Sunday, January 31, 2010

Date Night Tiramisu

Another "metabolism miracle" friendly recipe, by me.

Cake:

6 eggs or 12 egg whites
1 cup splenda
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut flour.

Beat eggs, beat in all ingredients and beat until batter is fluffy. Bake at 350 F. in a 9x6 pan, 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cake cool.

Set out 1 8 oz. package of neufchatel cheese to allow it to come to room temperature. Brew about a cup of double strength coffee (I used decaf).

Later, beat together:
8 oz. neufchatel cheese
1/2 of a 30 oz. container of part skim Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup splenda
1/2 tsp vanilla extract.

Cut cake in half to form two 9x6 inch layers. Soak each layer in half the coffee. Transfer bottom layer to original pan, and top with half the cheese mixture. Repeat layers. Sprinkle top with unsweetened cocoa powder through a sieve. Refrigerate. Top with whipped cream when ready to serve.

My favorite restaurant dessert. I made this to have at home after a date with my dearest husband, so I would not be tempted to order dessert at the restaurant.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Reality Bites

Sometimes I wish I had a total fantasy life to present on this or another blog that was completely divorced from the reality and stress of my life. It would have pretty artsy craftsy things on it. It would be creative. There would be lace doilies, old fashioned tatting and teapots. There would be classical music and bits of lace and flower printed fabric in charming concoctions for spring time.

Perhaps there would be idyllic snow scenes and spiritual thoughts about positive things.

Oh, and the house would be clean, clean, clean.

Today my back has been hurting. I'm so glad I have a chiropractor's visit this week, coming up.

I got to go to Divine Liturgy this morning and had a LONG coffee "date" with a dear friend who has been out of town for a while. It was SO nice to catch up. What a blessing!

My oldest feels like she's a total mess. Actually she is. But today she learned that one form of prayer is to simply gaze at an icon. She says "Oh, maybe I'm not toast!"

Her tardive dyskinesia is OUT OF CONTROL. Really really bad right now. Communication happens at such a high stratospheric vocal pitch that it literally hurts my ears. There's lots of flopping, thumping and involuntary twitching and arm and leg jerking. Sometimes she can't talk, or her words come out really really slowly. And often too loudly.

Somehow, by God's grace, the patience is there, although I don't know how. God's grace. I guess I do know how, but it's all Him and not me. So, I carry on.

Monday we see the doctor again. We still don't have a new doctor. I wish we did. Someone fabulous and understanding and amazing and very very talented and smart. I think I need a video camera so that I can film B's TD so that the doctor can see it.

We are still wrangling with the insurance, and paying out of network for her current less-than-wonderful doctor who is so very medication happy. Meanwhile, there are no child-psychiatrists in our network, except for in Lexington or Cincinnatti, and THEY aren't taking new patients.

I feel like I am full of tears. Sometimes those tears overflow. And sometimes I remember that I have three other kids to care for and raise as well, and I see them in the background along for this very bumpy ride that is our life, and I hope they are getting from us what they need. I hope God's grace is sufficient for them as well.

In all of this, I know one thing for sure: God will be glorified in all of this. Somehow, someday: He will be glorified. I have this inner certainty about this, even as B is thrashing and shouting and castigating herself and crying on the couch and hitting herself in the head and cursing.

Pray for us. May God be glorified.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Low Carb Brownies

These are NOT "Nourishing Traditions" approved, since they contain splenda. Oh well.

1/2 c. pastured butter or coconut oil, melted
1/2 c. cocoa powder
6 eggs, preferably farm fresh/pastured
1 c. splenda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3. c. coconut flour

beat all of the above ingredients to death in kitchen aid. Bake at 350 degrees F. in a square or small rectangular pan. 30 minutes or so.

This recipe works very well for the Metabolism Miracle Diet. It would count as a "freebie", but I'd personally count it as a "eat just one you overweight fool" type of a food and skip my 5x5 carb while I'm at it. The coconut flour is very filling and has lots of fiber.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Today's Kitchen Work

-B and I got some coconut milk made and now we are brewing coconut milk kefir. A handy hint for kefir grains: Get a little plastic mesh bag (we found the Whole Foods sells a few bulbs of garlic in a sturdy little plastic mesh bag which we carefully cut the top off of, and wash), place rinsed kefir grains in the bag, and sew it up with some white thread. Now you have a kefir grain "tea bag" that can be transferred from one batch to the next without any annoying straining process. Remember to rinse kefir grains under filtered water. Tap water can kill the colony.

