Sunday, March 12
Somehow, Em and I both got slated to serve in this morning's worship service. I maintain that it was part brilliance (as we might not have made it with the time change), and part evil plan (as helpers have to show up half an hour earlier to get squared away) that they put two of us in on this Sunday. But we made it. On time, even. And nobody fell asleep in their seat. The drive up and the drive back? We lost several, there. But we held our own in the pews.
Yesterday, we had a Philmont training hike, so John and I were out the door at 6 in the morning. The high was something like 39 degrees, and it rained on us nonstop after the first mile. It was a really great opportunity to identify weak points in our gear and training. My gear is basically composed of weak points held together by gravity. My training is essentially at the whim of gravity. But it's good to know.
The Vibram Five Fingers, however, held up admirably, and today, my feet are about the only part of me that is not sore and tight. No blisters, either, in spite of doing the entire 12 miles in wet feet. The thighs, I can blame on the hills we did. (So many hills!) The back and shoulders on not having adjusted the internal frame of my pack before I loaded it up (d'oh!) Also, 400mg magnesium is not near enough to stave off DOMS. See? We learned a lot! Never stop learning!
I'm getting a handle on what food to take for the trail. Blessedly, pre-cooked bacon is shelf stable and fairly light. Guess what I'm eating on the trail? Oh, yeah! The Oberto original jerky trail mix is also nice, although it won't make a full meal substitute. The carbs are a little high for regular consumption (within the context of nutritional ketosis). I pitched the idea today to Z of making jerky from an entire roast before we head out. We'll do a practice roast, first. I'm thinking if we salt it and dry it properly, we can vacuum seal it and it should hold up OK. Will keep you updated on how that goes.
After the hike, John and I split and headed to a bonfire for their ballroom dance class. That was hosted by a family that just started this year, and it was a delightful opportunity for the kids to visit and get to know each other outside the formal setting of the dance floor. They had a blast. I had a blast, too. We got in a lot later than we'd anticipated, but it was worth it. Even at 6:30 this morning.
Sunday, February 5
This morning, over sad coffee, I read through the recent posts in a Keto group I'm a member of. (This group is scientifically oriented, and is based on the work of Drs. Phinney and Volek.) The NSV (non-scale victories) are amazing -- off of blood pressure medication, off of insulin, off of statins, off of anxiety medications, no longer categorized as diabetic/pre-diabetic... the list really does go on and on. Daily. The weight stabilization (both gaining and losing, to find optimal) is impressive. Every day, people are getting their lives back, and the healing that's happening in this group comes straight from the learning, growing, and taking control that the members are engaging in to save their own lives. It's my morning read, and is such a place of encouragement for me.
And yet, weekly, I also read stories of doctors who (essentially) won't take notes. They acknowledge that their patients are improving in ways they hadn't expected, but they won't acknowledge or record what their patients are doing differently to see such drastic results. (I have, personally, had the same experience with my new oncologist -- he won't listen to what I'm doing, claims it has no impact, and then when things go far better than the evidence would suggest, or than he expected, he shrugs and says it's a fluke. Sometimes, flukes are part of a pattern you're not seeing.) Some doctors threaten to fire their patients for going off the USDA (or the ADA) recommendations. I don't get that. (And, to be fair, many doctors are saying, "Whoa. Wait a minute, here. What's this?" They have a special place in the hearts of every patient who has healed and gotten his life back.)
I get that a physician has a responsibility to provide a certain standard of care for his patients, and that this standard is described by protocols in place. But we must always be learning, and taking notes to facilitate knowledge and understanding is not precluded by that mandate. If what you're recommending isn't working, and something else works, you don't have to become a kool-aid-drinking-total-believer. But take notes. And if you see it happen again, take more notes. Look for patterns, and if you start to see a pattern emerge, pay attention. Have the mind of a beginner. Why is this not the norm in the medical profession? Was it ever? (I want to say it was, but then I think back on my antibiotic-happy family physician and reconsider my stance... the truth is that I don't know.) I do know that most people become physicians because they want to help people. They want to improve lives, facilitate health, be an integral part of making this world a better place. But it's easy after a while to defer to protocol and forget that we're still learning.
