Sunday, November 27, 2011

Black and Blue Friday

Large crowds, fist fights, pepper spray, gun shots, and even death are the price you just might need to pay to get the unbelievable bargains on Black Friday. To me, the only thing unbelievable about it is that people actually enjoy this type of shopping. One retailer recounts watching two grown women fight over a pair of sheets. I guess it is okay to act like a two year old if you are going to save five dollars. One news commentator speculated that the poor economy is to blame. As if consumers could only give this Christmas season if they got their hands on that incredibly priced 46 inch plasma television. I guess the thought of giving less was never really an option. As I watched the news Friday evening and heard story after story of shopping frenzy turned to violence, the common denominator in each incident was Wal-mart. And people worry about Obama being the anti-Christ. All of this pushing, shoving, and fighting is to usher in the holiday season celebrating the birth of the Prince of Peace. Well, just maybe our priorities are a little mixed up.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Kick the can and enjoy some yams!

Leatha Colby is woman I have never met, but each Thanksgiving I think of her fondly as I make her famous pumpkin pie. Several years ago, at a neighborhood party, this pie was her grandson’s entry in the bake-off competition. By the looks of all the entries, I didn’t think it had a chance of winning. After all, there were several delectable chocolate entries. But after just one taste of this pie, it is easily the best pumpkin pie you will ever eat. And on that night, Leatha Colby’s grandson won the blue ribbon. Who would think the secret to the best pumpkin pie would be absolutely no pumpkin.

Leatha Colby's Famous Pumpkin Pie
Filling for one pie

3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon flour
1 1/2 cups yams
1 can evaporated milk
2 eggs, slightly beaten

Scrub yams, cut into chunks, and cook just like potatoes. Drain, peel, and mash. Measure and set aside. In a separate bowl, add spices and flour to the sugar. Combine yam and sugar mixture. Add the milk and then the eggs.
Rub egg white on unbaked crust before pouring in the pumpkin mixture.
Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes and then at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

No more Fs

When my oldest daughter, who shall remain nameless, was about 13 years old, she became irritated with her siblings for a) eating all the ice cream, b) coming into her room, c) looking at her wrong, or d) possibly just being born. I am sure it was a valid reason, and once again I am trivializing her feelings. And, that is all beside the point. In order for her to express how truly mad she was, she chose the biggest, toughest word she had ever heard to convey her feelings. That’s right, she used the F word. I don’t believe that word had been spoken before in our home, but I am sure she heard it several times a day just walking down the halls of her school. I was beside myself that a child of mine would dare use that word and probably yelled something not so nice back at her. My husband, on the other hand, sat her down and explained just what that word actually meant and asked her if that was truly the thing she wanted to express to her siblings. Long story short, that was the end of the use of that word at our house.

I believe Cameron Diaz has yet to have this conversation with her father. How do I know? Well, because, as you know, a PG-13 movie is allowed to have that word uttered once during the course of the show, and I believe Cameron Diaz possibly has it in her contract that if someone is going to use that word, then she is the one who gets to say it. Two movies to prove my theory are Knight and Day and My Sister’s Keeper. I am hoping that she soon finds a better way to express her anger because that word just ruins a movie for me.

Now this next part of my post may seem fabricated, but it is totally true. I like to read – okay, that is not the possible fabricated part – and the last three books that I have started reading have had the F word in them. Two of the three at least had the courtesy of including it in the first chapter before I would become engrossed in the story. Mothers and Other Liars was getting high ratings on the reader’s choice list at my local library, The Saving Graces was recommended to me by Goodreads because of a similar book I enjoyed, and the other book with something about a curious dog in the title was from a friend’s book club list and was even in the young adult section. My question is why? I just want to read books free of vulgarities and smut. After all, I am avoiding the romance section of my library.

Maybe I am just hyper sensitive because when the recent rage was to say “freakin”, I outlawed that word at my house too. I even hate Celo Green’s Forget You song because I know what he sings in the other version. No matter how mad I was at someone, I wouldn’t use that word. I don’t like the feeling or imagery associated with it. I think it is just time to bring back the good old bar of soap, maybe then the world would stop using it, and see it as the dirty word it is.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Eleven / eleven / eleven

Apparently today happens only once in a lifetime, but if you think about it, every day happens just once in a lifetime. But, I guess it being 11/11/11 is a big deal. Many people are getting married or with careful planning nine months previously possibly trying to arrange the birth of a child on this numerical day of wonder. My celebration will come with no labor pains, wedding vows, or big parties. Maybe just some simple lists of eleven will have to be enough.

Eleven books I loved and bought:

1. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
2. Small change: The secret life of Penny Buford by J. Belinda Yandell
3. These is my words by Nancy E. Turner
4. The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
5. Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
6. The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent
7. Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
8. Sarah by Orson Scott Card
9. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
10. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
11. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Eleven Marvelous Meatless Menu Items:

1. Mango Berry Salad at Cafe Zupas
2. Mushroom-Swiss Black Bean Burger at Chili's
3. Eggplant Parmigiana at Johnny Carino's
4. Lo Mein Noodles with Tofu at Pei Wei
5. Veggie Avocado Sandwich at Kneaders
6. Grilled Vegetable Tacos at Chili's
7. Five Cheese Ziti at Olive Garden
8. Veggie Burrito at Gecko's 
9. Wisconsin Cauliflower at Cafe Zupas
10. Smothered Bean, Rice, and Cheese Burrito at Cafe Rio
11. Whole Grain Pancakes with 100% Maple Syrup at Cracker Barrel

Eleven Marathon Training Tips
I recently ran my first marathon, and these are the things that I learned.

1. Blueberry Cliffbars are my favorite fuel during a long run.
2. Sucking on Jolly Ranchers keep your mouth from getting dry.
3. Lap swimming is excellent cross training.
4. Carb up 2 to 3 days before every long run.
5. If at all possible, avoid a bathroom stop during the race. It kills your momentum.
6. Chocolate milk is an excellent recovery drink.
7. Do at least 20 miles before the marathon.
8. Practice wearing race clothing to prevent any chaffing. And the anti-chaffing roll-on really works!
9. I usually don't run with music, but an Ipod would be helpful for the last hard miles.
10. Next marathon, I will leave my fuel belt at home and use water and fuel provided.
11. Realize that the last 6 miles are totally brutal but worth it! :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Seat Refresher

I would try this at my house, but instead of lowering the toilet seat, I am afraid the solution just might be to leave the door open. Now, if you have watched Dr. Oz, he has warned us all of the dangers of flushing before shutting. With the toilet lid up, germs fly through the air. Even your toothbrush isn’t safe. Now the following isn’t a foolproof plan of keeping germs from invading your bathroom, but it is a good start.