-broth going in the crock pot. I use a picked over roasted chicken carcass, and some organic carrots, celery and an onion. I don't even bother to peel the onion or carrots. I just throw it all in the crock pot with some apple cider vinegar (about half a cup) and some salt...a couple of tablespoons. Cover all the filtered water and boil in crock pot for a couple of days, adding more water as needed. By the end, I strain out some seriously rich and dark meat broth and throw the stuff I cooked away.

I meant to make another batch of sauerkraut, but found a history book that I'm reading much more interesting and engaging. ;-)

Week one: Metabolism Miracle and other stuff

Well, the diet is going really really well. I took some measurements last Monday, and then again on Saturday night. My friends, I have lost over 8 inches! measuring 13 places on my body. Two inches here, and inch and a half there...significant changes. I did not get on the scale at all, which is good, because in the past, that is what has always gotten me so depressed and ready to give up. Who cares what I weigh, if my body is getting smaller, eh?

Food is a tiny bit on the boring side, and I am hungry a little bit, but just because I'm often simply not in the mood to go fetch something that I'm allowed to have. Salad with chicken and cheese was for lunch. It's not torture. And it's a good kind of hungry though, when I am hungry. The kind where I can still function and have energy. My mood is more stable, and I find myself seeking out exercise opportunities voluntarily. I have more energy and I sleep so much better.

Being off the diet for the four days I was at the funeral/and my birthday really got me bloated right back up and had me hardly sleeping and fighting depression. It's good to be back to feeling better, that's for sure.

Week one is down, seven more weeks to go for phase one. I suppose today is Week 2 day 1.

I'm also still loving the Curves workout. "Me time". That sounds so selfish, but taking a half hour a day to give my body the exercise it needs is really helping me to function better, so it's all good, I guess. It's fun because a couple other ladies from my Church go there as well. Sometimes we run into each other and that is nice.

Prayer request: That we can find a really really good doctor for our daughter B. Right now there is no one in-network here in our town, and the ones in Lex that are in network are not taking new patients, so we are having to pay an arm and a leg. She needs better care than that. She's having symptoms again and things are difficult for her, especially since she now also has Tardive Dyskinesia to deal with, on top of everything else. What does God have planned for her? For us? Wes says that she is given to us to teach us to pray.

I wish I were one of these "go getter" moms who had a bunch more fight in her than I do. "Fight" takes energy, and we all know I have low levels of that, three other kids and that I always feel a bit overwhelmed with just the basics of life (that being homeschooling, housework, cooking and scouts and Church), even on my good days. Sometimes I think I need to learn how to set up a non-profit organization or some kind of fund for B and start soliciting donations and doing fundraisers so that we can purchase better medical care for her. I would not even know where to begin, though. God have mercy.

But looking back at last year, my goals were to get E. and M. tested for Autism related stuff, and I did manage to get that accomplished, with the help of God. So perhaps I am starting to formulate a vision for the "next thing" I need to do on the "my kids' health" front. I dunno. Just thinkin'. Sometimes I think it's a cosmic joke that God gave ME special needs kids, because based on the questionable maxim that God only gives hard things to those who can handle it(...which mean's theoretically that "I'm special" (ha!)...or in the case of someone saying it to you it comes across as: "You are special and I'm SO GLAD I'm not" and by the way, that's NOT a helpful thing to say to a parent who is grieving their child's disability), I should be SUPERWOMAN. But I'm not. I barely have enough strength for even an ordinary life.

At least it keeps me humble and praying. That's for sure!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Current/Recent Reads

Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future by Fr. Seraphim Rose. Controversial, yes, I know. One of my kids picked this up at the Church library and I snagged it and told her I had to read it first. She was interested in what the book says about UFO's. Ok, I said, I'll read it and tell you. My daughter is VERY impressionable and easily frightened/freaked out. So I read this, we had a discussion about broad concepts and I told her she couldn't read it this book yet. Our discussion seemed to satisfy her, though. Interesting stuff.

My Jihad by A. Collins. An American Muhjehadin (sp?) who went to fight in Chechneya and Kosovo and eventually did a stint working for the FBI/CIA as in informant. Interesting. A look into someone's life that I would never encounter in the course of my own life. Can't say that any of this man's life choices would be on the team I'm trying to bat for, but it was an interesting read.