Am I saying Ketogenesis is the answer for all the world's ailments? No. I'm not. Do I think it merits a serious look for some ailments, particularly diabetes? Yes. Do I wish that more people were taking notes and comparing them? Yes. Do I wish I'd gone into research and learned to take better notes, myself? Oh, goodness, yes.
While teaching the kids science over the years, my mantra has always been,
"Once you start acting like you know all the answers, you stop asking questions. Don't be that guy."
Because while there is SO much we know now, there is SO much we do not know.
When I'm an old lady and you see me in the street, yelling, "Take notes! Pay attention! Look for patterns! Talk to others!" Well, you'll know why.
Tuesday, January 10
I am down 45 pounds from Christmas 2014! The kids don't really appreciate my enthusiasm over that -- they reply with all the things I've told them over the years. "It's not about a number, it's about how you feel..." And yeah, OK, that's true. It is. But FORTY-FIVE POUNDS IS PRETTY STINKING HAPPY MAKING. And yeah, I feel great. I've ditched a small rucksack of books. An angry toddler. A really terrifying snake. (Truthfully, I don't have a handle on just how big a 45 pound snake would be, but we have cottonmouths, and just thinking about that gives me the willies.)
They actually came to appreciate the magnitude of it when they were watching old clips from Just Dance that winter and caught a Big Foot style sighting of their mother walking across the background.
"Holy cow! Did you see Mom?"
(*rewind, play it again*)
"Whoa! Man, you were... I mean, huh. *shifts voice from incredulity to thoughtfulness* You have lost a significant amount of weight."
Yes. Yes, I have.
"You must feel SO much better!"
*snortch* Yes. Yes, I do.
And it's not about the number. It's not even entirely about the weight -- I'm guessing that ditching the cancer has done tremendous things for my energy and vigor. :-) But the overall healthfulness is encouraging. Being strong enough to live the life I want to live, and being energetic enough to do it well, are huge blessings that I don't take for granted.
I won't go all door-to-door missionary on you, but if you want to know more, look at Drs. Phinney and Volek and their nutritional ketogenic therapies and way of eating. It's good stuff.
Maybe eventually I'll loose enough weight that I can do a whole pull up, eh? (I kid. I'll never get up to a full pull up.)
Wednesday, December 21
|This is not James getting home from his party. This is John, who was in charge of casting music while the Littles decorated the tree. Bonus points if you recognize the video.|
We're nominally still doing school. In my head. Actually, right now, Jase is devouring the next in the Warriors (cat) books, and John is in the basement playing his favorite video game. (The basement is nearly finished - it's not as creepy as it sounds.) Everyone else is either sleeping in, or lying in bed praying I won't come poke them. And I haven't the umpf to poke them. Clearly, it's time for Christmas Break.
So today we'll wrap the rest of the presents. I will take notes as we wrap and make sure I haven't missed something important. I'm still waiting on a few packages, because I can't get my financial shizzle together in August and shop like a grown-up. Mahabis (that's James big gift this year) has awesome tracking info... until the package leaves the UK. After that, it all goes dark. I have no idea where his shoes are, if they're nearly here, or if they're now decorating the happy feet of a Somali pirate. And we'll clean a bit. Because that makes everything better.
James has to take his AP Physics final exam today. He won't let me make excited happy faces until that's over. (But I am totally making them in my head!)
Oh! We made liver pate yesterday. It's ostensibly "mellowing", or something, in the fridge, and we'll have it Christmas Eve. It tasted pretty good, although I don't know if it will taste good enough to overwhelm the visual... issues. (That is one unattractive dish!) But it was fun to do, we learned some new techniques, and so that was fun. I've got a package of Braunschweiger, just in case the pate is a no-go.
Tuesday, December 6
The gift exchange plan is that the adults have drawn names and are to give gifts that we already have lying around, or can make. Wish I'd thought about the potential for this at some point in the last year of purging and wardrobe capsules and decluttering. I'm down to offering up a spare cast iron skillet, or maybe a SCOBY... So, I think we're going to go with making something. (But it's 10:30 and I don't know what. The odds that it will be "something laminated" are increasing as we approach midnight, I'm not gonna lie.) The kids are doing a similar gift plan, but they're planning on doing a Dirty Santa exchange instead of drawing names.
