Thursday, May 26, 2011

Teacher Gifts

Having received a few teacher gifts when I taught gymnastics, I try to come up with teacher gifts that aren't going to wind up in the teacher's next yardsale. Lotions, candles, etc...YUCK.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Paleo Thing--Update

I wasn't very Paleo today, or I was a VERY sugar coated Paleo.  I'm doing OK without coffee, but linger in my coffee scented garden breathing the sweet aroma to get a fix. Man, I really need to do a blog post on that gardening project....anyway....

I  need to read the book(s) on Paleo to really get it I think, because I am surely doing something wrong. When I get into the forums like PaleoHacks and they talk about proper ratios of fat to meat to veggies to whatever, I'm lost. I'm just not educated enough to embark on this journey YET. I also don't have enough time or money right now. 

While weight loss wasn't the prime motivator for doing this experiment, a wee bit of tummy blubber lost wouldn't be a bad thing. I wouldn't mind having a butt like a pilates instructor either! But, I'm nursing the 18 mo. old, and while I can't pull any definite proof out of anywhere, I'm pretty sure my body is going to hang onto some fat as long as I'm make sure the baby has something to live on if a famine happens or whatever. I'm not going to quit nursing just to have a better chance at losing some tummy blubber, so what am I going to do?

I'm going to try to keep eating no bread/cereals, unless they are worth it, like at a party with cake and yumminess, and I'm going to keep eating craptons of veggies like we have been. It's been good that way. I had gotten very lazy.  Plus, I'm determined to increase water consumption. I barely drink anything in a day. 

I'm having trouble figuring out what to do about the kids and milk. There are so many conflicting theories on modern cow milk that I really want to keep the kids off it, but the alternatives are insulin-spiking Country Time lemonade or $$$Coconut and Almond milk. I'm pretty sure that I could get raw milk from a friend or someone else local, but it's are from grain-fed cows, and don't-ya-know, grain fed everything is evil.

Off to do more research....

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bye-Bye Coffee--Give Me Back My Brain!!

So, yesterday as I typed my post and admitted that I just couldn't give up coffee, I thought about how weak and stupid that is, when there's really not anything healthy about coffee, and it tastes so nasty that yummy stuff has to be added to it to make it drinkable. Then today I was following some links here and there and from found THIS ARTICLE, called Start of Days. Here are the excerpts, which, if I can keep fresh in my mind, MAY just get me to kick the coffee.
"200 mg of caffeine (one 12 oz mug of coffee) increases blood cortisol levels by 30% in one hour and cortisol can remain elevated for up to 18 hours later."
So, What? What's Cortisol?

"Chronically high cortisol levels not only contribute to osteoporosis, but they are toxic to brain cells and can lead to short-term memory loss. (emphasis added by CraftyCrofts)

When we move beyond the brain and into the body, we find that because we no longer have immediate physical responses to our high cortisol levels, cortisol makes us…fatter. Cortisol breaks down adipose tissue and moves it into the bloodstream for energy, but what happens when energy isn’t needed? Well, research is finding that instead of burning the triglycerides, cortisol causes these unused fats to be re-deposited in the adipose tissues surrounding the belly."

Well, by golly, MAYBE, my short-term memory loss (that I have been attributing to mental issues that I battle) is actually caused by my 24 oz cup of coffee every morning?  I am ready to give away the coffee maker. Of course, hubby won't go for that, but, WOW. I. AM. MOTIVATED. The loss of "adipose tissues surrounding the belly" won't be a bad side effect either!!

How long do you think this will last? really, I'm serious. Do you think I have the willpower?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tuesday - Fun Workout!

Ah, Tuesday, day 9-ish of this fun.  The Paleo-ish-ness continues. Lots of fruits and nuts, more veggies than usual, and heavy on the meat. no bread/grains for me, back to bread and cereal and Z Bars for the kids, out of laziness and cheapness on my part. They are definitely getting more veggies. They've always been fruit-a-holics, so can't really do much increasing their fruit intake.

Coffee has been good. I just can't give it up, and definitely not switching to black. So Delicious Coconut Creamer -French Vanilla Flavor is the key.  Not perfect, but better than chemical filled Coffee Mate.  I had to buy it at the natural foods store an hour away. It's an itty bitty, overpriced shop, but hey, they had it. I've requested our local Safeway carry it. Last time I requested something they got it in about 6-months.  We'll see this time.