Wild Trees, by Richard Preston. I love Richard Preston's writing. My brother loaned me this book. Very enjoyable and a glimpse into a world hitherto unknown to me: A world of tree nerds and the giant redwoods they climb. I like Richard Preston as an author and I hope he writes more books. I need to pick up The Cobra Event from the library. It's fiction.

One Flew Over the Onion Dome, by Fr. Joseph Honeycutt of Orthodixie fame. I just started this today. I friend from Church loaned it to me. Enjoyable, quick and easy. Perhaps I'll get some more pages in before bed. Seems to be an astute analysis of the whole "Americans converting to Orthodox Christianity" phenomenon.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Parish Website

I just have to brag! Our parish has the most beautiful photos on our website, now (I think I need to thank a certain Mr. Vest for those gorgeous photos and the talent behind the web page belongs to Mr. Irvine, I believe.)

So, here's the link to the photo page of my parish website. Seven days a week, I have the opportunity to worship God in such gorgeous surroundings. Sure beats my old sleeping bag and prayer book alone on my back porch for "just me and God Matins"....

(Don't get the wrong impression though...I'm WORKING ON the "seven days a week" part. The opportunity is there, though...I just don't always avail myself.)

And while you are perusing those gorgeous photos, and the website in general, please add Fr. Alexander Atty to your prayer list. He has stage four colon cancer. His surgery is scheduled February 2, 2010.

Peace and blessings to all.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Easter Lent (Eastern Orthodox) - Open To Me The Doors Of Repentance

This is what we are practicing in choir practice right now! Lovely music and even more precious words!

Life, the Universe, and a Rebounder

I'm having one of those weeks when I feel constantly overwhelmed. I've struggled in vain to get back to my card file system since being away for my grandfather's funeral last week. Today I managed to clean the toilets, so that is something, a start.

It seems that getting the kids back into the rhythm of school work has been difficult as well. I'm just struggling, I guess. It helps not at all that the whirlwind trip caused a bit of a fibro flare up, which means I have NO energy.

But I have been exercising, keeping dishes washed, laundry mostly washed, and food cooked and shopped for...TWO shopping days in one week due to the delayed shopping I had to do after returning from Texas...that explains a LOT of my extra busyness!

Today, instead of going to Curves, I bounced on our new mini-trampoline.

One thing we did last week is buy a mini-trampoline, aka rebounder, for the kids. Well, for us all, really. It's always been a favorite thing of mine to own for our kids, as they tend to coop themselves up in the winter time, especially, and this way they can use it to get some indoor exercise. It makes a HUGE difference in their fitness levels and also in their energy and mood. Being a bunch of aspies, the bouncing seems to do something really good for them, I think. My guess is that it might be one of those "sensory integration" tools that therapists have around. It is amazing how uniquely uncoordinated my kids are. But observing just now, I'm already seeing VAST improvement in movement coordination of the subject who shall remain nameless who is currently bouncing.

Here's an excellent introductory article on the health benefits of rebounding. We've almost always had a rebounder in our home and I consider the few feet of floor space that it takes up to be well worth it. (Family of six living in 1550 sq. foot apartment...obviously, the mini-trampoline is a priority).

Two things I've learned over the years of going through several rebounders: (1)If you leave them outside, they get rusty and nasty and deteriorate really really fast, and (2) if you let a kid outside on a sunny day with a magnifying glass and a mini-trampoline, you might just find holes melted in the jumping surface, rendering it useless as an exercise tool. I'd say it's definitely an indoor thing.

Oh, and my dishwasher has been getting progressively worse, so I've switched to washing dishes by hand. This is not a bad thing, since it saves me from rinsing them before putting them in the dishwasher and re-washing them when I take them out, AND I have some lovely icons on the shelf above my kitchen sink that encourage me to pray while I'm washing dishes. And the kids are also learning a new skill.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Low Carb During Lent

Jennifer asks how one does low carb during lent...

Well, there are ways to do the Metabolism Miracle Diet as a vegetarian or a vegan. Tofu is allowed on the diet. Seitan (a meat substitute based on gluten) is also available. Many of the things like veggie crumbles (aka soy) are low carb. Shrimp, scallops, etc. are low carb. Veggies are low carb.

Personally, I don't feel very comfortable eating processed soy foods and I try to avoid them.