Em crocheted a mermaid while we read today.
I.... I've got nothing like that up my sleeve.
So James and I were thinking homemade treats would be nice. But of the group, we have varying degrees of dietary restrictions: sugar-free, dairy-free, egg-free, wheat-free, peanut-free, Keto, and Paleo. Plus one who can pretty much only eat cotton candy and nuts. (It's not that bad, but if I'm going to feed her, I take a picture of the ingredients, or the label on a product and text her, "Can you eat this?" Because if I guess, I will guess wrong!)
James happily decanted some of his vanilla erythritol, slapped a bow on it, and went back to studying. John grabbed a carabiner, which he hails as "the most useful thing since the pocket knife", wrapped it, and went back to studying. Jacob made a bracelet. Jase found a recipe for mint chocolate cookies that meets ALL of the dietary limitations of the group, so that's what he wants to make in the morning.
I still don't know what I'm going to do for the gift exchange, but in my search for inspiration I found some neat links to random things you can feed people who have special dietary requirements and thought perhaps you would enjoy some of them. (I've been full-on Keto for the last year, and feel amazing. But we don't really eat a lot of treats and sweets and such, so I haven't looked for alternatives. We make our mayo and sriracha and everything else can be killed or grown. Boy, was that search eye-opening! I had NO IDEA how far recipes had come for the dietary-restricted diets! Dang, people, way to get creative with your bad selves!)
First up, I found this recipe for what the author says is a lot like a Jolly Rancher. It's made with xylitol and either LorAnn's candy flavoring or unsweetened Kool-Aid. Oh, and a hot plate. (We do not have a hot plate, or a mug warmer, much to James' sorrow, so we used the coffee pot. It seems to have worked.) I didn't get pictures of the process because I am so far out of that frame of mind you wouldn't believe it. But it's a very low key process. We didn't add enough flavoring, I think. Prototypes are like that. But we also did not napalm anyone in the kitchen, break the coffee pot, or poison the dog. Plus, it's very satisfying to get xylitol to crystallize.
Then I found this mother lode of links for mug cakes. Paleo, low-carb, crazy, rampant cake recipes! I haven't made them, yet, but we did put Meyer lemons on the grocery list. I'm kind of toying with the idea of having batches pre-made and bagged with mugs set out, so guests can just pick their mix, dump it into a mug, and IT'S A PARTY!
If I can get up and out the door early enough tomorrow to buy some Swerve, I really want to make these Butterfinger Bars by Maria Emmerich.
And my sweet friend who has to preview ingredients graciously sent me her own pumpkin "pie" recipe after Thanksgiving... I doubled the egg count, threw in a titch of stevia, and we ate the whole danged thing. So she's getting a ramekin of that with whipped coconut cream tomorrow. In a heart shape, because I love her, and I'm a dork, and it'll make her smile.
Then we'll sit and catch up on each other's lives over the last week. We'll share a few quiet minutes while the kids play The Resistance and yell in the other room. We'll refresh our spirits and bolster ourselves for the coming week. It's good stuff.
Tuesday, September 23
Monday, September 1
It was absolutely fantastic. We took our blankets and spread out on the grass near the front of the stage. This is probably my favorite way to watch live theater, now. It was a long day, with the 2-hour drive each way, but that was made more fun with friends. It was, without a doubt, absolutely worth it, though.
Everything about this performance by the Nashville Shakespeare Festival was delightful and engaging, but one thing I hadn't thought about before hand was the music. This is *Nashville*! The music blew us all away. At first, we didn't think the actors on stage were singing live. It was too good. Then we realized that's exactly what they were doing. So that was like getting a whole other performance on top of the Shakespeare.
Actually, most of the pictures I did get centered around the food. They had Thai, Egyptian, and BBQ. Oh, how much we spent trying a little of everything! I'm so glad my kids are adventurous eaters. And we do love some food truck food. (As an aside, anybody ever call them "roach coaches"? I get that that's considered derogatory, but we always meant it affectionately. I'm working very hard on not squealing with delight, "Oh! Let's see what's at the roach coach!" when we pull into a venue and see the trucks lined up. But I do still say it on the inside.)