Workouts up until tonight have been messed up and cut short  by kids, etc. Tonight we put the kids in bed and I took off for the track.
1 Mile there and 1 Mile back, and here's what I did at the track:

Was supposed to be:
200m run
10 Air Squats
10 Pushups

I did two rounds as written, but then...

200m run--I was actually nauseas when i got there, so...had to switch it up.
20 flutterkicks on the 3-count
10 handstand push ups against fence
2x count of 10 handstand

run 200
5AS, 3x up the stadium stairs, switch to bunny hopping up 2 of them, walking down, figured that worked about the same thing as the AS.
Then I could feel my abs had gotten some work and figured my back needed some so I hooked my feet under the bottom stadium bench and bent over the concrete wall for real back extensions x 20.
Then I jogged over and invited a group of walkers (who probably thought I'm crazy) to the run/walk club Thursday night and ran home.
My legs were jello when I got home. That's the point, right?

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Yesterday was good! Canned Coconut Milk (like for Pina Coladas) and Chocolate Almond Milk (from the dairy section) made my coffee Palateable. We ate hard boiled eggs (Lavagirl has taken to calling them "hand eggs" because you can hold them in your hand like an apple to eat!) for breakfast.  Lunch was Subway Kids' meals for the kids and nuts and figs and some stolen (from the kids) apple slices for me.  The Subway switch is a big one, and although I know lunchmeat isn't that great, it's gotta be somewhat better than McD's. Lesser of two evils, right?

Workout was the standard warmup and then 1 round (should have been 3 rounds) of 800m run, 50 Situps, 50 Back Extensions. Hubby says there's no way I'm doing Back Extensions right, so I've gotta go check crossfit youtube to find out.

Ok, so, I've been doing "swimmers" for a week and should have been doing "Supermans" whatever, Swimmers are BETTER THAN NOTHING!

Saturday's almost over and I'm just finishing the Friday post so I'll just swing straight into Saturday.

Woke up and made the kids normal Waffles and eggs, made myself an omelette with smoked salmon (in the foil pack) with Wal-Mart's Pineapple Salsa (all natural, very good stuff!).

Lunch was ...going to be Paleo... at a Japanese restaurant...I planned on just eating sushi...without rice. And then even though I made sure to check the No-Rice column, they gave me it on rice and I couldn't help myself. I ate the rice too. Then, the kids didn't eat all their Lo Mein, and it was REALLY GOOD, so I had some of that too. I know Soy isn't big in the Paleo world, but the Miso Soup was REALLY GOOD too so I had a bowl of that. Really, I  had a Japanese Feast. Mmmmmmm.............  I realized afterward that they probably use MSG, and that would be why I had a headache when we left.

Dinner was more of last night's Kalua Pig and Cabbage which I realize now I never even wrote about  yesterday.  We usually eat KP&C with rice, but I just didn't eat the rice. It was a bit boring because I cooked the cabbage separately from the KP, so I dumped on soy sauce and Wasabi Fumi Furikake (same as the cabbage snack the other night if you're following all this), and it was TASTY.

I should do a shopping report post sometime. I've been shopping a lot this week, just trying to determine if a paleo diet is even possible here in the midwest, land of Grain-fed beef, pesticide laden potatoes and genetically modified beets. It's definitely going to break the bank to continue this, but hopefully the savings on Doritos and Oreos will make up some of the difference.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Eating Healthfully and Working Out = Great Day

Call it whatever you want, I think I had a pretty good day with even less cheating than yesterday.  I had another Smoothie with Arbonne Chocolate Protein Powder (first ingredient: Sugar), and another coffee from the coffee shop, (small and skinny...not very yummy), but other than those, no cheating. Oh wait, dinner had to be quick because of Running Club so I baked some frozen (greasy) sweet potato fries and fish nuggets (real fish, not scary fishstick fish) that had some kind of breading on them, but really, considering the standard Western alternatives, not bad.  I drank more water today and am actually feeling great now after running club.

Running Club was my WOD, a run/walk of 2 miles to set up the route and then guessing about another 2.5 actually with the club (the route is sort of 'invisible hare' and hounds format, with a mystery route at every corner).

The kids are loving the pre-dinner veggie snack tray system.  Dip. dip. dip.