Seat Refresher

Mix in a spray bottle:

 2 cups water
4 tablespoons liquid castile soap
5 drops each of eucalyptus, lemon, and tea tree oils

Spray on toilet seat, handle, sink, counter tops, and faucets. Then wipe away those pesky germs. Tea tree oil is a natural disinfectant. Not only is it earth friendly, but it smells far better than those toxic Clorox wipes.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Never understood why the customary greeting is Happy Halloween. Happiness is not the emotion I have experienced when looking at yard displays, store decorations, or costumes depicting gore, death, and mayhem, but now it will be forever marred by the day that Kim Kardashian’s hopes for true love were dashed after 72 grueling days of marriage.

There is hope for all the male commoners of England. They can now dream of one day becoming a king to their queen. The rules concerning monarch succession have now been altered to avoid discrimination against female heirs. Apparently the policy favoring male heirs is outdated, as if the whole idea of a monarchy is not.
I’m wondering if the woman who stabbed her boyfriend for cheating during a recent monopoly game is just a really poor loser, or if she just took the “Go to jail” card too seriously.
We’re sorry for the miscommunication was the recent apology I received when my local Taco Bell could not get my order right even on the second try. Since I clearly and adequately conveyed my order both times, the definition of miscommunication must be something entirely different than I originally thought.
The middle. My favorite television sitcom. Sweet, funny, and clean. Unfortunately it will probably be cancelled soon.
madoff Schmadoff! Their recent desire to break their silence is about selling books. I would have thought Matt Lauer would have known their motive and wouldn’t need to ask such a ridiculous question.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Odds and evens

Last month, I ran a triathlon with two of my daughters. After the race, we thought it would be fun to take a picture of the age markings on our calves. Funny thing, my age (46) was the sum of my daughters’ ages (21 & 25). I wondered the odds of that happening again with some of my other children. As with most things, I could use my God given brain and elementary math to figure it out, or I could be hip and cool and wait for an iPhone app to do it for me.

Even though Wil Smith and his wife have denied rumors of a split, it is usually about a month later that one of the partners file for divorce. This news will be devastating to Oprah. Either way, the fruit of their union brought us the totally awesome “I can whip my hair back and forth” song.

Now that Mikayla has found herself on Redemption Island, what are the odds of Brandon joining her? I wonder if he would be a man of integrity and honor his God then, or if he would succumb to his Delilah temptation.

Even though every death is sad, I find it tragic when we mourn someone’s life more than their death. That is the case for me and Michael Jackson. However, I believe he beat the odds and lived longer than most troubled celebrities. And now, I am just tired of hearing about the fate of Conrad Murray.

Was never a huge fan of The Talk but every once in a while I loved me some Leah Remini. Even though I know she is gone, I find myself tuning in to see if CBS executives realize what a huge mistake they made by firing her.

Even though Baby Lisa’s mom is adamant about her innocence in her baby’s disappearance, it seems to me she would be more believable if her story was consistent. When you have nothing to hide, it is probably best to live by the simple philosophy of telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

I don’t know which I find odder. The excitement over the return of the McRib or the buzz surrounding Lindsay Lohan’s Playboy spread. Both are just plain sick and wrong.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Good nuts, bad nuts

I guess if your wardrobe was influenced by his flamboyant fashion sense, you might consider him a good nut. However, you are probably in the minority. Most people are grateful that the death of Muammar Gaddafi rid the world of one more very bad nut.

You might categorize grown women throwing bleach on one another while shopping at their local Wal-mart as a bad nut, but if you enjoy a front row seat to a three ring circus along with the price of milk, you might need to rethink your judgment in more ways than one.

If you based their appeal solely on price, you would consider them a bad nut. But, when you consider the long list of health benefits associated with pine nuts, they definitely are a good nut. Along with being high in protein and good fats, pine nuts are also filled with amino acids and are a good source of magnesium, copper, zinc, potassium, and vitamins B1, 2 & 3, and E. All of that from a little nut found inside a pine cone. You might be tempted to skip this ingredient when making this yummy pasta dish, but be a good nut and leave it in.

Broccoli and Bow Tie Pasta

                8 cups broccoli florets
                1/2 lb bow tie pasta
                2 tablespoons butter
                2 tablespoons olive oil
                1 teaspoon minced garlic
                zest of 1 lemon
                2 teaspoons salt
                1/2 teaspoon black pepper
                1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
                1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
                parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add broccoli and cook just 3 minutes. Remover with slotted spoon in order to cook pasta in same water. Add pasta and cook 10 to 12 minutes. Drain well. Combine broccoli and pasta in a large bowl.

Heat butter and oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and lemon zest and saute for 1 minute. Remove skillet from burner and add salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Stir to combine then pour over broccoli and pasta. Toss together. Sprinkle with pine nuts and parmesan cheese.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Hold the horse hooves please!

Jell-o is a huge hit at my in-laws house. We often have not one but two Jell-o salads at any family gathering. And so, it is rather ironic that my husband won’t even touch the stuff. In fact, my husband likes to tell anyone who will listen to him the origin of gelatin and hot dogs. So if you are a big fan of Jell-o and don’t want to know its shady background, you might want to skip the rest of this post. The popular legend has been that gelatin is made from horses’ and cows’ hooves, but the truth is actually that it comes from the bones, skins, and hides of cows and pigs. I don't think I like either option. The funny thing is that gelatin is not considered an animal product because of its extensive processing. My daughter used to love Jell-o until she received an unsolicited education from her father.