Monday, July 7
We could not have begged for better weather - sunny and bright, but breezy and comfortable. Wow. Just wow. Z rocked the asado action on the smoker, and I think if we hadn't had guests I'd have eaten the whole thing myself, keeping the kids at bay with a poky stick - so, unbelievably good! Thankfully, part of my filter is still in place and I didn't assault the guests. Or run cackling into the woods with the pan of asado.
The teens got restless about an hour before the fireworks began. They wanted to get down to the square while it was still light and see the sights. Since none of the adults were quite ready to roll yet, the boys asked if they could take their bikes. We have a million bikes, so there were plenty for everyone who wanted to ride, and off they went. I'm guessing they had fun. We put eyes on them when we arrived at the square an hour later, and everyone had shave ice and was laughing. No blood, no limping. We called it good. It was nice, though, to run into friends who volunteered that they'd seen the boys and spoken with them and were so glad to see them. I love it when people volunteer good things about teens. They get it, and they get the kids. That's good stuff, right there. The rest of us, big and little, were happy to take our time moseying about in the meantime.
The fireworks were, once again, absolutely spectacular. It's one of my favorite parts of living here. Well, the whole thing, really - the show is amazing, the people are sweet, the food is fantastic. It's a good combination.
After the show, everyone (plus a few we picked up at the square) came back to the house for a bonfire and to finish off the desserts. That was, quite possibly, the perfect ending to a lovely day.
Today, we laid around doing nothing. It was delicious. Jacob told me he really needed a full week of that, and then interrupted himself to add, "Oh, wait! You have Circe coming up, which means Dad will be watching us, and we'll have a week of doing nothing. Oh, that's perfect!" And off he ran to share his revelation with his siblings. Z grinned when I shared that story with him, but he didn't deny it. I guess Kinderspringa shall become a tradition. They could do worse, really.
Have a safe and thankful weekend!
Kiss those babies,
Friday, May 2
It doesn't include the beautiful skies and friendly local personalities, the charitable groups doing good things for people in the community, and the community itself.
Sometimes, it's just awesome to live here.
Kiss those babies!
Tuesday, January 28
EmilyGirl left a note for the tooth fairy.
So sweet. And she's completely on to me, but doesn't seem to mind.
She also put the tooth into an origami box she'd made. There was a hole in the top so the fairy could document that yes, the tooth is there, but Em was really hoping to keep the tooth. I did not know this at the time, and now have a frankly fantastic addition to my Collection Of Things That Will Probably Freak Out My Adult Children After I'm Dead: a stray tooth in a paper box! But really, it's just too awesome to release back into the detritus of the crafting area and allow to end up in the back end of a vacuum. So I'm keeping it.
The guys made chips and queso to take to youth group, so not only did we get to be helpful, but the kitchen smelled magnificent all afternoon Sunday. (If you think a small Mexican restaurant smells magnificent, which we totally do. Someday, someone will come out with green chile scented candles. I live in hope.)
Z repaired the dishwasher for the happy price of a bottle of Lime-Away. And some creative application of elbow grease and a pointy thing. I don't know. We walked in halfway through, so all I had to do was get a little calcium build up off the sprayer arms and then dance in the kitchen during the test run. He did the sleuthing and heavy lifting. It worked out perfectly, too, as the boys have been doing dishes by hand for a little over a week - just long enough to be pretty appreciative about unloading the dishwasher this morning.
Also, after some particularly disgusting failures over the last several months (and with the help of a friend who said, "Use this recipe, but use that method,"), we managed to make homemade mayo successfully today. When it works, you feel like Penn Jillette. (When it doesn't, the feeling is closer to Gob*.) But seriously, that's a simple thing that's geeky-cool. If you haven't tried it, yet, and you have a stick blender, you've gotta try it. Truly, I don't know how the people in the demonstration videos don't geek out over watching it happen every. time.
Kiss those babies!