Busy day, time for bed. Good Night!!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sucking at Paleo/Primal and CrossFit, day 3

Wednesday is supposed to be my VVacuuming day. (see how the VV's look like a W? maybe I should explain my cleaning system sometime), AND IT ACTUALLY GOT DONE. Plus, tomorrrow, THursday is SHeets day, and I already did that. Working ahead? Hoo Yah!!!

Oh yeah, um, Paleo. Well, my internet and phone were down this morning, evidently the whole neighborhood had a problem, and so I don't really remember what I ate for breakfast. I think it was the leftover steak and some ...cabbage?  Oh wait, of the kids wanted a smoothie, so I had some of that too. Cow Milk, frozen Peaches and Arbonne Chocolate Protein Powder (first ingredient: Sugar).

Ooh, speaking of cabbage, last night after yesterday's post, I wanted a snack, so I pulled out some of the cabbage I boiled (on day one?) and added sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger and Wasabi Fumi Furikake, and microwaved it.  Instant asian food. YUM. Slurp, second bowl down the hatch too.

Lunch today...well, I went to the grocery store (both of them actually) and stocked up on produce (the kids go through carrots and celery like crazy), looked for Almond Flour (NOPE), Almond Butter (got it), Hummus, guacamole (got it got it), various nuts and raisins, Chocolate Almond Milk and Vanilla Coconut Milk (yes, the plain ones are better for me...too bad none of us can choke the down), some exotic sounding all natural sausage that was on sale in 6 different fancy flavors, cheese (the kids  are definitely Primal, I'm still trying to stay away from dairy). Ugh. Cheese. Tyler actually picked a GIANT block of All Natural, totally healthy nothing-added cheese.  I told him he had expensive taste in cheese. Not to mention, I'm going to have to cut it myself. I know, I know, the pre-cut and pre-shredded cheese are treated with some anti-clumping ..uh...stuff...but they are SO EASY. I ate nuts for lunch I guess, as I drove around. I guess we'll be finding out what expensive cheese tastes like tomorrow with lunch.

I am NOT drinking enough water. However, I did grab some coffee downtown YUM, SLURP, DROOL (must review Newberry's sometime!), but, realizing that swimsuit season is upon us and I'm not living on nuts and berries for nothing,  I only got a small and skipped the whip cream.

Then I tried to go to the track nice and early to do day 3 of CrossFit and the HS Track team was practicing! Can't they practice somewhere other than the HS Track?? ;-)

So I came back home to make dinner nice and early, thinking I'd have tons of time to possibly finally go to Wednesday Night Church (which I haven't done in like, 5 years) and then got a phone call....finally got off the phone...drove to McD's for kid food (managed to not break my own experiment), came home, fed the kids McNuggets, apples and Chocolate cow milk. Only the oldest ate the nuggets, and only because of the toy as a bribe. I AM DETERMINED to quit going to McD's.  The kids eat Paleo/Primal happily and have to be forced to eat McCrap. That should tell you something right there. Finally had time to figure out my food and remembered the sweet potatoes I had thrown into the microwave before heading to track. had one of those, leftover steak, and a HUGE PILE of Spinach, wilted in Olive Oil with Salt.

Also, chopped up and put in an accessible container, all the produce from the stores, with small containers of Hummus and Glazed Walnuts to make it like an almost-Bento Box.

I hardboiled some eggs for easy breakfast with the Kiwi fruit that doggone better be ripe by morning.

So in summary, no Doritos or Jelly Beans today (shared the remaining Beans with neighborhood kids yesterday to eliminate that threat), but I did have Fancy Coffee, resisted ordering for myself at McCrapHole, and didn't workout, but only because the Track was being hogged by actual Track Athletes.

Not perfect, but better than nothing. For Sure.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Trying Paleo/Primal Day 2

Breakfast took me a while to get around to making, but eventually I wilted some spinach in butter and then fried in some eggs with chili powder, and topped it off with Old Bay seasoning. yum. The Baby liked the egg part, so I cooked him up some without the spinach.

For a snack at some point I had some smoky almonds, too salty for real Paleo, but already in the house and better than a peanut butter cup, right?

Lunch has been greenbeans and almonds so far, and lemon pepper tilapia is in the oven. cook faster, dammit!

I'm going to have to get better at working ahead for this.