That being said, many of us ARE pre-diabetic or have had a doctor tell us to cut the carbs (I know I have, Oh, if only I'd listen!) and in such cases one has that chat with one's priest and one does what one is told (Oh, if only I'd listened!).

Because I've been told to eat the way my doctor told me to, and the whole "lenten excuse" has been, for me, to eat all my favorite foods in the name of fasting. Bread. Pasta. Cookies. Crackers. Potatoes. Carbs.

So here's the thing: Don't look at what is on someone else's plate during lent, to judge what they are or are not eating. One does not know what their particular obedience is. Someone may appear very "righteous" and be eating a slice of bread with jelly, and be actually disobedient. I'm speaking of myself here with the vorbidden bread.

So, fasting is difficult and I almost hesitate to write these things in such a public way, but I suppose if I can share my own struggle and thereby help someone else either feel "not alone in the struggle" or to inspire someone to do better than myself, its good.

What I usually do is cut out red meat and poultry and stick with fish and eggs and veggies and cheese. It may not seem like much of a "fast" but it is very very difficult, especially considering there's no bread or pasta or potatoes to be had. And yes, my priest has told me I should do what my doctor has told me to do. Now I just have to actually do it instead of making excuses to indulge myself in my own passions that outwardly look better than they inwardly are.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Speaking of New Beginnings...


I have me some fat to lose. Yes, about sixty or seventy pounds worth. I could even lose eighty if my body suddenly decides to be thin. I doubt my body will decide that. At any rate, it's time to feed myself differently.

I already started an exercise program. Got a head start on that score when I joined Curves last November. I love going to Curves.

Now, what's my diet plan, you ask: The Metabolism Miracle. Yes, I know. Low carb again. But here's the rub: I counted SO MANY calories last year, and all to no avail. This diet seems smarter than others I've tried. And if you want to diss it, do so on your own blog. It also seems long-term liveable beause after an 8 week phase one of low carb eating, the purpose of which is to rest my poor beleaguered pancreas, the diet introduces careful amounts of very healthy carbs like milk and fruit and whole grain bread again. So the low carb is not forever.

If you have a spare tire around your belly that you can't seem to get rid of, this might be the diet for you. If diabetes runs in your family, this might be the diet for you. If you are diabetic or pre-diabetic, this might be the diet for you. If you are an "apple" instead of a "pear" this might be your diet. If suddenly you can't lose weight the way you used to, this might be for you. Check it out.

By the way, I stole the image above from www.amazon.com. It's a great place to buy this book.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Starting a New Decade of Life

I turned 40 yesterday.

I have high hopes that this coming decade will be better for me than my thirties. I dunno. I've heard from so many women that one's forties are GREAT, while one's thirties pretty much bite.

That was my experiene, so I'm hoping, hoping, hoping that the 40's will be better.

Perhaps one of the reasons they will be better, is that I've learned a thing or two, and I'm actually starting to apply these learned things. As with any type of growth, it's indiscernable when viewed up close, day to day, but over the long haul the changes will be evident, I hope.

-I have finally figured out that I am the grown up. And no one is going to wave a magic wand and make me better. I have to take care of myself: physically, spiritually, emotionally, intellectually-all of it, lest I completely go to seed or unravel, or whatever will happen. Self-neglect would be sinning against those around me and against myself, and that won't do.

-I have learned that I can't let my spiritual life drift. It takes constant vigilance and work. Until the day I die I will be working at this process, by God's grace. I have not arrived at anything. I am a work in progress.

-I have finally figured out that it is OK for me to just be me and not to try and fit into a mold or into other people's expectations of me.

-I have evidence that plenty of people love me and appreciate me.

-This is the decade when my kids are going to be grown up and launched. God have mercy and help me with this task and these upcoming transitions!

So, in a nutshell, I'm looking forward to being in my 40's and I have high hopes that I will continue to grow, and be a better and better person, by the grace of God.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Leavin' On a Jetplane....

Well, today turned into a kerfluffle of flying telephone calls, as my sister and I, my brother and my parents were all trying to coordinate travel plans to go to my grandfather's funeral in central Texas.

I have not been on an airplane in over fifteen years! It was a different world, back then, I guess. Now I have to worry about security issues. I don't think they'll let me bring any atkins shakes with me. Bummer. Guess I'll have to buy those when I get on the ground again.