*Gob Bluth, definitely not Penn & Teller... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Nvxv2R01po
Tuesday, December 18
So, I tried to find the original before photos of the kitchen, but it looks like I'd uploaded them to a Flickr account, which has since been... emptied? sucked into the ether? eaten by Yahoo? :shrug: I don't know. I could log in with my normal account, but they had an old address for main contact info, so I'm sure they warned me that they were deleting pictures, but I don't use the ISP email, so I never saw it coming. Hopefully, there are some tucked away on the hard drive James salvaged from the basement.
And then, because it's more fun to play in a well-lit kitchen, we've been busy in there...
Kiss those babies!
Saturday, December 1
James came back from putting up the chickens and announced, "We have 18 chickens, and FIVE EGGS!" It took us all a second for it to sink in, but then we were excited.
Unfortunately, the roosters are all pretty into doing their jobs, and we have no clue how long those eggs have been there... so we'll have to crack them outside, in case they're bad. Still, it's exciting to have some progress.
(This was last night. Jacob found another one today. We don't know who is laying, but they're all in the same place so far, so that makes it easier. How exciting!)
Kiss those babies!
Tuesday, June 12
James and John both said they were pleasantly surprised. I guess they thought it would be a little rough (or weird), but they had a good time working with the younger kids. Jacob, of course, thought it was TheBestCampEver. (Every camp should be, right?) That almost makes having to shift gears and pack lunches worth while.
(On a side note - packing lunches? Whole different ball game. I thought I'd be creative and fun, so I started out looking for lunchbox ideas, but the sites I found all seem to have been written by well-rested parents with one tiny child who doesn't eat much. That's not the lunch I was looking for. The pictures were adorable, though! I guess there's a reason nobody blogs pictures of the lunches you have to pack for adolescent pantry locusts.)
We're picking up a friend's son this afternoon, so they offered to pick up ours on the way in this morning. We have truly fantastic friends. :-) And it would have been perfect, had this not been Trash Day, and had we not snuggled in a little deeper and slept until 6:20. Ugh. Just as I started to call, "Come and eat," I had to change that to, "Oh, look, he's here. Um... :tosses bacon into a bowl: Here, this is for you three to share. Pretend this is normal, okay?"
So they are at camp. The Littlest Littles are still blissfully asleep. There are so many chores left to do this morning. We just can't get moving that quickly, that early. (But first, coffee!)
Kiss those babies!
Monday, February 13
Um... uh-oh. We've breached some serious law of parental obligation, here, when none of our children knows how to dance. Great Granny's 98th Birthday is coming up, and you know there'll be a barn dance - live music, gorgeous weather - we'd best get on it, or we'll find ourselves in trouble when Granny can't dance with her grandsons BECAUSE THEIR PARENTS DROPPED THE DANGED BALL!! We have a plan in place to remedy this. Also, we should move somewhere with more live music and dancing. This will never do.
Meantime, we had a gorgeous Saturday - Me-Wa came out to do some shooting and see the godbabies. He's so awesome. I wish we lived closer to them, so it wasn't a full day's outing, away from home, just to stop in for a visit. Last time he came out, EmBaby got to try her hand at the Cricket. The balcony has built-in rests. I am beginning to suspect that was intentional...
Kiss those babies!
Tuesday, May 17
Before I get into the results and experience, I should ante up on the caveats and errata from the peanut gallery:
Intentional Alterations, based on philosophy:
* We eat sausage and other preserved meats that have nitrites in them. That's a personal decision. Neither Zorak nor I are convinced either of the claims of harm, nor of the levels of concern. Even when we make our own sausage at home, we use cure with nitrite. I'm not out to evangelize anyone to that particular point of view, nor am I open to being evangelized against them. I'm just being upfront about how our plan differed from that suggested by the Whole 30 plan.
* Raw milk. I kept that as an option for the occasional treat. Again, a personal decision. While I am convinced of the detriments of homogenization, and would forgo dairy completely were that the only alternative available, I've seen no evidence that suggests raw dairy is in any way inflammatory or detrimental to the gut. The Paleo crowd does seem to blow off dairy on the argument that Grok wouldn't have had it, and so neither should we. However, the science and the history both bear out that raw and fermented dairy have been staples of the human diet for as far back as the domestication of livestock, with fantastic results. So. The raw milk stayed, for us. As did the fresh butter, although that was reserved only for the things that really must be sauteed in butter. Arbitrary, perhaps. But tasty and, as I said, it was a non-negotiable for me.