I have leftover steak that had been saved for fajitas, but now is just going to get eaten for dinner.

Tons of energy. Cleaned out my baking cupboard of the flours like Amaranth and Wheat Gluten and other fancy flours that I had been buying to make fancy "healthy" bread. Giving them to a homemade bread loving friend.

I'm keeping the Tapioca Flour and hope to find and buy Almond flour though, because I've seen some decent sounding "pancake" and other "muffin" type recipes that call for those.

Time to go check on my fish!

***a while later***

Arrgh!!  The fish was cooked perfectly. Went outside with it to eat and watch kids play and managed to dump most of it on the ground. Julie the Dog liked it....

Out of Frustration, I ate some Doritos, but surprisingly, not too many.

**after bedtime, back at computer**

Dinner was requested by Sharkboy: Apples, Asparagus and Chicken. I served the apples raw as an appetizer with sunflower butter. He had been expecting baked apples. Oops. Oh well. He didn't like the Sunflower butter either. I hope he likes Almond butter.

Sharkboy has decided he really likes "lunchables" but I've figured out it's not what's IN the box that he likes, he likes the Bento Box system. The apple appetizer was actually apples and carrots and sunflower butter and ranch dressing and glazed walnuts (I'm starting to think that if I ever go Paleo, we'll have to come up with a new name, like, the Sugar-Coated Paleo. Is that possible? If this Paleo experiment does nothing else, it has shown me why Tyler doesn't eat the Lunchables he begs for and I buy occasionally. Of course he doesn't eat what's in it. The contents of the standard Lunchable are disgusting. However, I think I'll be shopping for a good Bento Box, or sending Hubby to find some in Japan in a couple weeks!  Yes, Japan!   His shopping assignment list gets longer and longer every day...I hope he has time to do some shopping...

Workout was supposed to be the second day on the paper Travis gave us at the seminar, but after loading up the kids and the veggie bento snack box in the car and driving to the track, we found a Track Meet in progress. So, we came back home and I switched to a later workout with no running.

I did the warmup, running to the end of my block and back then 5 each of PU, SU, AS, BE

forgot to stretch, was doing a little bit, checking on food, PU, SU, feeding kids, AS, cleaning up kids, etc.

So, it was supposed to be 10 rounds for time of

I did 6 rounds of 10, with my pushups being regular floor pushups for 2 rounds, knee girlie pushups for 2 rounds and hands about 6 inches off the ground on a board for 2 rounds. The situps were all with my feet hooked under something, and the 10th round of situps was with feet under 40 lb Sharkboy, which led to the last ten Air Squats being leg extensions on my back giving Sharkboy rides (sort of like airplane rides).

Ooh, and to top off a productive day, Tuesday is supposed to be my bathroom cleaning day, and I actually did it. It often gets put off. How long can I keep up this level of productivity???

Better than Nothing!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Trying Paleo

This would be a longer post but well, spring is pretending to have arrived today, so I'm going to get to work outside.

I am going to TRY the Paleo lifestyle this week, as hubby will not be around to complicate things by being resistant to the system. I'm going to blog what I eat.

Yesterday was semi-paleo, as I knew I was going to be pretty motivated after going to a seminar by  I don't totally remember what I ate, but lots of eggs, walnuts, raisins, carrots, and imitation crab (I know, tons of gluten and crap in it) figured into the equation. Plus Jelly Beans. Come on, they are right. there. in.  I didn't have coffee but am pretty sure I  had herbal tea.  Plus Jelly Beans.

Today so far, I've had Bacon, Eggs (fried in PAM, canola oil...Paleo? I have no idea!) and Mangoes.  I was so lucky to swing by Wal-Mart after the seminar yesterday and find PERFECTLY ripe Mangoes for 33 cents (not sure if per pound or each,'s cheap).  I should have bought a TON, but only filled up one produce bag.  Good "exotic" produce is so hard to find here in the midwest. It was like a sign from God saying I CAN DO IT (the Paleo thing).  Oh yeah, and Jelly Beans (the bag isn't empty yet!)

Pictures of food coming up soon. Time to figure out lunch (spinach cooked in bacon grease? and....roast beef with veggies?), and get to work on finishing the sandbox project. 

Ideally I'll give CrossFit a try this week too, but I'm sore just from "trying" the workout moves yesterday. I can't imagine what a whole workout is going to do to me. How am I supposed to prepare food if I can't move my arms????