I found a truly vegan "jel dessert" at my local Whole Foods store, and it was a big hit with the family. Instead of sugar, it contains evaporated cane juice and is colored with beet powder rather than the controversial Red #40. And by the way, Kraft, the maker of Jell-o, wants you to know that hooves do not contain the necessary collagen and therefore are not used in the production of its products. Isn't that a relief!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Things we forgot

You would think that the “always remember” signs seem to be unnecessary. How could anyone forget the tragedies of September 11, 2001? But then again who would think that there would be people who would say that the Holocaust never happened. Maybe the signs are to remind us to remember how we felt on that day, and how our country came together, and our desire to preserve freedoms and rid the world of evil. After ten short years, I believe there are things that we already have forgotten.

Remember how grateful we were for the heroes of that day. The courageous New York firefighters, many of whom were off duty and without even being asked showed up to help, bravely risked their lives because that is simply what they do. Many of those who survived that tragic day have now lost their lives to cancer, and our government denied them medical insurance coverage because it was determined that the cancer was not a result of the toxic fumes and debris they came in contact with as they tirelessly looked for survivors. It seemed that the days following 9/11 that there would have been nothing we would have denied these heroes.

I had forgotten that many of our elected leaders stood together on the steps of the Capitol building and spontaneously sang “God Bless America”. It wasn’t our national anthem they relied upon to unite our nation, but a song invoking the very being that many now want out of the pledge of allegiance to protect and guide us.

It is sad that we list the first casualty of 9/11 as Rev. Mychal Judge who was known as the people’s priest and firefighters’ chaplain, but on the tenth anniversary of his death, New York City’s mayor didn’t invite one man of the cloth to speak or pray at the memorial.

Have you forgotten how it felt that day? There is already a great song with that title. Maybe we just need to be reminded.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Children are like trees

As my husband and I were hiking in a local canyon yesterday, I was intrigued by the various directions the aspen trees had grown. Some were very tall and straight, many were a little bowed, while some initially came up straight out of the ground were bent and almost growing parallel to the ground. I wondered what factors caused each tree to grow the way it did. My husband said the different growing patterns of the trees were like our children. I would have to agree.

It seems that some children will grow up to be strong, honest, hardworking individuals regardless of their upbringing. Those are the straight trees of the world. They don’t require a lot of energy from others to point them in the right direction. They just instinctively know what way is up. They just do the right thing.

Other trees want to grow the right way but are influenced by wind and the storms of life. They are a little bent and maybe even have a little more character because of their experiences. Often times these trees are staked to help them grow right, like a rebellious teenager given an abundance of rules to keep him on the right path.

Trees seem to be most productive when they grow the right direction and not giving into the storms. A straight tree will not fall early because it cannot bear its weight.

Some trees just want to do their own thing. They fight against what they should become. They don’t want to take direction and feel they know what is best for them.

Regardless of their stage of growth or direction they want to take, I love all my trees!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Just because you can . . .

Doesn’t mean that you should eat all you can at any buffet! Recently on vacation, because it was cheaper to buy the all-you-can-eat buffet meal combo pass for admission at a theme park, we did. I am not a buffet person. It seems like you eat more than you need to just so you can get your “money’s worth” and then have to watch others do the same. Not my idea of a good night out. As I was enjoying my plate of potato salad and baked beans, at the table next to me was a large gentle man consuming more than his fare share worth of food. One plate contained at least ten servings of fried chicken and beef brisket. When that plate was finished, he asked his daughter to get him some chocolate chip cookies, and then needed her to fill his glass with Mountain Dew in order to take his “pills”. Didn’t ask but I assumed they were probably to help control his high blood pressure and cholesterol and possibly diabetes. So why do we consume the very foods that are causing the problem, and then absentmindedly pop a pill to counteract the effects? I say skip the pill and order a salad!

Just because you can ask certain questions doesn’t mean that you should. We all know that asking someone’s weight, age, or annual income is impolite, but other questions should be taboo as well. Just this morning, I finished watching the Primetime Special featuring Jaycee Dugard. I initially was not going to Tivo this because I felt it was exploitation, but after seeing Diane Sawyer comment on an interview that Jaycee was the most remarkable woman she had ever interviewed, I wanted to understand not only how she survived the horrible 18 years, but how she wasn’t bitter. Her outlook is incredible. I am sure everyone wants to know, and so Diane felt inclined to ask, but really if she felt she had the tools to escape, she would have. I have seen other victims asked the same question. “Why didn’t you escape?” As if they needed to accept some responsibility for their captivity. That question always infuriates me. Survivors of sexual abuse should never be asked “Why didn’t you tell?” or “Did you say no?” or any other ridiculous question that implies they are partly accountable for their perpetrators actions. Maybe when we quit asking these questions, we will empower each victim with the knowledge that the shame belongs solely on the abuser, and they won’t need to ask themselves, “What if . . .?” because everyone will understand there were no other options at the time.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Calling for Ben Matlock

As I heard the verdict on the Casey Anthony trial, I immediately thought how great it would have been for Ben Matlock to have been the defense attorney. When he solved a case, it didn’t make you wonder if the wrong guy was acquitted. Every show of this series was based on a murder and an obvious suspect. Matlock’s client was always proven innocent by him solving the crime and identifying the actual murderer. I guess Ms. Anthony’s attorneys actually tried this approach by accusing her father. It helped to get her off, but I don’t think she thought through the ramifications of that defense. Not only does it seem that her family relationships will be forever strained, but the country finds her even more despicable.

One of the most disturbing facts that I have heard since the verdict is that 200 children die each year at the hands of a parent. It made me wonder with all of the attention on Caylee Anthony why we haven’t heard more about the other 199 children killed that year. I am always saddened to hear news about the very person who should protect and defend a child at all costs is the one who has done them the greatest harm.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Just go ride a bike

The title of this post might lead you to believe that you will read something incredibly cool about fitness or how to single handedly stop global warning, but it is about a more serious problem plaguing our society. I know you can’t believe there could be anything more dangerous than our planet burning up.

“Just go ride a bike!” was the advice my daughter would yell to Jackie Evancho, the ten year-old opera singer who was competing on America’s Got Talent last year. Ten year-olds should be enjoying riding bikes, playing dolls, and cooking in their Easy Bake Ovens and not experiencing the pressures of Hollywood, agents, critics, and parents living their dreams through their children. Parents can plead all they want that it is really what their child wants to do. Well, my children have wanted to drive a car at eight, have a boyfriend at twelve, and move away from home at fifteen, but as a parent it is my responsibility to allow them to do certain things when they possess the skills and maturity to handle each situation.