(Note, if we were battling a degenerative disease, or if there were a life-threatening situation which caused us to seek this detox, I will admit that we may have been more strict with regard to the dairy. I probably won't know unless I'm faced with that choice. Your mileage may vary.)
Two Supremely Unjustifiable Errors:
* Alcohol. Gah. This one is entirely on me. I'd signed up for a Wine 101 class that I've been trying to get into since the beginning of February. I finally got in, although I got the slot before we started the Whole 30. The evening was slated for about 3/4 of the way through our 30. The stars aligned, and I had the opportunity for a date night with my honey. I hung my head in shame for a moment, then grabbed my coat and went. We probably consumed half a glass of wine, total. Still, it was all-carby, with zero nutritional value. The evening spent with my husband and the wonderful folks at the class, however, was fantastic. Again, had we been doing this for a high-stakes situation, we'd have passed. But I can't even really justify it or claim it didn't have an impact on the results. I'm fairly sure it did.
* A s'more. We went camping. James picked up toasted coconut marshmallows and a caramel bar for his s'mores. I wanted one. I had it. About the only good thing with regard to this is that I decided days ahead that I would do it, not feel guilty about it, and not decide that I'd fallen off the horse forever because of it. I was able to have that one and enjoy it and move on. No justification, but I did want to be honest.
And, that's it. Other than those exceptions, we've eaten "clean" for a month. This included a week without power, and a Mother's Day campout.
What we noticed:
* Improved rest at night. Less flailing (the elbow of death has not hit me once during the night), deeper sleep, and more rejuvenating sleep.
* Improved digestion and less bloating.
* For the girly folk, the various female issues were much decreased during this cycle.
* No mid-day slump. This has been my *favorite* perk. Absolute, hands-down, favorite. It feels SO good to be functional all day long. Zorak also reported that he's been more alert and had a steady stream of energy at work, without the 2PM slump that always hit him in the past.
* Clearer complexion. This one's probably a close second. I hate having acne in the wrinkles. Nobody warned me about that. Now, I just have the wrinkles. The acne has cleared significantly, and overall skin tone seems improved.
* Tone - overall body tone. We did not add in additional exercises - Zorak, because he hadn't received the all-clear from the surgeon yet, and I, because I'm essentially lazy and didn't want to. However, we've both seen a visible, measurable, tangible, no-kidding improvement in body tone.
* Weight stability. In our cases, it was loss, but from what I've read, I suspect that someone who needed to gain weight would do so on this plan. The body seems to seek out its own balance when we're not busy tweaking our bodies with insulin spikes and crashes.
If you are considering this at all, my advice would be to do it. Just jump in and run with it. It's only 30 days. There is support, and there are resources available. The results you'll see - and I am firmly convinced you will see them - are worth it. There are so many Whole 30 friendly recipes out there. It takes a bit of planning, to have something on hand when you get ready to eat. But not much more than it takes to keep a household fed, anyway. It's not hard, but it is worth it.
Kiss those babies!
Sunday, May 15
Whole 30, a 30-day food challenge. It's been fun. It's been fantastic, actually. I can write more about it, if anyone is interested (although there are far better, more diligent bloggers out there who have documented every single day of it - we had a week without power, and a Mother's Day campout thrown in there during our project, both of which shot the blogging to pieces.) And I can attest that we've experienced definite improvement in many areas because of it. But anyway, this is an example of how we've been eating, and it's. been. delightful.
Wednesday, February 16
First thing: Our Pastor's wife is a saint. I know, that sounds cliche, doesn't it? But no, she really truly is amazing. Any woman who doesn't even *blink* before offering to triple the number of children in her home all day long when you need emergency child care? Made of some fantastic combination of angel dust and titanium.