*** A Few Hours Later***

Lunch was leftover Roast Beef and roasted carrots. I left the roasted potatoes in the leftover bucket.

Then I dropped Sharkboy at Preschool, shopped for more materials for the Sandbox project, worked in the yard, rearranging the garden, and suddenly it was time to pick up from Preschool. When we got home, my awesome neighbor came over to help finish building the sandbox. Then, after being more productive than I have been in ages, I tossed the kids a precut bucket of veggies, fruits, and dips, and we went to the HS Track for my first CrossFit workout.

I started with the warmup:
400m run
15 pushups (actually 8)
15 situps
15 Air Squats (more like, 9?)
15 Back Extensions (also known as Swimmers or Supermans)

The Workout
was supposed to be 3 rounds of, but I did 1 round of
Run 100m
50 pushups (more like 25)
Run 100m
50 Situps... Since I don't have the Abmat (yet) I had the kids hold my feet.
Run 100m
50 Air Squats
Run 100 m
50 Back Extensions

I came home and mowed the yard then the poor starving children dragged me inside. After quick but badly needed baths, I made them tuna (with Miracle Whip and sweet relish) sandwiches, which they DEVOURED. Not paleo and not normal dinner, but yummy and most people would consider it healthy. Sharkboy ate 1.5 sandwiches. Lava Girl ate about 3/4. Plus milk. I found more mango while cleaning kitchen (it's not really clean yet, but was trying to make a hole) and we all shared the mango. Mmmmm.
For my dinner, I ate some of the sweet and yummy tuna mixed into spinach wilted with Olive Oil and Lime juice, then tried the tuna salad on some boiled (need to find my steamer) cabbage, and also devoured a sweet potato that I had thrown into the microwave before heading to the track...but then forgot about...

After bedtime, I ate some more Jelly beans.

The first 30 days of Paleo are supposed to  be REALLY LOW SUGAR, but um, I'm a total sugar addict and refuse to go cold turkey. Anyway, I'm just giving it a 7-day trial, right? I even had coffee today, but only half my usual amount, and still used sugar and Half and Half. I've been living on Caffeine, Sugar, and healthy dinners for way too long.

The baby (18 months) was asleep before I could even get a pajama shirt on him after the bath, so I am thinking he likes all the activity, productivity, and lack of caffeine and sugar in his milk. 

Either I'm coming down off those last Jelly Beans or it's actually time for bed. Either way, I've been up for 17 hours. It's time for bed. Good night. Lets see how Paleo goes tomorrow without any bacon in the freezer, a dirty kitchen (hello, spent the whole day outside) and Tuesday is always my busiest day of the week.

I could have sworn I had fish oil pills in the closet from a previous vitamin taking kick, but all I could find was Vitamin E and A and multi vites, so took some of those. Fish Oil will go on the list of junk to buy.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

April is Autism Awareness Month, and I LOVE Scentsy.

I don't sell Scentsy, but I do love it. I don't have a kid with Autism, but I have a special place in my heart for those who do. My friend sells Scentsy and has a sister with Autism. She and the local Autism Awareness Group are doing a fundraiser this month where 10% of her sales go to the group. If you've been considering buying Scentsy or need a few more scents, here's the link to her Autism sale. I'll also tell you about MY favorite scents. (I don't get anything whether you buy or not. I'm just posting to try to help her sales)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Our Position on TOMS' 'One Day Without Shoes' - Blog - The Primalfoot Alliance - Barefoot & Minimalist Footwear Lifestyle Advocates

Our Position on TOMS' 'One Day Without Shoes' - Blog - The Primalfoot Alliance - Barefoot & Minimalist Footwear Lifestyle Advocates

If you are going barefoot today BECAUSE of TOMS' One Day Without Shoes, please read this article about the harm you might be doing. It's good to do things for charity, but sometimes, the charity is just a marketing ploy.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hawaiian Mac Salad Recipe--Don't overthink it!

After 5 years of trying to trust Google to give me the recipe that would make Hubby happy, I decided to just use what I had learned from all the experimenting and created the most basic Mac Salad EVER! And Hubby Likes it.