Any responsible parent watching Lindsey Lohan or Miley Cyrus self-destruct would find it a deterrent and would keep their child as far away from Hollywood as possible. But, we have parents lining up just waiting for their child’s big break. We have parents proudly injecting Botox in their eight year-old daughter’s face. There wouldn’t be padded bikini swim suits and thigh-toning Sketcher’s shape-ups if parents weren’t buying these things for their little nine year-olds. Toddlers and Tiaras exists because parents don’t realize that when their child says they want to play dress-up, it means prancing around the house in mom’s shoes, jewelry, and make-up.

Whether it is a publicity stunt or not, news has circulated about a 16 year-old aspiring singer marrying her 51 year-old actor boyfriend, and the parents couldn’t be any happier. Really? And, the mother is eager to inform us that her daughter was a virgin before this blissful event.

Childhood passes by too quickly all on its own. As parents, we should do our best to preserve the innocence of our children. Let children be children because the pressures of adulthood will find them soon enough. And why not ride a bike with your child today.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Stranger than Fiction

This whole Weiner-gate gets stranger every day. First of all, if the Artist formerly known as Prince can change his name to a symbol, Mister Weiner could at the very least change the pronunciation of his name. Maybe his wife will have enough sense to give the baby her last name.

I saw the two remaining women on Christina Aguilera’s team on The Voice. It made me wonder if she didn’t want anyone on her team with prettier hair than her bleach-blonde locks.

Did you see the Nightline about face recognition technology on facebook? It was just a little scary. My facebook activity is on the minimal side. I have never actually tagged anyone in a picture. Apparently, if I upload a picture, facebook can determine who else from the facebook community is in the picture without me even telling them. It sounded like a strange concept from a science fiction novel. The scary part is it is real.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Just do it!

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."    Eleanor Roosevelt

Over a fifteen year period of my life, I was a dutiful mother and enrolled my children in swimming lessons. As I watched them swim, out of the corner of my eye I would be secretly envying the parents who were lap swimming during their child’s lesson. I wasn’t afraid of water, in fact, I loved hanging out at the pool, but I couldn’t go under the water without plugging my nose. I would use my glasses as an excuse to not to have to dunk my head. As I began doing running races, I thought how great it would be to do a triathlon. Two years ago, I finally decided I would allow myself a little embarrassment and enrolled in an adult swimming class. Let me just say that swimming is really hard. I now love to swim, and I am mad that I didn’t do this earlier in life. After reaching a certain age, we often think that it is too late to learn a new skill or habit. The saddest part is how often our insecurities or embarrassment hold us back from achieving. I can now proudly check triathlon off my bucket list. I came in 422 out of over 900 participants, but it really wouldn’t have mattered if I came in dead last, because for me it wasn’t about competing but finishing.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The stand-off

Don’t know if this kind of thing happens at anyone else’s home, but I expect it probably does. Sunday night, my son went into the bathroom he normally uses and brushed his teeth. Afterwards, he walked to another bathroom and blew his nose. Being a little confused, I asked him if by chance “his” bathroom was out of toilet paper. Expecting a yes, I had my “don’t be so lazy” lecture prepared and ready. Apparently the bathroom is not out of toilet paper, but my son is simply trying to teach his dad a lesson. It seems that last time my son didn’t replace the toilet paper roll after using the last of it, my husband gave him a little talking to about responsibility. Because the toilet paper was out when he entered the bathroom, my son determined it must have been his dad that didn’t replace it. I am assuming my son must think highly of my skills in always remembering to change the roll. It remained unchanged for 2 days, and it is yet to be determined if anyone actually learned a lesson.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The things I know . . .

When I read the question, “What will you do without Oprah?” on the ABC News website, I knew that I would be okay. Because when she said every woman needed a white pair of jeans, I didn’t buy them. You see, I can make decisions all on my own.

I know that there had to be a motive behind the large amount of puzzle solving challenges on Survivor this season. Could it possibly have been to help Boston “Puzzle Master” Rob finally win the game?

I began reading the Bible in January, and now I know that King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Now, I am confused about why they called him wise. I also learned that when King David was stricken in years, they brought a young virgin into his bed to warm him. I wonder just exactly when the phrase “dirty old man” was invented.

I know that I could possibly be the reason that James Durbin went home last week on American Idol. Ryan warned me to vote for my favorites. Can someone tell me who is voting for Haley?

I know that when I cook with sour cream, butter, or cheese, my husband will be concerned about fat grams. I must admit that I love my fats. I also know that when I make baked ziti, it will be devoured. Fat grams and all.

Baked Ziti

1 lb ziti pasta
15 ounces ricotta cheese
4 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
6 cups (2 jars) spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil ziti, according to package instructions, drain, and return to pot. Add all the ricotta cheese and half the mozzarella cheese. Stir til combined. Cover the bottom of a 13X9 pan with half the sauce. Put ziti mixture on top of the sauce. Pour remaining sauce on top of ziti. Top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes until cheese is melted and lightly golden.

I know your family will love this on Meatless Monday or any day of the week.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

No-fault, no-thanks

As my daughter was climbing out of our mini-van yesterday, she hit her head on the top of the car. She immediately grabbed the top of her head, and as I was asking her if she was okay, blood began streaming down her face. Her husband was out of town, and so I stayed with her baby, and my husband drove her to the Insta-care. As she was being admitted, the kind lady behind the desk called her sweetie and asked her how it happened. When my husband replied that she hit her head climbing out of the car, the sweet lady’s demeanor changed, and she informed them that this would not be covered by my daughter’s health insurance plan but would need to be paid by our auto insurance, and if they chose to stay and get medical help a $75 deposit would be required. What?

The crazy legislators of the state I live in have passed a law that any injury occurring in or around a vehicle is to be filed with the auto carrier and paid out of the No-fault benefit. I am assuming that several bribes were offered by the health care industry and kindly accepted by the lawmakers of my state. So, for example, if your car is parked in your driveway and a neighbor child rides his bike into your car and falls and breaks his arm then your auto insurance will be responsible. Isn’t that nice?

Perhaps for her future reference, my daughter was given a paper explaining the No-fault Coverage Policy with a list of claim examples. One example explains that an attached trailer is an integral part of the vehicle and subject to these laws. So my question is this – if I had a trailer and had taken it camping and was cutting a tomato and happened to slice my finger, would it be my vehicles fault because I didn’t take the time to unhook my trailer?

