Sunday, January 25, 2009

I have never been described as an athlete. At 48 years old I am honored. I also want you to know that I laughed rather hysterically at this. I threw in a picture to show my amusing athleticism. Enjoy. Recipe not included.

Daily Herald 1-13-09
Karen Hoag-Lifestyle Editor

Besides being a wife, mom and grandma, Orem's Pat Martinez is a student teacher, writer and athlete.
Presently, Pat is focusing on student teaching because she's so impressed with the students at Spanish Fork High School. She has five classes there. "The kids are wonderful, intelligent and dedicated to their education," says Pat. "I am very impressed with the feeling at Spanish Fork High. ...

"I recently sat poolside with a woman who said teenagers no longer had respect for education, but I was able to tell her my experience was different. Kids are still great in 2009."

She said substituting for a friend at Timpanogos High School a few years ago gave her the same great experience and "in part was what inspired me to go into education."

With English degree in hand, Pat returned to Brigham Young University for her teaching certification. "I will be 49 when I have my own classes," she says. "I would encourage women like myself, who have raised a family and have great experience with their children and other children, to consider this mid-life career change."

Pat and her husband, Tony, have four children and two grandchildren. One daughter, Paloma, age 15, is still at home. "Deciding to teach was, in part, to prepare me for when everyone leaves home," says Pat.

In addition to all these roles, Pat writes historical fiction. And Pat's personality really comes out when she talks about her passions: ocean and surf kayaking.

And yes, she cooks for her family. The basis for the dish she shares is quinoa (pronounced keen-wa), a high-protein grain available at health food stores or health food sections of most supermarkets.

"This is a tremendously healthy meal and can be made with any variety of vegetables," Pat says. "For the kind of demands and the kind of lifestyle I want to live, I want optimum nutrition.

"I like to make food that allows for flexibility and spontaneity -- what happens to be in the fridge or what is fresh from the market.

"My daughter requested this recipe just yesterday!"

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Two months before my mother's 68th birthday, she mentioned to my niece and me, that her neighbor rode her bike everywhere and she was thinking how much fun that would be. My response was, "Let's get you a bike!" Whereas, my niece, who has only known her grandmother as an older woman responded, "Grandma, you'd never ride it." I watched my mother deflate faster than a slashed tire.

When my sisters and I gathered for her birthday, I remembered her previous wish. So while one sister stayed home to occupy our unsuspecting mom, my little sister and I set out for the bike shop. The variety of beach cruisers made us giddy. Should we get mom an electric pink bike with a flowered plastic basket? Or an emerald green with racing stripes? We settled on a bright red bike, embellished with white plumerias, and white wall tires that rivaled a Cadillac.
In the dark, I rode the bike home. As I passed the pharmacy, I had an idea. I purchased a string of Christmas lights. It was, after all, December 21st. Only after mom and dad were soundly asleep did we roll the bike into the living room.
About 5:00 a.m. the next morning I awoke with excited anticipation. I checked on the Christmas-lit bike. The next day, I learned my sister had done the same. When dad woke the next morning, he reported back to mom still in bed, "It looks like Christmas."
And so it was, but more for my sisters and me than anyone else. The five of us had made a life shift and in doing so my sisters and I had also fulfilled three of the four stages of life: 1. You believe in Santa Claus. 2. You don't believe in Santa Claus. 3. You are Santa Claus. 4. You look like Santa Claus.