Google for Hawaiian Macaroni Salad and you'll find all kinds of fancy stuff. I have a Hawaiian cookbook that tries to make it all fancy with Water Cress. Seriously? No. You'll find people claiming it's the Maui Onions that are the secret, or the Brand of Mayo. Nah, the secret is to think SIMPLE.

When you look at the
Mac Salad from a Plate Lunch 
place like Kenekes or a Lunch Truck/wagon like they have all over, it's basically just greasy elbow macaroni with some tiny Cubes of Questionable Origin.

Friday, March 25, 2011

My First Time...With a Circular Saw

So, a few months ago, I convinced myself that Spring really would come eventually, and decided that I will make a couple more Square Foot Gardening beds of various sizes. Previous things I have built, I have paid 50 cents per cut at the lumber yard to get what I need.

It's embarrassing to stand there like a little woman who is afraid of saws or something while Mr. Manly Man with an Apron  instructs teenage Future Manly Man in the things I could do if only I had a saw.

The cost effectiveness of this decision had to be ignored. Really, it's a matter of pride.

So, I called My Dad, My Hero, the guy who made building everything and anything look so easy for my whole life. My dad's been through a few saws in the last bunch of years while remodeling 2 houses. He and my mom and extended family actually built a house, A WHOLE HOUSE, from scratch before I was born. 

It's like having my own The Learning Channel expert on speed dial. He recommended the 7 1/4 inch Skil saw as the best in my budget.  My budget was stretched a long way by Amazon. I love Amazon. In just 88 cuts, the saw will pay for itself!  

He also recommended this set of blades. It comes with one, but apparently, different numbers of teeth are needed for different types/thicknesses of wood. Dad said one of these will even cut the conduit I use for making Trellises for my Square Foot Garden. That's one more thing I got to stand around like a Little Woman while Mr. Manly Man with an Apron instructed teenage Mr. Manly Man in the art of cutting.  Having the right blade for whatever job I decide to do will make life so much easier, and really expand the uses of my new toy.

So, My saw came in the mail. I took it to the garage, cleaned off the work bench, organized the tools some, etc. It's a good thing the previous owners of the house put up a pegboard and super workbench!  My Power Tool Collection now consists of a Drill, Sander, and Circular Saw.

Fast Forward a few weeks. My two youngest kids start playing in the yard on nice days, digging and digging in whatever dirt patches I'll let them attack. I decide to build them a Sandbox.

Eventually we go to the nearest city where building materials cost slightly less than an arm and a leg. This Mega Sandbox is going to be in my front yard, so I have decided I want to build it out of Redwood (whatever that is...), because my SFG book says it's prettier and lasts longer than Pressure Treated. I head into the store thinking 12x12 for my size, since an awesome friend offered me as much free sand as I could shovel! But...2x8x16 Redwood boards are $32/each. 12 footers aren't much cheaper, and I would have used the extra 4 footers to make a pretty SFG for the front yard. Anyway...For $120 I could have bought a plastic Step2 sandbox years ago. Hello...I'm a cheapskate, and the longest board that would fit in my Minivan is an 8 footer, so ....8x8 or 6x8 became my answer.  The lumber yard was nice enough to make those two cuts for free so they'd fit in my car.

All good homemade sandboxes have corner seats, so 8x8 turned to 6x8 so the whole thing could be made out of $66 worth of Redwood.

So, this was cold....but not wet...yay Spring!
 I had marked my lines to cut on yesterday.

Called Dad to get advice on which cuts to make first...angles or straights...Angles.

Ok. I opened the box! and got out my BRAND NEW CIRCULAR SAW!!

Oh crap...must install blade. How hard can it be? With directions in 5 languages, after calling Dad to get the push I needed to use force to remove the little wrench from the machine, on the 2nd try, The BLADE WAS INSTALLED, AND TURNING! yay!

Ok, 2 little kids running around the yard will make excellent weights to hold the boards still while I cut.

My cuts weren't perfect, but I wound up with two 6-foot boards, two 8-foot boards, and two identical corner seats. Mission Accomplished!

How I grew up around saws and woodworking and got the highest grade in my 6th grade Shop class, where I was actually THE ONLY ONE who passed the test that actually allowed me INTO the woodshop to build a birdhouse-- without ever operating a circular saw by myself --is beyond me. But--Now I've done it!

What's next? lots of ideas, but first, I need to FINISH the sandbox project!