Now if I choose to file a claim against my car insurance policy, then my rates could possibly increase. I have a $500 deductable anyhow, and so I will probably just pay this out of pocket. By law, I have to carry workman’s comp insurance for my business, and after two claims in four years, our policy was cancelled. Now, I choose not to file any claims. I am so tired of paying for insurance that I can not use.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Making every day Earth Day

If we could leave all the political rhetoric out of it, Earth Day should be about making a change to preserve and minimize our impact on the environment. We shouldn’t need a government mandate to tell us to be more conscience of our gluttony, and I don’t want Rush Limbaugh calling me a flaming liberal because I think people should recycle, reduce, and reuse. So much in life is about common sense, and sometimes I wonder if we are so consumed with getting what we feel we deserve that we loose sight of what just might be best. Yesterday, the Today Show said that the United States was the number one trash producing country, and that the average American produces 1600 pounds of trash per year, and that a good amount of that trash could be recycled. That is almost 4 1/2 pounds per person per day.

Just as New Year’s resolutions give us the opportunity to make a goal to improve our health, Earth Day should be about making a change in our habits to improve our environment. If you don’t already use cloth bags at the grocery store, make a commitment to do it. If recycling is your weakness, start small and make improvements. If you purchase plastic water bottles, buy a reusable container.

Did you know that U.S. consumers purchased enough water bottles last year to stretch around the earth 190 times? And that 38 billion of those bottles ended up in a landfill?

For me, I think my goal this year will be to start purchasing napkins made from recycled materials and save a few trees! :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Things I simply cannot understand . . .

Barbara Walters. Why is this woman considered a great journalist? All I know is she takes herself way too seriously. Barbara, when David Letterman makes a funny about you, there is no need to explain that you didn’t have plastic surgery while recuperating from your heart surgery, everyone knows it is a joke.

The Royal Wedding phenomenon. It seems as if I can’t escape the current “news” about this event. I really don’t care who designed the gown. And now tonight, Barbara Walters will enlighten us on this modern day fairytale. If it takes you eight years to decide if you really love the person enough to marry them, is it really a fairytale?

Tax day. Okay, I understand that April 15th is tax day, but if it is also another holiday, will it be permanently moved to another day? I didn’t realize I had a few more days to hold on to my check.

School lunch. Apparently a school district in Chicago is outlawing brown bagging. The reason – homemade lunch is not as nutritious as the school lunch. The only way I see that this is even possible is if the parents are sending a package of Twinkies, a bag of Cheetos, and a Mountain Dew to wash them down.

Time. My grandson turns a year today, and it seems like he was born just yesterday. And yet, my brother-in-law was killed in a car accident nearly two years ago, and it seems like an eternity since he was with us.

Puberty at age seven.  How do you explain menstruating to a little seven year-old girl? Two of the reasons for this crazy occurrence – obesity in children and all of the hormones in the meat we eat. And that is two reasons to skip the tax relief offer of the second Big Mac for a penny at McDonald’s today.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thursday Thoughts

Once the game is over,
the King and the pawn go back in the same box.

Monday, April 11, 2011

To beef, or not to beef

To beef, or not to beef, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the diet to remove
And save the cows from outrageous fortune,
And to take arms against mine carnivores,
And by opposing madden them? To cook, to eat,
No more; and take a stand to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand unnatural shocks
That their flesh is heir to: 'tis a consumption
Devoutly to be avoided. To cook, to steam;
To eat, perchance a veggie – ay, there's the rule:
For in that meatless meal what delights may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal custom,
Must give us pause – there's the respect
That Meatless Monday makes of so long life.

 No Chicken Pot Pie

3 large red potatoes, scrubbed and diced
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cups chicken or veggie broth
1 cup half-and-half
1 1/2 cups each frozen corn and peas
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 pie crusts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Saute onion, carrots, and potatoes in butter for 10 minutes. Add flour and cook one minute, stirring constantly. Add broth and half-and-half. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick and bubbly. Stir in salt, pepper, corn, and peas. Pour into 2 pie plates and cover with pie shells. Cut slits to allow steam to escape. Bake 40-50 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly and cooked through.

If your home is like mine, you may have a few carnivores, vegetarians, and some who eat meat in moderation. So I constantly ask myself should I beef or not beef. Yesterday I made this pot pie. One was made with chicken and one without. It was pleasing to all. To answer the question: I say save yourself some time and money and go no meat.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Make a change

Change is the most powerful word in a political race. It isn’t even necessary to articulate your plan for change but to simply imply you have one.

Change can be confusing. Like why the footwear I wore as a teenager is now called flip-flops. When my mother-in-law would tell one of her granddaughters that their thongs were cute, I knew what she meant, but it sure would bring an uncomfortable feeling in the room. Her granddaughters have now educated her on the change to that word’s definition.

I wish Alison Sweeney, the host of Biggest Loser, would make a stylist change. She is a cute, but her clothing choices make her look awkward and goofy.

You would think that scientific experts wouldn’t need to change their opinions as often as they do. I can never remember the recommended sleeping position for a newborn because it changes so frequently.

If American Idol wants the best singers to stay in the competition then they need to make a change. I recommend a cumulative voting system. When someone falls into the bottom three and doesn’t go home, their fans rally behind to make sure they don’t go home the next week. They will then be safe, and then someone who has never been in the bottom three ends up going home.

Making a change to eating healthier can be overwhelming if you try to do it all at once. Replacing white flour with whole grains in many recipes is an easy change to make. Cakes and quick breads with spices work quite easily to exchange the entire amount of white flour with the same amount of hard white wheat flour. I made this carrot cake for a family party and it was a hit.

Carrot Cake
2 cups sugar
2 cups hard white wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups shredded carrots
2/3 cup applesauce
1/3 cup oil
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
walnuts and/or raisins (optional)
Mix dry ingredients. Add carrots, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Stir till all is wet. Add nuts or raisins, if you desire. Place batter in a greased and floured 9x13 pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 50-55 minutes. Cool. Frost with cream cheese frosting.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Eat your veggies!