I had to make a store run to get travel sized stuff, and some low carb snacks, a couple of brainless novels to read during flight, etc.

I keep checking and re-checking baggage restrictions. And I can barely wrap my head around what to pack, not to mention what's for supper. Today was such a day. My card file system was utterly ignored, as the normal was replaced with activities outside of the scope of normal.

Although I'm not looking forward to getting up at pre-dawn hours to get there in time for my 6:35 a.m. flight departure time, I do think that it's a bit exciting to be getting on an airplane again. And, I'm looking forward to hangin' with my sister, seeing the rest of my family, including cousins and aunt-n-uncle types of people.

The rest of my family will hold down the fort here.

May PeePaw's memory be eternal.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Reading

The house keeping card file system is going SO WEll. I will admit that I took today off. For one thing, I'm tired today, and for another thing, I don't have any monthlies/weeklies tomorrow, and so I will do today's chores tomorrow. The dailies, the nice thing is if I skip a day, things are still better than before, when I never did them. So zero guilt there.

I am struggling with one problem: procrastinating my Bible reading until the very last thing and then not doing it at all. Guilty as charged. The spiritual disciplines are always the hardest. Some days, just a Psalm will have to qualify.

Another thing I've been thinking of, is that I want to create time in my day to read. My brother sent me Richard Preston's _Wild Trees_, and I've delved in to the first few pages, and am eager to read more. Additionally, when I'm in the bathroom I pick up and read a few lines of that history book (late 1700's) that I'm working on. At least I'm making some progress. But I have so many interests, and books I want to read. And I spend too much time browsing the internet. That's reading, too, but not the intelligent reading I want it to be. Some of it is fruitful, but some less so.

Dinner tonight: shrimp stir fry with cauliflower "rice". Yes, I'm on a low carb plan again: The Metabolism Miracle.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

What to do, what to do?

My house is so clean and tidy that I hardly know what to do with myself...which basically means my standards are really really low. Because I still have untidy shelves and dust everywhere, since I have not gotten to the day those chores are on yet.

What I SHOULD be doing (and what I will do as soon as I pop off of here) is grading papers. That is so not fun. But that's what I need to do.

So that's what I"d better go do. NOW, Alana. Get. Off. The. Computer. NOW!

...okay, okay, I'm going already!...

A Poem for Theophany


He became just like me
clothed in humanity
hungry and tired
so close to harm
God lay as a baby in frail arms.
Oh, great mystery!

He breathed the air I breathe
such his humanity
touching the water
air and the land
fully God, yet He's fully man.
Oh, great mystery!

The Holy Spirit
came down like a dove
The voice of the Father said
"This is my Son, beloved in whom
I'm well pleased."
Oh, great mystery!

But the whole universe
cannot contain Him
so all is forever changed.
His very touch makes us holy again.
Oh, great mystery!

Oh, Great Mystery!
God is a trinity
A humble deity
and all things made new!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Chores

As promised below, here's the list of my chores. Now, bear in mind that a) I might have glaring gaps because I'm just starting, b) I live in a 1550 square foot ground floor apartment, in part so that I'll have fewer chores and so that there's no yard work or roof repairs in our life (schizophrenia, autism and fibromyalgia is quite enough, thankyouverymuch!) and c) THIS SYSTEM IS NOT MY ORIGINAL IDEA. I'm just implementing the advice from the book Sidetracked Home Executives: From Pig-Pen to Paradise.

So, without further ado, in the order they appear in my box:

-Read your Bible-daily
-Evening Routine: Prayers, tidy kitchen, sweep kitchen floor, rotate diesh, put stuff away off kitchen counter, tidy Living room/Dining Room-daily
-Spray and wipe toilets-daily
-Living Room Tidy/Declutter-daily
-15 minurwa tidy/declutter master bedroom-daily (include vacum and dust when ready)
-kids spend 15 minutes tidying rooms-daily
-Morning Routine: Prayers, tidy kitchen, start laundry-daily
-Exercise: Daily
-Magic sponge bathroom singks and tidy bathroom countertops-daily
-Wipe down front of stove-weekly
-Spend 15 minutes decluttering computer desk-weekly
-dust all over for cobwebs with feather duster-weekly
-vacuum and mop bathroom floors and dusty areas in bathroom-weekly
-spray mirrors and wipe down-weekly
-dust/wipe all miniblinds-monthly (we have three, so not a big chore)-monthly
-vacuum dining room-every other day
-straighten books on master bedroom shelves-weekly
-straighten books on Living Room shelvfes-weekly
-vacuum hallway-weekly
-scrub toilets on both bathrooms-weekly
-wipe down cabinet fronts-weekly
-plan meals for next week and make shopping list-weekly
-tidy/declutter kitchen shelves (we have some open shelves in our kitchen, I'm not talking about all the cabinets)-weekly
-put clean hand towels in bathroom-weekly
-check walls in bathroom and wipe down as needed-weekly
-check walls in dining room and wipe as needed-weekly
-featherdust living room-weekly
-mop bathroom floor-weekly
-take out bathroom trashes-weekly
-clean sheets on kids beds-weekly
-clean sheets on master bedroom bed-weekly
-pick up milk from farmer (regular appointments can be made into cards, too)
-wipe down washer and dryer-weekly
-mop kitchen floor-weekly
-clean out microwave-weekly
-take trash bag out to car-weekly
-magic sponge front of entryway closet and entryway walls as necessary-monthly
-vinegar and baking soda drains (we have six-weekly
-magic sponge/dust front of furnace closet/air intake vent-monthly
-magic sponge hallway baseboards (and walls as needed)-monthly
-magic sponge baseboards in dining room-monthly
-dust ceiling fan (we have one)-monthly
-pledge dust wooden furniture-monthly
-clean refridgerator-monthly
-tidy coat closet (not more than 15 minutes)-monthly


OK, that's what I've got so far. I can already see some gaps like wiping above the door frames and cleaning off switch plates, wiping down fronts of closets in bedrooms (all our closets throughout the apartment are folding doors with a "shutter" design, so there's all these little slanted surfaces to collect dust), washing curtains and windows....eh. I'll make those cards later. They seem like seasonal chores to me.

Another tag that could be added onto a card is whether it's a job that can be given to a kid. Bwahahahaha. Most of them are.

I've done all my cards today, except for evening routine and Bible Reading, and I've gone to Curves to work out, gotten my hair cut and colored my hair here at home, so I've gotten lots done and the afternoon is still before me to enjoy.

And, while I was puttering in my bedroom (tidying) I found an old recipe box that had a treasure trove of meal cards from years ago. I've done this thing before, you know. So now we are excited to be having beef stroganoff for dinner!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

I forgot to say...

I was so busy being funny on that video that I missed making an important point:

Arrange the cards in piles, according to how often you do the chore: daily, weekly, monthly, etc.

Then, spread the chores out evenly across your days that you want to do them. For me, thats Mon-Friday.

So, all my dailies go every day of course. Then I count my weeklies, divide by five and put that number in each day of the week. When I do a weekly chore on monday, I rotate it to the following monday's date. etc.

Monthlies, I decided to distribute on Mondays and Wednesdays, throughout the month. That gives me eight days to do monthlies on. So I might have one or two monthly chores on those days.

Each chore is something small and quick, so that nothing feels overwhelming, and they can be done around the edges of a much more interesting day.

Tomorrow I'll take some time to post a list of all my chores, just to show what types of things I'm starting with. I'm sure I'll add some more things, and eliminate others as I see gaps or redundancies in the system as time goes by.

The whole point is: It will be a vast improvement, build some good habits and hopefully be mostly painless.

Oh, and I went and saw that new 3-D Pocahantas, I mean Dances with Wolves movie tonight. I loved it, but the plot was predictable. I think it was called Avatar. ;-) I want to be a Dragonrider, too. Oh wait, that's Anne McCaffery....

Card File System

the video got cut off a few seconds too soon. I end it with: "I'd rather be blogging". Yeah. video

Yaaaaaay!

We are going to Church today! Yaaaaaay! Various ones of us have been sick the past week plus and it's really put a dent in our Church attendance. We did make it to Vespers last night, and fatigue hit me about half way though. Like SLAMMED me. But I kept standing there, trying to pray. I kept telling myself that if the lady with the hip replacement surgary six weeks ago could stand there, then so could I. I found myself focusing on the middle distance between myself and the holy icons, looking at nothing much of the time. When I realized I was zoned out I tried to pull myself together and FOCUS. It was a battle. But I was there, and happy to be there.