8 cuts today =$4. Only $80 more cuts till the thing pays for itself!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Read The MENU!!!!--Creative Contest!

Does this sound familiar?

Kid: "Mom! I'm Hungry!!"
Mom: "What would you like?"
Kid: "What do we have?"
Mom: "Same thing as 10 minutes ago."

Well, it happens that way about a gazillion times a day around here, so a couple months ago, I snapped and made menus. Are they fancy? not yet. I was going to laminate them, but wanted to wait to see if it would simplify things a bit around here. They really have helped, so now I'm going to look for some fun frames for them and do something cute with scrapbooking materials, but if I wait till that happens, it could be next winter.

If your kids can't read,  you could do this with pictures, either take the pictures yourself or steal them from Google images or *gasp!* use clip art. I know some people hate "clip art."  You could even get your kids involved cutting up the packages of what you feed them routinely and gluing them to a "menu."

My 4 y/o is catching on to reading, but the 3 y/o needs a picture menu, although she pretty much only eats apples. all. day. long.

So, here's the challenge.

Create YOUR fancy, decorated menu, and blog about it with a link back to this post, or if you don't have a blog, just email me pics of your creation.

Deadline is March 31.  Winner will be chosen by readers through a vote! Be sure to leave your email address when you submit links in the comments!

When you submit your entry, please say if you'd prefer an apron or an alien if you win!

Yours certainly will be better than mine!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Presenting Da Kokoleka!!!!! with recipe!!

If I had to name a hometown, I'd have to claim Hawaii. I lived there for a total of 7 years, which is longer than anyplace else I've ever lived. My heart is certainly Hawaiian, even if I can't speak Pidgin and was only lucky enough to try surfing a few times.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Spring IS Coming--Right?

Whew! I just got back from a two week trip to visit family in Virginia. Spring is starting to peek its' little head out there already.  As my kids and my nephews and I walked through the woods with my Dad, I could see sprigs of green starting to grow out of the dead, dead ground. Here where I live, it's still dead, dead and snow covered, but today was pretty and 50 degrees. I can see Spring coming soon -- after a few more rounds of snow.

So, Spring is on my mind. I've bought some seeds, and have a desire to buy  more, but am pretty sure I have enough already. Probably too many. I bought a mini greenhouse this past weekend, and can't wait to set it up, but my house needs to get back in shape first. I'm saying that I can't set up the greenhouse until the house is picked up.

The garage is full of stuff to take to the local thrift store. It needs to be sorted and boxed and loaded up and unloaded. yee ha!

I just bought a circular saw on Amazon. It should be here soon, and then I have more Square Foot Garden Boxes to make and with any luck a sandbox for the kids.

I'd REALLY like to fence some of the back yard so I can let the kids go outside while I stay INSIDE getting stuff done in peace. It's a foreign concept, but one that I'd like to try. Or, so that I could concentrate on my garden stuff for 10 minutes without constantly looking up to see if the toddler has run away.

I want to find a few sources of compost that are free. There are enough places around here with livestock that they should have compost I can get. Crossing my fingers!!  The new SFG boxes are going to need to be filled with Mel's Mix, and I really don't want to have to buy the compost but my own compost isn't ready yet, that I know of. I have NEVER flipped it. Ooh, but that's another thing I am going to do.

I need to build a pallet compost bin system and move all my current compost into it. The new location is going to be about 50 feet from the old location. Doesn't that sound fun?

My front yard is, well, um, ugly. The house has very very little curb appeal. I want to create a flower bed in this dead zone of deadness up near the house. Shady and no natural rainfall (gutters divert it).

The other option for the deadzone is to plant a mass of pumpkins there. It would be green and leafy for the summer and the pumpkins would make nice decorations for fall. Tempting and easy, but not a long-term solution to the ugliness.  The pumpkins have to grow somewhere though, so maybe the side of my house that no one plays in and I like to ignore?  Wait, too near a sidewalk. Kids might steal the pumpkins. They worked well last year, but I'm putting the new compost bin system where I had them  last year.

Right now I'm going to go put away a ton of laundry. If that's done fast enough I'm going to work on a spreadsheet to figure out when I need to plant my seeds in my greenhouse. It's gotta be soon? right? According to a really cool website that lets you search for frost dates by zipcode, I'm going to use May 22 as my last frost date, and my frost-free growing season is supposedly 141 days.  I really thought it was more like 90. Interesting!