Just a little pop quiz for you to enjoy on this Meatless Monday! Match the animal with the amount slaughtered per day for American consumption:

     1. cattle           a. 85,000
     2. pigs             b. 90,000
     3. turkeys        c. 26 million
     4. chickens      d. 270,000

     answers: 1-b; 2-d; 3-a; 4-c

So that would be 182 million per week, 806 million per month, and almost 9 ½ billion chickens killed per year in order for us Americans to have our chicken fix at KFC. Our mothers have long encouraged us to eat our veggies, and it is probably time to start doing it. And lay off the meat for a day. We could save 26 million chickens in just one day! Need a little something to make your veggies appealing? Then try this dill dip. It makes veggies a treat. :)

Dill Dip

1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dried dill
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried onion
1 teaspoon season salt

Mix all ingredients. It is best chilled overnight to blend flavors.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Is it the end?

Wondering if the world is going to end soon? If you listen to the doomsday global warming fanatics or believe the Mayans knew something we don’t know, then maybe you already think the date to be December 21, 2012. The devastating earthquake and threat of nuclear disaster in Japan and all of the unrest in the Middle East have caused some to speculate that it is not even that far away.

I would prefer the world not ending but if it did, there are several things that I would happily say good riddance. First and for most, I will not miss even one over-exposed self-absorbed celebrity who may or may not have tiger’s blood flowing through their veins. I can’t imagine experiencing pot holes, road construction, and detours while driving on the gold paved roads in heaven. It sounds a little mean, but I might find a little enjoyment watching scammers burn. So many people want to help and give to those in need especially during a devastating tragedy, and I think anyone who will take advantage of another’s kindness and charity deserves what they get in the end. I don’t think that God will need us to pay taxes or a hefty health insurance premium. I might be among the minority, but I really don’t care if the world’s end disrupts the big plans for the royal wedding. If you have been living together for eight years, does the world really need to celebrate the beginning of your life together? I think not. And I am definitely tired of winter. My calendar says that spring is here, but I am afraid that it might be as reliable as the Mayan calendar. My heaven will have spring year round.

As long as winter is still hanging in there, I can sneak in one more meatless soup for dinner.

Minestrone Soup
In a 1/4 cup olive oil saute
1 small onion, diced
4 large carrots, chopped
4 stems celery, chopped
3 medium tomatoes, diced
Then Add:
8 cups water
5 chicken bouillon cubes
3 beef bouillon cubes
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp basil
2 tsp oregano
1 can tomato sauce
Bring to a boil and add:
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can small white beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups fresh green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup barley
1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
Simmer 45 minutes
Enjoy this soup sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and a nice slice of homemade bread.
As long as the end hasn’t come, I will continue to enjoy March Madness, the cowboys’ run on Amazing Race, and the cute Paul McDonald on American Idol.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Get Real!

Let’s play a little game of real or not real.

The Real Housewives of _________ (insert city of your choice) – Despite the use of the word real in the title, I would say definitely not real.

Donald Trump running for president – I believe that actually might be real. My sister-in-law thinks it is a great idea, but we should elect him with the “you’re fired” option.

Rumors that Moammar Gadhafi might resign – I would say not real. I imagine he is just trying to pacify “his” people before he annihilates them.

Charlie Sheen’s clean drug test – I would hope it is not real because otherwise he is just plain crazy.

Kim Kardashian’s eyelashes – I say not real.

$3.79 for a gallon of gas – I filled my tank yesterday, and unfortunately it is real.

Survivor contestant Ralph’s fur coat – sadly for his wife that looks completely real.

A restaurant called Heart Attack Grill – amazingly real. It was featured on Nightline this week. Their 29 year-old, 500 pound spokesman died last month. It is unreal to think that people actually eat there.

On a Meatless Monday, try this game on your family. Replace the meat in one of your favorite recipes with a meat substitute. Last week, I bought some meatless “chicken”, cooked it, put it in a favorite family recipe, and didn’t tell my son. He thought it was completely real. And I thought not real.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The weird, wild, and wacky

That is how I would describe the bizarre behavior of Charlie Sheen, and it is wild all the air time his insanity case is getting on TV. I got my feel of him with the 10 minute blip last week on Nightline. I guess it is the car wreck syndrome. Most of us know we shouldn’t gawk, but we just can’t stop ourselves.

I didn’t watch the Academy Awards, but heard about the planned or unplanned (depending on who you believe) dropping of the f-bomb by someone old enough to know better. It’s just a little weird, but I thought it was only teenagers who thought that swearing made them look cool. I guess that proves that most of Hollywood has never grown up.

I was not surprised by Randy or J-Lo’s wild card picks but thought Steven Tyler would have made a different choice. After all his drooling over the good looking less than talented girls, I was sure he would choose one of his hot babes.

My daughter was almost in for a wild night when trying to vote for her favorite guy on American Idol. She misdialed just one number and was greeted by a very seductive voice inviting her to a good time. Don’t think that was just a coincidence that a sex chat number was one off from an American Idol voting line. The adult sex industry is very crafty at targeting our children.

Went to a college basketball game yesterday and witnessed a lot of wacky behavior. The guy directly in front of me who asked the gentleman standing and cheering in front of him to sit down was my favorite. If you want to SIT and enjoy the game, please just stay home. My behavior was a little wacky after that, I wondered if my cheering intensity increased would cause him to ask us all to keep the noise level down. And just totally off subject, if you buy a hotdog, popcorn, or drink, take your trash to a garbage can. And that goes for movie theaters too!

Friday, February 25, 2011

When life gives you lemons . . .

Lemon: Owning a Deron Williams Utah Jazz Jersey
Lemonade: At least my son has had his jersey for a couple years and got good use out of it. His friend is not so lucky. He just bought a D-Will jersey last week. :(

Lemon: The selling out of Lindsey Lohan’s tight fitting white not-so-appropriate court dress.
Lemonade: I will assume that most people are just getting an early start on their next year’s Halloween costume and not desiring to be like the troubled girl.

Lemon: Charlie Sheen and his new found love.
Lemonade: I guess that proves that the right person is out there for everyone. Or if you have enough money, any jerk can buy love.

Lemon: The price increase and size decrease of Marie Callendar’s sour cream lemon pie.
Lemonade: I found a homemade version I like better.

My family was eating this pie so fast that I barely got a picture of it.
And not a very good one at that.
But the pie is delicious!