Second thing: *argh* Zorak's final, official, really-real diagnosis is a torn ligament in the rotator cuff *and* a broken bone. He's more than a little freaked out by the sheer math involved in the odds. (I'm still weirded out that he was wielding a chain saw just this past weekend...) End result? Surgery, and a minimum 3 months of physical therapy. End goal? 100% recovery. Could be worse. Could be much worse. We'll have our minds wrapped around it shortly. I hope.
Third... oh, lunch at Logan's Roadhouse. I cannot believe we've lived here nearly six years and hadn't eaten there, yet. Oh, but we will go back. Yes, we will. We might even take the children. AND they have a gluten-free menu, too, which I thought was pretty awesome business sense.
And now, good night!
Kiss those babies!
Tuesday, February 15
I've got ten minutes while the Creamy Citrus Ginger dressing mellows, then I'll have to go round up the children and turn a hose on 'em so they can eat. Ah, it's gorgeous out. AND, I have a child who asks to mix up something called Creamy Citrus Ginger Dressing. Seriously? When I was 12, I failed a Home Ec assignment because my lab partner and I were convinced that if we doubled the brown sugar and the chocolate chips, we'd create the BEST COOKIE BARS EVAH. For obvious reasons, Mrs. Baker (kid you not, real name) disagreed. We could not choke down the cookie bars to save our grades. But here, I have been blessed with a child who makes this, and not even for a grade! Ah. Sometimes, when life is not fair, it's totally not fair in-a-good-way. Mrs. Baker would be proud. Or shocked. But I'm going with proud.
Zorak, turns out, broke. his. arm. on our ski trip. Yeah, I know. I have no clue what can be done a month later, but he goes in tomorrow to see a specialist about how to deal with it. He asked me last night to go with, so I've spent the morning leaving messages with everyone I know who either lives between us and the doctor, or isn't afraid to watch five kids at a Chick-Fil-A playground for an hour. On a day's notice. Wee! (You can imagine how terrifyingly short that list is. *sigh*) I very briefly considered giving Jase a heavy dose of Nyquil and just taking them all with us, but that was only for fun. Nobody really does that. Anymore. Ah, yes. So, I'm hoping somebody will call me back and say, "Sure! I love those fries!"
We spent the weekend thinking about getting some work done on the land. Got the driveway graded, so that was huge. Plus, we got to visit with friends when that was done, so that was cool. You can't hear the Volvo cry out in pain when Zorak leaves each morning, now. It's very comforting. Now, to get gravel on it before it rains. That will be the challenge.
And, I do believe that was ten minutes! Time for lunch! Yum!
Kiss those babies!
Saturday, January 8
Tamales - this is Zorak's Christmastime tradition. He loves doing it, and the water bath canner works perfectly for larger batches (plus, this saves it from the shame of being a unitasker, per Alton Brown).
We left some for Santa. He was very good to us, in exchange.
We found a new pecan pie recipe! I know, I know, this comes very close to announcing, "We have reinvented the WHEEL!" But it's true. This recipe is very different from traditional pecan pie, but it's oh, so very good. OH so good. It's the recipe on the back of the 40 oz. ALAGA Original Corn Syrup. I can't explain it. You'll just have to come over and we'll make you one.
And, of course, there was the annual decorating of the cookies. There were an awful lot of zombies, skeletons, and ghosts. I suppose the Halloween folk like to get their Christmas colors on, too. Amy has assured me this is normal in a house full of boys. And none of her boys have been banned from the bakery, or singled out for profiling. So I just decided a few years ago not to worry about it. And EmBaby? Well, her brothers were so proud - all of her monsters had bows and pretty dresses.
Kiss those babies!
Sunday, July 11
* You can pack more in that jar. Really.
* Okra floats. (Well, duh. We knew that. We just didn't put that together with the packing and the liquid until it was too late. And I mean that literally -- it was nearly midnight.)
* Don't make it harder than it has to be. (Applies to a number of things, actually.)
* All Other Kitchen Rules Apply (don't touch the pot without a pot holder, clean as you go to keep your blood pressure down, you get to eat the mistakes, and lick the spoon... whether you want to or not, is another story)
Sometime this week, I hope to put up pictures of projects the kids have been working on: new compost bin, chicken infirmary, shooting gallery, and American Revolution re-enactment field.
Kiss those babies!