And on another happy note: I found another family dinner that we ALL enjoyed: Sloppy Joes. I had to make the sauce from familiar ingredients in order for Bethany to be able to eat it (I used our normal sugar free organic pasta sauce that I buy at Whole Foods) and I sweetened it with a bit of honey to give that "sloppy joe sauce" flavor. In order to get Eric to eat it I explained that the ingredients were already things he eats, and I sauteed onions and served them on the side so they wouldn't "contaminate" the sauce. I would have sauteed green peppers too, but it turns out we didn't have any in the freezer. So, side salad it was. In order to make Bethany's meal GAPS legal, she made some almond flour muffins earlier in the afternoon to use as her buns.

I was so happy that everyone was eating the SAME FOOD! (OK, I'll admit it, Ariana had to haul some leftover pasta out of the fridge because the pipsqueak doesn't eat bread-or at least not the sprouted grain buns that I buy, but she did have the sauce and liked it. As much as it seems like I cater to pickiness, unless you have a diagnosed condition such as autism or worse to "cause" your pickiness, you are ON YOUR OWN---and even Eric is on his own much of the time WITH his food aversion issues. He has some standard "do it himself" dinners that he can whip out if he won't. touch. what. I. fixed. Such will be the case in a few days when I make Tuna Pot Pie with the croissant roll dough that did not get baked at Christmas. Ha!

Did I mention that I set up a card file system for domestic busyness and bliss? I did! It's based on a book I read ages ago that my mother-in-law had called Sidetracked Home Executives. Total seventies goodness, there. And if you follow the link, I know the slob sisters (so they call themselves) have lots going on via the internet these days, but I always tend to like their old card file box system the best. That way, I'm not e-mail dependent (anyone ever do Flylady?) and don't get distracted from my daily tasks by the lure of the computer.

Perhaps I should do a post on how to set up a card file system for domestic busyness and bliss. So all my avid readers can share in my newly resurrected tidyness. Because I tell you this: This system WILL keep you a clean house. And you WILL be organized. It does take a wee bit of "get off your butt and got do this", but over all, less time than one would think.

So, follow-up post on that coming up.

Oh, and one more thing: I LOVE it when people who read this blog leave comments, because that way I can go and enjoy reading YOUR blog. I do that, you know. Its part of the fun of blogging. So, NOW is the time to de-lurk and leave a note, mention that you read here and invite me to check out your blog. Thank you, Rin and Irina!

Be blessed, everyone.

Friday, January 01, 2010

You'll Get Better Results if You Try

January 1st, 2010. Hope returns, after a bit of end of 2009 despair had set in the day before.

In which I realized that the Nourishing Traditions police were NOT going to come and arrest me if I bought sandwich meat and ate the occasional ham sandwich at lunch. yum.

In which I started reorganizing my so-called "Home Management Binder" (aka Big Book of Chaos and Disorder, aka Big Book of any two words that pop into my head that start with a C and a D such as Crime and Development, or Croutons and Dills, or Chaos and Despair aka merely "The Book").

I always have big dreams about being more organized and staying on top of the domestic scene better. And although I'm constantly falling off the wagon, each effort in that direction yields a bit of personal growth, too, so that the new normal is a wee tiny molecular bit better than the "old normal". I figure a new year is as good a time as any to put forth a bit of extra effort in my home keeping. Boring, but it has to be done. Or not. But better results if you try.

Same priniciple applies to the whole calorie counting and exercising endeavor. January 1 is a great day for making lists, writing out goals, hoping to lose five pounds a month. Wouldn't that be nice? Again: Better results if you try than if you don't try. So, try I will.

Tomorrow perhaps I'll do a bit more in my big book of curmudgeonliness and drama...perhaps come up with a chore list, or even do some MENU PLANNING! Oh, the shock!

Oh, and I also resolved to read through the Bible. This is one I've been resolving and miserably failing at for years. I got burnt out back in seminary...yeah. So I'm going to do it backwards this year. Instead of starting with Genesis and Matthew, I'm starting with Daniel and Revelation. Daniel is the last beek of the OT in the Orthodox Study Bible. Things are arranged for according to the LXX AND there's the extra books that someone decided didn't belong in the NIV...I'll enjoy reading those, too. I calculate I need to cover 4.7 pages a day to read the Orthodox Bible in a year.

I think it's my new motto: You'll get better results if you try. Happy New Year, dear blog readers. I love you all.