Sour Cream Lemon Pie
1 cup sugar
3 1/3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sour cream
1 9 inch baked pie shell
1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Combine sugar, cornstarch, lemon rind, lemon juice, egg yolks, and milk in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until thick. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Cool to room temperature. Stir in sour cream and pour filling into pie shell. Cover with whip cream and garnish with lemon twists.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Eye seam two knead sum thin moor then spiel Czech

It bugs me when people use the wrong their or there or they’re, but for some reason even when I obsess over my own writing, I sometimes still get it wrong. It is not because I don’t understand the difference between are and our, I just rely too much on that read (or I guess I mean red) or green squiggly underlining my mistypes. My brain knows if I want where or wear, but my fingers don’t always cooperate.

For some reason as I was driving down the road today and dodging various potholes, I thought about how I wished my tax dollars were at work on this road instead of the sidewalks by my house, and it hit me. I had assumed on my previous post that you are tax dollars at work. (I am grateful for the edit feature.) Wouldn’t that be funny, or maybe that is the solution. If congress didn’t think that it is just mine or your tax dollars they are spending, but that they are actually our tax dollars at work, maybe they wouldn’t waste so much time enjoying the sound of their own ranting but would just get the job accomplished. I would be happy to put a “You’re Tax Dollars at Work” sign in the Capitol if it would help.

Now maybe some of you who have been in meetings most of the day wish it were Meet less Monday, but Paul McCartney has only put a stop to our animal consumption on Mondays and not our job requirements. I don’t think he has that much influence.

Today was an experiment day for dinner. I tried using tofu in my fajitas instead of chicken. I was hoping for a taste and texture like Pei Wei’s tofu, and because that didn’t happen, I was disappointed. I think if I had no expectations that I would have really liked this dish. It was a hit with my husband and daughter.

 Baked Tofu

                3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
                1 tsp honey
                1 tsp balsamic vinegar
                1 clove garlic, minced
                ½ tsp sesame oil
               1 package extra-firm tofu, cubed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Blend first five ingredients until smooth. Spray a baking sheet with canola oil spray. Place tofu in single layer and pour soy mixture over tofu. Bake for 30 minutes.

               2 tablespoons olive oil
               1 each green, red, and orange bell pepper, sliced
               1 red onion, sliced
               4 cloves garlic, minced
               Salt and pepper, to taste

Sauté peppers, onion and garlic in olive oil. Add baked tofu and season with salt and pepper. Serve on tortillas with your choice of toppings.

Know meet!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


This past week was my 27th wedding anniversary, and my husband gave me a list of 27 items that he loves about me. Listed as reason number ten is “You admittedly love Jeff Probst but for some reason you won’t leave me for him”. I think that he might be giving me just a little bit too much credit. Jeff has not nor will he ever ask me to be his girl, and that is a good thing because I am not sure that I could resist those dimples.

Yesterday I went to my parents’ house to pay them a visit. Congesting their street were two very large tree cutting service trucks and just in front of the trucks was an orange sign that read “Men Working Ahead”. For two hours I watched those men work at shooting hoops on the neighbor’s basketball standard but not once did they cut, trim, or even attempt to look at a tree. I guess the sign should have been a little more specific as to what type of work these men should have been doing.

And that orange “Your Tax Dollars at Work” sign seems to suppose that I want or even need the particular sidewalk or street “improvements” in my area. Pay down the national debt, give a police officer a raise, or improve education would be a great way to put MY hard earned tax dollars to work.

I am presuming by the appalled look and the “no comment” comment at the end of the report that the Nightline anchor was totally disgusted by the report, and I guess I would have been shocked if she wasn’t. I am so tired of people being rewarded for bad behavior. The tattoo painting who broke up Sandra Bullock’s marriage is now reporting that she makes a lot more money after the scandal than she did before. Apparently being a hoochie mama is a lucrative business that gets you an agent, personal appearances, and your own reality show. If that is what it takes to become rich and famous these days, I will be happy to die an unknown self-respected content middle class woman.

Monday, February 14, 2011

It’s complicated

Money, a box of chocolates, and a home-cooked meal have all been given as the definition of love by men. Women describe it as romance, affection, and “never having to say you’re sorry”. Children spell it t-i-m-e. Love certainly can be complicated. And if you look up its meaning on, you just might think so. It lists 28 different definitions.

I have heard that love is finding someone who completes your puzzle. I love a challenging jigsaw puzzle. Call me selfish, but if I create the border and separate all the pieces by color and shape, I want to be the one who puts that last piece in. One would not feel love from me with the completion of my puzzle.

One web sight lists its top meaning as “someone you’d give your life for”.

Mother Teresa has been quoted as saying “Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand.”

And speaking of fruit, something I love is the Nuts about Berries Salad at Zuppa’s. Now I say that I love this salad, but if given the choice between my life and the salad, I would choose life. I have come up with a homemade version when feeling the cravings and the best part is that it’s not complicated.

Start with some chopped romaine lettuce, add some Brianna's Blush Wine Vinaigrette Dressing and mix to cover lettuce, and add berries of your choice. And then top with chopped candied almonds. It just might be better than a box of chocolates.

Candied Almonds

1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 lb almonds

Bring water, sugar and cinnamon to a boil; stirring constantly. Add almonds and toss to coat. Arrange almonds on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Store in an airtight container once cooled.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Toys not included

If you watched Nightline last week, you might have seen an episode about a mother suing McDonald’s. Apparently it isn’t a Happy Meal to her. As I watched this report, I found it a little ironic that she was concerned that McDonald’s was enticing her child with a toy to purchase their foods she deemed unhealthy, and with the cameras rolling and while explaining her concerns of her daughter eating fries and nuggets, she handed her daughter a GoGurt. Seriously, I couldn’t stop laughing. I would put all those items in the same category. They are treats. And even though GoGurts, nuggets, and fries are commonly served by most school districts as a vital part of the food pyramid, they really hold minimal nutritional value. I would have taken this lady seriously if she would have handed her daughter an apple. Parents seem to forget who earns the money and has the valid driver’s license that enables their family to drive to McDonald’s and purchase the very food they are opposed to consuming.

