with it.

      You're in the same city as CLV! Nice!

  4. Also, I have never heard of The Ultimatum and I won't be watching it but WOW, that is the makings of a good reality show.

    1. Going in I saw that there were 10 episodes and each is about an hour long...the one thing that we can say for sure is that you used 10 hours of your time on earth more productively that I did;-)

  5. A couple things about the tree incident. I like how you describe it as "the odd sensation that happens when something very large falls on your house." Well, um, I don't think I've ever experienced that sensation! But now I'm imagining it. And I like your husband excusing himself from the zoom call. Glad no one was hurt- I hope the insurance comes through.
    I think I'm a total weirdo, but I'm not loving Lessons in Chemistry. Mainly because it's making me so sad- poor Elizabeth! But I felt this way about The Maid, and I forged through and loved the ending. So hopefully that will happen again (I assume this one has a happy ending- it has to, right?)
    One last thing- I've been vegan for around 30 years and have never heard of grating tofu. What is wrong with me? I better get on this bandwagon! I'm going to check out that e-book.

    1. Ha I've never experienced that sensation before and hopefully I never will again. I think that all of the leaves and branches must have cushioned and slowed down the fall of the main branch. It was very slow and took a long time to settle.

      For me the saving grace of Chemisty is that I love Elizabeth and her neighbor and I know that they will come out on top. Although I have a lot of love for everything early to mid 20th century, I'm so glad that I was born at a later time (and very grateful to all of the women who fought to change things).

  6. That tree, wow! That could have been a story that turned out way worse, I'm so glad for you it didn't. And trust me, your husband's Zoom call was much enlivened by it! I can guarantee you that they spent the next few minutes discussing it, rather than whatever the meeting was for.

    1. Believe me, we're very grateful to have gotten a good story for the price of our insurance deductible!

  7. Oh wow on being home when that tree hit your house. I'm glad you guys were okay! We've had two huge trees go down in our back yard, but not near the house. One happened a few days after a hurricane came through and the other one was an old dead tree that just fell (within an hour of me being in the back yard mowing all around it). Yikes!

    Grating tofu? Do you squeeze the excess water out as you normally would when not grating it?

    1. Yikes being outside just an hour before is way too close a call!

      Great question about the tofu. I didn't do anything special to drain it apart from a light squeeze and then I grated it into a strainer so that any liquid would have the chance to drip out. Once it's been grated there isn't as much space for the tofu liquid to hide.

  8. Oh wow, that takes "tree house" to another level. Hope there isn't too much damage. P.S. I am not vegan, but I am also not opposed to eating good food that happens to be vegan :)

  9. Okay, that is completely insane about the tree. I also love your husband's reaction. :) also? I subscribed to cheap lazy vegan, but I find out more things from you than from her. Thanks for sharing the grated tofu thing - I don't think I've ever heard of that and it seems like a really awesome option.

    1. Yes the grated tofu is a winner! I feel like it gets more of the tofu moisture out of there and opens up more surface area for the tofu to absorb flavor.