Of course, I painted the wooden section of  my house last fall, but half of it only got one coat of paint, so I need to do ALL of it again. yippy skippy.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Aliens are finally getting mailed out!

You might remember my post about flooding facebook with real obscenity reports. The Aliens for the people who completed that mission are finally ready to go to the post office today!

Thanks again for participating!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Organized the Bathroom, eliminated some shoes!

So, recently,  I got a new haircut, which of course brought all the hair fixing gadgets out of the closet and into regular use. My hair was braided for about 4 years but now I'm ready to Girl it up again.

I'm also trying to get into the FLYLady system again too, which requires decluttering and organizing, because "you can't organize clutter."

The thing is, I needed space on the bathroom's small vanity and a few feet away, a shoe holder was stuffed with high heels I never wear. So, I put the heels into a box and filled the shoe holder with all the makeup and hair gadgets and stuff.

Am I probably the first person to do this? No. Do I feel like a genius anyway? Yes.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Only the last few generations have messed up public breastfeeding.

Even when everyone dressed modestly, a little exposure for the sake of nursing a baby was totally ok. Why isn't a little exposure ok now that practically no one dresses modestly?

Thanks to Historic Breastfeeding Photos on Facebook for this pic.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Moccasins for Sale

I bought some AWESOME vintage moccasins at a thrift store, hoping they would fit me or my husband. They fit him but he's not interested in wearing them. They are all suede, and there's a very thin, flimsy insole inside. The brand is Taos, Indian Maid. They are green and funky with fringe. I'd like to start the bidding at $10. Bid in the comments section of the blog post please (below). Bidding will close on Jan 30. Based on Hubby's normal shoe size, he's guessing they are size 9.5 or 10.

Bid price includes shipping within the USA!  Leave your email address with your contact info!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Banana Raspberry Butter Mochi

No Cow's Milk and No Wheat makes this a winner for people with allergies to those.

The texture of mochi is rather GOOEY, but the bananas make it a little more like sticky boogers. Yep, that's right. This is a recipe for boogers. REALLY yummy boogers. If you eat it with a fork instead of your fingers, you might not notice the booger-y-ness as much.

This is another variation on this basic butter mochi recipe.


  • 1 pound mochiko (glutinous rice flour)
  • 2 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1.5 cups coconut milk from the dairy section of the super market
  • 1 can coconut milk (see picture for two kinds of coconut milk)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 1.5 cups frozen (or fresh) raspberries, crushed


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla and milkS. 
  3. In a separate larger bowl, stir together the rice flour, sugar, and baking powder. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir to blend. 
  4. Mix in melted butter 
  5. In the already used wet stuff bowl, mash up the bananas and raspberries, mix into big bowl
  6. Pour into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven. Cool completely, then cut into squares to serve.

The Good Letdown: Protect Yourself From Facebook Deletion

This is a great list of things to do to keep pervs from having a problem with your pictures

The Good Letdown: Protect Yourself From Facebook Deletion: "There has been a lot of deleting going around lately.... so I wanted to brainstorm some ideas to protect myself and others. Please feel free..."

Monday, January 3, 2011

I make Milk, What's your Super Power?

It's old news that Facebook is against breastfeeding. They shut down group after group of breastfeeding fans. They delete people's private breastfeeding photos. Meanwhile, dirty pictures proliferate on the site. It always annoys me, but most recently they shut down The Leaky Boob, and that is a REALLY good site.

I would LOVE to boycott Facebook, but with friends and family all over the world, that just isn't going to happen.

I had posted a plan here to flood Facebook with real obscenity reports, but The Leaky Boob and other Facebook BF Advocates think that is not the right approach, so since it's not my own battle, and I was only trying to help them win their battles, fine. Don't go reporting stuff like nasty porn because I told you to. This was never about telling you to report every cleavage shot out there, just the really truly nasty stuff that would be sold in magazines that have to be wrapped in black plastic. Evidently, The Leaders don't think even that stuff should get reported. Okie dokie.

The two people who did report high amounts of obscenity reports will be getting aliens from me in the mail as soon as I have time to make more.

For some humor, here are some dirty pictures from my personal collection:

Phallic Rock on Molokai
Yes, These Mynah Birds are doing the deed. I thought they were fighting.


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