If you want food to be easy, fast and healthy, I have a suggestion your kids might like. I just wondered how long it might take me to go to a McDonald’s. I live about 8 minutes from the closest Happy Meal, and on this particular day, I timed a car going through the drive through. From the moment the order was placed until the food was received was 2 minutes and 53 seconds. The wait would have been longer if there was a line to place the order. So it would take at least 20 minutes to satisfy my Big Mac attack. In less than 20 minutes you can have these tasty whole wheat breadsticks in the oven.

Dissolve 1 tablespoon yeast in 1 1/2 cups warm water. Add 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand 5 minutes. Mix in 3 1/2 cups hard white wheat flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Knead for 5 minutes. Roll out dough on a greased cookie sheet (add additional flour if too sticky). Spread about 1/4 cup butter (flavored with garlic powder or fresh minced garlic if you like) and then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cut into strips with a pizza cuter. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Your kids will love dipping these healthy breadsticks in pizza sauce. For a complete happy meal, serve with your own milk and apple slices.  And they just might forget they didn't get a toy with their meal.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Mental Burritos

When children are little they pronounce things in such a cute way, and often their interpretation becomes the way the whole family then says a particular word. That is how spaghetti became sketti at our house. As my children got older they would change the names of dishes not out of cuteness, but to express how they felt about a particular meal. That is how Lentil Burritos became Mental Burritos at our house. You just have to love teenage boys and their mode of expression.

Lentil Burritos

1 cup lentils
1 (14 ounce) can vegetable broth
Place in a sauce pan and simmer covered for 30 minutes.
In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and add
1 medium chopped onion
1 medium chopped zucchini
Cook for 6 minutes and add
2 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
2 cups loosely packed chopped spinach
1 cup frozen corn, thawed and drained
cooked lentils

Serve on tortillas with salsa and sour cream.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Bad Moon Rising

My absolute favorite episode of Everybody Loves Raymond was on television on Wednesday night. It is hysterically funny to watch Raymond try to convince Debra that her bad mood just might be PMS related. Any one who has experienced or been the victim PMS could surely relate. Frank calls it the enemy within, and Raymond thinks it is Hyde, if he were the bad one, taking over his wife each month. I know I hate my “ladies days” (as Marie refers to them), and anything that makes them more tolerable I gladly embrace. A couple years ago, I bought a little item that is not only environmentally friendly, but also a little improvement on “my ladies days”. So if there are any men reading this post, you just might find yourself blushing a little.

There is a whole isle in the grocery store devoted to feminine hygiene products, and yet we would all like to pretend that they are there for someone else. We can go to the store and buy just a loaf of bread or a single gallon of milk, but have you ever purchased just a box of tampons. If I am out, I will need to buy at least five other items that I don’t necessarily need so everyone doesn’t realize what time of the month it is for me. And then heaven forbid you run into a male neighbor with them glaring up from your cart. Now I still buy them on occasion, but if I am out I don’t need to run to the store. If you haven’t heard of a diva cup, you will need to check it out. The initial investment might seem a lot, but it paid for itself in less than a year. The best thing about it is that I can situate it in the morning and not worry about it again until evening. With this one product, I have definitely reduced my carbon footprint, and Al Gore would be proud.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I am done!

Before I started the cleanse, and even half-way through, I thought that I might make this a yearly commitment, but now I am not so sure. I like food. I like making my family food. I like baking. I like watching a movie with a bowl of popcorn. I like going to dinner. I like having family over for Sunday dinner. The cleansing part is only ten days, but I also did the three day ease in and am currently on the three day ease out. Sixteen days out of 365 doesn’t seem like that much, but when you have to put them all together it felt hard. I will have to see what the long term benefits will be before I determine if I will starve myself again. One of the short term benefits was the cute decorations my husband made to congratulate us on as he said, "Mastering the Cleanse."

With the help of my daughter who shared my days of cleansing, we wrote this poem.

 Elimination (My daughter didn’t agree with the title, but I thought it was funny.)

Planning and preparing to begin the cleanse,
Let’s get it started ‘cause I just want it to end.

Buying tons of lemons, maple syrup, and tea,
Plenty of wipes will also be something you need.

It sounds awfully long to go ten days without food.
I better warn my family that I might be in a bad mood.

Day one begins and the drink seems okay.
I think I can do it; it is just simply nine more days.

Eliminating, eliminating so much on day two.
Let’s just say it, “I am sick of going poo!”

Day three, day three, oh it's just day three,
At least I can be grateful for herbal tea.

The lemonade drink is getting old by day four.
Do I really need to drink sixty-three more?

I stretch and awake on day number five,
I simply wonder how am I still alive.

Half-way done by the morning of day six,
I’m a little concerned, my daughter looks like a stick.

Day seven and I wonder how much more I can take.
My health better improve for goodness sake.

The amazing discovery on morning of day eight,
In one week I can’t believe I have lost that much weight.

Day nine, day nine, oh blessed day nine,
I wonder how much more could I possibly whine?

I hear myself declare at the end of day ten,
“I will absolutely never do this again!”

Friday, January 21, 2011


On day number nine, I am tired of hearing myself whine. Nine days of the cleanse, nine pounds weight loss, and at least nine times per minute I think about food. On the same week that I lost nine pounds, amazingly both twins gained nine pounds on The Biggest Loser. I sometimes wonder if any of these people actually watch the shows that they would like to be on as a contestant.

I would suggest these nine tips for reality show contestants:

1. Learn to drive a stick shift before competing on The Amazing Race. And knowing how to row a boat just might be helpful.

2. If you go on Survivor, it might be a good idea to wear glasses and know how to start a fire with them. And then practice, practice, practice.

3. Before applying to be the next American Idol ask someone other than your mother if you can really sing. And don’t brag about your voice until the judges give you props.

4. Realize that Jillian will get in your face and yell at you until you cry. Cry early and share quickly as to why you emotionally eat, and then she just might move on to fix someone else.

5. Don’t be surprised when you don’t get much sleep or food on Survivor, but you get plenty wet.

6. Afraid of water, take swimming lessons. Afraid of heights, go bungee jumping. Afraid of bugs, learn to eat them.

7. When you have been sitting on the sofa most of your life, exercise just might be a little painful at first.

8. Don’t be shocked when someone lies to you, yields you, or votes you out.

9. Just suck it up and realize you will miss your family!